Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Apparently, I'm one of the "sensitive" ones

The tests were traumatic. And I'm not being dramatic. In fact, the HSG never even happened. Don't read any more if you are squeamish...

I've always been a fainter, let's just start there. When I experience intense pain, my natural reaction is to pass out. This has happened throughout my life, and it's even been diagnosed as "vasovagal" fainting. The vasovagal nerve is the one that, if ultra sensitive like mine, sends currents directly to the heart and brain in reaction to pain, bringing unconsciousness. Let's just say if I lived in Victorian England and had to wear tight stays in my dress, I'd be the lady in the corner with the smelling salts.

I got through the sonogram fine (only one fibroid, and "tiny!"). When the Dr. went to put the catheter in my cervix to start the HSG, things got ugly. It was painful, yelpingly owingly surprisingly painful.** Within about 20 seconds, I heard myself saying... "I'm not feeling so well...." Next thing I know, I am waking up, or rather, not waking (those of you who have passed out before know the very odd in-between moment when you have NO FRIGGIN idea where you are, who you are, or even that you are). There were about 8--maybe more--people surrounding me, several trying to coax me out of unconsciousness with gentle "you're ok-s", the rest madly calling for the ER doctor, taking my pulse, or putting cold packs on my head.

Then the questions started. But I was in no position to answer them. I could not move for the nausea. My heart rate was down to 40, they told me later, and I looked like a corpse. But it didn't stop there! All of a sudden my uterus decided to cramp, like the tightest fist you can imagine, and the pain returned. It was ugly. I was limp as a rag and yet writhing in pain (the two things are not congruous). They put in an IV. They moved me to the ER. They did EKGs, blood tests. All that. The cramp lasted for about AN HOUR. "On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad is your pain?" Speaking felt like running a marathon, but I managed to say "10." I didn't want to live in that pain. In 45 minutes it was a 6. By 60 minutes, I was completely back to normal. No abnormalities, no issues with blood or heart. Just, as they wrote on my discharge form, "Common fainting/cramping." Within 2 hours, I was walking out of there.

Besides being completely traumatized, I am now faced with the decision of having to reschedule this test. Next time, A FRIEND IS COMING WITH ME (my good friend was horrified that I hadn't asked her to go, but I really didn't think it was a big deal)! I'm scared.

I'm actually fine now (no residual anything). I even went to work in the afternoon! Crazy. I am not worried about the episode itself, since I know what caused it and similar things have happened before. But I am worried I won't be able to tolerate such procedures that will someday make me pregnant.

**I'm wondering if the catheter should've hurt that much! I really like my doctor, but this was the 2nd time he inserted it because the balloon had failed to inflate on the first attempt. The second time was the killer.


Meg said...

Oh no, you poor thing! I'm sorry it was so awful. Didn't he use some cream stuff or a shot to numb your cervix first? I feel so terrible that I told you that it was not big deal. Hopefully next time won't be so traumatic.

Jess said...

Oh my!!!! That sucks Jo, I'm so sorry you had to go through that!! I hope they will find ways to make it go much more smoothly and painlessly next time. Ugh, again, I'm so sorry!!

Billy said...

I'm so sorry to hear.
Hope it won't be so terrible next time (maby you should take some kind of pain killer before?).

Starr Morgan said...

I am soooo sorry it was so awful and you didnt even have the test done! How frustrating!! Hopefully next time they will get it in on the first try and that wont happen! Sounds like if they would have just gotten it right the first time it wouldnt have been an issue. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience! I was thinking about you all day while I was having my procedures (well, when I wasnt knocked out).