I completely suck at this blog thing

So what have I been up to lately?

San Diego Comic Con, trip back east to my sister’s bridal shower, Las Vegas Star Trek Creation Con and I start school Monday.

I have not had any fertility treatment or anything related since I last posted. I did have awesome SDCC nails that I will post.

My trigeminal neuralgia is getting worse (it seems), my thyroid numbers are up, and I my last 2 cycles have lasted 5+weeks. This one is at 5 weeks and 3 days so far. I am pretty sure my chances at pregnancy are gone.

My sister-in-law is about to give birth (due Sept 8), my other friend found out she’s having a girl. My other close friend had a little girl named Giada. She’s beautiful. I will cry when I see her (I haven’t yet, travel and they are waiting some time for visitors that aren’t family) and my friend will understand. I am positive no one will understand me crying when my SiL has hers, so I don’t know how I will handle that.

Should I fake being sick so I can’t be near a newborn? But that will make me feel even more ostracized. I know they don’t mean to, but I feel like I don’t belong anymore. This baby is going to be the center of everything and I can’t be as over the moon ecstatic about it as everyone, and I know they won’t get it. And I suppose they shouldn’t have to. They should be over the moon ecstatic. It’s a baby. A new life in the family. It’s wonderful. But all I want to do is hide and cry and pretend it isn’t happening.

They shouldn’t have to think about me, or worry about me at a time like this. But I fear my absence would not only make <i>me</i> feel worse, it would feel like a slight to them. I am stuck. I am stuck between wurtzite boron nitride and lonsdaleite.

Something I wrote elsewhere:

I want a family so badly. I want to camp in our backyard and have them tell me they hate me because I won’t buy them -insert whatever is cool and popular-. I want to teach them to walk and watch them discover who they are. I want to argue with them about what I think is best. I want them to yell at me and tell me that they like their father better. I want them to yell at Mr P and tell him they like me better (I know it would depend on which way the wind was blowing). I want to love them unconditionally and let them go when it’s time.

Ah well. Focus on school I guess.

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A new piece of the puzzle

I found out that my MRI was clear and “unremarkable.” I have never been so happy to be called unremarkable. However, this means there is no apparent cause for the trigeminal neuralgia, so we just get to wait and see if the pain goes away. I’m terrified it won’t. And that is a real possibility.

My cycle ended and a new one began on July 19th. Just in time for me to get to the doctor before I left for San Diego Comic Con. I went in on day 2 of my cycle and the ultrasound said my ovaries were quiet. But at least I knew what was going on. If I had started my cycle the next day, I would have been down in SD and not able to even know what was going on.

Then my doctor called me (I missed the call, but she left a vm) and told me that my FSH was high (24) and that my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone – works the same as FSH except for the thyroid) was also elevated (3.24). Now this doesn’t seem like a lot, but I have done some digging and usually, the optimal level for TSH when trying to get pregnant is 2.0 or below.

My acupuncturist had been on me about my thyroid being off so often that I have been tested (full panel) twice in the last 6 months or so. Everything was “normal” for those. However, my BBT is always low. Always. My typical chart is below 97.18 (dipping down to 96.34 – sometimes even lower) before ovulation and my baseline is 97.45, which is basically where I should be before ovulation. Now, I have a test result that says “hey, something may be up in your thyroid.

So we are doing another “natural” cycle this time. Which to me means another cycle of not getting pregnant. I am positive I will not get pregnant without some science to help me along.

I’m trying to pull all these things together. Infertility, rheumatoid arthritis, trigeminal neuralgia, high TSH, high FSH, low BBT… my hair is falling out. Not in clumps but it’s definitely falling out. I stopped taking the DHEA about a week or more ago. I think that could be fucking my things up as well. And obviously it didn’t help with my egg production.

I know that soon I am going to have to face the fact that I can’t ever get pregnant. But when I think about that, all the wind goes out of my lungs and I feel like I am going to die. So I have to hold on. I have to hold on to the hope that I am not so broken as to not be able to do the one thing that is supposed to be the reason for being part of this species. Procreating to perpetuate the species.

Mr. Pithecus was talking to a friend recently. We briefly talked about our problems conceiving and then Mr P said, “If we could have a child, we could make the world a beter place.” It broke my heart and made me love him a million times more than I already did. I don’t know that us having a child could make the world a better place, but with a man like Mr P as a dad… it may just be possible.

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Tired

I haven’t been around for a while. I’ve been recently diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, which is basically a big fucking pain. The trigeminal nerve is in the head/face area and basically it burns like a thousand suns and aches like the side of my head just ran a marathon and it’s all muscle.

I’m waiting for MRI results… and I’m tired. I’m tired of hurting every day, I’m tired of thing upon thing upon thing being wrong. So yeah… I haven’t felt like updating.

I’m ok. Just in a rough spot. The meds mask the pain, but I get headaches and I can feel the ache through it. Not to mention I have had to put off trying to get pregnant because of this.

