Saturday, July 30, 2011

Faith of the Heart

Last week, I participated in a research study on Catholic women and infertility. She is still looking for more participants. If you are interested, contact me with the link the the side and I will send you her email address.

It stirred up a lot of emotions from the past four years. The feeling of isolation when trying to find a non ivf alternative. The pressure from the drs who did not respect my  values. The feeling of desperation when the Dr told me that IVF was the only treatment despite the fact that he could not find anything wrong with me. The stress on my marriage and how it almost ended over this crisis. I shed some tears but I don't think she could tell over the phone. Towards the end I was reminded about how blessed I was to discover napro, to find support online with the forums/ blogs I visit, and to help others through my blog.

It reminded me of the opening of a show I used to watch called Enterprise. It is based on star trek. The opening showed how people throughout history overcame tech challenges most thought were impossible: Travel by ships, planes, and then spaceships. The song is very inspirational.

So even though at times it seems impossible for me to reach my dream I will find a way. I have made some advancements too. With each new dr, I learned something new: RE, Napro, and immune issues. Hopeful the immune testing is the final frontier.

I am at the end of the 2ww so we will see what happens in the next few days. I decided not to take a test. I am going to wait for p+17 and go from there. I am still feeling very hopeful overall bc I took tons of immune tests last week. At this point I have another week to wait for the results to come back.


(The version used in the show Enterprise sung by Russell Watson)

Some of the Lyrics to Faith of the Heart by Rod Stewart
 It's been a long road
Getting from there to here
It's been a long time
But my time is finally near

And I can feel the change in the wind right now
Nothing's in my way
And they're not gonna hold me down no more
No they're not gonna hold me back

Cause I've got faith of the heart
I'm going where my heart will take me
I've got faith to believe
I can do anything
I've got strength of the soul
And no one's gonna bend or break me
I can reach any star
I've got faith
I've got faith
Faith of the heart

Friday, July 22, 2011

100th Post

I thought this was going to be my 100th but then I checked and now it says 101.

I remember when I first decided that I wanted to have a baby, I went to my gp and told him that I was ready. I asked him to run tests on me to make sure I was healthy etc. He laughed and told me not to think about it bc it would stress me out and make it worse. He did not run a single test. That was four years ago when I solely trusted my dr. Now I have learned to double check everything and ask for tests that I read about and switch drs as needed.

Yesterday I went with my DH to get blood drawn to send out to the immune lab. He had not gotten blood drawn in about 10 years. I could not believe it. He was great. He only had to get 3 vials done. I had 5 done. The nurse was so nice and friendly and I did not feel a thing. I copied down the tracking number and it is on its way to the lab.

Today I went to labcorp to get more tests done. I was nervous about getting so many tests done at once. I also had to fast.  Since I made an apt I was able to go right in. The nurse was great. She had me sit in the recliner. I told her that I usually don't get such great service. She said due to the fasting and the number of vials, she thought it would be better for me. Then she printed out the labels and started to take the tubes off the shelf. Oh man there were so many. She said that the computer has a limit on the amount of blood they are allowed to take at once. Thankfully I did not max out. She said it was a good amount of blood and close to the amount you would donate. I filled up 20 tubes. She did not use the snap like thing that you can feel every time they switch tubes. She used an extension line and I could not feel her switching. It was great bc there were 20 tubes. This could have been a very painful experience but it was great.Then she gave me a bottle of glucose and had me relax in the chair for 15 min to make sure I did not feel dizzy. She was so sweet.

Over the past 4 years, I have had many many blood draws. Sometimes you get a great nurse and sometimes you get the nurse from hell. I am so thankful that I was able to get all these tests done the past two days. I am really thankful that I got two great nurses. I asked for the nurse's name so I can call labcorp and give her a great review.

So now begins another chapter. The past two days I had 25 vials of blood drawn for 21 tests that have never been done before. I checked labcorp's website and it seems that the longest test takes about two weeks to come back. Hopefully there is something there that is treatable. Now begins a 2ww of a different kind.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Getting the Tests Scheduled

I heard back from my wonderful napro doc. He agreed to order the tests recommended by the immunologist. YEAH!!!!!! What a relief!!!!!

