Hi all- massive TW for this post. We discuss hospitals and various traumatic things that happened there. Shout out to the nurses, who were wonderful in every way.
Monday the 9th May. We are in the gym, feeling happier than we have done for a long time. I’m on the leg curl machine, and pull myself up higher on the machine- there’s a sharp pain on the right hand side of my lower abdomen, and suddenly a gush of blood. We freeze. What. The. Fuck.
The pain is too bad to do another set. We are upset as we climb off it, and head for the chest fly machine instead. We do a couple of sets before the pain gets even worse, and then realise we aren’t well enough to keep going. We finish up, go home, and try to deal with the pain. We go and teach, too.
Tuesday 10th May. The bleeding and pain is worse. We feel awful, and triggered, and the younger ones have realised that we are not on our period. What the hell is happening, they want to know? I explain to them that it’s the ovarian cysts that caused us so much pain last August, and they are still scared but get it. Nineteen is feeling upset and unable to eat. We still go teaching, in awful pain, but we feel like it might just go away by itself… We hope.
Wednesday and Thursday, 11th and 12th May. The pain is pretty much unbearable. 19 has her flip out and we are all exhausted, in pain, wrung out and needing rest.
Friday 13th May. It gets so bad, we call the NHS non-emergency number. They are concerned by our symptoms and try and get an ambulance out, but we end up going to hospital driven by our Mum. We’re all scared at this point. The Dutchman arrives, and we spend the whole time after mum has to leave in his arms. Sadly, we are discharged with painkillers and sent home to book another ultrasound scan.
Saturday and Sunday, 14th and 15th May. We exist in a haze of pain. Making breakfast on Saturday, we pass out and the Dutchman carries us to the sofa. He continues to care for us in every way over the weekend, taking our minds off the horror that’s going on in our own body.
Monday 16th May. We end up at the GPs, and she’s so concerned that she sends us to the hospital. We have to go through an internal exam. It’s one of the worst things we have ever experienced. The Dutchman kneels beside our head, squeezing our hands and telling us it’s ok, we are safe. It hurts. He tells us he’s still there and he loves us, and he isn’t going to go away. We are admitted and they arrange an ultrasound scan for the next day. The Dutchman has to leave, but he Skypes us when he gets home to make sure we are ok.
Tuesday 17th May. The ultrasound shows a golf-ball-sized cyst on our right ovary, just like we predicted there would be. We knew there was a cyst. We have all been feeling unable to eat, and the pain is on the one side. However, we have a sinking feeling about this. Although there’s no cancer detected, we suspect that it is probably not going to make the doctors do anything. Later on, we try to get out of bed because we think we’re going to throw up, and pass out entirely. When we come to, there’s a concerned team of people present and a doctor there, and a drip and cannula in one hand. The younger ones hate that. It hurt for them to get it in because our hands are so bony. Nobody knows what to do about the cyst, nobody has any information or advice for us. We are point blank told that there’s no way to prevent cysts and that it’s not being drained.
Wednesday 18th May. We realise the only way to get any advice is to ask for it. There’s an amazing nurse who eventually comes to talk to us and give us options to help prevent the cysts from coming back. We are released with a handful of painkillers again, and told not to worry, all women get cysts due to their monthly cycle and sometimes, some women’s hurt a bit. This is past that, though. There’s a golf ball sized cyst sitting inside us and refusing to budge. It’s been there over a week. We are all scared and hurt and upset, nineteen is fuming, we all are at our wits end.
Thursday 19th May. A week since nineteen had her meltdown. The cyst is still there. We are glad to be home, but the full horror of hospital has started to sink in and we’re terrified of what we remember. We all continually flash back to the internal exam. It was horrendous. For any person who hasn’t been through trauma, it would have just been embarrassing and uncomfortable, which is bad enough. For us, it was torture.
Friday 20th May, today. We are sent a letter informing us that due to the fact we had been in Accident and Emergency and were prescribed medicine, we are to be charged for this. £8.40, “as you would be if you had visited your GP.”
The callousness of this hurts us. We were in A and E because we were really ill, not swanning in complaining of a common cold. We don’t mind paying, but there was no expression of sadness for us having to be in A and E, and the letter is callous in its tone. Moreover, we are scheduled another scan and an appointment for something not mentioned in the letter in June. JUNE. That’s a long bloody time to be left in pain. There’s a little unconcerned light-hearted statement about having an internal scan, and the probe would be, “about the size of a tampon. I don’t care. None of us do. We are not having anything like that happen again. They saw the cyst on a normal ultrasound, that internal one is unnecessary and downright abusive.
We can’t handle this. We have been thoroughly retraumatised by the whole experience. The Dutchman has offered to ring them for us and find out why there are two dates on the letters, and to explain that there may be adverse reactions to demanding inappropriate scan techniques. The letter mentions the normal way of scanning first, which we are fine with. Why is there the need to be so flippant about the internal scan?
We’re all really struggling and upset still. On Sunday we are supposed to be flying out to see the Dutchman. We hope that it works out ok, if the cyst bursts in mid-air we will be in trouble.
The only thing that’s comforting us right now is the thought that in two days, we get to be with him again. There’s our dog curled up with us, and our family have been very supportive. We are just praying that the pain gets no worse.