Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Crappy News

J’s sperm count, as of yesterday, was 0.01. This from a guy who, three years ago, had enough sperm to get me pregnant unassisted. It’s been dropping since then, but we’ve never seen anything like this.

For the past four months, J’s been giving himself HCG shots. The idea (assuming I’m getting all of this right—biochem isn’t my best subject) it to stimulate the pituitary into producing more male hormone, which will in turn kick-start the testes into doing their job. But after four months there’s been only moderate increase in the male hormone and the testes seem to have given up. Our RE (who is one of the best in the country) assures us that the HSG cannot be responsible for this—it’s probably just the end game for where his sperm count’s been heading all along.

The RE is going to add FSH into the mix, which might help. It also might not. And we won’t know anything for several more months.

I’m so disappointed. I’m not sure how much of the disappointment is due to the ever-increasing likelihood that J is not going to be the biological parent of my child (of course, I might not be either—we’re just not there yet) and how much of it is due to the fact that we have made no progress with our treatment, meaning that it is unlikely we’re going to be doing another cycle anytime soon. Every year, I tell myself THIS is going to be the year that we finally learn whether we’re going to have a child. I just want to KNOW!!!

I wonder if I really am prepared for the news that J’s spermy days are truly over. I think it’s easy to be blasé about it when it’s just out on the horizon and you don’t actually have to make any decisions. But the truth is, part of me just wants to give up and start donor sperm now. Sigh. If ever anything has taught me patience, it’s infertility.

Of course, I’m also upset because J’s hormone imbalance is a health problem as well. It can lead to poor muscle tone, low bone density, etc. I want him to be fixed, dammit (not in the kitty-cat way, but in the burly manly way). I want him healthy.

And we’re having a huge fight with insurance over this. At first they denied coverage altogether, claiming that the hormone treatment was for “IVF support” and our IVF coverage has been exhausted. We appealed, and then they gave us half-coverage, labeling it “fertility,” but not necessarily IVF. We had decided to let it go. The HSG is pretty cheap, and we figured we’d fight that battle after I was either pregnant or we’d given up on that. (After all, when you’re not trying to get pregnant it’s hard to claim your treatment is “fertility” related.)

But now that J has to take FSG, we’re looking at a huge expense if we don’t get covered. So we’re going to have to file yet another appeal with our insurance company. And they’re going to take another five weeks to get back to us.

Christ. This is so fucking frustrating.

25 comments:

Me said...

I've got a doozy of an Insurance horror story for you - not only does insurance in the great state of Ohio not cover infertility, but it only covers up to $2,500 a year for "durable medical equipment". Like prosthetics. Which START OUT at about $10K.

In case you're wondering, other things that fall into this category include pacemakers and hearing aids. Nice, eh?

Jill said...

I'm so sorry you're going through this! Sending LOTS of hugs... I hope the FSH helps!

annacyclopedia said...

Oh, shit. I'm so sorry, Babychaser. I have been in a similar place myself - that long, protracted limbo-land where there are no clear answers, and everything is unknown.

I wish it wasn't so frustrating for you. Sending you thoughts of peace and clarity along with the wish that they come to you soon.

Nikki said...

Oh no - I'm so sorry that things are turning out this way. And how frustrating that insurance is messing with you! As if IF and all that you're dealing with wasn't enough!

I know how frustrating it is to have to wait months on end to see if a particular treatment will work. I'm so sorry. I wish we had a crystal ball or something that could tell us what lies for us in the future - it would help us focus our energies in the right direction at least.

I hope J gets better. It struck me as I read your post that Steve Jobs (of Apple Computers) stepped down a few months ago from regular responsibilities due to a "hormone imbalance" as well.

Lea said...

I'm sorry that the results weren't better and that you have to deal with the insurance company on top of it all. I totally hear you on the wanting to KNOW and being forced to learn PATIENCE. Me too!

(((hugs)))

one-hit_wonder said...

Oh no, I am so sorry that you have to deal with this now, too. I know how it feels, and it sucks ass. I hope the FSH helps, and I send a pox on the insurance company!

Jaded Girl said...

I'm sorry you are both dealing with this. Just one battle after another. Well, you are not alone, it's the story of life as of this point. I am going to keep battling, and if I have you 'figured out' through these pages...so are you.

Ally said...

This sucks giant donkey balls. I don't even know what else to say. I'm sorry friend. I can't even begin to try and understand why this is happening. I wish you brighter days ahead.

Good Egg Hunting said...

