Delayed Eviction

Thank you for your lovely words and kind wishes.

I’m still here. I feel tired, wretched and poorly, and haven’t the energy to do anything after Harry-wrangling except stare listlessly at the screen before heading toward another early bed, into which I collapse like a mighty tree-trunk afflicted with Dutch elm disease, oak leaf roller moth, red band needle blight, great spruce bark beetles, AND savage axe-wounds.

I saw my lovely consultant in her lunch hour yesterday, for which I had to pay, as my pregnancy was officially Nothing To Do with her NHS clinic, which evidently has a waiting list of Horrendous. I haven’t had a bill yet, but I feel she’s worth the dollar.

‘That’s really NOT fair!’ she exclaimed, when I told her it was all over bar the shouting. I nodded vehemently.

I wasn’t really expecting to discover anything on the scan. I didn’t seem to be very far along, I’d been bleeding and cramping heavily, and my peesticks had gone awful faint. Strictly speaking, reading them within the recommended time window, I was absolutely and totally un-pregnant.

Consultant has never scanned me before, so I have to give the lady full credit for the lightning-like speed with which she oriented herself, and instantaneously announced that the pregnancy was ‘definitely, 100%’ located in my right uterus.

‘Score one to me,’ I remarked, drily, marking on an imaginary scoreboard.

(It’s doing exactly this sort of thing that earns me a reputation for being exceedingly odd.)

I have an 8.2mm sac still in residence in Cameron, albeit empty of any sign of life; the several areas of echogenicity previously flagged up as likely adenomyosis were obstinately lurking in there too. Blair has produced its usual decidual reaction and, despite the heavy bleeding to date, there’s a helluva lot more of it to come. Awesome.

Consultant thought that Cameron looked like a ‘fabulous’ uterus, especially now she is significantly increased in size post partum. I was obliged to pull a face and inform her that my son might vociferously disagree with her.

Back in the office, she announced that – and I can’t do justice to her wonderful accent and exclamatory intonation – ‘I have made my decision! I would like to put you on heparin and aspirin. Straightaway! From now!’

‘Oh! Erm. Good? It’s just… there’s this thing with my heart… I keep getting palpitationy arrythmia thingies which are probably nothing at all but they’re a bit… worrying. Is that going to be… ok?’

Cue much quizzing on what, actually, WAS the nature of the matter with my back-to-frontness – which I couldn’t answer, because I don’t know if it flows the wrong way around, is completely flipped, or just tangled and twisted around a bit. She said that a cardiology opinion was requisite, both in terms of how my heart weirdness is likely to affect – or, likely, not – my general health, but also in terms of conception, pregnancy, and my forthcoming laparoscopy. Once I’d seen a cardiologist, I should start anti-coags. I told her that my GP seemed pretty relaxed about it all, but that I was sure he would refer me if I really twisted his arm, whereupon she told me in no uncertain terms that he couldn’t possibly object, ‘he won’t even query it!’, that a cardiology workup was absolutely necessary, that I should look on the internet to find the best cardiologist locally and ensure I was referred to him, and that there would not be a problem, at all, with my GP.

I held my tongue. An appointment with my GP’s a tough gig.

I asked about our recurrent miscarriage investigations, which were done back in 2006. She scoured my records – I began to feel as if I was really getting my money’s worth around now – and elicited that my Factor 5 Leiden has never been done. My lupus has, but she arranged a repeat of the thrombophilias in any case, to be taken once the pregnancy has fully departed.

‘Lovely hormones!’ she remarked, peering closely at the screen. God only knows what ancient test results she was looking at, but my mood swings and chaotic ovulation would dearly like to call her out on that one.

She insisted, once she had seen my stubborn resident sac, on taking a beta HCG, despite my assuring her that it would be quite ridiculously low. If I had to put money on it, and judging from my intense study of the pseudo-science of peesticks, I’m guessing it’ll come back around the low teens. In any event, if it comes back below 50, I get to avoid a 62 mile round trip in order to repeat it. 

We talked about weight – again – and I explained that her scales had been pretty optimistic, to the point of actual inaccuracy, and that I actually had over two stone to lose. Bless the woman, she looked absolutely crushed with vicarious disappointment, and said lots of nice, encouraging things. I never got around to telling you that I’d had an absolutely lovely letter from her following the previous clinic appointment that had incensed me so much (upon re-reading that post, I see that I expressed myself about as badly as usual. My frustration was predominantly directed at NHS incompetence and my own sad inability to shed the pounds. I was, not very far beneath the indignation, crossly aware that I must, to my own detriment, have somehow snuck under her FAT! PATIENT! radar first time around, as opposed to falling a tragic victim of moving podgy goalposts.) emphasizing that there was now an increased anaesthesia risk (heart) and that she was absolutely confident I would be shedding the required weight in jig time. She said it all again, and was as sympathetic about the horrors of excess tonnage as a woman with a fabulous, gym-honed body can be, but let us stop this comparison woe. We agreed that Ann must diet.

