Carry Me Up This Mountain

This journey drags on and on…to the point that I no longer can envision the destination.  I only see the next mountain and plan my steps to carry myself up that mountain.  The cycles pile up…I’m thinking 60 or so now…the IUIs fail…  My cycle was stable for 3 years, and now it’s gone haywire again.

At least the hypochondriac in me has a name for the problem.  When I was able to sit down across from my doctor and tell him that I’d had three cycles under 20 days in the last two months, he was able to tell me what was happening.  I wasn’t ovulating.  Well, that made complete sense.  And I was so thankful.  Thankful to have an answer and not just wondering and fear at what could cause so much bleeding.  Seriously, WebMD will tell you that it’s about 10 terrifyingly worse things than anovulation.

I believe this (anovulation) is what was happening to me in college…and I weighed about the same then that I do now.  So I’m not sure if my weight is a factor or not…I was so young…

But the doctor is confident that this and all the other problems can be solved with IVF/ICSI.  So I guess that’s the next mountain.  IVF.  I called the pharmacy and clinic to find the prices and I’ve come up with a number: $14,000.  It seems like a crazy gamble.  But that is a normal price for a car…would I rather have a car than a baby?

I’m thinking about telling more people about our problems so that I can crowdfund a bit.   I’m not sure if it’s worth it or not.  It’s such a risk.  What do you think?  The number seems unreal…which is maybe why I’m not feeling too much anxiety.  IVF is my next mountain, and I have to get over it before I can move on with my life…whatever comes after.  So I’m praying that God will guard my heart and mind as I climb to find whatever views are waiting for me at the top.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Phillipians 4:6-7

I’m Hoping for Parasites

If I google “eosinophilia” one more time–I think I might break the internet.  For weeks I have been ill with a mysterious illness that has sent me to the ER, three doctors, and one CAT Scan technician.  The medical terms probably won’t mean much to you, but here is what my google search history reads:

“femara side-effects”, “colestid side-effects”, “severe stomach cramping”, “gall bladder symptoms”, “GI cocktail”, “acid reflux and stomach pressure”, “gallstones”, “biliary colic”, “paleo and gallbladder disease”, “acute cholecystitis”, “epigastric pain”, “dicyclomine”, “high fat diet”, “giardia symptoms”, “celiac disease”, “hiatal hernia”, “IBS diagnosis”, “gastritis”, “bacteria in urine”, “squamous epi cells”, “creatinine”, “alkaline phosphotase”, “urine ph levels”, “bladder cancer”, “autoimmune disorders”, “polymyalgia rheumatica symptoms”, “ankylosing spondylitis”, “cushing’s syndrome”, “adrenal fatigue”, “hashimoto’s syndrome”, “helminths”, “hepatitis C”, “esophageal varices”, “kidney disease”, “low osmolality”, “liver disease, “eosinophilia”, “GGT test”, “ascites”, “liver damage and dietary supplements”, “autoimmune hepatitis”, and on and on and on…

I hope you didn’t read all those terms…to put it succinctly I’ve given myself a mini-medical education while laying in bed for the past 9 days.  Too fatigued to do anything other than watch about 20 Bollywood musicals and google test results on my phone, It has been hard to think of much else.  The abdominal pain never really goes away, and sometimes I wake in the night in terrible pain.  Almost none of my 15 or so tests thus far has given any useful data.  All I know is that my BUN/Creatinine Ratio is a bit low, I briefly had an elevated Alkaline Phosphatase test that went back down to the very tip of the regular range, and a sky-high Eosinophil count (1785 absolute count per microliter) that is impossible to ignore and must be the clue to my illness.  The CAT scan without contrast showed nothing.

So–here are the diagnoses that seem most probable to me after my monumentally inadequate medical self-education:  I have PARASITES or…I have some kind of autoimmune disease.  I’m not terribly happy about either diagnosis–although presumably I could be rid of parasites and not an autoimmune disease, so I guess I’m hoping for PARASITES.

There’s a sentence I’d never thought I would hear myself say.  I’M HOPING FOR PARASITES.  The sad thing is that an autoimmune disease would actually explain my diminished ovarian reserve–and maybe if treated I could slow down the decline of my ovarian reserve?  Or maybe it will just make my RE say that I can only become pregnant through IVF.  Or worse–surrogacy.  I don’t know what I would do.

Originally I thought the symptoms were pregnancy symptoms–in my first two week wait of my first IUI cycle, pregnancy symptoms were something I welcomed:  nausea, diarrhea, insomnia…it turns out that those things can be progesterone side effects.  And supposedly I had loads of progesterone from multiple follicles, so yay!  But now I’m beginning to wonder…am I actually allergic to progesterone?  If I’m allergic to progesterone, my own self-made progesterone, how could I ever hope to be pregnant?

I’m trying not to think about it too much.  After about a dozen tests my GP gave up on me and said I had to talk to a specialist, who I won’t see until Tuesday.  I’m praying for answers.  I just need to know what’s wrong so I can start to fix it…however I can.

“And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them.  And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea.  He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw him and were terrified.  But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I.  Do not be afraid.”  And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded”  Mark 6:48-51

God, I don’t know what time it is, but I really hope it’s the fourth watch by now.  I need you in this boat with me.  Jesus, please come sit in my boat.  I’m tired.  I’m sick.  I’m losing hope.  Thank you for taking care of me.  Thank you for my multiplicity of great test results that prove that there are at least some things that aren’t wrong with me.  Please give me the energy to resume my life with this pain–or without pain if it pleases you.  Whatever you do, just please come and sit in my boat.