Monday, July 30, 2012

Something Better

Our Sunday plans to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, the only approved Marian apparition site in the U.S., were foiled when our son fell ill on Saturday afternoon.  We were attending a family reunion in Green Bay and were so close to the shrine!  I had been anticipating this trip for months, and the last time I planned on visiting a shrine (for Padre Pio), events precluded us from attending that one, as well.  I had it in my head that we were FOR SURE going to make it to this one.  I prayed for God to get us there, too.

I am not sure if it was God's plans for us to miss the shrine or not; however, I did feel His support along our journey.  Sure, I was disappointed, but I was definitely more worried about my son.  He had just recuperated from a previous illness, and we were concerned about his fever and loss of fluids.  Thankfully, he is doing much better now, which is a huge relief.

DH and I have been run ragged with everything that's been going on (my surgery, his work schedule, DS's illnesses), and this didn't make us feel well-rested...but we did have some very good bonding moments while driving a vomiting child home...and later waiting three hours to see a doctor.  I also had an a-ha moment.  I probably read this somewhere, but I think God reminded me about it:  Although it is really awesome to go on a pilgrimage, especially to someplace where Mary or Jesus appeared, it is even better to have the real thing.  What is more important for me is to have a true relationship with them.  Furthermore, I can come into the real presence of Jesus every day through the Mass or Adoration (exposed or in the Tabernacle).  It's quite exciting to remember that you don't need to go far to be in the presence of Jesus--body, blood, soul, and divinity--just your local Catholic Church.  How blessed we are!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Infection, Reproductive Immunology & Naltrexone

I wanted to thank "Life From Inside the Wheelbarrrow" for recently putting a link to her past post regarding IF and infection up on the Yahoo Catholic IF Group.  I have read through it a couple times now, because in addition to my concerns about having a food sensitivity, I wonder if I also might have an infection. I find out the results of my bacterial culture in about a week.  It will be a bit longer to find out about the fungal culture results.

I have also found some interesting information on "Rise and Shine and Give God the Glory" 's blog regarding the connection between infertility and immune problems.  I've started reading through the information on a website of one of the doctors she mentioned.  I couldn't find a website for the other doctor, Dr., but I did see that "This Cross I Embrace" had visited her.

Lastly, I found an online brochure about Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN).  My doctor has mentioned this drug a couple times due to my sometimes horrific PMS.  I have had some tail end brown bleeding (TEBB) in the past, too.  Oh yeah...and fatigue--I was previously diagnosed with adrenal fatigue.  LDN is supposed to help with all three of those symptoms.  I think my PMS and the TEBB are better since I started taking Progesterone.  I have been taking Licorice Root for the adrenal fatigue (cycle days 1-10), which has seemed to help, as have other measures to decrease fatigue.  Interestingly, I have read that TEBB can also be a symptom of infection...  I know I just need to wait and take it day by day (and test by test), but sifting through all of this information is exhausting.  It also makes me think, "How far am I willing to go before I say enough is enough?"

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Wondering About Diet

After reading Sew's blog entry about what healed her, I did try a non-strict Paleo diet for a few weeks.  It was very difficult to sustain.  The first few days, I got a headache (maybe from restriction of carbs?).  I felt hungry all the time, and it was nearly impossible to find suitable choices when eating out.  Oh yeah...and I lost about 5-8 pounds, which was alarming, because I really don't think I should be losing weight.  (Maybe I wasn't eating enough fat/oils?)  Therefore, I eased up, and eventually I was back to eating as I did before (minus the milk).  I did notice that I felt "better" while on the diet.  I am not sure if that's because I have a sensitivity to a food group I cut out or if it's because I was eating more fruits and vegetables--maybe both.

Anyhow, I am going to get tested for food sensitivities soon, as per my doctor's recommendation.  This test looks at 96 general food groups, so that seems fairly comprehensive; although, I really have no idea.

Something that has been going through my head a lot lately is that when I conceived my now five-year-old, it was during Lent.  I had given up all sweets.  I wonder if that helped me conceive?

Also, this is off the subject, but I have been reading a lot about the role that infections have in sub/infertility.  Several people have commented on this in the Catholic Infertility Yahoo Forum, and since I just had my lap/HSG, I'm waiting to hear about the results from the culture (bacterial?  fungal?).  Anyway, another thought that keeps going through my head is that when my husband and I conceived the first time, he was on antibiotics, because he was sick.  I wasn't on any, and those probably weren't the right kind of antibiotics, but...what if?

I feel like I am on the right track here.  Maybe these steps won't result in another pregnancy, which would be crushing; however, I will still have the consolation prize of much improved health (I hope).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Treatment Update & Surgery Results

I need to update my timeline, but I wanted to give a personal update about my treatments.  I completed three rounds of the Neupogen protocol, and it appeared (via ultrasound) that I ovulated with all three trials.  Before the third trial, my doctor and I talked, and we concluded that it seemed that there may have been a piece missing from our puzzle.  With my history of painful periods (and endometriosis as a huge question mark in our minds), we went ahead with an HSG and laparoscopy.

Preliminary surgery results show no classical signs of endometriosis, although some suspicious tissue samples were taken and sent in to be tested for endometriosis.  One Fallopian tube's pressure was elevated during the HSG, so my doctor passed through it several times, with the end result being that the pressure is now normalized.  Also, I have subtle micropolyps in my uterus.  A sample was taken and will be tested for infection.  With the signs of possible inflammation, my doctor mentioned that I should look into food sensitivities, as well.

I am recovering at home, and it seems the worst of the pain is over (thank you, God!).  Ladies (and gentlemen?), thank you for accompanying me on this strange journey.  I am so glad I am not alone!