31 January 2012

JellyBelly & Side Effects

I was wondering why I was so cranky today.

I'm not PMSing, and usually I'm feeling pretty good mood-wise at the start of the cycle (aside from the sadness brought on by another failed cycle, but I don't feel so incredibly down like I do before AF arrives).

While I was filling out my T3 temperature chart (again, I cannot stand taking my temperature and pulses four times a day!) I noticed the list of side effects:

- Fluid retention/Puffiness
- Flu-like Feelings/Achiness
- Dull Headache
- Edginess/Irritability
- Increased awareness of heartbeat

My crazy class may be to blame or my substitute yesterday who didn't teach what I had in my plans (nor cleaned the chalkboard -- I have no idea what the woman did in five and a half hours!), but I'm sure that the T3 is mostly to blame.


And to make things even more interesting I start back on C.lomid tomorrow.

Someone may want to get Mr. JB a flack jacket and a helmet. 

Btw, my Napro doctor thinks that starting Cl.omid on CD6 was the reason why my cycle was so long. My estrogen and progesterone were stellar, although the former was a bit high so we're cutting back C.lomid to CD3, 4 and 5 this round.

I need to erase the past six years of disappointment since I'm working with newly overhauled ladyparts. I will try very hard not to think of my 37 year old eggs (typing that hurt, a lot).

So instead of drowning my sorrows in a barrel of wine I am going to tuck myself into bed, pray my Seven Sorrows Rosary (thank you Hebrews!) and then read my book.

Please pray that I don't lose it. I'm pretty close and it's only day two of my new dosage of T3 and I feel that it make take a while to get used to it.

Opportunities for sanctification, right?

30 January 2012

You know what really sucks?

When P+17 turns into CD1.

Especially at 4:30am.

Well, at least AF didn't show up on my birthday.

That is a small mercy, right?


27 January 2012

Could I be allergic to my T3???? -- Updated

I'm trying not to panic.

My dose was increased a week ago today from 7.5mcg to 15mcg twice a day.

In the past few days I've had a rash develop on my back and the skin on my face has been really sensitive and itchy.

My diet, soap, clothes detergent, anything allergenic has not changed.

Only the T3.

It didn't dawn on my until last night right before bed.

I see my local Napro doctor on Monday.

It can't come sooner.

Now, I hope that I don't itch all of my skin off!

Update: Thank you all for your advice. I did call my compounding pharmacy and the pharmacist said that I have had the same fillers in previous prescriptions (namely Low Dose N.altrexone). He did say that since T3 is a hormone that there is a possibility that I could be allergic to it. He did recommend a few ways to figure out whether or not I am actually allergic to it and he also said that there are other ways I can take T3 (either by topical ointment or troche).

The rash hasn't gotten worse which is a good thing. I also acknowledge that it has been REALLY cold and dry, I do live in Canada after all. I have to remember not to crank the hot water in the shower since I do have dry, sensitive skin.

There's never a dull moment at the JellyBelly household!

24 January 2012

JellyBelly vs. Hormones

Or at least that's what I'm blaming my crazies on today.

I just had a meltdown.

And I'm not proud of it.

Let me back up: I had the worst day ever. It started with my smoothie spilling all over my stuff which resulted in a twenty minute cleanup -- bending is getting easier, but having to clean drippy smoothie was not my idea of fun at 8am. I was panicked because I had before-school yard supervision and I could see that the clock was working against me.

I finished tidying up my mess just in time to head outside. I like to have a couple of minutes to get my head wrapped around my day, but this morning I had zero time.

Then I decided to change my seating arrangement back to what it was before I left. My substitute separated the kids into pairs and I put them back into groups. I prefer the group set-up since the kids work better co-operatively AND makes the classroom so much bigger. I have a rocking chair in one corner of my room and I wasn't able to use it since the desks were in the way. I also hope that the kids will stop saying, "When Mme S was here, we did this..." now things are back to the way they were before my leave.

We made paper bag dragons to celebrate Chinese New Year and the activity took half the day. My teaching partner did the same activity and it took her an hour. Needless to say, I got a bit stressed out since they took so long. I don't like to skip math, but I had to since I couldn't stop them in the middle of their cutting and gluing frenzy.

I've been dealing with some difficult kids in my class -- mainly it's bad attitude and laziness.  I've tried positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, praising the good kids to show them what kind of behaviour that I expect, speaking to their parents, etc., etc. The next thing I'm going to do is pray a class rosary the next time they misbehave, even if it's to just calm me down!

So after my very long, bad day I had a massage to look forward to. When I got home I asked Mr. JB to give me a hug and then he asked me about the recipe we chose for dinner tonight.

Mr. JB enjoys cooking, but he doesn't like to venture out of his comfort zone. We found a really easy Mexican soup recipe and we decided that he would make it tonight since I was getting home late. He insists that his question was rhetorical, but I was just so tired and hungry that I broke down.

