Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Nexplanon implant


I mentioned on my "Consultations and progress" post that my new consultant wanted me to give the implant a try as the next treatment option for my endometriosis, even though my doctor didn't think it would help because of everything I've tried previously.

Well, I had it put in today...

I'd been super worried about having this. Not so much because of the pain or nerves over whether this treatment would help or not... Actually it was over something which might sound really superficial and silly. I'm really worried about the side effects and mainly whether this causes my acne to get bad again. I've just worked really hard over the last year or so to get my skin looking OK again and I really do not want it to look how it did before again. But also, it's this thing with having something in me that shouldn't be. I had exactly the same feelings about the Mirena coil. That feeling that I'm having to depend on someone else to choose whether to take it out or not if it doesn't work or something goes wrong. That feeling that I have zero control over this thing.

There is this major overhanging doubt about it working also though. I've tried all manner of contraceptives and hormone treatments over the last 18 years and not a single one of them has worked. I mean, even the doctor doesn't think this will work... But, I have to try it don't I? I have to give everything a go, right? To me, it just seems like a big waste of time. Putting my body through more undue stress for what? Just another big "I told you so"?

The actual procedure was fine. The needle looked like a spear it was so big and I have to admit that I was a bit scared! My doctor explained that contraceptive wise I would be fully covered in 7 days though that's not the reason I'm having this. We also spoke about taking a progesterone pill alongside the implant if I get breakthrough bleeding and she is fully happy to try that but she wants to see how the implant is working for me first and then if I do try a pill alongside it then it will only be for a short time and not for the duration of the 3 years that I have the implant in for as again, she'd like to see how my body is responding to the implant.

I had to lie down on my back with my left arm (left arm as I'm right handed) bent out and upwards. She cleaned the area of my upper arm that the implant was being placed in and then she numbed it with a local anaesthetic. This was actually the painful part as she had to put quite a bit in to my arm and in a few places. Once that had taken effect, I couldn't feel her put the implant in - just a bit of pressure. It's been about 4 hours now and my arm is still numb!

She let me feel the implant but explained to me how some women like to fiddle around with it and that can lead to it moving but even the thought of that made my stomach turn and when I touched it, well, I don't think I'll be doing that again! It felt like a hard tube/rectangular shape below the skin, but yeah, it's all a bit too icky for me! You'd think after all the things I've been through with my health I would have a stomach of steel but nope! I think I'm getting more squeamish as I get older!


My arm is now wrapped up with a bandage and I have to keep it wrapped and out of water for at least 24 hours but preferably 48 hours if I can, so no showers for the next few days, only baths. The bandage is to prevent bruising more than anything else but as I bruise like a peach, I'm pretty sure it'll be pretty colourful under there.

So that's my update on it all for now. I've just, as always, got to see how it goes and it's up to me if I have any further medication if I can't deal with the bleeding. My appointment for the consultant came through for January 2018 which is just over 4 months away now so.... Let's see how this one goes.

S.
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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Scan


I went in for my scan on Monday morning and if you follow me anywhere online, you may have seen me having a little rant about it because I just felt like it was a massive waste of time.

First of all, I wasn't comfortable with the situation at all, as not only was the sonographer male, but there was also another man and a woman in the room and although the curtain was pulled across the door in case anyone walked in, it wasn't pulled across where the other people were sat. Not really the type of situation you want to be in when you are there to have a transvaginal scan!

The sonographer said he'd do a 'normal' ultrasound scan first and if he couldn't see anything on that he would do an internal scan - even though I was supposed to have an internal scan anyway. He had a look, pressed super hard (to the point where I was gripping on to the bed!) and then yeah, that was that. He said I'd get the results in a week.

I was a bit confused so I asked him what he was looking for exactly/what was on the request form from my consultant (she had just said at my appointment on Thursday that she expected to see some smaller cysts so I assumed this scan was to check for larger cysts) and he said he was just having a look around to see if everything looked normal and that he couldn't see anything. He also said that my lining all looked normal. I asked if there were any cysts and he said no. He then said "you had endometriosis?", I kind of corrected him with my reply saying that "yes, I have got endometriosis" and he said he couldn't see any of that, as if to imply that it had magically cleared up! I mean, where's it going to have vanished to!?

