Monday, January 17, 2011

A Little of This, A Little of That...

First off, I finally found the picture from ASRM! I added it to my original post but I thought I would share it here as well, since I'm such a slacker that I just now posted it...


Me! and Mary Lou Ballweg at the EA booth
 Yes, I was excited. I was also on a dosage of vico.pro.phen usually reserved for men twice my size.


Which provides a *seamless* segue from This to That...

More pictures!

I was so incredibly bloated and swollen during my November & December periods that I took pictures so you can adequately empathize... Maybe I just never notice the extra inches when I was heavier, but when it was 3 weeks til finals and 1 classmate & a prof asked if I was pregnant I about lost it.

Side note: I am officially terrified of medicated cycles. I have obviously never experienced one, but after seeing pictures and reading some of the stories regarding "The Injectibles' Belly" and seeing what my gut does on it's own.... I'm investing in muu-muus.

Second side note, first TMI note: I know GI issues are extremely commen with endo girls, so I guess I'm just looking for any suggestions... AF brings over a week of lazy guts. And I'm sick of drinking myr.ilax. Help.

For perspective, this is me on an average day. Actually this was taken after got back from my parents' house, so I'd been eating all kinds of crap for a week. But that's neither here nor there.

Giant sweatshirt still manages to show how completely non-existent my boobs are...

This is me the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, aka CD2.


And... Christmas Day.
 As you can tell, I had a wonderful holiday season this year...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I Did It!

Courtesy Google Images

That's right people--I passed all my classes!

(Yes, I was legitimately concerned I wouldn't pass research methods... and not passing would result in a suspension of financial aid, due to my low completion rate... which is due to a certain ex-husband causing my life to fall completely apart. For the past week, I have been *Stressing* over whether or not I would actually graduate--I did not want to feel like a failure like that OR have to call my... motivating? mom and give her the news that I failed. Again. )

Not only did I pass all my classes, but I have a 3.0 for the semester!

That's right--despite my crazy-ass semester with 20 credit hours and everything else I had going on, I still managed to pull 3 B's, 2 A's, and 2 C's.

*Technically*, I probably could have pulled 5 A's, and only 1 B & 1 C, but I am NOT complaining! Except maybe about my ability to bite off more than I can chew, get overwhelmed, and hide in my apt for an entire week of class...

I am SO excited--this means I'm actually graduating in.... 142 days!

I. Am. Stoked.

Following my long-awaited graduation, I will be imbarking on a 5000+ mile roadtrip with my little bro DG (currently deployed in Afganistan--say a quick prayer for him and all the other people over there, please). The current plan is to start in San Diego (where he's stationed) and hit Vegas, Denver, parent's home town in TX, Dallas, Austin, Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Atlanta, and possibly New Orleans.

Yes, we will probably find trouble somewhere along the way.

SoccerBoy's parents and brother's family got into town Tuesday and so we've been pretty busy... I finally got to see the Zoo Lights last night!

Tonight, though, we're heading to Lodo's in Westy to meet up with all their old friends from high school.

Me?

I'm celebrating!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

International Symposium on Endometriosis

Ever wonder where some of these doctors are getting their information?

Ever wish you could get your gyno to actually pay to the research?

Ever wanted to see every major endo expert in the same city?

Well, guess what!?

In only 3 months, you too can attend


WSE Highlights (as taken from the website)
◦Live case transmissions: Live case transmissions from the best hospitals around the world
◦Late breaking science:  Content will highlight the most current research by scientists, researchers, clinicians, primary care physicians and medical professionals
◦Meet the experts: Engage with experts in the field of gynecology and endometriosis to further explore this enigmatic disease
◦Debates on key topics: Open forum discussions to further explore treatment and diagnosis options in the management of this disease
I'd list all the experts for you, but there's really too many!

Suffice it to say all the big guns will be there. Confirmed faculty include: Dr. David Redwine, the Drs. Nezhat from the Atlanta Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery, Dr. Albee from the Center for Endo Care, my own Dr. S from CCRM, and of course, Mary Loe Ballweg Founder and President of the Endometriosis Association!

Like most such medical conferences, this symposium does not offer reduced registration rates for patients. I'll be shelling out $200 from my spring student loans, but if you don't register by January 15th the rate changes to $300.

Th Endometriosis Association will have a booth and they still need volunteers to staff the booth--this is one way you can get into a day of the conference and make a difference!


I would LOVE to find some other patients to connect with while I'm there, if anyone would be interested.

I ask that each and every one of you share this post, or the symposium website, on your blog/twit.ter/face.book-- every woman deserves to know everything they can about this disease! Encourage every person in your world to make a donation to the Endo Assn and nag your doctor until he/she decides to educate themselves!

We forward our friends and colleagues links about breast cancer and childhood obesity, but when was the last time you told some one about endometriosis?


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Last ICLW of 2010

Hello Everyone!

