No, it is not a joke! My left ovary really has gone missing! And I would like to know where it has disappeared to. Of course I have my suspicions as I told my daughter yesterday, when she was sitting in Basingstoke, ready to soon fly home. She claimed it must be MAGIC but I think it is more sinister than that…
Five years ago, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroid. In other words, my body has basically slowed down to a standstill. Nothing works the way it should. I was told that I must have been living with Hypothyroid and Hashimoto’s for years, but that did not really mean anything to me. What was more important, was to get that all vital medicine to feel alright, again. For the first time in over 20 years. I was put on Levaxin like the rest of Sweden’s 440 000 Hypothyroid sufferers, and waited for the feeling better part. I waited and waited and waited… And I am still waiting. Going from a size 34 in trousers to size 38. Not being able to wear wedding ring or engagement ring. Body full of fluid, not being able to lose weight when I eat practically nothing.
What is it like when your Levaxin does not work even though your blood work is just fine? Well, like I said above, you can’t lose weight, you are swollen, you lose hair, your skin goes superdry, your nails become superthin. You get brain fog, not remembering things you knew two seconds ago. You have anemia. Muscle pain. Problems with membranes. The list just goes on and on.
I can tell you what my life is like. I wake up every morning and can not breathe. So I use nose spray. Three times a day, since years back. On the bottle it says you must not use it for more than ten days! I wake up with a throbbing head ache, so I take aspirin. What that is doing to my stomach and my intestines, is something I do not dare to think about. And my body does not want to get out of bed. Because I am TIRED. My feet are swollen, my hands are swollen and I go in to the shower which makes me swell even more. After taking the children to school, I drive home and go to bed again. To sleep. Heaven forbid that anyone phones me, since I must sleep, to be able to cope during the afternoon, with three autistic sons. At 11:55 my alarm goes off to say that I must wake up and drive and fetch the youngest son. The afternoon is spent with them, in the living room, because I am too tired to go to a playground or anything else which is fun for them. Words go missing in the middle of a conversation, when I do talk to people at school, so I avoid human contact as much as possible, since it is embarrassing, to sound like one who has Alzheimer’s.
Christmas 2015 I went and saw a new doctor, which had been brought in to just get rid of the long queue, at the health clinic. All she wanted to talk about was the Roma beggars and how she had forced her man’s son to spend 14 days a month, in care, because she could not cope with his autism, and she thought I should do the same with my sons. Nothing came out of that appointment. Then I was handed over to the horrible Chinese doctor, they had permanently employed. They raved about him, but I was on a collision course with him, from moment one. In China the patients must be quiet and not have an opion. So after our phone call, I had created an enemy. Because he could not even take the time to meet me. He said my only problem was anemia. And for that, he had written a prescription of fluid iron. I refused to get it when the chemists told me that it would stain my teeth really bad. I tried to take iron pills instead, but as everyone with Hypothyroid knows, you already suffer from constipation, so the iron pills will only give you hell.
Two years later, I was so sick and tired of having symptoms like congested ear for three-six weeks, not being able to eat anything like everybody else does and of being so horribly tired. So I changed health clinic to one in town instead. But the doctor I was recommended there, was not available for ordinary patients, so I had to receive one whom they could spare. I went there and what was the result? She told me the following:
1. My weight gain must be caused by age.
2. My hair loss must be genetic even though noone in my family has suffered this.
3. My heavy menstruations must be a muscle knot in my uterus.
4. My fatigue is due to anemia which must be caused by the menstruations.
5. Brain fog, dry skin and bad nails must be caused by stress
6. Congested nose must be polyps in my nose.
7. My ear problems must be wax.
8. With three autistic children I should have been in therapy for the past ten years.
9. Perhaps I am just afraid of growing old?
She sent me to a dietician, whom has no idea what to suggest that I should eat, but I must eat more calories or I will die. The doctor pumped iron in to my veins, to get a quick result, but I am more tired than before! She said that she was going to prescribe something for my nose congestion, but when I went to the chemist, she had not. Nor had she written prescription for my migraine medicine NOR my Levaxin. And she sent me to a gynecologist.
