Monthly Archives: March 2007

Announcements

Guess what? I’m back on provera. To deal with the effects of coming off provera. Indeed, it most certainly is my Precious’s own favourite crack-cocaine.

And I am waiting for the results of another round of blood tests – sure, why not, I could spare some, heh heh – to check for thyroid screw-up and/or anaemia, as my Specialist and the nice GP I saw emergency-wise on Monday night each have their own ideas as to why I am SO. DAMN. TIRED. But hey, the phlebotomist is adorable and has the gentlest way with a needle I have ever encountered. It helps that I’m lucky and have a Star Vein that pops up neat as anything in my left elbow-crook (now sporting an adorable little penny-sized bruise. Memo to self, when the phlebotomist asks you to press down on the cotton wool, he really rather means it).

And I didn’t faint.

Though I did consider it.

I am also on ibuprofen, tranexamic acid, and ferrous sulphate. The bleeding has slowed down to merely heavy and crampy. And with the return of some energy and brain-function, so have I become Madam Cranky again (sorry, H). H’s theory is that it’s the tranexamic acid that brings out my inner killer bunny, as I was spectacularly foul last time I was on it. It’s not a recognised side-effect according to the leaflet, but hey, I am an original.

Now, of course, we are in the process of Telling Family. We did discuss Not Telling Family, and I was very tempted, because Family, really, are the most excellent purveyors of opinion, instruction, and fretting, none of which makes May happy. So we did a little Cons and Pros list.

Cons of telling family:

  1. Bloody hellfire, but the assvice. This is a specialty of my female relatives. They could give an nuclear physicist assvice on how to build a particle accelerator.
  2. My Mum, bless her heart, did go through a phase of not taking any illness I had seriously at all and of accusing me of malingering. Especially when it came to gynaecological complaints. Even after I collapsed with ovarian torsion in my late teens. She has stopped doing this of late, and does treat it all rather more seriously, and me with rather more respect. Nevertheless I don’t feel entirely safe discussing these issues with her. Which is probably just me being bitter and twisted. So it probably doesn’t count.
  3. My Dad’s standard reaction to hearing a loved one is unwell is to find an audience and stage a bit of a panicky ‘Woe is me, I am so very worried, how will I endure the tormenting fear my child’s illness causes in me?’ session until someone gives him a drink. Whereapon he gets maudlin. This is very amusing when it’s not your insides he is decrying for giving him high blood pressure.
  4. H’s parents are rather less Woody Allen. Nevertheless, they have a lot of other issues to worry about at the moment and they DO worry, a lot, and I do not want to up their worrying quotients as I’m sure they are well over their worry footprint for this life-time.
  5. Oh, and H’s grandmother combines ‘Woe is Me,’ and spurious eastern pick’n’mix philosophy assvice very elegantly when she is so inclined. Also, asks questions. Me, I do not discuss uteri with grandmothers-in-law.

Pros of Disclosing All:

  1. Even the minutest and most accidental fragment of information is Too Much as they then of course Ask Questions. And then ask each other questions and share idiotically garbled versions complete with criminal exaggerations and then give me assvice based on those and I want to poke my own eyes out with a spoon after a few minutes of this. It may well be preferable to be in charge of the versions.
  2. And if family member A knows something B does not, A will not doubt let it slip, and then B will be wounded because B should have heard it from us, damn it. And that’s Christmas ruined for the next seven years.
  3. The news might actually stop my sister from ordering me to give her little girl a cousin to play with practically every time she sees me. At least, until after the surgery (she doesn’t seem to believe in PCOS. Much easier to believe in things that need to be removed surgically).
  4. And then everyone knows I am really ill and that explains all the times I was busy moping and not, oh, I don’t know, briskly enjoying the washing-up or agreeing to take every cousin I have under the age of 14 for a long walk with seven dogs and a pony. Not moping. Suffering. See?

So, we are telling family.

H told his mother. She sent her love. She also told him all the complicated things that were happening in her life. We sent our love. A state of one-all.

I told my mother. She is completely shell-shocked and now has taken to calling me back twice an evening to regale me with every anecdote of uterine surgery she has ever heard of. She also instantly, but instantly, announced that she was going to get me a consultation with a Harley Street specialist for a second opinion.

