No plan is a good plan

So we’re taking a break. Which is to say, I’ve totally given up, almost. No more IUI, no more shots, no more counting. I’m just done. The focus is on managing the lyme disease and fixing the hip. Majid, the herb guy, along with my best friend and my own conscience, have told me lately that until those things are under control I’m just not equipped. So I’ve been really good with my new diet of no sugar, dairy or white stuff, and I have an appointment with the hip doctor on Friday to see what can be done. I can barely carry around my unpregnant person with this hip…I would be completely incapable of carrying around two people.

On a side note, my lyme dr. told me to keep upping my Magnesium until my leg problems resolved. What he failed to tell me was that too much magnesium can really mess up your, uh, intestines/bowel. So really I should have upped the Magnesium until my stomach could tolerate it and then stop. So I’m backing off a bit and reducing to 1,250 mg instead of 1,500. Thank you Majid for filling in the blanks.

Also, I can barely hear myself think with all the ringing in my ears. A nice feature of the Zithromax, I’m told.

On a completely related note, I’ve become quite attached to the rum and caffeine-free diet coke.

Not

Blood test was negative.

I thought I was doing ok until I had a total meltdown in the pharmacy when they didn’t have my prescription ready. The doctor called last week to say it was approved so when I went to pick it up and the pharm said it wasn’t approved AGAIN (the third time), and I had to pay for the medicine with my own money AGAIN (the second time) and this time it was TWICE as much (for something that should be covered), I totally lost my shit. I yelled, I cried, I even cursed.

Then I had to go to the grocery store and the whole time I’m driving my cart I’m thinking how I have to move to a small town where people don’t beg for money outside the store, where people don’t get sick and where women get pregnant if they want to. While I’m driving home in traffic I’m thinking how I just can’t deal anymore. And when the neighbor dog starts barking at me (as it’s done non-stop, day and night, since the neighbor went on vacation three days ago) I tried to kill it with my eyes. And I love dogs.

It’s too crazy. This whole thing is making me totally insane.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse

Have you ever thrown up on yourself while you’re driving?

I used to be able to answer no to that question.

But this morning I had an arthrogram of my left hip. This delightful procedure started with me changing into a mini-gown and being wheeled in a wheelchair out of the MRI room, through the physical therapy room, past the waiting room, out the back door of the building, across the parking lot entry and into the Radiologist’s office so he could inject a bag of saline and contrast into my hip joint with a really really big needle. So many questions…like (1) why isn’t the Radiologist in the same building as the MRI machine? (2) why couldn’t I have changed out of my clothes in the Radiologist’s office? and (3) why wasn’t I given a blanket for my long trip cuz it was friggin cold outside?

After the whole needle in the hip thing, I was wheeled back on the same route back to the MRI machine. The MRI guy said I could choose some music. I said, “anything relaxing…that isn’t Enya.” Well, he must have heard, “anything relaxing…how ’bout some Enya” because that’s what was piped into my earphones for a half hour whilst I sat, unmoving, in my little MRI coffin.

So because the whole arthrogram/Enya thing was pretty traumatic, I thought I’d make myself feel better with a nice soy latte from Starbucks (no more dairy for me). Driving back to work on the 101, enjoying my nice latte, I started to feel…not so great. Then I started feeling hot and quivery. I thought to myself, “relax, you just feel nauseous…you won’t actually throw up.” Boy was I wrong. Suddenly, at about Silverlake Blvd., I started to really feel like I was going to throw up. How lucky was I that I had my lunch in a plastic bag sitting right next to me on the seat? Not very, because the bag had a hole in it. That’s right, I threw up three times into a bag on my lap which then quickly leaked out all over my skirt, my top and my iPhone. Of course I had no napkins because that’s just my luck. I found some Kleenex in my purse, rolled the bag up as best I could and threw it away in a public trash can somewhere off Third street in downtown. I called work, told them what happened and that I was going home and then I called the doctor to make sure the source of my instability was the latte and not some horrible deadly reaction to the arthrogram. It was the latte (and the Enya).

I’ve eaten lunch since and am feeling better. But this was seriously not a good day.

Impatience

Again, my impatience got the best of me. I went in yesterday morning for a blood test instead of waiting until Sunday for a pee test. Really, if I can avoid 3 extra nights of Lovenox shots and progesterone suppositories, how can that be bad?

Took the test in the morning and got the results at 3:30 the same day (yes, it is amazing). She said my HCG was 4.5 but they are not sure whether it means I’m pregnant or it is residual HCG from my shot two weeks ago. I did the math and if I ovulated on the Saturday between IUIs, then add six days for travel, then considering the HCG doubles every 48 hours, I would be right around 4.5 yesterday. On the other hand, it could just be from the shot.

