Friday was supposed to be a tiresome-but-necessary day, in which I spent the morning trekking over to the Mothership Hospital for a pre-operation appointment (weight, height, MRSA swabs, and recounting your medical history), and the afternoon facing down the Forces of Entropy at work. But as I was putting my shoes on my mother called.
‘Hi, Mum! Sorry, I’m just about to go out, I’ve got a hospital appointment. Yes, for that operation. It’s routine, I’m fine… Mum? Are you OK?’
No, she wasn’t OK. Not at all.
Do you remember back in April my mother had some issues with her lady-parts, and, as I am clearly the expert on all the things that can go wrong with lady-parts, she called me for advice? She was originally diagnosed with a burst ovarian cyst, but she had a couple of appointments with a specialist (I nagged. I am a good nagger), and it turned out that she actually had, or also had, an ovarian dermoid cyst. I don’t think I’ve talked about that on the blog at all, because it got drowned out by the big family wedding, and by my Dad’s heart-attack, and my own vapourings, and H’s being made redundant, and anyway, Mum was being sensible for once and doing what her specialist told her. And it was her medical stuff, not mine. Also, I lost my left ovary to a gigantic dermoid cyst when I was 18, and the whole situation was Just Plain Weird.
On Friday, my poor Mum had woken up in severe pain, so bad she was sick, and didn’t know what to do. So she called her eldest daughter, fellow-cyst-experiencer, and expert on all things lady-part.
I told her very firmly to go and see a doctor right now this minute. It sounded like ovarian torsion – the cyst twists and cuts off circulation to itself and part of the ovary. That is how I lost my ovary – the torsion actually tore poor Kumquat across as well, so it was a bit of a mess by the time they got me into the operating theatre. On the other hand, cysts can and often do untwist again before things get that bad (which also happened to me a few times before the Final Wrench). And I told Mum that if it got any worse, or she felt faint or dizzy, to skip the doctor and go to hospital right away. And that I’d call her back in fifteen minutes to make sure she’d got an emergency GP appointment, also, she was on no account to drive herself, was her husband there? He was, and when I called back, she’d got an appointment for that morning. I talked her through symptoms to watch out for and when to panic, and promised to call back at lunch-time.
My own hospital appointment was boringly fine, apart from the fact my heart was racing and my blood-pressure was a tad high. I said to the nurse that I was worried about my mother, and she agreed that’d be that, then, before sticking a cotton-bud up my nose. She also swabbed my bikini line, and I didn’t even have the mental energy to care that I haven’t trimmed it for about a million years and look like a yeti in electric-blue knickers. She gave me a provisional date for the surgery, which happens to be H’s birthday, which I think should complete the full house of Celebrations My Innards Have Fucked Over. And then I rushed back outside and called my mother again.
She had seen the GP, who had given her better pain medication, and got her an appointment to see her specialist on Monday, and told her pretty much word for word what I had said about dizziness, sickness, when to panic, when to go to A&E. Right. OK.
I called her again yesterday evening, and the cocodamol was helping, but making her feel sleepy (well, it would). She still felt wretchedly uncomfortable, but was hoping to last the weekend. I told her not to be unnecessarily brave, and to go the hell to A&E if she felt even the tiniest bit worse.
She then said she really felt for me, going through all this pretty much every month. I pointed out ovarian torsion was really rather more serious than adenomyosis/endometriosis/whateverthefuckitis. She said yes, but my pain was clearly about this bad regardless, and I should know, as I’d had ovarian torsion too, and, well, yes, and no. And maybe. And it depends. Pain is funny like that. I think sometimes my period pain is indeed as severe as some of my episodes of ovarian torsion, but it sucks much less because I’m not scared during my periods (except of the pain, obviously) and I was scared I was fucking dying when I lost my Kumquat.
And, anyway, it seems sad and peculiar to me that my mother should be made to get a grip on this empathy thing by going through the same thing I did, rather than by the far easier and more practical method of using one’s imagination and intelligence. Or, in other words, the Universe is being a dick about this.
I called Mum again today, and thank fuckitty she was feeling a lot better. So I have now relaxed. And I can get on with getting my knickers in a knot about my own out-breaks of cramp (now in New Improved After-Sex flavour! FUUUUUUUUUCK).
Honestly, so many other things happened this week that I wanted to write about, and all I can think is, my poor, poor Mum.
P.S. – Neither Trouble nor Diva are at home at the moment, as they are visiting their respective fathers, who live in different countries. So I can’t even work off the anxst by getting huffy about them being completely useless in a crisis. Ohhh, I am not a nice person.