Have you or anu=yone you know who struggled with ovarian cysts ever had one of those bad boys rupture or slow leak? I’ve been struggling with them leaking and rupturing for a while now. I posted a video on my Instagram teasing about a possible pregnancy some weeks ago. After a flurry of messages in my inbox, I came clean. I wasn’t (am not) pregnant at all. I’m under some duress from baby fever, but no, not pregnant.
Then ladies wanted to know why I looked like I was. My belly was still larger than a food baby. At one point during the day, my sister almost freaked out at how fast My abdomen was distending.
Though I didn’t bother with a doctor’s visit that time around, the now familiar symptoms were enough to indicate what the issue was, an ovarian cyst. This was early July and to be honest, this half written blog has been sitting in my drafts since July 5, unsure of its future. Well, last Monday night I got a very rude awakening!
The Beginning of My Struggle with Ovarian Cysts
My ordeal began three years ago. Unexpectedly and inexplicably, I found myself in unbearable stabbing pain while sitting on the toilet. At that moment, I was tending my bladder following intercourse. Of course, my husband and I were concerned and made the trip to see a doctor, well, mostly he carried/helped me along. I endured an extremely painful vaginal examination that revealed nothing, except for the absence of blood.
I had been prescribed some pain medication with the passive assumption I might have torn something during sex. The ache, throbbing pain and bloating lasted about three or four days. I went on and basically forgot all about it.
Until four months later.
Cyst Rupture, Strike Two
This time, during sex, pain caused me to curl into a ball and ended with hubby rushing me to A&E. Just my luck to run into the very same doctor there, who was again puzzled at my condition. I remember going quite stiff and informing hubby we weren’t going to repeat that exam. After talking to us for a bit, the tentative diagnosis was a ruptured ovarian cyst, and I did an ultrasound to confirm.
I was shown the fluid and informed that the only treatment option was pain meds and waiting a few days for the pain to subside. Concerned, I asked the radiologist conducting the ultrasound if such a thing would affect fertility. After being assured that wasn’t the case and being monitored for a little while, I went home. Honestly, I still worried (irrationally) that I was now as barren as the Alaskan Tundra. (I’m dramatic, I know.)
Thankfully though, that wasn’t the case. Three months or so after, I found out I was pregnant. I went about my life happily, completely forgetting all about these encounters. Unfortunately, when Siobhán was about eleven months old, I had another episode. This time was the first time that it happened that it was unprovoked (no sex). It lasted only a few minutes and to be fair, was much milder than the previous occurrences. I took pain meds, rested and moved on.
The Wake Up Call
Then one night several months ago, it happened again. Crippling pain after sex and that had me curling into a ball and my husband looking like he wouldn’t touch me again without treating me like I was the gingerbread man. You see, from his perspective, if we weren’t so… robust in our sexual activities, perhaps it would happen less frequently. I wasn’t having it. I went to my Ob/Gyn who ordered an ultrasound and sure enough, a leaking cyst was the source of my pain.
Of course, cysts leaking/rupturing willy nilly isn’t the norm, right? Nevertheless, we bickered a bit about the suggested explorative course of treatment to look for a cause; and truthfully have yet to take any actions regarding that. So in early July when I had some dull cramps, tenderness and a lot of bloating, it was really not that big of a deal. Until last Monday night.
Ovarian Cyst Rupture -The Big Leagues
Fresh from the shower and a tryst with my lover, the cramps literally started the minute we finished. I figured I could bear it and made a show of getting up immediately to blow dry my wet hair. I figured if I kept moving, I wouldn’t have to tell Boobles about it. I didn’t want to stress him out or have the ‘rough stuff’ conversation, so I went on as if nothing was amiss. I thought the cramps would peak and I would lie down and that would be it. Ha!
It took me about ten (10) to fifteen (15) minutes to dry my hair and during that time, the pain steadily and rapidly increased. Still, I figured I could manage. I sat down on the toilet and casually texted a friend, trying to distract myself with jokes about a ‘pum pum buffing brush’ spurred by a post we saw on Instagram about a facial (or perhaps more fitting a ‘labiacial’ 🤣) for your vagina.
Though heavily invested in the conversation, it didn’t work as a distraction. Within another ten minutes or so, I knew I lost the fight. An ovarian cyst had ruptured again and would have to tell my husband I was in pain. For one thing, the pain was so bad I couldn’t get up from the toilet. I wasn’t going anywhere without assistance and by this time, it was so bad, I had to move.
Sitting still was no longer an option.
At this point, it’s sometime after 9 pm and my daughter was asleep, so I called my husband (on the phone). He came in, I told him what was wrong and he disappeared again, returning a few moments later with some Baralgin (painkillers) and a glass of water. I swallowed them without hesitation because much to my disbelief and horror the pain had yet to plateau. In fact, it continued to heighten, and not gradually either. Each time I thought it couldn’t possibly hurt any more, it did.
Since the bathroom I was in at the time is not the one in our bedroom, it was quite the ordeal to get there (to the bedroom). By this time, my pain was still spiking, I was nauseous and nothing was comfortable. I couldn’t stand, couldn’t kneel, couldn’t lay down.
Every single movement had devastating results. My husband was there trying to hold me up, helping me on and off the bed, blocking my attempts to lay on the floor. As my pain continued to become more than I thought I could bear, I felt sure I was going to die. Right there, stark naked on the bedroom floor.
By this point, my efforts to remain quiet and not wake the baby are out the window. She wakes up, is pissed off at being woken up ( she’s crabby when she wakes up now) and is stressed because I’m crying. She starts to cry too. My stress levels go through the roof because now I’m stressing my baby out and can’t do anything because even as I thought I was dying, the pain was sttiiiillll increasing.
Mr Shan was talking to me, mostly telling me I wasn’t breathing but when I tried to take deep breaths like he was telling and showing me, it just felt like in addition to the pain I wasn’t getting enough air, which made it all the worse.
Oh, Gosh! He was starting to feel like he was fighting me and boy I was getting pissed. I wanted to punch his face so bad! My nerves were shot. Eventually, I convinced him to tend Sio instead, and they both retreated to the living room while I shifted around on the bed. After a while, I found a position that didn’t increase my pain. My husband came in and asked if I felt better. I said no.
Relief… But No Really
He said, “U do feel better.” I presume it was from the fact that I laid limply and unmoving. For the second time in less than an hour, I wanted to punch my husband’s face. I stressfully told him no, it was just that it stopped getting worse in that position. He disappeared again.
At some point, my pain started reducing, I was able to peek into the living room and saw they had fallen asleep on the sofa, Sio on his chest. I don’t know when, but my pain reduced enough for me to fall asleep. The next morning, I woke up with aches, but in retrospect, negligible in comparison to the night before.
I never knew pain could be that bad. Honestly speaking. The whole thing lasted about an hour and the only thing I can say is, that has to be what childbirth feels like. Anything worse than that can only be death itself. I know for sure that I need to find the root cause because no one in life should feel pain like that. Here’s to hoping it’s resolved soon!