We are supposed to start trying again at the start of my next cycle, which seems like it will never come. My last cycle was 40 days long. I attributed that to the blinding pain and the stress of all that. This cycle is currently 28 days and I still haven’t ovulated. I fear that the TG has less to do with my cycles slowing than peri-menopause.

I’m not ready to stop trying, but I am slowly realizing that I will never be a mother. And that makes me sadder than I have ever been.

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Gradient Manicure

This was done with 4 different polishes and a cosmetic sponge.

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Nothing to see here…

I guess I haven’t posted in a little while. I’ve been having some health issues, that I don’t really want to go into, but they have put off fertility treatments for a bit. I am just about to start a new cycle and my doctor prefers I skip the whole thing this time.

Last cycle, we were doing a natural cycle to try and get my body back to a non-synthetic hormone state before we started a new protocol. The health issues arrived right in the middle and I stressed about it a lot. So I am now on day 41 of my cycle (usually they are 24 days without hormone assistance). Though it may end up being Day 1 of the next because I can feel the bleeding about to start.

With the bleeding comes the sadness. I told Mr. Pithecus just a few minutes ago, “I mourn every time I bleed.” And though it sounds like a line from and angsty teen movie, it’s true. Even if I took a pregnancy test and got a negative three days earlier. There is always still a chance. But when the bleeding starts, it’s definitely not going to happen.

I guess I should be grateful that I am bleeding. That I do get my period. And that even though the eggs may not be up to par, I am ovulating and I have eggs. I have a healthy uterus (the ultrasound tech once said “You have a beautiful uterus,” which was the weirdest complements I have ever gotten), I have two ovaries that sort of work, and two tubes that are not blocked. Yet still, I mourn.

So we will try again this cycle by natural means. Temps, cervical position and mucus. I will continue with acupuncture and the herbs, but no injections or hormone pills.

Next cycle though, we are diving in. We will start something called estrogen priming protocol. It is used a lot in poor responders, so my doctor decided it was time to try this for me. We already have all the meds needed. There are about $7100 worth of fertility meds in the fridge. We didn’t pay that much, we had incredible insurance. I think we paid a few hundred. We are very lucky in that respect. Very.

 

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What not to say to someone having fertility issues.

When someone confides in you about the fertility issues they are having, they are entrusting in you something very personal and very painful. Lots of women never tell anyone because they feel ashamed or broken. That somehow, this is all their fault and they can’t bear to let anyone know that they are unable to do what everyone around them is doing without a problem.

When someone does confide in you, most of the time, you would want to try and comfort them person. To try and help them and make them feel better. I understand that whatever anyone says comes from a good place. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing to say.

1. Don’t worry! It’ll happen for you, I know it. This is like a “you can do it” cheer. Which brings us back to how broken we feel about not being able to conceive. It’s not like we’re not trying. Also? It might not happen. Six million women have fertility issues. Two million married couples are infertile. Two. Million. (reference)

2. I’ll pray for you. Okay so this one is mostly my issue, being an atheist, but others may relate. By all means, pray if it makes you feel better, but don’t tell me about it. All prayer does is make the person praying feel like they are doing something, then they feel good about themselves and move on. It does nothing for me or any other person having fertility issues. It’s like the slacktivist facebook statuses we see all over the place “Repost for cancer awareness!” Really, who isn’t aware of cancer?

I try to remind myself that this is a religious person’s way of saying “I’ll be thinking of you and hoping that things go your way,” which is actually what I would rather hear.

3. X was having a problem getting pregnant and then X stopped trying and bam! X was pregnant! Um. So? What does this even have to do with me? So X is more fertile than I am and didn’t need to get hormone filled needles stuck in them every day and endure vaginal ultrasounds and blood tests every 3 days. X just stopped trying and got knocked up. Oh wow, let me congratulate X on their fertility.

4. X was having problems and went through x number of IUI and IVFs and none of them took and then she decided to do one last one, and she got pregnant – with twins!! I know you are just trying to give me hope. That after so many failures, this person had their dream come true. But what a lot of us hear is just one more statistic against us. One more person beat the odds which means we drop down one more number in the statistical pool of fertility treatments working. One less chance that we get moved on over to the successful side of the numbers and we get closer to being part of that Two Million number.

5. Why don’t you just adopt? Do you know what it takes to adopt? For starters, you have to qualify. Have you ever been treated for depression? Yes? Forget it. Do you have a chronic disease? Yes, rheumatoid arthritis. Forget it. Some places require you to own a home. I am 40, some places won’t allow me to adopt a baby because of my age. I could adopt an older or special needs child, but that is a discussion for another blog post.

Domestic adoption costs range anywhere from $5,000 to $40,000 or more. International adoptions range from $7,000 to $30,000, and depending on the country, you may have to stay there for x amount of time (which I think is a great idea, don’t get me wrong on that, it’s just expensive). (reference) Also, countries have been cracking down on people from the US adopting because of baby “factories” and shady dealing with kids just being taken by greedy brokers and much more horrible things.

6. Are you pregnant yet? When we go to a family gathering or party, the last thing we want to hear is this. If we were pregnant, believe me, you would know. You are only reminding us that we’re not.

