December 22, 2010

You Know You're an Infertility Patient When... (#4) take an HPT not because you expect it to show two lines (ha! ha ha ha!), but because you know that taking it is pretty much a surefire way to bring on CD1 within a matter of hours.

Except, unfortunately, in this case.

Took the stupid thing two days ago (yes, it was negative) because I'm on something like CD45. Our anniversary is at the end of next week, we have a romantic trip planned, and I don't want to be dealing with my cycle then.

But so far, all I've seen is a little bit of spotting. Grrr. If the test can't show two lines, can't it at least just do the other thing it's supposed to do and bring on CD1? Grrrr (again).

We're heading out to see my dad in a few hours. Please keep him in your prayers - the transplant should start in about 24 hours.

Also, please stop by and visit Gypsy and The Tramp to offer some friendly, comforting words and birthday wishes. This time of year is tough in general for us IFers, and she's dealing with a loss and some other challenges right now on top of everything else.

December 13, 2010

LIT, Round 1 is Complete

And obviously, I lived to tell about it.

I was really stressed about crossing the border - I didn't sleep at all the night before. But it turned out that the whole thing was really no big deal.

The most annoying part was being badgered by a very persistent shop owner who wanted us to buy medicines from a pharmacy or get our pictures taken with a donkey while we were standing at a corner (with the clinic's receptionist) waiting for another clinic employee to pick us up and drive us to a restaurant for lunch.

The guy doing the badgering asked if we were there to see a dentist. I smiled and shook my head no. Then he asked "Why are you here?" I just shook my head no again, and he insisted rather rudely "Tell me why you're here!", then accused us of being terrorists when I wouldn't respond.

I wasn't in the mood to talk about it, but perhaps I should have gone into every personal detail - that would have made him think twice about asking the same questions of the next couple he sees waiting on that street corner! Now that I'm prepared to expect that, maybe I'll take that approach if we see him on our next trip.

After the injections, I was kind of bummed because I didn't feel or see much of a reaction. However, 48 hours in, I have red welts the size of a quarter at each injection site. (There are 8 - 4 on each arm.) The itchiness I've heard about has also developed, and I'm not allowed to scratch or take antihistamines. Thankfully the itching isn't so bad that I'm going crazy - if I'm focused on work or some other activity (Christmas baking) or sleeping, I'm usually distracted enough to not notice it too much. But still, I'll be glad when the itching goes away.

We plan to go back for round 2 in January, but that will depend in part on what's going on with my dad. He's been stable in remission for the past month, so he's supposed to go back into the hospital on Thursday, and his bone marrow transplant is scheduled for Dec. 23. Prayers are welcome.

Also...thanks to all of you who offered anniversary gift suggestions!

December 09, 2010

A Favor to Ask (I'm Desperate Here, Folks)

I need help. In more ways than one, I suppose, but for the moment I'm fixated on one particular problem...

R and my 15th wedding anniversary is coming up in 3 weeks, and I have absolutely no idea what to get him. He bought me something, which we normally don't do for our anniversaries. He's actually become quite "the perfect gift" giver over the years (after I cured him of giving me things like ice scrapers, cookbooks and cooking utinsels during our first couple years of dating) so I'm sure he managed to find something that is meaningful and, well, perfect.

I, on the other hand, have never been one of those people who manages to find "the perfect gift" when gift-giving occasions arrive. My saving grace is that R's family are big believers in maintaining wish lists, so I work from those for birthdays and Christmas.

This fall, I've been even more sucky at it than usual. I managed to get R a card for his birthday and decided what to buy him (luggage, because his carry-on suitcase was falling apart) but didn't actually get around to making the purchase. Then a couple weeks after that, I realized I totally forgot my 16-year-old niece's birthday! And it's the same day as my dad's birthday, so how the heck did I manage that? Technically she's not a blood relative (her mom's one of my BFFs and is very laid back about those kinds of things), but still...Then R eventually wound up researching and buying his own birthday present because I still hadn't gotten to it - how lame is that?! It just arrived last week. (His birthday is in October.)

So I am in serious, desperate need of help. Ideas, in particular.

We always spend the day together (take the day off work if it's a weekday), but we don't usually buy gifts for each other. The last time we did was our 10th wedding anniversary. I got him an engraved frame and a photo album with a sterling silver cover that also had an engraved plaque on it. I didn't get around to actually putting pictures in them (mostly because I hate pretty much every picture taken of me during the past 10 years), so I took them back after I gave them to him with a promise to do that. Guess what I found a few weeks ago when I was cleaning up our office?

