Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Went to the RE today for the dildocam-I've got about 20 or so follicles growing quite nicely in there. I told the Mr. Ultrasound Techie and Nursey P about my dad's "Easter Egg Hunt" comment, and they had a little giggle with me (I didn't giggle much though, not with the dildocam still in me). Mr. Ultrasound Techie said that I had good eggs, and that, in his experience, "Italian women always produce good eggs, and lots of them" Viva Italia! Well, my grandmother was one of 13.......
I also met with the RE and went over some stuff that the anesthesiologist needed to know, and got a 'script for doxycycline that I have to take as a precaution. So, hopefully my bloodwork will come back okay (pleasssssse, no Repronex, God-no more shots!!)-it totally feels like that there's two tennis balls inside my abdomen that are moving around.....
I'm waiting for my friend M to show up-we were supposed to go out for lunch, but she has some presentation for school that she needed to finish with her group, and it took longer than she thought--hopefully she'll be here soon. She kinda does this a lot, makes plans, then kinda bails on me-I'm trying to be patient, because I know that she's going through a lot with her divorce/custody battle, but that's another entry for later........she's on her way here.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
I feel like a fat whale. I did put on jeans yesterday when I went for my pre-admission bloodwork, but they felt a little uncomfortable. I did step on the scale and saw that I didn't gain any weight, but I feel like I'm about 800 pounds, and that I have two tennis balls inside my abdomen. The Follistim (Folli-sting?) stings a bit when it goes in, and for a few minutes afterward. Sunday morning's injection I must have hit a blood vessel, because it bled like a motherfucker and now I have a little bruise there. That kinda sucks.
Oh, yeah, I also have a zit the size of Rhode Island on the side of my nose. Shit.I went to a different lab location yesterday morning-I like to see different locations, you know, change it up a bit so I don't get bored, and they were so nice-plus, there was nobody in there! Techhie A who drew my blood was great-I didn't even feel it, even though she took four vials, and I didn't bruise-yes! Point for me and my veins! Maybe I'll go there tomorrow morning instead-as long as I get there first thing, I should be on time for my other appointments. I go tomorrow morning for more bloodwork, and another dildocam, to see if there are any follicles growing in there. I definitely feel like there's something cooking in there.
Let's see.....what else is going on? Well, I sang for the whole Triduum-Thursday night, Friday (for 2 services), Saturday Vigil and Sunday morning. I had to bring my shots with me for the entire weekend, which was interesting, to say the least. My friend A (who is also the music minister) gave me his office keys so I could have somewhere private to go, which was nice. The hardest part of it was trying to get everything done quickly, so I could go back upstairs into the church to sing.....it was kinda funny, in a way. The best part was trying to get through the layers that I was wearing to give myself the shots--we wear choir robes that are similar to an altar server-a black cassock with a white cotta over the top, and your street clothes underneath all that. Trying to get through all those clothes was a lot like peeling an onion, but I had it down to a science and was done in about five minutes-point for me!
We went to the mother-in-laws for Easter dinner. She had 14 people there, which wasn't as bad as I thought it would be-her house is the size of mine, which is basically a postage stamp. The only thing that kind of pissed me off was the fact that she obviously told everyone that I was doing IVF and was on injectibles-I say obvious because, when we got there, his uncle said, as he was giving me a hug, "So, I hear you're on drugs". Of course he meant it as a joke, I know that, but inside I was saying "Arrrrgh! FUCK!". Then his aunts were asking me all these questions.....hey, don't get me wrong, they were really nice about it and were concerned. It's my own fault-I should have told mother-in-law to zip her lip, but I didn't think she'd tell anyone. We only told our parents, my grandmother, a few really close friends and our siblings what was going on-we purposely didn't tell extended family because we didn't know how they would react-some of them are verrrry Catholic and I didn't want to go into the whole Donum Vitae argument with anyone. I didn't want a lot of people to know, in case it this doesn't work the first time-I don't want to have to explain it to anyone, and then see any pitying looks....totally not what I need right now. But, I do know that she wasn't being a jerk or anything, so I'm trying to keep my hormonal ragings in check.
