infertility

kindergoneden.

It’s official.

I dropped her off for her first day of Kindergarten this afternoon.

I am the mom of a school aged child.

I don’t so much mourn the fact that she’s growing up (although it could slow down and I wouldn’t hate it.)

It’s that I am supposed to be hugely pregnant right now.

Addie going to Kindergarten was always the benchmark of pregnancy. Cody would have been out of law school for over a year. We would have health insurance. The surgery and hormone treatments I underwent would do their magic and I’d be walking Addie to the doors of Kindergarten with a huge belly. She’d get to tell her class about her soon to be brother or sister, I’d get to fill out those blank spaces under “other children” in the school registration packet.

everything will be okay

The timing seemed so perfect. I’m supposed to be pregnant right now.

I fantasized about how wonderful it would be to have Addie in Kindergarten for a few hours everyday while I was at home bonding with a new baby. A few blissful hours of uninterrupted new baby time everyday. Then Addie would come home and hang out with us. Then Cody would get home and we’d be a lovely little family.

But I’m not pregnant. Nor do we have health insurance. But Addie is in Kindergarten.

And Addie is enough. She nestles right down into all those empty and broken places in me and fills them perfectly. Sometimes she even leaves a little sticky residue of peanut butter and a glow in the dark silly band lying around.

I love you my little Kindergartener. You were made for this kind of stuff.

photo by Kim Orlandini

You make my life more lovely and complete that I ever could have imagined.

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lupron. just say “oh hell no.”

Hi.

I don’t want to be writing this one. I’m kind of embarrassed and ashamed about a lot of it.

You see, even though I talk openly about depression and infertility? I always harbored this silly little stereotype in the back of my head that said “depression is real, anxiety is not.”

Yep. I figured anxiety issues were for people who just couldn’t handle their own emotions. A sort of made up problem to get people out of social and difficult situations. Much like I used a “sprained” ankle to get me out of running in high school gym.

Awesome right?

It’s been over eight months since my first anxiety attack. And guess what kids? Anxiety is a completely real thing that sucks.

Right now I’m just hoping it will go away. Or maybe that it’s not even real, that it was just something I ate. Sadly the truth is that it was something I had shot into my butt.

Three times.

Lupron.

Why the hell didn’t I google Lupron? Why did I just listen to my doctor?

Why is it that I can google chapped lips to the point where I’m almost certain my lips are destined to fall off from some third world fungus but something serious such as permanently altering my hormones I don’t even type into that little search box up there?

Whenever I google Lupron now, I find stories very similar to mine. “Lupron Brain, permanent mood disorders, loss of cognitive ability.”

It’s both a blessing and a curse that my blog comes up as one of the only real accounts of Lupron.

After a complete meltdown (read: anxiety attack) at church today I wrote nine words to Cody that encompass almost every thought I’ve had lately.

I wish I could be me a year ago.

He understood exactly what I meant.

I feel like over the past month I have found part of myself again. Or at least brought to light the new me that I’m going to have to navigate through life from now on.

This girl is gone I’m afraid. (Crap. How great was her hair?)

But hopefully this new girl will find her place and kick some ass while she’s here.

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the one about sports and infertility.

I have felt so much peace since arriving at some sort of closure with my infertility.

However, visiting Utah last weekend was a punch in the gut.

Those of you who live there? You get what I’m saying. Those of you who don’t? Let’s hope you live in a football/college town so you understand my little story here.

Utah takes The Big House

Almost all of us like football in some way. At some point in our lives we are invested in the sport whether it’s our dads watching it every Sunday or holding season tickets year after year. We tend to pick a team and stay fiercely loyal to that team through thick and thin. Sometimes your team does really well and you don’t even have to think about how much work goes into being a team that is that good. They just are, whether it be natural talent, coaching or all the money in the world.

Other times you’re loyal to a so called “nobody” of a team but you cheer them on anyway, and sometimes? Miracles happen.

And when those miracles do happen? They are celebrated. Even if they don’t last or happen year after year, we always remember “that one good season.” And we stand behind our team, because we know what they are capable of, we knew it all along.

Other people are loyal to teams that, well, stink. They’ve always stunk and chances are the stink will continue. But they keep coming back.

