Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tight Cervix + Endometrial Biopsy = ACK! ACK! ACK! (And Results!)

WARNING: THIS POST IS NOT FOR THOSE WITH WEAK STOMACHS!

Holy. Crap.

I had my "procedures" (the pesky endometrial biopsy and endocervical curettage) on Tuesday morning the 19th, and all I can say is: OUCH!

Bear in mind that I've undergone a colposcopy (cervical biopsy) before (not to mention a 30+ hour labor that ended in a C-section) and found that to be fairly uncomfortable. This, however, went well beyond just "uncomfortable."

It felt as though someone was stabbing my cervix and uterus with a very long, sharp knife. Repeatedly. And it made me cry.

So, in other words, it wasn't much fun.

God bless my mom for coming to the appointment with me - and actually staying in the room with me - because I don't know how I'd have made it through all of that alone. Heck, I don't know how SHE managed to make it through and she wasn't even the one on the table! My poor mom... I think I may have crushed some of the bones in her 57-year-old hand from squeezing so hard. :( (Sorry, Mom!!)

(SIDE NOTE: By the way, Super Man - had he come with me - would've passed out during the worst of it FOR SURE. God bless the man, he's one of the sweetest, most compassionate, strongest and manliest men I know, but he simply cannot take the messier medical stuff of life. And he's unfortunately saddled with a wife who can't seem to get away from messy medical stuff these days. He wants to be there for me, and he tries really hard, but he just can't do it. He passed out when I was in the recovery room after my colonoscopy last November just from listening to the gastroenterologist talking about how everything went - even though it all went fine - and he also passed out during our first childbirth prep class when Super Boy was born - even though he'd already done it all once before, including observing his daughter being born vaginally. Seriously. The poor guy...)

You'd THINK they'd use some sort of local anesthetic - but no. You'd also think that maybe they'd slip me a hardcore painkiller beforehand to take the edge off. But no. To my NP's defense, she did "recommend" that I take some ibuprofen (to which, sadly, I'm allergic) or Tylenol. Unfortunately, that barely touched the pain.

The only saving grace is that the procedures were done mercifully quickly, so the stabbing only lasted for a few minutes. Sure, they were among the longest minutes of my life, but really it didn't take very long at all.

Horrifying pain aside, the NP said that things looked good to her just eyeballing everything, and she assured me that if we were talking scary cancer, she'd most likely be able to see some abnormality. It was also reassuring to her that I didn't bleed very much despite the repeated stabbing, especially since I was also at the tail-end of my period.

And - aaaaaamen - there was also a small upside to the situation: Apparently, we've learned that I have a "very tight cervix." (Sounds sorta kinky, yes. But it's actually not. Really, it's not. Trust me.)

In fact, it might explain why Super Man and I have had ZERO success trying to conceive another Super Baby these past two-and-a-half years. The NP had to really put some muscle into getting the long scary instruments past my cervix and into my uterus for the endometrial biopsy, and both she and I felt when my cervix finally gave way, much to our mutual surprise. She feels that her rough manhandling of my cervix might be just the thing my poor uterus needed to finally get pregnant, since my cervix was so crazy-tight that she doesn't think Super Man's swimmers were making any headway on their journey to The Promised Land all this time.

I sure hope she's right. That internal massacring I endured has to result in SOMETHING good, as far as I'm concerned.

Alright, now, for all of you who will one day have to undergo an endometrial biopsy, PLEASE NOTE that unless you have a ridiculously tight cervix like your old pal Super Woman does, it apparently isn't supposed to hurt that bad. In fact, my NP was telling me that with the new tests that have come out, endometrial biopsies can be virtually painless. This was not my experience, but again, I've got the crazy-tight cervix and you, you lucky girls, may have normal, somewhat flexible cervixes!

If you're not sure which you have, let's just assume you have a flexible cervix, okay? You won't know otherwise until the rubber hits the road anyway, so there's not much sense in worrying about it. :)

I also want to mention that while I was physically and emotionally exhausted for the duration of the day Tuesday, and I experienced intermittent cramping similar to the worst days of my period along with some spotting for the past two days, I feel like I'm at about 99% today. So, that was pretty much it. It wasn't pleasant by any means, but it was done and over with quickly.

The other upside to the new test is that labs are supposedly able to process them faster. And, in my experience, that seems to be true: I got my results this morning! And I'm VERY pleased to report that they were normal and benign. So I don't have cancer.

I don't have cancer.

Can I tell you how great it feels to say that? I've been dreading that, dwelling over the possibility of that, anguishing over it for the past few days, and now I can be done and move past it.

The bottom line is that my cells are unique, unusual, weird. But - pathologically, at least - they're still within the realm of normal. And I couldn't be happier about it.

