Kayla Rahn had to struggle with abdominal pain, swelling and shortness of breath for months on end.
She also grabbed on pounds, gaining weight that seemed impossible to lose. People would ask if she was pregnant – maybe even with twins? – And when she was due. They would also volunteer to load food for them.
"I always told them that I would call it Taco Bell," the 30-year-old told The Washington Post of the jokes she had made in response to all the awkward pregnancy issues.
Just recently, Rahn learned what was really going on: a cyst shaped like a watermelon grew in her ovary and crushed her other organs – a potentially dangerous situation, her doctors said.
Rahn underwent surgery at the end of May to remove her ovarian and 50-pound cyst – the largest her surgeon had ever extracted.
Officers from the Montgomery Clinic Jackson, Ala, announced in a press release this week that Rahn had a mucinous cystadenoma, a benign cystic tumor in the ovary. Since she was removed, Rahn said she lost 75 pounds – and her surgeon said that she was "excited that she was fine."
"It was not a fun operation and there were times when I was in pain," Rahn said Friday. "But I had such a fantastic support system, I had no chance to worry about anything."
After months of health problems and no solutions, Rahn said her mother took her to the Jackson Hospital emergency room, not far from where she lived.
There, doctors discovered a tremendous amount in her stomach, later telling him that it was in one of her ovaries – and that they had to get it out immediately.
Rahn said she was relieved to finally have some answers.
"I remember crying every time we talked about it," she said.
When the doctors told her what they had found, Rahn did not seem so surprised, said Gregory Jones, an OBGYN at the hospital.
"She knew something was wrong," said Jones, one of Rahn's surgeons. "Interestingly, she never had the shock and the awe; she had that relief, like, "Of course there's a mass."
Rahn – mostly calm but still worried – was rushed to an operating room at the hospital the next day, May 26.
Her surgeons confirmed that it was an ovarian cyst and removed it.  Rahn was held in the intensive care unit for a few days when her organs, which had been stuffed into her stomach, returned to her place, Jones said.
The surgeon explained that as soon as the body was decompressed, some patients Changes in blood pressure or electrolyte or kidney problems may occur, but Rahn, he said, did "very well."
Ovarian cysts are common and usually harmless, and many women do not even know they have them because the cysts are coming and go without causing any problems after the Mayo Clinic.
However, in cases where the cysts do not resolve themselves, they can cause flatulence and, w Failure to treat them may force the ovaries to twist or burst, resulting in internal bleeding, according to the Mayo Clinic.
It is unclear how long Rahn had the cyst, but her surgeon estimated that it was more than a year.
Rahn has an incision that extends from her chest to her pelvis, but said she is on the mend – and regains self-confidence, wearing clothes she has not fitted in for a while. She said she has a message for others: Listen to your body and defend yourself. It's important, she said, that people are pushing for answers to their medical problems.
Your surgeon agreed
"She sought help from several doctors, and we had missed it – as a medical community that we had missed it," Jones said, stressing the need for patients to seek help and that their Doctors listen to them.
A Plan to Stop Drug Consumers from Shooting Up in Public Toilets – and Why It Could Be a Bad Idea
I had a bit of app addiction. Until those apps saved me.