Friday, April 30, 2010

Additional weapons

My scan this morning didn't go too well, basically not much progress at all, I think after several attempts the best reading they could get was 6.5mm. Amazingly, the upper wall is really great, healthy looking and homogeneous, the lower one (the one from which the scarring was removed) isn't really doing anything. Basically all the thickness is in the upper wall. Anyway, The Favourite Doc doesn't want to give up just yet, I'm booked in for the transfer for next Friday but I have to have another scan on Wednesday.
To try and progress this lining a bit further I have to up the oestrogen to 6 tablets a day (5 orally and 1 vaginally), add a new drug called Trental which appear to be another thing to improve blood circulation, take Vit E for good luck and finally....the very thing we have all been waiting for...Viagra!! Yes ladies, I am on it. Actually I went back home after the scan to take the first tablet. It's taken vaginally 4 times a day, so far I can say that I feel a bit warmer down below, but no much else.
I'm incredibly ok with the way this cycle is going, and I'm sure you agree that it's far from being exciting or very promising, it could be cancelled on wednesday but ah well...there's nothing I can do about it is there? I'm patting myself on the back for the Zen attitude I manage to master!

I also wanted to update you on Patches. The Ultimate Vet Hero is texting us to see how the patient is doing (can you imagine? She is something else...) and the answer is that he's doing very well. He eats quite a bit more than he used too, and he's becoming more energetic day after day. His breathing is sooooooooooo much better, you can never hear him when he's awake, he's snores a tiny bit when asleep but man, you can't believe the improvement. So as of tomorrow we are starting reducing the anti-inflammatory, I think we continue the antibiotics and we keep everything crossed he won't relapse.

Last piece of news is that Mike's car has arrived in record time!! Just ten days after it was ordered! It appears to have been our destiny car. We also name the cars, so after some thinking this one is called Zoolander (it has a bit of Blue Steel look!). We are very happy and we'll go to visit the in-laws on Sunday for the big outing (they have no idea we got the car!)

Monday, April 26, 2010

On track

Can you imagine? I'm actually going to blog again about my FET this time instead of kittens... (Patches is doing well, fingers crossed now! He's purring at all of you thanking for the comments and support in the last few days...for real!)

I had a new doctor this morning scanning me at the clinic, he's American and I hand't the time to check out his cv yet, but seemed very nice. My lining didn't look too good to me and my expert eyes. It was just above 6mm and the upper wall looked much thicker than the lower one. I couldn't actually see the triple pattern that I always had. But the doctor said it was absolutely fine and not to worry about it. Anyway, still no Viagra but upping the oestrogen to 4 pills from 3. After the scan, the nurse told me about the meds and I made it clear to her that I felt uneasy about increasing the oestrogen, that I wasn't sure about the lining and all I've been through made me probably a "difficult" patient...I didn't mean to be difficult though. She was very understanding and got my Favourite Doctor to come and talk to me. I was concerned that after the hysteroscopy the lower wall had not recovered. She looked at the pics from the hysteroscopy and was truly amazed at the amount of tissue that had to be removed. She was very confident my lining was of better quality and not to worry about the different thickness of the layers, it'll even out. She's going to make sure she'll do my scan on friday. She actually checked my day 6 scan from the last FET and I had a lining of 5.6, so I'm actually doing a bit better!

And then off I went to the appointment with Dr. B. He visited me and also scanned me (wohoo two scans in a day!) he was absolutely pleased with the way things looked, very optimistic that the scarring will not reform, the histological report was completely normal and he feels it was just a fluke (I still think it was caused by the D&C in 2007). He actually said he "had a good feeling about me" and to let him know in any case. Awwhh, really lovely doctor, I wonder if he follows never know, I may actually be properly pregnant one day!

I rushed back to the office to set up the viva and then off to the graduation ceremony. My student did very well in his exam and we had a happy day. I'm now going home, I feel I've done very little today but I've been certainly running around a lot!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Patches third chance

Look who's home!!

The patient is back in the house! Yes, this morning the Vet (who is going to be known as the Ultimate Vet Hero) called saying that Patches was in great form and that she thought we were on the right track with the antibiotics and anti-inflammatory therapy. He is still swollen in the larynx and she thinks this is of a viral origin which may have turned in a form of autoimmune issue. We went picking him up and she showed us how to give him the new meds. We are in love with her. Thinking that we were ready to put him to sleep...let's hope he'll grow out of it soon. The therapy is going to be a long one, probably for a couple of months but we are so happy to still have him with us. Mike is totally taken by our furbaby and the fear of losing him after The Dude went missing made him understood how affectionate pets (even cats!) can be.

