Well, it has been a crazy couple of days, for both good and bad reasons. But finally I have some actual news, for the first time since starting this journey.
But first, a health recap: My body is yelling at me. I’m not sure why, but I’m not liking it.
First, on Thursday, I ate a couple Halloween candy-sized Twizzlers. These weren’t ordinary Twizzlers; they had stuff in the middle. I had never had them before. And I ate like 5 of them (completely going against my new diet plan, btw.) Lunch ended. No more than 10 minutes later, I felt a lip hive starting (angioedema). I could not believe it. I NEVER get lip hives during the day. I let it sit for a few minutes, trying to judge how bad it was going to get. Sometimes it’s a small one, unnoticeable to others, and I don’t need to take anything. But after a few minutes I could feel it growing, so I took my old hives medication, which I rarely need nowadays. I knew it was going to take a good half hour to kick in. Then, I started feeling a tickle in my throat. It kind of felt like the beginning of a cold. As time went on, a lump developed in my throat, and I realized I had a hive somewhere down there. To top it all off, I started getting hives inside of my mouth, which has never happened before. I could feel them in my gums, past my teeth. Other than the lip hive, the others weren’t something other people would see, but I could certainly feel them. I was a little panicked, but trying not to make it worse. I can definitely let anxiety get the best of me, and I wasn’t about to let that happen. I decided that after the meds had time to kick in, if it got worse I would take the next step (probably a hospital visit.) That’s the last thing I wanted.
Luckily, once the medicine kicked in, my lip hive started to shrink, along with all the others. I was left with a sore throat and sore cheeks. For the rest of the day and night my throat bothered me and made me sound hoarse. It was the most bizarre thing. My first guess was an allergic reaction to those weird Twizzlers. I get hives, including my lips, but nothing like that. So that was a great afternoon. To top it off, as I left school that afternoon I got a call from my OB-GYN, saying that when she did my physical and pap last Tuesday, I tested positive for both yeast and bacterial infections, and I would need to pick up meds for both at CVS. Now, let’s just put it this way. I’ve had many yeast infections in my life, and I know the symptoms. In fact, as soon as I feel them, I buy myself medication and take care of it. I have NO symptoms of either of these infections. But eww, gross. It was a great day.
Then, yesterday was an important day. I went to see my newest doctor, my RE (reproductive endocrinologist). In short, a fertility specialist. Before I get to that, let me say that after going out to lunch with friends, as I was driving to the appointment I felt a lip hive starting, AGAIN! Now, mind you, I had tacos for that lunch. And rice. NO sugar, no candy. Nothing I ate yesterday I ate the day before, and vice versa. Ridiculous! I quick popped medication for that, not wanting to repeat yesterday. But as I went through the afternoon, through the appointment and into the night, I have to admit that I had a small little lump in my throat. Nothing like the day before, probably because I took medication faster. By bedtime last night, I had hives all over my face, shoulders, back. What the heck!? This is clearly NOT an allergic reaction to food. It’s just a rough spot of what I’ve known for years – my hives are an auto-immune response to my messed up immune system doing..whatever it’s doing. Fighting off my healthy thyroid for no reason. Stuff like that. But I have to say, this daily lip hive thing is not okay with me. I’ve been taking medication only as needed for months now. I will now be going back to regular dosages to see if that’ll help. I took a dose this morning, which I never do. Let’s see if I get hives at lunch again today, for the third day in a row.
Luckily, there was some good news in the last few days. I had an excellent appointment with my RE. Here’s what happened:
After meeting with the nurse who went over ALL my medical history, family history, etc., I met the doctor. He’s a nice guy, very laid-back. I’d expect to see him using a leaf-blower or at a bar watching football, not examining the ins and outs of all my parts. But whatever. All I need is a nice doctor and I’m happy, and he was very nice. He did an ultrasound (not on my stomach…) which was actually kind of cool. As he was digging around in there he made comments. He said my uterus looks great, normal, healthy, etc. Then he moved the camera over to one of my ovaries. He showed me the screen, and said, “This ovary is showing a classic case of anovulation.” Then he pointed to all these little black dots inside the ovary. He said that the black dots are all the beginnings of eggs that aren’t being released. In other words – I don’t ovulate. Well, hallelujah. I have been waiting for a doctor to confirm what I already knew for so long now! I knew in that 82 day cycle with a BBT that never rose that I didn’t ovulate. But now a doctor knows! Yay! So that was awesome.
Then, later, I met with him in his office. Long story short – here’s the plan. I don’t ovulate, my cycles are very irregular, etc. He had me get some blood taken (which I did right afterwards, another 7 vials) and he also wants my DH to get his blood taken, and to get a semen analysis. Poor guy. I warned him it might happen, and now it officially is. Luckily he’s totally fine with it. After the results of all of his tests and my blood tests come back, assuming his come back normal, the Dr. will start me on Clomid, the fertility drug. Because these tests probably won’t be all set for another week or two, by the time they are analyzed it will be too late to start Clomid for this cycle. Clomid has to be taken at the beginning of a cycle, and I’m basically at the beginning of mine now. So, unfortunately I have to wait another cycle. But, the Dr. said, “We’re not going to make you wait another 89 days.” Thank you!!! He said that if I don’t have AF on CD 30, to call up, and he’ll give me Provera to get it going again, and then start Clomid. I haven’t had a 30 day cycle since…BCP! So I’m super excited.
Here’s what I know about Clomid – it is a fertility drug, it makes you ovulate. Some people have side effects from it – including major mood swings and nausea. As one person on thebump.com put it, the side effects are basically pregnancy symptoms. I also know that if you don’t get pregnant from Clomid in 3-6 cycles (depending on the Dr.), it’s never going to work and they move to the next thing. Finally, I know that my mother took it, had no side effects whatsoever, and conceived my sister from it on the 2nd try. So, here’s hoping.
The Dr. also took a look at all my auto-immune issues, including the hives. I get hives from semen, as well, and I’ll leave it at that. He mentioned that they will keep an eye on all of that, because it may fare better for me to go straight to artificial insemination, bypassing the hives and auto-immune stuff, rather than wasting a ton of time on Clomid. Eew. I don’t know much about that, and I’m not going to go there just yet. He mentioned that, but still planned on Clomid for now. He said if this was a classic case of simply not ovulating, Clomid is the best bet. If this has anything to do with auto-immune stuff, they will look further into AI. So for now, we’re going with Clomid.
The other amazing fact about this – and it really is amazing – is that my insurance covers EVERYTHING. I can’t believe it! I called my insurance company, they said as long as I have an underlying health condition (anovulation) tests, drugs, treatments are fully covered, no deductibles. Then, I received a written copy of the insurance stating the same thing. As a third check, I met with the financial advisor for infertility after my appointment yesterday and she confirmed as well that she spoke with someone from my insurance company and they told her the same thing! She said, “I don’t get to say this to many people, so consider yourself lucky…you’re fully covered, and you’re all set!” Then she hugged me. Good times!
So, now I just have to wait out the next 30 or so days. I’m thinking that it’s not likely I’ll get AF on my own at 30 days, since that has yet to ever happen. So, I’ll probably be asking for Provera again, and then I will start Clomid. I am so happy to have a plan in place and a doctor who is in charge. I’m praying Clomid will work. But on the off chance it doesn’t, there are still so many other options to try, and my doctor will know what’s best. Plus, it will be covered by insurance! So, as one of my friends stated, “Let the games begin!”