I know that it was the frustration of the day and not his question, but I just couldn't take an ounce more. He was very apologetic and I felt like a complete a$$ since I don't normally act like a lunatic when he asks me cooking-related questions.

Honestly, the last days of a 2WW are the pits!

Stupid, stupid hormones. I thought HCG was going to miraculously fix my crazies, I guess I have to wait another cycle for that!!

22 January 2012

I just realized...

...that I will be Peak +15 on my birthday on Saturday.

I was in my Restorative yoga class this evening and it hit me, and the thought totally took me out of my relaxed state.

I will either be enjoying the company of AF, or I will be losing my mind because I made it that far in my cycle.

Two things that are crazy-making in my infertile brain.

The last week in the 2WW is the pits.

On the upside: My local Napro doctor phoned me on Friday night at 7:40pm to tell me to raise my dose of T3. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful doctor. I am feeling an improvement on 15mcg twice a day. I've been feeling so alert and "with it" since I upped my dosage on Saturday morning. I was even able to finish my laundry (hand washing and all) last night when we got home from a dinner date with some friends. I'm still waiting for the warmth, but it's also been super cold up here, so I may be cold for another reason!

p.s. I've realized that I have a really bad attitude with regards to my crazy class. I need to figure out how to deal with these kids without losing my mind or resorting to copious amounts of alcohol. Advice anyone?

18 January 2012

Maybe this no exercising thing is a good thing...

As I was prepping dinner tonight I had a thought:

"If this was 'normal' JellyBelly, I would be a yoga class right now."

Instead, I was making a (I'm assuming since we haven't eaten it yet) tasty stir fry.

And yesterday, I made a very yummy dish for Tofu Tuesday (we normally eat Meatless Mondays, but we had a last minute dinner invitation to my fertile best friend's house, Mr. JB couldn't say no to roast beef!).

Don't get me wrong, I would love to be at the class I usually attend on Wednesday nights, but it's a great thing to make dinner for my husband.

I haven't cooked this much since we first got married!

I've also been able to get some organizing done in the kitchen -- since it's usually Mr. JB's domain it isn't always the most organized room in the house.

I also had energy this afternoon and I was able to crouch down at a kid's desk during math.

Two BIG victories!

And now all I have to do is finish my report cards. Which may be the other reason why I organized my spice cupboard last night!

15 January 2012

Learning Humility

I returned to my yoga practice this past week.

And it was hard.

Much harder than I thought it was going to be and they were both VERY easy classes -- both classes that were pieces of cake prior to my surgeries.

I had lofty ideas that after taking November off that I would be able to do the easier and Restorative classes at my yoga studio. It became clear by the beginning of December that there was no way that I could. I wasn't even ready to drive by myself until a couple of weeks before Christmas.

I was okay with being homebound since I was in so much discomfort, but I do have to admit that my pride was wounded.

I know that my level of physical fitness has helped me in my recovery, but the fact that I have a hard time not using my abdominal muscles is messing with my mind.

I love to exercise. I love the adrenalin rush. I'm also scared of not being fit.

I am also so scared of gaining weight.*

I'm scared of turning into an unattractive blob.

And today when I had a hard time getting into the once very easy posture (anything that involves lying flat on my back is a challenge), I heard that voice inside of my head.

A voice that berated, rather than was patient with my healing body.

I should've celebrated the fact that I survived a week of work with my challenging class. I should've celebrated the fact that I made it to TWO yoga classes, one of which was after school. But instead, it was the not-so-nice voice that came into my head.

So as I was doing a gentle spinal twist, one that used to be quite the simple feat for my usually flexible self, I thought, "You need to learn something from this."

And the word humility came to mind.

I am not good at being humble. I am not good at asking for help. And I am definitely not good at being patient with my body.

So as I look down at my little rounded belly, I have to stop the voice in my head from calling myself ugly names. What I have to do is remember that I'm still healing and that my discomfort and inabilities are temporary (although I'm still a bit surprised as to how uncomfortable I was last week. My body did not like going back to work at all!).

Hopefully in six months I will be able to go for a power walk or jog around the gym with my class, but if I can't I will be okay.

Or better yet, I'll have a rounded belly for another reason....

One can only hope.

*For those of you that have met me in real life I know that I'm not overweight. I have body image issues. I grew up with a mother that called me ugly and fat -- and yes, I went through a few years of therapy. I know that I'm not fat.

12 January 2012

The Case of the Missing CM -- Calling all CrMS Peeps!

Since my first laparotomy in August 2009 I haven't had any issues with cervical mucus. In fact, I didn't use green stickers until my surgeries in Omaha. Dr. Hilgers worked some magic on my cervix to make that happen!

