health · ivf · relationships


So, I’ve been absent for a while. Did you miss me? Awww, thanks! Sorry about that, but there’s been a bit going on that’s kept me away from the keyboard. Short update: four excellent quality embryos, one double-embryo fresh transfer and one double-FET (frozen embryo transfer) down, and we’re not pregnant. B’s only 37, and statistically, we should have had a successful implantation and pregnancy from four embryos, so it was time to do some further investigations. She’s had hysteroscopy and flush, biopsies, and today is day one of our next full cycle—although our plan is to have PGS (preimplantation genetic screening) done on our embryos this time, to rule out any genetic problems preventing pregnancy. This means we’ll be freezing after PGS and implanting next cycle, if any of our embryos pass the screening.

Unfortunately, our journey to parenthood hasn’t been our main focus in the last month. Instead, drama queen that I am, I demanded that everyone’s attention be focussed on me, and I tried to die from a combination of two super-rare conditions. Yay me! If you want to know more, google xanthogranulomatous pyelonephritis (XGP), then google secondary psoas abscess. Yep, my body tried to kill me. So I had an emergency nephrectomy, and lost my XGP right kidney. Surgery had some complications: I had a diaphragmatic laceration and plueral (lung) trauma, which resulted in a haemo-pneumothorax; once that was repaired, my surgeon removed the rest of my kidney, inadvertently tearing away the anterior wall of my psoas muscle and filling my abdomen with pus. At least the abscess was drained, right?

So I woke up with a chest drain as well as an abdominal drain, oxygen dependent, on three different sorts of intravenous antibiotics, and on more pain relief than any of my patients have ever needed. Fentanyl, ketamine, epidural anaesthesia, regional anaesthesia, oxycodone, pregabalin, and—my favourite—intravenous paracetamol. Recovery has been tough, and is on-going, but I’m grateful to still be alive—considering that either the kidney condition or the abscess could have killed me, and the complications certainly should have!

Next steps: getting me back to work, and getting B pregnant. I’m not sure which is going to take more effort, but I’m up for the challenge on both!

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