The Great Gluten Bender of 2014

It’s Sunday, and there’s hope again in Gayby land. 

La is home from Boise – although ‘home’ is a relative term, since in the 28 hours since her plane landed, she has spent the majority either at rehearsal or asleep. But, I’ll take it.

I am back on the paleo wagon, which means that I am not consumed with gas, bloating and general GI distress.

As of 11:30am, I have had no adverse affects from the BCPs devil pills.

 

But this week was hard.

So, La was gone and then I had the puking sickness on Monday night and Tuesday. Not off to a great start. Then things got crazy at work (technically ‘good crazy’ but still, crazy) and allofasudden I was trekking from one end of Colorado to another to meet with new partner school districts and working weird hours and having to bust my ass to get things done and make my other committments (like making sure the dogs got walked or showing up to the Board meeting for the BoD I’m on.) Without my usual support system, routines and patterns, I tend to make bad choices. The bad choice I made this week was to forgo my usual well planned out grocery store trip and meal planning and instead do some impromptu food shopping at target. 

So instead of the bevy of fruits and veggies, good meats and nuts, and complex salad fixings, I purchased: a loaf of bread, a package of deli turkey, a bunch of yogurt cups, a frozen pizza, pretzel chips. In other words: a gluten extravaganza (with a side of dairy!)

For the last two months, I have followed my modified paleo plan with about 95% dedication, and life has been *good.* I have had next to no gas and bloating, I’m doing the two on a regular basis, and in general, I feel great! But, like most human beings, feeling GOOD from a lifestyle change isn’t enough for me. I had to see just how BAD I felt when I switched back. And oh, I felt it.

While the bender lasted only two and a half-three days, what shocked me was how I continued to eat the food even while I was actively feeling bad. I mean, what kind of irrational behavior IS that? I made a lot of excuses to myself – that I didn’t want to throw away food, that I was too busy to get to the store, that it was better than fast food. Finally, on Friday (when, admittedly, the push was over) I DID throw away the remainder of the bread and the pretzel chips, and I made myself a sweet potato and steamed the last little bit of broccoli, and cooked and egg and decided I was not going to consciously ignore what my body was telling me anymore.

I suppose its a good lesson for me – that my body actually does respond differently when I am eating good food (and, specifically, when I am NOT eating gluten and dairy) and does so quickly – I’m already feeling better just a day and a half after switching back to the good patterns. After a lifetime of being told what I should eat so that I can look a certain way, its an important lesson to *know* what I should eat so that I can *feel* a certain way.

Of course, there is the legitimate issue about time and preparation and how hard it can be to make the choices I want to make when things get hard or busy. So, the other lesson is to put mechanisms and patterns into place that can support me even when its busy and crazy in life. While I have some tips and ideas (crock pot recipes and freezing extras of recipes) I’d also love to hear how to support yourself in eating the way you want to when life feels overwhelming.

IN other news:

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Required and gratuitous photo of IVF medication stash

Also, BFF and I went to the RN and Financial consult on Friday. It was uneventful except to remark how well BFF pretended to be a concerned and engaged husband (mostly because he is actually a concerned and engaged BFF) But, we have checked off the next step and written a check for $1400 to get the ball rolling (specifically for the ‘coordination of care.’) Both the nurse and the financial counselor were shocked that I’d read all of the paperwork they sent me. Do people really go into an incredibly medically complex and shockingly expensive process and NOT read the paperwork?! So, one more week of BCPs, a few days to enjoy my body’s own natural stasis, and then stims. Its happening.

Finally . . .I have a phone interview for the job in Oregon I mentioned here on Wednesday. Of course, interviews are always terrifying on some level and I haven’t had one for a while, so I’m feeling the usual nervous/excited, amplified by the fact that this job in located in another state. I’m trying to stay present in the moment and not let myself spiral into the ‘what ifs’ that could make me feel crazy instead of just excited.

 

Birth Control Makes Me a Bad Person

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Hello from the magical land of birth control rage!

Right now, in this moment, the moment that is now, I’m ok. That’s because I’m alone, have been puking my guts up all day (and therefore am too busy feeling sorry for myself to have any other emotions) and still managed to get a lot of work done from my couch, and the bulldog is snoring and cute.

This has not necessarily been the case for the last week, although I have escaped actually doing or saying anything shitty to anyone. But I have REALLY wanted to, a lot of times, and on a few occasions my diplomatic words have had one hell of a sharp edge to them. Mostly, no one has noticed. The biggest issue is that I just kind of hate everyone all of the time, while simultaneously hating that I’m hating them. Does that make any sense at all? I’m irrationally annoyed by almost every human being (even the ones I adore) and I know that the annoyance is *actually* what I’m feeling but I’m still feeling it. So, you know, then I also feel crazy.

