Nowhere near positive enough

Hang on, where were we? There were several issues and questions and sucharama that commentators presented me with over the past few weeks. I meant to talk about them (the issues, that is. Not the commentators. Hi, guys! Talking about you! Not really!).

The National Health Service – A couple of dear darling commentators have wantd to know why I, May, don’t do this or take that drug or what-have-you. I’ll tell you why. It’s because I’m being treated by the NHS is why. They take a very dim view of people buying their own medication and throwing it into the mix, especially without or against their advice. They have been known to refuse people free treatment for that kind of stunt. And, before you protest, by and large, I think they are right to. I am not a gynaecological consultant (or RE, as the trans-Atlantic cousins call them). I do not know what more or mixed drugs would do to Satsuma. I have PCOS, I have just over half the regulation number of ovaries. I am a ‘hyperstimulation candidate’ ipso facto. I get migraines. I have some (mild) allergies. I do not wish to fuck with either my health or my continuing free medical treatment. It may not be stellar medical treatment, but it’s FREE. Well, not technically free, as I am a tax payer, but free at point of need.

IVF – In my particular trust (and GOD does it BUG THE LIVING CRAP OUT OF ME that each trust sets its own rules about this – NHS FAIL), I can have two IVF cycles, and the money for them has been put aside, as long as I have a BMI of 30 or under when I start treatment. If, however, I have private infertility treatment beforehand, I forfeit my free cycles. This is why I am eating salad, exercising, cursing like a navvy, and not investigating private clinics just yet. Even though I do have a bit of money saved up.

Clomid – To do another Clomid cycle or not to do another Clomid cycle: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the ute to suffer The prods and pokings of outrageous ultrasounds, Or to close mouths against that pill of troubles, And by refusing end them? Will have to get back to you on that.

Injectables – I have not been offered injectables. Miss Consultant, and the IVF consultant, both think IVF is the next step, really, and are not prepared to waste more tax-payer’s money on shilly-shallying about. I think Miss Consultant is more concerned than she is prepared to admit about the state of the One and Only Fallopian Tube. Also, I am 34. I am running out of time. If I was 24, hell, yes, as many ‘see what you can do in your own bed’ cycles as I liked.

IUI – See above. The NHS thinks I am too old and ought to be getting the hell on with IVF, as soon as I can whittle my flabby arse down for it. This is cheaper for them, as they don’t think IUIs and injectables will work, so why waste money on them? And I can’t go and do them privately, see above above. Hmm. This all sucks a bit, doesn’t it?

Metformin – The NHS does not think metformin that good a treatment for PCOS, unless you actually HAVE developed Type II Diabetes. There’s some research somewhere that showed ovulation rates on met and clomid were actually worse than on clomid alone, go figure. Several doctors and consultants now have lectured me on the subject, the consensus being that if you lose weight on met, you will put it all back on in seconds when you come off met, and you will come off it to do IVF (they don’t care for medication variables in Blighty, do they?), so there’s no point. And your body, allegedly, ‘forgets’ how to regulate its own insulin while you’re on met, and so if you do come off it it’s harder than ever to keep the weight off, and more likely than ever that your pancreas will emigrate. Apparantly. And all the benefits of met can be reaped in more sustainable form by the whole eat-the-fucking-salad, do-the-fucking-exercise thing, apparantly. I don’t know. I hear so many State-side stories of met being vunderbar and fantabulous and miraculous. And diarrhoea-inducingly vile. I am currently actually losing weight without met, so am inclined to keep on avoiding it until and unless the weight-loss goes tits-up for reasons OTHER than Ben and Jerrys. I hate the idea of having to be on strong medication for life, and I hate the idea of screwing further with my already screwed metabolism.

Counselling – H thinks this is going well. We are having fewer and fewer appointments, with longer gaps between them, like giving up cigarettes. I feel frustrated with it. H will not bring his issues up in the sessions, and when the issue concerns H, or is to do with H’s behaviour, I feel disloyal bringing it up myself. Also, I am getting fed up with the constant focus on how to create situations in which H feels comfortable sharing his feelings etc. Childish desire to scream ‘But what about meeeeeeeee?’ recrudesces at these junctures. On the other hand, H is sharing his feelings a lot more, and instead of getting defensive and sulky when I challenge him on his avoidance thing, he is far more likely to take it on the chin and try to have a proper talk about whateverthehellitis. So. Counselling. It’s working for H. It’s working for our relationship. I am a special flower who needs extra cookies. Also, is it normal to feel you can’t share certain issues with your counsellor out of sheer embarrassment?

