Wednesday, March 13, 2013

the two faces of crinone

I realized last week (shortly after I ranted about how I had no way of knowing whether I'd ovulated due to the lack of temperature spike) that my temps were at least showing a rise in progesterone, however meager. So I started the crinone gel.

And hooo boy. That stuff isn't messing around.

First side effect I noticed: nausea. Then headaches, cramping, and major fatigue. Then, on my second full day of it, HOLY RAGE MONSTERS.

There's a bit of moodiness involved with the taking of this particular hormone, apparently. I will cry at anything. Anything. It's annoying. It can sneak up all surprise-like, which is extra annoying. It's frustrating because I know how I feel about things, and I don't feel like crying, but my body reacts involuntarily with grief, and then I'm in a puddle on the floor.


Anyway, the moodiness popped up after my last acupuncture appointment, which went well this time. I was so deliciously warm.


Brace yourself for hippie madness.

I did not voluntarily imagine this, but it came into my mind like a vision. It is what it is. Hallucinations of a progesterone-addled mind, perhaps.

I saw a version of myself, nude, standing in the sand with a white-hot sun beating down on me. Icky creatures were crawling around my feet but I felt some sort of calm immunity from them. My hair was wild like it gets when you swim in the ocean and then dries all Medusa-like. I was holding an infant. A boy.

It just is what it is. I take it how I want to, which is as a transmission of hope.

Then I felt a surge of a need for action. A number of issues in my life rose to mind. I sensed I was stagnating on several fronts and needed to begin working much harder to move forward. K says my yang is stuck, and maybe it's stuck in more ways than one. In any case, I was inspired.

K said my pulse was stronger, which is a good sign. She advised me to continue to avoiding carbs, which I mostly failed at over the weekend but have revitalized my efforts this week. And she advised staying hydrated due to certain intestinal side effects of the progesterone.

I'm officially out of "gather vitality" herbs and still taking "jade moon phase 4," or worcestershire sauce as I like to call it.

And, in very good news, my temperatures look much better than they have in several cycles. They are actually above the cover line in the second half of my cycle. This is likely due to the crinone gel, which is why I'm happy to continue taking it, crazy-making though it is.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

the perils of temping

Funny story.

My temperatures were looking really stupid. Here's my chart so far this cycle.

I mean, seriously. 97.7 five days in a row? A bit suspicious, even if I was temping at different times (which I was). But then the numbers started going up a bit so I was like, OK, I guess my thermometer's not broken. But then I realized, Hey. It's Day 18 and according to my chart, I haven't ovulated, even though my most fertile days were Day 15 and 16, according to my opk machine. And I'd been waiting to ovulate so I could take the crinone gel.

(Not to mention that I'd been waiting to ovulate so I could put my stud horse out to pasture, if you know what I'm saying. My poor husband is exhausted.)

So I ordered a new thermometer, got it yesterday, tested it against the old one, and my temperature on the new one was a full .6 degrees higher. Which in the world of basal body temperature charting is the difference between ovulating and not ovulating. It's huge. So obviously there is something amiss with the old thermometer.

Lesson learned: Change the batteries in the thermometer every month.

The problem now is I have no idea if/when I ovulated, and I'm uncertain about whether I should just start using the crinone gel. If I haven't ovulated yet, excess progesterone can block the release of the egg. My number this morning was less than helpful: 97.7. Some past charts show delayed ovulation on Day 20, so perhaps I'll wait to see what tomorrow's number is and then start using the gel.

Anyway, yes, I did decide to start using crinone gel after I visited K the acupuncturist last week. She was as kind as ever, but I'm afraid she had zero insight after I showed her my charts and labs. I shouldn't have set my expectations so high -- I mean, at this point I already know what's going on. Or at least, I think I do; my wonky thermometer may have been leading me astray.

Another lesson -- last week's session was much less relaxing because my hands were freezing. Why didn't I just tell her my hands were freezing? I'm dumb. I will tell her next time.

She prescribed another herbal concoction. This one is in liquid form. You mix it with water and it is nasty. It's possible it's not herbs at all, and just worcestershire sauce. Ick. I'm still taking "gather vitality" as well -- 3 pills, 3 times a day.

On my way out I asked K basically if she thought she could fix me. And she said the same thing she told me the first time; we'll nourish the egg and my hormones will respond properly to that strong egg. I officially no longer believe this, but that's ok because I still think herbs and acupuncture are potentially beneficial. She advised me to go ahead and use the crinone gel, so I figured I should.

Meanwhile I'm on Week 3 of Paleo. It's significantly easier than it was mid-week in Week 2, when I was depressed and had begun thinking there is no way this diet is sustainable and I'm going to have to give it up and eat bread again and I'll be fat forever, etc. I was having the worst cravings. This week I feel much better (although the idea of pizza ... is a little heartbreaking). That said, the weight loss has slowed WAY down. I'm sure if I was sticking to it really well, literally eating only meat and vegetables, I'd still see a big difference. But I can't do a no-fruit diet. It's just unreasonable at this point.

What's baffling to me is that I really have cut out all grains and dairy and legumes and this weight loss-stall is still happening. Pretty interesting. I guess I need to really watch my fruit and up the exercise.