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#1 of 97 Old 10-06-2004, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,
So, I got a negative blood test at Planned Parenthood. It was a yes or no test, so they were unable to tell me whether I might have a tumor (a tumor can produce small amounts of HCG.)

And then to compound my confusion, exasperation, and misery, I came home and got yet another period, and it was on time. I didn't get any cramps or night-before dreams again, I always used to but ever since this all began AF keeps just showing up without warning like my body *wants* to torture me.

I still have giant areolas, Montgomery's Tubercules, a soft cervix, purple genitals, a swollen belly that feels off-balance and disproportionate with the rest of my body.

So I was thinking I might have them rule out any tumors or anything with ultrasound. I know that ultrasound is dangerous if you are pregnant, but is it dangerous if you are not? The reason I ask is I did a tarot reading for myself about what I should do next and I still got the impression that now isn't the time for an ultrasound yet, there might be a point where I need to do that but for now I should continue to seek answers, just in other ways. Like US was an unpleasant last resort and if I wait I might not need to use it. I am getting pretty tired of seeking answers in other ways. A reading that tells me not to give up after things seem depressingly obvious is just more confusing.

I did hear that half the time they can't even find things with ultrasound, so if it's still dangerous to non-pregnant women then I don't really want to pay for one. One girl even wrote that after she had one, she asked her doctor if there was any sign of pregnancy on her ultrasound, and he said he couldn't know because that hadn't been what they were looking for. Another girl had a doc who couldn't tell for sure if he was seeing a baby or a cyst! So what is the point of spending all this money and taking a risk, to check for tumors if they can't even be sure of what they are seeing.

Also there is the cruelly unlikely possibility that I simply waited too long to take the test and my levels were too high and caused that boomerang effect, what is it- "hook effect". I guess maybe that's as good a reason as any to wait a while to get an ultrasound. I did hear that people with twins bleed a lot and have very high levels.

I find it really unfair that my body would give me half the signs of pregnancy, the inconclusive half, and then deny me the really important half. I feel like I can't even trust myself. I really thought I was pregnant.

Nicole
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#2 of 97 Old 10-06-2004, 04:32 PM
 
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Ultrasound can be a very useful diagnostic tool. As long as the exam is done by someone patient and properly trained, an awful lot can be told. I have had US used on me when I wasn't pregnant and it ruled out what the earlier suspicion was AND gave us a hint as to what was wrong. (It was narrowed down to something not-visible in US in my right ovary. I took False Unicorn Root for several weeks and the pain went away. Never did anything more invasive as I was unwilling to have an invasive remedy.)

I haven't heard anything about it being dangerous for women who arent pregnant; however, US hasn't really been studied much in the "safety" context.

I really don't know much about what might cause these kinds of symptoms that you describe. But, I would think that a change in your hormone levels (for whatever reason) would cause them just as if you were pregnant.
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#3 of 97 Old 10-06-2004, 04:37 PM
 
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((( hugs ))) What a trying time you are having.

I'm not an anti-ultrasound person, but even if I were, I would think that at this point the small risks that *might* be there are really outweighted by the potential benefits of figuring out what might be wrong. I really encourage you to get the ultrasound, or whatever else a doctor might suggest.
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#4 of 97 Old 10-06-2004, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know that it could just be hormones that cause the other changes, but it must be fibroids or something else physical that is pushing my abdomen out. My belly is getting rounder and it is starting to push my belly-button out.

Sohj, you mentioned what sounded like internal pain- in my case there are no particular internal pains (knock on wood!). Any pain in my abdomen area is minor and mainly related my growing belly-- mild, achy back pains, looser hip joints, muscle pain that I thought was round ligament pain, stretching feelings, tiny pains behind my belly-button. The only internal pain I can even think of is maybe a little pressure if I try and wait too long to pee, but it's only occasional.

I learned that fibroids do not produce hormones, in communication from a midwife on this site. I do use a deoderant with 5% Wild Yam, and I did since hear that progesterone can make fibroids grow, so perhaps this whole big mystery can be blamed on my Wild Yam Deoderant. I wish I could remember when I bought it. I am 95% sure that no doctor will be able to help me with a question about an herb, though. I haven't met a doctor who knows enough about herbs to know whether 5% Wild Yam could make fibroids grow larger.

