Friday, May 29, 2009

And It Only Get's Busier...

Whew! What a week this has been. Yesterday was completely non-stop as far as infertility treatment goes. It started with filling and starting our prescriptions for antibiotics and my birth control pills on Tuesday. Then I got a call from the fertility pharmacy later in the day confirming my insurance and filling me in on my estimated start date of June 8th (whoops!) Wednesday my RE's nurse called to set up my date for going over our IVF calendar and drugs, which ended up being the very next day. So on Thursday for my lunch hour I speed over to their office and met with my nurse. She flew through the calendar so fast I thought my head was going to spin. So when she asked me if I had any questions, my only response was, "can you repeat that one more time?"

And to make things more fun I used the last few minutes of my break to swing by a local pastry shop and pick up a treat for a going-away party at work (which I totally slacked on doing the night before). And I arrived only 5 minutes over my break time, I'm so impressed with myself.

Later in the day the pharmacy called with my fee for the drugs. She told me that my insurance didn't cover two of the drugs: Bravelle and Novarel. And then she told me how much it would cost us. I made her repeat it three times because of the sticker shock. I was totally not expecting to pay close to $2,000. When I talked to my prescription insurance company they said that they cover almost 100% depending on the drugs. My RE picked the only two drugs that they don't cover, and it's a really expensive conflict. But at that point there was no way I could fix it because we were running into the weekend and it would mess up getting my drugs on time. Since the fertility pharmacy called me past my RE's office hours I could not get anything fixed until Friday and the shipment would hit the weekend. It completely stinks but I keep thinking that it could still be worse, I could have no drug coverage and have to pay for everything out of pocket. Sigh. Friday (today) I set up my work days so I would be all set for the next few weeks and be able to get to all the appointments. So we're ready to go for IVF.

In the meantime, Hammer and I decided that what we need is a weekend get away. Our five year anniversary is June 12. So we made plans to head to Mac.kinac Island for the lilac festival that weekend. And I am stocking up on fudge. (They make the BEST fudge there!) So even though it seem extravagant to drop a ton of money on IVF and then head out on a vaca, life has been so stressful lately that we think it's well worth it.

Current Meds: BCP (week 1), antibiotics (1 week dose)
Side Effects: nausea in the morning
Days Post Transfer: 0
# Eggs Transfered: 0
# Eggs Frozen: 0

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The IVF Ball is Rolling

I just got a call from a pharmacy confirming my insurance so that they can put in my order for IVF meds. I've gone from excited, to scared, back to excited. The girl on the phone stated that my anticipanted start date was June 8, ahhhh!!! My clinic didn't even tell me that information yet. I feel like a kid in a candy store, I can't focus on anything because I'm out of my mind with raw excited emotion. I know they put in an earlier date to ensure you get your meds but still, it's exciting!

I have such a strong peace and assurance about this cycle. Maybe it's all in my head but I really do feel like this is it for us. Even my whole family agrees. With everything that has happended with my dad we have been even more connected spiritually to God's leading than usual and everyone is feeling positive about this for us. My dad even said to me, "Now once I get out of the hospital you need to get back on track for doing IVF. I believe that it's the right time now." I do hope that these feelings are right.

P.S. I'm going to get to my honest scrap award here in the next day or so. I've been so busy trying to catch up on my house since being MIA for a month I haven't had time to just chill and blog for a while. Hang in there!

Current Meds: BCP (week 1), antibiotics (1 week dose)
Side Effects: mild nausea in the morning
Days Post Transfer: 0
# Eggs Transfered: 0
# Eggs Frozen: 0

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sisterhood Award

Now that Daddy Hammer is resting safely back at my parents home I'm catching up on a little R&R for myself. Which means catching up on reading all your blogs and finally responding to my awards.

So to start us off I'd like to give a big shout out to osuraj at Anything's Possible who nominated me for the Sisterhood Award! She has been such a great bloggy friend and supporter. Send her some positive vibes, love and prayers her way as she and her DH get ready to do a FET next month.

