Tuesday, November 29, 2005

ramblings and runarounds

Haven't been updating much, because not much is going on. Haven't been commenting much on your blogs because I've actually been pretty swamped at work. Trying to get a bunch of reports finished before the end of the year so I can get a nice bonus / raise for having accomplished everything I said I would do. In a way it's nice because it keeps my mind off the waiting etc. I am still reading and thinking of y'all though!

In cycle related news, I actually had my first natural ewcm yesterday. So we took advantage. It was kinda fun - our first opportunity to actually try the way most people do. Sort of. Of course my OPK sticks still barely show a second line, but I enjoyed the pretense.

I've also gone back to my ice hockey team. I had decided when the season started that I wasn't going to play this year - I had gotten so incredibly frustrated with the coach over the past couple of years. But I had been hearing that he was doing things a bit differently this year, and I missed my teammates. So I started practicing with them again on Saturday. It was a really good practice - he actually did drills that I felt were helpful to ME, which is one of the things I felt was lacking last year. Fun! Of course, since I wasn't playing with them I joined another team that plays games Sunday nights, with practices every other Wednesday, and I've also been playing Tues/Thurs mornings before work, so now I'm probably skating a bit too much. I'll have skated every day from last Sat until this coming Thurs, then again Sat and Sun. But since I've decided that it's really not the exercise that is causing my hypothalamic amenorrhea, I decided to screw cutting back, until my IVF starts I'm going to be an ice hockey whore! I think doing something I enjoy in my spare time is really the best way to make it fly by.

I've been trying to get reimbursed for the drugs from my last 2.5 cycles that I paid for myself. What a nightmare of bureacracy! My first couple of orders were submitted to my insurance, but then the pharmacy people told me that my insurance only covered mail order pharmacies, of which they weren't one, so I'd have to pay for it myself. So I did, for $2300 worth of meds. Come to find out after I'd paid for all that, looking at my insurance website, that they DID in fact cover the meds. So then begins the runaround. I call the pharmacy. They tell me to call the insurance. I call the insurance. They tell me to call the prescription plan people. Who tell me to call the insurance because they didn't cover it, it was covered as a medical something or other. So I call the insurance, who tell me that the pharmacy has to reimburse me, then submit the claim to insurance again. The pharmacy tells me they'll look into it. Then they tell me they can't do it. Then they tell me they can't do it because the federal government would see it as them double billling me and they would get in trouble??? Then I get a supervisor who tells me that in fact they have two *separate* pharmacies, one for insurance pay and one for self pay, and ne'er the twain shall meet. I have to call the insurance and get a claim form and submit directly to them. Fine. I call insurance *again*. The guy I talk to thinks I'm telling him that they need to get the check that they wrote to the pharmacy refunded. Dimwit. I finally get him to understand what I'm looking to do, and he finally points me to the correct claim form.


Now we just have to see what happens when I submit it. I'm not terribly hopeful that it will go through without another multitude of hours on the phone. What a pain in the ass!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Are we part of the problem?

A friend of mine asked me the following question the other day:

While you are waiting for time to pass, I thought I'd bring up one more sensitive issue. Can you comment on this?http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2005/11/16/gree.DTLYou see, it's not a topic I've seen covered much on infertility blogs. I've seen one or two blogs where the author said she thought overpopulation would cause humans to go extinct but she still wanted her baby. It didn't make sense to me. I can understand if people don't agree with the basic premise and think the planet is doing OK, but not those who agree and basically just want what everyone else has.I have to say, if infertility gave me one thing, it is an understanding of how we as a species got ourselves into this mess of overpopulation. I know first hand how strong the urge to reproduce is. It is primal.

My response:

My take on it is that while I do think that we need to work on ways to use less of the world's resources, I totally don't buy the idea that we do not belong here. Yes, the world would be different without humans, but why the automatic assumption that it would be better? Why do the other species in the world have more right to it than we do? I guess you could argue because other species aren't the cause of mass extiction, but I think extinction is a natural process. Plenty of examples of species that went extinct before humans were around. And before we had all this technology at our disposal. Nature is a very fluid thing, and highly adaptable. And if we do cause a global apocalypse, whether through overcrowding or through being stupid and blowing ourselves up, I firmly believe that something else will rise from those ashes. Different, probably. But not any better or worse. And it may take millions of years to undo whatever mess we make. But that time certainly exists. How long did it take for the planet to come back after the dinosaurs were wiped out? A long long time!

