My experience - I am seriously considering surgery (long)

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SO.  I had to go to the ER for another incision and drainage about two days ago.  I've been pretty overwhelmed and kinda wanted to vent and share my experience with these stupid, stupid cysts.  Sorry if its long, it helped me a lot in the past reading the experiences of other ladies, so, yeah.  Thought i'd contribute.

I got my first bartholin cyst about 7 ish years ago.  I was fresh out of highschool and when i felt it I was terrified.  I didnt have health insurence (and still dont) so I just dealt with it since it didnt hurt or bother me much.  Later after a visit to the ER for another "down south" issue, I was told my cyst was indeed a BC and to seek medical treatment if it ever started to hurt.  Easy enough.  I went like 5 years with no issues at all.  Then one day, about 2 years ago, I danced a little too hard at some punk concert I went to and woke up with my cyst the size of a tangerine, throbbing like a MF'er.

I have an INSANE phobia of needles.  I go into full fledged panic mode when there is even a small chance one will be used on me.  I cant even watch someone get an IV on television without squirming.  Its bad.  Most medical situations freak me out to the point of getting a vasovagal response.  I've almost passed out EVERY time i've ever had to get pricked.  Actually have passed out once.  So needless to say....I WAS NOT TOO THRILLED ABOUT HAVING TO GO TO THE ER THAT MORNING.

The first experience was awful.  The doctor was in a rush, the ER was packed, and I was beside myself with needlephobia and anxiety.  She came in, seemed very irritated that I'd never had it drained before, and fetched her incision and drainage kit.  She wasn't gentle, actually complained about being at work, and actually left me sitting in my own pus and blood for about 40 minutes after the procedure.  I never saw that doctor again....a completely different lady came in to bring me a pad and cleaned me up (again, 40 freaking minutes later).  The doctor didnt even suggest a catheter, but she did "pack" it with a very very small amount of guaze.  I didnt realize how short the strand was till I removed it days later.  It was like 2 inches long.  But anyway, the whole thing hurt like hell.  The lidocaine injections hurt more than anything I've ever felt (im sure that was mostly due to the fact that i was severely abcessed) and i felt the knife.  I felt it all.  The relief was immediate though, that i cant stress enough.  I did almost pass out from the pain while she was cutting face turned white, i dry heaved...the only thing that grounded me was my lovely significant other sitting next to me laughing about the fact that i screamed the "F-bomb" at full volume in a crowded ER.  in retrospect i laugh now, but F*** IT HURT.

Anyway, the cyst stayed at bay for about months before it came back.  It stayed small and painless till the begining of this year.  New years of 2016 it got huge and painful again but I refused to go to the ER.  Not after last time.

I did EVERY FREAKING HOMEOPATHIC REMEDY THE INTERNET HAD TO OFFER.  Witch hazel, tea tree oil, calamine lotion, salves, compresses, espom salt, silica, supplements, tumeric, onion...I even went so far as to locate some lidocaine cream and sterile needles and tried to pop the sucker myself.  All i got out was a few drops of bloody pus.  The needles werent thick enough.  I even got a sterile scalpel..but, I didnt have the guts to actually use it.  Nothing worked.  My duct was 100% blocked.  I managed to get it to come to a head ONCE.  But it still wouldnt pop.  It hurt too bad to try, and eventually I ended up finding some older antibiotics from my last flare up.  I was dumb and didnt take them all, which I was actually hugely grateful for at the time haha.  I took them, dealt with the pain, and after a week or so the infection subsided and the cyst shrunk a little.

same thing happened 4 more times since new years.  I always avoided the doc by finding antibiotics on my own (i dont reccommend this at all, but hey, i was desperate)  They were usually from my mother or my boyfriends stepfather who happens to be a nurse.  Luckily I was unemployed at this time, so i could sit on my butt and wait for it to clear up without much worry about responsibilities.

2 days ago, I got another flare up.  I JUST got a new job, and had to call off cause of the pain.  I went to my local urgent care (still no health insurence, but I could pay the fee so whatever) hoping to get antibiotics and a doctors excuse for work....but that isnt how things played out.

The doctor at the clinic looked at it and straight up said she wouldnt charge me for my visit if I would let her call the ER at the nearby hospital to inform them I was coming in.  She strongly suggested the word catheter this time and begged me to go, cause she was a sweet woman who empathized and saw how large my cyst was (about a golfball).

I said yes, but didnt plan on going.  My boyfriend had driven me to the clinic, so I informed him of what she said and told him I just wanted to go home.  WELL, he drove me to the ER.  It was for the best, but i was irritated the whole way there haha.

