November 02, 2005

HSG Hilarity

The adoption thing left R and I feeling like a 10,000-pound truck drove over our hearts while wearing studded tires. So, we've decided to get back in line for the infertility treatment rollercoaster for now.

That means IVF for us, which also means an HSG for me.

I’d heard horror stories about HSGs, so I was feeling a fair amount of dread about needing to have one done.

One co-worker in particular described it as being so painful that she had an out-of-body experience and could actually look down and see herself laying on the ultrasound table. Now, this is one tough lady who I believe has a fairly high tolerance for pain. I, on the other hand, have practically no tolerance for pain, so this was not boding well.

But oh what a difference 600 mg of Advil and 10 mg of Valium can make. Others had mentioned that taking painkillers and being prescribed a tranquilizer can help, so I asked the nurse at the clinic for a prescription.

She originally wanted to give me 5 mg of Valium, but at one point it looked like Dr. Witch was going to be performing the HSG, so the nurse agreed to up the dose. We figured that at best, it would make me not mind so much that the RE doing the procedure is one I would prefer never come within 10 feet of me, and at worst, it would make me practically unconscious, in which case I really wouldn’t give a whit about who was shooting dye up my nether region.

It worked out that my RE, Dr. Mellow, was able to do the HSG after all. But I still took the 10 mg of Valium, just for good measure.

The bad thing about Valium is that it tends to make me act a little bit like the nitrous oxide I used to get sometimes as a kid at the dentist’s office – almost everything anyone says seems outrageously hilarious.

It turns out that that, combined with the fact that Dr. Mellow has a dry sense of humor that matches my own, is not a particularly good combination when I’m laying on the ultrasound table with a speculum shoved up my hoo-ha and Valium coursing through my bloodstream.

Dr. Mellow made a comment. I don’t think it was something he intended to be funny, but in my drug-induced state, I couldn’t help but start to laugh. Then I felt the speculum bouncing up and down inside me. I laughed even harder. Dr. Mellow gently encouraged me to stop laughing. It produced the opposite effect of what he was hoping for.

He informed me a bit tersely that the speculum was about to come out. I managed to get myself under control, at least briefly. There was another moment of unintended, speculum-bouncing humor a little further into the procedure, but fortunately it didn’t last long.

The verdict on my tubes wasn’t quite such a laughing matter, but it was ok. Uterus, looks good. Left tube, looks good, spilled quickly. Right tube, furrowed brow. It eventually spilled, but not as quickly as Dr. Mellow would have liked. He said something about it looking a bit like a sausage at the end near the ovary.

DH lucked out on all the HSG drama. I had wanted him in there so I’d have a hand to squeeze, ahem, crush, if it got painful, but because of the radiation from the X-rays, they wouldn’t let him come in. And I was in too jovial a mood from the Valium to push the issue like I normally would have.

Even though he didn’t get to see the procedure, he heard parts of it. “That was you laughing in there?” he asked a bit incredulously as I stumbled down the hall, still a little overly relaxed.

Hey, at least for once I walked out of there laughing instead of crying.