Archives for posts with tag: blood work

Cycle monitoring – Cycle Day 10 – Duration: About 2 hours

Blood work, ultrasound, doctor. Rinse, repeat.

I’m totally old hand at this. I have even learned to walk quickly out of the elevator, as that will get me on that ultrasound list ASAP (longest wait of all 3 aspects of cycle monitoring).

I was feeling pretty good while waiting for my cycle monitoring today. J and I had a nice weekend together–we had a spat on Sunday, but talked about it and it was nice to connect emotionally and have some tender time reminding each other how much we love the other.

Then I met with the doctor. He explained at length why I had seen a different doctor last Sunday (I wasn’t really bothered, actually), and then proceeded to look through my chart to see if any new results were in (there weren’t any). He said he wanted to talk about J’s sperm, and I told him that J had super sperm, of course, just like he’d told us last time. Well, turns out he isn’t as super as we had thought. The DNA frag assay came back at 15.9%–“normal” is under 15. He didn’t seem overly concerned, but said that often when there is an issue on both the women and men’s side, telling people when to have sex doesn’t always cut it. We may need to try what’s called an IUI, and that’s when…

I’m going to stop you right there, doctor.

“We tried that last month. It didn’t work.”

Oh…rrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiigggggggghhhhhhhtttttttt…

I know the doctor sees about a bazillion people, but that put me off a little bit. He even did the IUI! I felt slightly offended that my vajayjay didn’t stand out from the thousands he’s likely seen.

Anyway, he said it was still early days, so he doesn’t want to see me again until Thursday. I left feeling slightly deflated, and wondered what had happened to the positivity I had felt earlier.

Lately, my emotions have been somewhat yo-yoish. I may be experiencing the Clomid mood swings, but who knows. I think I’ve already referenced Kristen Bell on my blog, but I’m doing it again. If I’m not between a 4 and a 6 emotionally, I am in tears. This is my life, the life of a delicate flower. Please watch this if you haven’t already:

So Yo Yo Ma! That’s how I’ve been feeling lately.

Blah.

-Yo Yo Regular Van.

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Cycle monitoring – Cycle day 3 – Duration: about 4 hours (wait time nearly 3 hours)

So I went for my first cycle monitoring session last week. Here’s what it entailed:

I arrived at the clinic about 8:30 with a coffee in hand, knowing I was going to have another ultrasound so I would need a full bladder. I knew I also had to have more blood work done. When I entered the clinic, I was shocked at the number of people around me. The place was rammed. I couldn’t help but wonder, “Who in the hell is having babies on their own?”. It was comforting and disturbing at the same time: lots of people in our boat=good – we’re not the only ones; lots of people in our boat=bad – why are so many people struggling?

I put my name down on the sign-up sheets for blood work and ultrasounds, and found a comfortable place to settle. The number I drew for my ultrasound was a looooooong way away. Soon after writing my name, I was called for my blood work. They drew way less this time than they did during my initial appointment.

I returned to the waiting room to continue waiting for my ultrasound. I downed my coffee, wondering if I should even be drinking it (were people judging me?), and then drank a bunch of cups of water. I waited and waited and waited…with a full bladder. Not fun.

After probably an hour and a half of waiting, I was called for the ultrasound. When I got in the room, I was surprised to learn that it would be transvaginal.

Here’s where the squeamish should stop reading.

Cycle monitoring starts on Day 3 of your period. Ladies, I’m sure you can understand my confusion when the tech used “transvaginal” and “day 3” in the same sentence. I told her I had a tampon in, and she told me to pull it out and put it in the garbage in the ultrasound room. Uh…I consider myself pretty easy going, but I had some issues with that. I guess a fertility centre is no place for the bashful.

I also told her I had a full bladder. She seemed annoyed that I didn’t know this ultrasound was transvaginal, and sighed very loudly before telling me to go to the washroom.

When I returned, no one was there. No one continued to be there for a good 10 minutes. Another technician came in, apologized for no one being there, and then asked if I had put what can best be described as a puppy pee pad on the exam table. No, it was here already, I told her, and wondered if they often had women rummaging through their pee pad stash.

The ultrasound was way less gross than I had anticipated (I was pretty much expecting Niagara Falls with blood), and I then returned to the waiting room. Between the blood work and the ultrasound, I asked at the desk whether I needed to sign up to see the doctor, too. The receptionist informed me that, yes, each visit includes a chat with your doctor.

So I waited again. This time: maybe 45 minutes.

The doctor called me in and put me in another waiting room, where I sat for 15 minutes or so, and had a nice chat with a woman who was there receiving treatment for a second child. It was great to talk to someone who had been through the process once before, and who was returning years later. Her case sounded pretty complicated, with both herself and her husband having issues. That comforted me to know that despite the challenges, the doctors here at Create had a good handle on what she needed.

