WARNING: I have put some pictures of the procedure at the bottom of the post, because I think they are neat and interesting. Bryce said, "You are kinda doing for the uterus what Katie Couric did for the colon." Yup, I'll take that--the Katie Couric of the Uterus. Behold, my innards for your informational viewing! I did try to put one of the less disturbing (and to me hilarious) photos first so that if you have photos on your blogroll and I grace it, I won't cause mass upchucking. The pictures are neat but I wouldn't recommend looking at them if you're, say, blog reading and eating at the same time.
This surgery was different from the others, because we had to travel to Buffalo and go to an all new hospital that was unfamiliar to us. First off, my other two hysteroscopies were in an ambulatory surgery center, not a hospital. Something about being in a bona fide hospital ratchets up the stress. Secondly, we had to leave the house at 6:30 to get there for my 8:00 appointment since pre-op testing was first and the surgery was scheduled for 10:00. That hurt. But, we got there right on time and didn't stress about being late, so it was worth it.
My body was not cooperative last week prior to the surgery, which almost had it cancelled. I will never understand why my body just does not do these simple little things I ask it to do. Everything else is being taken over by medications and doctors, and all I needed my body to do was NOT BLEED whilst I was on the Pill prior to surgery. But Tuesday I spotted and by Wednesday I was full on bleeding, like heavy, gross, clotty blood that had me worried I wasn't going to make it through a 40 minute class period before flying to the bathroom to prevent a Carrie moment in the halls. Because of course I was wearing a dress. It was that bad. I talked to my doctor, who hadn't been worried about the spotting but then was really confuzzled by the heavier bleeding. "You're sure you didn't' miss a pill or two?" he asked. HA! AS IF! Nope, no missed pills. Then I remembered that my pills had been laying on the table and when I came home earlier than usual the sun was right on them... maybe the sun had zapped all the fake estrogen out of them! Faulty storage was killing my cycle! Nope, he nixed that as a reason. We had two choices -- double up on the pill and go ahead with the hysteroscopy, hopeful that that would reveal the culprit; or stop the Pill, bleed for real, and start up a week or so later, delaying our cycle by two weeks. NO THANK YOU. My doctor seemed to think that the doubling up should taper the bleeding, and that we could get to the bottom of things, and so that's what we did.
The bleeding did taper but man was I foul that night. Slamming things around, screeching, "MY BODY SUCKS SO MUCH! WHY? WHY MUST MY BODY COCKBLOCK ME AT EVERY FREAKING TURN? AAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH!" Poor Bryce. He just watched me go beserk and gave me a hug when it seemed I wouldn't stab him for trying to be nice to my idiot body.
Thursday morning I still had to wear a stupid pad to the hospital because while the blood had tapered and was no longer horror show, it was still bright red spotting. I began to freak out and wonder if maybe, maybe in the cancelled cycle some eggs released later and I was somehow pregnant and now miscarrying my cancelled cycle baby. This is straight up crazypantsness, because I had an 8 day period after the cancellation and it was one week after I stopped the drugs (thank you, luteal phase defect) and we had ABSOLUTELY NO SEX AT ALL until after the period and I'd been on the Pill for a week, so that would be pretty impossible. Bless me, I am capable of such optimism that I thought that was possible. And I thought it out, that it would really stink to get pregnant that way and lose it, but then that would be really good for the possibility of us getting pregnant in an actual cycle, so while it would be weird and sad it would actually be somewhat good news. It is painfully apparent that I have lost my grip on reality with all this trauma. Luckily, my HCG was negative at the hospital and so I didn't have to contend with a short lived miracle crazy pregnancy loss. MY MIND WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS.
All the pre-op testing went well, until I realized that Bryce was going to be with me only in the ambulatory wing, and as they wheeled me to real pre-op, where I would get my IV and everything, they would drop Bryce off in the surgical lounge. Which sounds much nicer than it actually was. I was nervous about this, because for some reason despite being under a gazillion times in the past 4 1/2 years I was certain something would go hideously wrong this time and I was at risk for being a goner. No idea why. I swear my anxiety keeps ratcheting up higher and higher the further I get in this process.
