The March Hare in May

It’s been five weeks since my last post and about that long since I last checked in on many of you.

I’m sure I have missed a lot of your news, and I’m sorry for being MIA. I kept hoping and waiting to have something good to report and the days turned into weeks…

Not only have I not gotten my period, but I started feeling worse and worse overall. Then I had my thyroid checked (if you’ll remember, my TSH went down to 0.05 in January after my antibiotic treatment). As of April, it had gone up to 6! I was totally hyper. And feeling all the anxiety and panic and depression that went along with it. Plus hot flashes and body stiffness and aches and just not feeling right. I had been seeing Yu Ming for acupuncture/herbs and went a few times for massage therapy to alleviate some of it. And got in an appointment with Energy Man, who said I was “processing a lot”. Unfortunately, the new dosage of Synthroid wlll take 8 weeks to really make me feel any better.

And this, my friends, is where I hit my wall.

It’s been 10 years now since I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and I’m sure it had gone undiagnosed for many years prior to that. I have seen 4 family doctors and 5 fertility specialists during that time and no one has monitored it as closely as I would like, nor have they suggested an alternate thyroid medication or referred me to an endocrinologist.

I happened to mention my thyroid issues on separate occasions to two women I know and they each suggested I see their doctor – the same guy – as he has earned a reputation in our city for being the go-to hormone guy for women. He is an integrative doctor – an OB-GYN – and he orders more thyroid tests than any other doctor in our province. He specializes in bio-identical hormones. They told me he charges an annual fee and that it would likely take a long time to get in to see him. I called and they had a cancellation so I got in within a few days.

Enter The March Hare. He is a lovely man and a renegade. I think he and Dr. White Knight would get along very well. 

The March Hare talks very quickly. He’s clearly brilliant and has much to say and 40 minutes is not long enough.

He gave me homework – reading, water-drinking, exercise, dvds, tests, and prescriptions.  He prescribed bio-identical DHEA drops – yes, drops!!! Apparently the other form of DHEA that doctors are prescribing makes things worse (which is how I felt on it)! He prescribed bio-identical Progesterone cream to take from the 15-30 every month. He prescribed 5HTP and FemMed to help me sleep at night. He ordered bloodwork for a couple of weeks from now. He ordered allergy testing (I have an appointment tomorrow). 

I told him I was just there to feel better and prevent bone loss, that I had given up on conceiving.

He told me he can absolutely make me feel better, but not to give up – one of his patients just recently had a spontaneous surprise pregnancy at the age of 47 after 12 years of IVF treatments.

I look forward to feeling better, and I’m curious to see how this plays out.

The tea party isn’t over yet.

Mission Follicles Aborted

Excuse the pun.

But, well, it is.

Sort of.

Sure, I’m still doing my best to eat well and take care of myself. There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t do SOMETHING I’m supposed to, like take a few wheatgrass shots or go to yoga or take my supplements or meditate or SOMETHING. Something proactive.

And I’m still seeing Yu Ming for acupuncture and taking my Chinese herbs 3x/day (the needles are still hurting, and I am feeling the effects of the treatment in my hands and feet – Yu Ming says this is because of the cleansing that is going on – the good news is that she believes it is very superficial, and we will get through it soon).

Plus I go see Energy Man when he’s in town (he said during the most recent treatment I had with him that he had to work hard to move my energy, but he got it moving).

But.

I’m just at the point where I have to let go of trying so hard.

My body is continuing to recover and heal from everything, and I can feel sensations of a period even though there is no bleeding yet. It’s the strangest thing, but once a month I have irritability, cramps, breast tenderness and so on, like my body is going through all the motions, but no bleeding. (Dinah, Dr WK’s other patient, describes the same phenomenon.) My hot flashes increase during that “period” and then decrease again the rest of my cycle. Yu Ming feels confident that my period will begin again soon. I believe her. She has many clients she tells me about who came to her in their late thirties and early forties after their period stopped, thinking they were in menopause. After a few months their period came back and continued into their fifties. I have faith it will come back for me, too.

Mr. H has finished his month-long dose of oral antibiotics and feels much better, too. He even thanked me for putting him through “all the torture” of the treatment.

So we are both feeling better and more energetic and I *do* think my period is going to return. We are even back to unprotected intercourse for the first time since October.

Then why would I stop the big push to grow follicles? Shouldn’t I try even harder now?

