Normal normal normal f*ck it.

Yesterday afternoon, H and I were back in the Hospital Out In The Country, sitting in the waiting room shared with the ear-nose-and-throat clinic, along with another sad-eyed couple, a frazzled woman who looked utterly outraged when we were called in before her, several dear old dears with whistling hearing-aids, and the mandatory small and lively child with adenoids. This is how visits to Miss Consultant’s Fertility Clinic always start.

Miss Consultant had yet another medical student with her, a very silent one, pretending to be part of the wallpaper.

Miss Consultant began by complimenting me on my weight-loss (this is getting increasingly weird. I look at myself in the mirror, and I swear to God I look no thinner than I did last summer. I think I have therefore proved I am delusional on this issue. But I digress). We went through the last visit’s notes, and H and I updated her on the very satisfactory amount of times I’ve been ovulating, actually, and the very unsatisfactory behaviour of the resultant embryo. ‘So that makes six miscarriages,’ she said, writing this down in her notes. ‘I am so sorry.’

Small pause.

And then she stated that, given I’d started ovulating again, there was no reason at all to do ovarian drilling, which rather took the wind out of my sails because I was all braced to Make a Stand! On No Drilling! She also thought there was really not much point in doing ovarian stimulation with IUIs, or even IVF/ IVF with PGD if I was ovulating and getting pregnant with no other aid than Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie’s Lost Girls. (Not that we mentioned that last bit to her as such *cough*).

Now, some Gentle Readers have suggested that ovarian stimulation with injectables might help with ovulation quality issues, what with it taking me nearly a week longer than ‘normal’ to ovulate and the short luteal phase. Miss Consultant however doesn’t think it would help. Because my FSH levels are normal.

I shall repeat that.

My day 3 FSH levels are normal. Not elevated. Normal. I was so flustered by this I didn’t get the exact number (this is a very common theme in my life – me being too flustered to get numbers. I shall have to harrass Miss Consultant’s secretary). And my prolactin is normal.

(As we found out in the Summer thanks to The Professor, my AMH is excellent too).

Dear Satsuma, what in buggery-fuck is your problem then? Eh? What? Were my FSH levels previously elevated and are sorting themselves out now that I’ve lost weight and have a semi-regular cycle? Can that happen? Is the Universe just messing with me? What? What? What do you want?

As for IVF on the NHS, I need to lose more weight (damn Christmas and misery weight. I was briefly at goal-weight in December. For, like, a day). As for IVF with PGD, there’s increasingly very little evidence that it does anything at all to lower the incidence of miscarriage. Nobody really understands that, but there it is. And I am, as she kept saying, cycling and getting pregnant on my own.

Well, not on my own, obviously. And speaking of H, his sperm analysis came back… normal. Normal motility, normal morphology, normal count. Much the same as the last test he had, a couple of years ago. We were completely unsurprised by this not-a-bombshell, but it’s nice to have it confirmed.

And then we discussed my scan from the beginning of January. Satsuma is slightly enlarged, but that’s normal for both PCOS and for being a Single Ovary, valiantly holding up both sides of the ovulation schedule. My uterus, I am told, has three small fibroids. Oh, does it now? What about the adenomyosis? Miss Consultant shrugged and said the notes said something about appearance possibly indicative of adenomyosis, but it was very hard to diagnose. But she seemed quite firm on the subject of the fibroids. But back in March, I had a scan with a gynaecological ultrasound technician as opposed to someone who knew how to work the machine, who said she couldn’t see the three fibroids of appearing and disappearing fame, but could see a ‘diffuse area of vascularity’ with small cysts in it, which is, she assured me, what adenomyosis looks like. Fibroids, this techician explained, have very distinct boundaries and are solid, distinct masses, and adenomyosis is more vague and streaky. And she, unlike the most recent technician who merely um-ed and ah-ed, showed me the screen, and I could see what she meant. And I have been researching on Google, and seriously, folk, last March I had adenomyosis.

Anyway, Miss Consultant was reading me this from a written report, and did not have the images available, so I couldn’t point and argue. And the whole subject makes me tired. I’m not saying I don’t have three small fibroids. For all I know Cute Ute got bored and crocheted them (world’s worst amigurumi). But three small fibroids would not be half-killing me every month, and leaving my uterus tender and swollen and aching for over a week after the end of my period. And it fucking hurts. But because neither adenomyosis nor the bloody fibroids are affecting the cavity of the uterus, it’s not a conception problem, so it is not her problem.

