Wednesday, January 31, 2007

speaking of drive-bys...

P and I were having a dinner party (my first!) for some people P works with. He was making a ham (disgusting, I know) and we were in the checkout line with it. The lady in front of us asked P how much the ham was and he said he didn't remember, that he hadn't shopped around for it or anything. She seemed appalled that we hadn't gone out meat pricing and said that if we looked in the paper we could see who had the best prices on meat. P said that he wanted the ham either way and small differences in the cost of meat wasn't going to dictate where he buys groceries.

"Obviously you don't have kids. Once you have children, then you'll understand how important it is to shop around."

You select the appropriate response:

A) Fuck you. Oh wait, I wouldn't.

B) Yes, because having children does make most people more fiscally responsible. That's why you never see families on welfare or government aid. (yes, I know this isn't always a responsibility issue, so save it.)

C) I do have children, I just left them at home. The four year old is teaching the two year old about matches and lighter fluid.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Aftermath (the day after is always worse!)

I WISH I could blame lupron, but sadly, since I'm not using it, it probably isn't to blame. I have, however, felt a bit "off" lately, but I'm sure it's just from being on bcps for so long.

I am so incredibly sore. Stupid stairs. At least I didn't do this after transfer or something. Logically, I know it probably wouldn't matter, but you know I'd worry about it!

Friday, January 26, 2007

stone cold sober

I, uh, just fell down the stairs. Luckily only the last threeish, but unluckily I was going to the basement and therefore landed on concrete.

Nothing broken, just a little bruised and a lot sore.

I blame the new shoes.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Practice makes... cramps


Very nice nurse, all said with a smile, not being mean at all...

"Do you have a full bladder?"

"Um, I think so."

"Hesitation... that means no!"

"Well, it feels full to ME."

"We'll see soon enough if you're telling the truth."


Has anyone had a mock transfer that hurt like a sonofabitch? I didn't think the transfer was going to be uncomfortable. Am I delusional? My RE touched the top of my ute with the catheter (ok, I'll be honest, he was actually using JAGGED STICKS!) and he said that's what the cramping was and that he wouldn't do it at transfer, he was just measuring how far it was to the top of the uterus. But I was feeling some "discomfort" before that. I've had a similar feeling with the IUIs, so I assume it's just me and the catheter not getting along.

So I guess it wasn't that bad. Maybe. I don't know now. I thought my biggest worry was going to be if my bladder was full enough and then not peeing all over the doctor's hand. Do they cancel your cycle if you pee on them?

Then they flushed the uterus with a saline solution and looked at my barrenness.

"It looks good. Good shape, and nice and clear."

"It should be. I don't routinely store things in there or anything."

Perhaps I just don't LIKE how it feels when we shove gently guide things through my cervix. I'm strange like that.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

This is the boring part

My RE initially said three weeks of bcps which became four weeks when I spoke with my nurse. What a snoozefest. I do my uterine measurement/mock transfer this week and then more waiting.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to become more positive about the whole thing which is hard after nearly four years of cynicism. Still, there's nothing else for me to DO right now, so I may as well give the whole, "why not us?" outlook a spin. It's not exactly an attitude I'm comfortable in because I know that its fragile and easily corrupted by disappointment and despair, but still...

I'm at the very least going to (attempt to) approach this whole thing with the attitude that it can work (unlike my attitude toward IUI which was basically something that I felt I had to do in order to earn my lap.)

We'll see how long this lasts.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

ready or not

So, we're moving along.

I've been on bcps for a while now and have added the baby aspirin and have an appointment for a mock transfer and another for a suppression check.

We're giving IVF a whirl.

Have any of you made the decision to do ivf without being sure it was the right thing to do?

P and I have gone back and forth on this issue during the last three years. We've both been 100% for and against it (for us) but usually we've been on the same page at the same time. Now P wants to try ivf. I think it's important to him to give it a shot at least once.

I'm feeling lots of things. Ambivalent. Afraid. Confused. Done. Hopeful. I've agreed to do it but...

I'm not sure it's what we should do.

I'm worried about money.

I'm worried about how I'll react to the increase in drugs.

I'm worried we're making the wrong choice.

I don't want to let P down.

I don't want to let myself down.