In February, I walked in to the Women’s clinic. Nervous and scared and the waiting room was filled to the brink. All of them acute cases, but noone was called in. A nurse came out after 30 minutes and told them to go home. But this woman working on a laptop beside me, raised her voice and said “No way! I was here for five hours yesterday and then you told me to come back at 08:00 and I would get in at once. Now it is 10:30 and I am still sitting here and I am not moving. Is it better in Malmö?”. She was told no, and another woman said she had been there the day before as well, and had been told to come at 8:00. None of the women were budging. I was called in since I had an appointment. But I did not get called in at the appointed time!!! Swedish health care 2017!
In the room, I had to meet with a medical student, who asked me all sorts of humiliating questions. Nice to sit there and have to say “No, I am not on birth control. My husband has not touched me for three years. Among other things, he blames me for his sons’ autism!”. When she had asked her two sheets of questions, she went and fetched her teacher so I could repeat everything one more time. And then it was time for the dreaded CHAIR or should I say gurney with foot rests.
The student was going to put in that horrible metal instrument, but was not particularly light on her hand. It hurt! And then she and her teacher had to check things together. They were supposed to take a pap smear, while they were at it, and for the first time, THAT hurt REALLY bad. And then they discussed something awful they were seeing in there. My cervix was all scarred badly. At once, my mind travelled six years back. The loss of my little Serena. And the botch job of the surgeon! They could not understand why I looked like that and what was I supposed to say? Sorry I am shocking you down there! I am here, up here ladies, and you are scaring me! Upsetting me!
Then the metal tool came out and the vaginal exam started which almost had me screaming, since they pushed on my stomach as well and my stomach is horribly tender after three C-sections! First the student had to grope around and then the teacher to make sure what the student felt, was something she could also feel. Finally, the ultrasound stick was put up in to me and two things came out of that pain: My left ovary was missing somehow and they could not see my uterus well enough.
The Italian doctor/teacher from Bari. told me that if I had a muscle knot sitting in the uterus lining, then putting in an IUD would not take away the bleedings and she would have to perform a hysterectomy. I walked away severely depressed, knowing that now I was going to be sent to a specialist. I was told that this person would take a long needle and put it through my stomach and push in contrast fluid, so it could see where my muscle knot was sitting. Because the Bari doctor, was sure I had one.
Yesterday, I headed scared to the hospital again. My husband had nothing to say to me the first time I went, nor did he ask what the outcome was. Yesterday, he did not even know where I was going, even though it has been on the family white board for a week and the children having asked about it in his presence. Nor could he understand why I would be scared of going to the women’s clinic. He just does not care whether I live or die. Nice, is it not?
So, on trembling legs I headed to the ultrasound department and all these feelings flushed over me. I saw the doors to delivery, I saw the doors to the maternity ward and I just wanted to run. I did not want to be there. All the happy moments when I have held a lovely, soft little newborn baby in my arms, are all gone. All I see now is my big tummy, the words that my baby is dead, giving birth to her with Nurse “Ratched” helping out. And being rolled to surgery twice in 16 days, for scraping.
But I had to go up to the third floor, after paying 300 :-, and I had to sit there with all the happy big tummied mothers. And I had to go in there, to the German doctor, and once again have a student present. This time a muslim student (with hijab) who luckily did not go near my private parts. Medical students are to be avoided! Since the doctor was teaching and pointing out everything, the examination took a while. This time it was just the ultrasound stick going up my vagina. And it was painful like you would not believe it. I wanted to whine, but I doubt a German would have appreciated it. So I bit my tongue!
What were they doing this time? Pushing down on my belly, which hurts for above reasons, and pushing around that stick all over, searching for ovary and knots. There are NO KNOTS! But scarring inside the uterus, from among other things, the C-sections. So my doctor is going to have to come up with another reason for not letting me see an endocrinologist and receiving Liothyronine to treat my T3! But she could not find my left ovary and asked me if I had had any surgery to remove organs? In other words, had I had the ovary removed? I said no, but driving to the shopping mall afterwards, I could not help but going six years back in time.
Going to the midwife, happily, to listen to my baby’s heart and do blood tests. Her strange face when she could not find a heart beat anymore. Me driving home in record speed and tears running down my cheeks, trying to find the phone number to the women’s clinic. Crying on the phone and getting an appointment. The doctor looking at a baby on the ultrasound, whose heart was no longer beating, who just lay there still in my womb, like a big piece of lump. The pills they forced me to take and then the wait. Two days later, showing up at the hospital to give birth to my baby, even though no contractions had started. And noone paying attention to that I was sitting there on a sofa, waiting for someone, anyone to help me.
