Drug overload .. Druglord!

This is just a picture of my Morning pills, this is what happens when you are on a reproductive immunology treatment. It includes:

  1. Metformin 500mg (I takt this thrice a day for my PCOs)
  2. Pregnacare for conception (Yeah you all can see the big brown magical pill)
  3. Prednisolone 40 mg
  4. Omega 3 1000 mg
  5. Vitamin D 5000 I.U
  6. Hydroxychloroquine 200 mg\
  7. Baby Asprin ( I have been taking this since January 2015 based on my own internet research)
  8. Folic acid 5 mg

The picture does not include my clexane shot, my 2 other metformin pills and hydroxychloroquine 200 mg for the day!

I take all the Prednisolon with my breakfast so that I don’t have trouble sleeping at night and become what I call – PREDNINSOMNIAC. ha ha

Cant believe I am the same person who was crying over the 3 daily metformins in 2012 (when they first started). May my Lord ease my difficulty and help me in passing my test of life.

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2013 -One bad thing lead to another

We moved overseas in 2013 and although I was excited at first within a few days the loneliness and emptiness in my house affected me severely. Every day when my husband would be leaving for work; I used to have a sudden feeling of loneliness that would want me to stop him from going because I would have nothing to do but to unpack loads of cartons and set up a lonely empty house. I had always enjoyed decorating but for some reason at this point; I was lacking the passion to decorate my house. It was a new country, new house, new neighbors, new supermarkets to do grocery from, new dry cleaners, the entire environment around us had changed. I didn’t have my friends or family with me to support me during this phase. I was a complete loner; I was still a stay home wife and my house was silent. Pin drop silent.

I longed the cries of my baby and his/her movements around our new house. I even decorated my room keeping in mind the place for the baby’s crib and the baby’s rocker. My entire life seemed to be dependent upon the happiness and liveliness a baby’s arrival would bring to my house. Life was on a hold already. My life had always been fast paced and happening; I had never waited for anything to happen and suddenly the feeling of being ‘infertile’ was killing me and I was not able to do much about it.

A month after the move; my beloved sister’s husband passed away from Cancer. She was only 27 and had two daughters with him; Aged 4 and 2. I was grief stricken and I decided to visit my sister for a whole month to support her and help her cope with the sadness. I started to hate on life, it was full of sadness for almost everyone. Everyone seemed to be facing difficulty of one kind or the other. Some were sick, some lost their parents at a young age like my sister’s kids, some saw the deaths of their spouses, some were child less like me, some had nothing to eat or drink due to poverty and some were refugees and had lost entire families in wars. I didn’t enjoy living at all; My old spirit kept dying and I stopped smiling. I continued to lose weight due to the heavy metformin and depression. From 52 kgs I became 48 kgs and I looked like a sick and starved person. It seemed like my life was stuck in a bad cycle; One bad thing lead to another.

I had to find a gynecologist also; Everything was just new. Nothing could be the same, life had changed way too much. My sister’s sadness drove me mad and I had to face my own sadness of being childless and lonely in a completely new country. My parents and my siblings didn’t know about my infertility struggle so I didn’t have anyone asides my husband to talk to. He himself was adjusting to living in a new environment so I tried not to bother him as much as I could.

We found a gynecologist near home and although he wasn’t what we really wanted for our doctor to be; We decided on doing clomid rounds all over again. I was 22 only so any 1 cycle with proper ovulation had to work. We took clomid all over again for 3 cycles and we used OPK’s to track ovulation and had timed intercourse. During the 2WW, I used to insert progesterone suppositories for the first 10 days of the luteal phase. Every cycle it used to be saddening when I would see a negative pregnancy test and have a painful period at the end.

Happiness had stopped coming our way; It seemed to have diverted from my home to somewhere I wasn’t able to find it. Life was under complete darkness and I felt like running away. Running far away from everyone and everything and without stopping. Even under bright sun light, my life seemed as dark and bleak as a prisoner’s. I didn’t know what to do and how to handle myself or my emotions. I tried looking for a job but with my high school qualification it was almost impossible to find a decent job that my husband would allow me to do. I tried to keep myself busy with cooking , reading the newspaper, watching the television but nothing impressed me or made me happy. I lost the reason to wake up in the mornings and sometimes I used to be sleeping until noon. 😦 Waking up so late caused me to sleep late at night and I would stay up until dawn sometimes; Crying silently and thinking about my infertility and sad lonely life. The sadness and weight loss made me lose my appetite even more. I stopped eating and drinking and taking care of myself. I didn’t even realize what I was doing to myself and how I was worsening my chances by doing all those silly things.

I should have got up and joined a gym to work out which would have helped me increase my appetite, made me sleep better, reduced my stress levels and helped me to have a positive energy filled attitude. I was a mess and not impressive anymore. As I type; I realize what a depressing sight I must have become for my dear loving husband who would come home tired from work and the long office commute. I resent those days of my life and I hope no one ever falls into the mess I had fell in as I continued to let infertility ruin my precious young age.

On the other hand; My husband was always looking for ways to help us. By the summer of 2013 We thought about doing another ICSI/IVF. Before trying my husband just wanted to get a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) done on me to check if my tubes were okay and there were no blockages. We had a HSG done in July 2013 and it came out perfectly fine. Amidst all the sadness, just one thing coming out to be fine raised my spirits again! We thought about the expenses associated with IVF/ICSI and now we even knew that my tubes were working well so we decided that we didn’t really need IVF. Maybe what we really needed was IUI so that the sperm was up close to the egg to fertilize it at the right time.

In August 2013, with lots of hope and happiness for the future, we had our 3rd IUI. It resulted in a BFN but we were so happy and positive from the results of the HSG that I felt ready to do another IUI in Spetember 2013. And again, it was a BFN for us.

