Archive for March 17th, 2009

Ninety Nine (edited, twice)

What? No, really, WHAT?


That’s my estrogen level. Seriously, when I’m not on Lupron and I have actively growing follicles, I barely have estrogen that high.

Now I have the most boring looking ovaries I’ve ever seen, I’m on 20 units of Lupron a day, and… what? My estrogen is double what it needs to be?

Stupid body.

No Follistim or Luveris tonight. No dropping the Lupron dose in the morning. Status Quo for now. Return for re-check on Friday. Yeah. I can’t believe I failed the Lupron Eval. Man.

Edited to Add: Shit, wait, you don’t think it was the Nectar of the Gods, do you? Seriously, I really only had one a day. Once I had two in one day. But seriously? One 12 ounce can a day can’t have done me in. Could it?

Edited, Again: Yes, it could potentially have been the increase in caffeine level that affected my estrogen level. I will note, however, that I drank probably 4-7 cans of coke per day while doing my six IUIs and never had any affect on my estrogen level. Admittedly, back then I simply had a constant blood level in my caffeine stream. Perhaps I am more sensitive to caffeine now than I was then, since I nearly never drink caffeine anymore (I don’t ever drink coffee or tea and I hadn’t had a coke in months before the last couple weeks). Should I ask my doctor about it? Meh. Possibly, but I’m simply going to cut out the Coke and suffer through the headaches until Friday.

As for whether I need another re-check before Friday – not really. He’s leaving it until Friday to give the Lupron more time to work. The only reason to get a recheck before Friday would be if there were serious concern about over-suppressing me between now and then, and there is not that concern. It’s just a few more days lost on my schedule, is all. But all that means is that my beta isn’t going to fall on Pesach – which it was going to do before – so now at least I won’t have to push that off. Right? See? Silver linings all around.

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Then They Came For Me

When the Georgia Senate Bill 169 was introduced, a friend of mine asked me why I was so up in arms about it. “After all,” he said, “You don’t live in Georgia. It doesn’t affect you.”

Doesn’t affect me? Really? First, I don’t believe it’s true that just because I don’t live in Georgia the bill doesn’t affect me. But even if we postulate that it’s true that it doesn’t affect me – does that mean we should sit idly by while other states create laws we believe to be morally unacceptable?

What of Martin Niemoller’s words:

First, they came first for the Communists,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . Then, they came for me . . .
And by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.

While I admit that in most cases, I’m content to sit back and let others do my work for me. For the most part, I’m willing to let people far more competent than I be the indignant ones. I am not an activist. I am not a take-charge person. Heck, I failed at even Taking Charge of My Fertility, for crying out loud. But when Georgia introduced SB 169 something in me simply… snapped.

And now? Maryland? Gah.

Maryland hasn’t done anything nearly as drastic as the garbage that Georgia pulled. They’ve done something far more subtle, and (in my opinion) almost more dangerous. Maryland has introduced House Bill 925, the so-called “Maryland Personhood Amendment,” a bill that would amend the Maryland Constitution “to establish that the right not to be deprived of life is vested in all human beings, irrespective of age, health, function, physical dependency, or method of reproduction, from the beginning of their biological development.”

This amendment would, essentially, give a fertilized egg legal rights.

This would lay the groundwork to ban abortion in Maryland, should a federal ban on abortion ever be lifted (with the current make up of the Supreme Court – I wouldn’t be shocked to see the already shaky Roe v. Wade fall). It certainly could lay the groundwork for restrictions on abortion to be put in place in the state.

And – it could lay the groundwork for legislation limiting access to emergency contraception, etc. Imagine that.

Closer to home – it could also open the door to legislation like the Georgia bill which limits on ART and human embryo stem cell research. It could even affect laws surrounding embryo adoption/donation.

NARAL has a form that you can fill out (if you live in Maryland) to send a letter to your delegate protesting the bill. Or, better yet, you can email your representative in the Maryland House of Delegates. You can find your representative in this list.

I know there are plenty of you out there who will disagree with me. And I’m okay with that. I do believe that two adults can disagree and stay friends. Please do feel free to respectfully disagree with me in the comments section. But hateful comments will be removed, please understand that. Any, and all, respectful comments are welcome, regardless of whether you agree with me.

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Okay, so? How many of you thought I was wrong and there would be a mobile in Room 1 today? How many of you had more faith in Dr. S. than I did? Admit it! Well, you would all be wrong. Wrong, I say! He’s off on a cushy vacation on some tropical paradise while his patients lie bored on a table staring at… a blank ceiling. Seriously.

What. Is up. With that?

