I’m frustrated today.
But somehow at some form of peace.
Maybe it’s one of those levels of grief people are always talking about.
My follow-up appointment for the hysteroscopy was yesterday morning. I waited it out! I behaved like a good girl and didn’t flip out and call the nurses anymore. I just waited out those five days and bought that next two boxes of Always.
I knew that if had been something serious they’d found, they would had to have called me sooner, but somehow my mind just kept saying that they’d return with something god-awful, and that I should be terrified. Around Tuesday, I was kind of freaked out, but for the most part, I kept it to myself. By the time Thursday came around, I was financially, emotionally, and mentally broken, but I got up and went anyway. There would be answers! There would be direction! There would be something drastic!
There was none of these things. LOL
In my gyne office, I am a medical anomaly. This rebellious uterus of mine was cause for great head scratches and squinted “you’ve gotta be kidding me”, facial expressions. From the results of my tests, there is once again “nothing gynecologically wrong” with me to be causing this newset bout of menorrhagia. No cancer, no fibroids, no polyps, no infections, no nothing. That being said, she did speak in great grotesque detail about the amount of lining she’d had to remove, and the size of the pieces removed (think small kiwi fruit. right, I know, tmi). But aside from learning that my body basically stockpiles lining like its waiting on Y2K, I left with the same information I’d had going in.
I’m just numb at this point. And cold (can someone say “Anemia”). I was flustered, but not really angry. I just got in my car and went around the corner to work.
And that’s pretty much still where I am today.
Many times I’ve gotten private messages from those who wonder if I personally have a spiritual take on my own situation. They ask me if I have a relationship with God. I do.
I don’t post much spiritual word on this blog, or on the Facebook page for a few reasons. First, I don’t want to ostracize anyone who believes differently than I do, who may still need the support this place provides. Secondly, I would like to refrain from being anyone’s spiritual or religious spokesperson, because sometimes, when I’m really struggling, I may not say what a church girl should, and that freedom to feel, is a huge part of what this site is built on.
BUT, just to quell the curiosity, He(God) and I have wrestled with this things for a while. Close to eight years with the irregular bleeding, and close to six with the infertility. I’ve had seasons of silently trying to hear and follow His will, and others of being quite angry with Him. Today, I’m just listening.
But because the question has been posed so often, I wonder if that conversation is one we should be having, Eggshells. How has your faith been tested? How have you overcome? HAVE you overcome?
Ladies, (and the ever-elusive gentlemen), we have a verdict.
The jury was out for a good, long while, but within 45 minutes, the final decision was finally made.
BOTH of my tubes are completely blocked.
There is a weight on that sentence that has been rolling around on my tongue for a while. But before I get into that, let me break down how I got this long-awaited answer. Things started with an HSG test.
My appointment was at 9am, and I was actually taken back sometime around 9:30. After undressing from the waist down, I was led to the x-ray room by a very nice nurse named Tammy. Prior to getting things started, Tammy had me sit down so that we could discuss each thing that was going to take place.
First, she asked if I’d taken any pain relievers prior to coming to the appointment, which I hadn’t. She then double-checked to make sure that they had been recommended by my doctor. They had. I have a pretty high pain threshold in my opinion, and couldn’t see how two tylenol an hour beforehand were going to make much difference, so I didn’t take any. After those preliminaries, it was time to break down the procedure itself.
My doctor, Doctor C., would be called down to the room to insert a catheter, Tammy would remain at my head to keep me calm and explain what was happening, and a radiologist would be called in to perform the x-ray itself. Through the catheter, my doctor would use a syringe to push dye directly into my uterus, while the radiologist simultaneously photographed the process with the x-ray machine. Done correctly and without complication, we all would be able to see the dye travel through my uterus and tubes by way of the monitor placed beside the exam table. She asked if I had any questions. I didn’t. Then it was time to sit on the table and wait for the doc.
