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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 though...my 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 suffering....you arent alone. If an anxiety riddled, needlephobic, wimp like me can handle this...you 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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