Saturday, 31 January 2009

How desperate would you need to be?

There is a free paper in London that includes a 'Once seen column' where people who believe in love at first sight can try and track down the object of their desire.

I always read them in the hope that one day I'll get a massive ego boost upon seeing something along the lines of:

To the stunning red-head who was crying outside the fertility clinic because you can't have a baby.
I'll give you one!
Call me

Yesterday I saw this, which made me laugh:

Westminster Tube, Wednesday, 17.30.
I was the tall guy with dark hair wearing jeans, black Prada shoes, stripy scarf, leather jacket, carrying a Gucci bag.
You, had brown hair and a checked coat.
Fancy a drink?

Hmm - fancy a self obsessed lover?


Wednesday, 28 January 2009

101 Damnations

Despite the miserable title I'm actually feeling pretty up and chipper today.

But it is my one hundred and first post, and coincidentally, it is 101 days since I last had a period. Spooky eh? And you know me I can't resist a good (bad, or indifferent) pun.

To mix my one-oh-one cultural references I am now am going to go all nineteen eighty-four on your arses and confine a whole lot of miserable thoughts, memories and frustrations into my own Room 101 so that for the next six months I can get on with living.

These are things that are totally and utterly out of my control. There is nothing I can do to change them so there is absolutely no point in obsessing, worrying or even thinking about them:
  • The fear that the coil won't work and interuterine insemination (IUI) will be delayed again - something to think about in six months not for six months
  • Trying to second guess, if IUI goes to plan, my 'not-even-a-twinkle-in-my-eye's' baby's birthday
  • Doing the sum: 3 months of provera plus 6 months of the coil equals 9 months. It is just a period of time and nothing more significant than that
  • Jealousy at pregnancy announcements. They happen. They will continue to happen. This isn't the place to rant about them
  • The fact that the pound is currently imploding and is worth the equivalent of a old shekel. (Nothing to do with fertility issues but I have a broad spectrum of worries that can happily be shoved in the same darken room and forgotten about).



Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Same old, same old

Same old womb lining that is.

I got a call with the biopsy results at lunchtime and they showed no change. Still the Endometrial hyperplasia, still with mild atypia (essentially atypical cells which are pre-cancerous but NOT cancer).

Which isn't really surprising considering it clearly hasn't come out of any orifice that I've been checking and I doubt it is the sort of thing that can be reabsorbed.

So good news is that it hasn't got any worse.

I had a Doctors appointment today anyway, and the results came a couple of hours before and here is the plan.

Tomorrow I get a progesterone coil fitted for 6 months. Yes, for the uninitiated that is birth control.

Once that has been removed along with, hopefully, the gunk that is my womb lining then I will start Interuterine Insemination around July time.

Where have you heard this before? Maybe in August when I thought it would happen in October or when I was hanging on for the February appointment.

You'll excuse me if I don't get all over excited again.

The husband is on a real high, "It's fucking brilliant you don't have cancer." Yeah, I guess it is. But after the initial shock I never really thought I did. Maybe because I just couldn't get my head round the idea.

I just feel deflated, like all the energy has been sucked out of me, I have lots of thoughts and questions spinning round my head and no answers.
  • It isn't even February and I already know there is no way that I will have a kid in 2009.
  • 5mg of progesterone made me feel nauseous, what will a progesterone coil do?
  • My friend who has just announced her pregnancy will have had a child before I can even start to try again
  • Who knew I was so prophetic when I named this blog?



Thursday, 22 January 2009

No news...

Is good news?

What was I thinking? When the Doctor said the results of the biopsy would take a week I thought that he meant they would take seven days.

I know, I know.

Idiot.

What he apparently meant was they would take an indefinable length of time but don't hold my breath.

The annoying, optimistic, little elf that likes to tap dance on my serotonin releaser is saying, ‘Hey if it had been serious they would have got back to you immediately’, whilst the troll that lurks in my guts is groaning, ‘Look. If they had the results, good or bad, they would have let the doctor know they just haven’t got round to testing it so don’t imagine that a delay signifies anything positive’.

So far the troll has a stronger track record than the elf.

****
Update: Just to clarify. I called the nurses yesterday (just before I wrote this post) and they said they hadn't got the results and to call them back this morning (Friday) to see if there were in yet. I duly have called (and as ever left an answer phone message) and am waiting for them to get back to me (Come on, Eunice, you can do it!).

****
Up-Update: The nurses have just called. They say my Doctor told them he has been chasing for the results and calling everyday and as soon as he hears he'll call me. (Now, of course, I'm thinking 'why is he so concerned he is chasing every day - what's wrong'. Oh dear.).


Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Moon, the dog: Off topic

Today is exactly a year since we bought the dog home. It is also his fifth birthday. What an auspicious day, I think some American King is also being coronated today, or something.


Ahhh.

So excuse me if I do a little off topic post and give you the reasons why the dog is bloody brilliant. (Because I need things to cheer me up and distract me for a few more days until I get the results of the biopsy).

He loves going out for a walk with either of me or the husband. But if we both take him out, Wow. He insists on walking between us, his pack. Sniffing me then the husband.

"Male human, check, female human, present. Oooh! That new dog on the block has taken a piss must a have a sniffter of that. Brilliant where was I? Ah yes, sniff, female human, phew still here, wait a minute where is male ... yup just there"

He is a simple soul.

Which means when I take him out by himself he is always on the look out for the husband. Although greyhounds are, by breed, sight hounds he clearly needs specs. I find myself being dragged towards every tallish bloke with sorta brown messy hair wearing jeans and trainers. Its not all bad, the dog and I have similar taste, if the husband and I ever split up I'm taking the dog out on the pull.

And I'll tell you what the dog clearly suits me. Whenever I take him out for a walk I hear gasps of "Ah! she's beautiful" and "Gorgeous". A cynic (realist) might imagine that was because the dog is so elegant and dainty that everyone assumes he is a she. I choose to believe that he matches my eyes or something, and is the ultimate accessory to make me look good.

He is a well adjusted soul, he knows his limits. He isn't allowed in the kitchen and though it doesn't have a door he respects that limit even when we aren't in the house (to the best of our knowledge). He doesn't get on the bed, though obviously the sofa has been claimed. He understands his place in the pecking order (the bottom). I just hope that when (yes, back on 'when' not 'if'), when we have kids we set as clear boundaries for them.

In case this post didn't make it very apparent I love the dog, and am very proud of the dog. If you go here you can see his lineage. And look here he is winning a race.

video

So I bet you are wondering what I've bought him for his birthday.




Er ... nothing he's a dog - he doesn't have a clue what day it is.


Monday, 19 January 2009

Itemised

Item - a few bits and bobs to share but nothing worth its own post. This posts format is an homage to another blogger who I always enjoy reading. Remember copying is the highest form of praise or something. Points for anyone who can guess who I am parodying.

Item - still no bloody period - is that tautology?

Item - spent the weekend away with one of my closest friends we had a spa (no pregnants allowed in the sauna - bliss), massage and lots of food.

Item - fell off the wagon at the weekend (did I mention we got a free glass of champagne at the spa and refusing free booze goes against every fibre of my being), also after last week I figured a) I could do with a drink and b) looks like my body isn't going to become a vessel any time soon so the odd unit of alcohol wouldn't do any harm. (I didn't over indulge as at all so it was a considered step off the wagon rather than a spectacular fall complete with flailing arms and random drinking injuries).

Item - was feeling pretty please with myself for not stressing to much about the results of the biopsy (when should come on or around Thursday) - cocky one might say

Item - then I had a conversation with a work colleague who is due in April she clearly felt she had spent too long talking about herself and impending motherhood so asked me the question, "So are you going to have children". I replied "I don't know"

Item - it hit me that the answer wasn't a lie or half-truth. For the first time since, well ever, I am starting to doubt whether I will actually be able to conceive. I really believed that a few drugs would sort me out. But now feel like I genuinely don't know if I will have children.

Item - I got an email this afternoon entitled "The reasons [my girlfriend] wasn't drinking at Christmas". Opened to see 12 week scan picture (like I couldn't guess that was coming) and for the guys, just in case they didn't get it, "we're having a baby."

Item - actually felt a physical jolt of pain. But managed to hold it together for a quick one-sentence congratulatory response.

Item - he had so nearly got it right too. But just not my work email. Please.

Item - am so touched by the personal emails I have had from both my real life friends and those from the internet offering me support. Cheers guys.


Thursday, 15 January 2009

It doesn't scan well

The Doctor doing the 3D scan was like an old friend, this is the third time he has had a shufty around my privates - which is more times than a couple of my previous sexual partners whose names currently escape me.

He gave a slightly different slant than the French Doctor did when she went through the results of the last biopsy. He told me the gunk in my womb is Endometrial hyperplasia with mild atypia. You know what that is right?

