Category Archives: tests

It must be love…

Romance isn’t dead after all. In fact, I’ve been swept of my feet.

After years of callous and heartless behaviour, the caddish Dildocam has suddenly turned on the charm. During a routine pre-transfer ultrasound I was pleasantly surprised to find he’d pull out all the stops… none of his usual wham bam thank-you ma’am stylings, instead there was candlelight, flowers and Marvin Gaye softly playing in the background.

I shit you not. After I’d picked my jaw up off the ground I literally started crying with laughter – much to the consternation of the new ultrasound technician who was clearly trying to make what is generally a fairly unpleasant experience just a little nicer for her patients, but who obviously hadn’t thought the implications through of setting such a sexy scene for a tranvaginal ultrasound…

I was giggling so much she could barely get a decent shot of my dodgy uterus. If I’d heard a single strain of “Let’s get it on”, I’d have run screaming half naked from the room.

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The Curse of the Evil Pain Stick

When it comes to immunisation, it would appear that there are three kinds of parents in the world. Those who are for it, those who are against it… and those who are prepared to consider both arguments, who sit twiddling their thumbs on the fence. ME, I was just obedient and did as I was bid and immunised my precious Devilboy according to the directions of Mr. Jab from Governmentland.

Devilboy had been dutifully kept up to date on all his jabs until the dreaded triple whammy 12 month injection extravaganza which we had to postpone as he was teething and already miserable when they were due. But after a nasty little reminder/veiled threat arrived recently in the post – off we went to the doctor for the jabathon.

All forgotten. By us both.

But that was then and this is now and I can definitely say that I am no longer a fan. I have chosen a side with absolute blind prejudice and if any medical professional comes near my son brandishing their evil pain sticks again – I will forcibly jam them down their bastard throats.

Quite frankly, I think Devilboy would probably have been better off dealing with with considerable risks of measles than what he has been through in the past week. In fact, I think he may have been slightly better off being injected with ebola virus.

On Sunday morning, Devilboy broke out in a rash. A rash bad enough to take to the local medical centre where he was diagnosed with a garden variety case of hives – probably from an unknown food allergy and sent merrily on his way. No biggy, one would think.

That same afternoon we noticed that the rash had spread but had been warned this could happen. So, with a still mild fever, we tucked him into bed with a wee dose of paracetamol and figured that morning would bring us a healed and happy Devilboy.

We figured wrong.

After a fairly disturbed night he woke to a fever of 39.5 and a body covered in scarlet welts.  I took him straight to our GP. Approximately 10 seconds after arriving he was on his way to the emergency ward at RNS Hospital, as the red welts magically turned dark purple before the GP’s eyes.

After an hour or so we received confirmation that we weren’t dealing with meningococcal and I recommenced breathing… but we still had no answers and no guarantee from the Doctors that he would be ok.

As the day progressed his skin discoloured more and more. As his eyes and throat started to show signs of swelling, Devilboy was admitted and placed under observation. The following morning his hands, face and feet had also begun to swell and by afternoon had turned into tiny little balloons and he was unable to even bend a finger. His throat too had swelled and this had the hospital on high alert as there was a possibility of his airways blocking.

We sat by helplessly for DAYS as Devilboy was paraded about the hospital to a cast of thousands so they could all point and gawk and generally treat him as a sideshow freak, and us as irrelevant. None of them offered anything more intelligent than “Ewwww….That’s weird.”

THere were plenty of this “might be’s…” but we didn’t want ‘might’, we wanted a confirmed diagnosis and the little lovely treated before he got any worse.

Three full days and a constant 39 plus degree fever later we were finally delivered a diagnosis of “blahdyblahblah-impossible-to-pronounce-unheard-of-medical term.” In layman’s terms he’d suffered a massive and potentially deadly allergic reaction to a medication or virus. Given that the only medication or virus he had been exposed to were the immunisations – we have a fairly obvious target when it comes to where to point the blame. And point I will! Even if it is rude.

Of course the doctors wouldn’t actually confirm (or deny) this as the cause because if they were to admit it was the immunisations, not only would it throw their fluffy bunny ‘immunisations-are-so-great-and-no-one-ever-reacts-badly-honest’ statistics out , but it might also see them getting their arses sued off by pissed off parents with extremely sick children.

