Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone normally produced by the placenta. If I am pregnant, the test will detect it in my blood. Today I’m having this hCG test for pregnancy.
This clinic is getting too familiar and this blood test is what I’m considering the final call hCG test!
The value didn’t go up on Wednesday and if it does not go up today then I will have broken the pattern of increasing every three days. If that is the case, it will remove the tiniest bit of hope buried deep inside that somehow this pregnancy will work and it will eliminate the possibility of a dangerous ectopic pregnancy.
hCG Test for Pregnancy- Giving Blood and Waiting for Results
Something inside me says that the value is going up. I want more than anything for it to drop. After leaving the clinic with yet another vile of my blood, I tell the lady at the counter that I will call them today for the results. If I do the calling I’ll spare myself the waiting stress – that’s the theory anyway.
I decided to call an hour early; you never know, maybe the results are in early. It rings nine times before someone picks up to tell me that I’m calling too early. I really could have known. I wait until 1:15 to call back.
It takes a couple of calls to get through. I’m relieved to hear someone pick up and ask what results I’m calling for. Before long she puts me on hold. This waiting thing is unavoidable.
I call; they call; what’s the difference. She’s back on to tell me that my hCG test for pregnancy results are still in the doctor’s office for review. I should call back in a half hour.
Can’t Get Through to the Doctor
Now my impatience is getting unbearable. Richard and I go for a walk. We only have a half hour to kill.
Naturally, I take a b-line for the phone when we get back. It’s Friday and 1:45pm I have fifteen minutes before their phones systems close and I don’t want the panic scenario that I had last week where I had to wait over the weekend.
I can’t get through. The minutes are flying by. Fifteen minutes turn into ten, which turn into five. I begin cursing their phone system.
Now, Richard is trying with his cell phone. I begin calling their other lines hoping I can get through somehow. No luck. It’s now 2:00. The phone lines are telling me that they are now closed. My brow is wrinkled in complete frustration. I haven’t stopped cursing.
What if my hCG value went up? I need to know. This could be dangerous. Worn down nerves are not a good starting point for this. I sit in disbelief with the phone in my hand and my dialing finger literally sore.
The hCG Test for Pregnancy News
That’s it I’m driving to the clinic. I need to go to the store anyway. I’ll bring my cell phone in case they call me and I’ll knock on the door until they open.
Not but two minutes into my fifteen minute drive, my cell phone pierces the silence. In a rush to get to the hCG value I pull over, rip out the head piece and answer my phone.
The caller is from the clinic, but she doesn’t offer me my value. “You are to check into hospital Kuss immediately. Dr. T is waiting for you.”
What? Where? She repeats the instructions and I ask her to repeat the hospital name and the doctor’s name. I have nothing to write with, but am hoping that the names get ingrained into my brain.
“What do I bring?” I ask her.
“You’re overnight things,” she says.
Before I let her hang up I ask her for my hCG test results value. Her voice is stiff, “It’s now over 1300.”
My heart falls into my stomach. Over a thousand is dangerous, rings in my head. The car seems to be on autopilot back home. I call Richard to tell him he is taking me to the hospital.
Packing for Hospital
I’m back at the house instantaneously and Richard is already standing in the driveway ready to hop into the driver’s seat. I forgot to tell him that I need to pack my things first – not to mention that I haven’t the slightest idea where this hospital is. When I pull up next to him I have absolutely no recollection of anything I was told. Yes, it was a mere two minutes ago, but I have no idea anymore.
We go inside. I begin packing and he starts researching to find the hospital. I tell him the details I can remember. With a few threads of information Richard manages to find the hospital and the doctor.
For some reason I think that I need to pack light so I stuff my toothbrush and shampoo into a zip lock bag and pack it in a small duffel bag with my nightgown and some magazines. I have no idea what to bring. It seems so secondary. I need to get to the hospital.
The Stress of Getting to the Hospital
The stress on Richard’s face is easy to see. I wonder if mine is just as visible. He realizes on the way there that he forgot the directions as he had left them in the printer.
“Will you find it?” I ask.
“Yes, I don’t need it,” he confidently says after a pause. He is too stressed; I can’t question him. If I doubt him now he’ll crack.
We sit in silence as he works his way through traffic to the hospital. We turn down a small road near a larger hospital.
“It’s got to be right here,” he says.
I carefully ask questions trying to jog his memory. It’s no use, we are driving in circles. He parallel parks in a disabled parking spot. It seems to take him forever to get into it.
“Are we there?” I ask carefully.
“No, I’m going to ask this person,” he says with a shaky voice. “Why are you parking?? Just pull over”.
I take a deep breath as he finishes his final maneuvering. He gets out to ask an old lady walking by. We’re in luck. I can see her pointing down the street and around the corner.
We’re basically there. We drive around the corner and park against the traffic in front of the entrance. I feel safe. If something happens now, I’m only a few steps away from help.
