Thursday, September 30, 2010

Back To Work...

I was sprung from the hospital on Sunday and since then have just been taking it easy at home. The last time I had a flare (when I first got diagnosed) I tried rushing right back to work the day after being released from the hospital. And I didn't slow down on any of my duties. As a result I ended up bouncing in and out of the hospital three or four times before I got stabilized. This time I decided I was going to take three days off at home to see how I did. So far so good. Today is my first day back at work. I get dizzy sometimes thanks to the meds and having to run around the building and being on a low residue (low-fiber) diet doesn't help either, but for the most part I am fine.

Thanks to the liquid diet and puking I lost 2 pounds while in the hospital. I was on very high doses of IV steroids while in the hospital, and I will be on them orally for at least a month, possibly two. I am very nervous about what the steroids are going to do for my weight loss efforts. Last time I was on high doses of Prednisone I wasn't actively trying to lose weight so I didn't really pay attention to that aspect of things. This time I am determined to lose this weight as quickly and safely as possible. The problem is Prednisone makes you feel ravenously hungry all. the. time. I literally feel like there is a giant empty hole in the pit of my stomach all day long, including right after I eat a meal. I am trying to eat several small meals a day to try and compensate, but so far I have had to just suck it up and deal with feeling hungry all the time.

Prednisone also makes you retain water like crazy, so I am waiting for my ankles and face to start swelling any day now. My fingers are already getting there. I expect I won't be able to wear my wedding rings for much longer which makes me very sad. I love my rings, they are perfect and my husband put so much thought into them, I hate not being able to wear them. I am going to take a before shot tonight of my face, and then after the swelling starts I will take an after shot so you can see the difference the 'roids make. Patients call it Moon Face. Everything just gets bigger and rounder, and it doesn't go away until you have been off the steroids for a few weeks.

I am anxious to see what my regular GI doctor has to say about all this happening. Dr. W is awesome (and very cute) and I know he won't mind sitting there answering all my questions, which is the sign of a good doctor in my book. The main concern is that this flare started exactly a week after my last Remicade infusion. This really shouldn't happen. Remicade has kept me in remission for the past three-four years, I have no clue why this happened now all of a sudden. I am also concerned about what we will do from here on out. Stay on remicade? Increase the frequency of infusions? Switch to another drug? I will definitely be getting a Colonoscopy in the next few weeks. That is always fun.

On a much lighter and more fun note, this weekend is the Harrisburg Cupcake Cup 2010! I am making Chai Caramel Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream, and I will be making fondant pumpkins and leaves as decoration. I am very excited at the prospect of doing something just for fun, and I am taking that one day off of my diet so I can eat a couple cupcakes. Plus, I took the day off work for the occasion, which is always a bonus. I am going to teach my DH how to use my camera so that he can document the whole day from baking to judging, so expect a huge photo heavy post sometime next week. And of course I will post the recipe as well after the competition. Wish me Luck!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Live From the Hospital

It's your favorite Crohn's patient! That's right, since my body has decided it truly hates me it decided that the week after finding out I am not pregnant was a great time to start a Crohn's flare up. Awesome. And in typical Chrissy style, I had to do it stages. Tuesday night started the severe cramping an nausea, so I made an ER run. They pumped me full of drugs and sent me home with some nice 'roids. Flash forward to Wednesday night I am in even more pain. So much so that I can't take it. Even though I know what the ER docs will say, that the steroids haven't had enough time to work yet, to stick with them and the all liquid all the time diet and in a few days I will feel better. Ok, you sit here for the next three days feeling like someone is trying to rip your Colon out of your belly-button and then say that to me again Doc.

So just as they were discharging me Wednesday night I went to the bathroom to get changed into my clothes and promptly started throwing up everywhere. I knew it was going to happen about ten seconds before hand. Just enough time to yell to my Mom in my room to get a nurse. Can I just tell everyone how painful it is to throw up when you haven't eaten anything substantial in two days. It really and truly sucks. So the nurse rushes in, sees me puking and rushes back out to get my Dr. Once I stop throwing up long enough to come out of the bathroom he says "Ok we will admit you." Gee thanks doc. Once you start puking they have to admit you b/c they have to carefully watch your hydration levels, especially when you have been eating less than 1000 calories a day on a liquid diet.

So here I sit, in my tiny cramped hospital room, with guard rails on the sides of my bed and an IV sticking out of the crook of my elbow. I have been here so many times before it almost feels like home. Not quite though which explains why I am writing this at 2:30am. I can never sleep at night in hospitals. Don't know why. During the day no problem, night no way no how.