My doctor came down, as explained, asked me if I was comfortable, and went over the details again. Then it was time for the catheter. Okay, now I have a pretty high pain threshold, like I said, but this was very uncomfortable for me. It didn’t “hurt”, but it was extremely jolting. There is a precise feeling of someone pushing or pulling on a tender part of your skin, but it feels somewhat worse because it’s internal. I was pretty cool I think, but according to Tammy, I was definitely tensing up, so she sat beside me and talked me through a few calming breaths. I stared up at the arm of the x-ray machine, where there was a sticker that read: “7/2”. I focused on that sticker because it is actually my wedding anniversary. I found this, combined with the “breathing exercises” to be maddeningly ironic, considering the situation, but I shook it off.
Once the catheter was fully in, I couldn’t feel any other discomfort. I forgot it was there actually. In about three minutes, the radiologist was there and turning on the machine. Tammy moved the monitor closer so that I could see. Lights, cameras, action!
Only, there was no action. LOL
I watched the screen, I felt Doctor C. push the syringe harder, and none of us saw a damn thing. My lady bits basically flipped us all the bird. I remember vividly that there was one moment when Doctor C. said, “I really can’t push any more. I think they’re both blocked.”
And that’s when shit got real.
I don’t know. The picture in my head was of the dye showing up brightly on that monitor, and of my leaving there with a new script for Clomid. I fully intended on beating this thing with the most minimally invasive procedures as possible.
Instead, she walked to the head of the bed and told me flat-out that I would need to call the RE, and that the most viable option for me would have to be IVF. She put a hand on my shoulder and said, “You did what you said that you wanted to do. You went as far as WE could. This test, was that last thing that WE could do. Now, you go further. Call the doctor I told you about. She’s a great person, who is very honest and personable. This is fixable.”
And I don’t really remember much after that. I mean, it isn’t that this wasn’t frustrating or painful before. It was. But somehow this felt more devastating. There’s something very definitive about the moment you’re told that this thing you didn’t want to do, this path you were avoiding, is the ONLY way to your goal.
Bring me the slippers of the Wicked Witch of The West!
I do remember some things.
I remember getting dressed.
I remember telling my mom, who was in the waiting room.
I remember her taking me to breakfast, and asking gentle questions about what to do next, and sitting there for almost two hours.
I remember her taking me shopping.
I remember holding on to my facade for hours.
I remember watching every mother I encountered, even when I told myself not to.
Mostly, I remember feeling really confused and shitty.
I also remember feeling like I “had” to be positive.
I remember thinking to myself that I didn’t want anyone “worried”, “concerned”, “feeling sorry for”, or “uncomfortable about” me.
So I just shut it off.
I was about to think of the finances. But I shut that off.
I was about to think of the frustration. But I shut that off too.
I just, completed the day.
Fill in the bubbles completely on this standardized test. If you don’t know the answer, after using your study and test-taking skills, make your very best educated guess.
And that’s what I did.
And that’s what I’m still doing.
There’s a plan in here. I always have one. But at the moment, it’s tightly buried beneath my anger and frustration. I’ll pull it out in a bit. But at the moment, I’m frantically filling in these blank test bubbles.
So, it has been a while since I’ve taken the time to actually POST some tidbits here on the site. And it is all your fault. See, most of you follow The Egg on Facebook and we have such great conversations there, that by the time I get over here, I have nothing else to say because we’ve talked it to death over the course of a day!
But, getting back to what this site was created for, and beyond the “business” sides, I have to get my thoughts out once more. And, even in the year 2012…some people don’t use Facebook. I know, I know, perish the thought. But it dawned on me that for those who don’t use Big Blue, there is little to no way of knowing what is going on right now with me if I don’t post it here. So here I am. Have a seat, let’s chat. (more…)
So, when I originally became a member of the embattled, tough girls of infertility lifestyle, I thought the best way to make myself strong, was to completely act un-phased by things that were the cliche discomforts for infertile women. The textbook cases of teen -pregnancy haters, bitter stepmothers, and weepy weak women who couldn’t bare to lay eyes on children until they had their own. I was so busy avoiding becoming that woman, that I totally have been blindsided by my newest archnemesis: “Crazy with Anticipation Paranoia Chick”
Seriously, if you haven’t met or become her, consider yourself lucky.
