Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sympathizing with a small brown dog

First off, thank you all for your comments and kind words! I'm so incredibly fortunate to have all this support as we go through this cycle. You all rock!

This post starts with a story about a small brown dog. Every year, my graduate program held a BBQ at the end of the academic year to celebrate the upcoming summer and to congratulate one another on surviving.  It was always a great party with faculty, staff and grad students, where we could toast getting through it intact and spend an afternoon not talking shop. It also was a time for graduate student mischief, usually involving kickball (side note: I loved kickball when I was 9 years old; kickball as an adult involving alcohol usually involved blood and bruising. This crew plays for keeps). Not long after I started my program, it became an annual tradition to roast a pig. This is a day long process and the area around the pit became a favorite spot for every dog within a 5 mile radius. Most of the dogs were very obedient, taking only what was given to them. But there was one dog who was food-motivated and a bit too smart for her own good.  Her name is Sara, the brown dog.

One year, Sara was making the rounds, convincing every naive soul that she haven't had her share of the pig. Near the end of the BBQ, the person in charge of the pit remarked at how quickly all the leftovers had been snatched up. No one thought anything of it. During kickball, Sara's caretaker commented that she had had a good day and was going to sleep well that night. We all lovingly patted the brown dog as the party ended and headed home. A couple of days later, I ran into Sara's caretaker, who was clearly pissed off. Turns out the brown dog had had an interesting night following the festivities. Around midnight, brown dog was twitching uncontrollably and couldn't stand. Afraid for the worst, she was rushed to the emergency vet clinic and admitted right away. After 20 minutes, the vet on duty called her caretaker to the back.  She was followed by two vet techs who had tears in their eyes. Once in back, the vet put up an x-ray of Sara's abdomen and announced that she had a diagnosis.  "You see, her stomach is very distended, filled with food.  Her problem is that it's stuck because her colon is full, because she can't poop.  And she can't poop because her bladder is full.  And she can't pee because her stomach is full." At this point in time, both vet techs were laughing uncontrollably and the vet had a grin from ear-to-ear. The resolution: a $500 enema.

I thought of Sara last night when I woke up at midnight because of a sharp pain on my right side.  Immediately I was freaked out that I had developed full-blown OHSS. It felt like I had a rock in my abdomen that was pressing on both my colon and my sciatic nerve, sending pain up and down my leg.  Grey grabbed cold washcloth to apply to the area and as soon as he put him hand on my belly, we both felt the gas bubbles move through my GI tract. "Damn" I thought as we both came to the realization what my issue actually was. Once I managed to relief some pressure, I felt better for a couple of hours, only to be awoken again due to the same problem. It occurred to me following the third attack that I was at a point where I could empathize with brown dog.  The only difference was that instead of a full stomach, I had enlarged ovaries.

This morning I went in for egg retrieval.  I was warned that following I might experience some pain and discomfort. Nurse S had a good laugh the story about the brown dog and how, like her, was actually feeling better following following some induced relief.

The report so far:  Started with 22 follicles.  18 eggs retrieved, 13 mature.  We should know tomorrow morning about the fertilization status.

In the meantime, Grey has me on a strict diet of soup and salad.  And he's threaten to have the brown dog come over to act as my nurse if I don't follow doctor's orders.


  1. Good story! Take care of yourself and I have my fingers crossed for your embies!

  2. GL...those are some good numbers. Can't wait for your fert report!

  3. I knew it. You are a ROCK STAR! And those eggs are too.


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