Norman No-Hope transforms into Percy Pin-cushion

Well, I’m not in the overly dramatic, slightly weird and insane mood I was when I wrote to you two last…but I still need to complete part two of the miniseries…so here goes (minus the strange comments and weirdness).

As I told you in my last post…or, keeping with the theme…“Previously on…”, last Friday (well, actually two Friday’s ago now – how time flies when you’re blogging!) I had a blood test and SA done in preparation for our first meeting/consultation with our new FS – Dr S. I wasn’t expecting good news – just seems that nothing’s really been happening – not sure how you tell whether Pregnyl injections are causing an increase on your Testosterone levels (other than a marked change in libido or spots/pimples), but there hadn’t been any obvious signs that the extended course had had any effect. I spent the weekend trying very hard not to think about the results, but kept catching myself doing just that and spiralling downwards into mild depression…felt like the end of the road for me, my testes and my dreams of my own genetic children.

So, it was a long and painful weekend in a lot of respects. I kept telling myself not to worry – there’s no point worrying until you’ve got the results…but easier said than done. Promised myself I’d phone the clinic at 12:01 Monday afternoon – the nurses should have both sets of results by then…that way we would be prepared for the likely options the new FS would give us, and have decided how we felt on each of them, before he gave them to us.

On an aside, your mom and I have a strange way of preparing for these FS appointments (well, I think it’s strange, but maybe that’s how most people approach them). It always feels best going into these consultations thinking you know what the options are going to be and having spent plenty of time talking about and analysing our feelings on each of them before hand…that way, when the FS does ask you for your feelings on them, you have a considered answer rather than sitting there in the heat of the moment, trying to make decisions… It also helps us to feel like we’re on the same page, singing from the same hymn sheet and all those other metaphors for being in total agreement. Now the FS is probably expecting you to hear his suggestions and advice and go home and think about it before scheduling another appointment to update him on our decision and agreeing the resulting POA…but we don’t like that approach…we want to have thought about every possible scenario, talked it through between the two of us, and know what we’ll do in each case, so that when the FS tells us the situation/options, we can look at each other, nod, and tell him how we’d like to proceed. I’m not sure if it’s your mom’s A-type personality, the sense that we want to get on with things and a two-week delay between getting results and agreeing a POA is unnecessary time-wasting, or that we prefer to discuss these options in the privacy of our own home with just the two of us, but this is the way we seem to approach these consultations. Whatever the reason, the important thing is to have the results before the consultation, so that we hopefully have some idea of what the FS is going to say.

So, I spent all weekend planning to phone the clinic Monday lunch time. Then Monday rolls around and I’m so neck-deep in work that I forget…doh! When I realise the time and phone the clinic…it’s too late..no answer…what a dufus!!

First thing Tuesday morning, I take a couple of deep breaths and dial the number for the clinic…wait for the automated telephone prompts, press ‘2’ to speak to the nurses before the voice has even finished saying ‘Welcome to…‘…then wait with sick feeling for a nurse to answer. Nurse answers, tell her why I’m calling, wait with even sicker feeling while she finds our file…

“I’m sorry to tell you, but the news is not good…” Kaboom…my world crashing down…picture long cheesy death scene…that’s Hope dieing there, rolling on the ground, groaning and gasping, one hand in the air, begging for another chance…slow lingering death…that’s that then.

Zero sperm and a miniscule increase in T levels, well within the margin for error in the testing – so effectively no change.

The two weeks of Pregnyl shots that stretched into 3 months of Pregnyl shots to see if my testes would respond has shown zero response. The ‘quick answer’ route that became the ‘not so quick answer’ route has given us zero improvement.

I hang up the phone…no tears, I’m too numb for that…just a surreal feeling that the end of the line has been reached. I’ve come to terms with using a sperm donor, but the longer we’ve been on this journey, the more desperate I’ve become for you guys to be mine, genetically as well as in all the other ways you will be my kids. I pop your mom an email – not the best option, but I’m really not sure I’m up to talking to her at the moment…hearing the sadness in her voice may just finish me off. I log on to Fertilicare to see what everyone else is up to…I can’t stop myself posting about the results…it feels like I need to vent and let it out, feeling all sad and vulnerable, beaten and abused…drama queen moment in the extreme.

