Posts Tagged 'alternative health care'

From Where I Lie

I am lying on my right side, propped up on my elbow and reaching over a sleeping/nursing baby with my left hand to type on my laptop which sits precariously on the pillow buttressing said baby’s back. If K hadn’t brought me my laptop, I’d be doing what I now do 75% of my day: wish the baby was either sleeping or nursing, wonder when I’ll lose all feeling and function of my supporting arm, stare at the invariably messy room, daydream about the food I can’t access in spite of insane hunger, try to wiggle into a less uncomfortable position knowing full well I will not sleep, wonder how I’ll ever go back to working — even part time, and will myself to not pick at the baby’s cradle cap. I also take several long gazes upon the most magnificent thing I’ve ever made. So know that I am not complaining.

Who could give this baby shots??

Tomorrow is the dreaded day. J’s first round of immunization shots. I wish I was one of those conscientious parents who research the heck out of things regarding their kids, but at best I’m shaping up to be the kind of mom that puts her faith in the research of others and who looks at the health care provider over serious under-eye bags of sleep deprivation and says, “Please just tell us what to do when.” So we waited till 3 months and are doing 3 immunizations in 3 installments. I wasn’t able to be in the room when she had her frenotomy; poor K had to do that one solo. But there’s no getting out of this… there are just too damn many shots! I know J is going to do well; it’s me I’m worried for. I’m still so hormonal that I can’t even listen to K describe a dream she had about another kid hurting J. Driving by a billboard advertising child abuse awareness brings me to tears.

I suppose before I sign off, I should mention that after two sessions of intense internal hemorrhoid zapping, I am feeling a lot better. The process is crazy and one I wouldn’t recommend for a good time but totally┬ásuggest if you need it.

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One Way or Another

I’m sitting in my teashop, hoping none of the other patrons can read the agony on my face—aglow in MacBook sheen. Another period and another day o’ pain. Really bad pain. Is it wrong to want to get pregnant just to take a 9 month break from the cramps? I’m here because I am taking baby steps to Walgreen’s. I have my first prescription of Clomid waiting to be picked up at the pharmacy, and I just can’t get myself there yet. The teashop isn’t technically on the way, but it’s out of the house, which I haven’t been since our return from the Christmas, er, I mean, the Midwest.

Probably on the plane to Chicago, I inhaled a happy virus floating on the Southwest flight’s recycled, cabin-pressurized air. I hacked my way through four nights at a suburban hotel; literally all coughs and no ZZZs. The heaters in every room, plane, and car helped to further dry my irritated throat. Please add to this unpleasantness nonstop Christmas music and my personal discomfort with all things crossy and christy. Ooh, and don’t forget the food allergies!

I’ve set up quite an ugly scene, but the truth is that everything went pretty darn well on our trip to family land. I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of Catholics when we arrived at K’s grandparents house in Indiana. But all were very decent (no horn checks!). Some folks spoke with us a bit, but mostly it was an opportunity for me to put faces to names and support my lovely K, who definitely needed to be there. It was the last Christmas Eve celebration that her grandmother and grandfather would be hosting as they will be moving into a small, more manageable place this year. I can only imagine how overwhelming it was for her to see full-grown humans where she last saw babies, and full-fledged parents where she last saw younger cousins.

We spent Christmas day with the other side of her family, who have known me for almost 9 years and who, as it turns out, may struggle more with my un-Christianness than with my being another lady. But, with the genuine affection I’ve developed for them over the years, I gave it my all (Well, not sign-of-the-cross-before-dinner all, but I did see The Chronicles of Narnia in 3D. Funniest thing about this is that I had to inform K that it’s a big ol’ Christian allegory—why do American Jews know these things?!).

Is that Aslan or me on Clomid?

Anyway, I brought my virus home with me, tried to give it to K, and only recently, finally, started taking the Western meds. I love me some Chinese herbs and such, but ‘nough’s enough. On the health front, I’m happy to report, unsurprised, that I am STD free! I am all set to proceed with the fertility treatment as planned.

