Friday, March 26, 2010

Money, money everywhere (but not my bank account)

To date, I have spent $245 on co-pays for my doctor visits in the last 2 weeks. I have about another month of ridiculous doctor's appointments. I can't wait to see what I have to pay for that insurance doesn't.

Today I went back to the specialist and had another ultrasound (again with the wand and no gel this time... OUCH!!) DH wasn't with me this time, so he didn't almost pass out again. We found that the clomid is doing it's job and I have 2 follicles (that means possibility of fraternal twins) that are just about ripe (size 14 mm out of 18 mm). On Monday I go back to get another ultrasound to make sure those follicles are full size and then get an hcg shot to make those puppies burst forth. It was just amazing to me that I could see them on the screen. She did also mention my uterus is still tipped and a little lopsided. That, for some reason, is just another thing that makes feel like I suck at life. Thanks.

So far all of my tests are ok. Dermatologist was good, apparently no trouble with gallbladder or liver, and still waiting to go to the pulmonary specialist in April. I did find that apparently have a higher than normal level of testosterone. That explains my bulging muscles and Al Borland beard.

I'm still waiting for DH to write his guest post on here. It better be funny, cuz that is also something I apparently suck at. I will however, leave you with a list of rules for using a public restroom. Enjoy.

Rules of Using the Public Privy
1. When entering the bathroom, choose a stall that is toward the center of the room.
2. Choose a stall that is not immediately next another occupied stall. There must be one unoccupied stall in between if at all possible.
3. In the event there is one unoccupied stall between to occupied stalls, you may use that unoccupied stall, completing the "triple toitie" formation.
4. Voluntary pooping is prohibited.
5. In the unfortunate event that you do have to poop, the last 2 or 3 stalls are designated "pooping potties."
6. The "handicrapper" should be left open as much as possible for those who actually need it. This usually is also considered a pooping pottie.
7. Wash your damn hands.
8. When washing hands, use the sink closest to the wall. The "every other" rule applies in this instance.
9. Hand dryers also utilize the "every other" rule similar to the sink rule.
10. When leaving the bathroom, just use the door handle. By using the handicap door opener, I can only assume you're handicapped and I can only assume that's a mental handicap as you're not physically impaired.
11. If you absolutely have to use the handicap door opener, please use your elbow. I've seen plenty of people who don't wash their hands use that thing too. Yeah.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sorry, this one's kinda long

This was a very long day but got a lot done.
6:10 am - My alarm goes off and I get ready for the long day. Woke up before DH, very rare.

7:15 am - Briskly walked my butt across the campus of Hospital AM and checked in for ultrasound on liver and gallbladder. Doc just wants to check on the frequent nausea and make sure I'm healthy there.

8:00 am - This is where the day gets kinda weird... on my way back to my car I decided to ask how to get my lab work done (which in hindsight, I should have just asked when I was at my first appointment). My OBGYN's office was actually on the way back to the car so I was going to just ask the receptionist what I should do. Well.... I get in the elevator and push the button, but no go. Then a lady walks in and swipes her badge THEN pushes the same floor I'm going to. She is presumably a doctor. So at this point I feel like a total ass. She seemed OK with it and nonchalantly said that there are chairs there I can just sit and wait for a bit. I waited for the receptionist in the dim light and was offered coffee by another presumed doctor. The docs at Hospital AM are apparently very nice. When the receptionist came, she opened the waiting room so I could wait for the nurse. I showed the nurse my paper and she told me to go upstairs to the lab for blood draw. OK. I toodle up there and they say, no, you need to go back to Dr. Plaza 2 (where I was before). At this point I smarted up and got my car (which I need to wash cuz I think the valet guy was embarrassed to drive) and went up to the lab. Explained the situation for the 30th time in 2 hours and found out that I have to be there for 2 hours straight with the glucose test. OK. Fine, I'll come back.

9:30 am - Went to chiropractor. Dr. Shelly wasn't there so Dr. Chris stepped in. Also started rehab to retrain muscles. No acupuncture. Took longer than anticipated.

