Would You Like a Hysteroscopy With That?

operating-room-848496_960_720

Not having to be conscious during unpleasant medical procedures makes me deliciously happy. Why, yes, I would in fact enjoy a nice dose of anesthesia while having my lady bits poked and prodded with frightening medical instruments, thankyouverymuch! So, in that sense, it’s a dream come true for my pain threshold. Confused? Read on: this is a quicky post.

I don’t actually expect my readers of this lil’ blog (all 98 of you awesome people…still shocked that nearly 100 people find this stuff remotely interesting. Mwuah!) to remember what I’m talking about. I’m kind of an infrequent blogger, although one my new year’s resolutions is to fix that.

So, quick recap: I was supposed to have a combination hysteroscopy/D&C/uterine biopsy with my RE, Dr. C, earlier this month to investigate my last six months of continuous unexplained bleeding. After that procedure, I was supposed to have a laparoscopy cleanup surgery for endometriosis with my other doctor, Dr. Din, in early February. Pleasant ways to start off a new year, eh?  j/k. I’m actually grateful to be in the hands of such good doctors and to have God’s blessings of finances to pay for this medical care.

After I’d already scheduled my hysteroscopy/D&C/biopsy with his clinic, Dr. C suggested that, instead, Dr. Din could do these procedures while he was already operating on me… Which came down to a real “duh” moment for me: Why would I want to have two unpleasant procedures spaced out over the course of a month when I could just have them both done at once (and—bonus— while not having to feel the actual procedures while they were happening!)?

I saw Dr. Din again last week. He was extremely cool about adding these extras to my surgery.

We also scheduled my surgery while I was at his office. I picked the first available date. It all goes down on Wednesday, February 1, 2017:

  • Laparoscopy for endometriosis removal. This includes checking my bowels, abdomen, uterus, ovary, fallopian tube, cervix, pelvic cavity, and bladder for endo and/or adhesions.
  • Hysteropscopy to see why the heck I keep on bleeding and bleeding (including as I type this on cycle day 24) like a crazy woman between periods.
  • D&C to empty out whatever mystery intruders might have taken up residency in my uterus, possibly causing the bleeding.
  • Uterine biopsy to make sure nothing more sinister is lurking in my cells.
  • Correction of one of my previous surgical scars (post to follow) that looks….well…not like it should.

I’m pretty chill about the surgery itself. This is not my first rodeo, so I’m fully aware of what to expect afterward.

It seems like I’ve been writing on this blog for months now about having another surgery. Literally, months. You must all be bored to tears reading about something that never seems to actually happen! It’s a great feeling to finally have a set date, rather than just a looming possibility hanging in perpetuity in the general future.

Next up: all about surgical scars. I promise it will be nice and gory.

Peace. 🙂

 

Advertisements

The Long-Awaited Surgical Consult

surgery

Guys, seriously. It actually happened! After like a zillion false starts and so much stupidity, I fina-freak-ing-ly had my surgical consult for endometriosis cleanup! That only took six months. But, praise God, He made a way this time!

I returned to see my latest surgery prospect, Dr. Din*, two days ago. I’m glad I gave him a second chance after the epic fail that was my original consult. Dr. Din ended up being extremely thorough and knowledgeable, and patiently answered all 1,000 of my questions. I’m so pleased that my first impression about his practice was changed for the better.

This time around there were no other patients in the waiting room, nor were there any ridiculous delays. I waited maybe 10 minutes in reception and an additional 15 minutes or so in the exam room; I think that’s pretty standard for a doctor’s office.

As I was hoping, I didn’t have to change into a gown or have an exam, or any other such nonsense. I remained in my regular clothes and Dr. Din didn’t press me to have an exam. I believe when you meet a doctor for the first time that it’s always better to be fully dressed. When you’re wearing only a thin paper gown and feeling virtually naked, it automatically puts all authority and power in the patient/doctor relationship in the doctor’s court. So I appreciated being able to keep my pants on.

Here’s how it went down, bullet style

  • Dr. Din reviewed the ginormous packet of records I’d brought. Specifically, he took time to read my last two post-op reports.
  • After reading my records, he looked up at me and said, “Boy. You’ve got a real mess going on in there.” This didn’t faze me or upset me at all like it used to. He’s certainly not the first (or second, or even third) doctor to say that to me: I already know my endo is way bad. Like, if they counted past Stage 4, I’d probably be a Stage 6.
  • Dr. Din was concerned about my colon. I’d forgotten this, but apparently in surgery #4—but not in previous surgeries—I had significant endo on my colon and bowel/rectum area (forgive me if these are not in the same neighborhood of the body. My anatomy knowledge is sparse).
    • Option A: Because of the colon thing, Dr. Din gave me the option of referring me to a reproductive oncologist (an “RO”) to do my surgery; ROs apparently frequently work within the colon area. My experience from a previous surgery with an RO is that they’re quite scissor-happy. I do not want another laparotomy. Period. I do not like Option A.
    • Option B. Dr. Din often work in tandem with a colorectal surgeon. This means that, during my surgery, Dr. Din will do all the work (well, the Da Vinci robot will, actually) as far as removing endo, but a colorectal surgeon will be the surgical suite too. If Dr. Din sees endo on my colon/bowel/rectum areas, his colorectal colleague will take over the Da Vinci robot to remove endo from those areas. I am a fan of Option B.
  • My endo will be fully excised. The only time Dr. Din would burn it away is if there were “very small spots” (his words) that would be too small to bother excising. I’m okay with this.
  • Dr. Din is buddies with Dr. C (my RE). Apparently the two of them frequently exchange patients: Dr. C does IVF, but not obstetrics. Dr. Din does not do IVF, but he’s an OB who often follows post-IVF pregnancies. I was pleased to know that, between the two docs, I’d be in good hands.
  • Dr. Din examined the myriad of surgical scars on my abdomen (seriously, there’s so many). He pointed out where he would make incisions over top of my existing scars. I was happy to know that I’m only adding 1 tiny new scar to the collection.

