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Posts Tagged ‘DHEA’

Yep, I’ve been double-stickered. 

Interestingly, the nasty metallic taste has been gone since the estrogen kicked in, so I guess the sucking-on-a-penny taste is just another DHEA side-effect.  Blech.

Um, skin’s clearing up, and I don’t seem to be losing quite so much hair in the shower.  Which is a damned good thing.  Backache today, but that could just be from the flu/cold I seem to be coming down with.  Or the fact that the dog kept sneaking into the bed last night and forcing me to sleep all contorted in order to accommodate her remarkably pointy knees and elbows.  Not to mention the dog-breath wafting into my face at 2am.  

Nothing really to report, save that the patches are unappetizing to look at.  They seem to be doing the trick, though, since I’ve definitely noticed what I can only describe as an ameliorating effect on the DHEA effects.  

And now, to make up for having been out eating Japanese food instead of home playing with my dog, I have to go, um, play with my dog.  She’s giving me the look.

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It occurs to me that it’s probably not particularly healthy for me to get so much of my information from the internets, but, you know?  It’s just so tempting to google “DHEA mood” and see what pops up.  Apparently the giddy good mood I’ve been enjoying for the last two months, (er, ever since I started taking DHEA) is, well, chemically induced.  Doesn’t work for everyone, but this stuff is actually recommended in some places as a mood elevator.  

Um, yeah.  It works.  

Of course, it’s also recommended as a weight loss aid, and that’s certainly not happening.  Oh well.  I guess I’ll take happy and sturdy over miserable and scrawny any day.  

(I so don’t belong in NYC…)

And I learned about the various clotting disorders that I may (or may not – and this level of basic uncertainty is why one asks one’s doctor instead of googling shit! – ) have developed during this last pregnancy/miscarriage.  Oh my.  It looks like many women are prescribed Lovenox for their whole damned pregnancies.  Up until the last few weeks/days, when they go off the clotting inhibitors and onto bedrest so that doctors can more easily control the hemorrhaging/clotting that being off the drugs can provoke. Scary stuff, though given my dad’s history of DVT & his dad’s history of stroke, not too surprising that I’ve developed some of the same blood issues.  I did, however, read some encouraging (?) accounts of women whose Lovenox assisted pregnancies went without any sort of a hitch.  And it looks like the stuff is safer for developing babies than a lot of the other shit I’m putting in my body.  

Which isn’t, when I get right down to it, all that great an achievement.  

It would be really nice, though, to have a reason for the miscarriage.  Nice to be able to believe it was something that couldn’t be helped last time, but that we’re going to manage the hell out of this time, and which management will result in a normal, healthy pregnancy/baby.  

Of course, this is putting the baby carriage WAAAAAY ahead of the groovy-mom.  In the meantime, it’s looking like I’ll be on a 6-injections-a-day stimming protocol.  2 Lupron, 1 Bravelle, 1 Menapur, 2 Lovenox.  And that’s assuming that one can even dissolve 8 vials of B in a single cc of water.  Maybe I’ll have to break that down into two, as well.  Holy fuck.  It’s a damned good thing that these little insulin needles no longer have the power to worry me, or I’d be in real trouble.  

It is going to add half an hour to my morning routine, though.  No doubt about that.

Here’s to artificially elevated moods and totally clot-free uterine environments.  Yay science!

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it occurs to me…

…that I should probably be fairly leery of my extraordinary run of happy-thoughts these days.  This isn’t like me. 

I’ve been attributing it to finally having a dog again, and also to the ending of the miscarriage-misery (both physical and emotional).  But what if it’s the DHEA?  The DHEA that is currently messing with my system in other, very visible ways?  I certainly don’t intend to take this medicine any longer than necessary, but I’m also rather enjoying the happy-thoughts.  I wonder if this is how many men feel, much of the time?  I know when my dad was on estrogen to deal with an aggressive prostate tumor he felt depressed and logy all the time.  Is this perky, semi-hyper state I’m enjoying just a result of the male hormones? 

On that perky, cheerful note, the husband is going to be at a writing convention all weekend, and although a part of me really wants to be there too, a bigger part of me was just desperate to start getting the house in shape.  So I’m going to be productive.  Hang pictures.  Buy hand towels.  Take the puppy for runs until she’s too exhausted to eat a tube of toothpaste or a plastic comb (yesterday’s casualties).  It’s going to be a relaxing, mostly productive weekend, and I’m really looking forward to it even though it will be a bit lonely.

Yay for productivity!

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…which is rather a new feeling for me.  Don’t know if it’s a result of the peace that comes with formalizing my long-term relationship; or if it’s from the general feeling of well-being that all these artificial hormones floating around in my body is inducing; or if it’s simply the joy of having a good dog around the house – (the city is much more livable with a dog, oddly enough, or maybe I’m just better able to cope with the stress).  Or maybe it’s all three.  Or perhaps just the relative comfort of having a body that’s not in utter rebellion for a change.

