Wednesday, December 27, 2006

More delays

Got a call this morning from the PA in my PCP's office. I am being sent to a liver specialist although the things found in my ultrasound -- a hemangioma and fatty liver -- are "probably nothing to worry about." Hmm, right. My luck's not so great, so I will wait to see what the specialist says; fortunately, I won't have to wait long, as my appointment is January 8th.

Also glad I never canceled the RE appointment... that's scheduled for 1/17. Am I even going to know whether it's problematic to consider getting pregnant at that point? Likely no; but perhaps he can refer us to a urologist to check on G.

Oh, yeah... and am thinking that I may need to go back on antidepressants. I am having trouble wanting to do anything at work and this isn't even a remotely stressful job. I'm also pretty down about the chances we'll ever have a baby at this rate. Holiday cards chock full of pictures of "families of five" certainly didn't help -- and there were LOTS of those this year. I'm sad, I'm lethargic, I want to do nothing but lie on the couch... probably not a good sign in terms of my ability to handle all the emotional stuff that's likely to come in the months ahead.

Recognizing it is good... fighting it is harder.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Random holiday thoughts

First, not a holiday thought, but just a quick gripe about my primary care physician: I called Wednesday to see if the results of my liver bloodwork/ultrasound were in, and was told Dr. S. was out of the office until Friday. On Thursday, her P.A. called me TWICE (once at home, once on my cell) to make sure that when I saw my dermatologist on Friday that I got the bloodwork they ordered faxed over to Dr. S's office so she could review it all before calling me.

She never called. I called once just to make sure they got the fax, then called again to see when the office was closing. Got a final call at 5:30 saying that "the doctor was still seeing patients in the hospital and had not reviewed the labs yet" -- and they couldn't interpret them, of course. The office won't be open again till Dec. 27. I have SO much faith in the healthcare system, I swear!
Speaking of faith... I was having a conversation with someone and told them that I was having kind of a faith crisis lately, what with everything going on with me/us. But then the next day I heard a spiritual Christmas song on the radio and tears welled up in my eyes. My immediate first thought was "please God, don't let anything really bad be wrong with me." Then I got mad at myself; "self, it doesn't work that way -- you can't ask for favors when you're on the outs." I know that may not be true in the eyes of faithful believers, but I don't think I've done much to show that I am all that thankful for what we DO have. My own issues to work out, I guess, but it really sets up an internal argument within my head.
Yet another reason to add to Catherine's and msfizita's reasons to dislike Christmas cards: I have become the person that finds out through a picture in a Christmas card that one of my former best friends from college has a third child. I knew some people were avoiding talk of pregnancy around me, but I didn't think "oh hey, BTW, we have another kid" was skippable. Who knew!
Speaking of Catherine, I've been going back and forth on her "fake-it-until-you-make-it" notion of Christmas. For some reason today, I've had the energy to put out holiday things I'd left packed in boxes thus far; prior to this I figured I was happy just having our trees up and decorated. Must be the pine smell getting to me.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

My Christmas wish... so not going how I imagined it.

I really, REALLY wanted to get no more bad news this year. I figured I'd had enough for one year and really, couldn't it be spread a little more evenly, say among a few decades or so??

In my first bit of confusing news, my progesterone from this month was apparently perfectly fine, because now we're NOT doing Clomid. Nope, proceed directly to the RE's office, do not pass go, do not collect $200.


Apparently, G's SA results were worse than the nurse implied with her "low motility, good count" message. 3% motility, and only 15% normal morphology. Doesn't much matter if we had 76 million swimmers in there if almost none of them are moving and hardly any of them are in good enough shape to do the job.

It still is possible, I suppose, that there was some fluke in the test and another months' test would be better. I know there's probably some things we can do (supplements, etc.) that could improve things. And there still may be underlying causes in my workup that could be problematic as well, including whatever it is that's going on with my GI system. But for now, I just wish I could wave something magical and make it all go away.

