Sunday, September 23, 2012

Thank you.

Hello bloggy friends.  While Ian is down for a nap, I just wanted to take a chance to thank everyone who wrote me words of support while I was "down."  I'm happy to say the clouds seem to have lifted...though I'm not sure why.  Probably a combination of hormones and remembering to be grateful.  I think about where I was at one year ago...pregnant and sick out of my mind.  And then I think about where I was two years ago...quite certain that my dream of motherhood was never coming true.  And then I think about Ian...and I cry tears of joy.  I have been so blessed and I need to remember that.  I may not always be able to fend of the "blues" that creep in, especially in the face of really difficult situations, but knowing how blessed I am may be the light at the end of the tunnel that leads me out of the dark.  Your support meant the world to me over the last few weeks and you all helped me remember that I am not alone and I have a lot to be thankful for.  Thank you for being a part of my recovery.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

You Don't Need to Waste Your Time Reading This

I probably shouldn't write this post.  I think it is never good to just write (and post) off the cuff when I am really upset.  I end up looking back at what I said and doing a "Doh!"  But still...I'm going to write tonight anyways.

I'm writing because I am depressed and I have no one to talk to about it tonight.  The beauty of going through infertility treatments with everyone is that you get to see all of your friends dreams come true around the same time (or at least over the course of a few years).  The down side of having almost exclusively IF friends is that there is no one to call about problems when things pop up...because they have little kids/babies, too.  That is not to say that any of my friends wouldn't find a way to drop what they were doing and listen to me if they could.  Some of them have done just that in the past.  But knowing how hard it is to juggle friendship time and baby time, I don't want to put them in that position. I am...on my blog...talking to no one in particular.

I should probably get the answer to the big question out first.  I am NOT suicidal at all.  I've been depressed on and off throughout my life and I am pretty sure this is the product of hormones and life's circumstances hitting me at the same time.  I don't think this is going to turn into a clinical, chronic thing (or at least I hope not).  I see a psychologist to deal with my issues with food, in preparation for my upcoming weight loss surgery, so I am "seeing a professional" who is aware of how blue I started feeling last week.  I'm trying to work out what is causing me to feel so blue, so crabby and so fatigued.  Here are my ideas:

1.  THE BIG ONE - My dog who has cancer (and was diagnosed while I was pregnant last summer) is nearing the end.  But she is one of those stoic dogs that won't just stop eating, or stop playing, so you know it is "time."  No...she wags her little tail and gets into stuff like normal.  But she won't walk outside anymore, she goes to the bathroom on the floor randomly without even bothering to squat and she pants constantly.  She can't eat regular dog food because of the golf-ball sized tumor in her mouth, so we switched her to wet food.  She eats it voraciously, then promptly throws up some clear slime substance a half hour later.  I've given her pain meds, but they don't seem to be helping.  I'm struggling horribly with the "when" choice.  Do I wait until I'm sure her quality life is bad enough that putting her to sleep is a kindness?  Or do I put her to sleep while she is still happy, before she gets to the quitting point?  This weighs on me day and night.  I've talked to two vets, my husband, my friends...everyone who will listen.  But ultimately, she is my dog and it is my decision.  And it sucks.

2.  My family is a train wreck.  As usual.  Not much that needs to be said here for anyone who has followed my blog.  My sister's children are currently in Belize and I have to say that I don't think that is the worst place for them.  Nice, huh?  I prefer them to be with complete strangers in a poor country where I will likely never see them again as opposed to having them live with my sister.  I've just written them all off.  My husband and I can't fight everyone all the time to give the kids a normal life and, as selfish as this will sound, my sister and her friends are dangerous and I have to think about Ian's safety above all else...even above the welfare of my niece and nephew.  I can't even hear about what is going on because it causes me physical pain.  My mom is just enabling the whole situation and so I've had to tell her we can't talk about anything other than how Ian is doing, the weather, etc.  In short, I have made the decision to almost completely cut my family out of my life...and that sucks too.  I want them to be something they can't be and they want me to stop expecting more from them.  I'm just done with it all.

