The Diagnosis

April 19, 2010

At first I tried to hide it from the Right Guy.  I was embarrassed that I was always hot and a little bit sweaty when we went out.  I’m usually cold-natured.   I thought maybe the bar was too crowded – we both like to go out to live music shows and sometimes it’s pretty crowded.  And it wasn’t like it happened all the time.  I really wasn’t sure that it was hot flashes.
But then I started to notice a pattern – I would get them mostly during the week of my period.  Once I realized that, I knew what they were.  But I still wasn’t overly concerned about it.  I’d complained of hot flashes before and been told not to worry about them (this was after the Lupron treatment I had had).  They weren’t that consistent anyway.  No big deal.  Then I started to get them the week BEFORE my period as well as the week of.
I still hadn’t mentioned this to the Right Guy yet.  He is a doc but this isn’t his area of expertise.
And then, one night when I was staying over at his place, I soaked the bed.  The night sweats had arrived.  And I had to tell him.  And I was scared.  By this time the flashes had also started to occur the week after my period making it 3 weeks of every month that I was getting them.  He reacted wonderfully and told me he didn’t think it was menopause but maybe I should see my GYN to see what could be done about it.
Off to the GYN I went.  By this time I had been having flashes off and on (and now more on) for about 8-9 months.  GYN said the same think – I don’t think it’s menopause.  But let’s do some tests to see what might be going on.  So she ordered day 3 FSH and an AMH.  I anxiously awaited the results.  Finally I got a call.  My FSH was 16.  This was too high.  But she still couldn’t be certain about what was going on since, for some reason, the lab hadn’t run the AMH test.  And that test is more definitive. I would have to go back in for another blood draw.  And wait some more.
Initially I wasn’t that worried.  I’m a cool-headed person and not prone to freaking out before I have all the facts.  But the more I googled, the more I learned.  And the more I learned the more scared I got.  I called the doctor’s office several times.  I took 3 weeks to get the results.  My AMH was abysmal – 0.1.  Meaning I have VERY FEW eggs left.  She told me I’d have to use donor eggs to have a child.  She had consulted with a specialist before calling me just to make sure.  She encouraged me to go see a specialist on my own if I wanted.  She gave me options for controlling the hot flashes with continuous birth control.
I was devastated.  But let’s not get in to that.  I called a fertility specialist now known to me as my RE – reproductive endocrinologist – a profession I hadn’t really known existed.  She applauded the efforts of my GYN but said she had some more tests to do.  But I’d have to go off the birth control to do them.  And that meant my symptoms would get worse before they got better.
It took almost a full year for all this to unfold (for various reasons).  After going off my birth control the RE did an ultrasound and it showed I had two antral follicles – one on each ovary.  A normal woman my age should have 10-20 (usually on the higher end of that range).  I was told that I might ovulate ocassionally but certainly not regularly.  And that my best chance for pregnancy would be to have sex every 2-3 days and hope for the best.

2 Responses to “The Diagnosis”

  1. BarrenLazza Says:

    Hi Fox in the Hen house

    Thanks for the updates. It sounds like you have been through the wringer – it can be a bit shit eh?

    It’s good you’re seeing an RE as she’ll pump up your depleted hormone levels if needed. In my experience REs are far more helpful dealing with POF than gynaecologists who tend only to know about the mechanics of ladies’ bits rather than the electrical/hormone stuff which endos specialise in.

    What are you going to do now? Are you going to try the suggested method to get pregnant?

    The good thing is that you’re with the right guy – that is a huge plus, whether you have a baby or not.

    So sorry you’ve had to go through all of this – your story sounds like mine so I can imagine how you feel.

    • I’m working on several posts that will catch me (and anyone who’s reading this) up on the past few months. So your questions will be answered very soon. Probably today. I started reading your blog too. I haven’t read it all just yet since I’m trying to catch up my own but your sister post was powerful. I don’t have any sisters to offer me eggs. But I have got an offer from a friend already. She doesn’t want kids and she thinks it is SO UNFAIR that she has eggs and I don’t. I can’t believe your sisters haven’t even talked to you about it – even if to say they didn’t think they could do it because it would be too weird for them. That is one GIANT elephant in the room!

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