Silent Sorority

Infertility Survivors Finally Heard

July 19, 2012

Everything But the Kitchen Sink

Warning: This post may be TMI for many readers. You may feel free to move on.
For those still reading, I will try to be delicate. In truth, I was leaning toward not writing about this latest biological escapade, but the irony this week became just too much not to share.

Yesterday was surreal. My doctor insisted on giving me a pregnancy test.

“A positive pregnancy test is about as likely to happen today as the second coming,” I replied with something of a snort, even as I dutifully stepped into the restroom to provide the requisite sample.

I’ve been getting too familiar with the absurd lately. It started in March … when I began taking birth control pills.

Okay, my Internets, you can get up from the floor now. 

Lest you think I’ve completely lost touch with reality, I was taking them not because there was any need for the big guns to prevent pregnancy (my body figured out how to do that all on its own), but for a different reason altogether.

The tiny hormone-packed pills in their cheerful pink three-month container were meant to reduce some annoying female plumbing problems and related uterine overproduction. Enough said.

Weird as it was (and I do mean downright bizarre) to pop a powerful hormone each night before bed, all went well … at first. The freedom associated with said hormones led me to buy a white dress and wear it with confidence. Heck, I could have starred in a TV commercial skipping and dancing through a field in that lovely white dress — that is until a few days ago when my drama queen of a uterus decided to overtake the hormones and reassert her dominance.

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That’s what brought me back to the doctor’s office.

Grumpy did not begin to describe my mood. There I sat surrounded by pregnant women awaiting my turn for the transvaginal ultrasound (better known in the infertility world as the “dildo cam”).  Silly me. I thought those invasive instruments used to peer into the uterus and snap photos were a thing of the past. My uterus rather liked getting her privacy back.

Tomorrow she’ll be the star in the surgery center undergoing a different type of assault — a flamethrower of sorts — as part of an endometrial ablation procedure.  I know the drill. Fast at midnight, IV insertion at 11:30 am … pain and discomfort to follow.

There is one silver lining: the very high likelihood of no more visits, ever, from Aunt Flo.

Although the battle I began waging against infertility some 20 years ago has long been over, the conclusion is now absolute. These past few years have done their work preparing me for what otherwise might be a traumatic procedure.

As of tomorrow, I’ll be bona fide barren (reproductively anyway). And, you know, I’m really okay with that since the rest of my life is bountiful, lush and fruitful.

Different Than I Expected 17 Replies to “Everything But the Kitchen Sink”
Pamela Tsigdinos
Pamela Tsigdinos
Writer, blogger and, oh, yeah, infertility survivor. My memoir, Silent Sorority, tells the whole story. There's a movie in there somewhere. Given the quirkiness needed to relate it all I'm thinking Jennifer Lawrence would be a good fit.


17 thoughts on “Everything But the Kitchen Sink

    Author’s gravatar

    I went through that procedure about a year and a half ago, after a year before that of no Flo, followed by a tiny bit of bleeding. The procedure didn’t disturb me at all, and the following year and a half of freedom has been LOVELY!

    I hear you, though, about the dildo cam. Erg.

    Author’s gravatar

    Good to know, Leslie! I look forward to the freedom in a big way…!

    Author’s gravatar

    Sending you good thoughts. I had a complete Hystro in 2001. Barren is the new it!! After 3 IVF’s I never heard the term “Dildo Cam” LMAO

    Author’s gravatar

    When I got to the end of this post I realized I’d forgotten to keep breathing. I walked through every nightmare scene with you having PTSD flashbacks. Now I’ve recovered I can appreciate and admire your frankness and pragmatism.
    I hope everything goes smoothly today and that you continue to take full advantage of that white dress. :-)

    Author’s gravatar

    oh, the irony.

    well I’ve had a ton of uterine surgeries for fibroids, ending with hysterectomy finally last year. I’m not as familiar with the ablation procedure, but I assume you will have some major crampage. is the alleve the 600mg (as my motrin was)? my best advice is take it BEFORE the pain hits. it’s much harder to chase pain after it takes effect than to prevent it. lots of water and lots of sleep to heal.

    wishing you well and a quick recovery!

