Yet Another Club I Never Wanted to Join

To make a long story short, I have hypothyroidism. Only for real.

As you may recall,  I was put on levothyroxine while TTC because my TSH levels were high– within normal ranges, but a little too high for fertility purposes. I stayed on it during pregnancy for similar reasons. When you keep in mind the cornucopia of drugs I had to take to get pregnant, this seemed relatively minor.
Because I am overextended, I’ve not refilled my prescription for a month. (I know, I know…) I had my physical yesterday, and my blood work came back with real high TSH levels.
Of course, I googled. You’d think I would have learned that this is never a good idea.
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This is why you shouldn’t google

I’m going to be old, fat, depressed, and exhausted. Forever.
So called “support” groups tell me that I will never be the same, and I may end up living in my car because I’ll be so exhausted I can’t keep a job. I will die alone in a shanty. (Which, it should be noted, was a big fear of mine when I was sans baby. ALL PATHS LEAD TO DYING IN A SHANTY!)
Okay, okay… perhaps I am being a little dramatic. It seems like I can keep this under control with medication. Which I will have to take for the rest of my life.
In the scheme of things, I realize this isn’t the absolute worst thing that could happen… But then I think “I have a chronic disease. I have a DISEASE. What the actual f@ck?!”
Also, this could be why I was such a shit show a few weeks ago. You know… hormones kind make you crazy.
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Little Victories

For the first time in a while, I feel like I have positive news to share. That feels so foreign.

Actually, there are a few bits to share. Nothing earth shattering. They still feel like victories, so please join me in celebration.

1) A fellow IF blogger is finally pregnant. This was my first, i.e. the first of the bloggers I follow to share their happy news. I am beyond excited for her, to the point I was literally dancing and singing around my apartment. (Weirdly, to “Que Sera, Sera”. There must be subtext in there somewhere.)

I know what you’re thinking… “That’s nice and all, but how is that your victory?” Because for the first time in 2 years, I am happy about someone’s pregnancy without reservation. At no point have I looked at my own vacant uterus and felt bad.

This feels like progress.

2) I successfully felt something other than envy when seeing small children. I went for a 6.5 mile run this weekend with Mr. Ostrich. We run through this arboretum in our city, which is a hot spot for runners, cyclists, dog walkers and baby walkers parents with small kids.

While charging this particularly brutal hill, I saw two little girls who were saying hi to an old man on a bench. The older girl had tons of advice for her sister on how to greet old people properly. (No kidding, it was hysterical.)

Rather than thinking “Damn you, and your adorableness,” I thought “I remember when my sister used to do that to me.” Which sparked a series of pleasant and hilarious memories of my childhood.

High on endorphins? Or maybe I’m emotionally evolving…

3) TSH levels are back to normal! I got a call from my doc’s office, and -hurrah!- my body is responding to Synthroid nicely, and my levels are now within baby-making range. High five, self!

Sure, these seem small in the scheme of things, but they are mine. I’m owning the good stuff in my life LIKE A BOSS.

 

The Infertility Hotline

First things first…

Thank you.

I was in such a sad place last week and I just needed a safe place to spew. Not only did you beautiful girls suffer through that post, many of you stepped in as my personal pep squad. I needed it. If I’m learning anything through this, it is that the kindness of strangers is a real thing. You all give me hope for humanity.

And now we plod onward…

There are so many reasons that I was hoping to skip what I am now learning is called “Advanced Reproductive Technologies.” Not just the emotional stuff, the doctors visits, the potential injectables… That actually didn’t scare me one bit.

It is dealing with my insurance company. We’ll call it “Incompetence Insurance”, shall we? Before this even got started, I’ve experienced so many errors, misinformation, and flat out idiocy. For example: because they failed to send claim information to an office in a timely manner, I was sent to the hospital’s collections department. (I DO NOT get sent to collections. I may have my shortcomings, but this lady gets her bills paid on time.)

There are more examples, but I will spare you the gory details. In short, I hate them. But they are the only one my employer offers, so there you have it.

As much as I was bummed to wait so long to see the RE (appointment August 7th,) I realized that this was probably a good thing since it gives me plenty of time to get my ducks lined up with Incompetence Insurance. Planning is my middle name, after all.

According to the rather large packet of information sent to me by the RE’s office, mine is the only insurance company that requires I call an “Infertility Hotline” before they will authorize treatment. (No, really. That’s what they call it. A hotline. Call now for all your hot and heavy infertility needs!) So I need to get 1) a referral from my PCP, and 2) authorization from the Infertility Hotline. Thanks for making a painful process so much easier, guys.

Any way, after I hauled myself out of my sadfest the other day, I realized I should get that started. Who knows how long that’s going to take? 2 days, apparently. I called. Was put on hold for 10 minutes. Was told that all infertility specialists were busy and someone would call me in 2 business days. I continued hating Incompetence Insurance. #rage

Eventually, I get a call back and proceeded to have the first and likely last helpful conversation I have ever had with my insurance company. I had to answer all the questions I’ve answered a bazillion times: How long have we been trying, which tests have you run, are you having timed intercourse, blah, blah, blah. After a 28 minute interview and two calls to my RE’s office, I’ve been given an authorization number. Victory, albeit a small one.

The only thing my insurance doesn’t seem to suck at is the actual coverage. Though not a reproductive free for all, it appears to be “fair.” (Wait until the bills start coming in, and I’ll let you know if this holds true.)

One interesting bit: Unless there is a medical need, my insurance will not authorize IVF until at least 6 cycles of other infertility treatments have been tried. (Clomid counts, BTW.) I guess that makes sense, but for those of us that fall in the “Unknown” category, that’s sorta shitty. Not that I want IVF… I don’t know… I guess I’m just bristling at the bureaucracy involved with something that feels so heartbreaking and personal.

In the meantime, I’m going to start taking Synthroid. Wait… What? Remember those blood tests I had a few weeks ago? It turns out my TSH is a little high. I’m at 2.75. Whereas that is in the range of “normal,” it is on the high side for baby making. I was resisting it for a while- I don’t like taking extra medication if I can avoid it. But then I realized I’m about to introduce all sorts of foreignness into my body. Why not start now?

The good news from the blood work is that I do not seem to have any autoimmune diseases. Victory yet again, though this one is a much bigger weight off my shoulders. Whew…

Round 5 of Clomid starts today. Wish me luck.