Fortunately, the kind folks on Fertilicare post responses of support, rather than ridicule me for being such a drip of a drama-queen wuss…I pull myself together a bit and head off to the clinic to meet your mom and the new FS.

Get to the clinic and meet your mom in the parking lot…she gives me one of those huge big tight-squeeze hugs that make me feel so loved and it takes multiple swallows to stop myself bursting into big fat body-wracking sobs…feeling like a big girls blouse at the moment…fragile, weak and pathetic.

Slowly up the stairs to the clinic – what a difference a few days make – just last week I was bounding up these same stairs ready to meet the embarrassment of an SA with head held high..today, it’s like the walk of the condemned…like ‘Dead man walking’ or ‘The green mile’…surely there should be a soundtrack…the death march…

The short wait in the reception area gives me enough time to suck it up and pull myself together. Receptionist calls us and leads us to our new FS’s office…right past the door of the old FS – hope he doesn’t see us and make eye-contact – I’ll feel terrible, like we’re betraying him, cheating on him with another man – fortunately his door is closed as we walk past.

New FS is young, friendly and seems able to string a sentence together…this is better. We shake hands, sit down and the first thing he says is…”I’ve read through your whole file…” – amen. He’s looked through all the notes, tests, results, etc…he’s taken the time to understand our situation before we met…great news.

He starts off asking us to tell him how we’re feeling, where we think we’re at, and this leads into a long discussion where he explains things, tells us when what we’ve said is correct, or what other things we should understand to get a fuller picture (there’s only so much that Dr Google can explain).

He says he doesn’t even want to talk to us about sperm donors at this stage – we’re not there yet. Your mom looks over at me with this big brown eyes, cartoon round and sparkling with nearly shed tears at this comment. All I can do is reach out and hold her hand, give it a squeeze and continue to pay attention to our new hero.

He talks us through everything, explains about the body, the process, the protocols, everything…he says more in 15 minutes than our previous FS said in 3 appointments. He quotes case histories of other guys he’s treated with similar (but not the same…I’m special I am) issues and talks us through the results they got. He explains why we may not have had any results yet. He says he’s figured out a protocol that he would like to put me on, but wants to get a second opinion from the MFI expert – Prof Kruger – the god of MFI and the reason we came to this clinic. He has a long consultation over the phone with the Prof, while we’re there listening and they concur on the protocol. Now we’re talking!!

The long and the short of it is that he puts me on this new protocol. It’s three shots of Menopur and one of Pregnyl each week. He wants me on this for 6-9 months. I’m a bit worried about this initially – that’s a long time and your mom is chomping at the bit to be pregnant. But, he thinks we shouldn’t give up hope. He tells us that this new protocol WILL have results. There are several caveats to that – the main one being that we may still not get viable sperm, but he’s adamant that we will have some results. It’s just going to take an aggressive protocol and time…

We leave him feeling like we’re on cloud nine…your mom grips my hand tightly while we sit waiting for the nurse to gather all the meds, needles, syringes and swabs. We opt to take 3 months supply and they have to give us a little case to put it all in!! We look like drug barons with enough ‘sharps’ for half of Cape Town to shoot up.

So we leave the clinic, far happier than we arrived. We still have to remain realistic – there are no guarantees! There’s still a very real possibility that we may be hunting for Zorro in the future. But for now, we have a new hero, a new POA, a new timescale, we have a target, but above all else…we have HOPE.



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~ by HopelesslyTTC on 09/12/2009.

2 Responses to “Norman No-Hope transforms into Percy Pin-cushion”

  1. Dr S is bloody marvelous – I just ADORE him!! And I’m so glad that he has given you chaps some positive feedback! Dr vM wasn’t the best communicator – nor did he have the best bedside manner. Not my fave, I’m afraid.

    Best of luck with the upcoming months – thinking of you guys.

    • Hiya. Yeh, Dr S seems like a good guy – really took the time to explain things to us and hear our thoughts…fingers crossed he’s right and we do see some response…6-9 months seems a long time though when you think that we’ve only really been trying to start a family for the last 10 months…but I’m sure the time will fly by…and it’ll be all too soon that we’re staring down the gun at another series of tests wondering if this is the end of this leg of the journey….still, fingers crossed and here’s hoping!

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