Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Take My Ovary, Please

Last Friday I went to my doctor's office to receive results from previous bloodwork (late November) and from the recent ultrasound (January 10). Actually, it was a new doctor since my 'new' GP from last year is taking a year sabbatical to New Zealand -- and I'm a bit confused as to which of them I should say is my doctor when booking appointments.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my hormones are 'normal' and that my FSH level was 8! In all my visits to fertility clinics my FSH has never been below 11 and it was 24 the last time it was checked in August 2010. The doctor did tell me that during perimenopause the FSH level can go up and down, but I was happy by this little bit of news.

I was not prepared for the ultrasound results, which revealed that I have an ovarian cyst (5x2x2cm): "complex adnexal cystic mass". The doctor thinks it may be several small cysts that failed to burst and are now 'joined'. So, I am making appointments for more ultrasounds (different place this time), an MRI (still waiting to hear back from the hospital), and a surgical-gynecologist (earliest appointment was end of JULY).

My initial reaction was shock then anger at my ovaries and how they have disappointed me. These two ovaries have failed miserably at producing top-quality eggs. Now one can't even get through the follicular phase and has gone rogue. The frustrating part is that I don't know WHY they have never worked properly. Was I eating the wrong food? Too many warm baths? All that swimming in chlorine pools as a child? I am searching the internet for diets, or anything else, that may help shrink the cyst. But, I am seriously thinking of telling the surgeon to please take the ovary out with the cyst. Damn wonky ovary.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

CML HealthCare Sucks

Since last April Aunt Flo has only made one visit. On November 24 I went to the doctor after having some strange spotting. She wanted to refer me to a gynecologist, but first I needed blood work and a pelvic ultrasound. Luckily I was able get blood drawn at my doctor's office, but the ultrasound had to be done at an imaging clinic (CML HealthCare). January 10th was the earliest appointment I could get, and now I have to make another appointment with my primary physician to get the referral to a gynecologist.

My experience today with CML HealthCare was awful. Yes, it is right up there with Quest Diagnostics in terms of terrible. The waiting room was cold with a flat screen television mounted on the wall tuned to some news channel. It really needs some plants, magazines, and soft music. I was called in early, which was pleasing, but it went downhill from there.

I was expecting an ordinary pelvic ultrasound since I had been instructed to drink four cups of water one hour prior to the appointment, but I was surprised when the technician mentioned that she would be performing a trans-vaginal ultrasound as well. Sure, what is one more invasive ultrasound since I have had countless others on my nine year quest to get pregnant.

The basic pelvic ultrasound was fine, although she could have heated the lubricant she put on my tummy. When she was finished I asked if I could clean my stomach, and she said no problem she would do it. Then she proceeds to use a paper cloth to wipe it off and tells me to run across the hall to the bathroom and be quick. While in the bathroom I was able to properly clean off my belly.

It was when returned to the room that things got bad. When I asked if she wanted me to disrobe she put this thin paper gown on my front, and then tied it with a tiny plastic band. At this point she told me to take off my clothes from the waist down...while she was still there watching. That was really strange pulling down my pants and underwear and attempting to roll them up and put them on top of my winter coat and bag with dignity. Actually, most of my dignity had left the room at this point.

Then I looked at the table where she had placed some strange insert underneath the paper cloth on the exam table. She instructed me to put my bottom on top of this insert so that my pelvis was pointing up and then rest my head on a pile of paper gowns. Ummm...okay? I looked at the table and thought "Am I really in Canada? Is this what healthcare has become?" As I lay on the table I mentioned to the technician that all my previous trans-vaginal ultrasounds had been performed on gynecological tables with stirrups. She told me that she has asked the clinic (CML HealthCare) for this but they say it is too expensive. Egad! Obviously CML HealthCare does not care for female patients.

When the ultrasound was over she told me to get up, but I had to ask her twice to help me get off that contraption that tilted my pelvis upwards. When I asked her if I could clean up she said sure, but she remained in the room. Then, when I asked if she was going to leave the room, she replied that she would be taking notes while I cleaned up and got dressed!!! I was dumbfounded. There I was standing wrapped in the thin paper robe with the ultrasound lubricant leaving my private parts and dripping down my legs and all I wanted was to clean myself with what was left of my dignity. I bluntly told her "I need PRIVACY!"; then she asked "well how long will you be? Ten minutes?" I replied, "I'll just be a minute." Finally she left the room so I could clean up and get dressed, which I did in less than two minutes because I couldn't wait to get out.

Oh, how I miss the doctors' offices where I had ultrasounds in Texas and California. They would have a corner in the exam room where you could close the curtain and place your clothing on wall hooks, and a chair to put your bag, and then there were packaged wet cloths and sanitary napkins for afterwards. But, you get what you pay for and here in Ontario, Canada healthcare is free, and I guess catering to a patient's privacy and dignity is secondary to the bottom line, especially at CML HealthCare. (I really miss my doctor in California.)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Last week was my MIL's 65th birthday, so we drove two hours north to celebrate with DH's parents and a few of their friends. We had a great dinner at a restaurant out in the countryside and went back to the in-laws' home for tea and cake, although they had a few alcoholic beverages before the cake.

There was lots of chatting and one woman was talking about her son who has started a new job and is going through training. One of the friends across the room did not hear all of the story asked if it was her son or grandson she was referring to. Out of nowhere my MIL replies, "It's her son. You see both Eileen and I are Grandchildrenless." It felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I rolled my eyes and held back the tears that tried to fill my eyes. Then they began a discussion of neighbors' kids. She knows that we want children and that we have gone through fertility treatments. MIL is also aware of the pregnancy losses, and yet she chose to shine a light on the matter in front of their friends. I fail to understand her lack of sensitivity in the matter. Wish you could trade in MILs. Thank God we do not live in the same town and we are a two hour drive away, although it was much better when we were a 4-7hr flight away.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Young Adult

DH and I saw the movie 'Young Adult' last week. I loved it, but wanted to warn those who have had a miscarriage that one is mentioned.

SPOILER: Actually a character freaks out at a 'naming' party for a baby and lets the mother and the crowd know about a miscarriage she had in the past. If it were me, I would not have gone to the baby naming party, but I have secretly wanted to unleash about my miscarriage to mothers with babies, and so I choose to stay as far away from newborns and their mothers until the child is walking.