This time, it was truly great.  The doctor who did the I&D was insanely sweet and caring.  She even numbed me a bit before the lidocaine injections cause I expressed my fear of the needles.  She waited till I was 100% ready, and got it over as fast as she could. The needle pricks still hurt but I didnt feel anything after that aside from the immediate relief of the cyst being drained. She joked with me the whole time, and really made me feel at ease.  10/10.  I could have kissed her I was so happy.  She put the catheter in, which didnt hurt, but i did feel it inflate which was pretty weird.  She even scheduled me a follow up appointment for this wednesday at the OBGYN clinic inside the hospital.

Despite how well it went, the catheter fell out 5 hours after I got home.  Of course.  I cried...a lot.  Cause I know this stupid thing is going to come back, and I really dont want to deal with anymore ridiculous ER bills and needle pricks to the cooter.

Today, the wound feels fine.  doesnt hurt, but itches like hell cause its healing. However....I do feel hard tissue.  Im assuming this is scar tissue?  I had some last time, but it wasnt this noticable.  I mean Ive had multiple flare ups since, so it would make sense that theres more scar tissue than last time...but Im just worried...I dont want to have some underlying tumor or something crazy.  I'll be adressing it on wednesday, but till then....has anyone else had hard tissue after a few incision and drainages?  My mom assured me thats what it was cause she had some after a labial cyst of her own...but, IDK MAN.  Im just anxious I guess.

But, here I am.  Thats my story.  I dont think I can handle another ER visit only to know that my cyst will inevitably return.  Im highly considering surgery....whether it be the marsup or gland removal.  Im scared cause Ive never actually been "under" before.  Ive never even had an IV.....but, at this point, I guess Id rather be asleep and out of it if anyone needs to prick or stab my cooter again.  Anyone have any advice?  

Good luck to any chickas out there arent alone.  If an anxiety riddled, needlephobic, wimp like me can handle can too.  Im glad this place exists to vent and rant and ask questions.  We are stronger than strong for enduring this constant struggle.


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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Miss Magus

    I don't have anything remotely useful to say - only to commiserate with your awful experiences. Amazing how harsh some ER doctors can be. I hope you find some relief soon. i'd love to know what the answer is!

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  • Posted

    Hi I would advise you to get the MARSUPILIZATION, much like you my cyst didnt bother me for a while and it didnt stop me from doing anything really. About 3 days ago it started swelling and became unbearable when it grew to the size of an orange! Also like you im terrified of needles and extremely sensitive to fainting at any sight of blood or surgery anything of that nature. So yes I was avoiding the hospital until I really couldnt anymore, I dont have insurance either! Anywho I was relieved to be asleep through the whole opperation and did not feel one thing, I woke up feeling relieved and excited for healing finally. The hospital helped me get medicaid (i asked for help) and everyone was so very nice! So yes i hated all the IVs needles and blood drawn but in the end it was much worth it and i am now 2 days later just feeling relieved the pain is a 0 compared to the 10 i felt when i had the cyst, please let me know what you end up doing I hope you decide to get the op with a good surgeon.
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    • Posted

      Hey, finally getting back to updating. I actually had a date for a surgical consult on the 30th of this month, so in less than 2 weeks....but, of course, the damn cyst got abcessed again two days after I made that appointment. I was so stoaked cause I thought I caught it in time, and was gonna get it marupialized....but boom. Pain. Couldn't walk. Threw up. Had a fever. The stupid thing had grown from like....a marble, to a walnut overnight. I was determined to get the marsup though, so I went to urgent care, explained my situation, and left with Augmentin. Which is a hell of an antibiotic apparently. I lasted legit ONE DAY before I broke down and went to the ER...which, was today. 8 hours later, and I have another stupid word catheter and undies stuffed with guaze. I really hope I can get into surgery next flareup....the doctor was so rough this time....hurt worse than anything I've ever felt in my life. Seriously. The patients in the nearby rooms were probably saying "at least we arent that chick" cause theres no way they didnt hear my wailing. However, due to her persistence...she actually located another cyst beneath the original and busted that for me too. Didn't even realize how much pressure it was causing till I felt it pop. Worst pain ever, but I'm so glad she was thorough. Hopefully I'll get a little break before the next one....2016 has been bartholins hell for me.

      But sorry for the novel lol. I do plan on doing the marsup next time as long I can keep the abcess at bay long enough to actually see my damn obgyn u.u

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  • Posted

    Hi miss Magnus,

    I feel ya sista! That pain is nothing comparable to anything! My legs were shaking for like 30 mins after the doctor finished. And it's not even worth it in the end bc it comes back only a few weeks later. And I had cysts in BOTH sides. I got both my glands removed. I would recommend need to live a life of hell. The doctor told me I had multiple cysts on both sides. I think that's why one gets solved then the others take turns flaring up...

    Please find a good surgeon and just get it done. People need to work and have lives..and good sex lives at that! A little discomfort after surgery goes a long way in a general happy life.

    Also, don't worry about cancer unless you're over 50.

    Thank you for sharing, hang in there!

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