Thursday, April 26, 2007

Press Rewind

It feels as if lately it's always one step forward...two steps back. I started putting down my thoughts about exercise and losing weight. There's been so much weight in my life for a long time: emotional and physical. Before I can proceed, I think I should go back and explain the events of the last several years. How I got to this point.

I wouldn't say that I was always "cooing" over babies growing up, but I did know that I wanted to have a family. It was always part of the plan. Another part of the plan was to only have one child, two at the very most. I come from what I consider a large family. I grew up with five sisters. Fighting over the only working bathroom, hand me down clothes, not enough money for college let alone music lessons for everyone made me realize that I didn't want to have a lot of kids. I didn't want my kid(s) to feel the way I did when friends I had got things like piano lessons, new designer clothes (jordache jeans anyone?), summer camp, a junior year abroad. Don't get me wrong, my parents put food on the table, a roof over our heads, birthday and holiday presents, but there was always only so much to go around and choices had to be made as to who got what. I just don't think it's right to have so many children that they end up feeling like their needs fall between the cracks. A parent always wants more for their child than what they had, that doesn't mean that your children grow up to be spoiled. It's a parent's job not only to provide for the basic plus needs of their child but to also help their child to grow up into a caring adult. So, children yes, just not a lot of them.

Oh the irony of the gods and goddesses.

You spend a majority of your teenage and college years worrying about unplanned pregnancies and how to avoid them and then when you hit your thirties you realize that you have fertility problems and all that worrying was for nothing!

The ideal life included the following: college degree, good job/nice career, travel, and then hit the big 3-0 and have a baby. Except...the big 3-0 came and went 7 years ago and still no baby.

Here's the time line:

30-stop using birth control, don't get pregnant, see OB/GYN runs blood work-high blood sugar prescribes Glucophage/Metformin (not ready to admit the whole "high blood sugar" thing-stop taking meds, stop seeing OB/GYN

31-depressed about not getting pregnant when "planned"-spend the whole year sulking and still not pregnant

32-start trying again to get pregnant with a more positive attitude, still not pregnant

33-still not pregnant, talk to GP about wanting to get pregnant, GP "mumbles" the words "high blood sugar", "effects ovulation". Prescribes 500mg Metformin to try to regulate blood sugar and jump start ovulation

35-still not pregnant, still taking Metformin. Go to GP's office in January 2005, tell doctor getting discouraged, still not pregnant even after 2+ years of blood sugar regulating drug. [Note: This is just after terrible tsunami hits Thailand and other islands in the Pacific/Indian Ocean area.] Doctor mentions horrible tsunami and tons of orphaned children and recommends I try adoption instead. Black and bitter thoughts as I leave doctor's office regarding "wishes" of patient being ignored. Several months later (late summer of 2005) finally make appointment with OB/GYN (same office as previous one, but different doctor). Explain desire for child, inability to conceive so far. New doctor nice, even if during general exam she makes comment about that fact that I am 35 and therefore already reproductively challenged. (Basically old with old eggs, unlike nubile underage teenagers getting knocked up by stupid careless equally under aged boyfriends.) Doctor orders blood work, ultrasound, and HSG (Hystosalpingogram). Small fibroid in uterine lining. Doctor increases Metformin to 1000mg 2xday. Doesn't seem that concerned about fibroid being a problem.

Still 35-[Sept, Oct, Nov 2005] 3 months of trying Chlomid, still no pregnancies and ultrasounds show follicles that are not really getting big. Largest one during three months is 10mm. OB/GYN refers me to Reproductive Endocrinologist who is connected to her office, but actually has own office in city 1 1/2 hours from my city.

Almost 36-[Dec 2005] Consult with RE at my OB/GYN's office regarding "the plan", next steps to take. RE is concerned with small fibroid in uterine wall. Schedules follow up appointment at her own offices for next month.

