Hacking onwards

Item – I’ve answered the final question at last (sorry, Womb for Improvement) on the 666 post, and I think that’s the lot. Please, please poke me if I’ve missed your question. I promise totally it was absence of mind, not avoidance of subject.

Item – I finally managed to nail down a receptionist at the GP’s (phones, they will not answer them. The one quirk in an otherwise excellent practice) to book a telephone appointment with a nurse, who will tell me whether or not I am anaemic and what to do about it at some point tomorrow morning. It all seems a tad convoluted, but clearly they must cater to patients who are hard of thinking and silly about Dr Google as well as to the Genius That Is Me. Also, Sod’s Law dictates the nurse will call me while I am up to my oxters in something complicated or in a meeting. Of course.

Item – Meanwhile, I am taking over-the-counter iron supplements, wotthehell wotthehell, and if it is anaemia, they are not cutting the bedamned mustard, in that I am still knackered, easily out of breath, prone to faintness, and inclined to occasional Restless Legs when tired of an evening.

Item – Restless Legs are not fucking funny. They’re driving me batshit. MUST. KICK. STRETCH. AIGH.

Item – It is 6dpo, for those of you keeping count and giving a monkey’s. Ovulation-wise, my last nine cycles have gone day 19, 18, 20, 22, 19, 21, 19, 17, 18. It’s got to the point where I even predict what week my period may well turn up before I ovulate. Something Is Bound To Go Wrong.

Item – On my last post, Carole comments:

Clearly ovulating at all IS a big plus, but I wish they would start taking some proper notice of the lateness of said ovulation. I’m still convinced that it was the main factor in my problems. Like you, I was always popping them out at about day 18/19 or even later and like you, I seemed to get to the pregnancy launch-pad considerably more often that one would think, given actual results. Then they hit me with the drugs and after the initial ”mutiny and general blow-up”, my ovaries fell into line and assumed text-book timing for the two normal cycles it took to hit the jackpot (Which they have maintained to this day, incidently, although it’s not worth them bothering anymore).

But Carole, I have been ‘hit with the drugs’. I did six Clomid cycles in 2008/2009. On the first one, I ovulated on day 25, no earlier than I do flying solo, and my luteal phase was still only 12 days. On the second, I ovulated on day 17, got pregnant, and miscarried at six weeks. On the third, I ovulated on day 18, and my luteal phase lasted only 12 days. On the fourth, I did not ovulate. At all. Cycle lasted 88 days and I took provera to end it. On the fifth, on a higher dose of Clomid, I… did not ovulate. Again, took provera eventually, cycle ended after 65 days. On the sixth go, I ovulated on day 44, which we all agreed clearly had fuck-all to do with the clomid I’d taken nearly six weeks beforehand. Short luteal phase, not pregnant. After six clomid cycles, three of them utter, utter duds despite the increasing dosage, I don’t get to do that kind of drug any more. On the NHS, six clomid cycles is your limit, because Clomid is not a tame drug, oh no. My ovary has been beaten enough. And since when, I’ve ovulated anywhere from day 8 to day 65, so it hasn’t bought a post-beating harmony to my endocrine system either.

Item – The one thing (damn it!) my gynaecologist has been right about is that if I lost weight my cycles would regulate. I lost a stone (14 lbs/6.5 kgs), and ta da! my cycles are regular. The idea is, if I lose another stone, my cycles will get even more regular, also shorter (yea, like that appeals right now) with a more decisive luteal phase. So, annoying as it is to admit it, proper notice has been taken of the late ovulating and medical practice as practiced in Blighty has given it its best wallop. It sucks that Clomid was No Fucking Help and that I wasted three long (looooooong also psychosis-inducing) failed cycles dicking about with it once it had started making me anovulatory.

Item – As to the impending scrape, I have been sent a bunch of tiresome forms and an appointment for the pre-op check-up already, and that will be at the beginning of September. Last time I had a lap&hyst&dye, I went into surgery a month after the pre-op check-up, but then, I was lucky, because someone else cancelled and I was offered the slot at short notice. I highly doubt things will work out neatly this time. Christmas Shall Be Ruined. This is a universal truth for May. *gloom*

Item – Also, re.: the impending scrape, Thalia mentioned them dinging me on the weight thing. I don’t think my weight should be a problem. Last time I had this op I was a good deal heavier than I am now and my weight didn’t seem to bother them at all. I think they’re treating it as a medical necessity because my quality of life is so shit rather than as ‘fertility’ treatment, so they’re less likely to be arseholes about my avoirdupois. I hope. Nevertheless, I’ve already lost three pounds this week, simply by not being ovulatory any more, I think, or possibly salad.

Item – HFF commented: ‘This sounds mightily odd, but I really hope you have a single chunky wodge of very obviously painful and easily-accessed endo. They can then zap it away and Make It All Stop Hurting.’. I say, Hear Hear! very heartily indeed to this. But alack and well-a-day, I fear that scraping out the endo will merely mayhap give me my bladder back, also make sure Satsuma is talking to the One-And-Only Tube. There is no removing of adenomyosis without removing the uterus itself, which is pretty damn drastic. And it’s the adenomyosis that is probably causing most of The Pain. Though it’d be nice if the aches and pains post-period, that go on and on and fucking on, like a five-year-old with a grudge, could be Eliminated. I’m not holding out great hopes for this operation, am I? Well, it seems daft to. Cute Ute is pretty much the Elephant Man of uteri, bless her.