So I’ll finish this post and run right over to… the pet store across the street to get our pup some treats. Then I’ll go to… the library to pick up a CD on hold. But right after that, I’m heading to… the grocery store. Shit. Walgreen’s shares a parking lot with the grocery store. I will have put it off to the final errand.

Why the trepidation? If you’ve read any other posts in this blog you’ll know the general answer to that question. But the specific one is that I fear the monster inside me and what hormone play will do to my otherwise carefree demeanor. And I fear a gotcha universe that will mess with my life, as follows: you want to be pregnant? here, have multiples! how did that Clomid treat ya?

BUT, I will do whatever it takes. I will have me a baby to love and teach and be in awe of and nibble. It’s been suggested to me that, in the face of infertility and the poor odds, it’s good to have (or at least discuss) a plan B. Adoption? Really? Do people really let lesbians adopt? What countries would we need to exploit? What funds beyond funds would we need to procure? Finally, are we up for the challenges of raising a kid that will not only have two mommies but have two very white mommies? I read this article last night that looks at the growing prevalence of non-white Jewbies. Of course, the article discusses the phenomenon in terms of heterosexuals, but I took the message to heart: I waited too long. I got an education. My infertility… is all my fault. Check it out here. What do you think?

Shock & Awe

Thus I am renaming these 10 days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur (for you non-Jewy folk: this period is otherwise called “The Days of Awe”).

For the sake of a highly incongruous analogy, let’s say I’m Fallujah. And let’s say that the U.S. in this scenario is medical knowledge. The bombs? Well, first I got hit with an x-ray report announcing the early arrival of osteoarthritis (I’ve always been very advanced for my age). After that came the blitz of most-likely-fibromyalgia and probably-endometriosis. The latter blasted with a particularly large aftershock because of the following: 1) the only way to confirm its presence is through exploratory surgery and 2) that surgery is only done laparoscopically. So? So, a few years ago I had a laparoscopic appendectomy that left me with two infected wound sites and five weeks on my back. K had to keep the sites open and constantly change out the oozy green packing (sorry!) to the sound of my moans and whimpering. My mom even had to fly out to help. I don’t like the idea of going back in the same way. The final but less dramatic assault has come via ersatz diplomatic efforts. In order to lessen a crazy wicked pain I’ve been getting in my left temple for months, I decided to try contact lenses (imagining my glasses have been adding pressure to an inflamed area). And wouldn’t you know it? I can’t see a word I’m typing right now! (It’s a really good thing I trust my typing skills and the dotted red spell-check line.)

This brings us to today, the day before Yom Kippur begins. Fellujah has been bombed into submission. I yield to the higher power. You wanna cut me? Cut me. You want me to see a rheumatologist? Sign me up. Whatever you do, please don’t invade and occupy.

This Part Again, Part Two

Well, shit.

In some ways I’m getting used to the drill, and in other ways it’s getting harder each try.

I could tell form earlier signs that I wasn’t pregnant this month. But to screw with my head, my temperature stayed relatively high (until this morning) AND I got a highly questionable pee stick last night.

It’s a million degrees plus a million percent humidity with a million point mosquito index here. Last night, after we took some cold showers just to survive going to sleep, I looked over at the test I’d taken a couple hours earlier. While there was only one line when I looked at the thing after 3 minutes, there was a definite vertical line (though faint) when I looked again this time. We freaked. I immediately peed on a different kind of test, which said NO. So I rubbed the damn progesterone cream on one more time and tried to sleep.

Today, I scoured the interweb for information about fertility. And guess what? While trying to be all earth-friendly and chemical-free, I may have been pumping up my estrogen, making it harder to conceive! I was reading about herbs and conception when I saw that lavender oil should be avoided. Who knew? Not the person who puts homemade deodorant featuring lavender oil under her pits every freakin’ day!!!