No, BLESSED. (more…)
It’s been so long since I’ve had a plan, that I’m not even sure how to execute one anymore. LOL
I believe I’ve come to an actual decision about where to go from here. My mind was jumbled and it was leading me down that dark alleyway we call depression. Anyone who has stepped foot into the IF arena knows that depression is counterproductive to say the least. In trying to find solutions to the brain-cloud that was following me around, I decided that I need to be as organized and color-coded as a kindergarten teacher! The way I see it, being on top of my demands will help clear my head of clutter. So that’s my plan.
Anybody else have to treat themselves like a 4 yr-old to get things done? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?
Okay FINE, so it’s just me!?
Whatever. You guys are gonna admit it when you leave. I know you will.
I had surgery 4 days ago and it is coming along nicely. Well, what I think is nicely anyways. I decided that I would blog during my recovery because I have a ton of free time, and well now I actually have something to share. On the regular, I’m not just going to be typing away, boring you guys to tears with my regular…life. Nothing major goes on here, I’m just a regular infertile girl. I am still at the same fertility clinic along with the same fertility doctor. But really, no major news. However, I did want to share with you guys about what I call my “maintenance drugs”, Metformin and Synthroid.
I call them maintenance drugs because they maintain my systems. I guess in a way they do make me more fertile, because they increase the functionality of my systems, but they don’t necessarily work on my reproductive system. As I’ve been studying them, I have to say that I find it neat how blood sugar affects reproduction.
I haven’t had much to say lately, because I figured I would spare ya’ll most of the boring details on the side effects and such. Now that I have been taking these meds for a couple months, I think I have finally gotten used to them. In fact, I almost enjoy them. In my non-medical opinion I think increased functionality is great. The Synthroid is for a low thyroid which I never noticed that I had. Below is a description from the US National Libary of Medicine:
Why is this medication prescribed?
Levothyroxine, a thyroid hormone, is used to treat hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Without this hormone, the body cannot function properly, resulting in: poor growth; slow speech; lack of energy; weight gain; hair loss; dry, thick skin; and increased sensitivity to cold. When taken correctly, levothyroxine reverses these symptoms. Levothyroxine is also used to treat congenital hypothyroidism (cretinism) and goiter (enlarged thyroid gland).
If you had asked me three months ago had I have ever experienced any of these symptoms, I would have told you no… never noticed them. I thought those feelings were normal, and simply part of life in 2010. This is not the case. I definatly had those symptoms and more. I could have bitten your head off, but I’d been making attempts to exercise extreme control. I chalked it up to genetics mostly, and anything else was just the throws of life.
I used to experience a world-wind of emotions daily, during which I would again, excerise extreme control. I guess you could say,I’m something of a ‘zen master’, (just kiddin LOL). Being in the cypher with these drugs now, makes me a little sad that people go through feelings like this and never know that they don’t have to. Never thinking to blame their thyroid. Truly, knowledge is power.
A short time after I started on the Synthroid I started to feel more clear and even tempered and began to lose weight right away. Not only was I losing weight, but I was feeling less like I needed to depend on food period. I felt less hungry overall and amazingly like I could enjoy food more. (Ever had that “I’m tired of eating” feeling?) Which kinda troubles me even more, now as I wonder if we shove food in our mouths to deal with poor bodily functions subconciously? Are people suffering an overweight existence, filled with inactivity due to an over/underactive thyroid? Have I been inactive for most of my life because of said low thyroid? Obviously the weight loss is a plus, but overall my mood was in fact lifted, I even begin to thrive in my karate class. Think about it, surely if you could enhance your ablilty to look over the “rim” of whatever “you ‘think’ may be holding you back”, and be physically lighter while doing so… well, wouldn’t you then just go on ahead and climb over the top, of ‘that thing’ holding you back? Possibly, defeating said ‘depressing feelings’ you never knew you had, never needing the help of anti-depressants, illegal drugs, and other mood stimulations and alterers? Deep, but that is exactly how taking Synthroid (levothyroxine) makes me feel.