We now think that The Dude was just a free spirit and that he would have attempted to escape at the first occasion. It's sad that it happen when my parents were here, but I really think it would have happened in any case.

We will get a second cat. We told the Vet also in case they get any kittens in, and we will go back to the DSPCA when we get back from the holidays in June. If the Dude comes back then we'll have three cats!

And now I want to welcome the ICLW visitors, I know we are in the middle of the week and I am only putting up this post now, but I have commented on your blogs dutifully in the last couple of days!
I have a step-by-step history on my left side-bar if you want to check out all we've been through in the last three and half years. We are now in the middle of our...let's see....third FET where we have only one day-6 blast frozen (we call it a penguin), I have a scan tomorrow to check how my lining is growing and also tomorrow I'm back with Dr. B for the follow up after the hysteroscopy. I have no idea what he will do. I am not spotting or bleeding anymore, so I guess things are ok. I suppose if the lining is still thin they'll put me on Viagra (woohooo!!) but let's hope that after the removal of the scar tissue tomorrow my lining will look like a fluffy blanket!
And tomorrow my second student will have his viva....big day for him too but I have to say, with all that went on with us, I had no time to worry. My third student also submitted her PhD thesis last week and again I wasn't in the mood to celebrate at all, I'll have to make it up to them, they have worked really hard. Going to cuddle Patches for a little while!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The mysterious illness

We got some news from the Vet last night, Patches blood tests came back clean, he's never been exposed to coronaviruses of any kind (no antibodies) so he's definitely not suffering of FIP which is great news. He's also negative for toxoplasmosis. So we were a bit hopeful that he may have had polyps which can be surgically removed and the Vet said she was going to X-ray him this morning. We just called to see how he's doing and the X-ray showed no sign of polyps at all, just massive swelling of his trachea which causes him so much trouble breathing. Still non the wiser on what the problem is and how to treat it. The Vet thinks it's viral but will refer him to a different hospital if they have a thin endoscope. She has him on steroids to reduce the swelling and we'll go see him this afternoon. Poor Patches. I don't know how I feel, deep down I don't think he'll make it and I hate all the suffering he's going through.

No news on the Dude, I've posted another note on a different board but he seems to have disappeared in thin air. I woke up this morning with the vivid image of his green eyes looking at me on wednesday night while I was feeding Patches from my laps...I think he may have felt that all our attentions were for Patches and didn't feel we were loving him as much. But we do love him so much, I hope he'll give us another chance.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Still in the dark

I want to thank you all for your kind comments and encouragement. We have left food outside our door (we are in a duplex so really we have no garden but a first floor balcony from which The Dude escaped) and also on the grounds near the tree we think he used to climb down. Nothing has been touched. We printed flyers and given it all around our neighbourhood and nearby shopping centre. We contacted the shelter and informed them of our lost pet. We still walk the grounds at least twice a day but so far no joy.

Patches is not getting any better, yesterday had fever again and trouble breathing. He's not eating much at all and hardly drinking (we have to force fluids in with a syringe). This is just heartbreaking. Last night we decided this was it, we cannot let him suffer so much, it's unfair. And believe me, it's definitely not about the money, I'd spend twice as much if I thought we can can get him through this. So this morning we rang the vet and told him the situation. I brought Patches in thinking it was his last journey. He looks so frail and submissive, I just tried to be strong and calm with little success. But the Vet said she wanted to give him another chance, not to worry about the money, they'll work something out. She took him in and will give him fluids, if he gets better by the afternoon she'll sedate him and X-ray him to check for polyps that may give him this recurrent breathing troubles. She'll also give him a scope to check his trachea and nose. I said to her I cannot bear the idea of torturing him any longer and she agrees that this won't be the case. She really believes we can save him.

I'm an emotional wreck, I broke down sobbing in work yesterday and had to go home. I know it may sound so silly to be so upset about cats, but this is all we have. I'll update as soon as I have news, I've been terrible at ICLW but I will catch up asap. Love to all and I know you are all sending positive thoughts, I can feel the warmth.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

From bad to worse

Patches is home, pumped with anti inflammatory and the vet gave us some medication in case he spikes a temperature so that we don't have tu rush to the vet all the time.

But something else happened last night and I am barely holding it together.

