With all my recent health issues, I've been on top of everything. I've been current with all my doctors, tests, etc. So far, other than the darn chest pains, I've been doing great!
So this past Thursday evening around 5:45pm or so, I was watching television, preparing to go out, when...OW! OW! What the hell was that?! I felt like I was stabbed in my lower right side of my body. The Quiet One was with me. "What is it?" We both kind of laughed because I jumped up as if someone invisible hit me. I thought nothing of it...until about an hour later, when I began to feel throbbing, and some cramping. But there was no blood, so I just thought maybe something I'd eaten simply didn't agree with me. When I got home, the Quiet One wanted to stay with me. He knew I was in pain, and as much as I acted like I wasn't, he knew. He wanted to take me to the hospital, but I wanted to wait it out until morning. I never woke him, but I tossed and turned all night...the pain was intense enough to keep me wide awake. He made me promise to go to the doctor first thing in the morning. And that's what I did.
My doctor's office opened at 11am, and I was the first one there. I was also the only one there. Apparently he was on vacation. I almost cried when his assistant, Iris, informed me. I've been a patient of his for almost 20 years now and Iris is the BEST! She immediately asked me what was wrong. I told her of my symptoms, and I also mentioned that I had an early show that evening and two shows on Saturday..this needed to be taken care of TODAY! I saw her rapidly get on the phone and call in a "favor". Next thing I know she gave me a prescription to get an ultra sound. I had 45 minutes to drink at least eight glasses of water. When having an ultra sound, apparently they want to see you with a full bladder. So I arrived at 1:30 for my appointment, anxious and REALLY needing to pee. I don't mean the typical, "Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now...Pee-Pee Dance" It was beyond difficult to hold it any longer. So I filled out all the necessary paperwork, handed them my insurance card (thank you, KTU) and waited. Five minutes...15...20....Oh, my God, if my bladder blows up, we'll have a new problem all together. Finally, I spoke up and told them I had to be called or I was gonna die. The woman at the desk was kind enough to say, "Okay, go to the bathroom and just let a little out." Huh? A little?! Don't she know I gotta go? Asking me to urinate just a little was like asking me to hold a door to a dam that had broken. I had visions of Niagara Falls, running water faucets - big time! Then finally, my name was called.
The ultrasound technician seemed short with me; not mean, but borderline rude. When people are that way, I remind myself that it's possible it's been a hard day for them. It doesn't mean it makes it okay, it just keeps me calm enough to not say the wrong thing. She was pressing down on my stomach with the instrument, reminding me how badly I still needed to go. Then she began to huff and puff. Then she got quiet. Uh, oh. Something is wrong. I know it. She asked me to empty my bladder and return. So I did, and once again she seemed irritated but it was different. "I have to get the doctor to look at this." So the doctor came over, and they both began to deliberate and describe all the things they thought it could be. Um, hello, I'm right here. Talk to me!!
"Ms. Torres, it is?"
"It looks as if you have a rupture in your ovary. It could be a ruptured ovary, an ectopic pregnancy, a ruptured cyst, or a tumor. But you have too much fluid & a little blood in your pelvis, so we can't really see well enough to determine."
"So I guess I won't be doing any show tonight, huh?" (always keep a sense of humor in times like these)
"No. There will be no shows tonight. I'm sending you to the hospital right now for a CAT scan. You may need emergency surgery."
I thanked them, and hugged the ultrasound technician...first time I saw her smile all day. Maybe that's exactly what she needed a hug, showing appreciation from someone!
As I dressed and returned to the waiting room, I began to make the slew of phone calls that would have a domino effect on so many people. I HATE canceling shows. I hate it. I end up letting down so many people. In a regular office job, you can call your boss, and tell him/her you're sick. A few people at work may have to work a little harder to make up for your absence, but it's okay. In the past, with my job, when I called out sick, I got threats for law suits. Calling out sick in this career, disappoints the managers, the road managers, the promoters, the clubs and most importantly- the fans. It's a big loss money-wise, and I can do nothing about it. The doctor gave me the proper paperwork, and I began to walk to the hospital a block away. I called my road manager and began to call my family, the Quiet One, and anyone else I could think of that I knew would be affected. Iris, from my doctor's office, called my cell phone to tell me she had notified the doctor on call at the hospital. I am so grateful to her. If she had not done that favor for me, and got me to take that ultra sound, I have to confess I know I would've waited until Monday so I could do my shows.
