Yes, my reproductive endocrinologist quoted Yoda this morning. So, yea, that happened.
Today was my post-op appointment/WTF appointment/IVF consult. (Clearly, when you’re driving an hour each way, it’s good to make sure you can cram as much as humanly possible into one trip.) The visit started nicely enough. We were escorted back to the comfy couches in what I’ve titled the “Den of Solitude.” The name’s part a dig at the obscenely dark wall color, and part remembrance of the long-lonesome wait we had there for my D&C that came a day too late. Awesome room, awesome memories.
The doc reaffirmed that surgery went fabulously, that my suspicious right tube looked “wonderful,” and that I was young. We discussed my visit with the reproductive immunologist during my last failed pregnancy and went over that specialists’ recommendations. I said, “he suggested Lovenox, which we added to the last two cycles, and Prednisone, which we didn’t.” What I didn’t say was, “The Prednisone which the NP said we couldn’t do we didn’t add.” So, guess what? 6 months after I first sent an email inquiring about Prednisone, I was told, “Why don’t we just try some Prednisone and TI or IUI? It works for a lot of my immune patients!” Head, wall, again.
The mister (likely seeing dollar signs flowing through his head) seemed into that (insurance-covered) option, I said, “No.” We were exactly in this place 15 months ago. We walked into our IVF consult, we got our calendar, we paid our down-payment. We left with a plan. A plan that got derailed by a money hungry clinic, an asinine insurance system, and a interstate move. I wasn’t leaving this second IVF consult with another aborted IVF plan. I simply said, “We need to move on. We need to try something different. We need to know that there is an end in sight and our lives might one day be back to normal. This is the step we need to take before I have no stamina left to keep trying.”
The answer? “As Yoda says, ‘Do or do not. There is no try.'”
Basically, the next 15 minutes were filled with yoga recommendations, self-help book suggestions, mantra repetition, and the soft-eyes of my close-talking RE glaring uncomfortably into mine. I’m not a feeler, I’m an analyzer. I rarely talk emotions, but regularly talk statistics, clinical studies, and journal articles. There is no more certain way to bring on my rage than to turn my quest for medical insight into a “how do you center yourself?” discussion. I grinned, I bared, I pinched the skin between my thumb and pointer finger so tight that I can still see the redness 7 hours later. But, ladies and gentlemen, we have a plan. (One that I’ll surely relay in fuller course in the next several days.)
See, here’s the thing with conversations that go like this. I truly do understand the medicine behind relaxing and minimizing the worry. As someone with both endocrine and autoimmune disorders I get how putting your body under unnecessary stress triggers a cascading waterfall of nasty, hormone- (and thus fertility) impacting issues. Back in the days before we moved and when we still lived in civilization, I did acupuncture, I hosted a support group, I sought counseling. I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid when it comes to believing that reducing one’s stress is a can’t hurt, might help accompaniment to traditional infertility treatments. (And, lest you misunderstand, this is a far, far cry from saying that believe that “Just Relaxing” will cure my infertility. That, my friends, is just a steaming pile of bullshit.) It’s exactly this belief in the power of minimizing freak-outs that fuels my hatred for Doc Yoda’s attitude this morning. You know what stresses me the fuck out? Knowing I get about 10 minutes with my doctor once every 12 months and having to spend all of it answering questions about my yoga practices. So, congratulations doc, you just added so much more stress to my life. A+ effort and all that.
I treated the rest of the appointment like a junkie hoping they’ll get a discount if they listen to their dealer talk about their new pitbull. Doc’s got the stuff I need, be a good girl and let the doc talk. I left with my scripts for steroids, stims, estrogen and progesterone support, intralipids, and Lovenox. Oh, and a healthy dose of stress.
As we were preparing to leave the consult room, Mr. But IF asked a few more questions about the lap findings. Basically, our third/fourth/fifth utterances of “are you sure my tubes are fine and there wasn’t an endo annexation of my bowel occurring?” Yes, tubes fine, no, minimal endo. I replied, “That’s a relief. I expected worse due to how it looked last time and how many quality of life-impacting symptoms I’ve been dealing with.”
“Are you alive?” he asked.
“Then the quality of what you do with that life is totally up to you. Only you can improve that.”
“Have you read about the man with no arms and legs?” he queried.
“You should. If he can find joy, so too can you.”
I left my comments regarding my mother’s joyless chemo unspoken. I got my drugs. I got my probing. I got the fuck out.
My parting gift? A giant middle finger from my body. I knew it was too good to be true when he said we could start stims as early as tonight if I appeared to be baseline. The ultrasound showed a giant follicle/cyst on my right ovary, and bloodwork revealed a mildly elevated P4 and LH. I could have ovulated (and left a corpus luteum cyst behind), I could be about to ovulate (and be witnessing the final growth of the follie), or I could just have a rock star lazy non-functional cyst hanging around. Either way, I’m neither ready to start IVF nor ready to take Provera. Bloodwork on Friday to check what’s up. More waiting! Huzzah!
I wonder if I can “use the force” to get this cycle going? Probably not seeing as I fully inhabit the dark side…