It was the best of Wednesdays; it was the worst of Wednesdays.
For those of you following our gripping “Tale of Two Ovaries”, today was the day we were to go back for an ultrasound to check if That Bastard Cyst was gone. Or, at the very least, that it was cowed into submission by my birth control pills of doom. So we set our alarms extra-early, got up (BDH having had about 4 hours’ sleep, and me just slightly more), and got on the road around 6:15 this morning. The ultrasound wasn’t scheduled until 9 am, but if you remember, last trip took us a full two hours because of construction and traffic. We just didn’t want the hassles again this time, considering the 401 was closed last night and into this morning’s rush hour by a tractor-trailer collision. Ah, the smell of sulfuric acid and diesel in the morning.
We set off with the intention of taking the back roads and having a leisurely drive in. No rush, no worries. Except for the little, tiny, baby hiccup in our plan: that there was an inordinate number of stupid people on the roads this morning. Stupid people, driving stupidly in their stupid vehicles, everywhere we turned. It’s like the Annual Stupid Festival came to town, and nobody told us. But we fought our way through it and made it into our usual parking spot (6th level of the parking garage, by the elevator, because stupid doesn’t like heights) at around 8:10. Which left us plenty of time for a catnap in the car. We often catnap in the car when we get in early and have time to spare before appointments. And yet, we are always somewhat angered and peevish that BDH’s cellphone alarm has the absolute GALL to go off and wake us before our appointment. Go figure.
So, up we trooped to the clinic at quarter til nine, and down the hall for the obligatory pre-game pee. (Trust me, after the dressing-down I got from Doctor Crankypants one day for daring to have some fluid in my bladder — despite having peed not 15 minutes before — I take extra care in making sure I pee as much as is humanly possible before I go into the exam room. He actually sent me back down the hall to the bathroom, dressed in nothing but a bedsheet, to pee some more that time. What, TMI? Dude. You gotta know this stuff, man.) We went into the exam room to see our favourite cheerful Young Lady Doctor. She always makes it a positive experience, or at least, as positive as she can given the circumstances. We like her. She gets it. And wand at the ready, we reviewed what we were looking for and what would happen if we did or didn’t find That Bastard Cyst. Both Young Lady Doctor and the day’s case nurse were in great form, laughing and joking, and once we got started, we saw… it had shrunk! We’re at .9 cm! This, combined with the start of my period, means that the cyst is “not active” or not producing estrogen and therefore on its way out, so it will no longer be a problem. This was great news for a few reasons. First, it meant no procedure to drain the cyst. (WHEE! The less pain, the better.) Second, it meant I didn’t have to take any more of those stinking birth control pills, which means an end (hopefully) to the month-long headache and other fun side effects. And third and most happily, it meant we could start on the rest of the drug protocol today. We are underway for this cycle.
While I sat there on the exam table discussing the options with Young Lady Doctor, it suddenly occured to me. DUDE. She’s pregnant! Like, REALLY pregnant! When the HELL did THAT happen? And while I was pondering that, and chatting with the case nurse on my left about the protocol, I noticed Young Lady Doctor out of the corner of my eye on my right side getting a little antsy. Then, she sort of clambered across the exam table and futzed with my bangs. “What, was that BUGGING you?” I asked her, laughing and not just a little surprised. “Yeah,” she said, “wasn’t it bugging YOU?” She was all embarassed and it was very, very funny. I think, I will miss Young Lady Doctor when she goes on mat leave. So we got done and I headed into the change room. I heard Young Lady Doctor go out into the hallway and chat with BDH. They chatted about her pregnancy. Young Lady Doctor was a patient in the program as well as a doctor, and I heard her say, “I worked so hard to get this far, and now I’m kinda getting ready for it to be done.” So as BDH and I headed back downstairs to the pharmacy, I said to him, “Dude. I had NO IDEA she was pregnant.” Apparently, neither did he. And as it turns out, she’s 34 weeks along, so it’s been MONTHS that we’ve been working with her and never noticed. Oops.
We had to go downstairs and pick up our $2500 or so of drugs for this protocol at the hospital pharmacy. There was a 15 or 20 minute wait. Now, the pharmacy is situated near the main elevators, which provided us with the perfect vantage point from which to view the crazy people at the hospital while observing elevator traffic. So, it was not all crazy people driving today, then. Oh no. Some of them were ambulatory as well. Crazy bald goth biker dude with ZZ Top beard, miserable emo chick with pink hair, strange student with obligatory giant thick glasses and floppy bowl hair cut, delivery people with the leather skin and cauliflower noses… they were all there. Cross-Section-Of-Society On Parade, man. And some even stopped in at the pharmacy, which sent BDH into apoplectic spasms of frustration. One fellow in particular, in camoflage-patterned sneakers, shirt emblazoned with “Canada Post” decals, and no teeth, went in to pick up what we believe was iron pills. However, it took no less than 10 minutes of excruciatingly detailed explanation by the pharmacy staffer of what the drug did and how to take it and why before this odd little man was sure he understood enough to head out into the world clutching said packet of pills. Combine this people-watching time with the near-hysterical level of sleep deprivation we were approaching and we were very punchy indeed as we headed for home, with our refrigerated baggie full of liquid gold.
Never underestimate the power of sleep deprivation in the hilarity of a car trip. Strange things become funny to the very tired. I give you: the word “truncheon”. Two hours and endless uses of this word later, including at the drive through of McDonalds where BDH ordered a “Bacon and Egg McTruncheon”, and we were home. Giggling, exhausted, and frighteningly short of patience with the world around us (motto: we love humanity, it’s people we can’t stand), we crashed into bed around noon.
About an hour later, I got my callback from my case nurse confirming that everything looked good, and confirming the schedule and doses of meds for the next few days. I start out this evening taking 40 IU of a drug called Lupron, which I take twice a day. This one, from what I gather, helps ensure that when I start producing follicles, they’re of good quality. Kind of like digging manure into the soil in a garden in spring, I guess. Then, after two days of that, on Friday, I add in an injection of 450 IU of a follicle stimulating hormone, which is where all the money is really spent, at $450 an injection. It makes the follicles grow (hence the name, “follicle stimulating hormone”. Duh.) So, following my gardening analogy, it’s, what, fertilizer? Then, I go in on Monday, bright and early, for my first monitoring blood test, to see how I am responding. I guess that’s roughly akin to when Farmer Brown does his walkabout on the fields, and reaches down and grabs the big clot of dirt, and crushes it thoughtfully in his hand… God. I am shit at analogies. Anyway, I will worry until the lab results come back that the cycle will go horribly terribly wrong like last time. Also, because it means being at the lab for 7 am. Bah. So once all was confirmed, I groggily let a few friends know how things went, and spent the rest of the afternoon vegging in front of electronic entertainment devices. BDH missed work entirely, and woke up to find me adding reminders by the score into my calendar. I played the message from the clinic for him, including the little celebratory “Yay! You’re on your way!” from the case nurse, and he went off to hunt and gather sustenance. And a video game.
And so, having just returned from the first of my many shots, administered by BDH, I can safely say that we are on our way. Again. Fingers crossed.