Oy vey.

And then she asked permission to discuss it with my sister, because it is a ‘major thing’. I said yes, because saying no would be immaterial to the outcome, and I don’t want to have that discussion as well. So when I go down to see the lot of them on Sunday, they will have had plenty of time to prepare their assvice attacks, both the concerted version and the hit-and-run opposition moments in corners. Gah.

See what I mean? Madam Cranky. To the bone. Pass the provera.

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All very unpleasant

Do you know, I have lost over a litre of blood since Wednesday afternoon? The NHS says anything over 80 or 90 mls in one period counts as worryingly heavy. Funnily enough, I am not happy about this, and have decided that Provera is Beelzebub’s own crack-cocaine, all joyous promise and psychotic come-down. Those happy two weeks of not bleeding at all, and no side-effects either, not even the famous Progesterone Boob-ache, and for what?

I went into work on Friday (yes, I know, mad) and spent all of it running back to the loo or leaning against the water-cooler as a very picture of apathy. And the cramps have been Horrible. So I spent Saturday in bed.

Today I felt so nauseous and dizzy I actually ended up in a telephonic pass-the-parcel round of trying to see if I could get hold of an out-of-hours GP, via the NHS Direct help-line, the local surgery, some health-service-providing agency or other, and ending in an interview with a nurse who kept having to go and ask the doctor in the the next room something, prompting me to wonder rather vaguely whether it wouldn’t make more sense to have the doctor come to the phone, but what do I know? I was half off my head from blood-loss after all. We all decided, in the end, that as long as I didn’t fall to the floor unconscious, it was not worth my while going to the A&E, and that I needed to see my own GP tomorrow, urgently, and meanwhile take ibuprofen and drink lots and lots of water.

So I did.

But I wasn’t happy about it.

However, the bleeding seems to be slowing to merely annoyingly heavy, and I am feeling less vague and ill, so perhaps either All Things Have an End, or the ibuprofen is working.

Or maybe it’s just biding its time, because collapsing or bleeding out in a doctor’s waiting office surrounded by small children and elderly men is verily my fate.

H has been an absolute brick. He has been sensitive, caring, gentle, comforting, he has looked after me, he has gone on multiple missions to the chemist for great big boxes of tampons and towels, and he even bought me a mooncup, in case it helped with the leaking and cramping (I am having Issues with the mooncup, but I do think it’s hardly fair on it or me to try and learn to use it correctly now. Rather like taking a novice white-water-rafting over the Niagara Falls. I have high hopes for it generally). He is making me dinner as I type this. I know I have moaned before about his blokeish confusion about empathy. I take it all back. H is The King of Loveliness.

Men! Never underestimate the attractiveness of Being Nice! Even in all this unpleasantness, I find myself looking admiringly at his back-side as he cooks…


Fibroids and polyps and adhesions, oh my!

This morning, H and I hauled ourselves back out to the Hospital Out In the Countryside to finally see the fertility specialist and get some diagnosis, prognosis, and just general progress on my horrible insides. I say horrible because, not satisfied with yesterday’s Festival of Humiliation, they have taken to bleeding in a manner I would consider extreme for someone with a punctured aorta. I am getting through super-plus hamster tampons in less than an hour. I am permanently thirsty. I am washing the bed-sheets again. It makes going anywhere or doing anything a Mission, with Planning, and maps to each and every lavatory, and a very large bag of sanitary products, and the nerve to shove little old ladies out of the queue so I can get into the loo first.

Perhaps I should just lie down on a pavement somewhere close to a hospital and sob until a nice man takes me away in a wheelchair?

But apparantly this is normal for someone coming off progesterone supplements. Apparantly. According to my GP. Who doesn’t have a uterus, the lucky swine.

(Though, just in time to prevent my murdering him with his own stethoscope, he did say it was unfortunate).

Anyway. Back to the ACU visit. We sat in yet another waiting area, with a broken clock and several other mute and disconsolate couples for company, for quite a while. They were running late, said the nice young nurse. We shrugged. This is the NHS. It runs late, therefore it is.

The Specialist herself was very sweet and clearly warm-hearted and earnest, but English not being her first language, we were reduced to saying things over and over again with vigorous head-noddings and diagrams of my uterus drawn all over the blotter.

