One year ago today, I also had my egg retrieval surgery. I had been advised to not have any invasive testing or surgery in Minsk, but I felt extremely confident in my local RE (reproductive endocrinologist) and his abilities as a physician. In the U.S. egg retrieval is often preformed under sedation. When I asked my RE about the process in his clinic, he said that doing it under sedation is "barbaric" and I would be having a general. Now, I'm in no way a stranger to being in the OR, whether as a provider or a patient, but the thought of having a general in a foreign country was a little unnerving. It sounded simple enough though, IV, Propofol, nighty night, procedure, wake up. And that's basically how it happened. I do remember being in the OR as they started my IV, looking up at the plaster falling out of the ceiling and wondering what in the world I had gotten myself into. It was also a bit unsettling that of the eight people in the room, only my RE spoke any English. The anesthesiologist was very nice and would occasionally touch my shoulder and repeat "okay". Then lights out. The next thing I knew, I was in the recovery room which was nothing at all like a recovery room in the U.S. As strange as it sounds, I felt great. Usually after a general I'm out for hours, vomiting, and just feel blah for 24 hours. Not this time, I was sitting up in bed and asking to go home. Maybe it was the short procedure and therefor small amount of anesthesia, maybe it was Belarusian medical care at its best, or maybe it was just good luck. Whatever the combination, it worked! They wouldn't release me until I ate something, and they offered chocolate. Definitely not something that would happen in the U.S. After explaining that I couldn't have chocolate (peanut allergy and risk of cross contamination) they brought me a cottage cheese/ sour cream type thing. My Belarusian roommate who had just had the same procedure and was not doing nearly as well as I was, offered me her sandwich. I declined, but to this day, I'm touched by her generosity. Two women, different nationalities, different languages, with just our bond of infertility. Anyway, I ate a few bites of the cheese delight, drank some hot tea, gave my roommate the smile of "my Russian isn't very good, but I wish you the best", and went home.
The final count 8 eggs. Yeah!!!