31 July 2010
Perhaps it's a good thing that I was so mentally exhausted that I could barely even formulate the simplest of blog comments. Perhaps it was a good thing that I had to drag my sorry infertile self to the stinky city every day for three weeks rather than wallow in the fact that we had passed the five year mark of my barrenness. Perhaps the Lord knew that I needed this government job to pad my resume because my career is going to be my focus, rather than the brood of children that I wanted to have.
I'm tired friends. This infertility business has gotten old.
Really, really old.
I've been toying more and more with the idea that we are just meant to be childless. My body seems to be telling me that I've been working against nature. If I was meant to get pg then it would've already happened. Like last month, when I had two beautiful follicles just waiting, but instead I was slapped in the face by more disappointment.
But we continue to go through the motions. I take my meds. I chart. We "enjoy" (there's nothing that says romance like timed intercourse!!!) marital relations at the optimal times. I get my blood drawn. Heck, I even pretend every month that there is a chance that I may actually have beaten the odds.
We're off to my fertile best friend's cottage for a few days. Maybe after hogging her infant I will feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle infertility. Or maybe I will stuff the baby into my overnight bag and drive away like a crazy lady.
I really hope that a few days on the island will renew my spirit, or at least refill my sleep debt. At least I know that I can enjoy a glass (or ten) of wine without worrying!
25 July 2010
I know that it isn't too surprising, but I was too tired.
My appointment was at 12:30pm and I felt like I had completed a triathlon before my appointment when all I had done was a yoga class! My results, as prefaced by my title, are not as clear-cut as I wanted them to be. I've become a complete sadist when it comes to medical conditions (perhaps it's self-preservation since the last time I got health-related results I had the WORST possible kind of endometriosis, horrible adhesions, uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts, but I digress...).
First off, I want to say how much I love my naturopath! When I told her that I was having some serious depression symptoms that I attribute to my thyroid she almost started to cry. She said that she was so sad for me because she said that I was "like a ray of sunshine."
I've been so darned tired lately that I've been more like a storm cloud!
So onto my results. Is there any way to insert a drum roll?
I had a four point cortisol test done for my adrenals and I also had my DHEA level tested. My naturopath recommended that I had my sex hormones tested, but after some research (and urging from the very knowledgeable Barbie, who btw is a new mom, go over and congratulate her!) I didn't. I saved $200 so I will be forever thankful!
Here are the numbers:
Hormone Status Result Range Units Range Applied
DHEAS Above range 14 3.0-11 ng/mL Endogenous DHEA 35-54 yrs.
Cortisol AM Within range 6.1 2.0-11 ng/mL within 1 hour of waking
Cortisol noon Low end of range 1.6 1.0-7.0 ng/mL s ampled at noon
Cortisol PM Within range 1.5 0.5-3.5 ng/mL sampled before dinner
Cortisol HS Within range 0.5 0.2-1.3 ng/mL sampled at bedtime
I wish that I had a scanner so you could see the adrenal function graph on my results, but I'm definitely on the lower range of all the results (or at least that is what my naturopath told me).
There was a questionnaire that came with the spit test and the results from that coupled with the spit test results gave more information. I have an additional three pages of tiny type analyzing my symptoms. The biggest being symptoms of elevated testosterone. Apparently high levels of DHEAS are an indicator of high testosterone and estrogen (although I have low estrogen which my Napro doc has been trying to treat). According to the analysis sheet from my test I may have acne, increased facial hair growth, oily skin and abdominal weight gain. I do have an increased amount of acne which has been caused by oily skin and I am a little tubbier in the belly. I had attributed all of these things to all of the IF drugs. The only increased facial hair I have is in the eyebrow area. I have had to get my eyebrows done more often, but I definitely don't have any more facial hair (I am not growing a beard!).
Another interesting finding was that I have symptoms of hypothyroidism. I do have a cold intolerance, I've felt depressed, I suffer from fatigue, have aching muscles (and I thought it was all of that yoga!) and lastly thinning hair. The last symptom is a little shocking. I have A LOT of hair and I have always had a lot of shedding. My fertile bf used to marvel when we were roommates that I lost so much hair. My mom also used to complain that she always had to clean up my hair. I thought that it was normal, alas I don't think so any more!
