semperfiona: Conversation hearts on the keys of a piano (piano hearts)
After my scary afternoon at the end of January, I had an appointment with my gynecologist. She said she looked up the letrozole in the Physician's Desk Reference and found nothing about rapid heart rate as a known side effect. She wanted me to see my internist and make sure nothing else was wrong with me.

The next week I went to the internist--or technically the nurse practicioner--who did a physical exam and an EKG. She found "changes" in my EKG since the last one I had, which was sometime last year, and referred me to my cardiologist. Oh, with a side of "You're trying to get pregnant and you put things into your body that you don't know what they are?!?" in reference to the Chinese herbs that my acupuncturist had prescribed.

Thursday afternoon I had the cardiologist appointment. Same doctor who, eight years ago, cured my sinus node reentrant tachycardia with an ablation procedure. He says 1) that he thinks the rapid heartrate of January *was* caused by the new medicine and 2) that my EKG shows something called Intraventricular Conduction Delay...the electrical impulse that runs down from the right atrium to the ventricles is slower than it should be. This is not really a problem, although in future it may develop into something called "Heart Block", when the "bottom half" of the heart rhythm doesn't complete at all between "upper half" ticks. If that happens I'd need a pacemaker.

All that said, even though he thinks the letrozole is the cause of my problem, he'd be willing to let me try taking it again, with a heart monitor at hand in case of further issues. However, I'm to have a stress echocardiogram before making that decision, in order to rule out any structural problems in the heart. That will happen next Wednesday.
semperfiona: (Default)
I've had a scary afternoon. Around 1:30 I felt lightheaded and shaky, which I took for hunger. After I walked across the street to Walgreens to look for a couple things (which they didn't have), and was more and more shaky while I walked around the store, I went back to the office and ate my lunch.

But the rest of the afternoon I just kept feeling shaky and twitchy. I thought I was stressed out or overworked or upset about something I couldn't put my finger on. Finally Tammie suggested I call or email Christine-the-acupuncturist and let her know what was going on. In the middle of composing that email, it occurred to me that OMG my heart was running far too fast. I walked down the hall to a room with a clock, and counted it at 130 bpm. Thassnogood.

Back to my desk. Finish emailing C-the-a, and then google the new medicine. Which turns out to have a "rare" side effect of rapid heartbeat. So then I call the Exchange for my doctor. Exchange person wants to know whether it's an emergency or not. I'm like, I need to know whether I should continue taking this medicine or not. So doctor calls me back, she says if your heartbeat is 130 it is not safe for you to take this medicine, and call the office in the morning.

I fucked up. I should never have started two new medications at the same time. Still I think the likely result is going to be that I have to stop taking the letrozole before we even know whether it works for me.

Thankfully, my heart rate and my twitchies settled down during the drive home and I'm feeling somewhat better now, if not quite all here.
semperfiona: (Default)
The thing I meant to mention in the previous post is my slightly amusing
frustration at the fact that this month changes two factors in my
pursuit of pregnancy, and as an amateur scientist, I would want to
change each factor separately to properly evaluate which one worked.

On the other hand, if we're successful, it won't matter, and any future
attempt can just do both.
semperfiona: (kiss)
On the testimonial from [livejournal.com profile] gremlin44, I found a local
acupuncturist that treats infertility and made an appointment with her
for this morning. All of Sunday and yesterday I was all nervous and
stuff; I knew I was being silly, but I finally asked Tammie to come to
the appointment with me and hold my hand. Doing "something scary"
doesn't always mean I have to do it by myself.

We went to the appt together. I can't remember ever having such a
detailed discussion of my medical history with any practitioner. It was
good to have Tammie there to help with objective answers to some of the
questions, and to remind me of things I was forgetting, and of course
her presence settled my nerves a lot.

The acupuncturist helped with that as well. She was a young woman, maybe
early 30's, talked to us about knitting--and might show up for
stitch-n-bitch some day--and seemed to have a really positive attitude
and "bedside manner". She says ... Gah. Didn't take notes. But anyway
she stuck me with several tiny needles, mostly in my feet and legs with
some in my abdomen, left wrist and ear. She also gave me some herbs to
take and asked that I start doing basal body temperatures to track
whether it's working.

Being "needled" felt kinda strange. The needles' entrance was hardly
perceptible, and most of the time I couldn't even feel them, but then
I'd have a funny prickly pokey sensation at one of the needle locations.
By turns, it was my ear, my ankle, and my wrist. I never felt the others
at all.

