Ovarian "Chocolate" Cysts – yuck!

June 12, a new anniversary for me.Last April I scheduled an appointment with a new gynecologist who also happened to be an infertility specialist. I went in for the normal yearly check-up; got weighed (fun), changed into a paper towel (awesome), and sat on the wax papered table and waited for the Dr. to come in.

It was a usual appointment. She felt me up first – then laid me back, put my legs up, feet in cold metal stirrups, finger up the whoo-ha, pressing on stomach, etc, etc, etc. (yay for womanhood!)

Then she started in on the questions: What type of birth control do you use?

Me: uh – (pause) – uh, none? Pull-out method?

Dr: Are you trying to get pregnant?

Me: No. Soon. But this is pretty much the method I’ve always used and it’s ALWAYS WORKED FOR ME. [chuckle]

Dr: So you’ve never been pregnant?

Me: No. But I always pee after sex …and I heard that prevents [she's talking over me at this point]

Dr: I’m going to do another test on you …[she continues talking and explaining the test she's about to administer on me but all I can concentrate on is a very long plastic tool that she has in her hand and is now rolling down a condom onto]

Me: okay (nervous)

So, she inserts this condom covered long-ass plastic thingy up me and I finally realize [cuz I haven't been listening] that it’s a camera and she’s now showing me my ovaries on an old-school black with orange text monitor. [inner sonogram] One side hurts. The other, no pain at all. She’s pointing out some large growths on one of my ovaries (the side that was hurting) and honestly, I was so terrified at this point the only thing I could concentrate on was NOT CRYING.

I was then informed that the cysts COULD go away with my next menstral flow [this is where I started listening again -HOPE] – but most likely would have to be removed surgically – GULP. [back to fighting back tears] as she explained Laparoscopic Surgery to me.

She left the room [my bottom lip started quivering hard] and I grabbed some tissues (handfuls) to wipe the enormous amount of jelly that was now enveloping my nether regions and put my clothes back on. I walked out to the front desk and the lady says “So, when do you want to schedule your pre-op?” OMG OMG OMG…tears.

I ended up scheduling it but when I got home I called and canceled and decided to get a second opinion. I called Dr. Beaver (recommended by a friend and I just couldn’t pass up a gyno named Beaver) and set up an appointment with her and she sent me to St. Joe’s hospital in Burbank for a more in-depth condom covered plastic thingy up me test …to which they found – the same thing.

I was, at this point, pretty much in denial and clinging to the hope that the cysts would simply disappear with my next period …which, of course, I learned they did not at my pre-op appointment. They scheduled my surgery for June 12 and all acted like it was no big deal. It was only three incisions; one over each ovary for the tools and one down my belly button for the camera, and out of the hospital in a matter of hours.

The dreaded day came, I was so nervous and scared and I hate hospitals.

I signed in. Got my bracelet. Changed into a gown. And laid in the waiting room for like two hours before my Dr. came. Random nurses and the anesthesiologist would come over and insert needles in me and look at me all smiley and wide-eyed and talk to me like everything was normal – and I hate that shit. I informed them that I was sensitive to medication. I was really nervous and a bit weepy and had a tissue balled up in my right hand.

Finally my doctor shows up (late) and everyone kicks it into gear. A couple of nurses come over and fiddle with me a little more then they lift the table. I say bye to Pep and they wheel me into another room. Time for surgery.

T E R R O R

The room was really bright with huge lights and machines and like ten nurses and my doctor (who looked all coked up to me – but it was probably just the I’M RUNNING LATE LOOK). One nurse on each side of me strapped my wrists down out to my sides (like I was a crazy person) and everyone was speeding around doing their jobs. The anesthesiologist asked me if I was ready to party and I said yes …counted to ten (or two).

Fade to black.

I woke up in the room where I was originally waiting with the same tissue balled up in my right hand and looked at it like “Oh, you were with me the entire time”.

