The Journey of 1,482.3 Miles Begins With…

The journey of 1,482.3 miles begins with…
A mental breakdown at my local pharmacy? Yep. That happened. I will elaborate, but first…

Geez where to begin? So I did almost nothing to get ready for our move, until the night before the movers were scheduled (Wed. night)…and I spent the next 2 days in a sleep-deprived, anxiety-ridden, twilight-zone-esque (altered) state of existence. I did bad things, and I’ll confess to y’all:

1. I drank 3 (big) glasses of wine & smoked 3 cigarrettes at the farewell party Mr. MLACS’s company threw for us on Thursday night. Felt like a$$ afterwards.

2. Been consistently drinking coffee 24/7 since Wednesday–I would mainline it if I could.

3. I’ve had to drug my cat (Kitty equivalent of Valium) and shove him in a carrier–for his own good–but it hurts my soul.

4. I was in a hurry to get on the road, and one of my last tasks was to pick up my prescription (one of many), and I went H.A.M. on my pharmacist…

I have to preface this story…I go to Walgreens pharmacy for ALL of my prescriptions, including my Remicade infusions (which cost $6000+ each).
I’d say, if you took the annual cost of my meds and divided it by 12, conservatively, I probably purchase (via insurance) $7000 of meds per month through these guys.
If they offered me frequent flier miles for this sh*t, I could plan a trip around the globe.
So, they ought to kiss my a$$, right? Well they don’t. And that’s fine by me. But they have a BAD HABIT that I have ignored for quite some time…until Saturday…
Besides Remicade, I now have 3 other meds I order each month. And they NEVER give me the full prescriptions…they say “Oh we only have X amount to give you today, but please come back on X day to collect the rest of your meds”. Well, take 2 trips and multiply it by 3 medications, and what you get is 6 trips to Walgreens each month. I never complain–it didn’t even cross my mind–the pharmacy is near my house, so I figure, no big deal, right?
Well, earlier that week I went to pick up my Canasa (suppositories, my fav) and the lovely ESL pharmacy tech informed me that (yet again) I would need to come back for the remainder of the script. Then, she said I had to pay for the whole thing up-front, which was unusual, but I gave her my card…and it was denied (insufficient funds) and I had to call Mr. MLACS to transfer more money into the acct, while this guy behind me angrily tapped his foot. But fine, whatever–she said the meds would be in before our move.
By Saturday, I was physically, mentally, and emotionally fried. But, home-stretch, I just needed to retrieve these meds and we could be on our way to the next chapter of our life together (Me, Mr. MLACS, and Kitty).
So I pull up to the drive thru, and wait for someone to greet me…and they see me, and I see they are not that busy, but I waited…and I pressed the ‘call’ button…and I waited…and finally the male pharmacy tech greets me, and I let him know I’ve already paid and I’m just there to pick up…which it should be SO simple for him to just grab the meds and shove them at me…but I waited…and I waited…and I was watching the pharmacist and the tech jovially talking to a customer inside…and suddenly my blood began to simmer…so I pushed the ‘call’ button again…and the tech replied “we’ll be with you as soon as we can”–like I’m pestering him–no “I’m sorry for your wait ma’am”…and I waited…