Sure, I guess I could kill myself to keep force-feeding myself more and more fruits and veggies (which I do some days, but some days I don’t) and spend more money to go to a Julia Indichova workshop or do her teleconferences or something (I have considered this, and who knows, I may still do it – the testimonials are pretty convincing and I do believe in the mind/body link). Or, once I get my period, I could look into IVF again.

But my gut tells me to just stop pushing so hard now. I think maybe if I’d gotten my period by now, I would have felt encouraged and pushed harder, but my last full period was in October, and I’ve only had 2 real ones in the past year. Sort of takes the wind out of a POF girl’s sails, you know?

And yes, I think it will come back. And I’ll see how I feel when it does – maybe I will feel differently and get back on the bandwagon with naprotechnology charting or who knows what.

But I feel like, at this point, I have worked very hard and climbed a big mountain of infertility. There have been a lot of setbacks and there is no pregnancy or baby, but here we are, anyway. Healthier than we were before. Maybe still a little fertile. Maybe not. Some may say we are too old (saw another ignorant news article this weekend about how nobody should have children past the age of forty because of the health issues children have, how aging parents suck, etc., etc.).

But for now I think we just need to coast for a bit and let whatever happens happen. Now that we can actually have unprotected intercourse, there is still the potential there…whether or not I have my period, too. It’s possible. The cycle that Dinah conceived, she just had a little spotting.

I’ll still keep taking care of myself, of course. This coming week I need to go get my TSH retested to see if my thyroid medication needs adjusting again. I will do everything I can to make sure things are optimum for conception, but I’m also going to *try* to relax about it, too. And my habit of recording everything and thinking about everything all the time is probably counterproductive to that. And let’s be honest…we’re kind of at the stage where there’s not much more to do but wait and see.

If When I get a period, I will go get my FSH/E2 checked on CD3 and I will request cycle monitoring to see what’s going on.

In the meantime, we are just going to move forward with our lives…I am pursuing some more education with regards to my artistic career (I figure if I can’t make a baby, I will make art). We are going on a luxurious beach holiday next month. We are thinking about other travel for this year. I am trying to convince Mr. H. we should get another dog. We will have lots of sex. We will drink fine wine. We will do what makes us happy.

And that’s it.

I’m not giving up or giving in.

I’m just going to “be” for now.

I will keep updating this blog with goings-on, but maybe not as frequently.

This is it, really…the soil is prepared as best as it can be, and we just need to see if nature shows up.

I rarely give instructions on what to comment on my posts, but please don’t tell me you hope I “find peace” or anything like that…I will never find peace with the fact that I’ve been TTC since the age of thirty and it has led me to this place. I will never stop wishing I had forced Mr. H.’s hand sooner so we had married and started trying sooner. I will never stop feeling like I’ve missed out and wondering what I could have done better/sooner/differently. I will never stop feeling angry/sad/disappointed/frustrated/punished. It will always be there.

I continue to hope. And I continue to have faith. But I also need to let go. For now, anyway.

Mission Follicles: Days 12-22

Sometimes in this infertility business we just get caught up in living an unscrutinized life, which is what happened to me this past little while. My freelance work has been crazy, Puppydog has been unwell and in need of medical care (think we’ve finally found the solution now), my husband has been stressed at work and not a happy camper on the month-long dose of oral antibiotics (can’t blame him – I didn’t like them, either), and so on and so on. Just plain life. I tried to keep up here and there with my regimen, or, as Emily Erin affectionately calls it, “regime” :). Here’s a little recap of my progress and stumbles:

SUPPLEMENTS: I’ve faithfully kept up with my Chinese herbs, Vitex and melatonin. I took my probiotic most of the days and my 5 shots of wheatgrass about half of the days. And the other supplements fell to the wayside, unfortunately. The more busy I get, the less attention I pay to them. Tomorrow is another day.

GOOD FOOD: I have been up and down with this. Today (Day 22) I had a banana, plain organic yogurt, homemade tomato sauce (tomatoes, spinach, red and green bell peppers, mushrooms, onions), cabbage soup, coleslaw. Yesterday (Day 21) I had vegetable bean soup with swiss chard, masala dosai, homemade tomato sauce (tomatoes, spinach, red and green bell peppers, mushrooms, onions), peach juice. Generally I think I’ve gone back to my usual habits – eating some good foods, but also giving into cravings and eating less nutritious food as well. Not the stellar work I was doing before, going that extra mile to eat TONS of fresh fruit and veggies…I find I’m more mindful about it when I read my fertility books – they remind me of the good foods I should be eating. They also remind me that I’ve been doing this a helluva long time.

