Anxiety

To say a lot has happened in the last few months is an understatement.
I’ve just read through my last post and I had mentioned a little about anxiety, I’ll update on that first.

Well just 2 days after my last post I had an anxiety / panic attack. I have never experienced anything like it before and never wish to again. I can only really describe it as an out of body experience, coupled with heart palpitations / dizziness and nausea / numbness / tingling / trembling all over / an overwhelming sense of fear and loss of control. This was in a shopping centre. I had no idea what was happening.
When I got home I went to bed and slept for 3 hours hoping that I could just sleep it off. I couldn’t. I cried and cried, I couldn’t stop crying. I was terrified.
Some family were due to visit me the following day to celebrate a birthday and I just couldn’t cancel so somehow, I have no idea now, it went ahead and I got through the weekend. I cried at least another 10 times over the 2 days. My mum told me to go to the doctors. I tried on the Monday and couldn’t get an appointment. I went to work on the Monday. I left work in tears about 3pm and didn’t go back for another 2 months. This week is my 4th week back.

Looking back, I do not know how I managed to get through the weekend and work on the Monday. I have no idea. I was a total wreck.
The doctor prescribed me diazapam (valium) 2 tablets 3 times a day. The first dose made me so dizzy and nauseous I almost didn’t take any more. I felt really scared about being on medication although I was told this particular medication was a temporary measure.
For the first 2 weeks I felt numb. I would get up in the morning, lay on the sofa and pretty much not move for the entire day. I didn’t eat or ate very very little. I essentially did nothing. I didn’t shower for 2 weeks. I’m sure I wore the same pajamas for 2 weeks straight. I watched tv and took none of it in. I struggled to sleep at night, my heart would race and my body would tremble.

After 3 weeks I went back to the doctors to talk about a more long term solution. I was prescribed citalopram, an anti depressant also used to treat anxiety. 10mg once a day, the lowest dose. I was also given a leaflet to self refer myself for counselling.
I lowered my diazepam intake to one tablet, then half a tablet a day, then none. The first 4 days of citalopram were horrendous. I felt the lowest I had ever felt. Life seemed pointless and I couldn’t imagine ever feeling normal again. I was so scared.
This eased off ever so slightly over the following weeks but it has felt a long slog to get back to feeling even half normal.
Looking back now I feel so sad for myself. I was in such a bad way, worse than I even realised at the time I think.

I have started counselling sessions and been diagnosed with moderate anxiety. It has affected so many aspects of my life. On the days I feel ok I am fidgety and restless, not able to properly relax always feeling like there’s something that needs doing. On my not so good days I am listless with no energy and no motivation. I get anxious about social events (amongst many other things) even with good friends.
I know I’ve always had a level of anxiety, but I knew myself that over the last maybe 10-12 months it has been getting steadily worse, to the point where I felt myself unable to deal with even the slightest of set backs. If anything started to go wrong I couldn’t cope. I wish I had tried to do something about it before it got so bad.

I’ve had 2 sessions of counselling, CBT to be specific. So far its just consisted of giving some context to my situation and discussion about CBT itself and what the desired outcome will be. I feel this will be something I deal with for the rest of my life now, it would be nice to have some coping mechanisms and strategies for dealing with the anxiety and the emotional / physical responses.

I know I feel better than I did, I have the motivation to get up / dressed / go to work now. But I’m still dealing with the fall out daily. I still get dizzy spells and I still get a racing heart every now and then, and I draw back into myself when I’m feeling down. I have a tendency to isolate myself, feeling not worthy of burdening others with my problems. I hate to feel like a nuisance or a pest. But I need to work on this because my family and friends are there for me and want me to talk about things.
I have to take it one day at a time and try not to think too far ahead. I think that’s the only way I can move forward now.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

November

I’ve had the complaint response through, it was pretty much as expected; apologies, promises of protocol / procedure change and update to training. Ultimately though, what was crystal clear is that we didn’t receive the level of service that we should have, it fell way way below. Therefore I am now pushing for a full refund for the last cycle.
I’m sorry, I don’t feel like going into detail about it all just at the moment, suffice to say it was a horrible horrible transfer and lots of unprofessional things happened.