I literally burnt rubber speeding away from the drive thru, then I sped around the corner and screeched to a halt in a parking space. I threw the car into park, threw open the door–slammed it–and literally ran into Walgreens. I walked briskly for a moment, but then jogged to the ‘drop off’ window, peeked around the corner and saw the Pharmacist, and said “Bill (not his real name), I need a manager NOW!!!!!” My voice was breathless and shaky. He looked alarmed and quickly ended the phone call he was on, and asked me what was the matter. I stammered,
“I’ve been waiting and waiting–more than 10 minutes–in the drive thru, to pick up a medication I already paid for, because you didn’t have it ready the other day. And furthermore, your pharmacy tech could’ve taken care of it quickly, but instead he left me hanging and when I finally pressed the call button all he said was “we’ll be there as soon as we can”–with no apology for my wait.” And Bill said “I’m sorry, but please don’t scare me like that–I thought you were hurt or there was an emergency”.
And I calmed down a bit. “No” I said “I apologize for scaring you. But you know if it’s not my Canasa, it’s my Delzicol. And if it’s not my Delzicol, then it’s my Rowasa…it’s not fair I should have to come here so often, and then be made to wait and wait and be treated like I’m an inconvenience. I know you deal with a lot of people, but is it too much to ask for timely and courteous service?”
“No” Bill said “I apologize, we are short-staffed. And also, I can look at your scripts and make sure to have them in-stock for you so this doesn’t keep happening.” And the pharmacy tech apologized. And I felt vindicated, so I grabbed my script and left, without telling them I’m moving and I won’t be their problem anymore.
I got in my car, and just started sobbing….I was embarrassed! But why should I have had to do that? Obviously the pharmacist and techs have no f*cking clue what it’s like to live with a chronic illness.
I spend a disproportionate amount of time going to doctors, feeling like sh*t and laying around, paying co-pays for prescriptions ($150+ per month) that I’d rather spend on fun stuff, plus the time it takes to actually take/use said prescriptions, and then making superfluous trips to the pharmacy…I spend too much of my life dealing with this sh*t to have to waste another 20 minutes waiting at your f*cking drive thru window, especially since it’s holding up my family from starting the journey to our new life.
So yeah, I wish that had never happened. In fact, I wish my immune system had never corrupted, causing all these problems in the first f*cking place. It’s not fair. I’m tired of dealing with it. I want to be well. I want to be off all medications. I want my f*cking life back the way it was before autoimmune disease started tainting it.

Ok, end rant. We are currently in the sunny & quaint town of Grand Junction, Colorado. We finally got our ducks-in-a-row and left the the Southwest behind us yesterday (post-pharmacy-meltdown). Only 977 miles left until we reach our new home in the Midwest. I hope my new Walgreens is more sensitive than the old one, because they have no idea who they’re dealing with–I’m loco de la cabeza.

No Pressure…BUT…

Dear friends, this is a very special post; thanks in advance for your patience because it’s kind of long.

My Mother owned and operated a licensed home daycare (as in, a daycare in our house) for 27 years—until she was diagnosed with terminal Breast/Lung Cancer in 2006. She was like the Sun and we (our immediate and extended family, friends, and the families she cared for) had always depended on her for sustenance–she was the matriarch. We all withered with grief when we realized her cancer was terminal and her days on this earth were numbered. The docs may as well have said Armageddon was upon us, because that’s how it felt. She was so graceful though—she actually comforted all of us, while carrying on her life and making sure she appreciated and enjoyed her remaining time on Earth (despite the rest of us falling apart, wallowing, and fighting amongst ourselves).
She made sure everybody knew how much she loved them—even our (mine and my younger sister’s) unborn children. For her remaining 3 years, my Mother lovingly prepared ‘hope chests’ for our weddings and for our future babies. The baby boxes are full of clothes, toys, Christmas ornaments, quilts…lots of little things she wanted them to have. I haven’t had the heart to open my baby box, but my sister filled me in on the contents. Our beloved Mother passed away on June 2, 2009, in the house that SHE had made a home. Are you crying yet? Me too.

A few months before my mother died, my sister demanded that her now-husband marry her so that our Mother could be present at her wedding (not that Mom was pushing us to get married; she never expressed any opinion about us getting married—but impressed upon us to be independent).
I had no prospects, and it was the furthest thing from my mind at that point. I was a rolling stone. However, when my mother passed I realized that I was stuck in a rut and I began to ponder how to manifest my destiny. I was 30 years old.

I believe my dear departed Mother has had a hand in how my life has unfolded since her passing. Here’s where this post gets interesting….

Each year since my Mother’s passing, something BIG has happened on or around her birthday, September 26th. I’m talking, life-changing events. I refer to them as “gifts”, because they have all changed my life for the better.

