As you know, the concept of the suction pump is centuries old

Thursday was endometrial biopsy day at Dr Expensive’s.

Because I had read this blog post, provided by Stirrup Queens, and more importantly all the comments (oh my God oh my God the HORROR. The AGONIES. The TENACULUM), I was in a heightened state of alert terror about the whole thing. I booked the remainder of the afternoon off work. I begged H to come with me. I took two ibuprofen 30 minutes before hand. I had co-codamol in my bag, just in case. I should’ve had some sanitary towels in my bag, but I forgot them, leading to me calling H as we both powered through the city from our respective work-places, begging him, if he passed a chemist first, to pop in and get some. Which he did, and he did.

Dr Expensive was remarkably casual about the whole thing. We left H sitting by the desk and retreated behind a screen, where I was treated to a gynae couch that doubled as a hydraulic lift. Dr Expensive declined to sit down and instead simply had me hoisted 5 feet in the air, and to H’s mild astonishment my head appeared slowly above the modesty screen. So I waved at him.

The speculum was uncomfortable, as when opened they seem to dig right into Cute Ute’s embonpoint (the adenomyosis, you know). The insertion of the Pipelle curette (a thin plastic tube, mostly, with an opening at the tip to scrape with, and a tiny piston inside it to suck with) was pinchy, but not horrid. The scraping sensation made me feel a sudden sympathy for the lemon I savaged with a zester the other week, but it lasted less than a minute, and I didn’t even need to say ‘ouch’.

Dr Expensive did pause, and ask me if I had fibroids – ‘No, adenomyosis’, I said – and muttered something about a long internal… something? orifice? (he does have a strong accent). I assume, from this, and given that the adenomyosis/adenomyoma can be clearly felt at the top of the front wall of my vagina (leaning on my bladder, the bitch), that it is affecting the upper part of the cervix as well as the body of the uterus. Is this a problem, or an anatomical quirk? I didn’t ask. A man had quite a lot of plastic and sharp implements where the sun does not shine, and I was a tad preoccupied.

And then Dr Expensive removed his implements and lowered me back down to behind the screen.

(No, no tenaculum. Admittedly I have a well-bred cervix who always turns up front-and-centre for appointments. However, your gynaecologist should really not use a tenaculum on you until and unless all other attempts have failed and/or you keep your cervix somewhere near your left ear. If they bring it out first go, for the love of God, kick it out of their hand and fire them, preferably from a cannon).

And then, when I’d replaced my knickers, Dr Expensive handed me my file and a small pot full of bloodstained formaline solution and, err, a few floating, err, shreds, and sent us off to sort out the paperwork. I hadn’t expected the uterine lining to look so like (sorry about this) meat. I mean, in a few days, the rest of it is going to dissolve, isn’t it? How does it do that?

I was bleeding a little, as expected, so I nipped to the loo and used one of the pads H had got me. The secretarial lady asked me if I felt OK, and I had to say, to my surprise, that I did. I was a little sore, as if bruised, but nothing distressing.

And then I let them do something unkind to my credit card, took my pot and paperwork to the lab down the street, and got H to buy me a cup of tea. And, frankly, the horridness of the tea was the worst part of the experience. But we still went home to watch Paralympics. Well, I did. H worked from home. Puritan.

Friday, I took another two ibuprofen in the morning, as I felt a little sore still, and I was still bleeding a little (heavier than spotting, but only just). Otherwise, I was fine. And today I am spotting in a very faint and watery manner.

So not even mostly dead. Despite suction.

I have no idea if the discovery of elevated NK cells in my lining would change my treatment options. I assume we’re also looking for hyperplasia, atypia, atrophy, necrosis or generally pants blood supply. I don’t know what we’d do about any of those at all. *flails*


27 responses to “As you know, the concept of the suction pump is centuries old

  • H

    I’m sure I offered to accompany May first, providing possible days when I didn’t have meetings.

