Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I quit again

Seriously, how many times do you have to quit infertility before it takes? Because I quit again.

In an amusing (to me) bit of situational comedy, I actually started this post while attractively dressed in a pair of paper towels in an exam room at TFC. I figured it was Dr. L's prerogative to make me wait, since I had shown up TWENTY-FIVE minutes late to my pre-op appointment. (This may - or may not - be a personal best.) This was not because I forgot until the last minute - oh, dear me, no. Rather, I spent an hour and fifty-five minutes making the 19-mile trip there from my office. A small PSA: while I love the concept behind hopstop.com, the 1C bus no longer goes to Ballston Station - and whatever you do, if you're trying to take public transit from DC to Fairfax, ignore any website that suggests you debark before the Vienna station. Seriously.

It turns out that they're going to cut out as much of the contents of my abdominal cavity as possible, including, if possible, removing the lesions (abnormal cells, not cancer) on my cervix while I'm under. It all sounds highly entertaining. Apparently I will be hospitalized for 2-3 days, and I will indeed undergo bowel prep on Sunday. So I should probably scrap my plans to be the ringleader of a big hiking trip that day. Um, and for the month thereafter. Sigh.

In lighter news, my coworker has invited me to come with her Saturday to a huge antique expo in the Shenandoah Valley. It will be five hours in the car. I am anticipating it highly. Really, acres of antiques are well worth any amount of driving, and the Shenandoah is so beautiful. And I could justify spending...some money...on a few things I've been wanting. Heaven knows I've priced enough specimens on craigslist to know what fair prices would be. (Not that I expect to see anything at fair prices.)

I am still planning to buy one of my two top houses (well, they're the two houses in the favorite location). My DH has recently expressed that he sees it as no certainty that we will own a home by Christmas 2010. So, he will have a nice surprise when I buy one. But there are no significant developments on that front. There's another candidate to see, but I don't think it will displace the frontrunners. So I watch, and wait.

Looping back - they took copious amounts of my blood, and the day wouldn't have been complete without a pelvic exam. (When is the day ever complete without one?) They also, of course, took a urine sample. For those familiar with the toothpick instructions famously cited by Wonko the Sane, I think the urine sample collection instructions at Tepeyac could give the toothpick people a run for their money, with bonus points for peculiar anatomical references.

When I was a child (and this accurately reflects my overall temperament), I thought that a failure to FILL the sample cup was a deficiency with moral implications. Armed with the better information of adulthood, I serenely placed my cup with its half-inch of urine in the specimen cabinet. Next to it I noticed another cup, full to the very brim, with a suspicious extremely pale yellow color. Someone is trying to cheat the system, even though it says expressly that you're only to provide the MIDDLE of your urine stream. All that is going to get you is concerns that you consume too much iron - and chlorine.

I know why they want my urine, of course. The insurance paperwork somehow requires that they collect it (and if this is not indicative of the insanity of the bureaucracy, I don't know what is), but if they test it at all, it will be to see whether I'm pregnant. (Hint: no.) Anyway, it would be too early to tell. Perversely, of course, now that my prediction that the 12th would be at least day 5 of my cycle is under the microscope, I am suffering from performance anxiety. What if the wretched period doesn't show by Thursday? I mean, if anything, it would be late. But if I were pregnant this cycle, I would be PISSED.

(Yes, Irony, I'm talking to you.)

I also have two bits of somewhat relevant data for you. Dr. L shared that the medical literature indicates that, following the total-endo-removal surgery, women have an 80% chance of conceiving if the endo is limited; 50% if it is moderate; and 30% if it is severe. (Odds are mine is moderate or severe, what with all the cysts.) Best chances in the first year after surgery. I have agreed to think about doing 6-12 months of clomid or tamoxifen if my first post-surgical p+7 draw comes back with hormone irregularities. I explained to Dr. L that I don't want to give this process any more years if I don't have to, and she was entirely understanding. So I may not do more drugs. We'll see.

My other fact: today, for my pre-op appointment, I took FOUR hours off work - and spent four and a half hours in transit ALONE. Not counting the appointment. I apologized to everyone for being late, but it wasn't easy to do. Because I blame them - for trying to drum up business among the hyper-Catholic circles in DC and having their dumb offices in Fairfax; for having no appointments later than FOUR; for being the people I have to deal with because of my infertility, even though they can't help and the medicine and even the diagnostics have made me worse.

But probably mostly because, where a few years ago screwing up my route would have made me humble, it now makes me angry - with everyone. I used to think that that was a product of law school, and the working world. It's not. It's a response to feeling guilty and screwed up, something I used to be able to do with grace, because there was an amount of it in my life I could cope with. Now my failures and deviations from the norm are on a cosmic scale, and there is not oxygen enough for all the apologies and excuses; and I am not sorry any more. I'm just angry that I even have to have the conversation in the first place.

I quit, do you hear? I want my life back.


  1. Have lots of fun with that bowel prep!!! It's the greatest thing since sliced bread!

    Hormones for me took months to finally figure out. So don't give up to quickly trying to wrestle those suckers! It only took 8 months! I mean that is a blink of an eye!

    I understand the dread! But a surgically clean pelvis is yummy! :)

  2. Just FYI, in my personal experience the clomid did worse for me because of my endo. Very painful and didn't work. But, each person is different. Just be careful though.

    And yes, I continue to "quit" but I keep getting sucked back in....

  3. praying for your surgery.
    thanks for the play by play account--was totally snickering about the urine cup-must fill to top- thing.


  4. Wow, lots going on with your upcoming surgery! I'd be surprised if they kept you on clomid more than 6 months, but maybe tamoxifen is different... I will be hoping that this surgery can fix alot of what is bugging you!!!

    Have fun antiquing!

  5. That preop exam, etc. sounds horrible. Actually, the surgery doesn't sound too hot either. You'll get through it, of course, and I'm sending all the happy, positive, upbeat vibes I can that it will be with a minimum of discomfort and displeasure.

    I don't envy you the traffic down that way. Traffic in general puts me in a foul mood. Traffic in the DC area? I'd want to run someone over, preferably the next idiot who decides it's a good idea to cut in front of me. Just call me Mrs. Wheeler.

  6. Very entertaining post! I mean, at least you are using all this suckiness for good right? (I guess good for me, since I am the one being entertained.)

  7. i've never done bowel prep... i'll be praying for you for that as well as the surgery from what i've heard about the prep :)

    love the urine cup story.

  8. Wow, I am so psyched for you to get a nice, squeaky clean ute and pelvis! Pelvic exams are my very favorite. You had such an awesome day!