So, I left, feeling rather thrown by the clinging sac and – particularly – the prospect of daily injections for rest of my child-bearing life. I’ve self-injected as much as the next addict IVF veteran, and needles hold no fear, precisely – I refused to use the cartridge-thing to depress the plunger, in any event – but I’m not precisely grinning about the prospect, either. However, I accept I’m presenting a reasonable case for pre-gestation anticoagulant therapy, what with 3 out of my 5 pregnancies being Surprise! ones – and I’m puzzled, in retrospect, why I wasn’t prescribed them during my troubled pregnancy with Harry.

Speaking of Harry, I arrived at his nursery to find that he was just as savagely grumpy and Totally-Coming-Down-With-Something as he had been during the morning, only now with an extra helping of exhaustion. He ended up a screaming thrashing heap on the floor 3 times between the school door and my car, located, due to School Fabulous’s nightmare parking, half a street away. Grappling with his struggling form in the middle of the road, in full view of about 25 waiting minibuses and taxis, I became horribly aware that the wanding of my cervi an hour before had provoked… tsunami. Convinced that I had just visibly miscarried the fluid equivalent of a entire bloodbank all over my trousers, I made a herculean effort and rammed a loudly-grieving Harry highly unceremoniously into his car seat before scurrying into cover in the driver’s seat. Surreptitious investigations revealed that I had, in fact, merely expelled a large quantity of ultrasound gel over my clothing instead.

Two hours later, I lugged a sleepy, hot, hysterically distraught and sensory-overloaded toddler down to the GP. He had some cream promptly prescribed for his eczema, which had flared horribly overnight; the school nurse had rang me to discuss the awful state of his lacerated back (Harry had attacked himself with determined nails earlier that morning) as I left the hospital, which didn’t improve my sense of self any. I then immediately presented Harry with books he hadn’t seen for a while to keep him quiet while I discussed the Heart Thing in peace.

It failed. The book ploy, the discussion, everything. Harry screamed so loudly I could barely make myself coherent, and threw himself around the room in protest. GP, as I fully expected, thought that my heart was Fine, and I was Fine, and heparin would be Fine, and my palpitations were almost certainly just Fine muscle spasms. I explained – I think I explained – that it was bugging me, and Consultant wanted it Looked At. He said he would ‘write to the heart people’ to arrange for me to be hooked up to a heart monitor for a bit – I assume, days? – and see what the machine made of my palpitty things, which are pretty frequent. He said ‘they might want to see you first’.

Gah. I know when I’m outmanoeuvered. And I probably AM merely another manifestation of GP’s ubiquitous Worried Well.  Harry was heaving on my hand with all his might, trying to remove me from the room, so I let him take me – returning only to grab a prescription for hefty amounts of codeine, which GP handed over like an obedient lamb. We came home. We both went to bed.

I picked Harry up from School Fabulous today – which he loves with all his toddlery heart – to find his little classmate lay motionless, unresponsive on the nursery floor. Some members of staff and his mother, a friend of mine, were crouched over him; she was calm, but I saw her pallor. I enquired, briefly, if I could do anything to help. She told me no, they were good, but that she wouldn’t be able to make our coffee date next week. An ambulance was on its way. The last I heard from her, 4 hours later, he was still in Resus.

I keep seeing his tiny, still form lying on the floor. His mother’s stricken face. As with so many of the things in this life that I wish I’d never seen, it reminds me that my own burden is not, comparatively, very heavy at all.

20 Responses

  1. My poor girl. On it drags, and on.

    Your gyne sounds like a honey (and yes, she could be in her mid-30s or so) but your GP sounds like an arse. What chance is there that some time – when you have the strength and will-power – you could side-step him and start seeing someone else?

    Courage, ma brave. It sucks, but you are doing so well.


    • Our GP… sigh. Well, he’s probably a clever chap. A dozen years ago, he figured out my didelphys immediately – as a comparatively very young physician, too – where lots of others had failed. He said nothing about the miscarriage this time around – that I coukld hear above the screaming, anyhow – but has said Exactly the Right Thing to me in the past, which is not an easy note to strike.

      I’ve walked out of that surgery muttering about his stubborn refusal to administer antibiotics – and felt better the next day, exactly when he said I would.

      I darkly admire his doctoring. It’s not fluffy.

