Step we waily, on we go

I don’t really know what to do with myself now.

Obviously, there is the Next Step, and the Next Step is IVF, but I have at least a stone to lose, a stone-and-a-half, say, before the NHS will agree to do it. Enter hiatus of, I hope, merely several months, while I wrestle a) my love-handles, b) my lazy arse, c) my demons and d) my thing about chocolate when peeved, into submission.

What the hell am I supposed to do with myself for months on end, waiting to be treated? I was going to be doing clomid cycles, about which Miss Consultant wasn’t hugely optimistic, but clearly she thought, and I agreed, that they’d keep me busy. And clomid has shat on me and flown away.

H, who very much wishes to do or say something helpful, has suggested acupuncture. Hell, I’ll do acupuncture. I was raised by credulous hippies, and therefore am very keen on scientific method, double blind trials, results reproduceable under laboratory conditions, and, umm, the placebo effect. I may not have much faith in being stabbed, but I do have a lot of faith in having somebody prepared to take me and my failing, battered, ornery blob of a body seriously, and dedicating time and sympathetic attention to it (and me). This is not something the NHS has the money to do. It will treat me when I meet its checklist. When I don’t meet its checklist, it will turf me gently out until I do. How I get to meet the checklist is no concern of theirs.

(H was also raised by credulous hippies. In is case, he is still three eights credulous hippy, bless him).

I am actually losing weight, so I am not sure why I am having helpless hopeless wailfest moment here.

Except that I am 34. And if it does take me months to lose the weight, which no doubt it will, as PCOS makes your fat cells cling oh so determinedly to every damn ounce, well, then it will be months and months before I do IVF. I could be 35. My sodding lazy eggs could be withering away inside my sodding lazy ovary, week by week. Yes, my mother got pregnant at 38, so I should have no trouble on that score, or so family members have reassured me, and yes, but, this being the kicker, my mother never had PCOS. I should imagine that has a much greater effect on my fertility than whatever Catholic-Jewish Rabbit genes I inherited from either side of the family.

Anyway, I was bollixed from birth, so clearly didn’t inherit any of them. I had a dermoid cyst that destroyed an ovary – you’re born with those. I have an arcuate uterus – not a problem as such, but something clearly went slightly awry in the growing of me. And look at my hands. My ring fingers are longer than my index fingers, a sure sign of raised testosterone levels in utero, and does that sound good for a woman’s fertility to you? (though it also apparantly means I will be athletic, mathematically and spatially gifted and not so good with words. Yeah, athletic, haha, and I still can’t do primary-school level mental arithmetic without a pencil and the back of an envelope, regularly walk into tables and door-frames, and write sestinas for fun, so either I am an anomaly or the finger thing is drivel). Where was I going with this?

Oh yes. I feel that as I am reproductively botched, I don’t have the time to faff about eating lettuce and ‘concentrating on my career’ until next year.

I agree, written down this all sounds stupidly neurotic and vapouring. It’s only a few months. It’s fine.

It’s not fine. I’m panicking. It’s not fine at all. On with the needles.


15 responses to “Step we waily, on we go

  • Ben Warsop

    Oh my deario.

    And what on *earth* makes you think that Sestinas are not about maths?


  • womb for improvement

    I’m all for acupuncture – if a placebo works then I don’t care why. And at least you feel like you are being proactive.

    • Betty M

      I did some acupuncture as an adjunct to IVF. Was quite relaxing and the woman who did it was lovely. Didn’t seem to have an effect one way or the other on the success of the cycles though. Not sure I believed enough for it to have a placebo effect.

      Grim that they wont just let you do the IVF. How about IUI – is that an option?

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    *looks at hands*
    *looks at screen*
    *looks at hands again*

    My ring fingers are WAY longer than my index fingers! OMG. I’m A BOY!

    I did have acupuncture – it’s supposed not to hurt, but I bloody felt it! Eventually I got really annoyed about going because the pain was a – funny thing, this – needling one, and pissed me off. So I went for lovely massages instead. No direct benefit as such, but at least I felt nice.

    Right. I know that weight-loss assvice makes you see red, grind your teeth, and reach for the rusty saw blade. But given that panic is setting in, I merely chuck this into the melting pot as something that worked for me when I truly had no time to faff about eating lettuce because I was X and the ball was Y and THE dress was Z and a stone HAD TO COME OFF IN 20 DAYS.

