Monthly Archives: January 2007

May, seriously, you are nuts

Updates first. I have managed, whooping with triumph, to extract an appointment with dismissive Mister Doctor from the clutches of the NHS. All I did was phone the given clinic number half-a-dozen times, listen to the phone ring relentlessly and forever for three of them, leave messages on the answer-phone for two of them, and on the sixth go, speak to a human being, who cheerfully and calmly booked me an appointment right away. For NEXT WEEK. Blimey.

Not that I want to see Mister Doctor again. But as the ACU said I need gyneacologicalling before they can carry on ferreting about in my undercarriage, looking for flaws, heigh ho. And anyway, I am beyond sick of the bleeding thing. It would be nice to not bleed for, oh, maybe three or four weeks or so?

*sigh*

And in Other News, it came to my attention that this career thingy that many people have, and, by gosh, even plan, was possibly a good thing I ought to look into, and how about putting off careering for a good year or so and becoming a student again? so if anyone asks (and they do) about the careering I can sweetly say I am gaining further qualifications while really bumming about in jeans and elderly teeshirts for just a little longer. And if, as I expect, I don’t get in, I can say I tried, and that should work too, kind of. I think.

So I applied to University.

And by ‘eck, but they went and accepted me.

Which I am not sure was part of The Plan.

So, as of September, I shall be spending an entire year doing an MA full-time, while working part-time.

Which means that getting pregnant any time before, oh, say, next Christmas, would be D-U-M-B. I say Christmas, because it might be rather ‘fun’ to be The Pregnant One at Uni, for once. Also, if I am The Pregnant One, some other poor 19-year-old kitten won’t be because I have bagsied the role, and therefore I will be doing my bit for humanity. But I cannot for the life of me see how to be the One With The Newborn while trying to dissertate.

So, really, I don’t want the ACU to get all radical on my ass and actually make me pregnant, as such, just yet. In which case should I waste their time? But if I go away for a while, I’d have to start all over again with the appointment booking months and months waiting thing and I’d rather they got on with working out what is wrong and what to do about it now. I am not getting any younger or less rusty about the lady-parts, despite the sudden re-upgrade to student.

And of course if I did get pregnant now I would be so, so very happy. And we’d manage. And I’d beg them to let me do the MA in segments and it would, yes, it would, all work out and I’d have a baby.

And before I get too flighty with the image of my own darling little child, I must point out to myself that there’s a long way to go in any case,and even if the ACU do work out the miracle cure thing, what are the chances of anything actually working between the end of March and Christmas? Not high.

And if I am a student, my family might just stop asking me when I am planning to get on and have a baby (yes! Indeed! Even the family members who know that I am infertile do this! I’d like them not to!). On the other hand it might make them ask even more ferociously – why am I arsing about at University when I ought to be procreating before extreme old age makes my one remaining ovary shrivel from Satsuma of Evil to Raisin of Doom?

Incidentally, we shall be testing this last hypothesis on Sunday, as we are going to a lovely big family Christening, for my lovely brand new cousin. Hurrah! Also, babies! Aigh!

And then there’s the whole issue of how H will deal with being essentially abandoned by his wife as she gallivants through the Groves of Academe. He was not exactly wonderful about the first MA I did, though he did try, bless him. And I am sure I was very trying. It’ll be fun, H sitting about wondering if his wife is the one with the brown hair and glasses or not, and who is this mysterious unseen entity who keeps littering the flat with lecture notes and finishing the milk before scrambling into bed with him in the dark and demanding to be inseminated

I really am making myself nuts now.

Incidentally, peanut butter gives me heartburn.

Which sucks.


More results I don’t care for

When we went for our preliminary appointment with the ACU, I did manage to get a print-out of the results of my first blood test. Not the second test, taken in December, but the set taken in October that the NHS misplaced for a while, so that when I saw the gynaecologist, he didn’t have them. Would it have helped at all, if he had? *mutter mutter mutter*. To put things in context, this first set was taken when I had been bleeding for well over a month, but nevertheless might well have ovulated nineteen days beforehand.

Right. Deep breath. Let’s see what the innards were up to then.

My FSH is 5.9 iu/L. It should be, err, well, between 2 and 9 during the follicular phase, in which I seem to be permanently stuck. So that’s not abnormal at all.

