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Archive for November 12th, 2006

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waffles

I like waffles. They are far superior to pancakes. I don't love waffling, however. And that's what I'm doing. I don't know what to do about this migraine study. Every day I seem to have a different opinion. I suspect I'll end up doing it, but every time I think about taking a year off fertility treatment, I start to cry.

I mean seriously, how could I NOT do this study? I've had migraines my entire life. And they suck. They suck so badly. I can't imagine my life without them. I have a feeling that without migraines my life would improve so dramatically in ways I can't even begin to project.

And yet… I would gladly suffer migraines forever in exchange for a baby.

This isn't even a choice between eliminating migraines or having a baby, though. It's conceivable (no pun intended) that I could have both… have the surgery, and a year later get pregnant. It could happen. It's also conceivable that neither would happen. I could have the surgery, still get migraines, and still never have a baby. I could also choose not to participate in the study, not have the surgery, still get the migraines, and still never haver a baby.

If I did the surgery, took a year off, and then in ten years still found myself barren, I know I will always wonder what would have happened if I hadn't taken that year off. If I don't do the surgery, and still don't manage to have a baby, I know I'll still have migraines. But will I regret the migraines as much as I would regret not trying for that year? Egads, this is hard.

I went in Friday for my initial screening appointment for the study. I swear, the study criteria was written FOR me. And they checked to make sure I have a PFO. I had a little performance anxiety, oddly enough. What if it wasn't there anymore? Yeah, um, spontaneous PFO closure doesn't happen. And anyway, it was there. The test was pretty cool, actually. When the PFO was originally discovered, it was visualized by doing a transesophogeal echocardiogram, which seriously… not so pleasant. Right. So what they did was put these sensors on my head… I guess they were like an ultrasound probe, only small and attached to my head. There was gel and everything (pretty yuck). They used the sensors to listen to/visualize my cranial artery. Then they injected a saline solution that had been agitated so it had lots of little bubbles into an IV line. Very shortly after the injection… snap, crackle, pop… all those little bubbles showed up in my cranial artery; a sure sign of a patent foramen ovale.

The funniest part of the whole thing was explaining to the doctor that before he attached the sensors to my head, I'd need to take off my wig. I don't talk about it much here, but I'm an Orthodox Jew. Orthodox Jewish women cover their hair after they are married. Some women wear hats, some wear tichels (scarves), some wear snoods, some wear wigs. I used to wear hats, but I found them cumbersome (not to mention I look ridiculous in hats). Snoods aren't professional. I couldn't keep scarves on. And I was tired of explaining myself to coworkers and clients. So I started wearing a sheitel (wig). Anyway, mostly people don't realize I'm wearing a wig, except for other Orthodox Jews who can spot a sheitel a million miles away, and it's not really something that comes up in conversation. When people find out about it, they kind of flip out. Anyway, I said to the doctor that before he put on the sensors, there was something I had to tell him, and it was going to freak him out a little, and that's okay. "I'm wearing a wig, and no I'm not sick, it's really weird, but Orthodox Jewish women cover their hair after they get married." The doctor didnt' even flinch. He didn't wince. He didn't have any of the normal reactions. He said, "okay, no problem. I didn't know that." When I told him some women wear hats, he remarked that come to think of it he has a neighbor who always wears a hat. I'm sure after I left he talked about what a freak I am, but kudos to him for not freaking out in front of me. 🙂

Right. Anyway. Back on topic. The study is a dream come true. The protocol was written for me. It's like someone has been following my life and taking notes and designed a study just for me. I'm 100% qualified and the only thing left is to do a month long headache diary on a palm pilot thingy they provided and that's just to get a baseline before

And yet… telling an infertile that she has to purposely not get pregnant for a year….? I'm starting to cry just thinking about it. So pardon me if for the next month I'm a little fixated on this stuff.

One interesting note: I had to take a pregnancy test at the appointment yesterday, and it came up negative. So maybe my hCG is bottomed out. It was a urine test, not a blood test, so I'm not sure, but I am definitely making progress.

