7/16/2008

Details!

8am - Arrived at the fertility clinic. We waited for like 5 minues on the second floor waiting area. A nurse came out and got me. Jerry had to wait in the waiting area while the nurse prepped me for egg retrieval surgery. I was brought to a changing room where I changed out of my clothes and put on a hospital gown. I was told that I might want to keep on my socks, as it may be kind of cold in there for me. I wore booties over my socks. When I was done changing, the nurse put a warm blanket over me and walked me over to the prep room where I laid on the bed. She adjusted the bed to make me comfortable. Then she talked to me and told me exactly what she was going to do. First, she put the heart monitor probes on me. Then the blood pressure cuffs. Then the finger oxygen thing. In my chart, it says that I'm a hard stick (I only told them what the nurses in Pensacola told me - that my veins are small, deep, and they roll - Funny because everyone here at this clinic can get my blood with only one stick unlike in Pensacola where they have to stick me at least 5 times before giving up and getting the blood from my hand or wrist...ouch!). So she wrapped my left hand with a warm towel for a few minutes. When she took the towel off, she gave me a lidocane shot. She gave me a step-by-step play as to what she's doing and what it would feel like. Then she put the IV in and told me that I will feel a rush of cold going up my arm. Then she told me that the anesthesiologist and the doctor will talk with us before they wheel me back for surgery. The whole prep time took about 20 minutes.

The nurse brought Jerry back to where I was. I could tell that Jerry was very nervous, but so was I. I mean, I know it hurts him to see me having to go through this knowing that the fertility issue lies with him; but I was preparing myself for the worst to happen. In my mind, with my 1st IVF in Pensacola that doctor got 23 eggs and look how that turned out - I ended up in the hospital for 8 days! And now here, they're telling me that I have at least 25 eggs...well you know what I was thinking - I hope the hospital across the street is good!

The anethesiologist came in first and talked with us a bit. He just went over what we talked about the night before and asked us if we have any more questions. We didn't, so he said he's going to get my "happy juice" ready and left.

Then the doctor came in. She sat down next to the bed and looked very cheerful. She said, "It looks like we got a lot of eggs we have to get out." I nervously said, "Yep." She could tell that I was really nervous, so she said that they're going to do everything in their power to make sure that I don't hyperstim again. She assured us that she will aspirate every follicle that she finds and drain out all the fluid. Jerry asked her how long the surgery will take, and she replied, "About 15 to 20 minutes." Jerry told her that that's what the Pensacola fertility doctor said and it ended up taking more like 40 minutes. Then she said, "We do a lot of these and we're good at what we do." Jerry and I still thought it would take longer than what she said (but only because we had that one past horrible experience in Pensacola). I had to sign a consent form, and then she left to get ready for my surgery.

The nurse said that the anesthesiologist will be in shortly to give me my "happy juice." Within a minute, the anesthesiologist came back in and gave me my "happy juice" right before the nurse wheeled me out to the surgery room. All I remember is looking down at him giving me something in my IV and then the doorway and then I was out.

This part of story is from Jerry. He said that after I was wheeled to surgery, he was escorted back out to the waiting area and that someone from embryology would come and get him. He went to the bathroom and not longer than a minute after he sat back down in the waiting area, someone from embryology did come and get him. He was escorted down the hall and then into a room so that he could give his sample. He said that everything was "top secret" kind of stuff - he had to fill out the paper work and write his information on the collection cup. And then there was a red phone in there for him to use when the sample has been collected and that he was to stay in the room until embryology came to get him. He had to peronally hand the collection cup to the person (not leave it in the room until someone came and got it like with the Penscola fertility clinic) and the person signed that she received it. He even had to show ID and everything. I guess all that's good so there wouldn't be any mix-ups.

Then he went back to the waiting area. It was like 15 minutes before the doctor came out to talk to him. She said that there were 20 eggs and that they're still counting the tubes and that I did fine and that the nurse will go get him shortly. Then about 30 minutes later, the nurse came out and told him that I during the surgery I was wiggling around and the anesthesiologist had to give me more anesthesia and that I'm still groggy from that, so she wanted to let me sleep for another half-hour. And then she'll come get him after that. Then another half-hour passed, she went and got Jerry and brought him to my recovery room.

The first thing I remember after waking up was the nurse putting my glasses on me. Then I saw Jerry's worried face and heard the nurse tell him that I was a still a little groggy. Then she took my temperature, using one of those ear thermometers. Then she waited until I was more awake and told me that I would be feeling a little crampy, like menstrual cramps and to let her know if I would need tylenol. I told her that after my last hyperstim, I can handle any pain (as long as it wasn't the hyperstim pain like before). Anyway...I was a bit more awake and she moved me from the bed to the recliner. After I got settled in the recliner, she gave me ginger ale and some crackers. Not five minutes after I ate a couple of crackers and took a few sips of ginger ale, I was very nauseous. She gave me one of those barf buckets and Jerry held my hair as I barfed. She left us for a little while and when she came back and checked on me, she saw that I was still very nauseous and gave me more Zofran (the anti-nausea medicine) in the IV. She told me that it was probably due to the effects of anesthesia, but she went and asked the anesthesiologist just to make sure. Yep, it was most likely that I was suffering from the effects of anesthesia.