I am so glad that my Napro doctor tested my thyroid. I really hope that she has some wonky results when I see her in September!
The biggest concern for my naturopath was the drop of cortisol levels from the morning to noon. The report says this:
"...cortisol drops sharply from morning to noon; this may be indicative of a degree of dysregulation of adrenal function. In a study of Vedhara, noon salivary cortisol in individuals experiencing low stress was 58% or morning salivary cortisol, whereas in the high stress group, noon salivary cortisol was 39% of morning salivary cortisol)."
Although three of the four levels of cortisol were within or above the normal limits, I'm still on the lower end of the scale (which is why the graph I mentioned earlier is important). The report says, "It is also possible that the patient's symptoms are arising from some other issue such as decreased delivery of T3 to tissue, decreased formation of T3 in tissue, an imbalance of neurotransmitters or some other problem such as accumulation of toxic elements." (Please not the last thing!).
I wish that I was more well-versed in all things adrenal and thyroid. I've read through my report more than once and it's pretty overwhelming! The one thing that keeps coming out at me is hypothyroidism. My naturopath has increased my adrenal support and she has put me on homeopathic thyroid support as well. I took the thyroid stuff this morning and I had energy until about 3pm! Pretty amazing for me.
I would welcome any comments or advice about my results. Like I said, I wish that things were a little more clear cut, but I think that we're making some headway. Hopefully my Napro doctor will be able to shed more light on these results for me!
22 July 2010
I'm not sick, but I'm definitely tired. A tired that seems to have taken over my life.
I remember, perhaps last year before my surgeries, a JellyBelly that had energy. I could teach all day, practice yoga and still have energy to do work when I got home. Fast forward a year and I can barely drag myself off the couch to eat dinner. I was even debating not eating because I was too exhausted to walk a couple of metres to get my dinner from the fridge (God bless my husband, he's out with the boys tonight and he made sure that I didn't have to worry about cooking!).
There was a time when I was able to cook, tidy up the kitchen and even prepare the next day's lunch.
I'm even too tired to be frustrated about my tiredness. I had to contemplate how much energy it would take to get the laptop open to blog!
I sent my adrenal spit test in last week, July 12th to be exact -- I cannot believe how much spit I had to produce to fill the four vials. I felt dehydrated after filling the last tube! -- and my naturopath got the results today. I made an appointment for Saturday afternoon and I have never been so excited to see her in my life! Like Sew (although to a smaller degree) I cannot wait to reclaim my life. I want to be able to feel like a completely functioning human being, not a tired, sad shell of a girl that I've become!
Again, it's because of so many of you that I've been brought to this point. In the past I would've chalked up my fatigue to external factors like working or having a long school year or even the weather. I know now that how I feel isn't normal and that I don't have to settle.
I don't know if the next puzzle piece to my overall health is going to bring me a baby, but I will be healthy (although a baby would be a wonderful reward for all of this!).
p.s. To answer Misfit's question from my previous post: Yes, I lived in France. When I finished my M.A. in French literature I took part in an exchange program with a university just outside of the city. I spent 18 months living in the most beautiful city in the world. In an ideal world I would love to spend every summer living in Paris, but my heart belongs to my beloved Canada. When I made the decision to return home in 2001 I knew that there would be no turning back and I have never regretted my decision. Part of me had to run away to Europe to find who I was and I had to return home to realize that. Lastly, I married a unilingual anglophone. There's no way that Mr. JB would live in France (or anywhere else besides where we live right now, the only other place he would consider is his hometown, but I refuse to live in the country!).
20 July 2010
Instead, I want to remember a happier time.
If you're so inclined you can visit Paris with me. I've spent quite a bit of time trying to channel my happy place. I've also tried to hatch a plan to run away, change my name and start a new, non-IF life.
Don't worry, the last thought was fleeting. I'd have to take Mr. JB with me and I wouldn't be very good at pretending to be someone else.
Perhaps it's a blessing that I have this summer job, regardless of how mentally draining it is. The last thing I would want to do right now is dwell on the sad in my life.
Btw, we had to do an ice breaker activity last week and one of things I had to write about were my interests. I stopped myself from writing "Catholic infertility blogger" since I didn't want to out myself. Maybe I will have the courage to be open about my struggle, but for now I'm okay with having my corner of the internet to bear my infertile soul.