I have no clue how long I will be in here. Hopefully only a day or two more. There will be lots of tests and scans I am sure. More Steroids and various other drugs as well. Gaggles of doctors will troop in and out of my room through out the day and insist on poking my very tender, sore belly. And hopefully tomorrow I will get up graded to light solids. I love that I am excited about the prospect of bland chicken from the hospital.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

3 Follies + 50 million Sperm =

No baby for us. I am pretty sure I have said it before, and I will say it again now. I have no clue how it is physically possible to have multiple eggs release, millions upon millions of sperm injected directly into my uterus (fairly small organ btw) with perfect timing, and still not get pregnant. It just doesn't make sense. I was so so hopeful at the beginning of this cycle too. But once I heard what my progesterone level was, I just lost all hope. I knew this wouldn't be our month. I have come to terms with it now, so the phone call from the nurse this afternoon really wasn't that painful. It is just the norm at this point.

So our plan from here is to take another break. I am now convinced we will not get PG through anything other than IVF. Sometimes I even wonder if that will do it for us. I have about 40 pounds to lose before we can start IVF. I lost about 30 pounds in 5 months before this cycle, and I have only gained 1 pound back, so I am hoping I will be able to lose the rest of the weight in 6-7 months. That is about a pound and a half a week, totally do-able.

I was thinking about doing the South Beach Diet, but I know myself, and I know I would not be able to do a diet that cuts out an entire food group. Plus after the initial carb-less two weeks, there is a huge emphasis on whole grains, which would not be good for Crohn's. And the good old Crohn's has been treating me really well lately, so I don't want to mess with that. Instead I am going to stick with sparkpeople.

I started back up at the gym today, and have decided that starting next week I will be working out twice a day. I will go to the gym and either run/bike/do a class in the mornings then after work do either yoga or the 30 Day Shred in the evenings. Hopefully that will push things along at a nice clip.

My hope is that we will be able to get IVF rolling by Easter. I actually kind of like the idea of not cycling during the winter. I hated having to trek for an hour through the snow just to get bloodwork or an ultrasound.

I also decided I am not going to keep track of my cycles this break. I tried on our last break, and it was just annoying and obviously it isn't going to help anything, so I am just going to chill, focus on getting as healthy as is humanly possible. That's my plan and I am sticking to it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

No Hope

I have lost all hope for this cycle. I talked to my nurse at the fertility clinic and my progesterone level(P4) was only 7.5. That is with taking 600mg of prometrium a day, which is supposed to raise your P4 levels. The P4 level indicates whether or not you ovulated and it also helps prepare your uterus for pregnancy. My P4 indicates that I probably did ovulate, but for a medicated cycle it is supposed to be over 15. So mine is half what it is supposed to be.

I am supposed to be getting a prescription for a new drug (just add it to the fing list) called progesterone in oil, or PIO. It is an intramuscular injection, which should be fun. The hubs and I have to go in tomorrow to learn how to do these new injections. The best part is no local pharmacies stock the PIO so they have to order it and it won't be in until tomorrow afternoon.

So I already feel like this cycle is a failure. By this point in the 2ww if fertilization would have happened then the embryo should already be implanted in my uterus. But if my levels are so low I have no faith that my uterus is doing any good right now. So the debate now is when I get a negative pregnancy test next week should we do another cycle right away of injections, IUI and PIO or should we take another break for me to lose the rest of the weight for IVF. Part of me wants to give IUI another shot with the PIO for the whole 2ww, maybe that will make the difference. But the other part thinks that we need to stop dicking around with IUIs and get the IVF train rolling. I don't know. Right now I just want to get a big tube of cookie dough and some depressing movies and cry for the rest of the night.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Here We Go....

Well this cycle went much faster than I expected. After only four days of stims I am triggered, and early tomorrow morning we will go in for our first of two back to back inseminations. I am so excited and hopeful I can't even describe it.

In total I have six follicles, but only three have the possibility of being mature enough to factor into this cycle. I had three on the right all measuring around 10mm. These are the three that will not be mature enough. I also have three on the left. One is at 18.5mm, one at 15mm, and the last at 14mm. Typically a follicle grows between 1-2mm per day, they need to be over 17mm for them to be considered mature. So it is possible that those two smaller ones will be mature enough to release by ovulation time. This is the best result we could have asked for with this cycle. We wanted two to three mature follies at ovulation, and that is what we got.

I am trying as hard as I can not to get my expectations too high, but it is very hard. I will admit I have been looking at baby stuff a lot more this week than i usually do. It doesn't help that I have a baby shower to go to next weekend and my nephew's birthday is coming up soon. But I don't just look at stuff for other people's kids, I look at stuff for our kids. I look at the things I would want for our babies. I imagine how i will tell people we are pregnant, and how our house would be with a baby around. I can't stop my mind from wandering to those places. And honestly I don't want to stop it. I will worry about the fall out later if this cycle doesn't work.