November 15, 2008
Hysteroscopy went well! Nothing to report really — no abnormal findings, no endometriosis, no fibroids, no structural problems. No news is good news, right? I kind of hoped that he would find something because maybe that would have been the true reason for the years of infertility and the two miscarriages and then we could have fixed it, but I guess it’s better not to have anything actually wrong, even if the term “unexplained infertility” is so infuriating sometimes.
At yesterday’s support group meeting, I heard many horror stories about hysteroscopies, and went from no-longer-too-concerned to rather freaked out. Of course, most of the members with horror stories had also had laproscopies, which probably explains much of the difference. Based on having the same RE as some of the members but a different RE than others, it also seems like Dr. Full Steam Ahead, as aggressive as he may be in many ways, is also judicious. He doesn’t order extra medications that happen to sometimes have terrible side effects, just to cover his own ass in case something goes wrong. Score one for Dr. Full Steam Ahead.
Of the three times I’ve had general anesthesia, this was the quickest wake-up and least groggy aftermath. The anesthesiologist told me beforehand that he’d be administering agents that would specifically allow for quick wake-up. Score one for nickname-less anesthesiologist.
Even so, I wasn’t fully awake most of the day — not coherent enough to blog, anyway. Lori can attest that she received an email from me with no punctuation, no capitals, and plenty of words and parts of words missing. Most of that resulted from typing with one hand, supine, rather than incoherence, but I was certainly not at 100% mental capacity.
Dr. Full Steam Ahead talks very quickly and proceeds with treatments quickly, so it should have been no surprise that he performed surgery quickly. Apparently I was in the OR for less than 10 minutes. The whole experience took more than 3 hours, though.
I was sensible enough not to bring work with me to the hospital. I did spend most of the morning before the surgery working — in part after a phone call home from one of my bosses who urgently needed me to check over his changes to a project that’s been hanging over my head all week and which I had finally finished in the wee hours on Thursday night/Friday morning. But I turned around a quick response to him (“All of your changes look wonderful, thanks, all set, let’s proceed [and now you can stop bothering me]“) and moved on to less brain-intensive work. I haven’t checked any of my work email accounts all day — I figure that by now, nothing is so urgent that it can’t wait until Saturday or Sunday; plus, can’t a girl get a day off to have surgery? Not that anyone from either job knows about the surgery (or anything about IF at all — except for the lady from HR).
Instead of bringing work, I brought an issue of Vogue to occupy the pre-op waiting hours. Because of my work schedule I’m an issue behind, so I got to read all about Valerie Jarrett on the campaign trail with Obama, coincidentally on the same day that she was named White House Senior Advisor (though I didn’t know it yet in the hospital). I also read all about fashion trends that have already passed.
(Side note: I bet you didn’t think I was the kind of woman who read Vogue cover to cover every month, did you? Yeah, well neither did I. I received a subscription as a gift, but have been enjoying the feature stories and even-handed, fairly feminist journalism very much. The fashion I can take or leave, though I guess I do like increasing my familiarity with the top designers for the sake of being even more well-rounded and capable of talking to almost anyone at a cocktail party. That is the same reason I watch a single episode of many reality shows, just so that I don’t have to stand there mute while everyone else goes on and on about that sassy Santino or Cloris Leachman’s joie de vivre or Gary Busey’s latest Buseyism. I already don’t want to talk about child-bearing or -rearing topics, so I need to keep my other conversation options open.).
The other event of note was an answer in terms of whether I’d be able to start the month of BCPs for IVF #2 (whenever my period arrives — once I figure out how to distinguish post-op bleeding from my period, that is), complicated by the need to wait for insurance authorization. I’d delegated this task to DH since I assumed that Dr. Full Steam Ahead couldn’t make a determination until after the surgery, at which point I might be entirely loopy and incapable of medical decision making or full sentences. Several days ago, after my long phone call with the RE’s office about health insurance, I explained and reexplained the issue to DH carefully. DH wrote down the questions he was supposed to ask verbatim — including things that weren’t part of the actual questions, such as “because you will be unconscious and can’t ask the questions yourself.” (“Enter Laughing,” anyone?). When we got to the hospital, DH recalled his assignment but realized that he had forgotten his notes. In hushed tones in the waiting room, we went back over the questions until DH had all the details memorized.
