Egg donation #6: It’s go time

So tomorrow morning I have to report to the hospital bright and early at 6.45am. Yep, on a Sunday. The theory is that I’ll be admitted to theatre by 7am, have the retrieval performed and be out and on my way home by 9am. Which is round about the time most people will be waking up!

For the three mornings before my scan, I was taking a combination of 150 units of Gonal F (the medication that stimulates egg production) and mix-it-yourself Cetrotide (the medication that prevents ovulation and helps to mature the eggs).

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Now, if you’ve read my previous posts on egg donation, you’ll know that mix-it-yourself Cetrotide and I do not have a good history. My very first donation I ended up a) Getting overenthusiastic and creating a wonderfully foamy Cetrotide while mixing the water and the powder (guess who’s watched too many episodes of House…) and b) Spritzing a ton of the mixture across my bedroom while trying to remove the air bubbles from the syringe.

Bloody air bubbles. Especially at 7am, already late for work. I just don’t have the co-ordination for that sort of thing.

Anyway, had my final scan on Friday and the doctor was thrilled. Like, I actually got a high five.

So, I was booked in for Sunday morning and given the two shots of Lucrin to take home. As I’ve mentioned before, these shots are my favourites – they’re the injections that trigger ovulation (through creating a surge of Luteinizing hormone in the body). The trigger shots must be done precisely 36 and 24 hours before the egg retrieval – when the doctor catches the mature eggs in their follicles just  before ovulation occurs. It’s pretty hardcore. The only problem is that the Lucrin shots tend to make me very, very crampy – but I’ll take it, as they also bring down the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome way, way, way down.

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I was initially supposed to do the shots at 10pm on Friday night and 10am on Saturday morning, but my theatre time got bumped up – so I had to take them at 8pm and 8am. Much better, because it meant that I didn’t have to shoot up in the middle of N’s lounge on Game Night.

So now, I’m prepping for tomorrow morning. My “kit” for retrieval day looks something like this…

Candace’s Egg Retrieval Day Kit:

Kindle/book/magazine 

They usual request that you arrive at the clinic while before your surgery, so I like to take some reading material. My last donation, I forgot to pack something, and I pretty much memorised the pamphlet on anaesthesia that was left next to my bed while I waited.

Pads
Some bleeding after the procedure is normal, so I carry my own brand of sanitary pad to replace the usual horrendous ones they give you at the clinic. Ones that aren’t just glorified wads of cotton wool.

Water
After having to fast before the procedure, and after coming around from the anaesthesia, I get wildly thirsty. I usually also have a cup of tea or some juice while in the recovery room, but the extra water is a must. I also try to drink a lot of water in the days post-retrieval, as well.

Clothing
Comfortable, easy-to-put-back-on clothing is a must – you may be quite sore or tired after the procedure, so the last thing you probably want to do is squeeze into a pair of super-skinny jeans! Same goes for shoes… No heels and/or fiddly sandals.

The hospital I’m doing my donation at this time also requests that we bring a dressing gown and slippers. It has been freezing and pouring with rain this week, so I’m inclined to think that’s a good idea.

Miscellaneous
The clinic asks that all jewellery, make-up and nail polish be removed for the procedure – so best to not wear any! I bring extra hair ties, just in case.

Home comforts
Resting after the procedure is a non-negotiable. And my number one tip for the day of retrieval? A hot water bottle. Seriously. It’ll ease your soreness and is deeply comforting.

I climb into bed with my hot water bottle, have a nap, watch cheesy (usually Disney) movies, and do as little as possible for the day. I also tend to take the day after my retrieval off as well –  but that’s just personal preference and an excuse to chill out a little if possible!

The one with the shin splints

I have so much that I would like to talk about today – but won’t (Quack) –  so instead I’m going to talk about shin splints. And this being my blog, I’m going to talk about MY shin splints.

Look! Photographic evidence!

I’ve recently started gymming. Yes, yes. Try not to fall over. It’s all part of this whole self-improvement thing I’m working on. This involves not being a doormat, actually blow-drying my hair instead of going to bed with it still wet and making more time for myself (blogging, reading, long baths, favourite TV shows… You know).

So we do a lot of really awesome stuff involving kettlebells, pushing car tyres around the courtyard and carrying huge water cannisters up and down the patch of astro. It’s fun and it’s a wonderful way to just blank out and focus on nothing but you and your body.

It was inevitable, but at some point we were going to have to run. We’ve so far been sent up and down the stairs (about seven floors) – once eight times in a session as “active recovery”. I’m not a good climber, but I’m getting better. I think I’ve actually just got a mental block that I need to work through – separate issue.

So the trainer sends us running through the roads near our office. It’s a very very hilly area and the road we take is super steep. Which is no fun if you’re a newbie runner, and less fun if your shins decide to attack you with mind-explodingly bad pain. I’ve heard a variety of different theories as to why this sudden pain attacks – which made me cry during Monday’s run (true story) and made me duck out of a quarter of today’s run.

Firstly (and most oft referred to): Bad shoes. Okay, fair enough. I did buy mine cheap. From Edgars. As gym shoes, not running shoes. But nobody seems to want to tell me WHY they are bad shoes.

Secondly: Bad running form. I do try to run as properly as I can and try to focus on landing my feet correctly, but every now and then it feels as though my toes are trying to pull away from the floor and into the top of my shoe. No idea why.

Thirdly: I’m just not used to running. Fair enough. I think this is a ridiculously valid point and I’m trying as hard as I can to cling to that in the hopes that it will get better.

You see, because I want to get better. I’m struggling with really low self-esteem and I feel that if I can conquer that stupid run up that hill…

I can do anything.