10:40 am - Back to the lab at Hospital AM. Something like 12 vials of blood drawn (not quite a pint) Had to chug what I think to be about 16 oz of orange sweet drink. Then you are told to not leave campus for 2 hours and you will become sleepy. Sure enough I was getting sleepy about 1/2 hour into it. I was kept entertained by "Wife Swap" and then a nice gentleman sat next to me and we discussed how shallow people are and why neither of us could ever participate in "Wife Swap." At this point, I also need to inform you what NOT to do in a doctor's office waiting room.

1. Don't be all lovin' up on your woman. Kissing the back of her neck and feeling up her leg is not accepted as couth and I wanted to punch them both.

2. Don't clip your fingernails and then brush them off on the floor. I don't even do that at work in a garbage can.

3. Please be aware that when you sit in a chair whose back is against the back of another person, try not to invade the invisible wall and touch the other person. Maybe that's just a personal choice.

2:00 pm - When I was done at the lab I ate and then headed to work for some overtime until 5 pm

5:30 pm - Met at Ground Round with a friend that I grew up with since like 6th grade or something. We've been trying to plan this meal-chat since October. We talked about how being grown up sucks and grown up problems suck. She has much different grown up problems than me and probably sucks more than mine. (Love you friend and praying for you!) We talked and made each other teary-eyed for 2 hours. I guess it had been a long time.

What I learned from this conversation and just this whole experience is that I will need my friends, family and faith to get me through this. If I don't have those 3 things, I will go crazy(er).

I also learned that apparently a waiting room is consider an OK place to sex your girl. Get ready, DH....

Thursday, March 18, 2010

For the man who has everything but a baby (warning: TMI post, but educational if you need it)

I want to preface this by saying that men, do NOT complain about this test. You have no idea what the women go through. So man up. But women, please stand by your man as this is a very vulnerable time.

I've been approached by a couple of people asking what to expect when their man has to have the semen analysis done. So I thought I would put this out there if anyone is curious or apprehensive. Hopefully this will help you out.

We had this done at Hospital S (not sure if Hospital AM doesn't have this equipment or what). You walk in to a very small waiting room to fill out your paperwork. Then you are walked back to a room once there is the "all clear" (not sure why but they don't want you to make eye contact with any men as they might be embarrassed. Not like you can't see them in the waiting room). Ladies, you're able to go back with him for moral support.

The room you are led to is a little bit smaller than an exam room at the doctor's office. It's really nicely decorated, which soothing browns, a mod brown/black pleather couch, tan throw rug and mood lighting. There are cupboards and a sink just like in a doctor's exam room on the opposite wall of the door. The radio is in the room for a reason. You can hear the ladies up front laughing about what happened at their cousin's wedding last weekend and you can hear clanging and banging in the lab on the other side of the wall. That can ruin the mood. In the cupboard there are visual aides and gel-like aides to help with the process. Do not bring your own gel-like aides and no saliva or any other kind of "reproductive assistance." This actually would be described in the paper you get before-hand.

You can figure out how to aim for the cup. If you miss, you'll have to reschedule. And that wouldn't be a good thing.

Once you've got the specimen, be sure not to tip it over, even if it's sealed. Apparently we missed that instruction, but we didn't tell anybody and it didn't seem to make a difference. When you're all ready to go, knock on the door and the lady will come and get you. Again, no eye contact with anyone or something. Then she'll gather everything and you'll be on your way.

They give you all the time you need so don't feel pressured. It's hard to explain but you'll just hafta relax and maybe envision you and your woman are in a secluded bungalow in Jamaica.

I believe DH may be writing a guest post for all of you fellas that need a little male perspective. Hang in there, folks. If we can do it, you can too.

Information overload (aka In it to win it)

If you ever want to be inundated with information, go to a fertility specialist.

Just this week my calendar went from having 1 thing on it this month to literally every day filled (except Sunday and Saturday) with doctor appointments, some of which extend into April and one in May. We're now entering the "in it to win it" stage.

