Monday, August 30, 2010

Back From Java

Hi Folks!

I'm back from my trip to Central Java. It was a spectacular but equally exhausting trip. My sight-seeing trips are hardly relaxing vacations - waking up at pre-dawn and out the door on our bicycles by 6a.m. to catch the sights in early morning light is not what I'd call "relaxing". But we had a great time!

[Sillhouette of the Prambanan Temples]

[Temples of Prambanan]

[Dieng Plateau]

[Boiling cauldron of mud steaming up from Sikidang Volcanic Crater]

[Borobudur Temple in the Mist]

[Borobudur Temple at Sunset]

And of course something had to give - all our scheduled baby-making, BBT charting and ovulation monitoring went out the window! I didn't even pee on a single stick, so all my OPKs chalked up quite a lot of frequent flyer miles for this round-trip! 

I had an appointment with Dr.NeverGiveUp the day after we got back and he pretty much confirmed my suspicions that this cycle was a bust. The u/s scan didn't show any ovulation-ready follicles and my lining had already thicken to 16mm. My BBT had not risen and was still low which indicated that my progesterone levels were insufficient, and that ovulation likely did not happen. So I'm pretty sure there won't be a Borobudur Baby.

But Dr.NeverGiveUp was so pleased with my lining. He spoke as if he was looking at fine art and kept saying with awe that it was the most beautiful he had ever seen (in my history). He pointed at some curvy white bit on the monitor and said that the lining was thick and very distinctive-"perfect". Well, it's a relief that at least my body got something right!

During our consultation, Dr.NeverGiveUp again shared one of his success stories - apparently one of his patients found out the day before that she was pregnant. She was 40 yrs old and infertile for 7 years. She had conceived on the 4th month under his treatment and on the same month that she started taking royal jelly. He was trying to reassure me that I need not worry and that I just had to be patient because I can still conceive at my age. I mean, good for all these women, but - When is it EVER gonna be my turn? Sigh!

So now I'm back on royal jelly@bee spit. You don't know how much I deplore taking this stuff. I'm still trying to perfect my technique of swallowing this snot-like jelly without ever tasting or smelling it. The other day I squeezed my nose shut with my fingers and put it in my mouth. The texture is so gross it took me quite a few seconds to convince my throat to swallow it. Then I tried to mask it by drinking some water and then eating some sweet pastry stuff, all while pinching my nose. Gawd! Do you know how hard it is to eat something without being able to exhale or breathe? I still had my nose pinched tight, and it took an immense amount of coordination to eat like that because crumbs were flying out of my mouth as I exhaled through it. LOL! Thinking that it was all clear, I released my nose and the lingering waft of bee-spit still made me gag straight away. The kitchen sink was 2 feet away and it took all the effort I had not to hurl into it. Conclusion about sweet pastry experiment: Gargantuan FAIL! The next time I battled bee spit again, I tried the same technique but ate Halls medicated cough drops instead. The pungent menthol fumes seem to help a lot, and this is by far the best masking agent. So this takes the horror a bit out of my bee-spit saga! And to think, Dr.NeverGiveUp actually said that he eventually learned to like the taste of it (he's taking it for anti-aging/cancer reasons). "It tastes quite nice!" he says. He also suggested freezing it so you can take it like ice-cream! Like freezing poop into popsicles actually make poop taste good! 

So anyway, it's CD35 now, my ute's feeling a little tender and Dr.NeverGiveUp said that my period will probably happen within a week. Sadly, it looks like there won't be any BFP this cycle. At least the sex was good!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Quickie

  • Hubs and I are going off to explore the ruins of Java, namely Borobudur and Prambanan! Our flight leaves on Friday morning. Woohoo!

  • Ovulation seems to be as elusive as ever but I am bringing a healthy supply of OPKs to pee on!

  • I spent a good 15 minutes dispensing and prepacking all my TCM herbal pills and fertility supplements for the trip. There are so many pills, I felt like a freakin' pharmacy! 

  • I am not taking Bee Spit (Royal Jelly) along with me. It requires refridgeration and I'm not sure my hotel room has a fridge-since the hotels where we are visiting are pretty no-frills. You can't imagine how happy I am to have an excuse not to take this stuff! 

  • The Bee Spit taste is so strong that it even lingers in the water bottle I drink from to wash it down with. When I took a sip from the bottle later, the horrendous Bee Spit smell almost made me gag straight away. I realized that it wasn't so much the taste, but the afwul aroma it exudes that drills into every cell of your olfactory. And stays there! Since smell is so much a part of the taste experience, I find that if I hold my nose shut and down the Bee Spit in one gulp takes the horror off a little bit. Man! This stuff is potent!

