Thursday, October 17, 2013


I would first like to say that I apologize for this long post that does not pertain to IVF.  However, the story’s purpose is three-fold:  1) the interesting interactions I had with a new PCP, 2) it explains why MK postponed my IVF date-setting for 3 weeks, and 3) it explains why I substituted my meal plan the last week and a half of the boot camp challenge in lieu of whatever didn’t hurt my stomach.
Back in August, I decided to get established with a new primary care physician.  I was worried that with Obamacare, it would take months to get in to see one as a new patient, and I don’t care for the one I had seen since I moved back to Tulsa.  Anyway, I received a referral and made my appointment.  I thought the doctor was fabulous.  He spent over an hour just sitting and answering all of my questions.  They drew some blood and took my vitals to get a baseline.  I was pleased.

Then, as I was walking to my car, I started replaying all of the information he had given me in that hour-long talk.  Basically, he had convinced me that I needed to drop my anxiety med I had been taking for 13 years, start drinking only distilled water, and change every piece of plastic food container in my life to glass or metal.  All of this needed to happen between now and when IVF started.  Now, if you know me at all, you know that I immediately began to worry.  How would I live without my anxiety medication and not drive Todd, Mom, and Bradette bat-poop crazy?!  Where was I going to buy 100 ounces of distilled water each day?  (That’s how much I drink on average.)  How expensive was it going to be to buy all new food containers?  Where should I start price-matching said food containers?  It immediately began to overwhelm me because it wasn’t as if I had no other worries on my mind before I went into his office already.  I called Todd, he talked me off the ledge, and we began making the changes.  (Now, I will say that after much research, we have decided that the distilled water may not be a great idea.  Todd actually found an article that states that distilled water can shorten your life.  Plus, I couldn’t find another doctor or source that said distilled water was necessary.  I have purchased some glass containers and try to stay away from plastic, but it’s not nearly completely out of my life.  I did find a great, glass water bottle that I love that I carry and drink my filtered water from each day.)  Also, this doctor told me I needed to stop trying to lose weight or I would never get pregnant.  He said, “Skinny girls don’t get pregnant.”  Again, if you know me personally, you know that I’m far from skinny.  I still have plenty of fat on this body to have a very healthy pregnancy…just ask Mary Kathryn.  (She thought all of his advice was a crock.)  Plus, he told me my new meal plan would not keep my weight off, even though he had no idea what my meal plan was; he said that it was just another fad diet and that a calorie is just a calorie.  He even said to me that there are no fat people in Ethiopia.  No sir, you’re right, but they do have distended bellies from lack of proper nutrition; haven’t you seen the commercials?!  Lastly, he told me I shouldn’t be taking Miralax daily because your bowels can become dependent on it.  (I had been taking it since I started Lupron last September because of all of the medication we were putting in my system.  It was recommended by Dr. Bundren.  Later on, I asked a GI doctor about this, and he said Miralax was safe to take every day for the rest of my life.)  Anyway, as I said above, we made a couple of changes, but most importantly, I stopped worrying about this doctor’s advice.

ADDITION:  One thing I forgot to mention was that this doctor told me I was too old for boot camp.  That may have been the statement that made me realize he was not the doctor for me!
The next day, the abdominal pain began.  (I do not believe it was related to my visit with my new PCP.  It was just a coincidence.)  I specifically remember getting to boot camp and having an odd pain that I had never had in my abdomen.  I decided to push through my workout, and I’m glad I did.  The pain would come and go.  It wasn’t sharp.  It was very dull but very uncomfortable!  It definitely did not feel like heartburn or indigestion.
I dealt with the pain for 2 weeks before it began to get so uncomfortable that I wanted to cry.  Luckily, about that time (day 16 of pain), Mary Kathryn had received my blood work from the new PCP’s office and was concerned about my thyroid numbers.  She wanted me to come in immediately to have more blood work drawn.  I told her about my abdominal pain while we were there, and she told me to start Prilosec.  I did and after 4 days of no release from the pain, I asked her to move to the next step.  Knowing MK’s history of not quickly moving on anything, I decided to get an appointment with the PCP for faster help.  As I was sitting in his office on day 21 of pain, MK called me back.  She said she thought it might be my gallbladder, but to call her after this doctor had seen me to tell me what he said.  Well, he agreed it was gallbladder, and they both called their respective hospitals to get me in for scanning.

