Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lap recap

I had my f/u with the Surgeon who performed my lap yesterday. It was a very interesting meeting indeed. My bladder is fine...I guess he had to move it out of the way to get to the endo that was buried underneath it. (I am so delicate that I got a little bruised. Ha!) He also shed some light on what endo can mean. I have never even researched it because it was never ever mentioned to me before I met RE #4.

I'm still in a state of shock about the endometriosis. I mean, how can 3 clinics (2 of them considered to be top in their field) let me do IVF 6 times without checking for this? I have complained about the same pain on my left side for years...to my GYN....to all of the REs I have seen...even to my Gastro (I have let him off the hook as his area of expertise is not my lady parts)and no one even thought to test for it. They all just like to blame everything on my old age. FWIW, I was only 37 when this all started....not old at all. If my FSH was high I could see how they would avoid doing the "crappy lappy" (as I have taken to calling it)but wasn't it worth investigating before I turned 40 and spent thousands on 6 IVFs? 6IVFs. That is a lot of IVFs.

The RE did tell me that there are conflicting reports about the affects of endo on on an IVF cycle. He believes that endo can destroy egg quality. He explained that there are chemicals that the endo gives off that can affect the quality of an otherwise healthy egg. In his practice, he has seen women get pregnant after even mild cases of endo being removed.

Maybe this is all I needed. I mean, we have a lot of other stuff going on but H is doing fabulous on the Clomid, HCG shots and the Chinese herbs. He feels 10 years younger and he cannot wait to have another SA. Is it possible I may still have a few good eggs left? I think in light of this news we may actually try 1 more time with my eggs before moving onto DE. It has increased our chances by about 10 % which makes it about a 20% shot. Better than we had in the past....Maybe the timing is finally right, maybe it's finally time for our baby to come to us.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Home Sweet Home (but not for long)

I got to relax for about 2 hours before the next crisis presented itself.

I didn't eat dinner so I had a yogurt around 9 with my pain pill. I was peeing like a champ up until then. I am not sure why but the next time I tried, I couldn't go. I tried everything: pushing, getting into the shower and running warm water over my bladder.I don't know if it was the yogurt or the fact that my bladder was lazy from relying on the catheter for too long. Maybe it was the fact that I clogged my pipes by drinking about 32 oz. of water in the past few hours in the hopes of clearing out my bladder but good. Whatever it was, it caused my stomach to lock up and I couldn't do anything. Then, the gas started building up....right up to my shoulders. Now, this was the gas I was warned about. At least I thought so until the pain got so severe that I was convinced I was dying from a burst bladder and going septic. My deep yoga breathing couldn't touch the pain so I was convinced my organs were damaged beyond repair. I got dizzy and almost passed out from the pain.

I screamed for H (several times because the TV was too loud or he was sleeping...this has yet to be determined)to call 911. I hardly had a voice and when he asked why he couldn't just drive me I think I would have throat punched him if I could reach or if I have any strength. The last thing I wanted to do was alert the neighbors to my latest health issue but he now knows if I ask him to call 911, it is dead effing serious.

The paramedics were 1st on the scene...they calmed me down a little and gave me some oxygen since I was clearly (to them) in the midst of a major panic attack. Then, the fireman came -they were so helpful.....they covered me with a towel because my dress was up and my ass was hanging out. I really did not care who was seeing what. The pain was like pain I had never felt before and all modesty flew out the window. The ambulance arrived last. If I was having a heart attack or if my organs did burst, It would have been too late. Uh, it took 15 minutes.

All 3 sets of workers asked me the same questions...what did I have done....when did the pain start.....I had to repeat my story 5 times. I get it...they are all trying to do their jobs but what made me angry was the comments: "Didn't they tell you to expect gas pain when you had the procedure?" "That's really common with laproscopic surgery." And the looks that they all shared when I told them I had a lap! At one point I said" Listen, I didn't call you because I have gas. They bruised my bladder and I can't pee and I am afraid my bladder is going to burst".

It was like talking to a brick wall.

