Tumbling Through the Rabbit Hole...
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Back again

Posted by Haisla Tuesday, 4 November 2014

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.


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