At the time of the happy picture with my Dad and partner, safe to say – I was in a fair bit of pain but trying to put on a brave face.
Little did I know…
I’d suffered a ‘catastrophic rupture’ of a cyst on my ovary, a blood clot had developed, there was major internal bleeding, that I would collapse later that night, have a seizure and stop breathing.
This was a year ago yesterday.
If you’re a woman reading this, please read on as what happened to me, could happen to you and the only reason I’m still alive and able to share this story is because I was lucky.
Let me just set the scene and rewind.
At around 8am last July, I was headed to Edinburgh with my partner to visit my Dad for the weekend.
I’d woken up that morning with a slight pain in the bottom left side of my stomach. I presumed it was just because I needed the toilet, despite this not alleviating the pain.
En-route down, we stopped at my friend’s house in Dunfermline for a cuppa.
By this point, the pain had spread to the other side and my lower belly which was uncomfortable and swollen.
We all had abit of a giggle that I needed to good fart or something alike, lol but the pain wasn’t anything I’d ever experienced before.
However, we set on the road again, made it to my Dad’s and pretty much walked round Edinburgh all day.
Throughout the day it got worse.
I could feel this weird pain spreading and filling my entire stomach. I did my best to put on a brave face and push through but it was escalating super fast.
I had no idea this was due to internal bleeding and that I was a ticking time bomb walking around before I would collapse later that evening.
I could hardly walk, couldn’t put my shoes on and by this point, the pain was immense.
I managed to get an appointment at Gdocs about 9pm which was unfortunately useless.
After a very brief assessment they decided they didn’t really know the cause but suggested it was perhaps trapped wind, even though the blatant pain etched on my face and inability to move said different.
They prescribed me a high does of codeine and sent me on my way.
Around 30mins later, once I’d taken the codeine – it happened.
I sat up quickly as the pain laying down was too intense, muttered the words “I can’t see properly” followed by “sh*t I can’t breathe” then blacked out.
On my back, eyes wide open, pupils large and black, jaw clenched, body straight like a board and stopped breathing.
My Dad and partner got the scare of their lives but thankfully acted fast, began to resuscitate me and called 999.
If I’d been alone, I wouldn’t be here today.
Unfortunately the ambulance wasn’t so fast and took 2 hours to come so a good job I started breathing again!!
Around midnight, once in hospital (alone as nobody was allowed with me), numerous tests and scans begun.
At 4pm the next day, I ended up having to go into theatre for emergency surgery.
There had been a ‘catastrophic rupture’ of a cyst on one of my ovaries.
There was over a litre of internal bleeding, my belly was full of blood and a blood clot that needed removed, hence all the pain so they had to wash and drain my stomach.
There were other possible complications and at the time of surgery, nobody knew what was really going on.
Whether I’d need to be opened up, have my ovary and fallopian tube removed or anything else for that matter which understandably was pretty scary.
However, thankfully all went smoothly, it was through key hole surgery and I made a full recovery.
That being said, I was devastated beyond belief as last year was meant to be my ‘comeback year’ (from a long foot injury) and as a result, had to pull out races.
But my goal was to keep my mindset in check, focus on the positives, take one day at a time and use it as more fuel to my fire and come back stronger.
It’s not been easy but fast forward to today and I’m in training for the biggest comeback there could possibly be – conquering Mount Everest!!
The purpose of sharing this story is to:
1. To be honest, I believe in sharing your struggles as well as success.
2. To warn other women that apparently cysts rupturing on your ovary are quite common mid cycle (not to the extent mine was) and if you experience a weird pain like I did, don’t let any doctors fob you off saying its trapped wind!
3. To hopefully reach out to those who feel overwhelmed and like life keeps throwing them one set back after another.
As hard as it may be, just…keep…picking yourself up!!
With the right mindset and people around you, you can overcome anything.
Lee ‘Comeback Kid’ Donald x
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