Monday, May 17, 2010

The I-Word

Warning: boring, detailed discussion of my lady parts

I went to the OB/GYN a few weeks ago and she said that since things are as they are and we've been "trying" for so long and there's nothing that we've found that's wrong, we're looking at the nasty word that no one wants to ever think that will apply to them.

Infertility

The doc's thought on this is that the word means as much or as little as you make it. I like that attitude.

She said that before she sent me to her infertility specialist, she wanted to check for endometriosis. I've had terrible cramps forever and some other signs that meant I had like a 50% chance of having it. I agreed to go through with the procedure and we scheduled it for a week or two later. [10 days post ovulation and on a Friday, if possible] I left and cried. And cried. And cried.

I was telling my mother about it and she said that so-and-so had endometriosis, but most of the women in my family have had these benign, "bizarre" ovarian cysts--dermoid cysts--DO NOT LOOK THEM UP. I WARNED YOU. I AM NOT EXAGGERATING. One aunt had one the size of a Mason jar. Yes, a Mason jar--large and also, kind of random comparison object. So, that completely freaked me out and for the first time in almost two years I prayed that I wouldn't get pregnant that month so I could have the surgery and get rid of the monster that was more than likely growing to basketball-size inside me.

So, we went through with the laparoscopic procedure--one small incision in my belly button and one on my pubic bone. I spent a few hours on Wednesday at the doctor and then the hospital doing pre-op things. The doctor explained things and let me answer questions and then I went over to the hospital where I waited for a good 15 minutes without anyone acknowledging me. There were two women gossiping behind a cubicle wall and I finally "coughed." I felt passive-aggresive, but then I hate when people get pissy that even though their sign said to wait, you should have asked...

I then filled out 5,000 forms, including asking if I'd filled out a living will and other questions that are very sobering. They took blood, checked my vital signs, etc. And then they sent me on my way. I went to Super Target by the medical center and walked around. I managed to not sink my teeth into a box full of cupcakes or frosted doughnuts. I can't tell you how much I wanted to, but where was I going to do that? Hunched over in the car in the parking lot?

The day of the surgery, Ryan took me to the hospital for some reason we were running late. I was panicking, but we arrived just in time for me to jump out of the car and go upstairs to wait... by the cubicle from the other day. This time, someone came and fetched me almost immediately. I got my bracelet and then they said they were going to take me back to surgery and I panicked because Ryan wasn't back yet and I had my computer with his DVD and stuff to play with. They said he'd be back with me once he arrived.

They took my vitals again and as I was changing into the world's nicest gown, some dude "knocked" on the curtain and I was all, hang on... turned out it was Ryan. Yes, I was so rattled I didn't recognize his voice. Then, someone came in and put on the world's nicest compression hose. [Yes, I nicked them for my next plane flight] She had me lie down on a bed with a big, heavy blankie on me. After a while, they wheeled me down the hall in a wheelchair and Ryan kissed me goodbye.

In the room where I was waiting they asked me eleventy billion questions. They asked me about my "allergy" to NSAIDs (technically, a drug interaction) a zillion times. They took my vitals and asked me 400 times if I was a runner (my pulse was in the 40 range). Oh, and there were these places on the gown where a hose attached to warm air blew onto you. Remember that hair dryer from the 60's-70's with the cap and the hose? Just like that. Lemme tell ya, it was DE-LUXE.

They put in the IV and the most painful part was the numbing/stinging stuff. Yowch. She said she was going to put in something to calm me before we went into the OR and... I woke up and I was kind of angry, like WTF, I wasn't ready. Yeah. Well, looking at the clock, I could tell that they probably didn't find anything. I was disappointed almost. As in, I went through all of this for... nothing?

I had to wait until they'd move me and then I got to be with Ryan and I had TWO cans of Diet Coke. I was trying to stave off a caffeine-headache and my exit ticket was peeing a certain amount and I thought that would be the fastest way to leave. Even cracked out, I am a genius and I was able to leave pretty soon. Once home, Ryan helped me up to our bedroom on the 3rd floor where I stayed for the next 48 hours. He made me Spongebob Squarepants mac and cheese and brought me drinks and Vicodin and I fell asleep.

Ryan woke up on Saturday morning at about 4:30 to go running and I was awake before he returned. I ended sitting in the bathroom talking to my mom for an hour and a half while he slept. After that, my sisters came over and entertained and fed me. It really helped. I'm more lazy than the next gal and even that was maddening. I came down for Sunday dinner and it felt good.

The doctor said that my anatomy is "beautiful" and will show me pictures when I go in the week after next. And after that? IVF and IUI were mentioned. We don't want to do IVF for various reasons and IUI sounds okay if I don't have to take any hormones. We'll have to meet with the specialist once school is out.

So, I don't know how I feel about all this (other than thankful to not have endometriosis) or how things will go. I do know that I suspect that this school year being over will help. It has been HELL at times and that can't have helped. But, we'll see.

6 comments:

Mary~Momathon said...

Best wishes and quick recovery to you!

Julie said...

I'm sorry you had to endure all that without an answer. I can't believe they couldn't just do an ultrasound to find out if you had endometriosis? I swear, sometimes I feel like women's medicine is light years behind the curve.
I have had friends do both IUI and IVF and they have wonderful, beautiful babies. I hope whatever you choose, you will get to be a mommy like you hope and SOON! Love you!

Lainey-Paney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lainey-Paney said...

Been there.
Had that surgery.
Ate my crackers, and went home. (that was the requirement: drink something, eat something, & pee...then you can leave.)

I can understand the mixed emotions: the disappointment of going through all that & finding NOTHING wrong that may account for any "I"-related diagnosis, but being happy that everything looks beautiful inside...
In our situation---endometriosis was found.

Hubby & I will be attempting IUI in the future to conceive because of his multiple prostate surgeries...so we'll see...

Keep us posted on how things go with you guys {and keep me posted about IUI. I don't even know what I don't know to even ask about!}

The "I" word meaning as much or as little...etc.... Well, I think that at times, the weight of the situation will seem unbearable. And other times, it might not necessarily seem so...heavy. But it's not easy to hear.

Shoeaddict said...

I heart you, BIG.

Kate said...

I didn't respond before, but your comments mean/t a lot to me. xo