Then realized I felt like I was hit by a car. I felt sick more than anything and Pep told me that when they wheeled me out of the operating room I was complaining of pain so they shot me up with some hefty drugs (not listening to my confession about being truly sensitive to meds). I was so sick that I could not leave the hospital. They were trying to get me up to go to the bathroom (because I think I was free to leave if I just urinated) but I felt like I was gonna barf. I finally said I would try and got out of the bed with the help of nurses and dropped a nice thick bloody pad onto the floor on my way there – SO HOT! In the bathroom, I was sitting on the toilet with aid from the female nurse while the male nurse (and my husband) held the door open with a trash can in front of me while I dry heaved into it. No pee yet though. The nurses had to wheel me to another room because two hours after the surgery I was so sick still and they were closing up shop. We finally left the hospital at like 5pm and the ride home from Northridge to Sherman Oaks seemed to take one million years.

but it was over.

What they didn’t really mention (strongly enough) about the surgery and/or recovery is that to insert the tools they needed to use into my abdomen (navel and each ovary), they had to inflate it (me) first with Co2 to puff up my belly. When the Co2 is trying to escape your body (post surgery), it rises to your shoulders and stays there for days and is some of the worst pain I have ever felt. So now, there is pain (and blood) in your vag, pain on your ovaries, pain in your belly button, pain from the incisions, and pain in your shoulders and neck too!

Maybe I’m just a huge baby but recovery took over a week and they all made it sound like it was no big deal – it’s just Laparoscopic Surgery!

This surgery was supposed to make it easier to get preggo. In her words “We’ll clean you all out so you can have a baby” – Well, we’ve been “not pulling out” for about 8 months now and still no baby. It was supposed to make my cramps less painful – They are the same. And my period more regular – When my flow ends, it just starts up again after a week but much lighter – but doesn’t forget to throw in a few cramps. However, my stomach is flatter because I don’t have the cysts any more. I had no choice, they had to be removed – but this last year has definitely made me re-think children.

Happy one year anniversary to me – At least I’m at work today and not in the hospital. Wow, I never thought I’d rather be at work than somewhere else!


LA native & lifestyle blogger Maegan Tintari writes daily at ...love Maegan.com sharing beauty & style secrets, including fashion DIYs, how-to nail art manicures, hair tutorials, and home decorating ideas, as well as a look into her personal life with her husband and adorable dogs, two Frenchies & an old Pug in wheels. Here you will find her talking about their journey & battle with infertility & recent relocation up to the mountains by a lake in search of a better life.

21 Comments

  • scargosun

    June 12, 2008 | Reply

    Saw ya on SITS and could not resist to check out your blog as an example of a ‘saucy’ blog. It’s great! Give SITS a little more time. It just started and we’re all pretty new to it.

    BTW…where did you come up with the ‘chocolate covered’ part? ;)

  • Swirl Girl

    June 13, 2008 | Reply

    Congrats to your 1 year anniversary. I’ve had 4 surgeries and lost 3 organs in the past year and it does suck – big time.

    Saw you on SITS …

    I am one of the new Saucy Blog-rollers…I have no scrapbook skills and I try to be saucy (within reason) as my mom reads me and I don’t want to keel over at my sauciness…

    Swirl Girl

  • Mama's Losin' It

    June 13, 2008 | Reply

    Oh man! That sounds awful!! I’m so glad you made it through and have not had anymore reoccurances! Yuck!! And you didn’t even get a kid out of the deal…

  • ~ alison

    June 13, 2008 | Reply

    Yo! I still come by your blog daily…sometimes twice a day…

    CONGRATS to you on BOTH anniversaries! (Mucho congrats to the smoking!!) Btw – Chad has quit again, I believe it has been a week – maybe more.

  • ...love Maegan

    June 13, 2008 | Reply

    The Dr. told me they were called Chocolate cysts due to old blood turning brown and sticking around to fill up a cyst….so gross.

  • Swirl Girl

    June 15, 2008 | Reply

    I got your comment on my site.
    The surgeries are as follows;
    In Dec.on ’06 I had a hysterectomy because of fibroids the size of grapefruits and some other crap. Then, while recovering from that, I had what I thought was a heartattack. It turned out to be gallstones. So I had my gallbladder removed (2 laproscopic abdominal surgeries in less than two weeks – I don’t hafta tell you how that sucks). Then, in Feb of this year I had my thyoid taken out in two separate surgeries – and there was a complication, so I in fact wound up having 3 for a very simple operation.