I have to admit life isn’t great right now. I think really I need to go to the doctors and get treated for anxiety. I am constantly on the verge of tears, jittery, on edge, cant concentrate, feeling sick.
My husband isn’t very well and we cant get to the bottom of whats wrong. If we put his symptoms in google something called ‘electro sensitivity’ pops up. I’ll let you google that as I cant bring myself to write about it but I am praying to god it isn’t that as it isn’t even a fully recognised illness in this country, the symptoms are pretty bad and this will completely turn our lives upside down. I don’t know what to do about it. Well there’s nothing I can do really and that is making my anxiety go through the roof. I keep bursting into tears. I am trying my hardest to support him and do research about it and trying not to get upset in front of him.
My boss has suggested I call the work counselling service and just have a chat with them in the first instance. They are available 24/7 so are more accessible than waiting for a counselling appointment from the doctor. I don’t really want to have to start taking medication, but I will if needs be as I can’t carry on like this.

Thoughts of ivf and another cycle are so far from my mind right now. I cant even entertain the thought of going through that now after everything that’s happening.
I did go for an nk cells test recently, really to put my mind at rest in case we do another cycle. We’ll get the results early next year.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September

Um hey, I’m still here! God I have had NO motivation to update this thing for such a looooong time. There’s so much to update I don’t know where to start.

I’ll update from my last post as that seems as good a place as any, I went to the ENT appointment at the hospital. They tested my hearing and both ears are within normal range, with the right being slightly lower than the left, but both normal! Good news.
Bad news is there isn’t really anything they can do for my tinnitus ūüė¶ The type I have is unusual according to the consultant – it changes in pitch and volume fairly frequently.
I did get upset during the meeting as at that point it was affecting me massively and I actually felt quite depressed. He basically told me to have a look online for coping mechanisms and apps that I can play to mask the noise at night (which I had already done), and said if it gets to the point where its affecting my day to day life and am feeling very down about it I can referred to some sort of support group type thing.

So there you have it, I cant believe there is nothing at all they can do. I feel for people who have it worse than me, mine is fairly bearable really in comparison, you do adapt to it. I do notice it change when I’m feeling very stressed or tired and I make a conscious effort to protect my ears now and avoid anything that would potentially make it worse.
So that’s that issue updated. I wrote a draft post a few weeks ago that I’ve posted below..

———————————————————————–

With every week, day, minute that passes, I feel further and further away from having a baby.

I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I don’t think this will ever work for us. That’s not a great attitude to have is it when deciding whether to have more treatment.

Since I last wrote, I have had another BFN, this time from a frozen cycle. I had such high hopes. The embryo had got to day 5- amazing! It also thawed out fine on transfer day- double amazing! I felt I was getting some good symptoms, and I know you cant always tell because of the progesterone but they were definitely different this time.
But no, it wasn’t to be. Again. At least this time the injectable progesterone held off my period. It felt so good to get to test day with no period starting!

At the moment I am at a complete and total loss as to what to do next. Maybe writing this all down will help me get my head around it, here goes;

Firstly we need to decide if we want an NK Cells test to see if this is the reason for my repeat implantation failure, then choose from..

-Have another full fresh cycle of icsi
-have a fresh DE cycle (consultant was heavily hinting that my eggs probably arent very good quality seeing as I need maxed out dose of stimms to produce 4, and on a scale of 1-5 when I asked the cons my top embryo was about a 3/4). This is extremely expensive and I just cant see us being able to afford it.
-have a frozen DE cycle, slightly cheaper but I presume not as much choice as to who the donor is
-have a frozen embryo cycle. This would mean the baby was neither mine or OH’s. This is big, huge.¬†This needs a hell of a lot of thinking about.
-have an IUI cycle with donated sperm. I do ovulate so in theory this should work. But the stats are quite depressing, and considering what we’d be paying the chances don’t seem high enough to bother. We cant do IUI with OH sperm as he has had to have TESE so the sperm isn’t mature enough to swim.
-adoption
-give up

None of this can go ahead anyway until I have my job situation sorted. Oh yeh, I was made redundant about¬†6 weeks ago. It never rains but it pours ay. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in the last 5 years its that it can always get worse.
We have also made a complaint against Hewitt relating to the day of our frozen embryo transfer. It was a horrible transfer, and I will go into it in more detail when I get the conclusion letter from PALS.
As you can imagine I am feeling so so low at the moment. Sometimes I cant see an end to it all and it scares me how much I want to just give up on life. I feel like we have the worst luck in the world, so much has gone wrong for us. How much are we meant to cope with before we break.
My friend who got pregnant 2 days after my fresh cycle failed had her baby nearly 2 weeks ago. This would have been me. I would have had my baby now. Her child will be a constant reminder of how old my baby should be and what my baby should be doing.

