Monday, May 17, 2010

The Celebratory Society

Think of this as the most interesting delurking project you'll ever participate in. After giving back to others at the Celebratory Society, I have decided to participate in it myself. You can understand the project in full by clicking here, but in brief, the Celebratory Society is an online festschrift for a blogger--a way for you to tell me what my blog or actions mean to you. But this isn't about me--this is about you too. And I would love it if you returned to your own blog, started your own Celebratory Society post, added it to the main project list, and gave me the opportunity to tell you about...you.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

RE Apointment and Some Fun

Had my appointment this past Wednesday with the RE. First off, I have to say I really, really liked him! He's got just the right attitude for me - not too forceful, but not a pushover either.

The first part of the visit went as expected. We did a baseline ultrasound, which showed a cyst on my left ovary. He was unsure if this cyst is a "workable" cyst (i.e. it will dissolve on its own either in ovulation or just a normal cyst some women get in cycles) or a "non-workable" cyst, such as the one I had removed 3 years ago. He said we would definitely monitor and see what is happening with it. He measured my endometrium and said it was of a good thickness, but it looked cloudy/snowy on the u/s as if I were on CD21 rather than CD11 as I actually was on. He ordered a progesterone draw to see where I actually was in my cycle since I had taken Pro.vera to bring this cycle on.

Now, onto his recommendations. He approached things a little differently than I had thought, but still covered most of the same items. He stated that his first agenda was to get me healthy. Right now, he's concerned that I wouldn't be healthy enough to carry a baby. He said there would likely be problems for me and for the baby as well. Therefore, his first order of business was to refer me to a pulmonologist for an evaluation for asthma and sleep apnea (as suspected). That was what I expected, so nothing unusual there. My appointment with the pulmonologist will be on June 9.

The next thing he discussed was my chronic headaches/migraines. I had thought he would send me for an MRI, but instead he told me that recent research had suggested that women who suffered from migraines often had a magnesium deficiency, so his recommendation was to start a special supplement of magnesium (it has some other things in it and they gave it to me in the office as it can only be ordered online and is not available in stores). I'm to take one in the morning with food and one in the evening with food for two weeks, then one in the morning with food and two in the evening with food. I'm also to keep a record of any headaches I have.

Next, he told me he wanted me to stop taking Met.formin for six weeks and monitor my blood sugar very closely so he could diagnose insulin resistance or diabetes himself. So far my sugar has been running very slightly high, but nothing scary. I'm also to monitor my blood pressure closely, as he will probably be sending me to my regular GP to start blood pressure medication. He suspects I have hyper.tension and he doesn't want to risk that getting worse with a pregnancy. That, sadly, is running pretty high.

The next order of business was to discuss all the bloodwork he wanted me to have done. On Wednesday, I had two large vials of blood drawn, then on Thursday I had four more of the large vials and three medium-sized vials drawn. I still have another lab to be drawn - the one testing for MTHFR - but I had to be sure my insurance would pay for it because it is an extremely expensive lab! I'll be having that one drawn sometime this week, hopefully. Some of the bloodwork has already come back (the benefits of working in a hospital - I checked for the labs that were already back) and my triglycerides are high (surprise, surprise), my white blood count is slightly elevated, my red blood count is slightly low and my uric acid levels are elevated (I feel a gout attack is probably coming soon - I truly had that!). Once I find out more, I'll let you know those.

Our other discussions were about doing an HSG after all the bloodwork came back and he was satisfied with that, as well as another endometrial biopsy. He has already given me a prescription for a drug pack to get me throught he biopsy, which is definitely an improvement over the first time I had it done (Dr. Bashful told me it wouldn't hurt at all and there was no need for me to take anything - not even any Tyl.enol or Ale.ve), so I'm not dreading it too much. The Hubs will be having another SA done. Again, we aren't too worried about that as his first one had a count of 76 million, motility of 70% the first 3 hours and morphology of 80%. Our RE said he was dubious of a morphology of 80% because the "normal" man only had a morphology of 7 to 8%, so not really sure about that (he did say his research was more experimental than some in this area). After The Hubs is added to my insurance in July, he will also be seeing a pulmonologist to check his lungs as well as, when he had his physical for immigrating from England, his lung x-ray showed some nodules on his lung and he was sent to a specialist before they could okay his visa. Fortunately, it was only scar tissue from having bronchitis when he was younger.

