Monthly Archives: February 2013

Sparklepants

Having arranged the appointment with Shiny Private Clinic for me, the nurse said she’d send me all the details of ‘the procedure’ in an email. Duly, a few hours later, an email arrived. I printed out the consent form, checked the address in the email, made sure I’d remembered the ibuprofen and sanitary towels, drew myself a little map, and this morning plodded off to work in perfect serenity.

I lie. I was nervous as hell. Just, not about the location.

At the appointed time, therefore, I was in the wrong clinic, explaining myself to a bewildered receptionist who couldn’t find my name on the schedule. But wait! I was on the other clinic’s schedule! The other clinic? Yes! Just around the corner! So I sprinted back out into the drizzle, cussing these fancy-pants multi-location private fertility services and their expensive cupboards dotted all over the city centre like £1000-confetti.

It was fine. Bewildered Receptionist had called Correct Receptionist to let her know I was belting down the road, scarf flying out behind me like a banner, leaving a filthy blue contrail. Apart from the bit where she had to shout ‘push the door now. No, now! Now! Push!’ through the intercom at me while I pulled frantically. My nerves let me down.

Anyway, it being a tiny private clinic concentrating on egg retrieval and imaging, I was being handed my surgical gown and fluffy slippers within minutes of my solving the door riddle. And then a very sweet young nurse introduced me to a very sweet middle-aged doctor, and between them they introduced me to the first comfortable pair of stirrups I have ever wrestled with, and then I lay back and stared at the ceiling of the tiny room while they hoisted me five feet in the air and winched my delicates open with a speculum (I hate specula. Hate hate hate. Hate).

Doctor: Oh, is your period is just finishing, then?
Me: Well, it’s day 12 of this cycle, but I usually spot for about a week at the end of my period because I have adenomyosis.

*Pause, while they insert the catheter, inflate the little balloon that holds it in place (this does not hurt at all. I am astonished), and then remove the speculum and replace it with the dildo-cam (this is less comfortable). The doctor then turns the ultrasound screen so I can see it too. Imagine! Being allowed to behold my own innards!*

Doctor: And there’s your ovary…
Me: *silently, so as not to startle man who has three kinds of hardware up my personals* HOLY FUCK IT LOOKS LIKE A NORMAL OVARY! Ooh, look, you can see the lead follicle and everything. I give it a week to pop. Bets, anyone?

*Nurse presses plunger on syringe full of saline attached to catheter above-mentioned. Absolutely nothing happens*

Doctor: Hmm, I can’t get a clear image of the inside of your uterus. Do you have fibroids?
Me: *pointedly, see above* I have adenomyosis.
Doctor: Oh, yes. Well, I’m going to need to adjust all this to get a better view.

*Out comes the blood-streaked dildo-cam (ew), and the catheter, and rather a lot of fluid (nothing says ‘dignity’ like something dripping down the cheeks of your arse while medical professionals hunt out the wipes and the lube bottle). In goes the speculum again. Fiddle fiddle. Out with speculum, back in with dildo-cam, at a somewhat more uncomfortable angle. And another syringe-full of saline is squeezed up there. Again, nothing happens, though at least they can see where my uterine cavity should be, if I had one. They crack open a new bottle of saline and top up the syringe. For fuck’s sake*

Doctor: Oh, no, look, there it goes! I think the adenomyosis has made your uterus rather stiff. I can’t get the cavity to stretch open fully, but there’s no sign of adhesions or polyps. Are you alright?
Me: *surprisingly* yes!
Doctor: To check your fallopian tube is open, we use a foam, so it shows up on ultrasound.
Me: Foam?

*The foam is so white and high-contrast it practically sparkles on the ultrasound screen. It wooshes straight through my uterus and blossoms out the end of my fallopian tube in short order. We all stare at it.*

Doctor: Your tube looks perfect.
Me: Thank you.

And throughout, the Doctor and the Nurse kept telling me I was being very brave, and I felt like a total fraud because it really did not hurt. It was uncomfortable, and the speculum pinched, but pain? Nope. There was gore, though, me being me. I needed a fresh surgical gown to shuffle back to the changing rooms in.

And that was it. I paid them, they gave me a single hefty dose of Azithromycin (in case of chlamydia! which you don’t want forced up your passages!) and warned me not to have any alcohol after taking it (boo!), and then the Nurse sat me down in a corridor and carefully made sure I was feeling fine, not in pain, not feeling faint or sick or anything, before releasing me.

So I went and had lunch, took my Azithromycin, and went back to work for the rest of the afternoon. And that was that.

So, step two. We go back to Doctor Fourth Opinion, to do LIT. And then cry havoc and let slip the bunnies of fornication. And see where we’ve got to by the time I’m 38.