Here’s the list of “gifts”, in order:

1.       Kitty—October 6, 2009

I was not ‘in the market’ for a furry friend. But on an otherwise ordinary day, I walked out of my apartment to smoke a cigarette (yes I quit) and this kitten started circling my ankles. My heart dropped down to my feet—I had butterflies in my stomach. I invited him inside my apartment, one thing led to another, and now we’re inseparable. Totally caught me off-guard.

2.        Mr. MLACS—September 26, 2010 (Mom’s bday)

I was working in a bar to make ends meet (my degree was as useless as toilet paper) and my good girlfriend/co-worker got me trashed (and I let her) because it was my Mom’s birthday. Mr. MLACS walked into the bar as my shift was ending, and bought me a sugarfree redbull. As a general rule I didn’t give my number to guys I met at work, but he was a gentleman and I was driggity-drunk-drunk, so I ‘bent’ my rules and told him he could take me on a date. Again, butterflies. I had no idea that he was my future husband.

3.       Marriage—September 27, 2011

I had already planned a spring wedding and I did not want to get married early. But, my Ulcerative Colitis was “flaring” out-of-control and I had no health insurance. So in the interest of not starting off our marriage buried in the debt of medical bills, Mr. MLACS and I were legally wed at a courthouse in some po-dunk town near where we were living at the time. I felt the butterflies.

4.       Quit my Sh*tty Job—September 29, 2012

Mr. MLACS and I had just moved to a new city, and we were broke from the move (his company screwed us) and from paying for our (awesome) wedding. I desperately searched for a job, and I landed one in a medical office. But it was TORTURE. I was totally exploited, and I desperately wanted more for myself. I had ‘butterflies’ when I walked in the office and told them “today is my last day, mail me my check”. And then I self actualized and enrolled in a prerequisite class I needed in order to follow my destiny: to become a Nurse (after holding my Mom’s hand through terminal illness, having my own chronic illness, and taking care of kids all my life, it just “clicked”.)

The “butterflies” feeling I speak of is akin to fear, yet different. I think it is spiritual arousal, as interpreted by the body. While my mind did not recognize the significance of these “gifts” at the time, my soul did.

I still turn to my Mom when life overwhelms me. I have a sort of “shrine” to my Mother in my kitchen—a little alcove with pictures of her, and when I want to connect with her I light candles in my kitchen and I talk to her (usually sobbing) about what’s going on. I’m not one to ask for favors from God or my Mom, because I know (from experience) that what I want isn’t always what I need, and that when I leave room for possibility in my life, wonderful things happen that I couldn’t have imagined. So you see, I’m torn this year: I don’t want to request a “gift”, but there’s only ONE thing I desire; there’s only one life-changing thing I can imagine….

I’ve done my part, too. I’ve taken every pill and assumed every position. And now I’m (post-ovulation) waiting to exhale…

To add to the suspense, we’re moving (from the Southwest) back to my hometown (in the Midwest). The movers are, of course, coming on Thursday, September 26th to pack up our house. It’s only temporary, maybe a year (long enough to have a baby) or two at most. And I’m lucky to be able to surround myself with friends and family after a year of tumult and heartache (chronic illness & miscarriage). But I hope that moving back to my hometown is not my “gift” this year.

No pressure Mom…BUT…I’d be most grateful if you’d give me a reason to open up that baby box…

My Mom reminds me of the story "The Giving Tree" by Shell Silverstein

Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree” reminds me of my Momma

How My Blog Saved My Marriage

Ok, this is me being melodramatic but it got your attention didn’t it?

Soooooo….where to begin. I was sitting next to Mr. MLACS on the couch the other night, hacking away on the laptop, composing my “Dream Doctor” post. Mr. MLACS seemed curious so I asked if he wanted to read it. He already knew about my blog so he can see it whenever he wants–I could never keep it from him and if I felt I had to then I couldn’t be married to him.

However, I was a little apprehensive because I knew he hadn’t read the “Medical Marriage Problems” post where I candidly recounted how he has previously reacted to my medical bills and how I cringe at the thought of talking to him about them (you guys all read that post, right? Ok good). I was not at all sure how he would react. But you know me (you don’t but I’ll tell you)…I don’t look for adversity but I ain’t no chicken neither–bring it.

