A Memorial Day Getaway

For the first time in the 7 years we’ve been together, Lee and I took a mini-break for ourselves.  Sure, we’ve traveled a fair amount in the time we’ve been together, but it’s always been for  specific reason.  This was the first trip we had planned with no one to visit and nowhere in particular to be.

I chose Duluth as our destination for a variety of reasons.  First, I hadn’t been since I was about 12 years old.  I’d driven through Duluth since that time, but never stayed long enough to appreciate the beauty of the North Shore.  I was looking forward to experiencing Duluth again as an adult, because the visit was lost on me as a kid.  Going on vacation with your parents and your 4-year old sister isn’t exactly “cool” when you’re 12.  This trip also gave Lee an opportunity to walk down memory lane.  Lee graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, so it was nice to see the places he used to hang out “back in the day.”

The hotel company I work for has a hotel in Duluth and rooms were $60 a night which made it an affordable getaway.  The icing on the cake was that the hotel also allows dogs, so we were able to bring our dog, Omar, along for the trip.  While bringing Omar might have impeded on the romance of our mini-break, you could tell that Omar was having the time of his life.  Omar is a jealous little dude; he tolerates our cats, but if we lavish the kitties with too much affection, Omar whines and pouts until we turn our attention toward him.  The fact that he got to spend a weekend with just Mom and Dad made for one happy pup.

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We spent all day Saturday hiking along the North Shore.  We visited Split Rock Lighthouse, Gooseberry Falls and finished the day at Castle Danger, a brewery and taproom on Lake Superior with a dog-friendly patio.  It was a fantastic, relaxing weekend.

It was nice to be able to spend the weekend together, just the two of us (and Omar), with no obligations or worries.  It made me so thankful for my little family and reminded me that sometimes we waste so much time and effort focusing on the things we don’t have that we often forget to be grateful for all that we do have.

What a great lesson to learn on such an important holiday weekend.  A huge thank you to the servicemen and women who fought for our freedom.  I appreciate you all.

Proactive Therapy

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Lee likes to joke that proactive is my middle name.  Seriously though, it probably should be.  I like to plan ahead,  problem solve, analyze and make to-do lists.  As nerdy as this may sound, there is almost no greater exhilaration for me than crossing a completed item off my list.  That’s almost impossible when you’re playing a waiting game, so I decided to up the ante.  I would now try to solve problems BEFORE they happen.  Thus, the idea for proactive therapy was born.

I read an article that discussed the strain infertility can put on a marriage and I was determined to preempt any potential issues before they arose.   But how was I going to explain this to my husband?  Who wants to blind side their spouse with the term “couples therapy”?  I decided to plan out exactly what I was going to say and downed some liquid courage to help me say it.

I told Lee that I was interested in meeting with a therapist to improve our communication skills and help us develop a better team mentality for the upcoming months.  I said that while I think we’ve got a really solid marriage, we also didn’t know what the next few months would bring.  To my surprise, Lee didn’t balk at my suggestion.  Not even a little bit.  At that moment, my heart swelled with love and admiration for my husband.

I made an appointment with a family and marriage therapist in our area and as luck would have it, we both really like her.  She assured us that the communication issues we were having in our marriage were actually quite common and commended us for coming in to see her before we started experiencing bigger issues.

We’ve had three appointments now and I think I can speak for both of us when I say that it has already been so helpful.  Yes, there have been tears in these appointments, but the laughs far outweigh the tears.  We’re learning how the other person communicates and are developing ways to sort of create our own language.  As a result of these tiny changes, I feel more in tune with Lee than I have in a long time.  Maybe ever, actually.  Our therapy appointments have allowed me to fall more in love than I even thought possible.

I feel so confident that we’re moving in the right direction as we head into the unknown.  And I can say with absolute certainty that I love, cherish and respect my husband more today than ever.

 

When the Gall Bladder Attacks

Well, it finally happened.  It took until the age of 35, but now I can brag (?) that I’ve finally reached my deductible in a calendar year.  It actually only took me until March 23rd, that’s how hard I’m killing this deductible game.