  • Thanks for all the show of love and support you gals have given me, especially in regards to my latest hormonal findings. I'm sorry I won't be able to keep up with your blogs while I'm away, but I'll catch up when I get back. Hope things are going well for you whichever IF journey you're on and hope to receive some happy news when I return!  


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Latest Super Fertility Treatment

Well, it's a good thing that my hormones are on the road to recovery cos my eggs are still damn messed up. They're still doing the houdini act on me. Two days ago, there were 2 follies - one at 12mm, the second at 13mm. Today, they have disappeared!


Dr.NeverGiveUp said that they had dissolved?!??? So the next dominant follicle I have growing now is at 8mm. And it's already CD23. Sigh! It's going to be a looooooooooooooooong road to ovulation, if at all.

Since my eggs are still underperforming, Dr.NeverGiveUp said,

"I think it's time to share with you this new treatment that I have."

My heart skipped a beat! WOW! If you remember, I was super excited when I first heard about it this new mysterious treatment. Finally this miracle cure (at least in my head it is) will be revealed to me! So he goes on and tells me that it's.......................................
.............................................................................. Royal Jelly.

Reaction No.1 :
Royal Jelly? OMG! That's what I have always wanted to try!

Reaction No.2 :
What? That's it? But every woman who's been desperately TTC already know about this!!!

Of course I didn't say all that to him, but that was what I was thinking loudly in my head. On the outside, I was cool as a cucumber and patiently listened to him explain why.

Apparently scientists to date still do not know what exactly it is inside royal jelly that is so good for us. There's all sorts of nutritious stuff inside and is used for all sorts of ailments. Royal jelly is actually a substance secreted by the glands of worker bees, and fed in tremendous amounts to baby bees (larvae) to transform them into super egg-laying machines @ the Queen Bee. This stuff is so amazing that it makes it possible for the queen bee to lay eggs up to a total of 4 times her own weight - per day! WIth this stuff, she also outlives normal bees by almost 7 years.

In Dr.NeverGiveUp's clinical trials, it has proven to be very effective as his patients have produced amazingly beautiful eggs. He says that the effects may start to show up 6-7 weeks into taking royal jelly, though I can experience it's benefits as early as 2-3 weeks into it.

For the purpose of increasing fertility, the normal dosage recommended for health maintenance is not sufficient, so I am to take 1 teaspoon twice a day. What I am taking is frozen fresh royal jelly, the pure stuff which he has sourced directly from the bee farmer. Dr.NeverGiveUp told me that there are heaps of royal jelly products available on the market but what he's sourced has proven to be good in quality and effective. This small little bottle costs me $100 and will last me about a week.

As for the taste, I thought it would just be like honey. WRONG! It is possibly the grossest thing I have ever tasted in my life. Worse than all the black, muddy chinese herbal potions I have had to take. First of all, the appearance is so off-putting: it looks like snot! And the taste is so horrendous I can't even describe it. It leaves an awful lingering aftertaste, even after downing it with ice-cream and water. I call this my Bee Spit. So now I'm taking this on top of all my usual TCM pill regime.

Anyway, let's just see what happens. In 2-7 weeks, hubs reckon I may just grow into a big, fat organism as big as a room, immobile and loaded with eggs. Har. Har.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Good Golly Gosh Great Hormones!

I got my CD4 blood work back and the results were fantastic!

My FSH level was really good at 5.7.

My estradiol and progesterone levels were on the low end but still within the normal range.

And my testosterone levels have come down! It was previously at 0.86 prior to Dr.NeverGiveUp's treatment, but it is at 0.5 now (normal range is 0.14-0.76). 

This is truly amazing because there is no treatment in western medicine that can lower women's testosterone! 

I finally have conclusive proof that TCM works for balancing hormones in women! And all I took were chinese herbal pills! Which had no side-effects! And it worked within 3 months for me! This is fabulous news for women who are suffering from infertility due to whacky hormones (PCOS comes to mind too).

Unfortunately not all TCM doctors are at the same calibre as Dr.NeverGiveUp for treating infertility, as I have learned from my own experience. My one and a half years with "TCM doc" with twice-weekly electrified prickings (electro-acupuncture), daily torture of drinking herbal sludge and the occasional fire-play over my meridien points (moxibustion) have done little to help me. I knew I needed a better doctor and it was hard looking for a good one. But I think I finally found my dream TCM doctor! I believe I'm finally on the road to fertile wellness!

Anyway, on that same visit, I decided to ask him why I was feeling so hot (I left out the "and horny" part). He checked my pulse and looked at my tongue and said that I was not heaty. I was feeling that way because of my hormones - 

"You're young again!" 

