Posts Tagged ‘ Laparoscopy ’

Today, Science Sucks!

I think I’ve stated on here before that I’m scientifically minded. The whole reason that I enjoyed taking my temperature every morning was because I enjoyed plotting the graph and looking for trends. I’m kind of a geek.

Science makes sense. It explains things. It shows how things work and where there could be errors. It’s logical and makes everything all okay again.

I think that’s why I’m awful at handling emotions and dealing with hormones. I’m the girl that can be crying for days but can’t cry in front of others. And now matter how much I love the science of my hormones and understanding when one rises, when one plummets and what that means is happening inside my body, what I don’t like about those exact same bloody hormones is how I react to them.

Every single month without fail, I have a mini emotional breakdown lasting up to two days. It’s normally filled with thoughts of how useless I am, how I’ve managed to fail yet again and how I can’t keep going on like this. It’s more than just a little bit teary. Or just a little bit irritable.

It becomes floods of tears over a simple internal thought and then a real physical inability to stop. It’s draining and annoying and I have no idea how to control it or deal with it. Other than do the opposite of the phrase “man up” and, perhaps instead, I need to woman up.

Yesterday, I decided that I wasn’t just a failure and all the normal stuff. No, I decided I was stupid and pathetic. That it was the only explanation for how naive I can become and how I cling to the smallest thread of hope when my body is building up to a scream of truth. I can examine each and every tiny thing that I feel and see how it could point to being pregnant, but I can also deny the evidence that I’m not. I can put a positive and hopeful spin on anything.

How logical and scientific is that? But that’s the side of hormones that I don’t understand and that aren’t scientific.

But then sometimes science and logic fail. Sometimes things cannot be explained by science or doctors or anyone. Somethings are unexplainable. And I just don’t understand them.

I’ve just been to the doctors to discuss my laparoscopy the other month and what the future entails, what the options now are. And science has failed me. Because my own body hasn’t.

My doctor explained that there are three key elements needed in conceiving. One is that a woman is ovulating. My blood tests proove this.

Two is that the egg can get to the uterus. The lapa and HSG showed my fallopian tubes are 100% fine and unblocked. The doctor even mentioned the word perfect.

Three is that there are actual sperm in semen and that they don’t swim around in circles. The semen analysis showed in the normal range for conception with good linear motion.

So there are no problems with any of the three areas. My laparoscopy showed me to be fine with zero endometriosis. And yet it doesn’t work.

Give a big cheer for my health and being all okay with no reason I can’t get pregnant.

But give a loud boo to science which can’t offer me any explanations or treatments to remedy the problem. Yeah, today, science sucks!

~ Persephone M

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Coming Clean

I had an email from a friend today about general stuff and they mentioned that they hoped I was okay, they’d seen some stuff on facebook. Taking it to mean the whole hospital stay, I found myself having to explain by email, to a guy, about my fertility issues.

I think there have only been two other males that I had to tell – both at work. One I mumbled something about “Because I want to know why I can’t have children” which isn’t fully accurate, the word can’t should perhaps include at the moment. He did actually say the sin of: You can have mine, I smiled and continued working because he didn’t mean it like that. He had no idea what to say and, unless he’s ever spoken to someone with medical problems in that area, he’s not going to know how silly it was of him to say what he did.

I’m quite an odd person and truly wanted to email my friend: I had surgery to determine if my girlie bits/baby making bits are okay.

I didn’t because I wasn’t sure how that would sound in an email. I’ve said those words out loud to certain people but have always made a little laugh or changed subject afterwards. It’s kind of enough that people know there’s a problem (or we have concerns) and I don’t neccesarily need to talk about it with everyone. I don’t need to go into detail with everyone that every single pregnancy announcement I hear hurts. Most of my female friends would possibly assume that, but would my male friends? Especially as the friend in question is quite a few years younger than me so really should never have experienced anyone having infertility around him.

I have to say, though, that it does feel really good Coming Clean. It was how I described it in the email and it’s true. It’s like I was hiding this terrible secret, that there was something so shameful about me that I had to hide it from everyone. Is that how other people dealing (or not dealing) with infertility feel? Is it because it’s about womanly bits? Is it because most people know what’s associated with cancers, with diabetes, with eczema, but not many know what comes with infertility?

But it shouldn’t be something that people feel wrong, bad or ashamed to talk about. Despite all that I try to do to within my lifestyle to increase my fertility (diet, drinking, etc), I have not done anything to be infertile. Some people have to make up the smaller percentage that take the 3, the 4, the 5 or the more years to conceive. Just because the majority of people fall into the first three years, somebody has to take longer. So if I did nothing wrong, why keep it a secret, why feel ashamed?

Because, quite simply, it’s failing. My body, somehow, is failing me. Or my husband’s is failing his, but it doesn’t really matter: Our bodies are failing us. And aren’t most people geared to keeping their failures a secret? To being ashamed because they failed? Except infertility isn’t a test where revision can help you pass. Sure, there are things that I can do to help me succeed, but I think I’m pretty much doing them.