And it wasn't any better when we arrived at the ER. It was Friday night and I believe it was a full moon. It took forever to get a room and while we were waiting in the hallway on a stretcher we got to watch a police officer interview an 8 year old who was just molested. There were people in and out of that room H was directing traffic. It was so sad. I just wanted to take her home with me. The irony did not escape me. A little girl's mother lets her boyfriend molest her while I laid there in excruciating pain fresh from having a painful surgery that would (hopefully) get me one step closer to being a mother.

When I finally got a room, a nurse cathed me ( but not before I got the speech about how you get bad gas whenever you have laparoscopic surgery.) Sweet relief. She left the room as I filled up the bag and she wasn't gone for long. Even she was surprised that she had to change the bag before we had an accident. Then she started being a lot nicer to me.

***Bitch Alert***

I know there are probably people out there who abuse 911 and the ER but I know my body and something was very wrong. It pisses me off when I have to pay the price in shitty care for the hypochondria or entitlement of others.

***Bitching over***

I had the catheter in all weekend. I was really looking forward to sitting in the sun all weekend and reading a book or two but how could I do that? There is nowhere to hide a cath bag in my tankini and I sure didn't want to walk around with a bag full of boiled bloody urine. I won't gross you out with the details of my mishaps with the uh maintenance issues....although some of it was hilarious.

I finally stopped peeing blood Sunday afternoon and the nurse at the clinic removed the cath for me on Monday. I'm peeing like it's my job and the gas is gone. My Acupuncturist took care of the rest of it on Tuesday.

I now have a new type of Dr. to add to the ever growing list of Specialists, though. I saw a Urologist today. I thought that was only for men but we all have urethra,right? She did a few tests and told me my bladder was fine. Whew.

The only ending that could be happier is if I finally get knocked up!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Trading in my Coach bag for a cath bag

The glamour just doesn't end for me.

When I woke up Fri. morning they made sure I was really doped up and they wanted to get me moving so I didn't stiffen up from the surgery. I began my day walking the halls at "the hospital". Me and my bloody bag of urine. I was getting funny looks from people but I felt pretty defiant thanks to my most recent dose of percocet. I have already been through my share of medical mishaps and a heartbreaking diagnosis or two and my attitude was: "if they can't handle it, they can look away". H always says that people who have to deal with tragedy are humbled and most people have not. Let them see how lucky they are.

My Dr. found me in the atrium enjoying the view of the grounds. He came to see me before heading to the office which I thought was great. He was impressed that I was up and moving around and oh so apologetic. "You stumped me" was the 1st thing he uttered after he asked how I was feeling. (I've heard that loads of times before,BTW.)His best guess was that my bladder got bruised when the nurse put the catheter in and I tend to agree. I was pretty swollen down there and I've never had a catheter before (something else to cross off my bucket list?)but I know there MUST be smaller ones. So, the testing began.

I headed downstairs for an ultrasound of my abdomen. The u/s showed a hematoma. The next test would require an empty colon so I had to head downstairs a 2nd time for an xray to see how full of feces I was. (Are you jealous of the glamour yet?) Test 2 was cancelled before I even learned what it was called (Um, I had eaten a little dinner the night before and a little breakfast,too) so my apologies for not having that info. The next idea was to do a CT scan of my bladder with contrast dye but that meant I needed to be moved. You see, when you go to a place that caters to healthy pg women and treats infertiles as an afterthought, they don't have the proper machines to treat any type of complication.

They called an ambulance to take me to the closest hospital (make that inner city hospital...they treat all kinds of stuff like gunshot wounds so they had the tools I needed,too.) Shout out to my homegirls "A" and "K" for making my field trip a memorable one and giving me the idea to think of my cath bag like a little purse. They stayed with me so I didn't have to wait for a "bus" back. They got in trouble with their Supervisor but they didn't want to leave me there with nothing but a hospital gown and a cath bag... I didn't even have underpants! I think they were worried about the nice lady being trapped at the ghetto hospital. BTW, Bus is paramedic talk for "ambulance". (I am so down with all kinds of new medical lingo thanks to my girls.)

The CT scan showed no perforations or any major trauma to my bladder so I headed back to "babyland" where they wanted to remove the catheter and see if I could pee on my own. I said goodbye to my new BFFs and added 2 more people to my list of those praying for me to become a Mom.