Acupuncture – H has found an acupuncturist specialising in infertility. I now have to call and book an initial consultation. I am a sceptical, atheistical, anti-hippy-crap person. And yet I think this is a good idea. Not necessarily because I think acupuncture works, even, though I have seen interesting studies about it, and anyway, I like the placebo effect. The NHS could do with a bit more placebo effect itself. But, see above, strong desire to be centre of attention, issues regarding, etc., thank you. Also, it’s (allegedly) good for migraines – and I am getting really really sick of them – insomnia, and general teeth-gritting refusal to relax the hell already. Not that relaxing gets a girl pregnant. Oh no. Ovulating does that.

The Size of My Arse -Working on it. Have now got to weirdly upsetting stage in which I can comfortably get into trousers that two months ago I could not do up, and last month I squeezed out over the top of like too much rising dough in a very small bread-tin, but haven’t lost a single ounce for two weeks now. Horrible fanasies of going back to IVF clinic looking trim as anything, clambering onto scales, and being thrown back out again because my bones have turned to lead and they won’t believe it’s lead and not lard despite the smaller trousers.

Satsuma – is thinking about it. Also, EWCM has reappeared. Assume Clomid Fail has worn off, leaving me with standard mind-fuck PCOS fail to be getting on with.

Work/Life balance – Gone to pot.


10 responses to “Nowhere near positive enough

  • a

    Well, all I can get out of that is…you might as well take the “free” stuff while you can get it. Hopefully, the NHS one size fits all philosophy that you seem to be describing works with IVF and for you. But you’re only 34, so that means that even if they muck it up, you can still visit the private docs. But they won’t. It will work.

    I hope that the acupuncture works for your migraines…I’ve only had (relatively mild) stress migraines, and they made me feel like my head was going to pop off. If it helps with baby-making, so much the better.

  • Betty M

    The geographical lottery drives me beserk. Probably 10 miles away they care not how many private cycles you have first or how much you weigh but are instead obsessed with some other requirement like low Day 2 FSH to keep their stats nice and healthy.

    I’m impressed with the waistband evidence – don’t they say that muscle weighs more than fat and some of what you lose will be being replaced by muscle by the exercise?

    Any chance of a one to one session with the Counsellor to get all the extra stuff off your chest?

  • Secret D

    It’s good to hear that your PCT is better at communicating than mine and what they are able to offer is fantastic.

    It sounds like you are starting to get your head around the weight loss. It is definitely an incentive and I am sure you will do great – after all, you managed to get into your trousers without losing any weight – by my standards, that is fantastic!

    34 isn’t old – please tell me it isn’t old!!

  • Womb For Improvement

    You’re nothing if not comprehensive! I think that just about answered any questions I have ever had, ever.

    Don’t get me started on the whole postcode lottery/ number of Ivf cycles each trust deigns to bestow on its poor unfortunates … Oops too late, I started.

    Good luck with keeping up the motivation on the weight loss front.

  • Xbox4NappyRash

    Weird, I have been reading on BBC recently about how health authorities are trying to encourage IUI over IVF where they can, as success rates are very comparable.

    And it’s cheaper.

    • May

      Yes, IUI is as good as and cheaper than IVF, if you’re only dealing with male factor (not too severe) and/or if you can get the woman to ovulate just a few eggs on just a few drugs. If. I don’t ovulate on Clomid anymore. Anything else they want to do to me would have to be monitored VERY CLOSELY, which is expensive too, and I only have about a year and a half before my health authority thinks I am too old for fertility treatment anyway. What health authorities are doing in general need not apply in the particular, you see. The NHS is confusing like that.

  • Rita

    I would really like to debate the whole metformin thing with your counsellor…and just what research are they using to make this decision?!?
    I am feeling your frustration.

  • Aphra Behn

    >> Also, is it normal to feel you can’t share certain issues with your counsellor out of sheer embarrassment?


  • PiquantMolly

    It’s like the shittiest Catch-22 ever. Docs telling you you need to get on with the IVF, but you can get them paid for until you drop weight. Because CLEARLY, weight is the only way of assessing health. BAH!

    In other news, I thought of you when I saw this on the shelf at the local grocery last night. Wish I could send you a case or 12.

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