And unless people start discussing it without being ashamed of their dirty little secret, other people will never know about it. If most people conceive within two years of trying and however many of them never question their ability to conceive before that point, what would they know about infertility?

So, that morning I was rudely awoken in the hospital after my laparoscopy (because I hadn’t been to the toilet, when I had), I decided to stop hiding, to stop keeping secrets and being ashamed. If it makes people feel awkward when they ask me “Where were you last week?” “Having surgery to see if my baby making bits are okay”, then I’m sorry, but I’m not hiding my dreadful secret from everyone anymore.

My body’s still failing, but it’s not a secret anymore.

~ Persephone M

Picking It Back Up

So, I’ve been feeling really down recently. I think I went over ten days without posting a thing on here. Even on my laziest of days I usually find the three minutes it takes to upload a photo to flickr or copy and paste a poem I have saved at home. But no. I’ve not really been bothered to do anything other than watch TV.

By that I mean watching far too much Criminal Minds – to the point that I was completely paranoid about taking mum’s two foster children to the toilet in a fast food restaurant because we all had to go in separate cubicles. I ended up leaving my cubicle door open in case either of them tried to walk out or in case someone came in to try and abduct them. The fact that my husband was at the bottom of the stairs made an abduction quite difficult, but you never know! That is what TV has taught me.

Anyway, so I’ve been so down that I can’t even write. Usually when I’m a bit down I write poetry or at least blog. Or perhaps both of these things! For the past, possibly month, I can’t be inspired to do anything. I don’t know whether I’m just having a particularly stunningly negative month (only two days left until the next) or whether it has something to do with the laparoscopy I had at the beginning of March, but all I’ve wanted to do is hibernate.

The hopsital freaked me out so bad that in the morning when my husband came to get me, I told him I never wanted to be in hopsital again even if that meant that we didn’t have children. I’ve calmed a bit, but I still hate the idea of ever having to stay overnight in one again. I also still have slight pain. On the outside by the scars and on the inside. Some days I put it down to being too active whilst on others I think I’ve pulled it. Sometimes it’s simply because the youngest foster child (3) understands I can’t lift because of the “hole in my tummy”, but that doesn’t stop sitting on my lap and leaning back on it! Nice.

I’ve been back at normal walking speed for a few weeks, well maybe a bit slower as I tend to walk quite fast. I seem to tire quite easily at the moment. I’m also cycling to work at least twice a week. Maybe my negative mood is because I’m doing less exercise so have fewer endorphins. When I was younger I called them dolphins; I have fewer dolphins swimming around in me.

And then I had my amazingly negative day after a dreaded FB announcement, which culminated in me going on a photo trip to the local harbour and noticing every child in the vicinity. I started studying the parents if they seemed older than me and calculating if their oldest child meant that they were older than me when they had their first (I read somewhere the other day that the average age in the UK for first children is 29.1 Years. As a country we’re the second highest in the world apparently, which is odd given we tend to have the highest teenage pregnancy rate inside of Europe. I’m past the average, but every average needs people above and beneath it). And then, any parent who couldn’t seem to control a child (the father sitting near me who let his three run amok and out of his eyeline – has he not watched Criminal Minds; it only takes a second!) had me glaring at them.

Not only did I blog about that mood, I wrote a poem and a half. I might just be climbing out of the negative. Either because of a hormone shift, a father who couldn’t spare the attention or the lucky friend who’s pregnant for the third time.

Here’s to a happier month,

~ Persephone M

Why I’m In Pain

I got thinking the other day as to what exactly laparoscopy means. I assumed scopy to be look, but could not figure out the laparo part.

So I googled. Well, I wiki’d and, to quote: “from Greek lapara, “flank or loin”, and skopein, “to see, view or examine”“. I just thought that was interesting, is all!

I had a diagnostic laparoscopy to see if there were any problems within me that could be preventing me from becoming pregnant. I’ve already had an x-ray with dye to check my fallopian tubes (HSG) and the laparoscopy is the final test. I passed.

Finally, I passed at something seeing as I fail to conceive every single freaking month. Woo! But then it occured to me that, to some people, they might not understand why I went for the tests at all.

And it’s possibly those that know me in real life. I’m not yet 30, but I will be by the end of the year and the fertility rates for those in their 20s is 20-25% per month; in the early thirties it drops to 15%. I know that magically, the morning I wake up aged 30, my body will not be suddenly different, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am getting older (yes, I know that everyone is).

A lot of people don’t realise that I’ve been trying for two and a half years. When I say *I*, I mean *we* and include my husband, it’s just me writing this, not *us*.

