Archives for posts with tag: thyroid

Cycle monitoring – Cycle Day 9 – Duration: about half an hour/Naturopath appointment #1 – Duration: about an hour and a half

Holy appointments, Batman. Also, holy quiet blog. I’ve had nothing to report, and I’m afraid I don’t have much to report today, either, but I’m sure I can squeeze some words out of myself.

So to start off my day, I went for my cycle monitoring appointment. Today was a first: they called me for my ultrasound BEFORE calling me for blood work. Shocking! I think the blood ladies were gassing about something, and so the ultrasound ladies beat them to the punch. Today was F-A-S-T. Of course, the day I have booked the entire day off instead of just the morning, I’m in and out of there lickety-split. Anyway…nothing too eventful went on at the appointment. Doctor wants me back for Saturday, so off I will go. Clomid is done for this cycle, so now I’m just growing me some big ol’ follicles. I mentioned that I was going to see a naturopath later that day, and he seemed pleased (well, supportive, anyway). This made me feel better about my decision. I asked about bringing information from my chart, and he said no problem–a nurse at the front desk would photocopy the necessary sections for me. Superb!

After my appointment, I took my stack of papers and went to the smiley sunshine breakfast place again. I enjoyed my crepomelette while pouring through the pages and pages of my chart. There was piles of stuff in there, so it was easy to occupy myself, Googling all the different tests and results that came back.

My thyroid seems to be in great shape. The most recent levels are down from 2.8 to 1.8. So thank you, little synthroid. You are doing a good job.

I met up with J for lunch, which was nice. His office is near the financial district in our city, and I was shocked by the number of suits I saw. I felt a little out of place (though soooo much more comfy) in my lululemon.

Later that afternoon, I had my first appointment with the naturopath. I should mention that she specializes in infertility. She looked at my chart info carefully and went over it all with me. Awesome. She questioned the PCOS diagnosis until she saw my egg reserve number (50+). She tested my nutrition levels with a machine that had two metal handles that I held onto, and they sent readings to her computer (sounds wacky, I know). The results show deficiencies in nutrition levels and sensitivities to foods. My results? I’m sensitive to dairy (this is not news), and chickpeas in hummus form (heartbreaking!!), but regular chickpeas are okay. Weird… I should avoid scallops and oysters. No problem. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten either, nor am I planning to. She suggested I keep my salmon intake to¬† once a week, and recommended I go back to being vegan for most of the week.

This was interesting news to me. I had stopped being vegan in an effort to get myself healthier for future babies, so it seemed crazy to hear maybe I should have stuck it out. She felt that eggs on the weekend were okay and minimal fish, but beyond that, vegan it is. Also, sugar. I knew this was coming, and I have to say, when I did a cleanse a few years ago and went off sugar for 5 months, I felt amazing.

To recap: nutrition goals–vegan on weekdays, no more sugar. It was comforting to hear from a professional that my diet is actually pretty good–no white flour, very rarely anything processed, and a whole lot of green leafy stuff.

The result that she was most concerned about was the battering my adrenals seemed to be taking. She said there was a link between these glands and the thyroid, and getting my adrenals in check would help with thyroid issues. She came up with a plan for me that involves a whole whack of supplements, and a follow-up appointment in 5 weeks.

Here’s the run down:

Co-enzyme Q10 – to ensure egg quality

Licorice tea – helps adrenal function (and is SO delicious!)

Myoinositol – helps PCOS symptoms, by the sounds of it. I can’t remember why she recommended it, but she didn’t mention the connection between it and PCOS.

New non-prenatal multivitamins – too much iron in prenatals, she says. Okay. I trust you.

Homeopathic drops – cleanse/improve liver function (some liver qi stagnation)

Continue fish oil, B12 drops, and Vitamin D drops.

Holy mack, that’s a lot of stuff.

Feeling hopeful that if nothing else, my body will start to feel amazing, baby or no baby.

-Hope-filled Regular Van.