WATER INTAKE: Again, it has been up and down. Must. Drink. More.

EXERCISE: Still just dogwalking, and this has varied based on how well Puppydog has been. I have also had my physical challenges – I awoke with a pulled upper back/neck on Day 13 and have been waiting for it to subside enough for me to work out again. Also, would you believe my stupid foot is still not 100%?? Anyway, I plan to go to yoga class tomorrow regardless of these ailments. Hopefully it will help.

SELF-CARE: Well, I am still enjoying my coffee and tea these days. I am proud to say that I am participating in the 21-Day Meditation Challenge with Oprah and Deepak Chopra – today was the third day and I love the guided meditations. What else can I tell you? On Day 19 I had my first mammogram ever (remember how I found that lump?). The technician could also detect the lump and took extra care to take pictures of it. She said that because of that I will get a call for an ultrasound as well. At this point, though, the mammogram was normal (but, she said, young breasts are dense so it is harder to see everything – the ultrasound will be more conclusive). That day I also treated myself to a manicure and a blowout and one of those fur vests that have been all the rage this season – I wore it to a dinner that night where I ate lots of yummy food. The other self-care work I have been doing is organizing our house – moving furniture, decluttering, that sort of thing. Yu Ming is away right now, but I think she returns next week. In the meantime, I have an appointment to see Energy Man this Saturday.

OBSERVATIONS: Okay, so some good news…I don’t know how or why – maybe a result of the probiotics kicking in or the new herb blend Yu Ming gave me (San Huang Pian), but for the past week or so, the yellow discharge and the itchiness disappeared and I’ve had clear cervical mucous. Not a ton of it, mind you, but a noticeable amount. Today there was a little bit of yellow and a little bit of itch – I missed my probiotic yesterday, so back on it today and we’ll see what tomorrow brings. Also, I’m feeling some cramping and PMS irritability, along with that exhausted feeling that I used to get when my period was coming. I also notice an increase in hot flashes again these past few days. My intuition tells me that my body is still cycling every 4 weeks, even if I haven’t been full out bleeding.  Remember I had heavy spotting in mid-December. Then in mid-Feb when Mr. H and I were getting treatment, I had a little spotting around the 14th. I won’t be surprised if I have spotting or – dare I say it – a period over the next few days. Energy Man always comes into town mid-month and I seem to be spotting/bleeding whenever I see him (or right afterwards) – this happened in October and December. Hopefully this weekend, too! Oh, and a TCM observation – my tongue has bee consistently healed for the past week or so…no patch at the back like there used to be….something is better!

So I’m like a teeter totter these days…trying to get that elusive balance between supplements and diet and exercise and mind/body, not to mention taking care of my art and my marriage and my family and my pets…sometimes up and sometimes down…but always moving, always trying.

Mission Follicles: Day 9

We interrupt our regularly scheduled post for a public service announcement on eggs! 🙂

There is a lot of info out there on the importance of eggs to a fertility diet, but here are a couple of excerpts:

From http://nourishingourchildren.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/nourish-your-body-for-fertility/:

A little note about eggs: In Chinese Medicine, eggs are considered a strong fertility boosting food. In Chinese Medicine we believe in eating certain foods to promote specific functions (some people call this principle, “like to treat like”). With this idea in mind, eggs are recommended to boost a woman’s egg health. Women are encouraged to eat eggs including chicken eggs, duck eggs, as well as fish eggs (roe and caviar). 

From acupuncturist Lindsay Staker, eggs are one of top 5 foods to boost fertility: http://contributor.yahoo.com/user/1448613/lindsay_staker.html:

Eggs, especially the yolk, are rich in nutrients that support healthy fertility. Egg yolks contain omega-3 fatty acids, choline and vitamins A and E. Choline, a water-soluble B vitamin, may be particularly important since it can help promote the healthy nervous system development of your growing baby during pregnancy. Adequate choline before and during pregnancy can also enhance fetal brain and tooth development. From a Chinese medicine perspective and the treatment philosophy of using “like to treat like,” eggs can also provide the nutrients necessary to help improve the health of your own eggs.

