Wednesday, September 30, 2009

turning the page

Earlier today, I received a phone call from a nurse at the fertility specialist's office, with a message from my doctor.

Apparently, he wanted me to go on THE PILL.

...HUH????

Yes; I was supposed to wait until my period, go on the pill "to thin the lining of my uterus before the procedure," and then have the hysteroscopy before day 10 or 11 of my next cycle.

Which - YES - would mean that I would lose another potential IUI cycle.

I was beyond perplexed/frustrated/pissed.

I told the nurse that Dr. ____ TOLD ME last Wednesday that he wanted to do the hysteroscopy ASAP so we COULD try next month. Why would he tell me that?!?!?

She didn't know. This is standard procedure, apparently, so he should've set my expectations accordingly. But he didn't.

I cannot tell you how maddeningly frustrating that was. The LAST THING I want is to go on BIRTH CONTROL when I'm trying to GET PREGNANT! Sure, it might help him see my uterus better for this procedure, but isn't this contrary to the ultimate goal of GETTING ME PREGNANT?!?!?

Aaaaaaaaaaagggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

I realized then that it was time to put a call into the Clinic Manager to share my concerns about the major detour my care has taken and my concerns about Dr. _____ continuing to provide that care.

The Clinic Manager was a godsend. She sat quietly and listened to me as I shared with her my concerns about the way things have gone over the past week, from the botched prep for my HSN last Wednesday to the complete miscommunication about how we would proceed from this point. She expressed concern - and rightfully so - over the iodine situation, and sympathized with me for how frustrating the process had become since the HSN.

I told her what I wanted.

- For Dr. ____'s partner (the head of the clinic) to review the sonogram from my HSN and give his opinion as to whether the hysteroscopy was really necessary.

- To know if I absolutely MUST be put under general anesthesia for the hysteroscopy or I could do "twilight" sedation, as was done for my colonoscopy, where I was awake but loopy and felt no pain the entire time. Or do an epidural and appropriate pain meds, as was done with my C-section.

- I wanted to know what the ACTUAL timeline of events is going to be from this point forward, and whether that is consistent with the standard of care or not.

- And, ultimately, I wanted to see if I could switch from Dr. ____ to Dr. Head of the Clinic.

The Clinic Manager assured me that she would look into all of it and get back to me, and she apologized for the direction things had taken, as she wants all their patients to feel good about the quality of care and their experience with the clinic. I felt better just to have gotten it all off my chest and to know that someone was going to DO something about it.

Within an hour, Dr. Head of the Clinic called me to talk about my concerns. I was floored.

We discussed his opinion of the HSN results and the need for the hysteroscopy (he concurs that it's most likely a fibroid inside the uterine cavity - as opposed to the uterine wall - and should be removed). We discussed my allergy to iodine and the mistake Dr. ____ made by prepping me with iodine last Wednesday - and my concerns about what might happen if Dr. ____ does my hysteroscopy and forgets about my iodine allergy again. We discussed the ACTUAL timeline of what will happen going forward, according to the standard of care. And I ultimately asked Dr. Head of the Clinic to take me as a patient to put my mind at ease, since I simply felt more comfortable with him and his style than I've come to feel with Dr. ____.

He said yes.

So, this is what's going to happen now.

I'm going to schedule a pre-op appointment with Dr. Head of the Clinic for next week, so he can meet me in person and we can go over ALL my questions about the hysteroscopy.

I'm going to wait until I get my period, then call his office to schedule the hysteroscopy. He is NOT going to put me on the Pill, because he prefers not to do that. Doing the surgery between days 7-10 of my cycle will keep my uterine lining thin enough for him to see adequately during the hysteroscopy.

I will have the hysteroscopy between days 7-10 of my next cycle, in mid-October, under "twilight" sedation. If it IS a fibroid, he'll remove it. If it's just a distortion in the wall of my uterus, then nothing happens and the procedure is over. Either way, I will still not have IUI in October, to let my uterus heal either from the removal of the fibroid or just from the trauma of the hysteroscopy.

Assuming the healing goes as expected, I will start my first FULL IUI cycle after I get my period in early November.

And - hopefully - I'll find out that I'm pregnant in early December, just in time to be the perfect Christmas present. I know that it may not go down that way, but here's hoping that it does.

Can I tell you how much better I feel knowing that I'm going to be seeing Dr. Head of the Clinic from this point on? I've spoken on the phone with the man twice now (he was the one on call when I called about my abdominal pain/bloating on Monday night), and just in the span of those two phone conversations I have such a different vibe from him. He DOES take the time to explain things, to answer questions. He's not operating independently of me and my needs or feelings, and he's still able to set my expectations realistically. Yes, this means I definitely WILL lose another potential IUI cycle in October, but he explained WHY that's in my best interests. I think we'll get along much better and that I will feel infinitely more comfortable in his hands than Dr. ___'s, particularly for the hysteroscopy.

So, while the train is moving again - albeit more slowly than I had expected - I believe it's now headed in the right direction. And now I'm just going along for the ride.

Hope is back, baby! Hope is back.

Yours always,
SW

1 comment:

  1. SW,

    Thanks once again for sharing. I'm truly engaged in your journey, it's nothing that I'm at all familiar with first hand but you definitely are helping me understand not only your frustrations but those of countless others who may be going through the similar challenges.

    I'm hopeful St. Nick will provide a wonderful Christmas present to you and your SF (of course Super Family)this year.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Scott

    ReplyDelete