 

Cycle monitoring – Cycle Day 3 – Duration: about half an hour

I’m writing this blogpost from a tasty breakfast place near my fertility clinic. Their logo is a smiley sun, which is exactly what I need to see right now.

I had a hard time at my cycle monitoring appointment today. I haven’t been so close to tears with the doctor since our first appointment. It didn’t help that the lab tech taking my blood is 7 months pregnant, or that my doctor looked genuinely sorry for me when he saw me again.

I think he sensed my desperation when I asked what else we could do to get this thing going. He mentioned male vitamins, but said he only really suggested those for guys with low sperm counts, which is not my super spermed J.

“It’s all me”, I said, half joking.

We came up with a plan, though. All is not lost, and he told me each cycle tells us things, in my case, positive things. I responded well to the Clomid, my lining thickened up nicely, everything was in track.

He took more time than usual today with my chart, which I appreciated. We talked about my thyroid, and thought maybe it was time to look at again. U have a sneaking suspicion my prescription is going to get bumped up, as I feel no different than I did before u started the meds.

He talked about antibodies and how these suggest something potentially autoimmune going in inside me. Not sure how I feel about that, or what it could be, but I’m not overly surprised. He suggested I start a daily regimen of baby aspirin, so that’s been added to my ever-increasing pill box.

Clomid starts today with two pills, same dose as last month. Next step if things don’t change by June: laparoscopy.

I feel emotionally exhausted. I can see it in this post, I can feel it in myself. The sadness from the failure of last month’s cycle is lingering, and I’m not sure how to shake it.

Meh.

-Sulky Regular Van.

My mum came to see me a few days after I heard that our first month of medically supervised/assisted baby-making didn’t take. I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’ve been pretty freaking miserable since that phone call with the pregnancy results. I called J right after hearing, of course, and couldn’t talk through my crying. I called my mum after I hung up with J, and pretty much repeated the whole thing.

I have the best mum in the world, let me just put that out there early in this post so there are no misunderstandings. She lives an hour and a half away, but is perpetually ready to drop whatever she is doing to be by my side, should I need it. I figured everyone’s mum is like this, but as I get older, I’m realizing that’s not the case.

So she came to see me, and we went out for dinner. I kind of spazzed on her, and I’m sure I freaked her out when I started talking about how my experience being incapable of conceiving is like a continuation of an on-going battle I’ve had with my body and body image that started when I was pretty young.

She chalked up my emotional rant to “all those hormones” the doctor’s had me on. I think this was her way of expressing her incapacity to deal with what I was telling her.

I have always either hated my body to the point that I could hardly look at myself in the mirror, or tolerate it enough to not feel ill if I happened to catch a glimpse of it. Medically, I don’t think I’ve ever been overweight, but I’m always aware of how much thinner everyone else seems.

I hate that I’m like this. I majored in Semiotics and minored in Women’s Studies–I know how media is constructed and how messages are created. I can speak critically about this, but that doesn’t change how I feel about myself. I wish I looked like a model, and I have a hard time accepting that I never will. The fact that I don’t reflects a deep rooted sense of failure and guilt that I don’t measure up and am intrinsically flawed. Not being able to conceive is just another level, another piece of proof that my body is a failure.

I know this isn’t rational. I know it’s not helpful to think like this, or even productive, but there it is.

My body and I just can’t seem to get it together. I thought that at this stage in my life, early 30s, married, I would have come to terms with body image, and I think maybe I was starting to get there. I started gaining weight last year, maybe 10 pounds. I chalked it up to a crazy schedule that had me commuting at lunch time as I was working between two schools. I didn’t eat lunch last year. Like, at all. With my recent thyroid results looking slightly elevated, I’m thinking now that weight gain had more to do with hypothyroidism, but that doesn’t change how I look. I feel like a huge frigging whale, which is only aggravated by the seemingly weekly question by co-workers: “Are you pregnant?”.

No. Apparently, my body can’t get pregnant. So I’m just getting fat. Thanks so much for asking.

