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.