Saturday, August 30, 2008

42 - Transfer details - August 30th, 2008

The above picture was taken the day before we left Colorado. I know you can only see their backsides, but this mom and baby would come by every morning around 7AM for a little drink from the fountain.

Sorry about the delay in blogging...I just haven't been in the mood since we returned on Wednesday night. So here is a catch up on the details of the transfer.

On the day of the transfer, the hubby and I went out to breakfast at a great place called MiMi's Cafe near CCRM (off of Yosemite near the mall, for those of you who may be going to CCRM). I ate a pretty big breakfast because the I didn't want to take the Valium (taken before the transfer) on an empty stomach. Besides, I really like big breakfasts - this was a good excuse. We arrived at CCRM at 8:30AM. They immediately took me back for blood work - they wanted to check my estrogen level (more on this later). Then I was immediately sent upstairs for the acupuncture treatment.

They took me back to a room that looked very similar to a massage therapy room - soft, new age music, low lighting, nature pictures on the wall. However, this room was right in the middle of their other operating rooms. I got undressed and they had warm blankets to cover up with - the blankets literally felt like they had just come out of an oven...very cozy. I asked if my hubby could come in for the whole process and they said he could, so he did. Then the acupuncture lady came back in the room and did her thing - it was only about 10 needles total. She explained the theory about how the fertility acupuncture balances the energy and hormones and improves blood flow to the uterus. I don't know a ton about acupuncture, but if all it did was relax me for the transfer, it was completely worth the $225 (especially in the scheme of $20,000...I'll lay out specific costs in another post). After she initially put in the needles, she left for about 15 minutes, then came back in for a little "tweaking"...that hurt a little in a few places, but nothing unbearable. Then she left again, and when she came back about 10 minutes later, she removed all the needles. She said good bye and told me she would see me for the rest of the treatment after the transfer. She also told me to start drinking my water because a full-bladder would be needed for the transfer.

So I drank. And waited. And drank some more. And waited. And drank, and drank, and drank....about a liter and a half, actually. First, a nurse popped in and gave me the Valium. Then FINALLY the ultrasound tech came in with the ultrasound machine in tow - everything was a little delayed because they had an emergency surgery that morning. The ultrasound tech was going to check my bladder - "How's the bladder?" she asked. "Super great" I said through the pain..."I tend to over achieve" I told her,"Filling my bladder is no exception.":-) As soon as she put the ultrasound on my belly she said something along the lines of "Holy %&%*! How have you not pissed yourself?". She immediately took me to a bathroom and handed me a very large plastic cup - "Here - fill this.". Honestly, pissing in that cup felt more relaxing than the $225 acupuncture treatment :-).

I returned to the room and then realized that the actual transfer would take place in this same room - it was so peaceful and private...I was very pleased. Soon, the doctor came in - Dr. Gustofson. We had actually been working with Dr. Surrey the whole time, but at one point Dr. Surrey advised us that depending on what day of the week our transfer happened, the transfer may be done by another doctor. He told us, of course, not to worry - that all the docs there were equally qualified and that actually the real magic was performed by the embryologists behind the scenes. So Dr. Gustofson gave us the quality/number report (see previous blog) and confirmed that we wanted two embryos transferred - this was his recommendation as well. When the papers were signed, the embryologist rolled in her machine - hard to explain what the machine looked like or did, but there was a computer screen where you could see the embryos (where the embryo picture came from - the hubby took a pic of the computer screen). Then the doc did a practice transfer with the catheter to make sure there were no problems. During this whole time the ultrasound was going so I could see my uterus. The practice transfer went very smoothly. Then the embryologist very carefully handed the doc the embryos. We watched the ultrasound, and we could see a very bright light go about half way into my uterus...the light wasn't our embryos (they're too small to show up on the ultrasound). The light was actually the air bubble that pushed the embryos into my uterus. Everyone in the room said everything looked great, and they all wished us all the "best" - which, of course, at that point translated into a BABY (everyone there hopes for 1 baby because apparently multiples are considered a "management failure" on the part of the clinic...due to the increased risks involved for both babies and mom).

