Thanksgiving weekend suckiness, part 2
At 9:15, I’m seen by Dr. S.’s partner, Other Doctor, with a young doc-in-training in tow. It’s the first time I’ve seen Other Doctor, and he’s confused by various things in my chart. Why am I cycling for the first time now, when I saw Dr. S. for the first time in March 2004? (Long story, I tell him—maybe I’ll explain it here someday.) Why did US Doc think that was a cyst and not a follicle on my right side? I try to explain, but I’m getting agitated and my voice is starting to quaver. I’m normally pretty cool and collected, but there’s something about doctor’s office situations that makes me lose my shit. Especially when I’m being challenged or made to feel stupid—insurance squabbles, for example, reduce me to tears instantly. Even though I’m intellectually not afraid of doctors, or intimidated by them—I have lots of friends and relatives who are doctors, and my dad’s a doctor. Anyway, so I’m getting all worked up, and Other Doctor asks about my HSG. The anxiety I've felt during the past two days from not hearing from Dr. S. starts leaking out of me. “They had trouble seeing the left tube,” I quaver, “and Dr. S. was supposed to call me, b-b-but he d-d-didn’t.” Sniff. Other Doctor takes pity on me and says, “OK, let’s just take a look here.” I lean back, tears squeezing out of my eyes. I try to rub them away without anyone noticing, but I’m not fooling anyone—the nurse hands me a tissue.
I won’t bore you with all the back and forth, since this is already getting very long for my first-ever blog entry…but it is determined that the 19 mm whatever on my right ovary was indeed a developing follicle, and it appears to have already released the egg. I’ll have a progesterone test to make sure, but on day 14, I’ve already ovulated. I’m in full-blown tears by now—how could this have happened? Wasn’t it supposed to be a cyst? What a total waste!
Ah, but it gets better. Other Doctor has the nurse locate the report from my HSG. “Well, it looks like you have a unicornuate uterus,” he says. What? I thought my uterus “looked perfect”? He flips back through my file to the images taken at my saline sonogram. “Ah yes,” he explains, partly to me but mostly to the young doc-in-training at his side, “it looks like he got a cross-section here, but if had gone farther along, he might have seen that it thinned out again, which would have shown the blah blah blah…” I can barely hear what he’s saying through my sobbing, but basically Dr. S. fucked up. I keep apologizing for being such a mess, as Other Doctor says, “It’s OK,” and Young Doc hands me tissues.
“Now, having a unicornuate uterus doesn’t cause infertility. Your PCOS and insulin resistance is what’s causing the infertility,” he says. I think that’s supposed to be reassuring. He goes on to say that a UU comes with a higher risk of pre-term labor (quite high, as I’ve since learned from my Googling; I supposed he downplayed it so as not to induce further hysterics from me), but that he’s fully confident I’ll be able to get pregnant, and we should keep going with the Letrozole protocol, since I obviously responded nicely. Even if I have only one tube, I ask? Yes—if necessary, we can go to injectibles to make sure I ovulate on both sides, or do IVF. He says that so casually—I guess IVF is no big deal to him, but it’s huge to me. Then he points out that I actually ovulated on the right (correct) side: “Did you have sex?” he says brightly. Um, no.
The plan is that I’ll get an MRI to confirm the UU diagnosis. (“So you can bring in the MRI results and show Dr. S.,” Other Doctor says.) I’m crying, angry, a mess. After I get dressed, I press my cold fingers to my eyelids to try to take down the blotching—not looking forward to having everyone in the waiting room see me like this. My contact falls out of my eye onto the floor, and I have to go begging for saline solution. (Eventually a nurse grabs a vial of the saline solution they use to mix meds, draws it up in a syringe, and dribbles the stuff into my palm so I can rinse my lens.) I get blood drawn, then am in such a hurry to get out of there that I forget to pick up my MRI referral.
The whole trip home, I’m willing myself not to cry. Reading is no good, so I play a game on my Palm—and suck at it, because of the tears and the snot and the I’m such an idiot and How could Dr. S. have screwed up like this? and What a waste of a cycle and I’m such an idiot. I’m holding on to Other Doctor’s last words to me, “You’ll get pregnant, I promise.” But I know all too well from reading other women’s stories that sometimes it really doesn’t happen. I know that what I’m going through is miniscule compared to the struggles other women have gone through to get pregnant, but at this particular moment, when I'm full of self-pity and anger and frustration, this seems pretty bad. It’s not bad enough that I have PCOS, but I have to have a fucked-up uterus too?
I stumble through my front door, sobbing, and pour out the whole sad tale to my husband. Who then redeems himself from his idiot comment on Tuesday by saying, “Think how much more we’ll love this kid after working so hard to get it.”
Luckily, my cousin calls to say my aunt isn’t feeling well, so they won’t be able to have lunch. I spend the rest of the day on the couch, wallowing in self-pity. Late in the afternoon, a nurse calls to give me the results of my bloodwork: I have officially ovulated. She’ll fax me the MRI referral over the weekend.
Today, Saturday, I went out and ate raw fish, bought raw-milk soft cheese. And a chocolate cake. Monday, I’ll make an appointment for that MRI. And I’ll call Dr. S. and try not to cry on the phone when I ask him what the hell went wrong here.