This next part is a little heavy. I’m sorry for that. It’s about one of the hardest things I’ve been through. It’s followed up by how incredibly Craig responded. So, while majority of this post isn’t about actually dating Craig, I think it’s something to share so you all can realize that despite such a trying time in my life, he stuck by me and let me be sad and crazy.
Literally, less than a week after I moved to Colorado I ended up in the emergency room. I lived next to a small lake and went for a run around it, as I had done pretty much every morning since arriving. Except this time I got a really nagging side ache. Except, it didn’t go away. I couldn’t run through it like I usually could. It turned into more of an incredibly sharp pain, literally making me sick to my stomach. I obviously stopped running and since I hadn’t gone far, I turned around to head back to my apartment. Only, I didn’t think I was going to make it. It hurt that bad.
Someone was certainly on my side that day. I made it about 100 yards and spotted my friend Allie and her dad walking the dog around the lake – the other direction. I half jogged, half gimped towards them, yelling Allie’s name. When she finally heard me, I fell to the ground, writhing in pain. Literally the most awful pain I’ve ever experienced. They were able to get me to the hospital where I promptly began hyperventilating and panicking. Allie stayed with me the entire time I was there and probably saw more of me than she ever cared to.
Long story, short, I had a cyst on my ovary. A tiny-ass little cyst had put me through THAT much pain. They gave me some pain meds and sent me on my way with a follow up scheduled in two weeks. I had panicked my parents, I thought I was dying people, so my mom had already booked a ticket to come be with me. Thankfully, the pain didn’t last too long and before I knew it I was off the meds and enjoying the rest of the week with my mama in my new home, Colorado.
A few days after she left, I had my follow up. You know, I almost blew it off. I had no pain, our insurance sucked, so why spend the money? But, I went anyway. Holy crap, am I glad I did.
I went in for an ultrasound with the understanding I’d have to come back to meet with a doctor to go over the findings. You know what the scariest conversation you can have with an ultrasound tech is?
Tech: Are you in any pain right now?
Tech: Are you still taking your pain medication?
Tech: So, you aren’t taking anything at all?
Tech: Um, I’m going to grab a doctor. I’ll be right back.
UM. NO. WHAT? YOU CAN’T JUST SAY THAT AND LEAVE ME ON A TABLE HALF NAKEY!
Turns out the baby cyst they had found a couple weeks prior was now the size of a small cantaloupe (which via all the baby posts I’ve been seeing lately is about the size of a 20 week old fetus!). Which is why they couldn’t understand why I had no pain. I still have no idea why I couldn’t feel it. I had been feeling great. I hadn’t even taken any ibuprofen! I try not to take pain killers unless I really need them.
That was a Friday. I was scheduled for all sorts of imaging appointments that afternoon and a semi-emergency surgery for Monday, June 20th. I only remember the date because it was Allie’s 25th birthday. Allie sat at the hospital all day on her 25th birthday. What a pal.
Ended up that they needed to take the entire left ovary and fallopian tube. Essentially, the cyst had “eaten” them. I remember being groggy and being told that they weren’t able to save any part of it (they had initially thought they would be able to keep everything in tact). Half awake, I remember crying and being freezing cold. As a 24 year-old, it’s pretty scary to hear that you’ve lost half of your baby-making parts.
Since then, I’ve learned that it shouldn’t, in any way, impact my ability to have a child naturally. Which is good news, but still devastating to be a healthy 24 year-old, down an ovary. Emotionally, I had a pretty tough time with it. But, thankfully, I had a great friend, supportive family, and an outstanding new boyfriend that wasn’t scared off by my being an emotional mess, coping with something so scary in a new city, away from my immediate family.
Craig was a champ. He stayed with me. Made sure I had my medicine. Let me cry. Let me get sick in his car (quite horrifying for a girl to do in front of a guy she’s only officially been dating for less than a month!). He helped me make light of the situation. The hospital gave me a teddy bear. We promptly named him Jerry. Why Jerry? Because that is the name we had given the cyst. It was so large we thought he deserved a name. We’re weird. But, it’s something that helped me feel better. And Jerry still lives on Craig’s nightstand.
The whole thing is a terrible memory, but it also very quickly solidified what kind of man Craig was. He was compassionate, but he was also able to help me find something humorous to help me emotionally, even if it was naming my cyst and the resulting teddy bear. He cleaned out my vomit buckets without making a scene. He helped me out of bed. Ugh. I’m getting emotional thinking back on it. What a guy.
The next part of our dating story isn’t much happier, but I promise we are getting to the rainbows and butterflies.