At the hospital, I had a deja-vu. Last time I was in this emergency room, I had optic neuritis, went blind in my right eye, and spent a week in the hospital before finally being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I prayed so hard, "Lord, thank you for putting me in the right hands. Thank you that we now know something is wrong, and whatever we need to do to fix it, will be done. But please, I don't want surgery. Please." The feeling of uncertainty was just too familiar in that moment. The Quiet One was rushing to get to the hospital, and my relatives kept calling to see if I was okay. In the meantime, I did what everyone does in the emergency room: wait, wait, wait all the while in pain, pain, pain.
I was called into a room where my vitals were taken. My blood pressure was through the roof - something that had NEVER happened before. No fever. And I was brought immediately to a room and asked to undress & put on a gown. The room was freaking freezing, with an enormous spotlight hanging from the ceiling. All sorts of unknown instruments were sitting on the table, and it was a bit scary. After almost 20 minutes a nurse walked in, set up an i-v & took urine and blood samples. Ten minutes later a doctor came in and did a quick pelvic exam and told me we were going to set up for a CAT scan.
Twenty minutes later, I'm transferred to a different room, where I'm given a nasty orange concoction, and told I have to drink the entire thing. "You have to have a full bladder when you go for the scan." AGAIN? I have to hold it AGAIN?! Ughhhhhhh!!!! But I nodded my head. The Quiet One arrived, looking so handsome. I wonder if he knows how great it was to see him. I hope I made it clear. He's a good man. Here it is, Friday night...he could be anywhere but in the hospital. He is so supportive, kind, considerate and he makes me feel tremendously loved. About 10 minutes later, a gentleman came to let me know he'd be coming to get me for the scan in ten minutes....an hour and fifteen minutes later, I was desperately searching for someone to permit me to use the bathroom. I finally found a nurse, who gave me a look with major attitude, "Oh, no you're NOT using the bathroom!" I looked at her like, "Oh yeah? Watch me!" I won. She laughed and said, "Okay. But I didn't give you permission." I was finally brought to the CAT scan room, where I was asked to drink more Ghetto-Chemical-Tang again! Hey, you have to do what you have to do.
I was brought into a room that gives the Alaskan temperature competition. I was injected with iodine, contrast, I had been asked to drink chemicals that probably made me glow in the dark. I had been poked and prodded, I felt like an animal...just about. But I have to say that everyone was kind to me. Forty-five minutes later, the doctor came to let me know that the good news was I won't need surgery. He told me I had a ruptured ovarian cyst, and because it had already ruptured there was nothing left to do but bear the pain (he gave me meds) and allow my body to heal itself.
It was raining outside. It was close to eleven at night. I was in the hospital for about eight hours! The Quiet One brought me home. My stomach was throbbing, and my insides were distended... or should I say it appeared extended out to the next corner. So, a small ovarian cyst came into my life, ruptured, and made my life for the last 72 hours painful, uncertain and scary. The Quiet One said that God poked me, and is trying to tell me to slow down. Hm. Now there's a thought. God poking me. LOL. He poked a bit too hard, I think. But perhaps he's right. I've been running around taking care of everyone, worried about everything and neglecting my well-being. So, thank God! I didn't need surgery. Thank God the promoters were not angry and the fans understood. Thank God it wasn't more serious. Thank God I have a wonderful family, the Quiet One, and great friends who were all ready to do whatever necessary to be by my side. Thank you, Lord, for poking me...did you have to poke so hard? A ruptured cyst...who would've thunk it? Wow...a small thing gave me a big pain in the...
The lesson, ladies and genlemen, is that when you have pain, listen to your body. That small pain that pokes, prods, throbs, stings, whatever...is trying to tell you that something is simply not right. Listen to it, and don't make God poke you!!! LOL. Heres' a link in case you'd like to know the symptoms for future reference: http://www.medicinenet.com/ovarian_cysts/article.htm