Well, I think he was offended by a few things, even though he didn’t say so specifically–he did not appreciate feeling like a villain. What’s more though, I think reading my words allowed him to actually process them and take my thoughts and feelings into consideration. I don’t think he realized how strong my feelings are about his fighting style or my medical issues or my miscarriages. I mean, I’m pretty solemn when it comes to expressing my grief and loss–it’s hard for me to express those feelings even under the most nurturing conditions, and Mr. MLACS is a real “dude” (I don’t know how else to say it, he’s a manly man who would not be scared by a pack of terrorists but FEELINGS make him panicked and defensive).

But Mr. MLACS is far from being a neanderthal–he is quite brilliant (an engineer) and perfectly capable of both understanding and articulating feelings–he just has to choose to exercise his abilities. To paint a more accurate picture, he is loving and sentimental (likes to cuddle, likes to use our “pet names” for each other, pretends to disdain the cat but will come home with new toys for him, opens doors for women, loves/is loved by children, etc. etc.) He is a caring and compassionate person. He is not just a big ‘ole bully.

I think when Mr. MLACS read my blog diplomatically, he saw my points. I think because he is an intellectual man, a man of great integrity, and a man who loves his wife immeasurably…I think that he decided he didn’t want to be the guy I was talking about in my blog post. I think he instantly felt bad for any pain he caused me (although he can’t say this I know it).

So guess what?!

He calmly and rationally initiated a conversation about our medical bills (mine and his). HE brought up the conversation (instead of me) and he proposed that we would pay all the smaller bills and save the biggest 3 or 4 for later (per my suggestion). I was flabbergasted.

To say I’m happy is an understatement…I’m SO happy…I’m SO relieved…I’m SO impressed with my husband for rising to the occasion. I’m SO encouraged about our future together, seeing that he is willing and able to control his anger/reactions to things (ex: bills) that upset him, and work with me to SOLVE the problems (and spare us both the time and energy wasted on fighting).

Also, while Mr. MLACS is always quick to compliment my looks, he is quite stingy with more substantial compliments. So I was shocked when he told me tonight that he thinks I’m a very talented writer! That totally made me smile and blush. He thinks my blog is good. Bonus.

So there you go, by virtue of my husband reading this blog, I feel that my marriage has become stronger and our connection has deepened. I feel that I made myself quite vulnerable by exposing all these thoughts and feelings, and Mr. MLACS could’ve been combative, but instead he has been gentle and kind and supportive. He has deepened my respect and my trust in him.

Today I spent the afternoon paying $1500 worth of our medical bills. Hated to part with the money, but it feels good to be checking these off the list and putting them behind us. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted and I just love my Mr. MLACS to pieces! As my Mom used to say about my Dad, Mr. MLACS is my “diamond in the rough“.

I Finally Found the Doctor of My Dreams (and now I’m moving)

