Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ruptured What? Part 2

Warning:
the following story contains “lady issues.”
If you can’t hack it, leave now.

One evening, Shark Girl started getting lady cramps.
            “Hmmm . . . that’s funny. It’s a little early for lady cramps,” Shark Girl said to herself. “Oh, well, maybe I’m wrong. These days I’m too busy to keep good track.”
            As the evening wore on, Shark Girl’s lady cramps got worse. “Better pop a few ibuprofen!” Shark advised herself, and the drugs soothed the pain for a while.
Ibuprofen is my answer to pretty much everything--lady cramps, migraines, boredom . . .
Later that night, Shark Girl besought Husband, “Honey, rub my lower back!” I hadn’t asked him that since I was in labor. Wait. Was I in labor? No, impossible. Shark Girl isn’t Peggy Olson from Mad Men. Shark Girl would know if she were pregnant.
Not Shark Girl.
Shark Girl popped some more ibuprofen and went to sleep. My night was fitful and tormented, filled with strange cramp-induced dreams. I realized I was going to be no use at school that day, and got up early to write plans and call in a sub.
For some reason, LeBron James comes up when you Google Image search "cramp-induced dreams." Huh.

After Shark Girl crafted impeccable, early-morning sub plans, I went back to bed. And slept. When I awoke, the cramps had strangely morphed into constipation cramps. (At this juncture, you may be asking, “Really, Shark Girl? How do you know the difference between lady cramps and constipation cramps? They’re all in the same region.” And now I know you are a man.)
          Maybe I had imagined the lady cramps from the night before and I just needed a little more water. I got a water bottle, put it next to the bed, and drank. Then I drank some more. And some more. Until my bladder was about to explode. At that point, my bladder was starting to press up against my cramp. I know, weird, right? Now I was getting a little nervous.
Also not Shark Girl.
            Then my pain got sharp. Lower, right abdomen sharp. Oh, no! A quick Google search told me I could have anything from appendicitis to viral gastroenteritis, with many other scarier things in between. (I was pretty sure I didn’t have seminal vesiculitis, given that I’m not a dude). It was time for SG to go to the doctor. Although my physician doesn’t work on Fridays, her husband does and he gladly took me as the last appointment of his ending-at-noon day. 

You've read the symptoms; now it's time for you to play doctor!
Take the poll to the right. What do you think Shark Girl ruptured?

The appointment went something like this: 
. . . blah blah blah does this hurt? . . . blah blah blah you’re not in that much pain, so it’s not full-blown appendicitis . . . call the ER if it gets worse . .  . blah blah blah . . . you’ll know.
Off I went home, thinking my appendix could rupture. I made Husband stay home from his business trip. “What if my appendix ruptures at two in the morning? What will I do with two kids and a ruptured appendix at two in the morning?”
          “I could get my mother to stay over?” Husband offered.
          Yes. He actually said that. In fact, he had actually already called her to set it up. At this point I will fast forward to husband making the right decision and staying home. Men, if you are still with me, stay home with your women when they could die. It’s the polite thing to do.

Long story short, my appendix did not rupture, and, by Monday, the pain had nearly subsided. But now I was thinking, Is this a lady issue? Shark Girl decided to call her OB-GYN. Their triage nurse had all the notes from Dr. Spouse (yay, linked medical records!).
            “It sounds like you had a ruptured ovarian cyst.”
Huh. Imagine that. How could anything in my lower abdomen have ruptured? I mean it’s not like huge, muscly dudes are trying to squish my guts all the time . . . or is it?

Postscript
This episode made me rethink rolling with guys who aren’t adept at toning down their squishing. I will never know if this was a BJJ-related rupture, or if it was natural. But a few weeks before, I had a partner squish my innards so badly that it felt like my kidney was outside of my body and between the mat and his knee. The worry I went through was definitely not worth that roll.

I want to implore any big dudes out there, before you go with anyone much smaller than you are, pause and remind yourself that if you have to use that much force on someone half of your size, you could probably stand to work on technique. Save the crushing for your same-sized friends.

And finally, I want to inform. My physician didn’t think of a ruptured ovarian cyst; my Google-searching did, but the descriptions I found were inadequate and only said things like, “can be very serious.” My triage nurse was more chill and told me to come in if it happened again. It hasn't. I am fine, and taking it much easier on the mat.