Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My day with Mum

Well, we're home from the hospital; mom had her heart catheterization done today.  We had to report to the ambulatory surgery area at 7:00 am, ugh!  They took her vitals and got her changed into the standard issue, ass-out gown.  Since she used to work at this hospital, she knows practically everyone there, which was really nice as we got a little special attention.  ;-)  About 8:00 am, they took her away from me and I went to stare at the walls in the waiting area.  Note: daytime TV is really, really insipid, as I discovered in the waiting room.
They called me back to the area around 10:30 am; she was back from the procedure. They said that her heart actually looked really good, but because the entrance site kept trickling blood, she would have to remain supine for at least 3 hours, instead of the 2 hours we were originally told.  The nurses brought her some lunch, she munched a bit, then took some lovely drugs since her back was hurting.  She soon passed out, and I just sat and read by her bedside.
At 1:30 pm (believe me, I was watching the clock!), the nurse said she could sit up.  They called for one of the surgical docs to come and check out the site.  He said it was looking good, so we were able to start getting her dressed to go home.  After the obligatory instructions and do-not-do-this warnings, we were able to leave.  So, finally, we were leaving the hospital around 2:30 pm.
Mom is now resting, and doing okay.  She's a little nauseous, but she has a delicate constitution and gets nauseous just from gross jokes <g>.  Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and kind words.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Apparently being single IS a crime

I've been referred to a high-muckety muck fertility clinic to see what can be done about my poor tubes.  So, I call up and talk to Nurse Ratchett for 10 minutes, since once I said the words, "I want to make an appointment," I apparently was only then required to answer her questions.  I wondered when I'd get a chance to ask questions, and I finally caught a break.  When she asked if my insurance were my own or my spouse's, I jumped in with both feet.
"Actually, that's something I need to ask you," I said, probably sounding desperate.  Which I was, since it was the first thing I'd been able to say in ages that wasn't rattling off numbers.  "Do Dr. K and Dr. K treat single women?  I don't mean just treating; I am single and want to be a mother."  Since by this point she knew the basics of my problems, there was no doubt of exactly what I was asking.
"Ahh," she answered cautiously, and oh-so-intelligently.  "Well, they will see single women and work on diagnosis.  If there are problems, they will perform necessary surgery to correct them.  But, any fertility drug therapy, insemination, or IVF treatments are reserved for married couples."
BUZZ!  Wrong answer, nursie.  But of course, I went ahead and made the appointment; if nothing else, I can always cancel it, and if I decide to keep it, I won't have to wait another 30-60 days to see them.  I really have a feeling I'm going to cancel the appointment, even though it will pretty much leave me stuck between a rock and a hard place.  Drs. K&K are the only fucking reproductive endocrinologists/infertility doctors in the whole city who are covered under my insurance.
I just don't understand why it's such a pain to find a doctor to treat me as a SMC (single mother by choice) wanna-be.  It's not the first time I've run into this problem; both my family doctor and my ob-gyn have said that they wouldn't be "comfortable" helping me achieve pregnancy because I am single.  My ob-gyn even said that, were I to come in pregnant and single, it wouldn't be a problem.  But to actually help me get knocked up?  Oh no!  She even said that to even consider treating me, she would insist that I undergo counseling first.  And even then it wouldn't be a certain thing.
Apparently, a stupid teenager who gets pregnant is deserving of more respect and assistance than I am.  It doesn't matter that I'm 36, well-educated, employed, and stable.  Nope, no way; unless I have a ring on my finger and a M.R.S. degree, I am violating the natural order of the universe and must be stopped at all costs.
Sometimes living in the Bible Belt really sucks.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

My uterus, my buddy

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! ;-)

Happy Birthday to me!

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

What's in a name?

Sometimes I am the most anal-retentive person on the planet.  When I sign up for things, and have to create a screen name, it becomes an agony-filled ordeal.  Because of course, I can't just be Hotstuff555; no, no, I have to spend an hour choosing just the right name for my purpose.
My mainstay, 15 year old email address is related to my long-ago dreams of writing: I choose a name derived from a fictional Persian storyteller.
My screen name on a site-that-shall-not-be-named (but that has to do with baby making), is Arabic and means "beautiful vision", which is how I felt about my dream of being a mother.  Of course, that was two years ago, before I became bitter and jaded, but I digress...
My identity here on Blogger, Meshkhent, is the name of a rather obscure Egyptian goddess.  She is a birth-goddess, associated with the birthing bricks that women would squat upon as they labored.  She was most often portrayed as a brick with a woman's head atop it.  So, since a lot of my writing will be about me, me, me wanting babies, babies, babies, I thought that somewhat appropriate.  And no, not because I'm as thick as a brick, smart ass.  I know you were thinking it.
See?  I told you I was anal-retentive.

My birthday is almost here. Yay Me. Not.

I'm almost 36.  Yikes.  I really thought that I would be a grown-up by now; when is that supposed to happen, I wonder?  I mean, I know that I'm technically an adult: I'm over 18, have a job, take care of my responsibilities, give to charity, etc.  But I still feel like a kid on the inside, and sometimes feel like I'm a fraud.  Like I'm a kid playing dress-up, wondering why no one has called me on it.  "Hey, you!  You can't fool me!  You look like a old hag, but I know you're really 16.  How did you manage to get a real estate license?"
My best friend and sister in spirit, Cheryl, told me something about her mom that I remember whenever I feel like this.  Her mom said that one day she was looking in the mirror, and suddenly felt very sad.  She said, "When did I get old?  I see this old lady in the mirror, but when did I get old?  I still feel exactly the same on the inside, the same way I did when I was your age.  But now there's an old woman in the mirror."
Apparently I'm not the only one who feels that way.  I'm really starting to resent birthdays, especially with all the fertility hoopla.  Every b-day that rolls around is another reminder that my ovaries are going to start sputtering like a car running low on gas: it might still run, but you know it's going to quit at any moment.  Add in my PCOS issues, and the fact that it looks like my fallopian tubes are completely blocked, and this birthday is really starting to look like it might be celebrated by me, a pack of Camels, and a bottle of Beaujolais villages.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Answer to "Why?"

Okay, so a friend was checking out my new blog site and asked me where on earth the title came from. I can’t actually take credit for the phrase, but I’ve shamelessly stolen it for myself since it seemed appropriate.

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.

Immigration Solutions

I actually wrote this a couple of months ago on another site, but decided to re-post it here. I mean, I LIKE it when I get all worked up and start ranting. ;)

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...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Run, my little furry friends!

Huh. Apparently, I am a lemming. Watch me join all the other lemmings rushing to my death, leaping off the cliff.

Or writing a blog, as the case may be.