Thursday, June 5, 2008

Super Assertive Infertile Girl!

More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Super Assertive Infertile Girl!!

So I went to my RE's office yesterday for CD 3 ultrasound and blood work. The u/s showed 6 antral follicles (a great number for me) and one massive "cyst." Turns out, my RE thinks I have endometrioma. Because I wasn't broken enough already, right? I really needed one more thing wrong with me? Sheesh.

Slightly disgruntled, I headed home to await the blood test results. Later in the afternoon, my favorite nurse called with bad news. My FSH is now at 21.1 (an all-time high for me). My RE was benching me from IVF again. This time, though, I refused to just roll over and take it. I (very nicely, of course) told the nurse I thought I should be allowed to cycle because:

1. My FSH will probably never again drop to under 12 (which is where my RE likes to see it during an active IVF cycle); and
2. I know women who've gotten pregnant on IVF cycles when their FSH was 25+ (and, in one instance, well over 30!).

After pleading my case at length, the nurse agreed to speak with my RE and call me back. Five minutes later, I got the OK to cycle in June!!! So I busted out my Super Assertive Infertile Girl happy dance:
I started my Follistim last night. I got a new pen (you know, the thinga-ma-bobber that holds the medicine), and it wouldn't load correctly, so we had to do two separate shots. After the first shot, I bled pretty badly. Today, I'm bruised and sore. Owie!!

Even though I've done a few injectible cycles now, I still haven't mastered the art of painless shots. It's not so much that the shot itself hurts; it's the pain and bruising the next day that kills me. Any tips?? Please leave a comment and tell me about your shots. Do you use heat and/or ice? Have you figured out how to minimize the soreness and bruising?

One more thing I want to talk about today (before I completely fall into a hormone-induced coma / rage / three-week crying jag) . . .


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37 comments:

JJ said...

You know, I always loved Supergirl as a kid...(im sure I can dig up an old photo of me in the costume!)

But NOW...shove Supergirl to the side: Super Assertive Infertile Girl is my HERO!

Amber said...

Sorry, no tips on shots. Just good wishes. I know..tips are much better...but that's all I got.

MedWriter said...

first, congrats on doing your cycle after all! :)))
for the follistim, i made sure to take it out of the fridge the day before starting a new cartridge (if its cold, it can really hurt!). numbing the are with ice can help; One person I know also got a prescription for EMLA, which is a topical anesthetic, and used it prior to injections.
Don't use heat for this one -- it won't help. it does help however, after the progesterone in oil shots that you take nightly starting after egg retrieval (and for me, thru most of the first trimester).
Good luck!!! Yael :)

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

You go girl.....being assertive can never hurt...glad you spoke your mind!

As far as advice on shots....I think the heat vs ice depends on the actual meds you are injecting...fortunately it has been a long time since I have had to play nurse to myself!

seriously? said...

Hey thanks for visiting me! I am happy that you stood up to your RE. I don't know much about IVF but I hope the hormones don't create too much havoc!

All the best this cycle, I will be checking in on you.

Katt said...

You go girl! Sending lots of positive thoughts your way!

Aunt Becky said...

Okay, you won me over with your comment from my blog. Can we be friends now?

And I hope that all goes well. You bet your Super Assertive Butt that I'll be back like a bad smell.

Mrs. Spit said...

totally my hero too! Do you hire out?

Jodee Leader said...

The attorney I work for recently went through IVF and she used ice before her shots.

Hang in there!

Mrs.X said...

Go Super Assertive Infertile Girl!

As for tips on the needles, I found the key was not to move the needle around once you do the stick. Just keep it nice and steady.

Best of luck!

Deb said...

Hey Loopie - good for you for being assertive! i cannot give you any advice for the shots though except to say something stupid like no pain no gain (see stupid)
I have a friend who has a friend who is a lawyer and practices family law - he is calling him for me to get the convo started and i will let you know what happens. thanks for yelling at me earlier - i needed that so that i would not just sit in the corner crying. dont get me wrong i'm still crying, but i am also trying to get things in motion like you said.
thanks again.

astral said...

She's my hero too!! Happy cycling!! I wish you all the best. Thank you for your supportive comment.