When the French Doc told me what I had back in September I was in such a state I didn't get the full term. She described it as something that might become cancerous but probably not, and not really to worry about it, the way she told it it was one of those things that was highly unlikely - like the scare stories from school that if you swallow chewing gum you'll get cancer.

Today's Doctor was much more direct.

He told me that normally for someone who has had this diagnosis they would do a hysterectomy straight away. But, as I want to have a baby they won't do that just now. But they will, in his words, "keep a very close eye on me." Really? Does that mean that you will call me for a change rather than me constantly pushing for call-backs and answers?

And all this was just from looking at my notes, before he actually dove in for the close up.

Today's scan showed that my womb lining is still very thick (er ... yeah that's because I haven't had a period for three months). As he poked around he looked increasingly worried and decided to do a biopsy.

He scraped a couple of catheters full of gunk out. Yes, it was as painful as it sounds.

As he decanted it into the container to be sent away to be tested he asked the nurse to make sure it was marked as urgent. He reiterated this point twice more as she was packaging it up, which didn't do a lot to allay my fears.

I should get the results back in a week, or so. He said he'd call me, but I have a feeling I might be calling them.

Suddenly this isn't just about having a baby. This is about not having cancer.

So let this be a lesson to you to persist. If things don't seem to be going the way they should don't just wait. Ring, ring and keep ringing until you speak to your own personal Eunice. (By the way loving the love she is getting through the comments, I almost want to forward her the details of this blog so she reaps the rewards but then I wouldn't be able to bitch about her colleagues with such gay abandon).

******

And if you are wondering why I don't sound as panicked and scared as I could then it is down to my fantastic support system. I'd told the husband not to bother coming to the hospital with me, I thought it would just be a routine peer around my womb, however luckily he works not too far from the hospital so as soon as I got out he came and found me and was brilliant. I also got in touch with the girls as soon as I got back into the office this morning and within a couple of hours I received countless links and information from my unpaid but dedicated team of researchers.

So for those who have found this post because you did a search for Endometrial hyperplasia here are some of the most informative pages we have found.

This is a good, clear, summary from Cancer Research

And an encouraging Q&A from Yahoo Answers

If anyone reading this has had a similar diagnosis or knows any more about it I would be eternally grateful if you'd leave me a comment or email me.


Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Hanging on the telephone


I've been speaking to answerphones a lot recently.

I called the clinical nurses and left a message on the first day of my 'period' (fool) on the 5 of Jan.

I called the clinical nurses and left a message the following day to say I was wrong it wasn't a period after all. I felt like a moron.

I called the clinical nurses this Monday (the 12th) a left a message to say: I just wanted to check that there wasn't anything I could do about the non-appearance of my period, especially as I have an appointment scheduled for the 27 of Jan to look at the results of my scan, and I was worried I wouldn't have had a scan by then, and I don't want to have more delays, and could someone please possibly call me.

I'm not very articulate when speaking to answer-phones. I talk too much, babbling on and then apologising for the aforementioned babble.

I know they have banned smoking in UK workplaces but I imagine the answerphone on loudspeaker playing to a staff room of nurses who are drawing on fags and pissing themselves at the increasingly desparate tones of the infertiles who call in.

Today, just for shits and giggles I called a different number to get through to a different set of nurses. And that was when I spoke to Eunice.

Yes, a person.

I think I might love Eunice.

She seemed to care. She asked pertinent questions. She said she'd call me back. She did call me back.

I have a scan booked in for tomorrow morning to see just what is going on in bermuda triangle I call my womb.

Sometimes, just sometimes, my faith in the National Health Service is well and truly restored.


Tuesday, 13 January 2009

An Open Email to my Period

Dear Period

Sorry. I know you are pissed off that I have been hanging out with Vera and haven't let you come out for ages. Please don't take it personally I haven't seen her for two weeks now, it is you I want.

I know this is pay back. Contrary to popular belief I'm not stupid.

I see your game. I know you are waiting for me to get an attack of the Liz Hurley's and start donning white jeans (with out knickers of course - can't go having a visible pantie line).

I appreciate you want to see me skipping gaily out of the house without a tampon or sanitary towel anywhere about my person before you put in an appearance.

It is clear you are rubbing your hands with glee at the prospect of me finding myself in a meeting where I have no opportunity to leave the room, before you allow me to feel a heart-stopping drip, drip, trickle in my nether regions.

But get over it, I've said I'm sorry. Don't make me come in there and drag you out myself (my arms aren't that long).

Hope to see you soon.

Womb for Improvement

P.S. If it is any consolation you ARE driving me crazy, look you've got me writing correspondence to my menstrual flow. Bloody bitch.



