10/01/2008

Last test down

So I had the last test that the doctors could do on me as far as fertility issues are concerned. I was all nervous and freaked out about the HSG test this morning. I was so scared of having that test done because I had read horror stories out there about it, how it was the most painful experience and all that. But I guess everyone is different. I talked with a few woman on the fertility boards, and they said that it wasn't as bad as they thought.

We were told to be at the Diagnostics Center at Sacred Heart by 8:30am this morning. We parked in the Brent Lane parking garage - let me tell you, it was nerve-wrecking driving the huge Yukon in the low ceiling parking garage. We had to circle around several times to find parking. We finally found parking on the second deck.

We had the first check-in at the Diagnostic counter. Basically, it was just me telling the receptionist who I am and what test I'm having done. Then we were told to wait in the first waiting area located in the main hallway. It took us about 30 minutes to be called for the second check in. We had to fill out insurance stuff and pay. I was just thinking, the price we pay depends on if we have infertility coverage. We don't have infertility coverage, but it's just a diagnostic test. Oh well. What's another few hundred bucks right? Just comes out of our savings, which is dwindling rather quickly now.

After the second check-in, we waited for like 5 minutes to be called back. Jerry had to wait outside in the hallway. Lord knows he doesn't need any radiation to damage what miniscule good sperm he has already. The nurse was really nice and explained how the test works. And then she said that I looked very familiar to her. I told her that she may have seen me with my MIL, when I took her to get her x-rays done. We talked for a little while, as the PA doing the test was running a bit late. I told her all the tests that I had already went through, and she made a comment that it's a man's world. If it was a woman's world, after finding out about the male factor fertility issue, a woman wouldn't order all these tests that I had to go through. Yep, it's a man's world alright.

Anyway, the PA came in and he was very nice. He explained what he was doing step by step. For the record, I hate pap smears. It was almost like a pap, except that a catheter was inserted through my cervix. At the end of the catheter was a balloon that was inflated so that the dye wouldn't drain back out the cervix. The dye is then injected and I could see the dye fill up my uterus and then my fallopian tubes and then spill out at the end of my tubes. After it was all over, the nurse called Jerry in so that he could see. The PA described the parts of the x-ray. He pointed to a triangular shaped object as being my uterus. He said that it looked normal. Then he pointed to a sphaghetti like thing, and those are the fallopian tubes. And then he showed us the dye that spilled out at the end of the tubes. And then said that everything is normal. The shape of the uterus is normal. The fallopian tubes are normal, there were no blockages as evidenced by the dye spilling out at the end of the tubes. Jerry went back out in the hallway to wait for me as I got dressed. On my way out, the nurse jokingly said that she'd give Jerry an enema, only because I had to go through yet another invasive test only for it to turn out normal. We both laughed, and she said it's the least he could do. I like her.

So yay, at least now it's totally official. And boo, there is nothing wrong on my end that would prevent us from conceiving. However, I do wish that there was something wrong with me because anything would be better than genetic issues.

The doctors waited so long for me to have this test done because they didn't think it'd be an issue since we already know the cause of the infertility. When the doctor ordered it, he told me that he didn't think I had any blockages but that he needed it so that all the bases are covered. I was hoping that they would find a blockage that could possibly cause backflow of toxic fluid. That would explain why the embryos didn't implant this last time and that could be fixed. But nope. No such luck. They couldn't find anything wrong (physically, hormonally, or genetically) with me, so that means that there are more genetic issues wrong with the embryos, most likely due to the pairing up of the translocated chromosomes with normal chromosomes.

Even though the embryos were tested for the known genetic issues (translocation of 13 and 15), because of the specific type of genetic issue that Jerry is a carrier, it may cause other chromosomal abnormalities in the embryos. So even though they checked for chromosomes 13 and 15 to be normal in the embryos, just because of the translocation, the bulkiness of the fused 13 and 15 could knock other chromosomes out of whack.

Because of this new research on translocation carriers, there is a very little chance that the other chromosomes will be normal. We are guardedly cautious now, so that's why we are opting to do the CGH where it tests for all 23 pairs of chromosomes. We can no longer rely on just testing 13 and 15, as there is research suggesting that other chromosomes might be aneuploid. Because of this, we expect even fewer embryos to test normal for the number of chromosomes.

For more info on the research on translocations:
http://ohsufertility.com/Papers/pgd%20balanced%20translocation.pdf

After reading the article, I got even more discouraged. And I thought about the conversation we had with Jerry's brother and his wife the other day. We had dinner with them last Friday, and my SIL told us that they knew a couple who met after Hurricane Ivan, got married, and and now they have a 1 year old. Oh I was so jealous! We've been married almost 15 years now, spent over $100K on fertility treatments, and still no baby. I'm trying to focus on the positive though. And the positive thought now is that it's a good thing that Jerry has a really well-paying job and is able to work from home; otherwise, we might not even can afford fertility treatments or travel to the clinic. Everything happens for a reason, people always say. I'm not sure if I believe that.

1 comment:

bri said...

I have a balanced translocation (3,18) and I'm always amazed at the new info coming out. And yet, so many couples are still given the standard "1/4 will have this, 1/4 will have that, etc" speech from their geneticist. Unbelievable. You have been through SO much. Good luck to you.