In between my bouts of generalized misanthropy, I go on crying jags about . . .oh, anything. Mostly babies being born or pregnancies being announced, duh . . .but also for many other forgettable and stupid reasons. I actually prefer the sobbing because at least I don’t feel like such an asshole.

As I mentioned, I’ve gotten a brief reprieve from the birth control feels because I’ve been dealing with food poisoning/stomach bug. Last night as I was driving to Costco to get dog food I suddenly started feeling sick and then got the emergency gonna puke warning signs just in time to pull off the highway and barf out the door. It was spectacular, in that I managed to not get any vomit on myself. I’ve had a few more incidents – all safely in the bathroom – but am starting to feel like myself the monster I am again. The worst part (of the feeling pukey) is that La is away for work all week and so I had to hold my own hair back. (Just kidding, my hair is too short to be held back!) This is probably, overall, a good thing though because birth control rage does not a happy relationship make.

It does seem to be tapering off a bit, or I’m learning how to manage my lo ogester.ol emotions better. In any case, I’ve got two weeks to go so I had better get some coping mechanisms in place, stat.

In other news . . .

*How awesome was Melissa Harris-Perry’s story about IVF and surrogacy? I recommend all progressive infertiles run on over and read this!

*BFF and I are headed to our RN and Financial Appointment on Friday!

*Got the call from the pharmacy handling all of my meds . . .so that feels ‘real’ in the holyshithowmuchisthatgonnacost sense of ‘real’

And, with the nausea beginning to fade and the dogs playing loudly in the living room, I think its time for me to retreat back to my hatey-hole.

Conversation hearts

Well, it’s Valentine’s Day. One of the truest perversions of a Saint’s Day, if ever there was one. Just in case you remain confused, there is never EVER anything romantic about a Saint (in the official Church definition, anyway.) Why? Well, because you have to be MARTYRED. Martyrdom just isn’t sweet (although there are some who will argue it is sexy, and I won’t yuck their yum.) Besides, even if you want to draw the (very tenuous) line between St. Valentine and ‘romance’ its really entirely about the defense of state sanctioned marriage. And as a queer, I have to tell you that state sanctioned marriage does not romance make (although there are other good things about it.)

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I have, in true rebel style, hated Valentine’s Day for most of my life. It really is so consumer driven, and so based in some bullshit ideal of romantic partnership and makes people feel shitty/obligated, and none of that is good, you know? Yes, I am a humorless feminist, thankyouverymuch. Basically, I have been actively hating on Valentine’s Day since I was old enough to stop making a red and pink ‘mailbox’ to collect conversation hearts.

And then La came along and just screwed all of that up for me. 

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Approximately 1 month after we made our girlfriendhood ‘official’

We met in late November of 2009, and went on our first date in December. So, by February 2010, we were ‘dating’ but still not official (for the record, unlike many of my ‘people’ I was never interested in the U-Haul style of dating.) La, being who she is, pulled this somewhat elaborate Valentine’s Day plan together, wherein she made me my favorite food (calling my bestie to get the recipe) and mailed me a note asking to me “Will you be my valentine? Check Yes or No” along with a self addressed stamped envelope. I rolled my eyes but kind of loved it (because I was for sure at the point of being smitten with every.single.thing. she did at that point.) I made her a mix CD entitled “I Hate Valentine’s Day but I Like You” and smiled through it all.

And then, that night, we had our DTR (define the relationship) talk and officially became ‘girlfriends.’ So, basically, Valentine’s Day is one of our anniversaries (I feel lucky to have so many! Our first date, our DTR, our GLEE, our civil union . . .maybe we’ll have a marriage anniversary someday soon too!) and that means I am just not allowed to hate it in the same way anymore. Damn it. 

And then I realized that I’m kind of a sucker for a red and pink color scheme, and I am highly influenced by glitter and I really like making things for my boo. And chocolate. And iced heart shaped cookies. Damn it.

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My valentine for La – a Love Jar full of quotes about love and all the things I love about her, and a collaged card made primarily out of Nikki McClure art.

So, I still really dislike how many of my favorite folks feel crummy about themselves when they don’t have a special friend on Feb 14th, and it makes me kind of barfy when I walk past the gross excess of unethically farmed roses or look at the overly saccharine poetry on too expensive greeting cards. And, like always, I hate that a saints day has been so grossly misused to promote a capitalist agenda – but that’s mostly because you can take the girl out of the academic study of religion, but she’s still a humorless religious studies scholar. 