    I hate doctors – I hate hospitals- I hate white coats and green scrubs and little green booties. I wouldn’t have a boob job even if it was free. Dentists even freak me out!

    just to answer your question

    http://www.swirlgirlspearls.blogspot.com

  • R.C.

    June 4, 2009 | Reply

    oooooh… that sounds like it totally sucked! I have the same kinda thing coming up :( I am only 24 and the gyno thinks that I may have cancerous cells somewhere up there in the land of interior organs (bleeeeh). I have to go and enjoy an appointment where they stick a camera up there and pour iodine all over to identify these “mystery cells”… then they get to scrape the inner lining of my skin off. As you can probably tell I’m uber psyched for all this to go down towards the end of the month :( AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I wish I could be a guy… just for this moment…

    (sorry bout the nasty description)

  • Iva

    July 13, 2009 | Reply

    I’m really sorry you went through this pain Maegan. This was a really moving post. Truly beautiful, you are a really amazing writer, I felt like I was right there with you it felt so real. If you are actively trying for a baby I wish you all the best in health and happiness, everyday without any stress to help you during this time. Whenever it may be, your day will absolutely come. You will be an amazing mommy to a very lucky little one, one day. {on an odd note, eating yams is suppose to boost fertility} (ok that was weird to leave as a comment.) All my best to you, every day.

  • The Perfect Bridesmaid

    July 23, 2009 | Reply

    I had laproscopic surgery on May 13th. I wish you the best of health and good luck getting pregnant.

  • Anna Harris

    September 25, 2009 | Reply

    Oh Maegan, I was sooo sad when I read your post. Sad because I’ve been there, sad for you because you’re there now,… and even sadder when I read the “It’s a girl” link and found that it wasn’t you, but somebody else.

    Take coursage, Maegan. I went through 8 years of that crap before finally deciding to have one cycle of IVF. It nearly killed me, but I did get pregnant from it. Not a great way to start a pregnancy, let me tell you,… but God is a miracle worker and I want you to have a happy ending.

    Prayers for you. I feel your pain,… really I do. You poor thing,…

  • Tea Lady

    September 25, 2009 | Reply

    I just found your blog (through Already Pretty) and really appreciate this post. I have to have a Laparoscopy soon – ovarian cysts and endometriosis. This helped me understand it more. My gynocologist explained it so quickly in 2 sentences. So I said I’d wait and schedule an appointment with my husband to understand it better.

    Thanks for this post.

  • Closet Cravings

    November 3, 2009 | Reply

    WOW. That was so amazing. I was seriously glued to every single word. Thanks for being so honest and sharing something so personal. I really love your blog.

  • sasha

    December 2, 2009 | Reply

    thanks for this blog
    here is a blog about women health
    http://www.mybabydoc.com/blog/
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  • Lou

    December 17, 2009 | Reply

    Maegan, I went through the exact same thing as you back in October. The operation was described to me as minor, but I’ve honestly never felt so awful. The trapped gas was horrendous and I was shocked at how useless I was for over a week. But I did recover and now trying for a pregnancy. No luck yet so it hasn’t been the miracle I was hoping for, but fingers crossed both of us will be blessed when the time is right.

    I love your blog.

    All the best xoxo

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    January 11, 2010 | Reply

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  • Anonymous

    February 4, 2010 | Reply

    here is a blog bout women health
    pregnancy vaginal issues and tubal reversal
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  • Rocaille

    February 11, 2010 | Reply

    I went through the exact same surgery when I was 19, only the cysts I had on my left ovary were ‘inborn’, supposedly they’re made of some tissue like hair follicles and teeth ones that got all in the wrong place when you were still just a blob of cells in your mum’s womb ;) It was interesting to read about your experience – I was hospitalized in Poland and it was completely different than you described; all in all, I think the doctors took much better care of me. I still don’t know how having those cysts might have affected my fertility as I’m not planning having children for now, but we’ll see… I’m also SO GLAD it’s all over, it was very freightening! Thanks for sharing this :) xxx

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    March 26, 2011 | Reply

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