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Worth the wait

February 19, 2010

I am at work and should not be blogging, but I just wanted to post at least a partial update, since everyone asked! We got home late last night and I was too exhausted/enthralled-with-Evan-Lysacek to post. I’ll write more this weekend…

First of all, I *heart* Dr. Stegman. Never before have I seriously contemplated sending a doctor a thank-you note after an exam. But I really want to send him one. (seriously. Is that acceptable?)

The appointment was scheduled for 2 pm. We got there at 1:30. There were a lot of disgruntled people in the waiting room, so I could tell things were running late. I was not too worried since we did not really have anywhere else to be– thank goodness we had cancelled the play. The time in the waiting room — and there was a lot of it — went surprisingly quickly. I made lists, replied to emails, read,  and BEST OF ALL, we met “Finding Joy in Every Journey.” (Thanks so much, E!)

This is how we spent most of the afternoon…

The waiting room is actually more pleasant than three of the four recent waiting rooms where I have passed the time.

You’ll note that we sat under the display of baby pictures. That way we did not have to look at them the whole time. (They are very lovely, but you know what I mean.)

By the end of the day, we were the only ones there…

With all that space, I thought we should do some yoga or practice our dance moves.

My main concern was that Dr. Stegman would be so over-it that he would not have time/energy for us. That was definitely not the case.  We saw Dr. Stegman at 4:30. We left the office at 7 PM!! The building and parking lot were dark and empty. Now you see why I want to send the man a thank-you card.

He did not quite spend the whole 2.5 hours with us — there were several times of waiting once we were in the examining room too. But still, that is more time and effort than any doctor has ever invested in me.

On the drive there I asked my husband what we should ask Dr. Stegman. He came up with two questions:
1) Why aren’t we pregnant?
2) What are you going to do about it?

Ha! Too bad for Dr. Stegman — those three hours in the waiting room gave me waaay too much time to come up with other questions. But every step of the way, he was willing to entertain my EVERY question and give me more explanation than I needed, really, for all my concerns. He is so detailed, kind and patient.

I’ll write more about the exam, etc., especially for those of you who will be going to see him soon (G!).

The long and short of it for me is that he suspects endometriosis, so I will likely return to Pennsylvania for surgery in the next couple of months. All last year I had imagined I would have surgery by fall 2009 (with my previous doctors). But then they kept trying different things and putting off surgery. People said I had no clear signs of endo.  I was getting used to this idea and thinking the surgery might never happen …   So it is somewhat surprising to contemplate that I may have surgery as soon as next month. But after the exam, I am convinced I could have endometriosis (more about that in the next post). So I do think it is the way to go.

I’ll have to spend two nights in Pennsylvania, and he said I should count on taking a week off of work. (though I think I might work from home part of the time?)

I don’t know whether I am excited or sad.

I could have the surgery as soon as next month, if I can get in his surgery schedule — which I suspect  would be difficult but he seemed to think it was possible. If so, that would put me about 2.5 weeks before I am supposed to hike the Grand Canyon. Is it possible to go on a hiking/camping trip 2.5 weeks after a laparoscopy? Dr. S said it would only take about a week to recover, but it did not occur to me to ask about more physically strenuous endeavors…

Thanks, everyone, for your encouragement. More to come…

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13 comments

  1. So glad to hear that your appointment went well. I think that it is completely acceptable to send him a thank you card (I only say this because I have done it before – well, it was via fax). Continued prayers for your journey!


  2. Great news, I’m so glad you had a good appointment! I look forward to hearing more!


  3. Wow, I’m so glad to hear it went well! I can’t wait to hear more. (You know I want all the details!)

    I can’t believe that you got in for your appointment 2.5 hours AFTER your scheduled time. That is crazy! I’m glad that in the end it was totally worth it.


  4. Thank you so much for sharing about your appointment. I am scheduled to see him as well and am anxious to find out more.
    May I also ask you why he suspects endo? Also, do you by any chance know how successful surgery is? I don’t mean to sound negative at all, but I’ve read some info suggesting that symptoms/conditions can return after surgery. Also, do you know if the surgery is covered by most insurances?
    I pray that Dr. S. will be able to help you and am glad you had a good appointment.
    Thank you!


  5. Glad to hear your appt went well. And that’s great he spent so much time with you!
    Can’t wait to hear the detail post :).


  6. I’m so glad that your appointment went well! He sounds like such an amazing doctor!

    As for hiking and camping after your lap, I would hesitate to tell you that it’s a good idea. My first lap was just exploratory and it took me about a month to feel normal (and I’m in pretty good physical shape). It also didn’t help that I got a really bad cold about two weeks after my surgery. Some light hiking would be okay, but I don’t know about biking. Sorry!


  7. Yes, you could go hiking after a lap, as long as there was no infection or complications. The incisions are itty-bitty. (I have several sets myself, in addition to the hardcore ones!) If you have no signs of endo, this is when you WANT the surgery. When you don’t need a five-inch incision, your ovaries are not fused to your uterus by adhesions, and the statistics give you a 70% chance of conception post-op, rather than 30% (which my secret infertile decoder ring translates to “0%. And drop dead!”).

    I’m so glad Dr. S spent so much time with you, and answered all your questions. Though frankly I like your husband’s questions best 🙂


  8. I knew you’d love him!! So glad it went so well 🙂 I had no signs of endo, either, but had Stage I-II.
    Can’t wait to hear more… and isn’t FJIEJ the best?


  9. I came upon your blog in search of other women struggling with infertility. I had my second laproscopy to remove endo last month and I definitely could NOT have gone hiking 2.5 weeks later. I’m very slow to recover, though-lots of respitory complications. If you’re doctor is as good as he seems-you’ll be glad you had the surgery!


  10. I’m glad your appointment went well. My first lap was also just exploratory and I was still getting pretty tired after work about 2 weeks after surgery. I’m not sure that I would have wanted to go hiking at 2 1/2 weeks out. Like Misfit said, it’s better to do surgery before you get to the point of endo symptoms so you are less likely have to get a laparatomy with the larger incision and longer recovery. How wonderful that you got to meet FJIEJ.


  11. So glad the appointment went well and you felt it was worth the wait. You are in good hands – especially for the surgery. When you get to the hospital, you will feel even more reassurance – the nurses there all respect him so much and they know who the good doctor’s/surgeons are! Recovery time from the surgery will depend on what he finds and if he decides to treat versus waiting and doing a laparotomy. If he treats, it may take a little longer to recover then if it is just exploratory. Unfortunately, you won’t know until you wake up from surgery what he decided to do!


  12. Ahhh…you are so sweet. I enjoyed meetin you! I am sorry you had to wait so long! Most of the initial IF appointments are morning ones. That is why you were there so long…

    I understand your thoughts on the new pictures, and had the same ones myself.

    I know that Dr. S would really appreciate a note from you.

    As for the hiking after surgery, I think that after my first one it would have been ok but I didn’t have any lasering done. After my second, it was a rougher recovery since I did have the lasering done. The incision sites were the parts that hurt the least, most of the discomfort was internal and my gut wasn’t the same for a couple weeks.

    As for success rates, that would be a good question for Dr. S. We definitely seem success post laporotomies and laproscopies. We haven’t really kept any hard statistics. But I do know that doing surgery would increase your chances.

    Dr. S gave the surgery scheduler a bunch of surgeries to schedule today, so maybe you will have a phonce call with a date this week!


  13. […] long-lost appointment report March 15, 2010 OK, ladies. You may have forgotten I ever even went to Dr. S. and may have given up on me ever writing a second post about the appointment. And maybe I forgot […]



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