Friday, March 25, 2005
Well, the good news is, I get to start the Follistim tomorrow morning. 225 IU in the morning, then 225 IU in the evening, along with my dose of Loopy Lupron. I go for more bloodwork on Monday for my pre-admission testing before the embryo retrieval (the tentative date is April 4th), then I go to the RE on Wednesday for an ultrasound, to see what's been grown, more bloodwork, and a physical exam. Shit, I really hope that my veins don't collapse after all this bloodwork-that would really suck.
I called my parents this afternoon with the IVF update, and my dad compared the embryo retrieval to an Easter Egg hunt-you know, it isn't too far from the truth. I laughed my ass off when he said that-hell, I still get a giggle every time I think of it. I've gotta remember that to tell the RE.....maybe he'd find it funny too.
But, at least I can start stims-yay! It's really happening!
Thursday, March 24, 2005
I should have had a feeling last night, when I got my killer pre-menstrual migraine, but since I've had a headache off and on for about 11 days now, it didn't totally sink in that this was the one that signaled the start of the flow....
I called the RE, left a message with the answering service (they were already closed) and hopefully I'll hear tomorrow morning when I'll start the Follistim, and when they're estimating the retrieval and transfer will be.
I am finally going to start my IVF cycle-I'm so psyched!
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Then the nurse called this afternoon-my E2 is 50, and it needs to be 20 to start the IVF cycle. So, if I don't get it by Friday I have to go back and get more bloodwork-shit......
The one and only time in my life I want my period to come, it's late-figures, huh? Murphy's Law......
This totally sucks ass. Just had to share
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
And, no, there's no way I could be "up the pole", because that means that you actually have to have sex to do that, and Loopy Lupron has killed off my sex drive and made me too damn exhausted to give two shits about it right now.
I feel bloated, and I have that crampy, kinda swampy feeling that you get (sorry if TMI here) that makes you compulsively run to the bathroom numerous times a day to check the status of both your panties and the john. I've also been a raving beyotch for the past few days, but no sore boobs (that's always a sure sign for me) and I usually get a headache right before, but since I've had a slight headache since I started this I probably couldn't tell the difference, anyway.
Now, the IVF nurse told on the phone yesterday that Lupron can delay your period. As to how long this delay could last, she didn't say. I have to go tomorrow morning for my ultrasound and estradiol bloodwork ("E2" in medical lingo), so hopefully I will get a better idea tomorrow afternoon as to what the frig is going on. I wonder, since Lupron puts you, hormonally, in a menopausal state, if I'll get my period at all-and if I don't, can I still start stims? There's something to ask the nurse-gotta write that down now, since another wonderful result of this medication is the sudden forgetfulness that I've descended into.
I'm tired of waiting, and waiting, and waiting.......I want to start these stims, to see my E2 levels steadily rising and my follicles growing on the ultrasounds. I'm tired of patiently waiting for this new chapter in my life to start. It's time to move onward.
Or maybe I'm just tired.....
Friday, March 18, 2005
Anyway, we got new cat food for the furbabies-Iams is making this new stuff that looks like pieces of meat in some kind of gravy, so I bought a few (since they had some kind of promo on them at the supermarket) and the cats love them-they get all freaky excited when I take one of these pouches out of the cupboard, so I'm convinced that they must put crack or something in the ingredients......Peaches, in particular, is a picky eater, and she totally gobbles this down. So I took some pics of the kitties' dinner time the other night........told you there was nothing going on in my life!
There it is, Exhibit A--Crack for Cats!
Here's Buddy inspecting his "stash"....
...and here's Peaches, who looks like she's already flying high!
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Today was my third shot, and the first (of many, I'm sure) that I've had to administer totally alone, with no Poor Sean to give me moral support. It is getting a bit easier, but, I can't get my hand to override my brain, which is telling me to stick the needle in. My hand is a bit slow on the uptake.
