21 November 2008

Dress rehearsal: details, so be warned.

I guess that is what I am, mostly. Yesterday was hard- so much anxiety, and the things I was most scared of really were not that bad. And the things I knew would be hard -- well, they were hard. I am a little concerned about the eventual transfer should we be so lucky- worried about the pain of that. And the emotions. And losing my shit. But, as it was, should you need a sonohystogram, it is weird and uncomfortable with moments of real pinchy pain, but if you have done an HSG, it is not nearly that bad. But it is different, odder, slower, more careful, with many more objects up your fine self and much less intelligible images on the monitor.

If you are lucky, you will get an ultrasound person who is as nice as mine was. (Thank you Sheila). If you are lucky, you will get the information you need about what is going on as it is happening, how things look, what to expect, and the outcome. I was lucky in the first way, halfway lucky in the second.

The mock transfer was bizarre. First, you need a full bladder, then when you arrive, pee 3 drops (but keeping your bladder full) in order to test for pregnancy. I get that. But it is a nearly super human feat to keep your full bladder full.

A resident did the driving-speculum, cervix cleaning/swabbing, catheter up through the cervix (ultrasound on belly) which is the whole point of this exercise. To see how and where to go when the time comes. A dress rehearsal. I admit, I wanted the doctors to be talking more to me than each other... I learned a lot from listening, but felt nearly secondary to the process. But that is how we learn-- by doing, by listening, by watching. The catheter thing, for me, is a crampy totally uncomfortable process with moments of pain so sharp it left me breathless and teary. So that sucked.

Then, when it is over, measurements and notes have been made, they let you pee! ahh bliss.
Then, sonohystogram.

Speculum, cleaning, catheter (ferchrissakes) still shitty, but this time! with transvaginal ultrasound! So, speculum out, wand in. My first time. Not nearly as bad as I had feared (the thing is HUGE and DAUNTING and really? not a big deal. Much less ferocious than a speculum. Then lots of wagging of the wand. And then flooding of the uterine cavity with saline (cramping! and bizarre-not-pleasant sensations). And more wagging. And then, catheter out, more wagging as ovaries are checked out, measured, mapped.
Then, finally, wand out. Praise the gods/goddess/all-that-is.

Yes there is spillage afterwards. Yes there is spotting and gooping and ...
But then I was done.

Secrets? 2 advil 2 hours before, 1 more about an hour before... I am not sure it helped but it sure did not hurt. And full bladder does not mean BURSTING, just full. Like you would really like to pee. Not like you must pee. And bring your own pad of choice (they provide some but they are hospital issued big pillowy things). Actually bring two. The first gets used up pretty quickly.

That done (legs shaky, oh man, I'd been so scared)
I then met with the coordinating nurse. Nancy, know that I think you are wonderful should you ever stumble across this. My partner and I are financing this ourselves, with no insurance coverage. And to the kind person out there who donated their unused medications, I can only say thank you. Your generousity will help so much-- it is about 1/3 of all we will need. and that is so substantial that I cried. Which I hate doing. And am so grateful.

So last night, emptying the bag of lupron and follistim and .. into the crisper, I look and realize all of that will be emptied into me. One small vial at a time.

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