Read Full Post »

waffles

I like waffles. They are far superior to pancakes. I don't love waffling, however. And that's what I'm doing. I don't know what to do about this migraine study. Every day I seem to have a different opinion. I suspect I'll end up doing it, but every time I think about taking a year off fertility treatment, I start to cry.

I mean seriously, how could I NOT do this study? I've had migraines my entire life. And they suck. They suck so badly. I can't imagine my life without them. I have a feeling that without migraines my life would improve so dramatically in ways I can't even begin to project.

And yet… I would gladly suffer migraines forever in exchange for a baby.

This isn't even a choice between eliminating migraines or having a baby, though. It's conceivable (no pun intended) that I could have both… have the surgery, and a year later get pregnant. It could happen. It's also conceivable that neither would happen. I could have the surgery, still get migraines, and still never have a baby. I could also choose not to participate in the study, not have the surgery, still get the migraines, and still never haver a baby.

If I did the surgery, took a year off, and then in ten years still found myself barren, I know I will always wonder what would have happened if I hadn't taken that year off. If I don't do the surgery, and still don't manage to have a baby, I know I'll still have migraines. But will I regret the migraines as much as I would regret not trying for that year? Egads, this is hard.

I went in Friday for my initial screening appointment for the study. I swear, the study criteria was written FOR me. And they checked to make sure I have a PFO. I had a little performance anxiety, oddly enough. What if it wasn't there anymore? Yeah, um, spontaneous PFO closure doesn't happen. And anyway, it was there. The test was pretty cool, actually. When the PFO was originally discovered, it was visualized by doing a transesophogeal echocardiogram, which seriously… not so pleasant. Right. So what they did was put these sensors on my head… I guess they were like an ultrasound probe, only small and attached to my head. There was gel and everything (pretty yuck). They used the sensors to listen to/visualize my cranial artery. Then they injected a saline solution that had been agitated so it had lots of little bubbles into an IV line. Very shortly after the injection… snap, crackle, pop… all those little bubbles showed up in my cranial artery; a sure sign of a patent foramen ovale.

The funniest part of the whole thing was explaining to the doctor that before he attached the sensors to my head, I'd need to take off my wig. I don't talk about it much here, but I'm an Orthodox Jew. Orthodox Jewish women cover their hair after they are married. Some women wear hats, some wear tichels (scarves), some wear snoods, some wear wigs. I used to wear hats, but I found them cumbersome (not to mention I look ridiculous in hats). Snoods aren't professional. I couldn't keep scarves on. And I was tired of explaining myself to coworkers and clients. So I started wearing a sheitel (wig). Anyway, mostly people don't realize I'm wearing a wig, except for other Orthodox Jews who can spot a sheitel a million miles away, and it's not really something that comes up in conversation. When people find out about it, they kind of flip out. Anyway, I said to the doctor that before he put on the sensors, there was something I had to tell him, and it was going to freak him out a little, and that's okay. "I'm wearing a wig, and no I'm not sick, it's really weird, but Orthodox Jewish women cover their hair after they get married." The doctor didnt' even flinch. He didn't wince. He didn't have any of the normal reactions. He said, "okay, no problem. I didn't know that." When I told him some women wear hats, he remarked that come to think of it he has a neighbor who always wears a hat. I'm sure after I left he talked about what a freak I am, but kudos to him for not freaking out in front of me. 🙂

Right. Anyway. Back on topic. The study is a dream come true. The protocol was written for me. It's like someone has been following my life and taking notes and designed a study just for me. I'm 100% qualified and the only thing left is to do a month long headache diary on a palm pilot thingy they provided and that's just to get a baseline before

And yet… telling an infertile that she has to purposely not get pregnant for a year….? I'm starting to cry just thinking about it. So pardon me if for the next month I'm a little fixated on this stuff.

One interesting note: I had to take a pregnancy test at the appointment yesterday, and it came up negative. So maybe my hCG is bottomed out. It was a urine test, not a blood test, so I'm not sure, but I am definitely making progress.

Read Full Post »