Friday, November 13, 2009

IVF, Here We Come

So much has happened since our BFN and I have had zero motivation to post.  I kept thinking, "Man, I should really write about this", but I never did... This may be a long one, feel free to skim until something catches your fancy.

I finally went back to work again after my wreck. It's exhausting! 3.5 months off really affects your strength and stamina. I did nothing but work and sleep the first week back. I could barely stay awake long enough to eat. Luckily it's getting much better now. 

The day after Trina started her period, we had a tearful consultation with our wonderful RE. He said we basically had 2 options. We could do a 3rd injectable cycle, then move on to IVF if it didn't work, or we could just jump to IVF. He said first 3 injectable cycles all have about the same rate of success, but starting with the 4th, the success rates drop drastically. Having lost all confidence in basic infertility treatments, we chose to jump to IVF. He scheduled Trina for a hysteroscopy so he could look at the exact spot he'd place the embryos. If the spot was clear, we could start this cycle. If the spot had scar tissue that needed to be removed, we'd have to sit out a cycle so she could heal. The procedure showed that she didn't have scar tissue, but that she did have a uterine polyp that had to be removed. This caused some cramping and bleeding for a few days, but wasn't too terrible. At her post op appointment, Doc said the polyp was small enough that we could start this cycle if we wanted to. Between my work schedule, the holidays and a planned trip to Arizona in Jan, we decided to hold off for now. She'll call them when her Dec cycle starts to begin suppression. In the mean time, I plan to do an obsessive amount of research, pay off as much debt as possible, try to decide who's eggs to use and win the lotto if at all possible...

We went to a patient education seminar dealing with a spectrum of infertility causes and treatments put on by our fertility clinic. They were giving away a free IVF cycle at the end. We didn't win, of course, but it was nice to dream. The seminar was great. The doctors are all so laid back and answered everyone's questions in detail. It was so much fun to people watch there. Infertility really affects a wide variety of folks. I liked listening to how people phrased questions. Some of them acted like the questions were hypothetical. They'd say "What if "someone" had a blocked tube blah blah blah", like they were asking for a friend or out of pure curiosity. I was thinking "You're standing in an infertility seminar, we know it's your tube that's blocked, it's ok, we're all in the same boat." Then there were the people who were over sharing in a major way. One girl rambled on for 5 min about her whoas. Apparently she knows her boyfriend isn't the problem because he's gotten 2 other girls pregnant and she's never been pregnant even though she's never used protection and that's how her cheatin' ass ex boyfriend gave her chlamydia. Wow. Then there was the guy who guzzled wine throughout the whole thing and cringed at all of the pictures and diagrams on the power point presentation. He says, slurring,  "I've had quite a bit to drink so I'll be honest, we got mobility problems, her parts are fine..." It was hilarious. Who would have thought hearing about infertility would have made for such an amusing night?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Not even pr0gster0ne could keep AF from coming 2 days early.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Not Looking Good

We've been so hopeful this cycle. Optimism has run rampant in our house. Even when her temp plummeted yesterday, we tossed around the idea that it was a REALLY low implantation dip. This morning's temp eroded our confidence and the spot of blood around noon has it pretty much shattered.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Two Sets of TIny Little Baby Parts

Our very good friends welcomed their beautiful twin boys into this crazy world on Monday. Trina & I have spent every possible moment in the NICU gazing at them in all their 4 pound glory. Those little boys are amazing in every way. I couldn't be prouder of them or their wonderful parents. Being around them makes our baby fever palpable. Please, please let this be our cycle...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

IUI Cycle #12

OK, I'm over my minor freak out about timing. :) I think the pressure of this cycle just got to me. With the cost of these injectable cycles being so high, I just don't know if we can afford to do this again. At least not for a while. We'd have to pay down our TTC debt a bit first. Anyway...

Wed morning as we drove down to the RE's office, I was still on edge about timing and such. When we got there I asked the Dr if we could check Trina's progesterone to see if she had ovulated overnight. If she had, we'd still do that morning's IUI, but we'd skip Thurs's. He said he was sure our timing for both IUI's was perfect. That her Tues morning LH showed she was "surging" not "surged". He even drew a diagram (I heart diagrams) showing that the LH goes up to 60 or 70 at it's peak. Her LH was only 33 pointing to a true surge scheduled for Tues night. We also triggered Tues night so her body should have all the umph it needed to ovulate all 5 follies. I felt much better and apologized for being such a freak. He waved it off and said if I ever had ANY questions I should ask him. Otherwise how would I learn? Then he flashed me one of his killer smiles. I swear he should patent that thing. I know I've mentioned this before, but I LOVE our RE. :)

Once again both of the IUI's went smoothly. Barely any cramping and no spotting at all this time. Trina's cervix was open for the first IUI but closing or closed for the second. That points to her ovulating sometime between the two. Her temps have been all over the place since we started using FSH, HCG and Progesterone so we no longer have any clues for when she ovulates other than cervical opening. So far I feel really good about this cycle and our chances. I hope I can hold onto this optimism for the next 2 weeks. 

Tools of the trade.

Post-insem grin. 
The cute sperm-dialed timer set for her required Post-insem resting period.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Numbers, New Questions

Around 10 last night Trina made mention of her 2 days of copious EWCM. I asked her to use one of the OPK's on her next trip to the restroom. Sure enough it was positive. Damn, she's surging before the trigger. I tossed and turned all night dreaming about her ovulating before we had a chance to inseminate. I was up long before the alarm went off. Much to my despair her temp rose .4 overnight. I was a little less than cautiously optimistic on the way to our u/s appointment this morning. Steeling myself for the worst, I was surprised when the nurse said everything looked good. I asked her if she would've been able to tell if Trina had already ovulated. She said that the follicles would have been hazier and that they would have looked "deflated" instead of round. My fears were eased for the moment and there was nothing to analyze until the numbers came in later. I really wish I was one of those people who could operate on blind hope or faith or whatever it is that happy "ignorance is bliss" people function on. Alas, I am not one of those people. I'm a person who analyzes numbers and any other form of information made available to me.