I need to find a gynaecologist who specialises in Making Lady-Bits Not Hurt So Fucking Much. And who will do an MRI, which shows the difference between adenomyosis and fibroids much more clearly. And then we will consider the pros and cons removing Cute Ute altogether and incinerating the wayward bitch.

Meanwhile, we are going back to Plan A – bang husband. Rinse. Repeat. We will return to Miss Consultant’s clinic in August, if nothing adorable has happened. I will try to lose another few pounds. (At this point, I got the Boilerplate Lecture about weight-loss regulating my cycles, also, being good for hormonal issues and recurrent miscarriages, also, ideal weight for IVF if we do need it in the end (I think she was trying to subtly hint that I am no longer in my early thirties), all this while the Silent Medical Student, who was considerably larger that I am, looked earnestly at the floor and I looked earnestly into the middle distance).

So, I am normal, H is normal, my fibroids are normal, my hormones are normal, we’re all normal except for the six dead embryos, who probably were mostly abnormal. Especially on account of being dead.

(Christ, how I hate the two week wait).


20 responses to “Normal normal normal f*ck it.

  • BigP's Heather

    I’m glad you are normal, I don’t WANT you to have issues. But I really really really wish you had answers. An issue would at least let us know what we are fighting, a name, a reason, a starting place…

    I’m sorry.

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    Oh GOD, the disappearing and re-appearing adenomyosis. Lord Lucan had nothing on this affliction, nothing.

    No two successive wand-monkeys coming to the same conclusion. Quoting opinion A to wand-monkey B and having it pooh-poohed. Quoting opinion B to wand-monkey C, and watching them tut. Quoting opinion C to wand-monkey A, who categorically informs you ‘that’s not what she’s seeing’ (mind you, I had a nurse, mid-IVF, tell me solemnly that uterus didelphys ‘definitely isn’t what I’m seeing on screen’. Erm, ok, whatever, luv, but *nevertheless*…).

    I have concluded that, given SO MUCH pain and SO MUCH blood and SO FEW clues on the screen:
    A) ultrasound technology is not yet all it’s cracked up to be.
    B) adenomyosis is a proper bugger to diagnose.

    Even my lap only diagnosed ‘slightly bulky’ uteri. SLIGHTLY! Suffering CHRIST. They should have Gaping Great Holes in ’em by the feel of it, FFS.

    I know you have it. You know I have it. We can write each other Official Notes as necessary and blow the technicians. So to speak.

    I still think we need to hop over the wall one night and steal us a little ultrasound machine. I mean, we’d make sure we took an OLD one. We’d be practically SAVING them money, really.

  • Bionic Baby Mama

    well, how very HELPFUL.

    i second Mrs. Hairy’s call for y’all to appropriate a little technology. You can’t possibly do a worse job reading them than it already being done, it would seem. sweet sonographer at my ob’s did once say i had a fibroid that i’m pretty darn sure i don’t have, but when i asked if just possibly she was seeing an endometrioma, she was happy to agree with me.

    i’m rather unimpressed at madame consultant for relying on a radiology report, rather than taking a look herself. dr. baby factory would tut-tut her, i am sure. (i can be very sure, because he says so on his blog, besides the fact that he personally wanded me at my consults.)

    bah, humbug.

  • Elphaba

    Normal is so fricken overrated. Sorry hun.

  • Amy P

    What they said. *hugs*

  • Quiet Dreams

    I have no advice, no perky words of wisdom, no cheery thoughts. I have known, however, that feeling of going to the doctor and hoping against hope that they tell me that they KNOW what is wrong with me and that they can help me. This whole thing sucks, but you knew that, I think.

  • a

    Well, one bonus of the 2 week wait is that it may distract you from wanting to tear your hair out over the non-helpful discussion with Miss Consultant. I hope you can find a useful doctor to help you with your pain.

    I certainly wouldn’t call you normal… 😉

  • Korechronicles

    I don’t quite know whether to be amazed that the medical profession is no better at diagnosing adenomyosis now than it was when I was enduring it’s Bloody Fires of Hell or furious at the lack of progress which plays out in monthly agony for fellow sufferers. If the blokes had to endure it there would be one week of Menstrual Agony Leave written into every employment contract by now.

