I received the report of my abdominal and pelvic ultrasounds in the mail today. Turns out I have a cyst within my left ovary that is 2.5 x 2.0 x 1.8 cm. The plan, or so it says on my radiology exam report, is to wait and watch for the next 2-3 menstrual cycles.

I did some research this afternoon about 2.5 cm ovarian cysts and what to do about them. One thing I learned is that many women are dealing with the same sorts of issues/symptoms as I am and are, like myself, not finding any real answers. I read many forum posts that expressed frustration with tests and waiting and still not receiving any real answers from their physicians. Women’s pelvic pain in general seems to be a huge mystery for medicine.

On the website “Women’s Health,” the section “What are the common causes of pelvic pain in women?” lists 26 “common” causes. That seems to be a large number for “common causes.” Maybe too many to all be lumped together. My question now is, since I’ve been waiting years for some sort of explanation for my pelvic pain, should I just wait 2-3 more cycles? It seems odd that the discovery of this cyst would be the one explanation considering I have been experiencing the symptoms for many more cycles than health websites claim it takes for cysts to “disappear” on their own. It is frustrating that these conditions are so difficult to parse out and treat. Many women just live with the discomfort. I find that I am one of them, and that is a sad sort of resignation.

It doesn’t seem that these sorts of conditions and disorders that cause this pain are as glamorous as others, though that doesn’t make them any less important to continue to investigate.

articles… and some resources…

If you haven’t already checked on these articles and resources, I’d recommend it. Sorry I’m behind schedule a bit – some are from last week.

The Women’s Health Initiative and the Body Politic” looks at our perception of women going through menopause. We treat this “condition” as an illness with various treatments including hormone therapy (estrogen and progestin) and hysterectomy. These treatments can be controversial and sometimes harmful for the patient, including a higher risk of breast cancer for those taking both hormones.

A couple articles on exercise: “What’s the Best Exercise?” and “Is Sitting a Lethal Activity?

There seems to be much controversy about how one should exercise and how much. Is walking  better than running? Do you really need 30 minutes 5 days a week? Part of the problem seems to be that anything considered to be outside “thin” is seen to be abnormal by most people. I can think of sitting through many an exegesis by particular people I know about the “problem” of “fat people who don’t exercise.” Exercise may seem to be obvious, but it’s not. Bodies vary in ability, thyroids process differently.

I also came across this feature in the Health section of the NY Times called “Patient Voices” that chronicles experiences of various diseases/disorders including HIV/AIDS, lupus, OCD, ADHD, and many others. It’s multimedia with video interviews. If you’re interested in other patient forums specific to your illness/etc., you can try PatientsLikeMe. I originally wasn’t accepted into the forum because my particular condition wasn’t included. However, I received an email from the site that finally accepted me! There is also healthtalkonline as a resource too.