Monday, May 23, 2011

The Treatment Diaries: The Clomid Capers I & II, May- July 2000

We decided to go ahead & try Clomid for the next cycle. I got my first package on my day 3 visit to the clinic on May 10, 2000, & got the go-ahead to start after my bloodwork came back later that afternoon. (I also got told my triglycerides were slightly elevated, & my thyroid readings were slightly out of whack, which led to an adjustment in my medication.)

I started off on a dose of 50 mg (one pill per day). Cost: $32. In my journal, I listed the side effects I was feeling: sensitivity to bright light, FATIGUE, dry mouth in the morning, and a constant, dull headache.

We were at the clinic for ultrasounds & bloodwork on days 3, 8, 11 & 15, which (like today) was our Victoria Day holiday Monday. The follicles in my right ovary that day actually measured smaller than they had on day 11. "I'm shrinking??" I wrote in my journal. When I returned on day 18, the follicles in the right ovary were measuring more or less the same, but there were NO follicles visible in my left ovary. ??? Did I ovulate? I was asked to return on day 24, at which point there were no follicles in either ovary.

My notes from my conversation with Dr. RE that morning include this quote from him: "Your follicles went ppphhhttt." He said either I needed a higher dosage of Clomid or a different drug, & that we'd try a higher dosage first. Later that evening, he called me at home: my progesterone levels were way up, indicating I had ovulated. "How? I can't tell you," he said. "You can't be making that much progesterone & not have ovulated." He once again expressed interest in seeing the film of my HSG, & I signed a release form at my next office visit (on day 26) so that he could get it from the hospital.

We were back on day 33 for a pregnancy test -- which was, of course, negative. Dr. RE said he wanted to increase my dosage for the next cycle, although he warned that it would also likely increase the side effects.

*** *** ***

AF arrived on June 1, kicking off Clomic cycle #2. My dosage was increased to 100 mg or two pills per day (cost: $64), and the side effects I had experienced during my first Clomid cycle continued.

When we arrived at the clinic for our usual day 3 bloodwork, however, V., the friendly girl who had been taking my blood & answering my questions, was gone. She was replaced by N., an older woman who said little & had a much heavier hand with the needle (OW!). By Wednesday, I had a big yellow bruise on my arm. I later learned from the girls in the lineup at the u/s clinic that the dr had let V. go, wanting someone with more clinical experience. :( What a shame -- she made the experience so much more pleasant.

Day 7: the follicles on my right side were minuscule & on the left side, none could be seen. Great. :p

Day 14: We sat in the waiting room for 20 minutes, while N., the new technician, wandered (seemingly aimlessly) from the fridge to the lab & back again. There was nobody else in sight. Finally, as the waiting room began to fill up, I actually went to find her and ASK her to take my blood. Dh hates to be kept waiting at the best of times, & he was furious. It was almost 8:30, a half hour later than usual, when I finally slunk into the office (& we hadn't even seen the dr, either). Day 18, I had six women ahead of me in line at the ultrasound clinic, had to wait half an hour to chat with the dr, & didn't get into the office until nearly 9.

The chat hadn't been that encouraging either: Dr. RE walked in, shaking his head & saying, "Lori, Lori, Lori..." He told me my estrogen levels were half of what they should be, and (not for the first time) hinted that I might want to consider "other options." He told me to return in two days, but suggested that if my results continued to be poor, I should consider timed intercourse, instead of spending money on an IUI. Which was what happened.

My notes quote the dr as saying, "You have to think about what you want to do... how long you want to keep doing this..." and "there's no point in having you come in every two days if your numbers aren't better than this." (Reading this now, I keep wondering how I managed to keep slogging on as long as I did...!)

Later that night, dh & I must have had a talk, because I have some quotes from him too (along with a note: "discouraged/angry"): "I know he's just giving us the truth as he sees it... but he could be nicer/less negative about it!" And: "I'm most concerned about you... Maybe we should just live our lives. Don't need negativity, feeling bad about ourselves." My notes end: "Agreed: will talk more later."

Surprise! Our next visit on day 20 showed an LH surge. TI it was.We returned on day 27 (our 15th wedding anniversary) & day 34 for a pregnancy test -- which was negative.

"So what do you want to do next?" K., the office manager asked me over the phone, after delivering the bad (but not unexpected) news. "Have you thought about getting a little more aggressive?" What we were thinking about most, actually, was our upcoming vacation. I told her we would call when we returned.


  1. I can't wait to read more. This is a very interesting "project" if you will.

  2. I've been intrigued at all the running around you had to do. And it's bringing back memories - but perhaps, like you, I found eight years on I can cope with them.