Because I’m also feeling optimistic about this upcoming cycle.  I’m certainly feeling more relaxed since I made the decision that this will be my last IVF using my own eggs.  If it doesn’t work this time, I’m ready to move on to donor eggs, whereupon my chances of carrying a successful pregnancy to term go up to something like 70% at my clinic.  And the age-factor isn’t nearly as important.  So some of the pressure is off me & my recalcitrant ovaries to “perform”.    

One of my younger co-workers – a fellow I’m friendly with but not close to – told me yesterday in conversation that I was looking great these days.  Which was nice to hear, not because I’m particularly vain, but because I interpreted it to mean that I’m looking more like myself again.  Between the time that my imminent miscarriage was diagnosed in early July and right up until the end of August, I felt (and looked) like death – the combination of anemia and the bone-crushing depression that I had such a hard time crawling out from under did a number on me: for those two months there was no color in my normally rosy face, and I had no energy to spare for smiling or doing much of anything besides staring dully and making black-as-death, inappropriately snarky comments.  So yesterday, it made me feel good to know that I’m back to normal as far as the general public knows.  

July feels like it was so long ago – much further in the past than the few weeks of giddy happiness that I was able to experience in May & June.  And I want that again.  And it feels more possible now that the rest of my life is evening out and nothing feels quite so dire anymore.

I go in to my clinic tomorrow for an HSN to make sure that everything’s healing and back to normal on my insides, and assuming that it is (there’s that optimism again!) I’ll probably get my prescriptions filed & we’ll come up with a start date for the patches, as well.  

And I’m looking forward to moving toward this goal again.  Looking forward to cutting off my coffee and alcohol habit, even, since I’ll have such a good reason for doing so.  Looking forward to my second chance.  

Here’s to second (and third and fourth and fifth) chances.

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Argh.

Have I mentioned before how no matter how much I like my doctor, his receptionists aren’t the best or the brightest?  Received a phone message yesterday that my appointment today was getting pushed back because of all the transfers/retrievals, so could we reschedule?  Ok, that’s understandable; even I wouldn’t claim that my consultation appointment trumps anything that’s on a time-schedule.  But since I specifically scheduled it for today since I had the day off & my sick days aren’t cutting the IVF mustard anymore, I needed to reschedule for later on today.  So I called to tell them so.  Only their phones weren’t picking up, just the emergency service.  

An hour before my appointment I finally reached them, and they denied there had been a phone problem.  Ok.  Whatever.  So when should I come in?  “12:30.”  Fine.

Which I did.  And there I sat until 1:30, at which point I asked how much longer would it be?  “At least 45 minutes more.”  Um, what the fuck?  So I ranted, raved, generally acted like a bitch before sitting down to wait some more.  Wouldn’t you know it, not five minutes later, they found time to squeeze me in.  Sorry, I know my doctor is an important, busy guy, but either they need to learn how to schedule him better, or they need to hire him an assistant to deal with the consultation part of it, or they need to not take on so many new patients or something. I do, actually, have a life outside of this clinic, and I would really appreciate it if they wouldn’t assume that this is the only thing in my life.

(Well, ok, it sort of is – in my own brain at least, IVF/pregnancy/child-prospects are running a little hamster-loop about 23 out of every 24 hours).  But I’m busy and important too, damnit!

But I had my consultation.  He asked how I was feeling, healing, etc.  Still no pathology report back from the surgery, but he’s not really expecting anything bad, so I won’t worry.  He wants to do another HSN next week to make sure everything’s cleaned up in there.  Which makes sense.  He seemed to want to tell me that DHEA is good for me, and rehashed the oft-repeated comment regarding the remarkable number of women who conceive “spontaneously” whilst on DHEA, waiting for a new cycle to begin.  

A) Excuse me while I snort derisively.  Which is to say, “Hah.  Funny one, Doc.”

B) Really ready to not be on DHEA any longer than necessary – certainly not based on anecdotal evidence regarding a slightly increased chance of what amounts to a miracle at this rate.  Zits and thinning hair, not to mention the increased risk for just about everything deadly.  Coming back to the teen-look, at this rate, I’m going to have to use artificial tech to get pregnant, simply because my husband won’t want to touch me.  Ok.  Exaggerating, but it’s still annoying.  And can’t be good for me, long-term.

Nevertheless, my doctor said he did want to wait another cycle, not jump on this next one.  *sigh*  Which would make my upcoming a beginning of December cycle.  Which would mean that traveling for Thanksgiving would be out of the question.  I expressed some disappointment about canceling (nonexistent as of yet) travel plans, and he said he’d see what he could do.  

