Posts Tagged ‘Medical Professionals’

Stop the Ride, I Wanna Get Off.

So…

This will be one of those TMI, tell-all posts.

Let me give a couple of you some time to clear the room if that’s not what you’re here for:
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There now,

So, I’m annoyed and confused today.

Purpose of D&C & hysteroscopy – To diagnose and stop irregular bleeding
Result of D&C – 9 days more of irregular bleeding.

Now, I know what you’re thinking:
Be patient, Regina! That’s completely normal!  These things take time… blah, blah, blah.

But let me hip you to something I’ve been keeping silent for a while out of embarrassment, frustration, and a self-destructive need to make sure no one sees the kinks in my armor:

Out of the past 90 days, I have bled in some form or fashion for a total of 67.

SIXTY-F@#%-SEVEN.
I have bled longer than Chad Johnson and Evelyn Lozada were married.
If I bleed another 6 days, I will have also outlasted the nuptials of Kim Kardashian and Chris Humphries.
In the time that I’ve bled, cats, armadillos, bobcats, mice, rabbits,  some dog breeds, and many other animal species have fully gestated.

Are you seeing why I’m pissed?  Just a bit?

I’ve taken Estrogen supplements, Glucophage, Birth Control Pills, Thyroid meds…and yet nothing.

I’ve purchased approximately EIGHT boxes of Always…each with 32  pads included.

See these special Always boxes that come with the free Modeez Sanitary packs?  Yeah, I got FOUR Modeez now.

 

I’m tired of being tough.
I’m tired of being resilient.
I’m tired of acting like I’m not feeling like I’m literally bleeding to death.
I’m tired of nurses saying, “Yes, but are you bleeding through more than one pad in an hour”, in condescending tones.
I’m tired of feeling eeks and squeaks whenever I sneeze, or stand up too fast, or at random times while sitting absolutely still.
I’m tired of EVERY television show, magazine, book, and conversation being about sex and babies….to point out that I can have neither.
I’m tired of looking at my husband and HATING that he deserves better that what I am capable of providing at the moment because I’m depressed, and infertile, and uncomfortable, and hormonal.
I’m tired of feeling like I’m wearing a diaper every day.
I’m tired of being angry.
I’m tired of being sad.
I’m tired of being told to pray.
I’m just tired.
And I felt it necessary to say that today.

Out loud for a change.

Because who am I helping with this website that I’m paying for, if I don’t tell it all?  Especially since that’s what I started the site for.  And how am I even helping ME, if I’m not using this website that I’m paying for, as my venting space. And what more damage will I do to myself if I don’t shout?

I called my doctor today.  Because once again I felt that I’d reached my breaking point.  I was told that this is normal.  This post-op “spotting” as they call it.  And I don’t know, maybe under different circumstances I’d be okay with that answer.  Maybe if I hadn’t already been experiencing it for the past 60+ days then I could not feel so defeated when the nurse once again tells me that “if it isn’t bleeding through one pad in an hour, I can just wait until my follow-up appointment next THURSDAY”.

Next Thursday.

Next Thursday is 5 days, 127 hours, 7628 minutes, 457706 seconds, and another 30 Always pads away.

At this point in my life, next Thursday is practically a year from now.

And I have lots of curse words floating around in my head to punctuate my feelings about that.

I just don’t understand any of this.

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Sh*t Just Got Real

Ladies, (and the ever-elusive gentlemen), we have a verdict.

The jury was out for a good, long while, but within 45 minutes, the final decision was finally made.

BOTH of my tubes are completely blocked.

There is a weight on that sentence that has been rolling around on my tongue for a while.  But before I get into that, let me break down how I got this long-awaited answer.   Things started with an HSG test.

My appointment was at 9am, and I was actually taken back sometime around 9:30.  After undressing from the waist down, I was led to the x-ray room by a very nice nurse named Tammy.   Prior to getting things started, Tammy had me sit down so that we could discuss each thing that was going to take place.

First, she asked if I’d taken any pain relievers prior to coming to the appointment, which I hadn’t.  She then double-checked to make sure that they had been recommended by my doctor.  They had. I have a pretty high pain threshold in my opinion, and couldn’t see how two tylenol an hour beforehand were going to make much difference, so I didn’t take any.  After those preliminaries, it was time to break down the procedure itself.

