Friday, July 25, 2008

Take my uterus...please! Um, I think...

I had an appt this morning with a new ob/gyn. Nothing greater than having to expose my private parts once again to a complete stranger. As I sat in the exam room with the paper gown wrapped around my waist (with me constantly checking the back of it to make sure the first thing the dr wouldn't see was my butt crack peeking out from the sheet), I did a count in my head of all the doctors who've seen my private parts in the last 4 years and I was saddened to realize that it was more than 10....way more than 10 (between all the infertility treatments, 3 miscarriages, and 2 twin pregnancies). Something about being in that office always takes me back to those times...the good and the bad.

The nurse really loved me when she was going over my history and asked "how many pregnancies?" and I said "5". Then she said "how many children?" and I said "4". She said "and 1 miscarriage". I said "no, 3 miscarriages...a total of 5 pregnancies with 2 being successful and 3 ending in miscarriage". She said "but you said you had 4 children, right? Or was it 5?" and I said, "4 children from 2 pregnancies". She looked at me as if I were from another planet. So I said "twins". Again, I got the blank stare from her so I finally said "2 sets of twins". She was still confused and she stopped asking me questions but I saw her write something on the chart, probably "patient should be tested for drug use". Was it really that confusing? I guess maybe it was. Not exactly something I'm sure she runs into everyday.

Anyway, she was very nice and easy to talk to. My purpose in going in today was to discuss with her my irregular periods and to find out if there was anything I could do about it. When I do have my period, it's horrible....the pain compares to labor pains, seriously. And the bleeding....well, it's better left to the imagination but it's pretty bad. I cannot leave the house for the first 2-3 days of my period. So I'm thinking "enough is enough"...let's just deal with this.

She didn't shock me when she listened to a whole list of symptoms I've been having, aside from the irregular periods, and she said "sounds like peri-menopause". We talked about mood swings (oh yeah, I can go from 0 to bitch in 10 seconds, no problem), fatigue (with 4 kids...ya think?), vaginal dryness (which actually made me laugh because I said "wouldn't I actually have to be having sex to know that?") so she chalked that symptom up to lack of sexual desire, hot flashes (as I'm using a pamphlet I found in the exam room to fan my face) and some other things.

She ordered some bloodwork for me to have done on day 3 of my next period, whenever that should be. God only knows. And then we discussed the NovaSure procedure and a hysterectomy. She asked if I was definitely done having kids. I think my laughter answered her question. She recommended the NovaSure procedure and described it to me. She said a hysterectomy would be fine too but it's obviously more of an invasive procedure and the recovery time is much longer and much more painful. My feeling was if I'm heading into menopause, why have a uterus? Wouldn't I be better off just dealing with it head-on and avoiding the whole grueling menopause process? But then for some reason I felt like that was just so permanent...obviously. My tubes are tied and I realize that's pretty permanent as well but having my uterus removed....well, that's just the final deal, isn't it? I know we're not having anymore kids but there's a sadness associated with it I suppose. Even making the decision to have my tubes tied was difficult for me. After going through infertility treatments, it just seemed so backwards to now be worried about a permanent means of birth control.

Anyway, so that's what I have to think about it until my period arrives. The most logical thing would be to do the NovaSure procedure and then see how that goes. But part of me just wants to be done with all this "female stuff"...I dunno.


screamish said...

Yes, you have to be careful with midwives and health professionals, they often mistake a sense of humour for insanity...not fair...who doesn't crack desperate jokes at 4am wrapping in paper gowns being probed by yet another stranger?

The uterus question is a toughie...

joy said...

Good luck with your decision. I don't have any advice on this one but hopefully whatever they do takes care of all these symptoms you've been dealing with.

Cynthia said...

I've toyed with this decision myself. My female parts don't function the way they're supposed to anyway and soon I'll have four kids....But then I think it's just SO permanent. I know I'm done having kids but...what if I wanted to be a surrogate. A long shot, but who knows?
I don't know. I'm glad to hear someone else's thoughts on the topic, though. Thanks for sharing!

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr

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