My week started last Friday the 12th when I went to a new chiropractor at the advice of one of my friends who read this blog and happens to work for them. I really didn't want to start another doctor but I went to check it out and see what she could do. Dr. Shelly also does acupuncture which I was/am very skeptical about and she knows that. So I went. I had some x-rays and found out that my back is screwed up and hips are misaligned which could be part of what's going on. She also did some pressing on acupuncture points (no needles!) and I could feel kind of a buzz like when you start feeling your alcohol or what I assumed feels like when you get a nicotine buzz. So I will be continuing with this pretty much 3 times a week for the rest of March.

On Tuesday the 16th, DH and I went to see Dr. Keith at Hospital S (the other hospital in town) who is the fertility specialist highly recommended by my OBGYN and a couple friends. This is where the information overload comes in. Luckily DH didn't need another semen analysis. Not that it's a difficult test, but a little awkward and I didn't want to scare him away. I'll describe that experience later for those of you facing that day. However, I did have to have another ultrasound to make sure this are where they're supposed to be.

Dr. Keith told us with the family history I need to get checked out for diabetes and because of my non-specific pleurisy, I need to go to a pulmonary (respiratory) doctor. I also need to have an ultrasound on my liver and see a dermatologist. These 3 doctors were scheduled for me so I kinda didn't really have a say (because they know I never would have done it myself).

At the visit with Dr. Keith we talked to a genetisist who pretty much gave us a brochure of testing that should or could be done but no body does it because insurance won't cover it. Also the baby will be tested for cystic fibrosis anyways so what's the point? A lot of info that won't change our mind.

So I still need more tests which I have to schedule. To accomplish most of these they need to draw a pint of blood. No prob I donate that involuntarily each month! At this point DH said there's no way he could handle being a woman. The tests are as follows:
(these are for screenings) Factor V leiden; CBC; HIV1/2 Aby; RPR; Hepatitis B SAg; Rubella IgG (quant); ABO Rh & Antibody; Chlamidia Trac IgG, m, A; (and these for PCOS) Testosterone; DHEA-S; 17OH Progesterone; LH, FSH; Prolactin; IGF-1; 2 hour glucose tolerence test; lipid panel; insulin; comprehensive metabolic panel; 24 hour urine sample for cortisol

So far we found out I'm likely borderline PCOS. He prescribed glucophage (metformin) and 1 last dose of clomid. He did say the acupuncture should actually help.

So in closing, when they tell you to relax and not stress about being stressed, they will undoubtedly throw more stress in your lap. I have to figure out how I can possibly do all of this and still keep my job. I will also need to work overtime so I can afford all of this.

Definitely in it to win it now.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hamlet's got nothin on this soliloquy...

To be or not to be that is the question,
whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer
the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
or by taking arms and, by opposing, end them... yada... yada..

, that's about all I can remember by heart and not even sure that is all correct. That's all I could think of while lying awake listening to what I can only describe as DH clearing a forest in his sleep, he's sawing so many logs. I fear my high school AP English teacher may be ashamed at the feeble attempt to recite Hamlet's soliloquy. And dear Billy Shakespeare is now rolling in his grave. I digress.

Today I was discussing beautiful baby making trials and tribulations with a good friend at work, who, sadly, recently lost her baby. My thoughts and prayers go to her and her husband. We were discussing whether it would be better to be able to get pregnant and lose the baby or to know that you can't get pregnant at all. I think they're both pretty crappy if you ask me. So it made me think of Hamlet's soliloquy. Don't think of the situation he's talking about, but more-so the "is it better to deal with the pain or do something about it" kinda thing.

Which brings me to another point of discussion my aforementioned friend and I brought up- the "doing something about it." I think every infertile I know has gone to a doctor and or specialist to see what's up, how do we fix this? How do you know if you're playing God? And at what point to you throw up your hands and "let go and let God?" Once, I saw a comment on a message board that Christians shouldn't think it's ok to have science help them conceive. I personally think that God and science co-exist because there wouldn't be science without God. So there.

