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Surgically “Unopenable” Fallopian Tubes

Autumn’s Story

 

Six years ago my partner and I made the decision to start trying to have a baby. She already had a son she had conceived through artificial insemination, and he was two years old at the time. I had always wanted children and thought it would be an easy process. Boy…if I’d only known then what I know now.

We made an appointment with a reproductive specialist to start the process. After undergoing a battery of blood tests, they said I had to have an HSG performed. The specialist told me, “It’s standard procedure and we don’t predict any problems.”

But when the test was over, the specialist said, “There’s a problem,” and proceeded to tell me point-blank that my tubes were blocked. I immediately felt my stomach drop and then the tears started flowing. He told me to go home and when I was ready, to call his office and schedule a follow-up; he would go over the results with me in detail then. He had a nurse help me get my clothes on and in be-tween sobs I asked her if I would ever be able to have babies and she said, “I don’t know, but you need to know that, even with the predicament you are in, you have one of the best doctors in the state.”I knew at that moment that my predicament was VERY bad.

adhesions forming on the fallopian tubes and uterus

The next week and a half waiting for my appointment with him was torture. My family and friends kept telling me that it probably wasn’t as bad as it sounded, and to just wait for my follow-up and see what he said. My partner and I went to the follow-up and I was sick to my stomach with fear. The specialist came in, looked at my papers, and started talking about the process of artificial insemination and what we needed to do to get started.I was in shock, and in my mind I was thinking maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I asked the specialist, “I thought after the test you said my tubes were blocked?” He looked at me questionably and then looked at my test results and said, “No, there may have been a little blockage, but nothing that should cause any problems.” I thought I was imagining things and my friends said, “See, we told you.” But I just didn’t understand.

The following month we started inseminations. I was excited, but scared because I felt like something was wrong. We tried for two months with no luck. It was then close to the holidays and we decided to take a break. During this time I thought a lot about the HSG and decided to find a different doctor for a second opinion. My partner and I went to our appointment with the new doctor and told him everything that had happened. He said, “I would like to do a laparoscopy, so we can visualize the area directly, and test your fallopian tubes again.”

surgery to view fallopian tubesMy mom, who is a nurse, came the day of the surgery because my partner had to work. When I was in pre-op, the doctor came to see me and said, “I won’t be able to talk to you after the surgery because you will still be under medication, but I will tell your mother what I find.” I remember waking up in great pain and asking the nurse what the doctor found. She told me she didn’t know and that I couldn’t see my mom until I got back to my room. I acted like I was in less pain so they would let me out of the recovery room. When I got in my room they let my mom come back. I asked, “What did he say?” She replied, “Just wait, he’ll come in and talk to you.” “No, that’s why he talked to you. He’s not going to be coming to the room.” My mom insisted she wait until my partner arrived. “Mom, just tell me,” I begged her. At that point I already knew it was bad news. She looked at me with a lot of sadness in her eyes and said, “He said your tubes are totally blocked and he could not open them surgically. There was no way you would have ever become pregnant through artificial insemination.”

I was in total shock. I know it was very hard for my mom to have to be the one to tell me that. I cannot imagine being a mother and having to tell your daughter she can’t have children. Then my partner arrived. My mom had already called her and told her the news, so she was really upset too. I felt like my dream of having children was over, because I knew I could never afford IVF, which was the only way I could ever become pregnant, the doctor said. I went through a couple of years of not knowing what to do. It is such a lonely feeling, and although everyone hurts for you, you know no one really understands because they already have children. I never imagined how much anger I would feel when I heard about someone I knew being pregnant and then how much guilt I would have for feeling that way. I never knew how empty I would feel after having my baby nephew for a weekend. He would go home and I would lie in bed at night crying, holding onto this baby tweety bird shoe I bought when I first decided to start trying. It was just incredibly heartbreaking and lonely.