Side note:  I made Todd go with me on this appointment to see the PCP to make sure I didn’t overlook any questions.  I’m so glad I did.  We got on the subject of my diet, again; which you should keep in mind was having me eat real, unprocessed foods with no sugar six times a day.  It’s not a diet where you starve yourself or eat foods you’ll never be able to eat on a regular basis.  It’s just smart eating.  Anyway, the doctor told me, again, that skinny girls don’t get pregnant and a calorie is just a calorie.  It flipped my switch.  I began crying.  I was so frustrated with my pain and with this doctor telling me archaic information about how to lose weight.  Anyone that’s done any research knows that a calorie is not just a calorie.  They have proven that you cannot lose weight, keep it off, and be overall healthy by eating 1200 calories of Twinkies and cookies all day.  Then, he had the audacity to ask if maybe I had started weaning myself off my anxiety medicine too quickly.  My eyes about fell out of my head as I whipped around to look at Todd.  I asked him what he thought, and he quickly stated that wasn’t the problem.  (Good boy, Todd!)  I told this doctor I had been fine with my moods until I came in to see him, which I think made him irritated.  I didn’t care.  There are few things I hate more in this world than people blaming my mood swings on my medications.  It’s just insensitive, and it’s not the first time it has happened.  (I’m sure this doctor is great for some people, but he just causes me too much worry.  I know he’s great for my friend that sees him, but he’s not for me.  On to the next PCP!)
The next day (day 22 of pain), my pain got so bad that Todd found me crying in the shower.  At that point, he said we were going to the hospital.  While we were in the waiting room, Mary Kathryn’s hospital called to set my scans.  I told them I was actually sitting in their waiting room to be seen by the ER, and I would call them the next day to schedule my appointment.  That night, they performed an ultrasound and a CAT scan.  The final diagnosis was that my gallbladder was fine and maybe I was just constipated from all of my medication.  How embarrassing!!  (MK didn’t think that was the case.)
The day after that, MK called in a HIDA scan, which tracks the activity of your gallbladder to make sure it’s functioning properly.  Apparently, it’s the only test that really can tell how your gallbladder is doing.  Within a couple of days, it came back normal.  MK wanted me to see a GI specialist because she wanted to be 100% sure nothing was wrong before we moved on with the next IVF cycle.  By the time I got to him, my pain had pretty much subsided, and I was thinking it was a waste of time.  I went to the appointment, anyway, to make sure everything was okay.  Within a day, they had me doing an upper endoscopy, which came back clear, too.
At that point, I was cleared for IVF.  That was three weeks ago, and I still rarely have the pain in a very mild manner.  I’m just grateful no surgery was required, and we can move on to our next IVF cycle.

Also, I would like to state that I don’t always have problems with all of my doctors.  J  I’m starting to sound like I do.  I have actually never had a problem with a doctor until MK didn’t return phone calls and this PCP told me I needed a different life in order to get pregnant.  J


  1. This is crazy - but this same thing happened to me! I went to the ER 2x in 36 hours because of the pain. They even gave me a pelvic exam there. (Embarrassing!) After two bottles of Magnesium Citrate I was feeling much better. I wondered if it was a distant side effect from the lupron.
    Now I feel guilty drinking out of my plastic Tervis tumbler! ;-)

    1. may be onto something. Although, I'd been off Lupron for almost 9 months before the pain started. However, that's a pretty big coincidence for both of us to have it! (Magnesium Citrate is remarkably useful, though.)

      Don't worry about the Tervis. I think those things are the safest plastic there is. After all, we pay enough for them, right?! :-)