The acupuncture lady came back in for the second half of the treatment (which was exactly like the first), then we were on our way. Overall, it was really a wonderful experience.

So since the transfer, we found out that they were able to freeze two additional embryos. We were so happy - I said early on that if we got two high quality ones for a fresh transfer and two good quality ones to freeze that I would consider this whole process a success. Now we have another opportunity if it doesn't take this time or we have the option for siblings.

Pregnancy blood test is this Thursday, Sept. 4th. Not sure if I will post between now and then.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

41 - Transfer- August 24th, 2008

Here they are - the two embryos that are hopefully hanging on tight in my uterus as I type!

Today went very smooth - we were so pleased with our embryo quality report -

1 - 8 cell - A+, no fragmentation (one of the two pictured above)
2 - 8 cell - A, less than 5% fragmentation
1 - 9 cell - A, less than 5% fragmentation
1 - 10 cell - A, less than 5% fragmentation (one of the two pictured above)
1 - 5 cell - B-C grade, not sure about the fragmentation

The doctor said that the 3 eggs that matured and fertilized a day later didn't look as good, but he said that based on the above numbers we could end up with between 2-3 to freeze...that would be a bonus. We are just so pleased we had good quality ones to transfer today.

So, now's the 48 hour bed rest stint...I still a little sleepy from the valium, so I will post more details about the transfer tomorrow.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

40 - Fertilization Report - August 23rd, 2008

So I guess 6 of the 14 eggs were mature at the time of retrieval. They ICSI'd all 6 that day (August 21st) and all 6 fertilized normally. Then by Friday morning (August 22nd) 4 more eggs had matured and they ICSI'd those as well. We just got the report this morning that 3 of those 4 eggs fertilized normally - a total of 9 fertilized eggs. I thought they would have graded the first 6 today, but they said they won't grade them until Day 3 (tomorrow). They also said that the 3 they fertilized a day later won't probably be ready to be considered for the fresh transfer, so they will keep watching them for possible freezing.

We will be doing a Day 3 transfer tomorrow at 10:15AM. We will show up at 8:30AM because I have elected to do the acupuncture treatment. So they do that first, then the transfer, then another round of acupuncture, then home for 48 hours of strict bed rest. We will head back to Michigan on Tuesday morning, arriving home Wednesday afternoon.

I started the progesterone suppositories today - not a big deal. The nurse said that the applicator gets the progesterone high enough that you don't have to lay down for 15 minutes or anything afterwords.

The hubby and I are just doing laundry, cleaning the rooms we've been using at the friend's house we've been staying at, and preparing for the 2 days of bed rest and our Tuesday departure.

Friday, August 22, 2008

39 - Retrieval - August 21st, 2008

The above picture is a result of my husband screwing around while I was waiting for the anesthesiologist to come in before retrieval. He took it on his iphone. I told him to send it to some of my closest friends and title it "Christina on vacation in Colorado". We have a similar picture of me laying on the table waiting for the ultrasound on our one day work-up at CCRM. I think my husband takes unflattering pictures of me on his iphone as a form of stress relief during this process. Ah well, better than hitting the bottle or doing drugs, I guess :-). My form of stress relief at this wait time was holding my breath in an attempt to see how low I could get my heart rate - of course, I was hooked up to all the monitors. We were both being completely silly, and I've discovered that "silly" is a good way to be at various times throughout this process.

