Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Kidney stones and ovarian cysts

Two things I thought I would NEVER have to deal with. It looks like I am though, although I have not had the opportunity to have either confirmed by the doctor.

First, ovarian cysts: I am shocked at how common they really are. In my chats with other moms in the online community of Cafe Mom, I have discovered that a good majority of moms have dealt with them at one point in their lives. I haven't done much research yet on how common they are, but I do know that PCOS (aka poly-cyctic ovarian syndrome) just seems too common. As taken from the Mayo Clinic's website

The symptoms of ovarian cysts, if present, may include:
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Pelvic pain — a constant or intermittent dull ache that may radiate to your lower back and thighs
  • Pelvic pain shortly before your period begins or just before it ends
  • Pelvic pain during intercourse (dyspareunia)
  • Pain during bowel movements or pressure on your bowels
  • Nausea, vomiting or breast tenderness similar to that experienced during pregnancy
  • Fullness or heaviness in your abdomen
  • Pressure on your rectum or bladder that causes a need to urinate more frequently or difficulty emptying your bladder completely
Well, I have had pelvic pain constant on my right side ever since I was pregnant with my last child- since 2008 when he was born. It's been on and off with the intensity, but it's been constant. Lately however, I've noticed that it's more painful about the time I should get my period. I also have experienced the pressure on my bladder and need to urinate frequently and the fullness/bloating. Now I should mention that I also am on the 5 year Mirena IUD, so there was a concern that it may be embedded. When I finally went to the gyno, she didn't think that was the case, but based on my pain symptoms and the length of time I have been experiencing them, she highly suspected that I have ovarian cysts and recommended that I go get an ultrasound to confirm.  And of course, due to me, at the time, not having a job I couldn't afford to go and pay out of pocket $200+ for the ultrasound. So, now that I have a job and mediocre insurance, I hope to be able to go and get that ultrasound... although I may have to go see another gyno to have him/her refer me.

As for the second item- kidney stones. Oh boy... I have heard many many stories about people and the pain they have gone through with having them. Here is what I found from the Mayo Clinic's site on the symptoms
 A kidney stone may not cause symptoms until it moves around within your kidney or passes into your ureter — the tube connecting the kidney and bladder. At that point, these signs and symptoms may occur:
  • Severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs
  • Pain that spreads to the lower abdomen and groin
  • Pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity
  • Pain on urination
  • Pink, red or brown urine
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Persistent urge to urinate
  • Urinating more often than usual
  • Fever and chills if an infection is present
Pain caused by a kidney stone may change — for instance, shifting to a different location or increasing in intensity — as the stone moves through your urinary tract.
Ok... so this is what I am experiencing: severe pain in my lower back, enough that there are times I can hardly move. The pain is mainly in my lower back right now. The pain does come in waves and fluctuates in intensity, but mostly stays as a dull ache all day otherwise. I have had foul-smelling urine (sorry if that is TMI, but I have to address everything). The persistent urge to urinate I can't pinpoint as a symptom though because it's also a symptom of the ovarian cysts, as is the frequent urination. Then again, I do drink a lot of water sometimes... 
SO hopefully I can get to see a doctor this next week or two at the latest. I am worried and don't want to have to deal with anymore health problems. I have enough as it is alongside the depression that keeps coming in waves and being alone. :o(  IF you have any symptoms or have experience ovarian cysts or kidney stones, PLEASE leave a comment with what you went through and how you dealt with it! Let's try and help other people who are going through the same insecurity as I am!