I know you probably looked at the post title and started making assumptions, so let’s back up for a minute, shall we?
As you can probably imagine, I woke up yesterday morning feeling pretty nervous about the big specialist’s appointment I’ve been going on about. I was wide awake at 6am and jumped out of bed at 6:15 to shower and shave; by 7am I was clean, dressed, and on the verge of a breakdown. More than anything else, I just wanted to be done with it — 8am couldn’t come quickly enough. (I suppose I have a serious fear of the unknown, but let’s save that conversation for another day.) By the time Hubs and I arrived at the office, my sense of impending doom had passed and I was feeling much calmer. The receptionist, who I’ve probably spoken to about 80 times in the last week, felt like a friend greeting me at the front desk, which relaxed me further. When Dr. K finally called us back, I was ready to get some answers.
Looking back, the whole appointment was a blur.
We first met with Dr. K in her office, where we discussed our medical histories and speculated about what my problem might be. She said that, based on everything I’d told her about myself and my history, that PCOS was the likeliest diagnosis (no surprise there). I also discovered some shocking — and frankly very disconcerting — information about my subseptate uterus, which I wrote about last September. As it turns out, the doctor who diagnosed me with the subseptate was seriously misinformed: to refresh your memory, she had told me that it looked like a small “finger” sticking out of my otherwise normal-looking uterus and that I could conceive and carry a child without issue, but that delivery could cause complications and that I should consider C-section delivery. This morning, Dr. K said that that information was completely incorrect.
Apparently, the subseptate has nothing to do with conception and delivery; in fact, it’s related to infertility! So why is that such a big deal to me? It’s simple:
I could have delivered Joshua naturally.
Not only was the doctor who diagnosed this seriously misinformed, but then no fewer than two of the doctors in my OB’s practice failed to correct this information! When we were closing in on Joshua’s due date, I voiced my concerns about having a vaginal birth with the subseptate; instead of researching and discussing the facts with me, the two doctors I asked about it instead simply told me that the subseptate was mild and that the chances of delivery complications was pretty low. That did nothing to assuage my fears and I opted to schedule a C-section instead. It’s probably a safe bet that those doctors had no knowledge of a subseptate uterus actually is, either. Oh, well…it’s in the past now. There’s nothing I can do to change it. It is what it is, and life goes on.
After that little surprise, the appointment seemed to pick up speed. Nurse J went ahead and took some blood (I only wish I could remember what she was actually testing for!), and then she checked my weight and temperature. (I lost a pound since last week, yay!) Dr. K did a physical exam and then an ultrasound, which even now sticks out as the most important part of the whole appointment. Dr. K actually showed me my ovaries on the monitor, which no one else has ever allowed me to see. She pointed out that my right ovary looked totally fine; the left, on the other hand, was kind of pushed behind the scar tissue from my C-section…and there were cysts all over it.
F*ck you, PCOS.
Once the ultrasound was complete, Hubs and I were sent back to the waiting room while Nurse J organized a welcome package and next-step directions for us. I don’t think Hubs was ready for this post-exam meeting with Nurse J; once she started talking about all the different tests Dr. K wanted us to undergo, I watched as he literally grew more and more uncomfortable and agitated. She went on and on, but Hubs only heard one thing.
That’s where our financial counselor, Kim, came in. Nurse J put us on a conference call with her and we discussed everything. Let’s just say that our insurance is much better for fertility than I thought it would be. What a relief! As the ringing of the cash register in Hubby’s head died down, he asked one question after another until it seemed like there was nothing left to ask, and then we were ready to go home.
Looking back, I think I was right to be a bit panicked, if for no other reason but the potential financial burden. I am truly thankful that our insurance carrier was so helpful and willing to work with Kim, because they did a brilliant job of leaving me in the dark. The lightening of that burden, which would admittedly fall squarely upon poor Hubby’s shoulders, means a lot to us. We’re going to try medication like Clomid first and go from there; Clomid is something we’re familiar with and have tried in the past. It brought us Joshua, and we’re hoping that it will bring him a sibling.
So that’s where we’re at right now! We have a ton of testing to do between now and our next appointment with Dr. K, which is scheduled for the week after we return from vacation. My biggest test, however, is the one I’ve been harping on about for weeks now: Dr. K said it’s time to make the necessary changes to my diet and to exercise both more often and more intensely. It’s time to stop drinking juice and soda, resume taking my prenatals, and break a bigger sweat on a more regular basis. Hubs is on board and said all of us will make the dietary changes, and he’s going to support whatever fitness changes I choose to make. I want a second child badly enough that I’m ready for a fight.
The gloves are off, PCOS. You’re going down!
Oh, and by the way, it would appear that I was on the right track when I wore a teal tank top under my green-and-teal blouse. Apparently, teal is the color for PCOS awareness — I had no idea! It happens to be my favorite color as well. I wonder if my brain has been trying to tell me something all my life…