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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Factor IV Leiden - what the?!?!?

So, I have been to my wonderful GP (General Practitioner – she’s my family doctor) to talk about the donor eggs in Thailand situation. She has let me know that it is pretty risky considering my situation. The main part that she is concerned about is my blood disorder, the Factor IV Leiden. This means that I am more likely to get blood clots than the general population. This is by no means a rare disorder, around 5% of the Western population have it. So, how do I know that I have this disorder – well that is a story from my past.

When I left school, all of my friends and family were in long term relationships, I felt pretty much on the outside so I saw a perfect opportunity to travel. I went to the United States to be a camp counsellor at a girls scout camp, travelled across the country, worked in Vegas (on reception in a backpackers hostel for cash!) and then worked in Banff in Canada for awhile before I headed over to London, missed home too much and headed home. After a bit of time at home, I realised that I wasn’t done travelling so I went back over to the US to work on a cross country ski ranch in the Rockies, went to Mexico for a bit, travelled across the US a bit more and then headed home once again.

After that, I travelled to Europe (with some interesting escapades with my bestie working in a pub in London), Africa and to Nepal. It was the trip to Nepal that turned travelling a little bit sour for me. So why Nepal? Well, my best friend and travel partner had a life’s ambition to climb to Everest Base Camp and my life’s travelling ambition was to see the seven natural wonders of the world. In my first job as a publishing assistant in an educational publishing company, I was so bored with the job I read the text books – one of them was about the seven natural wonders of the world and that was when I decided that I wanted to see them all.

So what are they:

Great Barrier Reef – Australia
Mount Everest – Nepal
Grand Canyon – USA
Victoria Falls – Zambia / Zimbabwe
Northern Lights
Paricutin volcano – Mexico
Harbour of Rio de Janiero – Brazil

I have been to 4, Great Barrier Reef, Mount Everest, Grand Canyon, Victoria Falls – I still have 3 to go!

Anyway, I was telling you about the trip to Nepal. It was a pretty rough trip, my bestie and I have talked about it many, many times since. The walking was a lot tougher than we thought it was going to be, we weren’t fit enough and I got sick before we made it to the peak of the trip (Kala Patar). I had a cough and some sort of cold and had to pull out of the push to the peak – thank goodness for my bestie because if she wasn’t there, the guides may have pushed us onwards. Thankfully she put her foot down and we headed down.

On our return to Melbourne (after one of the most horrendous flights of all time), people kept on saying how fit and healthy I must feel – my response was generally that I felt like I had been hit by a truck. After 2 weeks, I could barely breathe and had to go to the hospital for 4 weeks to recover from a collapsed lung due to a blood clot in it. That was how they discovered I had Factor IV Leiden.

So, when Journey Man and I started on the IVF journey, I went to see a haematologist to make see what drugs I could and couldn’t use for the disorder. Saturday’s appointment with the GP was to get referral back to the haematologist to make sure that I am okay to travel, take the drugs necessary for the donor cycle, etc – basically it is to reduce the risks as much as possible.

As a side note – I still love to travel. After the Nepal trip, I spent 2 years just going to places in Australia because it made me a bit nervous but a few years ago my bestie and I headed off on a brilliant trip to Cambodia and Thailand and Journey Man and I went to Thailand for our honeymoon. Thailand holds a special place in my heart – hopefully it will become even more special to me soon!

We are back to see the fertility specialist tomorrow, hopefully he will help us to achieve our dream and will not have any objections – I hope everything will be okay!!


Journey Girl


  1. Infertility treatment in Thailand is quite popular. A lot of couples had a success fertility trip there. Hope you'll succeed in your journey, too. :)

  2. WOW. I am so impressed with your travels! You not only just visited places, but you WORKED at them too. I had a little taste of that when I did travel nursing...but that was only in the States. I am in awe of you.

    Sorry about the clot and collapsed lung- but geez do you have a good story to tell on how you got it!!! Some people just get them sitting in their recliners watching TV. You were climbing Everest! Holy Crap!