Most of the time, other individuals are dealing with issues that we are unaware of. Without uttering a single word, they bear the weight of their suffering.
An example of this is the story of 20-year-old Allison Fisher. She was given what she terms a “second chance” at life and her suffering was alleviated, thank goodness. If you want to know more, continue on…
In 2020, Alison Fisher first felt what she believed to be abdominal pain.
She began to have menstrual cycle irregularities at the same time as the discomfort, which was nearly constant. The 20-year-old said that she began a year-long period in 2020!
She went untreated because, as she herself said, she hated going to the doctor and how their focus was always on her weight.
“I let myself believe that if I ignored it, it would go away,” she confessed during an interview. “I was scared. I was just really scared.”
She was already nervous about getting medical treatment when the COVID-19 outbreak broke out.
Her reluctance to seek medical assistance was further elaborated upon, “[Growing up,] regardless of what I was there for—whether it was a cold or an ear infection, I was always told, ‘you need to lose weight. You need to lose weight,’” she explained. “If no one’s going to listen to me, if they’re always gonna tell me I need to lose weight, then what’s the point of going? What’s the point of listening to my body?”
The situation, however, continued to deteriorate for Fisher. A growth on her abdomen caught her attention.
She soon had a “rock hard” stomach and found it difficult to stand for more than five minutes at a time. Furthermore, she was unable to operate a motor vehicle due to the significant increase in her abdominal circumference. As a result of her cyst, Fisher was almost bedridden.
“As I looked closer at it, I realized that it was rock hard. I couldn’t lay on it.” The stomach pain was so immense that the 20-year-old couldn’t even lay on it, she recalled.
“I felt like I was pregnant with 10 kids,” she explained. “I couldn’t lay on my stomach. It felt like all my organs were being crushed.”
Around Christmas of 2022, the 20-year-old caved and went to the doctor since the mass was making it hard for her to breathe.
Her mother’s cancer diagnosis in 2021 was another factor in her decision to visit a doctor; the news only served to heighten her resolve to learn more about her own health and undergo treatment without delay.
Ascension St. Vincent’s gynecologic oncology surgeon Dr. Martin Martino broke the news to the worried young woman.
A 104-pound ovarian cyst with around 46 liters of fluid was diagnosed and was said to be growing inside her. Surgical removal would be necessary.
He disclosed the presence of pulmonary and cardiac experts as a result of the cyst’s consequences.
“We came together and said, ‘Let’s figure out a way to remove this,’ as Martino put it. The treatment, according to physician assistant Nicole Antenucci, “truly took a team.” It used robotic technology.
“We all just felt so lucky to be able to be a part of it and help her and now be part of her journey moving forward,” Antenucci said.
Memories of their initial encounter flooded back to the doctor. “When we met in the emergency room, she was short of breath,” Martino said. “It was right before Christmas. [While she was] lying on her side, I said, ‘Now’s the time, let’s do this.’”
“What was really interesting in [Fisher’s] case is that once we removed it, we looked at the other ovary because now we could see it, and the left ovary was twisted three times,” Martino told the media.
The medical staff’s top priority was minimizing harm as much as possible. “That [the left ovary] was about 10 centimeters that really helped us to be able to untwist it and save [Fisher’s] future fertility, and the chance to have kids.”
The massive cyst was surgically removed from the 20-year-old’s body. She described it as a “second chance” in her life.
Of her new lease on life she said, “I can see my feet again, I haven’t been able to do that in years. I can stand a little bit longer. I feel so much lighter, I feel like a person,” she shared. “I can wear clothes, I can do things that normal people can do. Now, moving forward, I am in the beginning stages of weight-loss surgery, and I am really excited for what life has in store for me.”
The young woman had to cope with this issue alone for weeks, months, or maybe even years, and the thought of it is terrifying.
It was all because she was afraid doctors and nurses would make fun of her because of her weight.
Fearing that their weight will be blamed for their health difficulties, many people avoid contacting medical professionals.
“There are other people out there who are in my shoes, other bigger people, who are just so scared to go to the doctor because of their weight,” Fisher herself said. “I just want them to know that they shouldn’t be scared.”
This 20-year-old has a new lease on life and plans to do all the things she was previously unable to do due to the massive cyst that she had removed. Among her favorite things to do are driving and cooking.
In women, ovarian cysts are somewhat common. “Many women have ovarian cysts at some time,” according to the Mayo Clinic’s estimation, and the majority of these cysts “present little or no discomfort and are harmless.”
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Having good health is truly a blessing. This brave young woman overcame her phobia of doctors and waited a long time to get the help she needed; now she hopes to encourage other women of a larger stature who feel the same way to overcome their fears and get medical attention.
Please make sure to SHARE this piece with others in order to inspire them to always look after their health. Let us know in the comments what you thought of Alison’s story!