Speaking of sad… I went to my first ever grief support group last night. It just gets more fun ’round these parts! Well, the group is just starting, so it was just me, a guy who just lost his partner of 27 years, and the group leader. The poor guy is only 49, and he was a teary wreck before we even got in the room. I did my share of tearing up—pretty much any time the facilitator asked me a direct question about my dad or whenever I had to say the words “my dad.” But talking with the grieving guy, I realized that, though traumatizing, I got such an amazing gift when K didn’t die in ’08 and that we still have opportunities ahead of us, like having a child. While every egg that bites the dust is like a slap in my old, wrinkly face, at least K and I are still both here to try.

Suck on that, grief.

Back to Life/Reality

Let us begin with a riddle: What do you get when you cross the Continental Divide and the 45th parallel?
Answer: HOME!!!

It’s so good to be back, and yet…
Leaving NM and my sister was/is very hard for me. I know she is better off than when we arrived, but I also know she could be much better. The entire three-day drive home, I vascillated wildly between excitement and sadness.

Pup in the middle, keeping her eyes on the road ahead

Now that we’re back, we’re trying to find our bearings (we were gone for 4 weeks!). For the second month in a row, K and I got our periods at the same time (literally); it’s taken over 8 years for us to sync/align! Now, in between the loads of laundry and dishes we have to do here, we need to get in front of a calendar and figure out June’s insemination dates.

I’ve decided to try getting pregnant this month with a minimum of alternative health care appointments. It turns out I don’t have any overgrowth or parasitic infection in my gut (phew!), so I want to go with the theory that I am actually pretty healthy and just need to keep availing my eggs to sperm.

Besides returning to my bed and my city and my friends, I’m really glad to be back on the blog. Hopefully we’ll have an easy time scheduling inseminations with E2, and I’ll only have wonderful things to write about (cue chirping bluebirds and smiley rainbows).

My appointMental Breakdown

As I discussed in a long-ago post, I have made a part-time job of going to alternative health care providers to encourage conception and prepare for a healthy pregnancy. I am not exaggerating when I say I go to one such appointment every single frickin’ day. I do it to myself, I know.

The Mayan Abdominal Massage therapist I recently started going to recommended I see a naturopath she knows. I did so today. The naturopath explained that, given my health complaints, I should get a slew of testing done. One of the tests identifies specific parasites in the gut. She said infection in my intestines could be the trigger for so much of what I deal with. The problem? (’cause I was born to find one) If anything is found in this test, the treatment is such that I won’t be able to continue trying to conceive until it’s over (about 3 months).

I'll eat you from inside! Be afraid!

She made sense when she said I’d have a better chance of conceiving after getting my insides as good as possible. But this month marks a full year since we started trying, and even though we didn’t try continuously during that year, the waiting has been the same torture. Presuming I do have some sort of yuck in me (we all have parasites), I am looking at waiting some more—and just after we started to get things rolling smoothly with E2.

I suppose it’s a good thing that my many appointments also include mental health because this development is making me a bit nutty, depressed, anxious, sad, angry, worried, sleepless, dizzy, and sad some more.

Also, this naturopath, who was extremely nice, made the mistake of telling me that I’m “still young” when I expressed my dismay at the news of delaying future inseminations. Note to health care people (especially if you already have kids and/or are straight): don’t say that! We have to go through so effing much to get things going on the lesbian conception front that three extra months is a big deal and finding a donor and negotiating and legalizing everything and coordinating the timing of inseminations makes it just a wee bit harder and takes a wee bit longer. I don’t know what she could have said that would’ve made the concept of suspending our efforts easier to take. I just know that being told I’m still young was not it. She doesn’t know me from Eve and has no idea what I’ve been through to get to this point.

Whew! The boobs may be getting heavier, but my chest sure feels lighter after that!

Now, mind you, if it turns out I am pregnant, then there will be no treatment, and the little parasites and the big parasite (i.e., fetus) can share the apartment.


(Disclaimer: No men were harmed in the making of this blog.)

The Family

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