Sunday, 11 January 2009

It is Greek to me

Today class, I am going to share with you the benefits of a Classical Education.

The word hysterical comes from the ancient Greek word hysterikos. Derived from the word Hystera meaning uterus or womb. It is from this that we also get the term Hysterectomy, Hyteroscopy and, of course, hystery commonly now spelt: history - which translates as the story of mankind that are of women's womb's born*.

The term is believed to have been coined by the ancient Greek doctor Hippocrates whose name gives us both the Hippocratic Oath taken by Doctors - who promises to help those in a state of need to the best of their ability. Many readers who have had to grapple with the health system in whatever country they inhabit will have witnessed the takers of this oath only administering to those with deep pockets and may well have their own theories as to how the word hypocrite came about.

The Ancients believed that we women were governed by the workings of our uterus, and our moods were affected by the health of this organ. The idea was women could be driven to an hysterical state by having a disfunctional uterus, by which I mean a state of hysteria rather than an excessively developed sense of humour.

Regular sex and regular periods were seen as a sure-fire ways to ensure balanced mental health for women. In this respect their advice differs little to that given by women whose mental health is teetering on the edge of sanity by virtue of their inability to conceive.

The Greeks had a number of controversial ways of bringing on a period. To the left you can see a Athenian style red-figure vase painting illustrating one woman attempting to bring on a period, or as it is colloquially known 'bleeding from the hairy axe wound'. Please note this is a highly specialist procedure and should not be attempted by amateurs.

Nowadays thanks to the marvels of modern science we use more targeted procedures. For example, prescribing a drug called provera. The idea being that once the course of drugs has finished a period will shortly ensure. However, speaking from personal experience this method is not necessarily effective, I am currently on day 11 of the wait for my period to start.

In the past I use to believe that the idea of a woman's mood being controlled by her uterus was both ignorant and sexist. However, recently I have had to concede that there may indeed be some truth in the hypothesis (another term derived from the same stem word originally meaning 'an idea that is born from the womb'*). It is indeed true that over the past two years some of my lowest moments have indeed come about as a result of my womb not behaving itself. And even today I have noticed my behaviour verging on the hysterical as I nip to the loo every 3 minutes just to check that my period still hasn't arrived.

Turns out the Greeks might have been on to something.

* Don't believe everything you read on the internet kids, only half of these are true.


Thursday, 8 January 2009

A song and dance


I'm use to not having periods.

I spent the first 13 years of my life not having periods.

Even once they started they were sporadic, but I went on the pill relatively early to manage a bad complexion (which prevented me from getting any of the other action that the pill necessitate).

When I stopped the pill, about eight years ago* the erratic periods recommenced. I think the longest I have gone without one is 6 months. More recently, since I have been trying to get pregnant I’ve had a couple of 90ish day stretches.

I'm currently on day 81, so not so bad you'd think.

Those of you new to this blog might even think this was a good sign. 'The girl wants to get pregnant, she hasn't had a period for almost three months. Take a test!'

No, I’ve just stopped Provera after a solid 3 months of pill popping and am waiting on a period so I can get a scan, to see whether it has thinned my womb lining.

And God it is frustrating! At least when it was just my body refusing to give blood I could alternate between ovulation test and pregnancy tests hoping to have some kind of positive reaction from one of the stick I was weeing on.

However, now I am in limbo.

The past few days have seen me constantly googling 'How long does it take to get you period after finishing provera?' and the answer seems to be between 4 to 14 days. I'm on day 8.
I know I should be more patient but, dammit, there is a whole domino effect of treatment waiting on this period.

(To the tune of There was an old Lady who swallowed a fly - penultimate verse).

I am a young lady who swallowed provera
to get a period, d'ya hear yeah?
I swallowed provera

I need my period to get a scan
I need a scan to check my womb's clear
It needs to be clear to take some drugs
I need the drugs to help me ovulate
I need to ovulate to have IUI

I don't know wwwhhhhyyyy,
I cannot conceive
Perhaps I'll bleed.

Catchy huh? I've been singing all day.

* I stopped taking the pill because I was concerned about having been on it for so long - we have 'only' been trying to conceive for just over 2 years.


Monday, 5 January 2009

Gone, but not forgotten

What do the following things have in common?

China's Liu Xiang in the first round of the men's 110m hurdles at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

King Edward VIII of England.

TaB Clear drink.

My period.

Anyone? Anyone? You at the back?

Yes.

False starts.