A little while later, the embryologist came in and talked with us. He told us that I produced a lot of eggs, 30 to be exact. Jerry asked him how many were mature, and the embryologist said that he won't know until the next day (Tuesday) with the fertilization report. He said that we will get a call Tuesday morning with the fertilization report. Jerry and I both reveled at the fact that they got 30 eggs from me, and I wasn't feeling the sharp pain (like a bunch of knives in my belly just slicing and dicing my internal organs) like with my 1st IVF. OMG - I thought it would kill me, that's how bad the pain from my 1st IVF was. But this time, it was so much different for me. I felt the occasional menstrual-like cramps and a little bloatedness and besides the nausea, that was basically it.

The nurse came back in and changed out one of my IV bags. Jerry asked her what it was, and she said that they give it (basically and electrolyte solution) to the patients who have the potential of developing OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome). Jerry and I looked at each other and thought that the Pensacola fertility doctor should've given me that in the first place to try to stave off hyperstim. But then that's the difference between a crappy fertility doctor (Pensacola) and a world re-known one (Denver).

Then the nurse sat down and went over the discharge instructions and the medications I'm to take.

1. Estrace pill - 1X/day
2. Medrol pill - 1X/day
3. Prometrium vaginal suppositories - 3X/day
4. Vivelle patches - 4 patches on lower abdomen, change patches every other day
5. Tetracycline pills - 4X/day
6. Baby aspirin - 1X/day
7. Vitamins

She also told me to drink lots of fluid, especially Gatorade, and eat lots of salty foods. I don't like Gatorade, but I will drink it - anything to avoid hyperstim. She said that this may be the one time that it's doctor's orders to eat high salt foods. I usually don't eat high salt foods anyway, so it's hard for me to find something salty. We had to read the labels and choose the ones with the highest salt content.

After a few hours, we were given the ok to go "home" (the hotel). The nurse walked me to the changing room and waited for me to change. Then she put me in a wheelchair and wheeled me to the front of the clinic, where Jerry was waiting with the Yukon.

I had such a better experience with this fertility clinic than the one back in Pensacola. It's like night and day, that's how different my experiences between the two have been.

Now here's what happened with my 1st IVF in Pensacola. Got to the clinic in the morning and waited in the general waiting area. One of the nurses came out to the waiting area and put EMLA cream on my left hand. She said it will ease the pain of the IV going in. She left us in the waiting area for a few minutes. Then another nurse took us to the prep room, which was actually just an ultrasound room. She left the room so that I could change into the hospital gown, and I sat on the examination table (not a hospital bed like here in Denver). Then after a few minutes, she came back in to put the IV in. (BTW, the EMLA cream didn't work.) She had to try to put the IV in twice because she kept missing the vein. By this time, my sister-in-law arrived and was in the room with us. Then the doctor came in and talked with us a bit. He didn't explain anything, just joked around a bit. Then he left and the anethesiology nurse (not a doctor like here in Denver) and his wife (who was his nurse) came in and didn't explain anything, except that they will write on my right hand how many eggs were retrieved. Before I knew it, he injected something in the IV (I'm assuming the anesthesia) and I felt very dizzy. My sister-in-law later told me that as soon as he finished injecting, my eyes glazed over. Keep in mind that I was still sitting on the examination table. Then the husband and wife team helped me WALK down the hall to the surgery room. I remember the anesthesiology nurse helping me on the surgery table and strap my legs in the stirrups. I remember during the surgery, I wiggled and kicked the doctor on the side of his head and him telling the anesthesiologist to give me more anesthesia.

The next thing I remember is waking up on a couch (not a recovery room) in the ultrasound room. Jerry and Carol said that I woke up long enough to say "ow" and then passed out again. The doctor nor the embryologist came and talked with us after the surgery. The only person was the nurse, and she was trying to wake me up enough so that I could be released. They said that I was on the couch recovering for about 20 to 30 minutes. Jerry and Carol both said that they wanted to rush me out of the clinic very quickly, probably to make room for the doctor's next patient. Jerry and Carol both helped me WALK out to the car, walking past the waiting room where the other patients were waiting. Jerry said that they looked up at me walking in the shape that I was in and he said that the look on their faces were sheer terror...Like 'OMG what happened to her' kind of look. I left the Pensacola clinic in the most pain I've ever felt in my life and a number written on my right hand (23 for the number of eggs they retrieved).

It was such a horrible experience, totally different from the experience I just had here in Denver. In Pensacola, there was no follow-up as to how I was doing. It was Jerry that kept calling the doctor's emergency number, but no one picked up. The next day when we insisted on a follow-up appointment, the nurse said that she's sorry that she didn't get our message - Apparently, she said that she slept through her beeper. Disgusting. There's more to the story, and I'll probably talk about it at another time.

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