Friday, March 21, 2008

St. Patty's Day surprise

So, St. Patrick's Day I had this whole great list of things I was going to do, including therapy, one of my guinea-pig appointments, grocery shopping, Easter shopping, picking up stamps so I could mail bills that were due. Yeah.

Around 8am, just after my shower, my stomach started to hurt. I mean, HURT. I had to change out of my jeans because that hurt. I couldn't lie down, stand up, sit. I was throwing up. I tried a heating pad, Xanax, Aleve (threw both of those up), peppermints, everything I could think of to relieve what were pretty much the worst cramps I'd ever felt. I'd just ended my period, though, so that wasn't it.

I cancelled therapy and called my doctor. They recommended going to the ER, and not to drive myself. I called a friend, who came right over and got me there. Where I proceeded to wait. I mean, after I got signed in and the triage nurse did my vitals and got me into an ER room, I waited over an hour without one single person even peeking in to see if I was alive. I was pretty much rolling around on the stretcher thinking incredible curse words while I waited for somebody to get the hell in there and give me some drugs.

I needed two IV doses of morphine to get the pain under control, and then (oh joy) they did a pelvic exam to see if it was anything to do with my "female parts." No luck there, the blood tests came back with no results, the urinalysis was a stumper, so they scheduled me for a CT-scan. It was a three-hour prep, I had to drink some contrast fluids (mixed with warm apple juice, holy yuk)...and two more morphine doses. Got to the CT-scan as the last person of the day, everyone was trying to get stuff wrapped up to go home, so they were very efficient and the radiologist beat me back to the ER to get the results to the on-call doctor.

The doctor came back in and told me that I had an "interesting" scan. (I replied that I wasn't sure I *wanted* an interesting scan.) It turned out that I had a VERY large cyst in my abdomen (they were estimating size at something like 10cm by 16cm), and it needed to come out. So they had a surgeon come in and talk to me about it, they admitted me, and Tuesday I was scheduled for surgery. The game plan was to get it out laparoscopically, but depending on what the cyst was attached to, they might need to do some additional cuts to get it out. I got a wonderful bowel-cleansing drink on Monday night (twelve billion medical advances and they can't get that stuff to taste better?), was hooked up to a self-administering morphine pump (can I have one of those for home?) and Tuesday morning they were actually able to squeeze me into surgery.

It all went very well, they ended up with the laparoscopic cut in my belly button area along with two other "stab" incisions, and they drained TWO LITERS of fluid out of the cyst before they pulled it out. Apparently somehow my left ovary got involved in the cyst and it's gone now.

I was up and around while I was in the recovery room (I had to piss like a Russian racehorse), and I've been recovering pretty well in general. The morphine was replaced with oral Percocet. (damn) They had me hooked up to these massaging leg things to keep my circulation going, and holy cow, I want some of those for home, too. (ok, they're called intermittent pneumatic compression devices...mine had a "cool comfort" option)

Wednesday morning I was able to go home. Well, I went to my parents' house (where I am now). They were flying home from their Florida vacation on Tuesday anyway, so the timing worked out great. They didn't make it back before my surgery, but it didn't really matter.

So now I'm recovering. I've got Vicodin. (what is this step-down on the drugs thing?) My stomach is flatter than it's been in a while...of course, what can you expect? I've been carrying around a water-balloon in there filled with a 2-liter bottle of soda. I'm sore, still, and all bruised, but I've got some really disgusting photos of the cyst (man! no scanner available, either...I'll upload those later). I should get the Pathology report back in about a week to confirm that the cyst was benign.

And now I think I've put off my Vicodin for as long as I can, so I'm gonna go get that. I'll update later with more fun stories as they happen. Talk to you later! mk

update: Pathology report came back: no cancer. yay!

further update: now with pictures! Not a great picture of the pictures, but you get the idea. Warning: not for the squeamish. My kids flat-out refuse to look at them. mk

A guide: the disgusting gross fish-belly colored thing is the cyst. Top left: full cyst. Bottom left: after drainage. Top right: that instrument was IN MY BODY. Bottom right: gone!


Anonymous said...

OMG!!!! I was wondering about the gap in your posts....but never thought it could be anything like what you've experienced!

You started off mentioning all the puking....I figured you'd gotten the stomach bug that everyone seems to be getting, but I should have remembered how much more interesting you are...!!

Please comment (when you can) on how you explained it all to your kids. Glad to hear that your folks will be taking care of you (are you a Daddy's girl?) I'll be hoping and praying the best for you, MK. And, please consider this my 'Get Well Soon' card to you..!


markira said...


Thank you for the well-wishes. Yes, I'm definitely a Daddy's girl, although my mom's the one who's been taking care of me this time 'round.

I told the kids that basically the doctors found something like a big water balloon in my belly that was pushing against all the other stuff inside so they needed to take it out. It's pretty accurate, really.

They've been staying with X while I've been going through this, but they're coming here today for several hours and I'm so excited! I've missed them so much. mk

Anonymous said...

I was relieved to read the update. Phew!

Jenny, the Bloggess said...


Man, chica. You just had to top me and my wisdom teeth, didn't you? :)

Anonymous said...

Hey mk....great news about on the pathology report, too!


min said...


Here I am, coloring eggs and munching on jelly beans while you're going throught all this?

I'm a bad friend.

BarnGoddess said...

HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!!!

Ive been wondering where the hack ya been!

I am so happy for you it was NOT cancerous and you got it removed.

wow, now that was a shocking post (to me anyhow)

glad your okay and back to posting.

markira said...

Ro--I was relieved to be able to write the update. :)

Jenny--I gotta take 'em when I can. I figure this will probably be my only chance to one-up you. Ever.

Paul--thanks. I think so too. :)

min--Make it up to me. I accept candy. ;)

BG--yes, hopefully soon I will be back to regular posting. As soon as I can think of something else interesting to write about. :D

Anonymous said...

Well, crap. That's just not the right way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day at all.

Next year, just wear green and drink Bailey's, OK?

Glad you pulled through just fine, and take good care of you! Go ahead and indulge in some overuse of painkillers and some long-term hypochondria, you've earned it.

markira said...

Kate, I will *definitely* stick to the green beer next year! I *thought* I was doing something wrong. ;)

I would so love to indulge in the overuse, if only I had something to overuse! My prescription was pretty much just enough to cover the first few days. (not like The Bloggess, who could blissfully take SIX pain pills at one whack for her wisdom, that would have been 20% of my whole stash!) Guess I'll just have to stick to plain ol' alcohol...sigh. ;)

The Beast Mom said...

I was so shocked reading this! I'm blogwalking tonight to try to catch up w/ people and I come across THIS! I really hope you're doing better and recovering alright. I'm glad it wasn't anything worse too. If you had said you were diagnosed w/ cancer, I would've PUKED. Our wheelchair plans as old ladies could've been fried. FRIED I tell you. Stay healthy, please. OH MY GOODNESS. I'm still totally shocked.

Sending you hugs,

Anonymous said...

Holy crap those pictures are FRIGHTENING!