Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Adieu, beloved coffee!

I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but my sister-in-law is a world class, rock star surgeon out in San Francisco. She’s young, but is considered one of the best in the country—to the tune of getting selected among 10 doctors in her specialty to sit on a government panel to make national recommendations for treatment. And she has a patent. For cancer research she did while she was in med school, for peet’s sake. She also has a pilot’s license. She’s pretty much way-cooler than I.

But, while she is a total rock star doctor, she almost never gives medical advice. She’s as humble as she is talented, and she’s very careful not to inject her thoughts and opinions into conversations. That is, unless she feels SO strongly about them that she really feels it’s necessary. In fact, in all of the time I’ve known her, I’ve heard her give emphatic medical advice to members of our family exactly three times.

The first was when my father’s doctor wasn’t advising a pros*tate biopsy after results from a borderline blood test. She insisted he get one. At her hospital in SF. She was right—it came back positive, and now he has the best care in the world with her colleagues.

The second was when a family friend (who had severe endometriosis removed last year) was going in for a C-section. The woman’s OB saw something on her ovaries and recommended removing the ovary in case it was cancer. SIL insisted that she or a colleague she trusted deeply be involved in the surgery because she was convinced it was not cancer (she had performed the endometriosis surgery last year so knew of what she spoke). Turns out she was right again. It wasn’t cancer, the surgery went well, and the woman’s ovary (and chances at a second child) were saved.

The third was this weekend. I was telling SIL about what we’re going through with IF. And about my experiences with Dismissivo and our clinic. And about the fact that we were going to take a break and look around for someone else before we moved on to IVF, etc.

The first thing she said to me was, “well, have you cut out caffeine.” She knows, of course, that I haven’t—as evidenced by the multi-day trips to Pe*et’s coffee from her apt. while we were in SF. (mmmmmm….Pe*ets.) She’s just too nice to say, “stop drinking caffeine, dumkopf!”

I of course had to say, no, I hadn’t cut it out. But that I had reduced my intake to half-caffs and only had one (okay fine, sometimes two) per day. Interestingly, she told me that, while the studies on the effects of caffeine on fertility were mixed, she strongly suggested that I cut it out completely while we were trying. She said I could have green tea while I was transitioning off it, but that I shouldn’t have anything else. No soda. No coffee. Not even decaf.

Needless to say, as a coffee LOVER and a caffeine addict, I pushed back quite a bit. “But, I don’t actually drink that much. And, I thought that even the studies that showed that there was only a concern for more than 200mg/day?”

SIL wisely told me, “Sticky, this isn’t my specialty, so it’s definitely worth talking with someone else about this. But, I know the impact that caffeine has on the body. It can do really weird things—it causes hormone surges, and can cause problems that seem totally unrelated that go away when people stop drinking it. If you really want to give this a go on your own for a couple of months, I’d cut it out. Completely.”

As I said, she almost never states anything that emphatically. So that she did tells me that she really thinks this is worth doing. So, while it PAINS me to do it, I think I’m going to have to cut out my beloved coffee in the morning if I really want to give our break a go.

Damnit! IF just keeps taking from us, doesn’t it?

In addition to the unwelcome* caffeine advice, SIL also asked around for recommendations for other REs. She has a few good leads, so I have an appointment with one RE on the 23rd for a consultation. I checked out this clinic and the other that she recommended, and their IVF success rates are fabulous. So, unless I go there and learn something really horrendous, I’d say that we’ll be switching clinics before we do anything else.

Unfortunately, I have to wait almost two months before I can even get an appointment with the doctor that SIL recommended most highly. He makes everyone get a day 3 blood draw before the first consultation appointment (even if they’ve had it done before). And, you need to wait a full month after stopping any hormone treatment before you can get the blood drawn. And then he books 4-6 weeks out. Good grief! But, if he’s the best, I guess we’ll have to do what we have to do.

In the meantime, I’m just waiting for AF to show her ugly mug to officially close out this cycle so that we can get started on what Adrienne (Max's Mommy) aptly dubbed a "DIY cycle". I didn’t realize that it took a while after stopping progest*erone for AF to finally arrive. Guess the stuff works after all, huh?

*Okay, it’s not unwelcome. I really value her thoughts. I’m just being a big baby because I love my coffee. *sigh*


Erin said...

It's a sad, sad day. At least you had a farewell weekend with your other love, Peet.

For what it's worth, my new acupuncturist backs up your rock star surgeon SIL.

Belly Laughs said...

