Did you miss me?
As of today I’m finally back at work and starting to feel like a human being again. I ended up using all my annual sick leave and also some of my annual vacation leave which is a real disappointment, but when you’re very ill I guess you don’t have much choice.
To put it mildy it’s been a rough couple of weeks. My doctor kept insisting I had whooping cough, even though my blood tests showed I am immune. Doug and I both went through a terrible time about three years ago when we came down with whooping cough and had to each take a month off work. I can still remember the horrors of it and I had hoped to never experience anything like it again.
At the time we were visiting different doctors’ clinics every week and insisting something was very wrong with us. They diagnosed us with asthma, bronchitis, head colds, anxiety, pretty much every illness known to man that isn’t whooping cough. And every time we raised the possibility that we had whooping cough our concerns were quickly dismissed. It took six weeks before a doctor even agreed to test me for whooping cough, and once my diagnosis came back only then did they agree to test Doug.
My life is not without irony, for this time around my doctor was quite sure I did have whooping cough, when I definitely did not. He kept saying “I don’t understand. This is text book whooping cough. You clearly have whooping cough.”
But of course the antibiotics he was prescribing me to treat my illness weren’t effective at all, and in fact my symptoms continually worsened. It got to the point that I was getting almost no sleep at all because I was up all night coughing and vomiting. Oh and did I mention the ridiculously high fevers that had me convinced I was going to die? I was a wreck.
Finally a blood test picked up that I had what the doctor called a “significant” case of influenza A and we finally understood why none of the medications I was being prescribed were helping me recover. He admitted my illness was severe enough that I really should have been admitted to hospital for treatment, but it had not been picked up in time and thankfully it seemed I was on the road to recovery.
In other news, my faith in the flu shot has been completely restored. I’m not sure how it works in other countries, but in Australia most workplaces provide a seasonal flu shot free of charge to employees. I didn’t get my shot this year because when it was offered I was in the middle of a cycle of IVF and didn’t want to risk it. Doug however did get the shot at around the same time, and he has completely avoided picking up influenza A from me. Flu shots work, people!
So what else has been happening with me since I fell off the face of the Earth? My latest cycle of IVF was supposed to have properly begun about 10 days ago, but my fertility specialist Doctor B delayed it because she has gone on vacation for almost the entire month of September. At the time I was so furious, particularly because you might recall our previous cycle of IVF was also delayed by six weeks because she took the entire month of June and part of July off to go galavanting around Europe. I mean seriously, how many vacations does any one person need?
Ordinarily, when Doctor B goes on holidays she allows her patients to be seen by one of her colleagues so that they can still continue with their treatment uninterupted. But not me! I’m special! And I mean special in a bad way.
Doctor B calls me her “wild card” because the combination of factors that make me infertile are apparently unique and don’t necessarily mesh well together. She has absolutely no idea how my body will respond to any medication or treatment plan, and I have a history of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, so she insists on only treating me herself. That means when she goes on vacation my treatment gets put on hiatus.
I found out that I was being put on hiatus the day after I got back from our mini vacation in Adelaide. Doug was unable to attend the appointment, so I went by myself. I sat in the waiting room at the clinic trying desperately to suppress my barking cough, which was only just starting to increase in severity. I didn’t want to frighten the other patients into thinking I was contagious, and at that stage I genuinely believed I wasn’t. When Doctor B called my name, I quickly followed her into her office and sat down.
“So Sadie, how are you?” she asked, smiling at me.
“Fine.” I lied, suppressing the cough again.
“Well clearly our last round of treatment was a failure,” she said. “Tell me how many embryos do you have on ice at the moment?”
I frowned at the strangeness of the question. “None?”
“Oh.” she said. “Well let’s have a look here at your file.”
She tapped away at the computer keyboard, and then turned to me and smiled again. “You do know you will get pregnant naturally.”
“I understand you don’t want to wait any longer, but later in life when you find yourself pregnant naturally I want you to think back to this moment and remember your doctor predicted it would happen.” Doctor B said. “It’s just your polycystic ovaries stopping you at the moment.”