The guidelines for this award are:

  1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
  2. Nominate at least 10 blogs with great attitude and/or gratitude. Be sure to link to your nominees in your post. L
  3. Let your nominees know they have received the award by leaving them a comment on their blog.
  4. Be sure to link this post to the person who nominated you for the award.
And the nominees are......

Bouncing Buckeye Baby

Hoping For Our Own Peanut

IVF Infertility

Making Me Mom

Oh baby!

Where's Baby

My Heart's Testing

Babymaking 101

Not So Newlywed

And my two new followers (Welcome Ladies!)

Waiting On a Miracle in God's Timing

There is a Light at the End of This Tunnel

So I know that makes 11 but the more the merrier, right?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Big Day Is Here!

Daddy Hammer will be going home today!!!!!!!!!  After almost one whole month in the hospital we have word that he will be discharged home today.  He will still have about two months worth of recovery and trips to the local heart rehabilitation facility but that will be the easy part.  Thank you all for your prayers and support.  You are a wonderful group of women and I'm so thankful to have the privilege to experience the support of your compassionate hearts for one another in a time of need.
On the fertility front, Hammer and I are going to pay our deposit to start IVF this month!  So as soon as AF gets here we can get this show on the road.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Successful Surgery

Yesterday God gave us all so much peace about Daddy Hammer's surgery. Even he was calm as they transported him up to the surgical pre-op room. It was that peace that passes all understanding which gave us full confidence that Daddy Hammer would be alright. At 11:45 he went into his 2 1/2 hour surgery. We sat in the cardiac waiting room and about 2 hours into the procedure we got a phone call that Daddy Hammer had come off the heart/lung machine right away and they were closing up. When the surgeon came in to see us he was all smiles. He said that Daddy Hammer had done wonderful and that he was very, very happy with how everything had went. They ended up doing 5 bypasses instead of the expected 3 which was a bit of a shock. But the doctor said that he wanted to make sure that he never needed to come back in for a tune up.

My mom was able to go in and see him for only 20 minutes because they have such big restrictions on post-op visiting on the first day. She said he looked really good for having just gone through major surgery. And she gave the seal-of-approval for his nurse. After that they have you go home and give you phone call updates. At 10 pm we got our update that he was waking up and doing excellent with expectations of getting him off the ventilator in the next few hours. This was our biggest hurdle because of our last ventilator experience. For us this was the test of how he would do recovery wise. He was extubated at midnight (praise the Lord!) Then at 8 am my mom was able to talk to him on the phone. We were so excited for when they would give us the green light to go in and see him. When we got to see him he was sitting up in a chair. It was wonderful to see just how God had prepared him to have a successful surgery.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Big Day is Here

Sorry for the hiatus but I've been spending my evenings with my dad and away from my laptop. It's been wonderful! Even though it has been a rough week of chest tubes and getting a 1/2 gallon of fluid off of my dad's right lung it has done worlds of good for him. He has made great recovery strides and is now ready for his surgery tomorrow. I have enjoyed the extra time with him, catching him up on the weeks he's missed, and having our whole family together again.

On a cool side note, when my dad had his cardiac attack he was out training for the biking Cure de Tour for diabetes with a local company team. My dad was diagnosed with Type I diabetes when he was just 16 years old so it is near and dear to our hearts. We found out today that the team made my dad the Honorary Co-captain of the team and they are biking in his honor. They had reached their original goal of $10,000 in donations and are now adding an additional $5,000 that will be specifically donated in my dad's name.

My dad's surgery time is not nailed down yet but will be either at 7:30 am or 11:45 am if you would like to pray for him and the skills of the surgeon who will be doing the surgery. Thank you all so much for lifting up my family in prayer these last few weeks!

