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Saturday, December 12, 2009

7dpIUI, Way Too Much of My Medical History

Today is 7dpIUI#2 and my temperature went up a little. Of course, that really means nothing at this point, but now that I'm in week 2 of the 2ww, I'm going to be over-analyzing every little thing from now until beta-day!

I know it's still early for pregnancy related symptoms, but I have had what I assume are non-pregnancy related symptoms. Ever since the IUI I've been having pain, discomfort and cramping all through my lower abdomen. Sometimes on the left or right, as if it's ovary related, but mostly in the middle. Last night it was worse than usual. I was awake at 4am with this feeling like someone had implanted a brick in my lower abdomen - it felt uncomfortably bloated down there, and painful. When I pressed on my abdomen, below my belly button, it hurt. I've had these symptoms before, mostly 1-2 days post-ovulation. I doubt this is any sort of early pregnancy sign or implantation related pain. I think it's probably a sign that something's not working right down there.

I guess now's as good a time as any to relate some of my medical history leading up to our current situation. About 3 years ago I started feeling "full" a lot. The best way to describe it is a feeling like, even when I hadn't eaten recently, my stomach was "bigger than normal," and when I did eat, after just a few bites, even though I was still hungry, my stomach felt so bloated and distended it was like I'd just had thanksgiving dinner. I stopped being able to eat an entire sandwich in one sitting. I could eat maybe half a sandwich, but I'd have to wait an hour or even two before I could eat the other half because I felt so stuffed. At first I thought it was constipation and began various over the counter remedies, none of which had any affect. So, about 6 months after the symptoms began, I saw my GP. He said it was probably Irritable Bowel Syndrome and gave me a list of foods to avoid, but also referred me to a gastroenterologist. I felt the IBS diagnosis was unlikely because A) my symptoms did not come and go based on the foods I ate (even drinking a glass of water caused my symptoms), and B) the foods on his "avoid" list I never touched: they were things like fried and processed foods, and I eat mostly fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains (I am actually kind of obsessed with eating healthy).

The gastroenterologist did a series of tests. Let's see if I can remember them all: lower bowel series (where you swallow a barium milkshake and then they x-ray your intestines), upper endoscopy with biopsy (tube w/ camera down your throat while sedated), colonoscopy (tube w/ camera up your backside while sedated), capsule test (where you swallow a tiny camera). Those were the invasive ones: also bloodwork, stool analysis, etc.

He found nothing wrong with me.

At my annual gynecological exam, I mentioned my symptoms to my OB/GYN and she almost immediately said that one thing it could be was endometriosis. Sorry to be graphic, but she did a rectal exam that caused me extreme discomfort, and she said that this discomfort also pointed towards endo. She told me that the only way to confirm endo was through laprascopy, and that she was willing to do that whenever I was ready for it. I wanted to think about it and see how my symptoms progressed or didn't progress before making a decision, but then, about 3 months later, I got a letter from her office telling me that she would be no longer accepting my insurance in about a month.

After that, I lived with my symptoms for about a year, until we decided to start ttc back in November of 2008. Something told me that, based on my symptoms; the results of the tests the gastroenterologist had run; and the diagnosis by my OB/GYN, that we would have problems getting pregnant. But the way I figured it was, if I got pregnant easily, then I wouldn't have to worry anymore about my symptoms being reproductive in origin, and if I didn't get pregnant easily, then I'd know my symptoms were probably reproductive in origin, I'd have some tests done, and I'd know what the problem was. I even remember thinking back at the end of 2008 that either I'd get pregnant in 2009, or I'd find out what was causing my symptoms in 2009, and that one way or the other things would be resolved in 2009. Well, so much for that idea, because I'm neither pregnant nor do I know what's wrong with me.

I will say, however, that I'm more aware of how my symptoms relate to my cycles now than I was a year ago. There seems to be a high correlation between my worst symptoms and the week after ovulation, although this doesn't hold true 100% of the time.

So, I'm not surprised at all that, since I had so many follicles this cycle, I have so much pain and discomfort now. I really think endo is my problem, which almost makes me wish we'd gone with the IVF this cycle. I don't think IUIs are going to work for me.

One thing I do take comfort in is that I've read that the severity of endo symptoms often do not correspond with the severity of the disease, i.e. women with advanced endo might have no symptoms, and women with mild endo might have extreme pain and discomfort. And, also, there are a few typical endo symptoms that I don't have: AF is generally light to moderate (actually getting lighter for me, not heavier), and AF has also lately been less painful recently, not more. Whatever that means.

But, at least I feel like we have a plan now, and we're making progress. Even if we get a BFN this cycle, it will be in pursuit of my double goal: getting a diagnosis and, even better, getting a baby.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, lack of pain can tell you nothing about endo. I've read of doctors finding severe endo in women with literally no pain, yet very little endo in women with intense pain.
    I'm getting a lap this month. I never hurt too much but I do have a sneaking suspicion that I have endo and/or fibroids and polyps. Never thought I'd say this but I'm excited to have surgery! lol ;)

    Do you think you'll get a lap anytime soon?