Ice, Snow, and Follicle Checks

Where I live, we have four seasons, just like the rest of the country.  We do not have quite the same four seasons as everyone else, though.  None of this “winter, spring, summer, fall” thing.  Around here, the seasons are tornadoes/storms/construction, winter, still winter, and more tornadoes/storms/flooding.  This makes the cost of real estate pretty darn decent.  We make up for that with the repair bills for our cars or the many patio/yard items blown away during storms.

Due to our extended winters, one of the first things I learned in driver’s ed was how to drive on snow and ice.  Around here, a forecast of 1-3 inches of snow means business as usual, 4-6 inches means the school might call a two-hour delay but you’re expected to be at work on time, and only once we get to about 8+ inches do places like the library start to close.  Ice is another matter, since no matter how much four-wheel drive your tricked-out SUV or truck has, if you hit ice on narrow, curvy, rutted country roads, you’ll probably end up in the ditch anyway.  It does not do to get attached to your car around here.  It’s more or less fairly inevitable that if you don’t wreck it out or at least tear off your bumper on snow/ice, you’ll hit a deer.

So this morning when I noticed it was snowing hard, I calmly got up, made sure I had some boots, a shovel, and some kitty litter (for traction if you have to get a car out of the ditch).  I checked my cell phone to ensure I had battery life, put a full tank of gas in the car, and headed out for my RE appointment.  The RE’s office is about an hour from my house.  I figured the roads couldn’t be that bad.

Oh, how wrong I was.  Let me say here, anxiety plus nervous driving don’t mix well.  I gritted my teeth, turned off the CD player, and white-knuckled it to the office.  I felt myself skidding a couple of times, worked hard not to panic, and kept driving slowly.  I found myself cursing the environmental guilt complex that has me driving a teeny compact car instead of a tricked out SUV or truck.  Then I cursed infertility for about the millionth time.

When I finally arrived at the RE’s office, I was late, exhausted, nervous, full of artificial hormones, and dreading the drive home.  This is all to say that I was feeling, perhaps, just a wee touch cranky.  The ultrasound technician examined my ovaries.  “Looks like you’ve got three 10 mm follicles going here,” she remarked.  I sighed.  I knew that it wasn’t likely that there would be three perfect, ready-to-trigger follicles yet, but I still felt mildly disappointed.

Then I headed over to the nurse to get my blood drawn for E2 levels.  I pointed to my one fantastic vein in my right antecubital area, the one that no one has ever missed.  The nurse missed it and then fished around.  I glowered – then reminded myself to be nice and at least try not to act like a pain-in-the-ass.  She took one look at my face, pulled out the needle, and brought in reinforcements.  The new nurse somehow managed to find a vein in my left arm and get the required blood.

I think some of the crankiness also stems from the fact that I’m trying to get used to how things work at the RE office.  I’ve been spoiled by my wonderful local OB/GYNs, Dr. A and Dr. B, because whenever I did follicle checks at their office, one of the physicians actually did the check and could talk with me about my result.  I like Dr. D (the RE), who’s quite personable and definitely knows his stuff.  It’s just a big adjustment to go in, have an ultrasound tech do my follicle check, have the nurse draw my blood, and wait for a phone call instead of having essentially immediate results and consultation with the physician.

The one bit of really good news was the trip home was much better than the trip out.  Temperatures went up, so the roads were merely wet and there was no ice.  I put my new Dropkick Murphys album in and after an hour of singing along at the top of my lungs with their Celtic punk, I exited the car in a bit of a better mood.

So it’s more Follistim, another check this week, and a lot of prayers as a plan going forward.


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