Vitamin D and Confusion

So, I went for my check up with my OB/GYN last week.  He said that all the blood test results from the RE (gotta love when Mom and Dad argue in front of the kids) were “nonspecific” and “typically no big deal” and that he would only recommend that I take a low dose aspirin (81 mg) every day while pregnant.  He said it seemed to him that one of the results (the lupus anti-coagulant) showed that my real problem is inflammation, not anything to do with blood clotting disorders.  He said that he’d like to know more about my inflammation (low Vit D is linked to high inflammation) and would just rule out blood clotting issues.

And, you ladies who have gone through infertility and identifying its cause(s) know what came next:  another needle stick for yet MORE blood work.

It turns out that my homocysteine levels are normal, which means that I likely don’t have any problems with blood clotting.  Good news, yes.  Take that, MHTFR!  I don’t even have to care about you (Dad, aka OB/GYN, says 5% of women have that genetic mutation and most of the time it doesn’t cause any problems at all).

But, my Vitamin D levels are really, really low (26).  So, now I have to take daily calcium with Vitamin D and once a week have a giant dose of Vitamin D, then get my Vit D levels checked again in 3 months to see if all this Vitamin D is doing anything.

I wish I had a magic genie who could tell me what all this means and what I should do.  Should I keep on taking the Vitamin D and then wait to do IVF once I get the follow up bloodwork done?  It seems to me that would be a good idea.  But maybe, I should just get on into the office and get things taken care of, regardless of how my vitamin D levels look.  The link, as far as I can tell, between Vitamin D and infertility is somewhat shaky and mostly linked to ovulation.  I’m ovulating, at least as far as I can tell, every month… but maybe the vitamin D will make the eggs mo’ bettah.  Who knows, really?  I do know that I’ll keep taking the Vit D and all the other vitamins and I’ll be sunbathing, even in January.  Thank goodness I live in the South, where sunbathing in January could potentially be really nice.  We have had temperatures in the 60s and 70s for the past 2 weeks.  I’ve been outside enjoying the weather, but now I guess I’ll be outside with a purpose.

I’m a Mutant

Well, I’ve always suspected it, but now I know it’s true:  I’m a mutant.  No, I don’t have any cool powers, like Storm or Wolverine.  But, I do have some messed up genetics.

The bloodwork showed that I’m heterozygous for MTHFR, with one copy each of the C677T and A1298C mutations.  I also have some problem with Anti-Phosphatidylethenaolmine (say that 10 times fast!  GO!) with the issue in my IgG levels (normal result is is 0-10, mine is 34.3.  Anything above 20 is elevated).  In the Lupus Anticoagulant tests, my Plasminogen Act Inhibitor 1 and Dilute Prothrombin Time are higher than they should be.

What does all this mean?  Well, I’m still figuring all that out.  Here’s what I’ve got so far:  The MTHFR mutations mean that my body can’t hang on to folic acid.  The treatment?  Take lots of folic acid.  The other mutations mean that I’m prone to clotting and that can impede implantation and carrying past week 6 or so (general risks outside of pregnancy are higher rate of heart attacks and thrombosis).  The treatment?  SHOTS EVERY DAY WHILE PREGNANT.  Yep.  That’s right.  My doc says I need to take Metformin while stimming and also Lovenox once I get to transfer.  She said I’d need the Lovenox until at least week 8 of a pregnancy, but that if she were my OB/GYN, she’d continue the shots until Month 8, if not all the way through.  I just can’t get away from needles.

That’s all once the IVF stuff starts.  I’m also on a cocktail of vitamins and such right now.  Here’s my daily medications:

  • Aspirin, 81 mg (“baby aspirin”)
  • Prenatals with extra Folic Acid (1 mg)
  • More Folic Acid
  • B-vitamin complex (with B6 and B12)
  • DHEA, 50 mg (that’s for low ovarian reserve, not blood clotting)
So, yeah, that’s were we are for right now.  I think we’ll do the IVF in January if we can get the cash together in time and it that feels like the right time.  I may wait for the March cycle, I can’t decide.  My insurance money is almost out. I have enough for one more cycle’s medical costs, but not enough for drugs and medical costs.

3 Days Till Doomsday

I go into find out the news of my bloodwork on Friday.  I’m so worried that the RE’s going to say that I’m so completely fucked up that there’s no help for me.  I can’t even think about what all could be wrong — killer cells,  clotting factors, MTHFR (or something like that), ANA, TNF,  and a whole bunch of other letters that mean my immune system just doesn’t work right.

I woke up this morning and felt like someone had dropped a brick on my head.  Now, I think I have a cold.  Can worry cause you to get a cold?  I bet it can.

Some good reading out there now:  Hanna Wept, Sarah Laughed

And, just because today feels pretty heavy…

Wiggling my Feet

I went for my “failed IVF” blood work on Tuesday.  When I went in, there was a lady sitting in the lab, with her feet up and a water bottle in her lap.  As they were checking me in, she ate a sugar pill (which looked like a sweet tart).  I thought to myself, “Man, I’m so glad that I don’t get faint during bloodwork anymore.  That sucks.”

Ha.  Oh, the irony.

As she was leaving, the lab tech reached up on to the shelf and pulled down about 400,567,898 vials.  Okay, so it was really 15ish.  It was so many she had to USE TWO HANDS.  TWO. HANDS.  As soon as I saw that, I panicked.  I asked if that was for someone else.  The tech laughed and said, “no, it’s all for you.  It’s not that bad.”   She then nodded towards the lady gathering her bags and said, she just finished up with the same thing.

This statement did not decrease my anxiety.

I “jokingly” (dead seriously) asked if I could do half that day and come back for the other half later.   I then reminded her that I’d had like 7 vials of blood taken not even 3 months ago and wondered if some of those tests were the same.

The tech just kept on preparing and cajoling me, telling me it’d all be okay.  The other tech, smelling my fear, turned on the radio and stationed herself nearby.

Realizing there was no way to avoid my unwitting blood donation, I resigned myself to the upcoming torture and had the tech help me lay back.  I warned them that I had actually fainted during blood work before (as part of medical trial, I had to have blood taken ever 60 minutes.  In the second part of the trial, they installed a port so that I wouldn’t almost faint every 60 minutes).

It all started out okay.  Then came the vasovagal response.  Since I’ve taught others the warning signs, I knew what was happening. I tried the deep, steady breaths, focusing on the ceiling, moving the hand that wasn’t attached to the arm attached to the vampire needle.

Nothing worked.  The other lab tech, not the one taking my blood, noticed my lack of color, my panting, and the sweat pouring off of my forehead.

Out came the cold washcloth and her looking right in my eyes (trying to get me to focus my eyes) saying “Don’t close your eyes. Wiggle your feet, Melissa.  WIGGLE YOUR FEET.”  I’m guessing she was trying to get the blood to flow back to my heart instead of to my feet, or she was just trying to distract me from the needle in my arm so I woudn’t faint.

Anyway, it all turned out fine.  I made it through, drank some cold water, ate a piece of candy donated by the next victim, and go back at the end of October for results.

I don’t even know what they were testing me for.  It better be worth it.  I don’t know if that means I want everything to negative or if I want them to find out what the problem is.  Either way, I hope I don’t have to do that again anytime soon.