Busy Day of Acupuncture & Blood Work – The 411

image

This morning, I drug myself back out of bed, after going out earlier in the morning to get a breakfast sandwich, decaf coffee, and sweet tea, to head to my acupuncture appointment.  Why oh why so I continue to schedule appointments so early, knowing I won’t want to get up and out? Lol

After a nice relaxing session, I left and stopped by the grocery store to pick up organic eggs and organic milk so that I can get started on making sourdough vanilla bourbon pancakes and waffles so that I can get rid of my growing lot of sourdough starter, that I refuse to throw out ! I ended up cursing out a morbidly obese, crippled, evil old man because he turned his raggedy assed car into the parking space I was turning into, but I didn’t want my Audi wrecked up so I didn’t do what I wanted to do, and that was let him hit me then act hysterical and in pain. Lol

I got my items, left the store and then pushed my shopping cart right by his car door and the curb ! I know…. I’m petty ! Lol

I then headed to LabCorp for routine blood work and came back to the condo and made a quick lunch.  I am still awaiting FedEx to show up with this parbaked I ordered from Bocces in Buffalo NY.  (Which better taste like heaven for what I had to pay for it! )

image

It has been some rather warm days here and the beach is so amazing !  I have one more full month here and then I will be a Yankee again.  I have decided to do some traveling with my mom and work on my film project which I hope to shoot at the end of summer.

I hope everyone else is well !

Advertisements

Blog Update 02/02 – The 411

IVF #6 - acupuncture session 2 1

Today was my weekly acupuncture session.  I am suffering from insomnia a bit so it is becoming hard for me to function in the mornings when I have to go out.  I dragged myself out of bed at 9:15 am and hopped in the shower and got dressed.  I was up most of the night and did not go to sleep until around 6:30 am and then I was back up at 8 am and was watching tv.

IVF #6 - acupuncture session 2

The acupuncture session went well, and I was there for a little over an hour.  I left and headed to the grocery store to get the items I needed to make Beef Herb Vegetable Soup.  I then made a Target run to pick up a prescription and then had an early lunch at Chick Fil A.   I came home, put on my soup, and have been on 100 all day.   It is now 6:00 pm and I am just sitting down and about to eat a bowl of soup and watch the new hit tv series, Lucifer.   It is actually a pretty good show….

I guess I should start packing… I am leaving Friday to go visit my sister in NC for the weekend to see my nephew play in his basketball game and then my mom and I are headed to DC on Sunday.  My mom has to have a PETscan on Monday to determine what the mass is in her right breast, that was just operated on and radiated, is.  The doctor thinks it is just scar tissue, but she wanted them to be certain, so that she knows what she is dealing with.  I pray that it is only scar tissue.  I do not see how a tumor could grow back that fast after two rounds of different chemos and 39 radiation sessions.  Please keep her in your prayers…

Who Ordered Snow & Ice? – The 411

image

Yesterday, I got up at 3 am and left for my return to the condo.  On the way out, it had already started with the icy rain.  There were about 10 tractor trailers overturned, down embankments or off in the trees on the interstate !  Several cars had spun out and were pressed up against guard rails and damaged beyond recognition.  Quite a few other cars had hit each other.  I was glad I had the sense to drive 20 mph until I got out of there.

After landing back home, I brought my luggage and other stuff in and left out for my afternoon acupuncture appointment.  This acupuncturist is amazing !  He introduced me to Moxa!  Anything involving heat is my friend ! Lol

image

image

image

As I lay there for 90 minutes, I figured it was a great time to make silly face selfies while listening to music. 

I am so glad to be back in the sun and ocean air. 

I spoke with sister in NC and they got a lot of ice and some snow.  There were a lot of power outages in some areas.  My sister in VA said they have already gotten a foot a snow a day expecting another foot or more.  They can’t even get the car out.  Ooooo how glad I am that I left before that madness.  This is a great part of my decision to relocate to California.  I can NOT with all that snow and cold !