All of the above arrived with a massive fanfare only to disappear. I certainly rolled out the red carpet for this, my first period in months (well the white pad, expecting it to become red of its own volition - was that too graphic?).

And today? Nothing.

What is going on? Anyone else taken Provera and had this experience?

I feel a bit guilty because the Doc told me to call the nurses on the first day of my period so that they could schedule in a scan. Now I don't know whether to call them and say that it seems to have stopped. Although to be fair they said they'd call me back this afternoon and haven't so maybe by the time they get round to getting in touch it will have raised its ugly, big red head once more.


Sunday, 4 January 2009

New year, new me

I actually found deciding on resolutions a bit tricky this year.

As I have mentioned previously, I think I should shift a bit of excess baggage (I mean weight rather than the husband, he is still quite important at this juncture). But I'm not about to make that a New Year's resolution for the simple fact that where would that leave me come 2010? Finished that resolution now I can chub up again? I don't think so. I will try and lose weight but not as a resolution.

Then there is the perennial giving up alcohol. Check. I'm looking at a dry January stretched out in front of me. Four days down, 27 to go. My resolve was somewhat strengthened by the happenings of New Years day. How did the husband put it to his Mum? "She was blowing chunks on the pavement." I resent that, I actually projected over the pavement and puked in the flowerbed beyond. Yup, a 32 year old woman had to get her father-in-law to pull the car over so I could leap out and chunder like a 14 year old. What can I say? I am a classy, classy bird.

But the alcohol abstinence is only for January so that doesn't really count as a year's worth of resolution. (Caveat: of course if by some miracle - or sex - I do get pregnant in January I will continue on the wagon for the remainder of the pregnancy).

So I have a long-term life-style plan and a short term January project.

What are your resolutions? (And have you broken any yet?)

***********

Those of you who have been teetering on a knife’s edge waiting, wondering, even straining, to know whether the Provera has worked. I can now exclusively reveal, my period started about an hour ago.

And so far … its not bad. Not bad at all.

Not much more than a mild stomach ache before hand and no pains just now. But I know my body can be a tricksy little thing so I’m not going to believe I have got off lightly (light, geddit?) until I make it through tomorrow.


Saturday, 3 January 2009

Returned to civilisation

Aright! Um bak fay Dundeeeee whir eh spent Hugminay wi' baw-heid's aald mann an th' mither. It wiz braw!

Fehv dais wi rayks o' scran an no a tapity-tap-tap* in site. A ken wit yer thinkin' - how'd ah riyte that last wee rant? Eh skeduled it wi' majik. Bit eh wiznae abel tae ansir yer comments.

Tha aald folks still dinnae ken about oor no be'an abel tae ha' a wee bairn. Wir wuz gonna tell 'em bit tha' folks arnae the type o' folks tay go nosing aboot owr ain bizniz (eh goot nae pints oan Barren Bingo) an' wi thot if wir brot up tha' subjict it wud sound lik a big announsment. An wir dinnae huv alot tae say.

Bit wun o' meh presunts shows they're still rite keen oan a wee bairn.

Meat Erchay.

Aim no tha type o' lassie wit gangz in fae teddis an' stuff. Tha' bear shud be fae tha kiddies, no me.

Ahv got a rayk o' nyoo yeerz rezulyooshins, bit a'll tell ye thum whun uv loost ma' acsunt.

*********
Hello. I have returned from a sojourn in Dundee where I celebrated the New Year with the husband's parents. I had an enjoyable time.

We spent five days with plenty of food and no computers to distract me. I appreciate you may wonder how I managed to write the last post, well I confess I scheduled it so many apologies for not responding to your comments sooner.

The in-laws still don't know about the problems we have been having trying to conceive. We intended to tell them but my in-laws a very discreet people, who do not interfere (I didn't score anything on Barren Bingo). We were concerned that if we brought up the subject it would sound like a big announcement when really we don't have a lot to say. We don't even know exactly when the interuterine insemination will take place and it might be more stressfull that helpful.

However, despite their tact they was one present that hinted at their underlying desire for a grandchild.

May I introduce you to Archie.

I am not the sort of woman who has a collection of soft toys, no critisim of anyone who does, but it just isn't me as anyone who knows me would appreciate. However I do think this would be a lovely present for our first born, it is entirely feasible that was what was going through their minds too.

I've got a plethora of New Year's resolutions, which I will share with you at a later date.

******

*The husband has just accused me of racism and requested that I make clear than Dundonians are not all blithering idiots, and the use of the phrase tapity-tap-taps to refer to computers is completely of my own making.