It’s been 6 weeks since I was treated with methotrexate to terminate my ‘ectopic’ pregnancy. The first few weeks involved dealing with miscarriage bleeding and pain. Pains that made me worry about ending up with a burst fallopian tube. Pains that I had never experienced before. Then there was the emotional pain that accompanied it; sadness and grief over the failure of what could have been. Finally, at what would have been my 13th week of pregnancy my hCG levels are below 5 and I am officially out of any danger.
But although I am grateful I have had zero complications (i.e. no tube ruptures or not needing a D&C) it hasn’t been the easiest of rides.
4 weeks ago I fell ill with what seemed to be the usual cold/cough that one catches in September time. Methotrexate can lower the number of white blood cells, which increases the chance of getting an infection and being able to fight it off effectively. I haven’t been able to shake off this cough completely and it got worse over the last four days of my work travels to Germany. I think my cough has gotten worse because my stress levels increased due to the nervousness of the upcoming conference, and my poor sleep due to flying/time zone changes. Basically, I haven’t been good to my body. I had to avoid my multi-vitamins until my hCG levels were below 5 because the Folic acid in them can interfere with the effectiveness of methotrexate. So I have been dosing up on Vit C, but I have been missing out on all the other immune boosting vitamins and minerals.
The morning of the beginning of the conference and the day I was presenting was when I felt my worst. I had to run out of the conference during the key note speech because I was about to puke up my guts from all the coughing. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to close the day with my presentation….which I was already stressing about because it was in front of my about 100 of my peers and various other important people I need to make an impression with. Fortunately, I managed to survive and my presentation went down well – I had lots of excellent feedback. But the stress of it all was just making my cough worse.
On the evening before my flight back to the US I took some nytol/night nurse at 8pm and was immediately fast asleep. I woke up at 1005 AM and realised I had slept through my alarm. I was supposed to already be at the airport by now, my flight was leaving at 1215 PM! I had been in a deep sleep for 14 hours! Aghhhh!!!! Panic!!!! It is not like me to sleep for long, I am not the kind of person who likes to lie in. So there I was hacking my guts up and had a temperature running. But I needed to get home! So I threw everything into my suitcase – higgledy piggledy- checked out of the hotel and ran to the train station. 1 hr after waking up and freaking out I was standing at the airport check-in desk with 10 minutes to close! I made it, but I was lucky to catch the train that I did, 3 minutes later I would still be in Germany right now!
I felt awful for the poor German teenage girl sat next to me on the flight (it was a completely full flight) because I was coughing every other minute the entire way. Cough medicine, flu medicine, cough sweets, water – everything I tried, just could not stop me. I felt like I had done 1000 sit ups! My abdomen was aching and my throat shredded.
So here I am, finally tucked up in bed, at home, with magazines (thank you Chris :-)) and hot tea, relaxing. I may be my worst enemy when it comes to being ill, but I will say that I totally blame the methotrexate. My white blood cell count was already below the normal level before I took the shot – so I can imagine it was severely lowered afterwards. I could have wrapped myself up in a cotton wool ball – but I would have been bored as hell and probably missed out on our epic holiday. So, yes, I kind of did this to myself…but today I am FINALLY chilling out.
(Who wants to bet I have caught something else from the last few days to add on top of my cough?)
I am excited about next week though because the only meeting I have in my diary is our doctors follow up appointment. Being out of office for three weeks does have its advantages! Fingers crossed I wake up tomorrow feeling better and I can start everything -work, life, infertility – all afresh 🙂