the hostile environment

We drove to Lincoln two days later. It was really odd checking in to a medical facility that did not want my insurance card (nothing is free in life-especially medical care!). Because it was a stronger MRI machine, it was so hot! I felt on fire while I was in there, enough so it was difficult to sit still but I kept thinking, “we need good pictures, we need good pictures”.

After the tech was done he took us directly to the Radiologist’s office (the one I previously mentioned that I used to work with several years prior). We sat with him in a dark room with multiple computer monitors looking at my uterus. At my ONLY uterus! The other thing he was worried about was that there was a septum, an extra piece of tissue at the bottom of the uterus that was maybe causing some sort of weird issue but on the stronger MRI he thought he was able to rule that out. What was present, though was a softball size fibroid in the front of my uterus. SOFTBALL. SIZE. Are you freaking kidding me? How many ultrasounds had I had? How many vaginal exams had I had? Didn’t they feel that during my surgery after Noelle? I mean, seriously. SOFTBALL. SIZE. In addition, there were “many” other fibroids. He thought (but there was no way to be sure without literally going in to look directly) they all were intramural in nature, basically meaning inside of the uterine lining itself but not in the uterus. Three babies into this journey and we were just discovering this. Our frustration was enormous.

Our results were sent to the specialist in Denver and we were told he was willing to do a phone consult….with payment up front. His receptionist called, took my debit card info, put me on hold, and voila. He was on the line and all ours. He explained that he believed it was unlikely that, although impressive, they were a culprit in our issues. If we were to have a successful pregnancy, however they’d definitely have to go! They could impede on the baby’s growth because of their size.

Now, I am not an OB/GYN. I am a simple family practice gal but I had in my mind that it most certainly could be an issue. The size of the largest one, in itself, had to be taking up blood flow from my uterus. Blood=nutrition. Plus they felt that the center of the softball was necrotic, or dead. I don’t know-just kind of made me think of my uterus as a hostile environment. This couldn’t be good for any baby. It was also nice to have a reason (at least I thought this was the reason) why I have been hurting during the 3rd week of my cycle since I turned about 30.

The specialist recommended removal but stated we needed to go in to surgery with eyes-wide-open. These were some big dudes and may be difficult to remove and with this type of surgery comes a time of recovery when conception CANNOT happen. Incisions into the uterus increase its risk for rupture which is, of course, life-threatening to both Mama and Babe. If they could remove them laparscopically this would be ideal and we would only have to wait 3 months to conceive but if they had to do an open surgery, 6 months. The kicker….no one would know until during the surgery. He recommended a surgeon that was known for being very successful with removing large masses laparscopically. A lot of surgeons will automatically go straight to an open procedure with the size of my masses so we needed someone willing to at least try with a morcellator. He also wanted someone to do a hysteroscopy while removing the fibroids just to be sure there was no septum or other abnormality inside of the uterus.

Once again we were on the road to Denver and saw a new specialist at the Advanced Women’s Health Institute. It felt like a private-owned clinic, very personable. He looked at my MRI, did a quick ultrasound and vaginal exam, declaring I felt about 12 weeks pregnant (thanks softball!) and said he was willing to tackle our case. He could make no promises but he would give it his best….and, he got me scheduled quickly! We would be heading back to Denver within a few weeks!

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