Monday, February 18, 2013

The Clomid Crazies

So on the 8th of December I started the Clomid portion of cycle number 3. I had to take 25mg of Clomid for five days. Sounds simple, right? If you have never taken Clomid, then I am jealous of you.

The medication made me all kinds of emotional and anxious and crazy (we’re talking crying in your boss' office over spreadsheets, hating math, making dinner in the winter and driving when it rains crazy) and sweet little baby Jesus, the hot flashes.  The hot flashes made me feel like a fifty-something during menopause. Which reminds me – Mom, I am so sorry for judging you for wanting to turn on the air conditioner during the winter while you were experiencing menopause. I completely understand what you were going through and let me say, for the record, I was just as angry with Brandon when he said no AC in December as you were when Daddy told you no AC in December. What inconsiderate assholes. And I was only on 25mg of Clomid - the lowest dose. Can you imagine if I had to take more? The thought alone gave me (and Brandon) nightmares.

After five days of Clomid, I had to go into the office on day 10 of my cycle for blood work and an ultrasound. Things were quiet so I was told to come back in two days, which was a Monday which meant Dr. Levy would be around to review my results. When I got my results Dr. Levy wasn’t impressed. Of the almost forty follicles I had brewing, only five of them were doing anything and my estrogen level hadn’t really done anything impressive. Dr. Levy said to return in three days for another ultrasound and more blood work. Then he said something that left my head spinning. If my ovaries were still unimpressive then we would restart the Clomid – this time upping the dose to 50mg/night for five days. I told him that was hateful – he laughed at me. Apparently patients don’t often tell their beloved physicians that their treatment recommendation is hateful, but let me tell you, 50mg of Clomid is hateful. Keep in mind, not a week earlier I was in the man’s office crying on a daily basis because I hate spreadsheets and spiders and bad hair days and how it gets dark early in the winter – something I never would have done pre-Clomid.  In fact, my reaction to Clomid happens to less than 1% of people.

I had a lot to think about here. Do we keep going with this Clomid cycle or do we cancel and do IVF in the new year? The odds of our success with IUI are low – we’re talking 5 – 8% where the normal twenty-something has a 20% chance of success on IUI, but I am not a quitter.  On the other hand, Dr. Levy has said we have a 65% chance of success with IVF. It seems like this would be the simplest decision ever, right? WRONG! Yes, I know mathematically, it is a pretty simple: have a 35% failure rate versus a 95% failure rate. But like every other normal person, I root for the underdog. I mean, seriously – how many times do you find yourself cheering for the no name team during March Madness? Yes… I just compared my odds of conceiving a child to March Madness, but I bet more people understood my dilemma, right?

Brandon is a very black and white person. Do something or don’t do something. “Shit or get off the pot” as my father would say. Unfortunately, my dear husby and I were on different pages when it came to the decision. He said I needed to just do it or not do it. This is something I love about Brandon – the no nonsense, no bull shit, yes or no, black or white, chocolate or vanilla attitude. However, this was not something so simple – this was like the frozen yogurt with the swirl. I was having a hard time picking one over the other. IUI is less invasive, less expensive, and could possibly work – I mean Belmont did beat St. Mary’s and NC State to make it to the Sweet 16. On the other hand, IVF has a much better chance of working. In this situation IVF is like Kansas who had a better chance of winning the tournament in the first place – I mean they were a 2 seed and Kansas did beat Belmont and then UNC to make it to the final four… Like I said, a lot to think about.

In the end, we went with Kansas for the win... If you didn't follow that analogy, which I know some of you may not have, we decided to cancel the IUI clomid crazies cycle and try IVF.  Talk about a HUGE step... and quite a few less tears in Michael Levy's office :)