The doctor then called me in to a room, and asked me to wait there, which I did, for a little over half an hour. I wondered for a while whether they had forgotten about me, but I didn’t say anything. Inside the room was a rolling chest of drawers, with the drawers labelled “Pap swabs”, “STD kits”, and “Chlamydia”.

Why would anyone go in the chlamydia drawer???

Finally, the doctor came in and we chatted. He didn’t really remember who I was, which was okay with me, since I’d only met him once before. He looked at my chart (blood work and ultrasounds, I think), and he reiterated that he believed I have PCOS. He talked about clomid again as a way to get things going, and his confidence convinced me to give it a try. He reminded me about the hysterosalpingogram (HSG), which I booked for the Thursday of the following week.

Our meeting was brief, and he warned me that the clomid might cause mood swings. My life is kind of a huge mood swing, so I wasn’t overly concerned. He seemed more concerned for Jon :).

I took the clomid for 5 days with my biggest meal of the day.

As for the mood swings? You’ll have to ask my husband about that.

Next post: the dreaded HSG.

Duh, duh, DUUUUUUUUUUUH!

-Still Regular Van

Here’s how our first appointment went:

Appointment 1 – Cycle day 30 – Duration: about 2 hours

The appointment started with a pelvic ultrasound (scanner goes on the belly), which required a full bladder. After a trip to the toilet to empty my bladder (“Make sure you get everything out”, said the technician. Uh…what?), next came the transvaginal ultrasound. The camera is shaped like a wand, which is covered with a condom, and then the technician takes images of your uterus and ovaries while it’s inside you. It’s mildly uncomfortable, but no big deal at all.

After those procedures, we waited to speak with the doctor. Covering the walls of the waiting room were photographs of babies and thank you letters to the various doctors at the clinic. While I’m sure the idea behind it was to provide patients with a sense of hope (“See? These people all had problems, too, and now they’ve got babies!”), it seemed like an especially awful kind of hell to have to sit there with a reminder of what my body was incapable of producing.

I should mention I was on the verge of tears for most of this portion of the appointment. The ultrasound technician asked if I was alright, which is a question that, for some reason, often brings me to tears, but I managed to keep it together. I was really nervous about crying in front of the doctor, so I tried to avoid looking at any of those frigging baby pictures. At this point, we still didn’t know if it was physically possible for us to have kids. Stress rate=high. Babies everywhere=not helping aforementioned stress rate.

The doctor started off by asking me a whole pile of questions about my periods (long and painful, but predictable), my family (awesome and healthy, but a history of painful periods), past pregnancies (none)

and then a whole bunch of questions about hair.

Have I ever had to wax, receive electrolysis or laser hair removal on my face, around my nipples, abdomen, toes…

What is happening? The only time I’ve thought about body hair is when I noticed my husband lacks any hair on his arms. I am not a hairy person. I have no facial hair (in fact, I barely have eyebrows), and I think it’s safe to say my boobs have been hairless my whole life.

Where in the hell did those questions come from? I didn’t expect them, and I feel like I was pretty prepared for what we would be discussing.

Our doctor told us that as we answer questions, he flags answers that he thinks might be clues for why we’re suffering (a very suitable word) from primary infertility.

After all the hair questions, it was my husband’s turn. He had significantly fewer questions to answer than I did, but it was nice to relax for a little bit.

When we were done giving our answers, the doctor explained that this process is sort of like a guessing game where he rules out possibilities for why things aren’t happening as they should be. He showed us the images from the ultrasounds, saying that my ovaries were well-stocked with what seemed like good quality eggs. I do not have ovarian cancer (which I was a little more than slightly paranoid about), and I had ovulated from the left this month (I knew it–I always feel it on the left). He suspected my diagnosis would be either PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) or endometriosis. The doctor kept referring to the Bearded Lady in relation to PCOS, and that I would likely disagree with his diagnosis if I read about it on the internet.

(Fast forward to us returning home and me investigating PCOS–doctor was right. I have like zero symptoms of this spectrum disorder).

Anyway, we came up with a plan and decided we would continue to try naturally while doing “cycle monitoring”, which would require me to come for semi-regular blood work and ultrasounds throughout my cycle to see what’s going on. The doctor discussed Clomid briefly as another course of action if the case for PCOS was strengthened.

We were sent off to get blood work done, and I was told to call the clinic on day 1 of my period to book an appointment for an HSG test (hysterosalpingogram), which are done between day 5 and day 10 of your cycle. The doctor warned me some people experienced severe pain during this test, so I was hoping it wouldn’t be necessary.

We left the appointment feeling positive and like we were finally getting somewhere. We still needed to get sperm tested for good swimmers and fallopian tubes tested for blockages, but we were on our way to finding answers, and hopefully, a solution.

Our doctor is incredibly positive and as a result, so am I. Maybe something is actually going to happen now.

-Hairless Regular Van.