The retrieval went great. No problems. No bleeding. No cramping. No nausea. I have never had any kind of surgery before, so I asked the anesthesiologist if she could give me some extra anti-nausea meds just in case. She was happy to comply. I probably would have been okay without the extra, but I just didn't want to have the additional stress of worrying about being nauseated. Last time I had looked at the clock before they rolled me into the operating room was 12:21PM...when I opened my eyes in recovery, it was 1:08PM. The nurse was right there and asked about my pain. I told her "no pain" and she brought me some crackers and ginger ale. I was starving and thirsty because the last time I ate/drank was 8PM the previous night. Then the nurse we had been working with since the beginning of this journey at CCRM stopped by to give me a hug and see how we were doing. I love her - she is such an angel. Then I moved to a reclining chair and the embryologist came up to discuss the results. 14 eggs. We were pleased. And it looked like my husband did a good job as well :-). There is a chance we may not have to do ICSI, or maybe only half ICSI.

The nurse explained that I should drink plenty of fluids and eat a lot of salt the rest of the day to prevent hyperstimulation. No problem - I love salt and had actually been avoiding salty food since prior to the stim process. So on the way home we stopped by the store to pick up cheetos (I've been craving them - today was a great excuse). When I first got home from retrieval, I watched a little tv and had some lunch and made a few phone calls. Then I took a two hour nap. When I woke up from the nap was the first time I felt any pain...but two max strength Tylenol took care of it. Then the hubby and I went out to dinner.

No more shots! I've decided to do the suppositories 3Xday of progesterone instead of the shots. Those will start tomorrow. 9 days from today, I will also start estrogen patches. For the next few days I will also be on tetracycline, medrol, and
baby aspirin.

So today is the big fertilization phone call. They said they would probably call before noon (denver time).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

38 - Trigger shot complete/summary - August 20th, 2008

So the trigger shot is complete. It did not hurt at all, but I did numb the area a little with some ice. The trigger shot is HCG which will induce ovulation. Today we just go in for blood work in a hour or so - they want to make sure that we injected the HCG correctly. No more shots or drugs for today.

Summary of our cycle so far:

49 sub q shots total (lupron, menopur, gonal) + 1 HCG im shot
Started the lurpon/dexamethasone on 07/28/08
Started the stim drugs on 08/09/08 - 2 amps menopur, 150 gonal, 5 lupron

6 stim check ultrasounds:
STIM DAY 4 - 08/12/08 - baseline, eggs are small, E2 (estradiol) was low - 121
up stims to 2 amps menopur, 300 gonal, 5 Lurpon,
STIM DAY 6 - 08/14/08 - eggs are small, about 4-5 maturing, E2 - 433
stims still 2 amps menopur, 300 gonal, 5 lurpon
STIM DAY 8 - 08/16/08 - better, still about 5-6 maturing, E2 - 866
stims still 2 amps menopur, 300 gonal, 5 lurpon
STIM DAY 9 - 08/17/08 - still about 5-6 maturing + some slow growers, E2 - 1794
reduced stims to 2 amps menopur, 150 gonal, 5 lurpon
STIM DAY 10 - 08/18/08 - about 7-8 close to mature + some slow growers, E2 - 2096
stims still reduced to 2 amps menopur, 150 gonal, 5 lurpon
STIM DAY 11 - 08/19/08 - about 13 close to mature!, E2 - 2899
stims reduced to 2 amps menopur, 5 lurpon, no gonal

TRIGGER SHOT: 08/20/08 at 1AM
RETRIEVAL: Scheduled for 08/21/08 at 12PM (Denver)

I know I say this over and over, but it has been so wonderful being away from home for this process. There is no obligations - no house to clean, no lawn to care for, etc.. We have been spending our days reading, eating, watching movies, and watching the mountains and wildlife. I wonder if this contributes to the reason why CCRM has good success rates. They do have a large number of out-of-area patients and when those patients come here, while they do have the normal stress of the cycle, they don't have any of the obligations they would have at home. Can't recommend this place enough.

I probably won't post tomorrow, but I will post on Friday about the retrieval.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

37 - Trigger Night - August 19th, 2008

The above pic is my stomach on day 11 of the stimulation drugs...are they sure I'm not pregnant yet :-)?

