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It's Been A Painful, Expensive Forty-Eight Hours. (TW hospitals, health issues)

Dudes. It's been a mess.

I woke up Monday morning feeling like I might be constipated or gassy. There was a lot of pressure in my abdomen, and I was a little bloated. An extraordinarily successful trip to the bathroom should have relieved this feeling, but it persisted. I picked up some Gas-X on my way to work and dealt with it as best I could.

My abdomen kept hurting throughout the day. So long as I was seated with my knees drawn up a little, I was fine. But my job requires some leg-work, and standing was very uncomfortable. I tried not to hunch over even though that provided me with relief. I didn't want my coworkers to know about what I then thought was a gastrointestinal issue. As the day went on, it got worse and worse. I made several unsuccessful trips to the bathroom, wondering why I still felt this pressure when I had already relieved myself. In the last few hours of my shift, the pain because so unbearable I found myself laying on the bathroom floor, sobbing. I shuffled back to my desk, announced to the only remaining coworker that I was going to emergency, and took off.


Now, I really shouldn't have driven myself. I know this now. I made it to the hospital without incident, but I was so distracted by the pain that the worst could have easily happened. I promise you, GT, that I wont do this again.

I spent around an hour sobbing and moaning in a wheelchair in emergency. People stared at me when they walked past, but I couldn't care in the slightest. My abdomen was so sore and swollen I thought I was dying. Medical issues are also my greatest fear, so I'm sure my panic didn't help. Finally, one of the triage nurses took pity on me and brought me in before my turn. It took two ER nurses to help get me on to the bed. Any movement I made was agony. After a while, I found that if I laid perfectly still, the pain stopped. I could lie perfectly still and feel as though nothing was wrong. However, as they put me on an IV and my bladder filled, the pain came in sharp waves. Getting to the bathroom was near impossible. I tried to stand, but the pain became so much I was howling and clawed my way back into the bed. I held it for hours as the pain rushed over me in contraction-like waves.

The ER doctor was convinced I had appendicitis. But after a cat scan, two pelvics, and an ultrasound, they discovered a 7.5mm mass in my abdomen. Being the medical scaredy-cat that I am, of course my mind went straight to the C word. They said it was possible, but very unlikely. They believed that my ovary had twisted. They scheduled me for an exploratory laparoscopy. I waited for hours, being moved to wheelchairs and stretchers, bounced around to different departments. There was a miscommunication that landed me in the wrong department in a wheelchair, while the very nice RNs there scrambled to find some way to help me. They made dozens of calls trying to figure out where I should be. My bed in ER had already been given away. They made calls to get a stretcher brought down to me so I wouldn't be in the wheelchair that was increasing the pressure on my abdomen. They made calls to get me the pain meds I needed but they didn't have. They were absolutely wonderful.

Finally, after some more bouncing, I ended up in surgery. I don't remember even going in. I'm guessing whatever they gave me to relax me combined with my absolute exhaustion put me out right away. I woke up in recovery with a nurse hovering over me. I struggled to stay awake. They told me I had a visitor. It was my boss. I had called him from emergency early that morning to let him know I wouldn't be in for a few days. Once I was able to keep my eyes open, they wheeled me into a private room to see if I was well enough to be discharged. They told me the mass was a cyst that had burst. Apparently I have some severe endometriosis and my babysack is riddled with cysts. They let me take the pictures home with me. My boss sat at the end of the bed, looking uncomfortable as the RN examined my abdomen and with all the talk of my reproductive system. I joked around with him about it and he lightened up a little. I also tried to convince him that the photos of my insides should be displayed on the certification wall of our ultra conservative office, but I don't think he was sold. He went down to the pharmacy, picked up my medication, drove me twenty miles across town to get me home, handed my discharge paperwork to my roommate, and then handed me a book he had picked up for me that was signed with well-wishes from the people in our department. I've been at this job for a little over four months. Best boss ever.


So now I'm home. My roommate is very eager to care for me. She brought me a sippy cup of water and made some food that I picked at in the wee hours this morning. I have three small incisions on my abdomen. One in my belly button, and one over each hip bone. I'm very tender, but I'm in nowhere near as much pain as before the surgery. It's hard to get out of bed, but I can shamble to the bathroom and down the short flight of stairs to the kitchen. They tell me it'll be six weeks before I'm fully healed, but I can go back to work as soon as I'm able. I'm going to go completely insane with all the lying about and no work, but I'll be okay. I need to make follow-up appointments to figure out how to treat the endometriosis and keep this from happening again.

I'm still a little in shock about this. Sunday night, I was out with friends, bouncing around and having a good time like nothing was wrong. Today, I'm bedridden. Life is weird. Also, I'm sorry for anything in this that's difficult to understand or poorly written. There's a painkiller situation.

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