    Author’s gravatar

    Good luck, Pamela, I’ll be thinking about you tomorrow. I have friends (most of them non-IFers with kids) who have had ablations — didn’t find them too terrible to deal with, & all love the result. ; ) One friend still got her periods :p but they were much lighter & easier to cope with than they had been.

    I am still (at 51) waiting (somewhat impatiently) for Aunt Flo to make her final exit. Her visits are still pretty regular & manageable (knocking wood), and Dr. Ob-gyn advises she could continue to visit me for some time yet (!!). But if I was told I needed an ablation tomorrow, I would be OK with that too. At this point in my life, I am anxious to get on with things.

    Author’s gravatar

    Smooth sailing and to many many days to enjoy that lovely white dress!
    I am wishing you an easy and smooth recovery.

    Author’s gravatar

    Good luck Pamela – I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow. Hope all goes smoothly and easily. Much love.

    Author’s gravatar

    For some reason, my first impulse is to say, “Congratulations,” so that’s what I’m gonna go with. I’ve really enjoyed being on depo for the last couple of months – the “occasional spotting” my doctor predicted has borne about as much relationship to real side effects as her predictions usually do, and I have been bleeding three of every four days since (i.e., 200% more of the time than I used to), but the pain is gone, and I am so thankful. So maybe I can look forward to graduating to the big-girl version in a couple of years :).

    Author’s gravatar

    Thank you, Marni, and all who dropped by with good wishes. All went well with the surgery. Nurse Mr. T is taking great care of me…

    Author’s gravatar

    I am so sorry I missed this, but pleased I can come in and see that all went well. I can totally relate to this – the need for the surgery in the first place (what is it about 40-something uteri that makes them want to go into overproduction – which is, by the way, the perfect not-TMI descriptor and I am going to steal it). Like you, I’d be totally comfortable with having your procedure right now. White dresses? Out of the question. And I’m already worrying about how I’ll cope in a trip I’m planning – and its three months away! So, if it doesn’t sound horrible, I’m kind of envying your situation right now.

    Author’s gravatar

    I had to start taking birth control about a year ago to regulate my monthly cycle. After 10 years of infertility it does seem like a joke. My sister in law is having a hysterectomy tues, and also never had children. She’s ten years ahead of me in age, and seems to be at peace with her decision. I don’t necessarily look forward to my cycle, but am not ready to be done with it yet. Someday I’ll get there, I’m sure, but 37 isn’t it.I hope the procedure went well.

    Author’s gravatar

    Hope the recovery period is going well. Sounds nasty – that d**** cam thingie…ugh…

    And here’s to your bountiful, lush, and fruitful life!!! :-D

    Author’s gravatar

    I hope everything went well and that you are recovering well! Having had a hysterectomy at 28, which sucked for the obvious reasons, not having a period is AWESOME. So, yay for that part of this equation :)

    Author’s gravatar

    The “dildo cam” – ha. That’s a good one. I’ve been referring to it as “the robotic eye.”

    Thank you for your amazing words; I’ve recently become acquainted with your blog and have found it to be a source of comfort as I embark upon my own infertility journey.

    All the best,
    Gina L.

    Author’s gravatar

    So I’m really far behind here and I hope your procedure went well and you’re well recovered with no signs of AF. I so here what you’re saying though about the lack of AF. Now that I know I’m done TTC I’m planning on asking for a hysterectomy at this years appt. All the constant cramping etc that I seem to have and the bleeding and such? I’m so done with all of it.

    […] the physical symptoms of perimenopause have been more or less manageable since my flame-throwing uterine ablation a few years back. Not having to confront ‘Martha’ every 28 days during these past three […]

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