Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Moments of Delight

In all the craziness that is life as it surrounds me at the moment, the moments of delight are very special indeed. Yesterday, hubby gave me one of those.

My birthday is towards the end of May. There was an envelope on that table. I was just coming upstairs after having put some things away, laundry in hand and all the rest. He stops me and says, "Come open this. I need to give it to you now but it's part of your gift."

Looking at him quizzically, I thought to myself, "WTF?" as I set the laundry down and picked up the plain envelope.

Opening it, I found two tickets: Thursday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Second row.

The Police.

I squealed, jumped up and down and kissed him soundly. We're going to see The Police!! YAY!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

So Gil, what do you do to keep busy?

What do I do to keep busy, when the land of IF is relatively quiet? Well I'm so glad you asked! Yes indeed, all's been quiet lately on the IF front; I'm being a good little patient and taking my meds as directed, all with a goal of testing the TSH later in May before the May 27 appointment with the RE here in Ottawa. So while that moves right along, I'm doing a few personal things to keep busy. Let's see...

I have a girlfriend who is going to move in and occupy one of our spare rooms for a few months. Her lease is just about done and she's just reached the end of her rope with living with her thoughtless nephew. To help her save some cash, she's going to come to our home (for a low monthly fee) so she can save some money and be able to get into her own place by the end of the year. At least, that's the plan. I'm hoping it works for her. And hubby and I are glad to help of course, for the short term anyway. I need to have a key made for her this week so she can move some stuff in.

Yesterday, I booked a flight home for 10 days in May to see my family. I'll be able to spend Mother's Day WITH MY MOTHER. That's incredible. That simply never happens. I will be very grateful to have that opportunity, believe me. I'll also have an opportunity to see my aunt before she moves to Nova Scotia with her fiancé. Mom doesn't yet know that I'm going home to be with her, although she's been bugging me for months to arrange it. She's a bit down at the moment. Even though they're on vacation, apparently four of the five of them are smothered with colds (ick) and her entire vacation was coloured by the news that the neuropathy is worsening and is hereditary. So she needs a bit of a pick-me-up right now. I hope I can give that to her. I'll try her later today and let her know. She and I had a bit of a falling out when last we talked so I need to make sure that everything is good between us. My Mom is an incredible woman and I admire her and respect her opinion. But sometimes, I need to make my own decisions. In this case, I did just that. Yet she disagrees and became upset about it on the phone. She's allowed to disagree, but it won't change my decision. And I'll see the decision through and it will all work out fine. I can say that with absolute certainty.

My friend K is booked for surgery on her jaw in early May. Of course, no one is exactly sure how much cancer they'll find when they get in there or what sort of sections they will need to remove. We're trying to prepare her 10-year old daughter for the possibility that her mom might not have the same shaped face when she gets out of this. It's been hard on them both I know. Last week, I had a heart-to-heart with K about it all. (Side note: That's tough to do with an inquisitive 10-year old needing to hear every word!) We've read the literature. We know the stats. Her chances are not good. So she's faced with putting her house in order. She's made the decision to have her daughter come to me and my husband in the event of her death. She's also going to update her Will; I picked up a kit for her the other day to do that. Relatively simple in her case, as she has an old Will that was prepared by a lawyer so we can use it to prepare a new one and change the pertinent details, and get it notarized. It's weighing heavily on her mind though. And I know it scares her. It would scare anyone I think. My heart goes out to her.

And for my husband's 40th birthday, I organized a surprise party for him last Saturday. Now, obviously I couldn't tell you all about that because he reads this blog (*waves to hubby*) but for the past six weeks or so, I've been organizing, e-mailing people, on the phone with the bowling alley where we held the party, arranging transportation, ordering a cake and balloons, figuring out logistics for the kids, ordering food for all of us, etc. It went without a hitch. About 28 people showed up to wish hubby a happy 40th, and I think everyone had a good time. At least, they seemed to! We were at the bowling alley from 8:30 to 11:30 and we finally got the kids back to our house by midnight or so. And hubby was completely in the dark about everything! He didn't suspect a darn thing! He walked in there with a look on his face that said, "Oh my God; what the...?" He was pleased. And moreso, he was really happy with the new digital camera that I bought for him. That's good. I had debated a digital camera or a video camera. He agrees; the digital camera will get more use.

