We all want babies. Some are being treated for infertility while others like us are being treated for autoimmune causes for repeated pregnancy loss.
The guy bearing vials of lymphocytes arrives three hours late.
There are no screaming complaints here. Only silent and patient waiting.
23 January, 8am
We walk from PGH to this house on Pedro Gil. It's where the Manila Endocrine Laboratory is. There are maybe five couples ahead of us in the line. There are only a few laboratories who can do this procedure. If you have the "extraction" at St. Luke's it'll cost almost double.
C seems anxious. Haha. He hates needles. Childhood phobia, I guess.
They extract 12 vials of blood from him. It's a very quick procedure. We are told to go to St. Luke's at 5pm for the lymphocyte shots.
10 more to go!
After doing some errands we go home and have time to eat and nap.
C drops me off at the hospital lobby. As I wait for the elevator, I hear a girl asking the guard for directions to Dr. Aleta's office. I sneak a peek. She looks younger than me.
The girl and her husband ride the elevator with me to the 15th floor. I step out of the elevator quickly and almost dash to the doctor's clinic so I can be ahead of them in the line. Hahaha. It turns out I'm 7th and they're 8th and last.
The receptionist informs us that the vials have not yet arrived. We had time for a snack. After talking to the doctor and discussing schedules (number of sessions we can squeeze in before I ovulate), we step out and grab chicken hotdogs. Yummy.
Back outside the doctor's office. Everyone's quiet. A girl who has been reading a pocketbook takes a call and everyone in that corridor now knows that she had just flown in from Cebu for the procedure and she had an 830pm flight to catch. It was already 6pm.
lonely, empty side of the corridor
The guy from the lab finally arrives (I remember his face from our stop at the lab that morning) and everyone heaves a huge sigh of relief. Even the doctor inside.
The girl from Cebu asks the girl ahead of her if she can go first. Girl "first on the list" obliges. When girl from Cebu steps out, other girls wish her good luck.
All the girls who come out of the clinic are given nods and smiles. It's a community of women (and men) who know all the trouble (not to mention expense) each has to go through.
Our turn comes. The doctor hands us a photocopy of a part of an article published in the American Journal of Medicine, on the safety of intradermal lymphocyte immunotherapy. She co-wrote the paper. We are thoroughly impressed and trust her a hundred percent.
Of the 12 vials of blood taken from C, the lymphocytes extracted fill only maybe 1/8 of a vial. I can imagine the laborious process of extracting it.
C looks worried again as the doctor preps my arm and the needle. I decide to look when the shots are administered. I usually look away when they draw blood from me. It's a slight prick. Not so bad. What does hurt is when the liquid is injected into the skin. You see the skin bubble up as the spot fills up with the lymphocytes.
Two shots and the doctor wraps my forearm with bandage. My arm feels heavy. The doctor warns me that injection spots may itch or hurt. A good sign, she says. They will also bruise, like insect bites. The bandage can be taken off after 48 hours. It cannot get wet.
Before I had the shots I was feeling under the weather. I had the car aircon fixed the day before and the heat must've gotten to me.
That night, after attending to a client fitting, I got chills and a slight fever. But I was soooo cold I had to wear pajamas, socks, a bonnet and even hiking gloves! I felt awful and even more awful because I worried the shots won't work if I had fever.
hamming it up despite feeling horrible
I took paracetamol and the fever subsided. I slowly shed the layers I was wearing and fell asleep soundly.
So difficult to shower! C had to wrap my arm in plastic and seal it with packaging tape. Haha.
I was a bit worried because the injection spots didn't feel as itchy as other girls described. But what could I do?
Finally in the evening we took out the bandage and saw the two red marks on my arm. The injection spots felt itchy but not as itchy as I expected.
I still felt under the weather.
I texted the doctor and asked if I should push through with the injections on Saturday, since I was still feeling under the weather. She said to up my dosage of Conzace (vit A, C, E and Zinc) to 3x a day and we'll see Friday how I'm feeling.
Someone suggested we try acupuncture. A friend of a friend had the same problem (recurring pregnancy loss) and she saw the top immunologist in the country (who charges an arm and a leg, so they say) and that didn't work. She went to the top US doctors and still had no success. She finally went to see the acupuncturist Regina Liu (9th generation practitioner) and after the second session got pregnant. Now she has a healthy 2-year old and is pregnant again!
I got so confused and worried again. What to do? Bottomline is I don't want the heartache of another miscarriage.
I called the acupuncturist's office to set an appointment and found out that the rates are so affordable! P600 for consultation and P600 per acupuncture session. I was so tempted to ditch the western approach for this cheaper and highly recommended option.
C decided we will combine the two. What a wise guy. Haha.
I feel much better. The heavy feeling is gone. The two raised points on my arm are still slightly raised and red but has subsided substantially.
I think I'm ready for LIT second session.