I wish.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Quick update

I have a RUQ abdominal ultrasound scheduled tomorrow at 7 am. I got a long list of bloodwork done this morning -- the diagnostic marker for PBC as well as a bunch of other liver-related tests. It feels kind of weird to be doing all this testing for something other than trying to conceive -- I've become a creature of habit, I suppose.

In addition to the itching, now I have developed some minor pain in the right upper abdomen, mostly when I take a deep breath. Even though it may sound weird to say this, the pain could be better news in that it *could* just be a gallstone or something easily correctable, but at this point I'm just going to wait and see.

Taking things one step at a time isn't my strong suit, but I'm doing my best.

Friday, December 15, 2006

About my last post...

Thanks to those who asked about whether I needed to get a second opinion; fact is, I am getting a litany of bloodwork and other tests done, as this is looking to be something other than just the typical dry skin/eczema issue.

I mentioned a few posts ago that my liver function tests were slightly abnormal; well on repeat they are still elevated and I now get to have a liver ultrasound done, along with some other diagnostic tests. There is a chance that I have something called primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC for short), which despite the last word in its name does not actually mean you have cirrhosis, but that you could develop it at some point. It is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that your own cells "turn against you." There is a very real possibility that if I have this, it is affecting my ability to get pregnant in addition to whatever else it may be doing to my body. It could mean that eventually I will need to have a liver transplant.

There is a fairly reliable marker test for this disorder, which is to test for the presence of anti-mitochondrial antibodies. 95% of people with PBC have positive AMA's, so I requested that test be added onto the others my PCP and the dermatologist have already ordered. I'm waiting for prescriptions to arrive for these blood tests and the liver ultrasound, so there's nothing further I know at this point.

I'm scared about this possible diagnosis; it's kind of overtaken fertility issues in my mind and G's at this point. We still have our appointment with the OB/GYN on 12/20 but at this point I am not sure whether I'll know anything about this diagnosis or whether we should proceed with the Clomid, at all.

So there you have it. G and I were talking and he said "why did we need another thing to worry about, really?" We both wondered about the people in life who never have anything go wrong, or so it seems, and how some people just seem to have bad luck follow them around.

I wish I were one of the former, not the latter.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Someone please, just shoot me...

Auugh!! This itchiness is unbearable. Put me out of my misery, please. I will gladly hop up and down on one foot or something else normally most irritating or bothersome if only this itchiness would JUST. GO. AWAY. I've cut my nails short to avoid accidentally wounding myself in my sleep (which I had been doing, much to my chagrin) so I can't even get "no satisfaction" by lightly scratching my ever-present itch. I am in agony. *wimper*

In other news, I am likely approaching another cd1 tomorrow or the next day. Personally, I had expected it since G's results weren't promising and my hormones appear to be out of whack, so it's not a big surprise. I only wish that Dr. J. had clearly said "yes, we'll start you on Clomid next cycle regardless, call on cd1" rather than just "let's discuss your results 12/20" -- it means that another month will go by before we start the Clomid now. I guess given my general glum mood, that's probably not a bad thing, but delays are delays and they can be irritating.

But in trying to find *something* positive to end with, I can say that at least my holiday cookie baking is done -- my mom and grandma and I accomplished that this past Sunday. So I can go home tonight and sooth my itchiness and PMS-y-ness with baked goods. Hah!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

On trying

It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
I wish I had a river I could skate away on

-Joni Mitchell, River

I'm normally a pretty festive person, with Christmas being my favorite time of year (Halloween being a close second). However, this year's going to be tougher to get through. The Joni Mitchell song I quote above is often played around this time of year even though it's hardly a Christmas song (but then again, so is Old Lang Syne by Dan Fogelberg - hmmmm). It's really about things other than Christmas -- though I'm not sure exactly what, it seems that a breakup with a lover may be at the heart of the lyrics -- but it kind of sums up the way I'm looking at the holiday right now.

Two years ago today we found out we were pregnant for the first time and Christmas was wonderful that year. A year ago next week we had the surgery that was supposed to fix everything and give us hope. This year, we have more questions. More discouragement. More fighting to keep a smile on my face in public when I really just want to find a river to skate away on.

