Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve

Well this year won't be much different than most years for J and I.  We won't be ringing in the new year at midnight.  Most likely we'll both be fast asleep.  Usually something interferes with our ability to celebrate since he joined the Army.  At least I have him home this year.

J has CQ duty tomorrow all day.  That means he'll be driving the now sober drunks home from jail, well its possible at least as sometimes they have to do that while on CQ duty.

Since I'm sick and J starts his own antibiotics tomorrow we'll not be drinking.  Well okay the CQ duty would again prevent him from having that NYE's drink too.

I have no resolutions for next year.  I really don't believe in making promises that I probably won't be able to keep given that there is a great unknown of 365 days in front of me.  The only thing that I can promise is that I'll try to continue to eat healthy, lose more weight next year, and find a happier me with or without children.

I'm thinking that with my health taking a sudden nose dive of late this truly will be our last cycle of IVF.  I wanted to go ahead with donor eggs this summer if the January IVF failed.  I'm not so sure that will be an option.

More and more I'm finding my chest hurts and my breathing is becoming more difficult.  Its not the weight.  I've lost 24 pounds since August which comes out to 6 pounds a month.  I still have 35 more pounds to go until my goal weight.  So I highly doubt that bit of weight is causing the chest pains and difficulty breathing.  My guess is its the sinusitis.

Today we bought groceries and I was almost breathless just unloading them.  I had to sit on the floor to get my chest to stop hurting and to catch my breath.  No pregnancy for me isn't going to be easy.  But I still want to try.  I can only imagine being pregnant with a sinus infection would put me to bed for a week.

So maybe I can make just "trying" a goal for the new year.  I will continue to try with all that I do because if I give up now I'm doomed to a life of depression and sickness.  Now back to knitting the charity blanket I'm now working on.  Slow progress but its progress nonetheless.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Its All Here

Finally the rest of the medicine arrived today.  I was waiting on the micro dose Lupron to arrive via Fed Ex.  Now all my meds that need to be in the fridge are in the fridge and the rest are on a shelf in the dining room where I do my injections.  The micro dose Lupron is in the bin on the left, but the Menopur basically hides it.

My husband is home today and was there when the Fed Ex truck arrived with my medicine.  I was a bit surprised at how big the box was for such a small bottle.  It came in a small cooler which wasn't a surprise but the sharps container and the needles were a nice bonus.  We used an old 2 liter soda bottle for the last needle disposal.  I still have plenty of room in the bottle for this round of injections.  Why would I think to not use the sharps disposal this time?  Well I don't know really but since I already have a disposal container going why bother to start another one is what I'm figuring.

In about two weeks I start my first round of injections for this cycle.  Since we are doing the micro dose of Lupron I'll be starting with the shots on the 14th of January after my first suppression scan.  I'm kind of worried about starting so late with the shots as I'm an early ovulater.

Originally I would have started the Lupron regular dosage on the 1st of January, the same day my husband is going to take his antibiotics.  I have to say, "Yay", to not having to take as many shots though in the end it will even out since I'll be doing two shots of the micro dose Lupron daily when I do start them.

Another difference this time around will be that I won't be doing the PIO shots either.  No, its not because of the pain as they really didn't hurt my hard ass except when J forgot to let the alcohol dry fully before stabbing me with the needle...that hurt!  But its because J is going to be taking on several new hats with being on Rear Detachment for this deployment.  This means he won't be around and if he deploys soon he definitely won't be around to give me the shots either.  We opted to go with the endometrin suppositories this time.  I guess I'll be stocking up on panty liners next time I go shopping.  Better yet I'll buy the super long size from online and skip the odd looks at the grocery store check out line.

So now I'll go do some research to find the best online deals on pantyliners.  We'll see if buying on line saves me money or if the embarrassment of buying them by the case at a store is worth the savings.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Side Effects

I'm tired.  Seems that taking the Mucinex D is making it so I can't sleep.  That's right I'm up all hours of the night and day.

Benadryl was doing the same to me as the Mucinex D of which I really shouldn't be all the surprised.  But I do need some sleep soon.

I'm cranky without sleep.

My metabolism is crashing without sleep.  This means I'm starting to pack on the weight from the use of the mucinex.  Not much of yet, just under a pound, but for a fatty like me any gain is a bad thing.  Oh and the almost pound was gained overnight.

My heart is beating rather irregularly with these meds.  I mean I had a pronounced murmur the other day but now my chest is hurting.

Just a few more days and I'll be done with two of the four new medicines.  I can't wait to get off of them.

Speaking of medicines....the mail order pharmacy called me this morning about my Micro dose Lupron.  My Tricare insurance covers all but the $12.00 co-pay.  Not bad I think, even though I was quoted $9.00 in November.  I guess inflation?  So the last of my medicine will arrive tomorrow.  YAY!  I'll get it right in the fridge as soon as it arrives.  I wonder if it comes with needles or not.  If not I still have some on hand from the last IVF.

Today I have a therapy session with my psychologist.  I'll mention to her the side effect from the benadryl and mucinex I've been taking over the past week.  I have to also say its making for some wild mood swings too.  I don't have much of a choice here, I have to take something to decongest this sinus infection.  But I'm wondering if she can give me any advice for coping skills when I'm on mood altering drugs.  Maybe I should get my husband a hotel room since I'm not fit for company of any sort of late.  Hmm...maybe I should get a hotel room for me in the tropic with cute man servant and room service?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Smelling The Lilacs

Yes, that is right I can smell again!  YAY!