Then, it turned out that DH didn’t need the notes nor the cramming session at all. I got to ask Dr. FSA the questions myself, when he came to check on me before surgery. He said that as long as I didn’t have any endometriosis there would be no problem in starting the BCPs immediately. This is probably a different stance than some doctors, and also as I understand it quite different for laproscopies or any surgeries where, for example, structural problems are addressed. Anyway, Dr. FSA said it was fine to start the cycle immediately, and I had to grab him (verbally — I am not in the habit of grabbing anyone physically, plus I was hooked to an IV rendering one arm immobile) to ask more questions about the chain of events that had to do with insurance. Excessively long story short, he agreed to give me the prescription on my way home so that I could start the BCPs whenever my period arrives, even if insurance isn’t sorted out yet. Score two for Dr. Full Steam Ahead! There is no way I would ever have gotten the prescription out of the nurse before the insurance authorization was finalized. It’s actually pretty sensible bureaucracy in this case, but Dr. Full Steam Ahead knows that the IVF cycle will get paid for one way or another. And he’s the boss, so he wins.
I was a pretty good bedrest patient after IVF #1, but since I haven’t been in much pain, I have been up and about more than last time. DH drew the line when he discovered me in the process of installing a curtain rod — I managed to mark up the future holes on the wall, but he insisted that I stop as I was on my way to get the power drill. There are a lot of things I can and do “delgate” to DH, but handyman tasks are not among them.
I had originally planned to go to the pottery studio tomorrow, but since I’m not supposed to drive (nor do strenuous physical activity, which pottery can certainly be depending on the task), maybe I’ll do some light work from home on Saturday (even though I’ve been trying to keep Saturdays work-free for the past few weeks) and instead satisfy my Pottery Jones on Sunday.
Finally, lest I paint DH in an unfair light, I will point out that he was fantastic all day long. He told me repeatedly how brave I was. He was affectionate and sweet. He waited patiently (armed with laptop and wifi, plus a spare book in case the wifi hadn’t worked out) the whole time at the hospital, and on the way home he even called my favorite soup restaurant to see if they were serving the flavor I was craving — despite being almost-late for a work phone call that he had to make as soon as he’d gotten me settled at home (I was out of luck, so instead I had a different soup flavor at home). He made my meals, and he went to the supermarket when I felt like eating something that we didn’t have at home. He watched the TV shows I wanted to watch.
Most IF bloggers seem either silent or fairly positive about their partners (perhaps because most of the partners are reading the blogs?) but the support group yesterday was full of griping about how husbands don’t understand what we go through and aren’t helpful and don’t take enough time off work for RE appointments and don’t know any of the abbreviations or terms and did we mention that they don’t understand what we go through? There was audible surprise when I mentioned DH making a phone call (a relatively minor task, he and I both agreed, but one that was stressing me out and neither stressed him out nor took more than 10 minutes of his time) that one of the ladies was describing always making entirely on her own, over and over, despite the stress. I got the impression that no one else in the room could depend on their husbands to do the simplest of tasks (unless the women who didn’t mention much about their husbands were just too sheepish to flaunt their supportive husbands — personally, I would rather set the bar high and have someone go home and demand what she needs from her husband with me as an example).
DH and I share the perspective that if I’m going to give myself shots multiple times a day, go under the knife repeatedly, be rendered out of commission for days at a time, and wake up several hours earlier than usual on dozens of occasions for dates with a dildocam, it is entirely reasonable to expect him to make a few phone calls, go downstairs to put something in the microwave, drop by the pharmacy, and yes, produce a “sample” a few times. I knew that I have the Best Husband in the World long before we experienced infertility, but the nomination is definitely clinched now. Thank you, Designated Husband!!! He prefers to think of DH in a sports context rather than as the usual Dear or Darling — not that he minds being called dear nor darling. My dear, darling, dapper, droll, determined, dependable, dynamic, dedicated, delightful, Designated Husband.
Thanks also to the commenters for all of your reassurances and well wishes, and to silent lurkers who may have mentally sent positive thoughts in my direction. As your reward, tomorrow you can look forward to a Show and Tell that has nothing to do with my uterus.