*this picture is not mine
WARNING: This is a long post with lots of little details. If you don't like details about yucky stuff, probably best to stop reading now
Today I will write something a little bit different from what I normally post. It's not about fashion or any beauty but this time it's about women health. Before I begin this blog post, I'd like to let you know that this is quite a personal thing for me to write. I was thinking for a while whether I should write it down, and finally I decided to post it as I know that the first place that most people who diagnose with cyst will look for information is search engine so I wanted to share my story with you as I'm hoping that if you're reading this because you are undergo the same situation as me, I may help you in some way. Alternatively, if you are reading this and you know someone who has ovarian cyst, I hope I can help you get a better understanding.
SO HOW DO I KNOW THAT I HAVE OVARIAN CYST?
I have to say it was an accident I found out I had cyst. Think about it, it was quite funny actually because it didn't cause me any discomfort or pain. But I found out because last year at some point I was really want to do some exercise to get toner flat tummy so I bought a weighted hula hoop. I hula hooped about 20 - 30 minute a day or twice a day. After a month I found something strange in body. My period came non-stop for 3 weeks...yep 3 weeks I'm not really sure how did I survive with that amount of blood came out of my body. So I decided to go NHS for a check up. At first doctor thought I might be pregnant and took my wee sample to check... the result came out negative. Then they double check with blood samples but the result came negative as well. So the doctor referred me for ultrasound in the same day for triple check that the result was not wrong. At that moment I was really stress out because I had no idea what was wrong with me. The idea of having something wrong inside my body was scared me to death. Only one good thing at that time was my lovely boyfriend, he was by my side all the time and kept supporting me. Finally the result came the next day. That's mean one night of crying and scaring. I was diagnosed with 11 cm ovarian cyst in one of my ovaries! That was really big and I had no idea where would it be when I had a small belly from the beginning. Doctor said that the cause of non-stop period might be because of cyst was twist a little bit when I hula hoop.
WHAT TYPE IS THE CYST?
It's called Dermoid cyst which normally composes of hair, teeth, blood, fat etc. Yeahh I know it sound yucky. I saw many pictures and trust me you don't really want to see. Doctor said this type of cyst occur commonly among women age between 20 something. Normally it will not cause any pain so perhaps I had this cyst since I birth. It's rarely turn to be cancer and once removed it's also rarely occur in another side of ovary.
WHAT DID I DO AFTER DIAGNOSE?
I was referred to MRI scan 2 month after to get a better visualization of cyst. It was a hard time for me to absorb all the information. It even harder when I'm not with my family and also have to speak in english. Everything just felt unfamiliar. In the day time I kept myself occupied in my laboratory but at night time it was really bad time for me as I had a lot of free time for myself. I kept thinking that this thing should never happen to me and it was just a dream. But at the end of the day I still can't avoid from the truth, I had cyst and need to get it removed.
Around the end of last year I decided to get operation with NHS. Then I got an appointment with consultant. I met consultants twice. First time, the consultant was really helpful. She explained and answered all my question and asked me to make a decision whether to get this cyst removed or keep it. She said it was a really big cyst so the chance of ovarian torsion is unlikely because it was settle in the middle of my lower tummy and I'm quite skinny so it had no chance to move. She also said that the technique that suitable for me is cut open through my bikini line in other meaning it mean that it will be like c-sction just I won't have any baby come out but cyst. The second time I met consultant was when I accepted to get an operation. The second consultant was a different one. To be honest he was not really helpful all the questions my boyfriend's mom and I asked were not answered clearly. He seemed like he wasn't sure with anything. He also said that scar from surgery would be about a pen long under my bikini line which I think it's quite big. The last meeting with consultant made me concern a lot about my own safety and also as a 20ish years old girl I don't want to have a big scar on my belly but I still had to get it removed so I can do noting. I'd been on operation waiting list for 2 months and had not heard from NHS. That time I also got a news from my supervisor that in April this year I need to go Germany for a presentation so I had no choice but cancel all the operation process with NHS because I didn't know when I will have operation so I can't plan things ahead. I decide to have an operation in Thailand (my hometown) because I know I can get the cyst removed whenever I want...no waiting time. Moreover, I had my family to support me and I also can speak in my own language. Lucky enough, my best friend introduced me to one of the best surgeons in Thailand that specialise in gynaecology. Thanks for the technology nowadays that made me contact with the doctor easier so he can arrange things for me before I arrive. After I contacted the doctor he said he can get cyst removed by laparoscopy (keyhole). That's mean I will have a lot smaller scar!Yayyyyyy~
I booked a flight back to Thailand on the 10th of January in the morning. Doctor referred me to do another tests because all the scan results from last year are not a recent one and cyst might be changed with time. As I was scheduled for operation on the 13th so in the next morning(12th) I got my blood tested, ultrasound and MRI scan in the same day. It was hectic really...I almost faint in the MRI scan! Because to get everything done that mean I had no food or even drink in my stomach for almost 20 hours.
On the operation day, I had to stop eating and drinking from 10am, admitted in hospital at 12pm. During waiting time for surgery I got a saline drip through my right hand to keep me hydrate. In that evening, I was wheeled to the operation room the only thing I think was that I hope I wake up and not allergic to anaesthesia (I heard a lot of bad experience with anaesthesia). I remembered that after I talked with anaesthetist and he injected something through my drip I felt really hurt my body felt ached and then I was out.
I woke up again with a hazy memories in post-operation room where nurses waited for me to wake up. I remembered that I felt confuse, tired and hurt. I was trying to tell them that I'm hurt and tired in english...yeah in english in my hometown with Thai nurses. That's quite weird. I'm not really sure what did I think at that time. I'm not really sure what was happened after that as I fell asleep again. Next morning, I was dizzy and hungry. I had not eaten for almost 24 hours! Luckily I wasn't allergic to anaesthesia. The first meal was unpleasant and inedible, it was a plain soup without anything in it so I only drink water and waited for the next meal.
The cyst was too large and I had no ovary tissue left so they had to remove my left ovary as well. I have 3 wounds, 0.5 cm above my belly button, 0.5 cm one on my right and 1.5 cm one on my bikini line. The last wound is where they brought all hair, bone and yucky stuff out.
I stayed in hospital for 4 days and 3 nights which more than normal but because I'm such a moaner, the doctor asked me to stay there longer. He visited me twice daily during I was in hospital and advised me to walk more often (not intense) to get my intestine work like normal faster. Anyone who has to get cyst removed by keyhole technique must be aware of the achy-ness around shoulder because the carbondioxide gas that had introduced into the abdomen to inflate the abdominal cavity still remain in the system and also beware of flatulence. During this period, it is better to eat soft food like soup and porridge and avoid fizzy drink. First day was a nightmare I can only lay down on my back, everytime I moved mean hurt and achy. This pain may last for a few days but should become less intense each day. For me everything is fine in the 5th day. I had sometimes got on and off stomachache where the cyst had been removed for about a month but that wasn't affect me too much. I basically got back to my normal routine (apart from exercise) within a week.
Although I have only one ovary left but I have to say here that having only one ovary will not make any much different from having 2 ovaries so girls if you are in the same situation, don't panic.
Ovarian cyst is quite common in women nowadays so if you have one don't freak out you can get through it just like me :)
Hope I haven't bored with my long story
If you’ve gone through similar experiences, do share. I'm also willing to give any advice to anyone who in the same situation