Saturday, 2 March 2013

A Uterus divided against itself...

I was adamant about going swimming on the morning of my hysteroscopy, even before I discovered my blood pressure issues. Co-worker thought it was a bad idea and pleaded with me not to swim. Husband also thought that I shouldn't swim that morning, but admitted he knew better than to tell me not to swim. For me, like running a 10K just four days after my miscarriage, it was something else to add to my Resume of Life. I've often described that we all have a Resume of Life, which includes various deeds, favours, accomplishments and unique experiences that help define who we are and what makes us interesting. Swimming on the morning of my procedure describes my resolve, dedication, stubbornness, or all of the above. It would turn out to mean so much more.

I confess that I was initially questioning my decision, given that I would have to be NPO after midnight, and after a sprinting set, I'm often ravenous and feel shaky until I get some food. I ate a powerbar at 11:30 and decided to proceed with my plans. Mostly, I felt it would help me relax by starting the day in a normal way (BTW, telling a person with high blood pressure to "relax" is about as helpful as giving that instruction to someone who is infertile). Our coach plans our workouts a month in advance and doesn't change them for any reason. If we're working on backstroke and it's raining; then you're getting raindrops up your nose. If her plans call for us to get out and do sit-ups and dive off the blocks and it's freezing cold? Your ass is on that concrete and you're yelling at your lanemate to hurry up and dive the fuck in. We had been sprinting earlier that week, so I felt we were building up to timed sprints. However, just when you think you can start to anticipate our coach, she throws a curveball. This would be an interval day! I was sharing a lane with Ryan, my favourite pacer. The workout was 6 x 150 with 30 seconds rest, then 4 x 150 with 15 second rest and 2 x 150 with 5 seconds rest. We ended with 2 x 50 sprint kicks. I finished second to a Japanese prodigy, whom many of us are convinenced is actually a robot. It was a perfect pre-procedure set.

We arrived at the hospital and made our way to the registration desk. The volunteers who took us to the surgical suite and showed me where to get changed were so nice that I immediately felt guilty for wasting their time. I was sent to bed 11 in the holding area. 11 is my lucky number. Maybe things would go my way. The nurse arrived and started to record my vitals. Here it was. The moment of truth. I closed my eyes and imagined myself petting my cat. Some studies have found that petting an animal can lower your blood pressure. It was 142/100. The nurse was immediately alarmed, but I actually had a little sigh of relief. "That's better than it was yesterday", I told her, which was not exactly a wise thing to say. I started to explain the situation regarding my blood pressure and birth control pills. "Are you in the medical profession?" she asked me. I acknowledged what I do, which only made me feel more embarrassed as it shows that I am knowingly wasting everyone's time. "I'll have to discuss it with the anesthesiologist to see if he'll proceed with the case" she informed me. I was prepared to hear those words.

She came back a few minutes later, noting that the anesthesiologist was busy and she hadn't spoken to him yet, but she asked if I wanted to her to start my IV. It didn't matter to me, I asked her to proceed based on her instinct on how the anesthesiologist would respond. "I think he'll go ahead with it" she told me as she prepped to start my IV. She apologised for her earlier reaction regarding my blood pressure. It wasn't necessary -she was just doing her job, but I appreciated the gesture. The anesthesiologist arrived and I presented my case; it's the pills, I do not have chronic, untreated hypertension. I run and swim regularly. "Oh, I'm a swimmer too" he said. I told him what we did for our main set that morning as well as some of my other times. He was impressed, but more importantly, convinced. "Right, that tells me what I'm working with" He would proceed with my case. We chatted about swimming en route to the OR, and I think in my drugged state I tried to recruit him to join our swim team.

Initially, I was really nervous about the prospect of going under anesthesia. I didn't like the thought of not being in command of my own faculties, but I must say -it was rather awesome. I just remember drifting off in the OR and waking up in the recovery room. Overall, we had a very positive experience at XYZ hospital. There is just one comment we would put in their suggestion box. When my case was done, one of the volunteers started to escort Husband to a room to talk with the doctor. He presumed this meant there was a complication and had a mini heart attack himself. After all on TV, where there's no respect for patient privacy, the surgeon will discuss the details in the middle of the waiting room, unless it's bad news and you need to go to the private room. The volunteer explained that all family notification is done in the discussion rooms to protect patient privacy. It would have been useful to have this information ahead of time. As the pictures show, the procedure was successful. My RE noted that the septum occupied about one third of my uterine cavity. I like to think that if we do have a child, someday he or she will be able to see a photo of their first room.


  1. o glad the surgery went well. Now there's plenty of room to grow a baby! How long do you have to wait before getting started again?
    Is it weird that I have no idea what you look like but I have seen the inside of your uterus?

  2. You are one tough cookie!! I went under anesthesia for my egg retrieval. It is so odd waking up hours later and feeling like you hadn't slept at all. I am like you, if I can avoid the anesthesia I would, but it seems to be the protocol for egg retrieval.

    1. A few other bloggers have noted their retrieval was done with them awake but lightly sedated, I think I'd opt for that option if I could, but it's good to know that anesthesia isn't too bad if it has to be done.

    2. I am going to ask my clinic about that then!

  3. Glad to hear that your surgery went swimmingly! Now you guys can check this obstacle off of the list. Which is lovely.

  4. Ha! I wasn't sure if this story was going to end well or not. I'm so glad it did! I'm not a swimmer, but I love hearing about someone else being so competitive.

  5. So glad they went ahead with the surgery and that you've got the septum taken care of. You've got me thinking about the BP now (thanks for the info on aldomet vs labetalol, btw) because for both my retrieval and D&C, I didn't take my AM medication and my BP was higher than yours was. It never crossed my mind that they wouldn't proceed. That would suck.

    Did you have any trouble getting the IV in? I worry about dehydration and forego AM workouts thinking that it will help make the IV insertion less painful (unfortunately took three tries last week...ouch!)

  6. I'm so glad they went ahead with the surgery. Clearly you're as healthy as the proverbial horse. Nice big wide open ute? Check. Now to put a baby in it!