For the past year of trying to conceive, I’ve felt trapped inside of a body I hate that doesn’t even work how it’s supposed to. I’m afraid to try to lose weight in case that adds to the problems we’re already having with trying to make a baby. J’s been told repeatedly that he has super sperm: this issue is all me.

That’s a lot of weight to carry around. Pun intended.

-Jumbo-sized Regular Van.

Cycle monitoringCycle days 10, 12, 13 – Duration: about 1 and a half each time

Lots to report on in this post. Things have been moving swiftly. My cycle monitoring appointments started to pick up steam 3 days after the HSG. I arrived and ran through the regular battery of tests: blood work, transvaginal ultrasounds (from here on out=TU because transvaginal grosses me out kind of). The final part of every cycle monitoring session is a quick update with the doctor.

So my session on CD 10 was moving along tickity boo until I got to the doctor part. He told me that the results of all the blood work was “starting to come back”, and he was concerned about my thyroid (I knew it, but that’s another story for another time). He said it was well within normal range, but normal range is not ideal range for women who are trying to conceive. At the time, my thyroid came back at 2.8, and he said he wanted to see it at 2.5. He then said (and here’s where I lost my mind temporarily on the inside, then on the outside much later in the privacy of my own home) that theirs is a “fertility clinic, not a cancer clinic”, and then proceeded to write me a prescription that I would be on for “the long haul”.

Um, can we rewind a bit?

Who throws around the “c” word with no explanation?

I didn’t ask what he meant because I was kind of floored with how the whole discussion had flipped on a dime, but thinking about it rationally now, I guess he was saying that I need to monitor my thyroid with my regular doctor. I guess.

Moving on.

He wanted me back 2 days later for more cycle monitoring, as he felt ovulation was nigh. And so, as a good, obedient, slightly freaked out little patient, I returned 2 days later. Again, I “cycled” through the cycle monitoring stations, and awaited my doctor time. This time, he told me that I had some good looking follicles forming on the right and possibly the left ovary. Exciting!

We discussed our options for this month. He said we could try au naturel if we liked (me: tried that for a year–not so great. Next option?), he could do a cervical insemination (CI) where he would put some cervical mucous on a slide with some sperm to see how they interact, then insert it into cervix if everything was working out well, or we could do an intrauterine insemination (IUI). He expressed some concern with the CI, as a result of the clomid he put me on to encourage ovulation, but the choice remained ours. He wanted me back the next day to check on the follicles to see when we’d be ready for J’s part, and let me know if would be soon (like, next couple of days).

So I returned the next day for another round of cycle monitoring, feeling like a friggin’ pro by this point. At first, I was a little bashful about stripping down to my lady bits in front of the ultrasound techs, but by now, I’ll pretty much pull my pants down for anyone. I started thinking about the multitude of things had been all up in my junk over the past week, and it was really quite shocking.

At the cycle monitoring session on CD 13, I was told tomorrow was going to be the day for whatever we had chosen to do. I said IUI, doctor said he wasn’t going to fight me on that one, and agreed that that course of action made a lot of sense. Phew. So we came up with a plan (I like plans a lot): J would come with me tomorrow to submit his sample, his sperms would get washed to get rid of the extraneous bits, and the doctor would turkey baste them into me.

Romantic.

I was excited. I still am excited. I’m excited that I feel like we’re getting somewhere. IUI doesn’t guarantee a pregnancy (the success rate is pretty crap, actually), but it’ll get us a step closer in figuring out what’s going on.

I got a shot of Ovidrel, which triggers ovulation, in preparation for tomorrow’s IUI. It was a tiny shot in my belly. Little pinch, no big deal. There was some very minimal pain at the site of the shot for maybe an hour or so, but then totally gone. No other side effects that I noticed.

I left feeling positive and excited about what was going to happen tomorrow. First IUI. Hesitant optimism, I’ll call it.

-Hopeful, but still Regular, Van.