So we got the word this afternoon that we can go ahead and give the trigger shot tonight...or rather at 1AM tomorrow morning (Wednesday morning). The timing is very critical. The hubby is going to give it to me, which will be the first shot I haven't given myself since this whole process has started. It is an IM shot. Our retrieval is scheduled for 12PM (Denver time) on Thursday.

Today was a good day - the ultrasound looked great...quite a few more mature follicles than yesterday. It looked like the possibility of 13 mature eggs at the time of retrieval. And my estrogen was 2866 which seems like a good number given the number of mature follicles.

CCRM is amazing. We were frustrated that we had to wait an additional day for the trigger shot, but it looks like that additional day may have gotten us several more eggs. They are brilliant, and I am so happy with our decision to be here.

I'm going to catch some zzzz's before the shot...good night.

Monday, August 18, 2008

36 - Mile 18 - August 18th, 2008

Back in 1999 I ran the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, D.C.. Miles 1-12 felt great...lots of excitement. Miles 12-17 started to get a little tougher, but were still manageable. Then mile 18 came - the mile when I felt completely torn between two worlds - the knowledge that this, too, would soon end and I would feel completely elated at such an accomplishment and the fear that I was actually going to die before I crossed the finish line. We are at mile 18 in this ivf process.

We just got the news that they want us to do yet another night of stimulation medication. We were really hoping that they would give us the go ahead for the trigger shot tonight, which would mean a Wednesday retrieval. Now the earliest day for retrieval will be Thursday. My estradiol only rose to 2093 from 1794 yesterday - nothing to be concerned about, but I think that number allows for a few more days of egg growth without running the risk of hyperstimulation (which can be dangerous).

So tomorrow look for a post unfortunately titled "Sixth Ultrasound and Blood Work".

Tonight we are going out for Mexican with the woman we are staying with...for some reason I can't remember the last time I've looked so forward to Mexican food - must be the hormones :-).

35 - Dreams of med dosages - August 18th, 2008

The above picture is taken on the deck of the house we are staying at while in Colorado...humming birds everywhere.

Last night was a true example of how invasive the whole ivf process really is...I spent a majority of the night (so it felt) dreaming of various med dosage situations. In one dream, the clinic called and said that because my estradiol was so high, they needed to but me on different meds for another 5 days. So then, in my dream, I was spending a ton of time online learning everything I could about the new meds and finding out what being on meds for an additional 5 days did to the success statistics. This is just one example of several med dosage dreams I had last night...time to officially stay off the internet, you think?

Had my 5th ultrasound and blood work (and hopefully last before trigger/retrieval) this morning. The lab tech who drew my blood told me an inspiring story. Her daughter did ivf through ccrm. They got 19 eggs from her, but by day 5 after fertilization, all but 1 egg died. They implanted that one egg and she is now due in about 3 weeks...

I will post again this afternoon when we find out if tonight will be trigger night.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

34 - Fourth Ultrasound and blood work - August 17th, 2008

So today was the fourth ultrasound and blood work. For the first time since the whole process has started, we felt really happy when we saw the ultrasound...lots of big eggs. She actually measured 14 eggs today, with about 8 of them looking close to mature (able to fertilize). We are also learning that the eggs really keep growing, so the number can increase at every ultrasound. As for my blood work, my estrogen came back at 1794 today...yikes...considering it was 891 yesterday. That is a really big jump in 24 hours - almost too big. So they cut my stim meds in 1/2 tonight. There is a chance we might trigger tomorrow night for a Wednesday retrieval.

I'm still feeling pretty well - just very tired and exceptionally hungry. The sun has finally come out after three days of rain (which wasn't bad at all - a great excuse to crawl under the covers and take long if large doses of hormones isn't enough of an excuse :-)). The hubby and I just came back from a long walk. Our 5th ultrasound (and hopefully last before retrieval)is tomorrow morning.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

33 - Third ultrasound/ blood work - August 16th, 2008

The above picture is the view from the house we are staying at while we are in Colorado.