Today I had my last appointment with my beloved GI, who I will refer to as Dr. Handsome. I first met Dr. Handsome in April, in the midst of my post-miscarriage health crisis. I had been misguided and bullied by my former GI doc, and I came to Dr. Handsome feeling beat-down, scared, and vulnerable—I really hoped that he would hear me out and see my point-of-view, and empower me to make weighty decisions about my treatment.
When he walked in the room, I was captivated: Tall, athletic build, silver hair, ice blue eyes, nice smile, and a friendly voice (hence the name “Dr. Handsome”). He immediately put me at ease. He listened to me nervously rattle on about my medical history, and he rolled his eyes (appropriately) when I told him about the crazy bullsh*t my former GI was trying to pull. But where he stole my heart, was when he shook my hand and looked me in the eye as he was leaving and said “We’re going to take GOOD CARE of you.” I get all teary-eyed just thinking about it—no doctor has ever said that to me before. I believed him.
Dr. Handsome had suggested Remicade at that first visit, but I was not ready to go to “big gun” meds, as there are risks and once you’re on it you will stay on it for years…most of the time it buys you 2-5 years at most, and then you have to look at other meds or surgery if your Ulcerative Colitis can’t be controlled. I didn’t want to be pregnant on Remicade. I didn’t want to have my colon out. So Dr. Handsome referred me to Cedars Sinai for a second opinion. At first I thought he was just trying to get rid of me because I didn’t want to take his advice, but when I said that to him he chuckled and said “Noooo, I’ve never fired a patient before and you ‘re a sweetheart! I genuinely want you to have the second opinion and Cedars is the best of the best.” WOW. Like, wow…I left his office with a smile. In the meantime, my UC got remarkably worse and I started feeling pretty desperate to get it under control.
After a couple of weeks of enemas that weren’t working and a mostly liquid diet, my patience was wearing thin. Then I learned that I have slightly elevated NK cells (which can affect implantation of an embryo) and I learned that Remicade helps to regulate NK cells. After a lot of prayer and soul-searching, I finally decided it was time to try the Remicade, so I went crawling back to Dr. Handsome and practically begged for it. I told him I just want to get pregnant and have a healthy baby. And he said to me “We are going to take CARE of you, and you are going to get pregnant and have a healthy baby.” I was so relieved, I cried.
I bought Subway for lunch for their whole office (20 people) to say “thank you”. What you may not know, is that doctors used to get lunches provided by the pharmaceutical reps almost daily (I worked for a Neurologist and the whole office got catered lunches at least twice a week). BUT there was a law passed in January whereby doctors can no longer accept these catered lunches from the drug reps. SO, if you are trying to get on your doctors’ good side (and really, you ought to butter-up his medical assistants and office staff because they call the shots) then food goes a long way, especially since this law was passed. Just sayin’.
After that, the office staff and medical assistants rolled out the red carpet for me! Now this was not my motivation and I didn’t expect it, but it is nice to have your calls returned promptly and to hear a bubbly voice that is happy to help you.
Anyhow, the reason I went in today wasn’t just to say goodbye. It was to ask Dr. Handsome how I should plan for the future of my disease (UC). We both agreed that I need to stay on Remicade (and all the other sh*t that I’m on) for now, and that it’s not time for surgery. For me, my goal is to hurry up and have a baby before it gets any worse. And then if it gets worse after I have the baby (inevitably it will) I want to seriously consider surgery. Fun facts about surgery:
1. I would have the J-pouch surgery. First, they remove my colon and fashion a colon out of my small intestines. While it heals, I’d have a colostomy bag. But a couple months after the first surgery, I would have a second surgery to re-attach everything. Presto!
2. After the surgery, I would be considered “disease free”!!! Did you know that Ulcerative Colitis is the only disease that is curable?! It is! Because once you remove the colon, it’s gone. No more meds.
3. I’d have more frequent bowel movements (like 7 per day). I could handle that, I think, if it meant no sickness and no more meds!
Dr. Handsome suggested that his preferred surgeons were at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ. He said I can always call him, and gave me a hug. I also got hugs from his medical assistants. They said come by and visit whenever I’m in town. I wonder if it’s because I brought them cupcakes today? Or maybe it’s the hilariously long and rambling messages I leave for them. In any case, I hate to leave them, but I’m confident that they are there if and when I need them. I feel good now that I have a plan for “what if”. God Bless Dr. Handsome.
***I brought Dr. Handsome and staff generic grocery store cupcakes. Normally (when I’m not in the middle of moving) I would go balls-out and attempt something pinterest-worthy, like the picture below.
WHOOOOO wants a cupcake?!!

Remember, the way to a doctors heart is through his staff, and they way to his staff is through their stomachs

Remember, the way to a doctors heart is through his staff, and the way to his staff is through their stomachs

Look What I Got in the Mail…

I suppose this is to welcome the new baby I'm supposed to be having on Oct. 12th 2013

I suppose this is to welcome the new baby I’m supposed to be having on Oct. 12th 2013

Wasn’t I just talking about how I’m dreading my October 12th due date?!

Seriously?! WTH am I supposed to do with this? I’m apalled and since I’m obviously (from my ranting posts) coming unglued (I’m going to blame the Clomid) I feel like I dared the Universe to push my buttons…and the Universe sent me a double-dare in the form of a 5lb. box of formula. Well played Universe, well played.