Other times our team gets so close to victory and blows it, for whatever reason. What you’re left with is a long road back to a championship. It may happen next year, it may happen in 20 years or there’s the reality that it may never happen. But that sting of the last loss stays with us, especially when we’re reminded of it with an innocuous t shirt.

(Sorry Indy. I know it still hurts.)

My uterus had its chance at a Superbowl victory (pregnancy) last year after a surgery and hormone treatments. I was hopeful. But it’s been a year (added to the four failed years before) and sadly my uterus is back on the injured list (endo and PCOS have returned in full force.)

It won’t be playing in any championship games anytime soon, I’ve known this for awhile and it’s okay.

Going to Utah for me is like a Colts fan seeing a 2010 Saints Superbowl victory shirt. Only instead of a t-shirt there’s pregnant bellies. Just as a Saints fan has every right to wear a shirt they are proud of, a pregnant women have every right to flaunt their bumps. Neither of them are doing it to intentionally hurt those Colts fans out there who can still feel the disappointment of their loss. And no Colts fan should ever take it personally.

But it still hurts a little to be reminded.

(I know a lot of you have miraculous stories of pregnancy. I know for myself I am not one of those miraculous stories. I am the rule, and I am okay with that. I’m really okay. Just trying to put words to my feelings, maybe help explain it a little better.)

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on infertility and closure.

The Lupron is gone.

I’m back to being a good old fashioned wench one regular week out of the month just like the stereotype dictates.

This past week has been the week of babies 2010. Four of my friends had them, one of them had two at once. I look at their pictures, those snuzzly little babies wrapped up in white cotton all yawny and warm. I found out four more of my friends are pregnant with them and one of them has two where she thought there was only one. All four of the friends are darlings with whom I have discussed the crappy road of infertility and miscarriage.

I am so relieved they got their babies.

I am even more relieved that I am at peace with not getting mine.

Now I’m not saying it’s never going to happen or that I’m immune to the smell of new babies. But I have spent the last two months oblivious to pregnancy math and it’s been WONDERFUL.

I’m happy being the moosh family three. I’m happy to wake up on Wednesday and know that it’s just Wednesday. Not three days before I ovulate and seven days after LMP and nine months from now is November.

I like it just being Wednesday.

I like our playroom being the playroom. Not the playroom that will someday be the nursery.

I liked telling the girl who did my hair last night that Addie is my sidekick and that she’s everything I could have ever wanted in something that popped out from my nether regions.

love this little kid.

What I haven’t told anyone about the picture I took of Emily when she first held her baby was that in that moment I realized that if that moment never happened for me again? I would be okay with it.

100%.

I tried to fight it, a natural reaction after fighting so hard for a baby for years. But instead I let it wash over me and appreciated being there with Emily in that moment even more.

I like that when I hear of a new pregnancy I get excited, the way people should get when they hear of a new pregnancy. With hushed whispers and squees, maybe even some jumping up and down. I don’t get angry or bitter or immediately start thinking “WHY HER AND NOT ME?”

To those of you who are left without your babies? My heart knows the ache your heart feels when you get that negative on a pregnancy test. I hope you get your babies, even if it’s not your body that gives them to you.

I am done being bitter. I am done being angry.

All these new babies need to come into a world where love outshines jealousy. And gratitude squelches bitterness and anger.

I am finally there.

And I like it.

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the ugly lupron truth.

For the last several months I have undergone Lupron therapy as a followup to a a laparoscopy I had back in June for infertility/endometriosis.

Knowing what I know now I would have never agreed to the Lupron therapy. I knew that there was a definite possibility of emotional/mental side effects which is why I chose to do the month to month shot, in case something went wrong I could stop after the first shot.

I could handle the physical side effects of Lupron without much trouble, who doesn’t enjoy a good hot flash now and then? But the feelings that came with Lupron were so subtle that I didn’t even realize what had happened to me until the drug had swallowed me into a black inky devastating fog, and by then it was too late.

To put it mildly Lupron has destroyed every aspect of my life in one way or another.

I would never suggest Lupron to anyone if they had any another option of treatment. Especially someone who has been dealt the depression card.