“No it isn’t.” I said flatly. “I have severe endometriosis too. And hyperprolactinemia. And adenomyosis. And blocked fallopian tubes. How on earth will I get pregnant naturally?”
The doctor stared at me blankly for an extended period of time, then suddenly gasped. “You’re Sadie Taylor aren’t you?”
“No.” I said. “I’m Sadie [surname redacted].”
“Oh my!” she said, laughing. “I’ve opened up the wrong patient’s file. Fancy that! I didn’t even realise I had two patients named Sadie!”
Fancy that? Fancy that?? Seriously?!
First of all, I can’t even believe she opened up the wrong file. Who does that? Second of all, I can’t believe she didn’t recognise me. I can’t believe she didn’t realise straight away that she wasn’t looking at my file. Not only did she not realise straight away that I am not Sadie Taylor, she also mustn’t know much about poor old Sadie T because it seems she couldn’t tell us apart. Plus, she thought I could get pregnant naturally? She thought I had frozen embryos? She thought I had only one infertility factor? After all the appointments, tests, scans and heartache I’ve been through with this woman? She didn’t know a friggen thing about me without reading it off a computer screen?
I. Was. Livid.
And that is when she realised exactly who I was, and informed me that oh by the way she was going to have to delay my next cycle until she returns from her vacation. Super bad timing, lady. Super bad…
When I left the appointment and texted Doug to let him know of the change to our cycle plans his response was short, sharp and immediate: “No. Tell her to stuff off.”
So you can imagine my husband’s reaction when he found out she hadn’t remembered a damn thing about me. He isn’t impressed at all. I’ve noticed he is getting really frustrated and impatient, and his need to be a parent is growing steadily. He has this idea we can be pregnant by Christmas, and he was not happy at all with even a short delay, especially when that delay is only to allow a very wealthy doctor to have her second vacation in just a few short months.
I am now due to start my first injection of FSH on 1 October. We are sticking with an antagonist cycle, and puregon, and my dose has been increased to 125, so hopefully we get some follicles growing this time. The delay in starting the cycle has actually significantly worked in our favour. When I found out I had influenza A, my GP told me that had I undergone an IVF cycle while actively sick with a true case of influenza there was virtually no chance it would have resulted in a pregnancy. Funny how things work out, isn’t it?
Because I was already on a course of ralovera to bring on my period and start my cycle as originally scheduled, I have been put onto the birth control pill until 1 October. My period actually broke through the ralovera for the first time ever, which worried me a little. I haven’t had a chance to discuss it with Doctor B yet obviously, because she is away. Normally my period arrives three to five days after I take my last ralovera tablet. This time my period started on day eleven of what was supposed to be a fourteen day course of medication. Has anyone else had this happen while they’ve been taking ralovera? I’m not sure if it’s normal.
Apart from that, I am feeling slightly more positive about this cycle and I do feel like there’s a good chance we will make it to the egg pick-up stage. Last time I felt hopeless before we began, so I suppose it’s good that I have regained a sense of optimism.
I can’t imagine how crushed I will feel if we don’t get to egg pick-up again, particularly because I am finding the hormones have hit me a lot harder this time. Each cycle of IVF I go through I find the effects, both mentally and physically, are becoming greater. While I was on the ralovera I was easily going from happy to sobbing to furious in less than a minute. My husband was frightened to breathe in my direction just in case I took offense. He has been extremely patient with me, but I could see he was almost at breaking point for a while there.
Before I finish this post I do quickly want to mention and thank http://lovemarriagestillnobabycarriage.wordpress.com who recently nominated me for a Liebster Award. I will certainly be talking more about it in my next blog update, but I think I’ve blathered on enough for one day. I’ve still got a lot to fill you all in on – dramas with the dreaded mother-in-law, more sagas at the dentist, and our house is now for sale. It’s such a bother when I can’t update my blog for an extended period of time. I love writing and use it as an emotional outlet. I’ve got so much bottled up inside me that I need to divulge.
But for now I’m going to try and scroll through as many of your posts on my reader as I possibly can to update myself on where all you lovely ladies are at in your lives. I finally have the energy to catch up on everything. I hope good news awaits me! 🙂