Wednesday, October 07, 2015

October 26th | Part 6

This story is written like fiction, but it is very true. It happened in October of 2012, so some of the details may be a little hazy to me but the story is as accurate as I recall. I wanted to have an account of the craziest thing that happened to me in my life thus far & thought it would be fun to write it in story form. This story is written in parts, so it will make more sense if you read from the beginning!

warning: this recaps everything i wanted to remember from post-surgery so it is a bit lengthy!

I'm awake. I'm lying on some type of table. It's cold. I'm in a strange room. I can't really move that well. OUCH - that hurts... forget moving!

After a few minutes, a nurse comes over and says she is going to wheel me to my room where my family is waiting. At this point, I'm wondering what in the world I got myself into. How long is this pain going to last? Because right now it feels like it will never end. Oh, and I guess I won't be going back to school this week, huh?

The next few days are filled with pain, sleeping, pain, attempting to eat, pain, hazy visits from friends, pain, and dreading getting up to walk. I am perfectly content laying here in minimal pain, thank you very much! But I get up. I walk. And I have never been more aware of how many muscles it takes to move. Oh, the pain. Did I mention the pain?

I stay in the hospital for 3 days. My parents and Thomas take shifts staying the night with me. No one is more surprised than me that my dad is letting a boy sleep over in the same room. But, I guess he figured it was pretty safe since, ya know, I couldn't move a muscle without writhing in pain.

My dad says a nurse gave him a picture of the cyst that they removed from my body. He asks if I would like to see it. Not yet. Normally I would jump at the chance, but I am just not ready for that yet.

He says he will wait. He does inform me, however, that it was 22 pounds and the size of a watermelon. What in the world? A watermelon?!?! Yes, a watermelon. We discuss the fact that 22 pounds is the equivalent of 3 babies. There's an achievement. 

After a day or two, I am brave enough to see the picture, and I find out more details. I really cannot believe my eyes when I see the picture. How in the world was that thing inside of me? Where was it? Why did I not look like I was 9 months pregnant?! 

Going into the surgery, the doctor thought the cyst was about the size of a grapefruit. So, he made an incision accordingly, then realized it was a bit larger once he started digging around. So, he made a second incision to extend the length. Nope, still not big enough. But, the third time's the charm because once he makes the third incision, which goes up and around my belly button, he finally has enough room to remove the cyst. Final incision? 7 inches. And I believe it, because I feel all. seven. inches.

Because the cyst was in my ovary, and so large, it had stretched the ovary as it grew. Try not to think about that too long. Yes, somehow it stretched to be as big as a watermelon and did not break! However, the tissue was so thin that they couldn't separate it. So, they had to take the whole thing out. I'm told that one works just as well as two, so it won't cause any major biological changes. I'm thankful for that. I'm also thankful that it didn't burst open inside my body.

I also found out that they took my appendix out while they were in there, because it apparently causes ovarian cysts and they didn't want me to have to go through this again. Yes, I agree! Because it was my left ovary they took out, and my appendix was on the right, I basically hurt all over inside. 

My dad tells me that our family friend Brian has shared a joke about the whole ordeal. I tell him not to tell me the joke yet, I've already found out how much it hurts to laugh when you have a 7 inch incision in your abdomen. I never knew it was possible to laugh and cry at the same time, but it is. At one point I swear off laughing forever. But that could just be the morphine talking.

(So the joke was "Robyn is such an ovary-achiever." Yes, it's a groaner. My favorite kind of joke. I laughed when I finally had my dad tell me. Unfortunately, it still hurt.)

The surgery was on Monday, and finally on Thursday I am cleared to go home. On the ride home, I learned that we have really bumpy roads in South Carolina. So that was the longest 20 minute ride of my life.

They gave us care instructions when I was discharged. When we get home, I read that when you get your appendix taken out, it makes you nauseous for about a week after surgery. More good news. You know how much getting sick hurts when your stomach has just been cut open? It's worse than laughing or sneezing. And yes, unfortunately I had a few sneezing fits which made it feel like my stomach was being ripped open. But hey, at least the bright side is that I will never have appendicitis! 

[to be continued]

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