wish need to begin this post by thanking each and every one of you who reads my blog and supports me in my journey to have another living child. I am more deeply grateful than I have words to express. My eyes smart as I write these heartfelt words of appreciation. Your kindness, compassion, support and love mean so much to me. Thank you.
On the subject of gratitude, I would like to offer special thanks to Jasmine at Journey in the Woods – an infant loss and writing blog that speaks from and to the heart in the most intimate voice of a fiercely passionate yet deeply grieving mother – for nominating me for a Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award. You can see her post here. I will write a post on the award, hopefully soon. Please stay tuned for that.
The Intralipids Hiccup
I will start this wee rant by saying that in the past eighteen-ish months I have developed and find no shortage of sources to fuel a thriving contempt for the public health care system in my country. I have been let down one time too many.
I got a rather unpleasant surprise yesterday when I visited my doctor’s office. I had booked this appointment in August. It was the first available appointment (and this is my family doctor, not a specialist). Of course it lands at the start of the week in which I finally expect to start my next (and prayerfully last) FET cycle.
I assumed that since my doctor is sympathetic (having seen me through 7 of my 8 miscarriages and our one successful pregnancy), she would make magic happen for me. She did just that on one hand (she gave me requisitions for blood and ultrasound that are for fertility treatments, which normally would cost me about $450 combined per monitoring appointment). I was anxious about whether she would do this (or be able to do it).
It never occurred to me that my doctor would not be licensed to prescribe the IV mayonnaise (intralipids or IL) that Dr. Braverman has recommended I have piped into my system weekly. Its ostensible purpose is to neutralize my unbelievably high Natural Killer cell activity and calm some of my systemic inflammation, both of which are believed to be contributing to my recurrent miscarriages and implantation issues.
Not only am I fully on-board with this recommendation (even if it ultimately turns out to be a variation of snake oil), I am terrified of not doing it (and doing it weekly) given that my NK activity levels are in the 98th and 99th percentiles in the 50:1 and 25:1 tests. I do not dare fail or refuse to pump liquid fat into my body to neutralize those NK cells given what has happened with my previous pregnancies. I will do whatever it takes to make this happen.
Which, as it turns out, means making weekly flights from the northwestern Canada to New York’s eastern seaboard (along with the related travel expenses and arrangements that invariably will include planes, trains, automobiles and possibly buses). Welcome to Plan B, version 37.0. I will have my first IL IV at Dr. Braverman’s Long Island clinic this Friday. He was gracious enough to walk through some alternatives for a Plan C on the phone and via e-mail yesterday but so far nothing is confirmed beyond me heading to his clinic every week for the next several weeks.
I should have bought shares in some of the U.S. airlines. Oh yeah, with what money?
Holiday season and winter are coming. I cannot continue Plan B through an entire trimester of pregnancy if I am blessed enough to get and stay pregnant during this cycle. So there will need to be a Plan C and I will need to implement it in October, after we figure out whether (a) our embryos or at least one of them survives the thaw; and (b) the transfer is successful. I should know that by roughly the third week of October (this is happening so fast all of a sudden. EEP!).
At the moment, Plan C options include:
1. Camping out in an Emergency Room at a nearby hospital and begging for mercy from a prescribing ER physician who will agree with Dr. Braverman’s recommendation for IL and approve me having them administered at said hospital’s IV Therapy Clinic. There are a few such clinics in my city, all seem to require a referral from a doctor with admitting privileges at the hospitals. My GP does not have those privileges, of course. My ObGyn has privileges at a hospital (the women’s hospital) at which there is no IV Therapy Clinic, of course.
2. A variation on item 1: Asking my GP to refer me to a doctor with admitting privileges at a hospital with a IV Therapy Clinic. I do not know if this is actually possible and the RN I spoke with yesterday at our healthcare referral service yesterday (who was remarkably sympathetic and put in 100% effort to try to help me) had no idea either and was unable to determine that from the records and databases available to her.
3. Travel to the U.S. or possibly a fertility clinic on the west coast in my own country where the owner/RE does IL treatments for his patients (which I am not). The travel cost of doing this is roughly equivalent and in some cases greater than me flying to the U.S. Dr. Braverman said his scripts/recommendations are “sometimes” followed by doctors at the Beer Center in northern California. There is also the possibilty of asking my former southern California RE to help out with this since he was willing to have me do one or two IL treatments during the FET cycle he proposed we do before I insisted I have immune testing completed before doing any more embryo transfers.
Yesterday I was stunned, scared and overwhelmed but relieved after Plan B fell into place. Today I am angry, bitter and resentful of the bureaucracy and delay and Kafka-esque absurdity that is navigating the Canadian public health care system for something as innocuous as intralipid infusions. I want to throat punch the public health care gods right now. You guys truly suck. If I were in control of your oxygen buttons, I’d be turning them off right about now.
On that positive note, let’s move on to item 3 on the agenda, shall we?
Ah, zen. I cannot tell you what happened during my hypno appointment last night because I don’t remember anything after seeing the bright flashes of light and colour that mean Azulito (our spirit baby) had arrived. I will get the recording today sometime.
Apparently I did not speak this time although I was very animated and made a lot of facial expressions that convinced my hypnotherapist that I was in a good place and communicating with some one or ones. I believe that is true although I was a little disappointed to not remember this time, unlike last time. And because I did not speak aloud, the recording may not tell me much more about the communications I was having. I do feel quite certain I was communicating at least in part with Azulito and I am grateful that the feeling I was left with afterward was one of deep calm and reassurance.
I believe I have made the right choice. If I waver (and I will, because equivocation in this area is ingrained in me), I will remind myself of the Falcon’s guidance and I will listen to the hypno recording to soothe and reassure me. That way, I can befriend my fear rather than let it run the show.
Despite the IL hiccup and my general worry that this will not work, I am starting to get the tiniest bit excited about this FET cycle. EEP!