• Erin Zaranec

So, now what?

Exactly two months ago, I checked into the Cleveland Clinic for excision surgery with a possible removal of my right ovary due to a cyst that was taking up nearly 90% of my ovary. Well, we all know how that turned out (if you don't, no worries - I blogged about it!)

I haven't had many updates post surgery and honestly, in this case, no news was good news. My incisions healed as expected and my body bounced back to normal relatively quickly. Recently, I had my post-op with my surgeon and I wasn't sure what to expect.

Am I just... recovered? Was it possible that one surgery undid 6+ years of pain and unanswered questions? Well, yes. And no.

My body is a little trickster so we have no answer to that question for the time being. Recovered is simply too broad of a term to apply to my situation.

Without a cyst weighing down my ovary, the majority of my daily pain is gone. My pelvic floor is still wound very tightly and occasionally spasms, but the triggers that caused most of my daily distress were eliminated on surgery day.

The reason for some of that pain reduction is the fact that my surgeon removed two fibroids from my uterus. These two patches of tissue were severely inflamed and agitated, causing a near constant pain that stemmed from the back of my uterus.

Pair that with a ruptured cyst and, well, most of my pain is gone. Now, we're just in a waiting game.

My doctor is unsure of the chances of a cyst growing that large again. We haven't really discussed PCOS or any other cyst-related conditions and are exploring physical therapy and other pain management options for the future.

This means that with the proper combination of PT, muscle relaxers, and steroid shots - I could just be managing a muscle tightness and spasticity. Or, it means another large cyst could form weeks, months, or years from now and lead me down the same path of pain.

Fingers crossed we're looking at the first option!

To me, two months feels like a lifetime. It feels like it's been years since the day I nervously checked into the Clinic and left with three new incisions. But, as my doctor reminded me, to my body - two months is just a quick blip. We need to see more long-term progress, more details of recovery, and allow my body to go through several menstrual cycles before I'm all leveled out again.

Once the Coronavirus pandemic begins to calm, I'll resume physical therapy and work on strengthening my pelvic floor again. For now, I'm working on building back my core - two of my incisions cut through major muscle groups.

So, I'm formally not an endometriosis patient. In fact, I don't really have any diagnosis at all. I've been coined a 'chronic pain patient' and will work to manage that pain while advocating for myself every step of the way.

The Invisible Illness series details my journey with chronic pelvic pain and the various treatments I am prescribed.


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