If I do decide to get the ultrasound I guess they probably could see fibroids that are large enough to have this effect, so I guess it would be worth it.
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#5 of 97 Old 10-06-2004, 06:25 PM
 
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I had a fibroid that was very visible on ultrasound although it was only 1/3 inch in diameter when first discovered. Despite its small size, it had commandeered a blood vessel and was causing a serious bleeding problem, so I am very glad I had it surgically removed.

I think your current situation is similar to hurting your foot and walking around on it for weeks thinking, "Uh oh, this is getting worse instead of better," and having a nurse prod it and say, "Well, I don't feel any broken bones," but not getting an X-ray because you're afraid of the radiation. You are having serious enough symptoms that I think a low-risk test is very much justified.

Good luck!

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#6 of 97 Old 10-06-2004, 07:30 PM
 
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I'm sorry that things have not worked out the way you may have wanted. Since you stated that your belly is now being pushed out, etc, I would think it was time for a visit to a care provider (either OB/GYN, midwife, NP or even an internist). There are so many things that could cause your abdoment to be extended (fibroids, ovarian tumor, enlarge liver, other mass/tumor)...... Most hospitals have low cost clinics associated with them.

Good luck!
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#7 of 97 Old 10-06-2004, 07:50 PM
 
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I would think if you are actually pregnant (even with the neg tests) then most any doctor would be able to do a pelvic or palpate your abdomen and be able to tell if it is your uterus growing or something else. I am definately not anti-ultrasound. If you are concerned though i would see a doctor about getting an examination and then go from there. I understand you lean towards natural remedy but i don't think it would hurt to have a doctor examine you as long as he doesn't give you have shots or pills or anything. Just a look see.
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#8 of 97 Old 10-06-2004, 09:44 PM
 
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I second the advice to see a doctor or midwife for an ultrasound. As far as you possibly being pregnant, at this point an ultrasound would clearly show a fetus that is quite identifiably not a cyst. At my ultrasound at 11 weeks the baby's hands, face, feet, legs, etc. were all clearly visible, and you think that if you are pregnant, you'd be more like 16 weeks, right? If you are not pregnant, then, as others mentioned, it is pretty important to find out what is distending your belly to this degree (pushing your belly button out!) because it could be something serious. I hope that you're okay, and evrything goes well with you. Please keep us up to date.
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#9 of 97 Old 10-06-2004, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's reassuring. I had originally assumed that they could see everything that is in there until I heard these stories about people getting inconclusive ones. I thought they just sent sound waves right up through your cervix and into your uterus and could see everything by bouncing sound off of it.
If a 1/3 inch cyst and an 11 week baby are both equally visible then I can't imagine what on earth is happening with the people I talked to. The one girl said her doc thinks she's 9 weeks pregnant but he didn't know for sure because all he could find on US was that she had a thickened uterus. So the poor woman still doesn't know if she is pregnant even after an ultrasound at 9 weeks! Maybe this has something to do with the difference between transvaginal and transabdominal ultrasound.

So, I think I will go ahead and call for a price and if I can afford it, set up an appointment for ultrasound at Planned Parenthood. It would be ironic if I spent all this time looking into this and got all this advice and then found out I couldn't even afford the ultrasound after all, but it was educational anyway, and I'm sure I needed the emotional support as much as I needed the advice.

As for the hospital clinics, I checked into that already and you have to have a medical card to be allowed to go to the clinics, and to get a medical card, first you have to prove you are either sick or pregnant. Catch-22.
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#10 of 97 Old 10-06-2004, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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By the way, Lesley, you're right, if I was pregnant it would have to be minimum 16 weeks gestational, or 18 weeks by traditional Last Normal Period counting. So, despite the experience of the girl with the unexplained thickened uterus- since you saw all that at only 11 weeks, then I'm guessing that if by some miracle I was actually preg. then there is practically no way they could miss it while they are looking for all the unpleasant stuff. I just wanted to make sure that ultrasound is reliable when it comes to checking for female problems like tumors. It will be difficult to get DH to pay for more tests, so I needed to make sure I will really be able to find out if anything is wrong by getting ultrasound.
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#11 of 97 Old 10-07-2004, 09:30 AM
 