36-[Jan 2006] Drive 1 1/2 hours away to RE's office for more ultrasound, initial appointment, formal introduction to the infertility world and what happens next.
[Feb 2006] Have same day lapryscopic surgery at clinic RE works with to remove fibroid. Drive 1 1/2 hours back home a couple hours after surgery. (Well partner drives me home.)
[Mar 2006] RE checks me out. Fibroid removal seems to be a success, but cyst on ovary (yes, have been diagnosed with PCOS-Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) so we'll wait till next month to try Artificial Insemination.
[Apr 2006] Get all clear from RE, nurses explain whole infertility drug procedure including numerous trips to get ultrasounds while monitoring follicles for IUI (Intra Uterine Insemination). Big box of drugs show up on doorstep including Follistim, Ganirelix, and HCG (trigger shot). Drugs are taken with some trepidation. IUI is performed by another RE at my clinic/RE's practice. Sperm count is 125,000,000. 2WW later and big fat NEGATIVE on pregnancy test. Call RE's office and give results. Told to call back again on cycle day 1.
[May 2006] Call Cycle Day 1, schedule ultrasound. Cyst, told to rest this month. No infertility drugs, try again next month.
[June/July 2006] These months are a wash-both times that cycle starts I am out of town and not able to make ultrasound appointments or follow-ups for correct timing for IUI.
[Aug/Sept 2006] Cyst, no IUI attempts-just rest-give cysts chance to go away on own.
[Oct 2006]-No cysts. More fertility drugs. IUI#2-2WW-big fat NEGATIVE!
[Nov 2006]-No cysts. More fertility drugs, but different mail order pharmacy because of crap insurance decision to switch preferred providers. Angst over having to be at home for Fed Ex delivery of drugs which MUST (I am told) be signed for in person, not just left on doorstep. Drugs received. (Still Follistim, Ganirelix, and HCG trigger shot.)IUI#3 performed (This time by office nurse rather than male RE like last 2 times.)Sperm count 250,000,000+.-2WW-another BIG FAT NEGATIVE!
[Dec 2006]-Decide to skip IUI attempt this month as both husband and I are disappointed that back to back IUIs were both failures, plus holiday stress makes this time of year all the more fun to be trying for a family. Can you see the irony of conceiving in the late days of December?

37-[Jan 2007]Cycle Day 1-call RE, get ultrasound appointment (at hospital versus local OB/GYN office as U/S tech is out sick that day and appointments are all cancelled.) Hospital ultrasound tech lets me know that I have two cysts. One on left is 24mm, one on right is 40mm. Tech is shocked at size of right cyst and nervously asks if I am in a lot of pain. RE nurse calls later that day. This month is a "no go"-just rest, no drugs for month. Next day (luckily a Saturday) I am bedridden all day because of immense menstrual pain-I'm sure it is right cyst rupturing.
[Feb 2007] Call RE office on cycle day 1 and let nurse know that I am skipping IUI attempts this month. (Basically I was told that if nothing happened with IUI try #4, we would have to "schedule a consultation". I am freaking out that doctor will either tell me I am barren with no hope of conceiving or that I must go right to IVF which is expensive and not covered by our insurance.)
[Mar 2007] Muster up courage to call RE's office on cycle day one and schedule initial ultrasound. Right side cyst gone, but left side cyst still there. No infertility drugs or IUI procedures for this month. Just rest and give cyst chance to go away on own.
[Apr 2007] Cycle Day 1-out of town on mini-holiday visiting old girlfriend. Call RE office on CD2 and also call local OB/GYN office to schedule an initial ultrasound for CD3. Ultrasound revels no cyst on left side, but 31mm cyst on right side. RE office calls and says "no infertility drugs or IUI attempt this month"...BUT being put on low dose of birth control for this month (starting that night) to try to get rid of cysts so that we can do IUI#4 in May. (Did I happen to mention that May is absolutely the worst possible month out of my work year to try this? May is the most stressful month for my job. Unfortunately I am worried that June will be a bust and possibly July as well because our "big vacation" is scheduled for the last week of June/first week of July and that will either be right at the end of a cycle/time to do an IUI or right at the beginning of one and how will that be monitored/handled if we are out of town?)