Today's ultrasound went better - the eggs are growing nicely. It looks like they will probably get 10 eggs with about 6-7 probably fertilizing. We were again reminded that it only takes 1 to make a baby. Now we are just waiting for the routine afternoon call about my blood levels. They might do the egg retrieval on Tuesday now...we'll know more tomorrow.

Today is the first day I'm starting to feel things physically - my stomach area is sore and I am pretty tired. I'm not bitchy, though (I confirmed this with my husband)...pretty sensitive, but at least not making other people's lives miserable :-).

Colorado is very rainy and cold today - 45 degrees. The hubby and I are having a bum day - just eating, surfing the net, reading, and watching movies. We have another ultrasound/ blood work date tomorrow.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

32 - IVF=DRAMA FEST - August 14th, 2008

So this is the biggest thing I've learned so far...this process of ivf is one big roller coaster where all you can do is raise your hands high in the air, scream at the top of your lungs, and hope you don't get thrown off.

Today was our second ultrasound and blood work day. The minute the ultrasound tech started, my heart sank. You could tell that my eggs had not grown much at all since the previous ultrasound on Tuesday. I said "Wow, those are really small.". She said "Yes they are.". As soon as she left the room I looked at Alex and shook my head "Not good". He agreed. Then we met with the nurse to review the ultrasound. And, of course, I was already in tears by the time she entered the room. "This isn't good" I kept saying. She never denied that, but just said "We need to see what your estradiol level is this afternoon. If it hasn't climbed, we'll cancel the cycle.". I was devastated. I never knew that canceling the cycle at this point was even a possibility. I thought for sure we'd at least make it to implantation. WTF !(For those of you who aren't aware of what "WTF" means, ask someone. I'm trying to keep this site clean - which will probably become increasingly difficult as my hormones continue to surge :-)).

So I tried to hold it together through the blood work which, of course, was an impossible task. I asked the blood lab tech if she sees a lot of weepy women - "A ton", she said, "Those hormones do quite a job on you girls' bodies.". Then, if that wasn't torture enough (by the way, they even had trouble getting my vain with a butterfly needle today), I had to stick around for a physical. The physical went fine. By the time I got to the car I was sobbing. I totally blew my religious diet on a cheeseburger, french fries, and a diet pepsi at lunch...attempted sabotage on my uncooperative eggs...but then, by 3:00PM, there was a ray of hope...

The nurse called and said that my estradiol actually looked wonderful today - Up from 121 to 433...a great number indicating the possibility of good egg quality and continued growth. Alas, my cycle has not been cancelled.

So we have another day off tomorrow. Because my eggs are kind of growing slowly, they cancelled tomorrow's ultrasound...fine by me. We need a day to rest from all this drama. The next ultrasound will be Saturday morning. Oh, and because the eggs are growing slowly, retrieval will now be delayed several days. That's okay. I'm just grateful my estradiol went up steps...and back to my protien shakes and fresh fruit and vegetables after my lapse in diet behavior.

Welcome to the ivf drama fest!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

31 - Low Estradiol - August 12th, 2008

So I just got a phone call from the estradiol is lower than they would like to see, so they are doubling my stimulation drugs starting tonight. I guess estradiol is an indication of how the follicles are responding to the drugs. Bummer. Another bummer is that based on the new doseage, I had to order more drugs...another $750.00 worth. Double bummer. So the hope is that by Thursday this estradiol number will have increased considerably. Again I am grateful that I am in the care of CCRM and they are really on top of this. As my friend put it - they really want to do everything in their power to help us have a baby.

As I a type this I am watching a storm approach over the mountains. The wind is really kicking up...another reminder that regardless of how much technology we have, Mother Nature still has the ultimate control.

