Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I hate progesterone and other musings...

My lovely magic pill (Hydroxyzine) that I've been taking to manage my Autoimmune Progesterone Dermatitis basically stopped working yesterday.  I started my PIO (progesterone in oil) shots (in the ass, yay!) on Sunday, and the pill seemed to be doing just fine on Sunday and Monday.  Then comes last night, when twice the dosage had no effect.  I'm freaking out, as I pretty much slept in 1 hour increments last night so I could get up and replace the ice packs on my feet in those intervals.  I'm not sure this will be feasible to keep up if I do get pregnant.  Plus, I've heard several people say to ensure your feet stay warm during the two week wait, so I'm guessing actually putting ice directly on your feet wasn't what they had in mind.

So I call my allergist this morning, (whom I LOVE - the doctor at least), and get the voicemail.  This works perfectly, as I'm assuming I can leave a message, the doctor will listen, and she'll get back to me with ideas.  My goal is to avoid talking to reception or the nurses, since they have been, well, less than the most intelligent to talk to.  I get that I'm taking them outside their comfort zone, but you would think SOMEONE there would have some common sense other than the doctor.

Unfortunately, the nurse is the one to call me back.  I have to basically repeat the message I already gave, and the conversation goes something like this:

Nurse:  Well, it looks like Dr. M prescribed you Hyrdoxyzine back in September.  I'll have her call in a refill of that for you.
Me: I took that last night.  Twice the dose.  I have a full bottle and some refills.
Nurse:  So you aren't taking it regularly?  The prescription shouldn't have last this long.
Me:  No, I only take it during outbreaks.  On a normal cycle, that's only about 4-5 days during the month.
Nurse:  Oh, okay.  So it just stopped working?
Me: Well, I'm taking the progesterone injections now.  The dosage is so much higher, that I don't think the pills are keeping up.
Nurse:  That's not right.  We didn't prescribe you injections.  Only the pills.  Where are you getting the injections.
Me: (throws receiver at wall.  Not really, but I wanted to)  Again, I'm undergoing fertility treatments.  The progesterone is prescribed by my doctor there.
Nurse:  Well, if it is causing you issues, let the doctor know, and you can stop taking it.  (editorial note:  progesterone is essential to pregnancy.  Not taking it is not an option.  Plus, my body makes its own anyway, just not enough during a suppression cycle)
Me:  I can't stop taking the injections.  I need a treatment that can handle the additional dosage.

Finally, she has me repeat word-for-word what she should tell the doctor (isn't this why I left a voicemail to begin with?).  About 15 minutes later, I get a call back from a MUCH more knowledgeable nurse, who changes up my drugs, and talks intelligently about the whole process, and how they'll need to reevaulate if I do get pregnant, since my drug choices are limited.  She tells me that I'll take the shots through the first trimester if I'm successful (I know this, but I'm so happy she does too!), so I'll just keep working with them.  I wish they'd mark on my file that only certain people are allowed to talk to me.

So....let's hope that this new protocol works and we're smooth sailing the next few weeks - and hopefully many weeks beyond that...

Other random notes:

PIO shots still kind of suck.  My husband almost starts crying every time he has to give them.  And they are pretty inconvenient...the whole process is about 20-30 minutes start-to-finish (for me, at least, but it might be because I'm a weenie and need to ice the area first and use a heating pad after).  It also needs to be around the same time each day (we picked 8pm), so wreaks havoc on any kind of social life.  We're still figuring how we'll work around this, as these shots aren't as transportable to bars/restaurants/shows like my others were.  Although, my biggest discomfort (after the APD) is the raw skin that results after removing my estrogen patches.  I change these every three days, so I'm building up a nice little set of bright red rectangles all over my back.  Yuck.  I really do not think it would be fair whatsoever to go through all this and not even end up pregnant. 

Nearing the "end of the road" sucks.  I'm happy because I'm ready to put this part of my life behind me, but it is very difficult not knowing what the future holds.  I have a friend that reached the end of the road in her fertility "journey" (oh, goodness, it sounds like we're on the Bachelor now), and my heart breaks for her.  I know she reads this, so I want to tell her that I'm also immensely proud of her and think that she is one of the strongest people I know...even though I know she doubts that herself.  Ultimately, her life is going to be amazing in so many ways and I will be there for her in any way she needs me to.  You are quite a rock star, lady.  You know who you are.

Thank you to the lovely people around me "in real life" and on the interwebs that offer continual support.  I know our story gets old after awhile, especially if nothing ever actually happens.  So knowing that you continue to cheer for us warms me all up.  Thank you!

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