Exacerbated situation, and work status

I’ve been fretting at work that the child I care for hasn’t had a stroller ride in likely over a month while under my watch. Last month, I was laid up with george, then for the next two weeks, I didn’t want to risk getting sunburned before my wedding, nor did I want to risk getting skin breakouts from sunblock again (I’ve gone through several brands to no avail). Then the week after the wedding, the weather was cold and wet, and I wasn’t feeling well, and then that turned into another week of george.

So yesterday, I was feeling better and still had the energy that began anew on Sunday, and I decided to take the baby for a walk up to the local elementary school and back again.

This still means walking up a steep hill, back down again, and then another steep hill leading back to the child’s house.

And all the while I was prepping the child for her walk, I was excited to get out of the house and be active again, but I had a nagging thought in the back of my head, telling me I should still be taking it easy, and that over exertion could lead to more pain.
But I dismissed the nag with confidence, declaring back to myself that george was gone for another 22ish days, so I’ll be fine.

“But, the cyst…” my inner nag bleated…

“I’ll be FINE.” I retorted inwardly.

So we went on our walk. I must note that the stroller probably weighs about 8lbs, and the baby weighs 18lbs, and the diaper bag is 10lbs. Add to that my huge full water bottle, which weighs 5lbs. That’s 41lbs (18kg) I’m pushing up the hills and holding back on the downhills. It’s quite a workout.

About 1/4 way into the walk, I grew very tired, and my pace slowed to a snail. I usually take it slow walking up hills anyway due to my congenitally misaligned knees (did you know that as a child all the way through high school, I was forbidden by doctor’s orders to participate in any gym exercises that required me to put a lot of stress on my knees?).
But I was walking even slower than usual and was really out of breath.

Even getting up and down from the floor while playing with baby yesterday, I was really out of breath. Moreso than usual after coming back from several days bedridden.

When we got back to the house, the day continued on as normal.

Until around 3pm, when I was sitting on the couch in the living room, and the baby dropped her toy on the floor. She was sitting not more than 18 inches away from me in her exersaucer. Naturally, I leaned forward to pick up the baby’s toy.

That’s when I gasped and nearly fell off the couch from the pain. It was sudden, sharp, jarring, knifing pain. But just like that, it was over with, leaving me near tears, and really fatigued again. Every few minutes, I’d also get a sharp pain through my anus, just like I do right before or during george.

I got the same pains no less than three times apiece while upstairs with the baby, sitting on the floor with her. Each time, I would either lean forward to get up, or I would twist my sitting torso to the side to reach for something when the pain knifed me again.
It didn’t matter which side I turned to.

So I looked up symptoms of an ovarian cyst:

  • Lower abdominal or pelvic pain, which may start and stop and may be severe, sudden, and sharp
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Feeling of lower abdominal or pelvic pressure or fullness
  • Long-term pelvic pain during menstrual period that may also be felt in the lower back
  • Pelvic pain after strenuous exercise or sexual intercourse
  • Pain or pressure with urination or bowel movements
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Vaginal pain or spots of blood from vagina

I have most of those symptoms (except for the pain w/ bowel movements and vaginal pain/bleeding). I’m watching closely to see if any non-menstrual-cycle bleeding develops. If it does, I’m hightailing it to the emergency room. There’s a whole other list of stuff I have to watch for, which will land me in the E.R., too.

When the baby’s mother got home from work, I had a talk with her. I asked her how this arrangement is working out, now that she’s had a chance to see my illness in action, and knowing well ahead of me working for her that I have Endometriosis, but not knowing that I’d developed a cyst, which gave more uncertainty to the days off of work.

She replied that it’s really frustrating and tough on her and her husband. But she still thinks it’s working out well with me as their nanny because the baby, although getting off to a rough start, has really taken to me.

While talking with her, I leaned forward and gasped in horrific pain again. The mother stopped mid-sentence and looked at me. I told her “it’s that fast, the pain is gone. It happens when I sit forward. It’s the cyst.”

The parent continued that she worries that although her job and her husband’s job says it’s fine that they take 1-3 days off work each month on account of me, they are worried that at some point in the not too distant future, their jobs will decide otherwise – that it’s actually NOT okay.
They both work for the dotcom industry, and having worked there for a decade myself, I totally understand that fear. Dotcoms are notoriously backstabbing towards their employees.

I asked the parent if she had any sort of backup – a substitute – in place for when I’m not there. She said no. I asked her if I could appeal to the Bay Area Nanny group that I belong to. She said not unless there’s someone there that I know in person and really trust. I told her there’s not, because I’m new to the group and haven’t actually met anyone in person, yet.

So basically, they are screwing themselves. I advised them of my illness and sent them resources to educate them of my illness before I started working for them. If something happens to me, they’re totally up shit’s creek. This is in no way my fault. I must not let any thinking get into my head that I HAVE to be here at all costs for this family. I’ve had a lot of problems easing into this family – they didn’t have their baby bottle or sleep trained when I arrived. They didn’t have their baby socialised in any form – she’d only been around mommy, and mommy took 2 extra months of maternity leave. So instead of isolation for four months, it was six months, extending into the phase of a child’s life where it begins to develop fear of strangers. This is also in no way my fault. I have tried my best to be the best person for this job and for this family. I will continue to do my best but it is time that I work on a replacement and start presenting options to the family.

Getting back to the side effects of having this ovarian cyst, on my way home from work, I had gotten no further than 2 miles when sudden fatigue and weakness overtook me. I literally had to fight to hold onto the steering wheel, and keep my eyes open. The lower back pain set in on the way home, affecting both sides of my lower back. Not even my little car pillow helped ease the pain.
When I got home, I staggered through the front door and almost collapsed in my husband’s arms. I had no bleeding – just massive fatigue and moderate low back pain. I was put immediately to bed with a heating pad. I napped for at least half an hour before my husband insisted I have some dinner. After dinner, I watched some TV while still applying a heating pad. At one point, I broke down and sobbed to my husband that I feel like I somehow either manifested the ovarian cyst with all the stress of wedding planning over a year’s time, or the cyst was already forming and made me so much girlier than I normally am, and I should have caught that as a warning sign rather than thinking it was the wedding planning itself making me more girly. My husband told me not to think like that, that it’s totally out of my control and not my fault. He hugged me tight.
I went to bed for the night at 9:30pm, about two hours earlier than I normally get to bed these days.

Got up this morning feeling better, and went off to work. Halfway to work, I was overcome with massive fatigue again, and moderate low back pain. In addition to that, I developed left side shoulder stiffness with mild pain.

I started to really worry that a hospital visit is in my near future.
When I got to work, I let the parent know my current condition. She and my husband do have each other’s cell numbers ever since the emergency on Friday when I had to leave work.

I called my GYN yesterday for status but have not heard back from her. Feeling very frustrated right now.

Also, totally taking it easy for the rest of the week, if not the rest of the month. No strenuous exercise for me. The baby wrangling is exercise enough.

2 Responses to “Exacerbated situation, and work status”

  1. elsewhere

    Gosh (or should I say Goth), it’s endless…can’t you just have a something-section?

    Great election news! I’m still excited, and I’m half a world away…

  2. Steph

    I know, I’ve been meaning to write about the election. Suffice it to say, I cried tears of joy.