I have much to tell you today, but first my daily report:

SUPPLEMENTS: 5 shots wheatgrass, 1 prenatal, 400 mg CoQ10, 400 mg Ubiquinol, 150 mg R-Lipoic Acid, 1000 IU Vitamin D, 200 mcg Selenium, 240 mg Vitex, 500 mg fish oil, probiotic, 2 Chinese Herb blends in pill form (TIAO JING BU XUE WAN and GUI SHAO DI HUANG WAN), 1 tbsp flaxseed oil, 1 packet of Immunocal (this is a whey protein supplement that my naturopath, Dr. Turtle, suggested for me, and I still have some left), 1 melatonin

GOOD FOOD: 2 scrambled eggs with spinach and black soy beans, plain Greek yogurt, 2 clementines, live raw ‘teriyaki vibe kelp noodle salad’ (contains kelp noodles, broccoli, cabbage, celery, carrots, sprouts, mixed seeds, sesame seeds, lemon juice, agave, apple cider vinegar, wheat-free tamari, garlic, ginger, almonds, cayenne), green tea, goji berries, green salad with cucumber, cranberry juice, sauerkraut (they were out of Bubbies at Whole Foods so I had to get a different kind – not as good as Bubbies! Booooo!), Queen Bee Balance tea (contains raspberry leaf, rose petals, alfalfa, spearmint, chaste tree berry, dandelion leaf, cranberry spice, vanilla)

(I am noticing that this method of just increasing/adding really healthy foods and not prohibiting the bad foods is really working for me – I am naturally just eating more and more healthy foods and most days they are crowding out the bad foods. And I am craving junk food and sweets less and less.)

WATER INTAKE: Approx. 40 oz + counting

EXERCISE: 45 minutes dogwalking, 30-minute workout at home with dvd (a little cardio and stretching and free weights) I contacted a personal trainer today to schedule a free assessment at my gym to see what they might be able to offer me…just need to confirm!

SELF-CARE: Morning coffee, blowout, polish change, met a girlfriend for dinner

OBSERVATIONS: Good energy. A big showing of yellow CM. And feeling a *little* itchy. Tongue starting to look better.

I think the most exciting news to report is that I got my test results from Dr. WK today…he had the swabs he took from me tested in a separate lab as well as his lab and they both came back negative! Yay! The bacteria has been beaten! 🙂 I asked him what he thinks might be causing the yellow mucus. He wrote back, “I think your protecting hormone the estrogen is lower in your tissues, so the natural flora (lactobacillus) is gradually replaced by other bacteria. It will take some time for a new equilibrium to establish itself. Stay in touch and let me know how things evolve.”

Hmmm….so what to do with this? I am already taking a probiotic specifically for vaginal support. I am eating either plain yogurt or sauerkraut or both every day. Any other suggestions out there for what I can do to assist my body?

I had a strange dream last night. I told my husband I wanted a divorce, and then caught him sleeping with an old, grey-haired woman in order to make a baby. The old, grey-haired woman was fertile but I was not. I’m having trouble making sense of it…I felt better when I woke up, but I don’t know why. Is it that a part of me is letting go of having a family with my husband? I admit some days I do let go, and start to think maybe I don’t want to raise a child anymore…that I’m too old now. Other days I want it so desperately I cry. Generally, though, I think I am just okay with leaving it to the universe…I want to be healthy, I want my cycle back, I want to be strong, I want my hormones balanced – these are the little goals.

The big goal with take care of itself.

Mission Follicles: Day 8

SUPPLEMENTS: 5 shots wheatgrass (the frozen kind as usual), 1 bonus shot of fresh wheatgrass, 1 prenatal, 400 mg CoQ10, 400 mg Ubiquinol, 150 mg R-Lipoic Acid, 1000 IU Vitamin D, 200 mcg Selenium, 240 mg Vitex, 500 mg fish oil, probiotic, 2 Chinese Herb blends in pill form (TIAO JING BU XUE WAN and GUI SHAO DI HUANG WAN), 1 melatonin

GOOD FOOD: Glutino Berry Sensible Beginnings gluten-free cereal (which has lots of B12, Vit E, Folate, and Iron), Holy Crap cereal (Dragon’s Blend), walnuts, blueberries, 2 hardboiled eggs – I know I’ve been eating a lot of eggs, Fran – they are actually very good for fertility, but you’re right – I need to branch out :), 1 clementine, 1 Kellogg’s Morning Shake (I’ve started drinking these lately on busy days when I’m on the run – not ideal, but could be worse), roasted seaweed, baby carrots, miso soup, iceberg lettuce salad, sashimi, bibimbap (rice, carrots, zucchini, wakame, mushrooms, egg, beef), sauerkraut, carrot/beet/apple juice

WATER INTAKE: Approx. 45 oz + counting

EXERCISE: Unfortunately again no dog walking today – in a few days Puppydog should be back to normal and we’ll be walking more again. There’s a snowstorm tonight, but hopefully tomorrow I will get some exercise in!