So I have to go in on Sunday morning for another blood test, but this time I have to wait until Monday at 3:30 to get the results. I’m looking for anything above a 4.5.

Cross between jello and scrambled eggs…this is my brain on conception.

Also, saw the hip doctor about my, yes, hip. He said a cortisone shot should fix me right up. Problem is, I can’t have cortisone because of the Lyme Disease. Then he said he could take an MRI to see what’s what, he thinks maybe the pain on the outside of the hip might be caused by a tear of something on the inside of the hip because of my lack of range of motion. Problem is, I can’t have an MRI if I’m pregnant. So, if I am pregnant, I’m living with this hip for a very long time. If I’m not, I’ll have a fixed-up hip with no baby to carry on it.

Herbs on my tongue

Saw Majid Ali today, the Herb Guy. He was REALLY great. He went over diet with me, offered a lot of suggestions on things I can and should not eat. Mentioned things like leafy greens are full of vitamin K which is not good for the blood clotting issues, so all of the salads I’ve been eating are probably not so great for me…good to know. He went over all my medications, explained what’s happening to my body with the lyme and candida (belly-bloat) and mixed up some herbs for me. These are not the kind you have to cook in a pot (thankfully), these are in powder form and you have to put a scoop (or in my case two scoops) on your tongue and then wash it down with water. I have to do this four times a day. I’m going back in three weeks and he says I should be better then. He says getting the candida / acid in my body balanced out will also help hold a pregnancy. I’m all for that.

Daily regimen *Updated*

New or changed stuff in red:

7am (empty stomach)

  • probiotics (1) new probiotic is 75 billion organisms so only need one now 🙂
  • calcium/D (1)
  • magnesium (2)
  • herbs (2 scoops)
  • saccharomycin (2)

8am (with food, at least 1 hour after previous batch)

  • amoxicillan (2)
  • zithromax (2)
  • olive leaf extract (2)
  • fish oil/DHA (2)

11am (2-3 hrs. after food, 1 hour before food)

  • synthroid (1)
  • 1pm (with food)
  • amoxicillan (2)
  • herbs (2 scoops)

5 pm

  • herbs (2 scoops)

6pm (with food)

  • amoxicillan (2)
  • olive leaf extract (2)
  • diflucan (1) just for one more day

10pm (empty stomach)

  • probiotics (1)
  • baby aspirin (1)
  • claritin (1)
  • prenatal (1)
  • calcium/D (1)
  • magnesium (2)
  • folgard (1)
  • lovenox (shot)
  • herbs (2 scoops)
  • progesterone (1)
  • saccharyomycin (1)
31 pills
8 scoops of herbs
1 shot

More drugs

Had the second IUI on Sunday morning. This one did not hurt as much for some reason, much to my delight. But the doctor said I need to take the progesterone…so I get to add that into the daily drug mix. Now we wait….

Also drove out to Malibu Sunday afternoon for my follow up lyme appointment with Dr. Harris. It’s been two months since I saw anyone and I’ve been having some crazy stomach problems, just an ever-expanding belly. Nothing fits me.

Dr. Harris said I’m not meeting expectations, meaning I’m not getting better which I should be after three months. He also had some thoughts about why my legs were bothering me so much, said it might be a coinfection (even though I tested negative for all of those earlier). He said negatives are not as reliable as positives and my symptoms point to a coinfection. That could also explain why my legs are getting worse, not better, with treatment. He said that because I might be pregnant and the coinfection antibiotic is a Class C drug (not safe for pregnancy), we will have to wait until I am not pregnant to start treatment. In the meantime, I have to up my dose of Magnesium…more pills, yay.

He also told me to add a few things to my daily drug regimen to help with the stomach: Saccharomyces, acidophilus and something else I can’t remember the name of that I have to order. I’m also taking Diflucan for 3 days starting yesterday. I go to the herb guy, Majid, tomorrow. He has worked with lyme patients before and I think he’ll be able to help me with what food I should and should not be eating. For the time being, I’ve been ordered off of potatoes, rice, pasta, sugar, bread, all the things I love the most. I’m eating a lot of salad (no croutons). No more Starbucks cafe mocha, no more sandwiches, no more of my favorite Thai food, no more french fries.

Did the crew thing for the Avon Walk on Saturday and I’m paying for it today…my legs and hip are REALLY sore. Every time I have to get out of my chair I groan like an old man.

