My blog has been quiet for the last month or so because I’ve had a big life change.
To my patients who I’ve missed seeing regularly for the last month and a half, here’s why I’ve been MIA but I’m happy to report that I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things and am starting back in clinic 1-2 days a week now.
Here’s the background
My husband and I have been struggling to get pregnant for the last 4 years. It’s been challenging to say the least. Added to the regular fertility challenges is the fact that I spend a large portion of my clinical time working with patients to support them in their fertility journey!
We actually began to work with a fertility clinic and a reproductive endocrinologist over the last year. We started out at one clinic but it just wasn’t a good fit. So, we went back to square one and re-started at another clinic.
Like many of my patients, we were diagnosed with “unexplained infertility” and because of our “advanced” ages, IVF was strongly encouraged. I wasn’t convinced that IVF was the route that we would take, so we had a discussion with my RE and we decided to start with an IUI.
At the beginning of last month, Jeff and I were super excited to finally get started with our first IUI and went in for the procedure the Wednesday before the long weekend. Everything went well and we went back to our normal lives. Friday night, we went out to celebrate my brother’s birthday with my family and had a great Korean BBQ dinner out and ended off the nice at a local ice cream bar.
That night was when I woke up with nausea and significant discomfort. I assumed I had some food poisoning from the restaurant and took it in stride overnight. However, it didn’t ease up by the next morning, and it actually got progressively worse, and I noticed that I was spiking a fever. So I woke up my husband and asked him to drive me to the hospital because I knew something wasn’t right.
We ended up at the ER where I stayed for 2 days while they ran all of the tests to try to figure out what was going on. I was put on an IV for hydration and just waited to get all of my test results.
All of the tests came back normal and the medical team was concerned but couldn’t figure out what was going on. So they sent me home on Sunday afternoon to manage the fever and get rest.
I woke up Sunday night with a super high fever and excruciating abdominal pain. I assumed it was my appendix and my husband RUSHED me to the hospital.
We re-did all of the tests that we did at my first visit and a whole list of new tests were also added. They also suspected that I would have to get an appendectomy due to my symptoms but we decided that I should get a CT scan before I went into the OR. It turned out that my appendix was fine afterall, so I luckily didn’t get a surgery done for no reason.
However, I was a mystery case and was bounced around to a whole bunch of different departments. Everyone concluded that something was VERY wrong but no one had any ideas as to what was going on. I was admitted to the hospital and we continued to run tests daily while I was hooked up to another IV for hydration in addition to some heavy duty pain killers and medications.
That entire week in the hospital is a bit of a blur but nothing came of all of the tests or meetings with the specialists. At the end of the week, my fever appeared to be relatively controlled and my pain had subsided to tolerable. So I was discharged and sent home to recover.
I was home for a week and hoping to get back to work the following week. I had lost 25 lbs within 2.5 weeks at this point, I couldn’t eat more than a few bites of food the entire day and I couldn’t even walk a few steps without the support of Jeff or my family. However, I knew that something was VERY wrong by Sunday night because I couldn’t keep down any liquids or fluids that I ingested, so I had to get Jeff to rush me to the hospital again. By this time, we had our hospital run routine down to a science!
They put in NG tube in (which was AWFUL) and we ran all of the tests a third time and it showed that I had some sort of massive infection plus my liver and kidney panels were completely out of whack. I was admitted back into the hospital and they continued to monitor my blood work and symptoms. I was put back on IV with heavy duty pain medications and antibiotics — my poor liver! Eventually, I had a follow up CT scan and that’s when it ALL clicked into place.
I apparently got a pelvic infection from the IUI that resulted in a pelvic abscess. By the time they found the abscess on the CT, it had grown so big that it was wrapped tightly around my intestines, giving me a complete intestinal blockage. They performed a procedure by essentially installing a drain into my abdomen and I had to stay in the hospital another week before I was in good enough shape to go home.
I won the lottery! Sort of …
So all in all, I had QUITE the adventure. The drained is supposed to stay in place for about 5-6 weeks and I’m hoping to have it removed next week — depending on how my next scan goes. I feel SIGNIFICANTLY better even though I’ve now lost almost 40 lbs and have ZERO stamina.
I’ve been told by every specialist that I’ve seen at the hospital that this NEVER happens. I guess I’ve won the lottery in some respects then!
My positive spin on this whole experience is that:
I now fully understand how it feels like to be a patient in the hospital. I truly believe that EVERY patient needs an advocate for them. Luckily, I was of sound enough mind to advocate for myself. And I’m very appreciative of all of the great care that I received from my medical team. Every time they learned that I was an ND, they asked for my opinion and thought process as to what was going on. I had great discussions with everyone about what it could be, my options for various tests and even my treatment options.
I also now 100% know that I have the greatest family and friends. So many people rallied behind me to just check in or offer to help in any way they could. My mother was a ROCK STAR and spent almost her entire day with me in the hospital and Jeff would stay overnight. I felt incredibly LOVED.
I’m apparently now a case study at my fertility clinic! I realized that I definitely picked the right clinic to be at because they stepped up when I needed them the most. My RE called me every couple of days while I was in the hospital and she ensure that her fellow checked in on me regularly. My RE’s fellow actually went above and beyond the call of duty. She showed up at my hospital room before and after every shift that she had, every single day that I was in the hospital.
And lastly, I realized that I work with an AMAZING group of people. Each and every practitioner that I work with checked in on me and offered their services to help me get back up on my feet. In addition, they offered their love and support, and whatever else I needed. I 100% know that I’m working in the right places.
I can now say that I’m walking the walk AND talking the talk
Now the truth is out and you know that Jeff and I are also on this crazy winding fertility journey. I’m determined that this isn’t how our story is going to end. So I’ll keep you posted on what we do next!
I’m now ready to get back to work and slowly transition myself back to my regular hours. CONTACT ME HERE if you’d like to set up a complimentary 15 min call/meeting to discuss how I can help support you through your fertility journey.
What’s a discovery call/meeting? It’s where we get to know each other better to ensure that I’m the right practitioner for you and that you have the opportunity to ask your questions about Naturopathic Medicine before we move forward with an initial Naturopathic consultation.
Here are the other posts if you’re interested in reading about my struggles with my own fertility journey:
- My IVF Story: Part 1
- My Surgery Surprise
- My IVF Story: Part 2
- TW: My Big News!
- My Fertility Journey on Facebook for #CIAW2020
- My Fertility Journey on Instagram for #CIAW2020
And here are a few other posts on fertility that you might also be interested in:
- Fertility: How Naturopathic Medicine Can Help
- Acupuncture for Infertility
- The Effect of Obesity on Fertility
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Trying to get pregnant? Test your ferritin levels!
- CoQ10 & Fertility: What’s all the fuss about?
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