Weight and Waiting – Health Update

When I set my resolutions for this year in December last year, I said I wanted to eat “a bit more healthily. I’m not intending to go on a diet, exactly, but I do want to take better care of my body.”

Well, there was a reason for that.

In November last year, I discovered that a lump I’d had for years was suddenly bigger. I went the GP and she told me I had a cyst. No problem, she’d put me on a waiting list to get it drained and/or removed.

So I went into 2018 knowing that I was facing minor surgery. I’d also had a conversation with my husband just after his birthday in the middle of December in which we decided it was the right time to pursue fertility treatment.

I have PCOS and, as such, don’t seem to be able to conceive naturally. Again, I went to my doctor about this and again I ended up on a waiting list.

Between waiting for surgery and wanting to be pregnant, I aimed to be fitter. That seemed fairly straightforward.

Then I got one or two weeks into January and my cyst was massive and incredibly painful. I went back to the GP and got antibiotics. When they didn’t work and the cyst continued to grow and generally be unbearable, I went to A&E.

The doctor at the hospital gave the cyst a poke and a prod (which, I’m not gonna lie, had me in tears). He then told me I had a different kind of cyst to what my GP diagnosed. I was sent away with more antibiotics and told to come back on Monday.

Over the weekend, the cyst burst which sounds awful but was actually a big relief. The pressure on it was like nothing I’d experienced before.

Back at hospital, I saw a different doctor who told me I’d been misdiagnosed again and my cyst was neither the type my GP said it was nor what the other hospital doctor thought, so the referral I was waiting on was with the wrong department – apparently it was a General Surgery issue, not Gynaecology. I was given more antibiotics and sent away again.

Two weeks later, I was back at my GP because the cyst was infected again. Solution: more antibiotics. A double dose.

The cyst got worse and I went back to A&E again; going over the whole story. The triage people got someone from General Surgery to come look at me and she said she was “almost certain” it wasn’t a GS issue and should definitely be with gynae.

I was sent away with – get this – more antibiotics. It was February by this point. I’d been in pain for a month and still had heard nothing about my referral. I didn’t even know if it was with the right department anymore. The surgeon said she would talk to gynae and call me the next day to settle the issue.

She never called.

February became March and March became April, my cyst waxing and waning the entire time.

Finally, I got an appointment with General Surgery. The doctor there told me: 

  1. what I had might not be a cyst
  2. it was definitely not a gynae issue
  3. antibiotics would do me no good.

Well, that was spiffy.

The plan was that I’d get called for investigative surgery, then corrective surgery, then a different kind of corrective surgery if the first didn’t solve the problem. Apparently it could take a year, in all.

The surgeon recommended I lose weight in the meantime as it would reduce my risk of complications.

I just got home from this appointment when I got a call from the fertility clinic. There had been a cancellation.

I took the appointment and travelled back to the hospital the next day for a series of tests after which I was told to come back in six months, five stone lighter. If I didn’t lose the weight, they wouldn’t be able to treat me.

The first of May, I rejoined Slimming World (having done it once before and previously lost four stone which I’d managed to put all back on).

I’ve been plugging away at that for a full month and have lost eight pounds so far in total. Also in that time I’ve had a preoperative assessment and received another referral letter, this time for urology.

I asked my GP why urology want to see me and she didn’t know. It’s apparently not in my notes. Hospital referrals are stored on a different system.

So June is starting with me going to see what that’s about. And continuing to wait for a surgery date. And waiting. And waiting…

Hopefully all of the cyst stuff gets resolved in under a year, because nothing can really be done about the fertility side of things until it is and treatment for that can apparently take a year itself.

Truly, I am learning what it means to be patient.

Note: There has been an update since this was posted. See here for part two.

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