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Mice and men

The Plan:

  • Step one: Find a private clinic who do hysterosalpingograms of some sort, and check that the interior of the blasted wasteland of my uterus is respectable, and the one-and-only fallopian tube is unblocked and lacking in endometriosis-induced peculiarities (you know the patch of endo in my Pouch of Douglas? I can feel it for over a week after my period finishes, like a sort of bruise).
  • Step two, gentle version: If Cute Ute and her tube are still functional, we do LIT, and then spend three or four months shagging like bunnies in the hope of impregnating me. We may or may not do intralipids at the same time; we will discuss this with Doctor Fourth Opinion when we go for LIT.
  • Step two, fuck it version: If the tube is blocked or damaged, we go straight to IVF. With LIT and intralipids.
  • Step two, scorched earth version: If tube is blocked and Cute Ute is fried, we insert a Mirena coil and then blow the savings on a holiday to Canada/USA/New Zealand/Patagonia/The Ends of the Motherfucking Earth.
  • Step three: if step two gentle version does not work, move to step two fuck it version.
  • Step four: if step two, fuck it version doesn’t work, move to step two, scorched earth version, only possibly with a reduced itinerary, because we’ll have made a sizeable dent in the savings.

So H called any number of private clinics until he found one that would do a ‘hycosy’, as they cutely refer to it, without me needing to be their IVF patient or having an NHS doctor’s referral. It’s a well-known clinic, and conveniently near to work, and doesn’t cost a terrifying amount of money, and they share their results with you immediately (which makes a lovely change from the NHS).

And I am going there tomorrow. By tomorrow evening, I will know. We will know. Hurrah.

I am going by myself, as H has a very, very important meeting he can’t get out of. I’ve had HSGs before, and not suffered vastly, so I am electing to be optimistic, take an ibuprofen, and carry cheerfully on. If this backfires, I will thoroughly and happily enjoy the resultant melodrama. Especially if it gets me off work for a few days.

I am still in rather a state of angry grief about the way the last cycle ended, you see.


The times when blogging is too much of an arse

Item – I had noro.

Item – I was angry and unhappy and sulky at the way things were going in the comments in the last two posts, and I didn’t (I still don’t) know how to respond.

Item – H has had a nasty, constant cough for four whole weeks now. We’re both sleep deprived.

Item – My period was late. Not, late as in a longer-than-28-day-cycle (my cycle is ALWAYS longer than 28 days), but proper real ‘your luteal phase is longer than usual’ late. Mine has been 11 days long for four cycles in a row. Before that, it was always 12 or 13 days long unless, and sometimes even if, I was pregnant. This month? It went 16 days. I had a nervous breakdown. Three negative pregnancy tests and brutal arrival of said period later, Occam’s razor dictates, given the near-total lack of marital congress round these parts (see Item 3, above), that, actually, I probably had the day of ovulation wrong, and my calculations were thrown by the fact I had noro and therefore a fever. Anyway, even so, my luteal phase was longer. This is good, I think. I think.

Item – I really did have a bit of a nervous break down. I spent three days begging and pleading with the indifferent universe not to be pregnant, because if I were, I’d absolutely certainly lose the baby, and I couldn’t take it, not again, ‘chemical pregnancy’ be fucked. The cognitive dissonance has torn all my protective scabs and callouses off.


Whoa Nellie

Item – Excuse long absence from blog. Had migraine. It sucked.

Item – This weekend, just to shake things up a little, I have Norovirus. Hello. Every single muscle, layer of skin, bone, joint, nail and inch of gut aches, I am freezing cold despite the fact H is wandering about the house shirtless, I have consumed exactly three cups of cold tea since yesterday evening, and this morning saw me taking a plastic washing-up basin to the privy for a half-hour I’d give my eye-tooth not to have to endure ever again.

Item – So, last post’s comment-related kerfuffle. 1) I want to make it perfectly clear Sheila is a dear and valued Gentle Reader of some duration, and who has dealt with some of the same doctors I have, and therefore I take her comment as coming from a place of friendly interest, affectionate concern, and natural curiosity. And I’ll get to answering it all when I feel less like the entire French Rugby team ran me down and sat on me. 2) That said, I also see where The Comment That Broke The Camel’s Back is coming from, I think. I myself have found it amazingly fucking irritating when people have popped up on my blog for seemingly the sole purpose of telling me I’m Doing It Wrong, and that my doctors are Doing It Wrong, especially if it devolves into people playing the ‘The NHS sucks and socialised medicine sucks and no wonder you Europeans are dying in ditches in droves’ card (especially because of the awkward fact that, actually, Europeans aren’t dying in ditches in droves and for MOST purposes the NHS is one of the best health services in the entire world and May is also a socialist herself so BACK THE FUCK OFF*). 4) So, my rule of thumb is, a long-term reader and commentator who has so far been a total darling, and very supportive, and who has had similar history, can be allowed questions and phrasings that could possibly come across as aggressive and self-righteous from a relative newcomer to the blog who has an axe to grind/bone to pick/kerfuffle to get off on. So, Sheila, please carry on. Comment That Broke The Camel’s Back, I appreciate you going to bat for me very much, but I think you batted the wrong person this time. 5) I am a little unclear who is calling whom a concern troll. But let’s just go with, no one is a concern troll today. Just, people are concerned, bless them. And leave it at that.

*P.S. – Being a socialist in Europe is normal, healthy, intelligent, and reasonable, and there are lots of us. We think the (I, of course, generalise) American hysterical reaction to the word ‘socialist’ is fucking hilarious.

P.P.S. – Socialists! Socialists! Socialists! “Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer, We’ll keep the red flag flying here!” Tee hee hee. Sorry. I am light-headed through fever and lack of nourishment.