Exactly one year ago today you were born/died. Here's how I learned that you existed:
I was up early because I had an early flight to NYC for a business trip. At first I was fine, but then about 15 minutes later I was curled up on my bathroom floor with the absolute worst pain I had ever experienced in my life. I tried to continue getting ready, but it wasn't happening. Not knowing what else to do, I called my parents (they get up early anyway). They thought it might be my appedix and told me to go to the ER. A little while later they called back to see if I had gone. I hadn't because I was still on the floor, trying to figure out where exactly it hurt. I knew the doctors would ask and I figured I should have an answer for them. Finally, I went into my roommates room and said, "where's your appendix?" She jumped out of bed and ran around to throw some clothes on. I laid on the floor and called my co-worker to tell her I was, "going to the ER, I didn't know what was wrong, don't worry and I'll try to catch another flight out."
So here it is like 5 am and NO ONE is in the ER (which is thankfully right across the road from my apartment!) I still had to wait and was curled up in the fetal position on the waiting room chairs. It took forever to register and the lady kept asking me the same question over and over. I remember telling my roommate that at that moment I never wishe so badly that I just had a chip in my arm that she could scan and get everything. After a short evaluation, I finally got called back to be seen by the doctor on call.
I was miserable and they kept asking me if I could be pregnant.
"Are you sure?"
"We really need to know..."
They did an exam and it was not fun. Again, they started with the pregnancy questions. Ah no, but I'm guessing you don't think it's my appendix otherwise I could have DIED by now!
The timeline gets a little fuzzy, but I remember being taken to X-Ray and I could barely stand up for the tech to get it. My great roommate stayed in the waiting room and when my mom got there they both came back. A new doctor's shift had started so a man came into the room and told me that there was a mass in abdomen. Hmm... didn't really comprehend what he was saying. He said it wasn't cancerous (hmmm... hadn't thought about that until you just said it) but that they needed to do some more tests. Okay. I also remember that I was actually thinking I was going to catch a flight to New York yet.
I had to drink several cups of neon yellow liquid before they could do a god-awful test. It was not pleasant to say the least. When the results came back they found I had three large cysts on my ovaries. And that they needed to be taken out. Now, in my mind I'm thinking, "Hmmm... GM shut down is in July. Maybe I'll have surgery then."
The doctor said, "They can get you in at 3pm." Okay, so you mean I need to do this now. I was hoping it would just go away on its own. I didn't comprehend what was going on, what he wanted to do, or the magnitude of the surgery they were proposing. I could see his mouth moving and hear that sound was coming out, but could not understand what he was saying. It was a very bizarre moment.
By this time I wasn't in horrible pain anymore, but my stomach was terribly swollen. I looked very pregnant. Weird! I was perfectly fine the day before. I went to the main hospital in Southfield and they took me to my room before the OR. By this time I was laughing and joking around with my parents and roommate. My hospital roommate thought we were nuts! Here I was about to have major surgery and we're making jokes.
Before the surgery, I met with several residents and my surgeon. They showed me my x-rays and whoa! It looked like I had a set of dentures in my stomach! I had dermoid cysts, which are cysts that have hair, teeth, bones and fatty deposits inside. Since the teeth so clearly stood out, I affectionately named you Chompers.
They took me down to surgery around 9pm. I specifically remember telling the doctors to go ahead and give me a tummy tuck while they were in there. They must have forgotten.
They told me after I was prepped they would let my family/friends in to see me. Yeah, they forgot that too.
I had been to the Dominican Republic the month before so I had a nice tan line for them, which they used as the line to cut on. Really guys. Just a little bit lower would have been appreciated. I'm hoping to wear my bathing suit this year.
I remember waking up in my hospital room and not being able to open my eyes. They asked if I wanted to get into my bed by myself or if I was too tired. "Too tired," I mumbled. I did rember asking if the surgeon was able to save my ovaries (something they weren't sure of until they got inside.) Whoever answered said that was a question for the doctor. I was positive that meant, "no."
Thankfully it didn't and they were able to save everything. Chompers, you were the size of a softball and the other two were the size of baseballs. Not sure how you all fit in there, but you did. I asked them to take a picture of you, but they didn't do that either. Although you were probably the grossest thing ever to look at, I really wanted to see you!
I was in the hospital for four days and three nights, which I remember very little of. Loved that morphine pump. Getting in and out of bed was so tiring. You would think it wouldn't be that difficult to get out of bed and sit in the chair next to you. It was so hard. Walking was so painful and I couldn't do it for awhile without assistance.
After going home, it's still really fuzzy. Must have been those great pink pills they gave me. While I was on medical leave my family and friends were so good to me. The apartment was filled with cards, flowers and gifts. My roommate was seriously the best roommate ever - she set up my room for me before I got there, helped with my laundry, she even shaved my legs for me.
So, that's how the story started. Anyway, it's been quite a sucky year and, unfortunately, it's not over yet.