Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Day I Saw My Insides

I had my surgery follow-up appointment with Dr. G on Monday earlier this week. We went into it knowing we'd see a short video of my insides during surgery, but that didn't mean I was exactly prepared to see my insides. Honestly, I guess nothing can really prepare you for that.

I remember watching an episode of the Magic School Bus when I was younger where the bus shrunk and they were able to go inside a human body. They explored and Ms. Frizzle, the teacher with the awesome red hair, explained the different body parts and their functions as they passed by. I remember thinking, "This is neat. I wish I could see inside my own body like this." Well, Stephanie of the past, your wish has been granted. But seriously, it was a little weird.

Apparently it's a book too?


I have now seen my: liver, intestines, bowels, uterus, cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and probably a few others, though I'm not exactly sure. I had trouble keeping track of all of it while Dr. G explained what we were looking at. It's not like your insides are labeled like the pictures we studied in our high school biology books.

The video was only about 5 minutes long. We were able to see the little robotic instruments he used to go in and perform the surgery. He mentioned the different organs as they came on the screen and pointed out several small spots of endometriosis in a few different locations and a golf-ball-sized fibroid at the top of my uterus. The end of the video was a short clip of the hysterosalpingogram, where they inject a blue dye into your fallopian tubes to see if it flows through easily. I was able to watch it glug, glug, glug straight out the end of both tubes; Dr. Gray said this was a good sign of clear tubes. Yay! But still weird to watch.

When the video ended I said something like, "Thank you for sharing that with us. I never thought I'd get to see something like that," with a slightly goofy look on my face. Dr. G chuckled a little. I mean, he sees stuff like that every day. It must be comical when he gets to share that part of his work with his patients.

The rest of the surgery follow-up went pretty well. He said he was very hopeful for us especially based on how mild the endometriosis was and how good the anatomy of the uterus and fallopian tubes looks. He also said the biopsy came back negative for another infection (woohooo!), but I'm not so sure it's gone for good. If it does come back, he said prednisone would be another treatment option.

Then he asked how I was feeling about everything we had found since we started working with him. And that's when I almost started crying. I am truly, truly grateful for everything he's done for us so far, but I can't help but think that now being diagnosed with endometriosis, endometritis, and low periovulatory estrogen, we're looking at a long road of infertility struggles ahead of us. Sure, things are looking better than when we first started working with him 5 months ago. The endometriosis has all been excised and the endometritis has been treated (twice). We actually know what our issues are and have a good plan set up for us. But I'm still feeling pretty low about all this stuff. There's just no guarentee, ya know? We still may never be able to have children. And even if we do get pregnant, how about secondary infertility? John and I have always wanted a bigger family, but with my biological clock (loudly) ticking, and all the struggle we've had so far, that's really not looking like a reality anymore. At least not in this present moment, anyway. I just feel like doors are closing and dreams are fading. And I told Dr. G all that. And what a sweet guy he is... he listened so patiently.

I went on to tell him that we've started our home study for adoption, not because we're giving up on having biological children, but because we're very open to growing our family both biologically and through adoption. He definitely perked up when I mentioned it. Turns out, he and his wife have adopted 3 babies now. And they already had 4 children before they decided to adopt. He said it was the best thing he and his wife had ever decided to do. He gave us good information about adoption agencies and told us the stories of how they adopted their children. I actually felt very comforted by his stories and his excitment for adoption. He was so sweet to allow me to steer the conversation away from infertility and my diagnoses for a second to talk about adoption - it stopped an ugly cry in its tracks.

When we finally did get back on the topic of my treatment, I was able to hold it together while we talked about what things will look like from here on out. He's going to be working with me every cycle now, tweaking things here and there, checking hormones post peak, performing ultrasounds when necessary, and so on. We'll meet up towards the end of each cycle for a cycle review and discuss what to try the with the next cycle if I'm still not pregnant.

The plan for this first post-surgery cycle is Clomid, just a low dose on CD3-5. I'll have an ultrasound around peak time to see how the Clomid affects ovulation and then a blood draw post-peak to make sure Clomid isn't messing with hormones then. We'll see how it goes and then reassess and adjust from there.

