There’s one more member of Michelle’s team that needs to be introduced.  Our neighbor Sue, the MVP.

As in Most Valuable Phlebotomist.

That’s technically not true — a phelbotomist draws blood. So we’ll use another P word.

Poke-her.

She’s been the go-to shot lady for the  last few months. We’ve covered Michelle’s trials and tribulations with her self adminstered shots. (Ahem, and my candidacy to be the shot giver) But those were just the easy little ones early in the process. Sue, a registered nurse with a local doctors’ office has been there to adminster the more serious injections.

And ‘been there’ is exactly the right term. Rain or shine. Day or night. Weekday or weekend, she has made herself available to adminster these critical drugs. Often she would insist on coming over to our house,  sparing Michelle the trip. And more than a few times Michelle has forgotten about this daily requirement. Her phone would ring — and there was nurse Sue asking when and where.

In short, she’s been invaluable. Here’s Michelle’s take:

I would never have been able to do any of this without the help of my good friend, Sue.

“Sue and I met while on a High School choir trip to England last spring.  Both of our daughters were performing throughout England and we were part of a group of parents accompanying them.  While exploring this new country together, I made a new friend in Sue. And a friend who was also a nurse.”

The only detail I had not given much thought to was who was going to give me my daily injections….I had resigned to just going to my primary as I was not going to give them to myself…nor was my husband even considered as a possible candidate……just the sight of the needle would make him week in the knees. (Hey!… OK, well true.)

I knew that this would be a lengthy process of up to 15 weeks of daily shots, thats everyday incuding weekends!!

So here was my new friend Sue, delivered to me by wonderful happenstance. My friend was so nice to volunteer, even joyful at the thought of helping me become successfully pregnant. But did she know what she was getting herself into?

Not only did we get through those weeks without forgetting one shot, but we truly enjoyed seeing each other, even if it was only for 5 minutes, just enough for a quick jab with a needle.

The time passed and now it was over.  I had to call her as soon as I got the news from the Doctor that I was done, actually done….no more shots.

She thought the time had passed rather quickly, I on the other hand had a different opinion. (OUCH!!)

It will take some time to heal in my hip and thigh areas but it was really not that bad.  I used to be so afraid of shots but not anymore.  Anyone wanting to go through this should not be dreading the worst. A small price to pay and in the end a wonderful gift of life.

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There’s nothing quite like the sight of a needle — on a daily basis no less — to bring out honest and clarity.

From the mind of the Blog Hereone:

This past week I have been having more than a few second thoughts. Right about now I’m in need of some positive encouragement to keep me focused on what I need to do..

I’ve been scanning the internet, looking for others who are going through the same process has anything good to say. Something I can use as encouragement. So I start reading another would-be surrogate’s story about her entire journey, all drugs, what she’s feeling and more. 

And great — Now I feel even more scared than before.

What if this doesn’t work out? What if my body isn’t responding to this cocktail of drugs I’m jamming into myself? What all this work was for nothing?

This is what I lie awake thinking about as we get farther down the line. I dont want to go there. In fact, I’m a very positive person and these kinds of feelings of doubts really aren’t me. Maybe it’s the drugs surging me through. Lately I’ve been blaming a lot of stuff on the drugs!

But these are more than just nervous thoughts going through my head. It’s still very much a possability that despite all the tests, doctor’s opinions….everything… it could happen. I could still fail on this very special mission.

Worry, worry, worry. I worry about who’s going to give me my shots when they become daily. That happens in the very near future, maybe even sometime this week. I know I can’t give them to myself. We’re talking big needles.

My husband becomes weak in the knees at the mere thought of having the drugs in the house. (EDITOR — WHAT THE HELL!?!?!)

So I leave this task up to my new friend, a nurse I met while accompanying Emma on a choir trip to England, and the occassional drive by injection by another nurse in my primary Doctor’s office.

But what if neither one are availablbe? My options are pretty limited. I started thinking, ‘What about our vet, who is j ust down the street’? Or maybe posting a Craigslist ad, reading something like: “Good with needles?  Searching for someone to stick me on a daily basis…..”

Betcha I would get plenty of responses. But somehow I dont think that I would find what I was looking for.

To help me deal with all these swirling doubts and second thoughts, I finally thought abot going to the source. She’s partly the reason why we’re even here. Plus she’s actually been through this process three time herself. Not as a surrogate but to bear her own children. I’m talking about my intended parent.

I called her last night and I’m so glad I did. All is right again with the world and I have a renewed sense of why I am doing this, and for whom.

