Tuesday, 4 January 2011

When Contraception Goes AWOL

Here's one for the 2010 Bizarre File:
In September, I was in the hospital for a Minera Coil Insertion (aka IUD). A three-inch T-shaped device is a form of contraception inserted into the uterus. My cervix is tricky, surgery is necessary to insert anything as it was also necessary to extract my babies!

In September and October, I was in extreme pelvic and stomach pain. Several doctor appointments and nothing suspected; more tests scheduled for December. (I'm a public patient in Ireland, thus time delay. Luckily, I'm pretty resilient. It takes a lot to take me down.)

Meanwhile, on November 5 after Houston, I awoke to lower left back pain. This, I diagnosed myself: a kidney stone. My kidney spent the next night spasming with the stone finally lodging in the tube. After 136 x-rays and admittance to the hospital, I was prepared for surgery to break up the stone and reset the uretha tube.
Before surgery, the doctor came to my bedside and said he had to discuss something with me. While following the stone movement in x-rays, they found something else. They had been following another moving target. My coil. It had ruptured the uterus and was now touring my insides.

In early x-rays, the coil appears in the uterus region, but upon closer look, it's behind the pelvis.

Other x-rays show the coil in the abdomen beside my gall bladder.

And yet, other x-rays show the coil behind ribs.

The doctor team was, and are, dumbfounded at its mobility and are anxious to remove the coil from the abdomen. Then, as if there wasn't enough bizarre activity, my original OBGYN doctor called my urologist surgeon during surgery and said to leave the coil in. (Apparently they are buddies and Dr. Urlogy sent an x-ray on his iphone to Dr. OBGYN.)

Why Dr. OBGYN wanted to halt the surgery for the coil eluded us all. But he did.

My first visit out of the hospital, of course, was to see Dr. OBGYN. He said he was sorry, it had never happened before, and the act of trying to find and remove via stomach surgery could be worse than if it was left to be in the abdomen. “So just leave it in your abdomen.” I think not.
I actually think he thought I would just roll over and go away. When I said I was going for second opinions, he agreed to consult four colleagues for what to do.

What made it worse, was back in September, in recovery I commented to the female doctor in training that I never even met Dr. OBGYN. I thought it odd that he did not introduce himself before or after surgery, so I had asked her, “Did he even do the surgery?” She said, “Oh yes, he did. You were too groggy to remember him.”

Now when he and I are in his office, and my coil in my abdomen, he introduces himself. (Note to self, he's never met me before.) He began reading the operating notes to me, stressing it was a very difficult insertion for “her”. I told him “she” said he had done the surgery, to which of course, he defensively denied.

Despite this blame game, Dr. OBGYN came back shortly with a new recommendation that the coil be removed. Which is a good thing as all my queries had been returning with vehement yes for removing coil. Surgery is scheduled for 28 January.

Can you believe? Crazy stuff.

Beyond Cutiepie's birth, which was blissfully seamless, this has been my longest experience with Irish health system and Irish hospital staff. The professionalism and the care shown by hospital staff was bar none the best I've ever experienced anywhere. So considerate and caring.
Equally so, they were incredibly candid. With each changing of staff, the nurse would lean in and say, “I saw your x-rays. Wow! That's really bad!” As an American, I was shocked. But I appreciated the humanity of the reaction. It also validated that I wasn't overreacting.

Have you ever heard of such a mess?

So I am now preparing myself for stomach surgery later this month. I trust all will go well.

I'm thankful we're not talking about a certain surgery in, say, nine months?
Because THAT very well could have been the case with contraception gone AWOL!


The Quilting Pirate said...

YIKES Sherri!! I can't imagine the pain you are in! Hoping surgery goes smoothly!

Erinness said...

Unbelievable!! So glad they figured it out and that you didn't get a whoops in the meantime...:) Keep us posted on the surgery... hope it goes well and you feel much better soon Sherry. Hugs!

Christy said...

hey...I thought I was the only one with crazy medical tales like that. Sounds like you are in good hands now. Feel better soon. Speedy recovery my far away friend.,
lLove, Christy

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Oh Blimey Sherry!! What a story! Hope the surgery goes well..and that everything that is suppose to be in stays in and everything that needs to be out gets out! Keep us posted!

What's Next said...

Sorry to hear about all of your troubles. I feel for you with you problems with your Doctors. I have had problems here in the US though not nearly as terrible as yours. It is so frustrating!

I wish you the best on your future surgery!

Jeannie B. said...

That sounds so scary and frustrating to me. In the USA there is a big debate on National Health Care. I want everyone to have good health care. But I don't want bad health care and that sounds like what it will be. Waiting while things worsen in your body!!