These pics don’t show the rash in all its fluorescent glory as by the time it spread and he swelled up like a balloon  thoughts of snapshots weren’t top of mind…. but you’ll get the idea.

Monday Morning

Tuesday Morning

Postscript: Devilboy had to go back to the hospital for a follow up and the doctor admitted (though absolutely off the record), that it was almost certainly a reaction to his immunisation. The medical profession tow the health department line and will seldom admit that any reaction is caused by a vaccine – no matter how obvious – as it might throw out the Govt’s pretty stats when they are trying to sell the safety of vaccines, as well as increasing the risk of legal action.

This makes it very difficult for a parent to make an informed choice when the information they are offered is not accurate – though making an informed choice isn’t really an option anyway as the penalties for choosing ‘no’ make it an impossible one to make.

I have calmed down somewhat since first ranting on the subject and am slowly moving my back to the fence as my anger subsides and Devilboy returns back to his normal nutty self. But I am still convinced that injecting babies with massive viral cocktails is a huge mistake and that immunisations should be admistered in a more gentle and accountable way.

 

Postscript. When I took my boy for his 4 year immunisations = not a single doctor would administer them (though they had towed the it wasn’t the immunisation line). He was eventually sent to a specialist in adverse reactions who diagnosed him as suffering from severe serum sickness from his MMR and advise he not be given it again as the risk of a worse reaction was too high. I’m all for immunisations (my daughter is fully immunised – but doctors avoiding telling the truth about blatantly related reactions really isn’t helping the cause)

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Lust for Life

Last night M & I had planned a special evening for the two of us at Claude’s, our favourite restaurant in the world, for a romantic and decadent dinner to celebrate our first full day of officially being married (we had to apply for the Thai marriage to be recognised here and now it is – we’re legal hoorah!)

But those cheeky chickens had other ideas!

Our first day of being legally hitched was full of hitches. At 7am I visited Casa Conception where I immediately broke my marital vows by being unfaithful to my husband with Dildocam. The Cow wasn’t there this time and instead I got a wand waver who was so irritatingly chirpy for 7am that I wanted to beat her to death.

M was understanding about my morning indiscretions with Dildocam and even drove me home afterwards. We then went to meet with two of my most fabulous friend’s for lunch… except I couldn’t sit still because my boobs were killing me. I swear to Gods they’ve doubled in size in 24 hours. This is not a good thing. They were so big before this that they had their own weather system… now they’re bloody enormous and I swear I saw a satellite orbiting them.

Anyway at the end of our lunch I got a call from Nurse Sweetness-and-Light (she’s new and I like her very much) to let me know my results were back from the bloodwork and DC.

She casually dropped that it was trigger time.

Tonight.

At 11pm.

Fuck me.

It’s only day 9 of the FSH injections… it’s supposed to be 12 or 15 days. And I have things to do. I’m not ready… could it really be happening? I’m scared. This is the money shot…. the last injection of them all.

Plus I really, really want to go to Claude’s.

Nurse Sweetness-and-Light , sensing correctly that I was shitting myself, calmly explained that the hens are laying ahead of schedule and everything is on track (my chickens are so efficient) and my estrogen levels are a sky high 11,000 (meaning a possible risk of OHSS, eek!) which explains why it feels like I’ve had bulldog clips attached to my nipples for the past 24 hours. As such, my doctor (a little more on him shortly) says it has GOT to be tonight with retrieval in 36 hours.

She then gave me an over the phone walk through of just how ‘Trigger’ works.

Now Trigger, as well as being Roy Rogers’s loyal horse, is the final step in the battery farming process. This is the injection that brings on ovulation. Trigger has been sitting menacingly in our fridge for ten days and is complex and scary requiring equipment and mixing which makes me feel like I really am about to shoot up something illegal.

Nurse Sweetness-and-Light told us that first we have to snap open the two little glass vials, draw up the solution with a syringe so long and fat it makes me faint just looking at it, mix it with a powder solution, suck it back into the syringe, change to a smaller needle (whilst breathing huge sigh of relief) ensuring there are no air bubbles then finally inject the lot (and it is a lot) into my gut. What fun!

