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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Tips to Ease Ruptured Ovarian Cyst Pain

Rupturing an ovarian cyst can be one of the most painful experiences of your life and while nothing can stop the excruciating pain that you may be experiencing while it happens, there are ways to ease the pain that is unfortunately felt for days to come.

 For days after my cyst collapsed (partially ruptured) normal things were extremely difficult - laying down, walking, sitting, going to the bathroom, eating and drinking all caused me pain. This was due to the excess blood in my abdominal cavity which was bothering the things inside. It took about 4-5 days before I felt relatively normal again. During these few days, I searched high and low to find things to ease the pain. I wasn't able to come up with much except for things like chamomile tea (which didn't do anything) or beetroot (who has that). I however found some things around the house to help ease my pain. I hope that they can help you too.

1. Heating Pad
 I found that this was something that I used constantly for the first 48 hours. It helped to ease the pain some during the day and it was the only thing that allowed me to sleep at night.

PS - Even though I am a back sleeper, I found that sleeping on my stomach with a heating pad under the affected area was the only way for me to get any rest. The way that I know that the heating pad was helping was because I kept waking up every 2 hours when my heating pad turned off from the automatic shut-off.

2. Bean Bag Chair
I had a very hard time sitting on my rectum without having a great deal of pain. I was able to sit on my knees but that caused my feet to become numb after a short time. I even tried to sit on a neck pillow (with a hole in the center) but found that the pressure down below still hurt. However, once I tried sitting in our bean bag chair, I was in heaven. I was able to sit to the side without putting any pressure on my bottom. This was a little chair of happiness.

3. Abdominal Wrap

I had bought a waist belt similar to this when I was pregnant. I had 2 slipped disks and I was worried about my pregnancy putting too much pressure on my back. I found this little gem and it was WONDERFUL after my cyst collapsed. Since there is excess blood or fluid in your abdomen your insides to feel icky (best I can explain it). I found that walking made everything move around and caused things to hurt and feel more uncomfortable inside. I put on my pregnancy belt and viola less icky. The belt restricted the movement of my internal organs or fluid and made it easier and less painful for me to walk or go up and down stairs. I put a link below because I found non-pregnancy ones for about $11. You probably don't already have one but they are worth the money especially if you get cysts often.

Cheap Abdominal Wrap

4.Eat Slowly or Eat Small Meals

I found that eating and drinking was also painful. I'm assuming that it was because my stomach was expanding and therefore had more irritation on it while it was getting larger? Who knows. All I know was that if I ate slower and in small meals throughout the day I felt less pain.

I know that these are only a few tips but I hope that they are helpful for you. I especially hope that they help to ease the pain for some of the unfortunate women of the world who have polycystic ovary syndrome and get cysts often. Let me know if you have figured out any other ways ease cyst pain. I'd love to share them!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Let's Talk About Ovarian Cysts

When I had my ovarian cyst I was lost and began frantically researching the culprit. I wanted to tell my story just in case it may help some poor woman unfortunate enough to have a similar experience.

I want to preface this by saying that I have an extremely high pain tolerance. I have had stitches 5 times, broken 2 bones (hand), fractured two other bones (hand and rib), and was in labor for 16 hours with no pain medication. All of this pales in comparison to the pain of my ruptured ovarian cyst.

It was the night before Halloween and I was ready to carve pumpkins. I went to the store to get some last minute carving supplies and began feeling pain while I was out. It was slowly getting worse and worse and by the time I got to my car I could barely walk and cried the whole drive home. It felt as though I had the sharpest gas pain of my life. I felt a little bit of gas but every time I passed any (burping or otherwise) the pain didn't subside. By the time I got home I was in tears, got my child out of the car seat and slunked up to our bedroom and laid on the floor. It was on the lower right side of my abdomen and I had no idea what was happening. The stabbing pain became less but there was still significant pain on that side that wasn't going away. I really didn't want to go to the hospital but after about 3 hours we decided to go because it was where I always thought an appendix should be and I didn't want to die of a ruptured appendix. We stayed in the hospital for 6 long hours. At first the doctors also thought it was my appendix until my CAT scan results came in. They found a mass on my right ovary and then I had to go to get an ultrasound. There they found a 3.8 cm hemorrhagic cyst (meaning that it was filled with blood). They said that a blood vessel inside of the cyst must have ruptured which was probably the pain I was feeling. They told me that sometimes these cysts resolve themselves on their own (meaning the blood would leak out over time) and sometimes they rupture. They said that if it did rupture that I would be in severe pain. Awesome.

