Panic and Dread

I spent portions of the past few days trying to educate myself about human leukocyte antigens (HLAs) and anti-HLA antibodies (of which I have one related to the DQ8 HLA).  I am being charitable when I say it has been painful.

This morning I woke up from a dream in which I was having a very grave and ultimately tearful meeting with a doctor who in my dream was Dr. Jeffrey Braverman notwithstanding the fact that although his voice was perfect, his physical appearance was much altered by my subconscious.  Funny the things our minds can accomplish when they set themselves to it.  I digress.

Panic and dread set in after waking from the moment in my dream when Dr. Braverman (albeit a less hairy, more straight-haired, leaner and clean-shaven version of himself) said that I would be wise to resign myself to the fact that October 21st was not going to bring me the outcome I wanted.  He said there was really no hope of me carrying another child, essentially, suggesting my immune system would not permit it.

By way of context, I understood in the dream that October 21st was my transfer date for one of our last two remaining frozen embryos.  Why October 21st?  Ask my subconscious.  I have no idea.

Suffice to say I was floored and gutted.  Or gutted on the floor.  Whichever, I woke up shaken and upset.  I still am (shaken and upset).  The worst part is that I do not know whether this is my intuition talking or a combination of way too much home research, disrupted sleep, generalized anxiety and an overall shortage of sleep lately (by lately I mean about the last 14 years of my life).

Panic and dread struck a second time this morning as I reviewed the contract for transporting frozen embryos from one side of the continent to the other, specifically into New York state with its strict health department rules.  Among the lines that leapt out at me was one that read “Additional testing and quarantine may be required if donor eggs were used in creating the embryos.”  What additional testing?  What exactly do they mean by quarantine?

Jiminy Crickets!  Can this be any more complicated, overwhelming, stressful, and exhausting? Don’t answer that unless you are prefacing it with an offer of barbiturates.  I need a serious tranquilizer at this point.

I have e-mailed Biogenetics with these questions and “What if the donor’s infectious disease testing was done more than 30 days before our embryos were frozen and the clinic can’t find her for me to pay (out of freaking pocket, I might add) for her to get the testing done again now?”  Or words to that effect.  Because that is another one of the requirements, of course.  Biogenetics’ informed me when I asked last week about timing that test results for infectious diseases (syphilis, the various alphabetical variations of hepatitis, HIV, HTLV and so on) must be dated after the embryos were frozen or not more than 30 days before they were frozen (we’re okay on this front for the LP and I except we may be missing one set of HIV-related tests, I’ve also asked for clarification on that front from Biogenetics).

I had to email the RE at our second clinic (with the embryos) to ask him to send me a copy of one of the LP’s test results because of course it was not included in the records I got in dribs and drabs after seven requests in July.  I wonder what else is not among the records I got by pulling teeth.

I burst into tears for  a moment, feeling completely overwrought this morning after sending all of those e-mails and recalling my dream.

I consoled myself (not really) by e-mailing Dr. Braverman to ask if there was any chance we’d be able to consult with him this week about our test results or if that would likely happen in early September.  So far I have had no response.  I think I will go throw up from anxiety now.

I sure hope you all are having a better Monday morning than I am!

17 thoughts on “Panic and Dread

  1. Oh my dear friend, I’m sorry you’re having a rough morning. I do NOT think that dream is intuition. I think it is firmly rooted in mental processing of all the research and recent appointments and in fear. This is fear talking. I know because I hear it too. I’m sorry, this is so overwhelming. How is your immune system supposed to relax when you have to deal with so much crap! Take a deep breath. Try to address things one at a time and not to let yourself get too worked up and anxious. Sending you calming and comforting vibes.

    • Thank you for the vibes and the helpful perspective. Deep down I don’t *think* the dream is intuition either but you are so right – fear has this incredibly loud voice that drowns out all reason in the moment when anxiety is at its peak. And when fear strikes, it’s all about that clutching feeling in my chest that makes me lose confidence in what my gut might have to say about everything.

      I’m thinking of you as you march slowly toward the next big scary event in your life and doing all I can to channel the Universe’s positive energy your way for that journey.

