Friday, March 22, 2013

Ovarian Cysts

Two days before my wedding, I woke up with a very slight pain in the crook of my left hip.  At first I brushed it off as nothing and figured it would go away soon enough, but after a couple hours it intensified and I developed a fever and severe nausea.

Josh and I had been staying at my mother-in-law's house for a couple weeks by this point so I camped out on her couch and read a book as I tried to ignore my body.  There were still plans to be made and a little bit of moving left but I couldn't quite process how we were going to do them.

Josh was wonderful. He brought me anti-nausea medication and held back my hair when I threw up. I laid in his lap and he scratched my back as we talked.

Eventually, I admitted to myself that the pain I was experiencing wouldn't go away on it's own, and was probably important.  I told Josh about it, and he went to talk to his mom.

From my descriptions and Rebecca's experience, we figured out that I probably had an ovarian cyst.

According the various internet sources ovarian cysts usually go away on their own, and doctors only get involved when surgery needs to be done.  I thought about waiting my body out, as had been my plan from the beginning, but I couldn't quite cope with the idea that nothing could be done for me.

We went to the emergency room.

There they gave me fluids and then tested my urine.  This allowed them to factor out the idea of a kidney stone.  Then they performed a slightly awkward ultra sound and told us that I had two cysts on my left ovary.

The doctor told us exactly what we had learned from our own research and then sent us away with high grade nausea and pain medications.

If I wasn't better by the third day* then I needed to come back in and we would discuss our options.

I spent that day--and the next--somewhat delirious.  I couldn't keep the medications down reliably, and I was having just as much trouble eating or drinking.
It held up surprisingly well.

My reception was the next night.

I had been planning on wearing my wedding dress to the reception, but instead I ended up camped out on the couch in my pajamas.  The room swelled with my friends and family, and I tried to focus on how awesome and beautiful everything was.

It was a uphill battle, and I ended up giving up and going to sleep in the basement after half an hour.

I didn't look at the food, and we didn't cut my beautiful cake until several weeks later.

It was miserable, I  haven't gained the weight back, we're still paying back the hospital bill, and my hormones are uncharacteristically out of wack when my still-irregular period rears its head.

Still, I'm sincerely grateful for this experience.

Being this sick allowed others to care for me, and to reassure me.  In my head I knew that my new relatives loved me, but it was something altogether different to feel it so drastically.

Up until that point, even though we had been staying in the same house for a little while, Josh and I had been sleeping in different rooms on different floors** but when I was sick I slept on the couch and he slept on the ground near me.

He was there when I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep because of the pain.  He helped me to the bathroom when I didn't think I could walk all that way myself.  He distracted me with talk when I took my meds and had to fight my body to keep them down.

He was there the night before we got married and we were able to talk quietly in the dark about how nervous and excited we were.

It was a really precious experience to me.

I'm also grateful for the timing of my illness; it was slightly inconvenient, but the fact of the matter is that if it had started to hurt a day later, then I would have had a very hard time getting married.  And if I managed that little detail, we wouldn't have been able to go on our non-refundable cruise.

The lingering bad things will fad and this experience will turn into an interesting story to tell our kids. And I'll always be grateful for those precious experiences, and for the fact that my wedding wasn't actually ruined.

*the first day of our cruise

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