Sometimes things don’t go quite as planned.
I had positive thoughts going into this egg donation. I was excited for the couple that was going to bring new life into this world. I was excited to do something I've never done before (I like to try everything once). I know several people that have donated and I hadn't heard anything terribly scary. These are all of the reasons I was taken by surprise when nothing went as smoothly as I imagined.
My eggs were retrieved last Saturday. All 27 of them. I felt great afterward. That anesthesia is amazing. It’s like a deliriously delicious nap. Heck, I would pay for that regularly if I could. The pain and aggravation didn’t start until the following day. I had cramping as expected and masked it with Vicodin and sleep. I even went for a nice hike with Ang up at Torrey Pines.
Every day after that was progressively worse. My pain level increased and spread throughout my body. I was nauseous from dusk till dawn. I could hardly eat and it was painful just to walk. It hurt most to laugh and pee. Oh, how I missed a peaceful pee.
I finally got into the clinic for a check-up and it turned out I had fluid in my abdominal cavity. When the drugs stimulate the ovaries too much, the ovaries can suddenly become very swollen and fluid can leak into the belly and chest area. This is called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).
They hooked me up to an IV drip and after a bag of fluids I was sent home.
I spent the next day in the hospital.
I had a urine test, blood test, internal ultrasound, external ultrasound, chest x-ray, EKG, CT Scan and was given another IV bag of fluids. Why, you ask? Because I had horrible chest pains for well over 24 hours. This is all standard protocol for chest pain. I can't wait to see that bill.
All of those tests provided me with this tidbit of information: The fluid from my ovaries not only leaked in to my abdomen but it also traveled to my chest. Luckily, the fluids were outside of my lungs, not in them. All of this fluid causes an inflammatory response because it isn't supposed to be there. That response is why I felt so much pain.
I am not typing all of this because I want sympathy. Trust me, I realize there are far worse things in life. I just want to throw the risks out there and be candid about my experience in case anyone reading is considering being an egg donor. I am certainly not advising against it, but it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with being a donor. OHSS happens to up to 10% of women going through these types of treatments. I happened to be that 1 in 10 and it was not pretty.
I can’t decide what was worse, the pain and nausea or the fact that I was bed ridden for days staring at the ceiling! I was able to fly through a few books, which was nice, but every time I stared down at my big bloated belly all I wanted to do was move my body. To run. To walk. To do jumping jacks. Whatever!
Today, I feel fabulous! In fact, I think I will try running. Marathon training for Chicago starts NOW. I couldn’t be more excited. I have my plan printed and I’m ready to start checking off my runs each day. That little check mark brings me a ridiculous amount of joy. I know I’m not alone in this.