Tomorrow night my MIL is having us over for a St. Patty's Day dinner-it is a day early, but we both have rehearsal on the Big Shamrock Day. It's funny, she and her husband aren't even a drop of Irish, but still celebrate. I, on the other hand, don't celebrate it at all-I celebrate St. Joseph's Day, which is on the 19th, and is like the Italian version of St. Patty's Day, and, the bonus is we get to eat the St. Joseph's Day zeppoles, which are these lovely cream filled doughnut things-it beats smelly corned-beef and cabbage and dry soda bread any day, IMHO.
The upshot is (oooh, what an appropriate word..heh) that tomorrow night will be the first time I get to shoot up in semi-public, and on Thursday I get to bring it to church and shoot up in the sacristy during choir rehearsal-whoopee! Just what the Catholic Church wants to see-a parishioner injecting fertility drugs in order to do a procedure that the Church disapproves of-can't wait!
I'm kinda moody-don't know if it's the Lupron or just PMS-and the headache is still there. I was reading about side effects, and it said something about the headaches going away once stims are started, which isn't until sometime next week-that kinda sucks-but, I keep telling myself that it will all be worth it in the end.....
Other than that, I've had a wicked headache for two days-not sure if it's the Lupron (which it might-it's one of the side effects) or my seasonal allergies kicking in-and I'm really tired. I've also found, while playing a piece yesterday that I know pretty well, that my fingers keep tripping up on the keyboard.......hmmm, don't know if these are other side effects-gotta look that up.
Today is state testing for 3rd and 4th graders, so my schedule is totally turned around-I can't teach in my normal spot, which is the cafeteria. Yeah, it sucks, especially since I had my own classroom not too long ago, but it's better than nothing. So, I'm in the classrooms today, which I hate-there's no room to do any kind of movement activities, and you're constantly worrying that you're disrupting other classes. Maybe I can beg the principal to use the library-there's a piano in there.......
Monday, March 14, 2005
Let me first insert its (I'm not sure if you are a he or she, so forgive me) comment, found on my entry about the Great Walgreen's Pharmacy debacle, that particularly pissed me off:
At 4:40 PM, Anonymous said...
Your post shows that you may be too immature to be a good parent. You might want to try some counseling before you give birth. Honest.
Now, if you've attempted to read past entries to this blog, you would know that I have been through a lot of crap in my almost three year quest in having a child. If I were that "immature", as you're assuming, do you think that I'd have been able to go through what I've gone through?? Have you ever experienced the heartbreak of your period coming every month, despite perfect charts, OPK's, and such? Have you gone through numerous invasive and painful tests and treatments to find out what is wrong with you, or if anything is wrong with you? Have you gone through IVF treatment and had to pump drugs that could cause cancer into your system nightly, not feel well, and pray to God every night to for this to work and to make you the mother of a biological child? Are you now or ever were an infertility patient? A lot of us in IF land have gone through hell and back, and I think that, considering all I've been through with my reproductive system (some of which I have yet to post on this blog) I have every right to bitch. It's my blog. You try to deal with doctors, nurses, lab tech, ultrasound techs, pharmacies on a regular, sometimes daily, basis since June of 2004, deal with incompetence and apathy, and then tell me that you wouldn't get frustrated and get upset.
Getting pissed off and telling a pharmacist off for being unprofessional is, IMHO, my business and, as a consumer, my right. As a former employee in the health insurance field with numerous personal experiences in that field, I know that, like any field, there is incompetence. As such, I expect a certain level of customer service, pursuant to the Patient's Bill Rights (aka HIPAA). If someone was condescending and rude to you, would you let that roll off your back? Probably not. So, don't assume that I'm immature because I let someone know that they weren't dealing with a patient who is ignorant about her medical condition, which is probably what they're used to. Standing up for myself has no relevence whatsoever in whether or not I'd be a "good" parent. So, not being treated like shit and not letting people walk all over me is being a "bad" parent? If that's true, then my mom must be really immature, at the age of 53, because she doesn't take shit from anyone, and that's where I learned it -she raised a strong daughter, as I plan to someday.
