I got my HSG done last week. Everything looked good, thank God. Here goes....
I arrived at the hospital early as I was told with all of my proper paperwork. I was more nervous than I anticipated, not so much that I would have something wrong with me but that it would hurt. When I scheduled my appointment, the nurse explained that I would be brought in right away because I was the first HSG of the day. I waited for a while in my chair right next to the check-in counter.
Reading a magazine kept me busy for a bit but then I was just pretending to read. I was too nervous to focus. People-watching was an easier, less mentally challenging task. I wondered why each person was there and what they were getting x-rayed. Nobody seemed a logical choice to fall into my infertility category either because of their age or the fact that they were wearing a huge cast. Hmmm...another lonely IF adventure.
Until I spied a couple approaching the counter. I couldn't help but check them out. Are you infertile, too? How long have you been trying? Are you the only infertile person you know of? Do you cry as much as I do? Could we hold hands? (OK, maybe the last question would be awkward.) Sure enough, the woman explained to the receptionist behind the counter that she was here for her HSG! I'm not alone. I'm sitting 3 feet from another infertile couple!
I pretended to keep reading but I couldn't help but fixate on the couple now seated just a few seats away from me. He had his arm around her and they were reading a magazine together.
My watch showed that I had been waiting for 40 minutes. When the hell was I going to be taken back? Twenty seven students and one clock-watching principal were waiting on me. I approached the counter and asked if I would be seen soon and explained that my HSG was scheduled for 12:30. I was told that I would be taken back shortly.
"Are you nervous?" a voice urgently asked. It was the other woman. I told her that yes, I definitely was. She told me how anxious she was and how she was afraid it would hurt. We shared our concerns, validated each other's feelings and I offered her a kid's sticker from a roll on the counter. Hey, if some 10 year old gets a sticker for x-raying a broken arm, we absolutely deserve one for having a catheter shove dye through our fallopian tubes. I took two.
I was eventually called back for my procedure. The woman and I said goodbye and I assured that if she was here when I came out, I would let her know what it was like. The RE prepped me by explaining everything that would happen and talked me through the procedure as he did it. It hurt but it was a manageable amount of pain. There were 3 people in the room for the event which seemed like a lot of people to be hanging out with my vagina.
I was struck by how close the RE had to get to my vagina. He really had to lean in there to make sure the catheter and everything was placed correctly. My knees were bent about halfway and resting on the table. When I looked down at him, his head was so close to my knees. He looked like he was going to crawl in! Nobody but my husband has had their face that close to my crotch in a very long time. That was a little embarrassing, but the doctor was extremely professional. Also, when the x-ray tech was doing all of his stuff getting the equipment centered on my abdomen and all that, the RE had to hang out "down there" to make sure that everything stayed where it should. That was awkward, too...y'know, on account of my nudity from the waist down. I'm not gonna lie. He spent a lot of time down there for barely knowing me.
Everything looked good, I thanked the doctor and headed out. As I stepped through the doorway, the couple was sitting in the hallway to my right. The woman had her head in her hands and when I walked out she looked up at me expectantly. You know how, on TV and in the movies, when the doctor is in the room working on somebody, and the person's family is in the waiting room, and then the doctor comes out and they all look up expectantly, waiting for an answer that will offer some relief? You know the face they make when they see the doctor coming to talk to them? That's the face she was making. I swear it. Now I am not so naive or self-centered to think that she was that concerned about my personal fertility issues. I realize that her primary concern was the fact that she had to get her HSG done right after me. But it felt good nonetheless. It felt good to know she cared, even if it wasn't really towards me so much.
I assured her that it wasn't that bad and that the discomfort was tolerable. I wished her and her husband luck and headed back to work. As the door of the hospital closed behind me, I felt a pang of regret that I hadn't offered her my e-mail address, just in case she doesn't have anybody else to talk to who's going through this crazy adventure called infertility.