Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Things that make you go... hmmm

So tomorrow I go in for (hopefully) the last series of tests the Cardiologist will need to see to declare me fit. I feel great, so I'm not worried, but a funny thought went through my head, I've been doing tests of some sort or another for the last 8 months. Either I'm visiting for an.. ahem.. deposit, or I'm getting blood pressure taken or blood drawn. Crazy!

So far though, I've passed every physical test except the semen quality one since this all started (ok maybe I got a C- on the one right before I got sick). The funny thing I thought of was, would I trade my good health tests, for a better infertility test?

I'm not really sure and I'm not going to answer because I didn't decide but do wonder how much of something irreplacable (my health) would I trade for my future family.

Peapod in the background just shouted "Day 5 of Clomid!" in the background.. so here goes another cycle again. Wish us luck!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Return... and fever kills everything

Well it's been entirely too long since I posted on here and that's been mostly due to not feeling like my usual self all summer.

Back in May, I was in the hospital for 5 days for a chest virus that happened to attack my heart as well. Turns out the virus has been running around the area, but most don't get the lovely side helping of the heart issue as well.

My first bout with the virus lasted over 3 weeks and included fevers, chills, a cough, and extreme pain. I don't really like medicine, but I finally broke down and asked the Doctor for Vicodin. Towards the end of the time frame, things were looking up and the EKG and electrocardiographs were showing that the fluid in the lining around my heart had vanished.

Two weeks later, we're in Florida on vacation and the bloody thing comes back. At first it's just pain, but a few days in I started running another fever and then the cough returned. This time it wasn't quite as painful, but still intense enough to use Vicodin and the cough was a lot worse. A chest x-ray showed fluid on the lungs that was probably bronchitis triggered by the virus. This time it only lasted about 2 weeks before I started feeling a bit better again.

Mid July, just as we are preparing to go to NYC on a family trip with my mom and brother, it comes back again! The fevers are there, but never more than 100.2 this time, it's just pain. However, I can actually lie down and take naps, while previously I had to sleep sitting upright all night. Finally a couple of days later it goes away.

So finally come August, I'm actually feeling pretty good. I haven't had a recurrence since Mid-July, my appetite is back (maybe it's back a little too much...), and I feel like I have energy.

In that time, we've tried twice more and not had a positive result. Primarily that's because Fevers wipe out most sperm. The first time we tried, at the end of May, I might as well have tossed money in the trash. Not only were counts awful, but fluid levels were even low. The second time we tried, at the mid-end of June, numbers were back up a bit, but still the second lowest numbers since we started trying to conceive. Each of these attempts were IU attempts and drained our fertility coverage. Realistically, it was useless and if we had been rational we would have just waited. We're now trying just a clo-mid cycle, no IUI.

The monetary loss isn't really the big thing. What is the worst is the emotional swings that Peapod has been on. The crazy pills do their usual thing and make her sensitive, the Ovidrel shot makes her feel bloated and out of control, and finally the inevitable depression as her cycle starts again. The worst part for me, is that as much as I feel helpless to help her emotionally, I couldn't even physically contemplate helping her either.

Every tear she sheds feels like a bitter condemnation of my ability to give her the one thing that she wants more than anything else. No amount of sensitivity, emotional solidity, or clever ideas can help and I couldn't physically bring myself to really get involved. I was in my own little world of pain, fear, and depression.

Now that I'm finally feeling better I feel like I can shoulder this burden, but I feel like we've added 10 years of sorrow to our lives. Infertility is awful in ways only those who have been through this can experience, but getting a disease that literally knocks you down for a few months combined with it just makes everything suck.

Before anyone gets too worried, I am feeling better and am hopeful again for the future. I feel like I can take on this burden again and be a partner, but I don't think I'll ever forget how awful the summer of 2010 was for both my wife and I.