This is the time of month when we all bust out of our normal routines and meet some new friends... and this month I'll actually fully participate! I might even go for Iron Commenter since I'm off work Thursday and Friday...

This semester officially kicked my butt and while I've been on each list since August, I've rarely commented. Since I love making lists and (often) take time to justify my behavior, I have made a list of likely reasons excuses:
  • 20 credit hours/7 classes this semester
  • 70 hours of field experience to fit in around all those classes
  • 5 semester-long group projects, including a research project (never. never. EVER. again. Well, until grad school anyway. *tear*)
  • working an average of 35 hours/week chasing toddlers & rocking infant multiples
  • therapist recommendation that while writing about my IF/Endo struggles is healthy, spending hours reading about the worst case scenarios is not... (oddly, no comment about surrounding myself with children under 3... hmmm)
  • my obsession with spending waaaaay too much time making lists
Nice, isn't it?

Lists make me happy!


For those of you new to my crazy little world, here's the abbreviated version (in another list hehe):
  • I first began treatment for severe dysmenorrhea at 14--yep, I'm one of *those* endo girls-- and was told to take 800 mg ad.vil 4 times/day. Indefinitely.
  • At 16 (4/03), first lap for 3 ovarian cysts over 7cm. No endo diagnosed, but 2 cysts were filled with blood... apparently just for shits & giggles. Began bcps and pain meds, followed by anti-depressants at 18
  •  At 22, admitted to the ER. 3 days, 2 pelvic exams by men with extremely large hands, 2 u/s, and entirely too much morphine later, I had lap #2 (8/07) and was told to start Lup.ron with no add-back therapy
  • 18 months after lap #2, and desperate for relief, I found Dr. S at CCRM  who preformed lap #3 (11/08), pu tme back on Lu.pron for 4 months, and gave my husband and I the "Now or Never" IF talk.
  • Devastating SA and AMH, followed by my now ex-husband filing for divorce
Despite the laundry list, I have been mostly symptom free for the past 2 years. I practice yoga (great for scar tissue) and detox (recent research shows strong link between toxins and endo growth) regularly. When I had a flare-up this past summer, I began going to acupuncture 4-6 times/month and take whatever's in those bottles of Chinese herbs. Okay, so the bottles are adequately labeled and from reputable companies, but I so can't spell the ingredients...

So that's the endo side of my life!

I'm also a feisty, hippie-leaning, young woman who has a lot more to offer than endo assvice. I fight the baby cravings by working as nanny--mostly with toddlers and infant multiples--which sometimes makes the cravings worse... but I love what I do!

Please, come back & visit!

Happy ICLW!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

So THAT Didn't Happen

First of all:

I'm finished with finals til May!!




Now, for the Biz-is-Dumb news:

Today was supposed to be Day 1 without nicotine.

And then, right when I was driving home and craving one ever so bad, SoccerBoy sent me a text.

We're going out tonight.

To a bar.

With a group of people.

At least half of whom smoke.

We're talking chain-smoke.

Not just my pathetic 3/day.

3/day is still horrible. 

Beside the whole not-actively-TTC-but-not-preventing-it-either thing (which btw, an increasingly larger part of my brain is convinced it won't happen until my body is clean--makes complete sense), I know I'm killing myself bit-by-bit.

Prematurely aging my eggs more than they already are.

Aggravating my barely-there asthma.

And generally fucking up my body.

But I still just smoked one. Simply because I knew I would be tempted this evening.

I even have a plan--smoke what I want tonight, then give whatever's left to a smoker friend when we head home for the night.

How messed up it THAT?!?

So, we'll be trying this again tomorrow.

If any of you are regular readers--help keep me accountable??

The goal is to be completely nicotine free (both me AND Soccerboy) by the time we leave for TX, since my parents are adamantly anti-nicotine (as I should be) and I want to start the new year off right.

That gives us exactly 13 days.

But we're motivated.

Because, come January 5th (the day after we get back) I start temping.

That way, I'll have 5 complete cycles of temps with a clean system by the time I have all my b/w re-run in late May.

And isn't that so powerful motivation?!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Espresso Machines & Giant Babies

This post was originally written back in October--you know, when ASRM actually took place? But I'm a slacker and never pushed the right button. Go me.


Yesterday afternoon, I volunteered at the Endometriosis Association's booth at the ASRM annual convention.

Yep-- I just met Mary Lou Ballweg!! In case you don't know, she is the founder and president of the Endometriosis Association.


I've wanted to meet her for a long time and it was so educational!! And amazing. Just for those of you who might not get quite as excited about "educational" as I do.

First of all, no woman with endometriosis or any form of IF should EVER go to ASRM without being properly prepared.

I mean, I knew it was a reproductive medicine conference.

But I was expecting to doctors and drug reps seriously discussing important breakthroughs--not expresso machines at every booth and giant baby photos hanging from the ceiling.

I didn't know that meant I'd be walking down aisles of sales people pimping sperm banks, speculums and other scary looking tools, adoption agencies (explain that one to me), any drug under the sun, new technologies for HSGs & Laps, EVERYTHING related to IF--including fertility supplements!!

