Saturday, April 28, 2012

Say What?!?

So, a little over a year ago I started having issues that required me to go visit the good old ob/gyn.  They asked me if I was on birth control, I said no.  They then asked how long I have been off, I told them over a year and a half, but we hadn’t really been trying until about six months ago.  I was all smiles, but they gave me a look of shock and horror.  I should have known then that something was wrong.  They started doing tests which included an ultrasound with an eight inch probe. You lay there on the table as a relationship between you and the ultrasound tech develops into something magical.  As uncomfortable as this is for you to read, I can assure you that it was much more uncomfortable for me to experience.  Weeks later, as I was still having issues, I went back to the doctor.  It was at this appointment that I was told that I have a deformed uterus, a heart shaped uterus to be exact.  A deformed WHAT?!? In the game of life, I really don’t recall a deformed uterus being an option.  She then tells me that this can lead to miscarriages, infertility, late term miscarriages, and a long laundry list of other issues.  I instantly did what any other person would have done, I began googling.    It wasn’t sounding pretty.  She then referred to me to a fertility doctor for additional testing. 

I tried to make an appointment to the doctor that they recommended.  They didn’t accept our insurance.  So I call the doctor back, they couldn’t find another doctor who could perform these tests and advised me to call my insurance.  I call the insurance; they can’t search by tests, only by doctors in network or out of network.  The girl gives me a long list of doctor’s offices to call; none of them perform these tests.  A few days later, coincidentally, Tom gets a call from his HR representative. Turns out he has been in the wrong insurance since he started working there, for almost two years.  They switched him into the correct insurance and as luck would have it, this insurance was covered by the fertility specialist. 

So I make my appointments and I go along my way.  The first test was one that is guided by an x-ray.  So you have to go over to the hospital to have that one done.  As you lay on the x-ray table a woman attaches a catheter to your cervix.  Now keep in mind, you are spread eagle in an x-ray room at a hospital with a pillow under your crotch (there’s an important life lesson to be learned here).  The woman calls in the radiologist, a young guy about my age, now this isn’t awkward at all. She then shoots a dye into your uterus and they take an x-ray.  You hop off the table go get changed then she discusses the results with you after.  Oh yea, all that dye, its dripping everywhere, including the pillow.  So next time you go to the hospital remember, bring your own pillow.  You really don’t know where that thing has been before you. 

Finally, the woman went over the results with me, as I’m looking at the x-ray of my uterus.  At this point, I done enough googling to know it isn’t supposed to look like The Jokers smile.  I sat there while she told me that this is more severe than they typically see and I would need surgery. 

The next procedure I had was an ultrasound where they hook your cervix up to a catheter and fill your uterus with saline so they can see the inside of your uterus with the ultrasound.  This was a very exciting day for the staff of the doctor’s office.  They immediately saw polyps.  They appeared to be very happy about this.  One of the 4 people in the room exclaimed “We don’t normally see anything!”  Well imagine my delight, I went from having just a deformed uterus to now having polyps too.  More googling revealed polyps are tumors.  Great does this mean I have cancer?  I prefer to not have any tumors anywhere.  Awesome.

During this time I was required to do a lot of blood tests.  At one appointment the doctor informs me that I have high prolactin.  I needed to do another blood test to confirm the results because this is indicative of a tumor on your pituitary gland.  Are these people for real? Now I have a deformed uterus, polyps, and maybe a tumor in my head.  Awesome.  I was lucky enough to not have a pituitary tumor.  We then found out my husband had issues that’s his story and that’s all I’m going to say about that.  Things started to get worse for me also.  I started to get this pain that felt like organs were being wringed out.  It was so painful, it would make you stop in your tracks and you just didn’t want to move or breathe or anything.  The doctor suspected endometriosis. 

So I scheduled my surgery for ASAP, because I don’t want any tumor in me longer than it has to be.  I essentially had two surgeries at once, one vaginally and the other laparoscopic.  They removed the polyps and fixed my deformed uterus vaginally.  Then the laparoscopic surgery was to explore and check for endometriosis.    The doctor told me I would be walking around the next day.  I had visions of me on the treadmill.  I didn’t realize walking the next day was more like walking like a 97 year old lady holding the walls to stay upright while I walk to the bathroom.  I also had an allergy to Percocet.  My face swelled up and I hallucinated that a Mexican man was in my bedroom.  I could also see a forest in my bedroom.  Cool.

At my post-op appointment the doctor informed me that I didn’t just have a polyp, but I had a uterus filled with polyps.  So for all of you kind hearted people who want to tell me you had a polyp too, and still had children, so I shouldn’t worry at all…  Zip it.  This isn’t a contest of who has the worst uterus. She said it was one of the worst cases she had ever seen and that I would have never have been able carry a child without the surgery.   She told me she fixed my deformed uterus.  Good news, I don’t have cancer.  I also have endometriosis.  Then she dropped the hammer, due to my husband’s issues, if we wanted to have children, we would need to go ahead with IVF within 6 months because polyps grow back rather quickly.  This was September.  She also asked me if I wanted to talk to the girl about the financials of IVF.  I told her yes, because I didn’t want to have to come back to the office.  Honestly, as soon as she told me I needed IVF, everything else sounded like the Charlie Brown teacher.  I was kind of prepared for her to tell me that IVF would cost 10K total.  I was not prepared for her to tell me that IVF would cost 17k and that medications would cost an additional 7k.  How were we going to come up with this kind of money in less than 6 months’ time?  I had done my research on IVF.  I knew what this meant.  I knew it meant that Tom and I would have to pay a lot of money to have a 50/50 shot of having a child.  I know we all have seen John and Kate plus 8 and think ooooh IVF…. Everyone walks away with a child.  This is not the case.  Only 50% of people walk away pregnant during an IVF cycle, not great odds.  That means I walk away with a baby, you don’t.  You walk away with a baby, I don’t.  I just remember losing my shit as soon as I lft the office. 

 Every day from that point forward was spent talking to our mortgage company, talking to the insurance company, talking to the doctor’s office, trying to think of every possible thing that we could do to reduce our costs.  Open enrollment at work was during October.  All of these decisions needed to be made immediately.  I tried to see if I could get switched into different insurance to see if it would be covered.  It wouldn’t.  I could go on and on.  I thought of every single thing that I could do to get this covered.  I even tried to get a part time job at a bank because I knew that their insurance covered it.  The part time job was filled before I could get my application in.  The only option we had available to us was to drop the maximum amount into our FSA.  In doing this, we were locking this money up.  If by some stroke of luck we ended up pregnant naturally, we would lose 7k in a FSA.  That’s a lot of money to lock up, money that we use to pay our mortgage, bills, etc.    So this wasn’t an easy decision.  I think this was the most horrible point in my entire life.  There was this weighing on us, and then every single day there was one disaster after another.  I believe our dogs rewarded us to a pile of vomit or crap every day during that time.  It is a miracle that I didn’t end up with a mug shot during that period.  I was getting migraines every single day.  My husband was having surgery. People with their happy lives want to offer you advice, and everyone knows someone that had a miracle occur.  That’s awesome and I personally couldn’t be happier for these other people, however I don’t think it’s a good life plan to essentially walk around hoping to win the lottery.  Statistically, it isn’t likely to happen, that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t it just means that it is very unlikely. 

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