My husband and I had our first son three years after we were married in 2005. I was 43 years old when he was conceived naturally, and was born a beautiful healthy baby boy. I tore badly when he was born, and he was breast fed for fifteen
months. After that point, I began trying very hard to conceive a sibling. I was able to get pregnant three times at age 45, but each time I lost my babies to miscarriages at approximately ten weeks. I tried Dr. Wu’s fertility diet with Chinese herbs and acupuncture, but had no luck. Western doctors, Zouves and Stricker from Dr. Beers office assessed my case
and said that I had secondary fertility caused by NK cells (natural killer cell phenomenon). I was prescribed Synthroid for a thyroid imbalance, Folate, and also found out that I was gluten intolerant. One of four NK cell issues tested positive. I was advised to go for LIT in Nogales Mexico, or to be treated with IVIG, which was far more costly, and perhaps less effective.
In March, 2010, we traveled to Tuscan on a Friday morning with our four-year-old son. We check in to the Hacienda del Sol in Tuscan after finding ourselves lost in a labyrinth of streets in downtown Tuscon. We later discovered that Route Ten would lead us to the roads in close proximity to where we were staying. The hotel referred us to a babysitting service where they had sitters who were bonded, insured, and finger printed. We checked in to Room Number 16, which was a lovely historical room, and we had dinner on the Veranda under the stars as an old timer played ballads on the keyboard. I was especially fond of him because he looked like my Grandfather and seemed to play my mother’s favorite songs. My husband had not eaten anything greasy all day as was advised by the nurses. The chef made him a platter of grilled vegetables, and he enjoyed the home baked breads without butter. I had the fish taco dish, which was out of this world. It was so good in fact that I had it again the next evening! My son enjoyed the deep bathtub, and we all got a wonderful night’s rest since it was so quiet.
The view out the bathroom window was striking with the cacti, and the morning birds were singing when we awoke. The air was fresh and crisp. We were very nervous about our trip, but the setting calmed our nerves. I had an oatmeal bar as my husband continued his fast. The sitter arrived at 9am and we were off to Nogales, which was approximately an hour and a half south of us. The highway ended, and we saw signs for McDonald’s. There was a parking lot behind the McDonald’s with an attendant who took a few dollars for the day. We sat at the umbrellas, and received a phone call that the border crossing line was too long. They sent people on foot to cross the border and get us (a lady dressed in all pink). A van pulled up and asked us to get in. We were suspicious, but they said the name of the facility and spoke in Spanish. Fortunately, I speak enough Spanish and knew that it was safe. We were driven to the border and asked to get out. We crossed the border on foot without showing our passports and walked on foot to the doctor’s office.
Nogales is a provincial town with many cars, many storefronts, and a run down appearance. It is bustling with activity, vendors enticing tourists to come in, and was not particularly clean. Meat was being sold on sidewalks while sitting in the sunshine without refrigeration. There were vagrants, but they seemed pleasant enough. We walked very quickly into the medical facility. It was like a retail storefront on the outside, and just a simple doctor’s office on the inside, which was surprisingly small. The doctor sat with a blue mask on his face and went over our records. He located all of our documents to prove that we had no infectious diseases to transmit, and said he would do a double dose. He took my husband to a medical chair in the back room, which was clean, and he took several viles of blood from his left arm. We were advised to go to lunch and come back. He referred us around the corner and two doors down. Lunch was simple Mexican fare with no alcohol. The lime drink they served was like Fresca, very refreshing after our morning drama.
When we returned to the doctor’s office (with a hand painted Armadillo in our hands) the doctor called me in. He asked me to put both arms out on the desk where he sat. They cleaned my arms and inserted a needle in two places on each arm. They warned me that I should drink no alcohol, stay out of the sun, apply no soap or lotions, and to watch for bubbles the next day. They also told me to wear loose clothing on my arms. There was an initial reaction that quickly faded. We were escorted on foot back to McDonald’s. There had been a shootout up in the hills, much like one the year before. Apparently, the cartels are up in the hills and not on the streets of Nogales where we were. We were vigilant and did not spend any time shopping other than the b line we made into the store adjacent to the doctor’s office, which we passed on our way to lunch. We were very relieved to return to the USA. The border crossing patrol interrogated our guide, but I told him that the story he told of our medical visit was the truth, and he let him pass.
