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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!