Iatrogenic Jane

Jane is still feeling very poorly. This morning I took Jane to the health centre to have her stitches removed by the practice nurse, who took one look at Jane and called in the duty doctor who whisked her off to her surgery.

It was confirmed that Jane has picked up an infection and has been prescribed a course of wide-spectrum antibiotics. “That sort of thing happens, with surgery,” said the doctor. See iatrogenic for details. But if you can’t be bothered to, that’s illness caused by a physician.

Iatros is a Greek word meaning ‘physician’, and -genic means ‘induced by’; combined they become iatrogenic, meaning ‘physician-induced’.

Let’s just review the last few days: Jane went into hospital on Monday morning a healthy specimen of loveliness. On Monday afternoon she underwent explorative (keyhole) surgery. By Monday evening she was feeling particularly unwell, a direct result of the trauma caused to her body by the surgery, the drugs, and now it appears an infection that she picked up along the way. Iatrogenic indeed!

Jane is currently asleep on the sofa, having had a very rough morning indeed. She still hasn’t had anything proper to eat since Sunday.

Day Surgery, pt.2

I went to see Jane in hospital this evening. She was on a trolley (don’t worry, it wasn’t a shopping trolley) in a real hospital, where real doctors had done a real operation on her. One of them, it seems had touched the sides while trying to remove a small plastic bucket, and it had turned her nose bright red, like a light and then … oh! I can’t remember the rules after that bit.

Anyway, they’re keeping her in overnight for observation. That and she was feeling too sick and dizzy to even sit up, let alone stand, get dressed, walk to the car and come home. I’ll pick her up in the morning.

The operation was a success, it seems, and the surgeon said that he couldn’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be able to have a baby. We see the fertility specialist next month to get further results and discuss the matter further, including questions about assisted fertility.

The adventure continues…

Day Surgery

This morning, at 11:30, I accompanied Jane to the Day Surgery unit at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (RIE). Today is the day she has a laparoscopy as part of the explorations regarding our fertility investigations.

It seems terribly unfair that all I have to do is provide a semen sample in a small pot, while Jane has to undergo minor — but nonetheless intrusive — surgery and take a week off work to recover.

I need to phone between 16:30 and 18:00 to see how she is, and see whether she will be kept in overnight or whether I can pick her up and bring her home to recover.

In about four weeks’ time we have a joint appointment with the fertility doctor to get the results of all our tests and discuss what happens next. But before that I also need to find that little pot again.

Fertility clinic: Dr Rogers to the rescue!

Jane had her appointment at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh today, at the fertility clinic. It all went well, seemingly. Unfortunately, because I was being dosed up with antibiotics on the other side of town, I couldn’t be there, so the part of ‘Concerned Husband’ was this morning played by Mrs Dorothy Neilson, Jane’s mother and Enneagram Scotland business-partner.

After the usual clinic procedures of bloods, height and weight, Jane saw one of the fertility experts, a female doctor, whose name was, rather amusingly, Dr Rogers, who discussed her medical history (Jane’s medical history, that is, not her own) and what they knew about mine; the usual things: do I have any hereditary diseases (yes), am I on medication (no), have I ever had sex with a Russian prisoner (no), that sort of thing.

Then Jane was treated to some kind of internal scan to make sure her inside-ladies’-bits (as they are professionally known) looked as though they were working okay. And they were. Now, something I didn’t know is that women’s ovulation alternates month about between the left and right ovaries, like the pendulum of an amazing biological clock.

[Adopts Newcastle accent] Day 17 in the Big Brother womb and it looks like Egg has just left his room on the left-hand side of the house, and is making his way into the corridor to be greeted by …

Yeah, that’s another thing. Jane asked for clarification about my sperm test results from yay back (Thursday 27 January). Dr Rogers was far more helpful in her analysis of the test results.

It appears that we really have nothing to worry about on that front. The results showed that I have around 107 million sperm/ml, while the average is (according to Jane, according to Dr Rogers) around 30 million sperm/ml. Yay for me! Her only comment was that at times they were a little slow.

A little slow?! No wonder, have you seen how many there are?! Has she ever been on the London Tube at rush hour?! You turn up during the day, when there are an average number of people trying to get on the escalators down to the platforms and you’ve got plenty of room to move, plenty of opportunity to scoot on ahead, you can go as fast or as slow as you like. But as soon as you increase that number of people by a factor of, say three or a little more … you see what I’m saying?

The next step is a laparoscopy for Jane … in September. Seemingly, trying to co-ordinate theatre-time with consultants’ holiday diaries isn’t as easy as it might first appear.

But it all feels quite positive, we’re in the system, and the tests are (so far) coming back positive, in that there doesn’t appear to be any immediate and obvious reason why we’re not conceiving. You know, like “I’m sorry, but it appears that the reason you’re not conceiving is that Jane’s womb appears to be made from Lego!” or “I’m sorry but it appears that Gareth’s sperm is 50% lava!” We just keep trying …