Same bat time, same bat channel–a day by day bitch session about infertility

So it begins again. This time I think I’ll give you a day-by-day account of this cycle’s treatment. If you’re interested, keep reading! And check back often! If not, wait a while and I’ll eventually write about something else. My next blog will be about books. Carry on.

Day 1 (Monday, March 13)

So I started today. Well, technically, I started yesterday, but yesterday was Sunday (March 12) and the doctor’s office wasn’t open. I woke up early this morning to call Dr. Z. It went something like this:
Me: -grumble- stupid morning -grumble-
Dr. Z’s office: “Ring”
Me: -grumble-
Dr. Z’s office: (way too chipper…) “Dr Zikiria’s office…how may I help you?”
Me: “Hi…I’m supposed to come in during the first or second day of my period to start fertility treaments….”
Dr. Z’s office: “Adrienne? Good to hear from you! How are you feeling? How’s 2 o’clock?”
Me: Sigh. “Yep. 2 sounds fine.”
Dr. Z’s office: “Good! Your tv show starts at two…we’ll have the tv on for you.”
Me: Bigger sigh “K. see you then.” Click

It’s never a good sign when the recognize your voice. So I show up at 2…Dean had the day off and got to come with me. Sure enough, Gilmore Girls was on the big plasma, and I paid my $20 to get probed. It’s freezing in the office! So I get called in and Dean gets to follow–I’ve lost two pounds this past month. Amazing how easy it is to lose weight when you’re not mainlining sugar. Then I sit pantsless and get my blood pressure taken. 120/80, by the way. Then Dr. Z comes in, weilding that damn ultrasound dildo. Then he goes over our options. He tells us that each treatment comes with a 35-40 hance of working, and each failure has no bearing on the next treatment’s chances. I don’t know what to do with that information, so I just smile and nod. Then he gets down to buisness with taking pictures of my uterus and overies. I wince, and he says “Hmmm, you’re a bit tender this month.” Well, duh! You’d be tender too if someone was poking at your cervix with a dully sharpened probe. My ovaries have shrunk to normal size, which is good. He hands me a perscription for some pills and tells me to come back on Friday. Same bat time, same bat channel.
So now I’m on a super low carb diet (about 30 grams a day) so I don’t have to take the pukey pills. That’s good. I can’t have candy or real coke, though. That’s bad. I love candy. I now have to take two hormone pills a day; one in the morning and one in the evening. Sure enough, 2 hours after the first pill my migraine starts. This is going to be a long cycle.

Day 2 (Tuesday, March 14)

Well, I was ok this morning…a bit of a major migraine, but otherwise ok. I get bacon for breakfast and chicken for lunch, all washed down with a nice diet Dr. Pepper. I’m pretty testy with my students and TA’s–that’s gonna be something I’ll have a hard time controlling. Maybe it’ll be fun to throw a screaming fit at a particularly annoying student. It might be cathartic in a big screamy way. Anyhow, things were going ok for a while. I made it though office hours, my lecture was half finished, and I wrote the quiz. Not bad. Then suddenly I got super, super sick. I got all hot, and my migraine got worse, I had a huge bout of nausea, and I got kinda dizzy. I couldn’t even stay in my office, I felt so bad. I had to call for a ride home, then I got back here and got all sick all over the place. Good times for me. Dean comes home and finds me curled up with a trashcan near my head eating candied ginger. So much for my low carb diet. Maybe I went TOO low carb, and that caused some problems. But I took one of my Imitrex and my migraine is mostly gone. Dean got to watch me cry some more (he’s gotten rather good at that) and now I’m awfully tired. I’m not sure I can handle 13 more days of this. Stupid ovaries.

Day 3 (Wednesday, March 15)
Not a bad day, today, overall. I have a minor headache, but that’s offset by the happy-woozy-glowy feeling that imitrex gives. However, the hormones have kicked in. My class this evening decided to talk a bit during my lecture. My lecture! Now, I don’t put up with that on a normal day, let alone on Day 3. So they got a much louder, much angrier lecture that happened to involve the state of my ovaries. Now, of course, my students know WAAAAAAYYYYY too much about my personal life. Huh. They were monk-quiet the rest of the class, though. That was nice. Then I blew the crap up at Dean…he made a simple comment that I apparently didn’t like the tone of, and therefore had a HUGELY bad response to. Discussion ensued. Sorry Dean. Stupid uterus.

