My Endo Journey: When Life Kicks You in the Teeth (A.K.A. Good Riddance, 2016)

Well, I let some more time pass, despite my intent to continue to share this endometriosis and infertility journey with you. I’m sorry. Honestly, my high after finishing the Lupron has worn off entirely, and the last few months have been crappier than I could ever have imagined.

First, things did not “start back” in the timeframe that the interwebs led me to believe was normal. Which meant I couldn’t start back up on the fertility meds.  Which also meant I needed to be pumped full of hormones to kick it all back in gear. As you can imagine, a “hormone bomb” like Provera creates a Melanie who cries constantly. I can’t tell you how many times I burst into tears for little reason, sobbing and apologizing to Joey for being ridiculous. He just laughed and soldiered on, as has become his modus opperandi this past year. Someday, I hope I can return the favor by actually taking care of him instead of the reverse. And he’s working three jobs these days, so his stress is already quite high.

So, it was back to the Femara (a med like Clomid that stimulates follicle production on your ovaries, thereby increasing the likelihood that you’ll ovulate). This time, though, we added in an Ovidrel “trigger” shot. The shot forces ovulation within 24-36 hours. It is not covered by insurance, and it’s $140 a pop. Now, we’re not destitute or anything, but come on. Still, I found myself excited this time…the endo was under control, ovulation was a sure thing; what could go wrong?

It didn’t work, that’s what. I had my annual checkup with my OBGYN a few days later and she told me not to get discouraged, that it’s fairly common for it to fail on the first try. That lifted my spirits some and we prepared ourselves for Round 2.

On Round 2, I promised myself that I wouldn’t get excited or hopeful this time so I wouldn’t be as disappointed when it didn’t work. And I was successful at that for the first week. But around 8 days post-ovulation, I started feeling “off.” And that led me down the road of symptom-spotting and agonizing over every little twinge. Needless to say, when it became fully evident that Round 2 failed on Saturday, 12/3, I was devastated.

In all honesty, I don’t like Christmas. I don’t like the commercialism. I don’t like the Elf on the Shelf. I don’t like the pressure on parents (self-imposed or otherwise) to create a magical “Santa” experience for their children. I don’t like the obligations, busy-ness, endless presents to buy (the bulk of which to be returned, thrown away, or stashed in some corner somewhere until they’re discarded when eventually rediscovered), social events to attend, weeks and weeks and weeks of extra rehearsals eating up what precious little free time I already have. There’s just too much stress that comes with the month of December, and in my worst moments, I want to run for the hills and return sometime mid-January.

So I didn’t even get a chance to fully grieve the failure of Round 2. I had to go to a six hour dress rehearsal the morning I discovered it. Then I had to sing in a Christmas program the next day. Then my office Christmas party. Then Joey’s office Christmas party. I painted on a fake smile and told everyone that I was doing just fine. We started Round 3.

Then Joey’s uncle died very unexpectedly and suddenly on the 13th. We were all quite close, and Joey was one of the first to arrive at the house, just after the paramedics. Just like that, Uncle Bob was gone and then came the business of trying to make sense of what had happened, settle his affairs, and take care of our newly-widowed aunt. All while in the midst of medications and ultrasounds, scheduling trigger shots, etc. I felt guilty for even worrying about our infertility drama, but just as the world does not stop spinning for death, neither does it stop spinning for the biological clock, so Round 3 had to trudge on whether or not we felt hopeful or had time for it.

And that brings us up to the present. Also, I forgot to mention that I broke my toe two months ago and it’s still healing (it’s hard to heal a toe when you don’t have time to stay off it), and I managed to get pinkeye just a couple of days after Uncle Bob died, and thus had to miss visiting the nursing home and seeing my grandmas for Christmas.

We haven’t been able to hike since Black Friday. And never more have I needed to be out on a trail than this last couple of months. Another reason December bites…we’ve just been too busy. We’re going hiking on Monday (the day after Christmas), and I don’t intend on seeing a car for at least six hours. We’re hiking all of the miles, injured toe and all.

I’m 4 days post-ovulation today. I had two follicles on Monday. I’d think that increases the chances that this round will work, but I’m not about to let myself get my hopes up again. And I’m not about to even think about symptoms. It’s not worth the pain. We get one more shot after this and then my OB wants to refer us to REACH (the infertility clinic). I’m not sure how helpful it’ll be since we don’t intend to do in-vitro, and it’s sketchy whether my insurance will cover any of it. There comes a point where we have to look at the situation logically. We can either shell out money for REACH or save up to begin the adoption process. I’m leaning toward adoption at this point.  We’ll see how it plays out.

So, Merry Freaking Christmas. I hope yours is merry and bright. I just want mine to be over.

