October 04, 2010

Survived the Biopsy

Apparently I should have researched the endometrial biopsy process a bit before undergoing it.

I was thinking that it involved literally snipping some of the uterine lining out, much like the sudden, sharp pain felt when a dermatologist uses that little tool to cut a chunk of skin out of your arm/leg/back/wherever to make sure it isn't skin cancer. At least, I assume it's a sudden, sharp pain, given the face R makes when it happens. Fortunately I haven't had occasion to undergo that particular form of torture.

Anyway, based on that assumption, I showed up to the appointment this afternoon more freaked out about a procedure than any other time I can remember in the last decade or so.

It wasn't fun, but fortunately it also wasn't as horrible as I imagined it to be.

Actually, for the first bit of tissue that local RE took, I just felt a little bit of mild cramping. Had the process stopped there, I would have classified it as "no big deal at all". But I'm having two tests done - the integrin-B (I think that's what it's called, too lazy to look it up at the moment), which RE is doing, and NK cell testing, which RI is doing.

Which meant that I had to have two bits of tissue removed, instead of just one. While the second bit was being removed, that was more like "lay in your bed moaning about really bad menstrual cramps" kind of pain. But I did a lot of deep breathing, and clearly I survived.

As soon as the second one was done, I took my feet out of the stirrups and sat up (probably subconsciously thinking that if I was in an upright position, he couldn't take any more tissue even if he wanted to).

Then he started to ask me about how many embryos we have, what protocol we used, what our next steps are. (Even though he's the RE I do all of my local monitoring with, so we've already covered this ground.)

But I tried to answer the questions anyway, and then I realized that my own voice was starting to sound a little bit distant and hazy and the room was starting to sway. Suddenly in the middle of a sentence about our protocol, I announced, "I think I'm going to pass out."

Fortunately I didn't, but they did have me lay back down and stay there for about 15 minutes. I don't usually get dizzy, and I've never fainted in my life, but I guess I had just stressed myself out about this so much that I got a little lightheaded with relief once it was over.

Oh, and after it was over, I found out that the tissue doesn't actually get cut out - some cells are sucked out with a pipette. If I would have realized that beforehand, I probably wouldn't have been so freaked out to begin with.


lastchanceivf said...

Glad you survived! I remember looking at my tissue in the pipette, and then in the specimen cup, which they then threw away...because we weren't using the tissue for anything, just injuring it for injury sake. It looked like a worm, which is exactly what CCRM told me they wanted it to look like--oh the things we put ourselves through!

Libby said...

Well, good, that's over with! I hope the results give you some answers that are helpful.

I'm going to have to be more observant from now on because I don't remember what instruments were used for my biopsies. I tend to get nervous and space out and then can't remember too much.

BTW, thanks for sharing about the dexamethasone. They added it to my drug order but didn't tell me why. What you said makes sense in my situation, so maybe I should be a bit excited that they are thinking outside the box :)

mara said...

Yay! Glad you survived, too! I'm glad you didn't pass out. I was worried I would after my 2nd endometrial biopsy too. Definitely not fun, but I'm glad it's over for you. And you're right - why does a pipette seem so much better than cutting the tissue?

Thanks for your comment about Zoloft and anxiety on my blog! You made me feel a lot better about things, whichever way I go - which is pretty awesome. :)

pipette said...

Pasteur Pipettes: These are made of glass so that one can get a clear view of the liquid being transferred. They are reusable with the pasteurization process that is affected for cleaning.