My LH is 13.7 iu/L. That’s the sort of high it should reach just when I ovulate, which I did not do, and therefore it is far too high, which isn’t in the least bit surprising, as I have PCOS. And it is also why OPK kits are completely totally useless in my case, and perhaps one day people will stop recommending them to me.

Testosterone, 3.1 nmol/L. It should be 0.2 to 2.86. So, that’s a little high. But as I have facial hair, hairy toes, weird outbreaks of acne, and a really hot temper, I am NOT SURPRISED.

Sex Hormone Binding Globulin 26 nmol/L. It should be between 20 and 110. So, you’d think, low, but reasonable. But, aha:

Testosterone/SHBG ration 11.9. It should be under 4. In other words, I am producing too much testosterone and a little too little SHBG to mop it all up, so it hangs about prodding things at random and interfering with the Satsuma, just like any bored bloke with too much time on his hands and access to a fiddly mechanism.

What all this has to do with all the bleeding (still on going, thank you, avec enormous blood-clots at present, just in case I should have any lingering affection for my lady parts at all), I’m not medically savvy enough to know. I am trying to force myself not to have a long session with Doctor Google – that way madness lies.


Six ways to weirdsville

This meme has been rather doing the rounds, and Heather at BigP and Me tagged everyone who hadn’t been tagged yet, and I promptly leapt on the meme wagon again. Because I’ve been drinking gin and that’s always conducive to babbling. It’s called:

Six Weird Things About Me:

  1. I loathe orange vegetables. Carrots, swedes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, ugh ugh ugh. The rest of my family, of course, adore them, and I am always being inconvenient by not wanting to eat whatever it is that has been prepared for us. Carrot soup, like as not.
  2. Whenever I’m alone in the house, and want to watch television or knit, I always sit on the floor to do it. Even though we have perfectly good arm-chairs. Yet I don’t sit on the floor when anyone else, even only H, is about, even if he’s not watching the TV with me. I have no explanation.
  3. I am terrified of slugs. Spiders, I quite like, ditto mice, snakes, and even snails, which, face it, are merely slugs in hats. I cannot bring myself, even now, big grown-up girl that I am, to step over a slug in my way. In case it looks up my skirt, I suppose; it’s hardly going to sprint over and bite me. Again, no explanation.
  4. My mother taught me to read by the time I was four. I have always been able to read extremely fast. And I was so starved for fresh things to read, I used to read dictionaries.
  5. The house I grew up in had no electricity at all until I was three, no mains electricity until I was six, no water but that from our own well (we did put in a pump, so it would come out of the taps), and no television until I was twelve. There are so many conversations I therefore simply cannot have with my peers (and hence all the obsessive reading). My parents, you will not be in the least surprised to know, were hippies.
  6. I really actually do dance up and down and squeal with excitement when I see things like the first flowers of Spring, or squirrels, or a tree in bloom. Just like a six-year-old Wordsworth. It embarrasses my friends hugely.

Let me see, I tag… everyone who wants a go, really. I’m still a bit too far out on the edge of this blogging community to wander about tagging actual people.


Can I give these results back after all?

Well, after several phonecalls and much background muttering from me, the NHS found the results of my husband’s sperm analysis, and sent them to our GP’s surgery. Excellent. And the GP even called H to tell him this.

And then the GP said it was probably best if H made an appointment to come in and discuss the results.

So H called me. ‘Oh, it’ll be because you were on a mobile phone in the middle of a shop when he called, and it’s personal information, and these things are a little sensitive, you know?’ I burbled cheerfully, and went back to work.

And today H sat stoically in the surgery waiting room for half-an-hour, all by himself, to hear what personal sensitive stuff the GP had come up with.

And then he texted me. The little green glowing screen said: ‘It’s not all good news regarding results…’

I think I may have even given a little scream. Damn damn damn. And I’m over the other side of town waiting for a bloody buggering bus. In the cold. Damn. Panic. Damn. Breathe, you silly woman. Let’s re-read this, shall we? Look, the message isn’t finished. Scroll down scroll down… Would it help if you took your gloves off so you can actually press the damn buttons?

‘…but not all bad either.’

Oh.

Well what the hell does that mean?

