The day after returning from my honeymoon, I was admitted to the hospital for emergency surgery.
A cyst, specifically a dermoid cyst, in my right ovary, the size of a cantaloupe, suddenly decided to give me grief. I’d known about it for a few years, but dermoids are usually benign and mine hadn’t ever bothered me. So I hadn’t bothered it.
The pregnancy, however, had dislodged the cantaloupe-sized lump from its regular nesting spot in my pelvis and, once free to roam, it decided that on the day before Easter Sunday, the day before we were to sit down with SC’s family in New Jersey for Easter dinner, it would have a twister party for one.
The cantaloupian complex twisted along the Fallopian tube. This cut off the blood supply to the ovary and cyst. When this happens the body sends messages to the brain that feels like, “What the fuck? I’m dying over here! You’re killing me!” [Insert croaking noises here.]
The ovary/cantaloupe, deprived of oxygen, begins to die. If the blood supply is not reestablished or the dead ovary is left to rot, the organ will soon become a source of infection and contaminate the body, which can then infect the fetus. This produce rebellion was an emergency.
Because the fucking fruit seemed to be spontaneously twisting at will, if it remained unremoved I could look forward to possibly checking myself into the hospital again in two hours or two weeks with the same symptoms, namely, paralyzed by pain in the pelvis, spanning the whole circumference of my lower torso that feels like someone is reaching into your guts and squeezing it like it’s play-do.
So in spite of the fact that I was three months pregnant, I had to get surgery.
The things is, nothing bad ever happens to me, something I’ve been telling myself and everyone I know for as long as I can remember.
And I can prove it:
- The cantaloupe decided to wait until after my honeymoon and leaving Jamaica and landing in Boston before it decided to fuck with me.
- We hadn’t yet hit the freeway towards NJ when the the first symptoms of the fruit gone mad came on.
- I’ve been healthy all my life, never a surgery, chronic illness, broken bone has been recorded in the pages of my book. This made the risks for going under and getting cut open low.
- Week 14 of pregnancy, turns out, is the best possible time to have surgery if surgery is necessary during pregnancy. I was fourteen weeks along.
- My surgeon was a pro and nice to boot. She’s going to mail me the pictures of my cantaloupe.
- My ovary from the crazy cantaloupe was saved so I’ve still got two of ’em.
- When I got stuck on the side walk two days after surgery because the pain on my side from the incisions that came on from trying to get home alone from my post surgical appointment at the hospital, two strangers, noticing my distress, stopped their car and carried me all the way to my apartment.
- I missed SC’s grandmother’s Easter ham. I love this ham. But, somebody, I can’t say who, made it for us while helping nurse me back to health. So in the end, I got my ham.
- I’ve got family members who will and did drive for long hours or fly down and miss work to take care of me.
You sound like a fruitcake, you might say. Speaking of fruit, the fetus at week 14 is about the size of an apple. They do this, the pregnancy apps. They compare the fetus’s size to different fruits. One week you’ve got a blueberry and then it’s a raspberry, olive, prune, plum, peach, navel orange, and so on. At week 14, my little peach was sharing my belly space with a crazed cantaloupe.
I’m well and almost feeling like myself again. Major abdominal surgery, it turns out, wasn’t something I could just walk away from within a day or two.
But nothing bad happened. Not really.