Or alternatively subtitled, Dipshit nurses and Caring nurses.
D&C was yesterday. I was to show up at 1pm at the outpatient surgery center. We got there a bit before 1, and I was given a bracelet and asked to take off all of my jewelry. We sat down and I was called not much later, and H was to stay in the waiting room. A male CNA brought me back to my curtained bed area, weighed me, and gave me a gown and socks to put on and a bag to put my clothes in. He brought me a warm blanket and set up the personal tv for me to watch. 1pm, channel 3, Days of Our Lives. Perfect.
About 10 minutes later, a female nurse (an RN) arrived. She introduced herself as Tess, and she had a fairly thick Jamaican accent. She asked me some questions I’d been asked before, and filled out the answers on a written sheet, but I realize they have to cover their butts to make sure we answer the same questions the same over and over again. This is where the alternate subtitle comes into play. I couldn’t MAKE this next part up:
Nurse: In your own words, what procedure are you here for?
Me: A D&C
Nurse: What is the date of your last menstrual period?
Nurse: (Pauses – you can hear the wheels turning). Could you be pregnant?!
Me: (Severely taken aback) Uh, that’s why the D&C?
Nurse: Oh, oh. Yes. That’s right.
This is when she mumbled something about not connecting one thing with another and I wasn’t really quite sure what she was saying. So I sort of smiled and tried to watch my show.
The conversation unfortunately continues:
Nurse: (After some more wheel turning) H, is a woman, yes?
Nurse: Are you bi?
Me: I’m sorry?
Nurse: Are you BI?
Nurse: (another pause, clearly she’s going to go down this path whether I want her to or not, although I couldn’t in a million years see what was coming if I had tried) Then how did you get pregnant?
Me: IVF (blank look). In Vitro?
Nurse: Oh. And you don’t want it anymore?
Me: (at a complete and total loss, staring at the tv now) It’s not viable.
Nurse: Oh. I’m sorry.
I can’t remember what else she may have said past this point. She dropped this line of questioning and went to work on getting my IV in, and I warned her I was a tough stick so she took her time. Thankfully, after that was done, she left. I remember thinking, “Please remember this conversation later, it will at least make a good blog post.”
I had noticed during our conversation that the Nurse Anesthetist was with the patient on the other side of the curtain from me prepping her and talking to her. I didn’t put this part of the story together as important until the same Nurse Anesthetist came to talk to me.
About a half hour went by, and the Anesthesiologist came by. He asked me a few questions, I indicated I wanted anti-nausea meds in my IV, and also said that I was generally a lightweight when it came to meds. He looked at my chart and said I was next and we’d be getting ready soon. By the time the Nurse Anesthetist came to talk to me, it was almost an hour and a half since I had been taken back to pre-op.
The Nurse Anesthetist looked just like Den.ise Rich.ards, and had a badge with a picture of two sweet little kids on it. Her name was Julie. She put her hand on my leg and looked at me and said first, “I’m very sorry.” I said thank you, and tried not to cry. She asked me if it had been my first IVF cycle, and I said no. She said she heard I had two little ones at home and asked what their names were. She said her two children were IVF babies, and that she had two unsuccessful cycles in between the birth of the first and the second. I told her that the previous nurse was very confused by me and clueless. She said, “I know. I heard. I’m so so sorry.” And at first I thought she meant she heard ABOUT the conversation. But I don’t know why on earth someone would repeat that conversation because if I had been the nurse, I would have been incredibly embarrassed. Then I realized, she must have heard the conversation from the other side of the curtain. Infertility Radar is like gaydar, you hear someone say IVF or anything that resembles IF talk, and your ears hone in. Either way, she was the perfect counter to the ignorance I had to deal with previously.
Just before they wheeled me out, they had me sign an anesthesia questionnaire and of course, the last question is, “Is there a chance you may be pregnant?” I repeated the question and said, “Ugh, what an awful question.” Julie said, “I know. I’m sorry. You should see the great answers we get from the guys.” I laughed. As we wheeled into the operating room, I could tell that Julie had pushed something into my IV because I was feeling a bit woozy. Then she pushed something else that actually hurt going in, and started talking to me, asking me about my job and what I did for the State. I think because I was still talking, she gave me more, and that’s all I remember.
Waking up in recovery, I had an oxygen mask on my face and felt like I couldn’t open my eyes. I heard my nurses voice telling me I was all done and everything went fine. I don’t know how much longer I slept for, but I woke up enough for them to take the oxygen mask off. She told me I needed more anesthesia than they thought I would, so I had to stay in recovery for at least 45 minutes to an hour. It was then that I started to cry. My nurse, Silvina, put her hand on my arm and asked me if this was my first miscarriage. I nodded yes. She said she was sorry, and told me she had one as well, and had to have a D&C too. She brought me some tissue, and I asked her what time it was. “3:30” she said.
A few more minutes went by and my doctor came over to say everything was fine and that if I wanted to stay home from work the rest of the week that was ok too. I told her I planned to stay home Thursday but go back on Friday. She said she had talked to H in the waiting room and let her know all was well.
The anesthesiologist came by to check on me and we talked about pain meds because I was having some cramping. He thought it would be better for me to start on my Darv.ocet because what they were allowed to give me in recovery wouldn’t last very long. So they sent someone out to H to get my meds from my bag and Silvina got me some crackers and juice mixed with 7up. Sitting up was dizzying. Literally. But I managed to get the crackers, drink, and meds down without puking, so I was allowed to get dressed after she took out my IV. I kept the little socks they gave me to wear. Purple socks with non-slip grips on the bottom? I wore them all afternoon!
I slept most of the afternoon and evening, waking to eat dinner and that’s pretty much it. I slept until 8:30 this morning. And I’m still tired.
I’m still not sure where my emotions are right now. It’s hard to know what to feel. The range of emotions over the past week especially have been exhausting. Now that there’s no more hope left to have about this situation it’s hard to settle into that. My body no longer feels pregnant, which I’m very thankful for. Seeing red for the first time since May was a bit of a shock. I’m just not really in a place where I am fully processing all of this yet. Sunday we went to church, at my request, and our Dean reads my blog occasionally and he knew what was going on. He saw me, and right before the procession, came up and gave me a hug. He said nothing. Simply put his arms around me and stood there for a minute. It took me a full five minutes to stop crying after that.
While I’m glad the roller coaster is over, my nurse in recovery said something yesterday that I think will definitely ring true, which is that it might be a long time before I’m ok with all of this. And that that’s ok.
So it is just going to have to be ok.