2.19.21 - poem

Updated: Mar 23

Two weeks ago, I almost died.

It's crazy for me to sit here and write this because thinking back on it makes my stomach lurch.

I went to the ER because I was having severe abdominal pain in my left hip area and it was radiating around to my lower back. I was certain it was a kidney infection or kidney stones, which are normal for my mother's side of the family. I had to wait several hours only to have the physician come in and say words I will never forget.

"The CT scan showed a mass on your left ovary." The word 'mass' was only accentuated with what looked like his two hands holding a large ball of dough.

And that's what this poem is about: that moment that everything around you slows to a crawl. Your brain is simply eclipsed by information that a poor human brain cannot process in a few seconds. I think I forgot to breathe. All I could think about was all the people that I loved. Their faces flashed in my mind and continued to do so even as the rest of the world caught up with me. The doctor walked out to tell EMS to transfer me to a hospital and I was just left in that hospital room, completely confounded.

I felt a hand wrap around mine and that's when I felt burning in my lungs. It was like I had been drowning and struggling to kick to the surface, and I finally reached air.

"I'm alive. I'm alive." It's all I could think for the next few hours. It was terrifying going to the other hospital. It was terrifying to wait for the resident physician to come and speak to me. It was terrifying waiting for surgery and then going into the actual procedure alone (mostly because of COVID-19 restrictions.)

To sum it all up so I don't bore you all, the doctors concluded: a cyst about the size of a grown man's fist had taken up residence on my fallopian tube, not on my ovary. They had no idea what was inside of it, but they were going to extract it with a robot. At first, there was the threat that they may have to take my ovary and fallopian tube as well (which, not gonna lie, was totally a devastating thought.) The bleeding I was experiencing was not a kidney stone/infection, nor a UTI, but ovarian torsion. The cyst had grown so massive that it had begun spinning my fallopian tube like it was wringing out a washcloth. As it twisted, it was cutting off blood flow to my ovary, which could have killed it.

And, in turn, would have killed me if the ovary had turned to an abscess or the cyst burst (it was pressing pretty hard into my pelvis.)

I had surgery on the 21st. I got to see pictures of the cyst (which turned out to be benign.) I came home and promptly contracted pneumonia. (I'm a winner, y'all. When I get sick, I go for the gold.) I have six fun incisions on my stomach. I'm sore as hell. I'm on my second day back to work.

None of it feels real.

Two weeks ago, I almost died.

But I'm alive. I'm alive.

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