When Normalcy is Not

I don’t talk about this much anymore, but we struggled with infertility for ten years.

I have PCOS. I menstruate maybe annually on my own. Usually I have to take progesterone to give the lady bits a kickstart.

But in December and February, it just happened. December was no big deal, because it had been a few months. Whatevs.

But last month I cried.

Because I didn’t know how to react.

What’s going on?
Has my body decided to be healthy?
What if I get pregnant?

I cried because I didn’t know how to feel about the possibility of fertility. I cried because I thought we were done with this. I cried because I thought the roller coaster was over.  I cried because I had convinced myself that I did not want to parent.

We do fucked up things to our minds when faced with the harshest realities of life, when we realize that in spite of what we’ve always been told, we can’t do or be anything we want just because we want it.

Sour grapes.

But it was only during that first rush of confusion that I questioned, that I believed the lies that I had talked myself into believing.

I do want to parent, but at the same time, I do love the life we have now, for the most part. It was the sudden flip-flopping of everything that I thought I knew that hurt me so much. And in a way, I appreciate that flip-flopping; it’s just another thing that has helped me be present in my life and be conscious of my own innermost feelings.

And now I understand that I can welcome being childless as much as I once dreamed of parenting. Not just because it’s safe and familiar, but also because I know that I have the capacity to be mindful and simply enjoy today.

Except on the days that I can’t, but I’ve learned that it’s okay to have those days too.

Any day can be a good day on its own merits.


Skin, Prose Poetry, Internal Rhyme

My skin I feel; it’s so unreal. The lightest brush of feathers, the blood rushing within–this sense of touch that means so much. My skin covers my face and chin; the hairs, they grow up from within. I felt them when I woke today. The blood feeding, the feathers catching–my skin again, my hairy skin. I like the feeling of smooth skin; it’s time to depilate again.

Writing 201: Poetry


Can I Call It a Followup?

Way back before I even started this blog, I had my last visit with an RE on June 24, 2011. That was after my first ovulation, so they gave me three Clomid refills and said come back in September. Then that appointment was rescheduled for December. Then that appointment was cancelled. In February, I got a letter with my new appointment with the new RE. In October. Then guess what! The fertility clinic closed. My new appointment is at the ‘problem clinic.’

So here we are today, almost exactly sixteen months later. Sixteen months of practically self-medicating, two ovulations, one ultrasound and one HSG that I conned out of the OB/GYN who gave me my results from the ultrasound that my family practitioner ordered.

You know what? I should have just cancelled the shit myself. We walked the fuck out after half an hour of arguing with this woman about how one test in three years is not routine maintenance, how despite her insistence that it’s such a fucking great idea I am not going to try to get pregnant anymore, and how PCOS can, in fact, get fucking worse.

All I wanted was some birth control, not crazy ass Provera, with refills so I could bleed once in a while. Fuck it. Guess I’m getting that from family practice.


Even More Hospital Fun

Today was my ultrasound, yay!

However, AF came yesterday with a vengeance. As in almost as heavy as the time I had to go to the emergency room a couple years ago.

So I started off the day spending twenty minutes on hold trying to talk to my doctor to see if she wants me to come back sooner than six weeks from now.

Only to find out she wasn’t in the clinic today, and her nurse was at lunch. So I took her next available appointment two weeks from today.

When I made the ultrasound appointment a month ago, the receptionist told me to go to radiology in the main building. She was wrong, but on our way out, who did we run into but my doctor! While my husband went to get the car, I told her what was going on, and she told me to come see her on the 14th, but if anything happened between now and then to give her a call, and good luck starting my clomid tomorrow. I love my doctor.

We got to the right building, but after I checked in, even though I already had to pee, I had to wait an hour, drinking water. Which was ultimately pointless, because when the tech checked me, she said my bladder wasn’t full enough, but she’d just let me go to the restroom instead of making me wait longer.

Once she started playing around with wandy, she asked if I had any kids. I think talking about kids was her entire small talk repertoire, because when I told her no, she had nothing else to say.