As I was being IV'd and hairnetted (no pictures, sorry) and asked about my ticker that was hopefully stronger than my feelings of foreboding, my doctor came in. He said they were going to remove the polyps (assuming there were more than one), figure out the bleeding, do the scratch biopsy to prep my lining, and use this new tool they use in orthopedic surgery to shave down cartilage that would actually lower risks and be more precise. THEN, then he said they would be looking for just one. more. thing. A journal article he'd read mentioned this uterine banding that they'd found in women with recurrent pregnancy loss. And, he said, while they're not the same, recurrent pregnancy loss and implantation failure are often treated similarly with good results. He said there was about a 10% chance that I had this banding, and that it was the result of infection (?!), and that if I did they would treat me with a broad spectrum antibiotic for 10 days or so and that should clear things up. Just one more possible foil to implantation that could be lurking.
I went blissfully under and woke in the recovery room to lots of beeping and a lot of cramping pain, and was again blissfully treated with some IV demerol that took that pain right away. In my post-anesthesia-demeroled-stupor my doctor stopped in to tell me all about how things went. I had THREE polyps, I had a big old blood clot that probably was to blame for the weird bleeding, and YES I DID HAVE THE BANDING. Go freaking figure. I don't know whether to be happy about this (maybe it's a piece to our puzzle! Maybe the missing piece! Maybe we CAN have babies with both of our genetic makeup and my stupid uterus has been the culprit all along!) or worried (what the hell is this infection nonsense? what if it comes back? why does my body keep making these polyps? Why do I have blood in my uterus at inopportune times, which is SO BAD FOR IMPLANTATION?). But, everything is all cleaned up and so we're on for our June cycle, which had better be a normal cycle free of wacky estrogen levels and overly prolific follicles that blossom unevenly.
OK, HERE'S WHERE THE PICTURES OF MY INNARDS COME IN, SO SCROLL FAST IF YOU ARE NOT INCLINED TO SEE THIS STUFF WITHOUT SQUEAMISHNESS (I DID TRY TO PUT THE WORST ONE THIRD OUT OF FOUR) :
|Zlorg the Destroyer in my uterus. Pretty sure this is the fancy orthopedic |
shaving tool, but doesn't it look like an evil alien overlord resides in my uterus?
THAT would totally be a problem for implantation.
|Le Polyps Trois... Look at the veins leading up to those bloody-tipped mushroom |
looking things. WHAT THE HELL? And, if you note, they're at my cervix again. Which concerns me. Why do I keep making these things?
|Sorry, grossest one. This is the evil blood clot. And, it's really similar to a |
sand worm from Dune or something.Definitely a disturbance in the Force. My poor, beleaguered, nerdy cervix!
|That's no space station... HA! Couldn't resist. Here's one example |
out of three of the weird banding.OK, antibiotic, do your job and
zap that nonsense out of the way of my baby!
After the surgery, Bryce was great. He got my prescriptions while I slept in the car and picked up some pretty flowers, too. That I may have explicitly asked for but whatever, he got them. I rested and slept and then had to take some percoset because man I was a little more painful after this one than the last two. Recovery was slower, too. I still felt awful on Sunday, on Day 4. (Probably because I tried a little gardening, which was probably ill advised, but I stopped once I got really crampy again.) This week I've been tired and a bit sore but things seem to be a bit more well-behaved in my nethers so all's well that's in the middle of ending well.
Let's hope this all proves to be my LAST hysteroscopy, that the next procedure after the egg retrieval and transfer is an ultrasound to check out my burgeoning gestational sac. I mean, the home's all renovated and cleared of the toxic mold that has caused previous evictions, so it should be all set for some more permanent tenants, right? I hope so. I really, really, really hope so.