About Me

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Hi. Welcome to my "taboo" blog. My name is Steph, and when I first started this, I was still in my thirties. In 2017, I switch decades! I am a Christian, so underlying everything I do and say is the Word of God, and the foundational truths I have learnt over the years. This doesn't mean I'm perfect - I am human. It just means I recognise I need God's help to live this life and try to live out His way, as best I can. So that's me in a nutshell. Thanks for taking the time to read through my blog, I hope you draw strength, hope or encouragement from what you read.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Follow-up Sub-Fertility Investigation - Ultrasound Scan

Following the HSG x-ray I had to endure a couple o, the doctor had heeded the advice of the radiologist for me to have an ultrasound scan in order to see in more detail the uterus and blocked tubes. So instead of receiving an appointment letter to see the consultant, I received a follow-up appointment to have an ultrasound.

The morning of the appointment, Hubby was working, so my Sis-in-Law came with me instead. We live close to each other, and she has been walking with me through this Journey For Bubba from the outset. She's such an encourager, and I am grateful the Lord has brought her into our family, through marrying one of my brothers.

My appointment wasn't until the afternoon, so we met for lunch in an attempt to "take my mind" off the impending appointment. Plus I needed to drink lots of fluid ready for the ultrasound. When we arrived, I had to go into the Mother and Children's department. A bit strange as I was neither a mother, nor had any children with me. I went to the Reception, signed in, then my Sis-In-Law and I took our seats among the pregnant women, and mother's with young babies. If I had been a weaker women! I think this is either an oversight on the part of the infertility department and consultants, or just really insensitive planning, because there was me, a woman undergoing investigations into why I was struggling to conceive sitting among lots of pregnant or new mums! Wow!

My name was called quite quickly, for which I was grateful, and my Sis-In-Law and I were led into a small ultrasound room. It was quite dim in the room, with a bed surrounded by a curtain in the main part of the room. At the head of the bed was a computer, monitor and the scanning equipment - including a long implement sitting innocently next to the monitor.

I was invited by the nurse to lay on the bed. She wanted to start with the external examination - this is the one like you see pregnant women in films having, where some (really cold) jelly is squeezed out of a tube onto your tummy, and an ultrasound camera is used to "see" your uterus. Obviously, in my case it is empty! I realised that the HSG x-ray had revealed there were some scarring or something on the uterus, which the nurse had been asked to investigate, as she mentioned this in her explanation of what she was doing. I hadn't been told this before - what causes the scarring??? Hopefully this new investigation would find out that as well as the reason for the blocked tube.

She spent quite bit of time moving the camera over my belly, pressing down on my full bladder, taking pictures of each area she was looking at. It didn't make any sense to me, I was just relieved when she was finished. She then said she would need to do an internal examination using the probe camera, and asked if that would be OK. Inside I was thinking I would rather not have to endure this undignified examination, but needing answers to what was going on, I consented. I was allowed to empty my bladder first though!! Phew!

When I returned to the consulting room, the nurse and my Sis-In-Law were patiently waiting for me. I was asked to remove the bottom half of what I was wearing and lay back down on the bed. Whenever I go to these kind of appointments, I always wear a long top over my jeans, for modesty sake! So Sis-In-Law could just turn around whilst I disrobed. I duly clambered back onto the bed in as dignified a manner as I could... you soon realise how how uncomfortable this is when you are butt-naked! Hahaha!

The nurse picked up the long implement which had been quietly and innocently sitting next to the monitor, waiting for its moment. Now was its moment. A condom is placed over it, in order to protect you from bugs, and then the camera is inserted. It is uncomfortable, but not as bad as the HSG x-ray had been. The nurse spent what felt like half an hour moving the probe camera around and taking pictures of what she could see. She asked me at one point if I had a history of endometriosis, but as I have never been investigated before, this is not something I could answer. Toward the end of her examination, she said that although there was scarring on the uterus, she couldn't see it was too bad to have caused me conception problems. I asked her if this would cause the blocked tubes, but she replied that she couldn't tell. She said that the ultrasound would only pick up if there is fluid inside the Fallopian tube, and there wasn't.

I guess this rules out that as one of the causes of the blocked tube in me. According to the research I had done (see my previous post on "what causes a blocked Fallopian tube"), fluid in the tube is one of the symptoms of PID. So that is ruled out in my case. I said in a previous post, I believe the cause of my problems is endometriosis, based on some of the symptoms I experience. It would seem, from the nurse's question, that this is becoming more and more likely the reason for my problem conceiving.

The examination ended, and I was given some tissues and wet wipes with which to clean myself up, which Sis-In-Law and the nurse vacated the room. Such a relief! The nurse then told me she would send her findings over to my consultant that day and hopefully he would call me for an appointment soon.

A week later, it turns out he hasn't called me in for a consultation to explain the results. He's sending me for another Day 2-5 Blood Test instead! More tests, even less answers. That the hardest thing about this process, waiting to find out what all of this has found and what it means. It's hard to move forward, or to know how to deal with what is happening when there is no concrete information from which to gain understanding from.

The other downside of this, is that since the intrusive investigations began, I've been experiencing a lot more internal cramp-like pain in the middle of the cycle. I'm not sure if this is the same for anyone else, but this my experience.