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My Ovary Thing (Maybe I'll stop neglecting the blog. Maybe)

April 29 2024 – Alana Becker

Welcome back babes, last blog post was a year & a half ago where I posted the recipe for cheese & strawberries on toast. REVOLUTIONARY! I do still eat this on every special occasion though, I stand by it. Trust me. I have mediocre taste in most things, but not food!

I'll tell you the most interesting thing that happened to me last year, I reference it a bunch on social media so I may as well post the whole story somewhere. The Ovary Thing. 

In October 2023 I was going about my day, MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS, I thought ya know what would really kick start my Monday afternoon? A redbull. I haven't had redbull since 2020 when I got semi addicted for 2 weeks & every night I'd tremble a little as I was trying to go to sleep, so I thought probably best to give that up. However, I did go real fast in that 2 weeks, like we can all agree that caffeine works! Feels fine to have just one, occasionally?

I drank my redbull, had a regular day, went home to have a regular night. Until 8.30pm. I'm scrolling my phone sitting slouched on a recliner, super comfy, super chill. Ovulation pains. Okie dokie I guess it's that time! I get them every month for a day or two, I can feel which ovary it's coming from, I'm pretty aware of my body for the most part. Except this is getting worse. Like really fucking bad. Like what the actual fuck is happening bad. My ovary is about to self destruct. I'm CRYING on the recliner. My partner is asking if I'm okay. "Babe it's the mittelschmerz" I say. He knows what I'm talking about, that word is hilarious & factually correct so of course I will use it when it's appropriate. I go curl up in bed to cry some more & try to get comfortable. Eventually the pain is at a point where I can go to sleep so I take advantage & wake up at 6am, in pain again. It came on in a wave the night before, mild, bad, rEALLY BAD, WORSE, NOOOOO, worse, really bad, bad - asleep- -awake again- bad, rEALLY BAD? WORSE AGAIN? WHAT? Painkillers, call that health hotline thing, aaaand hospital, for the first time in my adult life.

My partner drove me to emergency at 7.30am, I felt like a bit of a wanker at this point because the painkillers had kicked in & my pain was thankfully back to mild. My theory was, if I had 2 instances of super bad ovary pain, I was probably going to get a 3rd any moment & I was not looking forward to that. I hung out for 2 hours in emergency waiting to be seen, I had my ipad & was addicted to some car parking game so it was no drama waiting around, I mean that. They call my name, check my appendix is intact, & we discuss The Ovary Thing. I tell them I think it's a cyst burst maybe, I've read about those & I definitely think my pain was definitely in my ovary? I'm trying so hard to be chill & nice, also firm-ish, I'm not like a regular patient I'm a cool patient. But please, please, believe me.

"Let's check it out, are you happy to do an ultrasound?" fuck yes I'd love to, thank you doc! Waited around another few hours, ultrasound & blood test, nothing too interesting there, another hour, & I get called in for the BIG REVEAL. 

What IS The Ovary Thing??? I can't wait to find out.

"So! We found a cyst, you were right!" "woo!(?)" "it's likely a dermoid cyst about ... *MAKES A FIST* 80mm, so the size of a tennis ball" (I looked up the measurements of a tennis ball & it's 65mm soooo my cyst was bigger by the way, don't mean to brag) I cannot even tell you how I felt seeing her make a fist lol like wait it's FIST SIZE??? Let me just pass out really quick! The pain I experienced was likely a torsion - WHERE THE CYST IS SO EFFING HEAVY IT JUST TWISTS AROUND. Then the round 2 of pain was MY CYST FILLED OVARY UNTWISTING. Torsions can cut off blood supply & kill the ovary so I was lucky it resolved itself, they said if it happened again, go directly to hospital (spoiler alert, it did not!)
She goes on to tell me what a dermoid cyst is; usually made up of fatty tissue, skin, sometimes hair... I asked wAIT are those the ones that can have teeth? She says yes. ARE YOU SERIOUS. Oh my god. Anyway the only way to tell if it's a dermoid cyst & not anything more intense or cancerous, is to remove it & test it. She said urgent referral for cyst removal surgery, I said yes sweet lets get this little beast out of me :) in the meantime, don't do anything strenuous, ovaries just float around the body attached by a couple of tubes, there's a chance this will all happen again!


So to recap: ovarian torsion + de torsion, 80mm ovarian cyst, I'm gonna need keyhole surgery to get it out.

The next week I was kind of afraid to move my body. I felt like anything I did might make my ovary twist again, I was so nervous. 5 weeks later, I had my urgent appointment haha not what I thought urgent meant but that's fine, I know they're busy I just genuinely didn't know what kind of wait time to expect! I met my surgeon & he was great, answered all my questions, including "what's the weirdest dermoid cyst you've ever removed" he said one with a jawbone so that was lowkey a new goal for me. Lastly, can I see it when it comes out? YES. Great. The risks are I could lose my ovary if they can't detach the cyst from the ovary, & they might have to cut me open a little bigger. Bodies are made to be lived in, whatever happens happens!

I had a chill 2 months then it was surgery day! Monday 8th January 2024 let's goooo! The 2 days before surgery I was convinced I was probably going to die on the operating table so that sucked. I have a mean brain sometimes. The day of, I was super calm. They told me to fast from midnight so I had a second dinner at 11.50pm. Highly recommend second dinner! 5 stars! Amazing.

My partner dropped me off at the hospital, he offered to wait around with me but hospitals are boring & risky, if you don't need to be there, stay away. If you do need to be there, wear a mask. I am not interested in getting COVID a second time if I can help it.

Surgery was like a nice big sleep! AND I WOKE UP! I did not die! To be honest the diagnosis is the fun part of this story, the rest can be condensed so I'll condense it. The things I remember most are the anesthesia working & me trying to be the best at breathing as I was being put under. They said I was taking really nice deep breaths I thought yes I truly am the best at breathing. Unhinged. Whatever!

Afterwards, I remember being asked my name & birthday. I got the answers right, but I do not remember waking up. I for sure I talked some bullshit between regaining consciousness & remembering my name but I don't know what. The 3 medical pros (???) around me looked entertained so I bet it was ridiculous. They told me I kept my ovary yay, & they managed it all through keyhole so 4 small incisions once they nipped out a little cyst from my other side. Alrighty but the main thing I wanna know is did my dermoid cyst have teeth?

The answer is no. It did not. But would I like the photos? YES PLEASE! I can tell you it looks like a giant black hair ball. The photos are all from inside my body so they are bloody & medically, otherwise you know I'd post them.

Recovery from this sucked ass, I couldn't laugh or cough or hiccup or sneeze, I couldn't sleep on my tummy which was truly enraging. I took 2 weeks off work, & felt like I forgot how to do anything. 

Now that it's been a few months, I'm finally feeling mostly normal again. I have more energy, my skin is way more blemished likely due to the hormonal change (even though I am THIRTY YEARS OLD), I can concentrate, I don't get any ovulation pain anymore. 

I miss you, my weird grapefruit sized hairball in my ovary. xx