I feel that the effects have finally begun to wear off, although I know I’m still not 100% myself. Those closest to me noticed a difference, that I wasn’t myself. And those who know the me who suffers from depression knew that the Casey that sat in front of them was even worse off than Casey with just depression. And me with ‘just’ depression is bad enough.

I am ashamed that I withheld and avoided friendships because of how the Lupron made me feel. I was not the mom Addie deserved while on this medication. And as far as being a wife? Fail. Fail. Utter epic fail. To go back and say “Oh sorry I’ve ignored you for the last few months, it was the medication overtaking my life.” seems like such a lame excuse. But when I look back over the last five months? I was simply an empty shell walking around, void of any and all hope. When I looked in the mirror I saw nothing. Nothing worth fighting for, nothing worth loving, nothing worth living for.

I tried faking it. Pushing through with a smile. For the most part it was all a lie.

I wish I could have those months back. I know I wanted a baby, and was ready to do almost anything to get one, but knowing what I know now? Babies can wait, babies can come other ways, babies aren’t necessarily worth risking your entire life for. (Coming from the lady who tried to kill herself while seven months pregnant? I know what I’m talking about.)

I know medication affects so many people in so many different ways, I also know a lot of you read my blog because you see some part of you in some part of me. And the part of me that has been beat by this medication says to that part of you, don’t risk it.

I almost lost it all in several different ways and all I have to show for it is a pit in my stomach and a black fog over the last five months.

I haven’t been a good friend (or even human being) the past few months, I was so concerned with making it out the other side of this in one piece. To those of you who have stuck it out with me? Thank you. Thank you a thousand times over. To those of you I lost or hurt? This is my apology, I’m so sorry.

I move into my house on Tuesday. A fitting new start to the old me that is coming back around.

solace.

I’ve missed me horribly.

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and now a message from my right butt cheek.

Hi there. This is Casey’s right buttock.
one of these is not like the other

How are you? Me? I’m feeling a little cheeky.

It’s not everyday that I get to be the most expensive body part. I mean, under most circumstances I have to share equal glory with lefty over there. BUT NOT TODAY.

I’m going to be telling you about the money shot I got today because frankly Casey is so darn grumpy it’s actually comical and not entirely safe for her to be set loose on unassuming people at this moment in time. (Her words, not mine.)

Want to know why she’s grumpy?

this is what we call NO BUENO in the house of moosh.

Yeah. When you can actually SEE the angle of the sharpest part of the needle? Yeah.

It was really big with really thick goopy crap inside so it took awhile to unload all the goods. It has actually left the rest of Casey’s body a pretty weird kind of sore and in a general state of ticked offedness but to make matters worse bellybutton had to get in on the “annoy the everloving crap out of Casey” act too and GET INFECTED.

Drama button.

Yeah, so when bellybutton was sodomized last month they stitched her shut a layer down and glued the top layer shut.

Well the stitches aren’t dissolving but instead trying to work their way out of the incision.

Really it’s just a party in Casey’s general abdominal area which Casey never really asked for or expected.

At the doctors office Casey told the nurse she needed to get a shot of the money shot. The nurse being a sweet lady was trying really hard to keep her from seeing JUST HOW LARGE the needle was that was about to be used.

“Uh, are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure, it really is for the greater good. Besides, it’s not very often I get to have something worth more than my car shoved into my butt. I’d like to document that.”

Needless to say after Casey saw the needle she was lucky to even remain upright, let alone remember how to operate a camera.

Thankfully the literature that accompanies a Lupron Depot shot is so completely ridiculous that Casey was able to channel her anger to this image instead of all the searing pain going on in our respective pants.

people who write/design pharmaceutical literature make me want to kick puppies.
congrats i'm in medical menopause? hmm...
is the smiling woman with roots necessary?

REALLY?

WITH THE SMILING LADY ON A BIG OLD SHOT THAT GOES INTO MY BUTT?

REALLY?

Dear Maker of Lupron Depot,

Save the money on the cute picture with the model I want to punch, fancy package inserts and instead enclose a $5 gift card to Baskin Robbins.

