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Archive for October, 2009

Last week, in the midst of a rush of business travel, I managed to sign myself up for the most expensive voluntary medical test ever…

Well, that’s probably not true, healthcare being in its current state of demise, but $3400+ was astonishing enough to send me scurrying back to my health insurance to pay whatever ungodly co-pay and percentage commanded of me just to lop the head off that one. Sheesh.

It’s all madness of course, this search to eliminate variables. It’s┬ácalled an HSG test and it’s all about finding out if the tubes are open. If they’re not, the egg could be doing its darndnest to get out of the ovaries and find it just has nowhere to go. Bad traffic. So they fill you full of iodine and see if it comes out the other end (of the tubes). It’s about as technical as cleaning out gutters. Probably less so, actually.

Still, I was petrified. This room was rather technical and scary looking:

extremely welcoming

extremely welcoming

Those things at the end of the table are not sock puppets, in case you were wondering. So the least comfortable thing about this test turns out to be scootching down the table once the speculum’s in place so your belly’s under that beige thing, all the while a balloon is suctioned to the end of your cervix filling you with iodine. No, not you. Me.

I had the presence of mind to take a couple of Midol beforehand. Highly recommended.

It didn’t hurt and everyone was nice and it turns out I’m Normal! Yay! Although I couldn’t help but notice that the fluid took longer to fill the tube on the left, and that’s the one that would have helped me get pregnant on that last go-around. Apparently it can have mild and brief Fertility Enhancing Powers, cleaning out “cellular debris.”

Yes, they let me watch. The whole time. Probably to distract me from the discomfort. It took a while, actually. It was fascinating but also tense to realize that the show was powered by my torso being x-rayed somewhat continuously. Apparently it’s A Lot Less Radiation Than It Used To Be, which is hardly comforting since I wasn’t around for the early days of this test, dating back to the 50s or something. For anyone intrigued enough to want to do this herself, they say a radiologist is better at it than a gyn. Less painful, I can’t remember why. I went to the one the fertility clinic signed me up for.

Here’s the result:

yes, that squashed uterus is normal!

yes, that squashed uterus is normal!

Don’t ask me where that R came from, it wasn’t the focus of our study. Just ignore it. Or submit interpretations… meanwhile I’ll ponder, will my child learn to read in utero? What an advantage we’d have over all the other zygotes!

Okay, for real now, I’ll interpret. First, to orient you, if you stand back a bit you can see my coccyx running ghostly down the center of the image, and my leg bone fitting into my pelvis on the bottom left. Equal parts creepy and cool. Then that bright part at the bottom center is the something suctioned to the base of my cervix, feeding the iodine into my uterus. And the black is the iodine illuminating the interior of things. The uterus is lying down on the job (figures) and there are very thin lines extending from its ears. Those are the fallopian tubes. They’re all twisty and longer than I expected, and they took their time filling up. Where they end, the iodine goes floating out into the nothingness that is my cavity of organs, where it apparently ends up as pee. So all that curly dark fluid is iodine that made its escape, roto-rooting my tubes on its way. Extremely technical, I know. But good news, both tubes are open!

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