But this was, by far, the best part of my Valentine’s Day:

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Liam looking skeptical at the Aunt Farm Helmet Solidarity

Liam got a helmet on Monday to round out his plagiocephaly (aka: flat head) and we decided to support him by wearing our helmets too. Liam is clearly not impressed. For the record, my brother has been making that exact same face at me for 30+ years. 

Calendar!

Got a call from T, the IVF nurse (who I am very certain I like MUCH better than the IUI nurse) and got the go ahead to start birth control pills. She also sent a calendar – thank God – since I have been feeling like I’m rather aimlessly floating in this IVF sea, not really knowing what to expect or how to plan. But now I do!

So, its BCPs from now until March 3rd, starting stims on or around March 8th (looks like, right now, Meno.pur in the morning and follis.tim in the evening) until day 6 when they will add ganirelix in the evening. For the record (because I love this shit and google it all of the time) I am on an antagonist protocol. Tentative retrieval date is March 19th – two days after one of my organization’s biggest events. So, let’s all cross all the things that the date doesn’t get moved up too much and also that I am not so swollen with eggs that I can’t show up to the capitol to do some lobbying with youth advocates. 

Of course, then we’ll have to wait for a period to show up after retrieval, then sit out a whole cycle, then prep for FET. So, May or June is the likely target date for transfer. 

So, between now and early March, BFF and I have to get some additional blood tests and sign consents. Meds should be ordered early next week. The train is leaving the station.

Just a little shout out to Obamacare for picking up the tab on my BCPs. Not that it would have broken us, but what with the paycheck fiasco, every little bit helps!

 

Make Lemonade

Hey y’all, the “Lemonade” page is up . . .Ch-ch-check it out! 

The page is full of ridiculous/adorable/generally joyful and distracting pictures/links/videos for all my TTC queers/infertiles/queer infertiles to look at when you’re feeling down.

The bulk of the ‘resources’ were collected via my buddies on Facebook, when I posted about needing some cheering up. I welcome your contributions!

While there are babies of the furry variety, I would like to keep the page human-baby free, because sometimes babies are triggers. But, if you have a really cute puppy or a favorite cat video, please send it over!

 

All aboard

Well, here we are . . .a bit later than I originally thought, but here none the less.

The red tide rolled up on shore yesterday, and mighty were its waves. I had cramps so horrific that ibuprofen was barely making a dent in the pain, so I decided to take a few percocet left over from when I was last in horrible pain when I had the flu in December. If it wouldn’t make me appear to have a significant drug addiction, I would request to always have percocet on hand for my cramps, because it was oh so wonderfully effective.

I called the IVF nurse line and sent an e-mail to T., my new IVF nurse (who sounds less like a sorority girl, at least on the phone, than V the IUI nurse did) to let them know about dear Aunt Flo. I got a call this afternoon and it looks like the (IVF) train is leaving the station! 

I head in tomorrow for a blood draw – both the ‘usual’ estradiol, HCG beta and progesterone – and a re-check of my thyroid. I’m nervous about the thyroid test. If you forgot (which, why would you remember?) on CD3 of this past cycle, my TSH came back at 7, aka SUPER high. In October 2013, it had been at 3 (still a tiny bit high but reasonable.) My nutritionist asked for some addition thyroid info, and when I gave it to her, she said she thought the high TSH was likely a lab error because all of my other thyroid labs were normal. She recommended asking them to redraw – which I did, and which they didn’t. I did get put on synthr.oid (the brand name thyroid med) instead of levothy.roxine (the generic) and my dose got upped quite a bit. So, I’ll probably never actually know if it was a lab error or if the new medication and dosage worked. I just hope one of them is true so we can pull out of the station.

In any case, I’ll likely start birth control pills tomorrow (which I’m a little terrified of, because the last time I took BCPs I was 19 and I was a mess. But its unclear if I was a mess because I was 19 or because of the BCPs or because of the unique interaction of 19 year oldness with BCPs) and get the rest of my calendar as well. 

The plan is to move forward with the IVF cycle this month, freeze any and all embryos, take a ‘wash out cycle’ (this is, apparently, standard protocol for my clinic when there isn’t a fresh transfer) to do the uterine testing and PGD for embryos, then do a frozen transfer the cycle after that. Depending on how long I’m on birth control pills, how stimulation goes, etc. etc. it could be May or June before we do a transfer. That seems interminably far away, as much as I understand the reasons for the process. I imagine it might feel different as things get rolling . . .