I asked P if he'd feel worse if we tried and it didn't work or if we never tried and just moved on. He really wants to try. I've let myself be swept along because I'm not sure. I don't think I have to be sure, I just wish I was.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

things that are currently broken in my house (not including my reproductive system)

1. dishwasher handle. The dishwasher itself still works, but the handle has to be manipulated a lot in order to get it to open up and P is not capable of doing this. Of course, he was not capable of opening up the dishwasher and inserting dirty dishes before either. It's just a matter of time, I presume, until I'm not able to get it open any longer and we have to replace the whole thing because of the stupid handle.

2. garbage disposal. I don't know what the fuck is wrong with this thing. It was working and then it wasn't. It's not the circuit, the wires all appear to be attached, and nothing is jammed inside it. It just. won't. work. Today I'm pretending it's not a problem.

3. our mattress. Not exactly broken, but we never really got all the smell out and it bothers me, so I'm pretty sure it counts. Especially since it's my list and all.

4. sump pump. For some reason it just stopped working. Basement began to flood. Switched plug into different outlet and now it works. So the pump isn't broken, we're just having random electrical problems (in our nearlyfreakinnew house?)

5. light bulbs. Three of these suckers in two days. Um, did someone put a hex on my house?

I hate. hate. hate. having broken things.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

advocate, reprise

I was going to leave this in the comments section, but it got long and I got itchy to proofread and spell check and the box got little, and...

1. In my case, I was dealing with a few additional variables with respect to the clinic and doctorS that I was seeing that I chose not to share here that had an impact on my overall experience (also, in retrospect, I was feeling cranky and probably defensive when I wrote that post.)

2. I still do believe in advocating for yourself, just know that doctors are people too with all of the positive qualities and shortcomings that the rest of us have. Some listen to their patients; others are less interested in patient-interaction. They're people and while some people are wonderful, others suck ass.

With regards to infertility, it seems like many people feel like they're just a number or are on a cookie-cutter protocol. Some don't care and it may not make a difference in their treatment anyway. For others, individualized care can be a major issue.

Know how to work YOUR system. I often let my doctor tell me in detail things that I already know, because I've found he's less receptive to higher level discussions if I interrupt. A waste of time? Maybe. But I get a better response from him when I let him go through his process first. I've had other doctors who were relieved that I already knew what they were talking about. I've had some who hadn't read my chart, weren't listening to me anyway, and no matter what I said or how I said it, I wasn't going to get anywhere. Just another form of "know your audience."

3. In the US, it is NOT LEGAL to deny you a copy of your records.

You're entitled to inspect, obtain a copy of, and amend your own records. Most offices have a procedure in place for these requests; all hospitals do. If your clinic/doctor does not have a request form for you to fill out, put your request in writing. In the link I added to the original post there's an example request.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

um, that was disgusting.

Have you seen the new clearblue commercial?

You know, the one lauding "the most sophisticated piece of technology you will ever pee on."

The one with the faux urine splashing down on the stick?

just. ew.


I used to believe that the patient was his own best advocate until I was at my last clinic. Unfortunately many health care professionals do not believe that an informed patient with questions about his own care is any more than a headache or a nuisance.

Obviously not always true, but I'm learning that there's much more to it than simply advocating for yourself. You have to be careful not to injure egos or offend doctors because you just might end up worse off (I sure did!)

Unfortunately not everyone has the means or ability to change providers when they find themselves stuck with a doctor who sees a patient who questions his decisions as a problem. Once you've been labeled a problem patient it is very difficult (impossible?) to be seen any differently.

I do advocate getting a copy of your records because that's the only way to know what's in them. My old records have some very unflattering comments about me. Knowing this , I was able to make the decision not to transfer my records to my new clinic and hand-select the parts that were relevant (test result sheets) while leaving out the pages that included rude commentary.

By law, we are all entitled to access our medical records and obtain a copy of them (hospital records too.) I think particularly in regards to fertility this can be helpful to the patient who usually is a bigger part of the decision-making process.


taken from privacy rights clearinghouse re: hipaa/medical records

How do I get access to my own medical records?

HIPAA requires health care providers, health plans, and health care clearinghouse to allow you access to your medical records. Notices you receive from providers and plans must include information about how you can obtain copies of your medical records.

In addition to HIPAA, about half the states have laws that allow patients or their designated representatives to access medical records. Laws usually allow health care facilities to charge a "reasonable" fee for copying records.

If you receive care in a federal medical facility, you have a right to obtain your records under the federal Privacy Act of 1974 (5 USC sec. 552a,

We advise that you make your request in writing. For a sample letter, see If you are denied access, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Office of Civil Rights. (Contact information is provided at the end of this guide). Your state's medical privacy law might also enable you to file a complaint with state regulators.