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Hmmm...I have been following your struggle, and I understand you are anti Dr. but you are willing to jump right to an ultrasound, which is expensive btw, and you haven't even gone in for a regular check up! I am anti Dr. myself, and honestly, I'd start at the beginning. When is the last time you had a GYN exam? A complete physical? How about a local walk in clinic, other than PP? They often have sliding scales, and could potentially rule some things out before you jump right to something extreme. You have a collection of symptoms that may or may not even be related, may or may not be something serious, and honestly if something IS seriously wrong, you are going to need a Dr. So...why not start with a Dr.'s appt?
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#12 of 97 Old 10-07-2004, 08:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tofumama
Hmmm...I have been following your struggle, and I understand you are anti Dr. but you are willing to jump right to an ultrasound, which is expensive btw, and you haven't even gone in for a regular check up! I am anti Dr. myself, and honestly, I'd start at the beginning. When is the last time you had a GYN exam? A complete physical? How about a local walk in clinic, other than PP? They often have sliding scales, and could potentially rule some things out before you jump right to something extreme. You have a collection of symptoms that may or may not even be related, may or may not be something serious, and honestly if something IS seriously wrong, you are going to need a Dr. So...why not start with a Dr.'s appt?
I agree. I would make an appointment to see a doctor to talk about your symptoms. Then go to ultrasound if they think thats what you need to figure out whats wrong. If you are pregnant (tho I would think the chance at this point is unlikely at 16 weeks with no positive test, continued periods, etc) they would be able to hear a heartbeat or something to confirm and then you havent wasted money getting an ultrasound.
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#13 of 97 Old 10-07-2004, 09:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 13thMonkey
If a 1/3 inch cyst and an 11 week baby are both equally visible then I can't imagine what on earth is happening with the people I talked to. The one girl said her doc thinks she's 9 weeks pregnant but he didn't know for sure because all he could find on US was that she had a thickened uterus. So the poor woman still doesn't know if she is pregnant even after an ultrasound at 9 weeks! Maybe this has something to do with the difference between transvaginal and transabdominal ultrasound.
I used to work as an ultrasound technician.

There are many things that can affect an ultrasound. The difference between transvaginal and transabdominal is one. A retroverted uterus can cause viewing problems, as well as an excess of abdominal fat. And to be honest, doctors often don't know how to work the machines very well. They're not trained to take pictures.... that's what techs are for. It also depends on how old the ultrasound equipment is. If the doctor has some little dinosaur of a machine in his/her office, that can make a huge difference.

But if the doctor knows what s/he's doing, has a good machine, and the woman is of healthy proportions, then not finding the embryo on ultrasound at 9 weeks isn't a good sign. Either her dates are wrong or she's got a blighted ovum or some other problem like a molar pregnancy, is my guess. The doc should be following bloodwork.
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#14 of 97 Old 10-07-2004, 11:48 PM
 
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While inexpensive, I think having an ultrasound done at PP may be a waste of your money. I have had an ultrasound done at PP and they did not have a great deal of expertise. They could date a pregnancy, but beyond that I got the distict impression they did not know what they were doing. I went to them because I wanted them to do a "peak" to see if I was twinning with ds#2. My mere suggestion that that was possible sent them into a "it's possible, I think I might see something" . I wasn't, hadn't been, but it took a "real" ultrasound to figure that out. Which, was much more expensive.

Another thing that bothered me was that they did not want me to look at the screen. I understand obsuring the screen so that women in crisis are not unduelly traumatized, but I WANTED to look and they were uncooperative. I insisted and they finally turned it so that I could see, but I didn't have a clear view.

And just so people understand, I used PP as my primary gyn provider for many years as a teen and college student. I think they provide a wonderful service for people looking for basic care and prescription BC at a reasonable price. But they are not, for the most part, prenatal experts and most of the people there are volunteers. My PP does no prenatal care.

I think you should start with a general doctor's appointment and have them palpate you and potentially run some tests before doing an ultrasound. And if an ultrasound is warrented, have it done by "professionals".

I hope you find an answer...

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#15 of 97 Old 10-10-2004, 01:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I can't just go to the doctor and pay for a bunch of examinations and tests. I would have to jump to the cut and pay for the one thing that could get me some answers. In the state I live in, you can't get a medical card unless you are (chronically or seriously) ill (with proof), pregnant (with proof), or under 18. Most adults in the US are not currently able to get health care without insurance- regardless of their low income. The free and low-cost clinics everyone keeps mentioning require a state medical card.

