Two Years and Counting

Laparoscopy here I come
August 26, 2008, 3:49 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Yesterday was supposed to be our “risks and benefits of IVF” talk with Dr. H. M and I planned to suggest a laparoscopy to her, in hopes that she’d agree that it’s a good idea. Imagine our surprise when she was the first one to bring up the lap, and right when we sat down! Turns out, I had yet another blood test come back that showed a “borderline” high level of antibodies, this time in the aCL level—anti cardiolipin. This can point to hereditary blood clots (which isn’t a surprise given that both of my grandmothers have had strokes due to blood clots) and it can also point to possible endometriosis. (I’ve done a little more research today and it appears that women with high levels of aCL tend to have a harder time getting and/or staying pregnant, but it can be alleviated by taking daily baby aspirin.)

Anyway, I also mentioned to her that I get pretty bad cramps for 1-2 days at the beginning of my period that are alleviated with Aleve (ha, maybe that’s where they came up with the name “aleve”!) and some time on a heating pad. I hadn’t mentioned that before because I just figured cramps like that are normal–it’s not like I’m home from work for days. She said having to use a heating pad isn’t normal, and that coupled with the aCL level gives two reasons to have a lap. I didn’t even have to mention that I talked to the other doctor who suggested I have one.

I’m relieved that she thinks the lap is appropriate. I didn’t want to be asking for one when she thinks it’s not necessary. In my mind, given the aCL level and the cramps, it’s possible there’s endo there that maybe is causing some trouble. She said having a lap and removing endo only increases your chances of getting pregnant naturally by around 5-10%. This is a tad discouraging, but I have heard of and know several women who have had endo removed during a lap and have gotten pregnant fairly quickly afterwards. I’m trying not to hold too tightly to that though, just to keep my expectations in check. Dr. H. said that if they find moderate endo, they’ll remove it, then we’ll wait about 4 cycles before moving onto IVF. In those 4 cycles we can either try to conceive naturally, or go back to IUIs. If they go in and only find minimal endo, then it’s safe to say that’s not where our problem lies, and we may be back to going ahead with IVF.

The surgery is scheduled for Sept 19. Two weeks after the surgery, I’ll go back for a post-op check, and at that time, they’ll retest my aCL level and thyroid. If the aCL is still high, they’ll probably prescribe aspirin, and it may or may not have some effect on a pregnancy, should I get pregnant. She doesn’t seem to think the thyroid thing is an issue. My TSH level from Jan was very normal (1.57) so she thinks what’ll probably happen is that, due to the thyroid antibodies that I do have, at some point in my life (could be years away), my thyroid will probably stop functioning properly and they’ll put me on synthroid. Not that big of a deal.

So, that’s where we are. I’ll get a big packet of info in the mail about the lap, and I’ll have to go back in a week and a half or so to have some pre-surgery bloodwork, then I just wait til the 19th.

Hope you’re all doing well. 


9 Comments so far
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It sounds like you have a plan. If you’re anything like me, I love having a plan – direction for where we’re going. Crossing fingers for you for the 19th.

Comment by Nity

So glad you and your doctor are in agreement about how to proceed. Can I move near you and see Dr. H? She sounds just lovely after my experience with Dr. Ego yesterday…

Comment by andrea_jennine

Dr. H really is lovely! I am not overly in love with Dr. Ivey though. Do you know how expensive her herbs are – $100 a week – for 12 weeks plus she won’t do that without getting acupuncture at $60 a week – let me total that up for you $1,920. We are going to try to talk to Dr. H about that and make sure she’s all for that not to mention its a bit of a logistical nightmare driving to B’ham once a week and having to be off at least a half a day once a week. What was your impression of the acupuncture/herbs thing?

Glad Dr. H was the first to suggest a lap – always nice to be on the same page with the doctor! I really hope this is it for you!

Comment by Stephanie

I agree with you in that I don’t want to miss out on getting pregnant b/c I didn’t do this and that is something Dr. H is going to have to convince me of. I wish we had not gone ahead and bought the vitamins but they can’t hurt. I also don’t think Dr. Ivey has a lock on the market of acupuncture- my friend is going to a place here in Montgomery for her IVF cycle so I know there are other places that won’t require $40 of gas to get there. And I’m still interested in the herbs so we will see what we can come up with. Thanks for commenting! Oh and the clorox thing is a new connection Dr. H just found – she said she was going to write it up – she had an OCD patient that used 2 bottles of the kitchen clean up stuff a week and when she stopped her eggs got better. She was worried about me b/c i stay in our glass shower and spray and spray and inhale the stuff and I know I did it once the day before we started stims and at least once during stims so she’s hoping that exposure was what did it but again – she’s grasping at straws. She said she had only seen 5 women present the way I did – normal and then have awful eggs. She even said they were shaped funny. Oh well I have to be special – too bad it can’t be good special! Unfortunately she said that 3 of the 5 went on to use donor eggs.

Comment by Stephanie

hmmn! you mean those cramps are not natural? I’ve had them every period for the last 17 odd years & yes I spend the day high on tyle.nol. Good luck with the surgery

Comment by Grace

my levels were high on that test as well. i had an endometrioma growing on my ovary, which was the reason for that. i also have a spot of endo growing on my remaining ovary, so i have to deal with that. i would have the lap done just to see what’s going on. it’s not a big deal at all, and it will give you peace of mind. 🙂

Comment by glenna

I actually already know who we would go to if we did get a second opinion – Dr. Inge in Mobile – he comes to Montgomery to my regular OBGYN’s office and I have 2 friends who use him. I don’t know when its time to be perfectly honest. We are going to meet with our preacher in the morning just to talk this stuff out with him and get his opinion and really just get some spiritual guidance with all of this. Maybe tomorrow things will seem clearer.

You know how Dr. H is and she makes you feel like she loves you and at some point you have to wonder if that is just an act. I always feel like I’m in good hands when I leave her and talk to her but you are right – you never know when that second set of eyes might pick up on something that she didn’t. I think I’m too set on doing IVF again by the end of the year instead of thinking all of this out clearly.

Have a good Labor Day weekend – AU game for me! Maybe I can get my mind of this and have some fun for a change! WAR EAGLE! I need to go leave that message for Robin too!

Comment by Stephanie

You know- I wrote a huge comment a few posts ago about my thoughts about the lap- but looking back it isn’t there! Hmmmm…..odd…..

Anyways- I am glad you are deciding to go forward with it. I am so glad I did it, even though it ended up showing that all was fine (except for a little bit of endo). I keep worrying that we are rushing into IVF, but then when I list everything we have done so far, including the lap, I realize that this is the next logical step.

The recovery, at least for me, wasn’t bad at all. Just be sure to have a heating pad! The oddest side affect are the air bubbles that get trapped in your shoulder area- the heating pad will help alleviate the pain. Or maybe Alleve 😉

Comment by Ellie

Good news about the lap…and the surgery is easy peasy BTW.

Let us know when its going to be. =)

Comment by MrsLaLa

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