I don’t know what to do, my head is fried with it all. I feel so fucking bitter at having to spend thousands more on treatment that probably wont work. Why isn’t it working for me. Why is everyone else getting pregnant and not me. WHY.
I feel like the only person left in the world who hasn’t had a positive pregnancy test. Will I ever see those two lines?

————————————————————————–

Things have moved on ¬†a little bit since then. I have a new job! So that’s one less thing to worry about. And now that that is sorted we can maybe start to move forward again. Well thats the plan anyway, I still have no idea whatsoever what to do now. None. Nada. The months slip by and I sometimes wonder if we will ever bother trying IVF again. We haven’t really spoke about it for weeks now. We’ve had other priorities. But we will need to have this conversation soon, I am dreading it really.

My nephews girlfriend gave birth to her little boy a few days ago. (I’m now a great aunt say WHAAAAAT?!) My nephew has had a baby. He’s 21. My nephew. Fuck.
And while the whole family is elated and full of joy, I feel, well, nothing really. Other than sadness. What a horrible place to be when the news of a new baby fills you with an empty space.
How I long to be out of this place.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tinnitus

So, tinnitus. It may or may not be related to the fertility drugs. The consultant isn’t convinced its related as he thinks it would have disappeared by now, not have carried on. the doctor initially thought it was related too (but I don’t think she would have come to that conclusion if I hadn’t put it forward first), but after 2 more trips to the doctors after no improvement I now have an ENT referral for the end of April.

I had just got to the stage where I felt I was coping, habituating as they call it online. I couldn’t hear it during the day and at night it had become more of a background buzzing sort of noise, but quiet enough to not really be disrupting my sleep. I felt that if this was all it ever was, it wasn’t so bad, I could definitely cope.
Then out of nowhere the high pitched whistle started up again in my right ear. Loud enough to hear all of the time when I thought about it. This was about a week ago. I thought it would die down to a buzz again but so far it hasn’t. I downloaded a white noise app and had that on at night to cover the whistle. This did start to help and again I thought ok, I can deal with this, don’t freak out things could be worse.
Then the high pitched whistle started in my left ear. I’m close to freaking out if I’m¬† honest.
Anxiety about tinnitus ironically can make it worse so its a bit of a vicious cycle. I am constantly trying to bat away thinking about it. But its so hard to not think about something! As soon as you say to yourself don’t think about it, its all you think about.
I am going to start my mindfulness cd again and hope that the technique carries over to the tinnitus issue as well.
I also have my next acu appointment tonight so will see if she suggests anything to help.

I’m not making this into a big deal in real life. My husband knows I have it but probably not the extent of it. And when I try to bring it up with family and friends they’re not really very interested. I think unless you’ve¬†suffered with it you don’t realise just how much it affects you.
The lack of sleep these past few nights has really taken its toll. I felt like death yesterday and really struggled holding a conversation with anyone. I don’t feel too bad today despite the ringing starting in my left ear last night, but lets see how I feel at 3pm!

I suppose I will (hopefully) know more after my hospital appointment. I am hoping and praying I’m not just fobbed off and that they at least have some coping techniques for me to try.
I presume I will get my hearing tested and I’m pretty sure there is some loss in the right ear but I don’t know what this means in terms of the tinnitus and any hope for improvement or whether it will get worse.

Getting older really is no fun :/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Counselling

I went for my first counselling session a couple of weeks back.
I should probably have gone months and months ago but I could never quite bring myself to book it. I am a very private person (she says, blogging about the most private aspects of her life). All of my online ivf personas are an alias. I don’t really like talking to people about my situation. I’ve only really told a handful of people although I’m not na√Įve enough to think they haven’t then told other people.
Basically, I don’t like to talk about it (in real life).

At my follow up appointment with the consultant, I started to cry, as I always do, and he just had no idea whatsoever what to do or say. I found this quite amazing to be honest, this must happen so often it cant be a surprise surely!
Anyway, he suggested counselling and I though why the hell not. Its probably beyond due. So I agreed and waited for my appointment letter.
During this wait I changed my mind about 5 times. ‘How would it help? What’s the point, it doesn’t change anything. The counsellor must be so sick of hearing the same things over and over again.’

I felt nervous on the way over, but I didn’t feel emotional. Maybe I would get through it with no tears. HA!

I wont pretend it was the answer to all of my problems, or that anything’s has changed. But it was just so nice¬†to talk to someone, to be completely honest. I told her my history, she said she couldn’t believe how much we had been through.
She told me she thought I was avoiding situations that the subject of ‘are you having kids’ could arise. It causes me anxiety, I isolate myself more and more. I do, she’s right. I told her sometimes I sit in my car at lunchtime just to avoid these potential conversations.
If someone starts to talk about babies / kids I get panicky and try to leave the room / get out of the situation. I hadn’t put it all together before but she was absolutely right.