Understanding Immunologic Factors and How They Can Affect Fertility

source: http://www.Nurtureacupuncture.com

baby - immunology

There are two types of immunologic reactions involved in conception and infertility:

Autoimmune disorders are more common, contributing to over ninety percent of immune-related infertility. A woman’s immune cells form antibodies (small proteins that target and attach to cells and identify them for destruction) to tissue that is normal and part of their own body. This is an abnormal reaction that is associated with several non-pregnancy related diseases.

Alloimmune disorders, in contrast, involve the formation of antibodies against tissue associated with the male partner (e.g., paternal sperm proteins). Alloimmune problems are associated with less than ten percent of implantation failure or recurrent pregnancy loss.

During implantation, at the site where the fetal and maternal tissue meet (the embryo meets the vaginal wall), the maternal immune cells in the lining interact with one another through mutual exchange of hormone-like substances called cytokines. Because of this complex immunologic interplay, the uterus is able to foster the embryo’s successful growth without allowing bacteria and other abnormal cells to infiltrate. In other words, the immune cells aren’t shut down, they agree to host the embryo when all goes right. Thus, the trophoblast establishes the very foundation for the nutritional, hormonal, and respiratory interchange between mother and baby. In this manner, the interactive process of implantation is not only central to survival in early pregnancy but also to the health of the baby after birth. Problems occur when the maternal immune cells don’t cooperate. Typically when this occurs, it will lead to implantation failure or pregnancy loss thereafter.

How Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Treat Immunologic Factors

Traditional Chinese medicine has been treating autoimmune infertility for thousands of years. Modern Reproductive Endocrinology has only recently recognized the impact that immunologic factors have on fertility. Elevated immune markers, like Antiphospholipid Antibodies (APA) and Natural Killer Cells (NKa), are thought to be associated with an immune reaction to an implanting embryo. Anti-sperm Antibodies (ASA) inhibit the sperm from ever reaching the egg for fertilization. Other markers of potential immunological fertility factors include anti-nuclear antibody, premature elevations of follicle stimulating hormone, lupus anticoagulant, and other clotting factors. The main treatment protocol in Chinese medicine for immune factors is to reprogram the immune system so it will not react to self-tissue, and to allow the normal suppression involved in implantation to occur.

Acupuncture will balance the immune system by treating the immune system directly and via the lymphatic system. By selecting certain points, acupuncture can either down regulate or modulate the immune system and reduce possible inflammation that may be causing the elevation.

Chinese herbs are very effective at modulating the immune system and can thin the blood to encourage proper circulation.

Reproductive organ massage (ROM) increases blood flow to the entire abdominal area and all of the organs through gentle manipulation of the abdominal musculature. This technique targets areas of stagnation and adhesions which can impede proper follicular maturation and release. ROM also retrains the breath into a deeper diaphragmatic space, allowing the body to process stress more quickly and achieve a parasympathetic state on a more regular basis. This parasympathetic state is necessary for proper hormonal production and regulation, and helps control an overactive immune system.

Nutritional management is an essential element in ensuring proper functioning of the immune system. Eating a diet rich in organic fruits, vegetables, grains, and microalgae, and eliminating cold and raw food, as well as wheat, will ensure the immune system does not become overactive. Supplementation with antioxidants, flower pollen, and Reishi mushrooms will also help rebalance the body. Including mediation and stress reduction into your daily activities will reduce stress and lower the immune response as well.

Research

Immune infertility is a type of autoimmune disease. Women with immune infertility produce anti-sperm antibodies (ASA) in their reproductive tracts. These antibodies neutralize sperm by clumping them together and poking holes in their membranes. Anti-sperm antibodies also smother receptors involved in sperm-egg binding and fertilization. An estimated 12-15 percent of unexplained infertility in women is linked to ASA.