As for your opinion on needing counseling, thank you for your concern, however, I don't feel, at this point in time, I need it. Of course, going through my first IVF cycle, it is always a possibility, since it's very stressful, but posting comments such as yours just causes unnecessary stress, which is something that I don't need at this time.
Now, that being said, here's my question for you....why bother posting at all, if you can't write something nice and/or supportive? Although, I'm sure, from your end, you thought you were being kind. However, I do have a lot of support, from my husband, family, friends, and especially my FF buddies, who all are or have gone through infertility or loss. Suffice it to say that, unless you've gone through what I am now, you have no right to judge me as a competent or incompetent person, or predict my future success in parenting. I take offense to that.
Like I said earlier, and in my profile, this blog is my stress relief, a place to be able to "talk" about my frustrations, joys and sorrows throughout this difficult period in my life. And, I feel, through your post, like I am not allowed to do that, and that, quite frankly, sucks. Whether I pay someone $100 an hour to listen to me or post on a blog, where people may or may not see it (because, honestly, this blog is for me, not for others-it just happens to be something public to read), is up to me, as long as I feel the results (me feeling better) are comparable.
And, if you just happen to be one of those lucky people on this earth that can easily get pregnant and carry their child to term, hats off to you-I just hope, for your sake, that you never, ever, have to go through what I am right now. Because I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.
Sunday, March 13, 2005
I cried afterward for about 20 minutes (didn't help that I was watching Extreme Makeover Home Edition), had a piece of Godiva chocolate (I promised myself that every night after my shot I could treat myself to one piece of chocolate with almonds) and Sean made me some Hershey's cocoa. My mother told me that I'm going to get fat, but fuck it.
I already told Sean and my mom that if I get pregnant I'm gonna treat myself to a laptop and wireless internet connection, so I can blog happily and surf the Internet from the comfort of my own bed-hey, why the hell not, right?
I have a bit of a headache, which is either a result of the Lupron, or the fact that I was worked up before-probably the latter, as I think that any side effects (headaches, night sweats and hot flashes being among them-whoopee, can't wait for that!) the meds wouldn't kick in yet, but I could be wrong.
Gonna dope up on Tylenol and crash........
Thursday, March 10, 2005
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
I tell the pharmacy chick my name and that I needed to pick up a lot of medications, and she hands me a bag. The only things in the bag, however, are the syringes and the Pregnyl vial, nothing else-no Lupron, no Follistim cartridges, no suppositories. So, I'm like, what the FUCK, especially since I called the pharmacy last night to make sure that the medications would be in on Wednesday (which they said would be). The pharmacist tells me that the Follistim and Lupron need a preauthorization from the prescription company, and I'm trying to explain that both my doctor and I called the prescription company to verify the benefits, and only the Lupron needed the preauth, which the RE's office took care of. The pharmacist (a man) is a bit annoying-totally not listening to what I'm trying to say, and hits me with the following phrase-"Listen, I've been doing this a for long time, and I know what I'm talking about". WHAT?!? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!? So, in the packed wating area of the the pharmacy, in front of the entire staff and people waiting, and in my most psychotic voice, I say to him "Excuse me, but I've been infertile for a long time and therefore I definitely think that I know what I'm talking about, so I don't need you to be condescending-I need you to do your job!" TAKE THAT, ASSHOLE!
Turns out, the prescription company is having problems with the Follistim-it's covered, but they need to put in an override into their system, and it's not working, so they're going to work on getting it in for tomorrow, so I'll have the rest of my meds tomorrow. But, I was so totally pissed off by that exchange-who the fuck do you think you are? And, please don't tell me that you "know what you're talking about", because you don't--you're not the one taking all these drugs, you're not the one who has waited for almost three almost unbearable years to have a baby, to have to go through this with no guarantee IVF will even work; you, in your ignorance, will go your happy way and will probably not ever have to worry about the state of your fertility. So, don't tell me that you've "been doing this for a long time", because I don't want to hear it-until I see you fill that syringe with medication and jab yourself every night, go through test after test, and one surgery after another, and go through the same thoughts and fears that run endlessly through my brain night after night, then you maybe have the right to spout that bullshit. But, as a pharmacist, filling drugs for patients does not give you the right to even pretend or assume that you know what's going on--you can't even begin to realize it.
