As I've referenced in previous posts, I participate in a lot of 10Ks and the occasional half marathon. Although it would seem logical that the triumph of the finish would be my favourite aspect; but it isn't. What I enjoy most about a race is the final minutes and seconds before the gun sounds. There is an excitement and palpable energy among the other runners. The nervous newbies who are embarking at this distance for the first time. The veterans who are trying for a personal best. The elite runners who are looking for a win. Those returning from an injury who see the finish as a moral victory. A group of women who plan to walk the course, but use the time to chat and catch up with friends. There is a collective calm before the storm...
I went into for my monitoring appointment before starting my stims. "Did you have your blood drawn yet?" my RE asked after greeting me. "Um no." I had the feeling I had done something wrong. "I didn't know I needed to have blood work." We quickly moved to my ultrasound. Ovies are quiet, so we are able to proceed. I had wanted to talk to my RE about CCS testing a bit, but it was his first day back in the office after being out for a few days, and I know how hectic that can be, so I'd have to wait for another day. After getting the go-ahead, I was to meet with Misery to review my medication schedule.
Now I enjoy my sessions with the transvaginal probe as much as the next infertile girl, but what I was most looking forward to at this appointment was getting the details on just what I would be injecting into my body and when. I wasn't expecting a fancy colour coded chart like the one The Infertile Chemist put together, but I was anticipating something more elaborate than what she handed me. She only wrote out three days, Menopur 150 (no specification) in the AM and 'FSH' 150 (again no specification) in the PM. "I think you're using Gonadal-F?" she asked. You're reviewing my protocol with me and you didn't even check my chart? Awesome. "I can't really give you a start date, since you need to wait until your period is at full flow and then start the next day." I realise that the schedule may change based on how I respond, but I was hoping for more of an overview. It was a Friday, I had been blotting since Wednesday and I just took my last birth control the night before. My period would likely start over the weekend. "So I'm pretty much on my own to determine if I should start my stims this weekend based on if I have a full flow?" I asked to determine if I would qualify for the weekend service now that I'm an IVF patient. "Well, you can call the medication number and leave a message..." her voice trailed off. Yup, I was pretty much on my own to determine when to start.
Porn Buddy came in to draw my blood for an estradiol level (not that anyone had explained to me why I needed to have this done). I hadn't seen her for a while and she now has a trendy new haircut, which looks really cute on her. "Will someone call me with the result?" I asked. "Oh, yes." she affirmed "She [presumably Misery] will call you later today."
I started to bleed a little heavier on Friday night, and by Saturday it was to the point of needing a pantyliner. My flow is pretty light at my baseline, and after nearly two weeks of oral contraceptives the measurement of my endometrial lining was near postmenopausal range. I was pretty sure this was as full flow as it was going to get. I decided to go ahead and start my meds on Sunday as originally outlined. No one called me with my estradiol levels (quel surprise). Reviewing Lesson One: Do not rely on anyone. Yet I wasn't as alone as I thought. Thank you to my fellow bloggers who included details about their protocols and provided some answers to my questions.
It was the calm before the storm and a bit fitting that I ran a 10K the day before I started my stims. The nervous energy is so palpable. There is a mixture of excitement and fear. An acknowledgement that this course will bring both mental and physical pain, but hopefully and ultimately; triumph at the finish line.