The Brown Paper Bag

Beneath my bathroom sink, there lives a brown paper bag. The contents of which were too large to fit in my mirrored medicine cabinet. It’s been residing there for the past four-plus years, maybe seeing the light of day once. Okay … twice, when I organized everything in that bathroom sink cabinet.

The only other time I took it out, was about two years ago. At that time I was debating what to do with all the syringes, needles and vials of medication that inhabited that brown paper bag. The first thought that came to mind was to donate its contents to the physician’s office of whom originally prescribed such medication to me. But then I thought of the last time I had been to his office, and memories came flooding back; quite like a tsunami hitting the coast of an otherwise tropically calm shore.

I thought of how many months I stuck myself in the thigh with those needles to deliver those extra doses of hormones. And I thought of those times I made sure I gave myself the injection at around the same time each night. I even thought about the small bag that contained my “supplies” that I carried on those nights when we knew we would be spending much time with family; for young cousin’s birthday party, or another relative’s baby shower, or a baptism where Hubby & I would be named as Godparents.

I thought of the multiple trips I took during a given week in my cycles to get poked for blood. And thought of how many times I had “dates” with the Ultrasound Technician and her “magical wand.”

And finally, I thought about the multiple trips I took to three separate specialists office at different times in my life. The first of which fed me month after month of Clomid for a year; which now I wish I would have questioned earlier. The second that thought by doing a laparotomy followed by six months of Lupron would jump-start my system. And then put me on more than 8 months of medicated cycles; and after each cycle told me that this month, with the changes of medications or dosages in these injectable meds, that “this would be the month.” And whenever I brought up the idea of doing an IUI or an IVF cycle, pooh-poohed my thoughts. And finally, the last specialist who actually listened to me. And ran just a few more tests on me to diagnose me as “insulin resistant;” not quite PCOS, as I was still cycling every month, but enough that I was finally put on metformin.

Things started to feel better after being with this third specialist. The metformin miraculously made me “feel” better, if that makes sense, and the low-carb diet did wonders for my weight. It was then, that Hubby & I decided to go for In Vitro Fertilization; or IVF. Or the big guns; as I call it. And we were told that our best bet was to have it done with ICSI; meaning that IUI (intra uterine insemination) wouldn’t work for us. So Hubby & I found creative ways to finance that IVF cycle, and well … we all know the end result.

Because, quite frankly … I wouldn’t be writing this kind of blog if the results were any different.

About two years ago when I initially took out that brown paper bag and briefly thought about donating it back to my RE’s office … well, I got angry. And then I thought about how much money Hubby & I actually spent for those supplies and still didn’t end up with the results we wanted. And I ceremoniously shoved the bag right back under the bathroom sink.

Today I stumbled back on that bag, which had found its way to the very back corner of the bathroom sink cabinet. Without thinking twice, I opened it up once again and looked at its contents. And in the two years since I’ve seen it, I realize that it looks the same. Again I thought about donating it back to my RE’s office; whom now I haven’t seen in over four years. But as I glanced at the two boxes full of vials, I realize that the medication had officially expired over the past year.

So what did I do this time? Well, I took out the vials of expired medication and threw them away. And I closed the brown paper bag once again, this time with just the needles and syringes, and stuffed it back underneath the sink.

Well … at least I made a little progress in moving past my one (and only) failed IVF attempt. At least I think I did.

0 Replies to “The Brown Paper Bag”

  1. Wow. What a tough bunch of things that paper bag held. I’m so sorry that you have to be reminded of those tough things periodically. But also, it’s so very brave of you to push past a lot of those feelings and to go ahead and toss out the expired meds. It is very definitely progress, and definitely more than just a little progress, too. I think it’s very big, and I’m so happy for you that you are at a place where you can have that kind of perspective.

  2. I’ve got the same box in my laundry room. and a bunch of meds in the back of the fridge. just wondering how long I’ll let them sit there. ~luna

  3. Me too.

    My plan is to donate the syringes to an animal shelter…I guess they need those types of things, I’ve heard. I have donated most of my meds back to my IVF clinic, but have more I could drop off. If I could bring myself to actually do it.

  4. I’m sorry. There’s not much I can say, other than I”m truly sorry that we have these experiences at all, and that there are brown paper bags in any part of our life.

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