My mum opened the french door onto our balcony and to seconds later the Dude had disappeared. We went out immediately, one of the neighbour came out asking if we were looking for a grey cat that she just saw running in a particular direction. Mike, me, mum and dad were out until late looking fr the Dude with no joy. No sign of him this morning either, mum feels awfully guilty and had a crisis during the night. I cannot believe this is happening, the Dude has always been indoor and definitely doesn't know his way around. i've posted ads on all the online boards and we are printing flyers to give to the neighbours, I fear he won't be able to survive outdoor.
What else can happen to us? Knowing that we'll be loosing Patches sooner rather than later was already impossible to accept and now we've lost the Dude too. I've been crying since last night.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Emergency Vet

Yes. Emergency Vet. Patches started being a bit quieter basically the evening of my last post. He was still under antibiotic but I knew there was something wrong. He was less playful and started sleeping on what we have now named "The Sick Chair" up in the office. He was off his food a bit also. Yesterday I found out the pet insurance won't cover any of the expenses for Patches due to a glitch in the when he was sick first (even if unrelated) and the proper start of the cover. We cancelled the policy and at least we will get a full refund.
Last night he was definitely unwell and I measured his external temperature which was at 104 F or 40°C. Very high. We called the after hour emergency Vet which is based in the college I work in and off we went. It was midnight. The Vet confirmed the high temp, suggested it may be an allergy, faxed to our Vet her findings and ideas, gave Patches steroids and something to help him breathe better. We got home around 2am. This morning seemed more or less the same, maybe a bit better but I brought him to our Vet. I got a call around 11 that his temp was up at 104.4 F and she kindly said we may want to consider other options.... I'm in tears as I write this. She said it's up to us and she knows we're paying everything out of pocket and that perhaps it won't be worth it for us and for Patches also. I said we didn't mind and we'd like to have a full blood profile done, test for FeLV again, check for Toxoplasma and anything they can think of. My worst fear is that we put him down and then we find out we could have treated him.
The Vet gave him more steroids and said if the temp wasn't lowering he'll have to be put on fluids. I fear we are torturing him with all these injections and probing and testing and my heart is just in pieces.
I just called to see how he was doing, the temp is nearly normal, he's eaten a bit and the blood is practically normal. He doesn't seem to have a massive infection, FeLV also still negative. If it's a virus they don't know which one it is and we are not sure what to do next. The Vet asked for a consult with a Veterinary Pathologist for which other virus we can test. I will call around 5 to see if we can bring him home.

I know it's ICLW week, I'll post tomorrow a proper post for it, between the little sleep and the heartache my head is not in the right place at the moment. Thank you all for your support.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Basal scan and Flying Ban

I had my basal scan this morning, everything looked great. I had my favourite Doctor doing the scan so I told her about the hysteroscopy and the darn spotting for the full duration of the pill!! (I'm spotting free since yesterday though, please join me in the happy dance!) She also said it was normal and she was very sorry to hear about the scarring but that it's gone now and that Dr. B is a great doctor. So I'm starting my other drugs this evening but listen to this....NO VIAGRA!! I know I know, how disappointing!! But she said that if I had scarring tissue it could have been the cause for the slow thickening of the endometrium and that I may not need it at all. Next scan is next Monday so we'll see then. I wonder if I can return the Viagra and get a refund...

On other news, do you remember my parents flew over last Wednesday to a few days with us? Well...they arrived just before the Volcano erupted in Iceland and they are now stranded here until they lift the flight ban on Irish skies. They should have gone back today but we knew on Saturday the company had grounded all flights until lunch time today (including theirs) and yesterday they extended the ban until at least next Wednesday. So, a part from the company, we have gained a permanent maid who cooks, cleans and irons! and I became a lady of leisure...

Kitten are doing well, I'm still obsessed that Patches isn't eating much but he gained 100g in the last week and seems to be quite playful. The Dude is great as usual, really sweet and big. My parents adore them.

And the last piece of news is that Mike bought a new car on Saturday! It's his first brand new car so it's all very exciting and we can't wait until it arrives in a few weeks.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

AF and other updates

I think I can say I got my period last night! Definitely more than spotting and perfectly on time with respect to the last pill. Now I really hope that this will end at some point and that the spotting will also end or I'll definitely freak out!! My basal scan is on Monday, so I better be done with the bleeding.