The good news – H’s sperm are healthy and lively and correctly formed and doing fine formation swimming in sensible directions. The Specialist hinted, quite delicately, that the clinic he had that first unfortunate diagnosis from probably didn’t know their adipose tissue from their brains. The two subsequent tests, done at the ACU itself (oh yes, he did another one on Wednesday, while I was shuffling about town in my finest war-paint, but we’re so blasé these days…) are both Fine with a capital F.

The bad news – it’s all me. I have, and this is where the diagrams got really scrawly and complicated, a blob, and a wiggly bit, and a bit in the middle that got underlined quite a lot. And then she sighed and turned the screen of her computer round so I could read the report for myself, and so, if I may translate, what I actually have is as follows:

  1. PCOS. Well, yes.
  2. A submucous fibroid, approximately an inch and a half in diameter. What the buggery hell is that doing in there?
  3. A weirdly uneven section of uterine lining which is probably a small collection of polyps, all bleeding and oozing away. Which explains the lop-sided appearance of the poor old ute in the HSG.
  4. Adhesions inside the uterus. As I have never had a D&C or an infection in my life, I call this a bloody liberty. How the hell did I grow adhesions? I mean, yes, I have had uterine surgery, but that was to remove a Fallopian tube, so it shouldn’t have affected the interior, and I am now Officially Cross, and Very Baffled.
  5. Oh, and a mild case of hydrosalpinx at the ovary end of the One Existing Fallopian Tube. Not enough to block the tube, but still, what the…?

So, I am now on a waiting list for a hysteroscopy and laparoscopy together, as I may well have lurking endometriosis in there as well, which would explain the state of the poor tube. The waiting list is six months. Meanwhile, I simply must not get pregnant, were it remotely likely, as the poor little embryo would either bounce off all the above nasty obstructions, or be poisoned by the hydrosalpinx, or get swooshed out on a tide of dysfunctional bleeding. I must go on the Pill.

Ah hah hah fucking hah.

Oh, and lose weight. This from a Specialist who was herself practically spherical, so I ignored it.

And so we finally got home, looking a bit shell-shocked, H, in fact, looking horribly worried about me and doing some second-guessing of his own, while I felt like slapping the GP who’d told me to go away and try for a year when I first pointed out that I didn’t think all was cuddly with the Precious.

I asked to see the GP (dear old Doc Tashless, who sent me off on this journey of discovery in the first place) this afternoon, to get the ruddy prescription for the ruddy pill (hence discovering his opinion on the Scarlet Tides). I didn’t get a ruddy prescription, because he didn’t want to prescribe the wrong one and make everything worse, so could I get the ACU to fax him with whether it should be progesterone-only or combined?

Head, meet desk. And again. Better now?

But I did get him to give me a scrip for another round of thyroid tests, because, hey, why stop at five problems when you can round it up to half-a-dozen?

I am now waiting for the ACU to answer my messages and then fax Doc Tashless, preferably all before I bleed out altogether and H comes home to find merely the little crumpled husk of my remains.


I am a freaking freak. Or, possibly, not. You tell me.

I took the last of the 14 days-worth of Provera on Saturday night. Monday, I start spotting. Tuesday, I start hurting. And bleeding. Today, well, we’ll get to today in a minute (like Tuesday, only more so, with added public humiliation).

What I want to know, is bleeding this soon after finishing Provera normal? I thought I had at least four or five days, if not a week, before breaking open the pretty lavender box in which I demurely hide my tampons (when I haven’t left them littered all over the kitchen table after one or two hand-bag-emptying sessions, of course).

And today went very badly. I was bleeding heavily, which was annoying. I had to go to work in the morning. I was meeting some family for lunch. I packed plenty of jumbo tampons, I changed them every couple of hours, I thought the Universe sucked, but hey, I was getting a nice lunch. Now, normally, after lunch with family, I’d wander up to the bus-stop with them, and possibly get on the bus with them and go home the long way round so as to have extra chatting time. As it was, we left the restaurant and as we were walking up the road, I felt an ominous spreading dampness in the groin. My poor relations. I practically shrieked: ‘Lovely to see you must do this again very soon must go now bye!’ and rushed away back down the street.

