Tomorrow, I am scheduled for an HSG Test, also known as the dye test. This is where they squirt dye into your uterus and fallopian tubes, then look at it under some kind of machine (x-ray? MRI? something?) to make sure nothing is blocked, because it’s taking you a long-ass time to become pregnant. My doctor recommended that I try this last month, but I didn’t want to because ew. I don’t particularly want them poking around in there, squirting fluids where they don’t belong, and even though I occasionally (i.e., every month when I am not pregnant) am wracked with fear that there is something wrong with me, in general I have a hard time thinking that there could possibly be any real issue here. I think, in most of my saner moments, that sometimes it just takes a while. And that is heartbreaking, and annoying, and expensive, but it just is.
That said, I would rather have tests than medications. In general, I am a root-cause medical person, not a symptom-treating medical person. In other words, I am all about investigating, testing, monitoring, to find out if there is an actual issue somewhere, and what it is. I am resistant, however, to medicating “unexplained infertility” with Clomid (especially when there is very good evidence that I am, in fact, ovulating), or even taking Advil for a headache before I have tried to rule out root causes, by drinking a glass of water, having a snack, or taking a nap.
So, when the options are Clomid or dye test, I went for dye test. Nothing is also always an option, but I kind of want to feel like I am moving forward or escalating this in some way. In reality, I think it will show nothing, but at least I will have a day off of work, and anecdotally I have heard that conception rates are higher the month of a dye-test — something about it washing out the uterus, or something.
One positive effect of all this annoying medical stuff is that I have learned much more effectively to advocate for myself when it comes to my own healthcare. Last month, they recommended I do the dye test, and I said no thanks — we’ll try again without it, thankyouverymuch. This month, I scheduled the test and took notes when they described the procedure, so that I realized earlier this week they had not prescribed the antibiotics they said I would be taking starting the day before the test. So, I called and got the prescription. All of this makes me feel like I am doing this, I am in charge. Earlier in the process, it would have annoyed me that they didn’t think to call in my antibiotics when they scheduled the procedure, but whatever. No one is as concerned about my own body as I am, and that’s fine with me. In fact, I generally prefer it that way — my body, my choice, right? My dye test.
The other thing I have learned is the power of dealing with nurses. They often know much more about how things work than the doctor does. Now, every time I have a question, I call and ask to talk to a nurse. At least nine times out of ten, they can answer it and handle whatever I need.
So, tomorrow, dye test. I am nervous, because it’s supposed to hurt (like sudden, bad cramps) and also because any time I have to do a new medical procedure, it’s a little scary. But the wife will be there to hold my hand, and my regular doctor is going to be doing the test, so I think ultimately, it will be fine.