What makes my existence palatable and meaningful is the relationships I have with other people. I have no illusions about leaving a legacy, making my mark on the world, blah blah blah. I want to squeeze the most happiness out of the time that I am around to enjoy it. That definitely involves having children and grandchildren (whether my own or adopted). And I'd rather have my own if I can. I like my genes, and my husband's. Selfish? Undoubtedly. But who else am I supposed to be thinking of?

I guess in a way I'm a fatalist. If overcrowding is going to cause the end of the human species, so be it. That's the way nature has always worked. I don't see the reason to deny myself something that will make me happy for the good of the species. I'm not a species, I'm an individual. I don't believe in any kind of life after death. So once I'm gone, I'm gone. No reason for me to care about what happens beyond that.

(I'll post her response back to me in the comments so this doesn't get too long.) What do you think? Have you thought about this at all while going through treatments?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I'm at a loss...

It just gets better and better. Not only do we have to see a social worker before doing IVF at our clinic, we have to pay $200 for the privilege! That is so completely fucked up. I do not want to see a social worker, I do not need to see a social worker, I'm anticipating that it will be a complete waste of time, and now I have to pay for it????

Honestly, it's (among other things...) making me seriously consider changing clinics. What's holding me back is my impression that it will add even further to the amount of time we have to wait, because I've heard that they will want to redo all the testing. Have you switched clinics? Is it true that they will want their own CD3 blood tests etc. etc.?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Triple fast-forward

I wish life were like Tivo. You could triple fast forward through the boring parts. I'm not looking forward to the holidays. I'm not looking foward to anything except getting through the next two months as quickly as possible. If only I could hibernate! Instead, I'm plodding through each day just waiting for it to end so that I can get to the next one. And the one after that. Even though I do enjoy some of the things I do (like visiting a friend down in DC the past couple of days), the fact that I have to wait wait wait is always in the back of my mind.

Monday, November 07, 2005


Found this at Nicole's, after checking out her ring. Thought it was fun! No tag, but if you'd like to join in, please do!

Accent: Generic American (northeast? But definitely not boston), with a little something odd thrown in – every now and again, someone picks up on the South African in me
Bra size: Well, I used to be a B, until I went to Gap Body and found out I’m a miserly A. Ha!
Chore I hate: Laundry. So M does it for me!
Dad's name: Anthony, but pronounced Antony. What we’ll name a son if we have one.
Essential make-up: NONE! I don’t buy into the ‘you must wear make-up to be beautiful’ mantra.
Favorite perfume: Don’t wear any. But I love Obsession and Drakar on a guy. (That kinda dates me, doesn’t it!)
Gold or Silver: Gold. Silver just doesn’t look right on me.
Hometown: Born in Pretoria, South Africa. Formative years in a chi-chi town west of Boston. ;-p
Interesting fact: I have hiccupped every day for the past sixteen years. Not kidding. Only one-three hiccups at a time, a few times a day.
Job title: Scientist I. How boring!
Kids: None :-( But I have names! Antony George, for a boy, or Tabitha Rose for a girl.
Living arrangements: Nice little three bedroom garrison colonial. We were lucky enough to find new construction in our price range! (Okay, a little outside, but we manage).
Mom's Birthplace: South Africa.
Number of apples eaten in last week: None. Number of apples eaten in entire life? About 0.5. I can’t stand fruits. Any of them. And I don’t eat many vegetables either!
Overnight hospital stays: 1 – after a car accident. I skidded into oncoming traffic in my three-month-old Miata. Totalled my car and one other, $5K damage to a third. Hospitalized for three days (which I don’t remember at all) with a major concussion, stitches next to my eye from the window, and a broken collar bone. If it weren’t for my seat belt and air bag, I wouldn’t be here.
Phobia: Nothing major. Although flying insects make me squeamish. And eating disgusting things, aka Fe@r F@ctor
Question you ask yourself a lot: Do they know that I have them all fooled?
Religious affiliation: None. Agnostic. I believe in a higher power, but not as circumscribed by official religions.
Siblings: One younger sister. Of whom I am deathly jealous at the moment.
Time I wake up: Varies – 5:20 on mornings when I have hockey, 6:00 if I’m going to the gym, or a leisurely 7:30 just to go to work. And around 10 on the weekends.
Unnatural hair color: Mostly blonde.
Vegetable I refuse to eat: There are a lot of veggies I don’t like. Lettuce probably one of the worse ones. I absolutely WILL NOT eat a banana though. Grosss. Epitomizes everything I don’t like about fruits and veggies!
Worst habit: Staying up WAY too late at night.
X-rays: Not too many. Leg, when my dad broke it when I was three (inadvertently! And I got a cool new pair of shoes out of it). Collar bone from aforementioned accident. I assume. HSG – does that count? Various teeth. Oh, and I had my lungs x-rayed once to check for TB ‘cause I get a positive on the stupid skin test every time.
Yummy food I make: Mmmmm…. Cake…..
Zodiac sign: Aquarius

Saturday, November 05, 2005

I get to POAS!