Hopefully this isn't a precedent for what's to come, because I will probably be on the evening news, being led away in handcuffs, if I have to deal with that ignorant bullshit the next time I need a refill.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Poor Sean (and yes, that's what my dad calls him-"Poor Sean", like it's his first name or something ie. "How's Poor Sean? Did you feed Poor Sean tonight?") has really nasty allergies-primarily dust, but also to animals, which is why, when I get pissed off at him, I "forget" to vacuum up the amounts of kitty hair that accumulates about the house (yeah, I know, I'm such a bitch). Since Poor Sean happens to work in a warehouse that has dust, he's pretty miserable most of the time, with nasty congestion and wheezing, which means that he needs a shot of his inhaler. Now, his primary doc knows that he has allergy issues (he prescribed the inhaler), and therefore prescribed allergy pills for him-at first it was Allegra. Well, they did jack shit for him, since he also needed a decongestant, so he asked for something with that in it, and they gave him Allegra-D. Sean hates dealing with the office staff-in his opinion, they're pretty brusque and like to rush you off the phone, and he gets agita every time he has to call them. Well.... they prescribe this medication for him last month and don't add refills to it, so, when he ran out of pills, he had to call the office to have them call another prescription in (which he can only do on either his lunch hour or his break, otherwise he has no access to a phone). He calls them at Friday lunchtime and they actually told him (lazy bitches) that unless he gave them the phone number of the pharmacy they couldn't call it in, and they can't look it up (which STILL pisses me off), so he'd have to call back with the pharmacy phone number, which he did, assuming that they called in the prescription that afternoon.
Sunday rolls around and he calls the local Walgreens to find that there's no prescription for him there-not good, especially as this is the third time that this has happened, and he has no pills left. He calls the office Monday and is told that they did call it in, and they'll do it again-of course, you need to imagine the snippy attitude. So, he calls me and bitches, and I have to put on my Italian psycho-hosebeast hat and call the office myself, because he forgets (in his annoyance) to remind them to put refills on it. The office had the balls to tell me that their policy is not to give refills on the Allegra-D, because it is not used every day. Says who? I told her that my husband uses it every day and that it was absurd not to prescribe it with refills, especially since it's obvious that the office staff is not competent enough to call a prescription in to a pharmacy and patients have to go through such a hassle to get a new one every month. Well, she didn't like that and started giving me attitude-not a good thing, because I started ripping the c*nt a new asshole on the phone (and in the middle of a packed teacher's room at lunchtime), called them a bunch of lazy morons, filed a complaint with the insurance company, and have begun to look for a new doc for Sean, which is a shame because he actually likes and feels comfortable the doctor. The killer of this whole snit is that Sean requested that the doctor personally call him back, and we're still waiting for that phonecall-nice, huh?
Now, I am not going to put out the broad blanket-statement that all office staff for every doctor sucks, because that isn't true-I have been lucky, so far, to have been treated courteously and respectfully by any doctor I've seen, but I just don't get it-I mean working in a doctor's office can be a thankless job, not the best paying job, I'm sure, but it's still a customer service type position. If these people were working in any other job, they'd be fired, so why are they allowed to get away with this shit?
Doctor's office staff, beware-acting like incompetent fuck-ups and throwing your snotty attitudes around does not win friends and influence people, especially hormonally psychotic people such as myself. Lucky for them that this didn't happen next week when I'll be in the throes of Lupron hell, or I couldn't be responsible for what might have happened......
Sunday, March 06, 2005
I went to a spa this past weekend on the Jersey Shore, which was really nice. I went with a colleague, L, who is also having difficulty conceiving (her diagnosis is unexplained, which is horrible-I mean, at least I know what my problem is, but to be "normal" as far as the specialists are concerned and you're still not able to get pregnant...that totally just blows) and will also be going through IVF at around the same time as me, so we decided to pamper ourselves and try to mentally prepare for this new experience in our lives. It was totally worth it-I was so relaxed that they could've shoved a hot poker up my ass and I probably wouldn't have flinched. I highly recommend doing something like this, regardless of whatever's going on in your life-it was nice to not have to think, you know?