I wanted to take my mind off all the fertility treatments and wanted to do something about my future since it seemed like waiting to have kids , waiting for ovulation, waiting for 2 weeks to test for pregnancy, waiting for AF if the test was negative, again waiting for ovulation etc was way too much to handle and involved too much of waiting. It practically was like waiting for sun up and sun down, nothing else. I hated how I was waiting on everything, My life was on a complete pause. Everything and anything revolved around having a baby. For instance, once I had gone for a body massage, I told the therapist not to massage my stomach hoping I would be pregnant and I didn’t want anything going wrong that would stop implantation from happening! I literally became physically inactive in the 2WW just because I was ‘trying’ to maximize my chances of conception! I was really going crazy and had brought my life to a complete stop just to be pregnant. I used to feel sad that I was wasting my life waiting for something I didn’t even know would ever happen to me or not. So, I signed up for the University of London International Program. I wanted to hold a Bachelors degree and not feel stupid among people who held their Masters or multiple bachelor degrees. It was time to help myself instead of sulking all the time. I began my independent studies at home since it was an online degree. I used to study for atleast 12 hours a day, it kept my mind off my sadness and now I started sleeping well again. I started waking up early and tried really hard to pass my exams with good grades. Although the intense studying was stressful for me, it was helping me to stay away from crying to sleep every night. At that point that was all that mattered to me; I wanted to remain sane.

Please continue to read what happened further down in 2014. More on that later.

 

 

 

August 2012. Rather -Anxiety 2012.

Some of my acquaintances had married the year I got married and they had their first babies over the summer. Of course, social media helped me find out about the arrival of their babies and the very moment when I saw their pictures – I had a sudden feeling of sadness born inside me. It hit me very badly and every day I started wishing I would be pregnant. Becoming pregnant became the goal of my life. I didn’t ever have this sad state of mind. What happened to the cool me? Why did I suddenly start to feel my husband didn’t find me attractive anymore only because I was taking time to get pregnant? I started to feel depressed, anxious, nervous and lost my personality just behind the sudden new feeling of being ‘infertile’. Despite the bad feelings, I had my IVF booked for September so that gave me something to look forward to and be hopeful about.

Even though I wasn’t regular with my metformin yet, I started to lose some weight by now. From 54kgs, I became 52kgs. I was really happy I lost that bit of fat because I didn’t have much muscle anyway so I was happy about this bit of metformin.

March – April 2012: A Baby step forward.

We finally went to see a doctor after missing AF for 3 months. Sure enough, I wasn’t pregnant and I had PCOs. The doctor prescribed Metformin 500mg thrice a day and some folic acid.

I didn’t realize what an enemy PCOs was to fertility. I began to read about it on the internet and I found some posts that were terrible and very few that gave hope. I began crying after I read the terrible ones from people who didn’t conceive until years 😦

Then I came across posts by women who took Clomid and Metformin and conceived! I was relieved! So without talking to my doctor, I started Clomid (We dont need prescriptions where I live).

I took Clomid without reading how many days it was to be taken for and on what cycle day! Can you imagine how naive I was? I was lucky enough that I started it on Day 2 of my cycle and on Day 6 I just went to see my gynecologist for a general follow up. When I told her I have started Clomid, she was shocked that I was still taking it on cycle day 6! She made me stop it immediately and called me back in on cycle day 11. After doing a transvaginal scan, she gave me an Ovidrelle shot and within a few days my husband and I were busy. I had to use progesterone suppositories post ovulation twice a day to increase chances of implantation since PCOs patients are deficient on progesterone hormone.

At the end of the cycle, I had my period and I wasn’t pregnant. We were upset but were very positive and kept going on and enjoying life.

We gave Clomid another two rounds but I wasn’t pregnant. Again and again.

When I started to take Clomid and Metformin, I used to get terrible headaches and started to have a lot of hair loss. The hair loss and the bit that I had to take my medication regularly like an adult at the age of 21, used to depress me a lot but I used to cheer up myself by thinking of a positive pregnancy test and healthy baby.

I have a few regrets that I would like others to know about so that they avoid the mistakes that I made. First of all, as soon as we started trying for a baby, I had stopped working out thinking that working out will stop implantation from happening. It is a very common myth! Please don’t stop exercising when trying to conceive – you may exercise less aggressively post ovulation but before ovulation you can work out as much as you can. Especially PCOs patients, we have to work out regularly to balance our hormones, only Metformin doesn’t help. Exercising has been proven to reduce stress, ward off anxiety and depression, boost self-esteem and improve sleep. If you think about it this closely, exercise rather improves fertility and increases chances of conception. Secondly, I had very bad eating habits, I used to munch on crisps and chocolates – another extremely bad thing I was doing to my insulin resistant body! Not only that, I used to drink only 700-80oml of water daily. Ideally, I should have been drinking at least 2 liters of water daily. To sum it up, I was a horrible mess. I had no idea what I was doing to myself and I was not worried about my PCOs at all, I had seen people get pregnant every now and then. I also learnt that most women of Asian descent have polycystic ovaries and Asia is the most populated continent. Another regret that I have is I used to be very irregular with Metformin when I started taking it. Sometimes I used to forget to take it because I was never on any medication on a regular basis and sometimes due to the headaches and dizziness, I used to skip some pills. I was taking one Metformin a day instead of the 3 a day prescribed by my doctor. What a sad case I made 😦

We were young so we were impatient also. So we booked an appointment with a fertility specialist although it had only been 6-7 months since we started trying! But today I am glad that we were impatient otherwise I would have never fully diagnosed my condition which I finally did in 2015, more on that bit later.

Sending courageous thoughts to all of you!