19 July 2010
AF started this morning.
And it isn't just spotting that's going to stop either.
I had ovulation proven, two nice follicles that ruptured and (I'm assuming) good blood work. Now I'm certain that my adrenals are the missing link. I should get the results from my spit test (holey moley, that was a TON of spit that I had to collect!) in about three weeks.
I need to have a good cry and move on.
There's always next month, right?
18 July 2010
I don't like surprises. Ever. I told him that if he were to propose to me in public that I would say no. I'm one of those people that are experts in the ugly cry and the last thing I wanted to do was ugly cry in front of total strangers!
But I digress.
I have to admit that I was pretty grumpy on our way to my anniversary surprise. In retrospect I know that I hadn't eaten enough and I should've taken a nap in the car. I was pretty surprised when Mr. JB pulled up in front of the bed and breakfast (we were in the Pl.antation Suite)! We were only about an hour from home and it was like I was in another universe! The little town was so cute and just up the street from the b & b was the most beautiful church (where we went to 5pm mass, the priest was also super cool when I told him about my gluten allergy, he gave me a tiny piece of the host and all was good). If you're so inclined read the history about the town which was founded by a group of Catholic Alsatian families. It was totally a coincidence, but a happy one nonetheless.
Mr. JB made reservations at an amazing steak and seafood place nearby. They were so good about my food allergies/sensitivities and I was able to eat dinner without any issues. It was so delicious! The only glitch was that Mr. JB forgot that he had eaten fish (he ordered the salmon special) when he gave me a kiss and my lips got all tingly. It was the first time in almost seven years together that he forgot to brush his teeth after eating fish and I'm glad that I didn't have a more serious reaction! That would've put a damper on our getaway!
The second best thing about the b & b was the beautiful claw foot soaker tub. After dinner I took a nice long bubble bath. I could've moved right in! The best thing about the b & b was my breakfast! The owner made me the most delicious gluten-free breakfast cake that I had seconds! I wasn't even jealous of the yummy french toast that Mr. JB got!
After breakfast we explored St. Ja.cobs, a touristy area that wasn't too far away. We hadn't visited since we were dating and we walked around all of the little shops and had some lunch. We cut our visit short when I saw a student that I taught a couple of years ago. I really didn't feel like stopping and chatting so we went back to our car and headed towards home.
I did feel a bit guilty about missing the scandalous bridal shower, but I'm so glad that we went away. I've been so mentally and physically exhausted from my summer job that it was nice to have a mini vacation. I cannot wait to get the results of my adrenal test. I've been ridiculously tired (I even took a nap after breakfast and one before dinner last night!). Before my surgeries I had so much energy. I could teach all day, exercise, do stuff around my house and get 7 hours of sleep and I would be fine. Now I can barely drag myself off of the couch! I'm so scared that I'm going to go back to work in September and I won't be able to function!
Btw, tomorrow is Peak +14. And that's all I'm going to say about that.
And no, I will not POAS. EVERY time I do that AF shows up, and we don't want that to happen!!!
15 July 2010
But Lord if you're reading this, a baby would be really, really great right about now!
I hope that I have enough brain power to write a proper post. Spending all day talking and writing seem to have burnt me out. I do have to say that I would prefer to be tired because I've spent my day with little kids, not annoying adults!
Lastly, I miscounted. Today is Peak + 10, not 11. Perhaps it's good that I've been so busy to distract me from this darned 2ww!!!!
My new job in the city has been really interesting, but we've spent three days listening to presentation after presentation. I'm a primary school teacher and I'm used to moving or changing activities every 10 or 15 minutes. Spending my days sitting and listening are near close to torture! It also doesn't help that there are not windows in the room we spend the bulk of our time!
I've met a group of anglophones that like to spend any free time outside. A few of us even studied at the same university in the same program!
I've had more than one person ask about my kids and I've tried to remain as vague as possible. I had to stop myself from blurting out, "Nope, I'm a sad barren woman!"
I don't think that would fly very well.
Speaking of fertility, it's Peak + 11 today. I'm not going to analyze the way I'm feeling. I'm utterly exhausted and I'm growing my second cold sore in a week (eeeww!). My Napro doc had me cut down my HCG shots to three on P + 3, 5 & 7 since my progesterone has been really good.
