Life keeps getting in the way of blogging! But I decided to start making some time. Like a pre-new years resolution. So to start off I’m getting back to my timeline. I have many many months to get through.
In November of last year, after seeing the fertility doc and completing the obligatory visits to the lab vampires I was scheduled for the dreaded hysterosalpingogram a.k.a the HSG. Recently a friend of mine had to go through one as well – she asked me how bad it was and I didn’t have the heart to tell her it was a painful and humiliating procedure and she should consider running the other direction… so instead I told her: “it’s not so bad!”. She wasn’t shy about calling me out on my lie after her procedure.
Way back then, last Novembr when the good doctor told me what was involved I immediately started plotting a panic attack in my head. I would have to go to the hospital where they would stick a long skinny catheter up my cervix and into my uterus. After this they would inject a bunch of dye and take pictures of my innards to make sure everything was open and normal in appearance. This sounded God awful.
Despite the fact that I am a doctor, I will admit I am every gynecologist’s worst nightmare. I believe speculums were made as instruments of torture by a sadistic male gynecologist who truly hated women. I believe he twisted his mustache and cackled as he created this torture device. Yes, I am aware speculum exams and pap smears have reduced the incidence of cervical cancer in the modern world but can’t we find a better way to do that with all this technology we have now? The HSG was like someone telling me I was going to have the supersized version of a PAP smear. Panic, panic, panic.
Lucky for me, God and a good pharmacist created something that would help me survive the HSG and many other uncomfortable things in life – Valium. Good old reliable valium – my trusty friend, the crutch I could lean on, my happy happy pill.
We arrived at the hospital the day of the procedure and took the elevator all the way down to the lower basement – same direction as hell. How appropriate. I put on my pretty blue hospital gown and did the death march towards a makeshift waiting room where my husband was waiting for me. It was there I gulped down the valium and waiting with anticipation.
About 30 minutes of waiting later (the doc was running late) – I didn’t have a care in the world. And suddenly…timber! My head crashed onto my husband’s shoulder. That valium – it’s like magic. I tried to convince him with slurred speech that I was still extremely anxious and that I needed more valium. Good thing he had his wits about him, another dose of valium and I would have been snoring on the floor.
My name was finally called and there started the death march anthem in my head again. Dead girl walking (a kind of crooked walk thanks to my buddy Valium), down the dark hall towards for my not-so lethal injection of dye into my uterus. Once in the room my feelings about the procedure were not made any more comforting. There was a metal slab of a table I was told to lie on. This really was like death!! I kept thinking – more valium. Need more valium.
The procedure itself was fast but hateful and I was a hot squirmy mess. Bright side: it was normal. So my husband dragged my sleepy ass home and I slept the afternoon away.
Surely the next procedure would be less painful… right? I should know I am always wrong about these things.