Dealing with my ovarian cyst diagnosis

Posted on Nov 2 2014 - 5:58pm by Nicole Smith

OvarianCystAs many of you have probably noticed, I haven’t been posting much on here. In fact, what I have posted has only consisted of sponsored posts. Which is great on the one hand because they help me support my family.

But on the other hand, the site is loosing me…and what made this site what it is today. And that sucks. I don’t want this site to lose my personality.

I don’t like that I haven’t had a lot of time to write personal posts. But I’ve been extremely busy over the past couple of months due to the kids’ different sports activities. I’ve been running seven days a week. When I finally had a few minutes, I  used them to work on sponsored posts and not on personal ones.

And when things FINALLY died down some, I started experiencing some health issues. (Warning: Personal health information ahead.)

First, I was diagnosed with cysts on my cervix. They aren’t really troublesome or anything. They’re just there. But, of course, I had to do some research to find out why I was getting them.

Second, a couple weeks I began noticing pain in my lower stomach and lower back on the right hand side. Anytime I went pee or #2, it hurt. Over the next couple days the pain got worse, and I figured it was kidney stones with a possibility of a UTI again since I’m prone to them. I usually end up with anywhere from one to three infections per year.

And before you judge me, it’s not because I’m a dirty person because I’m not. I clean myself very well down there. I’m just prone. Although, my husband and I, along with a few people close to us, think it’s milk causing that problem.

Thursday evening (the 23rd) was really bad so my husband decided it was time to take me to Urgent Care. They did a urine test which came back normal. There weren’t any signs of infection or kidney stones, so that was good. But what was wrong with me then?

The doctor then examined my lower abdominal area and made me flinch. Because of my reaction and symptoms, he felt strongly it was appendicitis. I was floored. I hadn’t even entertained the possibility it could be that.

And of course all I could remember when he said appendicitis is that it can be deadly if not dealt with quickly. I kind of went numb and then panicky. I didn’t want to have surgery, but knew if that was in fact the problem, it was going to happen whether I liked it or not.

A nurse than came in to draw my blood to see what my white blood cell count was because if it’s elevated it’s a very good sign of appendicitis. However, they informed me that even if my counts came back normal, that didn’t mean anything. It could just mean that I wasn’t at a critical point yet. And what do you know? Those counts came back normal too!

Because the doctor couldn’t say for certain what was my problem, he advised I go to the hospital but wasn’t forcing me to. My husband asked him what he would do if it was his own wife and he said take her to the ER. So that it was my husband did.

At the hospital, I had to do another urine test. They also made me drink two bottles of barium so I could have a CT scan. I got there at 8:30 or so and was there until 2:30 Friday morning. I was really worried about what the scan would show. Would it be appendicitis? Would it be something even worse? Obviously a tumor ran through my mind too.

Finally my doctor came back in and said the scan found a kiwi-size ovarian cyst. And (TMI ahead) I was backed up, which didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me because I had been going to the bathroom. Maybe not a lot but I’d been going. However, I knew it could explain some of the pain I’d been experiencing.

Unfortunately, there was nothing they could do for me that night. The doctor told me that most likely the cyst would go away on it’s own but that I should see still my primary care physician as soon as possible. (Luckily, I already had an appointment scheduled with her for next week, so I didn’t need to make one.)

Since the 23rd, things have been rough. I was obviously late to start my period, which is very common with cysts. And my other issue didn’t resolve itself entirely until after I started. Apparently, constipation can be a part of the cysts, especially if they get big enough.

In order to deal with the pain, I’ve been taking ibuprofen and using a heating pad. And trying to stay as stressfree as possible because we are afraid that stress is playing a part in all that is going on with me. After all, frequent stress can cause health problems.

In addition, my husband and I have been doing some research on the causes of cysts and constipation and we stumbled onto articles about Celiac Disease. There are other symptoms, too, that I’ve been dealing with that could certainly be attributed to it: depression, anxiety, migraines, etc, but could also be completely unrelated.

The thing is, right now my husband and I don’t have insurance. We couldn’t afford it, so when I get sick and end up at the doctors, we have to pay out of pocket. I can’t afford the test to see if I have Celiac Disease. It’s too expensive.

If I do have it, I would be told to stop eating gluten. My husband and I talked and we feel that it’s best for me to stop eating gluten without the test to see if the problems I’ve been dealing with go away.

I’m familiar with Celiac Disease and the problems it can cause. I worked for a pizza dough production company who produced gluten free products, so as a result, I had to learn a lot about it. My whole family did. We’ve talked to many people about gluten and how giving it up stopped many of the issues they were experiencing, including female issues. So my husband and I’s philosophy is what do I have to lose? Nothing. What do I have to gain? Everything.

Sure, making this transition for good isn’t going to be cheap or easy. I’m giving up a lot of things that I enjoy eating. But when I think about the benefits of this decision, and what it could mean for not only me, but our family as a whole, I know it’s the right one to make.

Sure, down the road, once we have insurance, I will probably have the doctors run some tests to find out if that is my problem. But for now, I want to see what my body feels like in six weeks. I want to see if the problems I’ve been dealing with go away. If they do, great. And if not, then that’s not the problem.

