Back at Square One

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I ended up in the emergency room this weekend for, well, a bit of an embarrassing reason. So glad for an anonymous blog right about now! Without spelling it all out, I thought I had a cut inside of my vag—yep, inside—and was worried about infection or needing stitches or something horrifying like that.

It all started four days ago during some rough foreplay and the fact that Jake isn’t the best at keeping his fingernails trimmed….you get the idea. Anyway, after this foreplay, Jake and I were working on some baby making when we realized that I was bleeding, significantly. I’ve never had such scary bleeding mid-cycle before, even during the worst of my intermenstrual bleeds of the last six months. It was literally gushing out of me for hours. Utterly freaked out, we stoppped. This was cycle day 17 for me, which is a common day for me to have IM bleeding, so the bleeding was either caused by Jake, or it was regular IM bleeding (is that an oxymoron or what?) that had been exacerbated by our, errrrm, bedroom activities.

But the bleeding continued for four more days, unrelenting. Finally we made the call and I went to the ER. I’m generally the type of person who only will go to the ER for, say, a severed limb, so I was clearly feeling terrified that I had some monster vag cut going on. I was also ever-so-slightly embarrassed to explain why I was there. But, seriously, so many countless medical people have seen my undercarriage at this point in my life that I also mostly didn’t care. I can discuss cervixes and vaginas and sex with just about anyone, anywhere and it totally doesn’t phase me, so I wasn’t as embarrassed as some people might have been.

Fortunately, the hospital staff was very discreet and cool and didn’t make me feel weird in the least. When the doc came in and started talking about vaginal stitches I kind of mentally checked out. A super pleasant and comfortable speculum exam—because they always are super pleasant and comfy—only showed lots of blood in the canal and some “raw” areas in my vag, but no abrasions or cuts, thank the Lord. The doctor diagnosed it as dysfunctional uterine bleeding (story of my life anymore *sigh*) and told me to refrain from sex for a few more days and instructed me to follow up with Dr. Din since I’m only a month post-op.

Here I am then, back at square one with more unexplained intermenstrual bleeding. I’d been so positive that the surgery would’ve stopped it from returning, or at least provided some type of answer for it. Not so.

I’m pretty bent with Dr. Din right now, because we’re no closer to knowing why I’m bleeding than we’d been in the last six months that I’ve had it. Part of the investigation into my IM bleeding was supposed to have been a biopsy of my uterus. On either two or three occasions, Dr. Din assured me he’d biopsy me during surgery to rule out any unseen lurking medical predators. I found out the other week though that he strait up did NOT do a biopsy, like we had previously agreed to! His reason? He “doesn’t like to biopsy premenopausal women.” Huh?! So now we still have no answer for the IM bleeding, even after all those surgical procedures. To say that I’m PO’ed about this is to state it kindly.

I’m not even hopeful that this is some kind of crazy implantation spotting gone awry. I know what my body is like when it’s pregnant, and this sure ain’t it. I’ve already called in a towel throw for this cycle. Silly me to have imagined a right-away pregnancy.

Next month if the bleeding returns yet again, I will email Dr. C and ask for [another] hysteroscopy  and for the biopsy he was originally going to perform months ago. It’ll cost me a hefty copay, which I’m definitely not keen about, but I trust Dr. C far more than I trust Dr. Din, and I feel he’s better qualified. If Dr. C can’t/won’t see me for this, I will ask for a referral to another specialist, maybe a RO.

I’m so beyond over doctors who don’t take my concerns seriously. I know that something is still wrong here, and I won’t rest until I’ve exhausted every avenue of diagnosis to find out what’s it is.

Forgive the rant-y tone of this post. The battle is wearying, but I’m not going down without a fight.

 

 

 

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Much Ado About Nothing

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Just a little rant-y post here today, because it seems I’m perpetually taking one step forward and two steps back in the Land of All Things Infertility. I’ve had a heck of a time finding a doctor for surgery, and I’m getting weary of the runaround. I just want answers.

Today was supposed to be my surgical consult for endo cleanup. I mentioned in my last post that my previous consult didn’t work out due to distance, traffic, and my anxiety. After that consult fell through, I made a consult with a different doctor, which was scheduled for today.