Friday, January 12, 2007


Get a copy of your surgery report.

Apparently, one of my ovaries was adhered to my pelvic wall and no one told me.

There were a couple other details that I didn't know until I read the actual report. I'm not sure that this actually means anything, as they're all pretty minor findings (other than the endo and the fibroid that I already knew about,) but the details do matter when you're trying to formulate a plan for the future.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

red sock in my whites

setting: day three cyst check. I'm pants-free and the nurse has assumed the ute-check position.

nurse: did you get a regular period?
me: yes, why?
nurse: (still examining ute) your lining looks unusually thick
me: oh
nurse: you had bloodwork, right?
me: yeah, why? (I know why)
nurse: (mumbling) they do check hcg...

I tear up and pretend not to process what she's suggesting. I've had regular, red, clotty bleeding that was most certainly not implantation or any other such thing. I know I'm not pregnant.

She continues to poke around at my still-sore ovaries and declares my cysts too big (no freakin' duh) and offers me free samples of bcps. I tell her I still have some and she hands me a tissue for the tears that are trying so difficult not to escape. She tells me not to take anything until the evening in case they call me. Goody. A whole day of waiting to find out that I'm not pregnant. Even though I know I'm not, that teeny tiny piece of hope is enough to make me miserable.


I'm pretty sure we're done with IUIs. Clearly, they're not working. A case could be made that now that the endo is gone, there's a better shot now and there's no reason not to try a couple more times. Right now I'm thinking that we won't bother though.

For the last few days I've been hypersensitive. I've been doing a lot of crying. Nothing exceptional has happened, I'm just sad. Mourning, I guess.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

fuck part four

Well, that miserable bitch of a cycle is over.

The extreme bloat is finally gone and I can pretty much button my pants and sit down in them without "discomfort." What a relief, right? gah. How many more times am I going to do this to myself? That's a post for a less emotional day. Fucking hormones.


I meant to post this weeks ago and forgot. Sorry.

My lap recovery looked like:

Wednesday: surgery midday. They won't let you leave until you pee. This is much harder for some people than others, and I was told not to plan on being out of the hospital before dinnertime. I excelled at peeing and was asking for my pants (flannel, big, with penguins) as soon as they'd let me have them. I brought a pillow for the car ride home, but the painkillers were keeping me pretty comfortable already. Couch-bound for the rest of the evening/night.

Thursday: worst day. I was miserable with gas pains in my shoulder and the best way to get rid of it is to either lay completely flat (which didn't always help) or get up and walk around (which was sore on my abs.) The painkillers seemed less effective and my insides felt all mushy and unstable. I was walking in slow circles in my living room like a loon and feeling awful from both types of pain!

Friday: still on prescription painkillers. Spent most of the day on the couch. Still asking my mommy to please tie my shoes for me because bending--- no, thanks.

Saturday: painkillers am only. Felt much better, but not 100%. Still asking my mommy to please tie my shoes for me because bending was still unpleasant. Tired easily.

Sunday: I was feeling well enough to be on motrin (800) only, and was able to drive. I still felt much more tired than usual and couldn't stay out too long.

Monday: Wore regular pants again for short periods of time when I wasn't going to have to bend.

Tuesday: post-op appointment. Wore regular pants all day, stitches came out and was cleared for all activities that I felt like.

I kept band-aids/gauze pads over my incisions much longer than necessary (even after the stitches were out) because the sites were still sore if they had contact with my pants, panties, or an animal's enormous freaking paw. I highly recommend this.

At about one month after I still felt occasional pains inside near incision sites or areas that were cleaned up/manipulated, but it wasn't really bad and I didn't need to take anything for it.

So there it is.

Good luck, Liv, on your surgery this week!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Part three

Did you think I would leave these guys out?


Girl kissing Boy


I just love this.

Sharing "hand me down" toys from my mom's puppy.

They were pretty good at my IL's for Christmas. They each got to open a present and Boy just ran happily in a circle with his wrapped toy in his mouth. Girl knew just what to do with hers and she ripped right into it. One of P's siblings gave them a bucket of treats too, and naturally they were very grateful. Girl was good about wearing her antlers, but Boy kept trying to remove his so we gave up on that.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Part two

Christmas? Let's not talk about that yet. First, I must share with you some of my favorite holiday photos:

As you might imagine, it's not so helpful to have a kitty in your bag of bows. But he knew better. He'd found the holy grail.