On a fertility note: We are in the last week of the two week wait. Hammer and I will make a decision about IVF after this weekend when we see how Daddy Hammer does. We may start the process in about a weeks time or hold off one more month until all the stress decreases a bit around here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Change of Plans

My dad took the weekend to work on regaining his strength. By Sunday he was booking it around the floor with the aid of my brother. His biggest remark was, "It's incredible how weak you get after lying around for two weeks." He is incredibly motivated to get back to normal. His only complaint was a pain in his back on the right side. My family were all worried that he had not seemed to regain his lung capacity in time for the Monday surgery.

Last night around 11 pm Hammer and I prayed that the doctors would have the wisdom to know if dad's lungs were ready. Immediately after we prayed those words the phone rang and it was my mother. The Pulmonologist had just received the chest xray and noted fluid around my dad's right lung. He recommended to cancel surgery in order to evaluate the fluid and put in a chest tube. It was an answer to my prayers. At 1 am daddy Hammer went for a CT scan and then at 8:30 am he had a chest tube placed. While it is incredibly painful for him they were able to take off over 1800 of fluid (which is a lot). If this had not been resolved before surgery he may not have been able to come off the vent again or they could have punctured the fluid during surgery and created a major infection. His surgery has been postponed until this resolves until Wednesday or Thursday. God continues to show us that he is watching over my dad through out this ordeal.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Not Out of the Woods Yet

My dad had his cardiac cath yesterday. It revealed almost 100% blockage in two major vessels, 50%, and 36% in the other two. He will be having triple bypass surgery on Monday. At first I was floored by the news. But then I began thinking about how amazing it is that even in his current state he had no heart muscle damage from the cardiac attack, EKG is normal, Echo was normal with an almost perfect ejection fraction. He beat pneumonia and is completely mentally with it. He is a walking miracle. With his heart he should have suffered a massive heart attack. God is watching over my dad to get him the medical care he needs to keep him around. My family all has that calming and unexplainable peace about all this. Even though he faces a major surgery on Monday we all feel that God is in control. Please pray for that continued peace, for us to just enjoy our extra time with my dad and for skilled hands on Monday.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Another Miracle

They took my dad off the ventilator today!!!!!!!! He started talking to us right away and hasn't stopped since. It's such an amazing gift to have him back. He is completely mentally there and has been keeping us in stitches all day. He says that right now he does not remember anything about that day. He does remember the last two days and specifically remembers his one 'mean' nurse. When she stopped by the room he was still doped up on the sedative and he actually flipped her off. We were floored but then started laughing because she was really mean. So we have been walking on a cloud all day long. Our next step is a cardiac cath and possibly they will place a defibrillator. But for today we are so thankful to God for the miracle of giving us our dad back.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Where to Begin

The last few days have had their ups and downs. So much so it's been difficult to blog because I've either been sitting at his bedside, asleep or working. Sunday was a good day and we were able to talk with him more. Well, actually, we talked and he blinked his eyes for yes and no. We had good breathing trials to exercise his diaphragm to prep him for the vent removal which we hoped would be on Monday. At 8pm on Sunday a lady from my mom and dad's church came to the waiting room and asked us to come down to the chapel. When we arrived there were 25 people from their church who had come to pray for dad and our family. I could not stop crying. For an hour we sang and prayed and lifted up my dad to God for healing. Our biggest prayer was for God to breathe for dad to help get him off the vent and that God would calm his anxious mind.

Monday rolled around and he had a great breathing trial! My mom got the staff to do the trial 'her way' which was the evidence based way that she has researched and taught for years. It went soooo well. The only issue was that the vent tube had irritated my dad's throat and caused it to swell. We had to wait another day until the steroids they give him reduced the swelling. If that darn swelling wasn't there he would have had it pulled out. I had to go back to work but when I came in around 5 pm he was wide awake and wanted to try to write so he could communicate with us. Unfortunately we've had to keep his hands tied down because he is a 'vent-pull' threat to himself. So we did this alphabet thing and while it was completely frustrating to do we did figure out that what he really wanted was to have his hands untied; which we could not do. But we were able to talk to him about what happened and fill him in a bit on the last few days. He responded appropriately, gave us facial reactions with his eyebrows (which were so cute) and even made us laugh. At one point he seemed to get sleepy and my mom said something along the lines of 'we'll have to repeat things because it's like that Groundhogs Day movie in his mind.' My dad's eyes popped open and he gave my mom a funny look and shook his head at her. We all burst out laughing and we were so excited. So while he did not get his tube out God gave us an even better gift, the knowledge that my dad was completely mentally intact. We were all waiting with baited breath on what God would do today.

