Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Is this happening? Part 3

As I laid on the bed in the ER before my D&C, Dr. D came in to talk. He needed to go through the procedure with me, what to expect, risks, etc. Standard stuff. He told me the risks include....retained tissue and the need to repeat the procedure (possible, especially with a 12 week loss, but still fairly low risk)....infection (unlikely)....perforated uterus (very unlikely). Of these three risks, the first two stood out in my mind for some reason.

After my D&C I took a couple additional days off of work, more for my emotional health than my physical health. Really I was physically feeling well. No real soreness or pain. I think the very little bit of soreness I felt was more from the intense cramping prior to than from the procedure itself. 

However, by the end of the week that changed. I had my procedure on Sunday.  By Thursday afternoon I started feeling sore. I had not felt sore all week. I thought it was weird, but not bad enough to really make me worry about it. Thursday was my first day back at work and I was moving around a lot more so I rationalized that was the reason.

But, by Friday it was worse. And it was the end of the week. And I REALLY didn't want to have to call the exchange for a second weekend in a row if it got worse. So that morning I called the office and scheduled an appointment for the late afternoon. I spent the day at work trying to ignore the pain. Then I headed to see Dr. S and was really hoping nothing was wrong. My symptoms were hard to describe. I had sort of dull constant pain in my pelvic area. When I sat down, it got worse. I would have to hold on to the arms of a chair and slowly lower myself down to try to avoid the pain. And as the day wore on it got worse.

After talking to Dr. S about how I felt and a quick exam, she diagnosed me with an infection (remember those three risks Dr. D went over with me???). She put me on two different antibiotics and said to call her on Monday no matter what. She wanted to know if they were working and if I was feeling better. She also told me it would take about 24 hours for them to start working so my pain may increase during that time. Ibuprofen should help. All of these things I knew, but it was reassuring to have her say it. No more surprises. 

Home I went with my antibiotics to rest. It was the weekend and I was tired. It had been a long week and at this point I was really uncomfortable. My mom called to see how I was and I told her about my visit with Dr. S and the infection diagnosis.

Later that evening, she called me back. She had run into Dr. D in the hallway again and told him about my visit to Dr. S (by the way, my mom never talks about me to my doctors or other physicians without my permission). It seems he immediately told her while it was possible I did have an infection, he believed most likely I had retained tissue (again, remember those risks that had stood out to me???) and needed to have an ultrasound. He wanted me to make sure I had an ultrasound on Monday.

Now, I trust Dr. S completely. I also trust Dr. D completely so was kind of conflicted. But, the instructions really had not changed. Take the antibiotics over the weekend and see where we were on Monday. I would call Dr. S and go from there. Dr. S and Dr. D work closely together and I knew between the two of them, they would figure it out. If there was anything else to figure out. And honestly I really did not want there to be anything else to figure out. 

On Saturday my husband headed off to his brother's all-day bachelor party. I was headed to my soon-to-be sister-in-law's bridal shower and our son was headed to his Nana's (my mom's!). The pain was getting worse. I was very uncomfortable, but I was just trying to wait it out. I was hoping by the end of the day I would be past the 24 hours period since I took my first dose of antibiotics and would start feeling better. Ibuprofen helped, but only a little bit. By the time I left the bridal shower I could barely stand up. The pain was constant. It was not cramp-like pain, but felt like someone was stabbing me.

After the day's activities, my son and I were home and tired. I put him to bed and headed there myself. My husband would not be home until very late. Laying down was definitely the most comfortable position to be in and after a day full of pain I was exhausted. The ibuprofen finally started to help and I slept well that night.

Sunday was better. The pain was starting to subside. Maybe that meant it really was just an infection that was healing. Hopefully! We stayed closed to home that day and I just rested. I was too afraid to do too much and have the pain start to come back.

Monday morning I called Dr. S's office. I still had pain, although not as intense as over the weekend. I talked to the nurse who got instruction from Dr. S to have me come in for an ultrasound. Deal! Dr. S was at one of their other offices that day so I had to see Dr. D. Deal! 

