Friday, March 18, 2011

The Irony of Life.

     I'm just going to forewarn any potential readers: This entry will probably be long, and at some points may sounds like a whoa is me kind of thing. Also beware, that I may be graphic about some of the things I've had to endure, or will have to endure in the future. After all, dealing with infertility is a life changing ordeal.

     I guess I should start at the beginning. Let's see, I've always been one of those girls who knew what she wanted out of life was to be a wife and a mother. God has blessed me so far, in that he has allowed me to find the love of my life, and become the wife I always knew I could be. Luke and I have a wonderful marriage. I couldn't ask for a more loving, adoring husband. He is amazing. There's no other way to put it. I knew that Luke wasn't going to be ready to try and start our family right away. So, we spent the first six months of our marriage just being together, getting to know one another the way a husband and wife should. After a couple of tear filled discussions, we decided it was time for us. I discontinued my birth-control at the end of December in '09. The first few months were really disheartening. Mostly because I didn't get a all. After a mound of negative pregnancy test, and eight months without a cycle, I was finally able to get into the doctors.

    My then assigned doc told me almost immediately that she suspected I had a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I went in for my first, but certainly wasn't my last, bitof blood test. After this I also had to go in for ultrasounds, both external and internal ultrasounds. This process was one of the most uncomfortable things I've ever been through. (Though, I must say that now, at this point in our journey, I'm no longer as shy about things as I was then.) About a week later, I had a follow up appointment with my doc. She didn't waste time, she flat out told me (in the most cold clinical way I've ever heard) I had PCOS. She tried to give me information and did her best to explain what was going on with my body. But to tell you the truth, I didn't hear half of what she said. I was devastated. I cried the entire way home from the hospital. It was so hard to hear someone tell me that I wasn't "normal." I wasn't going to be able to have a child on our own without medical assistance. It's really is.

    For those of you who don't know what PCOS is, I'll explain it. If you do, feel free to just skip over this part. Polycystic ovarian syndrome affects 1 out of 10 women. Most don't even know it either. To be diagnosed with PCOS you have to have two out of the following symptoms or conditions: 1. Polycystic ovaries. (This happens due to the hormone imbalance that causes women with PCOS to not ovulate. Basically the egg is never released. It stays in the follicle and forms a cyst. Most women with PCOS have a "string of pearls" on one or both of their ovaries. I did too on my ultrasound.) 2. Absent or irregular periods. (Obviously I had this too since I went eight months without one.) 3. An excessive amount of androgenic hormones. (In other words, too much testosterone. I also had a tad bit of this as well.) So pretty much, I was a classic case. There's all kinds of things that happen because of all of this. Because of the imbalance of hormones, your body doesn't work the way it's supposed to. Many women with PCOS suffer from some, or all, or the following symptoms too: acne, excess hair growth, hair loss, dark skin patches, skin tags, carrying excess weight around the midsection, being insulin resistant, and anovulation. Women with PCOS are at an increased risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes. After I was diagnosed, it's like it was like it all made sense. Everything I had suffered through the past few months was all due to this condition.

     My then doctor decided that it would be in my best interest to go ahead and establish a relationship with an OBGYN. She referred me. Cut to about a month later, and I get to meet my new doc. She orders more blood test just to see where I stand. About two weeks later, I go in for my results. I found out at this appointment that I was insulin resistant. This is where your bodies cells do not respond to the insulin your pancreas makes, forcing the pancreas to create more and more insulin. Your body stores excess weight around the organs, which is why most women with PCOS tend to carry their weight here. You can do a lot of things to improve the effects of being insulin resistant. Mostly they suggest you modify your diet of processed carbs and sugars. This ones been particularly hard for me. I have a weird love for potatoes. Haha. I guess now it's more like a love/hate kind of thing. They also suggest you lose weight. That's much much easier said than done. It's very difficult for women with PCOS to lose weight because their bodies cling to the excess. So that's exactly what my doctor asked me to do. She wanted me to lose a little, 5 to 10% to be exact, and start a Metformin regiment. Metformin is an insulin sensitizer. Basically it helps your body utilize the insulin it already produces. It has some unpleasant side effects, but overall it's seeming to help me. I've lost 13 lbs. so far. I'd ideally like to lose 15 or so more. But we'll see.

     At the time of my appointment, my doctor also wanted me to get an HSG, and she wanted Luke to get a semen analysis. Thankfully, Luke's SA came back completely normal. This means that our IF issues solely lie with me. So I went in for my HSG. Let me tell you that nothing could prepare you for it. What they do is, insert a catheter into your uterus, fill it with radio-active dye, and then take x-rays to see if your fallopian tubes are open. This was the most painful things I've ever gone through. The next few days after it were pretty rough too. Think, extreme period cramps x 100. But, I went through it, and at the end of it we found out that my tubes are open, and that my uterus appears normal. This is all very important info! That, at least, I am thankful for. This all happened in October of '10.

     So, my doc wanted me to stay on my Metformin throughout the holiday season. If I wasn't pregnant by the new year, we'd put me on Clomid, an ovulation inducer. guys know that we moved in Jan. So, our trying to conceive plans were put on hold until we got settled. But now, Luke and I are battling with our insurance and our new doctors trying to get a referral to a new OBGYN. My fingers are crossed that this happens sooner rather than later. All the stress from the move and everything else that we're dealing with has causes my cycle to go into a hiatus. Which, is fine for me because the medicine my new OB is going to have to put me on has to be taken at a certain point in your cycle.

     There is much more I'd like to talk about, but all in due time. For now, this is where we stand..waiting. Waiting as always for what's to come next. Our journey continues...

1 comment:

  1. I think about you often. It is great to be able to keep up with you through your blog! I can't imagine going through what you are enduring. I pray that things will be resolved quickly with the insurance and you can progress with treatment and such.