That's it in a nutshell. And yes, I am a huge worrywart, so I'm sure all that stress and worrying just does wonders for my cycles and IUI tries. Everyone all on the same page now?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Here's The Plan

The challenge: lose a whole bunch of weight
The goal: lose a whole bunch of weight AND GET PREGNANT!
The health issues: Hypothyroidism, Insulin Resistance/Type 2 Diabetes, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, INFERTILITY!
The road blocks: too much food, not enough exercise

The Plan:

1. Increase my exercise level.
2. Overhaul the way I eat.
3. Get pregnant, have a baby, enjoy life.

The plan seems simple. The plan is hard. No matter how many times I've tried to lose weight, to deal with my emotions, to not eat when I'm upset, angry, emotional-I just never seem to follow through.

Is there hope?

Here's the good news (and the bad):

Exercise: yoga ( 1 1/2 years: 2 x a week), water aerobics (1-2 x a week for the past month)-a treadmill that I bought a year ago, that has been gathering dust for almost a year (but at least I bought it)

Nutrition: Horrid but at least I'm willing to admit that. I do like nutritious food, but I get so stressed out and busy with work that over the last several years I've gone from being a pretty good cook to being an even better junk food junkie. With the Type 2 Diabetes, I have learned the difference between things like "a glass of orange juice" verses "an orange". Unfortunately I have many times when I know that something is not good for my blood sugar but I eat it anyway. I also tend to be a closet eater.

Getting Pregnant: We haven't used birth control in almost 8 years. Still not pregnant. Too much weight-two much estrogen. Not ovulating properly. At least I finally stopped listening to the GP who wasn't doing any follow up, went to the OB/GYN and finally got referred to an RE. I've been seeing her for almost 2 years now-no luck yet, but at least I haven't been told that getting pregnant is an impossibility. Well, not yet anyway.

That's where it's at for now. Isn't that enough?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Plan-Part 1

Well, I am slowly feeling better, so now it is time to try to move forward with "The Plan". One of the main reasons for this blog is to jump start my plan to lose weight. The one thing all my doctors agree on; lose weight and it will help you with your infertility/PCOS, thyroid problems, high blood sugar/Type 2 Diabetes. I don't disagree, I just know that it is one thing to be told something and it is another to really filter through that information. It is something totally different to actually take that advice and follow it. What is that phrase? "Easier said than done."

So, where to start? Part of me wants to start at the beginning-get the whole sordid story of my failure off my chest. Just lay out the plan? List my goals. That is so hard when you know how many New Year's resolutions have been started, but never accomplished. If I put it out there, if I put it in my blog, out there on the web for all to see...Is that a positive motivator or will I feel horrible if I am a failure once again? All I hear lately from my boss is that "change is a good thing" and what is change if not being brave enough to take risks, to try something new?

I chose "My Infertility Triathlon" because I need to be motivated to not give up on my chance at fertility, my chance at a family of my own (not just the screwed up one I was born into). As much as I love my partner, it's not enough. A child is something I have always wanted eventually and it doesn't matter if that child is biological or adopted, but at this moment in time I am not ready to give up on my chance to have a biological child. I'm not giving up on my chance to experience pregnancy and all it's joys and heartaches. I'm just not ready to concede the fact that I have let my past fears, problems, and issues ruin my dreams. I have let my past self create a totally different person than I envisioned my future self to be.

It is time for me to take control of my life and make it the way I pictured it. It's time to stop letting other peoples ideas, actions, and issues cloud my judgement and make me doubt myself. I am tired of running to the fridge for comfort every time I'm stressed or someone upsets me with their selfish attitude.

My plan is to try to embrace exercise, to really try to be more health conscience, to listen to my doctors advice with out letting it go in one ear and out the other. To stop finding excuses that keep me from stepping up to the plate and taking charge of my own destiny. If the doctors say "losing weight" will increase my chances of conceiving, then I need to acknowledge that and take charge instead of finding excuses to blame my problems on others and let this chance slowly fade away as every day my ovaries get just a little bit older.

Honestly, there is a plan. It will be revealed, but right now my other half keeps bugging me about hogging the Internet. An online homework assignment needs posting...I really need to get a freaking second phone line or DSL!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wake Up Call-Part Deux

I didn't mean to take so long for another post, but life happens. I finally got in to the GP and she thinks I have costal chondritis (an inflammation/tear of the chest wall). Yippee for me-NOT! I had it once before, but it's not fun. It DEFINITELY makes you feel like you are having a heart attack and it takes awhile for it to heal and in the meantime did I mention the pain that just enforces the feelings of angst and worry? I was feeling better on Sunday, but then I did a yoga class on Monday (which felt great), but I think I pulled the muscle again-because the pain is back baby! Not as bad, but annoying, especially the feeling like I can't breathe and the constant yawning to try to catch my breath. Do I sound like a whiner? I feel like a whiner and I hate that feeling!