This morning I drove the 50 minutes to the doctor’s office and arrived ten minutes early. My first impression of the place was that it was one of those “cattle mill” medical practices: you know, the kind where they churn out patients like so much chattel, overscheduling their books, always with a packed waiting room, and where their bottom line is all about getting more patients in than the doctor has time to see. This particular practice touts itself as being “OB/GYN/Infertility,” although they do not perform IVF… Meaning lots of pregnant women were in the waiting room. It never bodes well for the infertility patient to be staring at big pregnant bellies while awaiting an appointment. But, I digress. Regardless, I decided to give the place the benefit of the doubt. I checked in and sat in the waiting room. Where I waited… And waited… And waited some more! Five women who’d arrived after me were called in, and still it wasn’t my turn.

After waiting 40 minutes, I asked the receptionist when I could expect to see the doctor. Her reply? “Oh, it’s going to be at least another 45 minutes. The doctor is very behind today.” For realz? An hour and a half wait? I went out of my way to get to my appointment on time, and they didn’t even have the courtesy to phone me and let me know I could’ve come at 1:00 instead of 11:30! Unfortunately, my job is very demanding and I don’t have the luxury of spending 3 hours at a doctor’s appointment, in addition to nearly 2 hours travel time there and back. I made the call to leave without being seen. They rescheduled my consult for Tuesday, December 13. I’ll give this place another shot, though I’m not expecting much.

In other news, my intermenstrual bleeding is baaaaaack! I didn’t have the bleeding in October/November, probably because I was still in the throes of the Longest Cycle Ever and hadn’t ovulated in forever. Today I’m on cycle day 15 and have been bleeding since CD11. I ovulated right on time on CD14, so there’s some silver lining amongst the clouds.

Last time I had IM bleeding, my RE, Dr. C, told me to call the clinic if the bleeding returned. I called my clinic’s nurse today and she relayed my situation to my RE. Dr. C wants to do a hysteroscopy (this will be my third h/s) and [possibly] a D&C, as well as a biopsy and general vag exam. I’m to call back with the start of my next cycle so I can schedule the procedure. Unlike Cattle Mill Place above, Dr. C’s office is on the money: they answer their phones promptly, return calls quickly, and I can always get an appointment in no time at all. I wish Dr. C could do my surgery! He refuses though (I believe his exact words when I first met him were “No surgeon would touch you with a 10-foot pole.” How comforting), so onward the search continues.

So overall, today was just a bad day in the trenches. I have faith it will get better. It has to.

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Cycle Day 50 and Other Updates

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What?! “Cycle day 50?” you say. Word. fif.ty. Fiddy. The Big Five O.

You may recall that my blog as of late has basically been about my making innumerable, pointless visits to my RE’s office—coupled with taking frequent ‘scripts for Provera—to try taming my ongoing mystery bleeding. I spoke too soon last time I posted when I said that the bleeding was disappearing. Not a day later it returned with a vengeance. For those of you not familiar with Provera, it’s not supposed to make you bleed while taking it… Like, that’s the exact opposite effect of its purpose. But I did bleed on Provera… twice… and heavily. The eventually bleeding went away, long after the script ran out. The investigative h/s and D&C that Dr. C planned to do were both canceled for reasons unknown to me. I’ve made no effort to try to reschedule them. The whole thing still remains a mystery.

Dr. C’s office tells me that any bleeding I had while taking Provera did not count as a period, i.e. no unfertilized egg was passed. This means that today I’m either on cycle day 50 or cycle day 77. Pick your poison. Personally, I’m going with 50 because it sounds just slightly less insane.

In other fertility news, I [finally] am having my surgical consult on October 6. I don’t find that typing such a sentence warrants an exclamation mark, even though I am actually excited about it. Well, you know: not excited excited. But, post-surgery, certainly I’m looking forward to pain relief from Evil Endo and to having the same chances of natural conception that normal women have. Now that I am excited about! Two exclamation marks for natural TTC!!