No we don't have lilacs blooming here in WA as of yet, and I'm not sure we have any nearby me when they would bloom.  I am however, smelling lilac due to the Flonase.

Yesterday I went to the clinic and was seen by a really nice Captain.  She went over me thoroughly and even noted how loud my murmur was heard by having me hold my breath.  I guess she thought it might be my breathing that was making all that noise.  But no, it is the murmur and yes I've been getting some chest pains again.  I figure that the pains are associated with the sinus congestion as the harder it is to breath the harder my heart has to pump.

I had a low grade fever, my sinus cavities are impacted too.  But not to worry too much as the nice doctor gave me Flonase, Augmentin, Mucinex DM, and Afrin.  Within 30 minutes the nasal sprays were working their magic and I could breathe again.  However, when I lie down the mucus just sits there and clogs my airway so I might have to drag out my nebulizer soon.

Last night I had to disconnect my vaporizer due to water build up.  We've been having a lot of rainstorms here and well the vaporizer is causing water vapor to collect on the wall with the window.  Two hours after I unplugged my vaporizer the water vapor disappeared.  Darn it all, the vaporizer was really helping my breathing too.

One thing to note, I'm not dead yet nor have I developed a rash from the Augmentin as of yet.  I do have a penicillin allergy and Augmentin contains amoxil in it.  But there really wasn't any other choice of drugs to give to me with so many drug allergies.  I agreed to this one as I have the least of the bad reactions to it as only my skin likes to peel off.  So far no skin is peeling off.  Yes, weird reaction but well it does happen.

I have a follow up on the 11th of January with the same doctor to make sure the infection is gone before we start on the microdose of Lupron.  Well haha, my appointment with her is after the first micro dose of the Lupron so this is going to be interesting.  But with any luck I'll respond well to the antibiotics and I'll be free and clear by the time I head fully into the main injections.

I want to take a second to say thank you to everyone that is wishing me good health. I really appreciate your thoughts and prayers.  I have faith that I'll heal before the IVF, or rather I hope I will.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Finally I Get An Appointment

At 1400 hrs today I'll finally get in to see a doctor.  Or I hope its a doctor that I'll be seeing at my clinic.  It could very well be a physicians assistant or nurse practitioner.  Our clinic doesn't have that many doctors on staff as its too costly to have them there and it would mean that we would receive the best medical care available and we can't be having that now can we.

As I'm typing this my vision is a little messed up.  Its as though the screen is farther away than it should be.  Just another wonderful symptom is my guess.

Last night the sinus headache enveloped the whole left side of my head.  I just want this looked at and some medicine thrown at it before the next IVF is in full swing.

I called my REI nurse and she assured me that if I'm put on antibiotics it won't affect the drugs I'll be taking for IVF.  I was wondering about that since antibiotics affect birth control effectiveness I figured it was sane to ask her for advise on the matter.

So with any luck I'll get something to fix the congestion, I'm no longer producing green with the use of my neti pot, now its just blood I'm so congested.  I need something for the pain in the head too.  Something stronger than tylenol though I doubt they'll give me anything stronger.  Breathing is becoming complicated.  I can eat or breathe but not both.  Taking a deep breath is painful so I'm sticking with shallower breathing for now.  My lips and fingernails have been staying a lavender color, I'm guessing its because my oxygen supply isn't the best.

Remember though, my guesses don't count as I'm not a doctor and they will know better than me.  But my guess is that the sinus congestion is now moved towards my lungs and might be giving me a touch of bronchitis. 

Wish me luck on getting the proper treatment.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Staying In My Jammies For A Day

I'm tired.  Still sick.

Yesterday I managed to make a turkey meatloaf, green bean casserole in which I made the soup base by scratch too, baked potatoes and I opened up a can of cranberry sauce.  J appreciated the effort.  I did too because it meant since I was exhausted today I was able to eat some left overs at noon for my first meal of the day.

I stayed in bed for about 14 hours today.  I'm sick.  I know I already said that I'm sick.  There I said it again.

I woke up to no color in my lips, a back ache that just about made me cry and the shakes.  It wasn't 14 hours solid of sleep.  No that would be too much to hope for.  As per usual I'm up every two hours to pee, thanks Fibromyalgia.

Still cranky.  Haven't taken a bendadryl in about 9 hours but I probably should soon.  Even my ears hurt.

I have no real energy and even this blog post is draining me.  Tomorrow with any luck Tricare will able to get me a same day appointment so I can get something to fix this sinus infection.  If not I'll have to wait until after the 3rd of January for the next available opening.

I'm staying in my jammies today and I'll take my hot bath later before I head back to bed.  For now I'm not doing anything that requires much energy as I seem to have none to spare today.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Benadryl Crankies

I'm sick.  I'm not feeling at all well.

The benadryl isn't helping much and I can't get even close to a doctor appointment of a walk-in style until Tuesday.

The clinics are closed today on post and again on Monday.

Its as though my body hates me right now.

I'd like to rip someone's head off right now if they get in my way.  I'm not going to dance around the subject.

No one likes to be sick over the holidays.  No one likes having their head hurt and have a fever.  At least I'm not infectious to anyone but myself.  Its my chronic sinusitis that is acting up.  There are only just so many months, two for me, that I can put up with a sinus infection before I go see the doctor.  I don't like going to the doctors. Yesterday I was shamed into calling one the next working day, which was today.  Yeah like that helped my mood any.