Thank you,

Platinum Cheeked Casey

(It’s time to use your imagination again! I had a photo of me similar to the one on the Lupron Depot package with me uh, doing something unsavory with my middle finger. I felt bad about it so I didn’t post it. BUT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN FUNNY! Alas those darn morals won out yet again.)

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getting pregnant may not be an American right, but feeling better is.

Sit right down folks because I’m about to get all TMI on you (seriously, again.)

I have found that going through this kerfuffle to make moosh 2.0 has been a blessing in disguise.

I was so focused on getting that baby in me and getting it out of me that I failed to realize just how messed up my body had become. I ignored screaming signs and symptoms that something really was wrong, infertility was just a side effect and the only thing that opened my eyes to just how out of control my insides were.

When I was pregnant in the beginning, barfing over a dozen times a day, I figured “this is morning sickness, this is what so many people talk about, why there is an entire stereotype around it.”

Barfing 12 times a day is NOT normal. But I didn’t want to look like a complainer for mentioning it to anyone else.

For the last 12 years (gah, 12 years) I figured it was perfectly normal to double over in cramps each month, take vicodin for them and miss days of work due to crippling pain associated with my period. All those Midol commercials must have been talking about what I was going through, I was just a wimp and needed prescription drugs and a day off to make it through.

WRONG.

I spent all of BlogHer on my period. (TMI ALERT TMI ALERT) It wasn’t just a pretend period either. It was a burn through super tampons and overnight pad in less that four hours period.

I didn’t feel a thing.

Not a cramp.

Not a twinge.

Not an ache.

You have no idea how pissed I am that I spent one week every month for pretty much the last decade in pain, no one ever even suggested endometriosis as a possibility. I’m pissed that I never spoke up for myself and said “YOU KNOW WHAT DOCTOR? MY PERIOD HURTS REALLY BAD AND I’M SICK OF IT. SOMETHING IS WRONG, I KNOW IT.”

I’m not going bald anymore, I sleep better, my emotions are in check, I’ve lost 9 pounds, I don’t retain water like I used to, I don’t get headaches like I used to, I don’t have constant dull stabbing pains in my abdomen, my depression is better, MY SKIN IS BETTER and SWEET NAKED ANGEL BABIES IN HEAVEN I DON’T HAVE MENSTRUAL CRAMPS ANYMORE.

Now I’m not saying that if you have the above symptoms you too can be magically healed by bellybutton sodomy. But I can say that if you chronically don’t feel good? TALK UNTIL SOMEONE LISTENS.

Being on the panel with other bloggers who write about their diseases opened my eyes, even patients who KNOW something is wrong, who KNOW what is right and best for them can back down when someone in a white coat acts as if they know our bodies better than we do.

I’m ashamed that I’m the one that said “If someone says they’re not doing well, listen.” and yet I let doctors tell me what was best for me for years, when it was me that had to live in my wonky body.

Being healthy and having control of my body for the first time in years feels spectacular.

SO THIS IS WHAT BEING A HUMAN IS SUPPOSED TO FEEL LIKE! IT DOESN’T SUCK!

Suddenly I’m not so worried about getting a baby in there, I want to see what this body can do when it’s not overproducing this, underproducing that and going bat crap crazy over there.

I angered some people when I mentioned that the follow up shots to my surgery were not being covered by my insurance. (Which they are now FTW!) While I can see how some people don’t feel infertility a valid medical concern worthy of coverage by a health plan, I hope they can understand that while my journey began to get pregnant, it has since turned into a journey to reclaim my body. To have it back in working order. Had I never gone it with the intention of getting pregnant I would have never come to where I am at today. And today? I feel good.

If $6K worth of shots will keep me in working order and preserve the benefits of a $17K surgery, why not cover them? Why run the risk of my symptoms returning resulting in more costly doctor visits and perhaps another costly surgery?

When I was pregnant my insurance refused to cover more than 21 anti emetic (anti barf my brains out) pills in a 30 day period. But they would cover my weekly trips to the ER to get IV fluids and a shot of the same anti emetic drug at five times the cost of giving me enough pills in the first place.

So many plans refuse to cover dental care. Having a $100 cleaning every six months is way cheaper than going without for five years and ending up with a $4K dental bill.