We spent Saturday and Sunday in Tucson, and then flew out on Monday afternoon. Upon returning to the hotel, I was very tired and was craving cold concord grape juice. We went down by the pool to sit in the shade, but my arms felt heavy and I had no energy. I also had a mild headache. We ate again at the hotel, and went to bed quite early. When we awoke, I had no reaction or bubbles on my arms. It wasn’t until later that evening that they arose, and were itchy. We spent the day at the Arizona Senora Desert Museum and toured the cactuses in the Desert at the Saguaro National Parks as well as the Mission San Xavier del Bac. We ate dinner at Guadalajara when we found out that Café Poco Cosa could not take any further reservations. It was an eating and drinking emporium where they made salsa at your table. It was very memorable.
On Monday, the itching was almost intolerable. I had four welts the size of mosquito bites on my arms. We drove to the Kartchner Caverns State Park only to find the 100 tickets they held in reserve for walk ins had already been depleted. When we started in the direction of the Chiracahuas (volcanic rock formations) we realized we would miss our flight if we didn’t head back. We arrived at the airport with plenty of time. I accidentally had a Chai Latte though teas were strictly off limits. I had fun reviewing the photos I had snapped of all of the desert wildlife and cacti while we awaited our flight.
I was so glad we hadn’t traveled north to see the Grand Canyon. I don’t think my body could have taken that beating.
As of today, seven days since our trip, I still have mosquito bite like welts on my arms. They feel hard to the touch. My husband has been bathing me each day. While I enjoy this, I will be happy when the welts are gone and I can get back to my old routines.
At the time of the writing, we are planning on spending two months to try to conceive on our own. We are on a parallel path to locate an egg donor for IVF in June. We understand that our odds with a donor are near 85% without the higher risks of downs syndrome. We have heard that LIT is over 80% effective in curing NK phenomena for six months – long enough to hopefully achieve a healthy pregnancy which can be monitored by Dr. Zouves and Dr. Stricker. We may have to do interlipids, or return to Nogales for a second round. If we go, we’ll be sure to make reservations for the Kartchner Caverns, to allow time to see the Chracahuas, and to visit Café Poco Cosa…
I will continue to post our experience…
Results 1 to 3 of 3
03-14-2010, 03:25 PM #1FriscogirlRegistered Userhas no status.
Journey to nogales mexico for lit
Last edited by Friscogirl; 03-14-2010 at 03:31 PM.
03-22-2010, 09:17 PM #2TTCyearsRegistered Userhas no status.
It's amazing the efforts we make ... and the stories we have ... (also informative)
Who said it's a journey, it's clearly an adventure!
12-08-2010, 08:53 PM #3HongkongIVFRegistered Userhas no status.
I came across your personal story after searching info on IVIG and Interlipids. I'm currently going thu my 4th IVF cycle and will send bw next week for testing. My hematologist is suggesting IVIG for Jan procedure since I take synthroid for hypothyroidism and have ezcema.
My story is similar as yours…had a baby naturally at 40 and now at 43 going thru secondary if. After my ds's 6 months bday, I lost SO much of my hair….literally all the front of my hair fell out…Doctors could not help and basically said it was Alepecia tied to my thyroid. It sucked but my hair finally grew all in after 2 years; hence ttc baby #2 when ds was 1.5 yo.
I've been ttc now for 1.5 years and have only been doing IVF since March 2010. I still make healthy embryos but have had thin lining issues in the past. I turn 44 very soon and was hoping you can post or pm me anything about more your journey. Why did you go to Mexico? How are you now? Are you located in the bay area?
My hematologist belongs to DR Beers group and an advocate of IVIG/ Interlipids for IF.
BTW, I'm from SF originally and now in Hong KOng.
Thank you for any info…good luck.
Last edited by HongkongIVF; 12-08-2010 at 08:57 PM.
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