Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Treatment Diaries: IUI #2: February - March 2001

Sunday, Feb. 18th (day 3): the usual day 3 ultrasound & bloodwork routine. I was the first i line, with only a few others coming in after me. "Different tech -- brutal!!" I noted about my ultrasound. Also noted: the technician told me I had an echogenic or hemorragic cyst on the left side, and two small fibroids on the right.

At Dr. RE's office, I had to once again search out his lab technician and tell her I needed my bloodwork taken. She always seemed far more interested in puttering around the lab than attending to the patients -- I was not impressed. She left me a message later in the afternoon to tell me to start my clomid and return for bloodwork & ultrasound on day 7.

I left a return message asking to speak to Dr. RE. When he called me back, I asked him about the cyst and the fibroids. He said the cyst was evidence that I had ovulated, but said it was small enough and my hormone levels were low enough that it shouldn't have any impact on this cycle. Likewise, he said the fibroids were small and shouldn't make a difference.

Thursday, Feb. 22nd (day 7), there was a bag of Gonal-F waiting for me at Dr. RE's office. I was told it was essentially the same thing as the Puregon I'd used the last time, and was instructed to use three amps (225 IUs). In my journal, I noted that the Gonal-F dissolved better than the Puregon, and didn't hurt as much when I injected myself, although there was more bleeding from the injection site. Over the next few days, I noted the usual side effects of fatigue, dry mouth and hot flashes.

Sunday, Feb. 25th (day 10), back at the clinic. Dr. RE called later to say my numbers were definitely looking better than they had the previous cycle.

Wed., Feb. 28th (day 13) was another clinic day. Dh & I had booked off work to attend an RTS training session for our support group. Instead of taking the train, we drove downtown, & then drove out to our training session. I noted feeling bloated and sore.

Friday, March 2nd: My journal notes indicate the technician was having great difficulty getting accurate measurements. "It's very hard to see... there are gas clouds (?!) obscuring the view... the most difficult I've ever done (SIGH)," I quoted her as saying. :(

I spoke with Dr. RE later, and he was probably the most upbeat I'd ever heard: my E2 levels were almost 7300, more than double what they had been at this point in my previous injectable cycle. "This looks very good!" he said. I was to administer my hcg shot (Profasi) that night, and return to the clinic on Sunday, no earlier than 10 a.m. (he had another IUI at 9;30).

Sunday, March 4th, day 17: Feeling distinctly uncomfortable. Dh elected to give his sample at he clinic again. The waiting room was quite busy, especially for a Sunday. "U/s clinic closed??" I noted in my journal.

Dr. RE greeted us by saying, "Very good" but then undercut the optimism by adding, "but it took you a lot to get here." Dh's sample was better than last time: 12 million, with 86% motility.

He said he was slightly concerned that I looked "puffy," and instructed me to weigh myself every day. If I noticed I was gaining weight, I was to call him immediately: I could be overstimulated and retaining fluid, which could be dangerous. (Great....) I went home & devoured all the information I could find on OHSS and its symptoms.

The bill for this cycle included just over $1,900 in drugs, plus $350 for the sperm wash = about $2300 again.

By the next day, I noted I was feeling MUCH better physically (less bloated), although I was also finding it difficult to sleep ("worrying about multiples!" I wrote). As the week wore on, I began feeling crampy. I returned to the clinic for bloodwork on Monday, March 12th, and was told to come back in a week's time for more bloodwork (i.e., a pregnancy test).

I didn't make it that far. Wednesday, March 14th -- cd #27 or 10 days past IUI -- I started spotting, and the following day, my period arrived. Friday, I went to the clinic for bloodwork. As I already knew, it was negative.

I no longer remember why, but we had decided not to start a new cycle immediately.

Monday, April 9th (day 26), I went back to Dr. Ob-gyn. I made some notes to discuss with him: no sign of ovulation yet. Possible yeast infection? (Took antibiotics prior to dentist visit on March 21st.) Dr. Ob-gyn said he saw no changes from the last visit (and the lab results came back clear), and to return in 6 months.

Monday, April 17th (day 33) I called Dr. RE's office: my temps were still low and according to the many OPKs I'd been using, I still hadn't ovulated. The same thing had happened after the last IUI cycle I had done with injectables -- that cycle had lasted an interminable 58 days! -- and I had wound up taking Provera to induce a period. I was told to come in for bloodwork, and it was decided that I was having an anovulatory cycle. "Wait a couple of days, and if nothing happens, you may want to take provera again," I was told.

Friday, April 20th, my temps rose slightly. Monday, they jumped higher. I decided to wait things out. Thursday, May 3, I began spotting and Friday, May 4th, my period finally began (on day 51!).

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