I’m straying from my usual mental health ramblings with this post as I just wanted to get this off my chest. It’s quite a long story so I will start from the beginning. It’s a story I’ve avoided talking about publicly because some things I like to keep to myself believe it or not, but having been in hospital this week and disclosed small bits about why I was there I know some of you are concerned so I figured why not just write a blog post!
About ten years ago my periods became unbearable, they went from being very heavy and painful to ridiculously heavy, and the kind of painful there isn’t words for. They also started lasting for longer, it was a gradual process but they now last for on average 30 days at a time. I have always suffered with cysts on my ovaries which make the pain even worse and I’ve suspected I have endometriosis, not least because it’s a family trait.
It took me until last year to get a GP who would acknowledge there was an issue. Most tried fobbing me off and telling me to try other things, which I did to no avail. I even had one GP who told me “gynaecology won’t see you because you don’t want children”…
Finally, the GP I was seeing last year listened to me, actually she heard me, and referred me to gynaecology, the first Dr I saw there said yes I was eligible for a surgery to try and help, it’s called an ablation and should reduce my ability to bleed! Wonderful. Their process is to have a follow up appointment before booking the surgery so that it isn’t rushed into.
When I went back for the follow up, I had a consultant, he was the rudest, most condescending man I’ve ever met and the kind of person that Dr several years ago had been talking about, he kept talking about how I would change my mind about wanting children and even implied my Husband would leave me once I’d had the operation and would be infertile. I don’t think I’ve ever been so angry leaving a Drs appointment, and I’ve left some mental health appointments fuming!
I put in a complaint after that appointment laying out everything that was said and requesting a transfer to a different consultant. The one thing I was sure of was that even if he agreed to do the surgery, he was the last person I wanted near that part of my body. That involves a serious amount of trust.
So I got an appointment with a new consultant, in my appointment I had two registrars and the consultant, I sense they were covering their butts after my complaint, but still they were all really nice, did a thorough job of the consultation, weren’t condescending and listened to my answers (this is all I ask). I was booked for my operation and told the waiting list was long but I should expect my surgery to be in February and that in addition to the ablation they would do a Laparoscopy to see what the situation with my Cysts was and how bad the endometriosis is. They said if the endometriosis is too bad they may switch to a different surgery, possibly even a Hysterectomy.
So February came and I had no appointment still, I called them and was scoffed at down the phone, then very rudely told it wouldn’t be until May. Then May came and no appointment so I called, then I called again, you get the picture and no luck just an answerphone.
Then the pain started, it felt like when I’m getting pain from my cyst but worse, much worse, this was Tuesday last week. I gradually increased, and I was getting worse, I had a temperature (which never happens), was being sick, and honestly felt like I was being stabbed.
On Friday I went to my GP, he examined me and agreed with my theory that my ovarian cyst was playing up. Because I have a surgery in the works he decided that the best thing for it was to increase my pain meds and he said he would chase the hospital. Low and behold I got home and the appointment letter had arrived. I know right?! My appointment was for 6 June, just over two weeks away, I can’t say how happy I was.
I deteriorated massively over the next few days though and by Monday I was really poorly, same symptoms but much worse, I could barely get myself upright by the time I saw a different GP on Monday morning. As I sat there sobbing out what had happened (and had she known me, the GP who knows me well retired last month, she would know I NEVER cry), she ran some tests, and came to the conclusion I had an Ovarian Torsion. She didn’t think it was at a point it needed surgery but told me what I needed to look for in case it got there.
On Tuesday, a week after the pain started, I couldn’t even sit up without my temperature going up, becoming dizzy and sick. I couldn’t pass water, I hadn’t eaten anything in two days and could only drink water. I was struggling to concentrate on anything, even reading! I got an emergency appointment (I phoned and was given an appointment 5 mins later) with another GP (I racked them up in the past week!) who aside from being very rash and needs a lesson in bedside manner, was very thorough and had me in her office for almost an hour (apologies to everyone who was after me!). She wasn’t sure if I had an Ovarian Torsion or a UTI but decided I needed to go into hospital. She phoned the ward directly and arranged a bed for me so I could bypass A&E.
So off to hospital I went, thanks to my Dad who after a 12 hour day of driving his lorry, got in his car to drive me! At the hospital I was given my own room so I could just lay down and relax, unfortunately all my cries and requests for painkillers fell on deaf ears. I was scanned and they confirmed that my cyst hadn’t changed or grown since my last scan in October so that was good. After several tests they were able to confirm I have a “severe UTI”. Honestly I didn’t know UTI’s could get so bad they even referred to them as severe but apparently they do, and I’ll be honest I felt like I was dying from the inside out, and that’s not an exaggeration.
They did want to keep me in hospital, when I asked if that was necessary, they said it was to help me manage pain and so I said that as I had been their six hours asking them for painkillers and they hadn’t given me any I thought I could manage to give myself painkillers at home. So they let me go home, with a course of antibiotics and orders to bed rest. Not that I could have done much else feeling this ill,
My operation is still on so I just need to make sure I rest this infection out in time for it!
So, what I’ve learned in this is don’t ignore the pain, and don’t make assumptions about what the pain is!