I am a firm believer that taking care of yourself is your biggest responsibility when it comes to your health. But there are times when diet, 64 ounces of water, exercise and getting enough rest aren’t enough.

This is where our healthcare system is failing so many of us.

I just want to be able to go to the doctor when chicken soup and orange juice fails me.

Not have to wait until I’m so sick that I require a hospital stay and perhaps even surgery to get better.

Is that too much to ask?

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a chance to see my uterus and eating habits.

So. Lupron. Heard of it?

If not, allow me to school you.

Lupron is a shot that sends its victim patient into medical menopause.

Nothing like medical menopause at 27 years old.

I was becoming okay with the idea of a big shot to send me into crazy until I found out how much it was.

If a pharmacists gives you a serious look and says, “We don’t carry that in the pharmacy because it’s just too expensive.” what number pops into your head? $500 popped into mine.

I went home to research this overly expensive shot that would assure me weeks of hot flashes in the middle of an Indiana summer.

What I found was this.

Lupron Shots

That’s per shot people. PER SHOT. And I need three.

Apparently there is an entire “LUPRON DEPARTMENT” where they take care of insurance billing and what not.

I’ll bet there’s not many of you who have ever had a medication that had an entire department dedicated to it.

After finding out about LupronLand and realizing that a TWO THOUSAND DOLLAR SHOT was not going to make me rich, skinny or beautiful I did what any emotional eater would do.

I got creative.

the ultimate sandwich for emotional eaters.

That right there is a grilled peanut butter, chocolate and marshmallow sandwich. And it was my lunch.

Before visiting LupronLand I have one minor thing to get out of the way. I’ll will be referring to it as “that thing in Chicago” so as not to bother those who are unable to make it to “that thing in Chicago.”

I'll have the cleanest uterus at BlogHer '09

As of this moment Canada will not let Mr. Lady leave (for those of you who don’t know, I am considered Mr. Lady Light. All the awesome without the swears, body piercings or liquor consumption) And if Canada continues to hold Mr. Lady hostage I will be filling in as moderator at the “PatientBloggers – You Are Not Your Disease, You Just Blog About It” panel at “that thing in Chicago.” I’ll be sharing the stage with three lovelies in the blogging world, Loolwa, Kerri and Jenni. If you’ll be at “that thing in Chicago” it will be the third session on Friday from 2:45-4:00 pm.

Mr. Lady hand picked me to fill in for her in case she couldn’t make it. At first I though that I would never fit on a panel about illness blogging. (Unless the illness was an intense addiction to SYTCYD.) But then I realized I write about my personal health a lot on here. Depression. Infertility. RAINBOWS GALORE MOST DAYS.

It wasn’t until I was recovering from my surgery a few weeks ago that I went through and tagged all of my infertility posts as such.

I write about my bunk lady parts a lot. Like a lot a lot. Thanks for coming back despite the fact.

I figured the least I could do to thank you for all of your support and patience with me and my uterus I’d introduce you to the little wench organ. (I’m inserting it small. As a favor to you eating your grilled peanut butter, chocolate and marshmallow sandwiches. If you really want to see her? CLICK IT! IT EVEN HAS WITTY COMMENTARY FROM YOURS TRULY!)

NICE TO SEE UTERUS!

So yes. There it is.

Let’s run down the optimistic list of why it is awesome to be infertile.

  • I get to have pictures of my uterus.
  • I get to have x-ray pictures of my uterus.
  • We don’t have to use condoms.
  • DRGGZ!
  • I get to have shots that cost more per ounce than liquid gold.
  • Itchy glued on scabs. (seriously? The glue they used to glue me shut with over three weeks ago? WILL NOT COME OFF.)

twitterz

Now if you’ll excuse me. There is a grilled peanut butter sandwich calling my name…

OH! And I got my hairs painted!

my new color job. (and cut, but whatever LOOK AT THE COLOR!)

Okay. Sandwich. BAI!

(Oh, P.S. Will you be at “that thing in Chicago?” Tell me if you are! Or just, uh, tell me what you had for breakfast if you won’t be able to be there. *ahem*)

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