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New to here and I am 8 weeks post op, my story is quite complicated. Back in March/April 2020 I didn't feel myself, felt down, stressed, couldn't eat, sleep was disturbed and was having belly aches a lot. I put it down to being at home with two children, home schooling and working full time in Mental Health from home. After a few months on July 30th I woke up to a horrendous pain in my stomach, vomiting, couldn't keep any fluids down and I fainted on the bathroom floor. When I came around I managed to get myself onto the bed and ring a family member to come round - I just knew I wasn't going to be able to look after my two young children. The evening before I met two friends for dinner and they both said they felt sick and had a bad belly ache so I thought I just had a bad case of food poisoning. As the day went on I developed a pain in my shoulder - it was truly like no pain I have never felt before, I was screaming. But I remembered another friend had cramps in her shoulder with food poisoning due to dehydration so I put it down to that. I spent the day in bed in agony but didn't want to go A&E as I was in so much pain I needed to be in a certain position and I couldn't think of any worse than sitting in the waiting room for 6,7 + hours! The next day I got an appointment with the GP who confirmed she thought food poisoning. For 3 weeks after I still felt unwell and then it happened again. This time not as bad and no shoulder pain, then it happened again 2 days after that. I knew now that this was not food poisoning! I went back to the GP who sent me for a blood test, this showed the marker for Ovarian Cancer was high. I was sent for a internal scan which showed a large mass on my right ovary. Then I was sent for a MRI and CT scan and was told they suspected the 'mass' was ovarian cancer. I was referred to a London hospital and assigned my own Macmillan nurse. I had more scans with them and all in all a total of 10 blood tests. Not once did it show I was pregnant! I was booked for surgery on 19th November with a plan to remove the mass, tube and right ovary. The mass was then sent off for testing and I had to wait 2 weeks for the results. The consultant called me and said the mass was infact a chronic eptopic pregnancy that was months and months old. It wasn't even attached to my ovary so they managed to save that but it was infact attached to my appendix and lining of my stomach. It had been growing for months and months and the shoulder pain I experienced was actually internal bleeding - I was very lucky to be alive and it was very rare.
When I rang family and friends to give them the news, everyone congratulated me that it wasn't cancer, everyone said 'that's great news!' And I agreed I was thrilled. Now a few weeks later I feel a unbelievable sense of sadness. The whole experience was traumatic. The tests, the examinations, blood tests, appointments, back and forth to London. Now 8 weeks post op I feel mentally and physically exhausted. I don't sleep, I have no appetite, my heart keeps racing and I have terrible anxiety.
Has anyone else suffered with a chronic eptopic pregnancy? I have searched the internet but cannot find any forums on it?
Sorry for the very long post!! It was very complicated!!
I am so sorry to hear of your ectopic pregnancy and loss. You have been through a huge amount in such a short space of time and it is very normal to feel overwhelmed. From your words, I can imagine how frightening the experience must have been and I am sorry you have had to go though this. Less than 1% of ectopic pregnancies are found in the abdominal cavity so this is very rare, which is why it was so difficult to diagnose and possibly why it was there for so long.
The feelings you describe are very understandable. You have had so much to process in a very small timeframe - the ordeal of diagnosis, surgical treatment, losing a pregnancy and concerns about the future. Any one of these is hard to contend with and putting it all together is immense. After a frightening ordeal like ectopic pregnancy, some women find that they suffer from Post Traumatic Stress and symptoms can include anxiety and not being able to focus on everyday things like work. There are a number of avenues that you could look into to get the help that you need.
We at the Trust believe that talking through what happened and your emotions as and when you can helps the healing process. We operate a helpline service and there's no pressure whatsoever but if you would ever like the opportunity to speak over the phone to someone who has been through a similar experience, do feel free to call, details are below. We can take things at your pace entirely and you are free to ask any questions that are on your mind. You can talk about the ordeal you have been through and express your feelings to vent and let off some steam. We can exchange emails too, if you prefer that route. We'll simply be here for you, however you wish and for as long as you wish.
In addition, you can ask to see a GP at your practice and ask them to explore ways in which you can get help and this can include referrals for "talking therapies" or counselling.
We have information on our website about finding counselling services and we have more information here: http://www.ectopic.org.uk/patients/emotional-impact/
The charity Mind may also be of assistance. They have local centres and support groups and can offer services on a means-tested basis or sometimes free. You can find your local centre following this link if that may be useful too: http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/local-minds/
Above all be kind to yourself and allow time to grieve, to heal both physically and emotionally. We will be here for you for as long as you need.
Sending much love and warm hugs,
The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust
Registered Charity Number: 1071811
Ectopic pregnancy patient information suite: Highly Commended in the 2019 BMA Patient Information Awards
During the coronavirus outbreak, The EPT team is still working hard to provide crucial information and support to women and families experiencing ectopic pregnancy as quickly and efficiently as we can.
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Further information is available at ectopic.org.uk
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