I couldn't help but laugh at that. I told him that I've been getting zits again. And he says that my hormones are working again. Well he got that right! My sex drive is like through the roof. I told him it's like I'm going through puberty again! He thought that was really funny.

My comatosed libido has finally been CPR-ed back to life and it feels amazing! Age and fervent-but-futile TTC attempts have sucked the fun out of sex. So it's wonderful to have that desire back and to have sex just for the pure fun of it. Unfortunately, I think I am borderline nymphomaniac now! Does having sex 6 times in the last 7 days sound excessive??? Especially when I am not even ovulating yet?

Well, if I haven't been blogging much, you can guess why! ;-) 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Me So "!!-BLEEP-!!"

I went in to see Dr.NeverGiveUp last Friday with an Excite-O-Meter Level of like, 1 billion, because I was super excited about getting my blood work back. I've already been on his meds for 100 days - the minimum pre-requisite for change to happen - and things should be starting to take effect on my body by now.

So I head into the room when my name was called. Only Dr.Don'tWorry, his wife, greeted me. The second that I heard that he wasn't around and that they hadn't got my blood work back yet, well, let's put it this way - if I were an erection, I deflated instantly! I lost all enthusiasm after that. And the rest of the appointment was rather uneventful. All I remember was Dr.Don'tWorry breaking out into her usual "Don't Worry!" song...

"Don't worry about the fibroid..." - my fibroid hasn't shrunk any further.

"Don't worry about your hormones..." - I was worried that I hadn't been ovulating much.

"Don't worry about your testosterone levels..." - they've been a tad high. She then tells me that a patient of hers had it a lot worse than me. Her testosterone was so high that she had to shave her chin everyday before going to work. And she didn't even ovulate. But after 8 months on their herbal formula, she managed to conceive...

I think my hormonal imbalance is somewhat attributed to my strange nocturnal lifestyle. Last month, it got so bad that I was going to bed at noon and waking up at 8pm just in time to have dinner with hubs. My work revolves around an online global market that is open 24 hours, so I don't have or need specific working hours. My odd sleeping hours have also been exacerbated by a history of AF endo pain, which intensifies and keeps me awake through the night, leaving me exhausted by daytime when I could finally sleep. My body eventually preferred to stay awake at night and sleep in the day. I mean, I am more vampire than Edward from Twilight! Unlike Edward, I don't see daylight much and certainly don't go out and sparkle in the sun at all!

My circadian rhythm's all off and I have no doubt it is wreaking havoc on my hormones. So I've been trying to fix that by regulating my sleep habits this past week to be more in tune with the "living". I'm not all normal yet but I'm doing a lot better now. At least I am asleep when the sky's still dark and I'm up before noon. And I have to say that I feel so much better now. Maybe it's mainly psychological, but I don't feel like such a freak at least.

Well I don't know what else is going on with my hormones but my libido has not subsided. Usually it's in a coma and by the time we get to ovulation, it is like pretty much super dead. Maybe Dr.NeverGiveUp's meds has something to do with it??!!! I feel like a teenage boy with raging hormones who has just discovered sex! And wanting it. All. The. Time! Hello? Whose body is that inside???

And I've been feeling really hot too. The ridiculously hot weather hasn't been helping much either. The palms of my hands are extremely warm and flushed all the time. I can just about heat up food by hovering my hands over them! I call them my "microwave hands". According to TCM, I've been diagnosed with a cold condition and I used to joke about it by calling myself a cool babe. Since being on Dr.NeverGiveUp's meds, I'm the complete opposite now - I'm a hot babe! Hubs calls me Hot and Horny! Having battled with IF for years, sex has got to a point where it has become a pointless chore that only happens when I'm ovulating. But now, sex is fun again for me. It's only CD16 now and I don't know how long I can keep this up, but for now, hubs isn't complaining at all. Maybe my moniker needs to be changed from Zen Girl to Horny Girl!

This song comes to mind! LOL!
(Warning-Keep a bar of soap handy to clean your ears out with - explicit lyrics!)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Doing The Timon...Again!

  • Aunt Flo's having a party in my ute and she doesn't want to leave. She thinks she just got here. Despite this being CD8!

  • Clots that made a no-show last period came back with a vengeance! Despite taking clot-busting Fibrovan religiously.

  • I haven't had ANY pain whatsoever -not even a twitch -all through AF. Despite the clots. (It's a miracle!)

  • I am feeling so freakin' horny! Despite Aunt Flo chaperoning Ms.Cha Cha 24/7.

So, again...