Of course there is always urgi care but I'd rather not.  So its benadryl to help with the inflammation, my neti pot to remove as much red and green goo as possible and hopefully an understanding spouse.  Of course he isn't understanding though he should be.  SO I'M REALLY CRANKY!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Odd Dreams

Every night I dream.  Every time I close my eyes to nap I dream.  I always remember my dreams at first until they fad away.  But there are times that the dreams stay with me for years.  Its as though someone or someones are trying to send me a message.

Now I'll share a dream from last night's sleep.

I was in a run down trailer in its little attached porch and it was Christmas season.  I know this trailer well as my ex in-laws, who are now deceased, lived there once upon a time and on the enclosed porch they'd put their Christmas tree each year.  All their kith and kin were gathered there, including the broken family ties and the new ones which made for an odd gathering.  I was there and my ex and his new family was there.  My infertile ex with his new wife and baby were present.  He made sure I saw the baby.  But I knew it was her ex-husband's child and not that of my ex's.  Long story there but he was in real life sleeping with another man's wife that was pregnant, the SOD!  Still he had the family he always wanted now.

I had come by to return to him an item he had left behind.  This is a non-existent item and just something symbolic that my dream state made up mind you.  I was returning a large glass paperweight, similar to my actual life real one which is way smaller, that was made of Murano (Italian) glass.  But this one was gaudy, flashy and had no real substance except to be what someone of  trashy taste would want.  We all know the type and I'd rather not hurt my reader's feelings by going too deep.

I had a second Italian glass ball in my other hand.  Inside it was a simple piece of genuine white coral.  Captured when it was full of life and potential but this one belonged to J.

To me this is stating that my first husband had no substance and was what you see is what you get type and that meant slob, fat, lazy, and well trash. 

J's is the untapped potential that I know he has.  The quiet dignity, the protection like the coral protects the fish, and the grace of giving.

I think that my dream is of letting go of that which never really pleased me and finding what I really need and want that is with me now in my J.  I love my husband.  Whether or not we have children together I know that he will always do his best to provide for me and protect me.  He is willing to correct things that go awry; to fix the balance.  Marriage is a balancing act especially when married to a soldier.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

So Not O.Kays

Sorry not the best of photos of my hand but the camera I have is fading fast.  I took the photo of my wedding rings for a reason and I shall now explain why.

During the first miscarriage, the October IVF miscarriage to be precise, I got angry.  I hated everything for a bit.  I even managed to break my wedding band. 

My engagement ring is a marquise set in platinum and the wedding band is hinged and set in white gold.  Because it is hinged it wraps about my engagement ring protecting it.

I won't go into details on how I broke the band and I did discuss it in detail as to why I did and how with my psychologist.  The thing now is that it is fixed but still not right.  J bought the engagement ring for me from a local jewelers in my hometown.  The wedding band he purchased from a chain store.  The chain store is so not O.kays with fixing things right.

There is your hint on who we got it from and who fixed it with the "o.KAYS".  Sure they have a warranty and they say they'll fix it but they don't fix it right.  It took two tries and five weeks to get it even this close to fitting right.  How hard is it to fix a hinge?  Not that hard.  I used to make jewelry and fix jewelry.  I was told by not O.kays that if I brought it back in again after the holidays they would make it right this time.

I was so frustrated with their second feeble attempt at fixing my ring and the fact that they wanted to send it away for a third time with my engagement ring this time that I broke down into tears in the mall.  Yes, I let the flood gates open.  I was warned it could happen if I held it back for way too long.  O.Kays argued with me that the ring was fixed right too.

I told them the engagement ring is all I have left of us if he deploys soon.  I can't surrender that not knowing if I'll get my diamond back.  They assured me that nothing would happen to my diamond as its inscribed on the diamond with a special number.  I've heard before that other women's rings were replaced with glass at some jewelers.  Its not like I have the proper tools here to test it to make sure its my diamond either. 

I explained to Not o.KAYS that I didn't know why they couldn't just put in another ring similar in size to mine at the place where its being fixed to make sure it closes properly.  I even made them take similar engagement rings out of the case to prove my point.  Oh and guess what, they had a person trade in my style band that very day.   So after looking at the other band and looking at mine they realized with a , "hmmm" that they were wrong and I was right.  Not that o.KAYS would admit to upsetting me in the least.

So here is my advise, don't buy from them if you can help it unless its a very simple design that is extremely popular.  In my case my ring basically a limited edition that can't be sized and to them is nearly impossible to fix.

I saw this as a sign that my marriage will never be right again, like my wedding band, and I'll just have to accept that its changed.  Losing two babies in such a short period of time does hurt a marriage.  Its now time for us to put the pieces back together and work through this before we start the next round of injections in a few weeks.

I've found a new marriage counselor for J and I.   J is going to his own counselor and I have mine too.  Talk therapy, just like blogging can help but with a genuine counselor at least you can get some good feedback pointing you in the right direction.  I didn't like the last marriage counselor we had, he always took my husband's side because he is a soldier.  We need a neutral party and I have hope that this new counselor will be the one.  I even requested a male so that my husband doesn't feel awkward opening up.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday Craziness

This is just how crazy I went with the holiday decorations this year.  I even made a mock canopy over my bed using paper chains and snow flakes.