The numbers came in around noon. They are as follows:
Estradiol- 861
Progesterone- 3.3
LH- 32.8
Left Ovary- 14.22, 14.65, 14.65
Right Ovary-17.46, 17.88

I was VERY pleased to see the progesterone under 10 indicating no ovulation as of yet. I know I should've taken the nurse's word, but I'm just not very good at that. I still can't stop myself from worrying that she'll ovulate today or tonight before we inseminate. On a more positive note, I'm thrilled to see those 2 large follies. They are both bigger than the one we had last cycle. I can only hope that they will make us some twins. :) Tonight we trigger, tomorrow morning we have IUI#1 then Thurs morning IUI#2. In the meantime I'm going to try VERY hard not to "what if" myself to death...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Beautiful Numbers + EWCM

Trina has had EWCM for 2 days now. This is SO unlike her. Then today we got amazing numbers. She now has 2 great responding follicles on the right side measuring 16.92 & 16.33. She also has 3 so-so follicles on the left measuring 11.8, 12.12 & 13.62. Her estradiol went up to 656. We have another scan and set of blood work scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9am. My guess is we'll be triggering tomorrow night and inseminating Wed and Thurs mornings. So far this cycle Trina's body is doing all the right things. 

Friday, October 9, 2009

CD-8 Scan & Labs

Today was our 3rd u/s and blood draw for this cycle. We were both excited to see what this scan would show after adopting a more aggressive injection schedule. At this point last cycle, she had a 12mm follicle. It was the one and only follicle that responded and continued to grow. Today we had 3 follicles measuring 10.12, 10.94 & 11.16mm. Her estradiol is at 226 whereas this time last cycle it was only 138. So far everything looks good. I can't wait to see what Monday's appointment brings. 

Monday, October 5, 2009

And So It Begins

Last night Trina injected herself for the first time this cycle. The plan is to use 1 vial of Brave11e the first 2 nights then 2 vials the 3rd night followed by an ultrasound and blood the next morning. We're hoping for 2 or 3 responding follicles this go round instead of the singleton  that popped up last month. Our doc was nervous about upping her dose due to her high reserve, but we pushed the issue. We assured him that we would be ecstatic about one baby, elated with twins and might not even pass out at triplets. :) Anything more than that would land me on the floor mumbling incoherently. 

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Today was our beta appointment. As our nurse took us back to the exam room she asked us if we were excited. We told her we weren't due to Trina's temp dropping significantly and the neg HPT. She offered to do the baseline u/s & blood work along with the beta. By doing it then instead of waiting for results we already knew, she saved us a trip and a copay. As we were leaving, she came out and handed us a box of Brave11e. She said they were all very sorry. They had really expected our cycle to work so they were going to help us out with the next one. We were speechless. We already loved everyone at this clinic from the quirky receptionist to the charming doctor for their professionalism, but this is a true testament to how much they care about their patients as people. We couldn't be happier to have found them. I just wish we had done it sooner. We decided that we had done enough mourning for this cycle in the past few days. We're going to embrace our clinic's good deed and look forward to the next cycle. This time we'll make our twins or at least mature enough follicles to have a chance at them. That's the plan anyway. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

All But Over...

Trina's temp has been virtual roller coaster this cycle. The last few days has made it painfully obvious that the hills are getting shorter and the valleys are getting lower. This morning's temp was a mere .1 over the cover line. Thur's blood work will make this BFN official. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What do you mean what did I mean by that??

Oh pr0gester0ne vaginal suppositories, how I loathe thee. You have hijacked my wife and replaced her with a quick tempered devil woman. If you weren't so strongly equated with "baby superglue" I'd drop the whole lot of you in the trash. 

Friday, September 18, 2009

IUI Cycle #11

Driving to our RE appointment Monday morning we made guesses about how many follicles we would see and joked about having twins and triplets. The one good thing about our having to use fertility meds was the higher instance of multiples. We would LOVE to have twins. Triplets are scary, but even still, I'd be thrilled. Much to our disappointment, the ultrasound showed she still had only one responding follicle on the right side. I know it only takes one, but I sure would feel more confident if we had a few to work with. It was 15.7mm and her estradiol was 248.We were told to come back at 8 the next morning for a recheck.

Tuesday morning's ultrasound showed our solo follicle had grown to 17.14mm and labs revealed her estradiol was up to 380. She was to trigger at 9pm and be back in the office for IUI#1 at 9am the next morning. We left the office with mixed feelings of excitement and anxiety. I was scheduled for hip surgery in an hour and I had no idea what shape I'd be in the next morning. What I DID know was that I would be there for the IUI even if I had to crawl on my hands and knees.

Wednesday morning came and I was not exactly happy to be conscious. I had been asleep for the better part of the last 20hrs. My wife, the rock star, had given herself the trigger shot the night before. I can't imagine how she made herself stick that 1.5" needle in her rump. I slowly got to my feet and with Trina's help slowly dressed myself in the baggiest clothes I own. She frowned at me when I refused to take my pain meds, opting for Motr1n instead. I was barely holding on and I wanted to at least remember the day we made our child. I slept the whole way to the Dr's office and stared into space while we waited in the lobby. A nurse came out and called Trina's name. It was our turn. Trina was so nervous since she had had a horrible time with her 3 IUI experiences. Her last IUI had gone so badly that we chose to do at-home ICI's for the last 7 cycles.

We didn't have much time to worry because, as usual, our doc didn't keep us waiting. He came in with a beaming smile and as he got his tools ready, he told us we had a whopping 56million swimmers! We were stunned and even he seemed impressed. We were used to counts in the high teens and low 20's. The IUI was, much like our Dr, fast, gentle and efficient. There was no sharp pain like when our old Dr bumped the top of her uterus with the catheter. Afterwards, he shook our hands, told Trina to lie still for 15min and said he'd see us the same time the next morning. Then he left with the smile he came in with. We sat there half waiting for the pain to start, for the cramps to double her over or for the nausea to come. 5 min passed, then 10. Nothing happened. She was so relieved that she teared up. Was this how everyone else experienced IUI's? No wonder no one thought they were a big deal. Amazing. Other than a few passing cramps and light spotting throughout the day, all was well.

The next morning we repeated our routine and ended up back in the same exam room as the day before. This time we had grins to match our Dr's. How could this not work? The previous day's sperm count was double what we were used to and here we were doing it again. Add in the nearly painless IUI and we were on cloud 9. Again, he came in and got right to work. He said "Today we have 63 million! Your donor is a champ!" This IUI was a little more painful, causing some small cramps during the procedure, but still nothing like before. He told Trina to start the pr0gester0ne suppositories on Sun, shook our hands and wished us luck. Our 15min was soon up and we were out the door. Our TWW has officially begun and our next appointment is for a beta on OCT 1.

