Alas, my body has a different plan.
This is my first official sick day of this school year. I took numerous half days for visits to the evil fertility clinic and I took a mental health day last month, but this is the first time I've actually had to call in sick. I guess after almost ten years of working with kids that my immune system has prepared itself for battle.
I used to feel so guilty when I had to stay home. My previous principal sent me home one day because I looked like death warmed over although I still felt like I could've stayed if I just didn't stand up. But today I feel absolutely not one iota of guilt. Perhaps it the state that this horrible flu bug has gotten me in? Or perhaps it's just the realization that I just can't fight with my body anymore.
Surrender to illness is something I've had to deal with for a very long time.
As a child I was always ill. In retrospect it may have been a total over-reaction from my hypochodriac mother (who by the way is a health care professional!). I was born six weeks premature and thus had a myriad of health issues that brought us to Toronto's Sick Kids' Hospital on a regular basis. Not that JBCM will talk about why we went. I just remember being in kindergarten and thinking that it was perfectly normal that we were going to the hospital. Thirty years later I'm not thinking that it was. Thank God for all of the red lollipops and friendly doctors that made it seem fun!
I also was one of the only kids in my class to have serious food allergies. I remember JBCM telling me, "Don't eat anything that the other kids give you." on the first day of school. I also remember my dad having an absolute coronary when my first grade teacher fed me ice cream that made me swell up like a balloon. Food allergies are commonplace in the 21st century school, but they weren't in the 80's.
I was diagnosed with asthma at age eleven. I actually spent most of grade five at home because my doctor just couldn't get my medications right. We spent a great deal of time at the local ER with me attached to an oxygen mask. I'm really grateful that we finally found an allergist that medicated me properly.
In my adulthood I've dealt with clinical depression -- what fun! And very early into my teaching career I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I spent the better part of two years on and off of steroids (I was nicely swollen for my wedding, how attractive) and because of my numerous allergies it took my gastroenterologist over a year to find a medication that didn't make me feel like throwing up or go the bathroom every ten minutes.
So before I got on the unexplained infertility roller coaster I've had my fill of doctors. Not that I don't have the utmost respect for the majority of my doctors -- the team that has kept my dud of my body going for more than thirty years should get medals. I can imagine how difficult it was to deal with JBCM and her constant need to take me to the doctor whenever I sniffled or cleared my throat.
I think it also explains why I am so hesitant about using the "conventional" infertility treatments.
I realize that internal ultrasounds are quite different from a colonoscopy (different holes, the former not requiring the horrible bowel clean-out). I also realize that having a baby isn't absolutely necessary for my body's health.
I've come to terms with the fact that I have to take medication to ensure that all of my internal organs function properly and that I will have to take these medications for the duration of my life. I've been taking meds for most of my life, so it's a routine like brushing my teeth or taking a shower. I've also come to a realization that I need to advocate for what my head and heart want, not just what some dude in a white coat is telling me.
I admire anyone that has chosen to use ART, I just know that it isn't right for me. It isn't right for us. I'm tired of all of the poking and prodding in my nether regions. I can't bear another minute spent in yet another's doctor's office reading old magazines and wishing that I could be anywhere else. I refuse to let someone sell me hope when I really don't believe that IVF or IUI is the route for building my family. I'm hoping that using alternative medicine, however costly and not covered by our insurance, is going to help me treat my body as my friend, not as a science experiment.
I'm also not going to the doctor for this flu bug either. So there.