Better living through chemistry

Hola, Gentle Readers. I had a very nice weekend. We went Out, and had lunch with friends, and went to concerts, and had Sunday Brunch, and the weather was, for once, gleefully sunny (hey! It’s summer! Actual summer!). The point being, not to think about things very much and be cheerfully distracted by sun and music (H and I are both serious classical music nerds) and nice amusing people and bacon. And it worked.

We harshed the mellow a tiny bit this evening because I had my share of HFEA consent forms to fill in, which I had been procrastinating about, because, jeez, what happens to my embryos in the event of my death? Aiieeeeeeeeee.

And of course, there’s the nightly stabbing of self with the Gonal-F pen. It’s a cool pen. The needles are like hairs. I haven’t felt a single stab yet, nor left a mark above a tiny red dot that had entirely vanished by the next morning. It’s almost fun. Apart from the headache. Which could actually be caused by astonishment at the hot weather.

On Monday or Tuesday, depending on the scan and blood work, I start Cetrotide. In which the needles are considerably bigger. So, yes, tomorrow morning I go back to Riverside with my consent forms for a thorough poking.

I am going to talk about my ‘regime’ now (I have a spreadsheet! Riverside gave me one!), if for no other reason than to tidy up the inside of my head a bit.

Buserelin, from day 21 to first day of period. To squash any funny ideas Satsuma may have had about early follicles and random cysts, and to quell the endometriosis a bit. I felt nothing for the first week, and then developed a persistent bitter-sweet taste in the mouth and a very irritating headache that went on and on and relentlessly on. On the plus side, Satsuma looks angelically docile and while my period still sucked hugely, it definitely sucked rather less than the previous few.

Metformin, 1000mg – 500mg pill twice a day, at breakfast and at dinner. I find this dose, as recommended by Dr George, easier to tolerate than 1500mg as per GP’s recommendation. 1000mg makes me burp a lot. 1500mg made me constantly gassy both ends, thirsty, hungry, and tummy-achey, and I put weight on (on, for fuck’s sake. This is not how Metformin is supposed to work). So. The point of Metformin is to improve egg quality, and reduce the chance of miscarriage by keeping blood sugar level, and Dr George said it can help prevent OHSS in women with PCOS (which is me. I still have a moustache, even if Satsuma is behaving so nicely these days).

Daily multivitamin-and-mineral, with the recommended 400mcg of Folic Acid (I also eat green leafy vegetables and brown rice by the shovel).

Daily fish-oil capsule, not cod-liver oil, because vitamin A can be toxic to wee embryos (an early Arctic exploration team all died from eating polar bear liver. They thought it would be nourishing. Polar bears store retinol in vast quantities to survive months on end without food. Oops). Essential fatty acids however are good for fetii and, crucially, are good for people who have ichthyosis vulgaris (hi!) and eczema (me again!).

Gonal-F, 150 units of whatever the hell units they are, subcutaneously. This is the ‘artificial’ Follicle Stimulating Hormone that is now bullying Satsuma into growing a bazillion eggs at once. Daily until collection. Unless Sats explodes and my oestrogen levels go through the roof. Side effects, ‘premenstrual symptoms’. In practice, I am headachy and tetchy. Which could be caused by just about anything.

9 responses to “Better living through chemistry

  • H

    Caffeine withdrawal? X

  • Jo

    All sounds well. Keep marching forward!

  • bionicbrooklynite

    I had an awful headache for the first several days of stims, but then it went away. Maybe because I got used to the sky-high estrogen levels it inspired? Dunno, but I people yours vanishes similarly. (Also, while we are on the topic of chemical life improvement, let me recommend, as a fellow endo-round-the-bowel haver, that you add some colace to your regime around retrieval time. Trust me on this one.)

  • a

    It’s a frequent complaint around my house that someone can’t tell the difference between PMS and general bitchiness. To that, I say – why do you even need to differentiate? Just stop being an ass and we’ll be all good.

    I found that the size of the needle was not as relevant as where you had to stick the thing. In the skin? No biggie. In muscle? Ouchie. All survivable, right?

    Much luck. I hope Satsuma remains compliant…

  • Twangy

    Ooh. Well. That sounds like progress, though I hope the headaches and tetchiness recede. I know and hate the feeling.

    Go smoothly, things! Onward!

  • Mina

    We had summer two weeks ago, and it came with headaches and mucho tetchiness, so maybe ramping up hormones has little to do that. Now summer is gone, and we’re all back to the headches and tetchiness caused by rain and cold and complining thereof. How is that sun anyway? Send my regards, please.
    Onwards march, Satsuma, behave and give us good news soon.

  • wombattwo

    I’m going on the fact that headaches are a good sign. This is based on the fact that during the treatment I had before I got pregnant, I had headaches every day. Clearly this means it is a reliable sign…

    Am a mixture of excited, hopeful and scared for you. I am keeping everything crossed as I just don’t know what else to say!

  • Melissa

    Quite the regime ! Whew!

  • Sheila

    No clexane? Or are they ony starting you on it post egg collection? Sorry that I keep harping on about clexane…. I was on it through 2 pregnancies to 6 weeks post both times and I genuinely believe it was the thing that got and kept me pregnant…. I started it at the same time as gonal-f. Sorry, just curious!

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