7. Whatever was meant to be will be./It’s all part of god’s/the universe’s/insert whatever here plan. Nothing was “meant to be”. Do you really think that telling people that their pain, hardship, feelings of worthlessness and utter dispair were meant to be? Or are part of some pre-determined plan? How cruel. Nothing is meant to be. Shit happens. There is no reason, there is no plan. The universe is random. It sucks, but there it is. Telling me that somehow this crap is planned or meant to be? Cruel. Cruel. Cruel.

I know I was a little harsh in some of this, but I thought it would help relay the emotion behind it all. We know you mean well, we really do. But I can guarantee that on more than one occasion, someone has left your presence and cried because of something you well meaningly said.

You may be wondering “Well geez, that’s a long list. What on earth can I say?”

How about: “I love you.” “I am sorry you are going through this.” “I am here if you need to talk.” “If there is anything I can do, let me know.” Or what I had written above, “I’ll be thinking of you and hoping that things go your way,” but only say them if you mean them. And don’t bring it up, unless we bring it up first. Sometimes we just can’t talk about it.

Thanks for sticking around to read this very long post. I hope it has given some insight.

 

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Yep. Addicted.

We’re about to head out to pick up some Chili Addiction to bring to Mr P’s parents. We decided they need to have some right away. I could eat there every day. Except Monday. They are closed on monday. But that’s why they have pre-packaged and frozen their chilis for you to take home!

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Chili Addiction

Mr P and I just got back from Chili Addiction. It’s only a couple miles from us, so we decided to walk down. We figured we could burn off at least a few of the calories we would be stuffing down our gullet. We had read only good things about this place online, so we figured, “Why not?”

Oh. My. Dog. (I actually don’t have a dog, but “Oh my dog” sounds better than “Oh my neurotic cats.”) This place is amazingly delicious. Now I know why Quarrygirl has about a million entries on her blog about it. Addiction? Yes, please!

They have an entirely separate vegan menu (though there are a couple of vegetarian things on it) and two vegan chili options a day. Today’s choices were (from their site):

HOM-ONIOUS CHORIZO
First you take Soy, ferment it and make Chorizo with it, then you add Hominy, cook it with Johnny’s secret blend of spices and…Presto..a perfectly harmonized, savory, and full textured 100% Vegan Chili!

NEW MEXICO TRIP
A fantastic blend of Garbanzo, Pinto Bean, and Black Beans with a hint of corn, and rare New Mexico hatch chili peppers only available once a year. A vegan paradise!

Mr Pithecus had the vegan chili burger with the hominy choirizo chili and soy cheese. He loved it. I had a small bite and I may end up getting one of their burgers next time. It was a meaty as you could ever hope a vegan burger to be.  Also, the chili is the best vegan chili we have ever had. Ever. It was so incredibly good. We were going to get some to bring home for later, but we had a bit of a walk and it was pretty warm and sunny out.

Vegan chili burger with Hom-onious Chorizo chili

I had the Roma Sausage, which is their vegan sausage on a delightfully toasted roll with sauteed onions and peppers and Chili Addiction’s own homemade marinara sauce. Delicious.

Vegan Roma Sausage

And we shared an order of yummy onion rings

Beer battered Vidalia onion rings

The spicy dill pickles that come with the order (you can see them in the pictures) are very good, and I am assuming, made by them as well. Almost everything was homemade, down to the ketchup they gave us to dip the onion rings in. Though I like my onion rings plain, I did try the ketchup and it was very good.

I guess that’s it for now. If you are in LA and you’re looking for a good place for vegans and omnivores alike, then you should stop by Chili Addiction. You won’t regret it.

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Doomie’s Home Cookin’

This past weekend, Mr. Pithecus and I went to Doomie’s Home Cookin’ for some comfort food. This place knows how to do deep fried vegan comfort like no one’s business.

We ordered the jalapeno poppers:

Jalapeno poppers

I was torn between the Chicken fried steak and the sloppy joe. We decided that I would order the sloppy joe and Mr P would order the chicken fried steak so I could have some of each.

Sloppy Joe with fries

It was delicious. The perfect sloppy joe.

I did not take a picture of Mr P’s chicken fried steak because frankly, anything slathered in country gravy does not translate well into a photo. It was crazy yummy and the next time we go I am getting a whole one all for myself, but it looks extremely unappetizing on camera.

We walked the 2 miles from our apartment to get there and the 2 miles back. We went up to Sunset Blvd for the walk back. I can tell you, Sunset Blvd, even east of the strip, is quite interesting after 8:30pm. Quite.

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6 Day Old Manicure

Crappy picture of some chipped nails. This is my left hand, the right was far more chipped. I did this scotch tape manicure about 6 days ago. I painted the black on Sunday and then the red tips on Monday.

 

I think it held up pretty good for me forgetting to put on a top coat. Both are Sally Hansen Xtreme wear polish.

I’ve also been working on some knitting. I can’t post it here because it’s a present, but I can post a teaser:

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