30 - In Colorado/First Ultrasound - August 12th, 2008

I made it to Colorado. The drive was very smooth, with an overnight stop in Omaha. We are so fortunate to be staying with my friend's sister for the first week of this process. We are staying in a beautiful house - the back of the house is all windows and looks out onto the Rockies. Yesterday, when I was settling into our room, a deer came up about three feet from the bedroom window. And I hear there is a neighborhood black bear, which I am hoping to see... from a distance. This is a very peaceful location for these eggs to grow...

This morning was the first ultrasound at CCRM. It was good to see our nurse, Marsha. She gave me a big hug...I feel like we have a connection because I have emailed her so much since our last visit. The ultrasound and blood work went fine, although they are reluctant to give too much information at this point. I wanted to scream "THROW ME A BONE - I DON'T CARE IF YOU'RE WRONG", but I understand their position - it is just to early to tell either way. I think the purpose of today's ultrasound was to get a baseline. I am waiting for a call back from the nurse about the blood work and to see if the doc wants to up the med doses.

In terms of the effects of the stim drugs - I did have a major headache the first day, but it is hard to tell if it was because of the stim drugs or because it was a particular day in my cycle (I happened to get it on the day I usually get a headache in my cycle). Last night I did start to notice some bloating, but I don't mind. To me, it is a sign that the eggs are growing.

Tomorrow is a day off from ultrasounds/blood work. The hubby and I are headed south to visit some of his distant relatives. It is suppose to be a beautiful drive, and I am looking forward to it. Thursday we resume with the ultrasounds and bloodwork, and, we just found out today, that my husband has to give a back-up sample in case something goes wrong with the sample he gives on the day of the retrieval.

So that's the latest. I stopped by Whole Foods after my ultrasound and made myself a nice salad to have for lunch. I totally deserve it...and so do my eggs. So I am going to have a little nap right now, then I am going to sit out on the deck, eat my salad, read a book, and be thankful that we are going through this process in the middle of the beautiful Rockies.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

29 - Time to hit the road - August 10th

Well, I finished the painting I had been working on as a meditative/positive thinking art therapy. I finished it last night. This is a painting of my uterus and the multicell embryos that will hopefully try to implant. At first I thought it may be risky to paint this in case the procedure doesn't work, but then I realized that the chance of us at least getting to this stage is very high.

Time to hit the road. I may or may not post from Omaha depending on the internet situation.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

28 - Abundant Support - August 9th, 2008

So today was the first day of three shots - Menopur in the morning, Gonal and Lurpon at night (and the Dexamethasone pill). Everything went fine and I really don't feel any side effects from the additional drugs yet.

We are so fortunate to have so many supportive friends and family as we go through this...all kinds of fun things happened this week. On Wednesday I received a package of candy and a music card wishing us luck from a long time friend from the place I use to work at. Then that night my husband gave me a very thoughtful care package - it contained color pencils and a sketchbook, a romance book that takes place in Italy, some dark chocolate, magazine, etc.. And then on Friday I received another care package from my three best friends (of 28 years) with, again, very thoughtful items - lounge pants, healthy food, a book about friendship, magazines, etc.. Then that night another good friend let me pick out one of her stuffed animals (I chose the stuffed unicorn) to take with me for comfort. I've put together a care package for the hubby, but I can't list the contents as he may read this before he receives it. Perhaps the best "good luck" send off came from my best friend's son. He drew me a picture. I was obviously in the middle of the picture, with two smallish people on each side. I asked my him who the one small person was. He said "your baby"...his smile was beaming ear to ear. He was the other small person in the picture. I'm bringing the picture with us to hang in our room in Colorado.