    Although the absolute worst and most pathetic medical reaction to seeing me reduced to a quivering, sobbing, teeth clenched jelly came from a female gynae.

    I’m sorry it’s proving so hard to pin down what’s going wrong because, and I don’t have that medical degree on the wall, six miscarriages tells me something must be.

    And we’re waiting right along with you.

  • The Sheila

    Apologies for my ignorance, but can a hysteroscopy assist in the diagnosis of adenomyosis (not sure if you’ve had this done already)?

    August seems a very long time to wait….. have you given any further consideration to your option of seeing private consultant(s) between now and then?

  • carole

    Ugggh. I mean, being “normal” is great if normal happens: like getting bloody pregnant and staying bloody pregnant, but infuriating if it isn’t. All my hormone levels also checked out, but they still gave me puregon for a couple of cycles. Like I said before, much mayhem then insued for half a year or so, but then I did get a keeper, much against all expectations so SOMETHING happened.

    On the other hand I was very much late in my 30s. About as late in my 30s as I could get. This may have made the docs do things they wouldn’t have done if I’d been younger.

    Also very sorry that the fiend-from-hell disease is being so very hard to diagnose and thus sort out in any way.

    Fingers triple crossed for this cycle and then, then once she has done her proper work for once, you can plot your horrible revenge on cute ute…

  • manapan

    Ugh, there’s nothing worse than “normal” when you’re hoping for an easily diagnosed and treated problem! Sorry for the lack of news.

  • wombattwo

    Er, um, OK. Right. Questions/points (sorry for the list but can’t organise thoughts any other way this morning):
    1) How did you get on with her? Do you think she listened to you this time or is it time to see someone else?
    2) Hormones are normal. This is good, but bloody frustrating in that there’s nothing that can easily be sorted out to stop this crap happening.
    3) Ultrasounds, well, I really don’t think they’re the most useful method of diagnosis, but they use them because they’re easy, and cheap.
    4) Glad she’s dropped the idea of ovarian drilling.
    5) Did you raise the idea of a mirena coil with her? What did she say?
    6) The two week wait sucks.
    7) The offer is still open.
    8) Just… sorry.
    9) Hugs.

  • katie

    This is all sounding depressingly familiar… are you sure you don’t want to “just adopt” (sorry! joke!)

  • twangy

    So sorry about this frustration on frustration. And no concrete help, whatsoever, nothing. Gahhhhh.

    I wish I could offer help or informed advice. I can only listen and say I am very sorry, May, for this pain, which must be so debilitating on every level, mental physical, emotional, I dunno, social, every fecking way.
    Really, really sorry. xx

  • g

    Ask Miss Consultant what you estradoil was with your normal FSH- can’t interpret one without the other. But I doubt you have a problem with your ovarian reserve given your AMH ( a better test) was just-pco-y fine. Also, even if your FSH is bang on normal, you still have clinical borderline ovulatory dysfunction as evidenced by prolonged follicular phase AND a short luteal phase is known to be primarily a fault of the FOLLICULAR phase, ergo supporting a proper ovulation is the first and most logical step to fix that particular problem.

    Also, even if the above was all a load of bollocks, ovulating a week sooner every month would give you more goes to bang your husband in a year. Evens up the odds.

    Ovarian drilling is shite and I am glad that particular archaic practise is becoming less favoured.

    As for OI- well you’re not going to have oco-pentuplets if you’re properly monitored so I don’t buy Miss Consultant’s worries about that one either.


    I am not fond of the NHS.



  • Womb For Improvement

    I’m not good with the technical posts other than reading them thinking, what if may wasn’t a bright, research-capable young thing? I mean I know it doesn’t help your situation but I bet your pertinent questions and relentless quizzing (all in an applaudable way) makes the consultant think a lot more carefully about her advice than someone who can be fobbed off with a ‘Doctor knows best’ approach.

    But lets hope the end of this two week wait makes all other scenarios redundant.

  • Jem

    Why can’t this be EASY? Just shows how much they DON’T know.

    At least the Rx is bonking your hubby. A lot and often. I’ve heard of worse.

  • Betty M

    Will she do the MRI or at least refer you to an adenomyosis expert? There must be some in the Big City although teh difficulty is always that whilst you can find one by looking at research papers that gives zero idea about whether they are any good with a flesh and blood patient. Maybe the Professor could recommend one in her hospital?

    But generally the frustration of there being no defined reason and no solution either.

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