Our precious boys...

Our precious boys...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

MENOPAUSE AT THE RIPE OL’ AGE OF 29!

Getting the Lupron shot all ready!


This week I started the LUPRON (Leuprolide – pronounced “loo pro lide”) shot, which basically puts me into menopause. It over stimulates the body’s own production of hormones, which causes my “lady parts” to shut down.

What is Lupron?
Lupron helps shut off my body’s natural stimulation from my pituitary gland to my ovaries. Pituitary suppression is important for recruitment of multiple follicles or eggs. The more eggs I can grow during any given IVF round, the higher the chances of success. By desensitizing the pituitary's signals from the brain, Lupron blocks the natural tendency of the brain to allow only one dominant follicle to grow in each cycle. Also the medicine’s purpose is to prevent me from ovulating unexpectedly during the stimulation injection part of our cycle. Basically from here on out my entire cycle will be ruled by hormones that I'm injecting rather than the ones my body produces naturally.

Therefore, I’m going through the lovely side effects of menopause. I’ve had hot flashes during the day and night sweats while sleeping. Hot flashes are such a crazy thing. There’s really nothing to compare it to, really. You know how it feels when you’re outside on a really hot day in the summer? And you can feel the heat burning at your skin from the outside going in. To me, a hot flash felt just opposite, like this heat was literally burning, coming from your insides trying to get out. These hot flashes turned out to not be too bad for me since it’s mid winter. I like to think of it as free heat! And the night sweats aren’t too bad either. I’d wake up so warm and have to throw the covers off of me. Once again, this was fine for us because I was a personal heater for Nick!

I’ve also had mood swings, but I think I’ve had those for the past 3 years straight anyway, so I guess it’s not too much of a shocker (poor Nick!). Mostly I've been really tired. Naps are fun! I’m enjoying having these in my daily schedule. My lower back is really sore too, so I've been bugging Nick for a massage. Hopefully he gives in one of these days.

We’ve been taught how to give shots through Shot Clinics at Mayo, but Jesse’s still here to help me! I figured I better get the guts do it myself, since next week it’ll be up to 3 shots a day and would be a little inconvenient to go to Jesse’s at different times of the day to have her do all of them!

So I gave myself the LUPRON shot for the first time on Tuesday. This shot of 20 units is to be done at the same time every morning into the subcutaneous tissue in the stomach. (Subcutaneous tissue is the third of the three layers of skin. The subcutaneous layer contains fat and connective tissue that houses larger blood vessels and nerves.) It takes me a minute to talk myself up to go through with it, but then I think of what Jesse told me, “Pretend you’re a diabetic and if you don’t give yourself the shot right now – you’re gonna die.” Works like a charm!

P.S. The shots are going amazingly well. It's red and itchy after each injection but nothing drastic. A little bruising too, but nothing to complain about. It's actually getting easier to stab myself!

I take this injection daily until January 16th, which is two days before my retrieval.

Who knew I’d go through menopause at the ripe old age of 29? Seriously? Wow!

Ready for the shot. (I didn't smile while actually doing it!)

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