G does not really want to talk about what we learned the other day; that's his nature and while it upsets me, I have to allow him to handle this the way he needs to. Vice versa is true of course, so I have been Googling madly to try to come up with ideas -- zinc supplements, repeating the test to see if mitigating factors were a part of the motility issue, etc... things I will suggest to our doctor when we see him in two weeks. I hate having to be the proactive one in this relationship (the relationship between me and Dr. J, not me and G) but I've learned with doctors that's just the way it is.

Speaking of doctors: I'm also trying to get to the root of my itchy skin problems. The dermatologist today did a punch biopsy of one of my itchy bumps and has given me yet another antihistamine to try. I'm also supposed to get some repeat bloodwork to check some slightly abnormal liver function tests. I am praying that those results are normal, because the possible diagnosis she brought up if those are the problem is not one that I want to add to my plate. I won't go into specifics just yet but if any of you who are reading could just think good thoughts about those results, I'd appreciate it.

And if you should see me somewhere smiling about snow or Christmas lights or happy music, just smile right back. Maybe it will help.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


When the cell phone rang I jumped up and closed the door to my office figuring it would be the doctor. Female voice answered instead. Huh??

It was the doctor's OFFICE, saying "Dr. J. would like to make an appointment with you to discuss your results." Uh-uh people. Not after what you've put me through since Friday. I told all of this to the girl, who was the unfortunate messenger getting figuratively shot. She apologized for the nurse and said she shouldn't have promised a call. She apologized for the doctor. She scheduled my appointment (12/20, 4:30 pm, bring hubby). And then she told me what the notes said.

Good count, low motility. Dr. Google seems to indicate that this *could* be from the length of time it took to transport the sample to the lab (he cut it just under the wire) or *could* be due to not having... ummm... cleaned the pipes prior to the normal abstaining. (God, he would kill me if he knew I were writing this....)

At least that's what I'm hanging on to - hope that it's not necessarily a done deal. I now plan to go over to Mel's place and do some further reading in Operation Heads Up...

Good thing I wasn't waiting for CPR or anything...

...because the doctor never called. I have thankfully calmed down, and am not quite so down about the whole thing; whatever they tell me, we'll just deal with. At least that's the attitude I'm taking today. For now. At this moment. Mood subject to change without notice, I am in my two week wait after all.

About last night's event sans alcohol, though: it was a "family friendly" event at our local science center, complete with Santa's lap for pictures and lots of friendly families. I did ok, surprisingly, given my state of mind earlier that day.

Note to self, though; bring flask next time to spike my punch.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Justifiable paranoia, in this case.

A nonchalant call to the doctor's office just now confirmed my fears - the nurse just didn't forget to call, "she can't read those kind of results." In other words, there's something wrong.

I have to wait forty-five minutes until the doctor gets in to find out the bad news. Will update later.


Later, it is. No news is just that, no news. I'm guessing the doctor has been seeing patients since his arrival and plans his "calling time" after the days appointments are through.

G and I are supposed to be going to an event tonight, one sans alcohol. (Who plans events without alcohol??) He called me earlier and asked if I still felt like going. I said I didn't know. At this rate, I may as well go, I suppose. I'm already expecting the worst.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Oh how paranoid am I...

Called the doctor today to see if G's SA results were in yet. That was a few hours ago. Now, my mind's a blur; did she say she'd call if they were normal? Call either way? Dr. J. will call Monday if they're abnormal? Take two chill pills and they'll call me in the morning??

Staring at my cell phone willing it to ring is not working. And it's only serving to convince me that there's something wrong with G, too. Which will be the last thing he'll want to hear (he of the pretty pessimistic view of our chances, as it is) and so I am more than just a little bit anxious.

Damn my addled brain!
Update: 4:28 pm. Still no call.


I am now fairly certain that she said she'd call if the results were normal.


RESOLVE's website states that one of the things that can affect male infertility is hernia repairs. G's had two since birth.

Oh, crap.