I plunged blindly into the first coffee-shop I passed and threw myself into the lavatory. It turned out to be the disabled/ baby-change cubicle, but tough, I was ensconced now and not budging. And indeed, blood had soaked right through my trousers. I confess, I had a little cry I felt so frustrated. And then, oh my word, the blood-clots. The size of my damn thumb, people. So I sat in the disabled cubicle, snivelling, mopping blood off my clothes, necking nurofen capsules, in an orgy of self-pity, for about ten minutes. And then I wiped my eyes, stood up, and used the (placed conveniently low for wheel-chair users and people who need to stare at their own arse) mirror to check just how appalling to passers-by the spectacle would be. All I can say is, brown cords are a good choice for those of us challenged in the uterine continence department. My back view was unobjectionable, and in any case, I could always keep my satchel in-front of me, teenage-boy-over-excited-by-bus-vibrations-style.

And then I emerged at last and queued up, satchel in place, to get a coffee. The barista gave me a very odd look. I felt highly self-conscious – I had after all spent several eons in their toilet, hopefully not sobbing audibly. I took my drink and went to the bus-stop. The bus-driver gave me an odd look. I had definitely checked front and back views and I had my scarf and satchel all in place. Perhaps he didn’t like coffee-cups on his bus. No one sat next to me either which was also odd, as the bus got quite full at one point. I began to wonder if I (whisper it) smelt

And then I got home at last, and went into the bathroom to take all my clothes off, and saw myself in the mirror there. A face-reflecting-height mirror.

I had crossed half of London with a long streak of dried blood under my right eye.

Hurrah.

And now I have seriously bad cramps. The one thing that had kept me from getting into bed and never getting out again what with the bleeding thing was at least it wasn’t particularly painful. Messy, yes, but usually I could at least stand upright without cussing.

I hate everything. Pass the chocolate.


History, written by the winners

Today is our second wedding anniversary.

Coincidentally, we had a friend staying this weekend who is getting married in less than a month, and so the conversation of the past few days has revolved entirely about weddings, bridesmaid dresses, flowers, in-laws, fittings, dieting, hair, and flowers again. Which was jolly good fun in a madly girly way. And of course, my own wedding, for which I wore scarlet and looked like the Queen of Hearts, according to my cousin, so hurrah, was the loveliest wedding in the universe ever and my Dad managed entirely to Not Have A Row With Anyone. Or so I am told. I was too zonked on lack of sleep, champagne and happy, happy nerves to notice.

Being married is not the same as getting married. How trite is that? It’s the sort of saying that I had happily ignored all my life, as being Irrelevant, and, indeed, Trite, and I am a very bright woman and can figure all this out on my own, thank you very much (nevertheless, I actually said this to my poor friend, who kindly did not hit me upside the head). But all this wedding-flavoured air is leading me to reminisce into my coffee. You have been warned.

H and I met when we were both seventeen, started dating a few months later, and have been together ever since, through all sorts of shenanigans and being at university 200 miles apart and then, for a year, 2000 miles apart (though that year was Hiccoughy (you can just tell I’m British, me and my quaint spelling), which is polite for Rough). We moved in together, in a teeny little flat over a road so busy the windows shook when buses went by, when we were twenty-three, and I was a penniless pain-in-the-wallet because I was doing a Masters. We stuck together through H’s unemployment, my employment for wages that would make a Victorian mill-hand snigger, my Utterly FUBARed Not-a-PhD, my unemployment, H’s miserable if well-paid job, and then we got married. (And then I got my current lovely job, again done for love not money, and now I’ve got my nerve back and am I’m flinging myself at the Hurdles of Academe once more. H still hates his job. Everyone else in his company thinks he’s fantastic and cool apart from his immediate control-freak bosses. *sigh*. But I digress).

And through all this I knew, I have known since I was 22, that I would not be throwing away the contraception and pinging babies out within a year of the wedding. And that first year was a little hard, as family did keep on asking, where are the babies, where are they? Answer, buggered if I know, and really, could you please stop pointing out to me that the entire rest of my family contrives to be several months gone before they marry? The irony is not lost on me. Even my father said, the day I phoned him to tell him H and I were getting spliced, ‘Are you knocked up at last?’. Arse.

