We made our 2 hour road trip Friday to see Specialist Guy, a reproductive endocrinologist (RE). The appointment started out with me getting weighed, us reviewing our medications with the nurse, and having our photos taken for their files. (My dentist does this too, so they can recognize their patients, put the face with the name, but to me it just feels like a mug shot, and I’m usually thinking, wow, my hair is going to forever look like this in their files, LOL.) Then we went back to Specialist Guy’s office for a chat. We went over some of our information, discussed my irregular menstrual cycles, and he made notes on how many Clomid cycles I’ve done (which is 8 – 3 medication-only, 4 with IUIs, 1 with ICI) and Femara (1 medication-only). He seemed friendly but very matter of fact. Maybe even a little arrogant when discussing some of the things our other medical providers have done, but I am going to assume this comes with the territory of being a specialist, you’re at the top of your field and you know it.
He did an exam, checking me over for hallmarks of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) such as hair growth (nope), not bad but persistent acne (yes) and skin tags (1 tiny one I hadn’t even noticed). Then he did a pelvic exam and a transvaginal ultrasound. He pointed out things on the ultrasound machine screen, such as my uterus, endometrium, ovaries, and apparent cysts on the right ovary. He couldn’t really see the left one very well for some reason. It wasn’t for lack of trying though; I was still achey hours after from that damn ultrasound wand. I have to say it was one of the worst exams I have had. It was very brisk, only took a few minutes, but it sucked. I think older doctors in general have a less empathetic approach, and his approach left a lot to be desired. He was calling me kiddo in a seemingly endearing way, yet treating my body like it was a plastic practice dummy with no feeling attached. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the way that made me feel.
We gathered in his office to talk again following the exam, discussed the probable PCOS diagnosis and some tests he recommends. We got printed orders for some lab tests for both Honey Bear and I, though my list has many more tests on it, that we can do at an outside lab closer to home. However, Honey Bear is expected to come in to their office this week for a semen analysis with DNA fragmentation. This sucks because he will have to drive 2 hours just to provide the sample in the morning and then drive home. Apparently their lab is equipped to do more advanced testing than the analysis we had done in 2010. The plan is for us to return together in 2 weeks to go over all these results and be presented with options for treatment.
The money thing is kinda scary, as I am not sure how much, if any, my insurance will pay. I know they won’t pay for any fertility procedures, but I am hoping they will pay for some of the lab tests to confirm a PCOS diagnosis. I don’t think they’ll be paying the $300 for Honey Bear’s test.
It seemed pretty cut-and-dried when we left Specialist Guy’s office that we would do all these things and be back in 2 weeks. But I have been giving it a lot of thought since then, and I’m still trying to decide if we will go through with it. The money is one aspect of it, but the other is more personal. I am tired of being an experiment.