Right now, middle of the morning, J has just pulled in from a 24 hour shift.  He found out yesterday morning, after going in for morning formation, that he had CQ duty that day.  Again they had changed the schedule.  Three times this month they changed the schedule.

Oh he still has it on the 1st of January.  That part hasn't changed.

I guess I really shouldn't complain about the odd shifts he's been working since there are over 2500 soldiers deployed right now from our installation.  J could have been one of them.  He still is thinking that he'll be sent soon as a replacement.  I'm just hoping to have him here for the IVF hard part.  Well okay the easy part for him but the hard part for me.   Since I have enough friends in the area if need be we could freeze his gametes and I could have a friend take me to SRM, but I'm counting my blessings that he is here still.

Because his schedule is so crazy of late our sleep schedule is off.  Its no longer feeling like the holidays.  I don't have the blues or anything but still it just doesn't feel right.  No snow, just rain.  Hardly any one has decorated their houses for the holidays unlike last year.  I'm guessing again its because of so many soldiers that are deployed.  Still we have children in the neighborhood, one would think that they would at least decorate for the kids.

Our stand, upon which the Christmas tree sits, is filled with gifts and I'm all "meh!" about looking at them.  I guess what I really wanted this year won't be under the tree or in my womb.  I look back to the first IUI we had in January and think, "I could have given birth by now".  I think back to the February IUI and think the same.  The March IUI would have put us with a delivery date about now and still I would have loved it.  I wouldn't have cared if I delivered on Christmas or not.  I just wanted a baby this year. 

I'm lucky to have J here.  We have time to work on finding a better us while we struggle with this infertility journey.  As most couples know it is a struggle.  Even today I'm finding that the birth control I'm taking is giving me some very unwanted side effects.  The endo pain is seeping through enough that my bladder spasms in pain after emptying it.  I just want to go to sleep and wake up with a baby kicking in my womb, not wake up in pain from health issues.  I want this part of the journey to be over with.  I want my happy ending, the whole fairy tale where I've conquered the ugly Red witch.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Household Chores

Its Monday again.  How can I tell?  Well the mountains of laundry in my utility room confirm the day is truly here again.  Sorry but I need to vent a bit today.

My husband is still training, after 6 years of marriage, on household duties.  He actually did two loads of his own laundry yesterday.   I have one load of my personal stuff of which I mixed with the three loads I still have to do of the household laundry.

Oh I still have all of my husband's socks to wash.  That he didn't do yesterday because they are whites and well he figured I would do them for him.  Hmmm...he could have volunteered to just do the whole load of whites for me right?  Wrong.

After 6 years we are still working on who has to do what for household tasks.  I think we will never quite agree on the chores.

He believes its a man's job to empty the trash.  For the past two weeks I've been emptying the trash and taking it to the road.  So does this make me a man?  Need I remind him that I was quite capable of doing it for the year he was deployed and I didn't have to grow a set of testicles to do that job.

I refuse to believe that all the housework should fall upon the shoulders of just one person.  I don't think like my parents or even his parents.  I don't fall prey to J's tactics that if he screws up the task I'll not ask him to do it again.  His father told me yesterday that he does just that so that J's mom will take it over for him.  Not me, I just make J re-do the task until he gets it right.  We learn from our mistakes.

Late last night J told me he has CQ duty on 1 January.  He thought he told me two weeks ago.  Two weeks ago I had told him that if he has any CQ duty coming up he needs to put it on the calendars.  We do have one for next year and its right next to the present one, J even put it right there himself.   I walk into the kitchen with him following me and he said I was right that he didn't put it on the calendar and probably did forget to tell me.  The reason why the CQ duty even came up was that I reminded him that there would be no holiday drinking this year because he has to start the antibiotics on the 1st of January.  He said, "I guess I'll be taking them to CQ with me then.".  That is how I found out.

So I'm practicing my mindfulness of late.  I'm not breaking things or going mad.  I diffuse my own anger and take control of my emotions.  But I still can't lower my blood pressure enough.  This weekend I had a wicked headache and my blood pressure went up to 146 on top.  Good thing my Circle + Bloom set arrived on Saturday.  I think I'll take some time to meditate and listen to it today.  I need to relieve some stress before this next IVF hits the shot part.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Brain Eating Amoeba

Just in time for Christmas, something else to worry about as if the next cycle of IVF isn't enough already.  Now I have to worry about using my neti pot with my tap water.

A year ago I was instructed by my physician to purchase a neti pot and neti salt to help combat my chronic sinusitis.    After about four weeks of using the neti pot I felt relief.  Now if I go a day without using it my sinuses get all sorts of stuffy.  I have a neti pot addiction I think, if its possible.

In the news on-line has been the story of neti pots being linked to deaths.  Seems that there is the possibility of brain eating amoebas living in my tap water.  As if the threat of lead, mercury, arsenic, and cryptosporidium wasn't bad enough now I have to deal with something that wants to munch on my brain?

Because of the article, as of today, I'm using filtered water for my neti pot and I'm also boiling it to boot.  Now I just have to wait for the water to cool down enough to use it.  This is not very convenient to say the least.   I miss being able to turn on my tap water, to hot, any time of the day that I please to do my nasal wash.  Now I have to schedule this activity too.  This blows, not just the white, yellow or green stuff either. 

Much as I don't mind having a regimented life, after all I live with a soldier, I do like to live my life a bit on the impetuous side when the weekend rolls around.  I don't like having to plan just one more leash to hygiene.  I'd rather the leash just be dangling in the wind and I pick it up when I feel like; sort of like the dangling mitten from the string.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Out Shopping

Really short blog post today.

