It’s been a few weeks since I last updated. I have tried several times to find the words and they just never came to me. Since I last wrote, I have been taking 3 injections a day. Lupron, Gonal F and Menopur. I can’t tell you how EXCITED i was each time they told me i could start the next medication. PROGRESS i kept telling myself. One step closer. I could handle any physical pain that was handed to me at this point. It was the emotional pain that i can’t handle. The emotional pain is what’s so draining and sucks the life straight out of you. The emotional pain transforms me into something I don’t even recognize when i look in the mirror.
After the initial fear of the first injection, I felt fine and thought to myself; this is easy. I could inject myself no problem and genuinely looked forward to the injection because i was getting one step closer. That was until they started introducing the other 2. When you inject yourself 3 times a day, everyday, in one tiny area of your stomach you start running out of spots that you didn’t already stab yourself the day before. I was making myself bleed everyday and my stomach looked as if I was being used as a punching bag with all the black and blues.
MENOPUR. How i loathe Menopur. It BURNED and the needle was larger and harder to inject because i needed to use more force to get it in. I did find a good tip on another blog about icing the area first for 5-10 minutes to literally numb the area. This did help but even bringing the menopur to room temperature did not stop the BURNING around the injection site. It felt like someone was pouring rubbing alcohol on an open wound. This lasted for about an hour before i fell asleep each night.
I am also currently trying accupuncture, which i have heard great things about. I have to honestly say that I don’t enjoy it or find it relaxing at all. But i have read a lot of research that shows it can really help with IVF success by improving circulation to the uterus during implantation. I will literally try anything to help me become a mother, including becoming a human pin cushion. Never in my life did i think i’d have to be stabbing myself with needles everyday and paying something to poke me from head to toe with even more needles.
I was being monitored every other day with bloodwork and an ultrasound. I was the type of person that got all worked up about going to my annual Gyno visit every year because i hated having a doctor down there. Now I here i am getting my lady bits checked first thing in the morning, 3 or 4 times a week. If they told me to go everyday, i gladly would have because if they were checking me that meant a higher chance of success. But unless you are going through it, you have no idea how awful it is to start almost every morning with having your your insides poked and prodded before starting yet another stressful day at work.
The list of side effect on all the medications are a mile long but these are the only ones i felt:
- Constant buzzing headache: but i just found a way to trudge along without any advil or excedrin.
- MOOD swings: I was either extremely weepy or angry. unfortunately the moods never turned to extreme happiness. I didn’t feel like myself anymore. I had zero patience and no matter how hard i tried to have PMA (positive mental attitude), i was constantly terrified. there was always a new problem around the corner.
- Depression: depression is a side effect that i already didn’t need any help in since this whole journey is pretty depressing.
- Anxiety : The extreme anxiety at all times. I felt like chicken little. ” the sky is falling the sky is falling” because no matter how hard i tried to be positive, everything always felt doom and gloom, I felt sad and weepy even though from the outside it seemed like we were making progress. Which i believe has a large part to do with my Doctor’s office. which i will get into shortly.
- Stomach issues. I won’t even get into how all the meds messed with my stomach
- Nausea: most morning i was able to hold off on throwing up but some got the best of me
- joint pain: Luckily this was at a minimum but I would randomly have terrible shoulder pain or knee pain. Essentially my body and mind felt like I was an 80 year old woman
- Lack of concentration and blurry vision: the blurry vision i started noticing a few days ago. I would look at my computer screen and all the words seemed to be dancing on the screen or blurry. I thought i had just been a long day until i read it was also a symptom of Menopur
- Elevated Heart rate: I mentioned this to the doctor several times but they seemed to think it was normal.