Our swimmers waiting to be deployed.
Marveling in the pain free 15 min wait.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


My wife is a total infertility-treatment rockstar. This is the same woman who refused a steroid shot while she was having an allergic reaction that caused vertigo, hot flashes and itchy red welts to cover her entire body making her every waking moment miserable. She opted for the pills that would take up to 24 hours to kick in instead of having nearly instant relief just to avoid that needle. She's chosen to have dental work done with no Novaca1ne because having her cavity filled with full sensation caused less mental anguish than a simple local anesthetic. The fact that she is willing to be in the same room as a needle, let alone stick it into her own muscle is a testament as to how badly she wants to be pregnant. She is amazing and I couldn't be more proud of her. :)

Friday, September 11, 2009


Wed Trina had her first u/s and blood work to see how she's responding to the meds. The u/s showed several follicles on both sides in the 7-8mm range. Later when the nurse called with the blood results they said her estrogen wasn't where they wanted it (not sure of the exact number) but that the dr was hesitant to up her meds. She has so many reserve follicles that he's worried too many would grow and we'd have to cancel this cycle. Instead, he recommended that she keep the same dose, but switch to IM instead of SQ. Trina did amazing with her first 3 injections and was really disappointed to hear that she had to change her routine. The mere thought of IM injections make her dizzy and panicky. She wasn't sure she'd be able to make herself put that needle into muscle, but she wasn't ready to give up control of the syringe either. When the time came, I gave her an icepack for her arm and she left it on until the skin was good and numb. With only a little hesitation, she was able to inject herself. Afterwards she was really lightheaded and a little nauseous, but the deed was done. Today, CD-8, she had her 2nd monitoring appointment. The u/s showed she had several small (less than 10mm) follicles on both sides and one 13mm front runner on the right. We were both really surprised to see only one follicle breaking from the pack, but we were assured us that anything can happen between now and triggering. Her estrogen was up to 138 so he said to continue with the IM injections at the same dose. We go for another check up on Monday. That makes 3 blood draws, 3 SQ injections and 3 IM injections so far this cycle...

Wed I had an arthrogram and an MRI. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect because I had never had either procedure. I did a little research and was not impressed by what I learned. They were going to lay me on a table, numb the area with lidocaine, guide a 4" needle into the joint capsule by means of live action xrays, inject 10-12cc's of contrast dye then slide me into an MRI tube for about 40mins. This did NOT sound like a good time. It wasn't. First of all, local anesthetics never work right on me. It takes an elephant dose to numb me up and it always wears off very quickly. Sure enough, the radiologist starts in with his "bee sting" speech. Why can't they be more honest about these things and say "It's going to feel like I'm ramming a dull hot sword through your leg and out the other side. Please don't scream as it upset the other patients, but feel free to weep quietly  to yourself". After the radiology tech had to go track down more lidocaine, I was somewhat numb. Even though he assured me I'd only feel "pressure" as the coffee straw sized needle went in, I prepared for the worst. I can't explain the sensations I felt. It was like painful cramping and pulling punctuated by sharp jabs each time he hit the bone. He was having a hard time "finding the right spot" so he would push in, hit the bone, back out a little and inject a bit of dye over and over. Finally he was "pretty sure" he had the right position but wanted a 2nd opinion since the dye wasn't dissipating the way he wanted it to. I lay there on that table with a huge needle stuck in my hip for what felt like hours as my anesthetic quickly faded away. The sensations were getting sharper and I was starting to get nauseous. My mouth was watering and I kept myself from vomiting by shear will as he came back with the other radiologist who said his position was fine. As he slowly injected the dye, the pain in my hip grew and grew. It felt like something was going to rip. Finally he was done and the needle was removed. Now all I had to do was walk the 50 yards to the MRI suite with a half numb, painfully distended hip capsule so the dye would move around in the joint. Swell..

I made it and they got me situated on the table and slid  me into position. I'm not overly claustrophobic, but I was glad I was out of the tube from my eyebrows up. It's a wonder what a few inches can do for you. Just being able to look up and see the room was comforting. Unfortunately about 20 minutes into the scan they pulled me back out of the tube, resituated me and slid me back in past the top of my head. My feet were taped together, an MRI coil kept me strapped to the table from mid chest to mid thigh and my arms were crossed over my upper chest. Both elbows pressed against the sides of that damn tube and my nose was only about 6 inches from the top. I had to remind myself that I could breathe. They had given me headphones, but half the time I couldn't hear the music over the thumps and AK-47 like bursts coming from the machine. Every time a series of clanging would stop, I'd think "oh good, it's almost over", but then it'd start back up. It seemed to go on and on. At last the machine was quiet and my table slid out of the tube. I waited patiently while a woman untaped my feet and unstrapped me from the "coil" I asked how long I'd been in there and she replied over an hour! She said they were having trouble getting clear images because I'm "so skinny". When I finally hobbled back out to the waiting room to see Trina, I had been gone for 2 1/2 hours. I have had more pain in my hip since that arthrogram than I've had in weeks. Monday I should get a call from the orthopedic office to schedule my surgery. Hopefully then I can finish healing and put this all behind me for good.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Injectable Cycle & a Needlephobe

This cycle will include 9-12 daily Brave11e injections in the lower abdomen, 1 Novare1 injection in the hip and 2 IUI's followed by progester0ne suppositories. Trina is a hardcore needlephobe so this is going to be a challenge. She wants to do all of the Brave11e injections herself. Being in control of the needle helps her deal. She's already obsessing and panicking about the Novare1 injection, because she knows she can't shoot herself in the muscle. Every time she talks about it, she gets light headed. The things we're willing to put ourselves through to make families...

Round 1:
Intently pulling up the first dose & tapping out the bubbles.

Administering the first of many injections.

Trying not to pass out and starting to feel the medication pain.

Laughing at herself for getting so dizzy but proud she was able to get it accomplished.

Glaring & telling me I better not make her look stupid on the blog. :)

Injectables, Here we Come!