I went shopping with my bestie S.  I couldn't find a darn thing that I wanted to buy for my spouse with his money from my mom.  The gun shop that I went to that I thought would have the items from his reloading list, yes he gave me a list, actually aren't carrying bullet casings, primers and powder now.

So now its off to chase another wild goose.

I did have fun shopping, enjoyed some really good pizza, and came up with more gift ideas for my husband to gift to me.  He hasn't finished shopping for me yet and needs some really good hints.  I guess I might have to make him a list.  I don't want much and I did set a $100 gift purchase limit.  One big gift or small ones but it can't exceed that number because as we all know IVF isn't cheap.

Thanks to bestie S, I'm thinking that a bottle of perfume might make me happy this year.  I purchased a bottle of Tresor for myself from my husband for Christmas 2009 while he was deployed to Iraq.  I don't use it often as there are so many folks about me that seem to be allergic to scents that I usually forgo wearing any cologne of any sort.  Why should I care about them?  I've no clue since most don't care about my allergies, feelings and needs.  Perfume and cosmetics cheer me up.  I guess its a girl thing.

I'm sure J can get just what I want at our Exchange here on the military installation.  Sometimes being in the Army does have its perks when we can get a few items for less than the other stores on the economy which carry the same items, though not always and not often but it seems that perfume is one of the things we can get for less.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Much Ado About Nothing

Over the weekend my husband and I traveled to his cousin's house for the White Elephant gift exchange.  Last year was the first year that I attended one and I found it to be a source of fun and much chaos.

This year it was a bit more controlled and not as much fun being so; however, the gifts were interesting to say the least.  We were handed gifts this year, unable to chose the packages from under the tree and with so many of us scattered about two levels it was quite impossible to see what wrapped packages were what size, shape and prettily wrapped or not.  I heard one gal next to me complain about it being just so.

Another near me complained about the thought and amount spent on the gifts this year not being as good as last year.  This year I spent more time choosing what I would donate for the gift exchange and made sure I got my money's worth from the items.  Due to the fact that we have several outlets near here I was able to get my hands on some discount bath products.  For just five dollars I was able to purchase hand cream, body wash and a poof from B,ath & B.ody w.orks.  Its quality stuff.  I made up two sets and wrapped them carefully.  I think I did well and the items got stolen in the game a few times.

What there is gift stealing?  Yup.  I unwrapped a rather large yellow duck.  At first I was amazed that they would even attempt to make a duck that size.  Then I thought about my grandmother-in-law that passed away a few years back. Every year she would help sell tickets for the annual duck race in upstate NY.  I had to keep that duck.  I even thought of it as a good sign when I got the duck because of Gramma J.  I was thinking how lovely the duck would look in my nursery some day.

Unfortunately my duck got stolen.  I almost cried.  I wanted to refuse the steal because I didn't care what the other person had, I wanted that duck.  Others around me had heard what I was going to do with my duck and assured me that I could purchase one for the nursery and where I could buy it.  Its not the same.  I don't want to have to buy my own duck.  I wanted that DUCK!  It was mine.  I didn't care about getting a third creamer because I had two already.  What in the world would I do with another piece of chalk-ware that I can't use?  The duck I wanted.  I wanted bad. 

I refuse to buy a duck now as I promised I wouldn't buy anything for the nursery until I was about 7 months along and safely pregnant.  Now the duck is gone.  Is this an omen?

If I ever get into that safe zone of pregnancy I hope someone remembers how badly I wanted that duck and  gifts me one.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Family: The Pain That Keeps Giving

I'm having one of those days where the Fibromyalgia pain is kicking my butt, shoulder, left ankle, neck, oh heck it all hurts.

I'm wondering if with taking the acetaminophen there isn't a little me just laughing sitting there on my shoulder at my futile attempts to control the pain.  I'd turn my head to take a look but that hurts too.

Its been an interesting past 11 days.  I've been holding in more secrets since my last posting about keeping secrets on the 6th of December.  I've been having more chest pains, irregular heart beat, and my blood pressure is way too high for being on the blood pressure medicine but I think I might have mentioned that in a recent blog.  The secret is that one of my parents in the hospital....AGAIN!  Yes the very one that I said was courting bad Karma in my blog post Taking Joy In Someones Pain.  Karma got his butt.  I'm not happy about it and I did warn him.  Mom made me promise to not tell any of the family until my father was well enough and no longer in the ICU.  Over the weekend, after almost a week in the ICU, he was finally transferred to a regular room.  Soon he'll be in a nursing home.  This is his fourth attack of congestive heart failure.  Heart issues seem to run in the family.

Since my closest relatives don't read my blog it doesn't really matter that I post about my dad here.  Mom only told me to not call any of my family friends and tell them if she thought they might blab.  I have one cousin that would do just that.  No, not you Nicki you read my blog the one that blabs doesn't.

So far my dad has had four close brushes with death.  This time is the worst it looks like.  He also has pneumonia and an infection in the blood.  If and when he comes home he'll be on machines.  Mom has already told me what the doctors have told her that he has been on borrowed time for the past five years.  We knew this too.  Some how my dad is always able to spring back just enough for just long enough to make it a few months without getting sick.  Maybe science should study his immune system.
So yes I'm more grumpy this holiday season due to two miscarriages so close together and one deathly ill parent.  I may not be close to my father but he is my father and I do not wish ill upon him or any other human due to the ripple effect.