I started looking around on the Internet and came across the Clear Passage Therapies (CPT) website. It sounded too good to be true and I didn’t understand it, so I kept looking. But my mind kept going back to CPT, so finally I called and requested information. When it arrived, I watched the DVD and was surprised that their patients sounded very much like my situation. But the CP treatment was very different from any I had heard of, so I was quite skeptical. I was going to Florida for vacation that summer, so I made an appointment to stop by the office and speak with a therapist. I wanted to make sure that this place was real. I remember standing, reading all the articles on the walls and feeling my hope grow. But I was still scared because all I had was $4000 in a 401k account I could withdraw and use on either this or IVF. I knew it would be hard for me to come up with $15,000 for the IVF, and even if I did, it would only be once and knowing the chances of IVF working the first time, I was scared. I took a leap and decided to withdraw my money and start getting things together to come to Florida and have the therapy. Although in my gut I felt like it was the right thing, I was very scared because I felt like I was putting all of my eggs in one basket. If this didn’t work, my dream of having children would be over. Still, something about following my gut instinct rang true for me. When I told my mom what I was doing she was very skeptical — even more so because she is a nurse. She also knew how devastated I would be if it didn’t work.

I attended the first ten hours in December of 2006 and the second ten hours in March of 2007. My mom came to Florida with me in December and she wanted to know exactly what they were doing. It was hard to explain the treatment to her, and the only thing I could tell her was that it felt like it was working. When I got done with my therapy in March, I scheduled a consultation with my infertility doctor. I wanted to schedule an HSG to see if the therapy worked.

I hadn’t told my doctor about attending CPT before because I was afraid he would try to change my mind. When I went to the appointment, I explained to him my treatment. He looked at me like I was totally crazy. He said to me “You have completely blocked fallopian tubes; they couldn’t even be opened in surgery. There is no way that treatment could have worked.” Even though I had gotten back almost 75% of the treatment cost from my insurance, the doctor still insisted, “Whatever they did, it was overpriced.” Naturally, he didn’t think there was a need for an HSG, but he reluctantly agreed to do one, even though he felt very strongly that there would be no change. I left his office very upset and feeling like a fool. All I kept thinking was, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

The day of the test, I had never been so scared in all my life. After my consultation, I refused to tell my mother when I was having my HSG. “There is no sense in both of us worrying,” I thought. But the morning of the test I called her because I was very upset and when she asked what was wrong, all I could say was, “It’s today.” My partner and I went to my appointment and the doctor came in and said, “Well let’s see if they did any good down in Florida.” I could tell he thought it was a total waste of time. As soon as he was done, I sat up and asked, “Well?” “I’m shocked,” he stammered. “It’s amazing.” “You mean my tubes are clear?” I asked. “Yes! You can start trying to conceive next month.” My partner looked him in the eyes and said, “Go ahead, say it…” He replied, “I was wrong, I admit it. I was wrong. It’s a miracle.” I cannot tell you the joy I felt — and for the first time in my entire journey I was crying tears of joy. I went to get my clothes on and my partner pulled out the tweety bird shoe I always held on to when I was upset. It meant so much to me and we were both very happy.

When I got to the car I called my mom and when she answered she said, “Hey.” She didn’t sound good because she thought I would be calling with bad news. I said, “IT WORKED!!” “WHAT?” she asked with excitement. “IT WORKED, IT WORKED, IT WORKED!!!” I screamed.

hsg-xray-before-after

She then started crying and telling everyone at her work. It was the best day of my life! I have not started trying to get pregnant yet because “life” keeps happening. The doctor immediately took blood work and discovered that I had thyroid problems. It took several months to get the medications leveled and then I hurt my back and was off work for four months. I am now back to work and will hopefully be able to start trying in the next few months. I had such a wonderful experience with CPT. I cannot even begin to thank them enough. They are truly changing people’s lives and words cannot express what I feel for them. Their therapy gave me hope and that’s something I have not had in a long time.

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