There was also the mention of weight loss (although, to his credit, of the two and a half our appointment less than five minutes was spent on discussing weight loss and he said he knew it was very difficult for those with insulin resistance). We talked about diet and exercise and he also mentioned that lap band surgery was an option. The Hubs and I decided that for now I would try diet and exercise again. I'm really not enthused about the idea of surgery for weight loss. I've heard some good things about it, but I've heard more bad, so that will be a last resort. The Hubs and I are going to try the Sou.th Bea.ch Diet and see how that works for us.

I think I've remembered everything from the appointment. If I remember anything else, I'll post about it. It certainly is a lot to take in in a short period of time!

Now for the fun stuff. I have tried three times previously to complete a project of taking a self-portrait of myself every day for a year. I have failed this task three times, lol. So, I decided I would try once more and, maybe with your help, I can complete it. I thought this would be a great year to complete the project and hopefully I'll get the opportunity to take some pregnancy photos of myself. I would appreciate any comments you make and definitely any suggestions of photo ideas! You can view my year in photos at Wistfulgirl in 365-D. Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The First RE Visit

My first RE visit on Wednesday went fine. In fact, I found very little, but gave out lots of info on The Hubs and I. We met with the RE's PA (lots of letters, lol) to do a work up of our history so the RE can review it and make his recommendations and set out our plan. The appointment lasted approximately an hour and the PA was very nice. I really liked her and she seemed honestly interested in us and our situation (I know, I know....that's her job). The things I did learn the RE would be looking at or the things that were strongly hinted he would be looking at were:

  • HSG - I haven't had an HSG done and, after finding out the news of the removal of my right fallopian tube, I'm pretty sure the RE will want to determine the other tube is open and that there is no damage to the uterus. This one is pretty much a given.

  • SA for The Hubs - While The Hubs did have an SA done in November 2008 (with excellent numbers I might add), it is also pretty much a given that the RE will want another SA done to confirm there are still no problems with the little swimmers.

  • Pituitary Adenoma - I suffer from chronic headaches and serious fatigue, as well as infertility and difficulty losing weight. I have also been previously treated for Hyperprolactinemia, which is a common symptom of a pituitary adenoma. Based on the questions I was asked by the PA and these factors, I feel the RE will probably order an MRI of the brain.

  • Sleep Apnea - Based again on my constant fatigue and lack of energy, my inability to sleep through the night and the fact that I rarely sleep deep enough to not know everything that happens during the night, the PA thinks it likely I have sleep apnea. I think it's likely as well seeing as my dad and all three of my siblings have it, I'm overweight and The Hubs has actually woken me up before because I hold my breath in my sleep.

  • IBS - The PA also thought it may be possible that I suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome because of the stomach problems I have. I've always thought it was probably down to the Met.formin, but I have been on it for nearly two years and had these problems before and have seen no improvement.


So that's what I'm expecting from our visit this Wednesday, in addition to the normal bloodwork and the directive to lose weight. We were also told this cycle would be a completely natural cycle, so no Fe.mara, no Clo.mid, no soy. Just good ole' me. I know there will be a baseline u/s Wednesday so we can determine if I developed any cysts on the ill-fated Fe.mara cycle. Hopefully, there will be none to speak of!

I'm excited to learn what our plan of action will be. I feel like we're really getting down to the nitty gritty now and getting started for real. I talked to my insurance company before the first visit and was surprised to learn that all our fertility testing would be covered! That's great news! The bad (but expected) news is that none of the treatment will be covered. But that's okay. We were expecting that and I'm just overjoyed to know I won't have to come up with the money for the HSG and probable MRI out of pocket!

