Per usual, I darted down two flights of stairs and out into the humid summer air to escape our open office environment so I could speak on my phone without being surrounded by 25 colleagues.
It’s Friday the 13th. Of course this is bad news.
Even though I just had a two-hour IVF talk on Thursday prior to starting my injections to solidify everything. Even though that was so uplifting and optimistic, it all felt certain and definitive (in spite of fact that chance of pregnancy after ALL this is only 57% — and that’s just pregnancy, not odds of a live birth).
They overlooked something in my AM blood work the day before (I had an appointment at 8:15AM Thursday and again at 3:30PM to make sure we were SET before I traveled this weekend).
My TSH levels (thyroid related) were very high — 7.6 something or other. This is v bad apparently. They prefer women to have a TSH levels around 2.5 pre-pregnancy and in early pregnancy season. Chance of miscarriage with high TSH is too high for them to take that risk.
But I already paid $5k to have all my medicine shipped from Massachusetts. It arrived right before I left for work on this lucky Friday the 13th. I was running late, but my husband was working from home, waiting on the BGE guy.
I alerted him, because some of it needed to be refrigerated.
Now I need to find an endocrinologist to manage my hypothyroidism. An under-active thyroid.
Great timing. I just got this tested in April (and March, and September), and my new primary doctor said everything was normal(ish).
I DID have high TSH levels once March, suggesting hypothyroidism. But 90% of hypothyroidism is caused by an autoimmune disorder — Hashimoto’s.
So I got tested for those antibodies. None. Not to mention my T3 and T4 hormone levels were normal. Even my doctor was baffled. He called me/it “puzzle” (you’re welcome for the challenge, Doc).
Maybe it was those super potent EGCG (antioxidant rich extract found in green tea) pills I’d been taking? I was paranoid about some precancerous cells and maybe I went overboard…
I did just read something at the NIH about that inhibiting thyroid function. Shit…
But I’d since stopped taking them and thought all was well on that front. Guess not.
Regardless, the fertility office never asked to see documentation of anything UNTIL a couple of days BEFORE I was set to start injections.
And I’m sorry, but if I’m paying you an egregious amount of money for a service like this, you better make sure your ducks (aka: MY DUCKS) are in a row before I spend another $5k-$10k for drugs that need to be used in a short period of time.
Heckin’ great. Now everything is F-ed.
Oh, but wait! The nurse says I can just go ahead with the $5,000 PGS process that freezes embryos and tests for genetic/chromosomal disorders.
And after I get my thyroid issues managed satisfactorily, then we can start over with hormone stuffs and do the transfer a couple of months after my egg retrieval surgery.
Great. More issues. More medical problems. More doctors. More medicine. More money. More of a delay. More risks. Less chance of a healthy pregnancy.
But why? What’s wrong with my thyroid anyway? I’m not overweight. I don’t have the autoimmune disease. SO WHAT IS IT?!
Maybe it’s a poor iodine intake? I eat a mostly vegetarian diet and never add salt to my food. And that’s been linked with hypothyroidism. Will some seafood, seaweed, and salt help? I reallllyyyyyyyy don’t want more drugs — especially not ones I have to take for life.
(Let’s be real, I don’t want any of this.)
I went of town anyway. I drank at a bachelorette party Saturday, but not TOO much. I drove back Sunday to make it in time to mix my injections.
But I made a small error. I might have forgotten to get the air out of the needle initially and mixed the saline and powder out of order. I don’t think I put the needled at 90 degrees.
So it hurt, and I could feel it the whole time the fluid was being injected into my stomach. Which was already not feeling great (lady cramps because of course I’m on my period right now).
My aversion to needles kicked in while I pushed the plunger in and felt it resist against the mass of my body. The smell of the sterilizing alcohol… the saline… the drugs… it all hit me at once.
I felt my body temperature spike. I got weak in my knees.
My head dropped.
DO NOT FUCKING PASS OUT BRITTANY ANNE. YOU ARE AN ADULT! YOU ARE FINE.
My husband steadied me and I breathed deeply. I still had another shot to administer, but first I needed to read how to do it.
This one was very different. It’s a “pen” of sorts, and the needle is a little smaller. PRAISE BE. I still had to inject it pretty close to the last injection site. Ew.
Don’t overthink it, Brittany. Just do it.
The second shot didn’t hurt at all (PRAISE BE), and I had to hold it for a full 5-seconds to make sure all the liquid got in. What did I do wrong the first time? Is that one just innately more painful or am I an idiot?
I proceeded to eat Chinese tofu + spinach stuffs and watch “Sharp Objects”. Maybe this was a mistake. Who wants to put kids in a world as F-ed up as this one? Aye yai yai.
Monday was dedicated to finding an endocrinologist and following up with my primary care doctor. But, of course my primary doctor is on vacation.
Of course every endo I can found nearby doesn’t have an opening until October. Of course the data they need that could get me in quicker is data I don’t have access to. Of course all my lab results aren’t posted under the “lab results” tab of the patient portal.
It’s alright though. Everything’s alright. Right?