It took a long time to find a surgeon. I hit several roadblocks and dead ends along the way, but eventually I found a stellar surgeon who’s only an hour from where I live. She received rave reviews online, and when I called her office to make the appointment her staff was friendly and efficient. Plus, the pre-visit forms I completed were ridic thorough. It took a full six weeks to get an opening with this surgeon, as she’s very in demand. All good things, right? I’m years overdue for another surgery: what’s six weeks to wait?

Otherwise, all’s been quiet on the TTC front. Jake and I ended up not even being able to try making any babies for about, oh, 6 full weeks (!). I was still have problems with painful intercourse and couldn’t, errrrm, do anything. For the record, celibacy during marriage is not fun. Because there’s been a less than zero chance of pregnancy, I’ve become incredibly lazy about taking my vitamins/supplements, charting BBTs, and avoiding too much coffee (c’mon, it’s pumpkin spice season, people!), plus all those other nutty things I do in the name of TTC. And you know what? Part of me doesn’t care. Part of me likes it.

We’ve recently had the one-year anniversary of our first embryo transfer, which was (and is) a tough pill to swallow when I remember back to a year ago and the promises I thought were in store from our second pregnancy. But we also recently celebrated our 13 year wedding anniversary, which is a lovely ray of sunshine busting through the dark and stormy clouds. We may not have our take-home baby yet, but we still have each other. And that alone is priceless.

I’ll end this post with a pic of our still-new-to-us kitty, a/k/a Mr. McGrumpypants, ‘cause, my goodness, he’s too cute not to be shared with the world.

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 p.s. Is anyone else’s WordPress acting wonky? Not showing draft posts, taking forever to load, not able to save drafts, etc.? Or is it just mine?

Unexplained Bleeding: Part 2

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After my last update about unexplained non-period bleeding, I thought the issue was over and done with.

But, this cycle the weird bleeding returned. It came on on cycle day 15 and has stayed through day 24 and counting. Think heavier-than-spotting-but-not-as-heavy-as-a-period kind of bleeding. Several times during the worst of it I stood up from being seated and blood just streamed out of me; other times it was more like annoying spotting all day and all night long. At first, I chalked the whole thing up to being a withdrawal bleed from the Provera I’d taken a month ago. My clinic had warned me to expect a withdrawal bleed, so I just soldiered on. The straw that broke the camel’s back though came when I awoke to blood-soaked panties in the middle of the night one night last week. To ease my troubled mind, I called the clinic just to check.

Turns out that, no, this was not a withdrawal bleed. Dr. C said that I shouldn’t even have been bleeding at all. So much for easing my mind.

Back to the clinic I went for more blood work. My numbers came back normal except for my progesterone, which was “significantly elevated” (I love medicalese). I asked for an explanation for my high progesterone level, but Dr. C didn’t want to venture a guess. I felt frustrated, but I understand that he can’t make a diagnosis over the phone. I guess I just wanted reassurance that it wasn’t elevated due to some ultra scary reason, and I wanted that reassurance, like, yesterday.

Unexplained Bleeding Part 2 has me taking a second round of Provera. The goal is that this medication will either stop or slow my bleeding. I’m only three days into a 10-day stretch of pills, but so far the Provera seems to have slowed the roll, so I’m pleased that it’s doing its job.

If I start overthinking possible reasons for two cycles of inexplicable bleeding (which is entirely too easy to do), I end up making myself totally crazed with worry. So I have to take a deep breath and slooooow it down. I remind myself to be actively thankful that the bleeding is going away at all, even if it has been replaced by mega cramps. And I tell myself there’s probably a completely benign explanation that we just haven’t figured out yet. If I’m wrong and something more sinister is indeed lurking in the shadows, all I can do is cross that bridge if I come to it.

Which brings me to the last part: If this non-period bleeding decides to make a surprise reappearance in the next few weeks—which would be the third cycle in a row—then Dr. C wants to perform a hysteroscopy and D&C. I’m kind of alright with having these procedures done, because my wanting an answer to this madness is a massive understatement! Of course I’m not thrilled at the concept of more poking and prodding, and it definitely doesn’t sound like the most pleasant way to spend a day, but I can deal. I am praying things don’t reach that point.

And with that said, let’s believe together that there will be no “Part 3” post about this in the future, and for an answer to come sooner than later.

Peace to you all, wherever you may be in your fertility journey.