Let's see, what else happened this weekend? Oh, yeah, last night Sean and I, along with G&A (yeah, G of the Great Pipe-Fitting and Shit-Shoveling fame) went to see Candide at NY City Opera. I do have to say-Lincoln Center is one of my favorite places in Manhattan to go! I really liked the performance (G and I were pissing our pants at some parts) and the people in the roles were wonderful. I actually saw the Broadway revival back in '97 with Jim Dale and Andrea Martin, which was good, but I enjoyed this one more-why, I don't know, since Hal Prince was involved with both productions, but this one moved at a better pace than the last one I saw. G's birthday is today, so when we got back to their house (after midnight) I brought a cannoli cake and candles and we sang, which was fun. Then today it was singing at the 11am Mass then just hanging around the house and vegging in front of the TV......
I actually think that I ovulated sometime today too-I got some of those wonderful mittelschmerz pains on my right side-but I've decided not to chart this month. I mean, what the fuck is the point? It's like someone saying to you (in an annoying sing-song voice) " HAHA, you O'd and your tubes are blocked!!". It's like torture sometimes, so it feels really liberating to not be tied to that fucking thermometer. Plus, once I start these drugs, it won't matter what day my cycle is anyway, the RE's office will be in control of that.
I have to get my prescriptions filled this week, which is a bit daunting. I have to go to the RE on Friday for bloodwork and another dildocam, then the nurse told me that they'd give me instructions afterwards as to when to start the medication, which I'm assuming is Sunday the 13th, but who the fuck knows. I have a funny feeling that when I actually see all those medications lined up on the kitchen counter the reality of this will hit home for me. Right now it's something abstract, not grounded in my world. But, take a few boxes of syringes and vials of medications that will or will not cause cancer in my reproductive tract (the jury's still out on that as far as research goes) in twenty or thirty years time, or, more importantly, will or will not work, is really fucking scary.
My hope, other than the obvious I-hope-it-works thought, is that I don't turn into a psychotic she-bitch from all the drugs (or, more psychotic than I usually am). I'm not usually the PMS'y type, but I don't think you can compare in this situation. Poor Sean-he's gonna have his hands full, that's for sure
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
I really think that sometimes the teachers enjoy snow days even more than their students do.
Haven't posted in a fair few days-had lots of stuff to get through. I decided, spontaneously, to clear out our file drawer in the office of all old shit, to make room for new shit. I had no idea that we had so much in there, but the shredder has been working overtime.
Went to the accountant on Sunday to have our taxes done-at least we're getting some $$ back and we don't have to pay, like last year. It's weird, however, that even the subject of infertility can push its way into such a mundane task as going over your taxes. The accountant mentioned to us that if/when we decide to have children, there is a child tax credit as well as a dependent care credit we would qualify for. So, afterwards in the car, being the asshole that I am, I told Sean "Well, babe-a, if we can squeeze out a puppy between now and December, we'll get a nice return next year!". Needless to say, he didn't find it as ironically amusing as I did.....
On the fertility front-the RE's office confirmed Mr. Buzzkill's demise-*bowing head down in a moment of silence-NOT!!*, so I will be starting the day 21 Lupron protocol, whatever the fuck that means in doctor-lingo. I go next Friday for progesterone bloodwork at the lab and another ultrasound at the RE's office....the RE's phlebotomist-I can't believe I can spell that word-is on disability, so I have to go to the lab by my house, then drive to the RE's office, which TOTALLY sucks ass and I will more than likely be late for work, but I could give a rat's ass.....then, assuming that everything's kosher, I'll start Lupron shots that Sunday evening. Now I just need to play the insurance game and find out if everything's been authorized, because I don't want to pick up $80 worth of prescriptions if the Oxford hasn't okayed the IVF.........
I just glanced out the window, and it's snowing again-big fat flakes, and it seems as if the sun is trying to break through the clouds occasionally-kind of like my life right now, isn't it?