Wednesday, September 28, 2011

We've Got Mail

Our first IVF med, Lupron, arrived today.  Looks like we're almost ready to get this show on the road.  Starting these injections on Oct. 4, so stay tuned for updates!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hormones & Shots & IVF....Oh My!

We received the first portion of our IVF cycle plan on Friday and since then, it has definitely started to sink in that we're really giving this another try.  I'm feeling excited, nervous, hopeful...and a million other emotions.  

9/19 Began Desogen birth control pills (In Progress)

9/24 Began Z-pack antibiotic (In Progress)

10/4 Begin 10 units of Lupron every morning to be administered by subcutaneous injections into my stomach.  I will continue this dose until the day after my suppression check.

10/10 Take last active birth control pill

10/13 Suppression check appointment & Trial Embryo Transfer.  If everything is okay, I will decrease my Lupron dosage to 5 units, starting on 10/14.  

10/15 Begin FSH & hMG to be administered by subcutaneous injections into my stomach.  Exact dosage will be explained at 10/13 suppression check appt.

10/18 First Estradiol level check & ultrasound 

10/24 Egg Retrieval will be this week.  Exact date will be determined by maturation of follicles.

There are still numerous key steps that will go into our IVF plan.  Many more estradiol level checks and ultrasounds will be thrown in the mix, but the dates will be determined by how my body responds to the medications.  We will not have a date for the embryo transfer until the egg retrieval is complete.  It will depend on the # of eggs that are fertilized and how well the fertilized embryos grow.

On a side note, our awesome nurse told us about a grant that would cover the cost of some of our IVF medications.  We submitted our application on Friday morning and should hear back within 2 weeks.  Crossing our fingers, toes & eyes for good news! 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Giving the finger to Diabetes

If you want to make my husband realllllllly grumpy, prick his finger 5 times.  

This was the case at yesterday's appointment at the Vanderbilt Diabetes Center.  It was our first meeting with an Endocrinologist to discuss Hubby's recent onset of Cystic Fibrosis-related Diabetes (aka CFRD).  After checking vitals, they performed an A1C test.  This test measures the average blood glucose control for the past 2 to 3 months.  It is a simple blood test but the nurse was off her A-game.  3 finger pricks later, she finally had enough blood to read the test.  After a short wait, we met with the Dr.  We felt very comfortable with her and she did a great job explaining this new diagnosis that was so foreign to the both of us.  The A1C test came in as 6.1 and she believes this indicates that we caught the Diabetes super early, which will make the treatment going forward manageable.  So, her game plan is to monitor his blood sugar for the next month, 4x per day, to determine the best insulin dosage.  He was instructed to stick to his normal diet for now and to keep a food journal.  At the end of the month, we'll head back to Vanderbilt for a follow-up to download the data from his glucose meter and figure out how to go forward.  

He stopped by the lab for another blood test, then we met with a nurse to give us a crash course...Diabetes 101.  She talked about carb counting, the sliding scale, insulin injections, and blood glucose monitoring.  Luckily, insulin comes as an injectible pen and works exactly like my Follistim shots from IVF.   So, those will be a breeze when he needs to have insulin.  She showed us how to use the OneTouch meter and do the finger pricks.  When she was just supposed to be demonstrating the lancet, she accidentally hit the release button and pricked Hubby's finger again.  She apologized 20 times and swore this had never happened to her.  Ok, fine -- we'll give you a pass for being clumsy.  But, then, she had Hubby do the monitoring from start to finish to show that he had been paying attention -- setting the time on the meter, inserting the lancet & test strip, then pricking his finger.  So, after a 1 hour appointment, he had 5 finger pricks and a blood test.  Ugh.  

Yes, it is very manageable.  Yes, many people have it.  But, that doesn't make it any less annoying.  

Hey, Diabetes, we're giving you the finger!  

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Start of Another IVF Cycle

We met with our Dr. at Nashville Fertility Center today.  We discussed my health since surgery and everything checked out great.  With that being said, we are starting another IVF cycle.  We are hopeful that this round will be successful.  I am currently on CD (cycle day) 4 and will begin Desogen birth control pills tonight.  I should receive the plan for the remainder of the cycle in the next few days, which will outline the injection dosages and tentative dates for monitoring appointments, egg retrieval & transfer.

Because I became so hyperstimulated during my last fresh cycle, he will tweak our medication protocol for this round.  He will utilize FSH and HMG, with the goal that the combination of the two drugs will result in "average" egg production (12-15 versus 36 like before) and increase egg quality.  

