Or, Scenes from a Hysteroscopy
Warning: May Not Be Suitable For All Audiences.
Like… guys? This might make you feel icky. I forgive you for skipping it. Heck, I encourage you to skip it. Seriously. Just take from the posting of this blog assurance that I lived through it, and move on.
OK, then. Who’s still with me? Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Anyway, here goes:
- If your doctor is any good at all, just before the procedure someone will walk you through exactly what to expect to help set you at ease. Your fears are probably unfounded, but they are not irrational: the doctor does this sort of thing all the time; you’re probably doing this for the first (and hopefully only) time. Uncertainty on your part is to be expected.
- You’ll get situated in the usual prone position. None of this part is “fun” but thanks to the years of annual exams, neither is it wholly unfamiliar. (It would be too much to say the familiarity is comforting, but at least it’s not entirely foreign.) Unfortunately the familiarity of the situation also does not make this any less awkward a position to be in. But that is pretty much par for the course; one doesn’t expect much else.
- The doctor will probably offer you a topical numbing agent, and then a shot (“similar to Novocaine at the dentist”) to further numb you, just for good measure and to keep you “comfortable.”
- Any time a medical (or dental for that matter) professional tells you that they’re going to give you a small shot to help numb you, but that you probably won’t even feel it because X internal organ doesn’t have that many… well, you won’t hear whether the end of that sentence is supposed to be “nerve endings” or “pain receptors” or even “musical unicorns” because right at that moment he or she will have pricked you. And in response to the sudden pain, you will have sucked in your breath too loudly to hear anything else in the room.
- You’ll still be really glad for the shot, because if that’s what the numbing process feels like, the next part is probably not going to be fun.
- When the organ about to be explored is flushed full of saline to give them a good viewing area, just beforehand your doctor will probably warn you again that you’re going to cramp up a little bit and apologize that he/she can’t do anything more for it. You’ll do what you can to relax and breathe as instructed. In retrospect, you’ll realize that your nerves made it seem worse than it was and it wasn’t that bad in reality, but at the time you will be ridiculously grateful that you took the advice to take a few ibuprofen about an hour before coming to the office. Because, you know… it’s cramps. Even when they’re not terrible, they don’t feel good.
- While you’re doing your very focused breathing against the discomfort, you’ll close your eyes. When you open them again, you’ll have happily missed the awkward “entry” of the scope and your innards will be on screen. This will be a weird, novel, and somewhat surreal experience. Try not to get seasick.
- The inside of your uterus (or your wife/girlfriend/friend/sister/neighbor’s uterus, if any men have foolishly stuck around this long) is really really… pink. Like, it’s almost a cliche how pink it is. Like, it is literally bright baby’s room pink.
- If you keep breathing your slow, deep breaths, and focus on the screen, you’ll decide that this whole procedure is strange and awkward, but it’s not that bad. You’ll be right about that. That’s not to say you’d sign up for another one tomorrow just for fun.
- If they’re doing a biopsy, it will be the very last thing they’ll do in the procedure. It will be, bar none, the worst part of the whole thing. But it will be really, really fast. And then it will be over, and you’ll be just fine, and able to talk to your doctor about a plan of attack for Next Thing’s Next.
And then if you’re lucky you’ll go out to a nice dinner and have some wine. It’s ALL good.
There you have it: way more information than you could possibly have wanted into to know about the hysteroscopy experience.
Very Important Endnote: I so appreciate all the prayers and thoughts and general outpourings of love and concern from my family and friends. It really is a simple procedure but it’s a new and therefore a bit scary one, at least from the “before” perspective (it’s almost a non-event from the “after” viewpoint). My parents who came up… my sister who offered to come up and stay with me… my friends who offered to go with me, or drive me, or drop off a meal, or any number of other kindnesses… my brother-in-law and my sister and other family and multitudes of friends who prayed with me and for me (He heard them all), and even good wishes here on in the blogosphere. God is always good, but I do recognize that He has shown me in myriad ways just how abundantly good He has been to me through this situation. So I thank Him… and I thank all of you for being such a blessing.