I always remember when the Christchurch earthquake hit, people calling it ‘The devastation’. I thought I knew what that meant, as I had lost people close to me and also people my own age in devastating ways. However you really truly do not know the meaning of devastating until you get hit with a full dose of the truth head on. NO matter how much you think you have prepared for it, it hits you full force leaving you winded and laid flat out on the ground.
That is how I felt at 1.58pm on Friday the 13th….unlucky for some…and that ‘some’ would be me.
2 minutes before my students were back from their PE lesson I was replying to an email from a parent when I noticed my gmail account flip to a higher number. Knowing this was day 3 after my tests and that some of my test results would be back today, I quickly fired off the email and opened up the email from my doctor.
It started with:
“I tried to call you but there was no answer on your phone. Unfortunately, I have bad news…”
My heart sank, I read it through, stated “Ok” to myself and afterwards remained eerily calm for the next hour and 20 minutes as I greeted my children, had 7 Middle School teachers (including the Principals), come into my room to observe myself and my students doing ‘Student Directed Learning’ and then played games outside with my kids until I got them safely out the door and on their way home.
Straight away I shut the door, turned off the lights, re-read the email, tried to ring the doctor, it wouldn’t go through, I then tried both my parents and realized that their phones were off as they were on a plane on their way to Wellington, I tried the doctor again, got nothing and then proceeded to have the most adverse reaction that I have had on this whole journey…I burst into tears. Not the leak out and run prettily down your face kind of tears nor the well up slowly kind….the heavy, can’t breathe, OH MY GOD kind.
I’m an emotional person, I feel other peoples pain easily and process mine calmly (and then sometimes not so calmly…usually that is when tequila is involved), however I am not a huge full on crier, so this caught me by surprise. Months of uncertainty and waiting and I finally had my answer and unfortunately it was one I did not like very much. I was truly devastated.
I should have been more prepared and I would like to think that I would have been if it hadn’t been for the doctor telling me that it wasn’t anything to worry about. I had really tried not to get my hopes up but unfortunately that was easier said than done. Thoughts had crept in about maybe my next move being to Europe to live for a few years and then going home to NZ or stepping down from my crazy busy role at work and just being in the classroom with the kids 100% and even down to simple things like…this has given me the kick up the arse to try harder with dating and get the confidence up to get out there again. I had fooled myself and to be honest I really thought I was going to get these results, have a bit of ‘egg on my face’ and actually be ok and have the ‘happily ever after’.
Do not get me wrong, I do not blame the doctor here at all, that is not who I am. Even when it comes down to the ‘why has this happened?’ question, I am not even interested in finding out the answer to that because what is the point? All I need to worry about is what I can do now and be thankful that I found out when I have.
Luckily I had plans with a friend to go and celebrate a long awaited win at work straight after school. I quickly cancelled plans to go a farewell party, all the while landing a friend with a sobbing mess called Amy, until I had collected myself. I then went and sat next to a lake in serenity while drinking copious glasses of Prosecco and talking about life with my amazing friend. We talked about everything under the sun except my news until after the doctor had rung, apologizing profusely, and then my parents had rung, and I could tell them. There were more tears as I explained my situation and how the doctor had told me that they use a different scale of measuring to NZ and that is why she had said what she said. She also was devastated that she had got my hopes up and even gone back again to check the results that had been sent through from my specialist. They had no reference to what scale they used so of course she made that assumption and I don’t blame her.
I made it home in one piece watching hilarious Facebook videos – thank you to the people who post those – they really got me through. As soon as I shut my apartment door, I lost it again, grabbed some wine and then decided to rip off the bandage and send messages to all of the people closest to me who I knew would want to know as soon as I did.
I then sat there, stared at the wall and tried to let it all settle in, while trying to come out of the feeing of numbness that had settled in when I was all cried out.
The AMH level 2.2 on her scale that was “close to 3” turned out to be a 0.37 on her scale….not so close to 3 and well under 1. Things now have to progress quickly. My FSH is elevated and my estradiol low both signs of low ovarian reserve. Thankfully my TSH and LH were normal, which was something less to worry about, so I am grateful for that. Unfortunately I have since found out that 8 follicles (from my baseline ultrasound), is borderline meaning that it is likely my eggs will not be of good quality, making my prospects worse than initially thought.
Devastating in those initial hours…yes…however there still is hope….it could be WAY worse and all I do is remain positive and extremely hopeful.
In true Amy fashion, I did laugh – A LOT – when I realized that I had got this news on Friday the 13th. I mean seriously!!! Cue the Alanis Morreiste music….’Isn’t it ironic?’.
Don’t you think?