My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ultrasound for all the wrong reasons

In the last year, I don't think I've gone 2 solid weeks without stepping into a doctors office for one reason or another.

Of course the IVF stuff means getting blood draws, ultrasounds, etc every couple of days.  Then during the pregnancy, I was getting ultrasounds and/or general OB appointments at least every 2 weeks, seeing the peri about the gestational diabetes, etc, etc.  Then after the miscarriage, it was consultations with the IVF people, follow-ups with the OB, a mole scabbed over sending me to the dermatologist, a few appointments for stomach issues with K, the IVF people again for the FET that we only got halfway through, then to my GP due to the prolactin elevation and potential brain tumor, and back to the IVF people for the most recent FET.

This last week I realized that this low grade pain I've had on the right side of my abdomen for the last month hasn't gone away.  I first noticed it the day that I put all 4 Vivelle dots on the right side of my belly.  I figured that mild pain was simply too much of the medication localized to one area since the pain was right under them, so for the rest of the treatment I made sure to spread them out evenly.  But the pain never really subsided and it didn't change locations in accordance to where I put the dots.  But it's very low grade.  Like a 1 or 2 on the pain scale of 10.

But knowing that my brother had to have an emergency appendectomy because he didn't get any advanced notice before it went bad, I thought I should probably report this to my GP before I get pregnant again.  I would much rather just have it out now rather than have it explode when I'm 6 months pregnant.

So I call up my GP and he's on vacation this week.  No problem, it hardly hurts, I'm in no rush.  But the person I'm talking to on the phone seems to think that I really need to be seen, oh, immediatelyish.  So she makes me an appointment for the next day with another doctor. 

Have I ever had any abdominal surgery?  Yes.  I had a D&E in December.  He doesn't know what that abbreviation stands for so I have to tell him and it clicks with him what kind of really shitty year I've had.  Because he sees in my records all the fertility treatments that I've been going through and he spends about 2 minutes just being stunned at what a crappy life the woman in front of him is currently living. 

He checks my ears and my eyes, double checks my skin (looking for jaundice), stethoscope and heavy breathing ensues, and he presses around my stomach for a bit and finds the tender spots.  By the end of the appointment, he's not thinking appendix, he's thinking gallbladder.  Collected urine, blood, and sent me to get an ultrasound early the next morning. 

Side note - I'm actually very impressed, his assistant (technician?  Seriously, am I insulting people when I don't know their proper titles?  I gotta learn these things at some point.) actually got blood very easily from the vein that's been running away from the IVF vampires.

So the next morning, I go to the ultrasound place (different place from the OB ultrasound place).  And I have to fill out those damned medical history forms and forever more I have to acknowledge what I went through in December for the sake of medical accuracy.

Then I'm in the all too familiar position of being on a table, with a fuzzy image on a screen, getting my stomach all gelled up and someone mushing a thingamabobber over it.  The main difference is that they are looking at the area just below my rib cage rather than my lower belly, but otherwise, well, yeah, not what I wanted to be doing less than 2 weeks after confirming that I'm not pregnant, again.

And here's the kicker, she even recorded my own damned heartbeat on one of those things like a fetal doppler (but it's not fetal so just doppler?).  So instead of hearing the double speed heartbeat of a fetus, I'm hearing just mine, normal speed, all alone.  I really wasn't prepared for that.

It really sucked.

The GP doesn't have the imaging results yet, but the bloodwork and urine tests are all good.  To my own untrained eyes that's been googling gallbladders and gallstones, I think I saw what I would interpret to be gallstones.  It looked like a sack with pebbles sitting in it.  Of course, I could have been looking at my spleen for all I know.  I've asked if gallstones are anything that can complicate a pregnancy at all and while I don't have a diagnosis yet, I've been told that there's no reason not to move forward with my fertility stuff.  The people I've spoken to who can't give me a diagnosis because they aren't technically my doctor, well basically we all seem to think that if it's gallstones, there's really nothing to do about it, just wait and at some point I'll probably attempt to pass one and will be in a lot of pain while I do that.  But as for pregnancy, no, it's not a potential complication.

So what's on my agenda for next week?  Well, meeting with my IVF doctor (Dr. Douchebag from recent posts) for a follow up on the failed FET and planning for the next attempt.  That's Monday morning.  Tuesday evening, I've been asked to join a paid focus group to discuss my experience with the medical facility that handled my mammogram.  I agreed to do it because well, I'm the one who wrote a letter about how they need to qualitative research and now that they're doing it, I figured I should be cooperative.  Not to mention, I'm a freelancer in a recession.  A hundred bucks is a hundred bucks.  Then Thursday I have a follow-up with my GP to either reach a diagnosis or continue investigating this pain in my side.

That means that next week will have a minimum of 2 doctors appointments, and 1 appointment where I discuss my doctors appointments.  Depending on what the GP sees when he gets the ultrasound results, I might be heading for a cat scan the week after.  Then (hopefully), we probably start another IVF cycle a week or two after that.

Just like I'm not seeing a 2 week period in my recent history without a doctors appointment, I'm not seeing a 2 week window in my immediate future either.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that is a lot of doctoring. I'm glad that you are getting help early on, if it is your gallbladder, because you don't want that total freak out about mystery pain when/if you should get pregnant.

    I totally get the US for all the wrong reasons. I had a gigantic fibroid that was preventing conception, and I had to get many ultrasounds prior and post surgery. It was upsetting in ways I can't describe, from sitting in the waiting room with all the pregnant women, seeing my uterus full of nothing but fibroid, and the worst...hearing the heart beat of other patients babies through the thin walls. Bleh. Total bleh.


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