Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I feel like a true Stirrup Queen now

I had a sonohysterogram (SHG) test today (you guys were right!), and I feel like I have completed some right of passage to become a true 'Stirrup Queen.' Those stirrups were large and high and I felt oh so exposed!!

I took a couple advil an hour before the appointment and showed up at the RE's office right on time. They had me pee in a cup to make sure I wasn't pregnant (ha!), and then took my blood pressure and temperature. After waiting for a few minutes, they had me go into the room with the large and high stirrups, undress from the waist down, and sit with the little paper sheet over my lap while I waited for Dr. S. I really wasn't too nervous because I had read that this test wasn't that bad.

Dr. S walked in, and this was only my second time meeting him. He greeted me with an almost fatherly pat on the leg that I found comforting, and explained the overall procedure to me before hand. As he began each step, he thoroughly explained what he was doing and what type of sensations to expect. He struck me as very adept each step of the way, and his bedside manner was great. I was pleasantly surprised.

Now, what I was NOT so pleasantly surprised about was how much this HURT! Let me back up and say that in my few unpleasant medical experiences in my life, I have always thought of myself as a grin-and-bear-it sort of person. Not that I have such a high pain tolerance, but I think I've always figured if I acted on the pain it would just make it last longer. Plus, I think the thought of making noises or faces embarrasses me, so I've always tried to keep a sort of poker face with maybe only a slight grimace (in case they can stop/change/ ease up on whatever they are doing to make it more comfortable).

Yeah, no poker faces today. He inserted the speculum - no problem. Put some sort of dark brown liquid on my cervix - no problem. Removed the speculum, inserted the catheter, and injected the saline solution - uncomfortable. At this point I thought I was experiencing the "mild cramping" I had read about. It felt like mild and slightly different than menstrual cramps, but way less than the cramps I get on the first day of my period.

Then Dr. S inserted the ultrasound wand, which at first just felt like some pressure. But then I felt such sharp cramps that were unlike any cramps I have felt before. I don't even know what was cramping-- my whole lower half?! I almost think he was hitting my fibroid with the wand or something!!! He did say, "Sorry, I'm just right where I need to be to get a good look." I have no idea what was actually hurting or why...

But I cried out. And arched my back. And stared intently at the ceiling. The nurse asked if I was ok and all I could manage was a terse "Uh-huh." And had to fight with all my might not to move in an effort to somehow make the pain stop. I held on tightly to the arm rests and told myself it would be over soon. And probably made a few more noises. (I am honestly embarrassed to remember how I acted. I know it's ok and I couldn't help it....but I don't like to be whimpering and writhing in front of people!)

It was over in about two minutes. Whew, I must be wimp! Dr. S told me he would see me in his office after I was dressed, and the nurse put a pad under me to absorb all the saline when I sat up. I felt back to normal -- just a little shaky -- and got dressed (definitely needed a pad for all the leaking that happened this afternoon).

Dr. S showed me the ultrasound pictures and said that, in his opinion, the submucous fibroid (which is protruding into my uterus) is decreasing my fertility by about 30%. He said that an embryo would not be able to implant in that area. However, an embryo could implant in other parts of my uterus, but I guess you never know which spot that little guy is going to pick to try and make himself at home. I asked Dr. S if he thought I should remove it, and he said yes. He said if I were easily able to get pregnant, having my fertility reduced by 30% might not be a big deal. But seeing as how I have never been pregnant...and any IF treatment success rates would be lowered by 30% as well....it seemed like a no-brainer. I'm having the surgery.

How awful would it be if my DH's sperm actually made it up there....found an egg....fertilized....and then the embryo went to implant but couldn't because of the fibroid! Our one in a million chance -- gone! The thought of that is horrible. I want that thing out.

