The walls of my hospital room are really, really white and I can’t help wishing they were ten thousand different colors, spattered with swirls of paint that could keep me entertained for at least ten minutes. Yes, the table tops in here are bright yellow, which makes me a little bit happier, and I am grateful to have a big picture window.. alright, so the ambiance in here isn’t all that bad. And I have to admit, though it’s late at night and I know I should be sleeping because the nurses will come in to poke, prod, and deliver my breakfast at exactly 7 a.m. and not a second later, I’m enjoying the quiet tonight. Ray LaMontagne is keeping me company through my laptop speakers and I have a bag of Sour Patch kids under my blanket that Katrina snuck in here for me (I think such candy is frowned upon in these German hospitals, even if I am almost 21 years old). So, tonight, I’ll stay up for a little while longer. I’ve got some writing to do.
It’s been an eventful 48 hours, to say the least. Though I’ll spare the majority of the gory details explaining what I’m doing in this hospital bed right now, I do think this is something to blog about (mostly because the majority of my family and a few of my friends already know I’m here right now). I woke up last Saturday with a side pain that intensified and spread throughout my abdomen during the course of the day. By late evening, when Mom, Dad, Katrina and I were supposed to head out to watch the U.S. vs. England World Cup game, I was in no position to go anywhere but the hospital. Mom and Dad drove me to the emergency room in nearby Böblingen, where Mom appropriated a wheelchair and rushed me inside. It took two ambulance rides, another hospital, a few specialists, and at least three ultrasounds and other tests to figure out what was going on with me. But by 3 a.m. the doctors confirmed that I had a cyst on my left ovary, which was also all twisted up inside me. This may sound familiar to some, because it’s exactly what happened to me with my right ovary eight years ago. And, eight years ago, I underwent surgery where my right ovary was completely removed. So you can imagine that, although I was relieved that the doctors had figured out what was going on with me, I was in a complete state of déjà-vu three nights ago. (I later found out both cysts were completely unrelated to each other, making this kind of coincidence even more bizarre.)
The doctors said they wanted to get me into emergency surgery right away so they could remove the cyst, which was causing internal bleeding. I don’t think I can write here about what went through my head when they told me there was a chance they would have to remove my ovary, but I was scared. Really scared. Considering I had one ovary taken out eight years ago, I knew what was at stake. I’m so glad I had Mom and Dad by my side as I was being prepped for surgery. They were so great throughout the whole ordeal, and I don’t know what I would have done without them.
I woke up to the best possible news – the surgery had gone well and I still had a healthy ovary. My recovery has also gone really well. I get to go home tomorrow after breakfast, and I’m in a lot less pain than when I entered this hospital! My family’s kept me company and brought me books, music, etc. (And yes, they may have snuck me in some candy and a döner – shh!) I haven’t showered since Saturday buuuut I’m healthy and healing and happy.
And now that it’s been a few days, I’ll share something that my family and I have been laughing about since all this happened. One of the reasons it took the doctors a while to diagnose what was going on with me was because in my severe pain and loopy drug-induced state on Saturday night, I mistakenly told them my left ovary had been removed eight years ago, when it was, in fact, my right. I guess I sounded pretty sure of myself (though the truth is it’s always been hard to remember, as strange as that may sound) and so the doctors were thrown off for a bit. My dad keeps joking about how I should get a tattoo with an arrow clearly demarcating where I in fact still have an ovary. While updating my iTunes store account a few minutes ago, I was asked to provide a security question and answer in case iTunes ever needed to confirm my identity (typing that out, it sounds a little creepy, doesn’t it?) Aha, I thought. I typed out the following: Which ovary do I still have? I’m determined never to forget again.
I was supposed to fly to Vienna to start my journalism internship this Sunday, but I won’t be able to travel very easily by then so I’m postponing my flight a week. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy a few more low-key days at home. Who knows what would have happened if all this had happened a few weeks ago in Ghana.. or a few weeks later when I would have been pretty much alone in Vienna… all I know is, I’m a lucky girl. And, in other news, the U.S. didn’t get crushed by England, Ghana’s Black Stars pulled off a win, and I got to watch Deutschland destroy Australia 4-0 from my little hospital room TV. Not too bad, not too bad at all.