SELF-CARE: Morning coffee (I only had half a cup – not enjoying it as much now that I am thinking so much about my health – it feels like I am shooting up with heroin), half a cupcake, bought some nice looseleaf tea, made an appointment with Yu MIng for Friday, spent 30 minutes doing imagery work to one of Julia Indichova’s Fertile Heart CD

OBSERVATIONS: Still no CM (boo!). The melatonin helped me to sleep last night, so I am going to start taking it again. (Still thinking about whether/when to go back on Low Dose Naltrexone.) My energy level seems okay. My tongue is still patchy, but it’s faded. I’m a bit weepy lately – it doesn’t take much to bring tears to my eyes. I’m feeling stiffness and joint pain, which always freaks me out because I’m afraid of arthritis setting in. And there’s a hot flash – I usually get 1-3 in the evening.

I had a really busy day today. I’m proud of the fact that I fit in some imagery work. It made me cry – it is probably good for me to release my sadness. I also managed to get to Whole Foods, which is always an exciting activity for an IF girl on the TCM/natural healing path – I know some of you out there know what I’m talking about. 🙂 I stocked up on the good kind of frozen wheatgrass, and bought a bunch of goodies to add to my diet. 

I’m reading books from my infertility library again (I don’t even know how many books I have at this point, but I think at least a dozen – I told you, I am a professional infertile)…I’ve finished The Fertile Heart and am now on another one on natural approaches to fertility. The diet stuff is tough, because there are many contradictory ideas…I am focusing especially on including foods that will support my liver/kidneys/hormones/immune system. (By the way, I am only posting the “good” foods on this blog right now – not the un-helpful foods…partly out of sheer laziness. Suffice it to say, if I only write a few foods on my list, I likely ate a lot of “bad” foods that day.Today was a good day food-wise, I think.

Slow and steady.

 

Mission Follicles: Day 7

SUPPLEMENTS: 5 shots wheatgrass, 1 prenatal, 400 mg CoQ10, 400 mg Ubiquinol, 150 mg R-Lipoic Acid, 1000 IU Vitamin D, 200 mcg Selenium, 240 mg Vitex, 500 mg fish oil, probiotic, 2 Chinese Herb blends in pill form (TIAO JING BU XUE WAN and GUI SHAO DI HUANG WAN)

GOOD FOOD: black soy beans, 2 scrambled eggs, plain Greek yogurt, baby carrots, cucumber, roasted garlic hummus, sauerkraut, roasted seaweed, vegetable broth, celery, miso soup, wakame salad, avocado, almonds

WATER INTAKE: Approx. 35 oz + counting

EXERCISE: Unfortunately there was no dog walking in my day today – Puppydog is not doing well and we have an appointment with the vet tomorrow (yes, the last thing I need right now). Instead of dog walking, I spent the day cleaning and organizing the house (which desperately needed it), so I carried furniture up and down stairs and spent all day moving, basically.

SELF-CARE: Morning coffee (I know I need to start reducing this treat – I am slowly wrapping my head around that idea), ordering in Japanese for dinner

OBSERVATIONS: No CM to speak of. Feeling odd…like I’m on the verge of bawling or screaming or having a panic attack or something…and I feel an increase in my libido…maybe hormones???

I did receive a bit of good news today – another high FSH over 40 woman responded to a post I made on the forum re: having no follicles. She said that she has had 2 months that she’s aware of in the past year with no follicles and recently she had one month with 1 follicle and another month with 3 follicles. So there! Proof that it DOES happen! She mentioned that she takes melatonin, so I will start that again before I go to sleep tonight. She also has been taking estrogen and progesterone…Yu Ming and I discussed this at my last appointment – Yu Ming feels (and I agree with her) it is ideal to provide the body with the raw materials with which it can manufacture hormones itself (which is what the Chinese herbs are meant to do) rather than take the hormones directly. I am going to see how the next couple of months go on the herbs before I consider taking hormones again (some of you will remember, I’ve taken DHEA, estrogen and progesterone over the past few years).