3.  My weight loss is a slow and tortuous journey.  I needed to lose 13 pounds by October 15th in order to get the surgery date I want.  I'm currently down 8.5 pounds...but I've been working on this for months now.  How am I going to lose another 4.5 pounds in a month?  I walk my entire lunch hour at work, despite my sore knees, hips, feet etc.  I eat what I am supposed to eat and avoid what I am supposed to avoid.  Why the heck can't I get this weight off?  And why do I have to lose weight on my own to get weight loss surgery (which you get because you can't keep weight off on your own)?  I actually know the answer to that question but still the situation is frustrating.  I try not to beat myself up too much, but really?!?  How did I let myself get this big?  I try to focus on the fact that I'm doing something to change it now...and that's what is important.  But when I can hardly walk because my feet are so sore from carrying all my weight around, or when I have to stop and rest between each flight of stairs I walk up, it is really hard to be positive.

4. My husband hasn't touched me in a remotely romantic way since I got pregnant.  Granted, we weren't probably having enough sex to get pregnant on our own before my pregnancy.  But now...nothing.  During the pregnancy he used the excuse that he didn't want to hurt me or the baby.  In hindsight, given my preterm labor, I'm glad we didn't go there.  But since the baby was born...still nothing.  All of my advances are rebuffed.  He watched the childbirth process...from the baby-coming-out view.  Did it gross him out so bad he can't stand the idea of that body part being sexual again?  Does he see me just as a mommy and not as a lover anymore?  Is he so grossed out by the weight and stretch marks that he just can't make himself do it?  I've asked him and he says no to all of these above...but then we still don't "do it."  It makes me think...I wouldn't really want to have sex with me either at this point, so how can I get upset about him not wanting to.  But still...this situation is a bit depressing.  Every wife wants to feel wanted.  I should add, in fairness to him though, our marriage is about the strongest it has ever been.  We are a great team when it comes to raising Ian and what my husband is lacking in the bedroom department, he is more than making up for in the "being an awesome Dad" department. sex sucks.

5. I can't get anything accomplished.  I like order.  I like knowledge.  I like things to be clean and tidy.  My life is a constant state of chaos.  If when Ian goes to bed he doesn't have food stuck in his eyebrow or on his ears, I've had a good day.  That's how low the bar is set now.  Forget cooking.  That happens maybe three times a week (probably part of #3's issues).  Forget housecleaning.  My husband and I tag team clean, handing off the baby in between chores.  I have to grit my teeth and appreciate my husband doing a crappy job at his chores, and I have to prioritize mine and find ways to let things go.  For kitchen stove top has not been thoroughly washed in three weeks (guess it's a good thing I'm not cooking more, huh?).  Before Saturday...our floors had not been mopped or even swept in two weeks (unless you count bleaching all of the spots where our dog with cancer "went" on the floors).  Ian's playroom and my bedroom are the only sacred rooms that gets cleaned thoroughly during the week.  Unfortunately, we can't live in those rooms...or we'd turn them into chaos, too.  I think this is going to have to be the new normal standard..."Good enough."  But I am having a very tough time adjusting.

6.  The chronic pain associated with the endometriosis sent me reeling.  I feel better now, but I forgot how awful that pain really is.  I forgot how my whole system would just revolt, making every movement painful.  I forgot how it felt to be so tired I couldn't even get out of matter how badly I needed to.  I am terrified of the disease progressing again.  It will happen.  no amount of happy thinking will fix that.  But it may happen slowly, and that is all I can hope for.  But right now...I am really sad to know that more pain is coming.

There is probably even more going on than all of this, but this is what is rolling off the tip of my tongue.  Whatever is causing my "blues," I need to get over it.  I don't have the time or energy to be at less than tip top shape.  Maybe this is just like a second wave of baby blues related to that first post-pregnancy period.  Who knows.  At least I got all of this crap out of my system.  Sorry for such a crap post.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Endometriosis is a Dirty B-Word!!!

