Tumbling Through the Rabbit Hole...
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Running on empty

Posted by Haisla Sunday, 30 November 2014 7 comments

Life has become so hectic in the run up to Christmas that it's a bit scary.

I am looking at my diary and between now and Christmas I've got exactly one full weekend off when I won't be working. Other than that there's always a Saturday or a Sunday when there's something work related going on - be it a Christmas Carol concert or a Fayre.

I sort of knew that this is the way it would be this year, but it's still a little scary. I've got a few annual leave days still to take this year (which I was saving for our blessed IVF), but which I just cannot for love nor money fit in before Christmas. My plan is to talk to my line manager and see whether they could be rolled over into next year. It's normally a little frowned upon, but I could really do with those days, since next year is likely the year when we'll finally embark on IVF. My line manager is normally a fairly understanding and reasonable man, so I hope he'll go with it.

Since things are so hectic work-wise I have started a regime of self care, which included a massage the weekend before last. It was a cheapo-cheapo last minute one and I wasn't thoroughly impressed with the quality. My masseuse was very pleasant, but kind of stingy with the massage oil (I nearly felt like reminding her to top it up half-way through but politeness got the better of me). She also seemed to have no problem with massaging my spine (which I thought is a big no-no?) and it left me feeling a bit bruised and battered afterwards. M. seemed happy enough with his massage but a little scared of his masseuse who had a tendency to bark orders at him. It did leave me wondering at the legitimacy of their qualifications. I think we've mutually decided not to return there for a follow-up.

Anyway, both M. and I agree that monthly massage is the way forward, we'll just have to choose our provider a bit more carefully. M. found a good deal for an introductory 1h massage in a place near to us. I think we'll sample that one next. It's just nice to be doing something that is good for us for a change and I'm so glad that M, too, is on-board.

The upside with this crazy pre-Christmas busy-ness is that I've hardly had time to fret our infertility and our next doctor's appointment is only a week and a bit away. It's kind of crept up on us. I really need to get my stress levels in check before next year though, as my understanding is that it takes three months for eggs to mature.. And at the moment mine are stewing in a nice cocktail of stress hormones. Not good.

I really don't know whether I'll get much blogging done before Christmas. Things are pretty uneventful on the TTC front, but I'll try to ping something out after our IVF(?) appointment. It's just hard to fit anything extra in when all I want to do when I get home is collapse in front of the TV on our sofa and fall asleep. Again, not good.

I still read all the lovely blogs on my reading list and can only apologise if my commenting is a little erratic. I will cheer you on from the foggy haze that constitutes my consciousness these days.

Commenting on my blog

Posted by Haisla Saturday, 22 November 2014 9 comments

I am officially married to a genius.

After battling with blogger all morning, my darling M has resolved all of my commenting issues (hopefully) for good.

We have now installed Disqus commenting system, which will not only allow people to leave comments using different browsers (people at blogger HQ, please take note), but also for me to manage my comments and reply directly to individual commenters!! It feels like I have just moved onto the 21st Century.

We are still trying to beta test the system to ensure that it really does work in as many different browsers as possible. You can leave comments anonymously by choosing "I'd rather post as a guest"- you'll just be asked to choose any name and include an email address which will not displayed.

We've tried to make commenting as pain-free as possible and really, truly hope it'll work.

Again I would like to apologise to anyone who tried to comment and got their comments eaten by blogger; I know how frustrating it is.

If you do encounter any problems with commenting on my blog in the future, please send me an email at: adventuresinendoland@gmail.com. I will try to check my emails there fairly frequently.

Just a quick one..

Posted by Haisla Wednesday, 19 November 2014 0 comments

Precious Labmonkey wrote a whole separate post to notify me that she's having a hard time leaving comments on my blog - it appears that the glitch in the matrix has returned!!

I'm so sorry if you've been trying to comment and been unable to, I will try to rectify this problem (if I can with my almost non-existent techie skills) not necessarily now (as I am already running late from leaving for work) but by the weekend, I promise.

Thanks again, Labmonkey for bringing this up - you're a superstar!!! xxx

Back again

Posted by Haisla Tuesday, 4 November 2014 0 comments

I've been awol of late, I realise.

Things got a bit hectic..

First there was an inspection at work that took up so much time to prepare for. I literally worked all hours to get our centre ready.

And then we had my family over on a visit, and that was full.on.

Lovely, but full on. We went sightseeing every single day and saw pretty much all the free stuff that there is to see in London. It was great, but exhausting. I love them dearly, but we both sighed a deep sigh of relief once we'd taken them back to the airport.

And the week just gone, I've mainly working and recuperating, since we didn't really have a weekend to wind down. And then this Saturday I worked again.

So I've had a couple of days off now and feel almost human again and ready to show my face at the blogosphere. I realise I've missed out on some pretty momentous moments in other bloggers' lives, so I can only apologise that I haven't been there for you!! I will try to be a better blogger and commenter again..

