29 June 2011

One more sleep...

...until the last day of school.

So many mixed emotions, but mainly I'm exhausted.

This coming September will be my tenth in the classroom. I so wish that I could realize my dream of being a stay at home mom and leave it behind. Unfortunately there seem to be other plans in store for me.

I loved this crazy class so much. I am sure that there will be tears at the end of the day. I've explained to the kids that I am not going to be their teacher next year (for some of them I taught them last year as well). I'm ready for them to move on and I'm ready for new students.

I am grateful that I have found my vocation and that I love what I do. I'm going to miss the little stinkers!!

Now I just have to get through the day...

25 June 2011

Dear AF

Dear AF,

Just wanted to let you know that you suck.

Why wait until 10pm on Peak +15 to show up? Couldn't you have shown up before lunch or when I woke up this morning?

Honest to Pete, I can't imagine hating anyone more.


16 June 2011

Yet another reminder that IF is a full time job

As if I had a doubt!

In the midst of the end of the school year frenzy (Report cards? What report cards?), I took the day off to see my FertilityCare practictioner and my Napro doc.

We hadn't been to see L is LONG time so we had quite the appointment. Since we started seeing L in early 2008 a lot has happened in our lives, and despite the pain if IF, my life has improved. It is so hard to see the wonderful fruits that I have reaped in our journey to make a baby -- my overall health has improved, I've met a large network of like-minded women, I've made choices that my heart and conscience are proud of -- we just have one last piece of the puzzle to make the ending a happy one.

L is also certain that my issue is something structural. My mucus scores are good, my hormones are good (although I learned something new about when to get my Peak +7 bloodwork done, I've been taking my shots on P + 4, 6, 8, and 10, but going for my bloodwork on Peak + 7 when I should be waiting until Peak +8, oops!), but we still aren't getting pg. She is pretty excited at our decision to go Omaha for surgery and she is so sure that Dr. Hil.gers will be able to help us.

Our appointment with Dr. T went well too. I finally convinced her that I should be tested for MTHFR -- woohoo!!! Unfortunately she told me that she applied to OHIP for surgery in Omaha for another patient and she was denied. The only positive was that she was told that if she could get a gynecologist to review the file that they would review the case again. Dr. T is going to speak to a ob/gyn that she knows (who is trained as a Napro physician, but not a surgeon) and hopefully he can see me so he can write a letter on my behalf.

We told Dr. T that regardless of whether or not my surgery is covered or not we are going to go ahead. Mr. JB and I are in total agreement that this is our last shot and too many things have pointed us in the direction of going to Omaha -- for example in the car this morning Mr. JB asked me what Dr. Hil.ger's first name was. Well he almost had a coronary when I told him because it's the same name as a famous football coach from Nebraska (have I mentioned that Mr. JB is a HUGE Corn.husker fan? He's pumped about going to Omaha and being around all the football!). He said that if we have a boy we have to include Thomas as one of the names.

Anyhow, my appointment with Dr. T was very productive. Not only did I get the requisition to test for MTHFR, but she is also going to have me re-tested for my insulin resistance, Vitamin D levels as well as my thyroid hormones. She also thinks that I can have my ultrasound series done here rather than in Omaha -- it would be such a cost saver if we could do that! She also went over the medications that I have to stop before I have my ultrasound series and bloodwork done. Thankfully, I don't have to give up H.ydrocort (or the supplements from Dr. Nora)! I only have to stop my post-Peak medications (HCG and Es.trace). I'm going to stop my medications in July in preparation for all of the testing. Now that will be an adventure!

Dr. T was also concerned about my cervix since I never, ever have dry days (I can count on one hand how many green stickers I've used!). So she examined my cervix and said that it was inflamed so she ran an electrical current on it (I can't remember the official name, pracitioners do you know what it's called?). She also took some swabs since she was already down there, and I wouldn't be surprised if I had some sort of infection (particularly since the IMT therapist talked about infection in my body) going on. I've already noticed a difference! Perhaps I can use a green sticker tomorrow!

In the midst of our IF-related appointments today Mr. JB and I did have a nice lunch at a local vegetarian place. Despite the service being super slow service and having to eat fast (which I am very, very bad at!), it was delicious! It's not far from the place that I have to pick up my liquid herbs so I'm sure that we will be back.

