27 December 2010

Fertility Drugs: Round Three

My new secret weapon in the war against crappy ovulation.

The day began with my first androgen test.  This is a test run from a blood sample to see if your levels of testosterone interfere with ovulation.  I showed up to my doctor's office early with an empty stomach and our 9-year-old neighbor in my company.  The test had to be done during fasting, and with no one in the waiting room with us, I figured we would be dining at Chik-fil-A within the next half-hour.  We got through most of a game of checkers when the lab tech came out to the waiting room.

"Victoria, for the test you're having done today, your specimen will have to be frozen.  We can't do that here.  We don't have the facilities for such.  You'll have to go to LabCorp for the test.  Sorry we didn't tell you before."

She handed me a form she had prepared for me to take to the lab.  Our checkers game ended with my neighbor having earned one king and me an even hungrier stomach.  My chicken minis would have to wait that much longer.

Thankfully, the lab wasn't very far from the doctor's office, but they did have to find a way to squeeze in their surprise patient among the others.  They were very kind, and I apologized for any inconvenience I might have caused.  Needle in, blood out, and we headed for a very late breakfast at the closest Chik-fil-A we could find.  Spending the rest of the day with my neighbor was fun.  She kept my mind off of the test while we shopped for clearance Christmas decorations and played a few rounds of Boggle.

Then after my neighbor's mom picked her up...

I began my third month of fertility meds.  The drug: Femara.  The dosage: two 2.5 mg pills per day for 5 days.  Possible side effects: nausea, mood swings, hair loss, headaches, hot flashes.  Hold on a second…hair loss?  Dude, if I lose any hair, it had better be in an area where I won't miss it, like my bikini zone or my big toe.  I decided I would take each dose around dinner time for each of the 5 nights.  I downed my first two pills earlier this evening just shy of 6:00.

The nausea was almost immediate.  It ruined my hour-and-a-half date with our DVR and the musical I had yet to see--"Chicago".

Michael was asleep upstairs (thankfully) in preparation for his night shift at the hospital, so I decided to use this (plus my green gills) as my pardon from dinner duties.  The mere idea of food roundhouse-kicked my gag reflex.  The idea of standing over the stove inhaling all sorts of food smells had me reaching for the Pepto and hiding under the afghan on our sofa.  I had to protect my nostrils from miscellaneous unsavory aromas.  Sure, morning sickness will be a total bitch if we ever make it to pregnancy, but being this nauseated from a couple of tiny pills?  Come on!

Somewhere around 7:00, my stomach reminded me that lunch had become a distant memory and it needed something to get by until morning.  Holiday leftovers were out of the question as I battled the queasiness.  But I did find a can of Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup, poured it in a large bowl, and heated until steaming.  I was able to get through most of it, although I left the chunks of chicken.  Feeling a little better, I was able to enjoy "Razzle Dazzle" and Richard Gere's mad tap dancing skills.  I even delighted in a can of Coke.  The fizzing drink eased the nausea a little more.

With Michael still sawing them off, I decided to soak in the tub in an attempt to quell the remaining sickness.  It worked, although by the time I put on my pajamas, it was time for the hubs to leave for work.  Cons of him working at night: it's just me and Mojo, and I usually end up falling asleep on the couch.  Pros: I have time to write…and get other important things done.

I have 4 more days ahead of me taking Femara.  I battled one side effect, and hopefully, as obnoxious as it was, it will be the only one.  And for another "hopefully", here's to hoping the next cycle won't have to be endured as long as this last one was.  It went to 37 days.  Yeah, it's not the terrible 130 days of last year, but anything past the "normal" 28 is torture.  Thinking there's a chance you're finally hosting an embryonic welcome party, you take lots of pregnancy tests, and they all turn out negative.  And when your semi-monthly visitor finally rears her ugly head, she sucker punches you in your already-tender uterus, leaving you in pain registered at a 18.2 on a scale of 1 to 10, calling for your husband to bring you a heating pad and a bottle of Aleve.

The payoff in the end can only be worth all of this, should nature--and the fertility meds--do their job.  Could this be "the month"?  That'll be an entry for another day.

Side effects: it could always be worse!

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