In other news, the May Secret Pal assignments have gone out and I have received a lovely award that I need to follow through on! Hopefully, I'll get to that in the next day or so. Love to you all!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mish-Mosh

This is a post with a bit of much and nothing.

Firstly, in cycle watch news, I think AF finally showed up. I say think because I've been spotting off and on since Thursday, but last night it got a little heavier. This morning it was heavier still, but then this evening is very light again. I really don't know what to think, but I'm going with CD2 for today.

Tomorrow is my first appointment at the RE's office. I'll see the PA tomorrow and go over my history and do a work up with her. Next Wednesday I'll go back and see the RE himself. I'm hoping I can get some answers over the next couple of weeks. Maybe the RE will have some useful suggestions.

Now, I've been promising you all the revelation of the April Secret Pals, so here it is:

His and Her Infertility Secret Pal to Life with Endometriosis and PCOS

The Road to Happily Ever After Secret Pal to Our Incredible Journey

Built In Birth Control Secret Pal to A Girl, A Guy and a Tumour

Half As Many Chances Secret Pal to Confessions of an (Infertile) Shopaholic

Houston, We Have a Problem Secret Pal to My Infertility Woes

Giving Up a Dream Secret Pal to Big Belly or Bust

Through the Eyes of a Stranger Secret Pal to Houston, We Have a Problem

Big Belly or Bust Secret Pal to Our Journey

Random Thoughts From Angie Secret Pal to Built In Birth Control

Riding the IVF Roller Coaster Secret Pal to Through the Eyes of a Stranger

Life Happens When You're Making Other Plans Secret Pal to Slaying, Blogging, Whatever

Our Incredible Journey Secret Pal to Hopes and Dreams For Us

Our Journey Secret Pal to Our Crazy But Wonderful Life

Just a Mere IVF
Secret Pal to Life Happens When You're Making Other Plans

The Infertility Diaries Secret Pal to CD1 Again

Hopes and Dreams For Us Secret Pal to Wistfulgirl's World

Life with Endometriosis and PCOS Secret Pal to Random Thoughts From Angie

Slaying, Blogging, Whatever Secret Pal to The Infertility Diaries

My Infertility Woes Secret Pal to Such a Short Time - Such a Long Road

CD1 Again Secret Pal to The Road to Happily Ever After

A Girl, A Guy and a Tumour Secret Pal to Giving Up a Dream

Confessions of an (Infertile) Shopaholic Secret Pal to His and Her Infertility

Such a Short Time - Such a Long Road Secret Pal to Riding the IVF Roller Coaster

Our Crazy But Wonderful Life Secret Pal to Just a Mere IVF

Wistfulgirl's World Secret Pal to Half As Many Chances

And there you have it! Don't forget that tomorrow is the last day to sign up for May Secret Pals! I will be getting those pal names out to you this weekend!

Please wish me luck with our doctor's appointment tomorrow. I think we'll need it!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

My Ultimate What IF

First of all, thank you so much for the kind and supportive comments you've all left for me. It means so much to me.

I'm finally getting around to posting my What IF? post for the project Mel and Resolve are hosting. I think my biggest What IF? is What if IF has changed me from the person I used to be and I'm never able to gain that person back? What if that's not a good thing?

I thought for a long time that my biggest what if would be regarding money issues and our treatment, but the more I thought about it, the more I feel that the metamorphosis I'm undergoing as a result of IF is a bigger What IF? for me. Let me explain.

I've never been what you'd call a calm or patient individual. I've always had a hot temper. However, I've always been able to control it to a point. I've never felt out of control even if it seemed to others that I may be. In the last few years, though, I've been less and less in control of my emotions. Every time I get bad news or have another disappointment in our journey, I get so angry I'm moved to tears. Now, this may not sound like it's a terrible anger - I mean tears aren't exactly threatening - but for me, it means I'm on the verge of a meltdown. I only cry when I'm extremely angry or terribly hurt or a combination of the two, which is usually the case when it comes to my fertility.