The advertising banners are what really made my skin crawl:

Gonal-F Cares!
(Because, spending the same big bucks on developing a **successfull** endo drug wouldn't be caring?)

and
A Prescription for Hope!
(I forgot to write down which drug this was for, but take your pick of any ART drug-- I think we can all agree we take these drugs to get a baby--not some fucking hope.)


But the absolute worst part, for me, was the GIANT--we're talking HUMONGOUS Lupron booth.

The current ad campaign? I couldn't find the actual image--go figure, they must not want it circulating the blogosphere--so I did my best attempt at recreating it:

Turn off the Fuel that Feeds Endometriosis

Imagine that on 7 foot tall banners and you'll get the idea.

When I first saw the booth, I started walking faster towards it, fully determined to corner some poor drug rep and demand an explanation.

And then I got closer.

And my mind started bring up how endo has changed life for me.

How I used to think getting pregnant was something I needed to prevent at all costs.

(keep in mind these thoughts are flowing through my head while I'm standing in the middle of the Colorado Convention Center, surrounded by people who prob couldn't WAIT to tell me how THEY could knock me up)

And my mind started bringing up how I felt on Lupron.

What it did to me. Physically. Emotionally. Mentally.

What is didn't do for me.

(Keep in mind I was also on CD2--also known around my home as Bloody Hell--so I was in horrible pain, emotional as a girl can get, and bleeding like a stuck pig. Sorry. No I'm not. This is an endo blog--get used to it.)

I broke into a cold sweat and I had to walk away... just so all those tiny women in their standard sexy black drug rep suits wouldn't see me have a complete breakdown.

I regret that I didn't walk up to them. I wanted to hear  a rep carry on enthusiastically about their wonder drug, wait for them to ask if I have patients with endometriosis, and say very calmly (in my best southern dumb belle voice)
"Actually, I was diagnosed with stage IV endometriosis--oo, did I say that right?--a few years ago.
(pause for exclamation and instant just-try-this-talk)
Oh! So you mean this...this Depott Looo-p-ron should help?
(pause for the usual treatment plan discussion)
Does this have any--what does my mother call those silly things? Oh yes, side eeffects?
(pause for an exceedingly short blurb about vaginal dryness and mood swings)
Hmm. That's interesting. On two separate occasions, I gave your wonder drug 6 months and $1300 and BOTH times, I ended up in surgery within one year. Plus, let me list the side affects I experienced, including PERMANENT bone loss."

And that last part would be stated in my best stage voice.

Now that I have planned what I should have said, I can write in in my pocket to tell those fuckers at the 2nd Annual International Symposium on Endometriosis in Atlanta in March! More details to come...

I did spend quite sometime reading over the various research studies displayed and I must say I was pleased to see the number of endo related studies. I originally planned to summarize some the findings, but I was concerned I might misinterpret some stats or give incorrect information--and this stuff is important!

If you go here, you can find a complete list of  abstracts for all the studies published at the 2010 conference. You do have to register to view the abstracts, but I think that's it.

Oh yeah! My RE (Dr. S) was a speaker! I didn't see him, but it's nice to know my doc is keeping up on the research.

Just. Shoot. Me. Now.

Sunday through Tuesday were cold med cloudy days consisting of only enough sleep to remain semi-functioning and hours...and hours... and hours of homework/cramming for finals. Plus the increasingly debilitating neck/shoulder pain. Try carrying a 40 lbs backpack around campus with that. Fun times.

Last night, Julie (acupuncturist) covered my shoulder and neck with needles--along with a few point in my hands & ears. I swear it felt better at the end of the session, but I could feel it getting tighter even on the drive home.

This morning, my shoulder hurt so bad I was on my knees after pulling a shirt over my head.

I have an endo-high pain tolerance: This is NOT normal!

Finally made it to my PCP this morning and I have somehow strained several muscles in my right shoulder/neck--as only a completely uncoordinated person is capable. Or I might have meningitis and it's just not *that* bad yet.

Yes. She said that. And added that if I get a headache, I need to go to the ER. Immediately.

Got all that?

Just checking.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Just in Time for Finals

Biz is Sick.

Quite sick.

Saturday night, I accompanied the triplets I nanny for to a Christmas party with their parents, then took them home to bed. after dinner. I'm assuming I have one of the many children running around the party to thank for how I currently feel.

I woke up feeling 'off' Sunday morning, but I had a fun afternoon at the WOW Children's Museum planned with Squishy & Thomas so I tried to suck it up. Their parents were gone 45 minutes when I hit the wall: Broke into a cold sweat, instantly weak and shaky and dashing to the bathroom. I have NEVER had to call parents to come home early! I came home and had a full-on, two-year old style meltdown: Finals week, still more homework because I procrastinate like a champ, and I can barely function. So. not. cool.

