Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mom Still In ICU

I haven't felt like blogging much lately.  I'm sorry that I'm missing your posts, life has been exhausting.  My mom was supposed to be in ICU just for a weekend but she's still there.  The nurse described her as being "very frail".  It sounds so strange to hear those words.  Nothing was ever "frail" about my mother.  She's used to be about 5"7", was always complimented on how young she looked and acted and the doctors used to tell her that she was so healthy.

The visiting hours are very limited in ICU (10am-1pm, 3pm-6pm, and 9pm-10pm) and they only allow 2 people at a time.  It's so sad seeing my dad look at her.  She never used to get sick...ever.  I walked out to get us some coffee and when I came back my dad had his hand on my mom's hand and he was praying.  I had to look away because I started to cry and didn't want to make either of them upset.  My mom has a tube through her nose and down her throat so she can barely be understood when she speaks. She's never had surgery before so this type of pain is probably a shock to her particularly at her age.

It's been incredibly difficult watching all of this happen.  I'm finding myself praying frequently and I haven't done that in a really really long time.  I feel so helpless.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mom Is In The Hospital

I've been very pre-occupied lately because my mother went into the hospital for an intestinal infection Tuesday.  She's going to be 76 in April.  She had just gotten out of the hospital/rehab facility last Nov. were she had been for two months due to complications of rheumatoid arthritis and vasculitis.  The thing is, she was never sick before.  A little over a year ago she was walking around, shopping, doing laundry, etc.  Now she just sits on the sofa.  She won't go up the stairs because they are very long and she needs to use a walker.  Her legs will give out on her sometimes and it makes her afraid to walk.  Plus she has my dad and sister around to do things for her.  She hasn't slept in her bedroom in over a year.  It's very sad because she can do it if she wanted to.  But she doesn't.  She's been very depressed and will not take the anti-depressants that were prescribed for her.  She walks when the physical therapists come but when they're gone she won't even walk to the kitchen to get herself a drink.

To make matters worse she just went back into the hospital for surgery because of an intestinal abscess.  She's been on steroids for her rheumatoid arthritis and it makes it difficult for her body to heal.  She had the surgery yesterday and is in the ICU right now.  She's never had surgery before and her biggest fear was that she would need a colostomy bag.  The surgery went well and she didn't need to have a bag.  So that was wonderful news.  My fear is of complications.  They seems to follow her like a shadow.  I also hate the hospital that she's in.  It's close to my parents house and my father doesn't feel comfortable anywhere else.

Horrible Hospital Story Ahead:

When my mother was in the hospital last year her cardiologist (who was assigned by the hospital) came in her room at 7am and had her sign a consent form to have a pacemaker put in the following morning! This doctor was very good at one time many years ago but now he's a quack!  He hadn't even considered that the medication they had put her on a few weeks earlier had been causing her irregular heartbeat. We were able to postpone the surgery but he still scheduled a stress test that next morning without anyone knowing.  Her heart was fine thank God.  Why would you do that to a person that you thought was in serious need of a pacemaker?!  He'd prey on her when she was alone or when my father was there (he's 81, can't hear well, and won't argue with a doctor).  We eventually had to threaten police action to get him away from her.  Long story short, her heart was fine and the new group of cardiologists that we'd selected said that she was lucky she did not have the surgery.  Her steroid dosage was very high in order to get her vasculitis under control and everyone feared that she would not heal properly. One doctor even told my mother that he felt that I had saved her life.  My sister and brother, who are childless and spouseless, are also very gullible and would not argue with a doctor's decision either.  I later found out that the quack had a restraining order against him about 10 years ago because he was stalking a woman at the hospital.  But I don't know if it was a nurse or a patient.  I wanted to get medical POA on both of my parents but they're "old school" and won't sign the form. It's a very difficult situation.

I've missed reading everyone's blogs this week.  I hope you are all doing well.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wham Bam Thank You Mam

I finally went to the OBGYN after much anxiety.  It wasn't all that I thought it would be.  First, it was fast. Very fast.  I suppose I'm used to the long drawn out wait at the RE office.  The appointments with the RE were always much more involve with discussion and protocol.

