God, Fate & Drugs.

by Brittany on December 29, 2010

in For Serious, may or may not be a medical emergency

First, before anything else, I have to say thank you to my amazing Doctor, Stephen,  who I know reads this blog, and I am sure regrets, on an hour by hour basis, the fact that I have his cell phone number, but he looks past all my psychotic texts because we are friends and he knows it’s not my fault that I am an absolute hazard to myself.   So thank you, truly, for helping me every second of every day, and for not blocking my number.

In nine days, I went from physically healthy to not.  At all.

The biggest issue I have been facing is pain.  I’ve never been in constant, debilitating pain that I didn’t understand.

When I was 18, I shut my finger in a solid oak door, and it hurt for 2 weeks, my nail fell off and my finger smelled like dead animal.  I understood the process, the pain made sense.

This was different.

So, basically, we all agreed (by we, I mean, me, my doctor and my percoset bottle) that I am having pain.  But, no one quite understood why it’s getting worse, or why it’s moving around to fun areas like…my liver.

Since things were taking a turn for the worst, and the ER reports where sketchy at best, having been written by doctor at 4am who was either completely wasted, or just finished having sex with someone, I was sent for some further scans of my liver and ovaries, the Monday after Christmas.

Which basically meant I spent the whole holiday fearing the worst.

And guess what, cancer has like the highest google page rank, ever.  Even when I went to look up relief for more obscure symptoms, the first thing to come up was always OMG YOU MOST LIKELY HAVE CANCER CLICK HERE IF YOU LIKE CRYING IN THE SHOWER AND YOU  NEVER WANT TO SLEEP AGAIN.

So that, coupled with the obvious issue of being in a lot of pain that was slowly taking over different organs in my body, was a recipe for mental disaster.

Now, getting your liver scanned comes with the fun perk of having to fast prior to the test.

Why did you write the phrase “remember your liver” in all caps, with ten exclamation points, in black sharpie, on the back of the gas bill and tape it to the fridge?

Because Andy, I am fasting for my test, and I always end up stumbling out of bed, into the kitchen, in a slumbery haze, drinking orange juice straight from the container, and that would ruin everything.

Can we leave the sign up then, it grosses me out when you do that.

Andy is a sissy about backwash.

So anyways, I made it through my fast, went in for my scan, and even though I know the technicians aren’t supposed to tell you anything, I figured, I could small talk her enough to get a reading on whether or not she felt like she was looking at something not good.

I was like, oh hey, so this is my liver, then? And, she was like, yup.  And I was like, wow, livers are so cool looking, do all livers have those spots?  And, she was all, uh huh.

She was a brick wall.

I had a three hour gap between scans, a time which I was to use filling my bladder and, you know, holding it.  Which should be a cinch for me, considering I make it to the bathroom in time almost never under completely normal circumstances, so I imagine this whole, hold 32 ounces of fluid inside me for over an hour when I am hunched over in pain, was going to go awesome.

And by awesome, I mean, everyone’s going to get wet.

But, I did it, and when I waddled into the exam room, laid on the gurney, and she pressed the ultrasound wand to my stomach, and I didn’t squirt urine on the wall across the room, I was so proud.

Until she told me she told me she couldn’t see what she needed, and asked me to go empty my bladder so she could do the scan transvaginally.

I was furious the whole six minutes I was peeing.

So, I come out of the bathroom to find her all, are you allergic to latex, and putting this giant condom on this 14 foot long wand, that was not at all awkward shoving into my vagina with her right next to me, so that she can then take over and move it around inside me.

It was one creepy guy with a mustache away from a porno.

A fetish one, because the pain of her being in there, coupled with the force of her jabbing around, made me realize OMG THERE IS STILL PEE INSIDE ME.

So, instead of focusing on the screen and trying to get her to tell me things, I spent the whole 20 minutes trying not to pee on her hand.

I was so thankful when she was done, and just as I was heading into the bathroom to put my pants back on, she informed me she had to redo my liver scan, because the woman who had done it that morning got confused about what organs look like, and accidentally scanned my gall bladder.  Not my liver.

Could this day get any better?

Andy picked me up at the door and I cried the whole way home.

I knew something was not right with my body, and I just really wanted answers so people would believe me.

A few hours later I got the phone call.

You aren’t going to believe this, but I know why you still so ill.

Really?  Is it really bad?

Well, you still have two fluid filled cysts on your right ovary and it’s enlarged, but the cysts are non cancerous, so we’ll watch them.  And, you have Fatty Liver Disease-

Seriously, with the fat stuff right now?

No, it’s a disease that effects the lipids in your liver, you can get it from drinking too much, ahem, but aside from discomfort, as long as you don’t have Hepatitis C, it’s not a huge deal. (Mental note, google symptoms for Hepatitis C)  But, the crazy thing is, that moron who messed up scanning your liver this morning, she saved you, turns out, your gallbladder is littered with gallstones, we need to get that out right awayIt’s why, after your cyst burst, you kept getting sicker and in increasing pain. We’re lucky she caught it.

