Five lessons : Finding your voice and speaking up for yourself, part one

Its been three months after the IVF retrieval. I’ve been in Lionness mode over the last three months where I decided to take the whole process in my hands and take control of the uncertainty and lack of predictability. This is where its crazy making, as the process of fertility is a stop….start….stop….start….and wait…..and then go…..It is the constant unknowns that I’ve found to be the hardest part. Here I try to attempt to take back some of the unknown for my sanity and mental health.  

Sometimes you need to take LIFE by the balls and into your own hands

LESSON ONE: Have confidence

Don't take the first test results as fact, test and then test again.

Incident One:

Post IVF and when we got the results from the genetic testing  we were all set to do the transfer cycle but….

In January, when I went to the post IVF follow-up appointment with Dr. B. To discuss next steps, we mapped out when the transfer would happen and it looked like mid-February. The same day, I went and got blood work done. In the afternoon, I got a message from ‘The Clinic’ that my thyroid was high. I was asked to come back after two weeks and re-test.

This test result of a high thyroid set me into a tail spin. This was actually the first time I actually got upset about a result and decided to take this result into my own hands as I didn’t agree with it. I have been told all my life that with the thyroid you don’t mess around. It sounded like, The Clinic just wanted me to take pills. I was not about to take pills to mask a thyroid issue especially since reading the book and going to White Lotus Naturopaths I realized that a high thyroid is actually part of the PCOS diagnosis.

Dr. B referred me to another doctor within the clinic (Dr. S.) to treat me for thyroid the clinic’s answer was: medicate.

LESSON TWO: Stop viewing yourself as a victim

Investigate all possible avenues. You are your own best friend and advocate

I book an appointment with White Lotus Naturopaths to get more information about thyroid and figure out a natural way of treating a thyroid problem, still convinced at the time that there is a problem.

White Lotus spends almost three hours with me going over everything part of my health. Turns out, if I wasn’t trying to get pregnant, nobody would have blinked about a thyroid level of 5. A women trying to get pregnant should have a thyroid of 2.5-3, but a thyroid of 5 is actually normal. Cause of increase of thyroid could be stress and illness.

LESSON THREE: Be assertive

Find your voice. Speak up for yourself.

A month and half later (mid February). The thyroid problem was resolved and it showed that I actually don’t have a thyroid issue. I insisted that I’m shown 100% proof that there is a problem. If in doubt, test and then test again.

The problem revolved around The Clinic and the other doctor, Dr. S, who when I went to see didn’t look at my results from my  blood work because if she had, then it would have shown that there was no problem. Read that again, she didn’t look at my results and continued to tell me I have a thyroid issue. I spoke up for my body and said that I’m not taking any medication for my thyroid unless proven otherwise. I also said they need to test all possible avenues and take into account that when the thyroid was tested a) I had just finished taking a shit load of hormones b) I was sick when my blood was drawn and c) perhaps it was just a blip in my body and it was trying to self regulate.

I needed to advocate for myself and FIND MY VOICE letting them know what I wanted and what I need. I needed to get off the hamster wheel and have someone think outside of the protocol box.

The negative result of this delay was we lost the funding from the government for the transfer because The Clinic had used up all the funds on other patients (due to delays). The next time the funds were going to available were going to be in two months, and there was uncertainty about if we were going to get it. I also lost trust in the system of The Clinic.

The positive result was my medical leave got extended.

LESSON FOUR: bring in positive people into your life

Create meaningful relationships with people who can help your cause

Instead of waiting around for the funds we decide to do a natural cycle without any drugs or interventions during the monitoring part where they draw your blood and do an ultra sound telling you your hormone levels and how your eggs are growing. The problem was that I was taking myself outside of the “natural cycle” protocol box which dictates that when someone is doing a natural cycle, the get no medications. I wanted to get drugs (a trigger shot) to make sure I ovulate and as well use internal progesterone supplementation.

Once you are on spinning on the wheel and protocol box of “Natural Cycle”, then its expected that you keep in that box. There are numerous implications because of this, including how differently The Clinic needs to bill the health care system for an Ultra Sound and a blood test.

After being monitored for three weeks, on Feb. 24 while at The Clinic it was looking like we had *ONE follicle that was mature enough and I may ovulate. Nobody knows for sure if I ovulate on my own.

Head Nurse T calls us into the room for next steps. I only really want to see her at The Clinic because from all the nurses she is the only one that has some pull and can actually make decisions on her own without simply following doctors orders.

Husband is with me. Nurse T asks us what we want to do. I asked if we could do an IUI, (wash the sperm and insert) she says no, because “the ultrasound and blood tests would have had to been billed differently to the government”. I say, “I want to do the trigger shot”, but Nurse T. shakes her head and says that the doctor doesn’t agree BECAUSE we are doing a natural cycle and its doesn’t follow protocol.

WHAT?

Exasberated, we look at Nurse T. and I say to her, “can we think about what is best for us? Can we think outside of the protocol box? Can we increase the chances of this working this time around. Honestly would like to graduate from this process”.

Nurse T nods, looks at me and says, “OK, let’s do the trigger shot, but I’m going to get into trouble”. Come back in three days from now and over the next four days have “lots of sex”. She walks out of the room and gets me the trigger shot.

She is a beautiful positive person. She has been at this for years. She has seen so many people and I’m so grateful that she was willing to stick her neck out and do what was best for us.

Thanks to her, we are now waiting the two-week waiting period to see if I am pregnant.

LESSON FIVE: Be grateful

Instead of getting stuck in your story, find out the other perspective

At one point, I was angry at another nurse for just following instructions and not thinking about what is best for me. What one nurse told me…..

I have to follow what the doctor says otherwise I get in trouble. I am glad that you stood up and said exactly what you wanted the day you didn’t take those pills.  

I’m grateful that the nurses really do try their best. That all that they can really do. They really are the ones that run the whole process. They are the ones that make the biggest impact and make the biggest connections with patients.

They are also the ones with the least say.

Written Feb. 26, 2017.


*My follicle size was 2.1 – if its >2.6 its considered too big and then the cycle is over. A follicle (egg) grows about 0.2 size in a day.

 

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