Dude. Seriously? There are going to be serious consequences for this – and I don’t just mean that he didn’t get fudge today. I have on good authority that my fudge was pretty damn awesome, though I admit I wouldn’t know myself. But no fudge for him!

Now to think up some appropriate consequences for him.

And now on to the fun stuff. My lining is nice and thin (5mm)- I’m told this is a good thing. Truthfully, I’m a sucker for data, and as much as I hoard it, this is one piece of information I’ve never paid much attention to – the starting lining thickness. I’ve never really much cared about it. Mine’s always been fine and I’ve never much fretted about it (though I remember once or twice it was alarmingly thick… but whatever… it thinned out soon enough, so it was all good). Somehow very little about the whole fertility/IVF process feels intrusive to me anymore. But there’s something about this doctor telling me the thickness of my endometrial lining that feels awfully… up close and personal. I know that sounds ridiculous. There I am with my legs up in stirrups, chatting away about mobiles and whatever. I’ve appeared on the local news, and spoken with a reporter for a national newspaper about my fertility issues. I write a blog about my daily cycle details for crying out loud. And yet, the thing that feels up close and personal is the thickness of my endometrial lining?

Go figure.

Anyway, whatever. My lining is good, my ovaries, they are quieter than I’ve ever seen them. Not so perky.

Much fudge was delivered. And I even delivered an adorable gift to my nurse. No, really!

Does it get cuter than this??

My nurse was already having a really tough day, even that early in the morning so, it turns out, I made her day. Go me. And the fudge was just a bonus.

“Admit it,” I said, “You don’t have any patients as cool as me.”
“No way!”
“Aw, you’re not just saying that are you?”
“Definitely not!”

Anyway, unless I hear otherwise from her, I’m to start Follistim 166IUs, and Luveris 50 units tonight. And tomorrow! Tomorrow! (I love ya, tomorrow!) I drop the Lupron to 10units! (You’re only a Day! A!Way!)

(cue orchestra)


On a more serious note, Maryland sucks. Stay tuned for why.

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Nectar of the Gods

It’s possible that some of you have been reading various iterations of my blog long enough to know that there was a time that I had quite the affinity for Coca Cola – herafter referred to as the Nectar of the Gods (or, simply, The Nectar). In fact, I was quite offended to discover during my pregnancy that it tasted disgusting to me, and a few of you found out the full extent of my loyalty to The Nectar when you foolishly suggested that That OTHER INFERIOR so-called-Cola product *cough*pepsi*cough* might be a reasonable substitute.

Well, since then I really haven’t had much Coke in my life. Though I could say in all honesty that I was a full-blown Coke addict (not THAT kind of coke, silly! The yummy caffeinated cola kind!), I really don’t touch the stuff all that often anymore. Now, it is simply a special treat now and again.

But here’s the thing!

I have discovered a very important use for The Nectar. It turns out that caffeine actually is the one thing that actually helps these stupid Lupron headaches. Um, well, a little bit, anyway. Look, I’ll take ANY little tiny bit of relief I can get, okay? Mel was actually the one who told me that caffeine would help Lupron headaches. “But,” she cautioned, “only if you have enough caffeine that it raises your estrogen so much that it sort of defeats the purpose of the Lupron.” So not really a good solution.

Obviously caffeine wasn’t a good option. This cycle, I happened to have a Nectar one day when I was in the middle of a terrible Lupron-induced stupor/headache and while the headache was still horrifically bad, it DID take the throbbing out of my eyeball, so it no longer felt like I had a jackhammer slicing through my right eye. Definitely an improvement. I have, therefore, felt absolutely no inhibition about drinking a coke or three per day since then. Go me. (I’m kidding about the three)

That being said, yesterday I found a far more effective way of avoiding the Lupron headache. Yep. I forgot to take my Lupron until mid-afternoon. By the time I took it, I’d already had a Nectar, so I didn’t get a headache right away. The headache hit me in full force at about 3am. Getting out of bed this morning was nearly impossible. Today’s headache was far worse than usual and no amount of caffeine was going to help it. My Nectar had failed me.

There is, however, light at the end of the tunnel. Tomorrow should be my last day on 20 units per day. I have my CD2 monitoring appt. and I should start Follistim and Luveris tomorrow night and then drop to 10 units of Lupron Wed. morning. Plus, with higher starting doses on the stims, my estrogen level should go up faster, so the Lupron headaches should subside faster regardless of the drop in dose. So it’s all good. Right?

Last order of business – who wants to place bets on whether Dr. S. has gotten a mobile up in Room 1 yet? I’m betting on a Negatory.

No fudge for him if he hasn’t gotten it up yet. I made fudge for everyone else though. With nuts.

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