So as I get ready for bed the night before we head out west, I can say that I feel content, relaxed, and at peace. I feel nurtured and cared for - by myself and my loved ones. And I feel healthy. And I feel tired. Good night.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

27 - Suppression Ultrasound - August 7th, 2008

So today was the day of my suppression ultrasound and blood work. This could not be completed through my ob/gyn office, so I again had to schedule through the hospital. I called as soon as my period arrived (Tuesday) and scheduled it for 7:15AM this morning. They did a external and trans vaginal ultrasound this time, checking to make sure the lupron was doing its job and suppressing any eggs from developing. I had to drink 48 ounces of water 1 hour prior to the test, but was allowed to go to the bathroom as soon as the external portion was complete, prior to the trans vaginal part. The Manifestation of the Devil (i.e. the speculum....see other posts to read about my relationship with that thing) was not used and it was a uneventful exam. It was a little uncomfortable having an ultrasound while I was only on Day 3 of my period and still bleeding a little heavy, but I got over it pretty quickly. The most exciting part of the exam was the following: when my lab tech confirmed my birthday (12/26/74), her eyes got huge. She has the EXACT same birthday - same year and everything. I'm going to take it as a sign that good things are about to come...

I also had blood drawn today - progesterone and estradiol. I gave my whole butterfly needle speech, and Hallelujah, the lab person listened to me and immediately used the butterfly needle and even thanked me for being so forward with that information. I seriously wanted to kiss her.

So then I just waited for my CCRM nurse to call with the results. She called at about 4PM est and said the blood work looked great, but she hadn't received the ultrasound results yet. I called the lab here in Michigan and the results were in...they faxed them as soon as I called. My CCRM nurse called back within a few minutes and said everything looked great and we were ready to go. Tonight I will cut the lurpon dose in half and continue with the dexamethasone. Then on Saturday, the fun begins. I will take a shot of Menopur in the morning (2 amps) and a shot of 150 of the Gonal-f in the evening (along with continuing the lurpon and the dexamethasone).

The CCRM nurse also informed me that the insomnia was a result of the lupron removing all the estrogen from my system. She said that the insomnia would go away as soon as I start the other drugs and informed me that I could take a sleeping aid, such as my all time favorite, Tylenol PM. I'm going to try to hold off and sleep on my own for now - the last two nights were a little better.

So the next step is to prepare to drive out to Denver. I'll probably post everyday now through the whole process out in Denver.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

26 - Insomnia and side effects - August 2nd, 2008

So it is 3:17AM est and I am wide awake. I have actually been wide awake since 2:00AM, but gave it my good hour try in bed before making the decision to get up. This, unfortunately, is how it has been since I started the lurpon and dexamethasone on Sunday. The most aggravating issue about this is that I also can't sleep much during the day. I have never done speed before, but I can only imagine that this is what it feels like. I bet the drugs aren't solely to blame for the insomnia - I am sure there is a psychological element to it. When I do wake up, my mind starts spinning about the whole process and I can't seem to turn it off. Hopefully, in a day or two, I will be blogging about my solutions to this insomnia...but I haven't figured a solution out yet.

The one thing I did do is clear my plate for this weekend. I had intentions of going to a family reunion on Saturday and Sunday, but after not sleeping all week I realized that I should probably cancel in case I finally do crash this weekend. I already feel that just making the space to really take care of myself has alleviated some stress.

The other side effect I am experiencing is that I am bruising at the injection site (s). I read about this a little last night and found out that it is a result of jabbing the needle in too hard. I know I've been doing this - I just want to get it over with. One suggestion was to ice the injection site area. This numbs to area and makes it easy to put the needle in very slowly. So tonight I will give that a try.

The fertility diet has become a little more challenging as a result of starting the drugs - again, I think this is more psychological than physical. The best way I have found to deal with this and continue to stay on course is to address one meal at a time. I say to myself "Okay, I just have to drink my protein shake and eat my multi-grain toast and peanut butter for breakfast...then I will reevaluate at lunch.", rather than thinking about how I am going to need to deprive myself all day of foods I am starting to really want. If this fails, the mantra "it's for the baby" usually does the trick.

Overall, these side effects are minor. I am trying my best to go with flow and take care of myself at all costs, even if that means some serious breaches in social etiquette.