'I Didn’t Want to be in Daily Pain'
My name is Brittany McLagan. I'm from Brookings, and I work at Knutson Family Dental here in Brookings, and also, I'm a fitness instructor at B.Well.
What brought you into Brookings Health System?
They originally found this cyst when I was 19, and it wasn't small, but I had been having symptoms with it. And at that time, they did go over, you know, "This is not life threatening, you can live with this cyst. It's just a matter of do you want to or do you want to just watch it and wait and see if it goes down or if it grows?" At that point I'm young, I wasn't having daily pain with it, so I just kind of let it be for then. And then as life went on, it grew a little bit. Again, not a big deal, but it did come with pain and just irregular cycles. And that's when I went in with Dr. Tara and talked about options on what we can do with this and if I wanted to live with this and just see where it goes or if I wanna be done having daily pain.
What was your pain like?
It was my lower right abdomen, and it was just on the inside a really sharp pain, and then it would dull down. And then I could kind of function, but basically the pain every single day just a constant. It would be really bad and then it would just kind of go away. I remember just recently the worst day, we were getting ready to go to Sioux Falls and I couldn't even put my pants on. It hurt so bad. And it's just like it shouldn't be like that.
Why did you wait so long for treatment?
I made myself think "Oh, it's not that big of a deal," and it wasn't an emergency. But once after it was done, it kind of put my mind at ease. It's crazy right now sitting here. I don't have any pain and it's just weird. I don't know. After I was through recovery and everything I was kind of looking for that pain, waiting for it. And even when I'm at work, I'm just like, this is weird. I feel like I should be having pain because that's usually what I'm in. I'm in pain, you know, on that right side. It's crazy how used to that a person gets I guess.
How did Dr. Haarsma help you feel comfortable before surgery?
Oh, gosh, absolutely. She definitely put my mind at ease. She was very thorough when she talked about the surgery and she didn't really lean me towards the surgery. She obviously, gave me my options, but at this point, seeing her after the ultrasound, I was like, "Nope, I'm done. This thing is bigger than my ovary. Let's just get it out." She definitely made me feel like I was making the right decision. And the way she just explained things, I was very confident with her doing it and just getting it done. I just was ready to do it. I was not hesitant at all. I wasn't really scared. I was just like, "Let's get it done. I wanna get it done and over with."
How was the day of surgery?
It was actually really calm. I was a little nervous because I had never been intubated before. This is kind of like my first big surgery. So I was a little nervous about that, you know, going to sleep. But otherwise the procedure, I was just kind of like, "Okay, thank God, it's here."
How did you feel when you learned that Dr. Haarsma saved your ovary?
But I woke up and my husband, Mitch had said that she was able to save my ovary and I was just like, "Oh my gosh, that's just so great." I mean, I wasn't gonna be upset if she had taken it, but I was like, "That's great." She really thought that she'd have to take my ovary. So she did take a part of my tube because it was more connected to my tube than it was my ovary.
How did the staff treat you during recovery?
Everybody's attitude and patience with me and knowledge, like knowing these people know what they're doing just made me feel a lot better about the whole day. So it was really nice. I didn't feel rushed to get out. They were very patient with me. Like I said, they just knew what they were doing. If I had a question, it wasn't, "Hurry up and answer it so we can get her out of here." It was just, "Whenever you're ready to go, we'll help you, just buzz us. Call if you need anything." And if I had any questions, they were right there to help.
How has surgery changed your everyday life?
I'm pain free. It's insane. And there are some days where I think it's just weird not to have that pain, but it's normal. It's not weird. And then, I feel better. And then I don't have that thought in the back of my head like "What's growing inside of me?" It's more of a peace of mind now that it's gone.
How has surgery affected your overall health?
I was taking a lot of over the corner medications to help, and I don't do that near as much because of the pain. And pain does take a toll on a person, I guess. It got to be a lot. There were some days that it wasn't very much. And then there were some days where I felt like I wasn't being understood how much pain I was in.
Why did you choose local surgery in Brookings?
It didn't even cross my mind to have it anywhere else. Dr. Tara practices here, and I never once questioned anything she had told me. There's just a confidence about her where I was just like, "Yeah." She would talk and I'm just like, "Yeah. Yeah."
What did you appreciate most about Brookings Health System?
Everybody treated me really well. I felt understood and I felt very taken care of. Everybody was so comforting and just there to help me and just wanted to help me, and that just made me feel like I was the only person in the hospital. I just felt, like I said, I was the only one in the hospital. I was like their only surgery that day and they just put all their time and effort into me and that just feels good.
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