I mentioned the other day that I’m having surgery this week. I know I haven’t told the entire story and I waited to do this post for a reason. I wanted to make sure I knew what was happening and what I’d be going through before updating everyone.
Well, today is the day.
My surgery is happening this morning, and, depending on when you’re reading this, I may be in the operating room at this very moment.
And I’m terrified. I’ve never had any type of surgery before, never broken a bone, never even had stitches. Maybe I’m a wuss, but I’ve kept myself out of the hospital as much as possible.
The morning of November 7th changed everything.
Nick and I were at his parents house, visiting for the weekend with lots of other family. We drove there Friday night, ate dinner, played some dominos, and went to bed. Everything was fine.
But around 3 am Saturday morning, I woke up with this intense pressure in my lower abdomen. I thought I just needed to go to the bathroom and waited another minute to see if I could go back to sleep. When it didn’t go away, I slowly rolled over and crept out of the covers so I wouldn’t wake Nick. As soon as I stood up, the pressure turned into searing pain. I went to the bathroom, still thinking that maybe I just drank too much tea before going to bed, but it didn’t help.
I shuffled down the hallway, hunched over, back to bed and crawled in beside Nick. The pain kept getting worse. It felt as if something was tearing through my entire abdomen, pulling me apart from the inside out. I stayed there, in the fetal position, cringing and whimpering and holding Nick’s hand for about an hour before I gave up. I rolled over and said to Nick, “I can’t do this anymore. I just can’t”. He got up and woke his dad before coming back downstairs to help me get out of bed. Still hunched over, I put on my fleece jacket and glasses and grabbed a pair of Cindy’s slippers before heading out of the house.
It hurt to lay down, to sit up, to walk, to breathe…everything. That walk to the truck was some of the worst pain I’ve ever had.
We got to the ER around 4:15 Saturday morning and they hooked me up to an IV right away and drew blood to run some tests.
After getting a dose of pain meds, I started feeling a bit better, but I still had the stabbing pain and my abdomen was completely swollen. The doctor I had in the ER was awesome – seriously the best ER doctor I’ve ever had. She started asking me about my medical history and I mentioned that I did have an ovarian cyst a few years ago that my doctor kept an eye for a few months. It eventually went away on its own (like most cysts do), but that was enough to order an ultrasound.
I had a feeling that it might be another cyst because of where the pain was originating.
I was right.
The ultrasound revealed that I had 9.5 cm x 7.5 cm cyst on my right ovary, which is pretty big (the size of my fist) and much larger than they’d like to see.
Cysts themselves aren’t an issue; the majority of women have cysts regularly, but they’re typically small and go away on their own relatively quickly. However, if they stick around and get to this size, they can become a big problem.
The doctor and nurses still weren’t sure what happened to cause the pain, whether the cyst twisted a bit or if a small part of it ruptured, but there was only one piece of advice: I need to have it removed, as soon as possible.
We took my records, picked up a prescription for some pain medication, and went on our way. I still saw all my family that day, but it took a few days for the swelling to go down and for the soreness to go away.
I ended up going to see my doctor the next week where I got the same opinion (I needed surgery) and finally went to see one last doctor that was recommended to me at UVA. Last Monday, the doctors and specialists at UVA gave me the same report – I needed surgery to have it removed and soon so I wouldn’t risk having something else happen. I knew that would be the outcome, but I also wanted to make sure I was having this surgery with the best in the field. The staff at UVA has been incredible and they’re at the front lines in terms of research, information, and operations in this area.
So…here we are. Or, here I am.
I hope to have an amazing report that everything went well and that there weren’t any other issues.
But it’s hard to not be scared, especially when I’ve never been through any of this before. I’ve never had anesthesia or had to be on this side of those operating room doors.
If nothing else, I just hope I can be a good patient. And…as long as they knock me out, I’m sure I’ll be fine.
That’s the update – and what I’m asking from you is just for good thoughts and prayers for me and the medical team and my family.
And if you want to do something else?
I got word yesterday from a lady working with them that we’ve already raised $550! And we’re not even halfway through December! I am so, so thrilled – you have no idea.
This orphanage means so much to me and my family, and I’m so happy to have Holly helping to spread the word and for YOU, all of you, that have given, no matter the amount.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
See you on the other side!