I had a chiropractor appointment on Tuesday. It was the same place I went before, but this time I saw a different chiropractor. He listened to my (admittedly long) explanation of symptoms, did a full work up, bending, stretching, pulling and moving my legs and hips, and then he surprised me. He said my problem is not a chiropractic one, but a gynecological one. He pointed out that he could manipulate my hip without pain, but the moment he touched my left belly, I winced. He identified the placement as being my ovary, and told me in no uncertain terms that I needed to see my gynecologist, and I needed to see her "today."
I left my chiropractor appointment (with a follow up scheduled for next week - he said once we rule out bigger issues, he could do acupuncture to help with residual pain), and called my gynecologist. As expected, she's in high demand, and is booked a full month out. I tried to explain to the receptionist that I really needed to see someone that day, even if it was a nurse or another doctor, but it was urgent. She made me feel like I was in inconvenience, and that the scheduling back up was entirely my fault. I took the appointment four weeks out, and cried when I hung up.
Thursday night was especially rough. The pain didn't come in waves like labor like it often does, but this time was solid stabbing pain that gave no respite all night. Tony asked if I needed to go to the emergency room (and we are very much against using the emergency room unless someone is seriously on the verge of death). I reminded him that we couldn't afford an ER bill, especially while trying to save up for a down payment on a house. Our check for earnest money we put forward for the house we later had to back out on has not been returned to us yet.
Friday morning I made a same-day appointment to see a doctor, and this time the receptionist (not the one I spoke to earlier in the week) was much more understanding. She fit me in that afternoon.
I went to the appointment, hopeful to finally get answers. Since the chiropractor had mentioned ovarian issues, I'd been doing my research. It was unlikely that ovarian cysts would be causing this much pain for this long, but ovarian torsion sounds exactly like what I'm going through. It's easily diagnosed through a simple ultrasound, and surgically corrected (or removed) which typically only takes a few hours. It's a same-day surgery (though is considered an emergency surgery), which would mean I'd be able to get fixed up and go home same or next day.
The doctor looked tired, and acted like he didn't really want to be there. I'm not sure if he'd had a long day, or maybe something else was going on, or if he just wasn't in the mood to deal with someone who'd been coming in multiple times for the same complaint (yes, I know at this point they're probably thinking I'm a pill seeker). I explained again how long this has been going on, where it hurts, and how frequently and severely it is affecting me. I hinted at my suspicion of an ovarian issue and again was quickly dismissed. He asked about intestinal issues over and over, and I assured him all the plumbing is working correctly. I've lost nearly 11 pounds between my 9/23 appointment and my 10/28 appointment. The sole perk of being completely bedridden and living off of saltines, water, and ibuprofen. Oh, and of course, during this appointment I was able to sit up and move around and feel absolutely no pain. The one time in three weeks I'm pain free.
He ordered some blood work, and told me he wanted a CT scan, but the diagnostics folks were "too busy" to see me today so I'd have to come back sometime next week. In the meantime, he'd give me more prednisone - the medication I got at my 9/23 appointment that really helped clear up the pain (right until I blacked out from the pain the day after I ran out of pills). I got my blood drawn by one of my favorite phlebotomist (a friend's mom), and by the time I'd given my two vials of red life, a nurse had stopped to give my husband (waiting outside the curtain) a post-it note with an appointment for next Tuesday for a CT scan.
Friday night brought the now-normal hours of torture, and I finally told Tony I was ready to stop fighting. I can't go through another night of the worst physical pain with no sign of relief. We agreed that if it started up again, we would pack up and head to the hospital. The ER bill would prevent us from buying a house in the immediate future, but if it meant being able to sit up, hold my two-year-old, do house chores, and sleep through the night without hours of horrific pain, then maybe it was time to make that choice.
Last night when the cramps started, I immediately jumped into the shower. The two times this past week that I managed any semblance of normalcy, I had taken a hot shower before I left the house, so maybe that was the key. The hot shower slowed the progression of the cramping, but didn't stop it. So I ran a hot bath instead. There I stayed for the next four hours, refilling with hot water as needed. Eventually I was too tired to try anymore, and I clambered back into bed. Tony applied an Icy Hot patch to my back hip and I pretty much passed out as I laid down. My phone alarm woke me every four hours to take more acetaminophen (as it is right now as I type this up), because apparently you aren't supposed to take ibuprofen with prednisone. I suspect the only reason I avoided the nightly nightmare last night is due to having two days of prednisone and waking myself every four hours to keep on top of pain management (also preventing the half asleep stretching).
I'm hoping the prednisone is enough to keep it at bay until Tuesday for the CT scan, though I'm not at all confident that it will be diagnostic of anything. I'm quickly losing faith in the medical staff that I have been assigned over the last two months. In the meantime, Tony now has to take time off of work to bring me to this appointment, which is both losing money through loss of work, and through additional medical bills. I'm trying to stay upbeat, but my current mood is becoming quite dour.