But good news, everyone! My ovaries didn’t look like popcorn! They’re round and not polka dotted! I’ve never seen that before. How awesome is that? I know I’m about to mess em all up again with clomid, but at least they have some glamour shots now to go on their permanent record.

And tomorrow, clomid, counselor, and let the crazies begin again!


Why PCOS Sucks

I know now that my PCOS was incredibly well controlled for close to a decade by simple birth control pills. Basically, I came off those, and all hell broke loose.

Now, I have a whole list of symptoms, but my acne isn’t bad, I can deal with cysts, and struggling to lose weight isn’t that big a problem. Obviously, the infertility part is a huge concern, but there are two symptoms that cause me the most daily distress.

Hirsutism
You can call me shallow all you want, but this seriously bothers me. Every new dark, coarse hair I discover symbolizes to me how screwed up my body is. Being blonde and fair skinned only makes it worse, because for most of my life, you would have been hard pressed to notice hair on my arms at all.

20120121-215335.jpgAnd now look at this Sasquatch-y monstrosity! I feel grotesque. These bastards are everywhere. So I shave, and I pluck, and I lotion, and all that only serves to remind me how barren I am. It sucks.

Hypertension
And then there’s the apparently never ending struggle with my blood pressure. Literally days after stopping birth control, it was higher than it had ever been, but fortunately I used to run pretty low. And it just kept creeping up.

Finally, about a year ago, one of my doctors started me on methyldopa, which worked absolutely fantastically until they started canceling my appointments and I couldn’t get a refill. So I was out for about a month, and now it’s not working as well, even with ever higher doses.

I’m apparently one of the lucky ones who’s pretty sensitive to blood pressure fluctuations, so if it’s even a little too high or too low I’ll get headaches, fatigue, weakness, and dizziness, all of which are also side effects of my medicine and renew themselves every time my dosage increases.

So it’s like I’ve had mono for the past two months or so, and that just makes me feel guilty. Guilty for not being able to take care of everything I would be able to take care of if I felt better, guilty for having a body that doesn’t work right, guilty for being boring because I never feel up to having fun, guilty for wanting to have children at all, because if I didn’t, I’d still be trucking along on birth control with not a damn thing wrong with me.

And then I feel angry at myself for feeling guilty. Which is just another thing to feel guilty about. Stupid vicious cycles.

Also: I take metformin. Doesn’t help.


I Saw a Doctor!

Wow, I get to post about a real live doctor visit? That’s amazing! It’s been six months since I’ve been able to do that.

First off, things went well when we made the appointment. I was able to change doctors because they were ‘switching over to a new system,’ so I didn’t have to see the touchy-feely creeper again! He was the main reason I haven’t been there in almost two years. The absolute last guy I want playing around in my lady bacon, let me assure you.

So I saw a new doctor, and her name is April too! She was really nice and listened to the looong story I had for her. She even had a tidbit of info for me: the RE retired. So it was not some spur-of-the-moment fit of pique that had him abandon his fricking patients. That jerk knew this was coming! Grr…

So here’s what we did today: we increased my blood pressure meds because the current dosage isn’t cutting it anymore. We did a whole list of bloodwork, including finally checking my thyroid, yay! I start birth control today to hopefully stop the bleeding and go back in two weeks. I have an ultrasound in four weeks, but maybe I’ll be able to get that when I go back in two weeks. I even got a referral to the women’s clinic that wouldn’t see me anymore because I’m a fertility patient, so they can take that and stick it somewhere!

Really, I would take the spotting over the hypertension any day. That’s what’s causing me the most problems right now. I have headaches almost constantly from it. It sucks.

So now, a different kind of two week wait. I would almost welcome something being abnormal, that way I’d find something out sooner. But I’ll just cross my fingers that my blood pressure comes down some before I have a stroke.

The best part of today was having a date night with my sweetie. We had Smashburger, yum! Their veggie frites are awesome. If you haven’t been there, you should go. We used to go every Wednesday, but our cool waiter went to Spain. It’s just not the same without him.

Now, a movie and bed, most likely.

But, 2012? Keep in mind that my attitude towards you remains the same.