Last week I had a hysteroscopy procedure to remove the septum in my uterus. What? Did you just say septum… like in your nose? Yes, it is exactly like that. In fact, I kept making jokes while waiting to be rolled into the surgical room, that it was my third septoplasty…but enough of that, more lame jokes later to come. And if you are already feeling creeped out by the words on the page, you might want to stop here.
Since my endometriosis has been pretty well managed for the past 16 years, I thought, “Hey, let’s find out what else is messed up with KK”. And sure enough, after completing the HSG test, I found out that I was born with a wall in my uterus, dividing it in half, straight down the middle. The septum is believed to be a malformation developed in utero. It is a fibrous tissue (with no nerves or blood) so it is easily removed, they snip/burn it away until it is gone. The abnormality is found in about 1% of women, and can cause about 85% chance of miscarriage because it alters the shape and size of the available uterus along with no tissue or blood supply for an embryo to grow on.
Yes, you heard right, I am part of the 1%!!!!! Oh… wait, not THAT 1%. Dang it! I could think of a better 1% group I would like to be a part of, but eh, I’ll take what I can get. In case you wanted some more numbers, facts, and figures to throw around: I am now 1% of women with a Septate Uterus, 10% of women with Endometriosis, and 25% of women with a tipped/tilted/retroverted uterus. No stats on ladies with partial cervix due to the LEEP and Cone Biopsy, but you can include me in that group too! Oh Joy!
Back to the procedure… it was a simple procedure, in fact, easier than when I had the laparoscopy to clean out the endo tissue growth and scars. In order to remove the septum, my doctor used a tiny scope, going through the vagina and cervix, which she attached different instruments to the end. First a snip-snip to cut away the tissue, then a twizzle stick (yes, named after the candy) with a ball on the end to scrape and clean up what was left. Then you get a cute little triangle pillow to fit perfectly inside your uterus to keep the walls separated while healing and preventing the septum from growing back. Seriously, the little balloon is too cute! No bigger than a quarter and only holds 2 milliliters of water. No stitching or sewing – just some lite spotting and back to business.
Well I didn’t get the balloon. If you saw my face after the surgery when my doctor told me what she replaced it with, I was definitely in disbelief. I had to ask her to repeat herself. Don’t get me wrong, the surgery went well – she was able to remove the septum. But the cute, tiny, little balloon was not there. Apparently my cervix was too small for the balloon to get thru (assuming it had to do with some of the damage from LEEP/Cone biopsy) so I was left with an old man catheter. Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. I have 8 inches of tubing hanging out me that I tape to my leg to avoid it falling in the toilet.
The past week has been an interesting ride. Besides learning how to deal with my dangling bits, tucking them here and there, I was also put on Estrogen. I have dealt with hormone changes before, with the Lupron Depot shots that put me through menopause…twice. But going from continuous birth control (to keep the endo at bay) and switching to a double dose of estrogen was a doozy! I was up and moving by the weekend with the only pain coming from my cramping uterus, but the emotional reactions to a slight draft of wind was not expected. I wasn’t even aware of it until Eric reminded me of the hormone replacement treatment. I was standing in the Hermes store, flipping through the bag catalog, longing for the beloved Berkin, when Eric walked up to me and said, “you look like you want to go home to curl up in a ball and cry”. Yeah – that pretty much summed it up.
Tomorrow I go in for my post appointment. Over the last week the hormones have leveled out (still bleeding and cramping), adjusted to wearing a pad with granny panties, and finally mastered how to sit in my office chair comfortably without tugging on my tubing or the hard plastic tip digging into my leg. So tomorrow I guess I get to go back to being “normal”. I will still be on the estrogen for another two weeks to ensure my uterus continues to grow and heal but it will be nice to be back in regular clothing that doesn’t need to accommodate my pseudo wiener. Speaking of food… due to the cravings and mood swings, I have been eating more comfort foods than I should and put on some pounds (shhh don’t tell my trainer). Deep down I know that it was all worth it, no matter how annoying or emotionally draining it may have been at times. I have put a lot of work into have the healthiest reproductive system possible and it would be stupid to stop now. I’m one step closer to starting the IVF process and the hope of having bio-kids.
Oh! I almost forgot – if you were wondering what the favorite joke of the surgical center was, it was my mothers joke that I was getting a “womb with some room”. *rim shot*