We discussed it properly when I got home, of course. And indeed, it’s not all bad. Volume, 4.3 ml (above 2 ml is good), count 87 million per ml (over 20 is good). Motility 37% (over, err, 50% is good). Morphology 3% (over 15% is good). So, there’s plenty of them. Which is something. If only 3% of them are actually going to take their jobs seriously enough to show up in the right shape, it’s a good thing there are plenty of them. And anyway, it’s only one sample, and H is talking firmly about eating healthily and cycling to work (will that really help?). And we have two more SA’s to do. The lazy little blighters may have perked up by then.

You know what I think it is? I think it’s because I never ovulate. H’s sperm have nothing to aim for. They’re demotivated.


Oh God, it really is the chocolate

My afternoon went something like this:

Hey, May, here you are at home with the day off work. What are you going to do? Study for your possibly-going-back-to-University interview on Friday? Good May.

Yes, I know the studying is boring. Carry on. Oh, OK, you can have a cup of tea. Why are you staring into the fridge? That chocolate mousse left over from yesterday? No, you can’t eat it. You know very well dairy gives you eczema. And aren’t you supposed to be losing weight? And then there was that theory of yours that eating sweet stuff made the permanent bleeding thing worse? You say you were joking? But remember, it got worse over Christmas when you were eating cake and sweets? What do you mean, ‘bah humbug’?

Have a pear. Nice pear.

Uh, May, the pears are on top of the fridge? May? What are you doing?

Put the teaspoon down right now! Now! Oh, damn and blast, you’ve eaten half of it already. Fine. You do that then. You eat sugary, creamy mousse. Was it nice? Was it worth it? What do you mean, ‘mmm, chocolatey?’

Three hours later, I started to bleed heavily again.

And to put the cherry on the black forest gateau, I noticed (and by ‘noticed’. I mean leapt up with a yelp and ran screaming to the bathroom) the onset of bleeding while reading a sweet and heart-warming email from my uncle announcing the birth of his third child.


The One Where I’m Too Cross to Think of Witty Titles.

Status report: I have now been bleeding, in a lady-like but not alas always discreet manner (see Boxing Day), for thirty-one days.

Anyway. I took this morning off work so I could take H by the hand and lead him to the Assisted Conception Unit at that good ol’ Hospital Out in the Countryside. I’m sure I’ll be barging back in here to shout ‘And another thing!’ and to rant at you all in great detail about every microsecond of what happened, or crucially did not happen, but the up-shot is, the ACU want to know why on bloody earth the gynaecologist released me to them without sorting out the endless bleeding thing? Because that’s not a fertility problem, that’s a gynaecological problem and one that needs to be made better. And while the nice nurse taking my history did not exactly jump out of her chair and kick the door down on her way out to throttle dismissive Mister Doctor, she did tighten her lips and go and ‘consult with her colleagues’. Which, in the NHS, comes much to the same thing.

So, I have to phone the gynae lot and ask for a follow-up appointment. And then somehow convince a gynaecologist to investigate and treat the endless bleeding. And then and only then, have an HSG. And somehow I have to convince the gynae lot to sort all this out before the end of March because I need to have had the HSG by then so the ACU can, er, AC. And can we remember the mad wrestling game I had to win against the Answering Phone Tag Team of Doom to get the first bloody buggering pointless appointment in the first place?

*Distant sounds of screaming, crying, and a rhythmic thumping that may or may not be May banging her head on the side of the bath.*

Oh, and H has to provide two more semen samples, six weeks apart. Sounds more fun than an HSG, any day.


Brief pause for swearing purposes

The NHS has lost my husband’s sperm analysis results.

For fuck’s sake.

I need a drink.


But I knew all this

So, I had my trans-vaginal ultrasound. A surprisingly dignified proceeding, despite backless hospital gowns and despite the fact I was (am. Bah) still bleeding.

I arrived on time, public transport having been sweetly cooperative. The appointment was for 1:50, I was called at 2pm exactly. How bewilderingly, extravagantly punctual of the NHS. The technician, a pleasant lady rejoicing in a name not entirely unlike Mildred, was reassuring and efficient. A nice, if unusual combination, as the admittedly very few NHS technicians I have been dealt with by either seem to be efficient but chillingly uncaring and/or grumpy, or very cuddly and sweet and constantly dropping things or dithering about not remembering what they are supposed to be actually doing. Oh, except the phlebotomist at my GP’s. He’s lovely.

Where was I?

