About Me

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Timeline of a Ruptured Ovarian Cyst

There is a surprising lack of detailed information about what to expect with a ruptured ovarian cyst online. There are a lot of technical articles, but actual nitty-gritty details are missing. What follows is my personal account of symptoms with my best guess of what was going on in red, I won't promise this is what everyone experiences and the details are not always ladylike, but here goes:

  • Around the first of August, I started feeling ick. Not awful, but just a little off. I wasn't able to eat as much as normal and felt slightly nauseous, fatigued, and mildly achy. This went on for about two weeks. Cyst is growing, starting to press on stomach and nerves.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 11 about 10:00 pm I had horrible body aches, starting in my lower back all of a sudden. I went from just fine to a mildly sore back to all over, hurts-to-move pain over the course of about a half hour. I took some ibuprofen and heated up a rice sock and went to bed. Cyst begins leaking fluid.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 12 I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I was taking 800 mg of ibuprofen at a time just to be able to function. My appetite was next to nothing, the nausea was worse, and diarrhea started. Thankfully, it isn't the "have to get to the bathroom immediately" kind, just very, very loose stools when I do go.
  • Thursday, Aug. 13 I felt somewhat better, but still needed ibuprofen and rice socks.
  • Friday, Aug. 14 I felt okay, just a little achy until about 5:00 pm when my right shoulder and neck really started hurting and the pain seemed to move down my right side until my whole right side hurt. I wasn't strong enough to hold my toddler. About 8:00 pm the pain under my right rib was so bad that I couldn't sit upright without wincing. by 10:00 pm I had to stay completely still on my left side in order to avoid screaming out in pain. I thought I had somehow broken a rib without knowing it. Breathing was hard and a deep breath was impossible. I tried laying in a hot bath and having the hot shower hitting my back and side and nothing helped. Ibuprofen and rice socks didn't touch the pain. I promised my husband that if it wasn't better by afternoon I would go to the urgent care. Cyst fully ruptured, fluid spreads throughout my abdomen, mostly under my right rib.
  • Saturday, Aug 15 I woke up as bad as I went to bed. I absolutely hate going to the doctor, but I didn't even wait for my husband to make me go, I managed a shower, made a pb&j for the toddler, got her dressed and headed to the urgent care. I was in so much pain that the doctor there asked why I hadn't gone to the ER instead. I still thought that maybe I had pulled or broken something and wasn't sure it was ER worthy. He said he would call over to the ER to tell them I was coming and that he was certain it was my gallbladder. I dropped baby off with Daddy at work. When I arrived, the on call doctor and the nurse, who had recently had her gallbladder removed, both agreed with the urgent care doctor that it was definitely my gallbladder. They started an IV with Demerol that provided some relief and drew labs to determine liver function and white blood count and lots more. At least only under the rib and  neck still hurt. The second dose of Demerol took away the pain in my neck, but I still couldn't lay flat without pain. The labs came back normal which confused the doctor because I presented with such classic gallbladder symptoms. She ordered a CT scan, still expecting it to be my gallbladder but wanted the CT to be able to check the entire abdomen. All this time, the only question anyone needed answered was whether I needed emergency surgery or could wait until Monday. The CT came back showing a 1 cm hemorrhagic cyst on my left ovary and a 2 cm hemorrhagic cyst on my right ovary as well as evidence of a ruptured cyst and fluid in the abdomen. The pain apparently was from fluid going under and around the gallbladder and irritating the nerves around there making the pain mimic gallbladder pain. They sent me home with a prescription for tramadol to take every four hours and told me I could also take ibuprofen with it if needed. Basically, I just need to manage the pain until the fluid is reabsorbed. I came home and tried to rest covered in rice socks and was able to sleep a bit, but still couldn't lay any way but on my left side without significant pain.
  • Sunday, Aug. 16 Still significant pain, but manageable with the tramadol/ibuprofen/rice sock combo, very little appetite, mild nausea, and diarrhea. My abdomen is rumbly, almost feels like pregnant kicking. Now we have added insatiable thirst and severe fatigue. I could barely get out of bed without needing a nap. Pain meds are working, but causing the additional symptoms, fluid is being absorbed.
  • Monday, Aug. 17 I finally can lay any way I want and sometimes the pain is mild enough that I only take one tramadol (instead of two) and no ibuprofen. I'm still using the rice socks constantly and still feel rumbly. I am absolutely exhausted, still with mild nausea and diarrhea. I have a horrible headache. I took tramadol at 11:00 pm and didn't need to get up for it during the night.
  • Tuesday, Aug 18 I finally feel human again. I haven't had any pain meds since last night and only have mild pain, similar to light menstrual cramps. The exhaustion and thirst are mostly gone and I was able to eat some breakfast without feeling sick. Still with the diarrhea, though. Most of the fluid has been absorbed.

