Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ode to My Ovaries

All four of them.

Yes, it "appears" (laparoscopically and on ultrasound and MRI) that I actually have 4 ovaries as opposed to the normal two. Double the ovaries should logically make a girl MORE fertile, no?

Let me explain. After my first surgery, April 4th 2008, Dr Ste.gman referred to my lovely, ginormous polycystic ovaries as "dumbbell shaped." There's 1 section, a normal oval-shape and size, then a thin "connective" layer, and then a whole other section of normal shape and size. I remembered as he was describing this that the old Sonographer at Dr J's office (my local NaPro Dr who runs the NaPro ultrasound series) had also once told me that there was a "whole other section" to my right ovary and that if a Sonographer was not diligent, they may miss it entirely. (I wonder if this same Sonographer "missed" the fact that there are two sections to BOTH my ovaries?)

So from that point on, whenever I've had an ultrasound I've been sure to alert whoever was performing the study that there are 2 sections to my ovaries. They usually listen (all but the RE... go figure. When I told him, he said, "yup, yup," and went on to measure follicles on ONE section of both ovaries. Why do most REs think we women don't know our bodies as well as they do??)

Back to my ovaries.

So, my lovely dumbbell shaped ovaries as they have been lovingly referred from that point onwards, are, strikingly, NOT superfertile. Hmmmm. Before the ovarian wedge resection, they couldn't figure out how to ovulate on their own. (And, ovaries, I must now formally apologize for having put you through 5 years on and off of the birth control pill. I don't blame you one bit for completely forgetting what your normal function was supposed to be!) After the ovarian wedge resection, they were up and running like champs, all "four" of them :) But it seemed that Lefty took charge and really did most of the ovulating. In fact, Righty almost never ovulated unless it was IN COLLABORATION WITH a Lefty ovulation (on some kind of stimming med like Femara or Follistim). Last cycle, unmedicated, it appears that Righty ovulated all by herself, as was evidenced in the small resolving corpus luteum on my Right ovary during surgery. I am so proud. A moment of silence in appreciation of that fact...

What is odd to me is that Dr Ste.gman removed the corpus luteum from the ovary. Does anyone know why? I don't remember him telling me he did this, but from the pictures and DH's recollection of his explanation of the surgery, he did indeed lop off the C.L. Maybe it was attached to some adhesions? Anyone thoughts? Anyone whose DH happens to be a laparoscopic surgeon perchance?? ;)

I'll find out all the details at my post-op July 26th.

Back to my ovaries. Sorry, ovaries, I keep getting sidetracked.

So, how is it that a woman with the tissue-equivalent of four working ovaries is not only NOT superfertile, but is the polar opposite? I got to thinking about these adhesions... just how long have they been there? I remember Dr Toth being "concerned" that I had this archaic o.w.r procedure (he's not the only Dr to have said that, but I stick to my assertion that it was the BEST best best treatment decision I have ever made), so he did a transvaginal ultrasound in his office to see (among other things) if there was evidence of adhesions on either ovary. After doing something "kinky" (no, I kid you not, he actually said to me in his thick Hungarian accent, "OK, I am goeeng to do sometheeng a leetle keenky now," - oh, I love Dr Toth) he concluded that there were NO adhesions on my ovaries. What he did may sound horrifying but honestly it didn't hurt, it was just weird. He thrust the TV probe into my cervix a couple of times, the sound beams angled toward one ovary then the other, to see if they "moved" on the screen. It's actually a pretty good technique, though I'm not so sure I'll be using it on any of my patients.

So, is it possible Dr Toth missed the evidence of adhesions? They were primarily concentrated on my ovaries, especially Lefty. Or is it more likely that they formed AFTER Dr Toth's treatment? Can hyperstimulation cause adhesion-formation?? Or was it the fact that I moved/lifted too much too soon after my o.w.r?? Did I do this to myself?

So many questions, so few Drs in my living room.

But now I am, it would seem, endo-free AND adhesion-free, with four working (though more on a "volunteer"-type status- they need real incentive in the form of stimming meds to work to full capacity) ovaries. So NOW will I be superfertile?

Oh wait. It's not just ovaries that get you pregnant. I forgot! I have a gorgeous uterus, lovely cervix (Dr Ste.gman's first comment to me in Recovery Room 1 was, "When I first dilated your cervix for the selective HSG, I was met by a river of cervical mucus." Why, yes, that's how I greet all my friends, Dr Ste.gman.) but not-so-hot hormones, labwork and blood/bloodflow to the zone of implantation.

I am breaking out my prayers to St. Raphael for some serious healing.

What's funny (though not exactly funny-haha) is that Dr Ste.gman must have forgotten what my ovaries looked like when he went in for this surgery. He said when he first got in there, he thought something had gone seriously wrong and that the sutures holding my ovaries together after the wedge resection had fallen out, because it looked like my ovaries were in half hanging together by a thread. Lovely. I'm sure he must have been relieved to realize, oh, no, she just has these weird ovaries that look like dumbbells.

I love my ovaries. I do. They have proven time and time again to perform when I need them most, despite everything working against them. Now if only the rest of those "issues" can follow suit.

And that is all I have to say about my ovaries. Today anyway.

24 comments:

Angela said...

Goooooo Righty! That's my cheer for tonight ;) Seriously though it is amazing about the 4 ovaries... and now you are endo and adhesion free! Woohoo! Oh and I did LOL when I read: "Why, yes, that's how I greet all my friends, Dr Ste.gman." Ahhh...I needed this post before I have to go to my own repair-work on my apparently controversial post mentioning IVF yet once again! Sending prayers your way that good things are to come! :)

Trustful Surrender said...