My first post-op cycle was SUPER short (19 days long), but I had beautiful CM for three days, but this cycle nothing. Well, barely nothing. I know that it's because I took Clom.id on CD6, 7, 8 and 9 (yes, I know it was late, but my local doctor said that it couldn't hurt). 

So this is what my chart looks like:
CD1-6 red stickers (a pretty normal period)
CD7 red sticker (Bx3, 10CLx2 -- only one day of brown, yay!!!!)
CD8 10KLx2,
CD9-12 10SLAD
CD13 green sticker
CD14 10KLx2, 10SLx3
CD15 10CLx1, 10KLx1 (thus far)

I thought that the 10KL was just because Mr. JB and I "used a day of fertility" and I wasn't thorough enough while bearing down.

[Honest to Pete, IF has really taken away my inhibitions! Yes, I lost the majority of mine while in the hospital in Omaha and the doctor had to examine me because I was having some pelvic pain. Let's just say there was an upside down bedpan and some scooching to the edge of the bed involved. Thank God for all of the good, deep yogic breathing I've learned!]

So here is my question: When is my Peak day? I've never double-Peaked before, but I do have newly renovated ladyparts. My biggest concern is when I am supposed to start HCG which I'm supposed to take on Peak +3, 5, 7, and 9.

Btw, pre-surgery Peak was usually on CD17 or 18.


p.s. Happy 600th post to me!

11 January 2012

Hello, my friends...

I have never been happier to take medication. EVER. And from a girl that has an "old man" pill sorter so she can keep everything straight, this is big.

The first vial is my T3, and the second and third are my prescription for Low Dose N.altrexone (since I've bee off of it since the end of October my doctor said that I need to slowly increase my dosage).

I know that I shouldn't put all my hopes on one medication, but I feel so victorious since I've suspected that I has hypothyroid for a few years. It wasn't until Dr. Hilgers ran my blood work in Omaha was it found that my numbers were off.

I am watching the clock until 6:30pm, the time that we decided was the best to take the T3. It has to be taken on an empty stomach and although it will be a pain to wake up early during the weekend, it's a small sacrifice to make for better health.


9 January 2012

The Return to Reality

I survived day one remarkably well. The exhaustion didn't hit me until after we had supper, but now I'm ready to go to bed (and it's barely 9pm!).

The kids were so happy to see me and I even got a couple Christmas presents. One of my sweet girls gave me a card that said that she missed me. I kept that one up on my desk! Unfortunately a few of my students tried to test their boundaries with me and I had to threaten them -- the kids hate it when I walk them outside to tell their mothers what ridiculousness they were up to during the day. I asked one of the kids, "Do you want me to go outside on my first day back? Your mother isn't going to like that!"

By lunch time I was tired, but thanks to H.ydrocort I was able to get through my afternoon. I did notice that I had some pelvic pain from all of the walking around I had to do -- my activity went up by 210% today! I have to remember to take it easy and to take more sitting breaks (I was writing down some ideas on chart paper and I pulled up my rocking chair so I could sit, something I never wouldn't done pre-surgery, but I just couldn't do it!).

It's so humbling to have to listen to my body. I try to pride myself in being tough, but I know that I need to rest and take it easy, two things that I have a very hard time with. God is definitely teaching me some good lessons!

Speaking of lessons, I have learned that patience is sometimes rewarded: I finally got a call back from PPVI regarding my cycle review. I panicked last night and I e-mailed them because it is so hard to get a hold of me during the day now that I'm back at work. While I was waiting at the chiropractor's office my phone rang and I was able to answer it!

Dr. Hilgers' recommendations for this cycle were exactly the same as my local Napro doctor's. His only concern was that I started Cl.omid a little late (my doctor wanted me to give it a shot so I took it on CD 6, 7, 8, and 9). Dr. H wants me to take it earlier next cycle.

I am very happy to say that Mr. JB took my prescriptions for T3 and Low Dose N.altrexone to our local compounding pharmacy (have I mentioned that we have a Napro-trained pharmacist just down the road from my house? It's such a relief that I don't have to worry about getting medications from the US!). I cannot wait to get my hands on the T3!

Those of you that have taken or are taking T3, do you have any advice?  Have any of you had any side effects?

Thank you all for your prayers! I know that you all had a BIG part in helping me get through the day.

Now it's off to bed for me! I'm pooped!

p.s. I missed my fourth blogoversary on January 7th -- I can't believe that I've been blogging for four years! I am forever grateful to the blogging community for saving my sanity in this world of IF! 

8 January 2012

Do I have to?

Last week a very nice lady from the school board called to check on my return to work. I wanted to badly to say that I wouldn't be able to return to my regular duties, but I can't.

Physically, I am feeling so much better. My energy level is so much higher and I was even able to take down the Christmas decorations with little help. I even organized the boxes underneath the basement steps, something that Mr. JB has a very hard time doing (he didn't enjoy playing Te.tris as much as I did, I guess!).

