My Story - Part 2

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I’ve known Shaun for 14 years, we’ve been friends on and off depending on where we lived and how life was. Then three and a half years ago, he moved round the corner from me.

We were a pretty unlikely romance if I’m honest, I didn’t think it would ever work out. But after all these years being single, I’m happy to report that despite all this big fat mess, I’ve got myself the best boyfriend anyone could wish for.

I’m not one for bragging, I’m quite a private person and this is why it’s been so difficult for me to post online, but I can’t take all the credit for my survival of the last three years. Talk about perfect timing.

I’m also not saying he’s perfect because that may go to his head! But in all seriousness, he just gets me, he always tries to understand me and he bears with me and my moods. I try and do the same for him. We’ve had a lot to deal with in the last three years. I remember when we got together I told him that I needed to be with someone who would be here for me or I may as well be alone. He’s been my rock ever since that day, he’s not let me down once. He is the reason I’m still here.

My “troubles” started just two months after we got together. Instead of doing a runner, he stuck by me. We’re no worse off than anyone else, but trust me when I tell you, the last three years have been the hardest for us both. We are fighters.

I was honest with Shaun about wanting a baby from the start and he came with me when I had my first test at the general hospital, after two years of pain and complaints falling on deaf ears.

I was booked in for a HyCoSy scan, I remember it was painful. Basically, the doctor uses a catheter to push a dyed fluid through the uterus (sorry if this is graphic) to check whether your fallopian tubes are clear. With mine, no dye went through. That’s all they told me on the day. Oh and I got pamphlets, which I left on the chair.

I was very anxious to have more face to face clarification at the time, a human touch, but the gynaecologist told me she would discuss the results with me during our next consultation, and left the room. The nurses couldn’t advise me further and suggested I go home and wait for my appointment, three weeks later.

I think that after keeping all my feelings inside from my miscarriage, this is about the time that this continual breakdown I seem to be having began.

Our consultation three weeks later was a complete disaster. She was rude, obnoxious and completely set on not being helpful. All she said was “your tubes are blocked, so I’ve booked you in for investigative surgery in eight weeks and we’ll meet four weeks later to discuss the results”. No other talk, no possible explanations or consequences, nothing. Just waiting and waiting and waiting, a daily nightmare and still a lot of pain.

My mum came over from France to stay with me as Shaun works full time. She couldn’t believe the lack of information I was getting about my situation.

My first operation finally came. My first concern was when I saw the state of the ward I was booked on: dirty. I used to be a carer, so I know how things should be. Even the sheets didn’t look clean and the bed wasn’t made, the sheets were just thrown on.

I remember going under, counting down from 10. Then I woke up, my mum was there and I was in agony.

The surgeon stopped by my bed, and said that I had hydrosalpinx in one of my tubes and that my other tube was just blocked. He said it was because I’d had STDs in the past (I hadn’t) and that I would have to have my tubes out and go for IVF.

Hydrosalpinx is when your tube is filled with fluid, and mine was badly infected too. Remember what the scan lady said? There was something wrong with my tube, two years before!

I have never had an STD in my life and I have the tests to prove it. I told him this in my sleepy state, but he wouldn’t listen to me. He said “speak to your gynaecologist when you see her and have IVF!”

I was discharged the same day, after toast and a walk to the loos. I was half-awake, with no pain relief, no advice or explanation again. I was in a lot of discomfort and I remember crying all the way home, all night, the next day. I still cry today.

As the days and weeks followed, my wounds didn’t heal well. I kept ringing the hospital to ask for help but they wouldn’t see me. My GP eventually took swabs, and it turned out I got a bug, during my operation. I did say it was dirty! It took two lots of antibiotics and a lot of care for my wounds to eventually close up and heal. I’ve been left with horrible scars.

I guess it’s obvious that I don’t hold much love for that hospital. I lost my baby there, it was probably thrown in a yellow bin. I know it wasn’t a fully grown baby, but it was the only time I came close to it, one positive test is all you need, especially when it doesn’t happen again. And now this!

When we finally met with the consultant to discuss the results, she was very abrupt again; “you have hydrosalpinx, you’re too old, you’re too fat and your boyfriend has a child so you can’t have IVF on the NHS anyway, I’m booking you in so we can take the whole lot out and you’ll have to find the money to do it yourself.” Slowwww down lady!

I promise you that this was how she spoke to me.

I asked her about my miscarriage two years before and the scan results, but she categorically refused to discuss it, all she was on about was booking me in for my next operation.

My operation also revealed that my other tube was stuck to the pouch of Douglas, some funny organ somewhere behind, so really the future was looking bleak. I did ask the gynaecologist whether they could try to fix me but she said no, she said “can you imagine how small it all is, we don’t do that here”. More B.S, so we left.

I should also mention that when she said I was “fat”, I was 15 stone. It was all the comfort eating after my miscarriage I’m afraid, not that she asked. I have since curbed my enthusiasm for food and am back to a reasonable weight, fit for IVF should the occasion present itself!

I sent a complaint to the hospital about the treatment I was receiving and the lack of answers. I was invited to meet with two women from the gynaecology department.

They insisted that my infected tube had nothing to do with my miscarriage. They did agree that no STDs were recorded on my file and that the hydrosalpinx didn’t stem from that. But they wouldn’t look back at my records and they refused to discuss what had happened in the past. By then I knew that I was being lied to, things were being hidden from me. I started to ring around lawyers asking for advice.

Shaun looked on the internet and suggested I asked for a second opinion, so I did. I wasn’t told that this was an option by the hospital. I never wanted to go there again and I still don’t.