It’s like my blind cousin Rich threw darts at a picture of my body and was like, LET’S MAKE ALL THESE ORGANS EXPLODE!  (This is relevant because he has anger issues, and also likes to set things on fire.)

I meet with my surgeon today.  I am so glad to have answers.  Answers that, while totally surprising, are not as bleak or unfixable as we feared.

I don’t know who intervened. God, prayer, fate, a mislabeled Ultrasound Tech Anatomy & Physiology book, whatever, but, thank you.

{ 95 comments… read them below or add one }

Kendra December 29, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Got my gallbladder out almost 3 years ago. Hopefully you don’t find out that you are allergic to the steri-strips (bandages) they use to close the small incisions. I was and it was a horrible 7-10 days while I waited to take them off without causing a gaping wound. (still have scars by the way- from the steri-strips- you can barely see the incisions!)

Also, please know that your “bowel habits” will likely be changed forever. Not to get too gross, but my frequency and consistency is forever changed. My doc says it is probably permanant. The best way to describe it is waaaay looser!

Best of luck!

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amanda December 29, 2010 at 6:46 pm

So glad they figured out what was going on – and so quickly! I am really glad for you (although ovary cysts and gallstones aren’t really anything to cheer about – but you know what I mean).

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Dianne December 29, 2010 at 7:02 pm

I am so glad you figured out what was going on and it is treatable. I had similar pain and problems a year ago right after my son was born, they thought it was gallstones but after a lot of scans and tests I found out I have cancer. I was crying as I read this and have happy tears to know you will be okay. I enjoy reading your blog and enjoy the laughs.

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Jill December 29, 2010 at 7:26 pm

What a relief. I am not sure what I would do without this damn blog. It seriously is the best.

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AJ December 29, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Glad you’re okay and hope you”re feelimg better soon!

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TDM80 December 29, 2010 at 7:36 pm

HURRY! And, BOO! But at least now you have answers, a plan, and hopefully the peace of mind to let you sleep again.

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The Retired One December 29, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Well, they lasso’d the reason for your pain, and it is quite common…and NO mention of the big C-A….so this will now be over and you will be relieved…get those sick gallstones OUT and you will feel like a new woman!!!

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kittycat December 29, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Im sure you have heard this a million times already,
but
I totally get where you are at.
I have lupus.
It took them (no freakin joke) over a year to figure out what was wrong with me. All the scans, and x rays and blood work. still in horrible pain. my whole body.
but yet they couldnt figure it out.
I thought I was going crazy.
When I finally got a diagnosis I was so relieved just to have an answer that when It finally sunk in what my fate was I was devestated.

I have lived with it for 9 years. Which is my entire marriage.

I feel your pain. and I am soooo sorry you have to go thru this.
I will be praying for you.
I know its silly to say,but do not think about it.
try and do anything but analyze what your going thru.

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Nicki January 1, 2011 at 7:34 am

I have Lupus too and it took them 4 years to diagnose even though I walked into my dermatologist the first day I found a huge bald spot 4 years prior to diagnosis crying, “I have Lupus!” I had a feeling I had it and they said, “No….let’s find out what you are allergic to.” 4 years later, 2 blood tests and some skin biopsies later…”you have Lupus.”

I knew I was fine mentally but my husband and kids kept telling me I was depressed because I would sleep and complain all day. I couldn’t convince him this was physical, not psychological. I am a psych major, I am HAPPY, I am just so effin tired and everything hurts! Soooo glad when I was diagnosed and I was able to yell out a big fat “told you so!!!” Then I cried for a week cuz I have Lupus.

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AmazingGreis December 29, 2010 at 10:37 pm

I have no doubt that you will come through this with flying colors!! Will be keeping you in my thoughts and sending happy thoughts your way!! XOXO Let me know if you need anything!

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Courtney Paige December 29, 2010 at 11:01 pm

I am very happy to know that it’s not the Big C b/c I would have been crying over the fact that I was in tears reading this. Happy tears. You know, from completely understanding what you are saying about trying to hold in your pee, tears. I used to have a bladder of granite. Now I’m lucky if it’s as strong as wet piece of paper. Damn kids.

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B Harper December 29, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Whoa, get on that clean bill of health – where else will I read about muskrats, weak bladders and Gap returns that smell like a dead whore’s vagina all in one place?

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Sarah December 30, 2010 at 4:09 am

Ohh, the Gallbladder. My old nemesis. I got mine out in 2008, and yeah. Like Kendra said, things inside me have definitely changed. But you get used to it after a little while. And it’s so refreshing to NOT have that pain in my life anymore.

