I am quite tired from our trip, but I wanted to fill you in on our testing with Dr. White Knight on Friday.
Before we left, I was able to get the results of my CD3 testing by telephone from Dr. Click Clack’s office: my FSH was 42 (the highest it’s ever been on CD3) and my E2 was 70. Sigh. (The local patient of Dr. WK I know reassured me by reminding me that her FSH was 102 when she went to see him.)
The women I have come to know who are patients of Dr. WK’s describe him as charming and as having a way of disarming skeptical husbands…and I am pleased to report that he lived up to this with my husband. At least, enough that Mr. H went through with the tests that were required of him (I don’t have all the details, but I know they were not pleasant procedures).
The first hour or so of our appointment was spent following up on our phone consult (Dr. WK had questions for Mr. H about his family history – some things I could not answer when we spoke a few weeks back, and some further questions for me). Something for those of you out there to ponder: how does fertility look in your family? For example, if you have siblings, look at the first-born, second-born and so on…does fertility decrease amongst the younger siblings? This could be due to infection being transmitted vertically, apparently…this is the case for both Mr. H and I according to our birth order. Pretty fascinating.
Dr. WK also spent time explaining some of the things he told me on the phone, so that Mr. H could understand the reasons Dr. WK believes I acquired some bacteria vertically (I’ve already explained this here). He said that the bacteria has been inside me since birth and has been “munching on” my eggs. MUNCHING!!!!! What a HORRIFYING thought!!!!!!! He also explained my frequent urination (I have crazy frequent urination!).
He showed us diagrams of our reproductive organs and how the infection usually manifests…The male develops an enlarged prostate and scarring starts to develop, causing him to also urinate frequently, have issues with hesitancy before urinating, a less forceful flow, etc. Also, their ejaculate decreases and is less forceful as well. Mr. H. doesn’t think any of this is happening for him, which I am hoping means he is not very affected and may not even need the full treatment. The female develops scarring in various places, including blockages to the glands that produce cervical mucous. She also eventually ends up with shrunken ovaries and diminished eggs.
After Mr. H bravely underwent his procedures, I not-so-bravely underwent mine.
First Dr. WK took a look at my cervix…he explained to me later that he saw signs of infection in the size of it (it is much wider than a healthy woman’s would be…but he didn’t use the word “cervix”…it is some part of my cervix…I think he said “endocervical canal”). Then he took a swab and a brush (which pinched like a pap smear). Finally, he did a transvaginal ultrasound, and showed me what he was looking at on the screen. I was very nervous – after all, I was about to find out if my ovaries have shrunken to nothing. First, he showed me my extremely thin, almost immeasurable uterine lining and the lines of infectious scarring in my uterus. Not good. Then he showed me the blocked cervical mucous glands. Uh oh. Finally he leaned the wand to my left side to check out my left ovary…I held my breath….He looked long and hard and measured…I can’t even remember what the measurements were, I was so nervous….one point something or even two?….I don’t know…..Then he nudged my leg with his hip and asked, “Did you go to church last Sunday?”….I was so anxious I couldn’t speak….He showed me 5 sacs that he could see on my left ovary. I know it’s not a lot, but it’s better than my worst fears (i.e. nothing at all). Then he checked the right…it looked smaller and we couldn’t see a lot on it because one sac was enlarged – Dr. WK said possibly either a growing follicle or a cyst…hard to say.
After this, we returned to Dr. WK’s office to discuss. His conclusions:
- Mr. H has a moderately enlarged prostate. It looks like the infection has been at work for a long time – how long is difficult to say – and if untreated, the symptoms we spoke about above will increase.
- I have an enlarged endocervical canal (or whatever he called it) and scarring and blocked cervical mucous glands due to infection – likely acquired vertically and possibly horizontally as well.
- Dr. WK says there is no way to know for sure how we acquired this bacteria – if I gave it to Mr. H or if he acquired it as well either vertically or horizontally or both…and he said it doesn’t matter, which Mr. H agreed with.
- As we are now, he said we have no chance of conceiving.
- Dr. WK says the good news is that my FSH is “only” 42 and my ovaries are “active”. BUT we do not know what is in those little sacs he saw – there could be eggs but there could also be dust. He has seen that happen before. And there is no way to find out.
So, while he is excited that I have active ovaries, he says he has to be very careful not to promise us anything. He said that he is confident he will find Bacteria X in the cultures (according to a paper he is currently working on, women with the signs indicated in my U/S are 28 times more likely to have this bacteria) and he will have the results for us this coming Friday. He said we can discuss things more at that point. He reminded us that this isn’t just about fertility, it is about my overall health – particularly bone density and my thyroid.
He was kind and honest and informative, and I am glad we made the trip to see him.
I told him I feel like this is my last possible resort for conceiving and I saw how my mother was ravaged in her last few years by autoimmune issues and I want to do what I can for my health.
Then we paid our bill and left.
I think Mr. H. walked away thinking there is nothing Dr. WK can do for us…probably because Dr. WK was so careful about promising us anything. I told Mr. H that isn’t quite the case – he just can’t GUARANTEE us anything. I am sure it will feel clearer when we hear from him this Friday and receive his recommendations.
I was reassured that I still have some ovarian action…but cautiously so because we don’t know if there are truly any viable eggs left.
I do feel a strong sense of urgency to get this done. I am not sure if we will have access borrow or charge the money for the treatment, but I would REALLY like to try to get the treatment at the end of November. (I have given up on trying to fundraise – I would like to extend my appreciation to those that reached out – Fran, Rebecca, and Valery….you are all very kind and I am so grateful for your support…I have been in touch with you about returning your funds.)
I am going to be speaking with my new friend, the other local patient of Dr. WK, this week to compare notes on our ultrasounds – I will write about that conversation in my next post.
As always, if anyone reading this wants to know more about Dr. WK, please e-mail me and I will be happy to give you info. (firstname.lastname@example.org)