Tuesday, 2 October 2007

A Momentous Day

I was introduced to Dr Sarah Grey by a dear friend of mine, Carole, to whom I am everlastingly grateful. Carole, here are the details as requested.

We’re (nearly) all women here, so men – look away. Alternatively, file it for future reference when your wife/girlfriend is weeping over the dinner for no accountable reason.

I have adenomyosis, a condition that means as I get older my periods are increasingly painful. As in chronic cramps. Last week they were so bad I couldn’t speak (brief interlude of bliss for Himself) and had to cancel two writing meetings. Unheard of. My GP has tried various solutions, I’ve had scans galore and seen a gynaecologist but nothing worked so the alternative was to have a coil fitted under general anaesthetic (I’ve had two GPs try and fail: my cervix is too narrow) or a hysterectomy.

Then Carole told me about Dr Grey who is a specialist in women’s health. Music to my ears, I can tell you. I got a referral to see her in a month’s time but last week, by Friday, I was reduced to a weeping, cramping hormonal wreck. I rang Dr Grey who said she could see me privately on Monday. At a cost. By that time, frankly, I would have sold the house, and Himself was getting increasingly worried about his doubled up wife.

The dear lady did say that if my GP would write me a prescription for a coil, that would save me £100. Luckily my GP is lovely and she did. So at 9am yesterday I went to the chemist to pick it up. They couldn’t find it. Great, I thought. Finally, she said cheerfully, ‘Oh I didn’t realise it was on the Top Shelf,’ and handed me a large item in a carrier bag.

I looked inside and saw a two foot long cardboard box.
I thought, Oh My God, and my insides sort of slid away in terror. Brave faced, I returned to the car with a smile. ‘Guess what? I didn’t have to pay!’ I said.

Himself looked at the package and went white. I looked at the package and felt sick.

‘I expect there’s a prodder in there,’ I said faintly.

Himself went even whiter, if that was possible, and started the car engine. We drove home in silence.

Thankfully that was the worst bit. Dr Grey was kind, compassionate and watched me carefully, assessing me as she tapped details into her laptop. She’s clever, thoughtful and sincere and explained all my options, adding, ‘surgery is the very Last Resort.’ Further music to my ears.

The procedure itself was painless and quick. (I won’t got into details, you’ll be glad to hear.) She fitted it without a problem and later, she smiled and said, ‘I can hear the relief in your voice.’

Relief? I nearly burst into tears and hugged her. But I didn’t. People tend to get embarrassed at my ability to blub at a second’s notice. She then went on to explain how she will now look after me and my problematical womb on the NHS right through the menopause and whatever else ensues.

I did cry then. Just a little leakage. I couldn’t help it. Himself did too when I told him. What a relief to find someone like Dr Grey. My Angel Gabriel – er no, wrong sex. My Joan of Arc. Or something. Whatever, the prospect of actually getting through each month without having to write off several days in crippling agony is wonderful to imagine.

So if any of you out there are suffering, there are plenty of avenues to try. Ask for a referral. Ask some more. Make a nuisance of yourself. It’s worth it.

When we finally got home we had a phone call from the girls asking if we’d like to come over for a drink and see their wedding album which had just arrived.

We were so chuffed to be invited and went over for an hour to catch up, have a glass of wine and pore over the photos which are wonderful.

All in all, a momentous day.


Aoj & The Lurchers said...

So glad it all went well for you.

Flowerpot said...

thanks aoj - so am i!

Hannah Velten said...

Fingers crossed, Flowerpot that this little treatment (versus surgery) will be the answer you are looking for....my mum had similar problems, so I'm hoping that I don't succumb aswell.

Jen said...

Ooh, yowch, I empathise entirely... 'tis reassuring to know that there are alternatives and sensible docs out there...

Lesley Rigby said...

You will be a new woman now! Thank goodness there are such clever people and don't we love them?

Big hugs for being such a "Brave Soldier". Not forgetting "Himself" who was a treasure for being alongside of you when needed.

Flowerpot said...

thanks for that Hannah. Yes I hope it will do teh trick but if not there are other options. If you do have the same problems, it's worth trying.

jen - yes isn't it a relief?!!

