Not a Fibroid

I dutifully trotted off to Warwick Hospital this morning in order to let the Radiologist play Hunt The Fibroid. I had complained to PhiloGynae of debilitatingly painful periods, occasional jabby-pain during sex, and tsunami-like menstrual flow – two uteri notwithstanding – and so we agreed it was worth another look-see around the old place(s). I’ve seen this Consultant Radiologist a few times before but not for a while, and we spent a little time catching up and agreeing that, what with close on 100 ultrasounds under my belt – kind of literally, too – I could probably have a fairly successful attempt at working the damn machine myself.

He hadn’t had the dildocam in place a minute before he candidly informed me that things weren’t looking right. His phraseology, in fact, was ‘There is some very clear abnormality here’. For a horrifying second or so I thought he meant I had grown some tumours, because I could see a collection of lumps on the screen.

As it turned out: I have pronounced adenomyosis in my right uterus, and a  reasonable helping of the stuff in my left, too. While not actually a major pisser on the fertility parade, it certainly won’t help. And – it seems to be found in increasing amounts in women over 35, probably because their progesterone level – ie, their fertility – is falling.

He told me frankly that the only cure for this condition is hysterectomy – was I planning any more children? I said Yes, but also that my periods have always been so dreadful that I have been happily looking forward to my eventual hysterectomy for the last 23 years. It doesn’t change my planned end game at all.

But it does change the here and the now. I am suddenly panicking and thinking that if we want another, we need to bloody get on with it before my uteri pack up completely. I’m struggling uphill here, people. I have two uteri, of which the left has a decent lining but has smugly finished off 3 foetuses and the right has crappy lining and tried its level best to exterminate Harry. I have a virtually dormant left ovary. My endocrine system appears continually up the spout. And now it appears that my uteri are trying to convolute themselves into solid lumps of rebellious bleeding muscle.

I have (possibly) ovulated 4 times this year – early February, end of March, mid May and early July – which is astonishing and unprecedented regularity for me and a comforting sign that early menopause may not actually be lurking as close as I fear. Despite the 8 silver hairs I have extracted from my head this week. 8! The other bit of bad news is that no pregnancy has resulted, and our original plan of Lets-See-What-Happens now looks a bit lame. I am 35 in February. 

But I am a lousy, lousy subject for fertility drugs. I respond quite comically contrarily, whether stimulation or downregulation be the aim, and I felt the resulting hormonal chaos played its part in extinguishing at least 2 of my 3 lost pregnancies. But (another but) I really don’t want another pregnancy in my right uterus. I want to give the left another go this time. Which does rather dictate IVF – which I swore I would never, ever do again. I don’t mind the needles or the procedures or the constant travelling, or the waiting room tedium, or any of the associated crap – I just don’t think it’s right for me and the unusual and idiosyncratic collection of organs I term my reproductive system.

So I’m sat here, head swirling, with thoughts of natural cycle IVF or IUI bobbing madly around in the current. I need to get my paws on a doctor that I can have a meaningful conversation with about what the bloody hell we do now. Consequently, I shall be asking my GP next week to refer me back to the Centre for Reproductive Medicine at Coventry; if the wait is months and not weeks I shall see one of the consultants privately to figure out a game plan, and be ready to go with actual treatment when the NHS catches us up – assuming that they’ll fund anything at all. I rather think I’ve already had my treatment allocation prior to Harry.

I’m not sure which consultant to ask for and I shall ask my Counsellor when I see her this coming Tuesday what she thinks – she still works at the unit and is more in touch with who does what these days. The chap I saw previously is a prominent and exceedingly senior Obs & Gynae – reassuring when you’re as weird as me – and is dry to the point of dessication. He did come downstairs specially to congratulate us both when we conceived Harry with no help from him whatsoever, which he absolutely didn’t have to do, so I know the chap does have a heart, though. And then there was the time he was walking past the nurses’ station and picked the incoming line up because it was ringing its tits off – another thing you don’t have to do when you’re the boss. It was obviously a wrong number – audibly an exceedingly voluble woman on the far end – and I treasure his eventual remark after the shrill squeaking subsided. “I’m afraid I am personally unable to assist you with your erroneous electricity supply final demand, as you are not, in fact, speaking to TheElectricityCompany. You are speaking to Coventry and Warwickshire University Hospital Centre for Reproductive Medicine. If you would like to get pregnant – I can help you. Otherwise, I suggest you re-dial.”

