Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Becoming your own best advocate, Asherman's and beyond

So perusing CNN during my lunch today, I came across this article, "5 questions to ask before surgery".  Needless to say, WTF, they have left off the most important questions anyone should ask of ANY doctor before any SURGICAL procedure! Drumroll:

How many of these (insert surgery here) have you performed?  What were the outcomes for these patients?

One of the most unpleasant things I discovered when my uterus was unceremoniously sealed shut from a D&C (why did the ark of the covenant just flash before my brain?) was that my doctors - the same ones who stated outright that this wasn't a common side-effect of a D&C*  - also turned right around and said they would fix me in the OR. 

So please stop and think about this for a moment: I'm a supposedly rare case (which is debatable and merits own blog post), yet I should let someone who hasn't seen this kind of case before put me under anesthesia and try to undo the damage.

That doesn't sound right, does it? 

Ladies, this is your uterus we're talking about.  Or your ovaries, or your hormone levels, or anything else you can think of that is kinda crucial to your well-being.  I am not being hyperbolic when I say that your fertility - and all of the hopes and dreams that go along with it - is on the line here with your decisions. 

The Asherman's website has incredible tools for women who are concerned about AS and are wading into these conversations with their doctors, and one of the best is the "Questions to ask your doctor"

I know from talking to scores of women with fertility and reproductive issues that it can be really uncomfortable to put your doctor on the spot.  They have a degree.  They have training.  They are "Board Certified."  They may be in a "Top Doctor" issue of your local magazine.  Who am I to question their skill-sets, you wonder when you're sitting there, vulnerable and gobsmacked by their diagnoses and jargon?

I have laid my own experiences out before the world on this blog because I am on a mission to IMPLORE women to understand that the certificate on the office wall is not the be all and end all of expertise.  Yes, it can be uncomfortable to have these conversations, but they are necessary and you are worth it.  My RE was absolutely incredulous that I would fly off to another fucking state to see a doctor to unseal my cervix - this despite the fact that I later learned he had another patient in my boat who did exactly the same thing!  (BTW, that makes me not-quite-so-rare, doesn't it?)  His physician assistant, the kind lady who attempted to ram a catheter into my uterus, suggested I see a "top local doctor" who specializes in uterine surgery.  I was the one who informed her that this doctor uses laser surgery to treat AS, which can actually make it worse.  She specializes in fertility, yet had no idea. 

Look, we are all walking a fine line when it comes to taking "control" of our health, and obsessively lying awake in front of WebMD or Dr. Google at 2am can be detrimental as well.  But we often have so much more power than we know.

*My own OB claimed that she had NEVER performed a D&C resulting in uterine adhesions before. 

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