Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Anticipation and anxiety

Tomorrow morning is our baseline scan (Again. I had what I thought was a baseline before starting the BCPs, but I guess this one checks that I’m actually suppressed now?) and injection training (hopefully) and then I’ll probably be starting stims on Thursday. At least according to the original cycle calendar, though I’m trying not to get very attached to it, because it could change and all that.

I tried to recreate the clinic’s calendar in a better format, so I could have a space to write the dosage for each day and check off when I’ve taken various meds, but I couldn’t make it work. Which is unfortunate, since this morning I almost left the house without doing my Lupron injection, and at bedtime I always have to double check that I’ve taken my evening meds. I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like when I add in all the injectables.

I opened back up my big box of needles and potions, and maybe I’m weird, but I’m not sure I like the Follistim pen. Sure, it comes in a snazzy case and all, but it’s hard to pull it out of those elastic straps, and I don’t really understand the needle-in-a-cup thing, or the spinning dosage thing, and I’m sure I’ll be convinced with how easy it is later on but right now it seems far more complicated than just mixing the powder with the water the old fashioned way.

Apparently, over the past couple of years I’ve developed a fear of the unknown. Sometimes I get really anxious about finding my way someplace I’ve never been, or calling someone I’ve never met, or knowing how to inject the medication properly. (Okay, maybe that last one would happen regardless, but otherwise I didn’t used to be so fearful.) You can imagine how great IVF is in this regard - one big bundle of unknowns. Most of the time I cope pretty well - I think watching this process through so many other blogs makes it feel much less unknown. But when I confront something and don’t already know what to expect, I get anxious.

Also, while I really like that my clinic knows that I’m a control freak (Hi Heathers!) and is willing to give me the numbers instead of just telling me that things are “fine” - I’m worried that they’re being a bit too lax sometimes. It’s fine right now, because I take good notes and I follow up on things that don’t match up (the prednisone I’m on, for example, didn’t make it onto my cycle calendar until I asked when I was supposed to start taking it - maybe they would have noticed in time, but maybe not), but what if I slip one day and forget to follow up on something that they really should be taking care of? At some point I’ll have to let go and trust that they know what they’re doing, but that’s so hard to do.

Basically I’m feeling overwhelmed. And a little bit dazed. And my heart is racing. And I think all this general anxiety has rendered me unable to write anything more substantial than this mindstream of a post. Hopefully I’ll have something more coherent (or even, dare I hope it, prosaic) soon.*

* Maybe I’ll even be able to get some of my actual academic writing done, since I’m supposed to be finishing a draft of one of my papers this week. Ha!


  1. I am the same way, about the unknown (i.e. not terribly comfortable with it). I think, though, that you are doing an excellent job dealing with unknowns so far--after all, you've done marvelously dealing with all the uncertainty of infertility. It is completely to be expected that you would be overwhelmed, but I am confident that you will do just fine--good luck!

  2. Get yourself a special IVF notebook, a little one that will fit in your pocket. Write down all your questions and attach it to your car keys so you don't forget to take it to the next appointment. Maybe that will help...

    Best of luck!

  3. Oh, Cass, I think it's utterly normal to feel anxious right now.

    For me, what worked was being obsessive about my part of it--making sure I took my meds when I should, inquiring at each appt. about the specifics of each med I was taking, and just making sure that the clinic staff knew everything I felt they needed to know about me and my protocol. Beyond that, I had to trust their judgment--not easy, I know, and a lot easier said than done, but it made it slightly more manageable.

    Best of luck, sweetie--thinking good thoughts for you in the weeks to come!

  4. Wow, sounds like a lot to juggle. I know what you mean about having to be on top of it all - can't trust them to be! Hope it goes smoothly for you.

  5. I was just going to suggest a mini notebook, but Kate beat me to it.

    If it helps, most things don't really have to be as exact as you might think. I made some minor mistakes (started medrol a day late, forgot a dose of doxycycline) but my RE assured me it really wasn't an exact science to begin with, so don't worry too much about the details.

    And I assure you, you will come to love the pen. You must love the pen. The pen conquers all. It is mighter than than the vial.

    Really, it's quite easy to use.

    And as for all the meds, I just wrote them in a daily planner to check off once at lunchtime (to make sure I'd done my morning stuff) and once at bedtime (for evening stuff). Obviously though, this wasn't foolproof.

    I'm anticipatious and anxious right along with you.

    Does this mean you start stims tomorrow?

  6. Yeah, sadly, you're gonna have to stay on top of the details. I've learned to never count on the clinic to get it right. With both of my cycles the nurse coordinator left meds off my calendar, so that must be pretty common.

    It's not so bad once you get going. And like Lindy says, it's not an exact science. A couple little mistakes aren't going to ruin your cycle, promise.

    And again, I second Lindy. The pen rocks. It's also one of the least painful or difficult injections, in my opinion.

    Good luck, and let us know how the baseline went (again).

  7. Sending calming vibes your way...I hope the anxiety eases up once you get going with the cycle.

    fingers crossed for you!


  8. Once this cycle is over, you will be amazed at all you've managed to handle. That's one of the only great things about IVF (aside from when it works)... you realize just how on top of things you are. Good luck!