If any of you think you know who I am - please do not read on and rather don't read any of my posts - I am putting too much very personal information here. But, if I am still just an unidentified blogger - this is the story of why I beat myself up.
Several years ago, I was having mild pain. Nothing bad, but knowing what I know, I got an ultrasound. I watched as they were doing it and knew enough to see that there was something odd - something that even to my eye did not look quite right. The reading was a small corpus luteum cyst versus solid mass but they recommended MRI to further evaluate. Impossible for a corpus luteum I thought, I was on the pill. You can't have a corpus luteum if you're ovulation is blocked by pills. So I got worried - really worried.
Then came the MRI. Definitive diagnosis was dermoid which is a solid ovarian tumor usually with skin tissues, fat, hair and sometimes teeth. Pretty easy to diagnose, but I never asked to look at the images. I trusted the radiologist and my surgeon.
So I had a full exploratory laparotomy at her suggestion. No laparoscopy or mini-lap for me. Nope - big old incision with great big healing time. But I trusted her so went through with it. I knew then that leaving a dermoid alone would probably not be good for future fertility, and if I did need ovulation induction that nobody would want to stimulate an ovary with a dermoid on it.
Problem was, they went in, and nothing was there. Polycystic ovary, but no dermoid. So my surgeon did what surgeons do - she went looking for it. Split open the ovary, dug out some follicles, sent some tissue to path and closed me up.
The recovery was hard and a definite lesson in what I make my patients endure, but it was especially hard to think that it was unnecessary. I slowly got better and made my peace with it. Just moved forward with a stomach that doesn't quite look like it used to.
That was until the infertility. For my baseline sono, my previously operated on ovary is less than half the size as the other and seems to be scarred way up out of its normal placement. I was frustrated to see this, but didn't worry about it too much - after all, I still had a little stump there and there was a whole other side to get pregnant from!
That was until the HSG. Only one tube open. Other could have been spasmed or blocked by scar tissue - but here's the kicker - the open tube is on the side of my gimpy ovary. I cried when I had the hsg, cried in the car, cried at home and just kept crying. Days turned into weeks and I was just a little quivering puddle. Why did I let myself have the surgery? Why didn't I look at the scan knowing what I know? Why . . . why . . . why?
My REI just kept telling me that you only need part of one ovary and one tube and that it can work, and maybe after all the other was just spasmed. I have tried to believe but the reality is I am already working with the PCOS and to have anatomic issues on top is a lot more to overcome than just ovulation.
So of course through all of this it turns out that my normal ovary ovulates a lot better than the gimp, and of course the other day the new single follicle again was on the normal ovary/blocked tube side. They have offered me another hsg, but I am not sure what it would change. Its a lot of pain for no change in decision making and it doesn't make the cost of IVF any less prohibitive.
In retrospect I have run the scenario in my head a thousand times, and would have probably made the same decisions faced with the same information. My biggest regret is that I went looking in the first place. I should have just ignored it and moved forward but the paranoia got to me first. Its also difficult to take that as a lesson for the future. How do you not overanalyze the situation at hand? Infertility is part medical, part emotional, part luck and is the single item that keeps me from having the life I have envisioned. How do I not think about that? How do I not read too much into each scan? How am I ever supposed to relax about this and let go of the guilt?
I think the answer is that I won't relax and I won't forgive myself until infertility is just a part of my past and not my present. As much as I want to make peace with this as a process, every ultrasound will always be a reflection of how I screwed up no matter logically that I know I didn't.
And with that - on to the next one tomorrow - go go gimp ovary.