She told me my feelings surrounding peoples pregnancy announcements were totally natural. She told me that one of her other patients told her that finding out someone was pregnant was like being hit with a bullet. For me, my stomach drops, I can almost physically feel it happen, all the air leaves my lungs and it feels like I’ve been winded. Say that to someone who hasn’t been through infertility and you feel like you’re being dramatic. But that’s how it feels.

She asked how I felt about my upcoming cycle and I said, honestly, I don’t think it will work. I don’t think it will ever work for us. It felt hard to say that, like I almost don’t deserve to have it work because I don’t feel positive about it. She said it must be so very hard to put yourself through treatment, when you don’t have any faith it will work.

She got it, she really did. She told me she had been through ivf herself. I don’t know the outcome as I didn’t ask but obviously it makes her more empathetic.

IVF blogs and instagrams are so often fluffy, filled with inspirational quotes and happy endings. I’m not an inspirational quote kinda girl. I’m an honest, gritty, realistic kinda girl and I think and hope that comes across in my posts.
This is the reality of it for me. Its fucking hard, and heart breaking and sometimes hopeless. With no end in sight. I’m in the eye of the storm and it ain’t pretty.

I do genuinely hope one day I look back at these posts with a baby in my arms, wishing I could tell this girl that it will happen one day.
But I don’t believe it.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Struggling

I’m struggling (when am I not these days).

I have been having serious doubts in my mind recently whether I want to carry on with the fertility treatments or not after this FET cycle. I have no faith at all that it will work.

I’m all over the place emotionally, up and down like a yoyo. Last night I started to feel down, for no reason I can put my finger on. As the evening went on I felt worse and worse and literally on the brink of tears. I didn’t want to talk to my husband as I knew I would start crying and I just couldn’t be bothered with it all.
I went to bed early in the other room and just cried. I deleted twitter off my phone as I think it has been making me feel worse. I am in the minority there now, more people are pregnant / have babies than not. When I joined it was totally the other way round. This is obviously a good thing but I use twitter as an escape and it is becoming more and more like my real life.
The newbies are lapping me and I’m just plodding along same as ever, same as 3 years ago when I joined.
I cant blame my period, or even upcoming period as it finished a week ago.

Everything feels so utterly utterly hopeless.

I don’t want to socialise. I wish I could leave my job as I have no motivation for it at all at the moment.

I feel angry at the physical affect fertility treatment has had on my body. My ovulation is more painful and includes more lovely symptoms now such as diarrhoea, I get adult acne on my face now, my scalp is horrendously dry, my last round of drugs has given me tinnitus which is enough to send a saint crazy, it has affected my teeth, I’m sure there is more I cant bring to mind¬†right now.
I feel old and fat and ugly.

I am so fed up of not being able to talk about any of it in real life without crying. I’m fed up of having to talk about it. I’m fed up of constantly thinking about it all. I’m fed up of feeling guilty about what I eat / don’t eat, feeling I could be doing more.

I don’t know where to go from here. I just feel so fucking sad.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Pretending to cope

I felt I was coping quite well after this cycle ended. I fell into a deep black hole last time and I have been really trying not to let it consume me this time.
Until I got my friends IUI news. Its really knocked me for 6.
That along with a handful of bfp’s on twitter and I’m really feeling so down now.

Infertility online is a funny old world. You all want the same thing, your journeys are quite different some taking longer than others (hello!), you all want to see that positive test but when it happens for someone that isn’t you there is still that pang of jealousy, why isn’t it me. When will it be me. Haven’t I been through enough already.
I will be¬†brutally honest as that is how I have tried to be all along, but my initial reaction to someone’s good news now is sadness. My stomach drops. That isn’t to say I’m not happy for them because I am. The 2 feelings sit alongside each other, jostling for headspace. Guilt creeps into the middle of them both when I think about how awful it is to be feeling sad and jealous in response to someone’s wonderful news.
I find the online community a bit of a double edged sword. It is a wonderful support network and I wouldn’t want to be without it, its taught me a hell of a lot and the wonderful ladies have been a support crutch I would not have coped without.
But, as all your friends move on with their journeys, and ‘newbies’ appear and overtake you in theirs, it starts to become somewhere that causes the sadness rather than takes it away.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment