Well, actually

Yesterday (yesterday was Wednesday, right? Right?) H and I had another hospital appointment, this time at the good ol’ Hospital Out In The Country, where the gynaecology and fertility clinic of the Mothership Hospital goes to hold consultation visits (yes! It is confusing! We are confused! Don’t try to understand, you will give yourself an aneurism!). This moveable feast of a clinic has been treating me since the beginning of the whole I Can’t Haz Baybee saga, and frankly, we’re sick of each other.

So I was going in a mood of ‘what the buggery fuck is the point, eh?’. Also, I had spent Wednesday morning clutching my gut and groaning as my intestines, freed from the paralytic clutch of the tramadol (goddamn opiates), rumbled slowly back into life. Would it be too awkward for words if I – eh, euphemism, quick someone, a euphemism – anyway, during the clinic visit? And I missed work that morning because I needed to spend a couple of hours in the bathroom communing with the toilet-roll holder to not much avail. Did I say goddamn opiates? Good.

Where was I? Going to the HOITC. I met H on the way, and we arrived appallingly early and very hot and had to camp out in the coffee shop drinking sugar-free Ribena for a while, because the waiting room was PACKED. It was still packed when we confessed to being there to the receptionist, who was also trying to manage the ear-nose-and-throat clinic that shares the same two-rows-of-uncomfortable-chairs-and-children’s-play-area. I ended up giving my (comfortable! Score!) seat up to a senior lady and perching on the bench in the play area. And, scattered among the toddles with adenoids and the elderly with hearing-aids in the wrong ear, there were the couples, all quiet, sad-eyed, and refusing to look at each other. I really don’t know why we don’t talk to each other. We, of all people, know something of what we’re all going through. Though, admittedly, a hot room packed full of the senile deaf and their relentlessly cheerful helpers is not conducive to intimite conversation.

It was not at all helping with the ‘you and I, clinic mine, have had it, OK? OK,’ thing running through my head. Spoilt by air-conditioning and sofas, that’s me.

And, naturally, Miss Consultant was on holiday, so we were being seen by one of her minions, and naturally the Minion was heavily pregnant, because, naturally, your life doesn’t go on hold just because you work in a fertility clinic and indeed, why the hell should it? To the Minion’s credit, she was as discreet with her bump as she could be, given that she was a small Minion and the bump had probably doubled the size of her torso already. She sort of shielded us from it with my medical file until we’d all sat down, and then tucked the bump under the desk. It was masterly. And my medical file is very large.

Anyway, she went briefly through my blood-test results from effin’ December again, and the extras Miss Consultant ordered in February, and cheerfully told me my anti-cardiolipins were normal. I smiled, I refrained from crying ‘hah!’ and startling her.

We then moved on to the scan I had in March, at least, I thought we had, but no, she began by discussing the scan I had in January when I was a teeny weeny bit pointlessly pregnant (again) and everyone was playing ‘hunt the embryo’. The possible fibroid. Which, moving on to the March scan, oh yes, looked far more like adenomyosis, look, it even had teeny cysts in it caused by trapped ‘fluid’ (yuk), just like real adenomyosis. I refrained from rolling my eyes. We discussed, or, rather, H sort of burst out and firmly told her and I went nod nod nod, about how painful my periods were and I even got in the bit about missing two or three days of work a month and tramadol. She looked shocked, poor Minion. I knew Miss Consultant and her previous minions hadn’t really paid this point a blind bit of attention. But Pregnant Minion wrote it down in my notes, I watched her do it. So.

Further WTF moment, in my notes it does say that at the time of the January embryo hunt, there was some concern that the weirdness in the uterus plus invisible embryo meant I was having a molar ‘pregnancy’ left over from October 2009. I had understood this to be discounted at the time, because my beta in October was so freakin’ low. I furthermore understood this to be dismissed as a possibility because during the course of January they had repeatedly punctured me and tracked my beta back down to a big, fat, shiny ‘less than one’. So. Anyway. It was not molar. It’s probably not a fibroid. It probably is adenomyosis. But if I want to be really sure I can have another scan done by Doctor Expert, who specialises in scanning Mysterious Bulges in Uteri. I am not entirely sure that Doctor Expert isn’t the doctor who did both my HSGs and freaked out about the state of my fallopian tube both times (since when I got pregnant, ooh, lots, so, WTF?).

Anyway, given The Professor’s advice Not to Fuck With The Ute, and given that the treatment for fibroids or adenomyosis would be Grin And Bear It because the other treatments (combined pill, Mirena coil, total hysterectomy) make conception quite challenging, we all decided that there wasn’t much point having another scan unless, I don’t know, Cute Ute made a bid for International Dictatorship or my entire leg fell off. I have a provisional scan with Doctor Expert possibly booked (remember what they did with my booking last time! Because they didn’t! Remember to do anything with it, that is! I’m such a card!) for November, and I can always cancel it if something comes up.

We also announced that we’d gone to see The Professor, so there. The Minion looked rather impressed. I pointed out rather grandly that The Professor had done a Thrombo-Elastogram, which the NHS does not do, and actually I did have a clotting disorder, after all, actually. The Minion scribbled this all down in my notes, looking awe-struck, and offered me a prescription for low-dose aspirin. Given that a prescription costs £7.20 to fill and a bottle of LD aspirin costs £1.95 over the counter, I gently refused, but I did appreciate the offer.

And then, well, we sort-of left it at that. If I can get pregnant on my own, and if I have a clue how to stay pregnant (oh God! Hope! Ow ow ow ow ow ow), and if my other gynaecological problems are not currently treatable what with the whole getting pregnant thing, there’s not much else this particular clinic can do for me. Except scan me again, just to make sure Cute Ute is doing anterior wall adenomyosis rather than, say, break-dancing or macrame. We’ll see how I feel about that in November.

The Minion said something sweet about hoping to see me soon back at the Mothership Hospital, meaning at their Maternity unit, no doubt. I didn’t have the heart to point out I’d miscarried there twice and therefore it was not necessarily a nice thing to say to me. And then H and I wandered off home.

Was that my last visit to the HOITC and the gynae/fertility clinic? Good Lord.

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17 responses to “Well, actually

  • a

    This sounds vaguely reminiscent of my experiences with my regular OB/GYN after treatment from my RE. Except you’d have to substitute “looking impressed with my RE” with “skeptical of my decision making skills.” And then, when told of my treatment plan, instead of offering me a prescription, I got “well, I’ve never heard of THAT before.” With a final “I’m making an appointment for your level II ultrasound at this University hospital – does that meet your standards?” attitude, I transferred to another OB/GYN.

    All in all, it sounds like your Professor is worth whatever you promised Rumplestiltskin (or was it your mother? or the bank? Whoever. Worth it.). I certainly hope it’s the last visit you have to make to the fertility clinic.

    • May

      Your OB/GYN is a git. Answer to his final question, no, it does not meet my standards! HAH.

      I appear to have promised Rumpelstiltskin [aka my mother] my first-born child, as is traditional. Heigh ho, at least the little mite will get taken skiing every Christmas.

  • Amy P

    I shall now go to bed with the images of legs falling off and uteri doing macrame. Thanks, I think…

  • Betty M

    Absolutely let that be the last visit to THOIC and no need to go to the Mothership for obstetric care either if you have had it with their care. Had they ever got off their arses to get you an NHS referral to the Prof? So crap that you could be waiting still for the TEG if you hadn’t had the ability to pay for the consult. I wonder why the other hospitals haven’t taken it up yet. Maybe they just rely on people eventually being referred there when nothing else works by which stage the patients are firmly in the sloughiest slough of despond.

    Are the Prof’s hospital are ok with you swooping back in to the free system now as she is v. big on lots of extra care and holding through early pregnancy which has been shown (in proper studies and everything) to have a positive effect and you wouldn’t want to be forking out for that if you didn’t have to.