So that’s how we found ourselves as born again newlyweds dining at Claude’s with an esky bag full of medication stuffing our faces at light speed so we could be home by 11pm and not have to shoot up in the middle of a three hat restaurant.

Having explained the urgency to the wonderful Claude’s staff they raced about, watching clocks and making sure we missed out on nothing… to the point of force-feeding us the dessert courses with such haste I felt like a fois gras goose.

At 10.30 we were eight courses down and on to the petit fors and coffee whilst the rest of the restaurant patrons were leisurely enjoying about course number five and staring at us like we were gluttonous super heroes. By 10.35 pm a waiter was valiantly leaping head first into Oxford Street traffic to get us a cab in to which we immediately dived and demanded the driver get us home post haste.

At 10.52pm we raced (well waddled as we were full to overflowing with yummy Claude’s goodness and about two tonnes of freshly shaved truffles) through the door, trying to put Trigger together. We smashed a vial as we were opening it and threw away the special sucking up syringe by accident from all our fumbly nerves. Thank Gods they give you spares for just such an emergency.

I paced nervously while M cooked up my drugs and then settled onto the couch, needle in hand, trembling with hope and fear. As I shakily started to swipe my stomach with the alcho wipe ready for the plunge… a sudden burst of music entered our living room making me look up to see M, I kid you not, putting on the Trainspotting DVD for moral support.

So to the energetic and rather appropriate strains of the Stooges classic ‘Lust for Life’ I plunged Trigger into my very full belly and cuddled up to my very funny and charming ex IVF drug dealer and now completely legal husband to watch a movie I’ve seen a dozen times but through new eyes.

On Monday at 10.30am I have to be at the Doctors surgery, for the egg retrieval.

The one thing I’ve never discussed during this whole process is my doctor, a lovely man from Scotland with a fabulous accent. Ironically, from the day we met him many months ago while we were still only considering this journey… we have been referring to him as Dr. Sickboy, because his voice sounds spookily similar to that of the Johnny Lee Miller character from Trainspotting, of course.

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Counting my chickens before they’re hatched

I got the call form the Stabber and my battery farm got a big thumbs up. She said that seventeen follicular nests is a very good number and with 12 of them already at a decent size she expects we should get enough eggs from my little hens.

Apparently this number is ideal as over 20 means there would be a strong possibility that the hens would lay poor quality eggs as it would be a bit too overcrowded and they could become distressed and start pecking each other to death.

The hens in my battery farm still have enough room to preen and scratch about so they should produce nice fat strong eggs and an RSPCA officer wont be sent around to shut my ovaries down.

My bloodwork results were also good and I have another date scheduled with DC for tomorrow morning (he better bring flowers this time, bastard) and pending the results of that and another round of bloodwork they may bring retrieval time forward to as early as next week.

This means we’re only a few days from introducing the girls to the sexy post spa sperms and Operation Sea Monkey starts getting really serious.

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Blood Work 2 – Return of the Vein.

How tragic that ‘bloodwork’ has so quickly gone from sounding dark and arty to sounding more like the name of a bad Steven Segal film (not that I mean in any way to imply that there is any such thing as a good Steven Segal film)

I was called back for more tests this morning as my bloodwork on Monday had ‘inconclusive results’. So further tests were required to see if I can attain human status in time to start the battery farm in my ovaries tomorrow.

My beloved nurse, The Stabber, wasn’t in this morning, which made me sad… for though it has been proven that she is shit at drawing blood, she’s a lovely lady who makes the experience as pleasant as can be and laughs uproariously at our silliness. Some of the other nurses look at us like we’re naughty children who need to take things a bit more seriously. In turn we think they can fuck right off!

If we didn’t have a little laugh during this process we would be extremely anxious, neurotic and stressed little barren bunnies ready to start freebasing Prozac as opposed to suffering a milder anxiousness and some background stress that can probably be treated simply with a topical ointment.

This morning, I met the wonderful Nurse Tell-Someone-Who-Cares. An efficient lady with a lovely accent and the personality of an undertaker , she marched me in to the bloodletting room and as I duly explained my prior issues with having no veins, shoved a needle straight in my arm and looked at me with contempt before spitting “I’ve been doing this a long time”. About 3 seconds later and with what I think was an attempt at a charming smile that nearly cracked her head open she marched out saying I’d get a call and that was that!

