At least I don’t have swine flu

Well, I woke up this morning 10 percentage points lighter on the “ability to conceive” scale. But I had some very nice birthday wishes from family and friends, so there’s the bright side.

Had my 2 month appointment with Lyme doctor Sunday. I saw Dr. Thoring this time instead of Dr. Harris. Dr. Thoring is putting me on some better Magnesium supplements (why I wasn’t given these before, I don’t know…two months of crappy supplements = wasted time). He said if my restless leg problems don’t resolve after a week on these, I probably have a co-infection. If I have a co-infection, I have to take three months off of baby-making to take another antibiotic that is not baby friendly. When you’re 41, the dog-years theory applies so three months is really actually like 5 years. I’m really hoping the new supplements make me better. I ordered them on Monday and they said it would be one or two days max but they’re still not here.

I also complained about my hair falling out (which it is doing again) and Dr. Thoring suggested I try Armour Thyroid instead of Synthroid. Any google search will reveal a massive controversy about this subject. I called Dr. Stricker’s office and first they said it’s not available so stick to Synthroid. Then I told them Dr. Thoring has some, so can I just get a prescription. They were very defensive, espousing danger and full of warnings. Look, if it might make my hair stop falling out, it’s worth a try. I’ve begun imagining myself like Little Edie in Gray Gardens, dancing around with a towel on my head.

The new supplements plug up the afternoon no pill-popping hole so I’ll have to update my regimen. I also have to set the alarm an hour before I get up just to take my thyroid medicine (whatever that ends up being) so that I can wait an hour to take the probiotic/saccharomycin/herbs and then wait another hour to take my antibiotics/olive leaf/fish oil with my breakfast. I’ve reached the point where there aren’t enough hours in my waking day to take all of the shit that I have to take.

I started the Lovenox shots this week and something happened two days ago that has never happened before: I pulled the needle out and I was bleeding where the needle came from. Then immediately there was this hard lump under my skin the size of a quarter. A call to the pharmacist and some online sleuthing put me at ease as evidently this is a known side-effect. Why it had never happened before, and why it was happening now, I haven’t a clue. But it’s normalish, I’m fine, and I hope it doesn’t happen again. Plus there’s the lovely accompanying big purple bruise.

Pass the tequila

My hip feels great. It’s not even three weeks since the surgery and I’m about 95% back to normal, except it’s better than normal because I don’t have the crazy hip pain anymore. I actually went grocery shopping today pain free. It’s absolutely amazing.

Went to my herb guy, Majid, on Wednesday. He said I’m 50% better overall than when I first went to see him a month and a half ago. He also said that my ph balance is good and the hormones look good and if we want to start trying to get pregnant again we can. I’m trying to decide what level of commitment I’m up for…do I start the lovenox? Do I go back to acupuncture? I have to say it was pretty great this month just knowing I was not pregnant. No tests, no wondering, no counting days, no contemplating due dates. I was simply not crazy this month. It was a nice respite.

I think this month we should not try to get pregnant, but at the same time not try not to. This is what my sister-in-law did and guess what, she’s pregnant. My friend with the new baby suggests drinking more. She, as well as many people she’s talked to, were evidently really drunk when they conceived. It sounds counter-intuitive (and somewhat harmful) but maybe it’s worth a try. I’ve tried everything else.

I have my next lyme dr. appointment next Sunday on November 8th. I recently read the most up-to-date information regarding lyme and pregnancy and the concensus is that I have to be on antibiotics the entire pregnancy or risk passing lyme to the baby which can cause several problems which include everything from heart, brain and lung damage to death. So I guess I’ll be on antibiotics either until I have a baby or reach meopause. Great.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Daily Regimen

meds-710551

Mostly because of the lyme, but also because of the MTHFR, Hashimotos and ACA, I have a lot of shit I have to take every day. Some I can’t take with others. Some I sholuld take with others. Some I have to take on an empty stomach. Some I have to take with food. It’s daunting to keep track of everything but I finally scheduled it all in.

  • 7am (empty stomach) – probiotics (3), calcium/D/mag (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)
  • 6pm (with food) – amoxicillan (2), olive leaf extract (2)
  • 10pm (empty stomach) – probiotics (3), baby aspirin (1), claritin (1), prenatal (1), calium/D/mag (2), folgard (1), lovenox (shot)

When I was a kid my mom made me take vitamins every morning. There were about 10 of them and I HATED taking them but I got good at taking everything at once. I swore I’d never swallow that many pills again. Joke was on me. At least I can take each batch all at once.

Shooting Up

Had my second lyme appointment on Saturday (or first follow-up). It was with a different doctor. I discussed with him my concerns about baby-making at this stage of the lyme game. He suggested I wait six months to see how I do on the antibiotics. I suggested I not. He called in the expert who said it was ok for me to try to conceive now. I like the expert.

The expert changed my medication–took away the Ceftin and added amoxicillin in its place (more baby-friendly). I was told that I could breastfeed if I was not having symptoms.

News Flash: Husband does NOT have lyme! So that’s great news.

I started the Lovenox on Friday night. It was really hard to stick myself with that needle. It’s like the thing that prevents you from breathing under water was preventing me from jabbing a sharp needle into my belly. I eventually did it though. It went in slow and burned a little. Then after I took the needle out it hurt worse for about 15 minutes, like someone was pinching me really hard or something. Last night was a little easier. We’ll see how it goes.

The times are a-changin’

Dr. Stricker’s office said we can definitely start the process even on all these antibiotics.

I also found out Thursday that I got a job finally!

So I start shooting the Lovenox on Friday, and I have my follow-up appointment with lyme Dr. on Saturday. I am a little concerned because some stuff I’ve read on the internet says that pregnant women should be on IV antibiotics if they find out they have lyme while pregnant to make sure they kill it as fast as possible so it doesn’t spread to the baby. I will have only been on oral antibiotics for a month before I (hope to) get pregnant…is that enough? I’ll ask the Dr. on Saturday.

Things are looking up at last!

All systems go…probably

I got the call today from the lyme doctor and I do NOT have any coinfections! This means that I will not have to take any other crazy antibiotics, and also means, according to lyme dr., I am clear for conception. Husband doesn’t think it’s possible that it would be safe to get pregnant while on all these antibiotics, so I have a call in to Dr. Stricker’s office to make doubly sure. But this is the best piece of news I’ve had in months!