Saturday, December 1, 2007

Shots All Around!

"I'm on my way home from work."

"OK. I just have a few last minute things to take care of at the office. I will meet you at home at 5:30. We can change out of our work clothes and then do shots."

Anyone walking by my office during this exchange would probably have thought my husband and I were getting ready for a Friday night on the town. A couple of shots of Patron, then we're off to dance the night away! Sadly, not that dancing the night away has ever been our lifestyle, but the shots we're speaking of are more of the take-a-deep-breath-and-close-your-eyes-and-hope-you-don't-feel-the-pinch-kind.

I haven't posted for a while, so please forgive me if this turns into a long and rambling summary of the past couple of weeks. We started the Lupron shots as planned right before the Thanksgiving holiday. Not pleasant, but tolerable, especially once I numb the area with ice. (Seriously folks, if I have the time, I'm preparing to author a composition entitled "Ode to Ice -- I Could Not Have Done It Without You.") I began the letrozole the night before my family arrived for the holiday. That's when the crazy vivid dreams and searing headaches started. Now that I'm off the letrozole, I no longer have the dreams, but the headaches remain...

We started the stims (Menopur and Gonal-F) last Wednesday. I was determined to give myself the shots, since they are in the stomach and I knew I would have to adjust the "push," depending on how the medicine burned. My husband got the Gonal-F pen all ready, and I just stood there for about 20 minutes, poised and ready to go, but I just couldn't do it! I had tears of frustration in my eyes when I finally handed the pen over to him.

Then came the Menopur, which my husband had to mix. I'm sure it didn't help to have me looking over his shoulder, criticizing his technique every step of the way. The sterile solution was leaking out all over the mixing needle, and I suggested that he start over from the beginning. Not wanting to waste any (very expensive) medication, he followed my advice (mistake no. 1), and replaced the mixing needle with the injection needle.

Upon noticing the HUGE air bubble in the needle, I refused to let my husband inject me. After trying multiple times to remove the air bubble by injecting and redrawing the medication from the vial, he shooed me away, saying something about not being able to concentrate with me leaning over his shoulder, leaving me to my own devices (which consisted of Googling keywords "injection air bubble embolism death").

After watching several Internet videos demonstrating the injections, my husband realized he had accidentally used 1.5 cc of sterile solution instead of 1 cc. In a panic, he telephoned the on-call nurse (which we probably should have done from the getgo). She talked him through it, and we were able to complete the evening's injections. Unfortunately, as a result of repeatedly redrawing the medication to remove the air bubble, he ended up injecting me with a REALLY dull needle. I guess you live and you learn.

We finally have the injections down, but I'm still a wimp when it comes to needles. The only thing more unpleasant than the shots are the side effects from the medication. I've been walking around for the past four days in what feels like an unrelenting hangover. Between the headaches and the fatigue, I just want to take a really long nap.

I had my monitoring appointment yesterday, after my first 3 days of stims. I have seven measurable follicles, consisting of one 12, four 10s, a 9 and an 8. My RE didn't care about the side effects I was experiencing from the medication, only whether or not I was experiencing abdominal discomfort. Since I'm not having any, they increased my dosage of Gonal-F (one of the more expensive medications). I'm still on track for a December 7 egg retrieval.

Finally, I checked my horoscope this morning. I'm hoping by putting a link to her site here, Susan Miller won't be too upset that I quoted from her forecast. It was just too fantastical to not share:


It's like she wrote this specifically for me! I normally don't believe in all this, but I need all the help I can get. How remarkable would it be if this came true???

1 comment:

Kim said...

How did it turn out? I know it is an old post, but I just came across it. I hope it all turned out well. Let me know if you can.