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Hey! Thanks for checking out my blog. I had my abortion in Dec 2008, so you can find most of the posts about the nitty gritty by clicking on "2008" in the blog archives, and checking out things from there.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Follow up appointment

My appointment was at 11, which is apparently around when the clinic escorts and protesters pack up their bags and go home.

There were a few lingering protesters chitchatting with eachother but not really bothering anyone (or at least not bothering me). I was a little more intimidated about having to go past protesters since I was going by myself this time and I didnt see any of my orange-vested friends, but it wasn't really a problem.

The clinic escort volunteers were inside, also chitchatting, and packing up their little orange vests for next time.

When I signed in I tried to get help with the insurance issue:

"Yea, you guys sent a $1,000+ bill to my insurance company even though I already payed for the abortion when I was here (and it was $525, not $1000+). Why? Can you un-do that?" but they pretty quickly let me know that this wasn't their problem, and gave me the number to the billing office. I'll tackle that problem later because I have a cold, and am just not feeling up for it.

They called my name after a while, I peed in a cup, they pricked my finger to do some blood test, took my temperature and bloodpressure.

I was really hoping I would get to keep my pants on for the whole appointment, but no, I had to get an ultrasound. Continuing the trend of stressing me out with ultrasounds, the lady who did the ultrasound had this conversation with me:

"Do you have ovarian cysts or something?" she says with furrowed brow.

"Um, I don't know. I don't know what that means."

"Well, there is something on your ultrasound. It isnt a pregnancy, but there is something there. You may need to talk to your regular gynecologist about this."

Ooooooookay. Then I was sent to the recovery room, which is the waiting room with the reclining chairs and heat pads for everyone. Very nice place, but one girl was puking every now and then into a red biohazard bag.

I was there for about an hour, and then they sent me and the 3 other women who didnt need the fancy chairs and heating pads back to the regular waiting room which was jam packed. I waited there for another hour.

An older woman was there with her daughter (I think), and was talking loudly about the importance of choice (amongst other things). She said when she was a teenager, she had friends getting abortions in back alleys and she was always scared for them, knowing what a huge risk it was. "Women have to have a choice, and I'm so glad it's safe now for women to make choices." I wanted to talk to her more and hear her stories, but I was feeling a little shy.

While I sat in the waiting room, I couldn't help but wonder what the hell was on my ultrasound. My "not-pregnancy". I texted my boyfriend about it, and he texted back, "what could it be? Is it a tumor?" I tried not to worry, because I have no idea what sorts of things can be floating around in or on wombs, and maybe there are some perfectly harmless things. But generally, I was pretty stressed out about it.

Eventually my name was called (it had been about 2 hours since my ultrasound). Me and one other young woman were called back, and waited in the room where my blood was taken earlier.

"Is this your follow up?" She asked, and I said yes. "Which kind did you have?"

"The medical kind" I said.

She said, "me too. Was it really bad?"

"No," I said, "not too bad."

"Oh, mine was kinda bad."

"Did it hurt a lot?" I asked.

"Yea, I mean, it wasn't sooo bad, but for the first few hours-"

The nurse came in and interrupted her, and took me back to an exam room. I wanted to hear what this young woman had to say because I have no one else to compare abortion pill stories with at this point, and I bet she has no-one either. Typing into the void is somewhat helpful, but what I really want is to be able to talk. And I also really want to listen. I just want women to be able to talk to eachother, but I know for most of us we have to keep our lips sealed to protect us from other people's judgement. So chances for conversations like the one we almost had are rare, and I was genuinely sad to lose the chance to continue talking.

The doctor came in and asked how it went, I said fine, and asked what was on my ultrasound. "Oh, nothing" he said.

"Nothing? She said there was something there." The "she" I was referring to was in the room but said nothing. I don't know what her background is- if she is a nurse or what.

"It looks fine to me. Sometimes they just look like that. What kind of birth control do you use or do you want to start using?" (Wait, look like what? huh?)

"I want the NuvaRing," I said, instead of pushing for a better explanation of my ultrasound.

"Ok," he said. Shook my hand, and left.

A little while later I was given my prescription.

I thought about my 2 minute doctor appointment that I had waited several hours for, and was generally dissatisfied. I had been given too much time to worry about my "not pregnancy" to just accept that all was fine. And I was still supremely cranky about the insurance mess up, and the combination made me feel generally distrustful of the clinic. So I asked for a copy of the ultrasound, filled out the necessary paperwork to get copies released to me, and left.

I am not 100% sure what to do with the ultrasound photos. I think I will bring them to a different gyno when I go to get a papsmear, and just ask them to take a look and tell me what they think. I would normally go to planned parenthood for gyno appointments, but I wonder if I should find a different place to get my 2nd opinion.

So that's it for now. Thanks for reading.

5 comments:

Morgaine said...

So, it is a little crazy with some people who overly regret their abortions, but if you want to "talk" with other women who have had abortions and all that, a good forum, where everyone is really nice (and sometimes a little too non-judgmental) is passboards.org

Also, if you have ovarian cysts, it isn't a total big deal, they are painful, but...most of the time they pop on their own and you might not even feel them. They are normal. Of course, if they don't pop on their own, they sometimes require surgery, but if you are on birth control that usually controls them.

Ultrasound techs have a way of freaking people out, I have had the same experience. "Oh, this is a really big mass...I better have the doctor come in and look at it" and it is nothing, I wish they would not say anything, because I think they freak people out for no reason a lot more then they "help".

placenta sandwich said...

fyi, passboards.org is for "people going through PASS", i.e. "post-abortion stress syndrome". PASS is a non-medical abbreviation that anti-abortion folks are hoping will get into the mainstream by paralleling the language of post-partum depression on the one hand and post-traumatic stress disorder on the other. i don't mean to dismiss feelings of grief or even regret that some women feel after their abortions, but those are valid and legitimate even though there is no "syndrome" to explain them. anti-abortion people want to use the language of PASS in order to bolster their claim that abortion causes psychological damage (both women and their partners can claim PASS, btw). anyway, i think any site that is uncritically a product of the entire PASS framework is probably not a good place to get a broad spectrum of views on abortion experiences. just wanted to say.

AbortionBlogger said...

Thanks placenta sandwich! That is definitely good to know.

Anonymous said...

Hi.. I want to thank you for sharing your story with us..I have ovarian cysts that wont go down and I was on lupron that was supposed to shrink them but it didnt and on top of it I got pregnant from it..I'm supposed to get a hysterometcy next summer! I just had an abortion at almost 8 weeks, emotionally its rough, but I know I did the right thing..Hey I have a question for you.. How long does it take for your uterus to shrink back down to non-pregnancy size? Good luck to you and I hope your cysts (if you have them) will go away on its own instead of having to have surgery like me!

Thanks,

Patrice

AbortionBlogger said...

Hi Patrice!
If I do have ovarian cysts, I think I am going to leave them be for now since they aren't bothering me. I'm sorry you have had to deal with so much from them! Does that medication interfere with birth control?

For me, I hardly noticed any change in my uterus because I was only at about 5 weeks when I had my abortion.

Are there any other readers who can answer her question or throw their 2 cents in?