Unfortunately on top of everything else going on right now, we had BFN #10. I am completely done with our OB and have been for some time now. I did some research on REs in our area and emailed one with a few questions. They got back to me immediately so I set up a consultation appointment. We went in on Wed and he briefly went over what we had tried so far. He wasn't impressed and asked who our OB was with a sour look on his face. He brought up some of the exact concerns I had expressed to Trina and had brought up with our last OB. He wanted to do an HSG, blood work and ultrasound then to move onto injectables if all came back normal. He asked us when she was due to start her period. We said Friday. He looked up and casually said "Oh, well these tests need to be done before her period. We don't want to waste a cycle testing, so how about I just fit you in for everything tomorrow morning. How's 8 or 8:30?" We were in shock! We went in for a consult a mere 2 days before her period fully expecting to have to take a cycle off to do testing and paperwork and such. He walked us out to the check out desk and told the girl to schedule us for all 3 procedures for the next morning. We walked out of there with our heads spinning. 

The next morning we arrived at the office as glorified walk-ins and expected to be there for hours. Surprisingly, we were taken back within 15mins. Trina had her vitals taken and was given a gown to change into. I was told I'd have to wait in the room while she had her HSG done in a surgery suite. She was SO nervous because of the violent reactions she had to the 3 IUI's we had done. I hated that she had to go alone. I opened my book and was only 3 pages in when she was back and smiling! I couldn't believe it! I had read that an HSG takes 15-30mins and if she was gone for 15min, it sure didn't feel like it. She handed me a printout of her xrays and showed me her two open tubes. We were ecstatic as we walked back to the lobby to wait for our 2 other "procedures". We barely even sat down before another nurse called her back. We were taken into a room and told that it was time to draw blood. I told the nurse that Trina was a needlephobe and would have to lay down. She didn't seem bothered at all. She hit the vein on the first try and was done in a flash. Trina was amazed at how quick and painless it was. The nurse told us when were ready, we could go into the next room to get the ultrasound. We headed over and once again there was no wait. A nurse came in and told Trina to strip from the waist down and hop on the table. A moment later our RE came in and started the u/s. He explained everything he saw and said Trina has super ovaries with a great egg reserve. We were walking to our car at 8:54. Less than one hour to do 3 procedures as walk-ins. I've never heard of such a thing. We were giddy.

A few hours later his nurse called to see how the appointment went and to remind Trina to call her when she started her period. She said she had ordered our meds based on the test results from that day. Less than 5 min later the pharmacy called to say that our meds would be on our doorstep before 3 the next afternoon. These people do not play around. Never in my life have I seen a medical establishment work so efficiently or politely. Now I know how rock stars must feel. This is definitely our cycle. I just know it. :)

St@rFlight & BFN #9, Part 2: The Hospital

Upon arriving at the hospital, I was whisked into the trauma center. My gurney was surrounded by faces. I listened as my rescuers gave the ER staff a run down of what happened, my injuries and the treatment they had provided so far. Several people started looking me over all at once. There were questions or directions to follow from every angle. "Squeeze my hand" "What's your name" "Move your feet" "Does this hurt, or this or this?" One of the nurses put her hand on my forearm and asked me if I was cold. Her hand felt hot. I was cold, wet and shaking, I just hadn't realized it. They cut off my clothes. Someone offered an apology and said they'd keep me as modest as possible. The nurse who asked if I was cold reappeared with warm blankets. They felt amazing. After the initial assessment, they decided I was safe to move off of the helicopter's gurney and onto one of their beds. I was assured they'd be careful, but as 6 of them got into position and went over what they each would do, my stomach dropped. I was terrified of the pain it would cause. I had good reason. Even though they were as gentle as possible, my chest went into spasm and I was left gasping for air. I didn't know how much more I could take. One of the doctors came over to examine me.  He lifted my injured leg and as he brought my knee towards my chest my hip popped SO loud and thunked back into place. I screamed. A few minutes later I heard him talking to the nurse. He told her where he wanted Xrayed and that he wanted a CT scan of my chest, abdomen & pelvis. She said "You know Dr. X is in charge  tonight, there's no way she'll approve all that." Sure enough, in no time Dr. X was at my bedside explaining to me that although my injuries were painful, they didn't seem overly severe and that she believes a few xrays will tell "us" what we need to know.

A portable xray machine was brought to me and they started taking films of my neck, chest and leg. I heard someone say, "there, at the top of the femur shot, see that? We need a better shot" I thought "Oh shit, I broke my femur!" They took a few more xrays. Dr. X came over to a little while later and told me that I had displaced fracture of the iliac crest, but my ribs and everything else were fine. I couldn't believe it. I would have put good money on a broken rib or two. The pain was so much worse in my chest than in my hip. Every breath was excruciating. Trina arrived at the hospital and I was SO relieved to see that she was safe. In short sentences punctuated by gasps for air, I told her about my hip being broken and how my Dr wanted more tests, but that he was vetoed. She asked me if I needed more pain meds and I told her no, that they'd already given me several shots and nothing helped. I felt worse now than before so what was the point? She called a nurse and told her my pain was getting worse, not better. She said she's find something stronger. I'm not sure what she gave me, but I started losing time after that. Mr. Swimmer showed up at my bedside and asked if I remembered him. I said yes. He asked if I was feeling better. I told him no, the pain was so much worse and I couldn't breathe. He looked worried and told me I didn't look good. He said he'd find my doctor. I'm not sure how long it was, but my Dr came and said that I was going to CT scan. 

Two people I hadn't seen before came to wheel me away. Trina wasn't allowed to come so she went to the waiting room to give the rest of my family an update. By this time I was fading in and out. When my bed stopped I briefly opened my eyes, but my eyelids were so heavy. A man went to lower the rail on my bed but my foot was in the way. He just pushed harder. I kept whispering, "myfoot*gasp*myfoot" but he didn't listen. Finally he realized I was talking to him and moved my foot. He didn't even apologize! The two of them used my sheet as a hammock and just swung me over onto the CT scan table. My chest seized up and my hip was on fire. I couldn't breathe at all and was writhing in pain. As the pain subsided I was able to pant. The woman told me I needed to be more still. I was so angry, but couldn't even form words, I was very close to blacking out. When they were done they came over and the woman told me softly, we're going to move you back now. I told her to just give me a minute, but then faded out again. The pain brought me back, but they must have been a little more careful because it wasn't as intense. 