    40 minutes quick-marching on an angled treadmill, sweating like a bastard, 5 times a week. I put myself into short term purgatory. And I didn’t eat a whole lot, either, just enough bread & potatoes to stop me keeling over and pints and pints of water. It was vile. Savage. I hated it. It worked. I lost more than a stone, in fact. Gyms are indeed a… a SPECIAL kind of hell. But waiting for months and months when you’re worrying and panicking and resenting every wasted week (let alone month) – that’s the OTHER special kind of hell. I prefer the first one.

    Naturally, THE WEIGHT DID NOT STAY OFF. And I do not have PCOS. And it was probably horribly bad for me. But for that one day, it HAD worked. And I suspect the NHS will only weigh you once.

    Infertility is particularly evil in terms of the effect it has on your self-esteem and body image; fear, particularly of dwindling fertility, is a dreadfully negative motivator. It’s so very difficult to find your get up and go in those kind of circumstances, whether you’re trying to get out for a run, doing your best to avoid the coffee cake at lunchtime, or simply trying to have a productive and jolly day at work.

    It’s not neurotic. It’s not vapouring. Your fears are valid – unfounded, I hope and trust, but valid. Knowing now that you probably do need IVF is a hard and bitter mental place to be, when you hoped so dearly for something different. In fact, it’s all hard, and it’s all depressing, and it’s all completely fucking unfair, and it’s not something that should ever be happening to you, and the fact that the bloody NHS are being so goddamn bloody pedantic over a stone or so is making me cross.


  • geohde

    It might be worth a spin at the clomid anyway?

    response can eb a bit variable and you might get satsuma to perform a few times, she has before.

    Also…what about femara (letrazole) or tamoxifen? Both of those have been used for oral ovulation induction (my that sounded rude)

    Finally, does the NHS not offer injectible cycles before IVF? They’re cheaper and easier, so Iwould have thought they might.



  • Heather

    I had never heard that finger thing before…but I have it too. Crap. Now I have finger issues.

  • Z

    If you need to get rid of weight fast lighter life is pretty good. I know it’s got it’s faults, it’s not great for long term weight loss, and most people put the weight back on again.

    You can loose about a stone a month on LL.

  • Secret D

    I would suggest, before you go about losing weight for the crappy NHS criteria, that you check that there is definitely funding in your area for IVF. I was told that to meet the criteria I had to have a BMI under 30. My BMI was just over 30 so I joined WW and spent a year losing the weight and I have just been told that there is no funding. We need IVF but the NHS can’t help us anymore.

    Sorry to post a negative comment but I don’t want you to stress about the weight thing and the timescale just to be told in 6 months to a year that the NHS can’t help you.

  • everydaystrange

    I had the same reaction as HFF.

    I so want to comment on your post, but my hands, dear GOD, my MUTANT HANDS.

  • nh

    First time commenting but I’ve been reading for a bit…
    But I had comment over your fingers because yeap – me too (I have PCOS) and my friend who also has PCOS has the same finger thing.

    As to losing weight with PCOS – I wish I had a magic answer the only way I can do it is with severe scraping of carbohydrates that are easily digested, so no sweet stuff (but I always have dark chocolate in the fridge for emergencies) and rice instead of pasta and potatoes. And definately no bread… And when I feel rubbish all I want to eat is comfort food, so following each failed ICSI cycle, I put back on half a stone!

  • PiquantMolly

    Am gazing at my long ring fingers and panicking slightly. Then, I was born with the ol’ bicornuate uterus as well. Time to celebrate.

  • thalia

    re weight loss, have they considered prescribing you metformin? That can help if you have PCOS-related stubborn fat. Btw side effect of losing weight is that some PCOS symptoms may improve – I know doesn’t happen for everyone but there is decent evidence that for about 30% of women with PCOS, getting BMI down leads to return of regular ovulation etc. I know, stats stats.

    Sorry you’ve got all these humps to get through. I don’t suppose it’s time to call in your mum’s offer of paying for a privately funded cycle?

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    *sticks head cautiously above parapet, uneasily aware that there are all these weight-loss related comments flying about*

    ‘Ummm…May? Are you… mad? Are we… umm… ok to… like… come out?!’

  • Korechronicles

    I have to confess I read this and ran screaming for the hills. I, too, have the finger thing…and the PCOS…and the funky two room uterus. And I won’t, after HFF’s last comment, mention that other touchy issue that complicates matters even further. Just know I came back especially to let you know I think it all sucks big time and I am hoping for improvements for you in every possible department. And soonest.

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