Sunday, 15 March 2015

An irregular cervix: my attempted HSG

My clinic gave me an HSG requisition for the Laurel centre, so on day 1 of my cycle I dutifully called them. They informed me that there was no doctor available to do the procedure on the appropriate days and asked me to "try again next month". The receptionist was really rude about it, too. I was not impressed. 

At the bottom of the form in small print the requisition said I could have my procedure at several other locations as well, so I called the clinic and asked them to fax a new requisition to Langley Hospital. 

The next day I called Langley to schedule my procedure. The (very nice!) receptionist told me they just were having a new machine installed and that an HSG was 'probably not the best procedure for testing out the machine' because, among other things, they would need to have a representative from the machine there to help with problems; it may take longer, etc. I appreciated the honesty, but really didn't want to call the clinic AGAIN to get ANOTHER requisition for ANOTHER facility and asked them to just book me for the darn thing.

While waiting for my appointment, I did what everyone does and googled the hell out of an HSG. So by the time of my appointment I really wasn't looking forward to it - so many women say it is quite painful.

The clinic prescribed me doxy as a prophylactic to guard against infection (4 pills, starting the night prior). I also took a couple advils about an hour before as recommended.

There was a short checklist to fill out when I arrived at the hospital. The tech asked me about why I was having an HSG given that I put "n/a" as for how long I'd been trying to get pregnant. I don't know, just doing what the doctor told me to do!

I got to wear two hospital gowns and my socks. I was glad for the socks. Being barefoot in public places is kinda squicky. Well, so is the lack of underpants, but ya know...

The teck explained everything to me in excruciating detail. Then she and the machine representative played around with the buttons and moving the table and xray machine around. I must say that the table was amazingly comfy. It was that awesome squishy memory-foam stuff. Nice. Then the radiologist came in, explained everything to me so quickly and without detail that it took a whole 2 seconds. Then speculum (ugh ow as always), sponge-cleaning the cervix twice (cold, oddly uncomfortable but not horrid). The catheter was pinchy but ok. I mean, I would rather NOT have it done, but livable. And then the doc started to inject the contrast fluid. Ok, crampy, yes, just like the requisition said it would be. But not terrible. But I thought it was supposed to be fast, and I'm watching the monitor and it doesn't look like the pictures online, not at all. So the doc asked for more contrast stuff, and more cramping, but then nothing. So the doc brings the catheter out and the fluid dribbles out of me. 

He announced he needed a different type of catheter with a balloon on the end. This one I barely felt on the way in. He got it in place, tries to inject more dye, and I felt nothing. The doc announced he could not complete the procedure, muttered something about my having an irregularly shaped cervix that could not 'seal' around the catheter so the dye was leaking out rather than going into my uterus and tubes, took everything out of me and left. 

The tech kindly showed me the xray screen which showed the balloon properly in place and a nice outline of my vagina rather than my uterus. So that was that. It was devastating. I mean...getting worked up about how it would feel, what it would reveal, how it would all be worth it because afterwards I would know where I stood...and now nothing. No answers, no understanding about what the next steps would be.

The pad they gave me on the way out was comical. It was as long as my whole underpants, waistband to waistband, and about 3/4 inch thick. But useful, because I was spotting and oozing contrast fluid. Super sexy.

Of course when I got home I googled the hell out of irregular cervixes. There's no information, though. Lots from women who can't have an HSG because the doctor couldn't place the catheter, but that wasn't my problem. So now I feel like a freak and I'm worried that my cervix is broken and that IUI won't work because all the sperm will leak out rather than going where it belongs. If my tubes are even open, which we don't know.

I called my nurse who tried to reassure me and said that she will call me again on Monday when they get the radiology report. I may have to have the procedure that uses a camera rather than dye. Man, that sounds so pleasant also.Ugh. But I suppose better to know than to spend money on an IUI that definitely won't work, right?

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