This is where the story gets weird. While I was gone, they gave me a roommate. Well, 2 roommates..... It's bad enough that they gave me a new mother and her 3 day old baby but this chic brought an entourage that included her baby daddy and her parents. This room has 4 hospital beds and 3 were full so you can imagine how crowded it was. Apparently, she had really high blood pressure and needed to be monitored. I know this because she didn't shut up from the time I was wheeled in on my stretcher until I left.

I listened to her and her family gush over the baby girl and saw them intermittently peek through my curtains for about an hour when my nurse showed up to remove the cath. I was about ready to hang myself by my cath cord so her timing may have saved my life. I started to pull my hospital gown up when I noticed a set of eyes looking through the curtain. The nurse saw too and she did not miss a beat. She covered me with the blanket and flung the curtains open. Bless her heart...she kicked them out! She told them we needed privacy and they could come back when she was done. They grumbled a little but left while my nurse worked on me. The baby daddy did pop back in just as she was finishing because he got in trouble for being in the hallway with a newborn by another nurse so I had to listen to a bunch of passive aggressive comments for the next hour while I tried to focus on peeing (and passing gas)so I could leave. That's when H showed up. I did my best to fart really loud and scare them off (if you know me IRL you know I am a total lady and I would die if anyone ever heard me fart but I was high on percocet and H was egging me on because he was so mad about their comments.)It must have worked. The trashy family finally left and I peed. (Yay me!) The last thing I heard as I was running out the door was the woman arguing that her baby and the baby daddy should be able to stay overnight with her.

I felt so relieved that my bladder could work on it's own and that I got out of that place in the nick of time. If I knew then what I know now, I would have stayed and put up with whatever that whiny voice would say for the rest of the night. My story ain't over yet, people. It's time for another break but check back with me....I have lots more to share.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Scared pissless

DAY 1.

The past few days have been a colossal cluster fuck. I don't even know where to begin but let me try.

To say I expected things to go smoothly is an understatement. While the lap was a new procedure to me, the hysteroscopy was my 3rd and all of the motions felt quite routine: fasting after midnight, showering with special soap, dressing in comfy clothes and sneaking sips of water despite the pre-op instructions to abstain. I get too thirsty and if I am too dehydrated they will never get a needle into my roll away veins. I even did 40 min. of yoga when I woke up to get me into maximum relaxation mode. H and I got to the "hospital" at 9:30 on the dot and I was feeling very zen. I should tell you that when I say "hospital" I actually mean "a big hospital like structure with no emergency room whose sole purpose is to birth babies and perform female surgery". I'm not sure who had the brilliant idea to integrate super fertile women with women who need to have various surgeries before they can even think about conceiving but what a shithead.

We were having a great time...laughing with our nurse, blowing kisses at each other when we thought no one was looking and planning out how to spend our low key weekend. The last thing I expected was for the Dr. to find endo. Maybe a polyp and maybe a little scarring in my ute.... but how does a woman go through IVF 6 times at 3 different clinics, have multiple pregnancy losses and this never gets checked out? I've been scratching my head for days. After I got over the shock of being cut (yes, just 3 little incisions), my next focus became peeing.

All in all, I didn't feel as bad as I was expecting. At first. I kept hearing about the gas and bloat and how terrible it was but I had yet to experience that. I felt fine. I ate my crackers and drank my ginger ale and started daydreaming about the spinach and tomato omelet I would have when I was finally sprung. But, alas. I did not pass the pee test.

We tried everything from a warm peri bottle squirted on my crotch to hot coffee in my mouth but my bladder wouldn't budge. When the last nurse in the out patient surgery wing was due to go home, the decision was made to move me upstairs to a "holding room" where I could be monitored while I waited for my bladder to catch up to my brain. We're talking after 5. They fed me and plied me with fluids....both IV and drinkable but no luck. I started to get really uncomfortable. Between the gas pains that were starting, the influx of fluids and the panic that began to set in, it was clear I was not going anywhere.

