The factory is silent. Its assembly line stands motionless. Somewhere off in the darkness, a buzzer sounds. One by one, lights begin to flicker and illuminate on long-unmanned diagnostic panels, giving a sense of enormity and complexity and scale to the machinery. The low hum of power supplies warming up comes next, followed by the higher and louder whine of turbines and electric motors. A whistle sounds, and one by one, employees begin to file in and take their places at the controls. Purposed for a single task, whose time has now come, the factory slowly comes to life...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Recovery, Part 1

Well, the worst is over.

We waited the requisite week to go back and have the second transvaginal ultrasound. We did not go in expecting different results, but there was always a glimmer of hope in the back of our minds for a "miracle."

It seems the only miracle we'll be allowed this time is the ability to heal and get through this, and have the courage to try again.

But let's back up for a second.

After the bad news last Thursday, Craig and I spent many, many hours talking and thinking about what we were going to do next. We cried, and talked some more, and asked each other questions. We must have spent an entire afternoon just laying on the bed and working out our thoughts.

We considered going to see a different doctor because of our negative experience with this one: she seemed dismissive and almost cold, whereas everyone else at this group practice had been wonderful. It would also give us an opportunity to be subject to a different technician, and different equipment. But in the end we decided that the disadvantage to it would be having to start at zero with a new doctor's office, and midway through something we had already started. Plus, all my *other* doctors are affiliated with Carolinas Medical Center in some way. I'm part of the "system." It's just easier to stick with it.

And we decided to give the doctor the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she was just having a bad day.

On Tuesday the 22nd, I went to see my endocrinologist. She is fantastic, as she's one of those doctors who will sit and listen, and you feel as though she has all the time in the world for you. And while you're talking she may be taking notes but you can practically see the little gears turning in her head, like, "How can I best help this person based on what she's telling me?" And then she asks good questions to follow up, and the whole experience is like an excellent dialogue. It's...well, like what going to the doctor *should* be.

It was hard to sit in that waiting room. There were the requisite old and young people, but there was also a woman with a stroller with two little girls in it. They were cute and energetic, and it was hard to watch them and not feel sad and envious. By the time the nurse led me in and checked all my vitals, and I sat in the exam room on the table, I felt a little better. Until I considered the fact that I had made this appointment 4 weeks ago, when things were exciting and happy and new. This was supposed to be a GOOD visit, a checkup on how things were progressing, and looking forward to the next 7 months. And now, just...hurt.

So the doctor walked in and introduced herself, and I said we had met before. She looked puzzled and said, "I *thought* you looked familiar; why did I think you were a new consultation?" And she looked at her notes and said, "Oh yes, primary hypothyroidism...and...Oh, you're pregnant!"

And I just shook my head, and she got a look on her face I can't quite describe and said, "Oh no. Bad visit. This is turning out to be a bad visit so far! Tell me what's going on with you."

And I told her the story. I talked about what we'd been going through and what happened and she looked back at her notes. We had done some lab work in April, and she wasn't entirely pleased with the results back then, but let me go try to fix things on my own, with the promise to see her in six months OR when I got pregnant.

After a long time of thinking and asking questions, she suggested I go next week for an oral glucose tolerance test. This will help her possibly uncover any insulin resistance I may have going on, which may hinder ovulation. She said I did not have all the classic symptoms of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) but she wanted to think about ways to help us succeed in our next pregnancy. She said if I show insulin resistance, she'll start me on metformin (aka Glucophage) which is normally a diabetes medication, but they also use it off-label for women who are having trouble ovulating regularly.

So I left her office feeling positive. The OGTT is kind of a lengthy process though, and I'm going to be at the lab for several hours. I'm looking for a good game or something to do next Wednesday while I'm there...

Part 2 tomorrow...

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