Sunday, September 19, 2010

$1300 chicken soup

My injectable meds have been tripled for this round. That doesn’t mean they are going nuts on me this time, it really just means that they WAY undershot my stims last time. I am looking forward to seeing what the tripling will do to my egg production, but I was not looking forward to the tripling of the cost of my drugs. So I did what any reasonable fertility junkie would do – I turned to black market IVF drugs. I shaved a sweet $1200 off my bill by buying from some lady named Nina in Georgia who I found on It was a really nerve racking, really risky process, which included Nina calling me on the day of shipment telling me how nervous she was at FedEx, and how when the guy asked what she was shipping the first thing that came to her mind was chicken soup. "$1300 chicken soup?, he questioned, and then said "that must be some soup" (eyeroll from FedEx man). Prior to hearing this I was nervous about all the normal things, like is this Nina lady a crook/is she going to send me a box of rocks/if she does send me the drugs will I ever know that she stored them correctly? I had obviously decided those were tolerable risks, but the chicken soup had me worried that FedEx had to report suspicious transactions and my overnight package would be delivered by a police man ready to arrest me. The drugs arrived overnight COD, packed in ice packs, looking great, and best of all, no handcuffs. Part one of this story has gone smoothly, but the true test will be if the meds actually work. Sounds kind of looney and risky? I completely agree.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


In my family, and probably many others “going #2” = taking a dump. So I felt this title was appropriate for the beginning of my second round of IVF

On most levels I am really relaxed for this round. I don’t have high expectations, but I do have just the right amount of hopefulness. I am not at all pre-occupied with injection fear and all the other anxieties I had last time, and I now have two lovely supplemental insurance policies in place: Aflack and Beneficial Life, that make me feel way more at ease about the possible negative outcomes this could produce.

So far I am not impressed with this clinic I am using. And If I ever thought that smaller was universally better, I was wrong. Last round at the U, I was just a nameless cog in a big machine, but a very well oiled, smooth running machine. This clinic has only 1 doctor who I will be seeing and two nurse practitioners. There could be upsides to this, but so far I have only experienced the downsides of them being quite disorganized, and having really lame office hours (9am to 4pm).

I did have a day of insanity/anxiety when I went in for my meeting last week to schedule my protocol. I have been asking since June about my tentative dates and the nurse could not, or would not provide them. So what do I discover – my really horrible week of swelling and doctor checks are going to be the first week in October and the scheduled retrieval is between Oct. 13 and 15th. Bloody hell lady. This is why I was asking about dates for months. Because I am a tax accountant. Because October 15th is a large deadline for me that is usually non negotiable. And now that I have taken the Lupron and purchased my drugs, going forward with IVF feels emotionally non-negotiable too. Also, my third Lupron shot was left off the schedule she provided me, and her reply was “oh you haven’t had the third yet? Well, no big deal”. Really? No big deal? – I thought three mandatory shots was why I couldn’t do IVF in August in the first place. Funny how important certain things are until a nurse or doctor messes up, and then they aren’t important at all. Also, it was really sucky that they were going to provide me with two free sample shots, but made me purchase the uncovered second shot last month. And now my third “free” shot won’t even go to me. They also forgot that I am taking an estrogen pill daily for my endometriosis. I am no doctor, but I would think that estrogen might mess with all the ivf junk, so I called to remind them. “Oh yeah, no big deal” was again the reply. The only reason I am here is because of the sweet shared risk plan I am using, or I should say HOPEFULLY using, because my contract has lapsed since they had to delay me for the “vital” three month of Lupron. I had a contract this summer, but now I need to have new blood tests done today and hopefully I will re-qualify. It’s ugly to picture what I will do if I don’t. As we were checking out at the reception desk at the appointment I felt the stress moving from my gut up to my throat, and I tried really hard to not cry. On the drive home I opted to have a scream fest about how much I hate doctors and how stupid the clinic is which really helped relieve and distract. I didn't want to touch the unexpected horror of feeling an irrational flood of very real, indescribable, bad feelings rise from the grave. I thought they were dead and buried. It is so hard for me to describe the feelings and how it not about how I was feeling in the moment, but that I was NOT in control. At all. I had no idea I had that much crap stored up somewhere in me. In fact, the creepy part is that I felt like those feelings couldn't possibly have been anywhere in me. There is no way I had that much grief and didn't even know it. It's very disturbing feeling to be alarmed by what lives within you. It made me fear my ability to cope with something actually tragic.

It has been days since that emotional zombie showed up unexpectedly, and to add to the creepiness, I have been perfectly fine ever since that day, and I can't even make myself feel that bad, or go to that zone if I tried. It's just gone for now.