On top of the nastiness, I have done something to my shoulder. As I told SoccerBoy last night, if I were a 40 year old male, I would be on my way to the ER thinking I was having a hear.t att.ack. Except, I'm a 24 y/o female with no history of heart problems. Duh. Seriously though, it feels wore than when I broke my scapula my freshman year of college--can't wash my hair, sleep, roll-over, or even turn my head more than 45* in either direction without tearing up.

Thus, I had to break into my endo CD1-4 stash. Not happy about it. Especially considering Dr. S. *really* doesn't like writing those scripts. Not that it matters-- after the surprise **$400** bill for an ULTRASOUND, I can't schedule another appointment--especially for pain meds-- until I pay my balance. Which has to wait til January. Since I am traveling to TX for the holidays--and I REFUSE to risk being stuck in an airport without SOME kind of pain med--I had to beg my PCP. Luckily, for the bargain price of a $20 copay and $4 for the script, I now have 10 vicos to last me a total of 18 hours traveling, 2 plane switches, 3 hours of layovers, 5 hours in a rental car, and 8 days of a traveling endo period.

Have I mentioned lately how much I just *love* paying my endo bills with student loans??

(Seriously, if any of you ladies are blessed with multiples and are considering a nanny or night nanny in summer of 2011--hit me up. Seriously. Loads of experience and you'd be supporting my endo/IF treatments. Just a completely shameless request from a broke college student--who has 10k in student loans JUST from multiple surgeries, Lu.pron rounds, and overpriced RE's. Or hey--need a personal assistant to help out while you're on bedrest? I'm desperate here.)

This post is kind of a test drive to see how well I can get my mind/body to function--and to see if I can actually type for any period of time with my shoulder... I'm kinda all over the place, BUT I think I figured out how to prop up my arm so I can type.

I have GOT to stop procrastinating!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I Miss My Sister..and My Shybaby

Shy probably doesn't even remember me. She might, but I doubt it.

A couple weeks ago, I emailed B. We hadn't spoken since she moved out.

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about my actions' effects on others. For months, I justified my actions during that mess as "well, yes, I betrayed her trust BUT what she did to me was so much worse!"

Let's look at that for a moment: what exactly did she do to me? Well, obviously, we had a very powerful relationship--when it was good it was great. When it was bad, it was screaming at each other in the front year bad. So in the past, there were actions on both our parts that were pretty messed up because we would miscommunicate or overreact and holy shit-- people better run!!

But this last break up? She really didn't do anything to be, besides refusing to discuss some minor issues. Most likely because she didn't know how minor I viewed the issues and she was just trying to avoid conflict. Or another massive blow up.

I really wished I could have explained to her WHY I was so upset by her actions:
  1. All I wanted to do was talk.
  2. I was hurt that she just disappeared and refused to come back or talk to me, so I said "fine--peace out then!"
  3. I took her lies personally. I felt that if she was willing to lie about a miscarriage to a man she told me she loved, she must have been willing to lie to *me* about *anything*. And since, as discussed, I have some serious trust issues... My heart was BROKEN!
So I sent her an email trying to get all that across. All I want is for her to understand where I was coming from. If we can't be friends or be there for each other ever again, I would at least like her to know that I wish we could be.

She emailed me back a week or so later. She apologized for how things went down and let me know that she misses me too. But despite another email from me, she's not interested in talking. Or even being Fa.ce.boo.k friends.

She and Ginger worked it out (And NO! I really don't want to know if he ever learned the truth) and she actually conceived twins only a couple months after moving in together and then they married. I really am happy for her--she deserves some love and happiness for a change!

But I still miss my Sister. And my Shybaby. And it kills me that I wasn't there fore her during her pregnancy...that I couldn't celebrate the two lines or the two heartbeats with her. That I wasn't there for her wedding and that I won't be there for her birth.

That I couldn't bug her with heathy pregnancy tips all the time, or be there when she's trying to breastfeed twins, while caring for a preschooler.

Yes, part of me is still a lil jealous that it's not my happily-ever-after and my twins, but seriously--I so can't imagine trying to student teach or even pay bills if SoccerBoy and I had 2 babies in the picture!!

So yeah. This is where I do something that could be very stupid. I'm going to send her the link to my lil space here. I want her to be able to see what's going on in my head. This plan could backfire and I might have to make my blog private... but I want her to know I still love her and would love to be able to see her again.

I just want a hug from my sister.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ppbbtt. Now That that's outa My System

Ya, so I haven't been here in a while! And by 'here', I mean this handy-dandy 'new post' page. I have, in fact been reading and lurking quite loyally via smart phone.

Just not writing anything. (note: somebody should really create a Blogger App for Blackberry. Please. And captchas/comment boxes which actually work on smart phones. any day down. really.)

Mostly because I appear to be incapable of blocking out the piles of homework and 7 (SEVEN!) finals I have in the next 11 days. Though, I suppose not writing blog posts but doing  homework is better than ignoring the homework to write my blog... look at me being all responsible-like!