I am to send Dr. Din a copy of the report following my upcoming hysteroscopy. If he has any questions about it—or about my history in general—he will touch base with Dr. C. In the meantime, Dr. Din promised to thoroughly review my plethora of records.

After the hysteroscopy, I’ll schedule a second appointment with Dr. Din. I imagine he’ll go over my procedure, order some blood tests, and schedule my pre-op stuff and the surgery itself. Time frame = end of January/early February.

Here’s to pain relief, to finally freeing my ovary from a tangle of adhesions, and being one step closer to restoring my fertility for natural TTC!

 

 

*Nope, not his real name; just a pseudonym to keep up my privacy in the blog world.

Much Ado About Nothing

surgery-470743_1920

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.

drinaminute

 

An Actual Cycle and Other Random Updates

update-1672385_1920

Errrm…. sorry for the crickets over here. Life has been crazy busy and I keep meaning to blog, but then I think my “updates” are kind of lame and non-updatey, so it never really happens.

Work/business has been crazy, plus we relocated our office to the ‘burbs, and I’m frantically working on creating our website, so—whew! Then, just when I planned to post an update, all the election insanity hijacked the blogosphere. I wanted to wait for that to calm down in my feed before posting. This is a (in)fertility blog and I intend to keep it that way, so have no fear of interposing political views here! There’s plenty of other places to get your politix fix. All I will say on the matter is that I continue to pray for the ever-widening gulf which is so bitterly dividing our great country to be repaired. *end of non-fertility talk*

In the meantime, I have been following everyone else’s blogs on my feed. Please know that I grieve with those of you who’ve recently experienced losses. I celebrate with those of you who’ve gotten your miracle babies or that long-awaited BFP. And I completely identify a million percent with those still of you (well, “us”) still stuck in the trenches. It’s a tough, tough place to live.

The most exciting thing fertility-wise that I have to report is that I finally—after 4 months—had/am having an honest-to-God regular cycle! Sounds like kind of ho-hum news, right? But so far 2016 is going down in history as The Year of Stupid Cycles. I’ve had three (possibly four) bona fide, full cycles complete with ovulation this year. Miscarriage #2 really threw my body for a loop. This was after it took so.many.years to even have regular cycles to begin with. So having my body back on track feels pretty fantastic.

As the holidays draw near, I’m feeling just a tad desperate to end this year on a high note (read: pregnant) and time is a-tickin’. AF is due next week, and I’m praying and doing all the right things. Yep, it’s all pineapple core and brazil nuts and 24/7 sock-wearing around Marixsa’s crib these days. Even though I’m more than five years into this thing and I should know better by now, here I am on cycle day 26 symptom-spotting and chock full of hope. Or maybe naiveté. Or insanity.

Oh yeah. And that whole surgery thing? I never did have my surgical consult back in October that I was so excited about, though not for lack of trying. See, this past year my long-buried anxiety disorder has made a full-out reappearance. This dramatically affects my ability to drive—even though I take medication—without having a panic attack. More on that another post. The solution was to take an Uber to my consult, but it didn’t quite work out. For no particular reason the day of my consult, traffic was backed up 20X more than usual. I spent an hour in the backseat of some Uber driver’s car in dismay staring at a sea of brake lights. In that time, we managed to go four whole miles. There was no way I was making it to the appointment on time. Unfortunately, that surgeon’s office is unrealistically far for me. I never rescheduled the appointment.

Never one to easily give in to defeat, I found a new surgeon! This new doctor is also an hour away, but in an area that is all back roads and near the town I grew up in. Okay: doable. Well, doable with an extra dose of anxiety meds. He uses the Da Vinci robotic method, which I’ve had in a prior surgery and am a fan of. My surgical consult is scheduled for December 9. Surgery #5 will hopefully be in the early part of 2017.

Finally, I am hosting Thanksgiving this year! I typically usually do host it, except for last year when I boycotted the holiday. Since then, it’s taken me a very long time to return to feeling like I want to do anything at all. Most of this past year I’ve been a complete homebody. Isolation and avoiding people were my specialties. Lately that cloud has been slowly lifting, and I am tentatively taking baby steps back into actual living. I have to admit, it’s nice to be back participating in my own life again, although I don’t feel like the same person anymore. In some ways, ongoing infertility and multiple miscarriages have changed and shaped me into a new person: a person who I’m slowly learning to live with. Thirteen family members, including the infamous Baby, will be descending upon my house in three days’ time. Living cautiously in case of pregnancy means I’ll be doing Thanksgiving sans wine, so, please, pray for me.

Peace.

 

Cycle Day 50 and Other Updates

50

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, Grumpy Cat, ‘cause, my goodness, he’s too cute not to be shared with the world.

grumpy

 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?