Day 9

Went to the doctor today. I started injections on Saturday (75 iui). You know what feels weird? The injections. I make Dean inject me–he has to be a part of this somehow, damnit! The injection site always bleeds just a little, so I have countless pairs of pants with the tiniest spot of blood on the waist band. Then the area gets weirdly warm, and it slowly feels like I’m blushing from my abdomen up my neck. Then I get the desire to clean. Really. It’s weird, but good, I suppose. Then I get a headache and take Imitrex. Anyhow, went to the doctor, and I’ve made 8 tiny, tiny little eggs. He’s upset because I’m making too many and none are as big as they should be. He told me to ramp up my injections (125 ul) and come back for more probing on Wednesday. Our house is gonna be totally clean.

Day 12 (Thrusday, March 23)

Went to the doctor yesterday. I’m only making 3 eggs this month–that’s good. But they’re not big enough, so the doctor upped my hormones again. To 175 ui. 175!! That’s bunches. The highest it was last month was 125, and then only for 2 days. This is gonna suck. Then, since Walgreens doesn’t carry hormone sticks in the size I need, I had to buy it from the doctor for $300. Elvis Christo!! I don’t think we can aford this. Oh, and my TA’s acted up yesterday. Here’s the thing, when I’m going through hormone treatment, I get pissy. That’s common sense, isn’t it? Why would someone think that this is a good time pull attitude with me? You think they’d be smarter than that… so here’s what happened: I’m sitting in the doctor’s office yesterday, attached to an annoyingly think needle giving blood for more tests. My phone rings–it’s one of my TA’s saying that she arranged with another TA to take over her morning shift, but the other TA hasn’t shown up. Sigh. I’m hooked up to a needle, damnit! So I go racing down to school, and my TA is super sick–all puking and stuff. Since throwing up on the floor is exactly condusive to a good learning environment, I send her home and tell her I’ll find the girl who was supposed to take over. Now, I’m pissed, because I just had to give blood and my viens are all bruised. And I haven’t eaten breakfast. And I have a migraine. And I had to get up early (which, as anyone who has ever gone to Tracy’s cabin with me, knows sends me right over the edge) and my hormones are super high. And my ovaries are swollen. Not a good day to give me attitude. Anyhow, I email the TA who was suppposed to be there and tell her to call me immediatly. She does, and insists that she wasn’t going to take today’s shift, she was going to take next week’s. Which doesn’t make sense, because next week is spring break. Sigh. I tell her to get down there. She takes 45 minutes (what was she thinking?!? why would you let your pissed boss wait for 45 minutes before you show up? she only lives in the dorms…not so bright, this one) So I get to stew and work the lab. The students who were there got off easy–I didn’t want to be mad at them so I told them that if they showed me their lab, finished or not, I’d sign them off. Lucky students! So the TA gets there and I stomp out. It was an interesting drive home…did you know if you roll down the window and scream at cars infront of you, they actually get out of your way? And if you look at the drivers as you pass, they look all frightened and stuff. Wimps. Anyhow, as soon as I get home, the TA in the lab calls and tells me that since she is working the lab, I have to find a replacement for her shift the next day. Ok, here’s the thing–how many times have you called your boss and told her she MUST do something? And how many times have you done so 5 minutes after she stormed out of your office and slammed the door? Yep, never. So naturally, I got even more pissed, especially because the contract these TA’s signed at the beginning of the semester stated that they were responsible for finding replacements, and I was not to be bothered about it. Dumb TA! After 5 minutes of yelling and cursing, I tell her she had better find a replacement and reread her contract before she calls again. Ben was listening in and magically dissappeared after my first “Son-of-a-bitch!!!” Probably a wise move. Then I eat. Cluck U is good. That makes me feel a lot better, and I’m starting to calm down, until a third TA emails me to complain about one of her collegues who is breaking every rule in the book. Now I’m pissed again, and it’s not even noon! So I decide that this unlucky TA is gonna get the full brunt of my pissyness, and I race back to school to have a very stern, very serious meeting. It was sweet. You know what’s kinda fun? Making girls cry. Especially if they’ve been causing problems with staff and students. So all my anger and venom get unleashed on the worst TA I’ve ever had the misfortune to work with. I felt much, much better afterwards, as did the other TA’s. Hopefully, things stay this way. Maybe I should start wearing warning signs….