Our first appointment was at 9am and we didn't get home until 4pm -- a full day's work. I am so blessed to be able to take the time off guilt-free and that my husband can do the same. I am planning to tell my principal about my upcoming surgery which will most likely happen in the fall (Dr. T thinks October, but I don't hear from the scheduling nurse until the end of July). I am going to take as much time as I need since I want to be completely recovered before going back. I hope that I will be able to start the school year, but then take six to eight weeks off.

Or at least I hope they think that!

I feel at peace at our decision and it has been so long since I have felt this hopeful. I know that God has lead us to this point and that we have to trust that all of this will work out --  money, logistics, being able to schedule my surgery, etc.

Jesus, I trust in you!

14 June 2011

And yes, TCIE is my inspiration

TCIE is my girl. Not only does she have the great (?) distinction of being the only other woman from the barren wives weekend (that was July 2009 --- where has time gone????) that has yet to conceive, but she has also tried some interesting therapies to get her ladyparts going.

I've been having TMJ issues. I've been wearing a night guard to sleep since September, been adjusted by my chiropractor and had monthly massages from my RMT, with little relief. Last week while at the massage therapist I asked her if she had any other advice (aside from a labotomy or a jaw transplant) and she suggested seeing her "Integrative Manual and CranioSacral Therapist."

Now, I'm pretty adventurous. I was before IF, so why would it stop me? But what sold me was that my RMT said that between her work and her IMT person she has had patients that have gotten relief from TMJ.

This is what her literature says:

CranioSacral Therapy is the art of listening with the hands to the body. Using gentle touch the therapist is able to discern areas of dysfunction and pain. As the body tells the story, the healthy instinct towards healing is activated.

Integrative Manual Therapy is a type of bodywork that uses many diagnostic tools to evaluate the body. The gentle touch, similar to CranioSacral therapy, can assess and treat many systems of the body. Let yourself be soothed by this gentle, non-invasive profound form of bodywork.

The treatment this afternoon was amazing!!!! We started the conversation off with my being gluten-free. I didn't divulge my IF until she put her hands on the right side of my abdomen and she said that she felt scar tissue. I told her about my surgeries and how messed up I was on the inside, particularly my right fallopian tube that was obscured by adhesions. She said that she could feel that I had had an infection in my pelvis (and it was quite the infection, my pelvic abscess was HUGE!).

She also told me about how my body is reacting to pain. It may be physical or emotional, but my body is reacting in such a way that it is causing my systems to process it in ways that aren't good for healing. At the start of my treatment she said that she sensed alarm in my body and that she wanted me to breathe deeply and think of a place where I was happy and relaxed. It worked since I was able to zone out while she was treating me -- all of that yogic breathing came in handy! It was the fastest hour of my life!

There was a lot of information to take in and I wish that I had taped what she said, but she thinks that she can help break up the adhesions and help with my jaw pain (apparently the bones in my head are all fused together when they should be more mobile, no wonder I have so many jaw issues!).

I know this is just a drop in the bucket compared to what TCIE is doing, but I believe that I'm going to get some positive results!

Thank you so much for your support on my last post. I realized last night that getting that hefty pricetag was a clear sign from our dear St. Anthony. I've been praying so much for a sign of what we are supposed to do and I know now that I am meant to see Dr. Hil.gers.

For my peace of mind I want to seek out the founder of Napro, regardless if OHIP is going to pay for it (was it a coincidence that I got called back to work at the Ministry of Ed this summer? I think not!). I know that I let this chance pass me by that I will regret not taking the opportunity to have surgery done by him. Mr. JB also feels 100% certain that this is what we are supposed to do.

It's interesting how we have come back to this. I knew that it was a remote option that we could see Dr. Hil.gers when we were discussing my first and second surgeries, but I had faith in the surgeon that I was referred to. I don't regret having surgery with him, but I know that I have to go outside of Canada for my treatment. I also know in my heart that this is the last surgery that I will have for my endometriosis. I hope and pray that it will restore my fertility, but at the bottom of it all I want to be healthy. I don't want to have pain (which has been minimal, but I have been having pelvic pain for a while now which I'm sure is related to endo in my bowels or adhesions).

I also know that there are other doctors and other places to seek treatment, but those are not an option. My choice was between Dr. Hil.gers and Dr. S in PA, and now we know who we are going to go with. There have been many things that I have doubted in my quest for baby JellyBelly, but this isn't one of them.

Now I need prayers that some kind bureaucrat will feel sorry for my case and check that box that will make going to Omaha so much easier!