  2. I would cry too! That’s an insane amount of red tape. I wish I could just hand you a Valium and a glass of wine.
    I don’t think Braverman will tell you there’s no hope! To the contrary, I think he has created successful protocols for far more difficult cases. You aren’t ready to give up.
    Cry until you’re spent. Imagine me rubbing your back.
    And then, keep going.

    • Yes. Thank you. That helps.

      Quite honestly, now that I’ve calmed down a little (a low grade anxiety is still purring away in my chest, it cannot be helped at this point I think), I know and even this morning the rational me was sure that Braverman would never say that to me. However… it’s not what he will tell us that ramps up the Fear-O-Meter. It’s the anxiety that he will sell us a bill of goods, I will buy it, it will not work and I will be devastated beyond repair. I think *that* anxiety is the mother of the crazy, crappy dream and the low-grade purr that’s going on even now. I am going to need the hypnotherapy if we go ahead with this, I think. That and some valium. 😉

  3. I am so sorry everything seems so hopeless right now! Just like mylifeasacasestudy said, I do think that Braverman will develop a protocol for you – this is why you decided to spend the money and see on of the best doctors out there. I guess, I am just encouraging you not to jump to any conclusions and wait to see what he actually says to you. I’m still hopeful for you.

    • Thanks, my friend. I agree – he will undoubtedly come up with a protocol – but I think the dream suggests my real fear is that it won’t work. Because, let’s face it, that is my biggest fear and right now – in the absence of a meaningful bloody interpretation of those test results, it is the most real thing me and my anxiety have got. Ugh. I just want some answers and some time to sort out the red tape, hopefully in our favour (I may actually implode if we can’t import our embryos to Braverman’s clinic because of !&$@*ing bureaucracy). I’m not jumping to conclusions, just feeling more anxious and overwhelmed than I’ve felt for a very long time, which totally sucks. I’m glad you’re hopeful (thank you, thank you, thank you), I am not at war with hope anymore but I think maybe she is now at war with me. 😦

      To do a 180, I’m very hopeful for you, but also really empathizing with your mixed emotions and struggle right now. Hugs, my friend.

      • I’m glad to hear you are not at war with hope right now, but hope needs to get herself sorted out and join the truce!
        I am so sorry that you are feeling so anxious and overwhelmed – I always find those emotions to be some of the worst that exist because they always result in increased fear and then it starts to feel like a full-time job just trying to keep them all at bay enough that I can function. I just wish something could be easy for us…

  4. I’m so very sorry. ❤ I hate dreams that seem realistic and bad. I hate that you are having to go all of this stress just because you moved! I hope that Dr. Braverman will talk with you soon and you will get some answers! You are in my thoughts and I am here if you want/need to talk. Hugs!

  5. Wow. The logistics of the transport sound taxing to say the least! To heck with making sense of the darn reprosource results and HLAs! It’s a foreign language that ruined my entire day today as well. Hoping you get your consult moved up to a closer date.

  6. I can’t believe all the regulations that are involved with transporting your embryos! There really should be a standard protocol for this. It makes no sense that the infectious disease screening you, your hubby and your donor did before was good enough for your transfer in the spring, but now you have to do more screening for the new lab to receive your embryos. I’m so sorry you have this worry on top of everything else. I really hope Dr. B gets back to you quickly and can give you some peace of mind! Praying you have peaceful dreams tonight. Hugs sweetie.

  7. Ugh, so awful. Can you pop a melatonin? Soak in a lavendar bath? Attempt a long walk in fresh air before bedtime? Can you try sleeping with white noise? (The white noise machine – I sleep to the gentle sounds of frolicking dolphins these days – was an incredibly perfect gift made to Niblet by my aunt when we suffered through colic). I know I am grasping at straws, because your dreams are absolutely the reflection of your anxiety and a brain that is sleep-deprived. This is not your intuition speaking.

    • Thank you so much for the affirmation, the suggestions, the kindness, the knowing compassion. It was my anxiety talking. I wish she would self-medicate more reliably!

      I just heard from Dr. B – he should have the final analyses of all of our results by Friday and will call me as soon as he does. I told him he just made my day. Because after yesterday, that’s all it took. 😉

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