Oh. I almost forgot. This one's a biggie. Before we left his office on Monday, Dr. G uttered the most hopeful thing I've heard in a while. He said based on everything he's seen, he has every reason to believe we're in the 60-80% couples who are helped to acheive pregnancy with NaPro. It's just a matter of time now.

Sounds like a dream come true, right?

I have to be honest - I was skeptical when I heard it. And I'm still skeptical today. (The fact that it's CD1 doesn't help.) In fact, today I've been feeling pretty darn low about all of this stuff. I'm sad and I'm angry and I'm feeling forgotten. But I guess I'll still continue hoping because it's probably (hopefully) only a matter of time now. At least that's what Dr. G thinks. Hopefully he wasn't just trying to make me feel better. Doctors don't do that, right?

Praying for patience, patience, patience. Please, God, give me patience!

And please, God, help me to stop thinking about what my insides look like. It was sorta neat to see, but now it's just weird. Please and thank you :)

16 comments:

  1. Wow, sounds like a great doctor :-) I'd be kind of curious to see my surgery... but I don't know, that would be pretty weird too.

    Glad things seem to be all cleaned up inside. Hopefully clomid will just be the last piece in the puzzle! praying.

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    1. He truly is a great doctor! We're blessed to have found him so early in our IF journey.

      Thank you for the prayers :)

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  2. I remember when I first saw my insides following my surgeries. I thought it was pretty cool that I have a video and pictures of my liver, uterus, intestines, etc., but I also work in the medical field :) A friend of ours who is a med student is jealous of me and my pictures... I guess that's something to help boost my ego in all of this (anything to help me think positively!). Praying for you that you won't have to wait much longer!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the opportunity to see your insides too. Not many of us have the privelege. Love the positive spin. :) Thank you for the prayers!!

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  3. wow. I am sure that that was an experience you will never forget... Your dr. sounds great and hopeful, thats two positives! I continue to pray for you both!

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    1. I will surely not forget it, though I kind of wish I could. Haha. Thank you!!

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  4. Your doctor sounds like a great guy. I'll be praying for you Stephanie :)

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    1. We are blessed to be working with him. Thank you for the prayers!

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  5. So glad you were able to have such an open conversation with your doctor. How neat that he and his wife adopted. It is amazing to find out how many people have adopted.

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    1. I know, right?! To have his support through our IF and adoption now too... he's like an IF woman's dream come true. He even showed us pictures of his adorable adopted kids. 2 boys and 1 girl. It was a blessing to make that connection with him.

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  6. I'm creeped out by seeing pictures of my insides, let alone videos!! Thank goodness for doctors who love that stuff =) It sounds like you got some very good results, at least in terms of knowing what's going on with your body! It's okay to be skeptical too =) If you're anything like me, I have a very firm reaction against feeling hopeful because I've gone through so many hope-disappointment cycles. It's a coping mechanism. With that said, I'll hope for you!! (find that easier than hoping for myself)

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    1. Yes! You're absolutely right. I'd rather not set myself up for the disappointment. So I'll just pretend like he didn't say that for now. :) And it's so true - it's much easier to hope for others. How about I'll be hopeful for you and you'll be hopeful for me and hopefully that'll do the trick. :)

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  7. I totally had that book growing up! Though I don't know if I would have been able to watch a video of my insides. I had a MRI done on my knees and felt a little queesy just looking at the pictures.

    Glad to hear that things are starting to move in the right direction. Sending some prayers your way!

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    1. Thanks, Cathy!! Glad to know I wasn't the only one who encountered that episode/book of The Magic School Bus. If you ever want to view the video of my insides, just let me know. I'll ship it up to ya. Haha. Kidding, of course.

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  8. I loved those books growing up! I am so glad that the doctor has high hopes! I think that it is wonderful that you are even going to also consider adoption simultaneously. With all the sad stories out there (like ours and others...) it really brings joy to see that people on these infertility blogs are finding hope! Hang in there!

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    1. Sometimes I think I'm a little crazy for considering IF treatments and adoption at the same time, but it just feels right for us. While IF and failed cycles of TTC bring me down, it brings me joy to have the possibility of adoption in our future. Thanks for your support!

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