My pre-IVF consult last week was somewhat frustrating, as you might have gathered from my top ten list. I did actually end up getting most of my questions answered, but getting a word in edgewise with Dr. Conveyor was tricky!

I learned that I will be taking Lupron because despite my body's apparent inability to make my own FSH/LH etc., they have seen cases where women with hypothalamic amenorrhea do start making them during treatment, thus interfering with what they're trying to do. So it's really a case of 'better safe than sorry'.

Because our sperm quality is borderline, they will determine whether to do ICSI or not on the day of fertilization. They'll look at the numbers and morphology in that sample, and decide based on that. I didn't realize that they could / would look at the morphology on the day, as they didn't for the IUI's. So that's nice to know.

I don't have many additional things to do before getting started - they told me I'd need an AF (antral follicle) scan on day 3, plus Dr. Conveyor wanted to get updated numbers for a lot of my hormones, so blood draw for that. No HSC because my uterus looked normal on the HSG I had earlier in the year (I'm not entirely clear on the difference between the two procedures, except that it sounds like the HSC doesn't involve radiation 'cause they would do it right at their office). Mock transfer and PAP scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. And then we have the IVF class and meeting with the social worker. That will be interesting. I'll have to convince M not to be a pain in the ass. 'Cause under most circumstances on a visit with a social-worker like person he totally would be.

Other things I learned - they prefer to do day 5 transfers, so will wait for that depending on embryo number / quality (although I did not find out what criteria they use to determine). If there are signs of OHSS they will freeze the embryos and do a transfer the following cycle, as OHSS without pregnancy resolves fairly quickly on its own. I do still need to ask what happens if you only have one embryo that makes it to day 5. I'd be so afraid that it wouldn't make it through the freeze / thaw - I'd almost rather get OHSS. What do you think?

And, of course, they use PIO rather than suppositories. In their experience it works better. I guess I can't argue with that, much as I want to. I know that plenty of you have used PIO and it's not that bad, but I'm going to have to do it myself at least half the time as M travels for work. And it is going to take a lot of mental courage screwing to do that.

You've probably been reading through this going "get to the POAS bit, damn you!". I love a little suspense every now and again!

I get to POAS (an ovulation predictor)because I don't, after all, have to be on the pill right away. The nurse had told me that they didn't want to do my AF scan now because it might be affected by having been on injectables last cycle. Of course that wasn't the impression I got from Conveyor, and that's part of the reason I was hating on the nurse in my last post. When I called earlier this week to confirm which it was, she told me that in fact I don't need any AF scan at all - their policies have just changed and if you already have one from an earlier cycle, they can use that. So I don't have to take bcp until December.

And that makes me feel better. So much better. Because although the chances of my actually ovulating on my own are slim to none, slim IS in town. And having that miniscule chance means that I can do something (i.e. use the fertility monitor a friend gave me at the beginning of the year). And whether it is futile or not, I far prefer doing something to just sitting on my hands for the next two months. When I go on the bcp in December it will be in preparation for IVF, which is doing something. This month I would just be passing time. And that sucked.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Top ten things I HATE

1. I hate the Crimson Bitch, Aunt Flo, Maroon 5... by any name.
2. I hate that none of my "friends" who know what's going on with me ever call to ask how I'm doing.
3. I hate that my sister had an easy time getting pregnant, an easy pregnancy, an easy delivery - I feel like that means ALL of it is going to suck for me.
4. I hate that I feel that way.
5. I hate that I'm always the one to call my friends to get together, they never call ME.
6. I hate stupid nurses who don't understand my situation and tell me that if I wanted to do another IUI I wouldn't be able to do IVF until March. Idiot.
7. I hate doctors with a set spiel who leave no space between their sentences for me to ask qusetions.
8. I hate that we have to see a social worker before we can do IVF, because M hates it.
9. I hate that despite all the support I get from you guys, I still feel so lonely
10. Did I say that I hate the Crimson Bitch?