I can’t remember the stats that my doctor has given me time and time again, but I did find some online which look roughly the same. As you can see from the two percentage rates above (20-25 and 15), the actual chances of becoming pregnant each month are relatively low. Even in the prime age of the twenties, there’s a 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 chance each month. That isn’t that much, really. By the early 30s it drops and it drops another 5% for the late 30s (along with added complications, too).

There’s some more maths for you now: on average (such a lovely word), after a full 12 months, 14% of couples have not conceived. After 24 months, 4.3% of couples have not conceived and, after 36 months, 1.9%. I’m currently in the 4.3% and am hoping in the six months left to make me a 36er, I won’t be that 1.9%.

I guess that I have the worry at the moment that, because I’ve gone fully public with my problems, my hopes, the failings, that some people think I’m jumping the gun. Perhaps some people think that I’ve had these diagnostic tests to simply check myself out before truly trying. Or that after a few months, I got impatient and decided to force things. Or that I got tired of watching everyone else around me having children and just wanted to join the club. Or that I’m a worrier (which I am), and subjected myself to these tests to put my mind at ease.

It was for none of these, it was because my husband and I are 4.3% of couples. Take one hundred couples and put five into a corner – that’s us. In six months I/we could be less than 2. After 4 years, it’s 1% haven’t conceived. After 5, it’s 0.6%. And in two and a half years I’ll be on the path to the over 35’s along with being just 0.6% of couples trying.

I subjected myself to hormone tests, an x-ray, ultrasound and invasive anaesthatised surgery to find out if there’s a reason I’m in the 4.3%. Good news that I’m not, but it doesn’t change the fact that we as a couple could simply have unexplained infertility (15-20% infertile couples are unexplained). I walked into a surgical room feeling so alone and scared, hungry and tired, simply wanting to cry and have my husband still next to me because if we are truly in the 4.3% or the 1.9%, assisted pregnancies are the only way it will ever happen. And there’s no point in paying a huge sum of money for a procedure to conceive if there’s a problem that would render it pointless.

It’s generally accepted that 10% of the population is left-handed. How many left handed people do you know? Cut that in half, or by a factor of 10.

~ Persephone M

Sites used:
http://www.socalfertility.com/age-and-fertility.html
http://www.womens-health.co.uk/infertility2.asp

This time a week ago…

I feel horribly fat and bloated.

And yes, this is a “girly” post!

The surgery is partially to blame (along with my complete and utter naivity regarding how serious is was for a diagnostic procedure) and also because, unless the surgery has altered things now is about the time for PMT to start.

Anywho, I had to go shopping simply to buy new t-shirts because I’m still trapped in leggings so need longer t-shirts. Ideally, I actually need longer and baggy t-shirts because today’s t-shirt hurt simply brushing against my skin.

No one told me that it’d be like this. Does that make me naive? The nurse told me that the stiches would dissolve and that was it actually. No information regarding heavy lifting, bed rest, bloating, pain duration… nothing. Which left me today wondering if the pain and apparent obvious bloating were normal after a laparoscopy. It isn’t abnormal.

Doesn’t change the fact that I feel fat. No matter how much my logical mind screams at me that it’s because a doctor was prodding around in there pretty much seven whole days ago. I still worry because my diet is the same as normal (the odd take away and quite frequent chocolate/cake), but my exercise is drastically decreased. Again, because my stomach hurts to walk so there’s no way I’m going to go cycling or do aerobics.

All clothes annoy me and I can’t wait for Saturday where I will stay in my pjs all day long. And at least on my second shopping trip of the day (the first resulted in nothing but chocolate consumption and tears), I got new clothes that should make me feel more comfortable. The fear is already setting in that these new clothes will become my normal wardrobe as I continue getting older and my metabolism continues slowing.

Grumpy and hormonal,
~ Persephone M

Before Now, I had Never…

This is going to be just a quick blog post because I want to go and lie back down!

Yesterday I had an appointment for day surgery to have a “simple” laparoscopy to check for scarring as a hinderance to trying to conceive. Unfortunately the letter gave me the completely wrong information and it was a lot later on in the day than the letter said, so I had to stay overnight.

It all went okay, except at first the nurses wouldn’t let me sleep because my BP was too low (which was after one nurse questioned my low pulse rate – I’m a cycler) and then the old lady in the bed next to me who snored really, really, really loudly – I’m the girl who kicks her husband out of bed for breathing too loudly!

They discharged me this morning and they said that I look fine internally. As such, there are no more tests to run. And no answers. It might sound a bit perverse, but I kind of wanted one of the tests to show there was something wrong. If there’s something wrong, it means there’s a reason and potentially a solution instead of just… unexplainable, keep waiting. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad there’s nothing wrong. I could only imagine how devestating it would be. The results are the better option, but I’m still in an unknown land.

I’ve never stayed overnight in hospital. I’ve never gone 24 hours without eating. I’ve never been scared to cough or sneeze. Walking into surgery, I’d never felt so alone.

~ Persephone M