I should apologise for the hiatus on this blog; I felt like there was nothing much to say and then suddenly there was too much.
Starting just before Christmas and over Christmas I felt my running go to bits a little bit. Having done the exact same route at least twice a week for over a year I was getting to the point where I was so, so sick of it. Motivation has never been an issue for me but it was quickly becoming a problem. I was ok on the road section of my run but knowing that I was heading towards Primrose Hill and that I would have to lap it 5 times… That was enough to make me dread the runs (and on the topic of “runs” – my stomach wasn’t exactly great either which didn’t help).
So I started mixing things up; I now very much avoid running where I used to and every run is different. I have no idea when I head out where I will be running that day, but just follow my nose (and literally; my gut). One of the most interesting routes I have taken has been heading down to Grand Union canal and just following the tow path out of Little Venice. I run out for about 12km before turning back; to be running way past Wembley Stadium really is enough to hammer home the distance that I am putting in! And it feels a bit like dicing with danger; you really don’t want to be caught short or have the gingerbread man on your heels out there… I’ve found it quite funny how the running culture on the tow path is very different to that on the mean streets of London – people actually greet each other (crazies!) !! That has taken some getting used to…
Other reason why I have really struggled with running of late is that my body has been doing it’s best to challenge me. From a very dodgy stomach to strange transient pains on my ankles and the fact that I feel like I have a tight band around my chest that makes it difficult to breath.. It’s all been a bit of a whinge fest!
My body is usually pretty reliable and I know how to read it. So when in the past few months I have had increasing pelvic pains and bloating I started getting slightly concerned. I am as lazy as you can get when it comes to going to the GP and generally try to avoid it. Having made an appointment and cancelled it a few times, I finally kept one. The original reason was night sweats. Remember a few months ago I saw the doctor about this and they ran a few hormone tests which all came back within normal limits. But the night sweats didn’t seize so I felt I needed to pursue some sort of solution for this. However, by the time the appointment was due, I really didn’t feel right at all. I explained to my doctor about the bloating, the sweats, the stomach issues, the back- and pelvic pain. She agreed that it was probably all hormonal and I was most likely entering menopause (and she suggested I go on oestrogen therapy) despite the tests in June not having supported that. But she also wanted to run some bloods and send me to an ultrasound to exclude any issues with my ovaries. The blood test will take place tomorrow (CA125 & FSH) but I had the ultrasound yesterday.
I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been nervous about the scan. As I was lying on the bed explaining to the doctor my symptoms and showing him where the focus of the pain was (on my right side) I could feel my heart galloping away. The fact that he was very lovely (and rather good looking) did distract me nicely enough though.
Long story short; the ultrasound revealed a cyst in my right ovary (“pretty much exactly where you indicted the pain was” said the doctor). My immediate response was “Thank god, I am not imagining it”. According to the doctor it isn’t anything malignant but most likely a corpus luteum cyst or an endometrioma. However due to my long term symptoms he recommended an MRI. And this is where the bureaucracy starts; in order to get a referral to an MRI I have to see a consultant. My GP, nor the doctor who did the ultrasound are authorised (by my private insurance company) to refer me to one. So on Monday I will be seeing my GP (who can’t do the referral over the phone despite there really being no need to see me) in order to get a referral to the wonderful surgeon who did my laparoscopy and the hysterectomy and take it from there.
I’m not worried. Well, that’s not true exactly – I am worried that they will have to cut the cyst out which will result me having to take some time off running again. Hopefully if that happens it shouldn’t be for that long as the operation would most likely be laparoscopic… And hey – it’s always good to have some new stuff to write about!
I will keep you posted…
Edit 14 Jan 16: A day after the ultrasound I actually got a phone call from my GP saying that they had received a fax with the results and that further investigations are necessary. Delighted by their proactivity (if not also slightly spooked), I contacted my health insured to obtain an authorisation to see a consultant. However, their response that since endometriosis was an excluded condition in my policy (new policy and it counts as a pre-existing condition) and cysts were often a complication of that; they would not be able to authorise the claim unless the GP could send them a letter stating that the cyst had nothing to do with endo. Absolutely ridiculous; of course the GP is in no position to say anything to the effect and the further tests were required to establish exactly what we are dealing with! I called my GP surgery who passed a message on to her. Again, almost worryingly I received a call back (unheard of!) and the doctor agreed with me on the fact that the insurers are idiots. She said that the best she could do would be to write a letter stating that the radiologist had in fact stated that urgent, further investigation was required as they had not been able to establish what the cyst was. To quote the letter:
“An USS was undertaken … which has shown the presence of a right ovarian cyst lesion. The reporting radiologist was unsure what this lesion represents but has recommended MRI pelvis to try and achieve some clarity. I would appreciate it if we could move quickly with further imaging in order to rule out serious pathology.”
From there on things started progressing at a completely different pace and I was able to get authorisation up to diagnosis. If the cyst is due to endometriosis, it will not be covered by my insurance but should it be something different then coverage on the treatment will continue. I have made an appointment to see my wonderful Gyno surgeon on Thursday so in a week’s time and I know he will get to the bottom of whatever is going on.