Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Progress

I got a date for my laparoscopy! That was way faster than I expected and I am very pleased.Getting all cleaned up and out in June. I really like having something to look forward to...a date, something is going to happen now. I do much better with scheduled dates. I can work with those. Progress!

Monday, 20 April 2015

Temping and luteal phases...oh my!

It's cycle day 18 and still no BBT rise. Turns out it's probably a good thing I decided to track my BBT after all - looking at this month's chart and last I think I've discovered I have a short luteal phase. One needs a luteal phase that is longer than 10 days in order to allow the fertilized egg to implant. Basically a luteal phase that is too short can lead to infertility or an increased risk of miscarriage.

This is interesting to me. After I had my initial bloodwork done, my GP noted that I had fairly low progesterone. The specialist dismissed that result saying it was taken at the wrong time, and said nothing about my bloodwork results after I had the second workup. But there's a pattern here that is starting to make sense to me.

According to a study I was able to find online, women with endometriosis have a higher than average likelihood of a short luteal phase. All these things: endometriosis, short luteal phase, low progesterone are commonly associated.

I don't know why all this matters to me right now, but I guess I'm just appreciating that it looks more and more certain that endometriosis is a correct diagnosis and that this lap is a good idea, rather than wasting sperm.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

On Hold

Well, the doctor said that the HSG results are just more evidence that supports her earlier clinical impression of endometriosis. My left tube is clear and working, but my right tube is dilated at the distal end (near the ovary) and though there was spillage, she suspects I would not be able to get pregnant if ovulating from the right side. And so she said that while I could try, given the expense it's probably best to wait for surgery (laparoscopy).

She recalled how I was pushing to get on the surgery waitlist at my initial appointment just in case this happened, and said I made a good decision given that the surgical waitlist is 6 months - now I'm "only" four months away.

So we now everything is on hold, likely until the end of the summer.

I think I was mentally prepared for this outcome. Of course I wanted to try next cycle and I was ready for that too...but I had a feeling or something.

I am very much looking forward to the possibility of less painful periods after the surgery. Even if I never get pregnant, that would be wonderful. I'm not looking forward to the surgery itself - I've never had surgery before and wasn't keen to start now, but what can you do.

At the moment I am most disappointed that I can't hit up the summer's garage sales for baby stuff. I mean, I probably will anyway, but it won't have the same joy. Too premature. Cart before horse. Etc.

More positives - I can continue to temp and get a few charts that will give me a good indication of how I work. And more opportunities to get healthier, eat better - which is so much easier in this season. All the fresh fruits -- ALL OF THEM.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

HSG #2...or Musical Chairs.

I had my second HSG last Friday at UBC. I was a bit of a wreck heading in because I knew what to expect and yet I was so afraid that it wouldn't work again or that I would get bad news or that it would be really painful this time or something.

UBC was a completely different experience. I don't think I realized just how differently one apparently simple procedure could go.

When I arrived they had me put on a gown and robe rather than the two gowns I wore for HSG #1. And I had to strip completely rather than just waist down. Then I had to sit and wait in the very public waiting room, in my gown, for what seemed like a very long time.

Finally they asked me to go to the end of a hallway and turn right. So I did, and was asked to sit in another chair in a hallway. So I waited there for awhile and read a medical magazine from 2007. Hooray. Then they insisted I pee in a cup, which I did without thinking. I suppose I could have saved them the pregnancy test...but whatever. So back to sit in the hallway while waiting for them to prove I'm not the Virgin Mary.

The radiologist came and introduced himself to me and asked me if I knew what I was having. I nodded and said I'd done this just last month. He asked me if I wanted him to explain the procedure to me, which I declined, and I signed the consent form without reading it at all (bad me!).

then I was ushered...to yet another chair in yet another hallway. Seriously. Musical chairs. But I was only in that one for what seemed like seconds before the nurse came to help me into position inside the examination room.

So, serious difference number 1. The table at UBC had all kinds of foam cushions with holes and dips cut out of it, so instead of my ass hanging off the end of the table, my hips were raised off the table and my ass went into this nice ass-shaped hole. Kinda cool. And I didn't have my legs on the table -- no muscular effort required. There were trays that attached to the table to hold my feet. A nice comfy lounge. With nudity. And strangers.

Serious difference #2: There were so many people! I don't know who all of them were - tech, nurse, (eventually) two radiologists, some other people. Only four introduced themselves. For HSG#1, there was the radiologist, a tech, and the machine company representative. Maybe a nurse, I can't remember. But I don't think so.

So they manouvered me into position and then gave me a wonderful toasty warm blanket, which was absolutely delightful except that it was removed up to my waist almost immediately. Then they used cold water to wash my lady-parts and waited until I air-dried. And, serious difference #3: put me in sterile assless chaps. Seriously I had paper covering my legs. For no apparent reason. Ok, safety first. I can handle that.

The tech talked to me about the procedure and I explained that I'd had it before, so she grabed the paperwork and looked it over and assured me that they use a completely different type of catheter so hopefully it would work this time. Great, I said.

Radiologist #1 comes in and someone puts his gown on for him. And then he says he wants some other doctor to come. So paging Dr. C.

Dr. C. took FOREVER and I'm cold and naked and this is not fantastic. But actually Dr. C is learning this procedure and going to take it back to Saudi Arabia to help the women there so hey, I can wait for that, right.

