October 28, 2009

So, last Friday I was sitting in my desk, about to leave for a little midday run (my special treat to myself on Fridays), and I heard a buzz. My phone! It was a mysterious 703 number. I thought, “that looks like my doctor’s office.” I was surprised to pick it up and hear Dr. B’s voice! Praise be!So glad I did not go on that run earlier, as I had planned.

I had bloodwork done the week prior, but Dr. B was out of the office. In his absence, I cajoled the nurses to give me the low-down on my numbers. I had made an appointment with another doctor in his practice for later this week, and I was not expecting to hear from Dr. B.

All to say, I was pleasantly surprised to get the call. Dr. B always says “thanks for picking up the phone.” And I’m like “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Thanks for calling me!” He asked if I was busy, and I replied, “I am never too busy to talk to you.” He thought I was being funny. I was serious.

In seriousness, I usually am busy when he calls, so I always end up sprinting out of my cubicle into a less dense part of my office. He inevitably asks something about the calendar or my pharmacy’s phone number, and I have to sprint back to my computer once or twice during the conversation. It is a bit comical.

But that is not what you are interested in. What about the bloodwork?

Dr. B said the first numbers look good, but my levels were a little low on the latter two days. He asked a lot of questions, including “what kind of symptoms do you have?” I replied, “symptoms of what?” He didn’t want to lead my answer, so I just told him the first thing I thought of, which is that I cry all the time. Like, once or twice a day. I cry when I read a touching story in the newspaper, or when I hear something sad on the radio, or when I think about my grandmother or my non-children or most anything. I cried once because my cat is A CAT. I felt bad for him.

I cry a lot.

I used to cry like this one week out of every four — just before my period. These days, it is all the time. Dr. B said it is because my hormones are all whacked out on clomid. Also, am I depressed?

He asked if I had ever taken anti-depressants. I have not. He said there have been some compelling reports about prozac and infertility. Some people have had success concieving while taking very low doses of prozac (the lowest available). Dr. B said he was skeptical about it, but then saw that regime work for 5 of his patients. It seems that when prozac boosts the serotonin, it might also give a helpful boost to other hormones.

I have always been hesitant to take depression or anxiety meds. I know they are lifesavers for many people, and I am grateful for that. But I also know they can have a lot of side-effects, and I figured as long as I can function under my current brain-hormone-situation,  I should stick with it.

So, my first thought on the phone was “no thanks.”

But then the more I thought about it, the better it sounded. I do sort-of have low-grade depression these days (crying, not wanting to get out bed, not wanting to be around humans sometimes … um, yeah, when I put it that way, sounds an awful lot like depression). It seems to be worse with clomid.  I am interested to ask him about it again.

For the time being, Dr. B said he wants me to try prometrium during my luteal phase, to help boost my progesterone numbers. He sent a prescription to my pharmacy ($67 — why can’t everything be as cheap as clomid?).

He also said he wants to talk to Dr. C about it and get her opinion on what I should do. He said he would call me back this week (supposedly by Thursday).

I am happy to try something new. But as I have said in the past, I feel like they are just kind of improvising with me. This whole conversation — “what are you taking again? want to try prometrium? I’ll talk to the other doctor …” — added to that feeling. Sometimes it frustrates me; but oftentimes I feel like this is just How Things Are. When it comes to hormones, I think all doctors end up improvising. For my friends who have suffered with mental illness, I know it has sometimes taken years and years to get the prescriptions right. I saw another friend Sunday who has a thyroid disorder (she found out about it from other signs, not infertility … not sure if she has tried to get pregnant yet) and she said it can often take a while to get thyroid meds right.

Until we get that blessed diagnostic machine that we can hook ourselves up to like a car an an auto shop, I think it is just going to be like this.

So, for the time being, I am facing at least one month on prometrium. Anyone else want to share your experiences? I am a little nervous about how it might affect me — my luteal phase is currently the hardest part of my cycle (I feel like I am in some hormone-induced fog. it is not charming).

Thank you!

And it seems to be impossible for me to write a short post. I apologize.



  1. Hellmones. Me and lovely hellmones. 🙂

    I have been dealing with hellmones for years. Headaches, aggressiveness, rage, low grade depression, fatigue etc….etc…

    One prometrium and clomid alone, I was a monster. Prometrium made me RAGE!!! It did nothing in controlling my feelings but did elevate my numbers, go freaking figure. I was ready to ignite my house on fire and run down the street. Or sit in the corner and pull my hair out one by one. It was not pretty. I’m not kidding, I had those feelings.

    Once we got on 25mg of clomid and HCG injections 3,5,7,9, I was so peaceful. I explained it earlier, like a cow grazing grass in the greenest grass it’s ever seen. Even keel and no more ups and downs. Gosh, it’s glorious. I wonder if I would have been such a wild child if I felt hormonally stable through my 20’s. 🙂 I raged through those years, I swear hormones are to blame.

    There is nothing better then being hormonally stable. I don’t get those types of headaches. They were 2-4 times weekly for years. 🙂 Now I don’t really get them. Maybe if I’m lucky one a month???

    Anyway, I do know that progesterone therapy will help with PMS. Creighton refers to it as a disorder not something you have to live with.

    If not, just my humble opinion, I wouldn’t do the prozac. Probably just for the stigma even if it helps. I would do the HCG $45, but only Creighton does that protocol! 😉 hehehehe Just another reason for us to talk.

    But because I know the desperate need to calm those hormones I would try the prozac as the last ditch effort. I just thinking getting your hormones on the right protocol makes for a well being feeling.

    So if you have high hormones but are still raging something isn’t right. Does that mean we get on prozac? I’m not sure the difference between HCG and Prozac? I’m talking this out, can you tell? What would be the added benefit of being on HCG rather then prozac, or vice versa? Don’t know.

    🙂 That is just my humble opinion! 🙂 xxoo

  2. I don’t have any advice, other than agreeing with Sew that you need to start doing Creighton.

  3. Sounds like a good plan to me. I have also heard about how some anti depresants can help with IF, there is something with that feedback mechanism and hormones. I read about it in a book by Dr. Beer about immune issues and IF. I really believe that depression can be a chemical issue in the brain that is caused by many things-situational things, genetics, and environmental factors. Do what you feel is best for you. My DH was a different person when his depression meds were finally right.

  4. Oh I finally found you. Yes, after my little run in with HCG this cycle, I agree with the prometrium prozac protocol. No, I know you don’t need my approval. But I was just thinking since I don’t know how prozac could control my feeling crazy when I get hormonal, at least you won’t be dragged into HCG hell. 🙂 Low dose is probably cheaper then HCG too. Too bad progesterone makes me freaking LOONEY!!!!!!!! 🙂 Go figure! 🙂

  5. sew, I love you. thanks for all of this! And Mrs. Blondie and Joy too, thanks!

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