And part of me wants to blame H, because he wanted to wait until we were a little more solvent and a little less neurotic, to start ‘trying’. Note ‘wants’. I know that it would be unfair because I agreed with all his reasoning at the time, and yes, I did want to be married and not to have to worry about money all the time. His parents and my parents started their reproductive journeys in a far more gung-ho-oopsie way – his parents weren’t really planning on his arrival at that point in their young studenty lives and sort of got married for his sake, and my parents went mad and tried to renovate a ruin in another country and I spent the first few months of my life sleeping in a drawer and being baby-sat by assorted builders and drug-addled hippies grooving with the olive-groves. We wanted our kids to feel a little more… secure than that.

Now that there are still no kids, and now that my uterus has got bored waiting for people to grow in it and is experimenting with mysterious excrescences instead, and I am still not ovulating, and incidentally, I need to rip my mustache off again, I look back over our life together so far and think: ‘Would it have been that bad, being poor? Would I have minded screwing up my career even more so with bells on, instead of neatly getting a toe-hold that will allow me to bounce back post-infant? Would we have survived that freaky bit we had when my PhD went to hell in a hand-basket (and so did I) if there had been a baby too?’

Or would we be right where we are now, only with a few more years of trying and trying and waiting and hoping and freaking out?’

And then I look around at the flowers H bought me a few days ago to cheer me up because I had such a bad cold.

And I think that all this second-guessing is practically me giving myself assvice, and this extra time alone has been good for us.

And I wonder what colour our baby’s hair would be.


My insides – lit up like a Christmas tree

We arrived at the hospital on time. Which was unexpected. So unexpected that I did, in fact, lose my tiny mind and instantly announce to H that I really really needed a pee and I’d be back in a minute. While I was washing my hands, the Radiology receptionist (a man!) barged into the ladies with a sample pot and cried, somewhat theatrically, ‘Too late!’

Oh, hell. The Official pregnancy test. Which a moment’s thought would have reminded me of. And I’d just emptied all the precious fluid down the pan. I said I’d done a pregnancy test myself that morning, but he shook his head and looked mournful, so I took the pot and promised to see what inner reserves of, err, anyway, I’d see what I could do. And so I was late because I spent nearly fifteen minutes in the loo, alternately instructing my bladder to ‘just relax’ and to just bloody get on with it. But! I did it! One centimetre of wee! I have never been so relieved to see my own bodily fluids.

So, that first hurdle was in the end not fallen at.

And then I was called away to change into the surgical gowns, with H trotting behind trailing all bags and coats and looking both resigned and bewildered. They parked him in a waiting ‘area’ (corridor) next to a man being forced to drink pale yellow foaming fluids out of a large jug. Hospitals gloriously disconcerting like that. Said man probably went home to say they’d made him drink his yellow stuff next to a bloke laden down like a pack-horse with feminine hand-baggery and knitting. And then I came out of the changing cubicle wearing two surgical gowns, one back-to-front so one’s scarlet knickers weren’t entertaining anyone, and sat there watching H read a magazine about cars and wondering whether to get on and read my own book or just stare glumly at my own bare feet. Waiting areas never seem very conducive to affectionate behaviour or witty badinage.

When they came to take me away, H and I managed to miss each-other’s eyeline, in that when I turned away he still hadn’t looked up, and I went off after the nurse in a huff, hauling my clothes in a plastic bag after me, but apparantly I just missed him blowing me a kiss, so nil-nil draw for marital harmony there, and waiting corridors REALLY suck and in any case, partners should be banned from even touching the magazines until after the victim has been led beyond their ken. Just saying.