IVF #5 – Embryo Transfer Day – The 411

I am Officially PUPO !! (Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise)

IVF 5 - embryos

This morning, I had a hard time sleeping due to having vivid dreams.  I got up at 4 am and watched Law & Order SVU for an hour and a half and then I fell back asleep until about 7 am.  Shortly after I got up, Kimmy, my nurse called to let me know that three of the embryos had cleaved and were dividing beautifully and that the Embryologist  said they were perfect ! Of course I danced a jig !  😉

I got up, showered, got dressed and went down to the lobby for breakfast. I had the staff call ahead and schedule a cab to pick my up at 8:45 am to take me to CNY for my acupuncture and embryo transfer.  The cab was on time and we headed to CNY.  Of course the cabs here are not regulated, so this time, I was charged $20 instead of the $12 he previously charged me. I asked if there was a surcharge and with an attitude, the driver said NO. So I replied, okay then you are just rip off artists then…. give a receipt !

ivf 5 - et 1    ivf 5 - et 2        ivf 5 - et 9 ivf 5 - et 8                                                              ivf 5 - et 7

I went inside, checked in, and then was escorted upstairs to the spa.  I got changed into my robe and slippers and sat in the waiting area in front of the fireplace and waited until it was time for my acupuncture session.

ivf 5 - et 6      ivf 5 - et 4         ivf 5 - et 5

After my acupuncture, I was escorted downstairs to my OR room for my transfer.  I was greeted my my nurse, Kimmy, and she did a blood draw and then Dr. Grossman came in to tell me that I had two Grade 4 AA and one grade 4AB embryo and they were really strong and over 8 cells already !! The Embryologist came in to assist Dr. Grossman, since they now use Embryo Glue with the embryos to aid them in sticking.  The mock transfer and the transfer went by really quickly and then I had to rest for- 15 mins before they would come get me to take me upstairs to the spa for post transfer acupuncture.

ivf 5 - et 11 ivf 5 - et10 ivf 5 - et 12       ivf 5 - et 13      ivf 5 - et 14                                                             ivf 5 - et 15

After my acupuncture, I headed back downstairs and had the staff call a cab for me to take me back to the hotel.  I ran upstairs, put the boxes on the cart and rolled it back downstairs for FedEx to pick up my clothes and other belongings I had shipped here ahead of my arrival, and I came upstairs to my suite, grilled two thin center cut pork chops, heated the squash and cabbage I made yesterday, and ate a nice little plate of food, while watching my soaps.  Now I wish I were in Canada so I can see tomorrows Bold and The Beautiful.  The show is only 30 mins so I miss sooo much waiting for the next day LOL.

I am relaxing in my hotel room until this evening and then I am going to have concierge take me to the mall so that I can go get dinner either in the food court (think Five Guys Burger and Fries) or PF Changs for pork fried rice and then I will head over to Cheesecake Factory for a slice of the to die for Lemon Meringue Mascapone Cheesecake !  I… can… not… wait !  🙂

Stick babies stick !!!

Egg Retrieval Day – The 411

baby - 10 eggs

This morning, I got up at 6:00 am and took my shower and put on deodorant and scentless lotion.  I got dressed and then made sure my camera crew was awake.  Since I could not eat breakfast, I was salty LOL.  I stayed in the room until 7:10 am when the car service was scheduled to arrive.  My cameraman went down and ate his food in 10 mins and was ready to go when I hit the lobby.  We hopped in the car and then headed over to CNY.

Upon arrival, I gave the front desk girl two gift bags and checked in.  My nurse, Kimmy, came and got me and the camera crew quickly and had me get dressed.  CNY now has these dark blue, fresh out of the dryer warm, bath robes that they use for surgery instead of the white ones.  I LOVED the warm robe !

My camera crew had to get “suited up” to come into the OR to film me getting set up.  The first thing that was done was my IV was put in and then the nurse did some blood work.

The first person to come see me was the Embryologist and she thanked me for the gift bag and was really touched by them.  They got a kick out of having the custom made cookies that were flown in from Dallas.   We went over my information, confirmed the donor info, and I was asked if I wanted to shave the sample of use the whole thing.  Since this is my last own egg procedure and last procedure at CNY, I opted to just use the entire vial.

Next, Dr. Grossman, my RE, came in to greet me and he thanked me for the gift bag and told me that he had it on good authority that “He was the BALM,” making reference to the EOS balm I put in the bags.  We went over what was to happen today and he asked if I had any questions.

After a while, the Anesthesiologist came in and he went over the same information and then went over the meds I would be administered, my allergies, etc.   He also mentioned the gift bag and said thank you.