Sending lots of good wishes to all of you. I know I'm tardy with my kudos and thoughts to various people. I'll do that next time. Promise. So many things to think about...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A New Decade for the Man I Love

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I deserved someone as wonderful as you.

From the moment we began corresponding almost eight years ago, to the moment I laid eyes on you for the first time, to our wedding day, I always wondered if I was somehow dreaming. If this was real. If there was a bubble about to burst and shatter my happiness. But there is no bubble. This is no dream. This is real, and I have to pinch myself and remind myself that I am so blessed.

Yes, we have seen our share of ups and downs. In our years together, we have seen the fun of spur-of-the moment trips. We have looked at each other, stunned and thrilled (and nervous!), when a turn of events landed your children on our doorstep. We have rejoiced (oddly enough!) when jobs fell through. We have bought a house and made it a home. Our renovations have turned out brilliantly and our garden grows strong, showing its beauty to the world. You have loved me, in spite of my faults, through thick and thin. You have done more than many men would ever have done to give us a child, and I am grateful and humbled. You have dried my tears when I was bereft, and held me when I needed comforting. You have fulfilled my needs and I yours, in so many aspects of our lives. I have had to kiss you goodbye and happily, I got to welcome you home with a similar kiss. You listen to my fears and worries. You take happiness from our successes and you take up the gauntlet when I need relief. You laugh alongside me and you still look at me with desire. How? How you can do that, I'll never know.

Today marks your 40th birthday. I am the luckiest woman in the world to call you mine. I love you. Happy Birthday baby. May all your dreams come true.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Would you believe an RE who responds to his e-mail from a taxi between Abu Dhabi and Dubai?

No? Funny. I didn't either, until it just happened. Wow. Just amazing. *shakes head*

He agrees. Wait a month, do the follow up blood work and then hopefully with a TSH of 2.5 or less, we can proceed.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Local RE Weighs In

This morning, hubby and I had a consult with the RE here in Ottawa. A 'Leader' in the field (so to speak!), his opinion was quite valued. I was glad to have the opportunity to sit down and pick the brain of someone of his calibre -- well-published and quite reknowned in Canada and North America -- about our particular case. It was wonderful to hear his point of view and get his feedback.

Some of his conclusions based on our case history:

  • My E2 is not too high. As long as it is under 200, he is comfortable. That said, overweight women produce more estrogen and thus their numbers will be higher than those of an average-sized woman. If I were to lose weight, we'd see this number decrease but it's all right at this level.
  • My FSH levels are good and are not being artifically suppressed, according to the numbers that he sees and the case history. Good to know that at least my FSH is naturally a good number.
  • My TSH is still too high. He recommends a TSH level of 2.5 or less. I spoke to him of my research and seeing that in March 2003, the American Association of Endocrinologists reviewed its normal values for TSH and their recommendation is a TSH of between 0.3 and 3.0. In 1997, the British Medical Journal indicated that a TSH above 2.0 puts people at a greater risk for hypothyroidism. This doctor recommends 2.5. My doc in Montreal says closer to 1.0. Lemme tell you, either of those would be great!
  • My insulin numbers divided by my glucose numbers (e.g., 180/5 = 36) indicates insulin resistance. If the number is greater than 23-25 (there is no consensus on the EXACT number), then insulin resistance is usually the culprit, as in my case.
  • Although I tested positive for Antinuclear Antibodies, the other serum results were normal for autoimmune disorders (Lupus, Hashimoto's, Graves). In my case, he feels that the positive Antinuclear Antibodies are indicative of my having a true case of hypothyroidism.
  • The odds are less than 1% for testing positive with the karotyping (for recurrent miscarriage). So I don't necessarily have to wait for those results to proceed with IVF.

