Monday, November 14, 2011

Bulging Eyeballs Could Be Attractive

This was me last week...and while I could tell you this whole story in about three sentences, I am not going to because I'm home alone, sitting in front of a cozy fireplace and feel like writing.  Lucky you!

Several months ago, (yes, we're starting way back there) I had bloodwork done post IUI and Nurse Devil-bra (Debra to those who like Satan) called me with this frantic message: "Your progesterone is low.  I have already called in Prometrium for you.  I need you to go right now and pick it up at the pharmacy.  Take one pill immediately, another around six and then again at bedtime.  Take it three times a day."  It was already one or two o'clock so for her to sound so desperate for me to get three doses in that day kind of scared me.  I was new to this wretched game!

I had no idea what Prometrium did or what a normal Progesterone level was.  (I believe when I finally got some answers, I was told mine had come back at 8.)  I didn't know anything about it at all though, because this was literally ALL the information I was given.  I picked up the meds, took it as prescribed and then did a little research.  That's when I found out that it's actually better to take it vaginally instead of orally.  It was Friday afternoon, Devil-bra had already gone for the day and I was stuck to wonder all weekend long about what I should do.  On Monday, I called first thing and left a message.   She called me 9 hours later to let me know she was really trying to get out of there and what was it I needed? I told her I was wondering how I should take the medicine because I had read online (don't you HATE saying that to medical personnel?) that taking it via suppository was more effective than orally because it goes directly to the source, not just increasing the hormone in your blood.  Her response was, "Well, I guess.  We've had a lot of LUCK with our patients taking it orally but if you're having a lot of side effects, you can take it the other way."  Luck?  I don't want luck....I want my best case scenario for success demon woman!  So that's what I did.  Suppository.  Didn't love it, but I did it.

Now, fast forward to our BFN from that cycle.  She calls, tells me what I already know about the negative and I asked her what to do about the progesterone supplement.  She said, "Oh stop taking that, you'll get your period and then call us and we'll set up your next cycle."  End of convo.  Four days later, when I still hadn't started, I was freaked out thinking we actually had a BFP and maybe they had it all wrong.  Again, me = uneducated.  So, I called back.  She finally called back and said, "Oh, yes.  You'll start soon.  Prometrium delays your period by about a week usually."  My response was something like, "I had no idea because NO ONE TOLD ME THAT!!!!!!!"  She made some type of dismissal about relaxing and not getting discouraged about failing to conceive after only two IUI's.  I hung up FURIOUS.  Such an emotional rollercoaster.

So, fast forward to recent months and our other failed attempts.  I've had my progesterone levels checked and turns out, the last time, they were pretty normal but Dr. S (new and fab doctor) told me to take it anyway.  I took it as the bottle directed, three times a day for two weeks.  I noticed during this time, I started having blurry vision here and there and these weird shooting pains through my eyeball.  It was really odd.  Nothing I was too concerned about, but uncomfortable and weird nonetheless.  I never mentioned it.

This past IUI was completed and Dr. S asked me if we had any Prometrium left.  I had Rik dig out the bottle and we went over the dosage.  She told me NOT to take it three times a day, just once per day.  Via suppository, not orally because it's more effective that way.  I could have kissed her.  

So, I started taking it again.  After a few days, I noticed my eye was hurting like before.  Not just a little bit, but a lot of bit.  So bad that I was telling anyone within ear shot that my eyeball was killing me!  I felt like someone was pushing something about the size of a pencil into my left eye right above the tear duct.  Very uncomfortable!  I couldn't figure it out!

I started stressing about it a wee bit.  What if this is a side effect to some of my meds?  What if I detached my retina trying to go to the bathroom after my laparoscopy?  I mean, I was considering everything at that point.  Then I had an epiphany.  I could check the interwebz for an answer!

When I got to work, I checked for possible side effects and sure enough, listed under Prometrium's side effects was "Pain behind the eyes, blurry vision, etc".  I copied it, sent it to Rik and said "AHA MOMENT!" without another thought.  I was just happy I knew the WHAT of the pain.

Rik wrote me back and said, "Call your doctor now, please".  Weird response....why?  So, I went back and re-read what I had sent him.  I had only looked at the side effects, saw the words "pain" and "eye" and was happy.  I missed the whole, "If you experience any of the following severe side effects, please stop taking this medication and call your medical provider immediately" part.  So, I called Dr. S's nurse and left a sheepish message about weird side effects and my eye pain. As if I don't already feel like an idiot every time I'm in there or talking to them, now I have to talk about my eye falling out of my head.

After talking to the nurse and hearing how baffled she was, I felt really silly.  I hadn't taken the medicine that day and was really starting to wonder if I should because technically to me, a little (lotta) eye pain was worth it if it was going to help our situation!  The nurse said she was going to talk to Dr. S and call me back.

Finally, on my way home from work, Dr. S calls me from her cell phone (did I mention I love this woman?) and asks me some questions.  She ends up saying that she did read that the eye pain was a rare side effect and bulging eyes had been reported in a few rare cases but in all her years of practice, she had never seen it in any of her patients.  Of course she hadn't.....urgh.  She told me to stop taking the medication immediately because by that time, if we were preggers, implantation had already occurred and that's what it was so important for anyway.  I thanked her, we got off the phone and then what she said registered with me...... BULGING EYES!?!?  BULGING EYES!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!

I literally started to wonder how long the Prometrium would stay in my system and could it continue to cause the eye pain, pressure, blurry vision business and what was the the likelihood that I would end up looking like Sponge Bob Squarepants before it got any better!?

Thank GOD that didn't happen and my eyes have remained in my head, in their sockets where they belong sans pain.  No medicine, no pain.  I cannot tell you how relieved I have been.  I 100% do NOT want to meet my future child looking like Mr. Squarepants.  The kid will be traumatized enough just having me as a mother, let's not add insult to injury here.


  1. Wow that nurse sounds like a real treat! :( I can't help but laugh about the bulging eye thing. It's not funny by any means, but I just kept picturing spongebob. I SOOOO hate mentioning to medical professionals "I read it online..." because you know they want to just roll their eyes! haha Their bulging eyes :)

  2. I have to say I did laugh at this and not just at the bulging eyes but if a weird side effect/symptom could happen it would be to you or I!!

  3. first off, your nurse sounds like a wicked witch. i'm sorry you have to deal with her. secondly, whoa! i had no idea that was a side effect of prometrium. i'm glad you called the doctor and that you're ok!

  4. Dude! That is crazy. You registered it exactly how I would, after the fact. I would have hung up the phone and been all 'great, all's well........wait a minute...WTF!'.
    I am really hoping your eyes stay right where they belong.

  5. Whoa, what a weird side effect. I have NEVER heard of that. I'm glad you were able to figure it out and get the problem stopped before you became Squarepants. Yikes!