Cheers, dear readers,
Cathy here, continuing to tell my journey of our path down the infertility maze. For those going through their own mix of unwanted twists and turns, I empathize with you. It can be a difficult path with little support. Know that you have OUR support. Please ask me a question anytime, in case I can help.
Last I left you, I had just been to a fertility clinic in Sydney, Australia to get my blood work done at the appropriate moment of my cycle to help determine my egg quality and my ovarian reserves (how many viable eggs that I had left, as we all are born with a finite supply, and I was 40 years old. Yikes!) I went on to enjoy the rest of my vacation with Eric, even though I was taking myself on lots of solo walking tours (Eric was working long hours). I had LOTS of time to myself to think, ponder and really take a look at the road of my life in front of me, and marvel at how it could really go any direction – some of which I had absolutely no control over. As the old saying goes, “As we plan, God laughs.” The lack of control frightened me, but c’est la vie.
There was one more test for me to take before we decided on a course of action for our fertility treatment. It was the test where the doctors run dye through your fallopian tubes to see if they are clear, technically called a “hysterosalpingogram.” I did not particularly like that the word started with something that looked very much like the word “hysteria”. I was starting to feel hysterical (not in a funny “haha” way) myself and didn’t want to be reminded of it. Oh well. I was very busy with all of my doctor appointments, and made the appointment during my lunch hour, and drove myself there to get the procedure performed.
Please NOTE, Ladies and Gents: Going to this procedure in the middle of a workday by myself was a VERY BAD IDEA. I am here to warn you to please go with your husband on a day where you do not have to go back to work! [Service announcement over.]
… I got to the hospital, and got my instructions. Unfortunately, this was not with my doctor, but a doctor that I had never met before, which made me uneasy. I got undressed, put the gown on, and waited in a little room for my turn to be called, where several other women were waiting. I felt sorry for them, but then I realized, “Oh my gosh, that means I must have to pity myself too! Ew! Think of something else, Cathy.” Finally, it was my turn. I figured this was just a basic procedure, and I was relatively convinced my tubes were clear. Why wouldn’t they be? As I laid down on the cold, steel table, the doctor told me what he was doing, and that it would feel a bit odd. As he performed the procedure and the dye went into my cervix and then my fallopian tubes, I was very surprised at how incredibly uncomfortable I felt physically. It felt like an icky, weird pressure that is very hard to describe. I told the doctor. He told me that he was sorry I was so uncomfortable, but to hang on as he ascertained the results. Good news: my left fallopian tube seemed fine! The dye was coming out the other side. But… uh-oh… the dye was NOT coming out of the right fallopian tube. He said that he was sorry to ask me to do this, but could I wiggle around in an effort to see if the dye might come through, and he could give me an “all clear” on the right. I grunted and wiggled around gingerly since he had an instrument up my who-haa! He paused and said, there must be something blocking the right fallopian tube, and he was very sorry. Then he terminated the procedure. The nurse came over with a pitying, sad look on her face, and guided me out of the room as I was in shock. As I got to the dressing room, I started to cry, very slowly. I was baffled. Shocked. So very sad. Ashamed. And angry. What the heck? And wow, I have to go back to work now? This stinks ever so badly.
I called Eric on my way back to the office to tell him the news. He was just as shocked. What made matters worse was every month, I can feel when I ovulate (technically called “mittelschmerz”). And about 75% of the time, I ovulate from the right side. Well, ain’t that a kick in the pants!!! I knew logically that if we ended up doing an IVF procedure, it was completely moot that I had a blocked fallopian tube. But I still felt… so very broken. And I wondered how this had happened? And for how long, for goodness sake!? Work that afternoon was just perfectly awful. I tried to not talk to anybody, lay low and cry quietly in the bathroom until I could sob in the comfort of my home with Eric later that night…
Please join me next week to hear more about my personal journey down the infertility path. I look forward to speaking with you. And I wish you the best on your journey.
This post is also available in: Arabic