Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Status Report

Bad patient. Me. Bad patient. I was behaving myself in the examination room this morning. No, seriously. No glove shooting, no rooting through the drawers, no building of syringe animal figures, no playing with the dildo cam. (oh stop, I never did that even when I did play with it.) I was sitting on the table, pink paper bottom cover appropriately covering bottom, reading the Wall Street Journal. Yes, I did rearrange the crotch level heat lamp so I could see to read, but there was no clear and conspicuous warning and waiver of liability to sign indicating I shouldn't touch. And, ok, I did slightly have to pee, but I had been waiting for a while and I wasn't going to trollop out to the loo with the pink paper bottom cover barely covering bottom. Would you?

All this good behavior and I was chastised by the nurse because my bladder "was so full." Move wand to large mass, see there, that's your bladder. (If she thinks I'm paying extra for that...) It makes it difficult to count the follicles when your bladder is so full. Next time, empty your bladder even if you don't think you have to go. Blah blah blah. So, I had to press down on my ovaries (I expect some money back for that) to get a good shot of my 7 follicles. Even my left ovary was in the game. Not bad, full bladder or not. I'll take 7 at this stage of the game. Lining is less prolific, but there's still time.

And in other news, today (or maybe yesterday) is my ONE YEAR BLOGOVERSARY. Sadly, I don't have 100 posts for my ONE YEAR BLOGOVERSARY, but I like to think of it as quality vs. quantity. Indeed, I believe people all over the country should have a feast tomorrow of turkey, ham, gravy, various starches and winter vegetables, marshmellows and fruit pies in my honor. ONE YEAR. I am humbled. And to the one person reading my blog, I couldn't have done it without you.

Joking aside, Happy Thanksgiving. Despite the disappointments and the uncertainty, I, we, all of us, have much to be thankful for. And I'm thankful for every last drop of this wonderful, aggravating, joyful, heartbreaking life. Salut!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I heart IVF

Fine people, if you have never allowed yourself to undergo IVF, hide the children, go straight to the closest RE's office, throw yourself across the threshold, drag yourself to the registration desk and cry "Please, for the love of God, l'm infertile and I must have IVF." (Please ensure right arm is helplessly crooked over weeping eyes, a la Blanche Dubois.) Seriously, IVF is a ton of fun, why miss out just because your ovaries and other procreating accoutrement work?

I kid, I kid.

Seriously, at least seriously for me, the process of IVF isn't so bad. Physically, that is. I continue to be amazed (what that it hasn't worked? That's another post.) how different it is cycle to cycle. This cycle, for example, I've already bruised from the subcutaneous shots. I never bruised my first cycle. Not really my second cycle. Maybe it's because I'm not paying attention like I used to. On Sunday, I gave myself a shot after inserting a meat thermometer in the leg of a free range chicken. Hmmm. And the menopur shot has never really stung like it has this time. Oh yea, I'm using three vials this time. Duh.

An interesting variation this time is that I'm not using estrogen in any form. My RE is holding off because of a recent study indicating that estrogen may inhibit growth of the endometrium. My lining has never exceeded 8.7, even with varying amounts of estrogen use. I'll be interested to see how or if this works. I will probably go to my first ultrasound tomorrow and find that not only has my lining not plumped up, it has folded into itself and *poof* disappeared, except for the faint outline of a middle finger, viewable only on ultrasound. Such is the luck of a three (four if you count the frozen) time IVF drop out. (It just felt right to inject some pity there.) My bet is that I end up back on the estrogen pill and shots.

So tomorrow we see what's the haps. I'm expecting my left ovary to remaining annoyingly recalcitrant, just like last time, and my right ovary to do its job, although less than adequately, see note about three time drop out above. Lining will be woefully inadequate, but I'm not going to get too worked up about that yet. If I'm on the mark about this, I'll be heading to the 7-11 for my powerball ticket. I'll come out a winner yet!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Back in the saddle again...

I'm starting IVF #3. On time. In spite of my 58 day cycle. Who knew! We're already off to a riproaring start.

Meds arrived last Friday. I didn't unpack the box until I arrived home. Yes, yes, I know that Follistem needs to be refrigerated, but I also know...from experience...that they pack it nice and comfy with ice packs. Back off, would you, I'm a pro. I put the Menopur in the refrigerator. Funny, I don't remember it taking up so much space last time. I take the empty box to the garbage outside. In the alley. Behind the garage.

Saturday morning I decide to check off the meds I received against the packing slip. So responsible. Hmm, strange. Follistem pen, but no Follistem. Is it in the fridge with the Menopur? Um, no, but Menopur doesn't need to be refrigerated. Silly. Take nicely chilled Menopur out of the fridge. Smack head, holy smokes, big pharmacy forgot to send me $1500 worth of Follistem. Dumb pharmacy. Call pharmacy. Explain gently, kindly, patiently that of course I checked the box. I'm a pro. I've done this several times. Pharmacy screwed up, send me Follistem. Yes, yes, I'm sure you checked the packing list carefully, big pharmacy, but I wouldn't be so stupid to throw away $1500 of injectables. Yes, thank you. You'll send it next week? Great. Click. Pause. Silence. Put on raincoat, shoes, retrieve box from garbage behind garage in the alley. Remove $1500 worth of Follistem from box, nestled neatly under two ice packs. Call big pharmacy back. Tell them Nevermind.