The procedure itself was actually not that bad this time. I mean, not comfortable, but whatever. Likely due to serious difference#4: a couple spritzes of local anesthetic on the cervix. What a fantastic thing!

Serious difference #5: A tiny tv screen tilted so I had the shittiest view. I really liked how at Langley I got to watch the whole thing go down. This time all I got was the muttering...heard lots of talk about 'spillage' and hoped that meant my tubes were working. I want spillage. Lots and lots.

At the end, the radiologist explained that I had spillage from both tubes but a slight abnormal result in one tube - a bit of hydrosalpinx. But he seemed confident that I can get pregnant. Relief.

When I was done I was leaking and bleeding all over the place. They gave me a washcloth to hold between my legs as I hobbled to the washroom to clean myself up. Gigantic hospital pad #2 and ibuprofin and a huge parking bill and outta there.

Had to wear a pad for that day and the next. Apparently my parts object to such manhandling.

I followed up with my clinic on Monday but hadn't heard back. Followed up again today and learned that the nurse (who I LOVED) is no longer there which is why she wasn't returning my message. So new nurse rounded up my radiology report and I get to have another phone consult with my doctor tomorrow, presumably about whether this hydrosalpinx is something I need to be concerned about or whether I can go ahead and order SPERMS.

It's amazing how different care can be at different locations. And we as patients are not given choices, do not understand, cannot possibly be informed. It's frustrating. But. Onward and upward.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Nervous.

I want to just get this HSG over with. I am clearly the most incredibly impatient person ever.

I need something to distract myself. Can anyone recommend a good book?

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Fits and starts

This morning I called he radiology clinic again and got a lecture about how I was supposed to call in on day 1 (excuse me?!) They were all booked but I could be on a wait list. Or try again next month.

Good riddance. At least the receptionist was apologetic at the end and took the time to explain to me why the test needs to be done those particular days as opposed to later...apparently once one ovulates the shape of what they are looking for can chage and mess up the test. Fair enough. I had expected it to be that they were ensuring that I wasn't pregnant. I had my rant about immaculate conception all ready to go, had that been the answer...ah well. Probably best for everyone that the rant is not given breath.

Had my paperwork faxed over to UBC and left a long rambling message about how I had a failed HSG last month and so they should try to get me in this month as a priority. IT WORKED! They called me back just an hour or so later, got copies of the report from last month and had a radiologist check it out in advance so they can ensure they use the right protocol this round....and I have an appointment for test#2 on Friday. Cross fingers and toes for open tubes and no further signs of endo!

It was a bit of a rollercoaster few hours there though. At least I now feel like something is moving forward again.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

JUST LET ME HSG!!!

So I got my period on "Good Friday".  Called the radiology place to schedule HSG #2. Rang and rang and rang. You'd think if they were closed they would at least have the courtesy to put a message on their machine saying they were closed. But no.

I swear, if I call on Tuesday and they tell me it's too late to schedule my HSG this month I am going to rage and it will not be good. So far as I can tell the only reason for the specifically scheduled days for the HSG is to ensure the patient isn't pregnant. Well, unless I get pregnant by immaculate conception (and I'm no virgin Mary) then this thing is happening this month. Dammit.

An attempt to fitbit

In my last post I said I was thinking about getting a fitbit / some kind of fitness tracker so I get inspired to be more fit pre-baby. So, true to form (have I mentioned how I love electronic gadgets?) the very next day I picked one up.

I did a fair bit of online research and settled on the Fitbit ChargeHR. Overall it wasn't that much more expensive than the Flex and had some really neat add-on features - I really liked the ability to see my exact stats on the band itself, I liked that it entered 'sleep mode' automatically rather than waiting for me to press a button, and the heartrate monitor was kinda neat too. I looked at some of the non-fitbit options as well, but the fitbit had so many positive reviews and several of my friends love their flexes.

But there is a problem. I have ridiculously tiny wrists. And so I checked the measurements, and it looked like the small would fit me...but it doesn't. I mean, there are appropriate holes so it stays in place as it is supposed to, but the top part of the band is not flexible and is way larger than the width of my wrist, so it kinda sits with big gaps on either side of my wrist getting caught on things and looking rather silly.




It's a real shame, because I like it. It's otherwise rather unobtrusive, comfortable and amusing. For example, the other night I must have been restless in my sleep because I apparently took 11 steps at 1:25 am. It's also been a huge reality check - I have a desk job and am apparently WAY too sedentary. I didn't get close to the 10,000 step goal any day this week. But wearing it has been helpful - one evening I chose to walk to the bank where I usually would have driven. And I used my headset for the phone and walked around my office during a teleconference. Small steps, but hey, not bad for a piece of rubber around my arm.

That said, I think the fact of the reality check is sufficient. One week and I'm well aware that I need to do better, be better than this. I don't think the fitbit is going to keep me any more accountable than I can keep myself on my own.

The other thing I will say is that it's not perfectly accurate. I mean, I suppose that should be anticipated, but I was quite surprised that it won't register steps while, for example, carrying a cup of coffee, or walking slowly, or similar.

Easy to use, amusing, and good for a reality check. But it doesn't fit and so it's going back to the store.  (Heart London Drugs' amazing return policy!!! The clerk told me to try it out for up to two weeks, work out with it, see what I thought and if I don't like it, return it - they go back to the factory anyway so no worries about my sweat all over it lol)

I may look for another fitness band that fits my needs a bit better, but really what I need is a little less laziness, not more technology.