Monday, March 7, 2016

Me and My Lady Problems

*Sponsored by Compare The Market but 100% pure Peachy!

Groggy Peachy. "Where am I?" An hour after waking up from general anaesthetic.

Warning: Content below includes surgical photo. While I think this photo is cool I respect that others may only like photos of people's outsides and not their insides. 

Let's talk lady problems. There's a lot to contend with when you have a female body. First you start with growing breasts then getting a period. And by the time you're having babies you have to deal with  the tri-fector: leaking boobs, vagina, and urethra. Even then there's usually the haemorrhoids you get from pushing so damn hard to get a human out. Then there's hot flashes from menopause. When does it end? It doesn't. It changes, it get's better from vagina weightlifting (seriously), or kegel work, using all kinds of leak absorbing pads or hormones but it's never really easier. Just different.


Work it -Vaginal weight lifting is a thing. Image credit

After having my son I decided to get the IUD as a form of birth control (which I candidly discuss here). Having the IUD put in is one of the exciting women things we get to do, like buying jeans or a swimsuit. Not at all painful or humiliating. Right.

When we were ready to start trying for baby number 2 out came the IUD in all it's miniature glory. I waited exactly two months to get a period, which my Dr told me was not normal. After that period, months went by without another. Blood tests showed I wasn't pregnant or ovulating, or any of the other things they look for that stops a period, like hyper thyroid-ism. By this time I was seeing a gynaecologist for my first time. She had sent me for a super-fun ultrasound, the one where they stick a (transvaginal) ultrasound- dildo in? Yeah. Well, I did the sticking in and then the technician took over and used the stick in a similar way to gear shifting in a old Volkswagen van, except that he definitely was not taking me on a road trip through Italy. There was no limoncello or spaghetti bolognese, just some paper towels and whatever was left of my pride.

That ultrasound discovered that I had a 3cm cyst on my right ovary, the size of a squash ball. Again, it sounds fun but it wasn't. Not going to lie. I did freak out a little bit until I got the chance to speak to my friend who had one once and was like "it's fine, calm yourself!" This article's opening, that I "Dr Googled," was helpful in calming me too:

“OH MY GOD I HAVE AN OVARIAN CYST!”

"If you are a woman within the age range of 13 – 50 and you’re told that you have an ovarian cyst you need to take a deep breath and stop thinking that you’re going to die of ovarian cancer."
I soon learned that every women would have a cyst(s) in their lifetime. Most are simple cysts and burst on their own without their lady-owner ever knowing they were there. Of course there are more sinister cysts that cause Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or carry cancer but the chances of getting those are much lower. My gyno assured me that mine looked like the basic simple follicular cyst. My squash-ball wasn't the cause for missing my period or ovulation. We waited to see if it would go away on it's own. More time went by followed by another ultrasound and more blood tests, and we discovered the cyst had still not gone away on its own, in fact it had grown to 4cm and there was a chance I had endometriosis. It runs in my family, and I've always suspected I had it, but being pregnant once already was supposed to help clear it.

Incision 1 of 4, and only the size of 1 cm. Not too scary.
Bring on the laparoscopy. It was a day surgery and took me around 3-4 days to recover. Honestly, one of the biggest challenges was finding childcare, rather that the surgery itself. but I'm not the surgeon, I just had to lie there, dreaming.

 I have four small incisions on my belly, including one inside my belly button. I healed rather well, and the simple cyst was benign. The gyno did find mild endometriosis in my pelvis but was able to treat it. I don't know if it's me just being optimistic but this severe back pain I would get above my right hip every now and then has disappeared. I'm hoping it went with the cyst and isn't part of my ongoing issues with chronic back pain, which I had always assumed it was.
Selfie over-share time: I'm probably way too excited to have the first ever photo taken inside my body.
See the left ovary is healthy, and right one had
that big white cyst on it. 
















The good news in all this, besides the fact that it was benign, is that because I had private health insurance I was able to be treated and scheduled for surgery rather quickly. There wasn't months of waiting for it to happen; which is so great when you are wanting have another baby. My health insurer also covered all of the surgery, including the anaesthetist, extra surgeon and and other hospital costs. I was so relieved I was fully covered because our family budget was recovering from Christmas spending. If you're wondering what private health insurer to use or how you can afford better cover then there's this free comparison service you can use at Compare the Market. And yes, they're the funny guys with the cute little, sassy but classy meerkat.

I've recovered really well and I'm looking forward to starting a new chapter in our lives. Is the world ready for another Peachy.
*linked up with Essentially Jess for I blog on Tuesdays 

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