We left the clinic with excitement but also with a bill for $10,250.  They do not offer financing, so this is completely out-of-pocket.  Sadly, this isn't our total cost.  Our medication charges are separate from the facility fees and will add another $2,000-3,000.  We do have a little bit of a break with an unused cartridge of Follistim left over from a previous cycle.  So, we've got a $900 "credit" sitting in our fridge.  Every little bit helps, for sure.

Bring on the shots!  Let's get this party started!
(Note:  By shots, I mean big, nasty needles) 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Warrior Dash 2011

Hubby and his cousin, Cody, did the Warrior Dash in Manchester, TN this morning. It's a 5k race with 12 obstacles scattered throughout the course. From leaping over fire to crawling through mud, everyone finishes feeling like a true warrior!

Here are a few of my favorite shots from today...

Such a fun atmosphere -- live music, food & beer!

Hubby making his way through the mud pit.  Bound for the finish line!

Mean muggin'

Monday, September 12, 2011

Biopsy Results

This afternoon, I got the call with the biopsy results from my recent surgery.  The polyps were benign.  Thank you, Lord!

I read a quote today that really hit home to me. "Worry changes nothing.  Faith changes everything".  How true is this?  I immediately wrote it down and posted it in several rooms of our home.  It's a statement that I need to be reminded of daily.  

Faith has brought us through the troubles of this past year and will continue to lift us through the good times and bad.

Thank you all so much for your prayers!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Always Remember

It's so hard to believe that 10 years have passed since 9/11.  I can't remember what I did yesterday, but September 11, 2001 is still clear in my mind.  I was sitting in Ms. Johnson's science class at Surry Central High School that morning, when a nearby teacher ran in to share the news of the attack.  Our class lecture stopped immediately and we sat glued to the TV set.  It didn't seem possible that such a heinous act could be unfolding right before our eyes.  

But, on that day, we came together as one nation.  Political parties were pushed aside and we raised our flags, wore our pins and didn't hesitate to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.  The unity of our country in the midst of crisis was truly amazing.  My hope is that we can always live with such patriotism and love for our fellow man.

Today, we will honor and remember the lives lost.  We will pray for all of the service men and women who are risking their lives to protect ours.  May we forever celebrate the freedom we have and the heroic American spirit.  

Thursday, September 8, 2011

One Week Later

Today marks one week since surgery.  I've had no weird side effects or major set backs. No need for pain meds any longer and all antibiotics are finished.  Still taking it easy on lifting and such.  But, I'm feeling more like myself as each day passes.  

I have to rave about the care I received at Centennial Surgery Center.  The nurses were phenomenal.  You know the dorky little comment cards?  Yeah, I normally toss those in the garbage.  But, not this time.  I jumped on the opportunity to brag on those nurses, especially Sharrell.  A great nurse can make all the difference in the world.  She's called almost once a day since surgery to check in.  

It has been an absolute godsend to have my family here for the past several days.  They were a HUGE help.   I'm blessed to have such wonderful parents and sister.  They headed back to NC yesterday and I miss them already!

We've got a break from medical appointments for the next week and a half.  Next up is my post-op appointment on Sept. 19 and Hubby's meeting at the Vanderbilt Diabetes center on Sept 21.  Then, before we know it, it'll be time to start another round of IVF.  So, we're going to take advantage of this short lull by being lazy bums at every chance we get.  I foresee lots of movie nights and Sunday afternoons spent in pajamas watching football.  You wouldn't believe how excited I am.  Sometimes, it's the little moments...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cleared the Hurdle

I went in for a hysteroscopy and D&C this morning and am happy to report that everything went flawlessly.  Praise God!  The surgery was short...only 45 minutes.  When I woke up in post-op, I received before & after pics from the procedure, showing that the polyps were 100% gone.  We now have our "clean slate" to begin another round of IVF whenever we feel ready.  

We were back home around 10 a.m. and I've been lounging in bed since then.  Thankfully, I'm feeling pretty good -- just a little sore and crampy.  There's nothing left to do now but rest.  I'm scheduled for a post-op appointment on Sept. 19.  So, prayers are going up now that the visit will be positive and uneventful. 

We're looking forward to my parents and sister coming to visit from NC on Friday.  With all of the madness in our lives over the past month, coupled with this out-of-the-blue surgery, they were so sweet to offer to come and help out for a few days.  They've even been dog-sitting our spoiled rotten dog, Piggy.  We've really missed the little guy and will be glad to have our family of 3 back together.  

I can't say thank you enough for all of the messages, calls and prayers.  I'm blessed beyond measure to have such wonderful family & friends!