When I arrived back in the ER, my dad was there. He told me how much I had scared him and that my mom was driving in from Dallas. I said "already?" I didn't realize how much time had passed. The next thing I remember is that the Dr came to give me my CT results. I had 5 broken ribs, my spleen was lacerated and I had two hematomas, one at my broken pelvis and one around my bleeding spleen. He told me I was being moved to ICU and that they would keep an eye on my spleen. He said there was a chance I'd need a blood transfusion or to have my spleen removed if it kept bleeding. Apparently all of my injuries were super painful, but none of them required surgery at that time. 

I must've passed out again, because Trina was with me when I opened my eyes instead of my father. Two nurses from the ICU came to transfer me. They were both so nice. The next 2 days were a blur. I came around occasionally when the nurses would take blood or vitals or when radiology would take my daily chest films. Trina almost never left my side. The ICU nurses never told her to leave when visiting hours were over. If she had to leave to use the restroom she couldn't get back in, but they never actually kicked her out. I thought that was so sweet. I had a parade of visitors come see me and I remember almost none of it. Just little flashes here and there. The 3rd day, my nurse came to tell me that I was now allowed to have liquids. Until then I could only have tiny amounts of water from a sponge on a stick to help with the morphine induced dry mouth. She said she'd have them send up juice and chicken broth. I told her I didn't eat meat. She said "Oh, there's no meat, just broth". I blinked alot... They ended up sending a bowl of what tasted like water that broccoli was boiled in. I couldn't take in much, just a few sips of that and some juice. Unfortunately it didn't stay down for long. Vomitting was SO painful. Everytime my muscles tightened to heave, my chest and hip screamed with pain. It was awful. Later that day a physical therapist came by. She said I needed to start getting out of bed. I thought she was insane. I couldn't even sit up. With her help, I finally made it to the sitting position on the side of the bed. Tears were streaming down my face. It was the first time I'd cried from the pain. She said I didn't have to go any farther, but I hate giving up. With some work and assistance, I got to my feet and shuffled to a chair. She told me to call a nurse in no more that 30min to put me back in bed. Who would've thought that sitting up would be so exhausting? That small feat was my first accomplishment on my road to recovery. That afternoon my lunch of chicken broth and jello arrived. I tried explaining the concept of vegetarian again... Later that day I was transfered to a regular hospital floor.

When I got to my new room, it was dinner time. My nurse asked if I'd eaten. I told her I hadn't and that I was a vegetarian. She said no problem and that I was allowed solid food now. When my tray arrived, I was only mildly surprised to find pepperoni pizza and jello. Apparently "vegetarian" was too hard a concept to grasp even though the ticket on the tray had my name and said the word vegetarian in all caps AND was highlighted. I can see how that would be confusing... We called the nurse to inform her of the mix up and take the tray. She said she'd send down for new food but I told her not to bother. Trina went to the cafeteria to try and find something edible for us. The next day I felt better and stronger than I had since arriving. The physical therapist came and said it was time to walk. It was a pretty frightening thought since the day before sitting up made me cry. I actually did pretty well. Sure I was moving with the speed and grace of an arthritic 85yr old, but I made a half lap around the whole floor. I was quite a sight with my IV pole in tow, crouched over my walker, taking 6 inch halted steps and breathing open mouthed like I was running a marathon. :) I felt so accomplished I even had them set up a shower chair so I could wash the 4 days of funk off my nasty self. Later that night my dad brought me some delicious pizza (sans meat) and I took an after dinner stroll with him. I was on top of the world...for a VERY short time. 

I woke up so nauseous I couldn't see straight. I called the nurse's station to see if I could get some nausea medication. She never came. When I vomited I was really surprised to see the pizza I had eaten 13hrs before. Trina walked out to the nurse's station to tell them that I had never received my meds and that I was vomiting. The nurse didn't seem alarmed that food had stayed in my stomach half a day and was still recognizable. I was sick and cranky all day. To top it off the Dr came in and told me my hemoglobin had been dropping for 5 days straight and if it went down one more point, I would have to have a blood transfusion. He said they'd have to see my numbers "trend up" for several days before releasing me. I ate next to nothing all day. Even drinking water was a chore. That evening Trina finally convinced me to eat some almonds so I could get a little protein. Nearly 9hrs later I threw up almonds and acid. Again I voiced my concern to a nurse about how long food was staying in my stomach before I threw it up. Again I was blown off. For breakfast they brought me eggs and hashed browns with a big slab of fried ham across the top. Trina was furious. She took the tray out to the nurse's station and told them not to bring me any more food, that she'd take care of me herself. A few hours later a nurse came in to tell me my hemoglobin had gone up 4 tenths of a point so I was being discharged. 

I had the worst heartburn of my life. I felt as if every sip of water or nibble of food just displaced that amount of acid out of my stomach and into my throat. I felt worse than the day I arrived. I was sick to my stomach, weak from anemia and low blood sugar and in more pain than ever and they were releasing me. Less than 24hrs earlier a Dr had told me I would have to improve for several days before I was allowed to leave. Even so, I wanted out of there. Trina was taking better care of me than anyone there. She'd had to practically beg for my medication on several occasions, she was the only one making sure I had food that I could eat, she was there night and day keeping me comfortable, helping me to the restroom and being my advocate. 

The 3 hour drive home was awful. My broken bones and sick belly amplified every bump in the road. The turns made my stomach churn and my chest spasm. Going over railroad tracks was murder on my pelvis. On the way home we stopped at a pharmacy. She bought me antacid and stool softeners. The way we saw it, my digestive system had shut down. It had been 6 days since my last bowel movement and nothing I ate stayed down, even the acid was backing up. I cut my pain medication dose down to the bare minimum. I just needed to take the edge off so I could breath. That's no easy feat with 5 broken ribs that click with every inhalation. By the next day I was back on the road to recovery. Food and water going in, waste coming out. It was a beautiful thing. 

My poor wife had to do everything for me in the beginning. I couldn't lay down by myself or get myself out of bed. I could barely walk down the hall without being winded. Getting me in and out of the shower was such a big production that I was only bathing every few days. I had Trina shave my head since I couldn't even lift my arms high enough to touch my head, let alone brush or fix my hair. I'd rather be shorn than limp around with greasy bedhead. She said I was being vane, I just thought I was being logical. I made quick progress those first few weeks. My 3rd day home I was able to completely dress myself, even tying my own shoes. By the 2nd week I was off the walker and only using a cane. I could almost always get myself out of bed in week 3. Week 4 I was able to turn over and sleep on my right side for small amounts of time. I felt a little more independent everyday.