When the nurse came to talk to me, she seemed to think that as long as next week’s HSN comes out normal, that we’ll start a cycle this month (well, beginning of November).  Making me think that in the weird world that is Manhattan, travel plans are more important than a deep and abiding urge to start trying for the one-thing-that-I-want-more-than-anything-in-the-world obsession.  Am I really unusually impatient, or is that strange?  Or did he just take pity on my upcoming birthday-angst?  Or did his receptionist beg him subliminally to get me the hell out of there as soon as he can, one way or another?  Needless to say, I’m happy that it looks like we’re back to the original schedule.  Also, it sounds like the nurse is the one who is going to be dealing with my insurance co. re: the injectables next time, not me, so a big “Woohoo” for that.  It sounds like he’s upping my meds this time, though.  Yikes.  I thought I was already on the outside edge, what with the 6 vials of Bravelle at a time & all.  

Of course, with my luck, the reward for my stubbornness will just mean that I have to bail on the WFC trip over Halloween.  Because it’s just that sort of thing that happens to me.  You know what, though?  I’d rather get started a month earlier on this next round than go to Calgary and see old friends and schmooze with editors, if it comes to that.  

If I were truly lucky, I’d manage to make a baby the old-fashioned way this month.  I hear that if you really want it, if you just relax &/or keep your hips elevated, it’s possible to get pregnant without medical intervention.  It helps if you happen to be a Republican, Evangelical high-schooler hooking up with someone who publicly states that he doesn’t want to be a father.  *sigh*  I guess I’m out of the running on all of those counts, too.  I guess God just doesn’t want me to be a mother.  

Sorry.  That was bitter.  It’s why I’m trying not to think too much about my sitch these days.  It makes me feel bitter. Bitter as soon-to-be-proscribed coffee grounds.  Bitter as bile from the nausea-inducing hormonal cocktail.  Bitter as a pint o’Guinness, drunk warm and foamy.

Hmmm.  Guinness sounds good right now.  Going to go take advantage of my non-pregnant state of being and bring one home for tonight.  Maybe with an espresso chaser.  Vomiting can’t be far off.  And on that happy note…

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Hey hey hey…

…and it looks like my cycle is back on track, which is a relief.  I’m planning on (listen up, Universe, and have yourself a good laugh) going to the World Fantasy Convention at the end of October, but I still wanted to start a new IVF cycle at the beginning of my next menstrual cycle.  So the timing, what with being out of the country for four days near the beginning of my cycle, would have been tricky.  

Still might be, but I tend to be pretty regular, even with all the weirdness in my innards lately.  Hell, even my miscarriage happened on a day my period would have started if I hadn’t been, um, pregnant.  I have a consultation appointment with the good doctor tomorrow, to get going on cycle #2, and I’m hoping he is pleased with my recovery & gives me the go-ahead for a new cycle.  Have to admit, I’m also eager to be done with the DHEA.  Hair loss is noticeable in the shower but, (I hope) not noticeable on my scalp.  Bad skin is definitely noticeable, though seriously aggressive cleaning (we’re talking rubdowns with rubbing alcohol) is keeping the worst of it in check.  My mood’s been good – yay for testosterone? – and my energy level’s been great.  I like that bit.  But if this cycle doesn’t work out, I’ll be going the DE route next time, so won’t need the egg-drugs next time.  Personally though, I’m hoping for a DHEA spontaneous this month.  

Though that might just be an excuse to have lots & lots of newlywed sex.

Like I need that excuse.

So we’re back home, and husband (!) is watching the market situation; I’m trying to avoid watching the market situation.  We’re both getting some writing done.  Dog is catching up on some much-needed sleep.  (Hah.  She’s not a dog, she’s an amoeba.  A sleepy amoeba.)  And I might make enchiladas for the youngest child.  And clean my desk.  Maybe do a bit of cross-stitch and/or looking for fabric for the new quilt that will be husband’s belated wedding gift.  It’s a day filled with possibilities.

Seriously.

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So, um, even though I haven’t yet stopped bleeding from the miscarriage, oh so many weeks ago, it seems to have kicked up a notch, back to what I would call “Normal Period” type bleeding.

I’m thinking it might actually be a period. Since it would be right on schedule for me, give or take a day or two.

Hmmph. So, even though I’m bleeding heavier now than I was yesterday, I’m taking this as possibly a hopeful sign – maybe I’m slowly coming round back to normal. Maybe I can look forward to a blood-free day sometime in the near future?

Maybe not, of course, because if nothing else, this experience has taught me not to get my hopes up even knee-high.

In other news, I’m still waiting to hear if my insurance is going to approve the MRI – I’m assuming they will, but it’s just another bit of worry. I’m scheduled to go in on Friday.

The DHEA continues to offer up no noticeable side effects. The general good-mood going on here, I’m likely to put down to the presence of Nelly the Whippet, who makes me very happy, very much of the time. Especially since a good mood was not among the side effects listed.

Nothing else new. I love my boyfriend. I love my dog. I’m sick of my rebellious body. Same old.

More later, when I have more to say.

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