Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dye Test

Fourth and final bullet is "Dye Test" - this refers to the HSG dye test my wife had done at Dr. S's urging to check for fallopian tube blockage. There are two separate pieces of paper in our files from Dr. S's office. One states something like "Left tube fills and spills. Right tube fills, but does not spill." (apologies for not providing verbatim, but I don't have the file with me right now) The second states "Left tube fills and spills. Right tube fills, and subsequently spills." I remember reading these notes after the procedure was done, but I had no idea if it indicated a problem or not. Dr. S. told us there was no issue, as did the Doctors who conducted the procedure, so we figured we were good to go. Dr. M., however, was a bit confused by the contradicting messages in this documentation - he could only ascertain that there may have been some disagreement between the two people conducting the procedure, or that the procedure might not have been done correctly. Perhaps this is part of the problem in switching clinics - a lot of information is lost in translation. Either way, this seems to be another area, however slight, of less than optimal clarity into the details of our procedure with Dr. S. - as noted in my last post, this bullet is not such a big deal and I really don't think there is any blame to be placed - but the fact is, based on the documentation provided, Dr. M. is unable to tell definitively if my wife's tubes are clear or not. He will likely want to conduct this test again to be sure there is no issue (this is one of those tests that is not required if IVF is deemed necessary, but as stated in yesterday's comments, Dr. M. seems to be questioning whether or not we even have to do IVF, thus his likelihood to repeat this test)

This is all very unfortunate, as my wife said the dye test was incredibly painful. After leaving the actual procedure, she was very happy it was over - upon hearing Dr. M. state that we might have to repeat, she became afraid. One final thing on this dye test ... when we did the procedure IVF Michigan referred us to St. Joseph Hospital in Ypsilanti. The insurance my wife had at the time did not cover procedures out of St. Joe's - I understand there is another clinic that we could have been referred to that DOES accept my wife's insurance. It would have been very easy for the IVF Michigan staff to look at her insurance and refer us to a clinic that accepted it, but they did not do this. I guess it is our responsibility to check on these sorts of things, but we didn't learn about the insurance incompatibility issue until the day of the procedure. Given that there was ~1 month lead time to schedule this procedure, we decided just to go ahead and pay out of pocket. The grand total was just under $1,000 ... an expense that could have been avoided if we had done our homework and checked on the insurance accepted at St. Joe's, or even better, if the medical receptionists in IVF Michigan's Ann Arbor office would have taken 5 minutes to help us out. This is not the first time I've been burned by this - so shame on me I guess, but I'm still pissed at the receptionists for not helping us out on this one. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they are capable of more than answering phones and filing papers ...

All of these little oversights have instilled in me a deep sense of distrust for Doctors and medical receptionists. You can't be sure they will do anything for you ... no matter how much of a pain in the ass it is, or how irritating you might be to the medical receptionists for second guessing each of their moves, you always have to take matters into your own hands to ensure these things are done correctly or you will be stuck holding the bill for something that should have been covered by your insurance.

I'm off for the holidays - nothing new going on other than procreation in hopes of achieving a pregnancy via natural means (imagine that) ... hopes aren't high on this front, but it's worth a shot.


Hekateris said...

Er, actually, HSG's are done for more than checking to see if tubes are blocked. And speaking of such, for what it's worth, my first HSG was also horribly painful (for days afterwards), showing one grossly enlarged tube and one normal, with slow spillover. My second HSG was completely painless and showed completely normal tubes and spillover. Rumor has it that the 3 months after an HSG is your best chance to get pregnant naturally, but that didn't work for us.

Anyway, HSG's can show the shape of the uterus, problems with ovaries and tubes (although not PCOS, but I assume she's already been wanded to see if her ovaries are normal or not - you can have PCOS and still have perfectly normal bloodwork, btw), polyps, fibroids, etc.

Personally I think it's worth getting the tests done again simply because I just don't trust the first clinic's results at this point. It's too bad Chez Miscarriage is no longer available, Getupgrrl had years of surgeries and treatments, only to find out via second opinion that she would never been able to go to full term in the first place. Yeah, hundreds of thousands of dollars gone and a lawsuit if she wanted one, but she ended up going the surrogacy route and hadn't made a decision as to what to do before her baby arrived on the scene.


Bryan said...

Just found your blog today and enjoyed reading it. I was thinking about doing something similar but never got motivated enough. My wife and I just completed our second cycle and got a positive this time around. Unfortunately her hormone level is just below what they hoped after a week. That could mean a handful of different things or it could mean nothing but we get to think about that nonstop until her next blood test a week from today. Should make for a great weekend. This is all on top of some severe hyperstimulation (of the ovaries) that caused my wife to have to undergo two additional procedures to drain fluid from her abdomen (3.5 liters one day and 3 liters 2 days later). It has not been a fun holiday as we've been in and out of the clinic (Pacific Fertility in San Francisco) every couple of days for over a week for checkups and more poking and prodding. Hopefully it will all be worth it when we get more info next week. Good luck to you guys,


Bryan said...

Oh, and I forgot to include that we're now getting all of the emails and phone calls from her friends as they each announce that baby #2 is on the way for them. Nice. I wish nothing but happiness for all of them, but it doesn't make it any easier to watch my wife cry as I give her yet another Progesterone shot. So rest assured that there are others out here that feel your pain.