My final attempt to pee had me doubled over with cramps and in pain from my bladder to my ribs. I was given a catheter but not before I asked for pain meds. With a shot in the ass and a tube up my crotch, I filled my 1st bag of urine pretty quickly. Make that red urine. There was blood coming from somewhere....something we had to investigate before I could go home. I should have insisted on a more private room for my extended stay but I was pretty doped up and H had gone home by the time this all happened. I think it was around 7. He came back around 9 to deliver magazines and lip smacker and I persuaded the nurse to roll a tv over to my spot so I could watch the Real Housewives. I fell asleep assuming that I would be released early the next morning if I kept drinking my water and if I stayed hooked up the the IV all night. The good thing about staying in the hospital is that they give you your pain meds on schedule so I was pretty comfortable and confident that I would be back in my own bed soon enough.....

...until I woke up with a searing pain in my lower abs. Why? A kink in the catheter tube! And lots of blood and urine backed up into my bladder. I think I got extra pain meds for that but still not a fun way to end my 1st day of recovery. I thought this was the worst it could possibly get.....but I was so wrong. I'll have to fill you in on the rest a little later. Time to empty my cath bag.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Rollin' with the punches

and throwin' a few along the way. *sigh* I hate to generalize things but Drs. offices/clinics/Specialists offices really are all the same.

Every time you switch Drs. or clinics you have such high hopes and expectations. You are going to get along so much better with the nurses and they will call you when they say they will call but alas, you feel like you are dating again. It's up to you do do the follow up. Unlike dating, I am not afraid to call and stand up for myself. You promise me a prescription and a date and time for my surgery and you are going to deliver. I may have had too much pride to call a guy who blew me off but I'll be dammed if I am going to let IVF # 7 fail because someone didn't get back to me in a timely manner. It usually takes one instance of "neglect" on the clinics behalf and I do my little "dance".(And by "dance" I mean whatever it takes to get me what I need. Sometimes it is not polite or pretty...) After my expectation is set with said dance, I strike the perfect balance of fear and respect that will help me move forward a bit more smoothly. Believe me,there are exceptions but for the most part, they will do as I wish.

I really should quit my job and start a business to have people pay me for advocating for them when their Drs. and nurses don't seem to respond. I usually get results. Heck, I'm really good at dealing with businesses,too. I could be a professional bully.

**********Rant over**********

My point and my reason for the vent:

H started Clomid after our initial appt. on 6/23. He was supposed to start HCG shots the next week but we never heard from the pharmacy. I was supposed to have surgery within the next 7 days or it would have to be pushed to my next cycle. (Timing is everything with these procedures.) After 2 phone calls and an email to my nurse, I finally had to get my bitch on. HCG is due to arrive on Monday and I have a pre-op date and a surgery date thankyouverymuch.

The laparoscopy & hysteroscopy are scheduled for 7/14 at 11 am. If you want to send me any spare thoughts, prayers or positive vibes my way, I'll take em'.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Getting on my soapbox...

about acupuncture.

After our last cycle in Nov, H & I gave up for a while. We tested out living child free (no cycling,barely any talk of cycling and no appts. with REs) and we really don't like it. I even stopped going to acupuncture despite the fact that it helped with so many of my other health concerns. Driving to the Acupuncture office and laying on that table just felt too overwhelming to me.

My body, mind and spirit really started to suffer without my bi-weekly sessions,though. I had stomach issues and tense shoulders, sore joints and plenty of anxiety. Perhaps the most troubling thing to happen was the fact that my monthly period stopped it's clockwork regularity and started showing up on day 25 or 26 instead of day 28 at exactly 9:45 am. I kept thinking I had menopause until I realized that it could be a side effect from the Clomid I took for one month. (No judgement. H asked the Dr. for a little help while we saved for DE) at our WTF and Clomid was his response. I quit after 1 month because it made me feel awful and I was a bitch on wheels.

So, I found a new Acupuncturist close to home and after 3 short weeks....I am feeling much better all over and :::drumroll please::: Flo showed up today on Day 28! It was 11 am instead of 9:45 but I'll take it. My period is fixed! H is so impressed he has finally agreed to visit and let them have a crack at his sperm issues. Now, let's see if this gets me KU! :::baby steps::: for baby :)

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