I would love to hear if this experience is similar to anyone else's. I don't know how long until I am back to 100%, but I feel close. I am a little concerned about the other two cysts and just hope that they go away on their own or at least rupture now while they are small. No one seems to know why this happened or how to prevent it other than taking birth control pills to stop ovulation, which isn't an option for me because extra hormones and mental illness don't go well together, at least for me. I will update this if anything else noteworthy happens.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How I Aeropress

Doug found the Aeropress for me a year or so ago and I resisted buying it because I was happy with my french press method and  thought it was just a gimmick. My mother-in-law got me one for Christmas and I was super excited to try it (although still skeptical that it would see long term usage.)
Some people are a little nutso about theirs! LOL

Yes, a competition! (click picture for link)

I am as surprised as anyone that, now half a year later, I am still using it every day! I initially didn't like that I had to make one cup at a time, but I've now made some adjustments to fix that snag. Making one cup at a time still yields the best tasting cup, but the method I'll describe is a tremendous improvement over drip, tied with a french press, and infinitely better than a Keurig.

I use the inverted method, which eliminates dripping during brewing time.The numbers below follow the picture as you would read starting at the top left. 
  1. Heat 28 ounces of water to 180*-190*
  2. Add 4 tablespoons (59g) quality freshly ground coffee (fairly fine grind), a bit more if your beans aren't terribly flavorful
  3. The grounds go to about the 3 level
  4. Add enough water to fill and stir gently
  5. When it looks like this, stir another 5ish seconds, about 15 seconds total, top off with as much water as will fit
  6. Slightly wet the filter to make it stick to the lid, I do this as I pour the remaining water into an insulated carafe (my old Thermos french press)
  7. Screw on the lid and let brew 3-4 minutes
  8. Flip over and slowly press the plunger down into carafe (as an aside, ladies - if you happen to have a diastasis recti or are trying to remember to do your kegels, this is a great time to do your exercises)
  9. Enjoy delicious coffee; Batman mug not required, but adds to the experience.

Right now I use the paper filters that came with the press, but when they run out, I will probably get a stainless steel, reusable filter to let through some of the oils that are trapped by paper that I miss from the french press.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Picture Puzzles

I came up with an easy and fun craft for Christmas presents this year. I even think the recipients really liked them! I admit to having made things that I loved making, only to realize that not everyone actually wanted them - oops.

I saw a backsplash made with 4 in ceramic tiles that had art work sealed onto them and that got me thinking about what else could go on tiles. Here is what I came up with:

Picture Puzzles! 

Look at those adorable kids!

We were at Lowe's a while back and I saw these tiles:

and they kind of struck me as something crafty, but I didn't really have any project in mind. Then I saw the backsplash project and something clicked.

  • Step 1: Get the backing and all the glue off the tiles.

There were two different types of glue on the back of the tiles, one was Elmers-y and came right off by rubbing or with the nail brush after a few minutes soaking in warm water. The other was more hot glue-y and was a pain in the butt to remove, a knife, patience, and very soggy fingers finally got it off. The packages of tiles looked identical so I couldn't find a way to tell which glue was used.

  • Step 2: Facebook stalk your recipients or find photos in a more conventional way. Print the pictures on regular paper, not photo paper or it won't adhere well. 
  • Step 3: Measure your tiles and crop your photos. My 1" tiles were actually 7/8" each. This is super important to get exact or your tile will show and the puzzle will look weird when assembled. Mine were mostly 4.4" square which is 25 tiles.
  • Step 4: After you measure, mark a piece of tape with the measurements to act as a guide on your paper cutter or on a piece of paper. We tried several ways of doing this, but I think the marks on the paper cutter worked best.


  •  Step 5: Mod Podge and then Mod Podge and then Mod Podge some more. If you hate brush strokes then lightly sand between each coat, but I don't mind them, so no sanding here. Use the Mod Podge to glue the individual squares to the tiles and then let it dry about an hour. Then start top coating. Let each layer dry most of a day (12-24 hours). I decided the magic number was 4 top coats and two on the sides.

  •  Step 6: If you are making 15 of these things, plan to have your table become craft central for a week or so. (The cups in the middle are bath salt scrubs for my Book/Wine club - epsom salt, baking soda, sea salt, coconut oil, lavender oil and a couple drops of food coloring)

  • Step 7: To be kind, make a copy of the photo to be used as a guide and number the back of each tile so they can be put back easily if you aren't in a puzzle doing mood.

Overall, this is an inexpensive and pretty low skill level project, the only hard part is being patient between coats.