My Medical Bills (and their direct impact on my marriage and my sanity)

Oooooooo, I’m so fuming mad! And I don’t know exactly whom to direct my anger towards. I’m definitely going to “have it out” with my insurance company. I was just sitting here adding up my stack of medical bills, intending to pay a big chunk of it before we move–do my best to wipe the slate of this tumultuous last year clean, both physically and financially. My husband doesn’t know that the weight of all these bills keeps me up at night. Because I can’t talk to him about it without a fight. He will say sh*tty things to me like “you didn’t even need any of that stuff you just don’t care about wasting money”–do you know how furious that makes me? Do you know how that makes me want to divorce him??? I cannot believe how ignorant he acts when he’s angry (about money).

I didn’t ask for any of this:

1. To move to a place where I cannot find a decent job that treats me with respect and is willing to pay me $12+ per hour (when they can underpay underqualified people $10). We moved here for HIS CAREER and he makes six figures. I found a job and suffered until we were on our feet (we were broke from paying for our wedding) and then I quit (to go back to school). He supports that….until things like my medical bills come up and then he is mean and disrespectful. Predictably.

2. I didn’t ask to get pregnant. I don’t regret it and I’m thankful it happened even though it ended sadly, but at the time it happened our marriage was shaky and I intended to wait until it was stronger, plus I had plans to start nursing school and get most of the way through before we started ttc. Technically, he is responsible for ALL of this, because he didn’t pull out (during sex), which is why I got pregnant, and the pregnancy is what caused me to get so sick (necessitating all these bills). This is how my husband fights–with finger-pointing and shaming/blaming. So he can chew on this (yes I do sink to his level, can’t beat ’em join ’em).

3. I didn’t ask to have my doctors scare the sh*t out of me when I got my post-partum diagnostic tests back…I had NO idea what was happening to me and I was scared for myself and scared for a future pregnancy (as I desperately wanted to be pregnant again). So of course I let them take the 30 viles of blood for that autoimmune panel. And then I got a bill for $857 that I hadn’t bargained for.

4. I didn’t ask to be referred from doctor to doctor to doctor, but that’s what kept happening…I was bounced around like a pinball, and I didn’t know until afterwards how USELESS some of these doctors and some of the tests they ordered were. I’m not psychic.

If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve avoided some of those doctors and tests–I have regrets. But at the time, I decided to be proactive and pursue all testing in the name of answers. In the name of not having a second (or more) miscarriage–which ended up happening anyway.

Yeah, so, I didn’t ASK for my immune system to go berzerk and then require all kinds of diagnostic testing to pinpoint WTF was going wrong. I surely didn’t ASK for my miscarriages–they broke my heart.

But now I have to ASK my husband for the money to pay these $2200 of bills that have accumulated (on top of at least $2000 we’ve already paid). And really, since I’ve probably racked up closer to…well I’d say closer to $50,000 worth of medical bills, maybe more, just in the last 12 months…I think we need to count our blessings instead of our bills–that I’m ok, that we only have $2k instead of $50k hanging over our heads.
But my husband will only see the $2200. He will accuse me of squandering his money like I’m buying a fur coat. He will not even consider that NOT ONLY have I had to go through the wringer of chronic illness and miscarriage, and NOT ONLY do I feel horribly stressed and pained to part with the money, but yes, he fails to see how sh*tty and futile it is for him to take it out on me.

And then the next day, he will be like “so tell me how much money you need in the account”, no apology. Why does he have to make me scream and cry and shout and say mean sh*t back to him? Why can’t we just skip that part of his repertoire and go straight to “lets deal with this”??? WHY DOES HE HAVE TO MAKE THIS SO HARD?

I’m going to show him his medical bills FIRST, because his total about $1000, so maybe that will curb the finger-pointing “you racked up these bills because you just love going to doctors” lunatic bullsh*t that he pulls. He “squandered” plenty himself.