Unfortunately, after hearing the different weigh-ins on this, I have the general impression that any PP clinic, which is based on like donations and volunteer staffed, is not all that likely to detect potential fibroids or tumors I might have by using an ultrasound, so I can't justify spending the money on it at this point.

By the way, if I were pregnant, hearing the heartbeat without ultrasound, in an examination, would be unlikely at 18 weeks. If nothing was found with a stethoscope at 18 weeks, that doesn't actually mean anything. Some people can't hear it with a stethoscope until as late as 30 weeks.

Also, when they examine you gynocologically, to see if you are pregnant, they are checking to see if your cervix is blueish and unusually squishy, which I already did at home and it is, so that's not exactly conclusive. Neither is palpating from outside, at least not this early. I spoke with a few different nurse-midwives.

I am going quite crazy, though, because besides all this, this past week I have gotten to the point that none of my regular pants fit. DH keeps telling me I just gained some weight (not that he has a problem with that) and I just wear a bigger size is all. Maybe he should try explaining that to my butt, which, belt or no, steadfastly refuses to hold up the back of any pants that are big enough to fit over my belly in front. I'm currently experimenting with my semi-low-rise and yoga pants and rapidly running out of presentable options... None of my bras fit correctly either... I still wear the same band size but my cups overfloweth. I keep trying to get DH to come to the mall with me because, since maternity clothes are designed so that you can buy your regular size everywhere but the maternity areas, I feel like it will be some kind of small victory if I can prove to him that I still wear a size 8 (my size before all this) in maternity pants. However, he tells me that "fat people" (again, he claims he doesn't mind this part) don't wear maternity pants, reminds me that I failed the blood test, and thinks I should quit being weird. He does not have a solution to the fact that my butt and legs (and shoulders and arms) wear a size 8 and my belly wears an 18, or that my bras fit in the band but not the cups. He used to pick on me for my J-Lo butt but now it looks small compared to my "gut". : I compared myself to a bunch of 18 week belly pics I found online and I look so much like some of them... I feel like reality has taken a holiday.
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#16 of 97 Old 10-10-2004, 02:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 13thMonkey
Also, when they examine you gynocologically, to see if you are pregnant, they are checking to see if your cervix is blueish and unusually squishy, which I already did at home and it is, so that's not exactly conclusive. Neither is palpating from outside, at least not this early. I spoke with a few different nurse-midwives.
.
At the stage of pregnancy that you suspect, your uterus will be very much enlarged and that would easily be felt in a pelvic exam. Since the best type of ultrasound will be transvaginal, you might as well go fo a pelvic exam first. Either way you've got to get up in the stir ups, so to speak.

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#17 of 97 Old 10-10-2004, 11:03 AM
 
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I know you said you checked yourself, but do you regularly check your cervix when not pg? I mean, have you looked at it in what would be a 'normal' state? I have to assume that their are variations to your cervix, just as vaginas don't all look the same. I'm sorry the clinics in your area are like that. By me, you can just walk in to a 'walk in clinic' and be treated. No card needed. They are specificlly for people with no insurance. I used to use them all the time. I have not done all the research you have done, but to me it seems sort of unlikely that you are pg. However, I worry that something else serious is going on. I still think you need to see a Dr! Find one that has a sliding scale, when you have your appt, explain your financial situation. Some Dr's are nice people! Maybe he/she can find you discounted tests, etc. Plus, by me, you can't just walk in somewhere and say 'hey, I want an ultrasound'. You usually need a Dr. to order one for you.
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#18 of 97 Old 10-10-2004, 12:13 PM
 