I've kinda thought about the ethics behind fertility, treatments, and related sciences, but today my aforementioned friend brought it to a whole new level. She described how they do genetic testing on the remains to determine if there was a chromosomal defect by growing the stem cells in a petri dish. After this analysis the remains are then sent for burial. (This is at a catholic hospital in town which will here on out be known as Hospital AM) I gotta say when I heard this about the analysis I wanted to just say "WTF?" but we were at work so I didn't. We discussed how this DNA could be used to clone a human and how unethical that is. Not that Hospital AM would do that, but if I've learned one thing from CSI Miami....

So in conclusion, I'm more confused than ever. I don't know if there is a right answer. I think stress could be a factor, or maybe medication or some sort of emotional test, or a sick impractical joke. I also think it could be the twinkies.

At least I'm working on the twinkie part.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Things not to ay to an infertile

My experience as an infertile has taught how people may mean well, but they completely missed the couth train. So here is a list of things not to say to someone who is struggling with their baby making adventures.

1. "Maybe it's God's will that you're barren." - as much as this may seem like consolation, it's not. I honestly don't know how anyone could ever think to say that in the first place.

2. "My daycare is costing me a small fortune. Be lucky you don't have that expense!" - Thank you for your concern for my wallet, but if I cared about money, I wouldn't be going to the fertility doctor and spending a ton of money on treatments insurance doesn't cover.

3. "Babies just give you morning sickness and change your body." - Don't think that will deter me!

4."If you've been trying that long, just adopt." - This one has mixed emotions. It's frustrating because I heard it from a man. There are plenty deserving children who need a good home, but I also imagine there's no comparison to experiencing the whole process. Maybe I'll do both!

5."Children just ruin the house and good luck having alone time." - My house already looks like a tornado hit it and after being alone so much trying to conceive, it might be a welcome break!

These are just a couple of things that I've heard that I can think of right now. So please be mindful if you're in the company of someone who is trying to conceive. If you say something hurtful, when they end of up having children, they just might call you up to babysit sometime.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Welcome, New Day

Well, today is a new day, and this is new blog. New way to start over.

My husband of almost 3 years, here on known as DH (dear husband) and I have been try to conceive since November 1st of 2008. You'll find in this blog a lot of emotional ranting and hopefully somewhat humorous contemplations as I try to chronicle our struggle with unexplained infertility.

Our journey started June 16th of 2007 when we were married. There was never any doubt that this was the man with whom I wanted to spend the rest of my life and make beautiful babies. Even a few months after we were married I was ready to start but one has to tell oneself to calm down and wait a little bit. We were both pretty fresh from college and didn't know where life was going to take us.

Somewhere in that time I had been to see my gyno and was diagnosed with PCOS (Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) which was a devastating blow because I knew it would impact my beautiful baby making. So, after much coaxing, DH and I started the enthusiastic process of trying to conceive.

During the first couple of months we didn't expect much. Then it got to be months 5 and 6 and we (or I) started getting concerned. After month 8 or 9 I decided to seek help of a new gyno. She told me (and keeps telling me) I'm young and I've got time, but I don't feel like I have time. My mom had a heart attack at age 50 and I'm afraid my parents will never see their grandchildren. Am I totally irrational with my thinking with that?

So we started the barrage of testing. I don't remember the exact order but it started with blood work for hormones, transvaginal ultrasounds, the Hysterosalpingogram(HSG) and last but not least sperm analysis. The doctor did say the numbers for his morphology (shape of his little guys) was borderline but my tests were all normal and no sign of PCOS.
The doctor put me on Clomid for 2 months which seemed to be helping control things but no beautiful baby. Well that's frustrating.

So now we're on to the fertility specialist on March 16th. We've been asked to take his tests over again which will start to add up since none of this from here on out will be covered by insurance. I guess that's the price you pay sometimes.

This baby better love us. Alot.