I can do this! I will make this happen.

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Joe Golfer lines up for a short putt. It’s a familiar situation, the same almost-gimmee he’s stroked thousands of times on hundreds of greens. A four footer, straight into the hole. Easy as pie.

 Joe slowly draws the putter back….twitches and jerks…..and pushes it 8 feet past the hole. “Mother!!*#$@#!$“, exclaims Joe.

Welcome to the ‘Yips’, one of the quirks of the game of golf. It’s said that a half of all golfers have experienced this sudden loss of ability to make a simple shot. Sometimes it’s just temporary, a hole or two. Other times it’s a career ender. Even the greats — Ben Hogan, Ben Crenshaw and Sam Snead among others — have suffered this mysterious affliction. Doctors and sports psychologists and tried and failed to identify why it happens. And how to cure it.

 And it’s not just confined to golf. It happens in other sports too, most notably baseball. The Yips have destroyed the careers of major league baseball players like Yankee second baseman Chuck Knoblauch. He seemingly overnight lost the ability to throw the ball to first base. It’s a toss that Little Leaguers make on a daily basis; suddenly this All-Star can’t throw the ball 60 feet with any kind of accuracy. Pirate pitcher Steve Blass was another afflicted with this strange syndrome, able to fire the ball hard to a catcher but utterly helpless to lob the ball to any base.

 And as my family has now learned, it’s not just confined to sports. Because the Yips have come to our home. Suddenly without warning — after three weeks of giving herself injections — Michelle couldn’t stab herself.

OK, stabbing might be a bit overdramatic but that’s what she calls it. And really that’s what it is. Self admistered stabbing. Since early August, she’s had to give herself a little shot to reset her body for this whole project. It’s a short little 1/2 inch needle, just tiny. Michelle takes a new syringe each night and draws the medicine out of a refrigerated bottle. Then she takes a pinch of belly and pops the needle right in.

 Says Michelle:

 Up to now, it’s been fine. Easy. Something I have to do every night and I haven’t had a problem. It’s never hurt at all. It’s been matter of fact, nothing I’ve even been thinking about.

Michelle has been traveling a lot this summer — two weddings in California and a family vacation in Virginia — and still managed to stay on track with her drugs. She’s had to store the medicine in family’s refridgerators, hotel mini bars and even restaurant coolers. She’s injected herself in all kinds of places, from cramped restaurant bathroom stalls to hotel rooms. And never once has it been an issue. Until tonight.

 I knew there was a problem when she went upstairs to do the deed like always. But she didn’t come down for about 45 minutes or so.

 Michelle tells the tale.

It’s like a suddenly lost the ability to stab myself. But the last few nights I’ve had a little issue. I haven’t been poking myself hard enough. I’d pop the needle in — it never hurts so that’s not the thing. But I was going too light. So I’d have to push the needle in just a little bit more and that kind of freaked me out.

 I kept swabbing the skin with alcohol pads, prepping for it and getting it through my mind. But I just couldn’t do it. I would step back and take a deep breath. And then try again, swabbing my skin. I went through nine alcohol pads, just going through the motion. But I kept chickening out.

At this point you might ask: Why didn’t I just do it for her?

Don’t ask. Just don’t. We’ll have another entry soon that details my wife’s drug regimen and exactly how ‘helpful’ I’ve been. But having me push a needle into the body of my wife was just not something on the table.

Not that I wasn’t my usual helpful supportive self. After seeing her come into the bedroom and slip into bed, I growl at her: “Hey, you’ve got to do it. You aren’t going to bed until you make this happen. Just go for it.” Oozing with sympathy and understanding there.

Back to Michelle:

I kept thinking, hey if I just didn’t do just this one shot, would it really make a difference? Would this whole thing fail because I couldn’t give myself this one 10 cc lupron injection? I almost had myself talked into skipping just this one…..

But folks, that’s not Michelle. Not the Blog Heroine at all.

 I just can’t fail. I just can’t stand the feeling of failure. I have to make this work.

So with the help of Emma and Sara, Michelle was finally able to do the deed.

Both girls really helped me. They did a little countdown, like 1-2-3-GO. And I just felt like I had to. I was running out of time and patience, and their encouragement seemed to make it happen.

Stab. All done.

Not your typical kind of family support. I mean most kids cheer their sisters or brothers on during sports events, or applaud during a concert of pray. But a countdown for a needle? Ah well, I guess you’re learning that we’re not your typical kind of family.

So at least for this night, the Yips were put to rest. But tomorrow, there’s another 4-foot putt to face….

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