Sunday, July 1, 2012

The C in PCOS

Last night was crazy. Let me tell you.

I haven't talked about PolyCysticOvarianSyndrome (PCOS) in a while because quite frankly, there's been way too much other stuff going on and my ovaries haven't been at the top of that list.
Part of how they diagnose a person with PCOS is by ultrasound and the presence of cystic ovaries- fluid filled little sacs that make your ovaries look a bit like a large honeycomb on u/s, rather than smooth. I was diagnosed at 24 after years of frustration from PCOS symptoms and having no idea what was wrong with me. After my diagnosis we found a fertility med regime that worked for us and we had our Eliana and then 2 years later, Evangeline. This whole time I knew I had cystic ovaries but had never had a cyst actually cause me too much trouble. Last night, that changed.

It was about 2am and I was laying in bed and all the sudden had a very sharp, stabbing pain in my lower abdomen. I gently pressed on my abdomen with my hands thinking, "what the heck is going on down there?" Immediately after that all hell broke loose in my ovaries. The pain was a 12 on a scale of 1 to 10. I was shaking, dizzy, dripping sweat but freezing cold, dry heaving and wanting to throw up it hurt so bad but nothing would come up. I thought for a few moments I was dying. It hurt that bad. I also can honestly say I tolerate pain pretty well. I'm not a wimp and I rarely complain about pain. I mean, I birthed a 9lb baby in a bathtub and would only call that intense. This freakin' hurt. I hobbled into the bathroom, sat on the toilet, but alas couldn't even pee! I was holding on to the wall and watching my cold sweat drip on the bathroom floor. It was scary. Then I started bleeding. I had no idea what to do. If we had insurance, I probably would've gone to the ER, but instead I was doing the math while I tried not to pass out: $500 for ambulance, $500 minimum for ER, $350 for ultrasound, $??? for meds.....not gonna happen! I knew I'd just have to either wait it our or die in that little bathroom. At this point it had been 10 minutes and I was moaning, struggling to breathe, and asking God to help me. Craig didn't know what to do.....he never sees me like this and knows I don't exaggerate on pain. Here's his wife who no one thought was really that far along in labor with Evie since I wasn't complaining, and here she is crying for her life. He wanted to call an ambulance. I told him no, we couldn't afford it. I told him I needed to try and wait it out til morning so I would have other options besides the ER. But I won't lie, I was really scared of how quickly the pain came, how intense it was, and that it wasn't letting up. I know if I think it hurts, it's bad.

Another 10 minutes and the pain had decreased in half. I was breathing easier, not cold sweating so bad, and thought maybe I could take some pain killers, lay on my side in bed and try to pass out. I worried I was making the wrong choice about going to the ER, but realistically, how the heck would we pay for it?

The pain meds took over and I passed out, waking up at 4am to the cries of Evie and realizing my pain was now just a dull ache, not a sharp stab. Thank you, Jesus. I nursed Evie and went back to sleep til 9am. In the morning my mom reminded me that my Ob/Gyn always has a Dr on call. I called and got a call back within 5 minutes. The Ob on call told me it sounded like a Hemorrhagic Cyst Rupture. She said that I likely had had this cyst for quite some time and it was probably quite large when it ruptured, which can cause enormous pain and some bleeding also. She told me it sounds the worst is over and I need to take it easy and let my body heal. I told her I was still achy and spotting and she said I should expect that for a little while now but that it's not dangerous. Whew- sigh of relief! I'm going to live!

I suppose I should feel blessed that after having PCOS for probably about 15 years this is the first time I've had a cyst rupture, but I'm sort of just bummed that it happened and slightly concerned about what it means for my reproductive health. The on call Dr said it's really not that big of deal and people can even conceive on the months they have a cyst rupture. It's a fairly normal thing for women of reproductive age and then just bigger and more painful for dear old me with PCOS.

So for now, I'll take it easy and try not to be so frustrated at my uber messy house and unmopped floors. At least I didn't waste $2k in the ER and I'm also not dead.

Here's a few links about cysts and if I don't know you and you stumble across this blog I hope it helps you not panic and think the worst (like I did last night).

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