The nurse was very nice.  I had to tell them about my myomectomy and of my many IF procedures.  She was very sympathetic siting that she'd been through it with her sister and she knew that it was a difficult process.  I wanted to ask if her sister eventually had a child but I couldn't bring myself to speak the words.  How would I respond if the answer was "yes"? She began to tell me that she was a single mom with 3 children.  I started to feel bad for her and wondered if she was thinking that maybe I was the lucky one.  Then as she was wishing me luck regarding IF I made my carefully concocted statement, "Well I'm a teacher so I have all of the children I need." To that she said, "See, children come to us all sorts of ways." My eyes started to well up with water but I didn't want to have a break down.  I quickly added, "we have two dogs".  I don't even know why I said that.  I just needed to get myself out of the moment.  The moment where I start remembering that earlier in the day my closest co-worker (who knew about my IF struggles) told me that another co-worker (also a friend) wanted her to tell me that she was pregnant.  I was happy for her (still sad for me), but I felt bad that she didn't want to tell me because she thought it might hurt me.  It was very sweet of her.  I can't help but feel like I have the plague or that people might think that I'm a loose cannon that will go off somehow at the mere mention of the word "baby".  Perhaps I am.  I don't even know how I'm going to react anymore.  That's how I ended up mentioning the dogs.  It just comes out.  I could've just as easily said, "I like apples".   She smiled at me and left the room.  Enter: the doctor.

I'd never met this doctor before.  She was a little cold and kind of a know it all.  I also think I'm just too sensitive.  She told me that they were going to do blood work and I asked if I could have an FSH done.  She said,"Your FSH doesn't really tell us anything other than if your ovaries are still working." Then she said, "if it's for reasons of fertility I'll send you to a specialist." I said, "It is about fertility and I have been to a specialist.  I was thinking that if everything is okay maybe I'd try a few more IUIs."  She said,"At this point you're looking at IVF." I couldn't believe how she just dismissed every thing that I was requesting.  That's why I am so bothered that people in these positions hold all of the cards.  It never matters who's footing the bill.  I was also really annoyed because cost wasn't even a consideration.  "You're looking at IVF."  I should have said, "Well I can't afford IVF and I'd like to do a few IUIs to ease my mind and make me feel as though I've done all that I can.  Plus my insurance covers that or that wouldn't even be a consideration either." But I just don't have the nerve to pull myself together enough to say something like that.  I'm getting so much blood work done that I don't even know what's included. I assume that from her protest she does not have me down for an FSH count.  I feel like checking that box off myself.  What do you think would happen to me? Fraud charges, jail?  This sucks.

Here's what I'm scheduled for:

  • CBC
  • Lipid Panel
  • Complete Metabolic Panel
  • TSH Cascade
  • Phosphorus
  • HIV
Room Temp:
  • P.T. Mutation
  • ANA w/Reflex
  • P.T.T Activated
  • Fibrinogen
  • Factor V Leiden Mut.
  • Cardiolipin AB
  • Homocysteine
  • Anti-Thrombin III
  • Lupus Anticoagulant
  • Protein S Function (nonpregnant)
  • Protein S Antigen (pregnant)
  • Protein C Function

What the hell does any of this mean?  Is there an FSH count in there anywhere?  Has anyone ever checked off an extra box or two before? Help!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Oh my God it's my birthday

It's my dreaded birthday.  I've become the big 42.  This is one of those moments that I was talking about where in another 5 yrs. I'm going to look back and say, "Wouldn't it be wonderful to be 42 again?"  Only, now that I'm in the moment I'm finding it very difficult to appreciate it.  42, that's another milestone where IF gets even more finalized.  I remember the RE telling me, "we want to try to get you pregnant by the time you are 41." That's here and gone.

Well what will be in store for me this year.  Last year it was fertility injections nearly every month until July.   That's when I finally realized that I was compromising my immune system too much.  It was taking me longer to recover from simple colds.  It all ended with my crazy illness in July after my 4th IVF.  Two weeks into my illness my hearing changed. Three courses of antibiotics and three courses of steroids could not get my hearing straightened out.  About 2 weeks ago I went back to the ENT for a check up.  Nothing has changed and he hasn't offered any new information.  My previous CT scan and MRI showed debris and swelling in my middle ear cleft left over from an infection.  I recently found out that there are ear specialist in addition to ENTs.  My next step is to find one and see if they can shed some light on the matter.

I'm also proud to announce that I've finally made an appointment with the OBGYN! Happy Birthday to me!  Tuesday is the big day.  I've been avoiding this for a while now.  I'm really not sure if I'm ready to find out if I have anymore fibroids or what my FSH is.  But I need to know.  If all is good then I think I'm going to try a couple more IUIs and see what happens.  Of course I will need a separate appointment for an ultrasound and blood work.  But at least I made the initial appointment!  I was kind of hoping they'd be booked for a few weeks, but no, there was an opening. So on Tues. at 4pm I'll be spread Eagle on the table.  Then they do the breast exam... that's always fun. I have a female doctor.  I've always wondered what would drive a man to become an OBGYN.  In this day and age I just don't feel comfortable getting an exam from a man.  But that's just one of my many hang ups!

Tonight I will be celebrating quietly with my DH, the pugs and some pizza.  Life is good sometimes.