Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Many of you already know about my infertility problems, but for those of you who are new, here’s the story of me and my uterus. You might not believe it, but this is actually the short version!!!
I was one of those women who never had regular periods, and my doctor, like many others, just suggested that I get on birth control pills (known in the trying to conceive [ttc] world as bcp) to make me “regular”. Well, even though that didn’t really address why I was irregular, I was young and dumb, and just took the damned things. Then I realized that bcp make me crazy and stupidly hormonal, so much so that I couldn’t stand using them.
That glorious moment, that epiphany, happened one evening while watching some musical special on PBS. Celine Dion, who I don’t really like, was singing that song from “Titanic”. Rather than changing the channel, I sat there and listened to her sing about love going on and whatnot, and realized that I was in tears. I was blubbering like a baby, and muttering phrases about love being eternal, and how special life is with love, etc. A half-hour later, I knew something was wrong with me, and the bcp had to go.
I got fed up with no one knowing what was wrong with me, so I started doing a lot of research on the internet. Armed with pages of notes, I went off to see my family doctor, convinced that I had PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). She sent me off to an ob-gyn, who ran googobs of tests on me, and I was right. Suddenly, I wasn’t just a woman with irregular periods; what I had, had a name.
PCOS isn’t a disease; it’s more of a collection of symptoms which are collectively known as PCOS. Some of the most common symptoms are: irregular/no periods, painful periods, anovulation/irregular ovulation, inability to lose weight, hirsutism, acanthosis nigricans (dark patches of skin in armpits, back of neck, knees, elbow or groin), cysts on ovaries, acne, hair loss, etc. I had so many of the symptoms that I knew what I had even before the official diagnosis!
Now I knew why, despite nearly a year of rampant, unprotected sex when I was 24 and trying to conceive (except for that time span, I was always a super safety girl!), nothing happened. I wasn’t ovulating, which means that there was no way I could get pregnant. So I started taking various medicines to treat some of the hormonal imbalances in my system, and lo and behold, I started ovulating. It wasn’t always textbook regular, but it was ovulation, so I was happy.
A year goes by, and no pregnancy. Zip, nada, nothing. A second year, and I still have to buy maxi-pads. So off I go on another round of doctor’s visits, vaginal ultrasounds, and blood work.
Last month, I had a lovely procedure known as a sonohystogram. They force saline through your uterus and fallopian tubes, while doing an ultrasound at the same time to see how things are inside. The good news was, my uterus looks marvelous. The bad news is, they couldn’t see any spillage of the saline from the end of my tubes, which means that they’re blocked. No wonder I wasn’t able to get pregnant, even once I started ovulating! The eggs couldn’t make it through my tubes, the sperm couldn’t make it to the eggs, and thus no babies.
Now I’ve been referred to a fertility specialist to see what can be done. However, since I’m such a ttc maniac, I already know what my options are: IVF (in vitro fertilization), or laparoscopic surgery to try to open my tubes. IVF is too freaking expensive—I mean, we’re talking anywhere from $9,000 - $15,000 per month—so that’s right out, unless I win the lottery or something. Lap. surgery might work, but it’s still expensive, not covered by my insurance, and carries a high risk of ectopic pregnancy. My odds are not too good, to be honest. I’m starting to try to convince myself that I can be happy even if I don’t have a child. It’s really like being an alcoholic: some days are good, some days are okay, and some days you’d be willing to snuff your own mother for a drink.
So, that’s the story of me and my reproductive tract. Now you’re up to speed, and we won’t have to go through this much detail again! ;-)
Today is my birthday, the day I turn the big 36. Yep, another birthday down, another step closer to the grave. Okay, I’m really not upset about it anymore; it’s here, I’m over it. Actually, I’m pretty excited, but not about the B-day. I had a shipment of books arrive from Amazon this morning, so I’m pretty stoked. Not only did I take the day off work, and have lunch with my best friend, but I get to slob around and read new books. Yummmm.
Tomorrow is my friend Shel’s birthday, and since we have birthdays one day apart, we used to celebrate “Birthday Weekend.” Back when we were young, and both our livers and personalities were more courageous, we would party hard for two straight days, celebrating. Now, we might get together and share a bottle of wine, and talk about how exciting we used to live before we got “old.” I don’t regret it, though—the growing up—because there are a lot of advantages to being my age, than being 24, broke, and living from one self-induced drama to the next.
Here’s my horoscope for today: The stars say that collaborative projects are winners. Even your most heartfelt project will improve when a few other concerned and talented individuals have a say. Be open to their suggestions.
Huh. So maybe I should get some suggestions from writer friends about my latest project…
Friday, August 11, 2006
Thursday, August 10, 2006
One of my gal-pals, LL, is known in our social group as “The Innuendo-ator”. She has the remarkable superhero ability to make perfectly innocent remarks that are incredibly provocative to those of us with dirty--and juvenile-- minds.
So, one hot summer day, while the Gang was all together having a cook-out (and probably drinking far more than is wise while under the Southern sun), LL was fixing her plate, and her husband gave her a hot dog, fresh off the grill. She looked down at her plate, and saw where the hot dog’s juices were running everywhere from being punctured by the grill fork.
LL wrinkled her cute little nose and exclaimed, “You got weenie juice on my cookie!” There was dead silence for a moment, and then snickers began. Yeah, we were having a fifth grade moment, all right.
So, considering the fact that a part of what this blog will be about is my search for answers to my fertility problems, I figured naming it “There’s Weenie Juice on my Cookie” was pretty appropriate. So now you know. And as they used to say on GI Joe, knowing is half the battle.
Okay, so I know it's 2006 and we're supposed to be all touchy-feely, sensitive and PC here in America. Oh, sorry, pardon me while I gag. Puh-leeze! I'm so tired of all the rallies and protests by persons of Mexican descent. Oh god, now I'm being all PC. What I meant to say was, protests by beaners. And I can say that with no guilt, since I'm 1/2 Cuban. Just like I could say the "N" word if I wanted to, since I'm black. But I really don't want to. Uh uh, no way. But I digress.
Solution: lock down the borders. Make an annoucement that any attempts to cross illegally in the United States will be treated as an act of agression, and that soldiers will shoot to kill. Anyone illegally in the US at the present time must report to Containment Camps, where they will be given two options: 1) be returned to Mexico, or 2) they can work for a specified amount of time at the government's discretion and direction, after which they will be granted citizenship provided that they can pass the tests.
Any illegal alien who does not report to the Camps by the specified date, and who is subsequently found, will be treated as a hostile entity. They will be subdued with force if necessary, and either executed as an enemy to the US, or immediately deported.
I mean, it isn't hard to become a citizen of the US if you just go about things the right way. The USCIS (US Citizenship & Immigration Services) has a list of about a trillion ways that you can be naturalized. And if you don't, or can't, meet them, then you need to go home. Sure, sure, I was kidding (a little) about the camps and the rest, but we really need to be more aggressive about this.
America is a good place, despite the bitching of many of my peers. I can understand people wanting to live here, especially those from less fortunate countries. But our protected rights and privileges extend to our citizens, not to every Tom, Dick and Juan who manages to hike across the border.
Illegal aliens have no rights other than those of being fellow humans. And if we would wake up from this hippy-trippy, peace & love crap that we've been wallowing in for the last decade, maybe we could handle this problem without the ultra-liberals having hissy fits.
Okay, I'm just ranting now, and I'm stopping. I could go on forever about this...