Kimmy came back in and took some additional stats and then I was given propofol, versed, and two other meds including an antibiotic.  I started to fall asleep and when I awoke, Kimmy and the anesthesiologist were there and talking and I told them I was starting to wake up and I should not be.  They smiled and informed me that the procedure was over and I did well !   That was when I noticed that my feet were back down LOL.   I thought I was waking up too early !

I went back to sleep off and on and the camera crew came back in after the Acupuncturist came and placed all the needles.  I went back to sleep so I do not know what was filmed.  After a while, Kimmy came back in with a diagram from the Acupuncturist and removed the needles while Mark filmed and then she helped me get up and walk to the bathroom to get dressed.  Dr. Grossman came hopping out of his office, very excited, saying we got TEN eggs !   How exciting !   Kimmy had already told me.  She went over my discharge instructions and then I got changed and called the car service, who was running late.  Since they got there closer to 11 am, I asked that they drop us off at Carrabbas Italian Grill for lunch.  I could not eat since yesterday, so I was ready to eat !

We ate lunch, and then called the car service, who was not answering the phone because it was a busy time of day.  I was like HELLO, I just had surgery and I told you to be back here AT NOON !  We walked over to Target to pick up a few items and some Gatorade and then walked back across the parking lot to the restaurant to await the driver.  He finally showed up at 12:25 pm.  We went back to the hotel and the staff greeted me and asked how things went.  They gave me my package that arrived and then I came upstairs and got in the bed.

I feel pretty good, except this gassy tummy.  I hope this bloating goes away quickly.  It is THE WORSE thing about this procedure.

I intend to take it easy the rest of the day and nurse a couple of bottles of Gatorade. I have spaghetti left over from lunch that I had them pack up when they brought the dish to the table.  I am supposed to teach my cameraman how to make a pasta dish with ground turkey, penne, and a five cheese sauce.  I will work on that in a few hours LOL.  Right now, I am enjoying my heating bad and watching random shows on television.

I will update you tomorrow with the fertilization report !! 🙂    Thanks for all the prayers and concern.

IVF # 5 Stim Day 15 – The 411

ivf 5 - meds 2

Today is my 15th day of stims !   One more week to go before retrieval !!  Woot Woot !

I got up this morning and did my morning injections of Ganirelix, Lovenox, and Neupogen, popped the Prednisone and ran out to my early am monitoring appointments.   I got my scan done and my follicles are finally starting to grow.  I have a 12mm as the largest.  I have 9 on the right and another 4 on left so far.  I am to stay on my same meds and then go back for scans and more blood work on Monday and again on Wednesday.  I will possibly trigger on Wednesday, depending on how things look and report to Albany on Friday for retrieval and then a transfer on the following Monday or Tuesday.

ivf 5 - follicular stim day 15

I had to order more meds as I was out of Ganirelix since I have been taking it for 15 days now.  I was able to get two boxes from another patient and got five more from another patient who are on the Facebook support group boards I am on. Why pay the pharmacy $250 per box when I can get them from other patients for $50?  #diapermoneyforlater

Now that I am no longer injecting the delestrogen and my estradiol levels are dropping to normal range, I am not as tired as I have been.  Then again, I have been stressed and sleeping more, so that could be why I am not as tired.

My friend, Cristal, who lost her son and grandmom this week and my best friend, Gary, who’s mom has stage four cancer, have both launched funding campaigns that I am promoting, so I have not had much time to work on my book this week with that and all the documentation I had to pull together for the network submission of my show.  I have to tape additional segments this week and get them to the editor to revise the sizzle reel plus tape an interview.

Tomorrow, I am attending a class at Howard University School of Divinity that my dear friend, Pastor Nawanna Lewis-Miller is hosting.   I am really looking forward to attending the class with my mother.  I hate that I will not have the time to do acupuncture tomorrow, but I will try to get an appointment and go on Tuesday in the middle of the morning. Parking is so horrendous in DC during the week….

Tonight, I will be injecting 175 units of Follistim and 37.5 units of the Menopur.  My tummy is starting to look black and blue and depending on which med I am injecting, since the needles are different, I am noticing that I am bleeding a lot.  The Lovenox is the culprit !  I am being very careful not to bump into things or fall since I bruise so easily on Lovenox.

Have a great weekend !!