Thursday, April 30, 2009

I'm one of the lucky ones

Remember when you were in school and you were learning how to write an essay? Did your teacher tell you that good essays answered six question for the reader? Who? What? When? Where? Why? and To what extent? I am one of the lucky infertiles who knows the answers to most of those questions about my infertility.

About 5 years ago in June 2004 I had a horrible stomach virus. I skipped some very important work to go to the emergency room only to be told it was going around, here is some Phenergan, go home and rest. I couldn't rest. I had to work. I lived on nothing (I can remember eating only a Snickers bar with some very unpleasant results) and suffered through for a couple of days.

About three days after visiting the emergency room I was at work talking with a co worker and experienced the worst pain of my life. Comparable only to a full blown tooth ache, but this pain was in my stomach. I excused myself to go to the bathroom. In tears I left the building and called my husband crying in the back seat of my car. He was so wise ;) he told me to go to the emergency room--even call an ambulance if I felt I couldn't drive. But I managed to drive myself to the emergency room of a different hospital than previously. I parked in one of the handicap parking spaces because I didn't think I could walk very far. I cried so hard in the lobby, I was triage quickly to an exam room.

Once the morphine was flowing through my veins, I felt better and didn't have patience for the dr's ordered tests. I almost left. But hubby showed up and insisted that I wait and follow through. I had a gyno exam, a vaginal ultrasound, an x-ray, and a CAT scan. Finally a radiologist in Australia read the CAT scan in my middle of the night and pronounced that I had a hole in my small intestine and sewage was leaking into my abdominal cavity. I was admitted immediately and surgery was scheduled for the next morning.

Surgery actually happened the next evening. Portions of both the large and small intestine were removed, along with the ileocecal valve that connected the two. I had a belly button to pubic hair incision, no nice neat laser for me. I was lucky to wake up without a colostomy bag. The diagnosis was Crohn's disease. My body raged with infection. I was warned that I might have fertility problems later. (You think?!?!?)

Sometime during the leakage of sewage into my abdominal cavity, or during the surgery itself, or when my body was fighting off infection, or in the weeks that followed while I healed and scar tissue formed, my oh-so-delicate, fragile, hair-like fallopian tubes were damaged. At the time, I didn't know it. And for about 4 years, I didn't care. Until hubby and I decided we wanted to have a baby.

I am one of the the lucky ones. My Crohn's disease has never really bothered me. (But I sure do miss my ileocecal valve.) I am one of the lucky ones. When 11 months of trying on our own produced no pregnancy, I was sent straight to the RE---no gyno or GP wanted to even try anything on me. I am one of the lucky ones. I suffered no blood draws and no useless tests. Only a few cycles of Femara while the first unclear HSG (RE thought one tube might be marginally functional) was redone more expensively but more clearly to reveal neither tube had any spillage. I am one of the lucky ones. I have had no false hopes and failures from months of either Clomid or IUI's. I am one of the lucky one. My straight path to IVF do-not-pass-go-do-not-collect-$200 has almost always been clear. I am one of the lucky ones. I hope by telling myself that often, I will remember it and thank God for all the blessings that I have received. . .and one day it will be true again.

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