From my obsessive Googling, I've discovered that acupuncture may not only help with implantation but, more importantly in the light of my recent experiences, may also encourage follicle stimulation and improve the quality of the endometrium. Having overcome my squeamishness about needles, I decided that it was perhaps time to give it a shot (no pun intended!).
I had my first consultation yesterday, having discovered that there is a large training college situated just fifteen minutes walk from my house, which offers treatment at reduced rates.
I was seen first by two second year students, who went through a standardised questionnaire with me. I was asked to outline my symptoms, and then to describe how they effected me on a day-to-day basis. What effect did they have on my emotional state? Looking into the future, how would I feel if I was still experiencing the same symptoms in five years' time?
I pondered this one for a minute. At the moment, I cannot see an end to this. I cannot fast-forward to some fantasy point in the future where everything has worked out and we finally have our longed-for child. But equally, I cannot bring myself to think that the time may come when we have explored every treatment option, and are having to learn to live with involuntary childlessness. How might I feel in five years time? Bitter, angry, dejected and exhausted, were just a few of the adjectives that came to mind. My eyes filled with tears. 'What you're describing is a chronic condition,' said one of the students, gently. It was at that point that I decided that maybe they might actually be able to grasp something of the impact of infertility.
We were then joined by a third-year student, who led the consultation, and by a training supervisor. There was a slightly disconcerting moment where I was asked to stick out my tongue, and all four of them gathered round to stare at it, and then the third year student and the training supervisor asked me a number of questions about the various treatments, tests and diagnoses we've had so far, and then a series of more detailed questions about my menstrual cycle. I'd also taken my BBT charts from the last six months with me, which the supervisor seemed particularly interested in.
Where Dr Abrupt appears to see only a malfunctioning uterus & ovaries, the acupuncturists seemed to see a whole person; they listened to my body differently. I am to go back next week for my first treatment, but at the moment feel very positive at having taken this step.
I walked home through the park. York is enjoying a spell of unseasonably warm weather at the moment, to the point where I could take my coat off and carry it with me. It is somehow easier to be optimistic when the sun is shining and the first snowdrops have appeared, and so I resolved to try to leave all the negative feelings associated with the cancelled IVF/failed IUI behind me, and to focus on moving forward to the next cycle.