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I agree with Tofumama, YOU NEED TO SEE A DOCTOR!!! By the way, although it would not be likely to hear a heartbeat with a stethascope at this stage a heartbeat can be reliably heard with a doppler from 12 weeks on--especially if you are normally a size 8. I am normally that thin and we heard a strong heartbeat on doppler at 12 weeks, it is easy to differentiate between yours and babies as babies will be much higher. For example, my doctor could hear my heartbeat through the placenta at a rate of 91, babies was 159--so really, any moron who can count can figure out whos is whos.
Can you perhaps lie a little and tell them you did pass a urine test, then perhaps you could see a doctor who could order a proper quantative blood test adn you could explain all your concerns at that time--especially if you fail the quantitateve hcg.
Also as someone else stated, at this stage your uterus is clearly palpable if you are pregnant--I can palpate my own and I don't know what I'm feeling for.
Maybe you could contact some midwives and offer to trade services for a quick exam. It would take a midwife about 5 minutes to determine if you were or were not pregnant, then you could move on from there. Maybe a local midwife would be willing to see you after hearing your story just out of curiosity--IYKWIM.
One way or the other, my guess is that the answers you need are not on the net, but in a doctors office or a midwives office.
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#19 of 97 Old 10-10-2004, 01:15 PM
 
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what state do you live in? (PM me if you don't want to post it on here) i can help you with applying for Medicaid. i can at least find the right forms you need, which can be more difficult than it seems.

i'm on both Medicaid and Medicare, because disability isn't an automatic qualifier for pregnancy-related state insurance. in CT they require proof of pregnancy for the Medicaid, but that includes them paying for a quantitative hcg test, so they gave me the card for state insurance based on financial need first. when i got the test, and it was positive proof, they automatically switched me over to a version of Medicaid that covers only pregnancy-related expenses. if i hadn't been pregnant, the hcg test would still have been covered, and the card would then have covered only a few things like flu immunizations and STD testing. but the state website docs said *nothing* about any of that, i had to physically go in to DSS and talk with a caseworker. every state has multiple insurance coverages that fall under the Medicaid umbrella, as long as you meet financial guidelines, you will fit one of their plans.

i would tell the caseworker you've tested positive on home pregnancy tests. they'll hurry everything along and since you're visibly shaped like a pregnant woman, it's a white lie. should take less than a week to find out if you can get Medicaid. you should also start calling any women's group listed under "clinics" in the Yellow Pages, as well as Catholic charities, and asking about urgent medical care for people who can't afford it. many clinics will write it off, or agree to bill in small amounts later on, in an emergency situation (and a possible 16-week pregnancy with no prenatal care is an emergency in the world of clinics!)

anyway, at this point it's best to see a doctor, no matter what you think happening with your body. guesswork will only get you so far, and you can always communicate your desire for minimal intervention/allopathy when you discuss what's up with the doctor.

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#20 of 97 Old 10-10-2004, 01:32 PM
 
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It could very well be a molar pregnancy (hydatidiform mole). Please get yourself checked out. If a mole goes too long without being removed, it can burrow deep into the uterine wall, resulting in excessive bleeding and complications that can lead to choriocarcinoma.
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#21 of 97 Old 10-10-2004, 03:02 PM
 
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From my understanding molar pregnancies tend to produce higher than normal levels of hcg, so that in mind, a home urine hpt most definitely should have shown positive.
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#22 of 97 Old 10-10-2004, 09:42 PM
 
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#23 of 97 Old 10-11-2004, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Shannon- actually a molar pregnancy is an unfortunate possibility for me; a lot of women with molar pregnancies get false negatives because their HCG levels are sometimes higher than the tests can handle. It's called a hook effect. Occassionally, this also happens to women with normal pregnancies, especially multiples, but it's not common.

I also read a few days ago that molar pregnancies are very tentatively linked to diets without enough animal protein. I have been a vegetarian for like 7 years; I still eat animal protein but only in the form of dairy. So now I feel pretty concerned that I could be having a molar pregnancy. If I ever start TTC I intend to eat some free-range organic chicken just to be on the safe side.

Jay- Thank you; I assumed molar pregnancies would eventually end themselves. Knowing they could get worse makes me re-think my decision not to seek care. Just out of curiosity, do you hapen to know whether HCG levels in molar pregnancies normally drop and level out at the same time as in regular pregnancies, or do they just keep rising? I haven't been able to find out.

Meli- I didn't realize they would send you for a quantitative first and pay for that either way. I intend to call whatever place is in charge of medical cards and find out if the same is true in my state. Hopefully so.

So... I'm starting to get a shadow of a linea negra and my belly button is working its way closer to disappearing....