I can't even remember whether I last posted before or after the IUI, so at the risk of repeating myself I will go over it again.

We had the fourth IUI on three Fridays ago. Nurse Nelly wasn't there, so we had another nurse (of no name as yet) whom I hadn't met before and although she tried to be really considerate and gentle, I actually prefer Nelly. I know, I was shocked at finding myself pining after Nelly. I'd much rather discuss Nelly's family member who missed their plane than have someone overly anxious (namely nurse nameless) do the procedure and by trying to be extra-careful cause extra discomfort.

Unsurprisingly, the IUI did not work out. AF started last week and is almost over by now.

We have an appointment on 9th December to discuss, I hope, IVF with the NHS. Providing they haven't ran out of money and turned the IVF taps off. I will beg and plead. Because they promised, promised!!!

Oh, and we did go to see the private RE who specialises also in immunology issues. What a waste of our hard earned money. We could not for the life of us understand almost a word the doctor had to say to us. I'm sure he knows his business, but my goodness. The thick accent. The practice basically reeked of money and desperation. And that is not a pretty mix. Especially when we have the latter but not much of the former.

I guess my greatest disappointment was in the fact that he couldn't really give us any reassurance. I think it's related to fear of litigation. And I think I went there with overly high expectations. I wanted him to tell us that immunology is probably the cause for our fertility problems and that by pursuing the testing and treatment we'll get our baby. Well, he didn't. He basically told us that IVF is our best option and to not delay.

He said our chances with IVF are about 20% / cycle. If we do immunology testing and find out that there are problems the treatments could up our chances to 35%.

That's all he could say.

I tried to ask him whether he thought that immunology treatments could affect the quality of the embryos we get, or whether it would only improve our chances of implantation (that's what I thought I asked at least, M. later told me that he, too, had not understood my question the way I had worded it), but he didn't really understand or answer me.

We were both pretty floored when we left that place. 20% vs 35%. Doesn't sound overtly promising does it? I don't know what I expected but certainly not that. The appointment felt rushed. I thought that with money we could actually buy some proper time and interest from our physicians, but I guess I was wrong.. Perhaps those who really care, work within the NHS and not at a private practice making the big bucks.. Or perhaps I am being overtly harsh. It was a Friday, one of the busiest days at their practice apparently. All I could hear when we left, though was the chi-ching of their cash register.

Bottom line, I guess, is that we won't bother going back there. Alan E. Beer sounded so confident in his book about immunology. The living doctors seem to be rather more reserved in their estimations, as said, perhaps due to fear of litigation, should they make grandiose promises that don't come true.

One interesting thing, however, that this £200/h doctor said was that he considered my thyroid levels too high. Mine are 3.4. According to the NHS anything under 5 is fine. He said he would like to see the level nearer to 1 on anyone trying to conceive.

The interesting thing (and perhaps mildly 'crazy' sounding thing) is that for some time now I have had an inkling that all has not been well with my thyroid. I am always cold. Always. And I get this weird 'thyroid-y' feeling. I can't quite explain it apart from feeling like all is not well around my thyroid region. So some months ago I started supplementing by taking dried seaweed. I now have a regime of drinking a disgusting drink of fruit juice mixed with a largish quantity of dried seaweed every morning. And you know what, I've been feeling mostly better. Less thyroid-y. Still cold all the time, but less thyroid-y. And if I feel thyroid-y, I take two doses a day.

I toyed with the idea of actually going back to my GP and trying to get my thyroid levels tested again to see whether there's been a real improvement (either due to seaweed or placebo effect) or whether my thyroid levels are still messed up. But I couldn't really think of a good enough cover story for why I think my thyroid is causing me problems. And even if the levels came back at 3.4 again, I'd have a fight in my hands to try to get the NHS to recognise the level as high. I just don't know if I've got that kind of fight left in me. I know I'm meant to be advocating on my own behalf and everything, but it does feel like such hard work. Especially if there is a risk of coming across as a bit a looney.

Does anyone else have any experiences of thyroid levels and TTC?

One last little piece of news related to IF (esp. in the UK) was this article that appeared in the Evening Standard on 30/10/14. Apparently NewLife clinic is partnering with Access Fertility and will be offering IVF treatments with a money-back guarantee of up to 70% if the treatment(s) are unsuccessful. I haven't yet looked more into this or read the small print. The age limit is 37, and I hope that refers only to the prospective Mums (considering that M is 42). But it did shed a bit of extra hope into our situation. If we could try private IVF with some kind of a money-back guarantee, then perhaps we could afford at least one private round. It's kind of a game changer, if it really is true.

So lots to think about, research and mull over again..

But at least we're a little bit closer to IVF. I mean December is literally almost just around the corner.