I keep trying to remind myself that I have a clean slate now – that all the things I tried in the past were bound not to work because my body was compromised by the bacteria. Those 5 cycles of injections and attempts at IVF, the 6 months that I spent on a strict Traditional Chinese Medicine diet and herbs with acupuncture twice a week, all those IUIs….it was like putting lipstick on a pig. Nothing was going to help me conceive. But now…now I am infection-free (knock on wood) and all I need to do is choose foods and supplements that will support my endocrine and immune systems and choose activities that will help me to make my body and spirit strong…and I should conceive. I will conceive. 🙂

Mission Follicles: Day 6

SUPPLEMENTS: 5 shots wheatgrass, 1 prenatal, 400 mg CoQ10, 400 mg Ubiquinol, 150 mg R-Lipoic Acid, 1000 IU Vitamin D, 200 mcg Selenium, 240 mg Vitex, 500 mg fish oil, probiotic, 2 Chinese Herb blends in pill form (TIAO JING BU XUE WAN and GUI SHAO DI HUANG WAN), t tbsp of royal jelly in honey

GOOD FOOD: frozen wild blueberries, full fat organic plain yogurt, baby carrots, cucumber, roasted garlic hummus, sauerkraut, roasted seaweed, rapini with coconut oil, lamb with rosemary

WATER INTAKE: Approx. 30 oz + counting

EXERCISE: 60 minutes dogwalking

SELF-CARE: Morning coffee, afternoon downtime reading the newspaper, cups of tea

OBSERVATIONS: Well, this weekend has been a bit tough for various reasons. Mr. H started his oral antibiotics today and he is not happy about them. They tend to be harsher on him than on me – I hope he can make it through the 30 days. Things are about the same for me as far as symptoms go…scanty CM (which looked a little yellow and cloudy this morning – trying not to panic that the bad bacteria is growing – any CM experts out there that can provide advice?), the odd hot flash, the patch on my tongue is off and on)…I did get a better night of sleep last night (although I didn’t take the melatonin or LDN as I’m feeling like I’m putting a lot in my system right now – just want to get used to what I’m on for the time being).

I hope I am able to introducing more exercise into my routine this week – that would make me feel good.

Mission Follicles: Day 5

SUPPLEMENTS: 5 shots wheatgrass, 1 prenatal, 400 mg CoQ10, 400 mg Ubiquinol, 150 mg R-Lipoic Acid, 1000 IU Vitamin D, 200 mcg Selenium, 240 mg Vitex, 500 mg fish oil, probiotic, 2 Chinese Herb blends in pill form (TIAO JING BU XUE WAN and GUI SHAO DI HUANG WAN), t tbsp of royal jelly in honey

GOOD FOOD: 2 soft-boiled eggs, frozen wild blueberries, full fat organic plain yogurt, an apple, a plum tomato, spinach

WATER INTAKE: Approx. 30 oz + counting

EXERCISE: 60 minutes dogwalking

SELF-CARE: Morning coffee, mani/pedi with a girlfriend, chai soy latte

OBSERVATIONS: I had nightmares last night…in one, Mr. H and I were in a car and we were speeding into the back of the car in front of us – I was driving and trying to slam on the brakes, but they wouldn’t work. I woke up on impact. I forget the other nightmares, but I know there were more. I’m considering going back on my low-dose naltrexone – perhaps it will help me sleep (I stopped taking it in September prior to heading to see Dr. WK for a consult). Either that or take melatonin again…I need to sleep better. There’s a lot of stress in our household right now – this is not helping. Otherwise, I’m still having the odd hot flash, my CM is still clear, we had intercourse for the first time since Mr. H’s treatment today (protected, of course) and his semen appears to have some blood in it – I checked the discussion board re: Dr. WK and other men have reported the same side effect, so I think it’s normal. E-mailed Dr. WK just in case. I am hoping Mr. H will start his oral antibiotics within the next couple of days. I can’t wait to put this whole chapter behind us.