LOL. I found this post to be quite funny.
Wish I knew my body as well as you know yours.
Praying for complete healing and your "miracle" soon!

Thankful said...

TCIE - You crack me up! Those are some seriously crazy ovaries - highly impressive :) Praying that all four pieces and your beautiful uterus plus river of mucus can all play nice!

mrsblondies said...

I love this post. That's so crazy about the 4 ovaries. Glad to hear you are endo- and adhesion-free. I'm praying that St. Raphael will help all the pieces of your reproductive system to play nice soon.

JellyBelly said...

Mr. JB just asked why I kept laughing out loud while reading your post! You're one funny lady!

Now do you have pictures of your overachieving ovaries? I'm so curious to hear what you doctor has to say at your post-op appointment!

I can appreciate your frustration at having an extra set of ovaries. I have an extra spleen (an accessory one, attached to one of my kidneys) and I've been a sickly person my whole life. The spleen makes extra antibodies to help fight off illness and the fact that I have the crappiest immune system around is just a cruel joke.

I have a good feeling about this last surgery! I think that you've found your missing link!!!

Kaitlin @ More Like Mary said...

"So many questions, so few Drs in my living room." That just sums it up right there! So true!

Your post-op report sounds wonderful-I'm filled with hope! I can't wait to hear the results of your post-op visit.

Beth said...

Hey it sounds like you're on the right track! 4 is better than 2 right? So glad you're endo and adhesion free!

Hebrews 11:1 said...

Three cheers for TCIE's ovaries! Sounds like the surgery went well...I will send prayers that your next appointment goes well and that great things are coming!

Chasing said...

great post! Glad your insides are straightened out and that should you ever want to do weight training, you already have your dumbells. ;-) jk

callmemama said...

Wow, I never knew about your 4 ovaries! I'm glad to hear you're endo and adhesions free now :).

the misfit said...

_I_ want a river of cervical mucus.

I remember in college observing that bad strapless bras (i.e., all of them) created a third and fourth boob (even on the less generously endowed, like yours truly). But this is the first time I have EVER heard of a third and fourth ovary. I think there's nothing to say but that you are a fertility phenomenon.

By the way, I understand that stims CAN cause adhesions - because they jack up your estrogen levels, and wide estrogen swings exacerbate endo - adhesions and all. But that's a known risk of stims, for endo patients - it's not that they won't use them, they're just supposed to keep an eye on the side effects. (I'm currently working on getting myself some drugs that have a lower risk of the endo-exacerbating side effects myself.)

Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble said...

You are such a great writer, and hilarious, too!

I am going with the theory that two ovaries are good, but four ovaries are better! So excited for you!!!!!

This_Cross_I_Embrace said...

To be clear, I don't actually have four ovaries... it just appears that way due to their weird shape.

expatbarrenness said...

"So few doctors in my living room" - this post is truly a thing of beauty. And I now either want or am terrified of all Hungarian doctors.

I can relate a little bit to wondering when certain things showed up. After finding out that endo is one of the few things that can "tilt" a uterus that isn't, I worried. I had an early u/s after extremely painful periods and the tilting wasn't mentioned until about 13 years later. It would be nice to know if it was already like that then (and therefore no reason to worry) or if it happened at some point afterwards.

Sew said...

You crack me up! I always knew you were a dumbbell. ;)

barbie said...

this post had me laughing constantly. You are hysterical. I'm SO glad you are in good spirits with well working dumbbell shaped overies! I hope you are super feritle my friend, praying!

Sissy said...

Yay, ovaries!

Tridentine Wife said...

This sounds great! I'm glad the recovery is going well. No more endo now it's time to put those four ovaries to work!

Little JoAnn said...

This post is genius. And, so it sounds are your ovaries. Yes, Ode to them! Now that we know about righty, let's go team.
I am praying for your four little dumbells. I know they are NOT DUMB at all but super smart and will be doing their job. You are so inspiring in so many ways. I love the way you take charge and know--even--what is going on inside. You are a woman after my own heart.

LifeHopes said...

I was cracking up through this whole post!!!!

As for when those adhesions formed, who the heck knows? But who cares now, bc they are gone gone gone!!!!

(if I had to guess, I'd say they formed shortly after your last surgery bc my DH says that adhesions form within days of surgery, if they are going to form, then just get thicker and more dense as time goes on). My best guess is that the Hungarian Dr's procedure, as kinky as it was, (laughing out loud) was not one which could detect adhesions anyways.

Love those dumb-bell shaped ovaries, can we please see some pics? Pretty please??

This_Cross_I_Embrace said...

OK, yeah, so you're laughing at Dr Toth asking me if he could do something a little kinky... now imagine that he has a Vag Wand in your hoo-ha and asks if he can do something a little kinky...!! I was wondering where he was planning on sticking it!!! I think I was actually RELIEVED when he started thrusting it into my cervix, to tell ya the truth!!

Shannon said...

I really LOVE this new look... and I LOVE your post.
I'm hopeful for you (as I've been and will continue to be!)
God's got you, chiquita....
I'm praying...

Shannon said...

also... you ladies CRACK ME UP!

Complicated Life said...

This is so funny.

Isn't it exciting to learn something new about your ovaries? Congratulations to you! haha!