Instead of just spitting out a quick 'I'm not dead, just way too busy' post, how about some bullet points??

  • October AF was hell. 5 Straight days of not moving, pain pills, THC edibles, and emails to my professors--high point?? Two profs (one of whom is also my advisor) calling me out about my 'personal problems'. Advisor: "I think you're using your personal life as an excuse to not attend class/complete work" Prof: "You were such a great student last semester...you need to get your personal life under control" and then the stinger: "are you sure your health problems aren't a symptom? could you be expecting?" Oh, the irony...
  • November AF was... only the first circle of hell? Only 3 days of pain pills!! And NO perineum pain! Good thing since Julie [have I mentioned my acupuncturists yet? Too short on time to check] mentioned a strong point for that pain is...actually... On. My. Perineum. I know acu is wonderful for me and it's helped a lot. BUT (or should it be BUTT?) I'm not ready for needles in my nacho zone.
  • Acupuncture is vahnderful dahling. Try it. Just do it. Give a qualified practitioner weekly visits for 4-5 weeks, take your herbs, and just see what happens. Not saying you need try perineum points.
  • Endo Pain Relief: we all want it. I found a 'new' medication. Well not really new, since I've used cannabis before for pain/nausea relief. However, I recently purchased a tincture for the first time. Essentially, this is a concentrated extraction of the plant, which is placed under the tongue for quick absorption. Granted, a large dose makes me drowsy, but WOW! It knocked out that deep, burning, twisting, stabbing endo pain for 6 hours!! Just a thought for the endo girls in any of the 11 states where it's legal for medical purposes. {disclaimer: anything and everything I do, or post about doing, in regards to this topic is LEGAL, according to Col.orado Ammen.dment 20.}
  • I still can't believe I've only met with Dr. K 6 times since August--my head and heart are in a MUCH better place and our relationship is stronger than ever!!
  • Speaking of being in a better place, the countdown to the official TTC insanity begins Jan 1st-- temping starts as soon as the semester ends, SoccerBoy's SA and new CD 3 b/w & baseline u/s are scheduled for May, and I'm tentatively (albeit, slightly prematurely) planning--read: need to start saving for-- on some kind of medicated cycle by August. Maybe December. But we've officially been unofficially trying for 13 months. So I doubt I'll last much longer than August without knowing *something*. Even if--nope! Not going to type/think about negative possibilities!   
  • We're going to my parents' for New Years! We were already planning on going over Christmas, but then my parents decided to fly my sister/BIL/nephew out from South Carolina & flights were 50% less the week of New Years soo... after a not-so-subtle hint about how flying would mean we could stay longer, my parents decided to buy SoccerBoy & I plane tickets for Christmas! Considering my parents have never even given one of my boyfriends a present, I'm taking their unexpected generosity as a good sign :-)
  • Speaking of my mother, she has taken to ending every conversation with "oh yeah, are you guys engaged yet, or still living in sin?". For a 24 y/o divorcee with some serious attachment/abandonment/trust issues and even more issues with her mother, the lil barbs are a lil much. So when Mom was going on and on about all the business trips/vacations my dad's taking her on this year, I mentioned we would be happy to get married if she wants to take us with to Hawaii for our honeymoon. Since she shelled out a grand total of $500 for my entire first wedding, I know that ain't gonna happen. BUT! She hasn't made any marriage comments since! Victory is mine! BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!
So, to sum up:
  • Medical Marijuana for Endometriosis (yes, I typed that out to be goo.gle-able)
  • I'm finally *starting* to control my emotions/thought processes
  • TTC for realz starting in sixish months!!
  • My parents like SoccerBoy! Even more than my ex-husband...or any person I have ever introduced them to, for that matter.
  • I got my mom off my back! Without yelling, pissing her off, or causing a massive family feud! oh! And we started looking at rings this week (eek!)
  • I'll have more time to post/comment/eat/sleep in...11 days!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Two Weeks From Tomorrow

I really do have 3 half-written posts waiting to be completed. And I have a few more rolling around in my head.

But considering the massive pile of homework which is currently taking over my desk, I really can't justify spending time writing here. Even though I want to. Kinda need to.

But then I'd beat myself up for not working on those papers that were due last week...

In other news, growth has progressed to the point that it hurts to sit down. Yep, I'm now one of those people who sits down and immediately hops back up. No, not hemorrhoids--endo!!

fml

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Technology is on Strike

Apparently, both my laptop & my Black.berry and SoccerBoy's laptop & black.berry have decided to stage a coup.

The week before ICLW, my laptop started displaying blue screens and scary messages about a memory dump. It's now awaiting a Fed.Ex pick up so it can go to the Dell hospital.

The first 4 days of ICLW, SoccerBoy's laptop refused to let me access blog.ger. Seriously. Any other website was fine-- just not mine. After I set both the security & privacy settings so low the purpose was lost, I can finally access blogger.