Did I mention that Receptionist is having a girl? The whole mail area is decorated with “It’s a Girl!” signs and pictures of ultrasounds. They’re starting to paint the nursery tomorrow. And when I hear all of this I’m so jealous and it makes me feel really bad 🙁

But what makes me feel worse is that not only are my lyme symptoms still bad, but the medicine to make me feel better is causing a whole host of additional problems on top of everything else. In essence, I feel worse after being treated for three months and now I can’t eat anything I like.

Two times the fun

So we went in at 7:30am for the IUI this morning. But I had been testing…and thinking. I tested again last night and this morning and the test line was lighter than it had ever been. So what if it was a false almost positive? Would we be IUIing too soon? The Dr. did a scan which showed I had not yet ovulated, but she couldn’t tell whether I would ovulate in 5 minutes or in 3 days. We decided to do the IUI just in case, do a blood test to see what’s what, and then do another IUI tomorrow or Sunday depending on the test results. Hubby “gave up” a “sample” which tested off the charts (he’s such an overachiever) and they did the IUI which, by the way, was almost as painful as the HSG but didn’t take as long. I sat there “relaxing” for 10 minutes and then went to work.

Dr. called about 3pm with the blood test results…not yet ovulating, not yet LH surging. So she told me to take a shot of HCG tonight which will make me ovulate and then we’ll do another IUI on Sunday morning…cool, another IUI.

I have to report for Avon Cancer Walk Crew duty tomorrow morning at 4:30am in Long Beach. I had to tell them I couldn’t be there on Sunday, which is a real drag. But…priorities.

Time for pills, shots and bed.

Countown for ovulation

So I took the Clomid for 5 days, last one Saturday. It did make me a little moody but I’m better now. I’ve been doing the ovulation predictor tests each afternoon for the past few days. There’s something very bittersweet about seeing the faint positive on the ovulation test. The test looks exactly like the pregnancy test from the same brand and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stared at that test hoping and wishing for even just a faint positive.

This afternoon the faint positive was much less faint than before…almost but not quite as dark as the control line. To be positive, the test has to be as dark or darker than the control line. But even though it’s not totally positive, we’re going to do the IUI tomorrow morning. This is good, because if we had to do it Saturday, I would have to cancel crewing for the Avon Walk which starts tomorrow night. I really didn’t want to have to have that conversation with my Crew leader “blah blah advanced maternal age blah blah ovulating….”

We’ll go in tomorrow at 7:30am. My husband will “give up” a “sample” and it will take them one hour to “prepare” it. Then they will do the “transfer” and we’re done. I’m a little concerned about how this will feel…I almost passed out when I had the HSG done and it’s kind of the same idea…passing a catheter through the cervix. But I guess at this stage of my cycle, my cervix will be more open or something so maybe it won’t be as bad. I’m afraid to look online for suggestions because comments always range anywhere from “I didn’t feel a thing you’re all wimps” to “complications caused me to have a hysterectomy.” Googling this stuff never ends well.

My husband really needs to be at work early tomorrow but we both decided it’s important for him to be there during the “transfer.” At least we can pretend we’re doing it the normal way.

Wish us luck.

Starting IUI

So today was the first appointment with USC Fertility to get the whole IUI process going. Exam, blood test, ultrasound, the whole nine yards. Everyone is very impressed with how I keep my medical records…everything is in a binder all tabbed and indexed. I guess that’s unusual.

We talked about clomid and injectables. Clomid is a pill that makes more than the usual one egg “drop” which increases the chances of pregnancy from about 6% to about 25%. Injectables are for people who just haven’t gotten pregnant and it REALLY increases your chances of pregnancy, and of multiple pregnancies. I had 17 folicles in my right ovary and 8 in my left. If I did the injectables I could end up Octomom, which is not ideal. So we decided to go with the Clomid…I take 2 tabs each night for 5 days. Then on cycle day 10 I start testing in the afternoon with the ovulation predictor kits. Once it’s positive we go in the next day for the “transfer.”

They tested my FSH which was 7.5. They get worried that the eggs are all dried up if the number is over 10, so this is good news for me. That plus the “above average” number of folicles gives me some better than average odds for my advanced maternal age.

Other than that, my legs have really been bothering me. They feel like they’re hooked up to an electrical outlet, especially if I walk any distance longer than 10 feet. Something to talk to the lyme doc about at my next appt. That and the fact that my belly is all big again from the antibiotics. Gotta lay off the sugar.

GOOD NEWS: My new insurance, Cigna Open Access, not only pre-approved another 6 months supply of Lovenox, they have already shipped me a 3 months supply and it only cost $40. Suck it Blue Shield.