Finally getting pictures into the 10th anniversary photo frame/album might be a great 15th anniversary gift, but realistically it's not going to happen. So, I need ideas. Something other than conjuring up a baby out of thin air, since I haven't had any success in making that happen yet. And we're going on a short getaway for our anniversary, so travel probably won't count.

Ideas?? Thoughts? Suggestions?? Help!

December 01, 2010

Um, About What I Said...

I know I've been whining lately about being tired of infertility treatments, of the tests, the shots, the disappointments. That I don't have much left in me and just want to be at the treatment finish line, one way or another.

Yet somehow, here I sit, filling out the 934th half-inch-thick patient information form I've been asked to complete in the last 8 years. For yet another doctor. About yet another treatment.

Clearly I've lost the last shred of sanity I was precariously clinging to.

I belong to a Y.ah.oo group for infertility immunology issues. I've been seeing something lately about a very new treatment called c-g.s.f. (Google it minus the periods if you're curious.) So I decided what the heck, I'll look into it.

Which is how I wound up with an 11-page form to fill out. Half way in, after asking extensive questions about pregnancy history, testing of any losses, gyn history, etc., there's a section that says "Please describe the nature of your problem."

Well, let's see. Where to begin? I have to pick just one? Off the top of my head (no pun intended) hair is thinning, neither my eyesight nor my memory is what it used to be, I have entirely too many things to do and not enough time in which to do them, my dad is sick, my dog is sick, I work entirely too many hours because I don't want to be the next one to be laid off, when I cook I only have about a 50/50 chance of the recipe coming out right...

Oh wait, that's right, you're a fertility doctor. Probably not the kind of problems you're referring to. Let me try that again.

I DON'T HAVE A KID. And I miscarry. A. LOT.

What do your other patients normally come to you for?? Were the first four pages not a clue? Particularly page 1, which required me to explain each pregnancy and its outcome in great detail??

But I contained the snarkiness. Probably best not to tick off the doctor before even speaking with him. Now I have to dig out the records of our last retrieval and all of our immune testing so that I can write down exactly how many vials of Gan.are.lix I shot myself up with two years ago and what my latest FSH was. (4.something, for all the good it does me...)

In other news...

This doesn't mean we've put a halt to the home study. Pool fence and home study visit are still scheduled for next week. (Hopefully the former before the latter, or else the latter will have to be rescheduled.)

We survived Thanksgiving with relatively little drama, all things considered. BIL, who was making the turkey this year, announced the day before that he wanted to eat much later than we normally do - about 6 p.m. instead of 1 or 2 p.m. - because eating earlier would have required him to get up before 1 p.m. (And no, he doesn't work the night shift - he doesn't have a job at all.) For my mom, eating at 2 p.m. is late, so I knew she wasn't going to like this.

Surprisingly, she seemed pretty gracious about it when we told her. That should have been a clue to me, but I was just so relieved she didn't throw a fit right there on the spot that I didn't get suspicious.

Then on Thanksgiving morning, when R and I came downstairs and started getting things ready in the kitchen, she came in and announced that she had called the neighbors to wish them Happy Thanksgiving and that they invited her to eat with them at 2 p.m., so she was going over there instead of having Thanksgiving at our house, where she lives.

I knew that if the neighbor had extended an invitation, it was only after a lot of obvious hinting and wrangling on my mom's part. The neighbor is lovely and sweet, but she was hosting Thanksgiving for 16 people, including her in-laws and a vegan, who she was fretting about what to serve. She was completely stressed out about it, so I knew she wouldn't have just jumped at the chance to add one more person to the chaos.

Still, I just smiled sweetly and told my mom to have a good time and tell the neighbors we said Happy Thanksgiving, and turned back to what I was doing. R's eyes had kind of bugged out at the announcement, but he didn't say a word.

At 1:30 p.m., she changed her clothes. At 2 p.m., she was still sitting in her chair in her living room. At 2:30 I offered her a drink I was making, and surprise, surprise, when we ate, guess who was sitting at the table with us??

Score one for refusing to let her get under my skin. I don't play head games. Maybe at some point she'll learn to accept that.