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9 responses to “Hacking onwards

  • a

    Perhaps there is some other sort of vitamin deficiency in play? The current trend around here is Vitamin D. Surely your levels are low too. 🙂 Apparently this is because no one drinks milk or ventures out into sunlight without copious amounts of sunblock. I suspect that, as a resident of the UK, the need for Vitamin D has mutated out of your genes a long time ago. Anyway, I get restless legs when I have a period of no exercise following a period of regular exercise. My body protests all this lounging that I prefer to do.

    As to endo…well, nothing exists in a vacuum, so HFF’s thoughts might have some merit. Perhaps that single chunky wodge is lodged nicely at the site of your adenomyosis, and with the removal of said wodge, everyone could go back to being regularly annoying rather than incapacitating.

  • Rachel

    Sorry to be the harbinger of unfortunate news, but it has always taken me 3-6 weeks to raise my iron levels when anemic (scratch that, when super anemic. I have been anemic for the past 15 years fairly continuously). Something about the “life cycle” of the blood cell. In the U.S. we have all sorts of over the counter and prescription iron supplements and depending on the exact one you are taken it will either already include a substantial amount of Vitamin D or not, and it will also either benefit from being taken with orange juice/peppers/cantelopue or not (something about chelated vs. non-chelated) (and always better to separate the iron from the dairy). The health nuts here always recommend the gross liquid floradix (I know it’s available in the UK having bought it there). It might be worth asking the nurse about the details of their prescription tomorrow.

  • Carole

    Hi again. It wasn’t Clomid I meant – never had that and it was never even suggested. I meant IVF type drugs (while doing IUIs). I’ve forgotten the name now (it was the stuff that comes in a little self-injecting pen: pregynon??? Something like that). Anyway, they started me off very slow and I made one very nice egg, trigger day 14, but the cycle didn’t work. So they upped the dose very slightly and my ovaries went completely mad and made about 6 eggs each. The cycle was cancelled (naturally: I wanted A baby, not a litter) and it took several annoying months with many, many scans for everything to calm down. Then we had one more go and gave it up as a bad job in November 2005. I signed up for IVF and had my first appointment in February 2006. But actually I was already pregnant; second proper cycle after the end of the initial treatment.

    I know the situation in the UK is very different, but because I was 38, my doctors decided that they would start IUIs and IVFs, although I had a proven track record of ovulating every month (hormones all fine etc) and getting pregnant by myself, Their attitudes seemed to be “What the hell, it’s worth a shot”. It may be a coincidence that it happened when it did, but SOMETHING changed. I’d been trying for more than 5 years: what else could have increased my chances so drastically? At 39 (which is what I was when it finally clicked)?

    Again, I know you have other serious complications thrown in and just because it worked for me, doesn’t mean it will work for anyone else (and whether anything “worked” for me is also not proven). But I do think that establishing that someone is ovulating more or less normally should not rule out going the whole hog with treatments. And, by the way, I was a big girl. No question at all of MY BMI floating around the “acceptable”!

    • katie

      I don’t mean to be nasty, but it probably was a coincidence. I was ovulating fine and dandy and my consultant pointed me in the direction of lots of statistics showing that if you are ovulating on your own, any kind of drug to induce ovulation is, by definition, pointless. Just as many women will get pregnant on it as off it. I don’t think our reproductive systems are very different in the UK but the attitude of doctors (i.e. don’t do things that have been shown to be pointless versus do things so you can be seen to do something) is fairly different.

      • Carole

        Which is probably why they didn’t give me clomid and went straight to the hard stuff of IVF drugs that make you ovulate a) in multiples and b) on a managed growth schedule. They must have thought it might do something, or presumably they wouldn’t have bothered?

        Women who ovulate normally can still need fertility treatment/meds and most of the medications involved are aimed at the ovaries and getting them to do what they do better and/or more often. So they do have an effect.

  • valery valentina

    Just clicked back and read your answer to the final question, and have tears streaming down. You are so right that both the giving and the receiving of love in difficult times is something to be proud of. That it is both easy and more difficult than I ever imagined. Everyone in my family seems to have everlasting marriages, I’m the screw up with 10+ boyfriends in the past, including overlap and running away tendencies, so role models aren’t everything. I’m thinking I have to make lasagna now….

  • Betty M

    Constipation has always been the result of increased iron intake for me. Joys. Presumably that may be why orange juice is recommended alongside? Although no one mentioned that to me.

    the 666 post is epic by the way.

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    *glumly nods dour agreement with likely continuance of pain*
    But a girl can hope.

  • Laurel

    As far as anemia–I’ve always been borderline and although I don’t have a very nuanced understanding of the malady, I do know that sometimes just plain iron isn’t sufficient. So, for instance, I need to take vitamin B-12 in fairly large quantities in order to be able to take up enough iron.

    Of course, your anemia probably results mostly from enormous losses of blood on a regular basis, so that is extra challenging no matter what you ingest.

    Well, regardless, I wish you useful answers of some sort–soon.

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