For those of you who have yet to go through these procedures, my thoughts and prayers are with you. If you take away nothing else from this post, at least take these three things:

1) Take some pain medication (OTC, unless your doctor will prescribe something for you) before the procedures to help offset any pain you might experience. Remember, you may not feel much, if anything.

2) Try not to worry. I know it's easier said than done. (And I'll admit that I never take my own advice.) But I also pay the price for all that worrying in the form of no sleep and stress headaches and stomachaches. Not worth the trouble, believe me! You need your energy focused on positive, strong, healthy thoughts. Chances are, everything is going to be just fine. :)

3) Remember that you're NOT alone. Even if you can find no one else close to you in this situation, you've got me. And I'm here for you.

Hugs and kisses to all of you who've read about my situation, whether you commented or not. The more we share and open up about the things that happen in our lives, the more we can help each other through them, so please don't hesitate to comment on my blog, on this or any other post. We're all in this together!

Peace out.

4 comments:

  1. Amy, I'm so glad that you are okay. Thanks for sharing your story. My mom died from breast cancer when I was young, so I am ALWAYS concerned about moms who have cancer scares. I love reading your blog - I'm added it to those I check on. I'm addicted to blogs and facebook. Thanks for finding me on there! Sending good thoughts to your family in your husband's job hunt and start of school.

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  2. Hopefully by now everything has turned out the way you had hoped. I had an endometrial biopsy today and found your comment in my search. It doesn't sound like your NP used any anesthetic. You can use it ( a spray type of lidocaine) on the cervix to open it and then once again when the cervix starts to open. At my initial appointment, my cervix was so tight that my MD said that he did not want to force it. (I am 56 and menopausal.. however I have had this same comment before.) He had me reschedule the appointment for another day. The night before the next appointment, he gave me a tablet of Cytotec (Misoprostol) to insert in my vagina.(for some reason it was discovered that this medicine for ulcers makes the cervix relax) Anyway, two hours after I inserted the tablet about 2am, I woke up and felt blotted- I went to the bathroom and low and behold I had started to bleed- it had worked really fast. I had an ultrasound and the MD saw what he thought might be a polyp and thicker build-up of the uterine lining than he expected and he just wanted to do a biopsy to make sure everything was OK. The fact that I had such a tight cervix may explain the build/up and possible polyp because they couldn't shed through the cervix. Anyway, this was my second endometrial biopsy and even with the lidocaine, the biopsy itself on the uterine wall was unbelievably painful- and I am tough. I was given a 600mg Ibruprofen when I first arrived but it was not either given early enough or was not strong enough to be really helpful. If I have to have one again, I would definately ask for something more powerful. I know some women who have no problem with endometrial biopsy. I had an even worse experience with a hysterosalpingogram when i was going through infertility treatment. During that procedure, they are trying to determine if your fallopian tubes are open. They insert a tube through you cervix and into your uterus and shoot dye through the fallopian tubes. They then take x-rays of the uterus and tubes to see where the dye travels. It was the most pain I have ever experienced. I felt like someone took a couple of clamps and pinched my uterus. It didn't help that the technician told me that I should calm down- that it wasn't that painful. After the procedure, I took her aside and told her that she was incompetent and I considered her performance and her treatment of me malpractice. She had no experience with me because if she did, she would know that I am not a wimp about these things. I believe some women are hyper-sensitive to endometrial manipulation, and you and I might be two of them. Regards, Lynn

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  3. Thanks for sharing. I went, again, 6 months ago and after massive efforts the NP couldn't make entry. Grrrr. Was scheduled today and the dr had to go deliver a baby. I am going back tomorrow to attempt again. I do know the pain from the procedure as well as the failed attempt and am surfing the net to find the validation for my anxiety. LOL. Found it. Thanks for sharing. Experience, strength, and hope, are always great to share. Til tomorrow!! ;)

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  4. so my cervix is even tigher than yours. My ob has tried 2x to do the cervical biopsy and couldn't get through mine. So I got to experience all the pain alone well the amazing nurse held my hand and told me how tough I was and the end result it that I have to go under and take a pill the night before to soften my cervix (crossing my fingers on that) so he can be more "rough" with me. I'm very scared and plus he is doing a dnc to help with my heavy bleeding. I do have 2 wonderful children and never had an issue getting prego but with my first I went through 4 days of labor with being induced 2x and the stuff they put on your cervix to soften it only got me to 3 cm ending in a c-section. my second I said planed c-section! My surgery in sept 18th I hope for the same result of no cancer but hope they do find out why I bleed so heavy and long and severe cramping and even 2 weeks after my period I'm spotting with cramps. my tubes are tied after the last baby so there is no chance of being prego and when I try to find any info on bleeding with cramps after period every thing says oh your prego. um nope but thanks. It was very reassuring reading I'm not alone, and others have had a similar issue

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