Archive for August, 2016
Day 1 (Thursday) – The day I wonder why everything is so hard.
I would have started this whole process last month, but I had a totally normal, randomly occurring cyst form in my ovary. I opted to wait a month to see if it goes away on it’s own.
I’m not really in a time rush after all, but I am very eager to get this show on the road. My “chem lab” and “pharmacy” have taken over my apartment, my vacations have been perpetually put on hold; let’s grow these future babies!
Well, one month later, I found out my cyst is still there. I couldn’t help but start to wonder if I’m destined for literally every medical thing to be more complicated than expected. Tried to push the thought away.
Day 2 (Friday) -The day the hardest part is just the beginning.
I opted to get my cyst aspirated versus go through another month or more of waiting to see if my cyst decides to go away on its own.
This was a hard decision because it was an extra $650, a three hour round-trip drive to the clinic in rush hour, and a needle-in-the-ovary procedure.
Met some friends for dinner who tried to encourage me…
Them: “You’ve had a needle pushed into your ovary – you’ve already been through the hard part!”
Me: “But I haven’t even actually started yet…” (cue appropriate use of crying/laughing emoticon)
Day 3 (Saturday) – The day I start hormone injections.
Luckily, being the RAD person I am, I have plenty of experience with injecting myself. The thing I don’t have experience with is mixing my own drugs… which I managed to mess up.
In my defense, it was early, I was running late, and I was a caffeine-addict avoiding coffee. So I grabbed 1ml of sodium chloride from the first vial and pushed it in the menopur vial without paying much attention. I took a look and it looked the same as it had before. Conclusion: the menopur vial must have been empty!
I pull the 1ml of liquid out and combine it with a second menopur vial, noting that this one most definitely has drug in it. The resulting liquid looks identical to before. Oops.
I troubleshoot and add an additional ml of sodium chloride to dilute it back to the required dose and then take half of it.
But then the internet scares me by saying you can only store it this way for 15 minutes.
Frantic call to the emergency nurse line and she told me I could store it for 24 hours and use it tomorrow morning — phew! Disaster (or really wasted money) diverted.
The nighttime shot went more smoothly.
Day 4 (Sunday) – The day I become an injection pro (and a living, human pin cushion).
Sunday happens to be my Enbrel day. Combine that with a genetic disposition of blood clots, which means I need blood thinners when messing with estrogen, and I had a whopping four self injections today. Go me!
Here’s what I’ve learned:
- Hormones have the smallest needles and don’t sting
- My blood thinner (Lovenox) has the widest needle which makes the injection site bruise and makes it hurt (seriously, who designed these things?)
- Enbrel has the longest needle of the bunch. WTH, Enbrel?
I also learned that brewing up eggs is hard work – my body is in RA flare fatigue status.
Day 5 (Monday) – The day I perfect my inner pep talk (aka talking to myself).
“You got this! Feed those future babies! You’re a needle ninja!”
– me, to myself
That’s right, I’ve started talking to myself before injections. And maybe my cat.
I was late for my nighttime injection because IKEA is like a black hole time suck, but other than that I’m feeling like I finally have a handle on this.
Hormones? No prob.
Day 6 (Tuesday) -The day this becomes tedious and I question everything.
This morning I went in to get blood work and my ultrasound. Then it was the waiting game.
You go in the morning to get labs, then they get sent across the city and you have to wait until the afternoon for results.
But I had a feeling the news wouldn’t be good. The ultrasound nurse counted five follicles that had shown growth. Five!
This is down from a resting follicle count of 21 and a hope for 15-20 eggs to come out of this.
I couldn’t help but cry in my car on the way home. Why is my body constantly making things more complicated? Why am I doing this to myself? What if I’m never supposed to have children?
That afternoon I broke the golden rule and hopped on Google and discovered that some people start out slow. I felt hopeful.
My nurse was pretty encouraging as well, telling me to wait a day or two to see my progress.
So I distracted myself with Pitch Perfect and ice cream and hoped for the best.
Day 7 (Wednesday) – The day my disappointment is crushing.
The news at this morning’s ultrasound wasn’t great. Five follicles, one not growing at all, two growing out of pace with the two biggest.
Tears. Lots of tears.
And talks with a supportive partner and supportive friends.
And, finally, talks with my nurse in the afternoon who left it up to me, but suggested I could cancel this round and try again next month with more aggressive hormone treatment.
My doc says that what he would advise his wife to do, so that’s what I’ve decided to do.
So goodbye to this month’s possible future offspring. Goodbye hundreds of dollars of drugs. Hello bruised stomach and thighs. Until next month….
Perhaps this could be relevant to other autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, as well?