If you don't like medical stuff, particularly "ladies" medical stuff, you may want to skip ahead to the picture. You've been warned.
When I got sick last year, it was all because of my evil uterus. Not only that, but it was in cahoots with my Lupus. Of course, I didn't know that at the time, but none the less...
I was admitted to the hospital with a perforated appendix in the beginning of August. The surgeon estimated it had been that way for 7 - 10 days. I just thought I had a stomach bug and somehow held it together at work for a week.
It turns out that if your appendix perforates and you wait too long, the infection can turn into a sticky, gooey blob called a phlegmon. It is extraordinarily risky to operate when that happens. In my case, the doctors decided to postpone surgery, admit me and put me on IV antibiotics. The plan was to go home in a week with more antibiotics and a couple more weeks, when the infection went away, remove the appendix. I bet you didn't even know that was an option. I sure didn't.
Fast forward another month and I'm getting sicker, not better. I went in for a STAT CT scan with assurance from the doctor that he'd call me as soon as he had the results, no matter what. It was a 35 minute drive home from his office (which fortunately has a CT in the same building) and my phone rang as I was walking in the door. He had some interesting news. The infection had spread to my lymph nodes and appeared to have settled in my liver. Or I had liver cancer, but probably it's the infection. He let me know that the hospital had a bed for me was awaiting my arrival so that I could immediately be started on IV antibiotics again and I was all signed up for a biopsy in the morning. My hubs and I packed a bag and headed out. I had absolutely no idea how long I was going to be in the hospital this time.
The radiology department declined to do the biopsy - they said that based on my CT scan from a month earlier, there was no way it was cancer (yay!) and that the spots were too deep to get to without causing unnecessary damage. At that point, I got a brand new type of specialist; Infectious Diseases. The surgeon wanted to do the appendectomy right away to prevent the further spread of infection, but my shiny new ID doctor convinced him to wait a couple of days for her new antibiotic regimen to kick in. I also had to stop all Lupus meds. Turns out that between the methotrexate, plaquenil, and the Lupus itself, my immune system was not working. As a matter of fact, my white blood cell count was completely normal the entire time.
I was in the hospital for 8 days that time, with the appy on day 6. This time, I got to go home with a PICC line so I could self-administer IV antibiotics 3 times a day for the next 5 weeks. I got to be a pretty good nurse!
About 2 weeks after I was discharged, I went to see the surgeon for follow up. He said I was doing well but was very shocked to find the cause of my appendicitis was endometrial tissue. I repeat ENDOMETRIAL tissue. My uterus had invaded another organ. He said it was only the 2nd time he'd seen it in 20 years. Sigh. Off to make an appointment with the gyno, I suppose.
Stage 4 Endometriosis was the diagnosis. It went well with the adenomyosis I found out about several years before. I'd know for a while that the uterus had to go, but this sealed the deal. It was time. Scheduled for the Monday after Thanksgiving and off I went.
On the day of the hysterectomy there were a couple of emergencies so we didn't have an OR for a while. My surgery got delayed for several hours so I didn't actually get to my room until around 1 am. I knew that I had spent too much time at that hospital when the anesthesiologist walked in earlier that day and said "Good to see you again! I did your appendectomy." It got really bad when they wheeled me into the room and the nurse walked in to do her check-in paperwork and said "what the hell are you doing here?" because she had been my nurse both of the previous times I had been admitted. She was actually my favorite.
This pretty much sums it up for me:
So now, after years of having my PMDD under control, I am suffering from the irrational non-sense once again, oh, and the cramps, because when you have stage 4 endometriosis, it still swells at that "time" and makes everything it's attached to hurt.
"But wait," you say, "you had a hysterectomy! You shouldn't have that problem anymore!!"
Alas, the ovaries turned out to be just a mean as the uterus.