The ultrasound definitely showed retained tissue. The infection was most likely real too, but the antibiotic was clearing it up. However, the retained tissue had to be removed. I had to have a second D&C. Soon. Dr. D wanted to do it on Thursday. So by later that afternoon I was scheduled for another D&C that would be done 11 days after my first. So we weren't quite done yet. But soon, I hoped. 

On Thursday my husband and I headed back to the hospital for my second D&C. Dr. D was there and we were all ready to get it over with. When I woke up in the recovery room afterwards the only thing I could see across the room was a giant clock on the wall. Now, I was just waking up from anesthesia so it took me a few seconds to figure it out, but it seemed late. I was waking up about an hour and a half after my procedure had started. A procedure that should have only lasted about 20-30 minutes.

My hands immediately started searching my stomach. No incisions - good! But then there were so many questions.....Why is it so late? Why did it take an hour for this D&C? Could someone go get my husband so he can tell me what was going on? 

The answer was that the tissue in my uterus was really stuck. Dr. D had to work hard to get it all. He believes he did. And all was good. Whew. 

After this procedure, I was very sore. Dr. D told me he wasn't surprised because of how difficult the tissue was to remove. But he told us we could start trying again with my next cycle if we wanted to. 

We wanted to. 

So about three weeks later when I started my next cycle, I headed back to see Dr. D for a day 3 follicle scan and the beginning of our next journey to get pregnant again. Even though I felt like we were starting completely over (really we were), I was hopeful and excited. 

I had an ultrasound and then was sitting in a room waiting for Dr. D. Someone knocked on the door and the sonographer came in. Weird. She told me Dr. D wanted to do another scan. There was something he wanted to look at again. Um......that's probably not good. 

So back I went across the hall and we waited for Dr. D to come in. He scanned me himself. There was still tissue. There was still what appeared to be quite a bit of tissue. And it had to come out before he could allow us to try to get pregnant. He wanted me to go see a specialist. 

I just deflated. I was so exited to finally be past the now almost two month nightmare of this miscarriage and it seemed we weren't yet. 

So we headed to see Dr. G. 

After an exam, regular ultrasound and a saline infusion ultrasound (ouch!), Dr. G agreed there was a significant amount of tissue left, most of which appeared to be tucked up into the uppermost right corner of my uterus. It definitely needed to be removed before we could try again to get pregnant. So I was scheduled for my third D&C in 8 weeks. I was frustrated and felt like this was the miscarriage that just would not end. It was a nightmare I could not wake up from. But, if this is what we had to do to move forward, then we would do it. We definitely were not ready to give up.

It took longer than expected. When I woke up, again I was surprised by the time and wanted to know what happened. My husband was there quickly and he told me things didn't go exactly as planned. Everything was fine.  But some of the tissue was most likely stuck forever. It had taken up residence in my right Fallopian tube and wasn't leaving. Dr. G's advice was to have another D&C in a month or so. But he also said he was going to leave all of the decision making up to me and Dr. D. Any additional D&C procedures would his call. 

I was crushed. I cried. I really wanted this to be done. And it seemed it wasn't. 

Two weeks later I talked to Dr. D on the phone. He was just as frustrated with the tissue issue as my husband and I were. He suggested having a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) after two cycles. It was much easier than a D&C (no anesthesia) and would tell us where we were and what we needed to do next. And no one - me, my husband or Dr. D wanted me to have another D&C.  I agreed and we waited. 

The wait was long, but it was good to turn our attention back to something other than this never ending loss. I was anxious about the HSG and what it would show. It ended up being scheduled for a couple of days before Christmas. Dr. D was out of the office for the holiday so Dr. S did the test. 

Results: My right Fallopian tube was completely blocked. Nothing was getting through. But the main cavity of my uterus looked good. 

It was OK news. Main cavity looked good, so that was great news! Right tube was blocked which was not ideal, but not a show stopper. You can still get pregnant with one tube. So that was the plan. No more procedures. Time to turn our attention back to trying again. 

This nightmare was over. 

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