10.20.2006

Let's play Stump The Doctor, shall we?

First off, I just want to point out one of the reasons I love Kristin so much:

Driving to the appointment, I was just getting going through a light when I heard a horn honking -- I looked and behind me (going in the opposite direction) a car had abruptly slammed on its brakes, nearly causing a collision and getting honked at in the process. I couldn't see what had caused the car to stop so suddenly.

Kristin was late to the appointment. It wasn't a problem, because they were running late. But she came in a bit flustered with her lateness. Turns out she had been driving up the same street that I had, and had seen 2 puppies playing in the traffic (obviously they're what caused the little scene I had witnessed, though I hadn't seen the puppies) so she pulled over, coaxed the puppies to her, and went looking for the house they must have come from. One house had a doggie door and the puppies seemed most excited at that house, so Kristin rang the doorbell. No answer. Still, she had to get to the appointment, so she locked the dogs securely behind the gate. I love that she took the time to gather the puppies up and make sure they were safe before continuing on. We've rescued our fair share of dogs, but she was running late to an appointment that was important to both of us, and still she helped them. I love her.

Anyway, after waiting and waiting, the nerdliest doctor came in. Turns out all the blind cootchie snortcher grooming was for naught. I never had to bare my beaver. I guess that gives all the bald patches time to grow back in.

After going over my medical history, dates and times and amounts, feelings and pee sticks and mucus, we talked briefly about our donor. No judgment there (thank goodness!) he just wanted to make sure that we had a contract and were protecting ourselves. And then he started deliberating. Brought up PCOS and then dismissed it -- not only do I not have the major symptoms, but clomid did nothing to help me. I'm really glad that I had that ultrasound now, because I was able to tell him what my ovaries were doing (um, nothing -- not dead, but not far from it) on the large dose of Clomid. Then we talked about too much estrogen, not enough progesterone. Could be a luteal phase defect. But that would imply that I was ovulating at least. Then he said the dreaded words. The words I've heard whispering in my little doomsday brain: Premature Ovarian Failure.

Seems that one of the most puzzling things about my cycles is the fact that they are rhythmic. I expect a period every month -- just they're always really, really close together. He said that a woman's cycles will sometimes do that as the ovaries begin failing. So, though he told me that he doesn't expect POF to be the case, he's testing for it first, just to get it out of the way.

I, of course, stopped really listening to him for a while after he said POF. All I heard was "you, my dear, are dysfunctional. All out of eggs. Too bad for you, you'll never get pregnant. YOU'LL NEVER GET PREGNANT. YOU'LL NEVER GET PREGNANT. YOU'LL NEVER GET PREGNANT YOU DYSFUNCTIONAL HALF-WOMAN YOU!!!!!"

Yeah, ahem, then I had to snap myself out of it and try to pay attention to what he was saying. Kristin would probably like me to point out that she heard the doctor say that he didn't really think POF was a real possibility, and that indeed it was a long shot. So, maybe you should take my reaction with an ocean of salt. AN OCEAN OF SALT CREATED BY MY TEARS.

He's also going to check me for elevated levels of prolactin. This is Kristin's favorite theory. Because, though I never lactated, my breasts did get tender and swollen after Julia was born, and I do periodically (though not necessarily with my period) get sore breasts. Of course, my question is: don't women with high levels of prolactin cease menstruating? All my conversations with Doctor Google this afternoon have born this assumption up -- most women with elevated levels of prolactin have fewer periods, not greater. Still, it seems the easier problem to fix UNLESS IT HAPPENS TO BE CAUSED BY A BRAIN TUMOR, that is.

This is a quote from Dr. Nerdly:

We see a lot of dysfunctional cycles around here, but yours is atypical even of the range of dysfunction that we normally encounter at this clinic.

My cycles are atypical even for an infertility clinic. No diagnosis springs to mind: super short cycles, minimal response to clomid. So. I'm having blood drawn tonight. Blood drawn early Monday morning, and blood drawn on CD3 whenever that is. I have another appointment on November 4th to discuss the results of the batteries of blood tests.

The good news is that when I told him how crazy I was on the clomid, he told me that I would never have to take it again. THANK THE GOOD LORD ABOVE. Although I would. I would take it if that's what it takes.

