Friday, August 5, 2011

Well, If My Chart Didn't Say "Crazy" Before, It Does Now

Confession: I have not been back to the gynocologist since my hysterectomy.

I went to my post-op oncology appointment, but that was it.

My gynocologist wrote me a prescription for a year of low dose hormones, but those ran out. And I knew I couldn't get more refills without an appointment (that was long overdue) but I just couldn't bring myself to make an appointment. Just picking up the phone to call filled me with anxiety. So, I put it off.

This afternoon I finally did it. I called for an appointment.

Out of nowhere tears started streaming down my face as I did it. I really wasn't expecting that.

They wanted to know why I was making the appointment and just talking about the hysterectomy stirred stuff up in me. They realized how long it had been and commented on that. I then started babbling on about anxiety and pregnant people sitting in the waiting room. (To a fellow infertile that makes sense. I'm not sure the person on the phone had any idea what I was talking about.)

I asked if I could bring my baby to the appointment because I didn't have anywhere else for him to go. I said he could just sit in his stroller. She asked how old he was and then said it's no problem. That was the end of the conversation.

I hung up and started bawling. There was just so much emotion stirred up in me.

A minute goes by and the phone rings. I saw it was the gynocologist office so I answered it despite my crying. It was the end of the day so I didn't want to risk not being able to call them back and find out what they wanted.

It was another woman this time. She said they wanted to get a little more information as to why I was making the appointment so they knew what kind of appointment to book me for.

But I quickly realized the real reason they were calling is because I freaked them out by saying I have a 10 month old baby. (Which, in hindsight, is a little funny.)

She said "We have no record of you having a baby."

Uh, yeah, I had a hysterectomy a year and a half ago so I obviously did not give birth to my 10 month old.

Meanwhile, by the way, I am full on crying through this whole conversation, so I felt like I had to address the obvious sobs.

I told her I have a lot of anxiety about this appointment. And going back into this office will bring up a lot of old feelings. I used to go there to get pregnant. Now I have no uterus.

She said something about how I am a mother now.

Which is totally valid and I understand her perspective. But, not having been through what I have, she can't fully understand why having a baby doesn't magically make all that pain go away.

Things moved very quickly from infertility patient to cancer diagnosis and radical hysterectomy.

I have not been back there since.

We were well into the adoption process at the time I was diagnosed, but again, that didn't make it any easier.

As I cried and talked about it a little more, she really got it and said it is understandable after everything I have been through.

She asked if I wanted a new doctor, which wasn't AT ALL what I wanted. My doctor was amazing with giving me my diagnosis and talking me through all the surgery decisions when my oncologist was a self absorbed asshat.

She asked if I wanted my doctor to call me before my appointment to check in, which was an amazing offer. I really appreciated that. When my doctor called me with me diagnosis, she actually gave me her cell phone number in case I needed her. She really went above and beyond.

The way this all hit me...just from one phone call to the office...I am worried about going to this appointment. It's going to be so hard.

I feel like I have some sort of infertility post traumatic stress.


  1. You might. They were huge things, the hysterectomy...the cancer..the infertility. Know that so many of us are so proud of you and will be there with you in spirit if not body. We love you Lisa, uterus or none.

  2. I wish that I could give you a hug in person, or better yet go with you for moral support (even if you just wanted me to wait in the car). Love you <3

  3. (*HUGS*) They were huge things to deal with, and you're still dealing with them. It's totally understandable! Thinking of you, this has to be hard. I'm sorry they didn't really understand at first either :(

  4. OMG, Lisa... Since you and I are new friends, I knew nothing about this part of your history. I knew about infertility and adoption. I didn't know about cancer and the hysterectomy. Your reaction to this appointment makes complete sense. I hope your doctor is as amazing at this appointment as she has been in the past. <3

  5. Not that it's anywhere near the same thing (so please don't think I'm comparing)... but would it make you feel better to know I haven't set foot in an OB/GYN office since my last IUI, which was over four years ago? Ugh. It's been on my to-do list, too. I just can't pick up the phone.

    You're going to rock this. Think of how relieved you'll be after the appointment is done. Just a short period of yuck for lots of relief. And Jay will be there to hold your hand. And if he could, he'd say, "don't cry Mommy, I'll always be your baby, and I'm so happy that you're healthy!" :)


  6. I can totally understand about anxiety. My RE offered to keep me on as a patient to monitor my PCOS well after we decided to stop TTC.

    I didn't take him up on his offer, though I probably should. But just the thought of having to make an appointment and sit in a waiting room with a bunch of pregnant woman/teenagers is enough to put me in hysterics.

    ((((HUGS)))) Lisa

  7. While I wish I could be there to take you in person, you know we'll be tweeting you support every step you take into that office! I hope the excellent care you received before continues :)

  8. I can so relate to this. I had a tough time going to my gyn after having my miscarriage. I was so worked up that I vowed I'd never set foot in there again. I think it is a form of PTSD. Hang in there.

    Thinking of you.

  9. Aww, I just want to hug you! I'm so sorry you've been through so much. (It would be a little funny that they were concerned about your 10-month-old, but picturing you crying on the phone is too sad.) I hope your appointment goes well. We will be here to support you.

  10. I totally understand the anxiety (in a different form) and know how hard it is talking to those Drs who knew you as you went through the toughest events in your life.

    Sending you lots of love my friend. Here for you always!

  11. *hugs* *hugs* *hugs* *hugs* *hugs* *hugs*

  12. Oh, I feel this. In the thick of an IVF treatment cycle, I went to the gyno recently. Blogged about it, in fact. It was THAT noteworthy. Hugs to you.

  13. I think it very well could be some kind of PTSD - what you went through was very traumatic! What you went through has to be very tough to get over, if you ever will, and having a baby definitely does not cure you of this. I wish for you much strength for your appointment. Sending you hugs and love.

  14. I can only imagine. Anxiety is just an awful feeling. You can do it, you need to make sure you are good and healthy, so you can be the best Momma for that little man.

  15. How about taking your husband with you to the appointment. he doesn't have to be in the room for the exam, but could provide a ton of support for you.

  16. Oh, sweetie. I get it. I really do. And take Jaden. Let her coo over him. It really will make it easier.

    Keep your head up.

  17. OMG : (Deep wounds take a long time to heal and doctor's offices are notorious for being all about the meds or the procedures with total disregard for the profound psychological hurt. It's great that you broke down IMO, a good cry always helps!

  18. hey Lisa, This may sound strange, but I am really proud of you for making this call to make this appointment. I am proud of you for crying and for being so honest with the woman on the phone about your anxiety. I am proud of you for picking up the return call, when it might have been so much easier to hide in your closet. This is yet another incredible example of the strength that I see in so many of your posts. I just don't want you to feel like you have to be strong to do this all alone. Do you have a friend who could come with you? To just sit with you in the waiting room? It might help take the edge off of the whole experience. Or maybe have something special planned for after the appointment - a treat to acknowledge how significant this appointment really is. Sending you so much love and encouragement. You are one amazing chiquita!