So, I went on a mini-break to New York and Kingston, Ontario (Canada) this past weekend. It was really nice-relaxing. I love Canada! It was fun to do some shopping and sightseeing in a more culture friendly setting. It was nice to get away from the stress of work. I wish I could learn to separate my personal life from my job and wash out the stress. We stayed near the St. Lawrence River. It was so peaceful being near a large body of water. Beautiful views, fresh air. The yoga class was in a building right on the river with wonderful views of the lake. I really enjoyed taking the class-the peace and beauty of it. Unfortunately I think it stressed my chest inflammation. What do they say, "an ounce of prevention=a pound of cure".

And then it was time to come home to work and stress and anxiety. Rested but not cured. How do I know this...back to the old pattern of overeating. I was doing so well over the weekend, then I came home and right away the boredom and stress started creeping back in and out came the potato chips and fast food quick stops. Ugh...I hate that part of me. I know I should be better, but there is just something within me that goes right for the garbage foods when I'm not feeling well or 100% happy. It's like I have this secret desire buried deep inside me to just ruin my own life!

Where am I going with all this? Well, it's part of the reason I named this blog "my infertility triathlon". My goal is to conquer this blasted infertility and the simplest way I have been told by all my doctors to accomplish this is to "lose some weight." Easier said than done, but I'm not getting any younger so what other choice do I have? It's something I've wanted for a long time anyway, but I keep letting my deep dark self-destructive feelings get in the way of any progress. Well, it's time to face my personal demons; vanquish the all-devouring food beast and get into the exercise loving groove. How hard can it really be? (Ha ha-I've heard that one many times before.) Next up...part one of the plan.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Wake Up Call???

Sorry it took so long to post again. I have not been feeling good all week. Ever since that event on Friday and subsequent trip to the hospital on Saturday, I just haven't been myself. I've had aches and pains in my arm, back, and chest. My throat has felt tight. I've had some episodes of lightheadedness. I did make an appointment with my regular GP for tomorrow. I'm leaving for a weekend trip to NY on Friday and I want a little peace of mind before I go. I know, why wait so long, but that was the earliest I could get in with my work schedule and my GP's work schedule.

Maybe I pulled a muscle doing yoga last week? (I've had bones clicking and that could cause nerve stuff right?) I hate that I sound so paranoid. My significant other carefully broached the subject of "depression" as a possible cause. [My family has a history of depression.] I'm not ruling it out as a cause-wouldn't you be depressed if you wanted a baby and were going through infertility treatments that still are not working!? (I have no idea if there are any anti-depressants that I could take while doing infertility treatments. I don't want to mess this up or have my RE think I'm not a good candidate to work with anymore.) One minute I feel better, the next worse and each day this week it's been different/mixed symptoms. I'm just hoping it isn't anything so serious that I have to cancel my girls' weekend with one of my oldest and closest friends! That would total bum me out!

I have been looking forward to this trip/break for awhile. I need to get away from the stress of my job. I'm coming up on a critical time in the office and having a mini-break before should help center me for the big projects coming up over the next several weeks. The only thing I am a bit nervous about is my cycle. I should be coming up on a new cycle and if it doesn't start until the weekend, then I don't know how this month will play out. I really won't have time (and will be a bundle of nerves) in May because of all these work project deadlines. So April is my big hope for another round of fertility drugs. My only hope is that because it is Easter weekend my RE will be busy with the holidays so if I can't get in till Tuesday (even if it isn't Cycle Day 1) things will still be okay. I could go on in-depth about work insurance for IUI/IVF versus no work but more time for GP appointments, but "Medium" is coming on and it is one of my favorite show. Plus I have to work on packing for my trip, instead of waiting till the last minute like I usually do. Next post hopefully a bit more explanation on why I chose "My Infertility Triathlon" for my blog name. Oops..."Medium" is starting!