I was supposed to, but completely forgot until Tammie just asked me
about it, drink lots of water today. Oops.
semperfiona: (rain leaves)
Yesterday afternoon, while we were driving home from S. Missouri, I got
a phone call from Diane. She says the progesterone test I had last
Monday showed that no ovulation had occurred this month. I said, "But
what about the smiley face?!?!" She said she didn't know, maybe the
ovulation was later than we thought--in which case the IUI probably
missed it anyway. She wants to switch me to letrozole instead of clomid.
As far as I can tell letrozole isn't even approved for infertility
(yet?), although there are lots of people using it for that, with some
apparent success. It's a breast cancer drug, listed as "known to cause
birth defects if taken while pregnant" and therefore approved only for
use post-menopause. It works by suppressing aromatase, whatever that is,
and thereby preventing the release of estrogen. Or something.

But here it is, day 14, the day I was supposed to be able to take a
pregnancy test. My period has not yet started, but I don't feel very
optimistic.

Fuck.

Dec. 21st, 2006 04:55 pm
semperfiona: Picture of a gas cloud in space that looks like an upraised middle finger (fuck you universe)
Punctuated. No baby, yet again. Girly TMI )

So I'm disappointed, angry, frustrated...and getting more and more worried about the cost of all this. Each attempt costs about $800, plus $300 or so each month I'm on Clomid whether or not there's an attempt...Why's it have to be so fucking difficult?

All I wanted for Christmas was a baby. No such luck.

On the bright side, I can get drunk on New Year's Eve iffen I want to.
semperfiona: Triskadelion jewelry (tri knot)
In one hour's time, I'm due at the doctor's office for our second attempt at IUI. The first was in May; it's been an up-and-down road since then, with failures to ovulate, odd cycles, and last month, missing the window due to ACNW.

I've had insomnia all night, along with crampy discomfort in my midsection. I don't know whether those are emotional or physical.

Wish us luck, everybody!
semperfiona: (rosa crowned)
I forgot to mention the cute thing that happened at Walgreens the other day (probably because I was so flummoxed by the price I was being charged). I went to the "Sanitary/Hygiene" aisle (side note: I hate this particular euphemism. Might as well go back to declaring menstruating women "unclean!" And why are pregnancy tests, ovulation predictors and condoms stocked there, anyway?) and picked up a box of ovulation predictor sticks. Rosa asked me what they were.

I said, "They're to tell me when my body is making an egg."

She pondered this for a minute, and asked, "Why do you want to know? Is it because you want to have a baby?"

I told her it was, and internally cheered. Yay! My approach to sex ed and anatomy lessons is working! I have also been somewhat worried that I'll be hearing from Ray: "What's this about a baby?" but fuck that for a game of whatevers (I forget the idiom).

ETA: A game of soldiers. It suddenly came to me.
semperfiona: (Default)
Went to Walgreens this morning to pick up my prescription for the insanity medicine (i.e. causes, not cures). Counter girl says, "You know one of these is pretty expensive?"

"Yeah, my insurance doesn't cover either of them."

She rings up the two prescriptions, and the register reads $154.89. "Oh, I missed that." She starts to add the ovulation predictors to the total.

"What?" I look at the prescription labels. $19.19 and $134.99. "Last month it was fifty. I thought fifty was 'pretty expensive'. What happened?"

"She signed it for brand-only."

"I've been taking the generic for months..."

So I left that one behind and the girl is going to call and get authorization to fill the prescription with the generic Clomid. I'll have to go to Walgreens again this afternoon.
semperfiona: (Default)
I'm feeling betrayed by my body. It's day 18 of the higher (100mg) dose Clomid cycle, there's been no sign of ovulation since I started testing last week, and what do I get today? Punctuation. I'll be calling Nurse KnockYouUp tomorrow, that's for sure.

Questions to ask her:

What's up with this shit?! Severe mood swing, extremely early period, no ovulation?!?

Are some ovulation tests more accurate than others?

Should I be using basal temperature testing as well?
semperfiona: (Default)
Day 4 of higher dose Clomid (100mg) and I'm having cramps like it's the
first day of my period. Started suddenly yesterday evening, while I was
out scootering in the alley, and stopped eventually later on. I just had
another brief episode this morning.
semperfiona: (Default)
In the news today, an article about insurance and coverage of infertility treatments.

Mine is one of the insurers that don't.
semperfiona: (Default)
Not pregnant.

Two things

Aug. 2nd, 2006 02:09 am
semperfiona: (boomer)
Further to Monday's post about consent and my subconscious...I had a dream last night/this morning in which I had lots of kissing with someone I've crushed on for nigh fifteen years. At a point at which it might have seemed things would go further, my brain instead imagined me turning myself into a gorgon and being bitten by my own snakes. If that's not a subconscious Don't Go There flag, I can't think what would be.

***

Today was a good day. I was driving Chris nuts on the way to the stadium because I kept being all smiley and happy and wouldn't let his "are we there yet"'s get to me.

Even the fact that I'm still up, after getting home from the ballpark at midnight and then having to do actual *work*, isn't getting me down.

