This is going to be one of those posts that makes men- and probably women too- cringe and vacate the premises.
Today I had to go for another medical procedure. Although this one was much less risky/ invasive/ potentially damaging, I was much more stressed/ panicked/ scared shitless. I guess my fear came from the fact that I was going to be wide awake for this procedure. With my surgery, I was knocked the fuck out, so I didn't care what happened. But this time... Knowing there was going to be business going on in my own personal Netherlands while I was totally wide awake to suffer through it all...?? Just thinking about it made me want to take a long walk off of a short pier.
The procedure I went in for is called a hysterosalpingogram, or HSG for short (because nobody can ever remember how to pronounce that long-ass name). It's typically performed on women who have period issues. And since I have, like, every issue known to womankind, I was a prime candidate.
Basically, the procedure goes like this: The patient lies on a table in the exam room, legs in the old heave-ho position. (Ladies, you know what I'm talking about.) There's a big X-ray machine overhead that takes photos of the belly area when needed. The radiologist inserts a speculum in your hooha, followed by a catheter that goes into the uterus. A dye is injected, making its way through the uterus, fallopian tubes, and spills out into the body cavity. They take X-rays and send them to your physician for review. The end.
I had read a lot of chat boards about HSGs. While there were women who said it was no biggie, there were a lot more who narrated tales of horror. No joke, I read more than one account that said the pain was worse than being in labor. And I don't know if you know this about me, but I'm not down with labor. Other stories included horrible cramping, the dye burning, getting light-headed with the dye injection, nearly passing out afterward. Not to mention: the use of a CERVICAL CLAMP. (Guh. The name alone makes me queesy.) A whole treasure trove of delightful descriptions. All of this, combined with the fact that I have a known condition (endometriosis) that already makes things difficult? Which is why I would randomly burst into weepy tears over the past few days at the thought of VOLUNTARILY subjecting myself to this.
How did your visit go, TILTE? Cut to the chase already.
I couldn't have asked for a better experience.
As soon as my radiologist entered the room, I blurted out that I was scared as shit and I'm sure the insanity shooting from my eyeballs reaffirmed it. He was friendly and comforting and we sat chatting for a bit. -A trick I've seen the veterinarian pull a million times with Biscuit. (You doctor-types know your stuff.) He did the whole procedure very slowly and explained exactly what was happening each step of the way. No pain with the speculum. No pain with the catheter. And I didn't even feel the dye. Sure, it felt awkward and uncomfortable, but what do you expect when your private parts are cranked open and there's a tube hanging out of you? But it wasn't painful. And I was so grateful.
With help from the radiologist- who kept the the tech gear in place- and his assistant- who literally pulled the paper lining that I was laying on to slide me up the table and into X-ray position- it was time for photos. There was some minor tilting of the hips in order to get the right view of my internal organs. And the next thing I knew: It was over. I never got light-headed. I never felt sick. I totally worked myself up over nothing. And! I got to watch the whole thing on a TV screen. My insides lit up like normal!
Maybe I should mention I totally loaded up on meds before my appointment. Norco, Ibuprofen, and Xanax. They are my friends.
If you're planning on having this procedure done, DON'T STRESS ABOUT IT. I did and it totally turned it into an insurmountable obstacle that was messing with my brain. Also, take a sanitary napkin with you to your appointment. Otherwise, you'll walk out of there looking like you just peed your pants.
(Have questions about this procedure? Email me at TILTE at live dot com.)