I woke up at about midnight that night with chest pains.  I knew that it wasn’t a heart attack, and I highly doubted that it was heartburn, but nothing I did would take the pain away.  I tried antacids and ibuprofen to no avail.  Finally at about 6:30 in the morning, I woke Lee up and said we needed to go to urgent care.

Let me tell you, they don’t take chest pains lightly.  We walked in to Urgent Care and were immediately rushed in to a room where they started to check my vitals and ordered an EKG.  My blood pressure was incredibly high, as was my heart rate, but they were able to quickly rule out a heart attack.  The ER doctor was a little concerned that it could possibly be a blood clot, as hormones such as the Estrace and Progesterone I was on during our last IUI cycle can sometimes increase risk of stroke.  He ordered a CT scan and started pushing around on my abdomen for signs of other issues.

The minute he pressed on the upper right side of my abdomen, I shot up.  The pain was searing.  That moment will be etched in my mind for years to come; trying to keep it together in front of this strange doctor, just a single tear rolling down my cheek.  He said we had a possible culprit; a gall bladder attack.  He ordered an ultrasound of my abdomen as well, and gave me a shot of Dilaudid for the pain.  Holy shit, does Dilaudid work like a charm.  It was scary and fascinating at the same time.   I can see why people get addicted to the stuff.  It takes away all pain and cares simultaneously.

After a CT scan, ultrasound and about $1700 in medical bills later, a gall bladder attack was confirmed.  There were no blood clots which was great, but my gall bladder was stuffed to the hilt with gallstones.  The doctor asked me if I’ve ever noticed pain like this before, if I had been having issues keeping food down or was suffering from gastrointestinal issues.  The answer was yes, I just never thought much of it.  I have been having issues for quite a while, but I always thought it was food poisoning or allergies that I just chose to ignore.  It had been happening a lot more as of late, but I just attributed it to stress.  I was referred to a surgeon upon being discharged and made an appointment to discuss my options.

With a little more time and clarity I was able to determine that these gall bladder attacks were happening every 3-4 weeks.  Sometimes they would last for a couple of hours, and sometimes they would last for half the day.  There was also no rhyme or reason to what was setting these attacks off.  It became a process of elimination over the next couple of weeks, trying to look back at what I had eaten before each attack.  The list went on for AGES.  How was I going to live like this when it seemed absolutely everything was making me sick?  I met with the surgeon and after discussing the frequency of my attacks, we decided it was best to take my gall bladder out.

So here we are; surgery day.  Am I nervous?  I don’t think so.  I guess we’ll see when we get to the hospital.  I’ve also apologized to Lee in advance for any potential attitude I may give him when coming out of anesthesia.  I’ve only been put under one other time; for the removal of my wisdom teeth.  When I came out of anesthesia I was a supreme asshole to my dad.  I’m independent to a fault and the idea that I would need to be helped out to the car was too much for me in my drug induced stupor.

I’ll be out of work and laid up all week, so I would imagine that this week will provide me lots of naps, TV binge-watching and soup.  This might make me sound old, but I’m really excited for the soup.

Thanks to everyone who has reached out so far today to wish me well!  If you need me at all this week, I’ll most likely be on my couch.

Organizing My Life

 

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Spring is well under way my friends, and with that, comes spring cleaning.  I’m taking spring cleaning to the max this year because, simply put, we have way too much shit.

We’re both guilty of holding on to things for way longer than necessary.  I, for one, can tell you that I have a shirt in my closet that I haven’t worn for 5+ years because my boobs don’t fit into it anymore, yet, I just can’t seem to part with it.  As if I’m going to wake up tomorrow two cup sizes smaller and able to fit into a shirt that’s no longer in style.  When I type it out, that actually sounds more like a nightmare than a reality I want any part of.

I also hoard crafting supplies.  Not because I’m crafty, but because I want to be, even though I’m not-so-secretly terrible at it.  What can I say?  It’s a pipe dream.