I wish I could say that all was well now, but that's not quite true. My progress has slowed and I've hit a plateau. As my spleen, ribs and pelvis have healed, the pain in my hip joint has gotten worse and worse. I made an appointment with my orthopedic doc and he thinks I may have torn the cartilage in my hip. I have an MRI scheduled for Wed and I'll find out Fri if I need surgery. I guess I have a few more hurdles before this little journey is done. Wish me luck.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

St@rFlight & BFN#9, Part 1.5: Rescue Photos

At one point while we were still in the water and I knew my family was semi-near with the boat, I almost asked Trina to tell them to take pictures. Later, in the hospital, when I told Trina this she looked at me like I was insane. What can I say? I like documentation and THIS was certainly worth documenting. Luckily for me, my family agrees. Both my sister and stepmom took photos during the rescue. Too bad no one picked up my super awesome camera to do it with. :) Here are a few my stepmom took. I don't have copies of my sisters' yet. I may post them later.

To the right of the Sheriff's boat you can see Trina holding me to her chest. She was amazing out there. Truly my hero.

A rescuer standing at the side door of the St@rFlight helicopter.

Mr. Swimmer being lowered into the water.

Below the yellow boat is Mr. Swimmer's yellow helmet. He has me now & Trina is out of the water and safely on the Sheriff's boat.

In the bottom right corner you can see me trying to shield my face from the helicopter's spray. 

Above the red stripe on the boat, my stretcher & legs are just visible.

Mr. Swimmer & more rescuers walking me up the hill the to the waiting helicopter.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

St@r Flight & BFN #9, Part 1: The wreck

It's been approximately forever since my last blog. So much has happened that every time I think about writing, I get overwhelmed. The short version is this. Trina & I were in a jet ski accident. She came out of it with a concussion and some bruising. I was a little worse for wear. I broke some bones and had some minor internal damage. After a 6 day stay in the hospital, Im at home recuperating. Unfortunately, the day we got home we found out Trina wasn't pregnant. Nothing like adding a little insult to injury... For those of you who like all the gory details and have nothing but time on your hands, the very very long version is below. Enjoy. :)

July 25th was our 2nd Annual Lake Day to celebrate mine and my sister's birthdays. We rented a pontoon boat, 2 jet skis, each brought food for our pot luck picnic lunch and a good time was had by all. The day was going great. After Trina and I ate our lunch we went out on separate jet skis for the first time. She was pretty nervous going solo so I was trying to stay kind of close and keep her in my line of sight. This is where my memory gets a little fuzzy. I remember being out in front and thinking I'd probably left her behind. I looked over my shoulder to see where see was and saw a flash of red. The next thing I knew I was under water and there were bubbles swirling around me like a tornado. I very calmly thought "Hmmm, I have no idea which way is up. Oh well, if I do nothing I'll eventually float..." So I did nothing. When my head broke the surface of the water, I went to take in a big breath of air. Nothing happened. My lungs were ignoring me. I started to panic, but I told myself I probably just got the wind knocked out of me. It takes a second to breath normally after that. That's when I heard Trina. I couldn't really make out her words, but I knew she was scared. She seemed really far away. I wanted to get her attention so she'd come over to me and I could calm her down. I opened my mouth and out came "ican'tbreathe*gasp*ican'tbreathe"  Hmmm, THAT'S not gonna calm her down. Apparently my brain and my mouth weren't really communicating. She made her way over to me and I did my best to repair the damage I'd done. "it'sok*gasp*i'mfine*gasp*" She looked at me incredulously. "You're NOT fine! You can't breathe! Oh my god, don't die!" I did my best to assure her I wasn't dying, that I only got the wind knocked out of me. I didn't think my soft voice and nasty habit of  gasping every 3rd word was helping my case and frankly, talking was exhausting, so I just closed my eyes and focused on breathing.

As I laid there, just letting my life jacket hold me up I realized the gentle rocking caused by the waves was making my hip click. That couldn't be good. I started doing a mental inventory of myself. I could breath a little better, but my chest was killing me. The left side of my face felt funny. Kind of tingly. I touched it with my fingers and it didn't hurt, I looked at my hand, no blood. Oh well, should be fine. Occasionally I'd apologize to Trina for scaring her or tell her everything was going to be ok or lift my head to kiss her cheek or forehead, but it never had the desired effect. She'd just tell me to quit apologizing or remind me not to die. 
In the meantime, a pontoon boat was headed our way. The guys onboard had seen the crash out of the corner of their eyes and when we didn't get back on, they figured something was wrong. They threw Trina a rope and asked if we were ok. She told them about my chest pain & difficulty breathing. One guy radioed for help while the other put their ladder down and asked if we thought we could get on the boat. I told Trina there was no way I could make it up a ladder. They told us to stay put and assured us that help was on the way. I closed my eyes and just let the jacket hold me. It was painful and exhausting holding my head up and trying to stay more vertical.

A big Sherif's boat came but only had one woman officer and no backboard. She was very nice and apologized to us for having to stay in the water a while longer until more help could come. I was thinking, thank god I don't have to get out yet. I knew in my heart that when they pulled me out and I had to deal with gravity I was in BIG trouble. I must've looked unconscious because the Sherif kept quietly asking Trina how I was doing or loudly telling me I needed to stay awake. I'd tell them I was fine without ever lifting up or opening my eyes. In hindsight I'm not sure how reassuring that was to them. Unbeknownst to me, Trina was now holding onto a rope from the Sherif's boat with one hand and my lifevest with the other. The gentlemen on the pontoon boat were helping set up a perimeter to keep us shielded from other boats and such. The lake started getting really choppy and the sherif's boat was bucking up and down. I remember thinking we were going to get sucked under. I was having a hard time floating limp and being mentally "checked out" due to the fact that water kept splashing over my face. Trina ended up dropping the rope and positioning me in front of her laying my head back on her shoulder. I told her I loved her and checked out again. 

I vaguely remember the sherif talking to another boat about a helicopter. It didn't click that they had called St@rFlight. I didn't really think I was in that bad a shape. Apparently I was the only one under that impression. Someone told me to cover my face to block the spray the blades would cause. I'm not sure if I opened my eyes or not, but it must not have looked like it registered because they started instructing Trina to block both my face and hers. 