I think we were not emotionally prepared for today to be a total flop. A new respiratory therapist was on and she did a horrible job. In fact it was so bad the nurse yelled at her and demanded she did it again. But by that time my poor dad was already exhausted and ended up failing the test. Both tests were done before visiting hours opened so my mom was unable to be there with him. This also increased his anxiety and caused him to fail. We also learned that the respiratory staff just implemented this new vent weaning process that is completely non-evidence based and goes against all the leading experts protocol in ventilator weaning (including my mom's). Even our Pulmonologist hates the new protocol but cannot do anything about it. We were all so crestfallen, especially dad. The doctor came in and decided to hold off on putting in a trach for one more day. He hoped that it would give dad an extra day for the steroids to reduced the swelling in his throat and rest up for a better trial. Even he agreed that the trial was done poorly and insisted that my mom be present next time. He also was extremely upset that they still had the neck brace on him. This was supposed to be taken off over the weekend and it didn't happen. He believed that it was contributing to the poor breathing trials. So he demanded that neuro/trama get up to the ICU and take the brace off. Thank God! And for the final trial tomorrow my mom is going to put down an ultimatum. She is going to refuse consent for the trach if they do not allow her to be present at the breathing trial. Trust me when I say, it has been duly noted by the staff.

So my prayer warriors I am calling on you for help. Please pray that tomorrow's breathing trial goes well. I really, really, really do not want my dad to have to have a trach. I worry what that would do to his mental state since I know that he is currently living his worst nightmare. Pray for calm that dad would be focused and listen to my mom's instruction and support to get through the trial.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Today is a Good Day

We got the report that his tests are no longer growing any bacteria, yeast or mold. So for sure now we have him on the right drugs. The doctor is having him work on breathing trials this weekend in order to have him ready for when they remove the vent, hopefully Monday. He has to work on regaining his diaphragm strength first. So far we have had to remind the nursing staff that his breathing trials go better when he is not snowed out of his mind on sedatives. They tried one earlier today when he was completely snowed and surprise, he failed. So my mom talked them into lowering the sedative and trying it again, it worked. How come we have to be the one's to suggest this? Oh well.

We've had a ton of visitors today and it's been so nice to know how many people have been lifting my dad and our family up in prayer. One of the visitors was my dad's friend and colleague. Not only did dad wake up but he kept his eyes on J and raised his eyebrows in response to what he was saying. I just cannot wait to get this vent out so we can talk to him. Prayers for this weekend would be that he continues to have the pneumonia resolve and that he is protected from additional infection risk from being on the ventilator. Oh and that we can take this stupid thing out for good on Monday!!! (That's the biggest one)

Thank you all for your prayers. It has been a long road of ups and downs and day's when things look better and then day's where we feel like we are starting back at square one. But God has remained faithful and part of the reminder to us of that has been your constant prayers. Thank you all so much!

Friday, May 1, 2009

We Need Another Miracle

We need some big prayers today. Dad's lungs are looking worse. It seems to be clearing up a few days ago but they have continued to be come more consolidated in his lower lungs (both R and L). None of his blood work, samples etc have come back positive for bacterial growth. My family and I are starting to suspect maybe a yeast/mold from the trail mix that he aspirated. Please pray that we can figure out how to stop the progression of the pneumonia. He has been on the ventilator for 5 days now which is not good.