So, while I might be responsible for some of the clutter around our house, Lee’s guilty of way more.  Like, straight-up, first degree premeditated guilty of hoarding needless shit. Case in point:  I purchased 8 new Fiestaware place settings last fall.  We still have all the boxes.  You know, because we’ll need to transport them when we move in 10 years.  So we have 8 empty boxes sitting in our house for an eventual move someday in the distant future. This also goes for small appliance boxes, TV boxes, etc.  Do you need a phone cord for a 1997 Nokia 6110?  Lee’s got you covered there as well.

Regardless of who’s more at fault for our pack-rat behavior (*cough* Lee *cough*), I found a great article to help us get our lives more organized so that we can make room for a baby.  I hope you enjoy this list as much as I do!

http://www.lifeway.com/Article/twenty-five-ways-to-organize-your-life

Waiting is the Hardest Part…..

….because I am impatient as f**k .  I have no doubt that the next few months are going to test my patience in ways I can’t even possibly imagine.  I’m choosing (or at least trying) to look at this as a positive and one hell of a character booster.

We chose to wait until September for IVF for a variety of reasons.  For one thing, our doctor doesn’t perform IVF in the summer months.  In his years of doing IVF, he’s found the summer months are actually less successful.  So that narrowed our options to early June and late September.  Naturally, cost is playing a factor as well.  IVF is freaking expensive, even with good insurance, so we wanted to make sure we had enough time to save as well.  Finally, an up coming New York City trip helped to finalize our decision.  With our vacation taking place at the end of June, it seemed that waiting until September would be the way to go.  This would allow us to enjoy the summer with family and friends, while working to mentally prepare ourselves for the journey ahead.

We informed our doctor’s team of our decision and asked what can do in the meantime to make sure we’re prepared.  They referred us to the 141 page manual on their website.  When I asked for an abbreviated version to start, so that we didn’t get overwhelmed, they instructed us to call them sometime in May so they can start us down the right track.  It took everything in my being to play it cool and not dial them up at 8:00:01 a.m. when they opened this past Monday.

This (seemingly tiny) exercise in patience made me realize that this petulant attitude of mine could, and should be improved, especially if I’m looking to become a parent.  Lee has graciously put up with a temper tantrum or two in the time we’ve been together, but frankly, he shouldn’t have to.  I’m a grown ass woman.  I need to act like one.

This is going to mean a huge overhaul in the way my brain/body works.  My impatience stems from my  anxiety.   I tend to get anxious when I can’t control a situation.  I get especially anxious about having to wait for things, especially if I feel there’s no reason for something to take so long.  This carries over in my day-to-day life.  I’m perpetually early, I consider on-time being late and I would rather just not go if I know I’m going to be late.  How did I become this way?  My parents were never on time for anything, so I didn’t get this quirk from them.  My mom jokes that I actually became this way because I got tired of waiting on them.

The fact that I haven’t always been this way gives me hope.  After all, if I can learn a behavior, perhaps I can unlearn it.  Over the next few months, I will actively be working to develop patience, and above all, to accept the things I have no control over.

It dawns on me as I sit here pouring over that last sentence, that I have been taught this lesson before; I’ve just lost my resolve to practice it.

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New Month, New Mantra

I’ve been on a bit of a downward spiral this last month as I mourned our IUI failure.   When I’m upset, I self-medicate with junk food and alcohol.  I don’t binge, per se, but because my body doesn’t process insulin correctly, this can lead to an incredibly fast weight gain in a relatively short amount of time.

Since Birthday month is now officially over, I have to get back on track.  I’m hoping that by putting this thought out into the world that it will help me be accountable.

The following article states that a GI diet is the way to go.  I’m pretty sure this means I’m going to have to eat less cake, which will be tough.  Cake is delicious.

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Well wishes and delicious recipes are most welcome.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/pcos-the-diet-that-can-help-treat-the-little-understood-fertility-problem-a7680166.html