Throughout the whole monitoring process I tried really hard to trust in my doctor’s office. I kept telling myself that my doctor is not meant to be my best friend. I kept telling myself the nurses have a stressful job and have a lot to do. I can’t expect them to always be available to answer every single question i have or be happy to see me. But here i go, always putting other people in front of my own well being. I’m finally at a point where all i can say is FUCK THEM. WE are paying them to do US a Service. this is about ME and my Husband. I feel as if i’ve earned the right to say that something is about ME for once.
My breaking point finally happened yesterday. Where i waited all day for a phone call to tell me how i’m progressing. It was 3 pm and i still had not gotten a call even though my results had been posted since before Noon on my portal. I immediately knew something was wrong. My follicles had SHRUNK in size. I had 5 little follicles on Cycle day 10. On Wednesday they measured in the 11-12 range. On Friday they had shrunk to the 8-9 range. (for reference they should be at least 16 or above when they do egg retrieval) They were not supposed to be shrinking. All the meds were supposed to be stimulating growth. I worried myself sick all day trying to be patient waiting for this call. I finally gave in and called because i knew they closed early on Fridays.
When i called, i spoke to a nurse that i truly believe should find a new profession because in all my dealings with her she has a terrible way of relaying information and can’t seem to even muster a smile when i see her in the office. Her reply was “Oh, Ya, the doctor wants you to stop all your medications. and we will see you in the office next friday for another ultrasound and bloodwork. what time is good for you” She sounded as if she was taking my lunch order. I immediately started crying and she asked me “oh no why are you crying”. WHY AM I CRYING?. Is this the first go around with a patient that was just told that the last 33 injections she took were for nothing? Do they not deal with desperate women every day that are hoping to have just one chance at having a baby? Did we not just spend almost $3,000 on medications that we just flushed down the toilet? I said to her why is the cycle cancelled? and her only response was that i was not responding to the medication.
All week i had been afraid of this but every time i asked i was told everything looked great even though it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out something was not going great based on my follicle scans. From day 1 i have felt as if the Doctor’s office lacked any human compassion. I have always felt like just another number to them and tried not to be too needy but they have also given me conflicting information, or they sound extremely annoyed when i call asking questions. If i’m not constantly asking questions i’m not getting all the information I need. She told me to “stop all medications” and i had to actually call back and find out if she also meant the Metformin pills. She had to put me on hold to find out if i should still be taking the metformin. Honestly this should be information she ALREADY knew. I shouldn’t have to double check every bit of information they give me. I think we are finally just DONE. Monday Morning I am calling around for 2nd and 3rd opinions and start the process of transferring to a new doctor. I know they are not going to make it easy. Unfortunately we have already paid them so we also need to make sure we can get our money back since the cycle was cancelled. I also know that this will delay us even further but I need a doctor and staff that at least pretends to give a shit regardless of how busy they are. I don’t blame them for the cancelled cycle as i know that it happens to alot of women. I know that we should expect delays. But i do blame them for a lot of the extra emotional stress they have put on us. Not only by lacking in human compassion but the lack of communication in what is already a very difficult situation. There has to be another doctor and doctor’s office that can provide us with the support we need. I also shouldn’t feel agitated when i see my doctor which is what happens now. He normally doesn’t do my ultrasounds but they were shorthanded this past weeks so he was “helping out”. I truly loathed having him doing it because of his cold demeanor. He didn’t even say good morning to me. He literally walked in, sat down and inserted the ultrasound doppler without a word or even warning. Like hey i’m about to insert this large probe into your vagina. but you know, good fucking morning to you too.
So here we are at square one again. Except this time i don’t feel even the slightest bit of hope. I am so lucky that my husband is right there with me. I hate seeing him share my pain but I am so grateful that I have him. I don’t know where i’d be if he wasn’t with me every step of the way. Unless you have gone through this heart wrenching ordeal, it’s so hard to understand and so easy to say to “just be positive”, “trust in god” or “things will work out”. Right now it doesn’t feel like things will work out. I’m mentally and emotionally exhausted but i have to go on pretending that I am perfectly fine. It feels like we are not even living life anymore.