My previous experiences of speaking up to my health care providers about my infertility had landed me in the ring with Estrogen and anti-depressants. Which to me, is a bit much, not to mention the fact that in my case, the drugs won. I couldn’t tell whether I was coming or going and I didn’t really feel like I was getting better. I just felt medicated and trapped. I was curious to know if I would be on these mood simulators for the rest of my life, attempting to get pregnant for what I hoped would only be a short time. Personally, I don’t think anti-depressants are appropriate for me. I don’t consider myself a depressed person. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in some cases that they are necessary, but I also believe they are over-prescribed. So present day, I reluctantly began the fertility process again, because I just couldn’t wrap my mind around needing Zoloft because of an hormone deficency. For that to make sense, at least the way this doctor was making me feel, it would mean that even if I possessed all the estrogen of a normal woman my age… I would be ‘depressed’ and in need of anti-depressants. To me, that didn’t make much sense.
The difference between then and now is not only does this Synthroid sound like it makes sense , but it feels like it too. I feel like I have had a little boost. Like I imagine it feels like this to drink supplements everyday. The Metformin is completely different. Let’s be honest, the restroom related side-effects totally suck. But, again…it’s all about the functionality. My initial readings about PCOS appear, in this case, to be correct. I was insulin resistant. So, before I even started at this fertility clinic I altered my diet to mostly vegetraian. Bottom line from what I can tell, the veggies are much easier for your body to digest and handle. The veggies don’t produce as much glucose and in turn are much easier on the kidney’s. As I have said before, I am not a doctor. I most likely cannot explain what I read, they way my brain broke it down to help all my readers understand. First of all I gained all my knowledge on the subject from two books: Skinny Bitch by Rory Fieldman and Kim Barnouin and also” The Complete Idiots Guide to Glycemic Index Weight Loss“. From what I can tell tell, glucose +insulin resistance =fat. Later we will research and explore more options and perhaps collect a bit more information about the subject. But when my doctor prescribed me Metformin, it began to regulate said glucose and I immediately noticed the changes. Besides the obvious weight loss, I also feel less sluggish and bloated.
Because I don’t know all the ins and outs of these drugs, I figured I would leave that talk to the experts, give ya’ll a break from my mouth, and catch ya’ll up while I lay here and recover. This is not my first battle with the knife. I have had two bikini-cut cystectomies and a laproscopic apendextomy. Now there’s something that will depress you; The thought that the only bikini you’ll wear through your 20’s is the cut from surgery. Your young body ruined, in this culture?!? Let me be the first one to tell you how well that goes along with these shallow people this day in age. Fortunately, I have a firm foundation in Jesus Christ and a healthy body image as well. In addition to that, I have had relationships with nurturing indivsuals who understood the huge seperation in my abdomen and the flap of skin that goes with it, but had I had low self esteem or aspirations of modeling I would need that Zoloft. My point is that I am glad to be on these ‘maintenance drugs’ that have made me feel better than Lexapro ever could.
But back to present day, I had the surgery, and to be honest with you, I have no idea what he even did. I know he removed a polyp but he said if there was any other issues to address he would handle them while he was in there. Of course my momma told me what he said but I was super druggy so… I have no idea what he said. I know there was some ‘clean-up’ involved and some removing of scar tissue from previous surgeries but I guess that could be classified as ‘clean-up’. It may be too early to tell but, I think this surgery went pretty good. This isn’t the worst pain I’ve ever felt. At least I didn’t get cut in half again, right?
Books and Articles Referenced in this post:
Beale, Lucy, and Joan Clark-Warner. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Glycemic Index Weight Loss. New York, NY: Alpha, 2010. Print.
Freedman, Rory, and Kim Barnouin. Skinny Bitch: a No-nonsense, Tough-love Guide for Savvy Girls Who Want to Stop Eating Crap and Start Looking Fabulous! Philadelphia: Running, 2005. Print.
“PubMed Health – Levothyroxine.” Web. 16 Oct. 2010. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000684>.