I dedicate this post to Hossein Derakhshan (aka Hoder), an Iranian-born Canadian who has been held captive at the notorious Evin prison in Iran for committing the crime of blogging. Today, the 35-year-old received a sentence of 19 and a half years in prison, which meant he narrowly escaped a death sentence. If you want to read more about his story, click here or here. I am grateful to have the right to free speech and to be able to blog without the fear of being prosecuted.
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Today was my appointment with Dr. Ninja. I know that sounds like an insulting pseudonym, but it is not meant to be. Sattva's husband has heard of this doctor and likes to call him Dr. Ninja. And Sattva's husband makes me laugh. So using this pseudonym makes me laugh. And any reason to laugh is good enough for me. Enough. Done agonizing over pseudonyms.
The appointment started off by going downhill at a rapid pace. Sort of like a beginner on skis, in a double-diamond slope, on icy conditions. He basically said that Dr. RE had put me at great risk of cancer by exposing me to the gonadotropin injections. He then said that egg donation was an outrageous idea, given that my uterus had never been stimulated (he used the word exercised) properly. That's when I said to myself: "deep breath, 'gusta"). It looked like this appointment was on the verge of blowing away the shred of hope I'd gathered in late summer.
Fortunately, the appointment did not continue to go downhill. Dr. Ninja gave away that he is a passionate man in the first 5 minutes of the appointment. He heard a few of the facts I shared and from there, stood up on his soap box and talked about the harm caused to women by the IF industry. He may have a point, but that's not why I was there. I'm just hoping to have a baby. So the impassioned doctor calmed down and let me continue with my explication. This permitted me to discover some of his other qualities such as his kindness and sensitivity.
To my immense (great is too feeble here) surprise, Dr. Ninja said he had treated a case exactly like mine in the past. I have never heard of a case like mine. Ever. Have you? Someone who never went through puberty, never had a period without medication, never ovulated. He tried to say there was a second case, but clearly, that second case was not exactly close. The woman had VERY irregular periods, but she still had them. But woman A was like me. He treated her and within 3 years she was pregnant. She went on to have a second child without his or anyone's (except her husband's) assistance. At the beginning of the appointment, he was going down that road. 3 years! Like I have that luxury. In 3 years I'll be 39 and pushing 40. So will Sattva. Woman A first consulted him when she was 32. Different scenarios altogether.
He listened to more of my history and focused on specific aspects. In an earlier post I wrote in August (Our Story), I referred to some HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis) issues that I also meant to discuss but didn't. I'm again not feeling like delving into those depths at this moment, but there is a part 2 to the 'Our Story' post, and it is soon to be written (yes, and that's what I say about my dissertation). The short of it is that there is a bunch of trauma in my early history and I've known for a while that this is the origin of my reproductive woes. Some doctors have suggested this may have been the cause, although they said so with utmost caution. Other doctors have questioned me on whether that was in fact "really traumatic" or not. Fortunately, I was already in my thirties when I met that particular doctor, so I just looked at him without averting my eyes and say that yes, it was really traumatic indeed.
Dr. Ninja focused right away on this issue of trauma and wanted to hear about whether I had resolved it. Frankly, I've done a ton of work towards "resolving" it, but this infertility nightmare has brought it back. I cried like I usually do when I talk about that awful time in my life, but told him that I wasn't crying for then, instead crying for the impact it has on me now. In the last 10 years, I felt that in most ways, I had formed an acceptable narrative about my history, but this narrative is required to accommodate the bit about me never getting pregnant and having my own children. I can inform you that this has not gone smoothly (like you don't know).
By the end, Dr. Ninja said that he is certain that the trauma is what caused my reproductive system to shut down. He said, like I've always believed, that the eating disorder is just a side issue. He said that he could help me get my body ready for egg donation. Yes! After hearing more about Dr. RE (I stood up for him, since I really do think he is good), about the process that lead to the decision of egg donation and about Sattva's offer, he seemed to, as we say in French, changer son fusils d'épaule (which means change his mind). He said he would look at the 2 cases mentioned above and review the treatment protocols followed with them, look at my information, and get back to me with a plan.
However, there is one recommendation he made right away. Dr. Ninja wants me to go consult an energy medicine woman. Woawzer! Therein lies an opportunity to keep an open mind, wouldn't you say? He feels like I have a big energetic blockage and wants me to go see this woman. She's good, according to him and she may help with unblocking the energy of my shut down reproductive system (I know what you're thinking, Bunny.) I think I will humor him and visit this woman. Once again, I don't have anything to lose at this point. It should be an interesting appointment, so I'll keep you posted.