Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cycles Good & Bad

The touchiness I wrote about in my last post was what I could only suspect: PMS. I started spotting today on CD19. This is not good. It means that 1) I did not ovulate this cycle or 2) I had a bad egg. My last cycle was 26 days long, which I thought was a hopeful sign that I was turning the tides. My hot flashes had been getting less frequent, but started up again shortly after I returned from my trip, which should have been around the time I would have been ovulating.

I discussed with Em, one of my acupuncturists about my previous voluminous CM. She suggested that I put some warming things in my juice, like ginger. I started doing that and cut back on drinking juice so much, going down to once a day. As I mentioned previously, my CM seemed to have dried up this cycle. I don't understand how it can go from blowing-snot-out-my-vaj-yay to the Sahara desert.

I discussed this all with Dr. F, my other acupuncturist. He thought that maybe I was going through some kind of cleansing, and that my body was expelling mucus that could have been in my girly-parts. He optimistically said it might make me more fertile and was I still trying naturally? I had to remind him that it would be an immaculate conception, after which he apologized for forgetting my history (for the umpteenth time). I personally think that I was on the wrong Chinese herbs this cycle, but I couldn't get in to see him sooner, due to the fact that he cancelled on me twice!! Dr. F prescribes my herbs, and I take one formula between my period and ovulation, and a different formula after ovulation until I have my period again.

The PMS moodiness resulted in a mini-meltdown yesterday morning as I felt overwhelmed by all the stuff I need to do to try to retain/resuscitate my fertility. I'm feeling emotionally a bit better now, and I need to take the reins on getting this figured out. I was by a Chinese medicine apothecary today, and was able to talk to the acupuncturist. He reminded me that fertility issues basically come down to supporting the adrenal glands. I'm not sure if I should just keep working with Dr. F on this or switch to this other acupuncturist. Dr. F has 30 years experience and definitely knows what he is talking about, but I haven't always responded well to the adrenal supplements he has given me. The other guy has had 20 years experience, and a friend of mine who used to see me said that she took a lot of supplements when she saw him, which doesn't really speak to how good he is. I know that my body is very particular about what I take, and Dr. F is generally good about prescribing me herbs and supplements, but he is not perfect. I hate times like these when I don't know what to do, but know that I have to do something.

I have since cut out the ginger in my juice, as it might just be too warming for me, and I went back to juicing twice a day. I do need to get back to paying attention to my adrenal health. I think it is going to be the key to keeping my fertility going for a while longer yet.

I finally got my big-girl-panties on and scheduled a follow-up appointment with Dr. BloSunMyCha. My body just cringes when I think about any fertility treatments, but resistance is futile. My plan was to get tested again on CD3, but with the short cycle and hot flashes, I don't think that would be a good idea right now. This means that doing IVF is going to be delayed. I was hoping for a November retrieval, but with this short cycle, that would put retrieval right at the full moon, and I know that would be a failure. The full moon and me don't mix. This most likely puts a retrieval right before Christmas. Not ideal, but I can't do anything about it.

I have been trying to prepare myself for the very real fact that this may not work with my own eggs. I'm trying to tell myself that I am ready to move on, but it just isn't working. The last time I talked with Magic about donor eggs, he said "no" again. I am not ready for donor eggs, but I'm not ready to give up yet either. I have less faith in my eggs than I did two years ago. My confidence has been shaken. I'm beyond the whole "I should have gotten married/pregnant when I was younger" thing because it's a moot point. I just hate getting older.

The weird thing is that I'm having the same symptoms I had four years ago, THE SAME SYMPTOMS. The difference is that I had not radically changed my diet yet and I did not start weekly acupuncture. I have done all that (plus a little surgery), and what worked a couple of years ago doesn't seem to be working anymore. I feel that if I could just figure out what to do, I could buy myself some time. That's what I say to myself when I'm feeling optimistic. More often these days, I feel pessimistic. One of the resigning things I have been saying to myself is, "you can't fight your genetics". No one in my family ever got pregnant at my age (not that they were really trying). I hope to write a post soon on some of my family background that was recently revealed to me. It's that vicious cycle of hope and despair all over again.