The radiologist and the nurse were both utterly stirling people, sweet, talked to me as if I was an adult woman with an IQ above room temperature (oh! the novelty!), and sat me down and explained the whole thing to me very carefully. I appreciated this very much. I stopped huffing and started to feel calm and sanguine again. So I felt fairly comfortable following them into the Room with the Big Machines and removing my knickers therein. To Vivaldi, no less. Classy touch. And then I climbed up a little set of steps onto an enormously high bed and got scooted into position and draped in sterile towels. I was given the speculum to hold until they were ready for it, so as to make sure it was nice and warm, so I lay there in my little cocoon of sterile green paper, clutching my speculum, discussing how you pronounce my name (as the nurse had the same name! Cute!), breathing deeply, and the importance of learning a second language early in life, while they both strapped lead-lined aprons on. It’s a lonely feeling, waiting to get the exact opposite of a protective lead apron. And, by the way, no stirrups. I don’t think I’ve ever put my feet in stirrups in my life. The British tend to favour knees up, feet together, let knees fall apart, allowing access to Precious. As it was, I got cramp in my left thigh and ended up having to hang my left leg off the enormously high bed, toes resting on a chair – luckily before anything serious got underway. I mean, it’s probably more dignified and leaves you feeling less vulnerable, but a stirrup would really stop foot-sliding-off-bed problems.

Incidentally, you guys all know what an HSG is, don’t you? I mean, I’m assuming you do. Anyone who doesn’t? Anyone? OK, very quickly, they squirt radioactive dye into your uterus and X-ray the results. Super-fun-time, yes? Indeedy. Only, you’re supposed to call it ‘contrast medium’ these days. And it is clear and colourless, like water. Only, sticky. Mmm. Nice.

Anyway, I reluctantly gave the nice warm speculum back. It was inserted (I always think I can feel a cold breeze up there when they open it up). And then the radiologist announced that I ‘would feel a sharp nip’ and I winced. Then I started cramping, and the Big Machine hanging over the high bed started to move down over my belly. I could see the image of my innards on the screen beside the bed. I looked rather sternly at that. Now, when you see images of the uterine interior in text-booky things, it’s a nice symmetrical wine-glass shape. Mine wasn’t. Mine was decidedly lopsided. Hmmm. Meanwhile, the cramping was no worse than dealable-with period pains, so I was managing the advised deep breathing. The radiologist squeezed more dye in, which stopped dead on the right side in a funny little bulge. Cramping pinches. Then, and I could swear I could feel the release of pressure, it spilled out the left-hand side.

The removal of the catheter hurt rather more than the insertion (but I managed not to yelp – go me!) and then I felt warm sticky pouring down my backside, which is just so, so, oh, the dignity. Not helped when the lovely radiologist starts wiping your bottom for you. She had me lie there for a few minutes while she went over the images with me, showing me the one fallopian tube (unexpectedly long and wiggly, and perfectly clear, so hurrah), the place on the other side where the dye got stopped as the tube had been removed. I looked dutifully, and wondered if the whole thing really was lop-sided and whether that was normal, not that she mentioned it, and I, in my usual hospital-induced colossal loss of IQ, didn’t ask. So far, so good.

And then she pointed out a strange bulge in the uterine lining just below the good fallopian tube.

‘This could be a fibroid or a polyp. If it’s a fibroid it’s probably small enough not to cause any problems, but if it’s a polyp, it might explain your dysfunctional bleeds, and it may well need to be removed. In any case, you’ll need further tests.’

I, predictably, said nothing.

‘When’s your next appointment with the specialist?’ she asked gently.

‘Next week,’ I managed to say. She patted my hand reassuringly.

And then, my plastic bag of clothes, a fresh sanitary towel, and a wad of paper shuffled off into the little lavatory next door to clean up and re-dress and enjoy the feeling of blood-stained contrast medium trickling out of me.

I felt OK, so H and I went home. I felt a little light-headed on the train, but that could have been from missing lunch, and rather crampy for the rest of the afternoon, but physically, OK. I think I’d even finished leaking dye by bed-time.

Emotionally, not so good.

In fact, H got home, made me the cup of tea I had been whining for all the way back, and flung himself into an arm-chair, complaining that he felt a cold coming on. I got my own lunch. And I think I made him more cups of tea that afternoon than he made me. And no, he wasn’t really ill. He felt better after having a mentholated sweet. And, being H, his method of supporting frazzled, restless, pacing wife is to let her watch whatever DVD she wants to watch and slump out of her way. I wanted a telepathic empath husband who would Just Know what I wanted and who would Just Know how I felt. And I felt somewhat torn between ‘I just knew, I knew, I KNEW there was something wrong in there. I knew it!’ and ‘Oh God there’s something wrong up there help help why me?’ and ‘See? No one listens to me. I said polyp to the gynaecologist, I did, Doctor Google is my friend and I said…’ and ‘Ow’.