Mr JB has planned a surprise for this weekend. I've almost foiled him a couple of times, but I'm trying hard to remain blissfully ignorant. Again, I'm so relieved about having a clear excuse to avoid the scandalous shower! Mr JB said that since I'm missing this shower that I won't be able to miss them baby shower. I almost lost my mind and then he relented. Even before IF I couldn't be forced to do anything I didn't want to!
Yes, I'm a stubborn, stubborn girl.
I do have another post percolating in my head, but a commuter train isn't the place to write it. I apologize, yet again, for my commenting silence. I'm reading, but pressed for time to comment (I sneak looks at he blogs at break, but don't have the time :( ).
12 July 2010
I still haven't RSVP'ed and I know that I was so incensed when I got the invitation, but now I'm feeling the pressure of family politics. A BIG part of me doesn't care, but another part of me knows that my presence will be commented on (despite the fact that it is our anniversary weekend and we usually go away).
Mr. JB and I still haven't made plans. The only thing that I have to do this weekend is a hair appointment (and sleep, but that's besides the point). I know that I shouldn't have left it until past the RSVP due date (it was the 8th, but we were out of town).
I asked Mr. JB to call his aunt and give her my response, but I still haven't decided. I know that I will not be going to the baby shower (since I don't do baby showers anymore). What do I do?
My commute went swimmingly well. I made it to the station just in time for an express train to the city and I had no problem with the subway. I did so well with time that I made it to my temporary workplace 45 minutes early! I'm definitely taking a later train tomorrow!
The craziest thing was that as I was approaching the building I noticed a whole bunch of police officers and an orange tarp covering what seemed to be a body. My only guess, judging from the caution tape, was that someone jumped from one of the balconies above. Pretty scary.
I used to think that I could live in the big city, but after that spectacle this morning, I think not!
Update: So I finally had the gumption to call Mr. JB's aunt about the shower. And yes, I told her that I wouldn't be able to go. I hope that the Lord forgives my white lies, but I didn't feel comfortable telling her that I morally opposed the celebration (that would've caused a CRAZY family scandal!).
So Mr. JB now has to plan something for this weekend. I've never let him make plans for us and I'm a little nervous! I'm sure that he won't disappoint, he did surprise me with his marriage proposal!
[insert sigh of relief here]
11 July 2010
It was great fun to hang out with my fertile bf and her family, but as the other guests (who, of course, had little children) started to trickle in I started to feel more and more barren. It got especially difficult when my fertile bf's husband's friends showed up with their cranky toddler (who didn't stop crying the ENTIRE time she was on the island!). It's one thing to be around my bf's adorable baby (for those of you who are my FB friends, I took some super cute photos of baby H!).
Tomorrow is the first day of my summer job. I'm pretty anxious about having to commute into the city since I've always driven to work. I always get nervous when I have to follow train timetables! I bought my transport card this evening and I have my train schedule in my wallet. It's surprising that I'm so anxious, but I think that it's definitely another example of my adrenal fatigue!
Btw, I've been busily collecting saliva for my adrenal test. I can't believe how hard it is to produce so much saliva! I was half asleep when I did the first collection because I stayed up watching the N.ext F.ood N.etwork S.tar instead of going to bed when we got home. I'm feeling pretty silly right now since we ate dinner so late that I have to stay up to 11pm to do my last collection. Needless to say I'm so excited to see what they find!
I'm slowly catching up on all of your blogs. I was able to read your blogs, but I didn't have very much alone time so I could post comments. Now that I'm going to be spending a couple of hours a day on the train I will have plenty of time to catch up!
I need to do my dreaded ironing for tomorrow morning. Urgh, it is my least favourite chore, but I don't want to show up all messy looking tomorrow!
p.s. Could you please say a quick prayer for our friend, M? His dad passed away last week after a short illness and is having a hard time with it. His dad was a retired principal and he taught quite a few of my friends. He was a good Catholic man and will be sorely missed.
8 July 2010
Thank you all for your prayers and your words of encouragement. I read my posts from the past couple of days and I seem (tee hee! ;) ) like quite the drama queen. Then again, after 5 years of IF I have very little patience for much these days!