My husband and I work hard not to curse around Ian.  But sometimes a curse word is warranted, so we say something like “B-word” or “S-word” or “F-word.”  We can always tell from the context what was meant.  Well I have to say, ENDOMETRIOSIS IS A BIG FAT ”B-WORD”!

I thought that after pregnancy I would get a bit of a reprieve from my endometriosis symptoms.  Many women do.  In fact, some are “cured” of their symptoms after giving birth.  I’ve really tried to keep a positive attitude that I would be one of the lucky ones.  Apparently I have yet again disproved the power of positive thinking.

It has been approximately nine months since I gave birth.  Once the after-pregnancy bleeding stopped, I had nothing.   But, I was breastfeeding, so I assumed AF would come back after I weaned Ian.  Three months ago I weaned him, and for three months…no AF.  I had sort of resigned myself to the fact that my female cycle was just dead.  My body was in menopause, just as it had been before I got pregnant.  Then, yesterday, I woke up with a nasty surprise.  Apparently AF decided to sneak back into my life like a thief in the night…literally in the night.

I should back up a little.  I’ve felt twinges and aches for months that felt like endometriosis pain, but I kept trying to tell myself it is just my uterus still shrinking or my body adjusting after delivering a baby.  The last week or so, I had the old intense ache in my low back, non-stop need to urinate regardless of how little urine I had to give up, and the cramping that rivals food poisoning.  Trying to be a Positive Polly, I told myself that these things could be a result of my new healthy lifestyle – high protein diet, greatly increased physical activity level, and increased water intake.  Somewhere inside I knew it was endo pain…but I didn’t want to believe I could have endo so soon.

Anyways…back to the thief in the night.  So, I woke up and cleaned up the colossal mess that anyone with endometriosis is all too familiar with.  I felt an insane amount of pain and nausea, but I sucked it up and went to work with as much Ibuprofen in my system as my stomach could handle.  I did the obligatory super tampon /overnight pad combo routine all day at work.  And when I can home, I was greeted with the unpleasant surprise that somehow I had failed to notice that I had leaked onto my pants anyways (at least they were black pants).  Humiliation on top of frustration and pain.  Great.

I pulled out the old heating pad from its storage spot and prayed for some relief.  I forgot how exhausted endometriosis makes you.  Maybe all periods cause fatigue.  I’m not sure.  I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis at age 14/15, so I don’t know if I ever got to have endo-free periods.  But I couldn’t keep my eyes open yesterday.  Maybe it was the pain that was draining me.  I’m not sure.  But whatever the cause, anyone who says that endometriosis isn’t a chronic, debilitating illness hasn’t been through it.

Today, things have only gotten worse.  I’m exhausted, cranky, sick of spending as much time in the bathroom as out.  I don’t feel like eating.  I don’t feel like sitting on the stupid towel I have to put down on the furniture “just in case.”  I have a million thoughts swirling through my mind like…”Do I really want to endure this for a few more years while my husband comes around to the decision that I am already comfortable with…that our family is complete with Ian?”  or “What if I decide to have a hysterectomy and end up getting cancer (having a hysterectomy at a young age increases your risk for some cancers without hormone replacement therapy…which you can’t take if you want to keep the endo at bay)?”  or “How can I have worked so hard to get pregnant and now be so willing to let my ability to do that in the future go away?  Am I making too hasty a decision?”

There are no good answers to these questions.  In fact, there is really no good in even asking the questions at all.  I know they are just a product of pain and frustration and that once this bout has passed my concern about those issues will pass as well.  But, as endometriosis always does, it will continue to slowly progress, interfering with my life more and more until, eventually, the questions have to be answered.  Until then, I know I need to just bite the bullet, take comfort in the fact that I am not alone and that there some of my friends in “the real world” and in “blog world” get what I am experiencing right now.  It is hard to expect any empathy from someone who just hasn’t experienced this (i.e.- my husband).  Endometriosis sucks!  It’s unfair.  And it’s a B-word!