Not much to report here. I had my follow up with the doc, who gave us a better timeline. We are looking at trying a cycle (with donor back up of course) around late February early March (this most likely means April, as nothing ever goes as planned). He wants a full 5 or 6 months of the clomid, to increase any chances of me producing sperm. Along with our talk, I gave my customary gallon of blood, as well as the ever so pleasant and may I add popular, Ol’ Jingle Jingle that comes with every visit to the urologist, but leaves me tender for a couple days! How many people can say they had another man fondle their nuts on their wedding anniversary!! 😀
Anyway, I got the phone call of my blood results yesterday. It seems I am completely on track with the clomid. The reference ranges for testosterone are approximately between 200 – 800 ng/dl. My levels in Feb of 09 were 364 ng/dl. They pretty much stayed right around there until after my varicocele surgery. They first retested me on 10/13 with a result of 417 ng/dl. I began taking the clomid on 10/19 and I was retested on 11/10 with a result of 574 ng/dl. I know that testosterone levels fluctuate throughout the day, and I’m no doc, but I’ve never had a result over 400, so the clomid must be working. The doc directed me to continue with the same dose I’ve been taking, and come back in 2 months. Has anyone else in the infertility world noticed that it’s never days or weeks, waits always come in multiple months. That officially closes out 2009 for infertility docs, blood draws, and scrotal exams (thank God on that last one), and goes down as one the crappiest (is that even a word) years of my life. This does however mean, that it can only get better from here!! Once you hit the bottom, the only thing left is up!!
On another note, Jess and I made the appointment with the Infertility counselor. We will be going in the beginning of December to discuss our family building options, and whatever else they do there (I will probably end up institutionalized at the end of that meeting. Then again, I am probably no more crazy than the next person dealing with all this. I’m pretty sure this counselor has dealt with people that are bat-shit crazy. Infertility can definitely have that affect on you!!). I think it will be really good for us. Hopefully it will lower the stress, and prepare us for the tough choices we are going to have to make for our family. I know I’ve said we are both for the donor sperm, and we still are, but it is still tough emotionally. I want us both, never to regret any decisions that we have made, or will make in the future. Regardless of the decisions we do make, as long as it comes from the both of us, I’m sure it will be the correct one.
I had my post-op checkup today. This was the first time I traveled up to Hackensack by myself. Jess couldn’t get out of work so I was on my own. It wasn’t too exciting, and no new groundbreaking news. My doc said the incisions were healing good, and that everything was on the right track. We discussed the results of the biopsies, and he reiterated that no sperm doesn’t mean any sperm in the future. He is leaning towards eventually finding something, because of past tests that did find sperm. He said he knew one thing for sure, was that the areas he took for the biopsy were spermless. He also drew some more blood, for a chromosome microdeletion test. The next step is healing. The varicocele repair won’t show anything for at least 4 months. I’m set to resume my Hackensack travels in October. After that, he indicated that there could be more MTESE’s as finding sperm could be like looking for a needle in a haystack. I guess we’ll have to wait see. It think it will be nice to have a doctor free summer! 🙂
I started to feeling much today better. It seems as though I have turned the corner on healing and pain. I still have some pain, but I am able to get around with no problem anymore. It might be slow, but it is movement. I cut down the pain meds to once a day (at night), and have decided to deal with morning pain. For some reason, the pain is pretty bad in the morning. I have been getting up, and having to just sit for about 20 minutes until the pain subsides. After those 20 minutes, I’m fine. I think the one thing that really helps with the pain is the athletic supporter (I apologize to any men who read this, I had to link it!! The wikipedia images for jock strap are classic. No one looks like that!!) the doc sent me home with. Before I had the surgery, I was insistent on the idea that I did not need to wear one, and that I would be fine. Once again, I was wrong!! I am now on day #6 of swallowing my pride. It really does help with the pain. It is very uncomfortable though. Anyone who has ever played a sport that requires one could understand. Imagine wearing it non stop for 6 days. I don’t even need to explain what could, and is happening!! I think I am going to start not using it when I am just sitting around. I will however put it back on when I have to tend to my sidekick.
With Jess returning to work, I am forced to get up and get some things done on my own. One thing that keeps me moving is my sidekick. She is a 29lb out of control Puggle named Keena. She keeps me busy, and I think she knows that I’m not 100% because she has been very good on walks, and is very gentle (which is not normal) inside. Isn’t it weird how dogs just know things?
On another, more disgusting note, now have two tennis balls between my legs. They are swollen, and not happy! I feel for Jess, because she is still assisting with changing dressings. Poor thing has to look at my deformed area and not crack any jokes. I could only imagine what is running through head during these lovely moments. She’s a champ!
So, I made it through the surgery!! I couldn’t post yesterday, because I was way to out of it. With anesthesia, morphine, demerol, and percocet, your body becomes pretty useless!! Apparently, when I first came to, they asked on a scale of 1 to 10 what my pain was. I have no recollection of this, but they said I was in a lot of pain and answered 9. This is where they gave me a cocktail of pain meds (IV) and totally made me useless for the rest of the day. I zoned out most of the night and just stared at the TV. My main complaint of the night was my throat. It was so dry and scratchy from the breathing tube. I have never been tubed before, so I didn’t know what to expect. I’m feeling much better today, but the pain is pretty bad. I slept completely through the night, which I was totally surprised about. I am also able to move around more today, but very slowly. I originally thought that the testicular biopsies were going to be done through tiny incisions and and then aspirated through needles. Boy was I wrong! There is a 2″ long 1/4″ deep incision across the front of the scrotum that has the shape of a dumbbell. It almost looks like a puzzle piece is missing. This, I believe, was a Microdissection TESE. From what I read, it is a much larger incision, but yields a better chance of finding sperm. The biopsy is what hurts. I don’t even realize that I have another incision for the varicocelectomy (yet!). I guess there is plenty of time for that to start hurting. I have the next 2 weeks to just sit here and heal. I will probably be completely out of my mind by Monday, so expect some rambling posts.
I have to thank my at home nurse (Jess). I don’t know what I would do without her. I am a very independent person, and having to rely on people sucks. I can’t even go to the bathroom without her help. She is running around like a champion, doing everything I need done. You never realize how much you depend on someone until you can’t do anything for yourself. I am blessed to have her in my life. I love her so much, and wish that she didn’t have to go through all this with me. After all, her doc says she is a baby making machine!!