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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Doctor, Doctor Gimme Da News

Well the day finally arrived, the one I've been waiting, obsessing over. My appointment with the surgeon who is going to remove my fibroids - Dr. L.

My appointment was for 10am this morning. V. and I went down in separate cars because I was going to be heading to work in the west end afterwards. I met V. at his company's downtown office and we went from there in the one car. Her office is at Women's College Hospital, right downtown. We got there early so I could fill out the necessary forms, only to be told that she was running late because she was downstairs with a patient. Dr. L. is more than a surgeon. She is also an OB/GYN with a large patient base. So it sounds like one of her patients had been admitted at some point and she was checking on her. In any case, our appointment was for 10, but by the time she came up and saw 3 or 4 pregnant women for their check ups (about 5 minutes per patient), it was 11am. I had mentioned to V. after I saw her call a couple that had come in after us that if she called someone else who came after us, I was going to go ask what was going. However, that wasn't necessary as she called us next.

We did the usual 20 questions for my history. (Sorry guys, TMI warning). You know, how long is my cycle, is it regular, any cramping or pain - the usual type of questions. Plus covered family history for cancer and such. We also discussed our upcoming plans, the IVF, and that we're using a donor. I mentioned that we've got the green light from the clinic and this is the only issue holding us back.

She then said that she'd read the referral letter which indicated I had one fibroid (I had been told two - more on that in a little bit) but that the ultrasound pictures hadn't been sent with the letter. But based on the limited information she had she thought she'd be able remove the fibroid(s) by laparoscopic myomectomy. Yeah! This was great news. After all, laparoscopic surgery, which is through the navel, has a recovery period of 2-3 weeks versus an abdominal myomectomy which has a recovery period of 6-8 weeks. Add onto that time a mandatory 3 month period following the recovery period to ensure that my uterus is fully healed and able to handle a pregnancy. So for me, time is of the essence.

Her next question was "when did you want to do this?" My answer of course was "as soon as possible". She's hiding her head in her hands waiting for my answer. Looks up and says "you're not going to like the date I'm going to tell you". Remember, she's got an extremely busy practice. V. says "August?". She didn't actually confirm that verbally but said "we can book you in and then move you up if there's a cancellation". She gave us an option to have a colleague of hers perform the surgery because he could probably do it next month. She thought his schedule was more open because many women wouldn't want a man performing the surgery. Personally, I didn't care (although I really liked her) I just wanted it done. However, V. was shaking his head and said to schedule it with her. Just a feeling he had. I've learned to listen to him when he gets these feelings. So, she calls her assistant to ask her what the next available surgical date was. She finds out that there was just a cancellation and we're booked for July 11th! Yippee!!

Because she didn't have the ultrasound pictures, I don't think she felt comfortable asking me to go through the process again. I think she was going to ask the other doctor who referred us to send them. However, I told her it was fine. I didn't mind. After all, I've had a very close relationship with the dildo-cam over the past two years. She laughed and said she'd never heard that name for the ultrasound wand. I was amazed considering how many people I've heard refer to it as that, or a cooter-wand or other such names. In any case, we wanted to get them done asap so as to get this all moving along. So we go up to reception to get the order written for the lab across the street for the abdominal and pelvic ultrasound for the fibroid mapping. This will provide her with their location, size and type. I also found out that should another cancellation come up that moves the date up even closer, I'll get a call. Keep your fingers crossed for that.

V. and I head down to the main floor. Once we get there V. remembers that we forgot to ask about validation for parking. I head back up to get the ticket stamped. We then headed over to the lab expecting to be waiting an hour before they could see us since I was a walk-in. I was hoping for a short wait because I had to pee from the wait so far. But I knew I couldn't do anything about that yet. When you get an ultrasound, they need your bladder relatively full as it shows off ones ovaries more clearly. Anyway, the wait was about a half hour before I was called - not bad really. For anyone who has had a baby, they know about the ultrasound and the full bladder. Invariably, the ultrasound technician is pressing down right on your bladder. Sure she moves the wand around your belly, but there's little relief until she says "go empty your bladder" . During the entire exam she's talking to the monitor. When she told me I was going to hear her talking to the monitor, I did ask her if it ever talked back. I know, me bad. :)

The entire exam took about a half hour, abdominal ultrasound, pelvic ultrasound, and kidneys. I asked her why scan the kidneys but because she was soft spoken with an eastern european accent I didn't really hear her reply. I believe it was to ensure the doctor was not confusing the kidneys with something in the uterus, but I'm not sure.

In any case, I asked her if she could tell me how many she saw. I knew that I couldn't ask her anything else because they won't say. They leave that up to the doctor. She did say that she saw three. Three!! I've now been told one, two and three. She did say two were small and one was very small. Anyway, they will send the results to Dr. L. within 3-4 business days. I'll be getting a call from Dr. L.'s office to schedule an appointment in a week or so to come in and discuss the results and confirm if she's able to do the surgery laparoscopically.

Once we were done there it was 1pm. Even if I ate lunch while driving to work, I still wouldn't get to the office until 2pm. As V. said, did it really make sense to go all that way for 3 hours? I had sent my manager a message from my blackberry letting him know that the doctor had requested tests and I didn't know how long it was going to take. Once I decided it made no sense to travel out to the office, I sent him a message letting him know that I would work from home for the rest of the day.

V. and I headed to the car so I could drop him back to the office. Thank god I went back up to get the parking ticket validated. Saved us $9.50!!! Parking at the hospital is a frickin' $3.50 for every half hour to a maximum of $21.00. By the time we ended up leaving, it was almost 3 hours for the morning. We paid $12.00. That's what you get for having to park in downtown Toronto.

Anyway, that's it for now. I'll let you know the next steps when I find out.

For those that want to know more about uterine fibroids and how they are removed click here. Warning, there are photographs from a laproscopic myomectomy.

According to what I heard the ultrasound tech saying during the exam, it sounds like mine are subserosal and intramural. This is a good thing as they tend to be removed laparoscopically.

2 comments:

HomeFireBlue said...

Over from Tertia's.

I have no experience with fibroids but I finally overcame my infertility at age 37 and had my first baby at 38 (currently TTC at age 42), so I wanted to whip out my pompons and start cheering for you!

Great blog and good luck!!

-Blue

Pam said...

Thanks, Blue and welcome. Good luck yourself.