I like this guy. Even though my symptoms are atypical, I never got the feeling that he was considering that maybe I was mistaken or lying. I never got strangeness about our being lesbians. I never got judgment about our using a known donor -- doing fresh at home. I felt listened to, I felt consulted, I never felt condescended to or patronized. I feel like he feels that I have brains enough to participate in my diagnosis. This makes me happy. This makes me very happy.

Now if only he can figure out what's wrong. And if only what's wrong turns out to be fixable.

Posted by Trista @ 2:41 PM

Read or Post a Comment

My partner was diagnosed with a microprolactinoma after finding out her level of prolactin was elevated and getting an MRI. She started taking medicine and her periods returned to normal. The tumor has to be watched but it seems this kind of thing is not uncommon. I am SO glad you found a doc who sounds so awesome!

southwesterngemini from RC

Posted by Anonymous Barbara @ 4:22 PM #
 

Barbara,
what were your partner's periods like? Were they really close together, or did they spread far out and threaten to disappear entirely?

I'm glad her cycles returned to normal and that it seems to be under control.

Posted by Blogger Trista @ 4:37 PM #
 

Um, Your follow up appt. might need to be changed, dear....

Saturday, Novemeber 4th?

I hope he was talking out of his ass for the cycle drama - I think they like to make things sound horrid, so that when you DO get knocked up, they can label themselves a miracle worker....

Posted by Blogger Shelli @ 6:42 PM #
 

ooops! I meant November 2nd. Thursday...

Posted by Blogger Trista @ 7:50 PM #
 

I can't believe the doctor said "yours is atypical even of the range of dysfunction that we normally encounter at this clinic." OMG! Let's add that to "things doctors should not say to their patients."

I'm glad you liked him overall and you're hopefully on your way to a diagnosis. Hopefully something easy to fix. Fingers crossed.

Posted by Blogger Co @ 6:06 AM #
 

hmmm. It sounds like your RE is goooood & invested in you. I hear of so many that just go through the motions.
& in some odd way there is almost a comfort that he has honed in on just how "atypical" your cycles are. Or maybe that is just me. But I always seem to need to be validated that things are as nutty as I think they are.

Hope the bloodwork shows something so obvious & treatable.
xo

Posted by Blogger Calliope @ 8:05 AM #
 

I agree with Cali that his saying that, while insensitive, is good. I would be annoyed if he just told you, "Oh, it takes time, have some more Clomid, come back if it doesn't work in 3 months." Or something. I like to be taken seriously right off the bat and to have the Big Problems ruled out. I think this is really good.

Posted by Anonymous bri @ 10:43 AM #
 

Sounds like doctor decent is a good guy, serious about helping you, and not is not being a condecending asshole. I'm hoping what's wrong turns out to be fixable too.

Posted by Blogger J @ 4:16 PM #
 

I agree with Bri and Cali--at least he has an AWARENESS of your cycles. My first RE just went through the motions and never had much interest in me as a patient. I was just another...cootchie snatcher...and he never took the time to analyze my individual situation. Sounds like this guy is much better. I hope you get results and solutions soon!

Posted by Blogger hd @ 10:12 AM #
 

I am so so so happy you felt accepted and listened to. I would be happy with nerdy but knowledgable, respectful but too blunt. Good RE qualities. S just went to an accupuncturist who can order most of those same tests, and works with women with these issues often. Maybe something like that is worth considering when you know more. I am so happy that you have a proactive doc on your side.

Posted by Blogger whatthef*ck @ 11:25 PM #
 

Sorry to get back to you so late. Her cycles spread out and threaten to disappear. She's back on schedule and since my insems haven't worked she may be starting the TTC process herself.

I hope you figure it out, I know how frustrating it is, believe that. I've been told I have PCOS, been told I don't have PCOS, back and forth, back and forth. I am so glad I tracked my cycles as I think I have it figured out, my left ovary is faulty. But we aren't going to try to insem until Feb. so hopefully we will find out if my theory is right soon enough, as I hope you figure out what is going on with you.

Southwesterngemini from RC

Posted by Anonymous Barbara @ 9:31 AM #
 
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