By evening I was decidely grouchy. By bed-time I was very nearly back in Killer Bunny mode. And so we had a stupid argument about who said what to whom and when and why and whether and in any case, if you remember, that’s not what I meant.

H means well, I know. He is, however, incapable of telling how a person feels from those teensy external cues most humans use, you know, like the smiling, frowning, sighing and huffing and on bad days, sobbing and furniture-kicking. I eventually snapped and let him have it with both barrels – it’s all very well expecting me to get over myself and be Rational Adult and Explain Myself in short sentences with no metaphors or confusing retorical bits, but he can’t expect a, a, a kid, say, like the one I’m going through all this in hope of getting, while it is still under the age of three, to do the same. And then I shut myself up, because how many Taboos can one woman break in the same sentence? Emotionally blackmailing husband, mentioning future kids, telling H he mightn’t be Totally Superhero Fantastic Dad? May very bad. May sucks. Let’s all boo and hiss and point at May now.

H, of course, took it on the chin, said I had a point, and offered me a foot-rub.

When it comes to the subject of the Proper Care and feeding of Husbands, May is utterly bewildered.


The morning before the HSG

7 am. Wake up. Take temperature in desultory way. Have coughing fit and nearly spit thermometer across bedroom. Give up and doze back off.

7:12 am. Wake up again, give cup of tea that has magically appeared by bedside bleary but grateful look. Doze off.

8:15 am. Wake up with start. Blow nose, and realise Saturday’s cold has not magically vanished after all. Drink luke-warm tea. Get out of bed and potter about until a sneeze reminds one the Bladder is Full. Of course, one has to take a pregnancy test this morning. Realise blessed husband has put pee-mug ready in the bathroom. Pee, dip, leave test to mature, go and say goodbye to husband.

8:30 am. Throw lily-pure negative test in bin.

8:47 am. Take test out again for another quick check. Still negative, obviously. Not so much as an evaporation line. Feel stupid. Blow nose. Cold clearly still rampaging.

9:30 am. Drink another cup of (hot) tea. Re-read instructions on antibiotic suppository. Feel one ought not introduce it until after one has visited lavatory, for obvious reasons. Bowel hibernating, clearly just to wind me right up. Note part about avoiding alcohol, feel cross. Make toast. Eat toast. Take oral antibiotic tablet and Provera. Wonder what time it is. Jump up and down on spot to get bowel moving. Suprisingly effective.

10 am. Finally a good time for suppository. Insert said greasy (urgh) object, unsurprisingly need loo again, visions of the ‘toilet-diving scene’ from Trainspotting dance through mind. Clench firmly. Make grumpy comments to self about indignities visited on woman-kind, and experience general desire to smack any and all men who complain about SAs firmly in the teeth.

10:10 am. Getting dressed, realise one’s personals are ungroomed. Decide in feminist, anti-media-pressure way one doesn’t care at all. So there. Memory of last smear test surfaces at this point. Wince at memory of private hair getting caught in speculum screw. Take clothes back off and retreat to bathroom for prolonged grooming session. Note in a pleased way that at least I’m keeping my mind off the HSG.

11 am. Pretend to work on novel.

Lunchtime: Decide I can’t face lunch. Decide I can’t face flat. Decide I need a walk right now this minute. Pack book, iPod, knitting, wallet, keys, travel-card, cough-sweets, tissues, sanitary towels and spare knickers in small handbag. Handbag declines to contain all the above. Find secondary bag. Leave house at last and go to cafe. Today, of all days, I need someone else to make the coffee. Drink coffee. Feel better. Woman at next table is complaining to friend about being pregnant again. Another woman is trying to force howling toddler into push-chair, while two men make sneering remarks about her parenting abilities. Am glad she can’t hear them. Wonder why in heck I’m doing this, and wonder whether I should go home and watch DVDs instead.

Eventually, meander along to station to meet husband. Trains running late. Fretting about being late for appointment preferable to fretting about appointment. Try to notice beautiful Spring sunshine and trees in flower. Take painkillers.

Realise I have an unwarrantable bad feeling about this.

Next on Nuts in May, The HSG Itself…