I'm so sorry. I don't know how it feels to be in your particular shoes, but I do know how it feels to have the sense that you're running in place as more and more complications are thrown your way and you feel like you're no closer to clear-cut answers or, imagine this, a baby. I keep reminding myself that the answers will come, and my job is to find ways to make myself happy until then. Easier said than done, but I do hope that the FSH is one of your answers.

Pepper said...

This just sucks in so many ways! I'm so sorry. I can only imagine how your guy must be feeling right now. I hope the FSH helps gets him back to great counts.

Joonie said...

I'm so sorry. I wish there was anything I could do or say to make things better. Just know that I am thinking of you.

luna said...

so sorry to hear your crappy news. very frustrating. this road always seems encumbered by one roadblock after the other. sorry.

kate said...

God, I'm so sorry. I really was genuinely hoping that the regimen would improve his SA numbers, and I am so, so sorry that it didn't.

And I know what you mean about wanting the husband to be healthy. When I met H, we were both lazy smokers with a serious booze habit (no big surprise that we didn't get knocked up, huh?). Over the years, after my PCOS diagnosis, I worked really hard to get myself to the point where that wasn't the case anymore. Unfortunately, H is still in that place. He smokes less and drinks less (and by virtue of the fact that I'm the chef, he eats very healthily), but because his weight isn't such an issue, he doesn't really feel like there's anything to worry about.

And all the while, knowing that we plan to start trying this summer, I am encouraging him to PLEASE have SA done so that we at least know what we're dealing with. Because I'm not convinced that it's all me. And if there's an issue, I'd like to know, and if it's something that can potentially be assisted by improving conditions, it would be good to get started on that NOW.

But no. That's just too much to deal with. So instead, he keeps up with his lifestyle in the way that he wants (all the while continuing to flatly refuse to even consider the idea of a sperm donor, were it to come to that).

Ah, sorry. I'm (clearly) in a negative place right now. I don't mean to hijack your blog to spread my ugly attitude everywhere. I really just want to say that I'm sorry and that I can relate to worrying about our partner's contribution to this whole baby-making business.

I'm with you, and I hope something happens to sway your insurance company to cover the FSH.

Shinejil said...

Wow, Babychaser. That's a lot of shit to deal with--and the insurance stupidity is just the symbolic icing on the cake.

Huge hugs to you and J. and wishes for excellent chocolate and wine therapy (if that's how you're rolling these days).

Jendeis said...

Here from L&F. I'm so sorry that you guys have to hear such crappy news. It really does stink. And to have to deal with the insurance BS on top of that. Ugh.

I hear you and am here with you. Hugs.

Malloryn said...

I'm so sorry to hear this shitty news. Fighting with your insurance company on top of everything else is just awful. I hope that the FSH helps his count. Above all I hope that there are brighter days ahead for you both. ::hugs::

S said...

I'm really sorry. Its so frustrating as it is and to have such shitty news about it, after taking the shots etc... that just sucks. bigtime. How is J taking the news? He must be devastated too.

Our last TESA with our new clinic had some pretty hopeless results. It was the first time in 2 years that my husband "performed" so badly. We/he were devastated. It took a whole month of thinking and one session of counselling to feel vaguely ready to use donor sperm, but as it turned out for us, its BOTH of us, not just hubby.

I really hope there is some light in all this, maybe the FSH can help. Maybe donor sperm is an option. Whatever the decision, I wish you both the best with it. Hope you get to the holy grail of pregnancy/live birth soon.

mrsmoore08 said...

Sorry about this news. I hope you can stick it to those damn insurance companies!

'Murgdan' said...

I'm so sorry.

Ms Heathen said...

I am so very sorry, babychaser. Sometimes it really does seem as if hurdle after hurdle is being placed in your way. Thinking of both you and J as you struggle to process this difficult news.

Barb said...

Blah sweetie. Sorry.
xo

Shinejil said...

Hey, Bchaser... Will J be using Follistim? Would you accept donations?

La La said...

So sorry about the bad news hun. Sending lots of love your way. ((hug))

La La said...

So sorry about the bad news hun. Sending lots of love your way. ((hug))

Io said...

Argh. I cleared out four hundred posts in google reader and this was the one I left for last. I wanted so much to be able to sit with this and find something amazing to say.

Of course, I have jack shit.

I feel you on the wanting to *know*, wanting something clearcut telling you what to do. I still feel sometimes like if Al just hadn't had any sperm period it might have been easier because it would have taken IVF away as a choice. Not knowing if J will improve - that has to suck. I'm so sorry. And knowing that it is effecting his actual health is hard. It seems unfair.

And gack! Insurance. Grrr. Ack. I can't form actual English words to express my disgust.