What he wants:

  • increase the metformin to 1500 mg per day (3 x 500 mg)
  • increase the synthroid to 50 mcg per day (double the current dosage)
  • follow up bloodwork in 6 weeks
  • follow up appointment in 7-8 weeks

Oh, and he gave me the business card for the Infertility Psychologist at their facility. I think I'll give her a call. That certainly wouldn't go astray.

The other thing he indicated was that given my attitude now towards being open about infertility, and seeking to educate people about it and its repercussions on society as a whole, it is up to me, and people like me (thus... you, if you so desire) to put pressure on the government, by writing letters, talking to our Member of Parliament, etc., in order to reinstate insurance for infertility/adoption processes. I think I'll make a phone call or two and see whose eyes need to be opened about the pain that the infertiles of this world experience. Much of it for naught.

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Vampires' Results

The results from the rest of last week's bloodwork have come in. Except for the karotyping; that will take 6-8 months apparently. Anyway, I picked up copies this afternoon; I will need a copy to see the RE here next week.

Anyway, the results are as follows. Normal values and details in parentheses.

Tests from March 24
CD4, synthroid (25 mg)
TSH - 3.24 (0.3-4.7)
T4 Free - 14.0 (9.1-23.8)
T3 Free - 4.3 (2.5-5.7)
LH Serum - 1.3 (follicular = 2.4-6.6) **LOW**
FSH Serum - 4.4 (follicular = 3.0-22.0)
Testosterone 1.9 (adult female = 0.3-4.0)
Estradiol - 181 (follicular = 0-921)
Prolactin 7.6 (3.3-26.7)

Tests from March 25
CD5, synthroid (25 mg), 12-hr fasting (unless indicated)
Insulin Fasting - 180 (40-190)
Insulin 2 hour - 1290 (120-1240) **HIGH**
Glucose Tolerance Fasting - 5.0 normal (3.6-6.0 normal; 6.1-6.9 impaired; >6.9 possible diabetes mellitus)
Glucose Tolerance 2 hour - 7.7 normal (3.6-7.7 normal; 7.8-11.0 impaired; >11.0 possible diabetes mellitus)
APTT - 34 (26-37)
INR - 1.0 (0.9-1.3)
Homocysteine - 9 (5-15)
Anti dsDNA - 5.0 (0-19.9 negative)
Antinuclear AB (ANA) - 1:40 **POSITIVE**; Titre - 1:40, Pattern - homogeneous, speckled
Anti-Thyroid peroxidase - negative
Anti-Thyroglobulin - negative
Lupus anticoagulant - negative
Russell Viper Venom - negative
Protein S Free - 1.04 (>0.40)
Protein C Function - 1.35 (0.75-1.60)
Act. Prot. C Resist. Ratio - 2.8 (2.3-3.6)

Here is what I draw from these results:
  • The high insulin resistance is PCOS. Even the fasting levels are high in the normal range, so to me, it's rather obvious. I expect that this will require Metformin again, likely at 1500 mg/day, whereas all my previous doc would prescribe was 500 mg/day. NOT enough. This might help us in quite significant way.
  • The Positive antinuclear AB (ANA) test indicates autoimmune disease. With the other tests, lupus and a variety of other things are ruled out. I think it hearkens back to the thyroid and it might even indicate Hashimoto's Disease. I expect that the RE will want to increase my dosage of synthroid, likely up to 50 mg/day.
  • My TSH is still over 3.0. Again, I was told that they wanted to see it at 1.0 to get and maintain a pregnancy. So... yeah, synthroid (see above).
  • LH levels are way low. Thank heavens for Clomid and injections; that ought to correct that problem.
  • At least my FSH levels are good. That's nice to know.
Anyone else have thoughts? We'll know more after seeing the RE on Tuesday. I may need to be seen by a simple endocrinologist as well. That will be determined next week.