Clinic Visit

I visited The Clinic today.

Bad news:

My AMH is very close to undetectable. The doctor predicts I will hit menopause long before I ever reach the age of forty.  I expected this result.  My AMH two years ago were bad.  I have very few eggs left for my age.

Good news:

I seem to have good egg quality.  So the few left have potential.

My FSH and hormones are in perfect range.  We can try natural IVF this cycle.  We got the green light.

Extra Good News:

I got the doctor who spoke English today so I didn’t have to try and figure things out in  Japanese.

Emotions Today:  anxious/ sad/ hopeful/ accepting



Sean’s Ryokan Night In Kanazawa

Here is the link to more of Sean’s adventure in Kanazawa, “The City of Gold”:

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Kanazawa city makes 99 % of the domestic gold leaf in Japan. You could say they’ve cornered the market. The gold leaf coating Kinkakuji in Japan came from Kanazawa.

In fact, a lot of the speciality foods in Kanazawa have edible gold foil sprinkled on them. For $9 you can buy and eat gold-leaf wrapped vanilla ice cream.  In all sorts of detail you’ll find Kanazawa’s gold leaf.

After looking around a bit at the castle and gardens, we returned to our Ryokan, or Japanese Traditional Inn, and soaked in the onsen (hot water baths), then donned our robes and headed for dinner.

One of the fun parts of staying at Ryokan’s is when you can walk around the town in the robes.  It feels weird and kind of fun.

The place we found was in the nearby fish market (mostly closed). Our food had gold foil sprinkled on.  It’s pretty tasteless, but kind of fun to eat.



Batten Down The Hatches!

A category 1 typhoon makes landfall tomorrow. It’ll hit Sendai, the city devastated by the tsunami in 2011, and slam into with a storm surge of several feet.

My husband and I are securing stuff in doors.  I’m so glad my appointment at the clinic isn’t until Wednesday because there is no way I’m going out in a typhoon.

Typhoon Lionrock is one of the most bizarre on records!  It was born in the Pacific, but instead of going north like other typhoons, it headed south where it swooped around Okinawa and archipelagos.

After making a full circle on the Pacific (you read right) it boomeranged north, charging up to powerful levels, and is aimed straight at Japan.  They’re calling it the “boomerang” typhoon and are baffled.

They’ve never seen a typhoon do this before!

Here is more information on Bloomberg.  

Just look at that crazy course it took.  It actually made a full circle before turning and heading back the way it came.  Guess tomorrow will be a stay at home day and take it easy before the clinic visit.

The Jungle Book

This weekend we did very little.

I learned the world famous fish market (Tsukiji) in Tokyo is likely going to be shut down by October. There are lots of reasons the government is giving, but a big one is that they want to build a highway there to give better access to where the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are supposed to take place.

I posted about that here on this blog’s facebook.

It’s strange that I should feel such sadness for a place I’ve barely visited.  However, for those familiar with Tokyo, Tsukiji is like a Tokyo Tower type of attraction.  It feels almost like hearing that the Tower of London is going to be knocked down.

My husband and I went out to eat on Saturday.  By Sunday, I knew I wanted to do one very short trip.  For me that happened to be the mall and, apparently, it happened to be one of people’s list because the mall was crowded.

I wanted to see the new Jungle Book movie, even if that meant listening to it in Japanese, but there were only three seats left.  My husband opted out.

After a long wait for a hot dog at the theatre’s food service counter, I settled in to the theatre. Even though I was over ten minutes late, ads were still playing.

It was a surprisingly good movie, much better than the animation in my opinion.

After I left the mall, I came out to pouring rain (I had no umbrella).  I wore the worst shoes (sandals) and had a “fun” time getting home.  As it shifts to fall in Japan, we are starting to get that dripping kind of rain. The kind that changes directions to get to you.

I swear those droplets are like heat-seeking missiles — they will find a way to dampen you!

And I discovered I’ll be going to the clinic again this Wednesday.

I get to sit in there for 3-4 hours to get my blood drawn and finally see a doctor who will likely tell me “come back in seven days”.

Not looking forward to that.



On Disliking Your Own Voice

I’ve yet to meet someone who loved the sound of their own voice.  I’m sure they exist. I can’t believe James Earl Jones doesn’t love the sound of his own voice.

However, in common life I’ve never met a person who doesn’t cringe when they hear their voice.  I personally hate mine.  I enjoy editing videos for You Tube. While I’ll never be big and I’ll be lucky to ever have a video crack a 1,000 views, I enjoy editing.

I do that for fun.

What I can’t stand is the sound of my own voice.  Even when I am okay with how the rest of the video turned out, I find myself wanting to mute my own voice.  My favorite videos are the ones without it.

I sound high-pitch and shrill, at least to myself.

Then again, everyone winces when they hear their voice and has that expression of “make it stop!”.

The minute you say, “I hate my voice”, it turns into a competition as others discuss how your voice is not as horrible as theirs.  Seriously, listen to my you tube videos and tell me I don’t sound appalling.

I dare you.

Infertility Clinics In Japan

So you find yourself living in the Land of the Rising Sun.
You and your partner decide, “let’s have a kid!”

However, a year goes by and a mini-you does not appear.  What to do?

It’s time to check out the booming infertility business of Japan first hand.  You look up a reputably clinic and book an appointment.  Since you and your partner both work, you have to go on a Saturday.

Unfortunately, the clinic you want to visit is super-popular and doesn’t have a weekend slot until three months from now.  You’re okay with that. You can wait a little longer.

Well, three months roll around and you get to the clinic, shocked to find every inch of wall lined with a plastic plant or a chair. And every chair is full. Some people are standing.

You go to the nurse and explain you have a booking.  She gives you a number and tells you to wait until your called.  Lovely.

When they say 1pm appointment that doesn’t mean you see the doctor by 1pm.  You will wait your turn.  As you stand around in the waiting room, getting to either get your blood drawn or pee into a cup, you see a glorious seat appear and snatch it up.

Ah-hah!  You are one of the seated!

No sooner do you enjoy your newfound comfort when you and your partner are summoned to see the doctor.  As much as you wanted a female doctor, those are hard to find in your area.

The doctor sees you, but won’t give any definitive answer on what’s wrong.  Instead he consults you and suggests more tests and, oh can you come in again two weeks from now.

Yeah, you get to do it over and over again.

Months go by. You get put on clomid and other mild stimulants. You have to take off work. Your boss is displeased.  Nada.

In Japanese fertility clinics, you are shown into booths and the walls are thing. The woman sometimes cry softly on the other side. the doctor’s words are too muffled to be sure, but it sounds like bad news.

By now, you know the drill. The doctors won’t comfort you, that’s what the nurses are for.

Finally, you’ve had enough and decide to switch clinics. The next one seems better. The doctor has better bedside manners.  However, it’s always the same.

At last it’s IVF.  What will that cost in Japan?  You’ve read in the US, Canada, the UK, and Europe of figures ranging from $20,000-50,000.

You are relieved that the whole process will cost under $10,000 and then you are floored.  That’s still a hefty sum.  It’s only if it goes all the way to a transfer, but still…

Ah, the government will help out with your first try.  Maybe this won’t be so bad…

Oh, but this is only the beginning of your woes…


A Rolling Sushi Bar!

When my brother was here in Japan we took him to a rolling sushi bar.  They’re pretty well known to those traveling to Japan.  It’s still fun seeing the confused look on someone who isn’t accustomed to how they operate.

I had Sean try all sorts of fish.  Some he liked and some he was like, “What is this?”

Check out the video if you’re interested in seeing more:

Rolling Sushi Bar