“Ooh ouch,” I said to myself a little over two Tuesday mornings ago when I opened my eyes. “What the hell now?”
I’m getting accustomed to all that mid-life has thrown at me. All the changes in my body and face. But sometimes it’s just disconcerting. I don’t want to mid-life anymore. I just don’t.
I know. I know. What’s the alternative? Umm, how about being thirty again? Not possible? Well, in this day and age you’d think they’d come up with something to turn back time without all the work that goes into trying to turn back time.
Anyway, the pain seemed to be stemming from my left ovary. The pain was going down my leg and around to my back. It was not that bad as far as pains go. I mean, I child-birthed naturally and collected a few kidney stones in my lifetime so I’m no stranger to it.
It was just uncomfortable. Until it wasn’t. You know, just uncomfortable.
By the time I got to work, my pain went from about a three to a nine.
So, I decided it was time to pay the office nurse a visit. I always wondered if she was bored anyway so I figured I’d just be doing her a favor. So big of me, I know.
I threw back a couple of Advil and headed three flights down. By the time I got there, my face was white and I was fairly certain I was going to pass out. At that point, my pain was at an off-the-charts fifteen. I didn’t have to say a word. One look at me and the nurse knew something was wrong.
“Omg it’s my back holy cow it hurts so bad do you have a heating pad or maybe a knife to kill me with?”
Because she’s a nurse and knows more than I do she brought me an ice pack — not a knife — and within minutes the pain was gone. POOF! Vanished Into thin air.
But I still had pain in my ovary. I started thinking it must be a cyst that burst or something because diagnosing myself is what I do best. And because I am who I am (Hypochondriac Extraordinaire) I made an appointment with my gynecologist for the next morning.
A quick exam and it was determined I had a distended bowel. He couldn’t really see my ovary from all the distention, but he wanted me to come back again the next morning for an ultrasound.
I know. This is getting ridiculous, right? So, the next morning I went in for an ultrasound of the inside of my lady parts, then went right up to an examining room where I was to wait while my doctor read the results.
And wait. And wait. And wait some more.
Like, a really long time wait. Do you know what happens when Hypochondriac Extraordinaire sits in an examining room too long waiting for her doctor to read the results of her ultrasound?
“OMG I’m dying. He’s taking a long time because he is consulting with all the other doctors, confirming I have cancer and it’s gotten into my bones because surely that’s why my hips and back have been bothering me lately. I won’t see my child graduate college or even meet my grandchildren. I’m not ready. I want GRAND-BABIES!”
No, seriously. I’m not exaggerating. I had worked myself into such a state, I legitimately frightened myself so much I started to shake.
Finally, he returned. *GULP*
“Sorry it took so long.” Seriously? I nearly stroked out waiting to hear what I was dying from, and you’re sorry it “took so long?” Anyway, bottom line was he thought it was my bowels being all distended. You know, like he already said.
“Go see your gastro.”
PHEW. I’m not dying. At least not from ovarian cancer.
I go see my gastro. Who tells me I don’t have a distended bowel.
What now? I’m given something to alleviate the bloating even though I’m not really bloating, and sent home to wonder what’s really killing me.
Over the weekend, I suffered in silence and took stool softeners, all while my symptoms completely changed. I no longer had ovary pain, I no longer had abdominal discomfort. I now had pressure wayyyy downtown. Like the kind that makes you feel like you have to go pee. All.the.time.
As if I don’t already have that problem.
So, once again, Hypochondriac Extraordinaire self-diagnoses herself with a UTI — a Urinary Tract Infection.
What doctor is next? You got it. My urologist.
What’s funny about being mid-life is you have a specialist in practically every specialty and you have all of them on speed dial. Is it a perk? Yeah, maybe. I guess it’s all on how you look at it.
I go to my urologist who figured it out in two seconds. Kidney stones. And the pressure way downtown? Not a UTI. That is called “Tunnel Syndrome.” Which occurs when stones get stuck in the ureter.
Why I am telling all of you this? Does this get ranked under “Too Much Information?” No. No, it does not. I am telling you all this in case it happens to you. This is a public service announcement.
You’re welcome because I may have saved you a future office visit, anxiety, and $250.
Anyway, I was sent for a CT scan and an X-ray. Let’s just say I have enough radiation in me to be Radioactive Man for Halloween. Too bad I’m a two days late thinking of that one. Story of my life.
The diagnosis is right on the money. She was correct about the ureter, but she also discovered a stone in my right kidney which is weird because my right side was never an issue this entire time.
Prognosis? Wait it out. I’ve gotten good at that. Except now, I know I’m not dying.
So, to make a long story even longer, what was the moral of it all? There are a few. 1) Don’t self diagnose yourself; 2) Don’t panic, you may actually hurt yourself doing that although I didn’t really hurt myself but I’m sure I lost a year; and 3) drink water — lots and lots of water.