The nature of my work means that people share a lot with me, and now it’s my turn to share with you!
I was caught completely off guard this week by a health issue and it’s been such a valuable learning experience.
Frankly, I felt a little silly afterwards, but hindsight is a powerful thing. Knowing what I do now, I would handle myself completely differently if (please no) this ever happened to me again. Hopefully, you will think about things from a new perspective if you ever find yourself in the same boat.
Ladies, please listen up, I’m talking to you —
If you have sudden onset intense stomach pain, don’t just power through it. Go Get Yourself Checked. Your GP will know right away if it needs further investigation.
Sunday night, I had just that and more:
- sudden onset intense stomach pain.
- I had chills,
- a fever,
- I could not get comfortable,
- I couldn’t sleep.
All of which I basically ignored.
Monday, the pain was a little less but still very much there. Naturally, I consulted the Google. According to the various “causes of stomach pain” charts, it was surely a stomach virus or maybe an ulcer. I called my momma. My retired nurse mother told me to stop being stoic and please go see my GP.
Stoic = ” a person who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining.”
I’m not gonna lie, I laughed when I read that. I wasn’t shy about complaining about the pain, ask my other half. He’ll vouch for that. I just didn’t feel it was necessary to do anything about it. Genuinely. I completely thought it was nothing GP worthy. I relented, visited my GP, and eventually found myself in the Beacon A&E Tuesday afternoon. A first for me.
After hours of various levels of triage including repeated questions related to my periods – do I still get them at my age (how very dare you!), what are they like, are they regular, my perimenopausal self still hadn’t copped on.
There were also blood pressure checks, blood draws, more blood draws, a CT Scan, and again with some dye, and all along with what can only be described as the most amazing level of service… the lovely way too young to be a doctor said the headline is “mostly good news”. Clearly we need to work on his delivery. But he smiled as he said it, and that’s always a good sign, right?
Turns out, the cause of my pain, fever, chills, bloating, discomfort, was in fact a ruptured ovarian cyst.
Also thankfully a first for me.
Unlike what might be felt with a ruptured ovarian cyst, my pain wasn’t isolated to one side. My entire belly hurt and was extraordinarily tender. The second lovely doctor I saw told me that’s because fluid that’s in a cyst isn’t meant to be free floating and can inflame and irritate the peritoneum.
I love a bit of anatomy. So today’s lesson is Peritoneum, “large membrane in the abdominal cavity that connects and supports internal organs. It is composed of many folds that pass between or around the various organs.” Which means, everything was irritated, inflamed and hurt.
Now, no need to panic!
Ovarian cysts are common, it’s less common for them to rupture.
We all have hormones coursing through our bodies, some of us more, some of us less, some of us in varying combinations and levels.
Those with polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, or who fall into the perimenopause classification, might be more inclined to have ovarian cysts. They can be detected when your GP does a routine pelvic exam. Request one when you schedule your next smear test.
The risk is that if an ovarian cyst does rupture, sometimes there can be internal bleeding, infection or both. This depends on the size of the cyst, the type of cyst, and a number of other factors none of us know about until it’s properly investigated. I was very lucky but have been knocked off my zippy little feet.
Apparently, I’m also the last person to listen to the advice I freely and encouragingly give clients – – listen to your body …. slow down, stop, rest, heal, recover. Although, I did finally break down and reach out to a colleague I know who also does RLD Reflexology. I thought maybe if I could just push some of this lymphatic fluid out a little quicker, I would feel much better. Murphy’s Law, she had just touched down in France.
So, PLEASE – listen to your body. Don’t be stoic. Go see your GP if you’re ever in doubt. Don’t like your GP? GET A NEW ONE.
This video has been the most informative explanation about ovarian cysts and what happens when they rupture that I’ve found-
Actress Kate Beckinsale was recently hospitalized for a ruptured ovarian cyst. Here's what you need to know about the condition that affects millions of women each year.
Posted by Dr. Mehmet Oz on Tuesday, January 29, 2019