Hope you feel better soon. And hey, thanks for being so awesome!

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Mary December 30, 2010 at 9:22 am

OMG! I just went through this with my step father. He was in pain, thought it was the gall bladder, went to the er and they found a mass on his liver. My mom was convinced it was cancer and it was the worst month up until after a million tests and scans they found it was just fatty scar tissue on his liver. Not Cancer. But he is having his Gall Bladder removed FINALLY next week!
I have a cyst on my ovaries that they are “watching” also. It hurts REALLY bad during “that time”. Did yours bother you also before it exploded? Now I am freaked that one day it is going to explode!

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Brittany December 30, 2010 at 9:57 am

Ok let’s get comfy with eachother super fast so NO, prior to my burst, I never had pain that I noticed nor did I realize I even HAD cysts. The burst coincided with my ovulation apparently. I am now on my period as of yesterday, and YES OMG they now hurt. Like, even they kinda hurt through my pain meds, which I find astounding.

I literally had no warning prior to the burst, it went from no pain to extreme unbearable pain in about 15 minutes.

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Anjie January 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I’ve had them a total of 3 times now, and I never even know I have them until they rupture. When they do, I usually think they are cramps at first, until the cramps turn into stabby awesomeness and I’m laying on the bathroom floor, trying not to move. But then I have to because I refuse to barf all over myself. Add cold sweats, extreme lightheaded feeling and blurred vision going into shock, yay), and that’s how each of mine has been.
In fact, the first time, I thought I was having an allergic reaction to an antibiotic I has started that day, or that I was pregnant and didn’t know it and was losing the baby. HOPEFULLY yours will just dissolve and be gone. I really wish that for you.

ps I’ve never had a baby, so I don’t know what labor feels like, but I hear cysts are much more painful?

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Mary December 30, 2010 at 10:12 am

For 3 years I keep getting dysplasia on my pap test, then go through colposcopies, biopsies, ultrasounds (where they found a cyst) and then they tell me they should go away on their own, come back in 3 months, and I do but they never go a way! I have not gone in a year because I am so sick of this. I went to another doc for a second opinion and they found the same thing and sent me back over to my ObGyn. I have been told that even if they remove the cells they will just come back, they are not the kind that need to be removed but yet every pap makes me go though all this BS and pain, meanwhile my pain gets worse with every passing period. I am going to call my dr and schedule yet another follow up and try to strong arm him into doing SOMETHING besides watch it NOT go away!
So once your gall bladder is out should you be ok? Are they going to do anything further about your cysts? Crazy, I have been reading your blog for months and here I am acting like we are BFF’s. I swear I am not that creepy in real life. This post is just so parallel to what is going on in my life I just had to speak up!

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Mishi December 30, 2010 at 11:12 am

We are really so much alike. For real. I could have written this except for the fact that i haven’t had any scans, haven’t drank from the OJ jug, or had major pain. But, the cancer thing? Fucking Google.

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Julie Ann Grakowsky December 30, 2010 at 11:40 am

Prayers for you, hunny!!! Feel better soon!

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Summer December 30, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Woo Hoo No “C”! Sounds like an answer to a prayer to me, that you would get the silly ultrasound tech. SO glad she saw what she did and you can get some relief after surgery!
Oh and as far as the transvag ultrasound… I’ve had three. All ‘put in place’ by the tech, who after supposedly doing her job for 30 years should be over the embarrassing quick peek of making sure she’s headed in the right direction… awkward.

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triplezmom December 30, 2010 at 3:48 pm

So of course I’m so sorry you’re going through this and I hope they get you all fixed up soon and the pain goes away and all that. But wow, that was the funniest piece of writing about disease and horrible scans that I have ever read.

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domestic extraordinaire December 30, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Thinking of you and thankful for the crazy first tech who messed up but saved you!

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Amanda December 30, 2010 at 10:41 pm

So glad it wasn’t the worse case. I’ve had cysts.. and they hurt like hell.. wincing for you… Hoping for a swift and speedy recovery.. and lots of fun pain pills :)

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Peaches December 30, 2010 at 10:53 pm

GREAT BALLS OF TONY DANZA. Lord almighty, your poor body must be feeling like a science experiment. With legs. And the squirts. As someone who cringes at the thought of getting simple shots…I can’t even imagine what you must be feeling like.
Well, just the same, I’m delighted to hear surgery will bring some fast-paced relief though…Well, not fast enough of course, but it beats the shit out of some other alternatives.
Keep us posted and take care baby girl. Blessings to you and yours in the new year!!

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Lee December 31, 2010 at 7:05 am

Had my gall bladder out when I was 39 (I’m now 57), after bouts of excruciating pain. Doctor told me gall stones/issues are frequent in the 4F’s. Female, Forty, Fertile. I asked what the 4th F was. He hemmed and hawed, then finally said overweight. I said, don’t you mean fat?