Now I have to get organized and schedule the tests. This time my DH is also getting some tests done so that makes things more complicated. I teach summer school half day, so I should be able to go after school tomorrow and get some done. The bulk of the tests are being done at labcorp so I am a  little nervous about the number of vials they will need. It is hard to judge bc some vials can count for more than one test. The most I had done at once was 5 and I think this will be more. My DH does not get a lot of time off so it will be more complicated to get him to labcorp.

My Dr said he faxed reprosource but I have not heard from them. I emailed them last night to check in bc you can only get blood drawn certain days bc it has to ship overnight. I was hoping to get this done in the next day or so. At least with this lab, the nurse comes to you. I am going to try to get her to go to my dh's office so it will be easier on him.

It has been so nice to not have any dr apts for US this month. I do not miss them at all. I am more relaxed. At least this month and next month I will be focused on the new tests so I will still be doing something to move forward.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Waiting for Contact

I received my consultation packet last Tuesday from KP. Now I am waiting for my dr to look it over and make contact with me. His nurse was nice to email me last week to tell me he was out last week. So I know that it could be another week or so before he catches up and has time for me. I am trying to be patient but it is hard. I have to stay off the neupogen until after I get my tests done so it does not affect my results. Since I have to stay off of it, I want to get the tests done asap to try and be able to go back on it before 7dpo.

I decided to take a partial break this cycle. I have not been able to take a total break in a long time. I just cannot allow myself to do it without knowing I would regret it. This month, I decided to take a break from going into the clinic for US monitoring. I am tired of getting probed. I am tired of making the appointments and spending all the copays. During the year I have a great break time to get appointments. My schedule during summer school is not  as accommodating  so it makes things harder. I felt that I needed to skip the appointments now and take a break.

I am still taking most of my meds, the antibiotics for TEBB, and the supplements. Then if it works out, I will take the neupogen post peak, if not I am not going to fret.  I can still take my progesterone supplements post peak.

So even though I am not really taking a break, I feel relieved to cut something out of the routine to make my summer more enjoyable, less stressful, and save some money.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Moving Along With More Testing.

I am so exited about working with KP. So far she has been great. I faxed her packet to my napro Dr. KB and I am waiting for his approval or to see if he wants to speak to me first. Most of the tests are from labcorp which is local and covered.

There are a few immune tests that I have not had done before. Getting immune tests done is more complicated. The blood has to go to Rosalind Franklin in Chicago. When I was with Dr JB this was his specialty. He ordered the tests through reprosource. His office made a big deal about how difficult it was to order the tests and his fees had to reflect that.

So now that I left him and went back to KB who does not specialize in immune testing,  I was not sure what to do. I contacted RF and they said I had to get the blood drawn, wrap the many vials in a towel, put it in Tupperware and take it to Fedex. REALLY? They do not provide any type of kit. This just sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. ERGH I know that labcorp employees can be surly sometimes and the thought of explaining to them that I had to take my blood out of there in tupperware was making me anxious.

 I decided to contact reprosource myself and asked them if the Dr had to pay a fee for their service. I was willing to pay, but I did not want Dr KB to have to since he is already doing me a favor. The rep at reprosource was wonderful. I explained my situation and she totally got it. She said there was no fee to the Dr. They are in my network  BCBS, so it was no big deal. In fact, she took down my Drs info, filled out the form to make it easy for him and sent it to him. Since I had used them before all my insurance info was on file. WOW. I am so impressed. If you ever need immune testing I would recommend using reprosource. I have tested 3 times with them now, and their customer service is great. I am so glad I got the nerve up to call them.

Now when Dr. KB is ready all he has to do is check off the tests on the form and fax it back to them. Then they  call me to set up the nurse. They send the tubes prepacked in  a shipping box with a fed ex slip. I have to pay a small amount for this wonderful piece of mind.