Like I said, a riproaring good start.

I kind of like the idea of getting my third and final IVF on the road at the end of 2008. It's almost a year to the day since my first IVF. Almost exactly a year of blogging about it. And 2009, well, it will be a new road, one way or the other. And how often do you get to do a fresh cycle and potentially thrown in a blast on ice at the same time? Wicked cool. As a testament to this solemn occasion, I have made the following vows for this, my last IVF:
  1. I will stop purloining latex gloves from the examination room. Yes, they are fun to shoot across the examining room. Yes, there is a thrill in gathering my pink paper bottom half cover and jumping off the exam table to retrieve the gloves and then shove them quickly in my purse to hide the evidence before the nurse comes in . If I simply need a pair of gloves to use at home to slice a jalapeno, I will buy them at the Kroger.
  2. I will stop fiddling with the keys and controls on the dildo cam apparatus before the nurse comes in the room. And I will not retype my name to "uterus of doom." I'm the only one who finds it amusing.
  3. I will no longer ask when the padded covers on the stirrups were last laundered.
  4. I will never ask for my HCG shot to be administered in my thigh. Never, never, never again. I will never again refer to the nurse administering the HCG shot as Satan.
  5. I will never again call the RE a weenie for giving me only two xanax. Along the same vein, I will not justify my comment by pointing out I have the tolerance of a Clydesdale.
  6. Finally, assuming I make it to transfer, I will not suggest to the RE that this time he get the embryos in my uterus, which will be more hospitable then, say, my liver or bladder.
Yep, with this kind of plan, what can go wrong??

Monday, November 10, 2008

Spring Cleaning in November

When I was a little girl, back before my eggs needed wheelchairs and oxygen, after an emotional slump I would rearrange the furniture in my room. Bookshelf moved to another wall, Shawn Cassidy poster thumbtacked to the back of the door instead of over my desk. I lacked the financial resources, e.g., a job, to pull up the bright orange carpet or create a meditation garden, but physical rearrangement of my space usually did the trick. Hence, the rearrangement of my little blog. It's not much considering the personal technological impediments I don't have the patience to overcome, but it's kind of doing the trick for me.

It has been an emotional slump around these parts and not for the usual reasons. If you haven't noticed (typed firmly tongue in cheek) it's an economic maelstrom out there. At my company, hundreds of people are being informed this week that they're losing their jobs. I'm not one of them. I'm thankful and yet, down in the dumps; shoulders slumping, corners of the mouth downturned, down in the dumps. So much uncertainty for so many people, well, for all of us. In my professional life, I've had to deliver difficult news before. This has been gut wrenching. It is one thing when someone loses a job in a healthy economy. It's quite another when there are no comparable jobs to move into. Makes me want to rearrange the furniture of the country.

Dare I even point out that winter is upon us? For some, this is good news. A change of season, gentle snow showers, hot chocolate, holiday cheer. Pheh. You see falling snow, I see chapped lips and malfunctioning water heaters. You see skiing and picturesque mountains, I see mangled limbs and a directionally challenged, blind St. Bernard with an empty cask. Reindeer? Roadkill. Warm fluffy sweaters? Socks with holes in the big toe. Did I mention I got on the scale this morning? Clinical Depression, take a left at the plunging thermostat. Fa la la la laaaaa....

Monday, November 3, 2008

What to Say, What to Say...

I'm feeling like a one trick pony. A one trick infertile pony. What I mean is that I'm tired of talking about infertility. I'm saying the same things over and over, except sometimes, when I'm creative, I use different words. Sadly, I don't feel that creative anymore. Even worse is that I'm not only tired of my own infertileness, I'm tired of everyone else's too. It's just so damn sad and all consuming. And other times, it's the opposite of sad and I can't relate. I've run out of words.

Many of the women I started out with are now pregnant, or have made a decision to move to adoption or to live without children or to try more treatments. Many more women are just starting out with the same joyful naivete that I did. IVF: the final frontier. We have all or will soon combat our own immeasurable sadness and joy and uncertainty and soul searching and anger. We have all been or will be changed by our own unique experiences. My stroll down Infertility Ave. is close to ending. One final IVF and then the outcome. Of course an uncertain outcome but one I'm ready to meet. I've had enough. And I'm ok with that.

Lest I sound terribly ungrateful, I'm not. I have been buoyed innumerable times by the support I've received in this internet community. I've been the lucky recipient of sage advice and warm hugs and some laugh out loud moments. I've met some wonderful, dynamic people whose real names I don't know but whose most private lives I follow closely through words. I have been lucky indeed to have people rooting for me and sending kind words when the bottom drops out. But. But. I'm tired of infertility. No, I'm simply tired of defining myself by my inability to procreate. Of being a one trick pony.

All this to say that I'm in a quandary about what to do with this little blog. A part of me wants to print off everything I've written and have it bound into a tight little package to look at the future. Another part says take some time and refocus and come back refreshed with a more interesting carnival. Maybe keep the pony for a little while but add a few elephants, clowns and a circus tent. (And always some corn dogs and an elephant ear.)

So off I go for a little while. Just need a little focus.