Rebecca said...

GOOD luck! :)

Nit said...

Yes, you are Supergirl! So glad that you get to cycle this month....I hope you prove your case :)

Oh & I would love to get info from you about the adoption from Ethiopia!

andrea said...

WTG supergirl!!

tons and tons and tons of luck this cycle :)

Geohde said...

Shots tip? Shove it in as fast as possible, like a dart. Most of the pain is from nerve endings on the skin surface, the quicker you get through the skin, the less painful,

J

Joanna said...

Good luck on your upcoming cycle. I am glad that you were assertive. I feel like my RE and me have a strained relationship because of the way I have tried to be assertive. But they have to understand that they are working with women hopped up on all kind of horomones and could blow at any moment (my assertivness comes in to play b/c I want to xfer 3 embryos instead of 2...no go on that with a fresh cycle. FET only). In any case, I wish I had some tips on shots. I just try to get through each day, bloodied, bruised and sometimes numb. My a** actually turned numb last time I did a cycle. Just breathe deep.

surpriseofunfolding said...

Good for you! Doesn't it feel good to advocate for what you think is right, and win over the RE :) Of course once you are doing the shots you may have to remind yourself ... you wanted this ... right? ;)

Deanna said...

Wow way to go with being assertive. Glad you get to cycle this month. I'm right behind you. I start stims on Sunday morning.

As for adoption, we adopted our beautiful son and it is the best thing to ever happen to us. I am so thankful we didn't get pregnant the first time around.

Good luck!
Deanna
www.away2me.typepad.com

sadnessoreuphoria said...

Good work on being so assertive. We really have to be our own advocates. No one knows us or cares about us the way we do.

As far as painless shots, I have been thru 5 IVFs and have absolutely nothing to offer. For me, they all just hurt. I tried all the tricks but still had pain and bruising. Ice, no ice, heat, no heat, fast, slow, limbering up before, going in cold, etc. etc. I say this not to discourage or depress you but just so you know that "it's not you" if you try something and it isn't the magic bullet. It can be frustrating; after a while I began to feel like people thought it was my own fault I was in pain. It wasn't! Everyone is just different.

I DO hope you find something that works for you. And good luck this cycle, I'm excited for you!!!!

the Babychaser: said...

You ROCK!!! Kick-ass, girlfriend!

Sorry, no tips on the shots. I have a LOT of trouble with the IM PIO shots, but the belly shots aren't that bad for me. They sting a lot (and the ganarelix itches like a bitch afterwards), but I don't get a lot of bruising or bleeding. Perhaps because of my oh-so-cushioney fat layer on my belly? Gotta be good for something, right?

Lost in Space said...

Good for you for standing up to your RE. Super Assertive Infertile Girl is my new hero!

As for the shots, I just grin and bare 'em. My husband does all of mine and usually does something stupid to take my mind off of them. For IVF#1 he hummed the Rocky theme song during injects as my ovaries were "in training". He also has a very steady hand and great aim. (:

Mrs. Romero said...

You are your own best advocate.. but you already know that Super Assertive Infertile Girl!

No matter how that baby ends up in your arms, you are going to be one fantastic mother (the whole assertive advocate thing comes in really handy).

Now, I really came to say you got yourself 2 additional contest entries for mentioning SITS!

Danni and Tommy said...

I love that you were assertive...sending all the positive energy I can your way...
On a completely different note, if you ever have any questions, Ethiopia or adoption or anything else- I'm more than happy to share.
Wow! You're amazingly and WILL be a mommy so super soon. I can't wait to follow your journeys.

Heather.PNR said...

Good on you for being assertive!

JamieD said...

Yay for Super Assertive Infertile Girl!!

Do you hold pressure on the site after the injection? That should help with bruising and some of the pain. Geohde is right - the shot itself should be like a dart. Quick in and out.

Good luck!

Mommy Meryl said...

Hi there - thanks for visiting my blog again. I really enjoy reading yours! I'm so glad you were your own advocate (as attorneys we always advocate well for those we get hired by, but rarely do we take care of ourselves!) and you get to cycle in June!! I will tune in often for your updates!!

~S said...

Tips regarding shots?

Only tip is for the IM and SQ shots go as fast as possible - then the actual shot doesn't hurt.

I never had any trouble with pain after the SQ shots in my abdomen.

However, the progesterone IM shots in the butt - while they don't really hurt going in - they caused a lot of itching afterwards. I don't know how to fix this - I even experienced itching after my cycle failed and I stopped the shots - I itched for a couple weeks. (I'm overweight though - maybe the med didn't get all the way to my muscle and was in the fat - that could possibly explain my experience. Maybe I need about a 4inch needle next time!)

Good luck to you - Hope all goes well. - and good for you for standing up for yourself - i've found that the only person who will consistently stand up for yourself is yourself!

~S said...

and regarding the follistim advice from above - i dont' know about that. My MD's office had a fit when the drug company shipped me my follistim without refridgeration - they made me get new stuff - said it wouldn't work if not kept cold. I even had to carry it in a cooler if I wasn't going to be home at 7pm. So I'm not sure about the advice about taking it out of the fridge the night before...that doesn't sound right to me. (but what do I know? the girl that gave you the advice looks like she got preggers - and me - I got nada - so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about).

good luck.

Samantha said...

Yay for Super Assertive Infertile Girl!

Regarding the shots, I always ice before my sub-q shots and then ice a bit afterward. Normally I don't bruise or have pain, but every now and again I get a bad one. I think a painful shot or two is par for the course, but hopefully you can get it so that every shots doesn't hurt.

sara said...

Good for you for being assertive, I'm proud of you! I'm the ultra opposite of assertive and it has haunted me on so many occasions. As far as the shots go, I don't have a ton of advice other than I found a spot on the outside of either thigh that hurt me the least. For some reason Menopur was the evil one for me, but I think most people have the worst time with Follistim (folliSTING, ugh). It was on the side of my thigh where I have a little extra padding (maybe half way between knee and hips, also a little closer towards the portion of your thigh that starts to curve towards your back thigh In other words not exactly the side of your thigh, but the side slightly back, if this makes any sense at all). But good luck and I hope you have a little more luck with the shots :-)

Echloe said...

Good for you for sticking up for yourself. Obviously the FSH numbers don't matter that much or they wouldn't have let you go through with the cycle.

**NaComLeavMo

tryingin2007 said...

good for you superhero!

my advice for follistim is "pinch and shoot." after almost 400 injections, you DO get used to it.

GOOD LUCK! I'm rooting for you! :)

Baby Step said...

That is so great that you got what you wanted, just by asking! That is a good lesson learned...you can't get what you don't ask for. Good for you! I am starting my stims a week from today, so we are cycling around the same time. I try not to put much thought into the antral follicle numbers. My first cycle I had 14 and my second I had 17. But then when it was time to retrieve the eggs, they only got 7 the first time and 10 the second time...and both times were BFNs anyway. Because I have poor egg quality. All of this is a total mind-f*ck if you ask me. Even FSH numbers can drastically change from cycle to cycle...mine was 8.2 for the first cycle, 6.5 for the 2nd cycle, and this time around 7.5. Again, with my antral counts and low FSH -- one would think I would be in good shape! SO-- what gives?

I wish you ALL THE BEST for this cycle, I will be following you every step of the way.

Baby Step said...

Oh, I totally forgot why I was commenting in the first place - DOH! For me it depends upon where I put the needle. I do it in my stomach, but there are some places that feel like a bee sting when I barely touch the needle to my skin, and other places where I cannot feel a thing. If I do it in an area where it really hurts just barely pushing the needle, I move the needle slightly over, and try that place. There are some places that have more nerves/capillaries than others, I guess. I haven't had a bruise yet with this technique (it probably also helps that I have a nice jelly roll around my middle!)

Io said...

I'm slow to the draw apparently... good for you getting what want. For never backing down...uh oh. Now I'm singing bon jovi...

PJ said...

WOW! Congrats on talking back (I mean, negotiating with..) to the medical team. AND on doing this cycle. I've never done shots...sorry I can't be of help! Good luck!! (Thanks for coming by from NCLM)