I am so thankful that I just said a prayer for all the wonderful people who are helping me move forward on this journey. Dr KB and his nurse JJ, my immune consultant KP, and the rep at reprosource.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Every Difficulty is an Opportunity in Disguise

Well AF showed so last month was a bust. To be honest I was kind of numb to it. Maybe bc I was already so sad a week or so back. This month was my right ovary. This ovary had been asleep since January. This ovary is covered with endo so I never  expect that one to work. I was surprised that it took a turn. Since starting the new meds my lufs has been under control. So I have to remember how I suffered with it for a whole year with no hope of it ever getting treated. Now it is finally working.

Every difficulty is an opportunity in disguise
This is something that I found on the Internet and it is something I remind myself when I am having trouble. This is also a way of reminding us that God has a master plan for us and sometimes we have to take the scenic route. It helps me to remain patient and let go of the thought that I am in control, when I am really not. Last winter I was at the end of my road, after a year of lufs, there were no new meds available left to try. Then I found the article from Japan about using neupogen. I was so happy, but then my napro Dr was not comfortable using it.

At the time, I was crushed. But now looking back it was the right decision. Because he would not prescribe it, I sought out a dr who would. I found Dr JB who is a reproductive immunologist, something I had never heard of. He ran tests and I found out I had immune issues. He also helped me to treat my LUFS. Then I thought ok, now this is it. I had suffered for 6 months when I could not get the neupogen and it finally paid off. Then he doubled his fees. He would only speak to me briefly and made me feel uncomfortable to ask questions. I was again upset bc I could not afford him and he was causing stress.

 I looked for my options. I found KP who has a phd in immunology. She is wonderful. She is really easy to talk to. She answers all of your questions. I just got my consultation packet from her and I am really impressed. She put together a large packet of information.She explains possible issues and lists possible tests to check for it. She is very thorough. There are many tests in there that Dr. JB never mentioned. It is clear that she is very knowledgeable on the subject. I am very impressed at the time she took to put together this packet.

Dr. JB charged me 1,000 to consult. He ran some tests and then spoke to me for about 15 min. He said he would send me a report. He never did. Then when I pressed him, he sent me a rush job email.
So it is clear to me now, that I was meant to meet KP all along. I had to go through some difficulties to get this opportunity in disguise. If Dr KB had simply done what I wanted, I may have never gotten to this place.

Now I have to speak with Dr. KB to discuss  KP's plan and get his approval. Hopefully this will be my final step.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Our Adirondack Adventure

June 29th was our 9th wedding anniversary. Since we are saving money for many possible things including adoption, we decided to plan a day trip. We went to Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course . I am terrified of heights/falling so I was not sure if I was going to be able to do this. Here is a link to some photos from their site  I took some on the ground, but I was too afraid to take some in the air and drop my camera.
 At first I really freaked out. You are up very high standing on a small platform. Then you have to switch your clips to the line and start walking across to the other side. There were different obstacles. For example, a rope bridge, logs, rock wall, zip lines, swaying swings etc. Some were easy and some were crazy. The hardest ones were the ones that swayed. You had to time it right so you could jump from one to the next. I got this great photo from the web. I would have been too scared to take this photo. Looking at it freaks me out. Imagine standing on that platform looking  at that small swing you have to step on high up in the trees. It was very scary for me. At first I froze and did not think I would be able to finish. It takes a lot of courage. You have to trust that the harness will catch you if you fall. You have to trust yourself that you will have the strength and timing to be able to get across.  I was happy that I was able to overcome my fear and do two of the 5 courses. They each get harder and higher up as you go. The zip lines were fun. At the end you get to do the giant zip line finale. We had fun. We did something new that pushed us out of our comfort zones.

After we finished, we stopped at Lake George on the way home for lunch. We ate at a restaurant that had a forest theme with animated animals on the wall that would make noise and move. Every so often it would have a storm with lightning  flashing and the sound of rain.After the storm, a rainbow would appear. They brew their own famous Moose Wizz Rootbeer.

Then we walked around town and went to the House of Frankenstein Wax museum . It had different scenes set up. You walk around in the dark and look into the windows. It has old fashioned animatronics, but it has charm.