I picked up Patches on Tuesday afternoon and he seemed in great form. Whatever food they gave him really worked and he put on a good bit just in a couple of days!! He's on antibiotics (for a change...) for a few days and then we should see how he's doing but they definitely think it's a virus of some kind. I don't think he's eating much at home though, so I'm off the the vet to get some prescription food to mix in with his just to make sure he's not undernourished. By the way, we have to hope that out pet insurance will cover all these expenses or this little kitten has costed us more than a pedigree champion already!! I let you know.
The Dude came back home yesterday morning fresh as a rose, like nothing happened to him at all. Patches was hissing at him at first (you know, he had the house for himself for a night and felt like the king of the jungle) but they were playing together a few minutes later. With The Dude at home, monitoring how much Patches is eating is practically impossible...nothing is ever left in the bowls but it's definitely The Dude showing an appetite!

And finally my parents also arrived yesterday and they are in love with the kitties already! I better go and plan what we are having for dinner, mum is already fretting...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

News from Pet Land

You girls are amazing, thanks so much for your comments and support.

So Patches fever had disappeared by early afternoon, I went visiting him and he was really happy to see me, curious and playful. The usual Patch. The vet called again around 9 pm to tell us that he was still without a fever and doing well. The problem is that they don't know what brings these fevers. They feel it's unlikely to be FIP because cats normally don't go in an out of it, symptoms get worse and that's it. One possibility is that he may have a herpes virus (not contagious to humans) which is affecting the respiratory tract. Due to the nature of the virus he is not really getting rid of it and stress can cause it to replicate and the fever spikes (to prevent the virus to replicate further). It's a bit of a pain, like a cold sore, but manageable. They want to retest him in a month time for FIV and FeLV in case what they have seen so far are false negatives due to maternal antibodies masking the results (not sure this is really a possibility though). The strange fact is that The Dude is in perfect health. You'd think a virus would spread to him too.
This morning Patches was still without fever and eating "like a horse" as the vet said so we'll bring him home later today!
And this morning I also brought The Dude to be neutered so hopefully everything will go well and we'll pick him up tomorrow morning. Patches will have a quiet house for a day at least, and hopefully it'll be little longer before he has another episode...I'm dreading the time when we'll go on holiday and board the two of them...but the cattery we selected seems great, they even use our same vet, so hopefully everything will go well.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Patches update

Patches is back at the's not good girls, really not good.

He wouldn't look too sick to someone who doesn't know him (bright eyes, purrs..), but I knew there was something seriously wrong. He didn't play at all yesterday and basically slept all day in one of the rooms upstairs, didn't want to be near The Dude at all.
We had collected the poo sample but this morning Mike brought both the sample and the cat to the vet. They took Patches in and the news at lunch time is that he has high fever (105) but that he has eaten a little. Unfortunately they don't know what wrong with him, the breathing is not bad at all and he uses the litter box normally. They gave him other antibiotics and pain-killers.
I'm heart-broken girls, I'll go and see him later but I'm so afraid he won't make it. It can still be FIP.
Imagine that we got the kittens because I needed to care for something small and now I'm falling apart watching this cute kitten suffering. And tomorrow we'll bring The Dude to get neutered.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Last Pill, Patches and The Dude

Thank God tonight I'm going to take the last pill!! Ohhhh what a relief! With all the spotting (never in the morning mind you, only afternoon and evenings, totally a hormonal thing!) I'm not even sure I'll get a proper period, anyone out there has experience?
The sniffing is going well, I keep myself very well hydrated and had no headache so far, but I'm soooo tired in the evenings, I'm in bed by 10.00-10.30 after a snooze on the couch! Anyway, marching on.

I can't remember if I mentioned that a couple of weeks ago we brought Patches back to the vet because he seemed to have a scratch on his neck which was raised and inflamed. The vet gave us a course of antibiotic for ten days. During that time we noticed that The Dude had become a bit rougher when playing with Patches and was scratching and biting Patches' neck resulting in constant bleeds, new scabs and bold patches!! The poor thing had become less playful and seemed a bit afraid of The Dude. Anyway, we had a letter from the DSPCA to bring The Dude to be neutered on the 29th of April (they reckon is about 6 months old). It was quite obvious that it was just too far away. He's restless and meows a lot (never did it before), so we brought him there on Friday to see if he was ready to be done a bit earlier. After a bit if begging we got an appointment for next Tuesday! The vet nurse also clipped The Dude's nails, at least the damage can be controlled a bit.