Mission Follicles: Day 4

SUPPLEMENTS: 5 shots wheatgrass, 1 prenatal, 400 mg CoQ10, 400 mg Ubiquinol, 150 mg R-Lipoic Acid, 1000 IU Vitamin D, 200 mcg Selenium, 240 mg Vitex, 500 mg fish oil, probiotic, 2 Chinese Herb blends in pill form (TIAO JING BU XUE WAN and GUI SHAO DI HUANG WAN)

GOOD FOOD: cooked spinach, 2 scrambled eggs, a clementine, bok choy, chicken breast with garlic and lemon, roasted seaweed, almonds, beef broth, sauerkraut

WATER INTAKE: Approx. 30 oz + counting

EXERCISE: 60 minutes dogwalking

SELF-CARE: Morning coffee, evening tea and cookies, acupuncture appointment with Yu MIng

OBSERVATIONS: Energy not great today after a long day yesterday and poor night of sleep. Yu Ming noticed it in my pulses. I expressed my worry about not being able to get rid of the infection, and she explained that our bodies all have good and bad bacteria and it is a matter of getting the body in balance. She asked if I was taking probiotics and talked about how harsh the antibiotics are on the system…the herbs she gave me will support my liver and kidneys. I told her about how there were no follicles on the ultrasound and she agreed that my body is working so hard to get in balance and fight the bad bacteria that it is not directing energy to the reproductive system right now. The needles were REALLY painful today – everything is so tight. I am so glad I am seeing her – I feel like it is the right place for me to be. I love listening to her stories about her clients – the 47-year-old woman who stopped having her periods after an argument at work – she thought she was in menopause and then came to Yu Ming for migraines…a few months later she got her period and three years later she still has a regular cycle. Or the 20-year-old who had never had a period. Her Chinese mother was so worried about her she went out into the fields in China and picked Herba Leonuri for her and boiled it into a tea – she drank it every day and 2 months later her period started…now she has 5 sons! Herba Leonuri (Motherwort or Yi Mu Cao) is in one of the herb blends Yu MIng gave me – it means “the herb that benefits females” – it will promote blood flow. Every time I take it I will think of the Chinese mother picking it fresh in the field.

I told Yu Ming I think I just need to be patient with my body right now. She smiled and told me, “I think you are a very patient person. A lot of people would have given up by now. You have a very stubborn mind.” 

I guess that’s true. I think I’m borderline addicted to this challenge now…I’m an infertiholic. It’s like my own version of The Amazing Race…I mean, really, not only is my FSH high and my periods MIA, but now I have NO FOLLICLES? Nevermind the hypothyroidism, the endometriosis, and the infection! But on I trudge…to see what’s around the next corner.

I’m a little bit weird, aren’t I?

I really want to get to the finish line, though. 

Mission Follicles: Day 3

SUPPLEMENTS: 5 shots wheatgrass, 1 prenatal, 400 mg CoQ10, 400 mg Ubiquinol, 150 mg R-Lipoic Acid, 1000 IU Vitamin D, 200 mcg Selenium, 240 mg Vitex, 500 mg fish oil, (forgot to take probiotic!)

GOOD FOOD: fresh blueberries, full fat plain organic yogurt, 2 hardboiled eggs, baby carrots, apple, spinach

WATER INTAKE: Approx. 30 oz + counting

EXERCISE: 60 minutes dogwalking

SELF-CARE: Morning coffee, evening tea and cookies

OBSERVATIONS: Energy continues to be good, definitely a decrease in hot flashes this week, so that is a really great thing, my tongue is a little patchy in the back again, but not like it was before – I can’t wait to ask Yu Ming about it tomorrow – it’s freaking me out to think that there is a direct correlation between that patch and my infection….feeling a little tired but that’s likely due to the craziness of this week’s schedule…Yes, Valery, in a way it’s good to have work because it distracts me from my worries….on the other hand, I would really like some time to develop a routine and get exercising and meditating….soon, I hope (but not next week – I have 2-3 projects on the go!).

This is a strange place to be, trying to grow follicles like this. But as traumatic as it might seem to think that maybe this means I have no eggs left – and if that were definitive it would certainly be traumatic, but….I just don’t quite buy it. Denial? Maybe. I just can’t help but think that, after all it has been through with the infection and treatment and thyroid issues, my body is doing a total reset. Yu Ming said at my last appointment with her that my kidney and liver had been working hard and the blood flow to my uterus was blocked….it makes sense that if my body is working hard to kick this infection, perhaps it would be directing energy and nutrients to places other than my reproductive system (apparently it takes 3-6 months after treatment for the immune system to calm down). I realize Dr. WK is basing his current diagnosis of “no chance of conceiving” on years of work and seeing women with more follicles and so on, but we are snowflakes, after all. We are all different. And Dinah’s pictures of her 2-year-old girl that pop up regularly on Facebook are a reminder to me that there still may be a good egg inside me.