I went to the doctor this week for a pelvic ultrasound (have you had one? they aren’t fun!) so we could see how my fallopian tube is doing. I found out I have a hydrosalpinx and had my IUD removed back in December, but the tube has kept on being a little jerk. Because the hydrosalpinx hasn’t gone away and it still hurts pretty frequently, my doctor recommended surgery to remove the tube altogether.
And honestly? I’m kind of glad to see it go because I kind of hate this tube. It’s a deadbeat tube. It’s in there fucking shit up — not doing its job, causing a ruckus, and holding my ovary and its poor eggs hostage. I have to think that my right tube must be really happy to see it go. I think she’s looking over there just shaking her head and saying, “Well, what did you expect, asshole? You can’t treat your landlord like that and expect not to get evicted.”
The good news is, the procedure itself isn’t terribly invasive (it’s laparoscopic, and, frankly, going through my belly button sounds a hell of a lot less invasive than these transvaginal ultrasounds I’ve had to have). Even though it’s scary to think I’ll be down a tube, I’d rather worry about my reduced fertility (my doctor said he estimates I’ll still be able to get pregnant within a year of starting trying and said he has two patients right now who had the same procedure and are pregnant; none of this proves anything, but it’s still comforting) than worry that my condition will worsen and affect my ovary, or worry that I’m going to have an ectopic pregnancy (which is a pretty real risk for me right now).
After my doctor and I posted the eviction notice, I changed topics and asked him something that has been on my mind recently: “If I accidentally got pregnant and came to you…what would happen next?” With all the shit hitting the fan re: women’s rights, this seemed liked a logical question. I’ve started talking to Eric more about all things gynecological, but I felt like the next step should be to talk to my doctor.
(And can we just talk about doctors for a second? I love my doctor and that’s kind of a big deal to me. I’ve moved around a lot in the past several years and finding a new doctor sucks. And leaving a doctor you like really sucks. I’ve mostly done the casual thing — “Oh hey, Planned Parenthood, you’ll do!” — and hadn’t built up any long-term relationships with doctors. I met this doctor when one of the partners in his practice was unavailable and I just took an appointment with him instead. I like him more than probably any other doctor I’ve had for anything; I love that he remembers me and everything about me and I feel like I can be completely real with him — it makes everything about these visits a million times easier.
And yes, I have a male doctor. I sort of knew it was uncommon to go to a male OBGYN — I read an article in Glamour a few years ago about how male doctors can have a really hard time getting hired/staying in practice — but the topic came up this week with some male coworkers and they were really surprised that any woman would want to go to a male doctor. My thing is that I’m going to detach myself from the experience anyway, so I don’t really care at that point who the person is, as long as he or she makes me feel as comfortable as one can feel during a pelvic exam. Thoughts on this?)
Anyway, I told my doctor that with all the ways women’s access to abortion (and birth control and basic fucking health care) is being threatened right now — especially in Texas — that I would like to know how this affects me personally, and I would like to know that now. While I obviously can’t say with 100 percent certainty what I’d do if I got pregnant before I was ready (especially given my reduced fertility), it just seems like a good idea to know the details on the sort of hoops I’d be required to jump through if I chose to have an abortion.
I was actually really surprised when my doctor told me that he doesn’t do them for personal reasons. I don’t know why I was surprised; I had no reason to believe he would. I think I was just surprised because I like him so much, and I wanted him to agree with me that the attacks on women’s rights are awful. The good news is that he sort of does agree with that; though he doesn’t do them, he is pro-choice and said that if that was a decision I ever have to make, he has a list of doctors at the same medical center that he’d refer me to. (No word yet on whether or not my insurance would cover it; I e-mailed them this morning and I’m honestly expecting the response to be the e-mail equivalent of a “Howler” letter from the Harry Potter books.) It’s good to know that I have decent access (and much better access than many women have), and he reassured me that he wouldn’t judge me for any choice I make regarding my health care, but the conversation still left me feeling a little disappointed. Or maybe it has nothing to do with my doctor at all; maybe it’s just that I feel sad because I know I’m not the only woman trying to make sense of her feelings and fears about getting pregnant and not getting pregnant in the exact same doctor’s visit.
Anyway, I haven’t scheduled the egg chute surgery yet, but I’m actually looking forward to having it done sooner rather than later; I haven’t felt truly healthy since I started having these problems last summer. I feel really optimistic about the surgery. I mean, I gave the deadbeat tube an honest chance to change its ways and it’s still being a crappy tenant; I’m basically giving it 30 days notice and then I’m letting it go.