Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Little Overwhelmed. Okay, a LOT Overwhelmed.

I have to say, save for our lovely Easter brunch out with Pam and her husband V, it's been a rough weekend. So far, it's a rough week too. I'm feeling that I'm already caught up in the whole 'keeping an eye on the calendar for dates, procedures, protocols' etc. Is that good? I don't know. I know that Monday and Tuesday were bad days. Horribly bad days.

Monday was CD4. I wanted to go to my favorite phlebotomist for the bloodwork. So hubby and I got up Monday and headed out by about 10 a.m. or so. At the clinic, the phlebotomist looks at me and says, "I can't take these papers." I had requisitions from Montréal; she needed the Ontario forms. It's Monday. Easter Monday. A holiday. Great. Most clinics were closed. Most doctors were unavailable. I hadn't seen any doctor at that clinic before but luckily, the office is part of a chain that is networked, so they had some of my data. I registered, and waited to see a doctor who could simply make out the Ontario form for me.

By the time the doctor saw us, got the low-down of our situation, and printed the right form, the phlebotomist was on lunch. So we waited another 30 minutes for her to come back. By this time, it was after 1 p.m.

I finally got in to see her, and she thought she found a vein, but alas... no luck. After searching for a vein for about 5 or 7 minutes, she thought she had one in the other arm. And she did; she managed to hit that one and get the vials she needed. Man, did it bruise badly though; within about 20 minutes, I already had a black mark on my inner right arm. Nice. *sighs* Today that bruise is purple and blue and bigger than I thought it ever could get.

That done, we had a few more errands to get through. A new passport picture for me (my passport expires in early April) and wouldn't you know it, the new picture sucks. Cripes. I hate myself in pictures. I'm not exactly photogenic and seriously debated going to get another pic done. Stupid right? Yeah. I know. But I thought about it. Let me let you in on a little secret folks: listen up. What some people believe to be vanity in others, is actually a lack of self-confidence, or poor self-esteem. Think about that.

So Monday night, as of 10 p.m. I had to make sure not to eat or drink anything (other than water) because bright and early Tuesday (CD5), hubby and I had to go to yet another lab. Tuesday morning, off we went for the whole workup, including Karotyping for recurrent miscarriage, at one of only two places in the whole city that can do it.

Let's see, first I had to pay $230 for some of the tests that were not covered by the provincial insurance. Then, out came all the list of tests. I kid you not, it frightened me to just look at the list. There were at least 10 or 12 tests that needed to be done. I was petrified. New lab. New phlebotomist. New everything. I was so nervous... God I hated it.

I lay down (after explaining that if I didn't, the lab risked having me fall on the floor) and she tried, oh how this nice lady tried to find a vein. Lo and behold, she couldn't go through the bruise... apparently it would alter the results. Sheesh. Now I know. So she looked up and down both arms. Back of my hands. Upper arm. Inner arm. Wrists? By this time I was starting to shake. She stuck me once on the right and got nothing. So she called a coworker who gave it another try... over on the left side. I just lay there, trying to breathe. Not easy when you are as nervous as I am when it comes to blood and needles. She got lucky on the second stick and when I asked if she had got it, she replied yes she had. So I lay there. And lay there. I lay there some more. When they were all done. I finally sat up (rather dizzy). Sure... I asked, tell me how many vials you took? TWELVE?! FUCK OFF. You're kidding. TWELVE VIALS OF BLOOD from me? Colour me shocked. Or maybe just colour me pale... that works too.

I sat down and then they got the orange, carbonated drink for the OGTT. It tasted like a sweeter version of orange Crush to me. Anyway, I drank it down and sat for two hours. Hubby had his bloodwork done quickly (bastard; I hate him for that) and off he went to find a Tim Horton's for coffee, while I read a few newspapers and hung out.

I talked to a friend of mine from another government agency where I used to work. A former co-worker of mine was going through a most difficult time; her 22-year old son just passed away after suffering serious injuries after being in a housefire. The funeral was at 2 that afternoon. My plan was to leave the phlebotomists and go to the funeral. A bad day all around.