All was well in the pet land until friday night when we noticed Patches breathing became quite noisy again....couldn't believe it, we had finished the antibiotics on Thursday morning! On Saturday morning Patches was a bit flat and the breathing the same. I noticed he seemed to have shivers and I basically cocooned him in his blanket thinking he may be running a fever. Then we weighed him and he had lost 200g in 4 days!! I felt so so bad, The Dude is growing steadily, but I had tried to vary the food a bit and Patches never seemed to impressed...anyway, not a good sign by any means.
We phoned the vet and brought him there in the afternoon. He checked out fine, kind of suddenly was a bit brighter, but he did have a temperature. The vet gave him an antibiotic injection and said to us that we need to find which bug he has so that we can treat him properly but that he's optimistic he'll grow out of it. Let's hope so!

Last night he was already better, I reverted to the original kitten food and he had a good bit. We have to bring a poo sample to the vet to check for particular bacteria which may be the cause of the poor health. I think it's more to do with the respiratory system but we'll see.

Today is curtain-washing day! My parents are arriving next Wednesday and mum has this habit of climbing up a ladder and do the won't do it this time mum! You can pot the plants though....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sniffing away

Ahh the old sniffer! I've started this morning with the Suprecur (same as Superfact) and I'm absolutely dreading the headaches that will come...Anyway, only 4 more pills!!! adn I hope to God that when AF will show up and finish it'll be the end of the's soo so frustrating...I can't even imagine how people on the pill as birth control (rather than preparation for IVF!) with spotting can cope...

On other news, today is my blog-anniversary! I have seen this mentioned in other blogs and I was expecting like a big pop-up message when I opened the blog, but nope, not such a thing! I just checked when I posted my first post and realised it was a year ago today. Wow...

And today we had the first AGM of Ectopic Pregnancy Ireland. Amazing girls have worked so hard to put it together, there is a website in preparation, should be ready around June-July, the big launch of the association is being planned for September, leaflets are ready to be printed and we have a FB page! We plan to activate a phone-support line to which we'll answer in rotation and we'll have forum on our website too. Fund raising is obviously the big thing which we are not too sure how to tackle efficiently, but the first thing will be running the mini-marathon in Dublin on the 7th of June! the girls think we can get T-shirt ready with the logo and a few friends will go and wear them. Wow. This is happening. We will raise awareness. One of the girls was saying how ignorant people are on the subject...soon after she had her ectopic pregnancy, she was having a manicure and said to the girl that she recently had an ectopic pregnancy and the reaction was "Ohhh!! Congratulations!!" Can you believe it?? We definitely have to do something!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ectopic Pregnancy Ireland

Oh girls, I had to share this with you!!

The charity association is about to take off!
We got our official registration number and are now officially a registered charity!!
The 6 of us who put this together (well, I have joined late, so not much credit to me!) will meet officially on Thursday to review all our material, work on a website and a phone help-line. Ideally we will launch the support group after the Summer! Wohoooo this is so exciting, of course brings along sad memories, but the knowledge that it may be of help to so many other women is so powerful.
And we have our first donation already :o) it's mine as a thank you gesture to my friend Michele for sending me her fertility Buddha. She suggested it!

I will keep you posted and I can't wait to be able to post the link to the website on my blog!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Meds collected

Yesterday I went to the chemist and collected my meds. Due to the fact that Viagra is only allowed on prescriptions for erectile dysfunction (which...strangely...I don't have!) the bill was eye-watering...

Anyway, I have now all my blue pills, the steroids, the clexane, the oestrogen, the aspirins and all the needles and alcohol swabs. And I can't get over the idea that I may be stuffing myself with all this drugs (yet again) for only one penguin which may not survive the thaw. If I had a choice, and if the clinic would have given me the option of going natural even if they say the chances of getting pregnant on a natural FET are lower than on a medicated cycle, I definitely would have gone with no drugs. The gamble here is way too risky. I only have one day-6 blast for which I'm getting ready with the full army of hormones as if I had more.
I wonder if once again I'll fall in the less likely portion of the statistics: one embryo that WILL survive the thaw and a NORMAL PREGNANCY with just one to transfer...can you imagine?

On the other hand I'm still spotting. Including AF is now almost 3's not much at all, but enough to wear a panty-liner every day. It's frustrating to say the least. I'm sure it's the pill but at least I'm only 8 days from the last one. Hopefully it'll all be normal at the first scan on the 19th.

On the 8th I'll start the Suprefact and I better remember to drink like a fish to avoid headaches.

Patches and The Dude are doing very well, it's as if they've always been with us! They are a constant source of love, cuddle, and entertainment...they've grown quite a lot and we track their weight on the Wii Fit! Here some more recent pics!