Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Slow and Steady

I must say for a "small town", we Knoxvillians are pretty lucky.  As I was having my blood drawn again by the new andrologist, Diane, I noticed she had a Yankee northern accent.  I asked where she was from and she said New York.  She worked at a fertility center in Manhattan that claims to be one of the top clinics in the world.  (It does have some amazing stats, but they are the same as my clinic's, FYI...and if you compare Donesky's 20-40 cycles a month to their 200+ a month, the numbers seem better for Donesky!) She has degrees and credentials after her name to make the alphabet look short.  She was looking for a change of pace and a more personal approach to the chaos that occurs in a "top clinic in the world."

A Google search will tell you that the top clinics are Cornell Reproductive Endcrinology (CRE), Sher Institute of Reproductive Medicine (SIRM) and Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM) [This is where Guiliana and Bill Rancic were going when they found out she had breast cancer if anyone watches E!.].  These clinics thrive on IVF tourist patients but, you never become more than a number.  It's like a cattle call...NEXT!

So anyway, we have an experienced andrologist right here in town who's an expert in her field.  Who knew?

Since Diane is fairly new to the clinic, I asked her what she thought of it.  She said she is impressed with Dr. Donesky's research and that he was very progressive compared to even her former Manhattan clinic.  Again, who knew?  I also found out that Dr. D is a bro to one of the doctors at CRE which many consider the best in the country if not the world.  Furthermore, I found out Dr. Donesky's nickname is "The IVF King" here in the Southeast.

I'm getting in to all of this because I have occasionally thought maybe I need to get out of East Tennessee to get help.  The thought of adding the stress and added cost of traveling to this process has been a huge turn off, but the cattle call idea is even worse.  If I need anything, it's support and opportunities like I had today to ask questions, even hard ones.

I took advantage of Diane's huge clinic in Manhattan experience and told her about my last cycle.  I told her my estrogen levels from last cycle and she said they sounded fine.  I told her about all my eggs being "slow growers" and not making it to the blast stage and she immediately said it sounded like they might have been a little immature.  Immature eggs can be fertilized but they have fragile DNA that tends to fragment...sound familiar?  My LH levels and my estrogen levels were getting high which would overcook my eggs.  Dr. D had to make a call, or I may have ovulated on my own and lost all my eggs, so he decided to trigger then.  Looking back, I knew he must not have been happy with the cycle because he was very eager to tell me that he would change things up if the transfer did not work... Not being an MD myself, my theory is thus far, that the Lo-Loestrin did not suppress me enough and my ovaries did not get in line and follow orders.  This time, Dr. D made damn sure my ovaries were suppressed and subservient.

The unfortunate thing is that this is still far from a guarantee, but it is my pleasure to tell you that things are still going quite well and better than last time.  I still have 10+follicles visible that are just over 1cm on each ovary. This is more than last time, and they are still growing more evenly.  My E2 (estrogen) level is 435, which is exactly what it was on my first monitoring appointment of my last cycle.  This is perfectly good for my number of follicles at this level of development.  My LH is now 1.18 which is less than half of what it was at my 2nd appointment from August and my Progesterone is at .361.  Jan, my IVF coordinator, has gone from saying the numbers, "Look good," to, "Everything looks really good!"  I am more achy in my abdominal area than I was at this point last time because I have a lot more follicles growing away.  They are putting some pressure on my ovaries, and it's not super comfy, but hopefully this is just a taste of the discomfort I'll have in the future.  

Peace, Love and Lookin' Good,



  1. That's all sounding good lady!

  2. Glad to hear things are going so well. We're all thinking of you and praying!