Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
First there was the immense Awkward of trying to explain to several different people (boss, HR representative, one-man time-table organizational mishap who is nevertheless in charge of the time-table) that as much as I appreciated the appointment with the Occupational Health consultancy, I may not be able to attend, and could not tell them yay or nay on that for another couple of days, and I am aware this sounds bat-shit but it would sound less bat-shit if I were allowed to say ‘ovulation’ and ‘fairly predictable luteal phase’ and ‘basal body temperature idiosyncrases’ – and I promise I draw the line at saying ‘EWCM’ – without everyone wandering what in the name of wonder I am talking about.
I am talking about Shark Week, goddamnit.
The Awkward did not in any way get resolved. I am just hoping I am correct in assuming that the appointment will fall on 12dpo and Satsuma won’t decide to jettison the corpus luteum early as a surprise treat and that therefore I will not be prevented from using public transport by a total inability to stand for more than a minute or so without vomiting or bleeding all over my trousers or getting cramp in the thigh so vicious I fold in the middle like a deck-chair and clatter gracelessly to the ground.
To those of you, bless you, who suggested I go to the appointment anyway, even if it is on Day Two/Three: The Sharks Are Eating Each Other, I can only shrug helplessly. I can’t. That’s the point. I can’t journey for an hour, either by taxi or public transport, while puking, fainting, stoned out of my gourd on diclofenac and tramadol, and literally hamstrung and crippled by cramp, and then actually hold anything approximating a conversation, and then journey back home for another hour. That’s the POINT. I CAN’T DO IT. That’s why I don’t go to work on those days. Not because it hurts and I don’t like it, but because I BLOODY CAN’T. If I stayed home every day it hurt and I didn’t like it, I’d only leave the house ten days a month.
On which snivelling note of self-pity, I will only add that if Shark Week commences on the date more convenient for the Occupational Health thingy, it will be full-on Everything In Reach Is Chum mode on the very days H and I got Paralympics tickets for. Which is… annoying.
I fucking hate living my life in four-to-five-week increments, with no forward planning possible. I really, really fucking hate it.
Anyway! Onwards! We have the whole ‘Better Living By Expensive Chemistry’ to discuss!
Augmentin – The high vaginal swab perpetrated on me by Dr Expensive at the beginning of July showed that I am one of the 20% to 40% of women who carry Group B Streptococcus in their, well, bits. And to most adults, it’s harmless. It just… sits there. About a third of men have it too. I had no symptoms, and indeed most women don’t. However, it can – rarely but who fucks with statistics when they’re already on the wrong side of them? – infect babies during birth and make them very bloody ill indeed, and there’s a risk of it being forced into my uterus (which is otherwise infection-free, according to the menstrual sample) during my upcoming endometrial biopsy. So I am taking Augmentin for ten days each, and so is H, because if he is a) having quite a lot of unprotected sex with me (and, well, of course he is) and b) a carrier himself, we could just pass it back and forth between ourselves in a years-long game of Creepy Bacterial Tennis.
(Side note – on discovering I was a GBS carrier, that evening I turned to H and said ‘You know my boss is a bit of a germophobe? Well now I have the perfect excuse for skiving off! I shall just call her up and tell her I have Strep cunt!’ And then I laughed immoderately for quite some minutes. Reviewing the incident now, I realise I am becoming Frankie Boyle of infertility. Send help).
Metformin – Dr Expensive, H and I had an Awkward of our own, in which he suggested if I was worried about timed sex, I could take Clomid, and I pointed out I’d done six rounds of Clomid and it made me anovulatory the last three, and he said if I was anovulatory I could take Clomid, and I said, no, the Clomid made me anovulatory, and he said Clomid would help, and I said no it wouldn’t, I’d taken Clomid, and it made me stop ovulating and he said, oh, why did I take Clomid, and I said because of the PCOS and he said what PCOS and I said what do you mean, what PCOS and he leafed frantically back through his notes from July and this is the sort of shit that happens if everything is wrong with you. Anyway, he thinks I should be on Metformin. Many years ago, when I was first Being Infertile, my GP suggested Metformin, but my infertility consultant vetoed it, on the grounds that I should control my weight by diet and exercise and if I took Metformin I’d never be able to stop (apparently this is bollocks). So I did it her way and lost 20 lbs or so and regained a regular cycle (when we stopped pissing Satsuma off with Clomid) and then had a squadrillion miscarriages and Miss Consultant has been as much help as a soap herring with the treatment suggestions since, so fuck it. I’ll try the Metformin.
The thing is, Dr Expensive has not ONCE suggested I lose weight. Not even so much as HINTED it. He just wants my blood-sugar and insulin as level and healthily low as possible.
I went to my own GP, anyway, and got him to prescribe the Metformin for me on the NHS, which he was totally happy and fine with. So there’s one expense spared. He also prescribed me an anti-spasmodic for the bowel, to help deal with the what we’re all reconning is Distressed-Uterus-induced diarrhoea and gut-cramp.
My own GP also agreed with me that it was a good idea to redo my thyroid panel, as the last one I had done turns out to have been in 2007. Which, incidentally, was normal. TSH<2, so REALLY normal, not just NHS-can’t-be-arsed-to-treat normal. On the other hand, 2007. Next trick, finding another free morning to present self to phlebotomist. GAH.
Intralipids, before ovulation, after ovulation, on becoming pregnant, and again before the end of week twelve. Hands up who saw that one coming. (Me! Me! I did! Me me me me me!).
Progesterone support – One of the test results indicated a type of autoimmune problem that leads to one’s progesterone production being screwed with. I have a shortish luteal phase, anything from 11 to 13 days, but usually 11 or 12. Yeah, I’m really not that good at making progesterone. Bring it on.
Clexane, also known as heparin. Fuck that aspirin nonsense! Stab yourself daily for, if you’re really lucky, 36 weeks! Yay! Also, heparin is anti-inflammatory. If it’s anti-inflammatory, May is going to be taking it.
Hence Prednisolone from before ovulation too. I am so not going to be competing in track and field any time soon.
Timed intercourse – just not this cycle, as I’m having a biopsy on Thursday (have I mentioned that?), and possibly not next cycle either as we’d booked a holiday in a fit of spontaneos optimisim.
LIT – Jesus. We’re basically throwing everything at this. EVERYTHING. With the option of IUI, IVF, seriously batshit experimental protocols involving drugs like Neupogen next. I said ‘NO FUCKING THANK YOU’ to the Neupogen, by the way. I like my spleen unexploded. But then I said NO FUCKING THANK YOU to LIT and got talked down in seventeen minutes by an H who wanted to give it a go and a Dr Expensive who just assumed we would do LIT, or why else had we come to him? Why indeed. At least LIT doesn’t have horrible side-effects beyond, hopefully, itchy welts. It’s supposed to leave itchy welts. It’s not working if it doesn’t.
This is all like standing on a very high diving-platform, waiting for the whistle (also the nerve) to jump. It makes me feel sick. If I don’t talk/think/write about it, perhaps I won’t have to deal with it. Or at least, I won’t have to notice the fact I’m dealing with it.
And that was the summed-up version.