Sunday, January 17, 2010

Next Step

Thanks girls for the well wishes for DH.  He is doing well.  Thank goodness!

We have decided to seek a 3rd opinion on our situation.  We have two doctors on the list, Dr. Lev.ine in Chicago and Dr. in St. Louis.  Both are urologists who specialize in MFI.  Does anyone have any experience with either?  Any other suggestions or recommendations of urologists or RE's?  We are willing to travel.  (Okay, I re-read this to proof before publishing and this sounds like a classified ad!  LOL)

In the meantime, we received a post card this week to call urologist #2's office to schedule an appointment.  We assume for a post-surgery follow-up.  We have not called yet....I guess you could say, we are apprehensive about having that appointment.  I mean, we want to ask him some hard questions, but at the same time, he is the only doctor locally who was willing to give a try for DH.  Which we are still very interested in doing....if the repair does not help.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Varicocele Post-Surgery *Story*

As most bloggers do, I use this space to keep track of our treatment history.  This is what happened last week:

Last weekend (Jan 2-3rd), DH had swelling and pain in *the boys*.  We decided that I would call the urologist's office on Monday (they were closed for the holiday Thurs-Sun) and find out if we should be concerned and if the doc wanted to see him.  On Monday, Jan 4th, I forgot to take the doc's # w/ me so I looked it up online...just a general search.  The 1st # I found was busy...I tried a few times and it was still I started clicking on other web pages to see if there was another # or something....thought maybe I got the fax # or a different line (other than the main #) or whatever.

Well, one page I clicked on was an editorial about the doctor.  Of course, I started reading and my heart dropped.  It talked about these numerous malpractice suits he has had over his 25 yrs in practice, how his license was revoked in another state and how he was on probation here but a big named hospital stepped up to 'fight' for him (which I think he is now affiliated with - haven't got that figured out yet).  Needless to say, I was FREAKED OUT.  All I could think was WTF?

Then, I finally get through to the doc's office and find out he is on vacay until the 18th.  I tell them about DH's condition and ask about our options.  She said we could go to his primary doc, call this other urologist and see if they would see him (which happens to be urologist #1) or go the ER.

I talked to DH and he was hurting much more by then....he didn't want to go to doc #1 and we thought it was stupid to go to primary doc because he hasn't been involved in any of this. So, we opted for the ER. DH had to be at work the entire day to get holiday pay, so he stuck it out...

We go to the ER after work....they were great, got him in w/in 15 minutes and went straight to an eval room (skipped the triage, thank God!).  The nurse took all of the info and asked questions.  She gave him an iv w/ pain meds, took b/w and urine sample.  The ER doc came in and asked more questions and said he was sending him for u/s and then a urologist would come and talk to us and let us know what's going on.

Finally, we went to radiology and he had the u/s.  The tech was nice - young guy - mid-20's.  He talked through taking the pics and asked lots of questions.  He asked which side the varicocele was on and DH told him left.  I asked if he could see the repair?  He did not answer me.  (DH told me later the tech he made a face - his back was to me).  The tech went on asking about something else.  Then, he took pics of DH's groin area and made a comment about the location of the incision....we asked is that normal?  He said that he assists another urologist in surgery and he has never seen it that high. (Now, granted, he is young and docs have different approaches....yada, yada....but what??).   He leaves for a bit to go talk to the radiologist to see if the pics are 'good enough'.  While he was out of the room, we talked about it and decided we would push to get more answers about what he thinks he he comes back and DH asks him if he could see the repair on the u/s?  He says, "Well, I am not supposed to say anything, but I like you.  It looks to me as if it is still there."  Can you say emotional?  I about lost it..... We asked, what do you mean?  He said that it looks like there is still a back up of blood or maybe there is another?  We were so shocked, we were speechless.....

Fast forward an hour or 2 later.....the ER doc comes in and tells us the b/w and urine look great, white and red counts no concern w/ infection.  He tells us that a urologist reviewed the u/s and 'things look fine', it just appears that things are settling from the surgery and that DH needs to take it easy for a few more days.  I asked if the urologist is coming to talk to us?  The ER doc said, no, he looked at the u/s and thinks it's okay...that they are going to check in w/ our doc's on-call doc and will be back....  I said, "he is on vacay remember - there is not an on-call person".....the ER doc was snotty, like "he has to have one, everyone does, don't worry - we'll find out." He comes back about 20min later and says "Well, it is very odd and not the norm, but he doesn't have anyone on-call for him. I double checked w/ the urologist here and we're going to give you a pain med and motrin for the inflammation."

We are such skeptics now which does not help....but there are a few things we found odd. First, the list of malpractice suits against this doc (we've done more research the past few days), that the tech said he thought he saw a varicocele, that the tech thought the incision was higher than usual, that a urologist was supposed to come and talk to us and then (after the u/s) does not, that the ER doc's attitude changed drastically.  It just made us leery of really what did they see? what did they think? I surely, SURELY hope and pray that if there was anything life threatening, they would have spoke up.  I wonder if they would tell us if otherwise, if something was 'botched' in some way.

DH took the rest of the week off of work to heal and recoup.  Today, he called and is feeling much better.  We are still unsure of our next step.  We talked last night about requesting copies of the u/s pre/post-surgery and going to another urologist for yet a 3rd opinion.  I am worried though that another urologist will not want to "get involved" especially if he knows this doc's litigation record.

Why are things ALWAYS so difficult for us????  Not the way I had envisioned starting the new year!  Blah!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2009 ~ Jaded

I have been off work the past 2 weeks and LOVING every minute of it. I am usually a work-a-holic. That's just my nature. It's okay though, I do love my job. I lead programs that help families help their infants/toddlers get the help they need if they have a disability or developmental delay. It is rewarding but there is always so much going on, so much to do. I am absolutely grateful for this low-key time spent with my DH, family and friends.

Of course, much of this time DH spent recovering. Therefore, the IF crap was at the forefront of my mind. I did a lot of thinking about how fast 2009 went...really, most of the year is a blur. Although we made a HUGE decision and tried to move forward by putting our house for sale, we did not make much progress on our TTC adventure until the past few months with the discovery of the varicocele. The other highlight of the year was celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary in June. It is sad to think about. We are another year older, spent the last year of the decade floundering and still, we are no closer to having a baby in our arms. Blah!

I have spent the past few weeks catching up on reading blogs that I follow and discovering new IF-related ones. Also, I have been talking to some of my friends who have dealt/or dealing with IF and have picked up a feeling in these conversations. Jaded. Infertility, infertility, INFERTILITY, i-n-f-e-r-t-i-l-i-t-y.....has left us jaded!

Jaded about relationships, friendships, hope, happiness, the future, the past, pregnancy, after pregnancy, trying to conceive... You name it, I bet infertility has affected it in some way. I am living with IF now and all that comes with it. I HATE it. I thought, if we are ever able to cross the fence, living after IF would be easier. I am sure in many ways, it will be, but I am also coming to realize that in some ways, I am changed ~ forever.

So long 2009... I am looking forward to a new year, a new approach and the same dream! Happy New Year to all! May 2010 bring you health, hope and happiness!