I'm annoyed because I know from when we went through IVF how much shows up from a transvaginal scan and I know endometriosis doesn't show up on a normal ultrasound, so I feel like I've not only had a wasted trip to Leicester (since I could have had an ultrasound at a closer hospital) but also a whole weekend of worrying about an internal for nothing.

I'm just hoping it's shown up enough that I don't have to go back in the next few weeks again for another one.

S.
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Sunday, 6 August 2017

Consultations and progress


So, when I wrote on EMLWY a few weeks ago, saying how I'd been referred on to the hospital again, I assumed that it would be months of waiting for an appointment... NOPE! 3 days later I received an appointment in the post for the following week! When did hospitals suddenly move their butts so fast!?

I had my appointment on Thursday 3rd August and my new consultant, Miss Potdar, (the Prof. has now retired) is the doctor we saw when we were referred on to the Subfertility Clinic back in 2013. She said she had remembered me before she even read through my notes because of how upset I had been when she saw us! I filled her in on what has happened since I last saw her (which is rather a lot) and we spoke about mine and Danny's plans for the future with regards to fertility and children and about my c-section. She was happy that the Naproxen I started taking a few months back seems to be helping. She then proposed a plan which involves starting at the 'easier' end of the scale...

I had mentioned how the doctor I saw a few months ago had suggested the implant to me and another doctor had said she didn't think it would help because of how I've reacted to other similar treatments in the past, so we spoke about that in a bit more detail. Miss Potdar thinks it's worth trying the implant. And to be fair, what have I got to lose? I did explain my concerns with it: how I didn't like the idea of something in me that I couldn't control, how bad an experience I'd had with the Mirena and how I hadn't planned to ever go back on to any pill/IUS form of contraceptive ever again, but it's the easiest option right now and if it doesn't work then it doesn't work. And it could always work, couldn't it!? Yeah, I'm as sceptical as the rest of you but, lets give it a go and see. So, I'm booked in to have an implant fitted on the 21st August and I may also have to take a progesterone pill on the side to counteract any breakthrough bleeding. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. My skin is pretty clear now, my weight is under control and I know roughly where I stand with my periods - I just hope it doesn't have a bad effect on any of that... Or my endo!

Following on from the implant, the next step to try, if that doesn't work out, is a different progesterone-only pill to the Cerazette I was on after having Hunter, but back to back this time around.

After that I would try Depo-provera, a contraceptive injection, for 3-6 months. This might be a bad option for my borderline-osteoporosis but we'll cover that when it comes to it.

And then, the final option would be surgery with the aim to remove my left fallopian tube since it's blocked and not of any use, to free up a little space on my bad side.

When my doctor referred me back to the hospital, she wrote in her letter about a hysterectomy but Miss Potdar thinks that this is too drastic an action to take, especially at my age and she thinks that removing my ovaries would have an adverse effect on the rest of my health. And above all, she said it might not even help! I know, right!? I've only been told the opposite since I was 21!! So that is the very final thing to try, when we've finally finally exhausted all other options.


She wants me to go for an 'urgent clinical scan' so I'll be going in for that first thing tomorrow morning. I'm super nervous because it's an internal scan and they really hurt me. I'm not completely sure what they are looking for but she did talk about cysts and how she expects to see smaller cysts so I think this is to check for larger ones.

So, all in all, I think it went pretty well. My new consultant is really friendly and I feel very at ease with her. She seems to have a fresher outlook on endometriosis and I'd even go as far to say she understands it more than the Prof. ever seemed to. She was great when we saw her 4 years ago so when I knew it was her I would be seeing again, I had high hopes for some progess and that's exactly what we've made. Progress. We have a plan!

I see her again in December so here's to the next 4 months.

S.
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