Last week, late at night I called my spouse to let him know about my father in the hospital.  He was in the process of doing his sneaky work that I had to interrupt with tears.  I wouldn't have called but for the fact that he needed to know if I had to suddenly fly home.  The ripple effect does effect everyone.

On a happy note, my refrigerator vegetable compartments are now filled with my IVF medicines.  I picked up my grocery bag of medicines yesterday, my laundry bag of needles and got my flu shot too.  I'm all set. Come to think of it maybe its the flu shot making me all achy today; it probably is at that.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mashed Potato Salad

Okay so I forgot to take a photograph of the mashed potato salad, sorry.  I guess you'll just have to picture the mashed potatoes being yellowish from the eggs.

Here is my recipe:

Mashed Potato Salad  Serves about 8

6 large Red skin potatoes
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
3 TBSP white vinegar
2 TBSP white sugar
1 cup Kraft Fat Free Mayonaise
1/4 cup dried chopped onion
5 hard boiled eggs
1 tsp. cheap yellow mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Wash and chop up the red skin potatoes leaving the skins on.  Put in a large pot of water and boil about 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.  While the potatoes are boiling the eggs should be in another pot boiling as well but for about  4 minutes.  Drain water out of both pots.  Mash up the potatoes.  Cut up boiled eggs and add to the mashed up potatoes.

Add in the pickle relish, vinegar, sugar, onion, mayonaise, and mustard to the eggs and potatoes.  Using a hand mixer on medium speed mix up the ingredients thoroughly adding in the salt and pepper as needed.

There you have it.  My husband just loved the mashed potato salad which can be served hot or cold.  Its an easy dish to bring to any party for the holidays or FRG meeting.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cuss Jar

This post is mainly for the friends and family that I see quite frequently as it pertains mostly to you.

As of 1000hrs my blood pressure this morning was already 139 on top.  Mind you I'm on 200mg 2 times a day of Labetalol which is 400 mg a day.  My blood pressure shouldn't be rising up this quickly this early in the morning.  That is it shouldn't be this high at all unless someone is pushing my buttons.

Nothing pushes my buttons more quickly then unnecessary cussing.  I can understand that if you are in extreme pain you are allowed to cuss but still even when I had my finger slammed in the hinges on a ladder by a co-worker once I only muttered, "finger, finger, finger!".

Really is there a need to cuss so frequently?  I think not.  So as of today there is now a large pickle jar in my house for cussing.  You will learn to watch your language around me so that I don't get my blood pressure up.

If I have to watch my anger level and "let things go" when they are troubling me it means that you should too.  Life is short and I'd rather not have a stroke or heart attack while trying to conceive.

So far this morning my husband had balled up a single one dollar bill for his first cuss of the day.  Army guys tend to swear often, quite loudly, and without thought to others feelings. I plan on using the cuss jar money for household purchases.  A reward for learning a lesson if you will.

Would you cuss at a priest, nun, or superior?  I think not.  Do I deserve to hear you curse words?  If you feel the need to curse then leave my presence, go far from me, take a walk and cool down a bit then come back when you learn some manners.  I deserve to be treated with respect too.

Remember I'm wanting peace so that I can create a life here.  IVF isn't cheap and cursing just makes you look and sound cheap.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Complaint Department

I'm so not in the mood today.

I have had about an hour's sleep in the past 24 hours.

This will be the third night in a row my husband has been pulling a double shift.

I never see him except when he sleeps.

Today I'm asking that every one understand that I'm going to be on edge.  There is only just so much caffeine I can digest before I start to puke it back.  I'm going to be a bitch today.  Probably tomorrow too.

We were supposed to go to a family party tomorrow and it looks like he'll be on detail AGAIN!

Thank you Obama for short staffing them to the point that my spouse, who doesn't get paid over time but by the month no matter how many hours he works, is now working double shifts.  So much for family time being for the family.

Oh and Thanks again President Obama for screwing my spouse out of his career path.  Figured you and your staffers would decide my email isn't worthy enough to respond to.  Not even a form style email.  Don't expect my vote.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Reading Between The Lines: Army Style

I feel for my spouse.  He has worked hard, done what he was told, and still keeps listening to those above him.  He should be rewarded but I think unless we find a loop hole we are doomed to not get him that justly deserved rank award.

Yesterday, being the research junkie that I am, I did some research to try to find a loop hole.  I might have found a technical error that when brought to JAG (Judge Advocate General) might just get J in the door for the board that is coming up.  MIGHT.

This is the data I collected.

According to the MILPER 11-317, its a pdf file, the following changes might have eliminated him from being a candidate.



J's physical is almost two years old and he was told they were good for two years but he said getting another physical is no problem.

However, there is some good news too in the new announcement the Army made in its MILPER 11-317.

J's last APFT score was over 250 so he isn't in danger of not being accepted for the score on that one for his fitness test.

J is far from being overweight.  He is quite fit and muscular to boot.

 Q. GT SCORE OF 110 OR HIGHER.  J's GT score was above 130.  He's smart.

J has a bachelor's degree in a science field.  They'd want him because of that, one would think right?


Now I head over to the AR350-51 Paragraph 1-7 subset M and I find the following:
 1–7. Who may not apply
Individuals may not apply if—
m. They would be over 34 years of age when appointed as a commissioned officer.

That is my loophole.  Think it will work?

