Moving on with life & RE appointment

Before I start this entry, this is a message I wrote on our message board that contains Darrell’s blood test results:
Name: JenH
Subject: Results are in- Dr was out
Sent: 5:31 pm – Fri 17 May 2002
So no interpretation, but these are Darrell’s levels-
FSH- 16 (Normal 1.5 – 14) = SLIGHTLY HIGH
LH- 5 (Normal 1 – 9) = NORMAL
Testosterone- 124 (Normal 241 – 827) = LOW
The pattern of High, Normal, & Low suggests Sertoli-cell-only Syndrome (one of the big terms the RE talked a lot about). SCOS (funny how that looks remarkably like PCOS) is when you lack sperm-producing cells.
***The doctor has called us twice since this post, explaining these results and indicated that “fixing” this would be extremely difficult and costly and would require IVF if successful. Expense-wise, that is not a realistic option for us at this time. So, we made the decision to move on with DI. It was not an easy decision to make.
_____
Cycle #13, CD #22. Today started off in an exciting way! Darrell and I had an appointment to see Dr. Witz, our RE, at 8:00. We had 3 main topics to cover before this DI (donor insemination) could take place. They were IUI in general, ovulation drugs and sperm banks.
My first questions involved how the IUI process works, at least in his office. He said that I’d monitor for the LH surge at home with either OPKs or the fertility monitor (I guess it is time to dust it off!). He said Clearplan, Ovuquick, and Assure were all good, but don’t use Answer. The morning I got a peak, I’d phone them up and tell them I was having my LH surge and to schedule the IUI the next morning. So I’ll know 24 hours in advance. If I get the peak on Saturday, then I go in that day—they are closed on Sundays. He said they only do 1 insemination per cycle because recent research finds that 1 is just as effective as 2 if timed correctly. He said to search for articles by Silverberg for his research findings. I will also need to have a U/S at ovulation time for the first cycle, to make sure the egg pops out all the way.
Next, we discussed ovulation drugs. He wants me back on Clomid 150 mg. No shots! But boy, I HATE those hot flashes! He was not concerned at all that I ovulate much later than normal. He also said to take it whenever was convenient for us. Days 2 to 6, days 5 to 10, whatever. I’m pretty sure I’ll stick to days 3 to 7. He said that since this dose lengthened my LP to 13 days last time, he didn’t see any reason for any kind of progesterone, either.
Finally, we discussed sperm banks. He said any bank that is certified by the AATB (American Association of Tissue Banks) is acceptable. He recommended California Cryobank or Fairfax Cryobank. We discussed the cryobank I had liked (Cryogenic Laboratories, Inc.) based on online donor catalogs and what was available with Darrell’s background (German). He called his lab and they said they had used them before. And it is AATB certified. We will be looking at them first. He said to order at least 3, maybe 6 at a time because shipping is really expensive– $110. One vial will be used per insemination. We found out that the RE’s lab will store sperm for only $100 per year. So, if we have leftovers or want to buy extra for future siblings, that is the way to go. He suggested we buy ICI-ready sperm, which is NOT washed, because it is cheaper and they do all the washing and stuff in their labs. But IUI-ready is fine if that is all our favorite donor has available.
So after all my questions were answered, and we indicated we were ready to go for it, Dr. Witz sprung a surprise. He wanted me to give blood so they could check mainly for 2 things: the Rubella virus and CMV. He wanted me to test positive for both. If I do not test positive for Rubella (German measles), then I will have to be vaccinated for it and wait 3 months before starting inseminations (please, no!). The CMV virus (Cytomegalovirus) is similar to Chickenpox and if I test negative for that then I will need to choose a donor that is also CMV negative. If I get either of these viruses while pg, they would have catastrophic effects on the baby. He also decided to check for a few other things that they check for in the beginning of a pregnancy, which might spare me another blood-letting session in the future!
So, I proceeded to the Vampire’s hideout and had to give 3 vials of blood out of the back of my hand. My arms veins were playing hide-and seek. It wasn’t to bad, but my poor vein barely gave a trickle, so it took awhile. We had to laugh at my poor tiny veins because the doctor told us last time that Darrell had “fire hoses” for veins! :o) Looks like I get to choose where I want to be taken for dinner tonight. That’s our deal for when one of us goes through a medical ordeal.
So, basically I have to wait 3 to 7 days for my test results. And if I get a positive for Rubella, then I may take my first Clomid pills that night! If AF complies, that is!

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