We have… well ‘news’ sounds far too exciting… ‘results’ sounds too hopeful… ‘a shit-storm of wtf, I told you sos and up yours NHS’ probably encapsulates it.
We are both in a bit of shell-shock I think. May doesn’t want to get angry again, so has asked me to step up to the mark and write a post although she has given me some of her draft rantings to draw on. Let me start by describing the context of our lives this stuff has landed… May reports:
“Work is stupid and full of stupid people and I don’t like it. I actually reported a colleague to their line-manager the other day, for being an incompetent fuck-wit whose work I was just about that sick of redoing for them (this is, of course, a situation that has been going on for over a year. Rage). I then spent hours sorting out a hideous mess of misfiling and laziness, and had to file another complaint about protocols being ignored. Then I found out I am The Subject Of Gossip in the tea-room, with camps dividing into those who are convinced I’m pregnant, and those who think I have cancer. Then a superior entity told me off for not doing something, and when I said plaintively that no one had told me about it, she pointed out she’d announced it at the meeting. The meeting I was off sick for, did she mean? Yes! Well, I was off sick, and she hadn’t circulated the minutes yet (two weeks later. Hmph). Nevertheless, I should have known, and I needed to go and do it, and bugger everything else in my in-tray, because I should have scheduled the time to do this thing I had no way of knowing I was supposed to be doing. Worst of all, I defended a colleague’s decision to a student, even though I was a bit uneasy about this at the time as I thought she was being ridiculously draconian. I double-checked today, and I realised she was not merely being a jobsworth but had actively screwed up and then not been honest with me in order to elicit my support. I so very much wish now I’d gone with my first instinct of cheerfully telling her not to be such a whistle-dick and to do as the student asked.”
While May is in a “work-induced state of advanced temper”, I, H the implacable, have also been pissed on from on high at work. The Big Project I have spent months working on, has been summarily shelved, and I have been presented with a whole new Big Project with entirely different software and parameters and skill-sets and told, basically, to lump it. Not only that, but show leadership for my team and be enthusiastic for this new Big Project and take charge (even though it’s being run outside of my control) and make sure it succeeds… It’s been a couple of weeks of mayhem and personal anguish as I started to see the project crumble around the edges as if on a cliff overhang, but powerless to stop it then plunge into the ravine.
Meanwhile, my counsellor has gone on holiday for a few weeks, just as I thought I was getting somewhere. May and I have therefore been needling and sulking and bitching and snapping and getting on each other’s tits in a rather distressing manner.
May puts it better than I ever could:
This is H and May, people! Star couple and all-around loved-up snuggle-bunnies of the decade! And I’m all ‘Take your Goddamn issues to the counsellor, because I am stressed to death here and I have no patience with you or anyone or anything!’ and H is all ‘You’re stressed? What am I, chopped liver? And, you may remember, the counsellor is on sodding holiday,’ and I’m all ‘cry me a river’ and he’s all ‘eat my shorts.’ Our sex-life is parlous. Funny that.
In which mood, I had to slink back to the wankatorium, so they could do DNA fragmentation test, with May in the back-ground wailing:
‘but we haven’t had sex for days! And now we can’t for days! I’m going to ovulate to spite you, so there’. Which helped. Even more so as we weren’t going to worry about conceiving until we’d got all our test results back and spoken to Dr Expensive again, so I am being so exceedingly rational and not in the least bit deranged-harpy-on-hormones.
I was shown to a different room this time and dared to hope that my in-laws wouldn’t be looking over my shoulder this time. Alas, while the picture was different it was definitely of the same area – I had the wherewithal to take a picture on my phone this time to show May – I think she was shocked how like their landscape of abode it was, but still laughed [Because I am a cow - May]. A new set of magazines to peruse – and with May not sitting in the waiting room upstairs I felt slightly more relaxed about having a look. It was going fine until I encountered two pages stuck together, which made me rapidly cast it all aside and go and wash my hands again and start from scratch.
I also managed to get an envelope of results so far from Dr Expensive’s clinic when I picked up my referral form… our blood was actually shipped off to Chicago for the testing (not sure what to put on the entry form for the ‘have you been to any part of the USA previously’ type question… ‘part of me has’ may get an interesting response), to whit (for reminders what these are see May’s details wot she wrote):
Item: No STDs (yay/*yawn*)
Item: TH1:TH2 intracellular cytokine ratios TNF-a 26.6 (good range 13.2 – 30.6) IFN-g 16.8 (good range 5.8 – 20.5) big tick next to the figures, so assume that’s OK. However, it’s at the high end and they have a tendency to increase, so would need to be monitored (expensive).
Item: DQ Alpha Genotype – May: 0201,0301; H: 0102,0201 – so we have a 25% chance of embryo looking like May’s DNA to her antibodies and therefore being confused for a possible unwanted cancer or something and attacked. This is probably quite common and shouldn’t be a problem in its own right, but this could also be a factor in other test results and also, as May said, causing increasing sensitivity issues.
Item: NK Assay (% Killed) Panel
These should be below 15%:
50:1: 14.6% – this is borderline, but it does come down with IVIG and ILs (see NK assay with Intralipid, below).
IgG conc 12.5 50:1: 8.1%
IgG conc 12.5 25:1: 8.0%
IgG conc 6.25 50:1: 11.3%
IgG conc 6.25 25:1: 8.1%
% CD3: 83.9% (should be between 60% and 85%)
% CD19: 7.1% (should be between 2% and 12%)
% CD56: 8.6% (ditto)
% of CD19+cells, CD5+: 14.1% * – this should be below 10%, so is starting to point to auto-immune issues *eye-rolls all round* May’s family is rife with auto-immune issues, so not surprising.
NK assay w/Intralipid:
50:1 w/Intralipid 1.5 mg/ml: 10.3% – someone drew a large arrow pointing at this number on the print-out. As you can see, intralipid treatment lowers the NK kill rate, which I think is a Good Thing?.
25:1: w/Intralipid 1.5 mg/ml: 5.4%
Item: Leukocyte Antibody Detection
[T-cells] IgM+: 1.0%
[T-cells] IgG+: 17.2%
[B-cells] IgM+: 53.8%
[B-cells] IgG+: 19.0%
Here is the kicker – these should be above 30%, preferably above 50%. With so many low figures (although the first two are less important the most important is the last) it looks like the Leukocyte Immunization Therapy (LIT) will be order of the day, controversial and expensive we are.
So, in summary it looks like May and H are a little too familiar and friendly, our embryos are so loved and familiar they’re squished out of existence [We shall have to call the next embryo 'George' - May] and May’s system is getting more and more sensitive to the ‘tricksy’ little things. So I said:”Your immune system is just like you, argumentative and hot tempered.” To which May retorted: “Well, even your sperm are fucking passive aggressive!”
Conclusion: a microcosm of our relationship plays out in May’s uterus every month.
And then we laughed like drains, and I made cocktails.
Where does this leave us? Adrift at the moment, not really sure what to make of it all. My instinct, of course, is to run away. We’re still waiting for thyroid and DNA fragmentation before going back to see Dr Expensive. If you see two dazed people looking marooned, crestfallen, slightly bitter then approach carefully, they have been known to snarl.