The surgery will be in the first part of my next cycle, but one interesting development is that my RE will not be performing the surgery. His main office -- which includes a surgery center -- is in the Big City two hours away and is not covered under our insurance. The doctor's fees would be covered but not the use of the facilities, and the insurance lady estimated that it would be about $1,500 out of pocket if we had Dr. S do it. So Dr. S suggested that my ob/gyn perform the surgery, and assured me that he has worked with her before for other patients. And - how funny is this -- he said he was having lunch with her today and could bring my chart and go over everything with her. How awesome is that! The only thing that is not so awesome is that I have never met my ob/gyn. When I made an appointment at her office a few years ago as a new patient, she was only seeing new pregnant patients. So I ended up with the Nurse Practitioner. I guess being infertile is like a golden ticket to get to the actual ob/gyn!


PS- Everyone says the HSG is worse than the SHG....what if I have to have one of those later....and I thought this was bad! Eek!


Melissa said...

oh man, i'm sorry the shg (is that what it's called?) was so painful!!!

dude, 30% is nothing to shake a stick at, woot for your RE being bff/friends with the obgyn doing the surgery though, i think that's better than no one knowing the person doing the surgery. I Hope all goes well!!

Amanda said...

Whoa, that sounds pretty rough, but those fibroids were probably contributing to the uncomfortableness of the procedure. Don't be embarrassed, IF hurts, literally, and it's ok to admit it. My RE kept insisting that HSGs (haven't had a sgh yet) don't hurt and I wasn't ok with that. The people that complain about them aren't wimps. HSGs hurt for plenty of people and it's not like HE'D ever experienced one before, so I was determined to let him know if I hurt during the procedure (and it did).

I think you making the right decision to get it out. Hopefully it will go smoothly and quickly and that mystery bleeding will stop.

Infertility is Hard said...

I'm sorry it was painful for you. :-( In my opinion, the HSG was worse, but I think everyone's bodies are different.

And 30% of lowering your fertility. Good choice to have it removed! This is all good news, and just think. . . Once it's gone, so could the spotting. How great would that be? :-D

Kelli said...

What a day! I'm sorry the shg hurt so badly!!

How great that God paired up your RE and OB/GYN for lunch on the SAME DAY you met with him!! He did that just for you :)

Anonymous said...

i think that it was more uncomfortable b/c of the fibroid. seriously.

glad you are going to have it out. let's take care of business :)

Melody said...

Wow, this is great progress forward! Having surgery is a huge step also. And it sounds like you got an overall good report. I know it hurt like heck but it's over and worth it to gain the information you have now.

A said...

I am sorry the SHG was painful, but I am glad to hear that your RE is being proactive and recommending you have the fibroid removed...I agree with the others that 30% is no small potatoes! I know someone who had her fibroids removed- then her doc declared her uterus good as new- and then they became pregnant shortly thereafter!!! :)

AJ48 said...

I am sorry that hurt so bad...I had an HSG test and it sounded very similar. I wont lie - it did hurt but once it was over, it was soon forgotten! I am glad that you are one more step closer...Good Luck on the surgery!

I totally feel like a true stirrup queen too...I remember years ago when I hated going to the gyno...now....piece of cake! LOL

Anonymous said...

I have had it all--the surgery, the HSG, the SHG.

The HSG is only bad if you have blocked tubes. Otherwise its a breeze.

You will likely have a repeat SHG after your surgery so be fore warned.

Did they have you go w/a full bladder? Mine did for both SHG's and they weren't bad. If they didn't ask if you can try that next time.

I will also say I am jealous that you get pee pregnancy tests...mine are all blood work! Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Ugh I feel your pain. I had one a few months ago and it was awful. Your moving forward though and that's a good thing!

Missy said...

Oh no, I'm sorry that was so painful and embarrassing. But at least you have a way forward now.

Mrs. Hammer said...

I'm sorry the SHG was so painful. I never had one but did have an HSG and it was NOT fun. But I am glad to hear you are getting the fibroid removed.

Life and ramblings of a small town girl! said...

I've had the HSG, but not the SHG, but it sounds like the pain is the same. During my HSG, I would have sworn, my tubes were blocked from the start due to the incredible cramps, but they came back clean as whistle. They say it's just the pain you experience with that procedure. Once it was done though, the pain was gone and I was all better. ;)