Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hcg injections

I started my hcg injections yesterday.  I am supposed to have them on peak +3, 5, 7 & 9.  I thought I was going to be able to give myself the shots, but after I saw how long a 5/8 in. needle is, I had to wait for my husband to get home and give me the shot.  I still panicked when it came time for the shot even though he was doing it, and not me.  Today, the injection site is sore; it feels like a bruise.  Hopefully it won't be like that every time.  

The cost of these injections is outrageous.  I went to the pharmacy to pick the medication up the other day, and the pharmacist said he couldn't get my insurance to run and the medicine was expensive.  I asked how much, and he said $185.  Wha-what?  He said it used to only cost $47, but the price has gone up since people started using hcg to lose weight.  How unfair!  Anyway, I had to have the medication for this cycle, so I paid for it out of pocket and then called BCBS.   Turns out, they consider hcg a "specialty fertility medication" that has to be ordered through their in-house pharmacy, Caremark.  Fine. Whatever.  I am pretty sure, though, that my doctor did not code this as a fertility issue.  I will deal with that if they try to deny me coverage.

I am glad I am on the hcg shots.  Yesterday, which was peak +3, I was feeling cramping, which felt like it was period type cramps.  I don't know what could have been going on, but it seems like it stopped after the hcg shot.

Oh, how I wish my body could just be "normal."  How I wish my body could just do what it was designed to do.  I often think, Lord, you designed this body, you know how it should work, and you can do miracles, can you please just reach down and touch my belly and everything would be fixed?  Why is it that some people have no problem whatsoever getting pregnant and, in fact, are so fertile that they attack their fertility with contraceptives and abortions?  Can I get a little of that fertility over here?

I have got 12 sisters in law; my husband is from a huge family.  Between those women, there are 62 children.  I mean, it is like these people can just look at each other and get pregnant.  A friend of the family joked once that they have babies like machine guns, rat-a-tat-tat-tat.  I often feel like standing up on a box and screaming, "can everyone just stop having babies until we get to have one?"  I know I shouldn't feel like that, but it is like my own personal purgatory or hell, I don't know which.  I know there is not some magical number of how many children God is going to allow to be born and I am missing out on my chance every time someone else has a baby.

Still, there is such a stark contrast between their super-fertility and my infertility.  I just want to be well.  All of my complaining aside, thank God that there are options out there for Catholic women facing these challenges.  Thank God I found a doctor who is willing to get to the root of what is wrong with me, rather than try to skip over the problem and just get me pregnant through IVF.  I know it will take time to solve every problem, and that as we solve one, another might rear its head, but I just wish there was a magic "make be better" button the doctor could push.

Until then, I need to keep my chin up and march on.  Each of these medications that he prescribes does give me hope that maybe this one will be the key.  I have something to cling onto, hoping that this new thing will work, that there is something I can still do to try to improve things, that all is not lost.      

Sunday, August 28, 2011


So, somehow I hurt my back this past week.  I don't know what happened.  I just woke up one morning and the whole right side of my back was killing me.  I lived with it for two days and finally decided on Friday to go visit a chiropractor for the first time in my life.  The motivating factor was probably the fact that I've maxxed out my co-insurance and deductible this year with my two surgeries, and I figured I better make the most of my free health care until January 1 comes.  So, off I went.

The first part of the appointment was not that bad.  He asked me a few questions, moved my head around and asked me if that hurt, told me to lift each of my legs one at a time and asked me if that hurt, and then took some x-rays.  Then, it got weird.  He had me come into another room and lay face down on a table.  He placed some kind of electrodes on my back and then left the room for 13 minutes.  I laid there, with my face sunscreen melting into the paper cover over the face hole of the table, while electric pulses aggravated and nagged at my lower back.  It was the weirdest feeling.  He told me that endorphins would be released and that I would start to feel sleepy.  Nope.  I was too busy wondering what this was doing for me?, was anybody in the hall staring and giggling?, is this going to make it worse?

Finally, he comes in and removes those things, and I am taken to another room where he shows me my x-rays.  Apparently, I have a slight curve at the tail bone.  I need to strengthen my abdominal muscles to pull the spine straight up and to stand straighter.  I wonder if this is a new condition developed since my surgery this year because I have gone easy on my abs since then.  I was cut wide open, so of course, it takes time for the muscles to heal.  I have found it feels like I don't have control over the muscles, but that is getting a little better.  The main problem I have now is that I feel like the muscles are somehow shortened.  It feels like I need to be stretched or something.  I tried walking around all day yesterday with a conscious effort to pull the abs up and stand up straight.  By the end of the day, I was exhausted and my "insides" were hurting.  It felt so good last night to put my pj's on and "let it all hang out."  Hello belly.

Anyway, after the x-ray viewing, he took me to another room with another table.  There is one word to describe the experience I had then: manhandling.  Good Lord.  He had me lie in different positions on the table while he yanked, pulled, twisted, pushed.  Being the wimp that I am, I was practically yelling with each yank, pull, twist, and push.  Luckily, there were no other patients in there; I would have scared them all off.  Out of all of those maneuvers, he only got one "pop" out of my back.  I'm a stubborn one.

