I’m on day 9 of stims and getting over the flu. Guess what’s not good in the middle of an IVF cycle? The flu, that’s what. I can’t remember the last time I was that sick. The worst of it lasted 24 hours which included vomiting, sweating, chills, the worst headache of my life (and I get regular migraines), fever, sore throat, and hallucinations. I was having nightmares while awake. Cool! Anyway, I’m feeling much better today. All the snot is exiting the station but I’m still on the couch in my robe surrounded by tissues. I have not been to work in 3 days which is causing me intense guilt, but at the same time I know I have to take care of myself. I probably would have gone to work today under normal circumstances but yesterday my medication was increased so I had to call for a refill. So, today I have to wait and sign for the delivery.
Generally, this cycle has been slow going and a much different experience than the first. I knew it would be different, but the reality of that difference is more stressful than I thought. Last time, “stimming” (daily injections that blow up your ovaries like balloons) only lasted for 9 days and I felt activity inside on the first day. I had lots of physical discomfort because of how many follicles and ultimately eggs I had. (Although they were all basically “bad” except for 1 in the end.) This time I haven’t felt a whole lot until the last day or two. A little here and there, but not as constant as before. Emotionally, this round has been much worse. Having a currently out-of-control anxiety disorder is probably a large factor. Lots of crying. Lots of stress. Lots of guilt. Lots of worry. I need to take a co-worker’s advice. After sending him an apology for not being around to pick up the Girl Scout cookies I ordered from him, he responded, “Keep moving forward and control the things you can control and try not to worry about the things you can’t. And know above all that things will get better. (I promise I won’t eat your cookies.)” Heh. Thanks, buddy. *Sobs.*
As I mentioned in a previous post, my new doctor is taking things a lot slower this time. As of now, I only have 6 follicles with eggs growing. That’s not very many. I can’t help but worry even though the plan is to have less eggs at higher quality. The fact that I can feel some discomfort in there now is a weird relief. I mean, it sucks, because I know this weekend it’s only going to be worse — but hey, stuff is happening, right? I’m hoping for 2 high quality eggs for transfer.
I want to talk about money for a second. I can’t imagine doing this without insurance. I’m really lucky that my insurance covers 2 IVF cycles a year. My husband’s insurance doesn’t cover any infertility treatment. This shit is enormously expensive. When I did this last time, I had already met my $2500 deductible for the year so I didn’t have to pay anything. I ordered my first round of meds for this round in December so it was applied to my 2016 insurance and thus I didn’t have to pay. Yesterday, I refilled 2 medications and it cost me $2200. That amount was only applied to one of the 2 medications, as it ate up the rest of my deductible for the year. (The customer service agent cheerily told me that the second medication was “free” since the first one met my deductible. Doesn’t feel free, buddy!) And that amount is arbitrary because they just charged whatever was left on my deductible. So, what does it cost without insurance? That’s just the medication — and I only refilled 2. There’s a handful of other medications you need. For a 14 day stim cycle, you’re in for monitoring at least every other day, and every day toward the end. Plus the prep procedures, egg retrieval, and embryo transfer. Then monitoring after the transfer. If you’re lucky enough to have left-over embryos to freeze, that’s a $1200 fee out of pocket. This for treatment that absolutely does not guarantee success. Yikes.