Well… we’ve run into another roadblock.
Like we mentioned earlier, we met with the surgeon who will be performing the next procedure, Dr. Hotaling. Just to keep with protocol, he had Jason get some blood work done since it had been a little while since some thing had been checked, including his testosterone. Shockingly, Jason’s testosterone levels came back extremely low–26. Our doctor was really concerned about this. Normal levels are around 300-400s. 26 is obviously not good and was very troubling for Jason’s overall health. Seeing how every time Jason’s testosterone has always been normal (the low-end of normal, but still normal) Dr. Foulk had the tests rerun just in case it was a fluke. The second test came in higher but still way low–128.
Not surprisingly, we need to get Jason’s testosterone levels back in the correct range before we can continue. If we were to do the micro-dissection TESE now we would only have a 35% chance of success. The correct range will jump the success chances to 70%. So they’re changing Jason to a more aggressive medication plan that he’ll be on for the next 2-3 months and depending on how that goes we will determine if we can schedule the procedure or need to wait some more.
What happened to drop those levels? We’re not entirely sure. Jason has been on shots for 9 months now that supports healthy testosterone levels which promote healthy sperm production. We know the shots were working because we saw good results. But apparently Jason’s body has gotten used to the shots and he is no longer responding to them. There’s not really a way to tell if he stopped responding recently or if it’s been a while. Everything was in order when Jason had his second PESE/TESE back in November. It’s possible that affected our retrieval in December but we can’t know for sure.
Needless to say…we’re cranky. Yet another unforeseeable problem, another heart wrenching delay. But we’re optimistic and focusing on the silver lining. Now we have more time to save money for the procedure (P.S. yay for big ol’ tax returns–ours will pretty much cover the cost of the micro-dissection! woo hoo!) and now Jason won’t have to take off time during the last few weeks of his intense senior project. He also got a new job that starts on Monday (more on that later!) so it’ll be a positive to not ask for a bunch of time off right after he starts there.
You’d think with all the problems we’ve been having we would give up and look at different options. Why not move on to adoption, sperm donors, or accept living as a childless couple? We have our reasons, which we will be discussed in detail in an upcoming post. But the bottom line is that we still feel at peace with this choice. We still feel very strongly that this will work and we will have our own biological child. And honestly? After all the time and money we’ve invested in this, a tiny bit of us is stubborn and we can’t bear the thought of giving up when we’re so close.