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Inflammation at its Best – A Silent Endometrioma Story

pain and inflammation Oct 09, 2022

It was a Friday morning, my husband was getting home from a long night shift at work and I was preparing breakfast. I told him – hey, I think we should start trying to have another baby! According to the calendar method, I would ovulate the next week and we were excited to get started. 

But the very next day, GOD MADE OTHER PLANS FOR ME. 

I woke up at 4am with excruciating stomach pains, rectal pain, and nausea. Maybe it was a bad case of constipation? I tried to rest, drink chamomile tea, and go to the bathroom. Nothing. 3 hours later, I spiked a fever and said crap, something is going on, I have to go to the emergency room now.

After 12 hours in the ER, multiple imaging studies, lab draws, and consults, the final diagnosis was a massive 8.6cm ovarian cyst filled with fluid – like a water balloon just sitting inside my belly. One of the doctors exclaimed, “THAT’S ALMOST THE SIZE OF A NEWBORN BABY’S HEAD IN THERE!” With that being said, we can’t get pregnant until we take it out. If I get pregnant with that cyst, I would have to get surgery during the 2nd trimester. Surgery during pregnancy sounded awful, so of course, pregnancy had to wait. By the end of this emergency room visit, my abdominal pain was tolerable. 

— My surgery was scheduled a whole month and a half later…

I had a laparoscopic cystectomy and partial oophorectomy. Surgeons make 3 small incisions in my abdomen and use a small camera and tools to poke a hole, suck out the fluid and remove the cyst, along with pieces of my ovary that it was stuck to. The surgery went well overall, and the pathology report revealed that the large cyst was an endometrioma. 

To differentiate the terms you may have heard…



One of the many types of ovarian cysts. It is when the lining of the uterine tissue grows in or around the ovary and forms a large sac, or cyst, over time. It is also known as a chocolate cyst because it is filled with dark old blood that looks like chocolate.  




A medical condition where the uterine lining grows in or around the uterus called lesions. Endometriosis has different stages of severity based on the amount and how deep the lesions are. The most severe is Stage 4 – classified by multiple deep lesions, a large cyst (endometrioma) more than 5cm, plus other factors. 



Inflammation of the uterine lining, usually short term and associated with an infection.


The only two that are related are endometriosis and endometrioma. I was told that it is very possible to have this endometrioma without endometriosis. It is less common, but this is hopefully my case as I have shown no other symptoms before this emergency room visit. If you still want to learn more about Endometriosis, Click Here for one of my favorite resources.


 Symptoms of endometriosis

⬜️   Pain anywhere? Abdominal, vaginal, lower back, rectum
⬜️   Pain with intercourse or bowel movements?
⬜️   Irregular or heavy menstruation, painful menstruation or spotting?
⬜️   Constipation or nausea?
⬜️   Abdominal fullness or cramping?
⬜️   Infertility?

Well, I have been unusually bloated these last several months, but my simple answer was no. 

The doctor says I have to take birth control to prevent it from reoccurring again. I don’t have to start right away since I’m trying to get pregnant soon anyway. However, I’m not thrilled about taking birth control. I was on it for over 10 years straight during my teen and early adult life and realized it was a significant cause of my chronic migraines. So while I have a little time, I’ve decided to consult with integrative and holistic providers to treat this naturally.

Subscribe to my blog and follow me to see how my appointments went!


*Edited to update – POST SURGICAL RECOVERY

I was so nauseous and exhausted for at least a week and a half after surgery. It was an awful feeling that others described as a nasty hangover. I have no experience of what a hangover feels like as I’ve very rarely drank alcohol in my life, but in short, recovery sucked. Pain wasn’t quite an issue as I seem to have a high tolerance for pain, and was practically pain free after about 4 days. 

Anyway, after surgery my doctor said I can be back at work in two weeks. I was a little skeptical about that because I feel like with my autoimmune condition, I heal slow overall, but I didn’t question it. Plus, I only work one day a week right now, so how bad can it be?

I’m a registered nurse, so this often involves heavy lifting, transferring patient, on your feet and lots of movement throughout the day. My first day back, I was lucky and it was not so busy. My lovely coworkers were aware of me having surgery so they helped me out a lot with the heavy work. Great first day back!

My second day at work the next week, it was quite the opposite experience. It was so busy! I have no idea what I did, but by the end of the day I was having a lot of pain in my incision. I ignored it thinking I just needed some time and rest. The pain was present the rest of the week, but tolerable. Then my 3rd day back at work, a whole 32 days after my surgery, I could barley move from so much pain. I was sent home from work after finding I had lots of drainage and little bleeding come from my incision site. I went straight to the doctor’s office and the fluid was cultured, of course it came back positive for an infection. So another round of antibiotics it is. *Sigh.


MORAL OF THE STORY: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Get to know your body’s limits and don’t push it too far too fast.  Don’t ignore symptoms, it’s your body’s way of communicating with you! Being unable to SEE what’s going on in our bodies makes it easy to forget its needs. That’s why the overstated, yet necessary, SELF-CARE is so essential. Self-care in very simple terms mean that I listen to my body’s needs and attend to it. 

How do we do that? That’s a whole journey in itself and something to talk about another day. Till then, dig deep and define what self-care means to YOU. How would you feel if you gave yourself the gift of self-care on a regular basis? Comment below to give each other ideas on how we define self care. 


— Medical Information Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to replace consultation with your personal medical professional. The information presented is not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease and solely for your entertainment purposes.

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