Friday, May 10, 2013

On Miscarriage

She has questioned me about medications and pre existing health issues, my address and insurance coverage for 20 minutes. Entering my responses into the right autofill bubbles on her computer throws her for a loop each time I give a response. Computers are not for the patients' convenience. Nor the workers is seems.

“How tall are you?”

“How much do you weigh?”


“Are you familiar with the 0-10 pain scale? What is your current level of pain?”

“Around a 2.”

“Crampy and stuff, huh. Do you know why you are here today?”

“Yes. Surgery.”

“What kind of surgery?”


“What is your pain goal for when you leave here today?”

“Well it’s surgery, right? Seems there will be some pain.” Nurse does not respond. I am irritated by the useless question and her insistence that it’s of value. To make a point I say,“Well, my goal is zero. “

“Well, you are having surgery.”
“Yes, I am aware. If I’m going to set a goal, might as well make it a good one. My goal is zero.”

She lets out a sigh. She is clearly not pleased with my response. “Well, we’ll do our best to make you comfortable.”

While laying in the pre-op bed waiting for my turn to be rolled into the O.R. I am visited by several nurses, the doctor, and the anesthesiologist. They all want to make sure I understand why I am there. The same intake nurse starts the process of explaining to me what is about to happen. As she coldly recites the process of being put under, the actual surgery and recovery I start to quietly cry. It is the first time I have cried all morning. I have held it together really well. I am undone by hearing about the process. I know how it’s done. I understand what is happening. There are real consequences to the facts you are reciting to me and deep, deep sorrow related to the scraping out process. Please look  me in the eye. My tears seem to startle her out of her trance and she actually makes eye contact. She whispers, “Oh.” And then mechanically but gently touches my hand with her finger tips. I ask for tissue. She leaves my curtained area and has to search thru several stalls to find some. This is odd to me but I am grateful she is gone. When she comes back I try to make her feel better by saying, “Well, I’ve gotten pretty far in the morning without falling apart. This has been a nine year roller coaster. This is hard.”
She mumbles “Nine years. Well, it will happen for you.”

“We have a 3 year old son now. I will be ok.” I am done talking to her. My story is not of interest to her.

Before being wheeled into the OR the black-out meds are hooked up to my IV. As I’m being wheeled to the room the nurse stops the bed, walks in front of me and says, "I’m just going to open up this drip so it’ll go faster." I am all for that. The ride gets a little fuzzier almost immediately. She pushes me thru the big doors and the lights are bright and the room feels crowded with busy gowned people and machines. They start putting cold suction cup-like stickers on my chest. I make eye contact over a machine with a nurse. She says, “Wow, such big blue eyes.” That’s the last thing I remember until I woke up crying in Recovery. I am so grateful to not have been awake during their strapping my arms and legs down like a starfish. I remember that from the 2nd one and it still makes me tear up. It still frightens me.

I woke up in Recovery. I think it was around 10:30. I was rolled into the OR around 9:40. There was a female nurse hovering around my head when I opened my eyes. I blinked and shook my head to help focus and then started quietly crying. Waking up from the surgery is horrible. The sadness hits you as soon as you’re able to think. It’s smothering like a wet blanket thrown over your head. The nurse quickly checks in with me, gives me tissue and says she’ll go get my husband so he can sit with me. They don’t usually allow family back there but she’s going to do it anyway. As she hustles off a male nurse comes over and asks me if I’d like a wet towel for my head. Yes, I would. As he leaves he says, “Did you miscarry?”
"Yes, I did."

"My mother had five of those."
I am still answering his first question: “Yes, I did, they were twins.” He is gone.

When he comes back he says again, “My mother had five of those.”

I want to ask him what his point is. Is this a competition and I am supposed to feel lucky I’ve only had three? She wins? Or am I supposed to find hope because look here he is! She must have eventually had success? If it’s the latter perhaps he should finish his thought because I just feel ticked that he is trying to shut me down. I am sorry for her struggles but now is not the time to discuss it.

I am done trying to make all the medical people in this nightmare feel better about this crappy thing. DH arrives and he holds me and says, “Yes, this part is always the worst, Babe.”

“Yes, it sucks. I am so glad you are here.”

We are all just doing the best we can and medical personnel are only human. I get that. The medical stuff surrounding our fertility struggles have been almost as traumatic as the actual struggle for me though. There are events that haunt me. There is no blame to administer, this is just my story and how it has affected me. Writing these stories down frees me from running over the memories like a worry stone in my mind.

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