Oh yes, first Mildred carefully locked the door of the ultrasound room. No flingings open of doors while I lie there akimbo with best face *ahem* forward, one of my greatest fears in gynaecological situations. Mildred then picked up a check-list and asked if I had had a TV before (how cool is that? A TV!), had I just had a pee, when my last period was – a question like unto ‘if a tree falls in the forest with no one to hear it, does it still make a sound?’, inasmuch that if a woman never ovulates, but bleeds and spots for weeks on end for no apparant reason, is it a period? The which explaining got rather involved and flustered. But which was ‘not a problem’, though she did carefully place the giant roll of blue paper rather closer to the stirrups. Oh, and whether I was a virgin. No, fair question, would you, after all, wish to be The One to probe a virgin? The NHS, being sentimental, won’t, feeling that that duty belongs to the fleshy parts of fellow humans. (Do you get the feeling I’ve gone off sex?).

And then I took off all my clothes from the waist down (except the lively hand-knitted socks. Linoleum is freezing) and put on a backless gown, and lay down onto the table, and said gown was carefully arranged over my knees so that neither I nor Mildred,as she sat beside me looking at the screen, could see anything of my privates at all. In fact, the only angle from which to see them was over by the door. I took my mind off the rest of the proceedings by worrying about the lock.

Mildred very deftly inserted the probe without looking, which impressed me no end – how many of these had she done? So far, not necessarily fun, but no more than disconcerting. She started moving the probe about. Hmm, a little uncomfortable. She then went for a long exploration of what felt like my liver and diapragm before saying thoughtfully ‘You don’t have a left ovary, do you?’

‘Isn’t it on my paperwork?’ I said, with a sinking what-the-bloody-hell-is-wrong-with-the-NHS feeling.

She laughed, and said, ‘Yes, it is, but I thought I had better make sure.’

Am I reassured by this? Does it mean the paperwork is not uncommonly wrong, or that the technicians are very careful?

And then, oh dear readers, she went for a look at the right ovary.

OW.

Clearly, it was in a grumpy mood – it twinges a lot at the best of times. And poking it with a stick (literally) did NOT help. Ouch ouch ouch please don’t let the door open ouch. OK, can we stop yet? No? I’m to ‘bear with you’, am I? OK. Bearing. Ow.

And then it was all over bar the mopping up. What with the extreme quantities of blood-streaked lubricant (for which I am not ungrateful, the lubricant, that is, not the blood) this took me quite a while before I felt it was safe to put my clothes back on. Meanwhile, Mildred was doing paperwork, so I looked at the screen. I have had an ultrasound before. I know what a polycystic ovary looks like (scroll down, the second image is the better one). And there it was, the malignant satsuma, covered in text-book black holes. Mildred said the doctor would discuss the ultrasound with me at my next appointment. I said thank you and good bye and went away to the loos and sat there for a few minutes, having savage cramps, and deciding that frankly, bollocks to work, I was going home for the rest of the afternoon.

My poor ovary. I knew it was polycystic. It was the last time anyone looked (nine or ten years ago). It clearly still was because of the symptoms I was getting. I knew that that is what it would look like, and I would have been startled beyond measure by any other result.

So why am I feeling so wretched?


Can’t sleep, won’t sleep

Tomorrow I go to have my uncooperative lady-parts stared at most exceedingly thoroughly in a darkened room. With sound-waves. And a probe. Gah. For this I miss an afternoon’s work. Which involved having to explain that I really did need the afternoon off in a big needy sort of way. And, err, it was a medical thing, so no, I can’t go next week instead. And then I did a hard stare which dared them to ask what kind of medical thing.

Which they didn’t.

My stare is getting pretty diamond by now.

What’s the odds I have another of those inconvenient sudden bleeds at some embarrassing point or other? she added thoughtfully, swallowing two more Tranexamic Acid tablets.


Broody husband

We went for a walk on the common yesterday afternoon. As did every single family in the area. Trying, as we were, to have a Discussion about our New Year resolutions, I was mainly viewing the thickets of children as things to remember not to swear in front of. But H was looking increasingly wistful, as one small adorable person after another trotted past, giggling or yelling or throwing themselves gleefully into their daddy’s arms for a go at playing aeroplanes. I asked him, jokingly, if he was feeling broody.

Stupid question, really.

Oh, the guilt.


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