Monday, November 11, 2013

Needles and Acid and Knots…Oh My!

I forgot to take a picture for this post, so I just had to find a funny e-card, instead.
The fun began yesterday.  Woot woot!  Try not to be jealous.

For those that are interested and knowledgeable in IVF protocol (Carri, you know who you are), I’m going to geek out for a minute.  For the rest of you, skip to the next paragraph.  Starting out, I only have my Sunday through Thursday shot protocol.  I am taking 225IU of Follistim in the morning and 225IU of Repronex in the evening.  J
Now, just to remind everyone what those shots do, I will put on my Dr. Provence hat (which means I typed it into Google and copied and pasted it here for you).
·         Follistim – provides follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) that helps stimulate healthy ovaries to produce eggs
·         Repronex – provides follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) that help stimulate healthy ovaries to make eggs
You read that right.  I seem to be taking 2 medications that are doing the same thing.  I texted a nurse and fellow IVF patient friend, Amber, to ask her about this puzzling information.  I could just go back and look at my Google notes from the last cycle, but texting Amber was quicker and easier.  Anyway, she confirmed my trustworthy, online research.  It seems they do the same thing, and she was never sure why we took both, either.  The consensus seems to be that Follistim and Repronex help me to make eggs, so come on, ovaries – cook those eggs!!

Follistim is a pretty simple shot.  It comes in a cartridge pen that reminds me of an EPI pen.  You put on a fresh needle, turn the dial to the appropriate dosage, and give yourself the shot in the opposite thigh than you used the day before.  The needle is tiny, and it doesn’t hurt too bad.  Afterwards, when you’re rubbing the injection site with a cotton ball, it feels like there are about 20 tiny needles inside.  However, it’s bearable pain.

Repronex is another story.  You have to ice before, which means it’s not going to feel good.  While icing, you or a mad scientist named Todd mix 1cc of sodium chloride with 3 vials of Repronex medicated powder.  It’s pretty cool to see it dissolve.  However, it’s also an excruciatingly long (3 minutes) process that just delays the impending pain.  Then, you get to give yourself the shot in the opposite thigh than you used the day before.  It feels similar to what I would imagine it feels like to shoot up with acid.  Yes, I’m a lucky lady!  Afterwards, a knot forms almost immediately near the injection site that is as hard as a golf ball.  I would take a picture, but no one wants to see my thigh.  Ask Todd, though.  He’ll tell you that the knots are pretty outrageous.  Finally, I get to lie on an ice pack until it completely melts because that’s about the time I fall asleep and don’t mind the discomfort of it all.

So far, I have just had 2 Follistim shots and 1 Repronex shot.  Overall, the pain isn’t too bad.  I’m hoping to keep it that way because Progesterone shots await my future.

In other news, I found a woman I admire on the news yesterday.  (If you’re reading this entry via email instead of the blog, I encourage you to pull-up the blog on a computer, so you can see the You Tube video below...or go to You Tube and search "Deb's OR Flash Mob.")  I’m wondering if I can get Dr. Bundren to do this before my egg retrieval.  Ha!

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