09 January 2011

Man Hormones are in Check

Two days after I had my blood drawn in order to run tests on my insulin and testosterone, the lab called me.  I was driving home from Athens.

Lab tech: Hello, Ms. Wynne.  We are calling to inform you of a lab accident that occurred involving your specimen.
Me: What kind of "accident?"
Lab tech: It seems your frozen specimen vial was dropped and broken.  It rendered the specimen unusable.
Me: What does this mean?
Lab tech: Well, your other vial, the unfrozen one, was fine.  The frozen one, though, was to test your insulin levels.  Now we can't do that.
Me: Were there tests run to check my testosterone levels?
Lab tech:  I don't know.  I was just to call to inform you about the accident.  You can come in again for another test.  We won't charge you for it.
Me: (No shit!) I'll call my doc tomorrow and see what she can tell me.  Thanks for letting me know this…uh, news…

I really do try to take things in stride, but after being told I was in the wrong location for the test to begin with on the day of the blood-letting, I couldn't help but throw down my phone on the front seat and scream not-so-nice words to absolutely no one.

Why is it that every time I think things are just going to go smoothly, some stupid bump in the road makes the ride jarring and unpleasant?

My next move was to call my NP at her office.  No one answered, forcing me to leave a message.  I figured they would call before the weekend in order to put my mind at ease or at least offer some extra apologetic words.

No such luck.

A holiday weekend, an Orange Bowl, and two days worth of a toilet-hugging stomach virus went by before I finally heard from the doc office.  They apparently had taken a few days off for the New Year and were playing catch up with their patients.  My message from the previous week had been their first notification of the lab accident.

I spoke with the receptionist as she tried to piece together the information about my sample.  She was confused about news of the accident simply because the lab had sent them test results.  Her thoughts were somewhere in the neighborhood of, "How could they have results if there was no blood to be tested?"  I had to explain that there were two vials drawn and only one of them had broken.  Gaining clarity, she breathed a sigh of relief.

"It seems something is always going wrong with your visits," she exclaimed.  "First, your records go missing when you come for your initial visit.  Then the location of the last test wasn't given to you.  Now this."

Although I hate that things do seem to go wrong [often] even after switching doctor's offices, I was glad to hear someone on their end recognize it.  She told me I would hear from my NP soon to discuss what results they did have.  The conversation ended there.  Since it was already late in the day, I figured I wouldn't hear from the NP until the following day.

She called me around 5:45…way past closing time.  Impressive.  Douchebag Doctor from the last office would never have called his lunch hour.

My NP was glad to give me the news that my testosterone levels are in the normal range (yay!), and she wanted to wait for the results of my next progesterone test to decide if I should even have an insulin test done to make up for the smashed up one.  If my progesterone levels stay low despite the use of Femara, we'll do the [free of charge] insulin test (should there be a problem with my insulin levels, another drug called Metformin could help).  If they fall within normal range because of the Femara, we'll skip it altogether.

So let's put ducks in a row:
Estrogen levels: fine
Progesterone levels: below normal
Testosterone levels: fine
Level of patience: teetering, but I'm working on it

2 comments:

A. Hab. said...

Oh Vikki, I think you need to give yourself more credit in the patience category! I can't believe you've endured all of this without brutal violence against fools who are making this already difficult process even more difficult. (Like, for instance, the tech who smashed up a frozen vial of blood. Good. GOD.)

It's a relief to know that most of your hormone levels are in the normal range. I've got my fingers crossed that the Femara will resolve your progesterone levels, but if not...then maybe the Metformin will help. I'm asking out of genuine curiosity (mostly since we'll be starting our family journey in a few months), but if this comes out as callous or you don't want to answer, then I absolutely understand. What I'm curious about is the success rate with these two drugs. On average, do they seem to help women regulate their progesterone levels and lead to pregnancies?

I just sincerely hope with all my heart that you and your NP will find a drug therapy that will resolve these problems for you. I want you to be happy.

MNicoleM said...

I commend your patience :-) And as someone who has "been there, done that" and given up, I wish you the best of luck with fertility treatments!! On another note, your blog is very entertaining!! I love your style :-)

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