The mystery has been solved! I hope.
*disclaimer: this post has medical stuff that might be TMI for some folks*
So, starting over a year ago, I started having crippling pain. With my Crohn's, pain is not in itself unusual, and my gallbladder was acting up as well. However, this was an odd pain, and although I self diagnosed (never a good idea) with some random inflammatory thing that nothing could be done about, I went to a series of clinics, ERs, and doctors to try to figure it out. The ultrasound I had in the fall indicated a benign condition that I decided might possibly account for my pain. After our wedding (oh yeah, I got married this spring and landed myself a family in the Poconos!) I went through a decline that was impossible to ignore.
After I got myself a new, top rated doctor only an hour and a half away for my Crohn's, I set about healthgrades looking for a (hopefully closer) doctor to help me with my mystery pain. Now, I don't know how rare this is, but I found a D.O. that specializes in both Urology and Gynocology. Since I wasn't myself sure what the heck was going on, I thought he would be perfect to solve the mystery. Didn't take much. One exam and one set of ultrasounds later, "Congratulations, you're growing a little monster!" Okay, he didn't say that, but he should have. It's a dermoid ovarian cyst, apparently the little bugger finally got large enough to be seen properly on my ultrasound. Who knows, maybe it was on my CT scan they charged me hundreds for last summer in the ER, but the bastards never delivered the results to the doctors I was seeing in Arizona last fall. Unless I will bleed out by driving an extra 20 miles to the next closest ER, I am never setting foot in that crappy place again.
Anyways. Dermoid ovarian cyst. Accounts for my symptoms, and even some I had attributed to my Crohn's. Really threw me for a loop, having considered myself relatively in tune with what could go wrong and has gone wrong with my body. I even know someone who had a massive one of these suckers removed in high school, and I never considered it. Now, I don't know if you've seen the movie Critters, it's this horrible 1980s comedy horror movie, but basically they are like tribbles with teeth. That's the firm mental image I've got for this nasty thing growing inside me, pushing on everything it can. So, unlike the usual relief that comes with finally getting a diagnosis, I'm counting down the days to surgery (which I would normally be terrified of) and my imagination is running away with thoughts of this thing gnawing at my insides with its hair and teeth. Sorry, hope you weren't eating breakfast.
Guess I should go back to writing papers and applying for jobs. My brain clearly needs something better to occupy itself with. Now I just need to stay off of the medical journals...