Day 17 (Tuesday, March 28)

So I went to the doctor yesterday and found out I’ve made two, very good sized eggs–one in each ovary. Yay! That’s fantastic news. Last month I had like 12 good sized eggs, and my ovaries were so swollen that I could hardly stand. This month, my ovaries aren’t over stimulated so I can actually walk. What a concept! The nurse practitioner was confused as to why I made so many last time and the perfect amount this time, so I explained it was because I refused to take the Glucophage (i.e. pukey pills) and I didn’t bother with a low carb diet. It’s almost as if my PCOS isn’t caused by insulin resistance, and therefore I don’t need to do anything to manage my insulin for things to work correctly. Who knew? Well, me, of course, but that’s beside the point. Anyhow, I spent 10 minutes trying to explain this to the nurse who just blinked at me then shook her head and said “Well, I don’t understand why…” I almost hit her. But you should be proud…I kept my twitching fist under control. So my eggs were ready and they injected me with the ass-numbing stuff that makes me ovulate. I spent the next 8 hours walking strangely (I’m pretty sure they used a needle the size of my fist) and managing annoying oviduct twinges. Then I got to convince Dean to stay home from work the next day and enjoy the sterile cup again. Which he did, with very little complaint.

We had to drop off the sample at 9:45, then they washed the sperm and gave the boys a locker room pep talk, and Dean and I wandered around the block looking for breakfast. We had McDonalds. By the way…who in their right mind goes to McDonalds to buy pancakes? Do you realize you can make pancakes at home? For like .03 cents? It’s not like pancakes are hard, nor is there some special recipe to get them to taste just right. They’re just flower, water and butter fried in fat and covered with syrup. Why in the world would you buy that at a fast food resturant? Fast food resturants are for greasy, meaty, cheesy goodeness washed down with soda. That’s not something you can make at home in 30 seconds. Stupid people.

Back to what I was saying. So we go back to the office, I undress from the waist down (brr!!) get my blood pressure taken, and sit shivering on paper covered counter. Dean has me put my slippers back on (yay! much warmer) and we read quietly while we wait for the the injection of gooeyness. The nurse practitioner comes in and babbles something about Dean’s sperm count and antibiotics. She’s really into perscribing antibiotics. I’m really into not taking them. We’re at an impass. Then she injects me, which causes me to cramp, mumbles about how she hoped it didn’t hurt (did she not see me writhing in pain and crying?) I, of course, say it didn’t one bit and wish I could do this every day. Then I get to lie there, with my knees up, for a long, long time. It wasn’t that boring, but I’m not gonna tell you why. You’ll just have to guess. Then we got to get up and leave. Good times. I have to take antibiotics because they stuck a big long tube into a sterile area, and I get to start putting in vaginal suppositories again. They’re gooey. Everyone cross your fingers.

Day 23 (Monday, April 3, 2006)
It was a rough week last week. After the proceedure, I went home and was fine for the night. The nurse practioner gave Dean some antibiotics for some reason or another, which he has decided not to take…good man. I can’t stand doctors who don’t know what the problem is and then decide to give you antibiotics to possibly fix it. Grr. So if anyone has a bacterial infection, we’re there for ya. The next day, my cramps started. I hate this part!! It’s something the doctors never seem to tell you about…you’d think they’d have a manual or something for me to read telling me what kind of pain I’m gonna be experiencing for the next week or so, but no! They decide the patient should just experience it for herself. So I get these cramps. The good news is my ovaries aren’t nearly as swollen as they were last month, so I’m in much less pain as far as that goes. However, apparently that pain just masked other pain, which I then got to experience full force. I cramp. Lots. And lots. So much so that I can’t walk much, or lie still much, or curl up in a ball and cry much. I take a lot of baths and a lot of tylenol. That kinda helps. At least I don’t have to walk the dogs in this condition. Then my boobs start to hurt. And I mean HURT. We’re talking warm breezes cause me to cry, let alone anyone accidentally brushing against them. I can’t wear rough shirts or bras that are a bit too small. If I could walk around naked, I would, but we have a lot of windows and a lot of homeless around, so the naked bit just won’t work. Thank god for spring break–I can’t imagine having to write and give a lecture in this condition. I can hardly move. Things get a little better, although a hike through San Francisco on Friday causes me to cramp so badly that Dean wouldn’t let me move much the rest of the night. How early can I take a pregnancy test? I’m really hoping it worked this month. Dean thinks it has…but I don’t want to get my hopes up. Although I keep asking him to tell me I’m pregnant and not to worry. Sigh. 12 more days.

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