Monday, March 5, 2007

A New Plan

Okay, so I lied…It’s barely the beginning of March, but I have another update. My plans for treatment are changing somewhat. I have been having some symptoms (I’ll spare you the details) that are reminiscent of endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (the endometrial stroma and glands, which should only be located inside the uterus) is found elsewhere in the body, from the outside of the uterine wall in mild cases to all throughout the body in more severe cases. Apparently, I have a family history of this disease and I match a few of the symptoms, one of these being… infertility.

So here’s my conundrum: Do I stop all treatments, wait until we have better health insurance through the PD, and investigate this possibility ~OR~ Do I save up money and continue on with treatments as planned, after all the “cure” for endometriosis is pregnancy.

There is a good chance I don’t have this disease, but then again there’s a chance I do. Our infertility is considered “unexplained”, meaning all our tests look perfect. I have plenty of good eggs, my hormone levels look good, and Ryan has a high amount of “team members” so-to-speak. Could endometriosis be causing our problems? There’s only one way to find out, which involves surgery as described below:

Laparoscopy is the most common procedure used to diagnose and remove mild to moderate endometriosis. The surgeon inserts a lighted viewing instrument called a laparoscope through a small incision. The doctor can view the internal organs to look for signs of endometriosis or other possible problems. This is the only way that endometriosis can be diagnosed with certainty. Then the doctor can remove any visible endometriosis implants and scar tissue that may be causing pain or infertility.

At the same time, this procedure would also be performed:

A hysteroscopy is a procedure in which the doctor uses a hysteroscope to look at the inside of the uterus. A hysteroscope is a thin tube with a tiny camera. The doctor can guide a tool into the uterus to remove a fibroid tumor or just to check for any abnormalities therein.

Recovery time is 1-2 weeks for these procedures. For people who do have endometriosis, the chances of getting pregnant following the surgery are 75%.

After thinking, praying, and talking with my doctor, I feel that I should pursue this possibility. The worst case scenario would be a $200 deductible plus 20% of the cost of the surgery with the conclusion that this possibility is ruled out. Best case scenario would be discovering what might be wrong, repairing it (although this would be a “band-aid”; it will come back again), and getting pregnant. Sounds like a bet worth taking to me…

At the rate they're going, Ryan will start at the PD sometime in late March. He will have to be employed for 30 days and then the health coverage will start at the beginning of the next month following. We have heath insurance coverage now, but with 10 times the deductible amount. So right now it looks like in May I'll be eligible for the new insurance. I have heard some hospitals have waiting lists for this type of procedure so who knows when it will actually happen. But now we have a plan, albeit a new one, but it's still a plan! J

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