The next thing I knew there was a man in the water with me. He introduced himself to me and told me he was my rescue swimmer. It took me a minute to realize that Trina was gone and this man was holding me up by the shoulders on my life vest. He asked me how I was doing and I told him I'd been better. He asked a lot of questions and I answered them to the best of my ability. I told him about the pain in my chest and hip. Breathing was really starting to be a challenge. He started quietly relaying my answers and asking about a floating backboard. I thought "who is he talking to? He's not yelling to the boats behind us...  Ah, a mike in his helmet." I was really getting slow on the uptake. I started wondering how the electronics worked in the water and other silly things. He seemed to be arguing with someone but I wasn't really concerned. As long as I stayed limp and off in lala land the pain wasn't unbearable. He told me the helicopter was coming back to drop off a floating backboard and that they'd have me out of the water soon. I'm sure he meant it in a comforting way, but I was REALLY not looking forward to dry land. 

Things started happening pretty fast after that. The helicopter came back and I was choked by the water it sprayed in my face. That was the first time I realized I was unable to cough or clear my throat or even blow my nose. Somehow the the floating backboard they dropped made it's way to us. I'm sure someone else must've been in the water for at least that short time because my guy never let me go. He started giving me instructions so I had to "wake up" and pay attention. He told me to drape my arms over & hold onto what looked like a big red pillow. Having that thing pull my arms up and press against my chest was excruciating. I barely heard anything else he said, I couldn't breathe through the pain. I felt the back board come up behind me. He told me he was going underwater but that he'd be right back. I felt straps looping around my ankles, hips and chest. Starting at the bottom then moving up, he tightened them in small increments. I thought "Oh shit, here it comes". The closer my legs came together  & the more pressure those straps put on my hips and chest, the worse the pain got. I was panting shallow and fast through gritted teeth trying to get oxygen. I knew I was hyperventilating and tried to slow my breathing. It worked somewhat. Mr. Swimmer came back above the water and asked me how I was doing. I'm not sure what my response was. He went on to explained that they were going to hoist me onto a boat and it would take me to land where I'd get on the helicopter. I was getting ON the helicopter? For some reason it never occurred to me that the helicopter was there for more than just dropping off my guy and the backboard. I didn't bother to ask any questions because I knew he had a job to do and I didn't want to make it harder on him. My eyes were squeezed shut and I was desperately trying to find my happy place so I'm not sure how we made it over to the boat. I looked up and saw "Fire and Rescue" painted on the side. I thought "Huh, I wonder when this boat got here, I thought he was talking about the Sherif's boat". There were lots of guys talking over each other so I couldn't understand what they were saying, not that I was really trying. Mr. Swimmer told me to hold onto the red pillow thingy and not let go, that they were going to lift me up. As soon as they started I had lightening bolts of pain shooting through my chest and hip. I couldn't deal. As they hoisted me up and I was bumped and shifted around I became aware that someone was saying "f*ckf*ckf*ckf*ck" over and over. Oh wait, that was me. I stopped and tried to breath, I couldn't. I said "icantbreathe*gasp*ican'tbreathe". A man told the others that my head was lower than my feet and that I needed to be moved. More shifting, more pain, but breathing did become a little easier. The boat took off. The waves were jarring me making me hurt all over. I found that I was moaning and making little "huh" sounds every time I exhaled. I didn't make any effort to stop though, I was too worn out. Someone held a hat over my eyes so I wasn't staring into the sun. I asked him his name. He looked down at me surprised but told me. I thanked him by name and shut my eyes again. Then someone was holding my hand, it felt nice. I looked up to see it was Mr. Swimmer. He apologized for the bumpy ride and promised the helicopter would be much more smooth. He said he'd give me pain meds as soon as we were airborne. I was really beginning to like this guy. The boat came to a stop and I was lifted up. More bumping, swaying and pain. 

I opened my eyes for a second to see myself sliding into the back of a helicopter. I had the odd thought that I'd never seen a door at the back of a helicopter. Mr. Swimmer was right, the ride was smooth. He sat next to me and checked me over as best as he could with me being strapped down and wearing a life vest. Another man was asking me questions about where I hurt. I told him about my chest and hip and denied back, neck or belly pain. He put a neck brace on me, then taped an oxygen mask to the brace so that it was about an inch off my face. I had a claustrophobic moment and had to talk myself out of panicking. I wanted to ask about my wife and if my family knew where I was going, but stopped myself. These guys were busy trying to help me and probably didn't know the answers anyway. It was hard not to babble, but I managed to just focus on breathing and only speaking when spoken to. Mr. Swimmer gave me a shot of Fent@nyl for the pain. It burned like fire which distracted me from the pain in my chest and hip, but didn't do much else. I closed my eyes and tried unsuccessfully to drift away. I don't know how long the trip was, but just when the pain from being jostled and moved around started to wear off, the helicopter landed. 

Stay tuned for Part 2: The Hospital

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Wedding, An ER and My 31st Birthday & Insemination#9...FUN!

The last few weeks have been busy busy for us. We spent the 11th-19th in Indiana for Trina's brother's wedding. Unfortunately, I forgot my phone charger and it died 3 days after we got there. The next day, her mom's computer bit the dust. Goodbye 21st century communication technologies... :( Luckily for me there was always something to do to keep my mind off of the withdrawals. Bachelorette party, going out with friends, beer pong (i spectated), dancing (more spectating), karaoke (definitely spectated!), shooting pool, dress fittings, boat rides, family get togethers, wedding rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, setting up for the reception, the actual wedding & reception, tearing down the reception name it, we did it! The wedding was beautiful, the food was great and my wife was a STUNNING bride's maid. 

The 'big day" was also our last day in town. After a brief 3hrs of sleep we headed to the airport to come home. I was REALLY looking forward to the day and a half of rest before heading back to work. I needed a vacation from my vacation! That didn't really happen. 5min after we walked in the door we were back in the car headed to the veterinary ER with my big dog, Bradley. His front left foot and leg were so swollen it looked like they would pop. He was having trouble walking and seemed lethargic. After inspecting him, I saw that half of his large pad was missing and he was raw and infected up to his dew pad. We still don't know what started it all. Possibly insect/spider bite or trauma? What we do know is his affinity for turning small wounds into large, nasty ones by constantly licking and worrying them. 2 ER visits, $750 and 4 days later he's finally starting to eat and begin healing. It'll take weeks for him to regrow his pad and to be able to walk comfortably again. Until then we have to medicate him, do daily hydrotherapy and bandage changes and keep him from losing the ground we're gaining by messing with it. That dog's gonna be the end of me I swear!

