First the catchup stuff:
June 20 was the worst pain day for shoulder, back and neck strain, then it became at least bearable for the rest of the week in through today.
June 22 – I was at Costco around 8pm when suddenly I was doubled over with right side stabbing ovarian pain. The intermittent stabbing lasted for over an hour and made me double over several times. It took the breath away from me. I did not medicate though. Also, I had low back pain all day – I felt very stiff.
I’d like to mention that I’ve also been having diarrhea after meals, lately. Even and especially with safe foods. It could be stress from everything. I dunno. I just need to note it, because normally I’m a very constipated person. I wish I could remember when it started, but it’s been going on for at least two weeks – usually one or two episodes a day.
Within the past five days, I have resumed taking two to four calcium/magnesium pills per day. This of course is not helping with the diarrhea.
June 23 – Yesterday – I was still experiencing left and right side ovarian stabby pain. It was still intermittent. My lower back was hurting a lot. It was hard to straighten after sitting or bending. Still having diarrhea. Also, I had my followup appointment with my new GYN (Giudice), and we went over the MRI results.
The appointment was about a half hour and was rushed because my GYN needed to be on a plane to some conference. I was originally scheduled to come in at 11am, then the day before, it was moved to 10am, then to 9am.
She quickly went over the MRI results with me and hit the big point – adenomyosis. She told me that based on the image, there is not any thickening of the inner uterine walls, so that rules out adenomyosis. YAY!
She told me I still have the chocolate cyst on my ovary, and said it is indeed an endometrioma, but she totally acted nonchalant about it, and said we’d continue to just watch it. She said she has no intention of going in and doing surgery just to remove that chocolate cyst, and she doesn’t see why I need another endometriosis surgery, either. She urged me to keep trying physical therapy and alternative health remedies and pain management instead of going the other three routes: hormone therapy, seizure medication, surgery. She referred me to the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, across the street from her UCSF campus. I went and checked it out – they have a bunch of services I can get where I live and not stress the hell out by being stuck in traffic across the Bay Bridge, and then navigating the crazed lunatic streets of San Francisco. Thanks, I’ll pass on your lovely center.
I got home yesterday afternoon and before scanning my MRI results into the computer, I read over the report.
This is where the emotional wall collapsed.
The GYN didn’t think it necessary to mention that the chocolate cyst on my ovary GREW by .5cm within 36 days. I wasn’t sure how fast or slow endometriomas can grow, so I looked it up and it seems that endometriomas can grow very fast within a short period of time. In that regard, I think .5cm might be considered slow growth.
Fast or slow – it doesn’t matter – the sucker is growing.
I’m not used to dealing with an endometrioma. I have experience with ovarian cysts. This is new territory for me. It’s scary.
The GYN also didn’t find it necessary to tell me that while I don’t have adenomyosis, I DO have several small cysts in the liver, one small cyst in the right kidney, and several cysts covering my cervix.
WELL. I had a brush with high liver enzymes in 2008, and all the Tylenol 3 I consume takes a toll on my liver and kidneys, doesn’t it? I have been experiencing nausea and left flank pain well above the ovary ongoing throughout this month. I have been having diarrhea. I have had ongoing elevated temperature, reaching as high as 99.9°F.
All this time I attributed it to the ovarian cyst, but could it be from the liver cysts?
On top of all that, I have a recent history of cervicitis, and well, my cervix is everted, so why not add some cysts?
I looked it up and found that cysts in the liver and kidneys are not caused by Tylenol or medication, but in fact are often congenital and coincide with autoimmune disease.
Guess who has autoimmune disease?
I called the GYN office back and asked for clarification of the MRI report. Then I called up the Qigong practitioner I thought I wasn’t going to see anymore, and left a message for her. Then I called my local doctor’s office and got an appointment for today.
The GYN office called back after hours, bless their hearts, and the GYN’s assistant told me that the cysts are all nothing to worry about. She told me to follow up with my primary care doctor if I wanted to, though.
Today I did just that, and the primary doctor (Fredian) called up UCSF and spoke with a hepatologist in radiology, who looked at my MRI report, and told my doctor that the cysts in the liver and kidney are nothing to worry about, that they’re so small they won’t cause trouble or show up on a regular ultrasound.
However, Dr. Fredian wanted me to stop referring to the thing on my ovary as an ovarian cyst. She told me it’s much more than that – it has some solidity to it. Despite the common name ‘chocolate cyst’, this is actually a growing MASS on my ovary, and it should be closely watched. She told me the difference between this mass and a ‘regular’ ovarian cyst is that this cannot reabsorb.
This of course did not help my emotional state to make the conscious switch from the idea of a benign cyst to a nefarious growth.
The doctor concluded our appointment, congratulated me on not having adenomyosis, and sent me on my way.
My Qigong practitioner called me back today, and I went over the MRI report with her. She got quiet and pondered her words. She sounded cautious. She said I need to do a cleanse ASAP. She encouraged me to keep seeing the acupuncturist, but to try to go every week. She sounded urgent in addressing my health. This added to my anxiety. I got all apologetic and confessional by saying I hadn’t been eating right for a long time. Her voice still soft, she told me something like, “it’s much more than diet, you can’t feel bad about that.” Again my anxiety. Ugh.
But I came home and resumed my homework – I took another teacher training class last week and I’m still trying to finish the binder from that class this week. Yet another class begins this coming Monday.
Later this evening, I had my first acupuncture visit since about May 6th, and I showed my acupuncturist the MRI report, too. I told her of my fears of the liver and kidney cysts, despite what my GYN and primary care doctor are saying. I have all these symptoms – what if it’s connected?
My acupuncturist says it all IS connected, and that she will continue working on me to keep the blood moving (or as I choose to describe it, to keep flushing the lymphatic system). She’d like to see me every 2 weeks if I can swing it, but says every week is not necessary.
She also seemed to get very quiet after reading my MRI report, and also seemed very careful in choosing her words. I’m just a ball of anxiety over this.
The acupuncturist left the room and I closed my eyes to rest while the needles did their thing. The first visual image I got upon closing my eyes was a rectangular hole in the ground, decorated on the outside edges with a beautiful rectangular autumn leaf arrangement. My eyes welled with tears and I threw open my eyes and stared at the ceiling to try to get ahold of myself.
Funerals! Are you serious? Get a grip, woman!!!
The tears were perhaps a release of pent up emotions, and the acupuncture opening channels.
I’d spent the day matter of fact, blunt, even aggressive at times in demeanor. By early afternoon, I likened myself to Starbuck from the 2004 remake of Battlestar Galactica.
But by the time I was in acupuncture session, I was ready to sob.
I got home and tried to resume my homework, but the tears came. I sat there working at the desk as the tears just streamed down my face. I couldn’t stop them, and I refused to allow myself the time to just cry like a baby, because my husband was home, and I hate crying in front of anyone, even him.
I made myself a horrible vodka drink and sipped at it. It was so bitter, it helped stop the crying, heh.
I told you I wouldn’t be handling things well if the MRI report contained anything other than my usual endo issues.