The first week of university is rushing by, alas, not in a haze of boozy nights on the dance-floor and vague mornings in the coffee shop discussing Sartre, or possibly poetry. Instead I am queueing, and then queueing some more, and then finding another queue, and all this in the rain and the wind, and so every official photograph has now immortalised me with vertical hair. Oh joy. Oh, and coughing, for the cough, yea, verily, it lingers, and specialises in trying to humiliate me to death in the middle of very large crowded lecture halls.
Oh, and being given reams and reams of paper. And maps. The maps are vital, as the campus is a maze, a maze, I tell you. I like the maps.
But we won’t discuss the 150-year-old library and the room after room lined with wooden shelves and dinky reading desks, because I suspect my interest in libraries verges on the inappropriately pink and flustered.
And back to the stars of the Nuts in May show, my innards.
I have my period. I hate bleeding like this, and I hate how much it hurts, but even whiny little me has to admit this go is not so bad as last go, and that wasn’t so bad as the go before that (though that was pre-surgery). But it’s still not good. At least, it is certainly not good when you are stuck in lecture halls and queues and trying to make jolly introductory conversation and what you really need to do is fold sharply in half at the middle and go ‘hhrrgggh’. See? I whine anyway.
Today, I finally had my follow-up appointment at the Hospital Out in the Country. I was not in the best state for it – sore, tired (insomnia! the gift that keeps on giving!), totally undercaffeinated as I had left my wallet at home and – sob – couldn’t buy coffee when everyone else did. I had to duck out of my afternoon lectures, and I was feeling completely neurotic and brain-fried about practically everything. I met H at the station, and he brought me my wallet (awww) and bought me a sandwich, and basically put up with me, because oh, holy hell, but I was in a mood.
Everything made me cry. Everything made me furious, everything made me want to smack people, everything definitely made me cry, and I did cry. Why was the train running late? Why did I have to wait so long for an appointment? Why was I so crampy? Why did I have to share a tiny cramped waiting room with a quantity of elderly people with dodgy hearing-aids? In fact, why did I have to cry in front of them? That improved my mood, oh yes. As did the whole me hissing angrily under my breath and then getting furious with H for not being able to hear me thing – do I sound slightly deranged to you? I sound it to me.
Anyway, I got a sufficient quantity of my shit together to follow the consultant – a new, entirely different consultant I had never seen before, by the way, continuity of care obviously not being The NHS Way – to her office. She had my file. My file is getting pretty large. I do not think a large medical file is really anyone’s idea of a life-time achievement.
And it had photographs, which I assumed must be of my innards, as anyone else’s innards would be too weird even for the NHS in best space-saving mode. She asked if I wanted to see the photograph, and I said yes quite eagerly, while H leaned back in his chair, averted his eyes, and tried not to think about what a complete ghoul his wife was. So we saw my liver and diaphragm, both fine, and my liver is a very nice and healthy looking liver, thank you, of which I am inordinately proud – ah, clean living! and I recognised it as a liver, which made me feel wise and smug (the diaphragm could have been anything). Then we had before and after shots of the inside of the Womb of Doom, and indeed, those polyps were very, well, very like blobby things that live in rock-pools and not to my mind a nice nestly home for anyone except coral lice. And then womb sans polyps, looking, well, bare-naked, really. And rather pale. This was good, apparantly.
Other things the laparoscopy had found out. There were in fact adhesions all over my left inside, probably from the surgery I had at 18, sticking my womb to something or other. These were removed, and very un-fetching they looked in their photograph too, like yellowish exercise bands. Urgh. There were also a few small adhesions on the right (or ‘good’) side, but they were very minor and not interfering with anything, so I think they may well still be in there. My ovary was not stuck to anything though and looked ‘normal’, no big cysts and not particularly enlarged. My fallopian tube was just dandy.
As for the results of the hysteroscopy, apart from my personal coral reef, now removed, the mystery of the oddly-shaped uterine cavity that was a fibroid that became an indentation was revealed. I have an arcuate uterus. Also known as a heart-shaped uterus – isn’t that the cutest? There’s no septum or any other functional problem that could interfere with a future pregnancy, it’s just a dinky shape. I’m almost pleased.
The heavy painful periods are now officially ‘One Of Those Things’ as they couldn’t find a physical reason for them. I have further prescriptions for tranexamic acid, and mefenamic acid, but damn, I’m pissed off about it. The persistant bleeding thing is now officially caused by not ovulating. And I’m pissed off about that too, as it all seems to be things I have no control over.
Next steps – come off the pill. Have insulin checked again. If insulin has completley ignored all Dr Alternative’s herbal encouragement, take Metformin. In four months time, if I have not ovulated, take clomid. The four months time part is actually our idea, not the consultants – she said to try clomid now, but, if it works (which it won’t – why the hell should it?) I’d rather be due after the end of my MA, and in any case, we do want to see if the Herbs have done anything at all. Or not. Or what.
Also, the idea of taking clomid freaked me the heck out for a second there.
But not as freaked out as I was then freaked by her cheerfully announcing she was putting us on the waiting list for NHS IVF. What? I mean, WHAT? We’re elegible? WHAT? Oh, it’s a two year waiting list, let’s not all get our knickers in a bunch, but WHAT THE FUCK?
H and I staggered home in a shell-shocked way, and, really, I think, still rather too WTF to have anything sensible to add.
Except, a supermarket and a bus are not the world’s best places to have the sort of cramps that make hysterectomies, now, with blunt spoon if necessary, seem rosy. Crowing glory of a particularly nerve-shredding day, that.