My doctor, Doctor C., would be called down to the room to insert a catheter, Tammy would remain at my head to keep me calm and explain what was happening, and a radiologist would be called in to perform the x-ray itself.   Through the catheter, my doctor would use a syringe to push dye directly into my uterus, while the radiologist simultaneously photographed the process with the x-ray machine.  Done correctly and without complication, we all would be able to see the dye travel through my uterus and tubes by way of the monitor placed beside the exam table.  She asked if I had any questions.  I didn’t.  Then it was time to sit on the table and wait for the doc.

My doctor came down, as explained, asked me if I was comfortable, and went over the details again.  Then it was time for the catheter.  Okay, now I have a pretty high pain threshold, like I said, but this was very uncomfortable for me.  It didn’t “hurt”, but it was extremely jolting.  There is a precise feeling of someone pushing or pulling on a tender part of your skin, but it feels somewhat worse because it’s internal.  I was pretty cool I think, but according to Tammy, I was definitely tensing up, so she sat beside me and talked me through a few calming breaths.  I stared up at the arm of the x-ray machine, where there was a sticker that read: “7/2”.  I focused on that sticker because it is actually my wedding anniversary.  I found this, combined with the “breathing exercises” to be maddeningly ironic, considering the situation, but I shook it off.

Once the catheter was fully in, I couldn’t feel any other discomfort.  I forgot it was there actually.  In about three minutes, the radiologist was there and turning on the machine.   Tammy moved the monitor closer so that I could see.  Lights, cameras, action!

Only, there was no action. LOL

I watched the screen, I felt Doctor C. push the syringe harder, and none of us saw a damn thing.  My lady bits basically flipped us all the bird.  I remember vividly that there was one moment when Doctor C. said, “I really can’t push any more.  I think they’re both blocked.”

And that’s when shit got real.

I don’t know.  The picture in my head was of the dye showing up brightly on that monitor, and of my leaving there with a new script for Clomid.  I fully intended on beating this thing with the most minimally invasive procedures as possible.

Instead, she walked to the head of the bed and told me flat-out that I would need to call the RE, and that the most viable option for me would have to be IVF.  She put a hand on my shoulder and said, “You did what you said that you wanted to do. You went as far as WE could.  This test, was that last thing that WE could do.  Now, you go further.  Call the doctor I told you about.  She’s a great person, who is very honest and personable.  This is fixable.”

And I don’t really remember much after that.  I mean, it isn’t that this wasn’t frustrating or painful before.  It was.  But somehow this felt more devastating.  There’s something very definitive about the moment you’re told that this thing you didn’t want to do, this path you were avoiding, is the ONLY way to your goal.

Bring me the slippers of the Wicked Witch of The West!

I do remember some things.

I remember getting dressed.

I remember telling my mom, who was in the waiting room.

I remember her taking me to breakfast, and asking gentle questions about what to do next, and sitting there for almost two hours.

I remember her taking me shopping.

I remember holding on to my facade for hours.

I remember watching every mother I encountered, even when I told myself not to.

Mostly, I remember feeling really confused and shitty.

I also remember feeling like I “had” to be positive.

I remember thinking to myself that I didn’t want anyone “worried”, “concerned”, “feeling sorry for”, or “uncomfortable about” me.

So I just shut it off.

I was about to think of the finances.  But I shut that off.

I was about to think of the frustration.  But I shut that off too.

I just, completed the day.

Fill in the bubbles completely on this standardized test.  If you don’t know the answer, after using your study and test-taking skills, make your very best educated guess.  

And that’s what I did.

And that’s what I’m still doing.

There’s a plan in here.  I always have one.  But at the moment, it’s tightly buried beneath my anger and frustration.  I’ll pull it out in a bit.  But at the moment, I’m frantically filling in these blank test bubbles.

Whatever

 

BrokenBrownBelle: “The other side of my infertility” Part 3

There were more appointments then ever. And instead of reading about people talking about beating PCOS and drifting into motherhood, the talk had turned to talk to exclusively the word miscarriage. That word could strike fear in my heart like no needle ever could and  it was suddenly everywhere.