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Nothing Says “Christmas” Like Greed

I think I’ve officially quit the “gift-game.”  Every year, I have to play the Chinese-gift exchange with a group of people and every year, it turns into one of the most ugly things I’ve seen.  The rule is that the gifts have to be nice gifts, not gag-gifts, so the game quickly devolves into name-calling and hurt feelings:  the gift you brought wasn’t nice enough and no one wants it, you opened something that you really want and someone took it away, or someone gets mad at you for stealing the gift that they really wanted.  It’s just ugly.  One year, I “stole” a gift and the person I took it from got really nasty.  And it was just a gift card to Caribou.  One year, I brought a very pretty picture-frame set and it was the last thing picked and no one wanted it.  It’s just not a pretty game.

This year, I suggested that we find a game next year that didn’t bring out the worst in us, and someone else joked back, “this really brings out everyone’s true colors.”  That got me thinking.  Do we really want to say that about ourselves?  Do we really want to say that these are our true colors?

I mean, there are kids in our own city who are going to wake up on Christmas morning, not just without presents, but without heat and food.  Do we really want to admit to ourselves that our “true colors” are to be nasty to one another for some $15 gift that we don’t really even need?  There are people on the streets.  There are shelter animals being euthanized every day because of people’s “true colors.”

I don’t want to say that about myself.  Those aren’t my true colors.  So I quit.  Next year, I’m not going to participate in it.  I’m just going to remove myself from the situation altogether.

People wonder why I don’t get into the Christmas Spirit.  It’s because people treat each other like crap.  They push and shove at stores, they get upset when they don’t get what they want, they look at gifts they don’t want like they’re holding a terd.  Commercials are even worse than usual…how about Brooke Burke hocking those shape-up shoes?  Giving your sister a tighter butt, eh?  How about telling your sister that you really think that she’s got a huge butt and then giving her the shoes?  There’s some “true colors” for you!

Not doing it anymore.  I’m just not.  A $15 gift is not worth hurt feelings.

Bah, Humbug.

Merry (Rainy and Blustery) Christmas

I joked all week at the weather report that God must be really pissed about Christmas this year….they called for a NASTYNASTY rainy and blustery day on Christmas day, bookended by beautiful days.  So weird.  But, looking out the window right now, they were totally right…it’s pouring and windy and gross and it sounds very tornadic.  They are even calling for thunderstorms this afternoon.  So, maybe God’s finally had enough of our consumerism and desire for huge, showy productions and displays that we seem to think will absolve us of the fact that we spend the rest of the year pretending like He doesn’t exist.  I know, that’s a downer, but I got to thinking…every time I hear someone say “remember the reason for the season” I get a little irritated.  If “He” was the real reason for the season, there wouldn’t be all of this crap.  There would be contemplation, reflection, prayer, thanksgiving, and outreach…not crowded stores full of people muscling each other out of the way to get the last “Zhu Zhu” Hamster thing or whatever the hell it’s called.  There wouldn’t be having to make sure that the Christmas cards are better than everyone else’s were last year.  There wouldn’t be the five million commitments and the “you have to bring a fifteen dollar gift to the party…and it better be something that people will actually want.” 

There would be feet to the pavement.  There would be feeding the poor.  There would be donating to animal shelters.  There would be homeless animal adoptions.  There would be giving gifts, real gifts, to people in need.  There would be loving your neighbor.  There would be time spent together, not in “sanctioned, structured events,” but in simple gatherings to eat together and share the year’s joys…and maybe even sorrows.

This year, we cut back on commitments, and we are giving handmade gifts (with two exceptions which I can’t blog about yet).  I have to be honest, it’s liberating to let go of the “trappings” of the season…I don’t know that our focus has been perfect, in fact, probably far from it, but it’s easier to focus on the “reason” when there are fewer distractions vying for attention.

Before next Chrismas, make a list of what you normally do each year.  Then, take a long, hard look at it and think about whether or not it is consistent with your faith, with why you celebrate.  If it’s not, change it until it is, or try to cut it out entirely.  It doesn’t have to mean a boring and uneventful holiday.  And, it may just give you new focus and meaning when you tell someone, “Merry Christmas.”

God bless us, everyone.

Christmas To-Dos

  1. Knit another five or six gifts (thankfully, small ones)
  2. Figure out what I want to make as my “edible gift.”
  3. Make said “edible gift.”
  4. Find superbly-awesome and thrifty/recycled wrapping material/style.
  5. Wrap said gifts in said superbly-awesome/thrifty/recycled wrapping material.
  6. Cook Christmas lunch (Chili…OH yeah!!)
  7. Avoid sweets at work (stay awaaaaay).
  8. Survive the office with almost everyone gone (No, I CAN’T help you.  No one can.  Call back after the Holidays.  KTHXBai!!)

Oh, and it’s the Solstice today, so happy Solstice….and for the fundies out there, no, it doesn’t automatically make me a pagan to say that.  Solstice has been incredibly important to just about all of the indigenous cultures of our world.  From this point foward, the days get longer again…thank goodness:).

Have some tea:

And a Kins:

And enjoy your night:)