Mad Hatter said...

Oh Phoebe...I read your post with great interest and empathy. Man, if we could just put my CD45 together with your CD19, we'd have a normal cycle! But who the heck knows if either of us has ovulated! ;-) I forget - do you take your BBT? If so, is that telling you anything? I've only just started, because I want to know whether that can shed more light on what's going on. I'm very interested in learning more about the whole adrenal glands thing, too - has your clinic done any tests on you in this area? Are you planning on asking them to monitor your cycle this time to see what's up? Well, someone wise once commented on my blog that we can learn from these off cycles - it sounds like you're doing that by being so active in seeking answers and taking care of it. I commend you for that, lady! And send you much, much positive energy!

Clio said...

gosh Phoebe... this is all too much to juggle. 2 acupunturists, different herbs, changing juice concoctions, avoiding retrieval at full moon (I'd actually say that depending on the sign, could be a good thing), Magic being adamant about no donnor... I cannot fathom how you can deal with all this pressure. It would be wonderful if you can both find compromise in dealing with fertility issues, in ways that don't drive you insane or put your body under even more unnecesary stress. I have a feeling that all this focus, this relentless focus on your body and too many "shamans" (the 2 TCM doctors, western doctors and the energy reader person you have) might make for more confusion than healing. Simplifying could bring immense relief to you. If you can find a lighter way (in terms of techniques) maybe your body would be more at ease and ready to respond.

Jill M. said...

Ugh, I wish there was a crystal ball that would tell us exactly what we need to do... we put ourselves through so much and at a heftly price tag all for that hope that it will make the difference. Here's hoping that you find the right ingredient.

Lost in Space said...

I'm not sure how you do it all, hun. I just want to swoop in and try to remove some of the stress and pressure you are facing right now...cause I've got all my shit together ya' know? (Sorry if you just spit green tea all over your screen).

I don't have anything useful to offer up by way of assvice, but I'm pretty good with the hugs... Love you!

elliej said...

Hi Phoebe, ((((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))))))))))))))).
Trust your gut on the acupuncturist you spoke to. If your instinct tells you to make the move, go for it. The comment about our adrenals although so basic sounds just right. I'm sorry about your short cycle this month but am really hoping that the sun shines on you soon xxx

Sweet Georgia said...

Phoebe - I hate when my cycles get out of whack like that. In January my acupuncturist changed my herbs and my FSH shot up to 19.9 and my cycles got all messed up. Needless to say I've changed back to the old ones. I think a change in acupuncturists may be a good thing for you. You don't sound like you like having to remind him of your history (and why should you have to?) and he cancelled on you twice - not cool. I know what you mean about regreting getting married later and waiting to have kids. I'm not sure even knowing what I do now that it would have made much of a difference in my life if I could go back and change things. I'd much rather be with the man I'm with now than to have settled for one of the jerks I dated back then.

I think you're wise to wait a little longer before doing IVF. Just to make sure your cycles settle down etc.

DAVs said...

Man Phoebe, you have a LOT going on/a lot to think about. I am continually impressed with your drive and determination and dedication to this process (said as I eat a dark chocolate Hershey's kiss and feel immediately guilty). I wish I knew the answers.
Thinking of you.

niobe said...

While I don't know where this journey is going to lead you, just from reading your blog, I'm sure that you will find the path that is right for you and the one that brings you peace and wholeness.

(And, just so you know, I don't say hopeful/sappy things like this about everyone. But there's something about you that inspires all kinds of confidence)

mekate said...

Hi Phoebe-- you are doing all the right things, especially anything that includes listening to yourself-- my acupuncture guy wants me to avoid cold raw things, but I crave fruit. Crave it. So, I am eating fruit- not wolfing but not avoiding.

I know what you mean about trying to buy time with these choices and changes and hopes-- I also am familiar with the hope/despair cycle-- I sure wish it were different.

Being older is so great in so many ways, but in this way? sucks rocks.

wishing you well (of course!) and some calm in the midst of this.