I absolutely hate the fact that I can't control my body, can't make it do what I want it to do. Always before ttc, this was expressed in my anger at my body's failure in losing weight. Then I entered the realm of babymaking and it's a whole new ballgame. It was no longer just a nuisance and irritation. It was suddenly something that really mattered, something that meant much more to me than just fitting into a smaller size jeans. I could see something that mattered so much to me floating away like a dream - so close, yet so far out of reach I'm still not sure I'll ever reach it.

With the realization that this journey would be a long - and possibly fruitless - one, the irritation I'd always felt with myself suddenly multiplied into an anger so passionate it scares me sometimes. Not only has that anger increased at my own body, but my patience with others has virtually disappeared. These days I find myself barely able to stand the company of others in my real day-to-day life, particularly those with children who've not experienced IF. In one way, I'm glad they've never had to experience this. I'm glad they've never had to wonder what they'd do if they were never given the opportunity to mother a child. However, in another way, everytime a colleague tells me the latest story of their child in a "kids-say-the-darndest-things" theme, I simply want to pick up the nearest heavy object and bash them over the head with it. Instead, I smile. I fake a laugh. I tell them how wonderful their child is and how lucky they are to have that child. And with every breath between these pointless excercises, I silently scream out. I cry in my very soul. I feel the ache, the longing and the desperation with every breath I take, in every fiber of my being. I am acutely aware of what a failure I am and how desperately I long for something I can't at the moment see ever coming to a resolution.

This anger and resentment carry over into every part of my life. I get angry with my mom, my dad, my siblings, my husband, my dogs. I daydream about simply withdrawing all the money in my bank account and disappearing somewhere to a tropical island. I would buy a small, open house there, paint the walls a clean white with a large soft bed covered in white linen. I would turn the air conditioning on, lie in that bed and drift away, never to be awaken again, simply because it would ease the agony of wanting and the vile anger that seaps through me and puts an ugly shadow over every part of my life.

I have arguments with my family, my friends, myself. I dream of how life would be better for everyone if I wasn't around, if I didn't want something I was clearly not meant to have. I think how much better off The Hubs would be if he had married someone who could fulfill their basic duty in life. I think how much better off I would be if I didn't desperately want to hold my child in my arms, if my heart didn't melt everytime I walk near the baby department in Walmart or Target. I wish it were enough for me to be an aunt, a godparent, a teacher, a nursery worker, even just someone to hold the child while the mother opened the car door or put bags into the shopping cart at the store. If the need to be a mother and watch my child grow into their own person with their own hopes, dreams, desires and faults didn't burn in my heart and stomach, if the thought I may never get that opportunity didn't force bile to rise in my throat, everyone around me - myself included - would probably be much better off. Unfortunately, those feelings are there. The continuing time that passes has not succeeded in decreasing my need, but only making it more and more a thing I can't live without.

It is because of these feelings that I truly fear what lasting impact infertility will have on me. Will I still be this bitter person who feels numb and has to conciously stop myself from gagging every time I see a pregnant woman? Will I still have to suppress the desire to kick at my dad's cats every time one of them is knocked up yet again? Or will I move on from this? Will I be a mother my children can be proud of, a wife my husband can look at and remember why he married me and be proud to be seen with me and tell people "yes, that's my wife. Aren't you jealous?"? Will I be a person my parents and siblings would choose to be around?

For a moment, I'll try to think of the positive: what IF I become a mother very soon and am the best damn mother a child could ever hope to have, so good in fact that my children roll their eyes and talk about how "uncool" I am as a mother because I bake cookies with them, have family game night, talk about their problems with them and offer real, honest-to-goodness helpful answers all the while secretly thanking their lucky stars they have me and not someone who never fought for them but simply won in the surprise pregnancy lotto? What IF infertility is actually the turning point in what makes me the greatest person I can be?

It's National Infertility Awareness Week. Visit www.resolve.org/takecharge to find out how you can get involved. Need more information on infertility? Visit Resolve to get answers to your questions. And don't forget to drop by and see the other What IF's everyone else is pondering.