Thursday, October 27, 2011

Re-entry Syndrome - like a car crash

I have been back almost a month now from Ghana, but it has taken this long for things to settle down and for life to get back to a semi-normal state.

Re-acclimating to home after being abroad has been quite tough.  Especially after being abroad in a developing nation and being exposed to things I could not help with or change.  Ghana was a life changing experience that was amazing and wonderful, but at the same time heart wrenchingly sad and depressing.  Returning and re-entering into my own country in just 14 short hours door-to-door was a complete culture shock - bright lights, consumerism galore, excessive waste, loud noises, an array of different smells... even the cleanliness was overwhelming.  Trying to acclimate back into my "normal" life was hard.  I felt sad for all those in Ghana whom I left behind that had so little.  I felt guilty for how much we have in our country and how over-indulgent we are without apology.  I felt isolated because no one I know here can actually understand what I have been through and then there are others who are purely not interested.  I met up with one friend who said she wanted to hear all about my trip, but then talked about her life the entire time.  It felt surreal - like all this was not really happening to me; as if Ghana never happened.  It was a sudden jolt, like a car crash, back into my life that I have known for a year, but yet, it was all different.  I am now different.   

This is what is called re-entry syndrome.  It is a real, psychological response that many people - aid workers, soldiers, prisoners - experience when returning to their former life.  It is quite an adjustment.

To top it all off, I came home to find out that my husband was not leaving in the middle of October like we thought, but rather 3 short days later.  That was a hard pill to swallow.  I ended up crying for 3 days straight.

The day my husband left was my first official day of IVF.  I dropped my husband off at the airport in the morning and then went for my IVF counselling alone.  My RE and her nurse were beyond supportive, giving me big hugs and trying to make me laugh.  It was so sweet that they were there for me when I was at my lowest, feeling so alone and bereft.  

My RE took a look at my ovaries via ultrasound (US) and found that my right one had a dominant follicle.  Even though I was taking OCPs, my body was still trying to ovulate.  This was going to postpone the beginning of my injectables and my egg retrieval.  My RE gave me another prescription to take - Aygestin, a progesin - daily with my OCPs to further suppress my follicular development for another week and 3 days.  I have had 2 more US since then and my follicle has slowly decreased in size with my estrogen levels lowering as well.

Today, I had another US and my follicle, which was 20 mm, is now 16 mm and collapsing in on itself.  My estrogen levels are down as well, and that means we are good to go to start the injectables!!!

I start my Lupron, 10 units subq, tonight and then 10 units in a.m. and p.m. until Saturday.  Then Saturday is D-day where I begin my Gonal-F and Menopur.  All fingers and toes crossed for a successful egg retrieval around 8-10 of November and embryo transfer 3-5 days later!

Wow.  This month has been a whirlwind.  I have struggled with transitioning back to my life from Ghana, then 3 short days later I had to re-transition to living life without my husband, my best friend, and finally now - almost a month later - I am getting back on my feet, I am feeling like things are flowing again, and I am having hope for the first time that I may just get lucky and have a baby in 2012.

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