I’ve had a strange week, and every time I think I’m ready to write about it something new happens and I don’t know where to start. The bottom line is that I’m definitely NOT in control of my life right now. As much as I thought I could handle whatever was thrown at me this time, I was wrong.
Friday was horrible. Since Monday I had been handling the hormone rush of the pill and the oncoming unknown of a new IVF cycle with considerable grace—I was focused on my work, cheerful, and feeling at peace.
So when Friday came along I thought I had it in the bag. I had packed up my work the night before so I could work from home, and was all set to breeze through my sounding and water sono (SHG) that afternoon. Shit, man, I’d done this all before. Uncomfortable? Yes, but not anything to get worked up over.
The sounding was a piece of cake. Barely felt the catheter. One more procedure down and I was free to go. I emptied my bladder and hopped back up on the table, cheerful and chatty.
Twenty minutes later I was sweating, literally. Turned out that we were doing this a little late in the cycle for someone who ovulates early like me. Turned out that my cervix was bent into a curvy shape, and that damn catheter just wouldn’t go through. Turned out that my a-little-bit-uncomfortable procedure was about to get a lot worse.
Ever hear of a tinaculin? No idea how you spell it, no idea what it looks like (in my nightmares it’s a 3-foot wide clamp with big teeth). A tinaculin is a clamp that goes ON your cervix—it allows the doctor to yank your cervix (an organ not designed to be yanked) all around. Which fucking HURTS. Remember the worst pap you ever had? The kind that made your cervix cramp up and made you want to roll up into a fetal position? Now multiply that sensation by five, and make it last for ten minutes. I’m just saying, it fucking sucked.
And it didn’t work. At the end of the day, we just had to give up. My cervix wasn’t letting the catheter in (never mind that it had just gladly allowed the sounding catheter through) and that was that. My RE said we could schedule an HSG on Monday. Which I knew I would have to pay for, because it’s in the radiology office and my shithole HMO won’t cover anything any more. (They have me flagged now. I swear to god, I could go in with a broken ankle and my HMO would deny my coverage as “IVF-related.”) To the tune of another $800.
At my suggestion, my RE said the before we take that step we could retry the already-paid-for SHG on Monday, this time with a full bladder. If that didn’t work we’d do the HSG on Tuesday.
My nurse and RE left the room, and I started to cry. I think it was a reaction to what I had just been through, and how unexpected it was. It definitely was the most invasive procedure I’ve ever been conscious for. And seeing all the blood when I cleaned myself up didn’t help. I didn’t begrudge myself—I thought a few tears were warranted.
But I didn’t stop. I got out to my car and I was still crying. Five minutes later I was on the beltway and I was still crying. And then I hit this massive traffic jam and I knew there must have been an accident in front of me. So I figured I’d get off in Bethesda and take the back way home, which I’d done one before with my husband’s guidance. But when I got to Bethesda (still sobbing, BTW) I got all turned around. We spend a lot of time there, but J is always driving and I didn’t know which way to go. Everything was familiar, but I was just driving around it in circles. And I couldn’t stop crying. I emptied out my multiple-pill bottle and realized that I’d never reloaded another xanax, so there was nothing I could take to calm me down.
I finally pulled over and called J. Thank god he got service in the theatre he was in that day. I tried to ask him for directions but I couldn’t stop crying long enough to talk. I told him what had happened, and he gave me directions the best he could. I got home more than an hour after I left the doctor’s office. I was still crying. I took a xanax when I got home, and eventually fell asleep.
Here’s the weird thing. I had a bad experience, but it wasn’t like it was bad news or anything. And I think if the water sono had worked, I would have been quick to bounce back. I think what upset me more than anything was the complete loss of control over my life. With no warning, I suddenly had to make arrangements to work from home again on Monday, knowing that I might have to do that on Tuesday or Wednesday too. It’s just so frustrating. Here I have a job where people rely on me and it’s important to my own feelings of self-worth to be professional and reliable, but I’m constantly having to ask for special favors and making excuses. I hate it.
On Monday I went back prepared—I had taken a couple of alleve before I left, as well as a half a xanax. We did the water sono with a full bladder, and it went fine. It definitely hurt more than it would have if we hadn’t mangled my cervix on Friday, but it was manageable. All clear, not a fibroid in sight. I was so emotionally drained when I got home that I took the rest of the day off. J and I went to see Star Trek again.
Crap. I have to go, so I’m going to post this raw. (I usually edit a bit.) Sorry.