10 Nov

Like the pun?  I’m picking up where I left off in the tale of how we became parents to the lovely miss Bea.   Between Bobisms, Jury Duty and Halloween, I haven’t had much time to sit down and recount my tale, so thus I begin again.

When last we left, your heroine was recuperating on the couch after a procedure called a hysterosalpingogram. What’s next for your protagonist, you ask? Yep, more torture.  New battle scars, allies and enemies.

Cautionary warnings and disclaimers in effect: if you don’t want to read about a ‘lady procedure’ or if you just don’t want to know me that intimately, stop here.  If you are about to go through fertility, or are going through it right now, don’t let these stories scare you. I tell them with humor so others like me will know they are not alone (and, again, the whole guilt thing when Bea is older, remember? Maybe she’ll hire the nice nurse for me and Bob when we’re old and decrepit, not the cheapest one that insurance covers. Right? You remember).  If you know anyone going through this, after hearing my stories, maybe you’ll be able to empathize or offer support, knowing what is involved.  Most people don’t talk about this stuff as openly as I do. 😉  And, of course, if you’re having a bad day, just picture me all laid up in various states of undress, in the most unflattering of poses and I guarantee your day will lighten up just a bit.

Back to the story. Ok, so no blockages were found during the Hysterosalpingogram.  This was in Spring 2009.  The next ‘test’ (and this is meant to be read while you picture me saying it with my most sarcastic air quotes) was a uterine biopsy, scheduled for July 2009.  This one, I believe, was to test me for endometriosis and to make sure my uterine wall was in good shape.

SO.  When I asked my Doctor about this procedure and what kind of, ehem, candy she could prescribe to me, I was told I’d only need to take a few Advil.   “Take 4 before you leave the house,” she said.

Hmm.  Ok.  4 Advil.  Can’t be that bad if narcotics aren’t involved, right?

WRONG.   Again, without getting too “familiar,” with you, a uterine biopsy is exactly what it sounds like.  They cut a piece of your uterine wall out to test it.  Every time I’d heard the word ‘biopsy,’ it was usually associated with cancer, so, right off the bat we had a bad connotation, me and Mr. Biopsy.  Most biopsies are done either local or general anesthesia.  Not this one.  So, how do they get to one’s uterus for said test?  Exactly how you think.

At my doctor’s practice, there are 3 doctors.  You don’t always get your particular doctor.  See, a fertility clinic has to be open 7 days a week.  The timing is too precise to miss a day. As a matter of fact, I think they only closed for a week around Christmas, and even then, they had stop all IVF procedures at the end of November to ensure no one would be missing necessary tests or treatments while they were closed.  So, in order to get days off, there has to be more than one doctor in the practice. This was my first time meeting Dr. Bell.  She was so super nice.  She made a joke about meeting under these circumstances.  I lay on the table, and she says “Carrie, I need you to lay very very still.  I have a sharp object in my hands, and if you move, I may cut you or not get enough tissue and have to do it again.”  Oh yeah, y’all.  There was a pair of  long-handled, glorified surgical scissors you-know-where.

So I take a deep breath.  Now, I’m not sure what I expected this to feel like, but I trusted that if this was going to be anywhere north of 6 on the pain scale, that I would have been amply prepared with pain killers.  Or perhaps a good swabbing of lidocaine or something?  When I say that I was having my insides cut out, that is exactly what it felt like.  I felt pain like I’ve never felt in a place I never knew existed (sounds familiar, right?)  Tugging, then cutting, more tugging.  Like the inner-most core of my gut was being pulled out.

Holy shit.  I started to holler and grab the sides of the table.  The nurse ran over so I could squeeze her hand.  While the last procedure felt like it lasted forever, the biopsy was only about 5 seconds.  But if you cut my finger off in half a second, I wager that would still hurt like hell.  The pain of this was much worse than the HSG.

“Ohh, Carrie I’m so sorry, I didn’t get enough tissue,” she says.  “I have to do it again.”

Ok, so now I’m legitimately crying.  “No, please…”  Like a damn child!  This time I know what’s coming.  Tears streaming. Yelling, lots of “Oh God”s.  It was over again before it started, and she told me I did well.  I said “Do you tell everyone that?”  She assured me there were much worse.  That made me feel a little better.

As I would hear MANY more times throughout this journey, “a little bleeding might occur.”  Turns out, everything with this test was normal too.  This was good news, but also troubling because it ruled out two major, very fixable problems.  What to do next?

Oh, and I almost forgot the best part!  When you go for fertility treatments, you pay UP FRONT. They already know what your insurance covers, and you have to pay the rest when you get there, or pay whatever balance you have.  So, I had to go into the billing room to chat with the ladies about payment.  (Sidenote:  One of the girls happened to be an ex classmate of mine named: Beatriz!)   Still mortified from my outburst (the exam room I was in shared a common wall with the billing department), I sat down.

We made small talk and she looked at my paperwork.  “Ahhh, so you had a uterine biopsy today?”

“Uhh, yeah, I’m shocked you couldn’t hear me yelling from in here.”

“Oh that was YOU?!”  Nice.


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