Have any of you had issues like this and given up gluten? What have your experiences been like? Did you notice if your female issues got better?


4 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Snoskred November 3, 2014 at 5:10 am - Reply

    Hey there, I found you via the NaBloPoMo blogroll.

    I did give up gluten for a while a year or so ago. I tried the Paleo diet and a lot of the symptoms of my fibroids did go away while I was on that diet. It was especially noticeable as I just came off a diet with a lot of gluten in it, that made me sluggish and bloated. But I also gave up dairy then too, so it would be hard to say whether gluten or dairy is the bigger issue.

    Maybe Paleo is something to consider trying. I thought it was excellent and I incorporate a lot of the same things in my regular diet now, in particular the coconut oil for cooking which I found to be amazing, and also using lower GI forms of sugar like coconut sugar or maple syrup.

    As part of NaBloPoMo I try to comment on as many participating blogs as I can, and I add participating blogs to my feed reader.

    So I’m just dropping by to let you know I’ve added your blog to my feedreader, I’m reading you loud and clear, I have a link up going at my place so my readers can find participating blogs which you are more than welcome to add your blog link to.

    Looking forward to seeing your posts, and you’ll likely see me drop by again during November.

    Happy NaBloPoMo to you!
    Snoskred recently posted..A Cup Of TeaMy Profile

  2. Chrystal @ YUM eating November 18, 2014 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    I am so sorry girl. I know this pain very well. I went through life undiagnosed because it just wasn’t something they thought to look for. I’ve never been able to have children of my own. With my first husband they thought it was because I was on birth control for so long that my body just needed time to regulate.

    Well, I was put on BC because I had terrible, painful periods and was extremely irregular. I was on BC around the age of 13 or 14. It wasn’t until I married Matt and we TTC that the Dr pushed for an ultrasound. Other Dr had suspected I might have an endocrine issue. I was officially diagnosed with PCOS.

    That explains my lifelong weight issue, overabundance of hair, in the most ridiculous places, infertility. My ovaries are saturated in cysts. Whats gross is that these often pop and drain. YUCK!

    I am not a good candiate for fertility treatments. Now, due to age, even though that does not stop some people, but my weight and that fact that my uterus is filled with fibroids, too. I am high risk for ovarian and uterine cancer. Oh, so thrilling as my grandmother has battled many cancers but the one that took her life was uterine cancer.

    When I first found out I went to a dietitian. Basically low carb, low sugar. Eat like a diabetic. She suggested if I need a plan, South Beach Diet was what she recommended. I ended up doing more Atkins/Keto and it worked out for me ok. But the weight loss wasn’t there even though I felt a lot better in the arthritis department.

    But I fell off the wagon earlier this year and have gained even more weight.

    Ok, so I have blabbed your face off. Just know, you are not alone. And maybe, somehow, we can help each other through this! Love you girl. Chin up!
    Chrystal @ YUM eating recently posted..18 Warm Salads for Cool NightsMy Profile

    • Nicole Smith November 18, 2014 at 4:50 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Chrystal. I appreciate that I have a friend like you to talk to about this stuff because it’s SO frustrating. I’ve been dealing with painful periods for YEARS. Even as a teenager, they were horrible. Back when I was in my late teens, the doctors performed an ultrasound to see if I had PCOS. They were concerned I did because of the irregular periods, the fact they were heavy and painful. They said I didn’t at that point but it wouldn’t surprise me if later on in life I found out I did. I’m not sure what that was supposed to be mean.

      Once I had kids, my periods got better for awhile. I didn’t have the issues I had prior to conceiving. But over the years since I’ve had Blake, they’ve gotten worse, to the point I can’t walk some months because I have horrible, stabbing pain that makes me hunch right over. (Last year I had a really bad one during track season. That made for an interesting meet.)

      When I met with my new doctor a couple weeks ago, she asked again about PCOS and she seemed very concerned that is the problem. She thought me going gluten-free was a great idea. I’m hoping it helps. So far so good.

      I did ask for BC while there to help prevent further growth of cysts and unfortunately, I’m almost done my second week and have significant issues. Since the middle of last week, I’ve been extremely angry and emotional. I cry at the drop of a dime. It’s bad. And it takes nothing to make me mad right now.

      Sometimes, and I hate to admit this, just the sound of the kids’ voices irritates me. That’s not good. I didn’t realize, though, it was the BC until I got to thinking yesterday about what could be causing the dramatic change in my attitude. I realized the thing that changed was the BC. I then did some research and found that those particular pills have been known to cause the issues I’m dealing with. One woman described it as making her a raging psycho.

      Needless to say I called my doctor’s office right away to see if I could try something new because I can’t live like this. I’d rather chance having more develop than feel this out of control. I hate it. I’m afraid it will push my husband away.

    • Nicole Smith November 18, 2014 at 4:51 pm - Reply

      Also, I think it’s great that we can be here to support each other. Hopefully in a couple months, once I have an ultrasound done, I will have more answers.

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