I feel like there is so so much I don’t know, so much to manage (including making sure BFF shows up when he has to) and so much to think about. I’ve been nervous/excited to get started, but now I think I’m beginning to feel the weight of all of this. And it feels big, heavy . . .much more demanding than exciting.

And, mercury just went into retrograde (if you’re ever curious, you can always check http://www.ismercuryretrograde.com) until Feb 28th which means OF COURSE stupid shit is happening. Like, for example, La being mysteriously ‘left off’ her employers payroll report, resulting in no paycheck as anticipated on Friday. Luckily, we have some back up but areyoufuckingkiddingme? How do you just forget to pay someone AND then tell them the soonest you can get them the money you owe them is by the NEXT paycheck, two weeks later AND not apologize?! She already gets paid shit as an adjunct professor, and now they pull this shit? I am seriously ragey about it.  I REALLY hope that mercury doesn’t fuck with anything else. I also REALLY hope I didn’t just tempt mercury with that statement . . .

Alright. Here we go.

Still F’ing Negative

The small gap in the doorway of hope is firmly closed,  vagina candy stopped,  cramps promptly appeared. 

Waiting for the red tide to roll up so I can call and get the big party started. 

I did,  however,  manage to amass a huge number of funny/snarky / adorable pictures,  gifs, videos and tumblr sites to cheer my big fucking negative mood.  So,  expect a new page entirely dedicated to the stuff on the Internet that gets the queers/infertiles/queer infertiles through a shitty day.  I will be accepting submissions too,  so send me your faves!

Tonight I leave you with this:  http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=h6CH4VLCUqI

Nope.

I have never translated BFN as anything other than big fucking negative. first of all, ‘fat’ isn’t a bad word (but a fucking negative is a bad thing, ya dig?) and second its far too quaint for me. Its like “baby dance” (which really only ever makes me think of this anyway:

Image)What does that even MEAN? Can’t we just call it sex? Even ‘doing the deed’ has a little of the seediness necessary for me to get behind it. I don’t do quaint.

But I digress.

 

So. That’s the update. This morning we got a big.fucking.negative.

I am continuing to pop the vagina candy (glad y’all like that one so much!) until we test tomorrow since its the ‘official’ day, whatever that means. I’m not holding out a lot of hope but, unfortunately, those damn crumbs of hope persist. 

Just so you know

I am fucking crazy.

(While this is true in a literal mental health way that I should probably spend more time talking about here at some point, today I mean in in a more context specific way.)

It’s 12 days past the IUI (and, assuming the trigger did its thang, ovulation as well) and I have only once before not tested on or before day 12 – that time I was travelling and ended up spotting anyway, which is nature’s more colorful home pregnancy test. Generally, we have tested on day 12, even if we initially said we were holding out until day 14 or a missed period. 

But I am holding out this time, breathing through it despite wanting very, very badly to use one of the three (!) tests I have sitting under the sink. I’m not sure why I feel so especially beholden to a day 14 test this time . . .It could be the sheet of paper from the RE instructing me that 2/7 is my ‘test for pregnancy’ date (although I’m not much of a rule follower in general), it might be wanting to hold on to the hope of this cycle working (although that is really no different from any other one), or it could be . . .shit. I don’t know. I don’t know what it could be.

**Update: I just talked to La and we may decide to use the leftover cheapo test (from testing out the trigger) tomorrow morning – 13 DPIUI. I was prepared to stay strong but when I told her we had usually tested by now, she was totally incredibly persuasive about why we should just go ahead and do it. Clearly, my resolve is shit. But my anxiety is already so.much.better.

In the symptom spotting/bodily experiences category:

Today I have experienced these weird things

  • Shooting pains in my boobs (mostly in the left boob.) Once, this morning, a wave of intense pain sort of washed over my breast, concentrated in the nipple, and I had to stop what I was doing. Since then, its been far less intense, but still stabby. The stabby pain happened yesterday too, but not as much.
  • Currently feel tingly/pins’n’needly in the nipples, and overall acheyness in the overall tits but no pain on contact (I’m accustomed to some aching and sensitivity near my period though)
  • Super sharp pain near my right ovary, but like a thousand times worse than even my worst ovulation pain. Happened once at my desk and I almost yelped. Then again about 4 times while in a meeting. Nothing for the last hour or so, though.

Of course, the progesterone suppositories (which La has taken to referring to as my ‘vagina candy’ which is both creepy and delightful!) could be wrecking any and all of this havoc. Damn vagina candy.

Well, that’s all from around here. I just realized an important lesson in how we create our own suffering. So, I’m sorry if this blog was trash to read . . .it was excellent for self discovery!