He has all the qualifications that they want in an officer.  His APFT score is high enough over the minimum.  His GT score is also way above the minimum.  He has the ideal degree they want.  He is under 34 for another 9 months.  He has time.

But....they won't give age waivers according to the MILPER 11-317.  So is this futile?  I mean does anyone think we have a chance?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Annoyed With The Army

Dear President Obama,

I love my husband.  I love being an Army Wife.  But there are a lot of things I don't love about this life right now.

My husband just called me to inform me that OCS (officer candidate school) is no longer an option.  I'm pissed.  This has been his dream since he enlisted 4.5 years ago with his bachelor's degree.

When he was stationed in Korea he started his OCS packet.  That was 3.5 years ago.  The Army told him he had to wait a bit.  He didn't want to wait. 

After Korea he got stationed here.  He told his command that he wanted to go to OCS.  They said its not going to happen because of the upcoming deployment.  Again he had to wait.

He deploys and finds out that he can still get all the paperwork together while deployed.  He worked his butt off over in Iraq to get his physical and papers signed.  He gets home and is told he has to wait.  He waited as a good soldier ought to.

He waits.  His references expired.  So he got new references.  He was told again this summer to wait because of the next deployment.  He waited.

He then gets told that they are going to have a board in July before the mini deployment but that the folks at the board won't be ready for him.  He is told to wait until after the mini deployment is done.  He waits.

He gets back and tries to get his packet submitted yet again.  This time he is told that things are changing and there won't be another board this year.  He is told to wait until today for the seminar.  He waits. 

He goes to today's seminar.  He is now told he is too old.  They now have a cut off of 28 for OCS unless he was part of the reserve component.  He isn't reserves.  The Army killed his dream.

Is this how our Vets are being treated?  Why are their dreams being killed?

He listened to them and waited.  He did as he was told.  He went off to war.  He waited again as was told.  Now they are telling him its too late. OCS is the reason why my husband went into the Army to begin with.  He was given a promise that with his education the Army would be foolish to waste him on anything but being an officer.


(Oh and I so did email this to him at the White House.  I am angry.)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Keeping Secrets

Inside this house many secrets are kept.  For now I'll share two with you.

Yesterday we finished the decorating the tree and I thought it would be nice to post an updated photo of the exterior with our tree in the window.

The first secret I'll share with all of you is that my tree is a bit of an illusion.  But you'll have to look at the next photo to see what I'm talking about.

 My tree is not full sized like it appears to be from outside.  No I don't have room for a huge tree.  I have my tree on an antique oak stand in my front living room window for all outside to see.  I think it makes for a pleasing view, don't you?

This is my tree with the lights on in the house but not lit on the tree.  I've made most of the decorations for the tree including the ribbon with all the bells on it and the tree skirt.  All hand sewn.

But this means its time to tell you the second secret I had promised to share.

Yesterday while decorating the tree I was unwrapping the special ornaments, not all did I make mind you.  As I was unwrapping a glass angel I started to choke up with tears.  I bought that ornament for my first pregnancy loss.  I decided it was too painful to put on the tree this year.

See the secret is that I did get pregnant this past cycle natually and I did lose it.  Two pregnancies lost in such a short period of time.  One via IVF the other naturally and both meant so much to us.  We did have hope.  But I knew that it was futile as the reason why I lost the babies the first time in 1996 was the fact that I didn't have enough progesterone in my system and going natural meant running that risk again.  Still it was nice to know we could create one of our own without help.  I guess I just need to have my hormone levels watched more closely for a dive in progesterone next time.

So last night I was angry.  I decided to put up just one gold angel to represent all the lost babies we've had.  J stood by me and he hung the angel.  I was so angry at myself I just wanted to destroy the tree but I didn't.  I held back the rage and just let the tears slip down my cheeks.

We are still going ahead with the IVF for January.  I'm on the pill.  I'm cranky with the bloat.  Weight loss is an uphill battle right now.  If I can maintain or lose a bit I'm good.

I've gotten my blood work back.  My numbers are as normal as can be for CD3, I'm on CD7 now. 
CD3 numbers:
E2 30
LH 8.59
FSH 7.54

Luteinizing Hormone (LH) Day 3 < 7 mIU/ml A normal LH level is similar to FSH. An LH that is higher than FSH is one indication of PCOS.

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Day 3 3-20 mIU/ml FSH is often used as a gauge of ovarian reserve. In general, under 6 is excellent, 6-9 is good, 9-10 fair, 10-13 diminished reserve, 13+ very hard to stimulate. In PCOS testing, the LH:FSH ratio may be used in the diagnosis. The ratio is usually close to 1:1, but if the LH is higher, it is one possible indication of PCOS.

Estradiol (E2) Day 3 25-75 pg/ml Levels on the lower end tend to be better for stimulating. Abnormally high levels on day 3 may indicate existence of a functional cyst or diminished ovarian reserve. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Decking The Halls

So far so good.  I talked J into purchasing icicle lights this year.  Just two sets of them and the front line of our house is defined by the beauty of tiny colored lights.

Sure I'm one of those folks that would like some more lights and maybe a few lawn ornaments with lights on them but I have to work with a budget and the realization of storage issues for the holiday decorations.  In other words I did not purchase the lighted reindeer lawn ornaments or  blow up snow globe.  Maybe some day I'll get my full Christmas gaudy look going but not this year.