I know that teaching my class is going to take a lot of energy and I can't compare going to the mall or having visitors over to working a full day, but I am going to explain to the kids that I have to take it easy. It's going to be hard on my pride to slow down since I'm used to moving at lightning speed when I'm at school. There will be a lot of sitting going on in my classroom!

So if you have some prayers to spare, I'd appreciate it. I don't usually feel anxious about work, but I do. I hope that my body can handle being a grown up again!

6 January 2012

God, Please Give Me Patience

God, please, please give me patience.

Give me patience to deal with my father-in-law who just blamed me for erasing Sk.ype on his laptop by unplugging it from the power supply. Apparently I am to blame for every technological problem in his home. Yes, I am that powerful.

Give me patience to wait for yet another call-back from the nurses at PPVI. I did speak to a nurse yesterday after two days of waiting, but now she has to ask Dr. Hilgers some specific questions. I would really love my dosage of T3 before the weekend. I know that this is out of my control, but I'm still so impatient!

Give me patience with myself. I have been feeling so anxious about going back to work on Monday. I got a call from the school board office yesterday regarding my return to work. I have to call them today and I would love to say that I can't return, but that isn't an option. I wish I didn't have to go back to work, but my leave is done and I have no physical reason to stay home.

Give me patience with my IF. I am so done with being IF. I want to be a mom RIGHT NOW. I don't think I need to elaborate.

Please God, please give me patience. Just a bit more so I can get through this day.

p.s. Yes Cl.omid, I am mad at you.

4 January 2012

Starting the Year Off with Victories

Yesterday was a good day.

I was productive.

I went out for hot chocolate with a good friend.

AND I had an AMAZING appointment with my local Napro doctor!

I told her that I was waiting for my cycle review with PPVI, who ironically called me back while I was waiting for my appointment (so I couldn't answer my phone -- I do believe that the devil works in the phones!).

Dr. T agreed that we were done with being cautious and she prescribed me C.lomid, HCG and T3 (which I'm not going to fill until I speak to the nurse at PPVI). Now that we're in cycle two post-op, there's no reason why we can't start TTC.

I think that I floated out of her office!

So I'm trying really hard not to think about the Cl.omid-induced headache that I have right now. I'm choosing to focus on the fact that I am wearing real pants for the first time since my surgeries. I put on a pair of jeans and they buttoned up! I am so relieved since I don't think I'm allowed to wear sweats to teach. 

I'm hoping that I can tell this happy feeling all through 2012.

St. John Neumann, pray for us!

1 January 2012

Hi 2012, it's me, JellyBelly

Dear 2012,

First off, welcome. I have to admit that I was very happy to see the end of 2011. I was quite surprised by my reaction last night when we were close to midnight -- I don't usually have such visceral reactions to New Year's festivities, but I last night I did.

2011 was a tough year. Not only did we start it off with a battle with my brother-in-law and family drama (which continues, but I'm not going to get into that here), but we have experienced so much loss. I am so sick of going to funeral home visitations and funerals! The toughest losses were my father-in-law's girlfriend and Auntie Fran, the former I had such difficulty with and the latter, I loved so much.

And then there was our ongoing battle with IF. I knew at the beginning of 2011 that it was going to be a big year for us. I was hoping that we would finally conceive our baby JellyBelly, but instead we emptied our bank account and went to Omaha. Don't get me wrong, I don't regret the experience and I feel so much better, but it would've been so great if I didn't have to have two surgeries.

But I digress.

2012, I have to admit something. I'm pretty freaked out about meeting you. Actually, I'm pretty (insert a really bad expletive here) scared . I'm afraid because my heart is truly hopeful for the first time in two years and we have one of the best doctors in the world working with us. I am trying really hard not to be negative, but after so many years of trying, it's hard not to be a pessimist.

I know that I have to trust and believe, 2012, and really I should just surrender all of my anxieties to God, but you know that I'm a type-A infertile. I have such a hard time giving up control of anything. I want to be able to believe that this is going to be our year (and we've had more than one person say that to us).

I am not good at being scared 2012. I'm so used to being tough and brave, or at least pretending to be. I've spent so much of my life being independent JellyBelly that I don't know how to be vulnerable. I have never wanted anything so badly in my entire life 2012 and I am so tired of waiting.

Please 2012, can you please be a kinder and gentler year? I don't know if I can handle another doozy like 2011.

I promise to be really good this year, although I have no idea what my New Year's Resolutions are going to be -- I'll work on that next.

I apologize for the lukewarm reception. I hope that we get to be better friends as the year goes on.


p.s. I have a few friends that could use a break too. Check out my blog roll. I'm sure you can figure it out.

p.p.s. Thanks for the really cool patron saint! St. John Neumann is my patron for 2012 and Mr. JB got St. René Goupil!