Saturday, July 22, 2006

IVF, Week One

It's been a busy week filled with freelance jobs, my regular job, Mr. Lyrehca's company picnic yesterday, a hair color change, and oh yeah, Lupron shots.

Lupron has been a minor ripple, to be honest. It's just like taking a shot of 10 units of insulin, except that when I flick an air bubble out of the vial and notice a bit of medication bubble out of the needle onto the floor, I think, "Oy, that was expensive!"

Mr. Lyrehca has been very involved in the Lupron administering. Not in giving the actual shot, of course. But telling me to "wipe the top of the bottle with alcohol. Then withdraw 15 units of Lupron and return five units to the vial so that no air bubbles are in the syringe channel."

"Honey, I've been taking insulin for three decades. I know what to do."

"But this is different. Did you use a second alcohol swab to wipe your skin like the nurse showed you?"

Um, no.

And for any fellow diabetics out there, shooting Lupron is just like shooting insulin. The shots have to be taken at the same time each day, or within an hour of each other, and I've been on top of that. I've had a bruise here or there appear, but nothing that worries me. And despite what pops up on Google when you type in "Lupron and side effects," I haven't noticed anything different since taking it.

(Actually, I'm lying. Last week, I had some weird rash on my ankles, of all places. A quick call to the IVF clinic confirmed that my red ankles were probably heat rash. A Lupron-related rash would be more all over the bod. And a week later, the ankles look fine.)

In fact, considering the high humidity and temps over the past week, I've been more concerned that maybe the Lupron isn't working right. Last weekend, we went to a ginormous antique show/flea market and walked around in the heat for hours each day.

I carried the Lupron vial in my purse on Sunday, because by then we'd already checked out of the motel room where we were staying. I've been refrigerating the Lupron while at home, and keeping it in the meat-locker air conditioned motel room, but had to stash it in my purse (instead of in my hot suitcase in the hot car) as we searched for fun stuff to buy. (I like heart-shaped items and scored an awesome rhinestone-studded flower-shaped belt buckle; the Mister collects vintage telephones and picked up a cool U.S. military compass.)

So when I returned to work this week, I called the pharmacy where I ordered the fertility stuff and asked if the heat would bother them. Besides the Lupron, they sent the stimulation drugs (which have lived in my fridge for the past week and a half, per instructions), and two other meds that didn't have to be cooled (so they've been in the cardboard box they arrived in, in my unairconditioned-during-the-day kitchen).

The pharmacy assured me that everything should be fine, so I'm going to release my Type A tendency to think otherwise ("But it's been 90 degrees for part of this week. Are you sure the Lupron was OK inside my heavy blue leather pocketbook (now adorned on the strap with said rhinestone flower)?" and just see what happens.

The latest fertility event to happen is that my period arrived yesterday and today, right on schedule. While this has caused some negative energy in the past (see the "meltdown when the second IUI didn't work" post, or the "resignation, there it is again" past posts), the month-of-first-IVF-cycle period says to me "OK, we're moving on to the stimulation drugs. Here are the big guns."

So now I reduce my Lupron dose in half and also start Gonal-F, which hypes up my follicles to hopefully make some decent numbers of (and just plain decent) eggs. So while I'm annoyed about the extra trip to CVS to buy some tampons to replenish my stock (oy, I really thought I'd be done with those for awhile by now, months ago, when I bought what I thought was my last box of multiple-sized tampons), I'm pleased that things are moving along, IVF-drug-wise.

Once the egg stimulation begins, I'm not supposed to do things like train for a marathon or color my hair. While the training is something I wish I could say I'd miss (I haven't worked out seriously in ages, besides walking), coloring my hair will be a major life change. I've been enhancing my natural color, with various degrees of bleach, for a solid 20 years. As of Thursday, I was a typical over-processed, over-highlighted, roots-come-in-like-clockwork-every-three-months light blonde. And while I could see the hair colorists' concern that it was too light, too trashy-looking, too one-dimensional, and too drying for my hair, I just loved the look.

But on Thursday, I went back to my natural eyebrow hair color, which in the stylist's vernacular, is a "dark blonde." To me, it's just dark. Happily, no one's asked why, or even seemed to notice much of a change (which says that my natural hair color isn't all that dark, I guess) and Mr. Lyrehca said he liked it. The whole idea, though, is that should I actually get pregnant, I can avoid the whole should-I-or-shouldn't-I debate about hair color during pregnancy. Some docs forbid it, some say it's OK. Personally, I'd like to know how healthy Gwen Stefani's kid is, because I certainly didn't see her showing any dark roots over the last year.

Otherwise, this week was a nice blend of light work at my day job, and heavy freelance work from my side jobs. Oh, and my husband's company picnic yesterday, which I took a day off from work to attend. It was fine, and everyone was super friendly. One guy, though, who claims the Mister is like a grandson to him, came by to chat and wanted to know when we'd have "some crying around the office." I played dumb, and the Mister was similarly vague.

"You know, some little feet crawling around here," the guy pressed.

"Um, like cockroaches or mice?" I asked. "Hopefully not anytime soon."

He went on to talk about someone he knew who had adopted three kids. Which I appreciated. But at the same time, I certainly didn't need to get into a discussion about why we don't have children yet.

In the midst of all this, I was very clearly feeling some annoying cramps coming on, so I knew that the period was on its way. But because of all the IVF hoops, I knew that Advil wasn't recommended. So the Mister and I found a nurse at his company picnic who had access to Tylenol.

"I'm getting my period," I confided. "Do you have any Tylenol?"

"What about Advil?"

"I can't take it."

"Why not?"

"I'm diabetic and Advil's really hard on the kidneys," I purred. Who knew where that came from, or how I managed to say it without tripping over the real reason I was avoiding Advil, but I managed to get the nurse to give me the Tylenol. Blessedly, those cramps were history.

And now it's the weekend, where I actually have a free morning to blog without worrying someone's monitoring my computer at work. So enough about me; how are all of you?

Oh! I forgot about this because it's been up for a few days already, but Jenni at ChronicBabe featured my recent IVF post on Grand Rounds earlier this week, along with a few other diabetes blogging babes. Go check it out.

3 comments:

Minnesota Nice said...

My goodness sister! I am new to the OC and have been plowing through everyone's posts. My extreme compliments to you for not losing sight of your goal. Your determination, focus and strength are commendable. I wish you success in the days ahead.

Kerri. said...

It must be a strange experience, taking shots for a reason other than insulin. It's odd how certain tasks that are completely unorthodox to some people (i.e. taking injections at all) become to mundane to a diabetic.

I hope things are going well for you. And that you're enjoying your new hair color. :)

Nicole P said...

I know the taking a shot for something other than insulin experience - but I was feeling for you imagining the "liquid gold" dripping out as you tried to get rid of the bubbles... Grrrr....

Hope you're doing OK. Look forward to an update soon.

N

 

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