And finally, both our phones' decided to crap out simultaneously. New phones have arrived, HOURS have been spent on the phone with tech support, and I STILL can't connect my new phone to SoccerBoy's (semi)functioning laptop. So they're sending me another phone.

Let's just pause and appreciate that all this BS happened not only during ICLW, but also SMACK-DAB in the middle of midterms.

After I spent all of last week begging my profs for extensions due to technological failure, I've spent the vast majority of the last 6 days floating on a cloud of endo pain and pain pills. Thus, none of said assignments have been completed. Ever try to write a research paper on percs??

Anyway, despite the mess I still made it to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine's Annual convention in order to volunteer at the Endometriosis Association's booth AND I made it to the Endo Ass meeting last night. First time in 15 YEARS that Mary Lou has been able to make it out here to Denver!!

I'm working on a couple posts about both ASRM (still makes my heart speed up thinking about it) and all the amazing endo-related info I've learned this weekend. Including a NEW not-yet-published study!! I even met 20+ Colorado women with endo, including a 26 year old woman who's had 10! surgeries & is scheduled for a hysto next week.

Wow.

I'm sitting here bitching away about school & laptops when HELLO!!! I'm in school. I have (had) 2 laptops at my disposal. And I'm not facing a hysto as a single 26 year old.


I have much to be grateful for, even though I feel incredibly behind/overwhelmed right now.

I will eventually finish those posts...

Monday, October 25, 2010

ASRM 2010

Yep. That's right.
I'm currently standing in a convention hall, surrounded by reproductive medicine professionals & sales reps.

I just walked past two donor sperm booths & a table of speculums.

I was not prepared for this shit.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Yep, I'm crying...

Wow...
Maybe it's partially because I just wiped my eyes after chopping up onins, galic, and green chilis for dinner (btw, *best* new recipe for low-fat, whole grain, chicken enchilelada-ish casserole) or maybe the any-day-now-PMS... BUT!
I don't know what else to say but THANK YOU!
I've never received such a response during ICLW and can I just say that I really needed it right now?!
Thank you, yet again.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

ICLW: Welcome!

So... where to start??

I'm a senior in college--graduating in May if I can manage to rescue this semester-- and the stress is one more thing I don't need right now! 

On to the other major events in my life:
I've had monster ovarian cysts since puberty & was finally diagnosed with stage IV endo almost 4 years ago when I was 21, when an ER doc informed me I needed exploratory surgery and I shouldn't be surprised if I wake up with no ovaries. Luckily, he left my ovaries alone. Fast forward to 2008: married in June, lap in November, and the dreaded "TTC now or never" discussion at CCRM. In January, we found out about the pathetic swimmers, and in February (on my birthday), we separated. (gotta tell you, I LOVED going to CCRM for an entire YEAR before they finally added "divorced" to my file. There's nothing like having your RE repeatedly ask when your ex-husband is coming back in for another SA.)

Currently, I'm living in denial choosing to believe that the endo growth has stalled, despite recurring cysts. My AMH has gone from .5 in January of 2009, to .75 in August 2010. I can't afford to re-run it and my body refuses to cooperate with CD3 b/w. Turns out CCRM won't even bother running FSH/estradiol/etc when you have monster cysts. I refuse to have surgery again or try Lupron again unless I can't function. Thus, yoga and acupuncture are my two new best friends.

On the personal front (since the state of my ovaries isn't really *that* personal), I live with SoccerBoy and I previously thought everything was great. I've been off bcps since for a year in November and as of yet, I've averaged 2 HPTs every month, only to realize it was just another cyst (ow). However, the last 48 hours have thrown our relationship(me?) into a tailspin. Fun. I have no close IRL friends, though I have met a couple new chicks, and I tend to be completely terrified of most women my age. Been burned. A few times. Six of my seven classes have 2! women who are due in December and my ex-bff is pregnant with twins. 2 months after informing me that ART is selfish. My 21 year old brother just deployed to Afghanistan and has already lost 3 close friends. One of who's wife is due next week with her first child.


So to summarize:
  • I'm broke.
  • I'm graduating in May if I can get out of this sinkhole.
  • I have no idea what's going on inside my body, but I don't like it.
  • I might have just sabotaged yet another relationship.
  • Blogging is my escape.
  • I'm in a pretty low place at the moment.
Happy ICLW!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Purple

Purple. Good word.

I have an old friend would uses 'purple' as though it were supercalifragilisticexpialidocious... it works for everything.

And this morning: purple.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"People Before Ideology"

While I had not heard of the situation that prompted her post, Lollipopgoldstein over at Stirrup Queens has eloquently written a powerful piece... please check it out.