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Glen December 31, 2010 at 9:51 am

proper nasty – but at least it all is getting sorted – well done to the blind scanner! Hope your New Year brings less pain

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QandleQueen December 31, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Ugh! I know that horrible pain – much worse than childbirth! Glad they caught it and it wasn’t something horrible-er.

Stopping by to wish you a happy new year!

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Brandy December 31, 2010 at 4:42 pm

I hope your surgery goes well and you are back in no time enlightening us with your
witty stories. They always have a way of making me laugh and cry.
Happy New Year to you and your family! May 2011 bring you lots of joy and alot less pain!!

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Bee January 1, 2011 at 3:01 am

Just finished reading and I wanted to send some positive stuff your way. I just had my gall bladder removed about two weeks ago and for all the fear I had leading up to it, everyone took amazing care of me. Nurses and surgeons were friendly and very quick to respond to any of my needs. It’s an outpatient procedure which means you’ll be going home the same day you go in. The only bitch is the fasting before you go in.

I think it’s important to note (along with what others have said) that recovery can take a while. Personally I had scar tissue for the surgeons to deal with from prior incidents but that didn’t change anything for my actual procedure. Your doctor/surgeon will probably give you all kids of warnings but don’t let them scare you (they’re not trying to believe it or not). They HAVE to say those things. I’m a poster child for problems and I flew through it just fine.
Keep in mind that you should work on coming off the pain medication slowly and it takes a good month to six weeks before you can even attempt to run around like you might normally with your kids. It’s not that something awful will happen but your body can be in quite a weak state as it recovers so pushing yourself isn’t the best idea. I’m two weeks in and just going to see tron busted my ass. I got very dizzy and felt like passing out. Not something anyone wants to deal with.
I know your surgeon and doctor can and will give you all the details. Don’t be afraid to ask them more questions or call or whatever. That’s part of the job. (though it seems that isn’t a problem)
Best of luck! You’ll be fine :)
&
Happy New Year

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Nicki January 1, 2011 at 7:28 am

I am so glad you found out what the problems were and they are all fixable!

Dear God,
Keep Brittany strong during her surgery and recovery. Please guide the surgeons’ hands as they work to fix her. Thank you, God, for helping Brittany and her doctors find answers so quickly and for a diagnosis that was so much better than the one she feared. Please God, keep Andy strong as he helps her recover and please keep Brittany healthy for a very very long time.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

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Bitchin' Amy January 1, 2011 at 11:34 am

Wow. You did an amazing job of making all the hospital angst hilarious.

Good luck and I hope you have a speedy recovery from the surgery. I went through a health scare earlier this year, too… and my reaction was the same. This SUCKS, but it’s not cancer and it is mostly fixable, so it will all be okay. :)

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Jen Kuntz January 1, 2011 at 1:42 pm

wishing you all the best through your recovery, babe! Lots of hugs, prayers, well wishes, and copious amounts of HOPE and COMFORT to see you through.

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Nanette January 2, 2011 at 2:34 am

Sending you lots and lots of healthy thoughts!

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midlifenatalie January 2, 2011 at 11:48 am

After reading this and several other things around the web I’m thinking I need to go in and have a complete body x-ray. My only issue is that I don’t have time or money to go to the doctor because I have very real imaginary symptoms. I wonder if they can see shit like that on those body scanners they have at the airports. I’m traveling soon so I’ll just ask my traveling buddy to look over it closely. You know…the whole two birds with one stone thing.

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AmandaJo January 3, 2011 at 8:29 am

Happy clapping my ASS OFF over here!

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Jolene January 3, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Hi Brittany~ I have just finished reading all of your posts. I am a crazy person. I have laughed with you (at you ;) ) and I have cried with you. Thank you so much for being awesome! I am glad that there is an easy fix for your pain.

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Qoddess January 3, 2011 at 1:53 pm
Beanie January 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm

So I squirted out a baby and apparently forgot how freaking hilarious you are.

“I was furious the whole six minutes I was peeing.”

You slay me.

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Kelli D January 3, 2012 at 4:41 am

I had my gallbladder out when I was 19 back in 2009. Luckily (ha) I only had symptoms of it twice. Once I was out of town, so I convinced everyone I was fine, and it was probably food poisoning. I hate making a big deal out of pain, just in case it is nothing serious.The second time was a few days later when I got home, and I had to be convinced to go to urgent care (I am stubborn). Of course they sent me right to the ER where they took one look at me and admitted me (yay no waiting 5 hours). I went into the ER at 7am and by 6pm I was in surgery. Apparently, my pain was worse than I thought. They sad my gallbladder would have exploded in the next day or so. I only wish someone would have warned me about “body changes” before.

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