In the storage room they put me, I was faced with nurse “Ratched”, who told me to knock it off and stop feeling silly about all this. She gave me more pills, but the baby did not want to leave my body. So more pills, but up the vagina this time and then more pills orally. Finally the contractions starting and the pain so awful she had to give me morphine. And then, sitting on the toilet, having to deliver the baby in to a plastic dish, that was rushed out of the room. Nurse “Ratched” just telling me to be glad that I had seven children. I was not happy. I was crying and wanted to rip my hair out. I was not grateful for anything and just wanted to die. But things were not over. A German young doctor came in and tried to pull the placenta out, but only got pieces. So I was told I would have to have surgery. And Nurse “Ratched” came back and informed me that the baby was abnormal, so what was I fussing about.
That night, I was scraped and when I woke up from the anaesthesia, I was shaking the entire bed from being cold. I was reacting to the blood they were pumping in to me and I was vomiting. Could things get worse? Yes, they could. My husband kissing me on my forehead, when he saw me in the morning! Like I was some sort of dog. The final kiss! Could have done without it really, because it really was the final blow to our marriage. They asked us, if we wanted to see our baby girl, and I almost died when I heard it was a girl. Had she lived, I was going to have named her India Temperance Marguerite, but now, I decided Serena Rose because she looked so serene when I held her. I held her little cold hand in mine, which had been in prayer position in the dish, I touched her little cold face and I knew that she would have been a beautiful little girl, had she been allowed to live.
There was no skin covering her tummy, so I suspected that this was why she had died. But then I found out, at the autopsy weeks later, that there was nothing wrong with her at all. (Except my hypothyroid of course, which had killed her!) She had died and when a baby is in utero, the breaking down of the body goes quicker. That is why her tummy looked the way it did! And Nurse “Rached” had the gall to say what she did! She should have known this, but she just had to be cruel. I was sent home with my sorrow. A week later I was back with a high fever and very ill. The German doctor had done a sloppy job of the scraping and had left pieces in the uterus, so now I had a full-blown infection. There seemed to be no end to my afflictions. Scared, I layed in the ward for four days, before they had the time to deal with me.
Once again, I was rolled in to surgery, but this time the doctor was not on my side at all. This Swedish female doctor wanted to put in an IUD, while she was in there, because I was not going to have any more children. Her decision. I said no, that I wanted my eighth child! And she told me that seven children were more than enough. I was put under and when I woke up, I knew full well that she had done something to my body, to make sure I would never get pregnant again. I did not know what, but I suspected that she had caused damage on purpose. I just felt it like you feel other things that are real.
Once again, they tried to give me blood and once again, they had to stop because my reaction was too severe. I was so freezing cold and shaking the metal bed so bad, it could be heard outside in the corridor. Did we try to have another baby after this? I was adamant that a little girl was missing in our family. I bought ovulation tests for thousands and forced my husband to have sex when the test showed that I was fertile. I did manage to get pregnant two years later, but it only lasted for ten weeks and then I miscarried. The Levaxin was not working, there was no way I could carry a baby anymore. Especially thanks to all the scarring I have, which is something I got proof of yesterday and in February. And I guess it is remarkable that I got pregnant at all, in 2013, if one ovary also is missing. I guess I will never know, but my suspicions are that the doctor damaged it out of spite and then removed it so noone would know? Not recording it in the surgical report, like the first surgeon not writing one up at all, which is required. The team in the theatre must have known, but the doctor decides right? And a hospital does not want to be charged with misconduct!
I can live without an ovary. I am too old to get pregnant anyway and it is impossible to do so when you are living in a completely celibate marriage. But I would have liked an official apology for the hell I was put through in 2011 when I lost my baby Serena. I should not have lost her at all. They should have checked my hormone levels at the midwives, like they do today. And I should have been met with compassion and professionalism at the hospital, when I arrived there as a grieving mother. It does not matter how many children you have already. What matters is how you feel about the pregnancy and the expected baby. They saw that I was grieving and they should have made life easier for me. I will never get over the trauma and today I know what sort of internal damage they did to me, as well as taking a punch at my psyche. And where is my ovary?