If I get her again I think I will hide under one of the larger Science Projectettes in the waiting room until she leaves.

Now I must wait by the phone to see if I get the go ahead to start farming the eggs. I do wonder where all the chickens will fit!

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Brain like a sieve and now a body to match!

Today I had my first ‘bloodwork’ done at Casa Conception with my IVF nurse, a gorgeous woman who has been a lifeline during the confusing first stages of Operation Sea Monkey.

Bloodwork sounds so dark and arty doesn’t it? Even though it was very early in the morning it made feel very windswept and interesting as I dramatically entered the clinic with my black coat flapping devilishly in the breeze.

Being one of about 40,000 women in the waiting room made me feel less windswept and interesting but did serve to make me feel less of a freak. It is hard to acknowledge to people lucky enough to have spawned how excluded we have been feeling and how sad, lonely, pissed off and utterly fucked the last few years of infertility has been.

Looking around the room at all the scared and hopeful faces I didn’t feel so lonely or pissed off and though I didn’t speak to any of my fellow Science Projectettes I silently wished them all luck as waited for our names to be called.

Though I found myself in warm and gooey sorority…I sensed in the dagger like glares I received back from a few of the scarier Science Projectettes that rather than feeling a sisterly camaraderie they saw the other women in the room, myself included, as fierce competitors as I saw the silent scream flashing in their eyes “Which one of us will be the winning one in three?”

Though feeling a tad less exotic and uniquely faulty as I had when I walked in, I was still excited about my first bloodwork as it meant we were close to stage three of Operation Sea Monkey… the FSH injections. This is where my ovaries become a battery farm and we cultivate multiple eggs in the time and space my body would normally only produce one single free range one. Starting this all depended on what my blood tests would show.

This was where it got tricky.

The only complication to my bloodwork was that it would seem I have no blood. (Cue removal of flapping devilish coat and cease all visions of artsy gothic glory.) At this juncture there are two things I’d like to point out. First, as it appears I may not be a homosapien, this could be a contributing factor to my lack of procreating a human baby. Second, the kindly and gorgeous nurse I previously referred to, shall henceforth be known as The Stabber.

After not being able to find anything resembling a vein in my arms The Stabber valiantly plunged in regardless but the well was dry. Spotting a small vein like discolouration on the back of my hand, she went in for another fossick but again came back empty syringed.

Defeated by my bloodlessness she decided that she had to call in the big guns and Nurse Vampira was duly summoned. After attacking my arm with a heat pack that smelled like buttery popcorn and was so blisteringly hot I though they were trying to make black pudding with my veins, she hit pay dirt and went in like she was drilling for oil!

Many band-aids and a third degree burn later I was once again excited as, like a presenter at the Oscars, I was handed a glamorous gift bag full of thousands of dollars worth of shiny IVF goodies.

At first glance I though there had been some ghastly mistake for unlike the Oscars, my gift bag didn’t contain vouchers for exclusive Caribbean spa resorts, Cartier watches, state of the art flat screen TV’s, diamond studded mobile phones or other assorted sparkly baubles.

Instead it contained a freezer bag resplendent with a disposable ice pack (and perfect, my beloved pointed out, for carrying a six pack), drugs, needles, my very own sharps dispenser saucily marked ‘danger’ and a Puregon pen which, unlike the Mont Blanc pen one would undoubtedly find in the aforementioned Oscar bag, is used less for writing and more to stab oneself… which isn’t nearly as special.

After our exciting trip to Casa Conception we headed to my acupuncturist…for the call to have more needles poked into my body was impossible to resist. It is written in Google search wisdom that acupuncture when used alongside IVF increases the odds of a healthy and happy outcome and Google would never ever lie!

After an hour of impersonating a porcupine I headed off for lunch to meet up with friends where I studiously ignored all fluids less I sprang a leak and my beloved received a fine from Sydney Water for using a sprinkler.

Now we await the results of the test to see when phase three of sticking things that aren’t penises into my body to make a baby commences.

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