Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Forever and ever, amen.

My grandma died Monday morning, 6 months after my grandpa passed in March. They were my safe place. I grew up isolated (mine) and with mental illness (not mine). They were where I went to feel OK. I feel lost without them. I'm glad they're free. I hope they're together. I miss them. And love them. Forever.

Friday, October 19, 2012


It is not my virtue.
Surgery is finally scheduled. First available is last week of November.
I hate waiting!
But planning is my virtue (and my passion. and my security blanket. and my gift. and probably one of the things that most annoys S). And this gives me tons of time to plan.

Maybe, maybe, maybe IVF in March?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

AMH, CoQ10, and an RE I like

I was one lucky duck and my RE called and moved my appointment from November 1 to October 11. That's right, last week. I was ecstatic.

Everything is still pretty much status quo. Fibroid needs to come out and the RE thinks she can get it (and the polyp, and some endometriosis, and an extra little pedunculated fibroid they found, and potentially some adhesions from the last surgery) all at once. PHEW! She was very nice and very knowledgeable and I hope she's the one that does my IVF.

Interestingly, my AMH jumped from 1.3 (last year) to 2.0. I was pretty surprised. In my mind, it's due to a mix of the following:

  • My right ovary has healed from the dermoid surgery 2 years ago and is finally contributing to overall ovary duties (freeloader!)
  • I started taking CoQ10 about 3 months ago and all the anecdotal evidence on the web is true (yay questionable science!)
  • Luck
My RE says that the test isn't that sensitive and I'm probably somewhere between a 1.3 and a 2.0. So there's that. But either way, she said, "I can work with that," and you know what that means? It means hope.

Aside from hope, I also have anxiety (story of my life). Here's what I'm anxious about this week:
  • Insurance - things were going OK until the insurance case manager (yes, apparently they have those now) asked me how long I'd been having unprotected sex and I got all snarky about my female partner and she pointed out that I have to have had 6 months of unprotected HETEROSEXUAL sex (her emphasis, not mine) to be considered infertile. This may be the one time that I'm glad my lady bits are such a wreck. What with the ovary, the tube, and the ute all having one issue or another, she said I *may* count as medically infertile. Fingers crossed. (I am so mad at myself for messing that up)
  • Surgery - I was supposed to receive a call from the surgery scheduler yesterday or today. So far nothing. I'm basically willing the phone to ring (clearly my powers are limited). There is a lot of other random life stuff I need to plan around the surgery. And of course my eggs feel like little ticking time bombs and I just want to keep this whole thing moving along.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Casualties of middle age

Sometimes I look down at myself and I can't believe this is me. The calendar says I'm 38, my aching joints and spreading hips say I'm 48, but I swear my brain says I'm 28. I hear this never reconciles.

Speaking of my angsty 20s, I spent half a year living on a kibbutz in Israel. I was an idealistic vegetarian and believed the world should live on a commune (and that peace in the middle east was a real thing).

Eventually, I had to come home and get a job (and thus my jaded 30s began). But my parting gift to myself was a tragus ring, carefully placed by a young Israeli in a Jerusalem tattoo parlor. I've had it for over 10 years and I love it. It's my personal reminder that I am capable of adventures, past and future.

And this weekend I took it out.

Not forever (I hope). The RE I saw last week referred me to a surgeon. The surgeon ordered a pelvic MRI. The MRI is today. I am a bit nervous. But I'm also a bit relieved. I definitely have chronic lower abdominal pain and I'd really like to know the cause. I'm hoping it's something simple and fixable (the fibroid) and that it's easily and quickly removed as we move forward on the path to IVF.

I've never had an MRI before. I love small spaces (in that borderline-autism-spectrum-temple-grandin-hug-machine kind of way). But I *hate* loud noises. I know I'll be fine. Just jittery about the unknown.

The surgeon is, apparently, very popular and her first available appointment to discuss the MRI results is November 1 (3 weeks from now!). I've been that patient and with a few pushy phone calls got myself on the cancellation list. Fingers crossed for a last minute appointment next week. I'd like to know what's happening and get this surgery under way as soon as possible.

Who would have thought that kid who sold her beat up '82 honda civic hatchback for a plane ticket to Israel would be this infertile lady hoping for a chance at IVF (who, coincidentally,  drives an '09 honda civic hybrid...I guess some things never change).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

This is happening

Met with my new RE this morning. He was a nerdy introvert, much like yours truly, so it was an uneasy 20 minutes of too long pauses and awkward interjections. But in the end, we agreed on a plan. It's pretty much the same plan as before. Surgery. IVF. Lots of finger crossing and hope.

He outlined the problems: old eggs, blocked tube, scarred ovary, growing fibroid, polyp, and endometriosis

He complimented where he could: "your uterus has a very nice triangular shape to it"

He gave new hope: robotic myomectomy (vs standard slice and dice), which comes with a shorter (potentially easier) recovery.

He assessed the primary culprit: fibroid has grown 1 cm wider and 1 cm taller in the last 6 months (now approximately 4.5 cm x 4.5 cm). It encompasses quite a bit of the left side of my uterus, pushing my lining way over to one side and obscuring my left ovary (that was kind of neat to see on the ultrasound - I love a doc who describes everything as it's happening).

There are still a few unanswered questions and potential hurdles (clearly I have a lot of googling to do):

  • Can they get the polyp at the same time as the fibroid?
  • Will my insurance cover the surgery?
  • Does robotic surgery mean I can have a vaginal delivery?
  • Is robotic as efficient as abdominal in removing the fibroid and preserving fertility?
  • Will my insurance require IUIs before IVF?
  • And the standard, will any of this even work?

I was a neurotic mess going into the appointment. RE-PTSD is no joke. While I no longer find it embarrassing to drop my pants and hop up on the table, I was feeling overwhelmed with anxiety and old emotions. One of my coping mechanisms/fatal flaws/annoying habits is to never want anything. And if I do want something, I make sure to work over-the-top hard on getting/achieving it on my own. I can't achieve this myself. And even with help, it may not happen. That is hard for me. But, therapy-worthy issues aside, I am SO GRATEFUL that this door has reopened for us. So, so, so grateful. And beyond excited for the possibilities ahead of us. As Bionic said, "squee!"