Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Medical Incredible or Medical Insanity?

My life used to consist of me doing medical testing, as in I was the one working with patient's blood trying to help them get better.  My how things have changed.  The picture above is really me in the clean room I used to work in at UF.  Now, instead of working with other people's blood, it is my blood and such in all those tubes.  I am starting to feel like a lab rat, but this time the one in the cage. 

Yesterday, I went with AJ to an OB/GYN.  We went because we wanted to establish being a new patient and start learning what we needed to be doing to get pregnant, (yes, we understand the basics of when a mommy and a daddy love each other they get all snuggly basics) but with recent health developments we wanted to just talk to someone about the whole thing.  We are slowly learning that what seems to come very easy for other people doesn't come that easily to us, and we are having to be very pro-active about information.

Well, sometimes I wish we weren't so pro-active on information gathering.  When we talked to the OB/GYN we found out that because of my ovarian cyst/ torsion and the removal of the ovary I have adhesions/ scar tissue.  Ok, honestly, I knew I had that because I had been sent to the weirdest physical therapy ever to try to break up the adhesions - with pretty good success.  But, because no one had ever actually checked to see if the adhesions had grown into my left fallopian tube I have to have a test done.  Ok, not a problem. Sign me up because the timing was almost perfect for them to schedule the test (it has to be done during certain days of the cycle).

Well, here is when that pro-active thing again comes to bite me in the rear.  I do my typical thing of starting to research what the test actually is (I am starting to feel like I am going to medical school with all the crazy things that keep getting done and researching what they are) - OH MY GOODNESS!!!!  This test sounds horrible!  Anything that all the descriptions start with "Although somewhat painful..." can't be a good thing.  I have had some really painful things done down at the OB/GYN's office, and I think this test sounds the most painful of any of them.  

It is called a hysterosalpingogram (notice the hyster in the front, when I read the description of it I became hysterical and cried for about an hour).  Please read the description if you have a strong stomach or your yearly PAP doesn't hurt, otherwise just think of the whole test as a 30 minute long PAP where they are injecting dye into you and just waiting to see if you scream because a tube is blocked or if you are just screaming because you are having dye injected into you.  This is a very simplistic way to look at it, but some how my mind is envisioning a torture chamber.  Especially when I read this line "The woman usually remains on the table for a few minutes to recover from the cramping caused by injection of the contrast."

Here is what they are looking for, except in my case there won't be anything on the right side except some staples.  From what I have read, if there is blockage the pain is through the roof.  I am thinking staples are going to be considered a blockage and it is really going to hurt even if there is nothing wrong with the left side because there is no where for the dye to go on the right.   

Here is what I am scared they will find. This picture is of a woman who had her right tube removed due to a tubal pregnancy.  But that lump of dye on the right side is the dye trapped in a pocket in the tube due to adhesions. 

AJ and I are still debating whether we are going to go through with this test or not.  The pain factor is a big part of it.  With me hurting everywhere else all the time it just seems wrong to actually go to something that is going to add to it.  Also, the idea of having to lay on my back with my legs up in stirrups for 30 minutes makes my knees and back just ache from thinking about it.  Every article I have read said to take a couple of Advil before the procedure to help with the pain.  If a couple of Advil killed pain in me I would be a much happier person, so that is another contributing factor. 

On the side of is this really necessary, I am torn.  I want to know that things are ok and when we start trying to get pregnant scar tissue isn't going to be a problem, but if it isn't a problem I don't need the test.  There is a mild side benefit.  It seems that if there is any mild blockage having the test done will clean it out.  Also, apparently there is mildly increased rate of fertility for a while after having the test done, too.  I am not sure how long that increased rate really last though.  Any constructive thoughts would be greatly helpful!  

I know it feels like my blog is turning into some weird form of a medical journal.  In some ways it is, but I figure there are other people out there dealing with this stuff and I am hoping to be honest about it.  I am trying to be really upbeat about everything and still keep it "clean" without getting to graphic.  I hope none of this comes across as complaining about the situations that I am in, because for the most part it isn't.  I wish it wasn't all going on, but it is and at least writing about it helps me process it.  Also, it helps to remind me to be thankful for what I do have and to keep praising God because he is in control of it all, and I know he is working through all of these situations.

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