I better sign off. Mr. JB is itching to get the car loaded up and on the highway.
p.s. There's going to be LOTS of time to pray for my prayer buddy (and don't worry, the rest of you too!) since we have a FOUR HOUR drive ahead of us!
7 July 2010
So the prayers, visualization and the positive thinking worked.
The two juicy follicles on my left side are gone. Ruptured. Ovulated.
I know that I was so stressed out because I was afraid that I had yet another fertility issue to deal with which would've been another thing to fix, and more time to wait.
And I'm sure that all of you know that I'm sick and tired of waiting.
Yesterday when I was on my way to the lab to get my blood work done I had a heart to heart with the Boss. I have my best talks with God when I'm driving in my car for some reason. I was telling Him that I knew that all this business about timing and ultrasounds were just another example to show me that I am not in control, despite all of my best efforts. Being a type-A infertile is not a good thing, at all.
I went to a Restorative yoga class after my appointment (I can't do any strenuous exercise before I get my adrenal test done, apparently it could mess up my levels -- thanks Barbie!) and while in my favourite pose (reclined, bound angle pose -- supta baddha konasana, the Cadillac of yoga poses AND great for fertility) I heard a voice telling me that I needed to be patient just a little longer.
Now, I'm not going to pretend that it was a voice from above, but I felt a wave of comfort wash over me after I had that thought.
So yet again, I thank you all for your prayers and support (especially TCIE who took time out of her day to talk to me on the phone!). We were very lucky to be done early enough at the ultrasound clinic that we were able to go to mass this morning (something I can't wait to do when I'm a SAHM!).
We have a busy day ahead of us. I see my gastroenterologist for the results of my colonoscopy this morning and hopefully she will tell me that I can go off of my colitis medication. Then I have a chiropractor appointment. I promise to update later, and hopefully I have more good news!
Update: So my visit with my gastroenterologist went REALLY well. I can go off of the immuno-suppressant that I've been taking the past five years.
I am so relieved!
She thinks that the dietary and lifestyle changes that I've made (plus the endo being removed) really helped my ulcerative colitis go into remission. It amazes me that I've had a complete turn around since I was first diagnosed with UC.
I'm a little afraid to go off of the meds since being sick was not fun at all. When I was at my sickest I lost 12 lbs in a week. For those of you that have met me in real life I don't really have 12 lbs to lose, if you know what I mean. My doctor said I can go off of the meds cold turkey, no weaning at all. I don't know if I want to do it that way. I may just taper my dosage while I still have some of the medication left.
It has been such a good day. Now, I just hope that the 2WW doesn't drive me nuts!
6 July 2010
So I had my ultrasound this morning and my follies have not ruptured, yet. The one on the right side is still the same size it was yesterday (1.4, I'm assuming millimeters), but the ones on the left are 2.4 and 2.5 which is up from Friday (they were 1.3 and 1.4, for some reason I didn't ask yesterday!).
My biggest worry is that the fertile CM disappeared yesterday afternoon. I had some 10KL (clear & stretchy) in the morning, but it could've been the ultrasound gel! For the rest of the day it was 10SL (shiny and lubricative). I haven't had any fertile CM today so I'm confused since my follies are still there.
I've tried to call my Napro practitioner since my doctor is out of town (and won't give hormone results over the phone, the receptionist is not very friendly and the outgoing message is, "We will NOT give results over the phone!"). I called my practitioner and hopefully she can get the numbers for me, but who knows.
I hope I don't have cysts or anything else wrong with me. The one thing that my body did right was ovulate, but that was pre-surgery. I was hoping that getting all of those nasty adhesions, particularly the ones that were obscuring my right fallopian tube/ovary, were removed last August.
I'm particularly frustrated since we were supposed to head to my fertile bf's cottage Thursday morning. If these follies haven't ruptured by then we're not going to be able to leave! I know that there are worse things that can happen, but we were both looking forward to getting out of our hot, humid suburb! Mr. JB was really great though. As soon as I started to complain about my body not cooperating he said, "Well it's more important to get these things figured out. We have to trust that this is what we're supposed to do."
Have I mentioned lately how awesome my husband is?????
So I'm going to be patient and trust that this is all going to work out. All the way to the ultrasound clinic I kept repeating, "Jesus I trust in you, Jesus I trust in you." Over and over again in my head.
