Friday, November 27, 2009

the end of a lost cycle... and the loss of a family member

We are now nearing a most challenging month, both with infertility and with the family.  Last Wednesday the 19th, we got the call that Jeff's uncle had passed away. The blow was not so hard to bear knowing how ill he was and that he is no longer suffering. But any loss forces you to look at life through new eyes. The rose colored glasses come off and you again are reminded of how fragile and fleeting life is. We went to the calling hours this past Monday and Jeff was planning on going to the funeral the next day while I went for the laparoscopy/hysteroscopy. In the end though, it seems everyone felt his place was by my side.... so that is where he was. It was a tough decision and I struggled with simply canceling the surgery, but no one wanted me to do that either.

The procedure was successful... nothing major to report-almost as if it was just not necessary in the first place. It gives me peace of mind, but at the same time... we have lost a cycle and had to miss a funeral for it.

Now we must choose what our next step is. Jeff is now on testosterone treatment and it remains to be seen how badly that affects his count. The doctor believes the morphology is related to the low testosterone. Hopefully the count will not suffer to much for the prospective improvement in morph. This next cycle is out due to recuperation falling right at the border of both cycles. At least we are set with insurance no matter what route we take-except for IVF-no one covers that!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

silver linings are a myth

So here I am thinking to myself "Damn- two gravely ill relatives- gotta keep a positive attitude for those around me. They will need my support." It all sounds well and good... and not too over the top. Seems karma disagrees with my "keep-it-together attitude" and has been doing its best to get me down. Now I know I was only going to focus on our fertility journey here, but I feel the course of events is relevant and necessary to mention. I want to list the last several weeks worth of events in order to be able to find the positives that may come out of this cluster of a mess:

  1. Jeff's uncle (on his mother's side) was diagnosed with end stage esophogeal cancer with a prognosis of 1 year just a month ago. He is not responding to chemo and now has a prognosis of no more than this Thanksgiving.
  2. Jeff's uncle (on his father's side) ends up going to the doctor who never calls him back to say they believe he has pneumonia. By the time he has his follow up appointment, he needs to be hospitalized where they find it is not pneumonia at all... but a failing heart valve-which they cannot operate on due to his liver thinning his blood too much. His lungs are filling with fluid from the bad heart and will continue to fill since they cannot repair the problem. They place him in a nursing home where his prognosis is unknown, but very limited.
Those events were by far the most devastating, but I did my best to keep composed. Then the smaller hits started coming in:

  1. Our first failed IUI
  2. Our little chihuahua needed immediate medical attention from what we believe is a strained back that rendered her a crying mess on the dining room floor. And as usual, when calling our local vet, they were not available to see any animals as they were at a conference. So off to the emergency vet for an incredibly expensive visit where they did not know what the problem was, but now she is a drugged up little dog who has been sleeping for the last 48 hours.
  3. Jeff had to leave for a business trip this week and on this trip he has had to share a hotel room with a complete stranger that works for the same company, but a different location, and is now coming down with an unexplained illness.
  4. My job will no longer be as of the end of this week with the closing of the company.
  5. Our insurance will no longer be due to the closing of the company.
  6. My laparoscopy will still happen, but will be the final hurrah in the attempt to assist our fertility until I can get a new insurance plan.
  7. Jeff has learned he has low testosterone which may be a factor as well in our fertility. Prognosis for that is not so hot either. He cannot simply take testosterone. It will raise the levels, but odds are it will also lower his sperm count-possibly to zero. There needs to be another way out there, but it seems nothing has been proven. Now on top of the uncertainty, we need to figure out how to address this issue with no insurance.
  8. The IRS decided that, even though we are working on fixing a mix-up when we moved out of state, they still wanted their money... so they went ahead and simply took it out of our bank account. We live paycheck to paycheck like many people do right now and that just doesn't matter.Who needs to eat anyway right? What is our measly $388 dollars going to do in the grand scheme of the how many trillion dollar debt the government has? The colorful words I want to use are simply not appropriate for this blog, but believe me, I am thinking them!