People Before Ideologies

Another post asking people to think before they write, and yes, I will keep writing these posts as long as I see things like this on the Internet.
A woman lost her child.
You have probably heard about this story by now.  I don’t know her personally, nor did I read her blog before his death.  What I know comes from reading her posts.  He was born with severe heart problems and lived his seven weeks in the NICU.  The doctors were supposed to do his circumcision several weeks ago, but because his g-tube surgery was canceled, the circumcision (which was supposed to be performed at the same time) was canceled too.  She was able to have the circumcision at the hospital this week.  There were complications afterward, and the mother posted about them, begging readers to be gentle with her because, in retrospect, she was regretting the timing of the surgery.  She was asking for support from her community because she was scared.
He died soon after of a heart attack; the same health problem he had been battling for seven weeks due to congenital heart defects.  A group of “activists” left messages on her blog blaming her for her child’s death, and she removed the circumcision post despite the fact that the circumcision was not the cause of death according to the doctor — the only person who held the child’s full medical history.  Without knowing the child’s medical condition beyond what was recorded online, the activists took to Twitter and wrote that this loss was entirely preventable; the result of circumcision.  Amid burying their child, the one they’ve watched in the NICU for the last seven weeks, the family was met with an avalanche of nasty comments, emails, and tweets.
There are those who believe that it’s important to stick to your convictions, no matter what.  And I can respect that mindset when the convictions are turned inward.  There are, for instance, Jews — one or two generations beyond the Holocaust — who will not go to Germany.  They cannot imagine supporting with tourist dollars a country that exterminated family members.  This personal boycott may possibly affect others indirectly, but most would concur that a personal, quiet boycott mostly directly affects the boycotter.  Others may not choose this way of processing the world after the Holocaust, but avoidance is an understandable response to trauma, and if it works for them and they’re not berating me for the way I process life after the Holocaust, I think it’s a fine example of how we can live and let live.
It would, of course, be quite a different story if that same person saw an elderly German woman being robbed and not only didn’t help, but afterward told her that she deserved it for being part of that old Third Reich Germany.  Our ideologies and our convictions are only admirable insofar as they serve as a guide for how we treat other people.  I would hope, simply as a human being, that if the person in our example saw an elderly German woman being robbed, they would set aside whatever feelings they had about the country itself, and help that woman in need.  I see nothing admirable about placing ideologies before human beings.  If it were Hitler himself being robbed, that would be a different story, but in this example, I am talking about taking your ideologies over the line, from being a personal way of navigating life to being a weapon used to attack others.
This isn’t about us.  This isn’t about whether we are for or against circumcision.  Whether we think breastmilk is the bees knees or whether we think breastfeeding is disgusting.  Whether we do or do not consume high fructose corn syrup, or support the right for people to own guns or want women to have access to safe abortions.
There is a time for reasoned arguments, and there is a time to set aside our personal beliefs and reach out to another person — human to human.  And frankly, I don’t think we need to only hold ourselves to this in times of trouble.  I would love to see a time where we don’t name call, where we don’t judge people for their personal choices, where we recognize that just because a person is living a life very different from one we would choose to live that their actions don’t negate our own.  That both can exist side-by-side because we live in this wonderfully diverse world and that saying that you’re for something doesn’t mean that you’re against something.
A blogger questioned last week my role as a community builder and she’s right: this space is not welcoming of people who conduct themselves hatefully towards other people.  So, yes, if you are going to put ideologies before people, this is not the space for you.
I’m not Christian, but I’ve always loved the saying, “love the sinner, hate the sin.”  And if you think something is a sin, but all means, go ahead and hate it with all of your heart.  But please don’t hate the sinners in this space, nor is it any better to go to your own space and attack a human being rather than attacking an idea.
This is not a new phenomenon, after all, Jackie DeShannon crooned in 1965, “what the world needs now is love sweet love / it’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.”  But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t call it out when we see people dragging another person down.  And my heart is with that family who lost their son/sibling.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sick Again, OPCOS, and Other Random News

I'm currently fighting off yet another stomach bug--thanks to a couple of parents who thought that minor detail that their 20 months old was up the night before puking shouldn't be mentioned to the babysitter...at least not until after they got home from dinner. Thanks guys.


In the morning, while driving to preschool, Thomas and I either listen to NPR or XM's Kid's Place
**Insert shameless plug (which I was not reimbursed for, though if XM's listening--hit me up!) Kid's Place ROCKS for clean, fun radio programming that won't drive adults insane.

Anyway, this morning, the host Kenny Curtis, was discussing how he wouldn't be on the air tomorrow because he has to go to court. To finalize his and his wife's adoption of a new child through the foster cazre system! This is their 6th child, after having 4 biological children. First, Congrats to Kenny Curtis and family!! Second, how cool is it that he took the time to talk about adoiption on a kid's radio show?! Go Kenny!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Family News

In other, non-IF news:

My dad had his 3rd ankle surgery Friday morning to fuse another joint--this time with extra bone taken from his hip. Everything went well and he & mom spent the weekend at a hospital in Dallas.

I was worried.

They're both home now and everything seems to healing well so thank you G-d!!

He and my little bro Pedro are both on crutches now. Pedro plays football--4 games this year & 4 trips to the doctor. Sprained and resprained thumb, severe ankle sprain, asthma attack... Last year he broke 3 ribs & didn't go to the doctor for 2 weeks.