My Shared Room
We go to check-in. It all seems so surreal. I’m fine. I’m not in pain. The lady checking me in asks for my insurance card and if I want a single room.
“Yes”, Richard answers for me.
“It will cost extra,” she said since it is not listed on my insurance card.
Richard doesn’t flinch with his response, “That’s OK”.
I let him take the lead. I’m too scared to decide anything right now. It turns out the first single room will be available tomorrow.
How long will I be here? How will they decide if I can go home? Are they planning already to operate? This opens the floodgates for questions in my head and I fall into a feeling of being lost and out of place.
We cautiously walk into my double room. There is someone there already chatting with her parents. She has a drainage tube of blood showing from under the covers. I wince. Is that going to be me?
I set my stuff down and feel so relieved that I will have my own room tomorrow. Thank god Richard requested one. I feel strange hopping around the room while this woman obviously has a recovery period ahead of her.
The nurse tells me to put my pajamas on and the doctor will be by. Really, my pajamas? It’s still light out. I’m not sick. This is so strange. Richard feels even more out of place than me.
We both feel uncomfortable in the room with other people so we head outside to the sitting corner. I’m dressed in my pajamas and my dress shoes (forgot my slippers). We wait a couple of hours until we are told to go over to the doctor’s office next door with my paperwork. We head over and I find myself in a regular doctor’s office waiting room – in my pajamas.
hCG Test for Pregnancy- Doctor’s Verdict
Oh, the weirdness just continues. Thankfully, the waiting isn’t long and he calls us in.
He sits behind his desk with dark black hair and friendly eyes. I feel as if I know him already. Without delay, he explains to Richard and I that Doctor K feels this is an ectopic pregnancy and that is why we are here. We talk about my medical history and the risks involved in an ectopic pregnancy.
Richard and I aren’t totally convinced. What evidence is there besides the hCG test for pregnancy values indicate that this pregnancy is not OK?
He senses the hope in our voice. “Some perfectly healthy pregnancies can start off with hCG values like this”, Richard argues.
“There is a slight chance that this is a normal pregnancy but it’s not likely”, Dr. T says with a soft voice, “but Dr. K has a very good feel for these things and is often right.” He goes on to admit that this decision is based more on feelings and experience than on a definitive sign. He sees that we are losing sight of the danger of the situation. He clears his throat and says, “Some women have only a stomach ache, go to bed, and don’t wake up the next morning”. This of course brings us back to reality.
It’s hard to grasp that I am sitting here listening to the possibility that my fallopian tube is harboring a pregnancy that could explode at any moment. I realize that I have spaced out when the doctor begins to explain how the surgery will be conducted with a diagram in front of me. The next thing I know I am signing consent forms.
“There will be no time if I have to operate in the middle of the night”, he explains and goes on to say, “Also, I want you to know that I have scheduled the surgery for Monday so don’t be surprised if you notice that you’re already on the schedule”.
Richard is still looking a little confused why we are here on a feeling. He wants to take me home. “We don’t live far, if she has pain in the night I can bring her here immediately and we’ll probably even be here before you”, he argues.
The doctor looks like he understands our feelings but advises us strongly to leave me here overnight. The indecision hangs in the air.
Ultrasound, is there a Pregnancy?
Before I head back to my room, the doctor would like an ultrasound. I get undressed and put my legs into the stirrups as if this is my daily routine, which in the past few weeks it has been. He enters the ultrasound wand gently. Not what I expected, but it made me realize his concern. He finds nothing except a built up vaginal wall with no pregnancy. Like the 8 o’clock news: pregnancy reported but missing since week six.
Me in pajamas and dress shoes gives Richard and I both an awkward feeling as we find our place in the sitting area outside my hospital room. We discuss going home. I’m uncomfortable with it, but as a scientist I’m missing hard facts for why I should stay. There aren’t any.
In the middle of this discussion with no resolution the doctor comes up and asks of if we are discussing staying. The doctor came after us to talk to us? My trust in him skyrockets.
“You can go for a walk and out to dinner. This isn’t a jail. But please stay the night, if something happens there are people here that can help immediately,” he says softly.
Richard and I nod our head in agreement. We feel like we’re in good hands.
I put on my clothes and we head out to dinner. We are quiet. What is there to say? We have no decisions to make; we are just hanging in midair waiting.
The most expensive appetizer looks good. I don’t hesitate. I’ll have that and the risotto. “What would we do if I started having pain right here?” I ask, breaking the silence.
“Call the ambulance?” Richard says hesitantly.
I guess we wouldn’t have any other option. The hospital is only a couple blocks away, but Richard couldn’t carry me back.
Richard Heads Home
Back in my hospital room, I notice that Richard is uncomfortable. He whispers trying not to disturb my roommate. “Why don’t you head home”, I say. He looks relieved. He hugs me and heads out the door.
It’s only 8:00. I pick up my book to read but notice spite the early hour that I’m falling asleep. I’m exhausted. Why fight it? I double check that I can reach the emergency call button and curl up to sleep.
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