    What May didn’t mention, however, is that the receptionist said the results will take three weeks! *sigh*

  • Twangy

    Well, thumbs very far up for being alive and not tortured with a TENACULUM. (shudder, shudder, SHUDDER). I was going to say, with the intention of being soothing: one thing at a time, but one hardly covers it, does it? Hyperplasia and co can be dealt with as and when needs be, though, don’t you think?

    Lots of tea for the moment. You’re very brave.

    • May

      I wish I were very brave. You’re very kind to say so, but I feel like a giant flailing wimpering mess at the moment. But, yes, lots of tea! Tea cures all things!

  • Dr Spouse

    Phew – am a bit relieved it wasn’t too painful.

  • a

    Maybe Dr. Expensive should have taken all your fees, covered your airfare and hotel, and just sent you to the US. I mean, at least then you could have seen the landscape or something. Half of your stuff is going to Chicago – I’d have driven up there to meet you and they have a spectacular art museum. And a pretty nice library. Sigh – missed opportunities.

    Glad to hear it wasn’t too horrible.

  • Womb For Improvement

    Wince. It is the jabby, almost hopeful scraping that I hate. It seems all a bit unscientific. I am sure my womb just contracted in sympathy reading this.

  • Valery Valentina

    I want to say nice things, comforting things, or just let you know I’m still reading and sympathising. Sometimes I wish for silly things, like the vanishing of the twin wouldn’t be so bad if it at least reappeared with you two (right in the middle of cute ute I mean)
    See, I say totally wrong things, nothing to do with this post, sorry.
    I better go and make some proper green tea……

  • Jenny F. Scientist, PhD

    Even the name of the tenaculum makes me shudder in reflexive horror. Something like a cross between Dread Cthulhu and the Many-Angled Ones. However, I am glad that it wasn’t that bad.

  • Korechronicles

    Also pleased to hear that things went better than expected in the comfort/discomfort status a visit to Tenaculum Land. And yes, a shame the trip to the US is in weeny amounts. A proper trip would have some compensations that a glass jar and formaldehyde just can’t take advantage of.

  • starrhillgirl

    Hey, I had one of those! Didn’t blog about it because it was in the No Blogging Time, but mine was very like yours. Minus being 5 ft in the air. And minus the tea after. I had a nice drive in the country instead.

    (For the record, Bionic has been raving about you for years and here I finally am.)

  • HairyFarmerWifey

    Not Even Mostly Dead, despite suction, is… well, it’s awright. Hurrah for one hurdle being a bit lower than expected, and may there be many more such. (If it turns out that you DO have an anatomical quirk, then I shall cheerfully shuffle along the bench labelled Pleasantly Weird, and look welcoming.)

    I have a nasty feeling that Outsize Pointy Tenaculum was the implement that Lovely Consultant beetled off to fetch during my last epic embryo replacement. But I had been upside-down for over half an hour, and I really DO keep my cervix up by my ear, and, frankly, he could have driven the Ford Cortina (of Ben Elton fame…) up there at that point, without my uttering the least squeak, provided he got the little embryonic bugger back where it belonged. Needs must, I suppose. But… Outsize Pointy Tenaculum doesn’t make a nice google image search: Jenny is dead right about Dread Cthulhu.

    There is something so terribly _sitcom_ about you appearing slowly above the curtain, beaming! Does Dr Expensive have *ahem* issues with his behind, perchance? I’m sure perfectly good stools were available!

    • May

      You, my dear, bow to no-one – you are the Queen of Quirk.

      It’s one of the things I love about my cervix. It’s so very well-behaved and cooperative and never seems to need Ford Cortinas or the Many-Angled Ones. I bless it. I bless it and hug it and squeeze it and call it George. Yes? No, maybe not.

      And now you’ve made me think about Dr Expensive’s behind. THANKS FOR THAT.

  • minichessemouse

    Glad it was relitavley pain free, but three weeks for the results, I would have no fingers, never mind the nails by then!

  • bionicbrooklynite

    So very glad to hear you avoid tenacula. Lord knows you have been through plenty without that, and surely I have had enough of the pointy bastards for both of us. Xo and sorry to have been out of touch. Yours is the first blog I have tiptoed back to. Xo again, because why not?

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