I have a tough family.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Third of the Way There!

That's right people: the semester is officially one-third of the way over!!

Only 10 more weeks of being in class 20+ hours a week.

Only 10 more weeks of having no life due to homework.

Only 10 more weeks of stressing out over said homework.

I CAN DO THIS!!

See, Dr.K, this is me being positive and stopping the cycle of defeat in my head!

And you know what else??

Tomorrow's October 1st. Only 6 months and 15 days until I graduate!!

And you know what else??

That means we *officially* start TTC in only 6 months!! 

Even though I've been off bcps for 11 months now, I still consider May our starting point. Even though my current mantra is "by His stripes I am healed" and I have been visualizing healing & conception like crazy, I still don't feel like we've even thought "yeah, let's try now!"

Six months to quit smoking (I know, bad Biz!!) and to get SoccerBoy to give up his copen.hagen.

Six months of therapy to get my head in the right place.

Six months to pump my body full of every anti-oxidant, prenatal vitamin, and b-vitamin known to woman.

Six months.

And I can't wait!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

And I will call you my Squishy!

In case I haven't mentioned him before, Squishy is Thomas's little bro and he's 30 months. When I first began caring for Squishy, he was only 5 months old--so we're pretty attached! I'm always worried Momboss will get upset when she hears him call me momma on accident, but she just shrugs it off... because he immediately says my name and looks embarrassed. Sometimes, he really has trouble: "Momma--Nana--BIZ!" Then the other morning he called me "momma, I mean Biz" and then stopped. He looked at me, looked at his mom, and started giggling-- "you're BOTH here so I'm RIGHT!" **adorable**

Every Wednesday, Squishy & I take Thomas to school and then--it's field trip day!!

Yes, when I was caring for them both 24 hours/week, we still went on fun outings... sometimes. Poor Thomas was born at only 27 weeks and so until last year, we didn't even leave the house except to walk to the neighborhood playground. And then when Momboss approved them, field trips meant wrestling a hard-of-hearing, brand-new-to-walking 3 year old AND a toddler around large, busy public places and SO--field trips were still only once a week.

This year is much more fun! Every Wednesday, I walk in their front door to choruses of "Hi Biz!" and then Ryan informs me where we're going-- the zoo, museum, aquarium... I love parents who buy their nanny membership cards!

Friday, September 24, 2010

I Don't Want to Care

This morning was my second appointment with my therapist... we'll call her Dr.K, even though she isn't technically a doctor...just for lack of a better pseudonym. She gave me the homework of sitting down every day and writing what I hope to accomplish that day, my thoughts and hopes. Not to dwell on the problems, but to give myself a fresh perspective on the day.

She has made a few good points:

  • I catastrophize (yes, sightly made up word) all lot. i.e., missing a day of class due to pain means I will likely fail the class, lose my financial aid, and ruin my life.
  • I think in Black and White. Either I pass or fail. A harsh word from SoccerBoy equals A: he's an asshole & I should leave, or B: I'm a crazy person driving him to that point. Which obviously leads to a LOT of catastrophizing.
  • I over think. Everything. See above.
  • I am a perfectionist. (Duh.) Which means I never think I'm good enough...for anything.
I already knew I did all of these things, but I wasn't ware of how often or how much these negative processes were effecting me.

Then I said it: "I just wish I could accept the fact that I won't have kids... move past ever even trying medicated cycles and move on to knowing I'll be adopting someday."

Her response caught me off guard. "Why?? It's normal to grieve--do you think if you were adopting tomorrow, you wouldn't care that you MIGHT not be able to conceive?"

Well, HELL YES I would still care!!

"So why are you judging yourself so harshly for feeling these emotions?"

Because. I don't want to care this much.

I don't want to every AF to break my heart a little more.

I don't want to be sitting here wondering if I'm putting off true TTC for too long. 

SoccerBoy and I actually had this conversation a few weeks ago. Part of me wants to "just come to terms" with living Childfree. But a bigger chunk of myself knows those thoughts are coming from not being in control.

I want to be in control of my body AND my future!!

Dr. K also brought up a very good point in regards to SoccerBoy. I was trying to explain to her how he tries to be supportive and says all the "right" things: "It's ok, babe, I'm here no matter what"... "I'm fine with adoption if it comes to that--we'll still have our family"... "What can I do to make it better?" and when I'm contemplating living Childfree: "We could have a lot more freedom...but is that what you really want?" ad nauseum

But I'm not telling him, explicitly, how I need him to support me. How I need him to recognize that I have a serious fear of abandonment tied into this mess. That he needs to show me he understands--even it all that consists of is taking me on a walk around the block for some sunshine when I'm having a bad day.

Tonight is datenight and I already told him we have some talking to do. Some yes, I-know-I'm-repeating-myself-here-BUT-this-time-in-more-detail talking.