We’re back on the Merry-Go-Round, peeps.


14 Responses

  1. After that speech, I wold LOVE that doctor. Hilarious.

    I hope you have great success with all your new endeavors!

  2. My perinatologist was crazy, too. Loved that man.

    Good luck!!

  3. May the force be with you.


  4. Damn. Well, that explains the Time of the Month Pain and Bleeding Beyond All Reason. But damn. Damn damn damn. Hugs, my dear.

    My counsellor thinks your counsellor is lovely, by the way.

    Is this the same very senior gynaecologist who, ahem, can’t tell left from right? A heart and a sense of humour, though. Wonderful line. Laughed head off.

    And, like Geohde said, May the Force be with you.

  5. Oh the thought of ‘That Man’ makes me weep inside.

    Have you ever thought of trying the Priory in Brum? The treatment is much more personal, not just, “ok folks, line up, you are all having egg collection at 11.23 on a Wednesday morning when the sky is the perfect shade of blue”. It’s not attached to an NHS hosp and doesn’t feel as much of a meat conveyor belt as CRM does. I know there’s travelling to consider, but I got my head around CRM after a few trips.

    I know a great consultant (he used to work with Robert Winston) and his PA is my personal friend, so if you needed any help, please shout. Although you are probably thinking “Pah! No thanks, it didn’t work for you!).

    Might be worth comparing stats with CCRM though.

  6. I’m glad you got some answers! I hope you feel better soon. Good luck with the egg harvest!

  7. Before you consent to a hysterectomy, I highly recommend watching the HERS Foundation’s “Female Anatomy” video on their website. My periods are bad too, but I don’t want to trade them for other problems. HERS also has a book called THE H WORD, which I bought at a discount right from their site. It’s amazing. I called HERS and learned more about my fibroids from them than I did from the doctor or radiologist.

  8. He doesn’t have a bedside manner, but he has a cracking sense of humour. I say that counts for a lot (but it’s not MY stirrup-hooked legs he’s looking up, so I quite understand you may well have a different perspective on the importance of the bedside manner).

    I have a friend (ex-nurse) who is thinking of setting up an agency to train medical people to deal with patients. Since so many of them are so bad at it. I’m sure there is a huge need for that agency, but she fears (and I think she is right), that no medical practice would want to bother with the extra expense. She was thinking mostly of support staff, but I’m sure many doctors could do with a training course or two in these skills (although how would you get them to admit it?).

    I hope you find a way through all this.

  9. Sorry, that hilarious reply to the wrong number made me think of a wrong number on the voicemail at work.

    Despite the fact that the voicemail very clearly states that you are getting through to a university admissions office, someone clearly got it confused with a doctor’s office. At the prompt asking for the subject of the phone call, an older woman just kept repeating, “BAD EAR! BAD EAR!” Oh, how we laughed…

    Anyway, god all this fertility nonsense gives me the shits. Seriously. No wonder I’m just skipping merrily around the idea of kid number 2 – all the drama. Oy.

  10. Sorry about the Adenomyosis.. Sounds horrible.
    Good luck with the plan! If there’s any justice, it’ll go beautifully.

  11. Well damn! Is there anything MORE that can happen to your uteri? I’m glad you have an answer and that it’s not completely fertility-ending but I wish things were a little easier for you. Sigh.

    Good luck on the roller-coaster. I’m sending all my hope your way. I hope it all goes beautifully your way.


  12. […] on to explain that Warwick’s consultant radiologist had diagnosed some fairly nasty-looking adenomyosis last month, hence my prompt appearance in her office. She said that a laparoscopy sounded like a good idea to […]

  13. […] pain is originating from, and adenomyosis is my only remaining diagnosis. Which has been spied exactly once on an ultrasound – in the uterus that generally hurts me a good deal less than the other – […]

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