Monday, the full day of my "day and a half off"  before returning to work, was my 31st birthday. The first half was spent back in the ER with Brad who decided not to eat or move or really respond to us all night. The second half was spent worrying about Brad and his turn for the worse. Trina insisted that we still go to dinner with my friends at my very favorite restaurant then to have cake at my very favorite cafe as planned. Their cake is legendary and 
she had ordered a whole amazing carrot cake and I was stoked about it. When it became apparent that dinner was running later than expected, she excused herself to go pick up the cake so we could eat it at the restaurant. She came back furious and empty handed. They sold my cake. Apparently the person who took the order didn't put the "date of pick up" on it and when someone asked them if they had a whole carrot cake, they just took the order form off of it and handed it over! They wouldn't have another one until Wednesday. She was so angry that her hands were shaking. She had to put aside the chop sticks and stab at her food with a fork. I was bummed about having to wait 2 more days for my birthday cake, but I was having good food with good friends and had the best wife a gal could ever ask for by my side. Not exactly a picturesque night, but when does real life ever go as planned? Not often in my world anyway. 

In TTC news, I ordered a speculum, ok, a pack of 10, but I have a good excuse! I found a single speculum for $10 plus $5 S&H on one site and the pack of 10 was only $11 including shipping on another site. By the by, anyone in need of a plastic disposable speculum?? :) We have not mastered the art of deciphering "cervical texture, opening & position" by feel alone. Being able to visually check in on her cervical goings ons has been amazing. I highly recommend this site for anyone who has questions regarding their cervix. Anyway, we were worried that the trip to Indiana was going to eliminate our TTC chances for this cycle but our bad luck in every other part of life culminated in one good karmic turn. We got back 3 days before she ovulated. We were able to inseminate Monday and Tuesday and, according to her BBT and cervix, she ovulated on Tues. Our impeccable timing and speculum aided sperm placement just HAS to raise our chances this time around, don't you think? 

Monday, July 6, 2009

Saturday, July 4, 2009

13DPO and counting...

Thursday Trina's temp took a major dip and my mood dipped with it.  That night a spot of blood. We cried and held each other and mourned another cycle's passing us by. Friday, to my great surprise, her temp jumped back up and brought with it a bloodless day. What is this? A tease? A fluke? This morning brought another high temp. I'm not sure what to think. I'd already accepted this BFN and now hope is edging in. I'm doing my best to tell myself that reaching 13DPO nearly free of blood and low temps is the work of progesterone alone and not our elusive BFP. Tomorrow we test. I can't even explain the ball of anxiety I'm carrying around in my gut today. Is there a light at the end of this tunnel or is that just headlamp of the BFN train headed my way? 

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

10 days & Waiting...

The first week of our 8th TWW flew by without a second thought on my part. This second week is dragging by at a speed I can only assume defies the laws of time itself. Somewhere along the line, Trina and I have let ourselves move from being shoulder shrugging "we'll see" to cautiously optimistic "just maybe..." to down right giddy "we're totally pregnant". Here are a few things that have led us down this happy but possibly soul shatteringly wrong path. She's had nausea and mood swings for 4 days. The last 2 days her BBT has risen, leaving us the beginnings of a triphasic chart. Thurs she bought 5 lemons and 5 limes out of the blue because she REALLY needed something sour and yesterday her boobs started to hurt. I'm aware that all of the aforementioned "pregnancy symptoms" can be explained away by progesterone supplementation and PMS, but it sure has been fun to dream. 

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Trina has EWCM, ferny spit & a smiling ovulation stick. It's time. :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Spotting on 10 DPO

Trina had some spotting tonight. The pessimist in me thinks it's probably just an early start to her period, but the little bit of optimism I have is hoping it's implantation spotting. As of yesterday her temperature hadn't dipped in the least. Unfortunately our power blinked last night so her BBT alarm didn't go off resulting in today's temperature being unknown. Kind of frustrating, but we'll have answers in the morning. I haven't had a ton of hope for this cycle and my expectation has dropped even lower these last few days as Trina's PMS symptoms have reared their ugly head but, as always, a glimmer of hope remains. Here's to high mercury come sun up.

A few days ago my very good friends found out they are having twin boys so we spent over an hour picking out cute baby things to fill a congratulations basket. It was bittersweet, as always, to shop for someone else's babies. We did enjoy seeing all of the "new & improved" selections that are now available for our future baby. It was fun to pick things out for "when we get pregnant". It was nice to daydream. 

For those of you who are planning to see the new Plxar film Up, let me warn you that Trina cried through the first 15 minutes of it. This is partly because of her hormones and partly because we were blindsided with the topics of infertility and death. It was a really good movie, we just weren't prepared for the subject matter to be so deep a few minutes in. After the initial punch in the gut, the rest of the show is fun and carefree for the most part. 

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pincushions and Change of Plans

Wed Trina had her first acupuncture appointment. Everything went pretty well considering she's a hardcore needlephobe. :) She had some anxiety and a few waves of dizziness, but made it through. She was exhausted for the rest of the day. Our acupuncturist was great. She took a very detailed patient history and commented on some of the very things I've brought up to my OB only to have him dismiss them as trivial or nonexistent. I'm really glad we went and am starting to regret not going sooner in our TTC journey. Live and learn.

At our last post-BFN OB visit, our Doc said he'd like to do a follicle scan and possible trigger shot this cycle. I'm all for the scan, but don't think the trigger is necessary. We'll see. After counting days we realized that Memorial Day would interfere with the timing. Our ovulation would most likely coincide with their 4 day weekend. Ah well, after some discussion we decided to take a break this cycle. That way, we would have 4 acupuncture appointments under our belt, save a little money to pay for the scan and be ready to go next cycle. Well... After a few days Trina started getting really sad about being on a break so we compromised and got one vial. This cycle has no Cl0mid, one acupuncture appt and only one ICI. Here's rooting for the underdog. :)