Lesley - yes, I am stunned to have met such an intelligent, compassionate woman. Gives you faith in human nature.

debio said...

So pleased you have not only found a solution but the 'white knight-ess' also.

How and why does having a coil fitted do the trick? I'm intrigued. If it's 'too much information' will look up.

Hope all pain gone.

Flowerpot said...

A Mirena coil releases progesterone locally - I'm also taking a progesterone tablet and the two should help stop the build up in the womb. Well, that's it more or less!

Mopsa said...

Hoorah for Dr Grey

Flowerpot said...

Mopsa - I couldn't agree more!

Rebecca Taunton said...

We were both so glad to hear that everything went well. We will keep our fingers crossed that this will do the trick and there will be no need for anything more drastic.

Well done for being so brave,

RT x

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Ah, it wasn't what I thought it was. I had precancerous cells lasered off my cervix. Not nice. But what you have sounds far worse. I'm glad you found an understanding doctor. I had a Mirena till I went through an early menopause this year. Truly wonderful things.

JJ said...

I'm really glad to hear you have a compassionate GP, and found a wonderful specialist.

I sometimes think that if men had periods someone would've come up with better ways of dealing with the problems!


BreadBox said...

Wow -- what a wonderfully simple-ish solution to a really awful sounding problem... and what a great doctor to have found. Lucky you:-)

So glad things went well --- as well as could be hoped, it sounds!

laurie said...

i'd heard of the condition, never heard of the cure. good job finding her! i hope the coil wasn't actually as big as the box suggested.

and i'm *so* glad you're feeling better.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Wonderful news, flowerpot. I'm so very glad that you've found someone to work with who makes you comfortable and that you trust.

Fingers crossed that it takes care of the problem for good!

Flowerpot said...

RT - thanks for that. I'm not sure about being brave - I was desperate!

wakeup - oh I had that done years ago , really horrible. Couldnt sit down for ages. Glad you had a good experience with a Mirena - I'm still getting bad cramps but hope they'll ease soon. Bring on the menopause I say.

jj - I think you have a very good poiint. Strange though that a lot of men are gynaecologists!!

Flowerpot said...

breadbox - yes I hope it works soon. I was somewhat euphoric yesterday - now just waiting for it to take effect. She said after a day things should ease so am hoping it will soon!

laurie - it's a common problem but I think different people suit different remedies so to speak. And no, thank god it wasn't that big!!

thanks correspondent - it makes a huge difference. I shall be glad when it starts working. Not yet!

Dee said...

Oh I nearly cried there flowerpot! I'm glad you found Dr Grey and she could help you... well I hope she did, and you're no longer in such excruciating pain.
You ARE brave.

Akelamalu said...

Oh great you got sorted, I'm so pleased for you. x

Flowerpot said...

dee - many thanks for your kind words. I'm still waiting for the pain relief but am sure it will arrive soon! If not I will ring her tomorrow - I feel better just knowing she's around.

Thanks Ak. The sorting will take a while, but I've started which is the main thing!

Miss Understood said...

I really hope it works for you. I had similar problems and tried all sorts of treatments. Finally, because nothing worked, I had a hysterectomy last year. Best thing I ever did!

Best of luck with it. Hope the pain eases soon. x

Anonymous said...

Gosh, sounds like you've been through the mill. I'm so glad you are feeling better and really hoping for you that this works out. Yes, I think you are lucky to have found Dr Grey. There aren't many good doctors around that can offer that kind of support. And don't you find that most gynae's are male or is it just me??

Best wishes and lots of love,
Crystal xx

Lane said...

That's great to hear (not the pain bit but the finding lovely doctor bit).
So glad it all went well for you:))

Em said...

I suffer from dysmenorrhea so really can sympathise, fingers crossed that this sorts it - fantastic that you've got hold of a nice doctor who wants to do more than a)rip your insides out and b)prescribe you ever stronger painkillers

Swearing Mother said...

Well done you! I am sure from now on you'll be feeling better. It's so nice to hear of a success story, let's hear it for Dr.Grey!

Best wishes.

Graham, Prince & Tilly said...

Not all men are squeamish! I'm so pleased you're feeling better and it went well....