13 June 2011


[I have the day off to write report cards, instead I woke up at 10am, lazed around and got some marking done. And now that I have access to the shiny new computer, I've decided to blog. Procrastinate much?]

I just got off the phone with Dr. S's office in PA (thank you E for the hook-ups!)  and I finally got the lowdown on how much surgery is going to cost in PA. Needless to say, I'm shocked! I was told that the first visit would be $216, the lap/hysteroscopy/selective HSG would be $3500, but then the hospital fee (including anaesthesia) would be $28 000! I had to ask her to repeat herself since I was so shocked! I explained to her that we're totally not used to paying for any healthcare costs so anything seems high (the last time I was in the hospital I paid $16, and it was for the phone in my room). 

Holy moly.

I know that surgery in Om.aha will run about $13 000 (thanks Joyce for sharing your experience with me!) which is so much less, plus hotel. I'm hoping that we can work my BIL's Jesuit connections to help us out (have I mentioned that he studied at Creighton?). I'm leaning towards driving down since Mr. JB would need a vehicle while I'm recuperating and renting would just be that much more of an added cost. 

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, but at least my choice is clear. Right?

9 June 2011


First off, thank you so much for your prayers! I was able to talk to the nurse at PPVI and now I'm in the queue for scheduling surgery with Dr. Hil.gers. I explained to her that I needed a date to give to my local Napro doctor and she said that since I am willing to wait for Dr. H that it won't be until September or October. So I am going to use a "dummy date" of sometime in the early fall.

Still not feeling 100% at ease about that.

I think that I need to start some sort of campaign to convince the Onta.rio government to pay for my surgery. I do have political contacts, but I know that I can work my local MP and MPP -- both of which are Roman Catholic (but we only voted for one of them!). We have an election coming up in the fall, but it would definitely reflect favourably if our MPP helped me out. Mr. JB and I are very well connected in the local church community and I would be more than happy to share how he helped us.

The biggest thing for me is that if I start to contact people in my community, as well as ask influential people to write letters on my behalf, I am going to have to come out of the IF closet. I have been very selective about who knows about my IF, although if one could connect the dots it would be easy enough to figure out.

I want this surgery and I know that Dr. H can restore my fertility. I deserve to get something out of this incredibly long and painful journey, besides multiple surgical scars.

Although I want to go full force and pursue a trip to Omaha, I also know that there is a doctor in PA that can help. If OHIP doesn't pay for my surgery it would be so much more convenient to drive to Pennsylvania.  Dr. Nora has told me that cost of surgery is considerably cheaper, although I haven't found out what the cost differential actually is.

I hate that so much boils down to money.

I know that I can't put a price on growing my family and that we are both gainfully employed. I also have this summer gig that is going to make me $4 500 and I have my salary from last summer that has been invested by our money guy. We have also put our house hunting on hold while we get the surgery business under control (and we also have to save $100 000 so I can get the house that I want, but that's another post for another time).

So I guess I'm in need of some more prayers and advice. What would you do if you had to ask your government to cover surgery? Would you ask your friends and family to start a letter writing campaign? I've also thought of contact media, but I think that I have to be selective about who I contact (I'm thinking the Ca.tholic Re.gister and there's also a medical show on the C.BC).

p.s. My school principal forwarded me an e-mail regarding an upcoming information meeting for aspiring vice-principals. It is definitely something that I have thought about, but IF has taken the wind out of my sails (and I also thought that I would be a stay-at-home mom and not still slogging it out in the classroom). Mr. JB thinks that I should attend since he believes that administration is something that I'm going to do eventually (read: after we have kids and they are old enough to be self-sufficient). When I started teaching ten years ago I thought that my life would be so different, but God had some very different plans for me! 

6 June 2011

(Seemingly) The Longest List in the World

Or so it seems to me!

In preparation for my phone call to Omaha tomorrow (please Lord, I hope that I can find a private place during my planning time so I can actually call!) I had to send a list of my medications. It took me quite a while to compile my list.