So prayer buddy, can you step up the prayers that I ovulate today? I don't know if I'm going outside of the protocol, but I'm getting desperate here!
5 July 2010
Mr JB and I were he first people at the ultrasound clinic and now I'm waiting in a HUGE queue for my blood work.
Oh the joys is IF!
It's CD17 and as of this morning I still have two follicles on the left and one on the right. The tech wants me to call my doctor's office to see what my hormones are doing but judging from what she saw, I have not ovulated yet.
Again, I am so glad that I ovulate late!
I was almost convinced that I o'ed yesterday since I was feeling some strange jabby pain on my lower right side, but I guess it was just something I ate!
So yesterday we were at my aunt's house celebrating my cousin's graduation from high school. It was a pretty normal party until my Mom's youngest brother showed up. To make a long story short, he's a loser. He's horribly in debt, does not parent his three boys (it was his son that knocked up his girlfriend) and he also cheats on his wife.
Yesterday's party was the first one this loser uncle has attended in a LONG time!
He ended up sitting beside Mr JB, much to his disappointment. My uncle was boasting about having a family "back home"' in Asia and he was acting like it was completely acceptable! And yes, his wife was in the house. It was almost too much for Mr JB when he leaned over to him and said, "If I were you I'd move another woman in since your wife can't have children."
Yes, this is my uncle, my mother's youngest brother.
Mr JB got up fringe table and said that we had to go, which is something he never does. I didn't know until our ride home what happened.
My uncle is not liked, not even by his own kids. My mother can barely look at him. I know that if my dad heard what he said he would've gotten his lights punched out. Mr JB doesn't think I should say anything to my mom, but I think I should.
What would you do if you were me?
Gotta love family drama. I'm not even going to get into the conversation I had with our Arizona relatives last night!
2 July 2010
Yes, I've succombed to peer pressure! I've added the exclamation points since this is great news!!!!
And I'm on a triple dose of F.emara to makes these follies grow. It's my second last cycle with such a high dose, so hopefully we won't have to move on to whatever comes next... (Are you happy now, TCIE???)
I have two follicles on my left ovary and one on the right.
I knew that I was ovulating, but I know that my Napro doctor is just trying to cover all of her basis. The ultrasound tech was super nice and from our conversation she has dealt with a lot of IF patients.
I continue the ultrasounds on Monday since the lab is closed for the holiday weekend. It's Day 14 day so I'm almost certain that those little follies will have ruptured by Monday -- I guess being a late ovulator is helpful with scheduling!
Mr. JB and I are headed back to my classroom to finish up the packing, then my summer vacation can officially start!
Btw, the party wasn't so bad. The cousin and his pg fiancee didn't make it to the party and I spent most of the day outside away from all of the babies. I have a pretty bad cold and my excuse was that I didn't want to get anyone sick. How convenient of my body, eh?
1 July 2010
I started to cry at about 11am when I started reading a poem one of the moms sent me (I'll post a copy of it when I have more time). I got halfway through the poem and the waterworks started. The class was busily colouring Canadian flags in preparation for the assembly we were going to have and they all rushed to my desk to see what was the matter. It was the first time they saw me full on cry (I've welled up a couple of times, but the tears didn't really fall). I had to compose myself quickly while telling them that they were happy tears.
One of the traditions started by my principal is that a Scottish piper pipes out the grade eight graduates as well as any teachers that are retiring (my school is named after a saint from Scotland, can you guess who??). A lot of the kids were crying as they went down our hallway and I lost it again! By the time the dismissal bell rang I was already ugly crying!
I know that my sadness came from a couple of places. I was feeling sad because it was yet again another school year that passed without a child of my own and because my class was so amazing. Don't get me wrong, I did have some challenging students and parents, but it was nothing like last year!
So this afternoon we're going to Mr. JB's best friend's place for his Canada Day/Birthday celebration. Not only will it be baby-filled, but the cousin who knocked up his fiancee may be in attendance. It doesn't help that I have quite the head cold and I feel like a truck has run me over. I'm going to need a load of prayers to get me through this afternoon. I was tempted to tell Mr. JB that I couldn't handle the party, but I'm too sad to stay home by myself.
I'm certain that there will be an angst-filled post after this party, stay tuned!