Oh my God, could I have come this far only to spend every set aside dime and then lose my baby?!? This never was a thought to me until we started with the injections. The second I was asked to spend a lump sum, and get down to penniless for this “project”, it occurred to me that women lose babies everyday. I wanted to think of the worst case scenario and ask myself if I could handle whatever that was. Could I deal with the bills I was getting from the infertility clinic, the money I’d spent trying to get pregnant, the surgeries I’d had and then the possible threat of miscarriage?

I had never asked myself that question before, I was afraid to. I never brought the word up. I thought if I didn’t, it would definitely decrease my chances of it and at least preserve my sanity.  But, suddenly people were coming forward bringing that word to me and I could not escape the thought. (more…)

Good Mornin, Metformin

So, it has been a while since I’ve taken the time to actually POST some tidbits here on the site.  And it is all your fault.  See, most of you follow The Egg on Facebook and we have such great conversations there, that by the time I get over here, I have nothing else to say because we’ve talked it to death over the course of a day!

But, getting back to what this site was created for, and beyond the “business” sides, I have to get my thoughts out once more.  And, even in the year 2012…some people don’t use Facebook.  I know, I know, perish the thought.  But it dawned on me that for those who don’t use Big Blue, there is little to no way of knowing what is going on right now with me if I don’t post it here.  So here I am.  Have a seat, let’s chat. (more…)

Seems like You’re Ready….

So, when I originally became a member of the embattled, tough girls of infertility lifestyle, I thought the best way to make myself strong, was to completely act un-phased by things that were the cliche discomforts for infertile women.  The textbook cases of teen -pregnancy haters, bitter stepmothers, and weepy weak women who couldn’t bare to lay eyes on children until they had their own.  I was so busy avoiding becoming that woman, that I totally have been blindsided by my newest archnemesis: “Crazy with Anticipation Paranoia Chick”

Seriously, if you haven’t met or become her, consider yourself lucky.

No, BLESSED. (more…)

Reproductive Health…in a Recession

If I’ve learned anything about politics, its that you can’t please everyone all the time.  No matter how you slice the bread, someone is always going to complain that they got the bad piece.  And in the case of decisions that include health or finance, there will always be one side staring at the other going, “I don’t get what you’re so worked up about”.  When the Affordable Care Act ,was instituted, allowing young adults to remain covered under their parent’s health coverage until age 26, I had quite the over-dramatic moment.  For the thousands of people who were boldly unimpressed with the President thus far, I wanted to throw my arms around him and hug his neck.  I guess, they’d never been where I’d been.

For me,  reading over the details in the fact sheet, it was hard not to remember how I felt myself, when I aged-out of my mom’s health insurance.  I was almost done with college, but silly me, I was not yet done with getting sick and having medical concerns.  No longer covered by my mom’s Blue Cross, I was the only person in my house subjected to making the emergency room, my primary care physician. When I finally got a job that included benefits, some two years later, I learned that health insurance was the fatted calf of all great jobs.  The fear of losing that security is what got me out of bed in the mornings, and for many of us, what kept us working at places we hated.

After finally grasping what it was like again to have a doctor to call, one who knew my name and symptoms, I never wanted to go back to the uncertainty of emergency medicine and unconcerned, overworked board of health doctors.  Well, for many of us facing unemployment and layoffs now, myself included, as well as those of us on a budget who pay for our own health insurance, we are once again looking down that barrel, and I am determined to not go at it with the same depressed attitude.  Health coverage or not, our bodies are worthy of adequate care, and we are the ones to make sure we get it.

For those of us whom our fertility is only a symptom of more pressing matters, not visiting the doctor regularly can be climactic.  For me, the irregular and massive menstrual cycles were just not going to allow me to stay away from the stirrups for too many long breaks.  Just when I would think everything was under control, She and I would spend a lovely 2 months together and I would finally have to go weeping into someone’s triage for relief.  Yeast infections, sexually transmitted diseases and even urinary tract infections can also become reproductive health problems for which many women need recurring treatments and maintenance. Finding a comfortable place that can help us monitor our bodies until we can return to more regular care, is vital to creating a healthy reproductive tract.

