Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thank Goodness for Blogging!

As you might recall, I posted last week about more tests my doc wanted to run for a miscarriage panel. And Kristi commented telling me about her immunological testing, and suggested getting tested for Natural Killer Cells. In my fertility history and blog reading, I remember hearing about them, but the only thing I knew is they sound evil – like Natural Born Killers. So I started researching…

Very soon after I started thinking there was something wrong with me fertility-wise, I figured out that a fertility specialist is a reproductive endocrinologist. But in the last few days, I figured out there’s another specialist called reproductive immunologist. And there’s a whole medical field out there called reproductive immunology! I don’t know why this fascinates me so much – maybe everybody out there already knows this stuff, but I feel like I’ve just found a whole set of things that could be wrong with me, and now I have to figure it all out! It can affect people getting pregnant at all, can cause miscarriage, and can even cause ectopic pregnancies. And the best part is there are drugs to take that I can fix it!!!

I know, I’m jumping the gun assuming something is wrong, but I’m just so excited to learn all of this. So after all this research, I came up with a few more tests that I’d like done. I was concerned that my regular old RE wouldn’t order these tests, but after going back and forth a few times between his nurse, I finally have the lab codes and proof that he has ordered the tests. Seriously – just because I asked!!! I love this doctor – he may not be a reproductive immunologist, but it seems like he’ll test anything I ask for – amazing. Now my only worry is that the lab won’t do it in the right way. Based on my reading, it appears there are only certain labs in the country that will test for these things in a specific enough manner that will detect problems… (OK, for all you medically inclined people out there, you have to forgive my ignorance – obviously I really don’t know what I’m talking about. I’m an accountant – give me some debits & credits and we can talk, but lipids and labs??? WTF?) But I’m on my way to the lab this afternoon to give a lot of blood, and see what happens with these tests. The three tests I’ve added to the order are:

Natural Killer Cells
Antiphospholipid antibodies
Indirect antisperm antibodies

For those of you that have gone through this stuff before, is there any kind of resource that will help me understand this stuff? I ordered a book by Dr. Alan Beer, Is Your Body Baby-Friendly, that is supposed to explain the immunology aspect of fertility. Any other suggestions???

By the way, the absolute BEST thing about a blog (you know, besides the emotional support which is truly the best thing about blogs) is helping each other out with information. Anytime we can help a fellow IFer eliminate the “I didn’t know” factor, we’re doing our part!!! Thanks to all of you!

16 comments:

  1. Good luck giving that much blood!!! Eat some raisins and broccoli when you get back! While I have no advice for you, I agree that blogging is a great way to share resources!

    (((HUGS)))

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  2. I just had that whole battery of tests run and I'm waiting for the results. I ordered that book also, but I haven't read it yet. I believe that the Sher Institu.te (haveababy.com) has information on it about it but I'm not sure.

    Let me know what you find out or if you can point me in any direction, too.

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  3. Good luck with all of the tests! I really do hope they find something that is so simple and obvious and so easily treatable.

    And, seriously, yay for blogging!

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  4. Drink lots of water before you give blood and best of luck with the testing! If they do find something I hope it's super easy to fix!

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  5. I'm glad you're covering all the bases. I don't have any information, but I hope things go well with your tests... looking forward to the results and hopefully a quick solution.

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  6. I'm so glad you got some great information from one of your readers. A few extra tests to rule everything out is a great idea.

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  7. I'm glad that this time, Dr. Google was helpful! I hope that the labs do the test the right way so that you can get answers that you have been waiting on!

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  8. The book by Dr.Beer is like the bible for Reproductive Immuniology....It is a def must read and really the only book you will need...it has a ton of info/resources in it...thats how I found my Reproductive Immuniologiost...Dr. Kwak she used to work with Dr. Beer when he was in the Chicago area....Im telling you I have had trouble conceiving...then pregnant with IVF, Pregnant naturally, Pregnant with FET, and then pregnant naturally but all ended the same in miscarriage whether chemical or D&E....then I lost hope and then I dug deeper and discoverd the world of Immuniology and it all made sense as I read page by page of that book it screamed out....THATS ME....I try to spread the word about Immune problems and misscarriage...repeat chemical losses...and implantation failure but unfort alot of people arent open to it or just dont know about....So glad you are spreading the word!!!! As far as test go another one to add is for you and your hubby...it is the DQ-Alpha match....me and my husband share a match on the 4.1 level so we are a 50% tissue match...it also plays a role in conception.....As far as labs you could always have them send to one of the immune labs...Dr. Kwak has her own at Rosalind Franklin University....I have all my stuff sent there...accepts most insurances:) If you have anymore or specific questions you can contact me via email at kklendworth@yahoo.com I would love to be of any help...:)

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  9. Wow I am like you, up until now I didn't know there was a Reproductive Immunologist doctor, all I can say science is amazing! I am glad you did your own research and that your doctor is willing to run those extra tests just in case. You two sound like a good team! Getting to understand what could have possibly caused the miscarreage is a brave and clever step so that you and your doctor can be better prepared next time. Thinking of you as you give all that blood..! good luck!

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  10. Good luck with the tests!

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  11. I'm glad your doc's office is working with you on this, and agreed to do the tests you requested. I also think this thing has a huge learning curve...A few years ago, I'd have been like "Reproductive wha-?"

    The tests you've ordered look good - I think the APA is especially important. And if it comes back with a spotty result, the solution is a fairly straightforward one.

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  12. Good luck with your tests! The more things you can rule out, the better. I'm a fan of having more information than I need, then not having enough...ya know? Take care!

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  13. Hi sweetie I'm like the others who have nothing to add but I'm glad this might actually mean progress!! Anything that can help you get closer to your dream is a good thing :)
    Glad you got some good advice-the IF community is amazing.

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  14. I have not gone through this testing or anything, but like you I have been reading up about this. There is just so much to learn with IF and your doing a very good thing by doing all this research. From reading these blogs for the last few years, it seems a lot of heartache could have been erased if this was a more common testing procedure.

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  15. Who knew having a baby could be so complicated, right? It's amazing how far medicine has come. Pretty cool.

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