I know you're all excited to see it, so here it is:

From family doctor:

From Dr. T (NaproTechnology doctor) :
Low Dose Nalt.rexone 4.5 mg
Metf.ormin (2x day, 500mg)
Pre.Vit (prenatal)
H.CG (post-Peak +3, 5,  7,  9)
Estra.ce (Peak +3 to +10)
Cor.tef 10mg 2x/day (breakfast and lunch)

From Dr. Nora (Naturopath):

Vitamin C 500mg 1x/day
Magnesium Citrate 150mg 1x/day
Zinc Picolinate 30mg 1x/day
Vitamin E 400IU 1x/day
Molybedenum 150mcg 1x/day
Chromium Picolinate 200mcg 2x/day
Evening Primrose Oil 1300mg 2x/day (post-Peak)
B complex (B1, B2, B6, B12) 200mcg

Liquid Herbs/Tinctures
1. Astralagus Root/Ginseng Root Chinese White
2. Schisandra Berry/Maca Root
3. Burdock/Dandelion/Celadine/Calendula
4. Milk Thistle/Siberian Ginseng

Afternoon (throughout cycle);
1. Rhodiola
2. Devil’s Club/ Gysnema Leaf

Afternoon pre-Peak:
1. Tribulus/Rhodiola/Dong Quai
2. Red Clover

Afternoon post-Peak:
1. Chaste Tree Berry/Vervain Leaf
Am I the only one that thinks this list is crazy???? 

I do have to say that I do feel really good. I just need to figure out how to take Met.formin and Hy.drocort since they seem to work against one another (thanks to Patiently Waiting for her help today!).

I really hope that I can connect with the booking nurse tomorrow. I would love to have a surgery date for when I see my Napro doc on the 16th!

5 June 2011

My aching head

This is my second Sunday in a row that I have felt awful.

Last week Mr. JB accidentally fed me something with gluten in it (and I suffered with a horrible migraine for 24 hours) and today I'm not quite sure why I feel sick. Or maybe I do.

A few weeks ago a friend from our parish mentioned that I could receive a low gluten host. This morning before mass I mentioned it to our pastor and he was able to get one for me so I could receive the host for the first time in a LONG while. I was happy receiving from the cup, but there is just something about being able to receive the bread.

I didn't feel anything instantaneously, but I have felt off all afternoon.

Mr. JB reminded me that I woke up with a headache (which I am sure is from clenching my jaw, yet another thing that I need to work on) and that my symptoms are not as severe as they were last week. There is also only a trace amount of wheat gluten in the host (from what I could find from the Internet) -- something like 0.1% gluten.

I wish that my body just worked normally.


p.s. I have a question regarding taking Hyd.rocort and Met.formin. I've noticed that when I take them together (which I have been doing at breakfast) that I so tired and totally not energized like I usually did before starting Met.formin. I checked Dr. Google this afternoon and it said that there is a drug interaction with regards to blood sugar. Should I be taking them apart? Help!

T Update: Mr. JB spoke to T's sister for a long time this afternoon. His wife is definitely not helping the situation (she was more concerned about the money he spent on the hotel room than she was for his safety on Friday night) at all. T's mom wanted him to go home with them on Friday night after he was released from the hospital, but he insisted that he go home to be with his three daughters. T's sister also mentioned that when the police told the family where T's general location was on Friday night it was a friend of his wife's that called the hotels in the area. T's wife also spent 15 minutes on the phone with T's mom before she mentioned that he was missing.

She didn't even ride in the same car home with him. 

I know that I'm painting a horrible picture of this woman, but she is the main reason why T is out of touch with his friends (Mr. JB was his best man at their wedding, so they were at one time, very close).

Please continue to pray for this poor man and his family. I can't imagine the environment that his children are growing up in, nor can I imagine how trapped he must be feeling.

3 June 2011

Emergency Prayers PLEASE!!! -- Updated

 Mr. JB just got a message from a close friend's sister. From what we've heard via e-mail and Fac.ebook, he's on the verge of suicide. Apparently, Mr. JB's friend, T, left for the hardware store at about 5:30pm and his wife just got an e-mail message that he was going to kill himself.

There is a long, sad back story. What it boils down to is that he is in a horrible marriage and his wife is not a very nice person.

Please pray for T, Mr. JB is pretty worried, as am I.

Update: After I posted last night Mr. JB and T's sister were in touch a few more times. At about 11pm he sent an e-mail to his wife saying goodbye. She called the police and they were able to locate him at a hotel in Toronto (about an hour and a half from where he lives). The police found him and took him to the hospital and his parents drove into the city to take him home.

Mr. JB spoke to T's mom this morning and she told him that they took T home to his wife and children, something that I find pretty shocking. His mom said that she didn't have words to describe what they went through last night.

Please continue to pray for T. We're so thankful that he's okay, but I think that it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.