Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Ritual and the Emergency Room visit

The Ritual

Friday night I lit the Shabbat candles and said the prayers that thousands of women have said before me. Mr. Jem and I broke the bread and drank together as part of a ritual to recognize the sorrow of losing our embies and asking G-d for hope and for G-d's help when we are feeling so sad, so powerless.

We read how the tribes of Israel were founded not just by patriarchs like Moses and Abraham, but by women like Hannah who faced infertility and who prayed and asked for G-d's help. It brought me comfort to know that I am not alone. Not only do I have all you wonderful women and men on the interweb, but even the Torah/Bible has stories like ours, stories of barren women who cried out in the pain of their loss, who prayed and hoped (and finally got what they wanted - a baby). I'm still waiting for my own happy ending.

The Emergency Room Visit
I'm not yet feeling 100% hopeful, mostly due to this ectopic pregnancy that landed me in the Emergency Room Saturday night. Let me explain.

Saturday I ate normally but was experiencing some pain in my abdomen and an urgent trip to the bathroom in the morning. I felt better in the afternoon and Mr. Jem and I went with a friend on a walk at 4:00 p.m. Half-way (1 hour) through the walk (an easy hike) I started feeling very light headed and dizzy, so much so I had to stop and sit down more than once. I didn't feel hungry, but thought it might help to eat. Food usually makes me feel better.

We went to my favorite Pizzeria. I always order a bowl of soup because the pies take a while to come. It was minestrone and I didn't eat the beans, as I read that eating gassy food was not a good idea on Metho.trexate. Just before the pizza arrived my abdominal pain got really bad. Mr. Jem ran next door and bought me Ginger ale. The pain got so bad that I had to tell Mr. Jem and my friend R that I needed to go home. The pizza arrived, MR Jem and R ate a piece each while we paid the bill and we left. This was around 7:00 p.m. I called the clinic and was connected to the on-call doctor, Dr. Alternative. She asked me a bunch of questions (how sever was the pain, etc.) and said she wanted me to go to the Emergency Room.

At the ER they saw me pretty quickly. I explained what was going on (ectopic pregnancy, Metho.trexate on Wed, being monitored by my RE) to the Intake Nurse, the Doctor, the ER nurse and the nice sonographer. Was only mildly annoyed by the questions like, "When was the date of your last period?" and "When are you due?"

My answers: "Period? Irrelevant. I did IVF and we transferred three embryos on January 7." "Due date? I wish. This is an ectopic pregnancies. My HCG was too low and hasn't been doubling."

Oh, the other thing is they kept referring to Dr. Alternative as "Your OB" - Again, "I wish I had an OB. She's an RE at my fertility clinic."


They drew more blood (and put in an IV line - oww!). Two hours later I learned that my HCG was 350 - double the number (150) from Wednesday, just as Dr. W had said might happen.

Everyone at the ER was great. I especially liked the nurse, a cutey named Max who had a wonderful bedside manner. Oh, except when he tried to insist on putting in a catheter for my u/s. I told him no, I would drink lots of water and it would work. Luckily my argument won. It took about an hour to see get an ultrasound. U/S - via belly and vag - came back clear. Big sigh of relief. No exploding ovaries or tubes. Yay!

The ER doctor called Dr. Alternative with the results. She wanted me to stay for observations, but he said it wasn't necessary. My pain was mostly in the upper abdomen and was most likely a reaction to Metho.trexate. That was my conclusion, too. I am glad that they took the situation seriously, tho. Better safe than sorry.

So they sent me and Mr. Jem home. We got home around 11 p.m. Luckily, Mr. Jem had eaten a couple of pieces of pizza when I was on the phone with Dr. Alternative at 7:00 so he didn't starve. No pizza for me! Wasn't even hungry.

Today (Sunday), I've been relaxing and not eating much since. Ginger ale is my friend. Got two calls from the clinic - one from Dr. Alternative and another from the nurse. I feel very well monitored and taken care of.

I have to go for another Beta tomorrow (Monday). Hopefully we'll see the numbers go down. G-d, I hate saying that. It's so wrong. So, so wrong on so many levels.

So, as a result. I didn't:
- Get a mani/pedi like I wanted to
- Go to a charity event tonight that was taking place on a huge docked ship. Mr. Jem didn't go either, which made me feel bad. I guess IF is f'ing up both our lives.

Yes, folks, I want my life back. I want to feel normal. I want to be able to exercise, to have a glass of wine, to drink coffee, to take rigorous hikes, to have sex again. For fun.

Okay, thanks for letting me vent.

Yet again, IF is an @sshole (this is how comedian Doug Benson closes his podcasts I Love Movies).


Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. I am so sorry about your trip to the ER. I know how scary those can be. I am glad that the news isn't bad. I hope you get to go back to your normal life soon!!

Melissa G said...

What a rotten weekend! I'm so sorry that things aren't going more smoothly for you. It only seems fair after everything you've been through. Though I am glad to hear that everything turned out okay with your u/s - no burst tube.

I really, really hope things begin to get easier so that you can have some semblance of your normal life back.


Adele said...

If ever a woman deserved...nay, needed...a mani/pedi, and a low-key weekend, and for things to go more smoothly: it's you. So glad that it was just a reaction to the drug (as awful as that is) and not a rupture. I know what you mean about feeling strange about wanting that number to go down. It's counter-intuitive in so many ways. But I guess the sooner it goes down, the sooner it can go back up again (and this time for keeps). And I am crossing my fingers that this happens for you very, very soon.

'Murgdan' said...

Oh I'm so sorry. And yes, IF is being a particular a$$hole to you on this go 'round. SUCKS. I'm so glad it wasn't something more serious, but still, sorry you're having to go through it at all.

maxandzuzu said...

Going to the ER is usually never a good experience. At least the u/s turned out okay. I hope you get back to feeling "normal" soon and then a glass of wine and mani/peti.

I think finding strength in your religious beliefs is a wonderful idea. I hope that it will give you the peace that you are looking for.


Anonymous said...

I'm so very sorry. Ectopics just plain suck and IF sucks and you are handling this with so much more grace than I could. Thinking of you, and thinking thoughts of a speedy return to the good things in your life so you can get past this quickly and move on to a better place.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you ended up in the ER, but glad that there was nothing more serious going on! Rest up, and hopefully things will return to "normal" pretty soon.

Heather said...

UGH! You can't catch a break! Sorry you ended up in the ER, but I am glad to hear that it wasn't worse. I hope you are taking good care of yourself. This whole roller coaster bites. I'll be thinking of you.

C said...

I'm so sorry. Thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

your farewell ritual was so lovely and it sounded like a really sweet bonding experience for you and hubby. Sorry you ended up in the ER, I just hate those impersonal conversations with people scanning you and if they'd just read your blimmen notes they'd know that the 2 questions they asked you should not have been asked to anyone in your position. Hugs, you are being very strong. xxx

AMC said...

You deserve to vent! And you deserve that mani/pedi too! I am so sorry you are having a tough time. I haven't been commenting much but i have been reading. Hang in there chicky. I'm going to forward your post to someone else who is going through a similar issue. Thanks for sharing.