But wait... it was CD5. And I needed an ultrasound. Do you have any idea how difficult that is? Seriously. CD1 was Good Friday. Everything was closed. CD2 and CD3... the weekend. Everything was closed. CD4 was Easter Monday; my other doc's office was closed. I did leave a message though. Please oh please could I squeeze in on CD5 for an ultrasound?

I called them back while I was sitting there, processing that sickly sweet orange drink, and I left another message (with my cell number), asking that they call me. While I was reading newspapers, I got the call; could I be there for 1:45? They'd fit me in. Whew. Some relief.

Now then, back to the bloodwork. Before the second draw, they gave me a blanket to keep warm as well as a warm compress to try to bring out the veins in my right arm. They saw lots of surface veins and figured they could find one to work there. So two hours later, I'm lying down again and going through the same hell. It's traumatizing for me really. For someone who has tiny veins, hard to find, for whom it is actually painful, yet who needs to give blood for testing purposes and yes, I DO understand that, it's hard to get that across to those who do not know what it's like.

Actually, the third phlebotomist told me some interesting things. She told me that the size of a person's veins is hereditary. (Thanks Mom... at least I got some of your smarts to counterbalance!) She also told me that when they go through training, that they are taught how to find a vein in a drug addict's arm; a person who has ruined their veins. She said, "I can't even find those on you!" Isn't that nice to know? My veins are worse than those of a drug addict. Lovely. So yeah, it's painful. Problematic and painful.

Well, she stuck me once, but mother of God, it hurt like a bugger! I slapped the wall with my other arm. I tried to breathe. I tried not to yell in pain. She must have used a butterfly needle; fuck me that hurt. (Sorry for the language, but it is my blog after all.) For a moment, I think I passed out for a few moments, the pain was THAT bad. They only needed two vials at that time, but still. I was in so much pain. That bruise was evident before I walked out of there. It's deep purple. It's looking like a thick mark across my inner arm. I look like someone who's been beaten. No joke.

We left there and got something to quiet my hunger pangs. Then I dropped hubby off at work and I went to the doc's office for 1:45, for that ultrasound.

The cyst is still there, but it's markedly smaller; measuring at under 2 cms now whereas it was at 5. My doctor said that there was a great deal of fluid there as well, so he thinks it is shrinking of its own accord. He also said that lupron and BCP protocol prior to stimulation protocols will likely get rid of the cyst too. It gave me a lot of pain on Saturday past. He measured the antral follicles; I have 18 total, 9 on each side. Not bad for someone my age. He was pleased with that. And that's with no stimulation drugs either. Man, I wonder if I'm going to have to watch for OHSS too? Of course I will; cause that is how my luck goes.

So back at home, I could recuperate a little. I had laundry to do... wouldn't you know it, but the washer died in mid-cycle? I have someone coming to look at it on Saturday. If it isn't one thing, it's another. The week feels long and yet it's barely begun. Hubby and I go this weekend to Montreal for our appointment on Monday with the urologist. He will be able to tell us more news. Hopefully good news about being able to use hubby's sperm for IVF.

Please God, let us fall on the right side of the stats for once. How much are we expected to handle? Seriously? When is enough, enough? I need to get through all this for my own peace of mind. But how to keep my sanity in doing it all, when at the end of the day, I fear that we'll still end up on the shitty side of the statistics?

Oh yeah. To top it all off, I got word from another friend that she is p/g. She needed Metformin, and that was it. *sighs* Lucky wench. And crappy news from another friend; he is getting laid off tomorrow from his job in California. He's looking to move east, probably Virginia or something. I hope he finds something suitable; he and his wife have five-year old twins. And I am thinking about Pam and V after news of a BFN for them. My heart aches for them.

Life sucks sometimes. Everyone deserves a break, don't they? Don't they?


Patti said...

Absolutely they do. Hope yours comes soon.

Pam said...

Hopefully all that you've had to endure this week leads to good news on Monday, and good news down the line. Hang in there chick.

serenity said...

yeesh... i'd be overwhelmed too. good grief that's a lot of blood taken!

fingers crossed for good news tho... you definitely deserve a break, hon.


Aurelia said...

Ouch, hon. Life does suck sometimes, and man I hope it gets better for you. Heck, if miracles can happen for me, they can happen for you. Let me know how it goes.