      For the record, I actually think my heart is fine. I’m symptomless for heart disease. He’s listened hard to it, more than once.

      But… yes. He just Didn’t Get It At All. Perhaps I explained my Consultant badly.
      The circs were, admittedly, noisy & horrid!

  2. comparatively I’m a helium balloon….
    Sorry about the tsunamis, whatever their colour. Hope that spring will help with a little sunshine.

  3. Don’t know really what comment would be helpful to leave, but just want you to know that I’ve been reading your stuff.

  4. I can’t imagine how hard this all is, no matter how well you describe it. I can, however, and do greatly admire your resolve to pursue all things medical, and I do hope your systems get sorted out once and for all. Despite the scans, I am quite certain your heart’s in the right place, and surely that counts for much.

  5. I wish things were getting easier instead of more difficult.

    It sounds like your GP has not been able to grasp the whole picture. But as long as he does your bidding…

  6. Ring your consultant, get that heart appointment, your gp will understand, if you had been harry free you would have been able to explain properly and made a much better job of it.

  7. Here to say: what fun. Not. Thinking of you.

    And also, to admire your sense of humour in tagging ‘Uteri say No’ – are you sure Cameron shouldn’t be called Paisley?

  8. Uh! I hate it when the medics don’t agree. I’d like to stick them in a lift together and not let them out till they agree.

    Such a pity that Poorly Sick has to be such a common category in your list – just after Demented Poultry. (which – ? Intriguing!) Some day, when there’s justice, Wifey won’t be poorly any more.

  9. Uggh – wish the GP had been more cooperative. Its not like it costs him anything to refer you. Hope the monitoring referral ends up getting you to the cardiologist anyway.

  10. Gah. I hate hate hate trying to have conversations with physicians with screaming children in the room. Shortly after Dee was born and I was visiting my darling OB after nearly bleeding to death, etc etc, and Dee was in the midst of 6 weeks of colicky screaming ALL THE TIME and could NOT be comforted my doc, bless her heart, pawned my demon spawn off onto one of her nurses to pace up and down the hallway so we could have a calm(er) conversation with the shreiking muffled through the door. I remember this fondly 4.5 years later.

    Oh yes. ANN’S blog, not mine.

    I hope Blair is able to step up as soon as possible.

  11. Sounds like you are in danger of slipping between the gaps left by different medical opinions. Get every referral you can. And good luck.

  12. OK, now that sucks. All of it, sucks (except the bit where Harry loves School Fabulous).

    I know, I know, it’s Lambing Time, but I do wish someone could’ve come to the GP with you for Harry Shhhhhing Purposes. Or make notes for you. Whole GP visit most unsatisfactory. *sigh*

    As for Harry’s little classmate, my blood ran cold. Oy vey. What is it with the Universe and the Stalinist lessons in perspective this month? I hate March. March is horrible. T.S. Eliot was out by four weeks.

  13. Oh lovey. How exhausting for you. That just sucks and sucks and then it blows.
    Re the remembering thing. You probably know all this already, but I read a book where a guy had a hideous prognosis on some illness, and every time he went to see someone he couldn’t concentrate, so he took a tape recorder in with him. He taped every chat, transcribed it, and then wrote down everything he wanted to ask/say etc and just kept going back until he got what he wanted. Do you think a tape recorder thingy might work?

  14. Oh, I am so very sorry. I don’t get to read as often as I would like and it was a blow to find out today that things had gone pear. Again.



  15. An ear infection on top of all this? No fair. None of this is any fair. I hereby offer to forge you your referrals.

  16. My heart aches for you and for Harry’s classmate.

    I say sic the consultant on the GP, even if he is smart. Harry or no, he should have listened to you more carefully; and I want him to hear that in no uncertain terms from someone whose medical qualifications are superior to his, even. But maybe I am overreacting because he is reminding me of Harry’s pediatrician who seems to have strung you out with “everything’s fine” for FOREVER.

    I am really glad that Harry loves School Fabulous, though!

  17. Ugh. Truly. Except for the lovely consultant, a small bright spot in a dark sky.

    I hope Harry’s classmate is doing better. When the going is rough, I do try to remember to think of all the horrible burdens that I DON’T carry, but knowing that things aren’t worse doesn’t lessen the load that you DO carry. Be kind to yourself, when the universe isn’t. Sending hugs.

  18. I completely agree with Sliene. Of course others have it worse than us, but our burden can feel pretty heavy at times.

    I’m sorry there is so much to deal with here. Would writing it down help – everything you want to say and all the questions you have? And using it as a prompt, maybe role playing with one of us in advance to get your story straight?

  19. Thinking of you.

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