In beginning my search for a health center, I started with Google.  I did a basic search for women’s health clinics in my area.  When I found a few that looked interesting, I also took my search over to Yelp.com, to check out the reviews.  Hearing what other patients are saying about their quality of care and bedside manner is an excellent tool in making your decision.

Private facilities with sliding scales are a great choice for those of us with little cash to spare, but a desire to remain on top of our health.  Many women’s clinics around the country provide specialized services and empowerment to those in need.  Here in Chicago, for instance, there is the Chicago Women’s Health Center.  This organization provides treatment on a sliding scale, with the lowest appointment fee being just $20, which is the cost of the lab work! The clinic focuses on educating women (including LGBT women) on how to  holistically take care of their bodies.  The health education aspect, along with the self-empowerment focus is what keeps many people who even HAVE insurance coming back to CWHC for years.  Check out the clinics in your area, and be sure to look for reviews and testimonials.  Find out what the fees are for the uninsured or if there are special programs to help you.

Fertility Note: Fertility awareness is taught on-site, which really stood out to me because most people seem to think that if you can’t afford to have a baby right now, you shouldn’t be planning for one, which I find to be a load of crap.

Speaking of special programs, investigate your state!  I found that here in Illinois, there is a Healthy Women card, that I was COMPLETELY unaware of back in the day when I was first uninsured (someone needs to step their publicity game up).  The “Pink Card”, as its called, provides every eligible woman in the state with coverage for reproductive health needs.  This includes yearly pap exams, testing, and basically any other issue that can be narrowed down to general gynecology, even tubal ligations for women over 21. The card is accepted at some doctors offices here, so it could be that some women are able to continue with the doctors they know!   There are different programs for Moms and Babies, and women with larger families or incomes, but this card is valid for the reproductive needs of women like me.  Investigate the programs that your state may have, because just like finding this out proved to me, some government agencies you’ll never know about until you look. (I found similar programs in Texas, Oregon, and Maryland to name a few)

Fertility Note: My favorite line from their website is this:

  • Patient education and counseling about women’s health, family planning and how to plan for a healthy pregnancy if and when you want to have a baby.

Illinois Healthy Women Card

Planned Parenthood remains a crowd favorite for many contraceptive choices, but it is important to note that they do provide gynecological exams and checkups as well.  The cost of many of these services depends on the location, so don’t hesitate to call them and inquire.  Planned Parenthood is a clean and trusted environment where women(and men), have gone for years.  Though I still cringe at the amount of reproductive health clinics that cleave solely to preventative medicine, I have to say that PP is greatly instrumental in keeping thousands of bodies safe and healthy for decades.

Fertility Note: While as I said, Planned Parenthood does seem to lean more towards contraception and abortion, according to their website, they are able to provide information on fertility services in your area if you ask during your appointment.  SO ASK.

Lastly, check out your County hospitals, community health centers and health departments.  These fall to the bottom of my list primarily because of the over-crowding and the enormous wait times,(or maybe that’s just here in Chicago), but I have to say that sometimes these hospitals have some of the best doctors.  They may take all day to get to you, because of the amount of other more serious cases, but when they do, they are going to leave no stone unturned. Do NOT let them intimidate you.  I experienced a colposcopy in one of the most unattractive and un-updated exam rooms, but I was also sure when I left that everything had been investigated.  The comfort of knowing I was healthy, far surpassed the discomfort of that dim, small room.  The health centers in your area may be much different than the ones I have experienced, but either way you owe it to yourself to at least visit and see what its about. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised.  To find the community health centers near you, visit the websites of your county, city or village.  The fastest way though, is to visit the US Department of Health and Human Services website and enter your zip code into the Clinic Locator.

With any place that you decide you’re most comfortable, do not leave out your fertility plans!  Even when I was down on my very worst luck, without two pennies to rub together, and in need of someone to please prescribe ANYTHING to slow or stop my periods, I did not leave out the fact that childbearing was something I was planning for.  The usual treatment option for PCOS related symptoms and irregular periods, is birth control pills.   I made sure to note my future plans because I did not want any prescriptions or treatments that would stall my process when I was able to move forward.  Whatever your situation, I hope you (and I) find health service alternatives that meet our goals and expectations, while allowing us to become healthy carriers for the lives we seek.  Not being able to afford building your family is NOT the same as not being able to afford PLANNING your family.

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