After that, we were done.  He told me I could use ice packs for 25 minutes every two hours and take some ibuprofen.  He also mentioned that he does acupuncture and has helped four women get pregnant.  The whole time he was talking, I was thinking to myself, "you think I'm going to let you put pins in my body?" and "shouldn't you stick to one thing and do it well?"

I thanked him and left the office, still in the pain that I was in when I went there.  The rest of my day, though, was looooooooooong.  I felt so sleepy all day long and could not wait for the night so I could just go to bed.  I tried taking a nap that afternoon.  Still sleepy.  I tried taking a walk over at the outdoor mall, thinking that a little sunshine might do it.  Still sleepy.  But, I did discover a cute little tea shop that had just opened on Friday.  I tried a cup of organic green tea that I just bought at the cute shop.  Still sleepy.  That night, I was still so sleepy that I went straight to bed, while my poor husband spent his Friday night watching a movie all by his lonesome.

Today, Sunday, I feel much better.  I was still in a little pain yesterday and took ibuprofen.  I don't know if time healed my pain, or anything the chiropractor did, but I'm glad I can walk, bend over, and toss and turn at night without my back screaming at me.  

In other news, Dr. H started my husband and I back on Biaxin.  We were on that right after my surgery, but Dr. H stopped the course when a local doctor here prescribed a different antibiotic when I developed a minor infection in my surgical site.  So, we've been back on Biaxin for 4 or 5 days, and I don't know if it's due to the Biaxin, or the FloraSource probiotic I started taking along with the Biaxin, but I have been a starving, ravenous animal over the last several days.  No matter what I eat, I am constantly hungry.  It has been so annoying that finally last night I gave in, violated my anti-inflammatory diet, and had some greasy yummy pizza.  That helped, but I can't live like that, eating fattening, greasy food all the time.

No, I'm not pregnant, yet.  It is still too early in the cycle to have had a baby implant yet.  I wish I could blame my appetite on pregnancy hormones.  Instead, I'm just a hungry heifer, grazing away. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I hate needles.  I always have.  They get me worked up.  I remember getting an immunization once when I was a kid, and I got so anxious about it that I had a nosebleed right there sitting on the table even before they stuck the needle in my arm.  Blood just poured out, apparently due to the fact that my blood pressure got so high that the blood had to go somewhere.  I had never had a nosebleed before, and I have never had one since.  Still, though, I am afraid of needles.  I once had a phlebotomist meanly laugh at me while I was crying as she drew my blood.  That was only a couple of years ago.  I know, I'm an adult and I should be more rational about this fear, but the fear is just a part of me.  In my mind, the lady that draws your blood is a vampire.

So, why am I even considering acupuncture?  Because I'm stressed out.  I always have been.  It's my personality to be stressed.  I'm working on it; I'm trying to let go and let God.  I guess it's party of my root sin, pride, to be stressed out all the time.  But, I have always been this way, even as a kid.  I can remember being so worried as a kid that the house might burn down one day that I had a bag of clothes packed and hid under my bed and a plan to throw my little rocking chair through the window to break it so that I could take my little bag of clothes and climb out of the window to escape the fire.  I can remember that every time my mom would pull up to a store and run in, leaving my sisters and me in the car, I would hide in the floor board, afraid that someone might kidnap me.  I would be there, crouching in the floorboard, crying and begging my sisters to hide too.

My anxiety and fear spurred me on to go through college and law school, always fearful that if I did not make a career for myself, I might end up living in a ditch.  This anxiety has now apparently caused me to develop Thyroid System Dysfunction.  Great.  I need to do something about this stress, but what?  I truly feel like unless I win the lottery and go live on a tropical island, I am going to be stressed.  I am working on giving it all over to God.  I pray constantly every day for God to take all these worries away, and for the ability to trust that all will be fine.  I'm working on living Padre Pio's phrase, "Pray and don't worry." I've read and re-read "Abandonment to Divine Providence."  Obviously, I'm a work in progress, and I am trying to "let it be."

In the meantime, I wonder if acupuncture might help?  It seems hokie, and I'm usually against anything "new age," but I have heard of a lot of people trying it when they are going through infertility treatments.  I have heard over and over again that stress is "bad" for your fertility.  I want to get rid of the stress.  Trust me, it is not fun being anxious all of the time.  So, I wonder, could one of the things I'm most afraid of, the scary sharp needle, be the thing that helps me abandon my stress, anxiety, and fears?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Ok, this is my first venture into the blogging world.  Later, I will sit down and post our 4 year infertility journey.  For now, I want to talk about something kind of silly.  We watched this, what I would call, motivational talk, last night about visualizing what you want and imagining that you already have it and "the universe" will bring it to you.  We were laughing our butts off the whole time, but we thought, "what they hey?  why not?"  So, we wrote down that we want to have a baby, and we have been jokingly pretending that we do have a baby.  I even found a picture of a cute newborn on the internet and made that my screensaver.  I know it sounds silly, but it couldn't hurt to replace my negative anxious feelings with happy, grateful, peaceful feelings.