The elves, namely me, have been busy in my living room making paper chains and snowflakes.  I'll soon get started on decorating the bedrooms and other rooms of the house with them too.

My front window is all set for the tree to be seen from the street and to occupy the living room with its glory.  Now if only I can get my husband to check all the light strands and assemble the tree I can get to decorating it.

Sure I don't really need him to check all the lights and assemble the tree for me as I've done it by myself when he was deployed but since he is home he might as well enjoy, hahahaha, the process with me as we struggle to get it just right.

Oh and please note the paper for the decorations is from recycled paper and it will again get recycle when we are done with its purpose this season.  I'm being a responsible decorator this year.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Give and Take

Somehow over night I lost a follower.

My numbers dropped by one.

Wasn't me, I'm still following myself.

But that's okay because the world doesn't revolve around me or the number of followers I have.  It seems to these days revolve around my infertility.

When I initially made this blog it was going to be all about my life as an Army wife.  Well infertility is part of that journey.  Not the part that I want to write about every day but still its part of who I am and how my spouse and I are dealing  with our obstacles.

Yesterday my spouse came home early for his family time.  Yes, the Army tries to give its soldiers family time each week.  Sometimes the job does get in the way but at least they do realize how important the family is to the soldier.  However, he got a phone call a few hours later and he had to return to work.  It was going to be a long night.  I really can't discuss what this minor mission involved but I'll just say it was mission essential that he be there.  Today, he normally gets the weekend off, he had to return to work again to finish up.  They actually gave them 6 hours of sleep last night and the chance to go home for it too!  YAY!

So my life not only revolves around my infertility it revolves around my spouse's job.  Its a very important job.  A job that only 1% of Americans are willing to take on.  He knows he could give a limb or two or even his life.  But he loves what he does, he loves me and I love him.  We survive what must be done and try to scratch out some time for one another to make our bonds stronger.  Its not easy with the amount he's been gone but we are trying.

As for the blanket photo above and the reason why its in this post; I'm proud to say its found a home.  I started weaving the squares for that Queen sized blanket when my spouse was on his deployment to Iraq.  I finished it this summer while he was on another deployment.  I had a contact that found a home for the blanket through Fischer House and a wounded warrior is now in possession of the blanket.  I'm so glad its gone to someone that really deserves to know some warmth, kindness and love.  Too often we forget those that gave all to protect our freedoms.

I'm about half-way done a twin sized blanket.  For now its been put away because of the holidays.  I'll get back to it again in January when I have more time.  Again I'll donate this blanket to a charity so that some family member of a solider or a wounded warrior will know some warmth in cold times.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Christmas Gift

Gift giving has gotten out of hand I say.  Yes it has says I.

Why do we empty out our wallets to give gifts to others, who rarely appreciate it, that only make us more in debt?

Is this what Christmas is really all about?

I think not.

Every year I give less and less.  I make more of the gifts using my talents that I've learned over the years.  This year my husband made gifts too.  If they aren't appreciated then so be it.

Christmas is a birthday.  Do you give gifts to the birthday person or get them on their birthday?  I give them when its a person's birthday.  So in this case who would I give the gift to?  What is the price limit?

I find that I would rather give of my heart, my time, and give from my talents in crafting to others.  I would rather buy American made when possible so that my gift buying gives the gift of jobs.

This year my husband and I have set a $100 limit of gift buying for one another.  All but one gift I purchased for him was made here in the USA.  The cheapest gift was made in China but I spent less than $10.00 on it so really that isn't too bad.  I've asked him to do the same and try to buy mostly American made gifts for me this year.  Its a real challenge.

However, what I really want can't be bought.  It can't be wrapped in pretty paper or tied up in a bow.  It won't fit under the tree, on a shelf or in a keyhole.  No what I really want this year is the gift that once given shouldn't be taken back, can't be exchanged, and will grow with time.  I want undying love.  The kind that will still be there even after I've shucked off my mortal coil.  I want respect and I've earned it.  I want kindness that all we humans deserve but so often forget to give to one another.

My gift wish list is long this year.  You can't buy what I want.  But you can give it freely.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Celebrating The Season

Yesterday I finally got around to making the Advent wreath for the Christmas holidays. I'm a few days late I know but better late than never.  I knew I had the candles around and I have evergreen growing in my herb garden under the guise of my rosemary bush.  I just had to go find my candle holders and wire.  Ta-Da!
Simple but it does the job.

When I was growing up Roman Catholic we had our wreath that we made in CCD classes but my father didn't like lit candles in the house.  So we never lit the wreath.  Little did I know that it is to be lit every night with a prayer led by the man of the house before dinner is eaten and the candles extinguished after the evening meal is finished.  Every night the same prayer for one week and the same candle.  Eventually all four candles will get lit for the four weeks and four different prayers will be recited.  The white pillar candle is to be lit on Christmas Day. 

I think I'm going to like a sit down meal every night with my soldier.  Do I really expect to get it?  Nope.  Today he is headed out to Portland, OR for a class.  I'm thinking that he most likely won't be home in time for dinner.  Good thing he packed a lunch bag.  Yes, that is J lighting the first candle of the season.

Last night I made chicken a l' orange with baked russet potatoes and green bean almondine.  Tonight I'm thinking a slow cooker meal might be the best idea since I've no clue when he'll be pulling into the garage.

I like the idea of this little ritual.  It some how brings us closer as a family.  It gives us that bonding time to have an actual sit down meal and makes him want to be there on time more often too.