I had pain on and off for about a month until Thanksgiving rolled around. My period started the day before Thanksgiving which means that Thanksgiving day was what I like to call pain day. I normally have horrible pain during my period for about 18 hours but can quell it with around-the-clock Aspirin. Thanksgiving however, was another story. I took my normal Aspirin but it did nothing for the pain. I was doubled over and the pain was making me nauseous. P.S. I learned later that taking Aspirin for pain when you have an ovarian cyst is a really bad idea. Just fyi.

I had some pain on and off for the next month until 2 days before Christmas. As soon as I got home from some last minute food shopping it hit my like a freight truck. I hobbled up the stairs while I told my husband that I thought that my cyst was rupturing. I laid on the floor crying, hyperventilating, shaking, and nauseous. The pain felt like someone shoved a knife into my abdomen and was twisting it. If I hadn't had a similar pain in the same spot (before Halloween), I would have gone straight to the ER. I asked my husband to call the gynecologist ask them what to do. They said to just wait it out and watch for excessive bleeding. They told me that if I fully filled two pads in one hour then I should go to the ER (sorry if tmi). I could not move. I was curled up in a ball by the toilet in pain that I can only describe as an inch away from feeling like death. My whole body was shaking and my teeth were chattering from the pain. I couldn't breath. My husband helped me to calm down so that I could breath and the pain lessened after about 2 hours. I was still in a large amount of pain but I was no longer being stabbed. This lasted for several more hours. For the next few days normal things were extremely difficult - laying down, walking, sitting, going to the bathroom, eating and drinking all caused me pain. According to the internet, this was due to the excess blood in my abdominal cavity which was bothering the things inside. At about day 4 I was finally able to sleep on my back again and walk at a relatively normal speed.

About a week later, I had a sonogram and found out that unfortunately my cyst did not fully rupture. I was told that it collapsed. I'm not going to lie, I didn't know that they could collapse. Apparently that means that it ruptured but not entirely. Now my cyst is only 2 cm but it is still there. Lucky me. I still have sharp pain in the area a few times a day. I can only hope that it resolves itself on it own and doesn't rupture again.We'll see.

Long before my incident, I had a teammate who had cysts often and would be out for days or half days from the pain. I feel horrible now because I didn't truly understand her pain and kept wondering why she was out so much. If you know someone with a cyst, understand that it is unimaginable pain and that normal things are painful for days. Try to be understanding even if you can't relate.

I truly hope that this never happens to you. It is a pain that I will never forget and pray that no one ever has to experience. Just know that you are not going to die even though you may feel like you could!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Bedtime Reading as a REWARD

As you may or may not know, I am a teacher (and have been for 9 years). I teach first and second graders actually, which means that my job is to teach them how to read and the basics of almost everything. Therefore, it is obviously very important to me that my child is a happy little reader. I have carefully managed to make reading in our house a reward. Not a chore. I started this by tapping into what every child loves to do before bed, STALL. How do I know? Because I was the queen of stalling. If there was a way to stall bedtime, I tried it on my parents. They key is to use this to your advantage. Right before bed you give your child a choice: Would you like to go to sleep or read a story? ALMOST every child will choose to read a story. Why? Because it delays bedtime a few minutes longer. I always tell the parents of my students that the more you read to your children, the better reader they will become. It's not so important what you read, just that you are reading to or with your child as much as possible. The more text they see, the more they will recognize and understand words. I bet you're wondering how I use it as a reward. Well, right now I normally read 2-3 books with my son each night before bed. If he decides that he wants to throw a fit (which is his favorite activity right now) or doesn't want to listen to mommy or daddy then I start taking away books that we get to read before bed. If you currently take away toys or TV time from your child when they are acting up, then this is the same concept. It actually works better than you think. They are dying to spend one-on-one time with you and stall as much as humanly possible. Taking a book away means that bedtime is coming that much faster. It's really a double whammy. Not only is it helping to reinforce positive behavior but the reward is reading a book. Nothing is better than hearing the words "NOOOOOO...don't take a book away!!" Awesome. Young reader success. That's right buddy, don't make me take a book away.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Bridesmaids Revolt!

