Thursday, August 28, 2014

Update on my Friend, Ultrasound Results

Today was a rough day. Bad news first. In the morning, we found out that my friend's brain tumor is a grade four, basically the worst possible news. I'm glad we were able to leave in the late morning to go to our appointment, because it was pretty difficult being at work with so many sad people. And I'm a sympathetic crier, so I spent a bit of time hiding so I could keep it together. The prognosis isn't good, but she's young and strong and is going to give it a good fight; and she's super positive about it all so I'm resolved to be that way too.

At about lunchtime, Cory and I headed up to Portland. We parked and walked a block to Little Big Burger and had some comfort food, and then headed up to the appointment. We didn't have to do the mock transfer or the doppler because they'd gotten all the info they needed last time, so all we were doing now was making sure everything looked good.

And it did! Everything is healed nicely, and the walls of the uterine cavity are nice and smooth. For a second I saw a little white dot in the cavity and said "oh no, is that another polyp?!" but the doctor said "nope, that's the tip of the catheter" and wiggled it for me. Phew.

With that done, we spoke to the nurse for 30 seconds (she was pregnant; I wonder if it's hard to be pregnant while working at a fertility clinic), had no real questions about the protocol, and then we were off to the pharmacy.

Strohecker's Pharmacy is contracted by ORM, and is apparently "the Northwest's #1 Fertility Pharmacy." So I was expecting a super nice, big cushy pharmacy - but it was in a grocery store! That was a bit of a surprise. They had me wait for fifteen minutes while they got it together, and then we paid our $660 and were on our way.

Side note: for anyone who is planning on using Springstone to finance their treatments, know that though the interest is lower, they will only pay for the direct services that your clinic provides. For us, it's covering the blood draws, the exams, and anything that we do at ORM's office. But the hysteroscopy and the medications, because they aren't ORM, were not covered. There is another company that ORM recommends as well (I can't remember the name and I have no experience with them so I won't mention them) that has a higher interest rate but they basically give you the money and then you can pay whoever you need. I think that might be a better option for a lot of people, especially if they contract out for their prescriptions. (ORM could have done my hysteroscopy, but I opted to do it with an in-network doctor so that insurance could cover it. And while it was still a hit to the wallet, it could have been worse - and part of my insurance package reimburses 3/4 of my $1000 deductible so that definitely helps.)

So it was a day of a lot of ups and downs, and I'm happy it's over. And on Monday I begin the next step in the protocol - we're finally moving!

Mock/Dopp Today!

We're heading up to Portland this afternoon to see if the polyp and extra tissue they found during the last saline sonohysterogram is looking good, and check the blood flow to the uterus and do a mock transfer. I wasn't worried until this morning, but now I have irrational fears that the doctor that performed the hysteroscopy missed something or misunderstood what needed to happen. Logically I know that can't be the case, she's a doctor and she saw the ultrasound and knew what needed to go.

I'll update this evening!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


My closest work friend is in the hospital awaiting a biopsy of her brain tumor that was found on Sunday. She's doing OK, the tumor hasn't spread anywhere else that they can see with a CAT scan, and though it's inoperable due to the shape and proximity to her thalamus, she's in good spirits and I've spent several hours in the past couple of days with her, joking around and helping distract her. Send some happy and healthy vibes out into the world if you get a chance.

On my way down to my car in the elevator today, after she and I hung out for a bit, I met a brand-new baby girl leaving the hospital for the first time. She was tiny and all squinty from the light of the elevator, and I told her parents they did a good job, and then practically ran out of the elevator.

Hospitals are odd places. One building holds so much energy - the energy of those trying to keep spirits up while they wait to hear test results; the energy of new lives coming into the world, the energy of lives leaving bodies. It can be kind of overwhelming to think about.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Protocol Details, and Bills!

Those of you who are not so interested in medications 'n' such, feel free to skip. (After all, I normally skip other people's protocol posts, since I don't have a ton of control - and don't want a ton of control - over the ones my doc gives to me.) But there are some who are interested, I'm sure, so here goes!

I start birth control tomorrow.

On 9/1 I start twice-daily doxycycline (an antibiotic), prenatals (which I'm currently taking), and 81mg of aspirin. I take those for a week with the birth control, and then I'm off birth control.

I finish the doxycycline after 10 days, and then two days later I start delestrogen injections on Mondays and Fridays for the next almost three weeks.

On 9/26, I start taking progesterone in oil (PIO), and the day after that I start Medrol (a steroid, which ORM has had luck with increasing the odds of the pregnancy taking).

10/2 is transfer day, and I stop taking the Medrol at that point, and continuing on with PIO, prenatals and aspirin.

10/10 is the pregnancy test. And if all goes well (ihopeihopeihope), then I'll start taking three capsules of Endometrin (progesterone) vaginally, daily.

The pharmacy called me this afternoon to let me know that they got the order from ORM. I was a little surprised, because ORM didn't call the pharmacy last time. Maybe it's just because the saline sonohysterogram is just a formality now, everything should be good. I told them to wait to fill it until I actually have the sonohysterogram, just in case, but I think I might call tomorrow and ask if they'll just have it ready by that day and I can go pick it up after the appointment (they're in Portland). I also need to ask if they'll bill ORM so that ORM can use my loan. (They'd better!)

I also got my final bills from the hysteroscopy in the mail. I need to pay the $1347.40 that I put on my credit card on the day of the surgery, and pay the anesthesiologist $524, and the clinic another $4.18 (an adjustment from the original payment on the day of the surgery). Because I had the surgery at my local clinic, I can't use my loan for it, so this is all out-of-pocket. Ugh. Luckily I have enough to cover it, I'll just have to be careful for the next little bit.

Here we go again.

I feel like half of my blog posts are about having to be patient and wait, and the other half are titled something like "here we go again!"

This weekend we went to the wedding of Cory's best friend. It was a very nice party and it was great to be a part of it and meet all the family and close friends and get to know them. I think I cried twice during the short ceremony - I love watching people so in love with each other finally seal that commitment. I also enjoyed Cory making his toast - he was nervous about it for a long time but he nailed it!

This weekend also marked day 1 of my (quite short - 23 day!) post-hysteroscopy cycle. Of course it happened on a Sunday, which normally would have had me panicky to not be able to talk to the nurse IMMEDIATELY, but I've been through enough of these now that it wasn't a big deal. I called this morning and scheduled the mock transfer/doppler/saline sonohysterogram appointment for next Thursday.

I just got the schedule for the next seven weeks, starting on 8/31 - and now I'm all kinds of nervous.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Slow Boat

Three years ago next week, a college friend read a post I made on Facebook about our infertility struggles and messaged me, telling me how she empathized with us - as a recently-divorced woman in her mid-thirties she was worried that she wouldn't find someone to start a family with before she couldn't physically have babies any more.

Today, she and her new husband are welcoming their son into the world.

Sometimes it's hard to be in the slow boat, especially when you're overtaken by boats you thought were equally slow - no matter how happy you are that their boats made it safely to the dock.

...And now I will go write "comparison is the thief of joy" on the blackboard 50 times.