Sunday, October 28, 2012

Spina What???

A few months back, I had to go in for an HSG (hysterosalpingogram). This is a process where a catheter is sent through the cervix, dye is injected and then an x-ray is preformed to show uterus and fallopian tubes. Sounds lovely right? Now my only point of reference to this test was my mother and the nurse when scheduling it.

When I told my mom what I was having done- her automatic response was to tell me how painful her experience with a similar procedure had been. The nurse when scheduling it told me I may want to bring someone to take me home and to take some advil before coming. So naturally I planned for the worst assuming it would be the most painful experience of my life. Some women on forums, etc even said it was worse than child birth. Wait..what??

I was terrified..but I went, on my own, to have this HSG done. They prepped me with a gown and brought me into the x-ray room. The tech proceeded to tell me how this will all go- that there are no meds administered, I would lay flat on a table (no cushion) and that I had to lie still even if it hurt. She told me some women try to jump off the table, others call her horrible names- but that she was prepared for anything. This was going to be amazing....

So she gets me on the table and has to do a 'baseline' x-ray of my pelvis area. Then she and the doctor come back after reviewing the baseline. He introduces himself to me and then proceeds to say:

 "I reviewed your x-ray. I wanted to tell you..."

Now at this point I am freaking out.. Tell me what? I have no uterus? I have a huge tumor? No, no, no... its even better.

"I wanted to tell you.... you have a back problem."

My response "Um what?"

"Have you heard of spina bifida?"-the doctor non nonchalantly asks me.

"Yes! And its never good!" At this point I am only slightly freaking out.

The doctor goes on to explain that I have spina bifida occulta- which means hidden. When the vertebrae are forming, they fuse together from each side. All my vertebrae fused but the last one- which only partially completed. He let me know that there were probably no issues with my spina bifida and that someone would have already noticed malformations on my back if it was a problem. Oh thanks doc.

He went on to tell me 10% of Americans have this, most never know. But he just wanted to tell me since he noticed it. He told me that only heavy working out could impact it, like weight lifting and kick boxing. Oh darn..less work out for me.

Well then we went on to the catheter/HSG test. Thankfully the spina bifida story got my mind off the catheter...which I did not even feel. I must have a rock star or numb cervix but I felt no pain. The doctor and tech were thoroughly impressed by me- which I take pride in (you gotta take what you can get).

All that to say, everything looked great with the HSG.

Other than the Spina Bifida.

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