Nor even the distressing phone call from Diane (aka Nurse KnockYouUp) at the clinic this evening. She says the progesterone blood test Friday does not show levels consistent with ovulation, and has called in a higher-dose prescription of Clomid. But she also said it's possible that the test was too late in my cycle, and the progesterone might have already decreased. So I still don't know anything for sure, except that I haven't gotten a period yet.
semperfiona: Triskadelion jewelry (tri knot)
Visited the doctor again today; my ovaries are still looking (feeling)
okay so if necessary I can take Clomid again next month. She did a
pregnancy test--which was negative--BUT (great big but) false negatives
are common this early. We need to wait another few days (until 14 days
after ovulation occurred) before the test can be expected to be
accurate. So we're still in a waiting game.

Tuesday at the earliest.

I got very little sleep last night due to anticipation and nerves about
the test, and this non-answer hasn't really helped.
semperfiona: (Default)
In the end, the IUI process was very anti-climactic. Didn't hurt, didn't
even really feel much of anything. However, every little twinge or
gas-bubble in my belly since then is making me wonder "Does this
mean...," and I've gone so far as to count up weeks from yesterday; it
comes out to April 20th. I'm also still more-than-usually fidgety. I've
got a lot of unproductive nervous energy and next-to-no concentration.
semperfiona: (dragon)
(Lookie-loo, [livejournal.com profile] bbwoof, subject line just for you!)

Showed up before 9:30 for my 10 a.m. appointment. After waiting a few
minutes, was called back to the desk. "Uh, I don't know what you're here
for or why but Dr. D can't do it and you'll have to come back at 1:30 to
see Diane. Or I could try to make it for another day."

"Why not? Another day really won't do. Ovulation is when it is."

"Come back here and talk to [nurse-type person]."

The upshot was, Dr. D was leaving for the airport and didn't have time
for the procedure. Apparently the appointment secretary who scheduled me
yesterday didn't know how much time was required. So I agreed to come at
1:30 to see Diane, and went home. I figured I'd work from home for a
couple hours and then go back.

Then I remembered it was my day to get the on-call cellphone, and I
would have to go in to get it. Decided to go in for the hour-and-a-half,
collect the cellphone, and then split and work from home for whatever
time was left after my IUI. On the way in, a call from the doctor's
office.

"We talked to Diane, and she would like you to come at five." So. Here I
am at work, full of nervous energy. Haven't actually accomplished a
thing except to read some email and talk to Dan for a minute.
semperfiona: (tigger)
Tomorrow morning, ten a.m....my first IUI. Eep! Squee! Eep! *run around
in crazy circles*
semperfiona: (Default)
Ick. I feel like my left ovary is being prodded with a blunt stick, and
every now and again the right one joins the fun.

I was getting pretty dejected because it's already day 18 of my first
Clomid cycle and I still haven't had positive results on the ovulation
detector. But maybe this weird--and not especially pleasant--sensation
is a sign that it's finally happening. One can only hope.
semperfiona: (rain leaves)
I'm not having an especially good day. It's gotten a bit better, but I'm
still sort of down and disillusioned. I was nearly in pain from hunger
when I got to work. Disappointingly, there were no donuts in the donut
basket even though there had been yesterday evening. But I have apples
here and I ate one of them. Still need to get some protein asap.

Went to the gyn yesterday afternoon, having not ovulated for another
cycle. She says this happens sometimes and not to worry, but I can't
convince myself to believe her yet. Nonetheless, she's given me a scrip
for Clomid which I'm to take next cycle. Then I have to go back for yet
another progesterone level test and a physical exam to make sure my
ovaries are not enlarged. If those are both okay (i.e. ovulation does
occur and ovary enlargement does not), I get a refill of the Clomid
scrip for the following month and we try IUI then. July-ish, assuming
more normal cycle lengths. She gave me a drug for that, too.

I'm annoyed at how long it's taking before I even get to *try*; I'd
hoped to have had at least two procedures by now (or better yet a
pregnancy) but I'm still in wait mode. And I'm annoyed with myself, too,
for waiting so long before starting the process. We decided late last
year to do this; I wanted to wait until we were done moving before
getting pregnant, and completely failed to think of the potential need
for various time-dependent tests or of the potential non-cooperation of
my own body.

I've been pregnant twice before, and neither time did I have any
difficulty in conceiving. But now, I have had two annovulatory cycles in
a row and I have to take fertility drugs. I can remember back in
1998-1999, when getting ready to try to have a baby, I asked the doctor
whether my irregular cycle indicated any potential fertility issues. She
said not, and my experience corresponded. But now I'm wondering whether
I was just lucky.

And then I think about the difficulties some of you are having trying to
conceive and I feel like a heel. I'm just starting on this path, I
should give it time and maintain hope.

Sigh.

I did say I was feeling down. I should go eat that snack I mentioned.

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