So somewhere in here is supposed to be a silver lining... a reason all these challenges have been presented to me. Should I embrace these challenges and do something amazing? Or should I take the less difficult path of hiding under the covers and not coming out until it is all over? I like the hiding part... but I know it is just unrealistic. It is so hard to continue to be composed. It feels like the world is crumbling below my feet and I just can't move fast enough to keep a steady footing. My next post will be to take this list of crappy events and see if there is in fact a silver lining. I am sure there is, but with all the B.S. piled on it, I am just going to have to work really hard to find it.

Friday, November 6, 2009

looking for a little hope

After a grueling 36 hour wait, the office finally called me and said my blood test came out negative. I said I already knew.

It is a good thing I did know... 36 hours of waiting for a simple blood test?

They apologized for the oversight blaming in on their fully electronic medical records telling them I was already notified. Whichever... it's all in the past now. I am now confirmed for the November 24th laparoscopy and I cannot wait to get it over with so we can get back to business so we can present our families with some much needed good news in a time where it seems we are losing so many close family members to cancer and the like. A little ray of good news can't hurt us right now.

Jeff got a bit of positive news when he went to yet another doctor to discuss his issues with pain in the male areas. He has been bounced from doctor to specialist and specialist to doctor for the past twenty-something years with no answers or relief.

A little background on the situation: When he was 15, he had a torsion of the testicles, meaning one of the testicles twisted around (tangling the spermatic cord) and caused an incredible amount of pain and had to be untwisted at the E.R. They sent him home and instructed him to take painkillers if needed. They opted not to do the orchiopexy (where they anchor the testicle so it will not twist again) because they felt it would cause fertility problems later in life - how ironic right? Since his first attack years ago, it has been a persistent problem that no one seems to want to fix for him.

The last urologist literally said that if he can get through a normal day and can get it up "when it counts" then he would rather NOT do anything to alleviate the almost daily pain he has. How is that a good quality life if you are in pain for 90% of it? So we took a chance on a doctor at our family practice who was not only shocked it had gone on this long, but was willing to help in any way possible. He said he will do what it takes to resolve it. He even offered to do the orchiopexy that should have been done years ago that no other doctor will do for him. He started with a testosterone check which, if not normal, could be a huge factor in our fertility. We are anxiously awaiting the results of that test. A testicular scan is in the works for the next time he experiences a strong episode... then they will go from there. Such a relief, but so long overdue we just don't know how to react. It is a light at the end of the tunnel for him and it is my hope this can be resolved for him so he does not have to be in pain all the time.

Monday, November 2, 2009

unwelcome visitor

You would figure the start of my next cycle would at least put me out of the misery of the two week wait. After all, I had a record short cycle of 23 days from start to finish. I was completely blindsided by the witch-a nice relaxing Sunday night obliterated by a simple trip to the bathroom. I can't recall the last time I completely broke down at the end of a cycle, but this time, I just could not help it. I tried to regain my composure and join the husband downstairs who quite accustomed to my moods and signals. He immediately asked what was wrong and tried to be supportive. He tells me he is sure it is his fault and he is sorry he can't give me what we want. It really is heartbreaking to see him think he is to blame. Of course I cannot stress enough to him there is not reason to blame anyone... it is our problem to work through. Once the last tear was shed and numbness took over, we grabbed a quick dinner of McChickens and Cheeseburgers, watched one of our many movies from our extensive movie collection.

We are both raw and defeated and the thought of losing this next cycle to the Laparoscopy on 11/24 and then the following cycle to recovery only multiplies the sense of helplessness. If there is anything I dislike more than being helpless... it is when time is not used wisely. I, for the life of me, still cannot figure out why the lap is even necessary. My HSG came out with 2 clear tubes, a good shaped uterus and blood work revealed normal hormone levels... what the hell else could be causing problems?! And just for formality, I get to have blood drawn tomorrow to quantitatively be certain there is no pregnancy prior to commencing the next cycle of wasting time. I am no stranger to the land of failed cycles. I know what a period and a negative home pregnancy test looks like.

Here's to a wasted cycle 25... and perhaps a better outlook tomorrow...