Does the same apply for CHOCOLATE??

Ms. Planner said...

Ha ha. IF is a selfish effing beast. Just keeps taking and taking. I can only imagine what Gaelan at Pregnancy Envy would have drawn for this post (Big IF monster hoarding bags of your Peets).

Not to rain on the parade but decaf still has significant quantities of caffeine, too. Sigh. I feel your pain Sticky.

cheers, Ms. Planner

Carrie said...

Not all coffee. Surely not.
I started drinking organic decaf (incase the usual decaf chemicals were toxic?) but not even that. Sigh.
Sometimes I wonder how much harder this journey could get. And then I stop 'cause the answer is way too scary!
Sorry your SIL has stamped on your fun BUT I do think she may have a point.
Tea anyone?

Kate said...

I really want to know the answer to belly laugh's chocolate question! Reading this makes me realize that I need to stop having my occasional sips of coffee and switch to green tea. Thanks for the reminder and good luck with the new clinic!

LIW (Lady In Waiting) said...

IF is torture, there's no doubt about it.

Sounds like you will have to compenate with other tasty treats. Do you have a good bakery nearby? You can't deny yourself of one of your loves and not compensate with another. You still have to live, damnit!

Dianne/Flutter said...

I feel your pain. My coffee...well it is a daily consoliation prize. Wishing you much will power!

Mary Ellen and Steve said...

I feel your pain. I have to tell you though that iced green tea is really good though. I am addicted.

Tam said...

Hey there sweetie, first of all, sorry this cycle was a BFN...Hugs xxx About the coffee thing, my reflexologist says that I should cut out coffee too, she is if I absolutely have to then I can have one cup a day...that's hard. She says that green tea's also have loads of caffiene, unless they say say caffiene free, rooibos is too acidic (for me and my hostile CM), so she says it's water, a tea called "honeybush" or watered down fruit juice - not that i'm ever thirsty anymore as I have to increase my water intake to 2.5 - 3 litres a day whilst doing my IVF - according to my clinic. Oh the joys!!

Pattycake said...

Aaah caffiene, one of my favorite topics. I love it and OMG I got so sick when I cut out caffiene for IF. I was prepared for the headaches but not the stomach aches. I don't recommend quitting cold turkey. It was one rough week. Luckily, It sounds like you are not drinking as much as I was ...

Your SIL's advice reminds me of an article in this weeks Newsweek (I think it was Newsweek) that I read at the airport about hope for infertiles. The article basically talked about trends to change your diet and use other TCM methods w/ART or w/out ART to achieve pregnancy, but the article started with a woman saying she quit her six can a day diet coke habit and got pregnant naturally after failed ART methods.....

Sarah said...

how nice to get free rockstar medical advice in the family. good luck with the coffee hiatus.

Baby Blues said...

If it will make you feel better, I'll join you. Your sister got me conviced! I will stop drinking coffee and soda, which is like telling me to totally stop drinking at all. I hope I can do this.

Reproductive Jeans said...

Well Ill join you in saying fairwell, OK? I am going to wait until after my b-day next Friday, but then bye-bye coffee. Sad, sad, sad...but we will support each other!!

Laura, the (reluctant) baroness said...

Thanks for the post. I've made half-hearted attempts in the past to cut caffeine completely out, but have been happier with my "reduced" intake. I LOVE COFFEE! I LOVE LATTES! I LOVE DIET COKE! Nothing goes better with 6AM and a newspaper than the delicious ambrosia others call coffee. When things get rough, the caffeine loaded drinks perk me up. But, in my heart-of-hearts, I know I need to make this change. I've made sooo many other sacrifices for IF, I guess it doesn't make not to do something so (theoretically) simple. So, I will commit today to making this change. WE CAN DO IT!!!

Congrats on picking a new RE!

Caro said...

Ok ok I'm convinced. but no de-caf either. Arrrgh I was thinking that was ok.

Nicole said...

I am over here from Baby Blues after she announced that she was no longer drinking coffee. So I had to see what all the fuss was about. Very interesting. I will be so sad to stop my coffee habit, so sad.

Portia P said...

Hi there

I also followed over from Baby Blues's site.

I've also heard the stuff about caffeine - didn't know that I should be watching chocolate too though!

I've only stopped the caffeine when i'm in treatment and then kept it low in between. Maybe it's time to give it up for good....the giving up stuff is the worst thing about IF.

Once you've been without coffee for a while you do get used to drinking other stuff. Roibos (Red bush tea) is quite nice - and caffeine free.