Let me start by saying that I am in no way, shape, or form a "girly girl." In fact, I actively avoid wearing pink because it is a girly color and I don't want anyone getting the wrong idea. My wardrobe mainly consists of multiple shades of blue, black, white, brown, and the occasional red. So when it was time for me to get married, black and white was my "theme." I was never the type to sit there and dream about my wedding. Personally, I just never saw the big deal. Honestly, things that are planned NEVER work out the way you plan them and you will inevitably be disappointed. The only thing that was important to me was finding a great man to spend my life with. Once I did, the rest didn't matter. So, when it came time to plan and get everything ready, I wasn't super picky. Don't get me wrong, my wedding was beautiful. We had a small ceremony on a "beach" (a sandbar was more like it) and our reception was held at a beautiful restaurant in Onancock, VA called Mallards where the head chef and owner (Johnny Mo) is also a musician/DJ. Back to the planning. My bridesmaids were all 2-4 hours away and I refused to put everyone out and make them drive from Timbuktu to pick out and try on dresses. I just wanted black. So, I went to Khols, found a nice black dress with a square-cut neck and got everyone's sizes. I bought them and shipped them to all of the girls and thankfully they all fit. I would have NEVER made them pay for the dresses. After all, it was my event and it was what I wanted them to wear. My best friend in the whole wide world is getting married in June and honestly I was a little worried about buying her bridesmaid dress. It is a very pretty dress and color but it was $160 and I'm not exactly rolling in the Benjamins. I would have done it without a doubt because I love her, but she was VERY thoughtful and paid for them for us. She said "who was the one who paid for the bridesmaids dresses at your wedding." I tried to explain that mine weren't nearly as much but that I REALLY appreciated her buying them for us. It was honestly the nicest thing that she could have done. Then I decide that this really needs to be a new trend. I can see it now, "BRIDESMAIDS REVOLT- BRIDES MUST BUY BRIDESMAID DRESSES." I have a hard time understanding why brides make bridesmaids buy the dresses for THEIR wedding in the first place. First of all, most (not all) of the dresses are hideous, I mean they should downright be set on fire. Second of all, they are a fortune costing anywhere from $100 - $300. Do you know how much resentment women have towards brides that make them buy a $250 orange ruffle dress that looks like it has been torn into small shreds and run over by a car? TONS! Why? Because you can NEVER EVER wear it again. There is no, oh maybe I can shorten it and wear it to work. Nope. That thing is plain old ugly and you mine as well just use it as a blanket for your dog's bed because there is nothing else you can do with it. Think about it though. Why doesn't the bride pay for your dress? It's their day, it's what they want. EVERYTHING ELSE THEY PAY FOR. Why is this any different? I don't want this dress. I would never in a million years pick out this dress. So why am I stuck paying for it? Doesn't make any sense to me. It's your dream, you buy it. Otherwise I'm rollin up in my yoga pants and sweater because even though I love you, I'd rather pay for my groceries this month than make your dream of having Little Bo Peep at your wedding a reality.

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Food Countdown Game

Have I mentioned that my son is in the "I'm going to throw a fit about everything" stage? Well, just in case you're not there yet, boy is it fun. I mean what's more fun than listening to a child throw a full on tantrum about pulling their pants up or eating their dinner? Nothing, that's what. My favorite ones are the ones that I couldn't do anything for even if I wanted to. like the times that he wants apple juice but we're all out. Kids don't get the whole, we don't even have it, thing. Anyways, mealtime fits were our new favorite past time but since we started playing The Countdown Game, the tension has be toned way down during meal times. He is only allowed to play if he does not throw a fit. Otherwise he might throw a fit just to play the game. For this, I pretend that we are on a rocket ship and that I will count from ten down to zero. When I get to zero we get to "blast off". I put ten fingers up and ever time he eats another bite I make a chomping noise and take one finger away. Then I ask: How many fingers are left? This way eating becomes more of a game and less of a power struggle. It also helps them with their counting and gives them a foundation for understanding the concept of subtraction. Now when we play the game, I saw " Subtract one, how many are left?" He then counts each finger while I move each of the remaining fingers down a little (to help him keep track while he counts) or if your child doesn't know how to count, you can do it together. Once we get to zero we put our hands together and make pretend that it is a rocket ship and blast off!
Now I'm not promising that this will get your child to eat their whole meal, but it might help them to eat ten bites of multiple items on their plate. It's enough that you don't have to worry about parental abuse for malnutrition. Let me know if you have any eating tricks. Lord knows we could use some!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Chip Clip Hero

I have to say that shopping is one of my least favorite activities. Yes, I am a girl. Yes, I've been told that I'm not normal. Whatever, it's the truth. I also don't like to shop with other people. I like to have a list, get in, and get out in record time. So bringing a child with me is a mini nightmare. The one thing that has saved my sanity during these trips is food. Lots and lots of small baggies of food. Before I head out, I load up my purse with a juice cup and multiple baggies of anything ranging from turkey pepperoni to grapes. Food keeps my boy occupied and he is less likely to get into all of the goodies in my cart. The issue then becomes what to do with the baggie. Sure he could hold onto it, but more than likely he would drop the bag or it would tip over onto the cart seat and get all over the store floor. Not fun. Instead, I just bring a sturdy chip clip. I clip it and the baggie to the side of the cart and Voila, hands free child snacks!
Now, he just reaches in and out and I don't have to worry about the inevitable mess. I have never had the baggie fall out or the clip fall off of the cart. It truly has been a trip saver. Try it out and let me know how it goes. Do you have any ideas to keep your little one occupied during your shopping trips? Leave a comment below and help a girl out.