Posts Tagged ‘Procedures’
My mom always says, “You have to have yourself in order, even if nothing is moving forward, because when God finally says “Go”, it’s gonna move SO fast, you have to be ready.” She’s right, you know.
So following my initial appointment, where we found the dreaded polyp, I was scheduled for yet another polypectomy and hysteroscopy. Big whoop.
Cue panic #1
When the nurse called to pre-register me for surgery, he let me know that the hospital where the surgery was scheduled, does not typically accept my insurance, and that I should check in with them again in two days to make sure that I didn’t have a bill. I freaked out EXTENSIVELY (and internally) as I waited the couple days before I could call the office and ask. When I finally got in touch, they assured me that all was covered.
Having had this surgery previously, I was expecting more of the same. But my doctor came to my room to greet us. She hung out with us for a few minutes, explained the procedure and talked with my mom for a good while. She even apologized that I’d had to get up so early to make it to the hospital. She stopped in to see me two more times that day, and walked alongside my bed to the OR, just chatting away.
Have I mentioned how much I love her? I think I have, but I’ll say it again: I LOVE HER.
So, last week, I went into the office for my follow-up. I was prepared for a repeat of the stalled out meeting I had following the last procedure with my previous clinic. You know, the one where they lay out all the things that don’t work, and how much delay we can expect? As hopeful as I’ve been trying to be, I’m also cautious, having been at the starting line more times than I can count, and STILL never taking off.
So imagine my surprise, when my nurse proceeded to move along to baseline testing and ultrasounds. While drawing my blood she said, “So did you get your meds yet?” I didn’t even try to hide my confusion. “I sent in the order for your meds and you should have them by Friday because your protocol will start Saturday.” Here’s some perspective,…this was Thursday morning.
I went into my ultrasound, still reeling from that little bit of info. They were a little wary of my notoriously ridiculous uterine lining, but said it wasn’t a huge issue and that most importantly, I was polyp free! From there, we sat in an injection walk-through and a layout of our drug protocol.
Let me remind you, when I came into the office, I was expecting to just hear about my polypectomy, and find out what was the next thing for us to wait on. At this stage in the game previously, we were again at “hurry up and wait”. We were extremely unprepared for the amount of information that was being hurled at us.
We left the office, called the insurance regarding the meds, and were told to await a call from the pharmacy.
Cue panic #2
When the pharmacy called to confirm the meds order, they ended the phone call by saying, “We’ll call you back with your final bill.” I freaked out. Everything had been going so fast and so well, that here was where the hammer was going to come down. They were going to call me back with an astronomical cost that my t-shirt sales and fundraising events weren’t going to be able to cover.
The pharmacist called back. She said, “We just need a credit card to cover your final balance on your meds. The total is $5.85.”
I asked her to repeat herself. I thought I’d heard $585″.
She laughed and said, “$5.85. Your insurance covered everything except for an antibiotic.” Remember how I was freaking out because my insurance had changed? Turns out, it was for my good.
In 24 hours,…this was in our front hallway:
In 20 minutes, this was in our apartment, along with the giant cooler of follistim cartridges that was also packed in the huge box:
When I talked to my aunt, to fill her in on the meds being PAID FOR and DELIVERED,…she said, and I quote:
“They not playing around. You are.”
She’s right too, you know?
When you get used to being slowed around and pushed back, it can be easy to fall into routine. We have had so many stops and starts. Job changes, insurance changes, new diagnoses, extra issues, dosage changes, and a few mind-calming breaks in between. Every, single, time that I have gotten really excited about this, or even when I put this aside completely, and stepped out on faith for adoption, things have consistently found a way to grind their way down to a standstill.
There have been times where I couldn’t even bear to visit my own site, because it seemed like a glaring reminder of failure and the most excruciatingly slow timeline. People have asked me if I was afraid of getting pregnant, or if I was choosing not to move forward, because they couldn’t comprehend just what was taking so long. Most of these stalls and setbacks were so unbelievable that even explaining them sometimes, made people look at me like,
But as discouraging as it’s been, and as long as it’s taken, and whatever other dramatic culmination I could use right now…
TODAY, is stim day 3.
And we are officially in an IVF cycle.
And regardless of the 1 1/2 inch needle that delivers these meds intramuscularly.
And not getting focused on the money we still have to spend on embryo storage, etc.,
Whatever else happens on this journey, for just getting HERE, to this exact moment of this exact thing,
THANK YOU LORD.
So finally, after battling insurance requirements to get to the testing phase of my pre-IVF life, it’s time for a saline sonogram to investigate the condition of my uterus itself. The reason a good RE will do this test before moving forward with IVF is to ensure that the home we’re going to place defenseless embryos into, is a good one, with ample parking and whatnot.
So what is a saline-hysterosonogram? Basically, it’s an ultrasound. The doctor inserts saline into your uterus while performing the ultrasound, so that the saline will coat the area and provide a clear image of the shape and lining.
Now, silly me, because I’d had a d&c and hysteroscopy a year ago, which pretty much cleared my uterus out completely, I thought this would be a minor procedure just to get out of the way. I mean, I just had my uterine reset button pressed, what bad elements could have moved into the neighborhood in such a short time?
Well, apparently, a polyp.
Wait, what? Seriously?
Because if I haven’t learned in this infertility battle, I’ve learned that NOTHING on this journey can be simple for me. NOTHING.
So as we’re all looking at the ultrasound monitor, I can see there’s one small portion that won’t allow the saline to spread. And THAT little, pebble sized dent, is what my doctor said was a polyp. In fact, she and the technician went back and forth about whether it looked like a polyp or a fibroid, but I just shook my head and faded out for a minute, because fibroid or polyp, to me, it was a roadblock. One more thing I’d have to get around. Great.