    So pleased that thinks are looking up.

    • May

      Well, we are under strict orders to call her before the pee has dried on the next positive HPT. *peeps nervously into wallet*

  • Betty M

    That’s things – bloody mobile inter netting.

  • Twangy

    Wouldn’t that be lovely? (final visit to HOITC, I mean. Who in the name of all that is holy thought of putting the clinics out there? A SADIST?)

    I have often speculated on speaking to the other couples in the waiting room too, but it’s as if they are on the other side of a thick pane of perspex, for all that you can talk. Thank Heaven for the internet, eh? Because we do have things on our mind.

    (Sugar-free Ribena, the ultimate time-killing drink, yes, for when you have to purchase something in order to be able to avail of cafe seating, but are not thirsty, at all. It’s a tetrapack seat ticket, really.)

  • thalia

    Oh what an epic adventure. This visit, yes, but the whole experience of your treatment so far. It is tough, being pregnant in a fertility clinic, I feel – and have heard from one of my docs who did it twice. Think they feel pretty guilty and embarassed. If they have any feelings, which it sounds like your minion did.

    Very much hoping that, with the prof, you are heading in the right direction. (and seconding BettyM’s point about the TLC. There are studies, you know).

  • carole

    It’s a fine ambition to have finally shaken the dust of the HOITC from your shoes: I hope it’s one that can be realised!

    Sounds like the decision not to poke the innards with pointy things is a good one as is not looking at them too much. It only encourages bad behavior. I think much of the dreadful teenaged stroppiness of my ovaries when given teeny-weeny bits of fertility medication was down to the gazzillion scans the hospital did. It was pure showing off ” Hey, you wanted ovums? Right, here’s ovums for you. Pretty impressive for an old lady, huh? That surprised you, didn’t it? Too many? Well you should have thought about that before, shouldn’t you? How about some cysts? Nice, aren’t they? What, you think I’ll have to have stopped doing that next week? Think again, sucker!”

    They probably only got pregnant in the end to spite the IVF clinic and make them look stupid. Malicious innards are a terrible thing.

  • MFA Mama

    Well I’m glad the Minion at least seemed sympathetic. Also, tramadol is a synthetic opiate only 1/10 as strong as morphine; I’m a bit shocked everyone over there seems so impressed by it. Maybe we’re more free with the narcotics here in the States, but codeine and tramadol are baby stuff and never did much for my cramps before I ditched the ute. It’s good they seem to help you though!

    Here’s hoping the aspirin and heparin do the trick.

    • May

      This is Britain, where every medication costs the Tax Payer. We’re lucky they don’t say ‘chew this leather strap and try not to disturb the neighbours with your screaming’.

      Also, don’t say that about tramadol! Cute Ute might HEAR you!

  • jill

    Just recently found your blog and, dare I say, I love you. 😉 Your writing is wonderful and I absolutely loved your post from 7/14. Everything you said was so well put together and so true! I could have written it myself if not for this lack of writing skill I seem to be dealing with – haha.

    We have some things in common – we’re both around the same age, I also had a large ovarian cyst removed at a young age (I saw a pic of it… ick.), and I have been dx with PCOS. I, however, have never been pregnant so I don’t have your history of losses. I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through all of this. I know how hard IF is and I can’t begin to imagine how the painful losses compound the situation. Sending *hugs* your way and hope that someday soon you will achieve that elusive take-home baby.

    I’m adding you to my reader and I will be back!!

  • womb for improvement

    I do like over keen minions who still remember the ‘listening and empathy’ module from their studies.

  • Ben Warsop

    *reads attentively but has nothing useful to say*

  • katie

    How nice to have some actual answers and even a treatment (have been out of the country, twice, but now am back in the big smoke).

    You may find it useful to know that if you get a prescription, you won’t have to pay for it if you fill it while you are actually pregnant. Just saying.

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