And... Reflecting, I realized that I had actually noticed all kinds of bizarre abdominal changes over the time since July. The way I lean up against the bathroom sink, the way it sort of stands out on its own when I lie on my side, the way it feels out of proportion to me, etc., have all increased over that period of time in gradual ways that I noted as odd, but didn't immediately link to a possible pregnancy. At one point I remember I actually thought it was something I caused to happen by leaning too firmly into the sink all the time and making the muscles in my adbomen develop unaturally in proportion to the rest of my body. Of course as I have grown larger I have since ruled out that far-fetched and slightly silly theory...

My bleeding this month was also shorter and lighter than before (so far it has basically stopped now, knock on wood), with, again, none of the heavy cramps I used to experience.

I'll let everyone know what I find out about getting a quantitative blood test to get a medical card. I wonder if a quantitative blood test can be subject to the hook effect. I hope not. If this is a molar pregnancy, that blood test is my gateway to finding out and taking care of it before it causes some kind of complication. Well, let me just go see if I can even get a quantitative anyway. The medical-card setup might be different here.
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#24 of 97 Old 10-11-2004, 04:17 PM
 
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Okay, I'm not the big science guru or earthy-birthy mama. But I just read your whole thread. Here is a possibility that occurred to me and it's okay if you think it's dopey:

Maybe Planned Parenthood screwed up your blood test!

I don't see anywhere in the thread that you got a second one. Just using Occam's Razor here. You say your body is totally acting pregnant, but the blood test shows low HCG levels. Maybe it was a lab error.

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#25 of 97 Old 10-11-2004, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wish that were true! I would be four months by now so if I do turn out to be pregnant they can't use that "too early" excuse. If so I am planning to take my reciept in there and ask for my 15 bucks back.
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#26 of 97 Old 10-11-2004, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wish I could say Occam's razor applies but right now it feels more like Schrodinger's cat...
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#27 of 97 Old 10-11-2004, 05:06 PM
 
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I don't know much about what could be going on with you, 13th Monkey, but I am fairly sure that a quantitative blood test is just that -- it measures the exact level of hCG in your blood. What that number means is open to some interpretation (pregnant, not pregnant, too high for dates, too low for dates, etc.) but the number itself is not.

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#28 of 97 Old 10-11-2004, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I looked it up and it turns out that even if I could get a quantitative blood test, they vary in their maximum range. Depending on which one they use, they are equally susceptible to the hook effect, meaning that if the HCG level in a person is too high, higher than the range the test measures, and the tech does not manually dilute the sample before trying to retest, people can get an incorrect very low reading. I don't know how common manual dilution is, maybe they do it all the time for a quantitative test. I haven't had one yet but if I get one I will ask about it.

I don't think the tech at the Planned Parenthood clinic diluted my blood sample when she did the "yes or no" test. I am going to call tomorrow and ask if it is standard procedure to do that. She did two tests with the same sample, so I am going to ask if the second one is usually diluted when they do that.

I called about the medical card and was told that in order to get the medical card without paying for a test you can go get one of the free tests and if the results are positive, you can get the doctor there to say you need to be approved for medical card. Unfortunately, the free tests are all urine tests. Back to square one...

I learned how to dilute a urine specimen to beat the high-dose hook effect; it says to use 10 parts distilled water. It should all be at room temperature, and dipping too far can ruin the test and cause a false negative. Now that I'm armed with all this info I want to try again. As soon as I can think of an excuse to sneak out to the drugstore without DH suspecting that I am buying pregnancy tests.
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#29 of 97 Old 10-11-2004, 05:49 PM
 
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call your local Dept. of Social Services to apply for Medicaid. i have no idea if your state does the quantitative hcg first, every state is different. but you really need medical care for whatever is going on at this point! all you have to do is call DSS and tell them you need to apply for Medicaid for pregnancy (let them sort it out later if you're not pregnant). let me know if you need help finding any Medicaid forms online.

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#30 of 97 Old 10-11-2004, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You know what, I called and they are closed until tomorrow, but I *really* doubt if the tech at Planned Parenthood would have diluted the sample before the second test. I had to fight tooth and nail (ie ask a million people and read a billion websites) to find out about this "hook effect" so I doubt if most medical techs even know to suspect it enough to dilute samples. I think maybe dilution is only done in specific cases where hook effect is suspected.

She knew I suspected I was four months, and she did suggest I go get an ultrasound done, so if she *knew* about dilution and hook effect, she probably *would have* tried it on the second test. But, what I'm betting is that she didn't really know about hook effect.
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