The next step would be yet another d&c and hysteroscopy.
So we sat down with our nurse after my sonogram to get some directions about where we were going next. As the doctor had already said, my first trip would be back to my regular ob/gyn to schedule the hysteroscopy. I was hesitant to ask, because I didn’t want to seem as time-obsessed as I actually am, but before she continued, I asked her how long after that would I be back in business. Thankfully, she said two weeks is the recovery time, and that the IVF consultation meeting I’d have to do next would line up with that. In the meantime, all our bloodwork was back and fine, with the exception of my thyroid because its a jerky mc jerkface, and it was time for me to restart Metformin.
So a couple days later, it was back to the gynecologist I went. True to form, this too could not be without dramatics.
So let’s see, the appointment was at 10:30, and there was no traffic getting to the office, but when I got ONE block away, traffic was stopped. 10:50. Finally got around the traffic debacle and parked, the office had moved, and I went to the wrong building first. 10:55. I get into the office, get signed in, and of course my insurance has changed so I have to call to make sure I’m even able to see my doctor at all. After arguing with the automated system for 25 minutes, I finally talked to a person who finally found the doctor in network. 11:30. And I STILL didn’t see the doctor until 12.
It’s a blessing to have a doctor who knows you, or at least knows enough about you and your journey to be fully on board. I have that blessing. Every visit, she asks me how YOU Eggshells are doing, and speaks to how great it is that I blog about this. We chatted for a while about how many patients she gets who don’t consider their fertility until it’s just about too late, and the number of those patients that happen to be African American.
Listening and talking to her reminded me that beyond my frustrations about having to stop and go so much, there are so many other women who haven’t even started. More even than that, I think about the ones who probably never will, out of fear or procrastination. So I took that as encouragement to push through this roadblock. I could look at the polyp as a pebble in my way, or an opportunity to exercise a mustard seed of faith.
I chose the mustard seed.
I scheduled the hysteroscopy surgery and told myself not to complain. I’d taken the time to take a step that was necessary to reach my goal. If for no other reason, that was enough to feel a little satisfaction. I then took that high and used it to walk myself over to the other medical building and leave word for my other doctor regarding my thyroid needs. Hell, I was already on a roll, may as well take it all the way, right? With every little step, I was reclaiming just a sliver of my control, and it felt good.
Once again, I felt like an infertility gangster. LOL I pulled off feeling ten times better than I had when I got there, and blasting my motivation playlist.
I hope you’re learning to take your small victories, too! They add up.
Mustard Seed image courtesy of olivcris/ Flickr.com
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:
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.
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 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.
The past couple weeks have been interesting to say the least.
Since learning of my blocked and useless fallopian tubes, I went on to have the period from hell…Again. This time, our new record is off and on for upwards of 37 days.
After a pretty aggressive medication regimen, my doctor and I finally decided to pull out the heavy artillery and press the reset button by scheduling a D&C and hysteroscopy.
Cue “Dun, Dun, Duuuuuuun” sound effects.
Now, leading up to this surgery, I was in quite the peculiar and bitchtastic mood, let me tell you. Hopped up on hormone pills and whatnot is not the way to keep a mellow attitude. I fell into a deep dark hole called, “I’m sick of this shit.” You ever been there? I vacation there often, lately.
I didn’t want to post here.
I didn’t want to dream.
I didn’t want to write.
I didn’t want to do anything but go to work and come home…and they could spare me the work.
And that was hard for me because I’m a tenacious type of person. I don’t like being or feeling defeated. I don’t like feeling hopeless. But I certainly was.
So I spent a lot of evenings in my bedroom.
Laying against my pillow, cruising social media.
Thinking angry thoughts.
In the middle of my angst, however, I did spend a lot of time with one of my favorite social media addictions these days, the virtual pinboard, Pinterest.
Pinterest has a lot of uses. It can be a way to visually collect bookmarks. It can be a way for people to market their merchandise by baiting people to repin photos of it. It can be a lot of things, but what it has the greatest quality in, is creating vision boards.
It’s easy to get lost there for hours and see how other people have curated their dreams into these sprawling boards of hope and planning. People pin quotes, photos, plans, etc. I use my boards as something to look at, work on, believe in.
It was here that I regained my footing.
It is here that I want you to gain some of yours as well.
I want you to take a little time and come out of your shell. Take the opportunity to dream out loud, boldly and in full color. Let’s get creative.
What I’m proposing is that you use Pinterest to visually take a step out into the advocacy arena. Either for the infertility community as a whole, or just for yourself. From now until September 24th, I am asking all my Eggshells to join me in celebrating possibility.
Using Pinterest, I want you to create a one of two or both kinds of the following boards:
Advocacy Board: create a board that deals with Infertility Awareness, PCOS Awareness, or Adoption Awareness, etc. Pin articles, photos, or procedures that give the world a better view of what it is like to live this infertility life and of the conditions which have led you down this path.
Here’s Mine: “The Great IF: What It Looks, Feels, and Sounds like“
One Day Mom Board: Create a board for your future. Pin articles, photos, or ideas that you will use when you become a mom. Adoption maternity photo shoot ideas, Birth Announcements, Homemade Baby Food How-To’s. Whatever it is that you want to be or do as a mom, pin it.
Here’s Mine: “YeYo“
For an added plus, you can use the hashtag #BBEShellShocked on any pins that you want to be located through The Broken Brown Egg. I will have a link here on the site for people to catch up on our boards and any pins with that tag will pop up. Tell others, invite family and friends to view your board. Use it to come out of the infertility closet.
When I was at my lowest, I found it very hard to dream. Hope was at a small, small level in my heart. Dreaming, however, put me back on track to move forward. I want the same for you. And if we can enlighten the world to what WE go through at the same time, then all the better.
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…)
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…)