Hey, and I am NOT looking for sympathy here–believe me I stick up for myself and say what’s on my mind (and if I’m really pissed, I break his beer mugs). I guess what I’m looking for is…well…does anybody else’s husband try to guilt and shame them about their medical bills? Or am I the only one? And, have any of you argued with your insurance over diagnostic tests? Any advice on arguing with insurance companies is appreciated, cuz I’m not sure where to start. The lady on the phone was no help at all–suggested I write a letter of appeal. Thanks in advance ladies. XO

**UPDATE** I just talked to Mr. MLACS on the phone, and just came right out and told him that I had been sifting through our medical bills but that I don’t have the energy to fight. He asked how much, and I told him his and then mine, and told him we don’t need to pay the 2 or 3 most expensive bills now, but it would be best to get rid of many smaller ones that have added up. Shockingly, he just said…”OK”. I don’t know if this indicates that we are growing as a couple or that he read my blog (he probly didn’t read it) or what…but that’s a relief. Now we’ll see what happens when he sees the bills and it’s time to write the checks…

A Miscarriage is still a Miscarriage (no matter what you call it)

Yeah, so, to get all Shakespeare on you: a miscarriage is still as painful by any other name (chemical).
I thought it would be “just like getting a period”, as chemical pregnancies are thought to be extremely common and are not accounted for in miscarriage statistics because most women “don’t even know they’re pregnant” (of course they’re not trying) and they get their period, business-as-usual.
I was wrong. Again. Or perhaps, I was atypical. Again.
Inspired by my extreme misery and feeling like I was finally ready to introduce myself to the IF/RPL communities, I wrote my first blog post on 8/01/2013–but I didn’t want my first blog post to be all “doom and gloom” cuz that’s not what I’m about. However, I’d like to share it with you:

“Lets begin with current events: I’m curled up on the couch with a heating pad stuffed down the front of my pants and a box of tissues on the table next to me. A short while ago I got up to pee and wiped and the tissue was pink and I knew this was “it”. I wimpered. I looked at the 5 hpt’s with the faint positives laying on my bathroom counter, and unceremoniously dumped them in the bathroom trash, which was full of hpt’s/opk’s and their packaging so I emptied it into the big kitchen trashcan…at the very bottom were tampon wrappers from my last period, and oddly (or maybe not) they upset me: back to square one.
I knew this was coming; today my period is due and it is like clockwork; my hpt was so faint the untrained eye would never see the line; I was cramping; but most of all I had my betas drawn yesterday and the verdict: 5, which is the absolute lowest you can have and be considered “pregnant”. I was barely pregnant, a “chemical pregnancy”, and upon hearing of my pitiful betas yesterday I had counted my blessings: that I had gotten pregnant unassisted, that it’s happening early (no heartbeat), that it likely wouldn’t throw off my cycle and I could continue ttc uninterrupted…
So I was fucking blindsided by the flood of grief and panic and the physical pain that overwhelmed me as I felt my flow begin. I sobbed uncontrollably. I called my hubs and when he failed to comfort me I texted him like 6 angry pages of texts and dared him to engage me in a fight. He was at work and I swore to him that if he came home and was anything but sweet and supportive that I would break EVERY piece of glass in the house (and I pictured myself actually doing it).
I thought I would be relieved to start my menses on schedule and giddy-up to the next cycle.
But I was awash in emotions and physical pain–worse than my recent miscarriage at 7w2d. WTF. I was so unprepared to feel like…I am losing a baby. Again. Are you ever prepared? I hope I can never answer that question.
So yeah, here I lay, pacified by crappy chinese delivery food and 1/2 a Soma. Nice to meet you ladies. Hope your Saturday sucked less than mine did.”

Everybody’s Pregnant But Me (and you)

When I first found out I was pregnant for the first time in February, I didn’t keep it a big secret, for a couple of reasons. First of all, Mr. MLACS was SO excited that he told everyone at work. Second, I didn’t realize how common miscarriage is. Third, I am so blatantly honest about things in my life that I figured I’m not the kind of person to keep secrets. So at 5w5d I invited two of the wives of my husband’s coworkers over to our neighborhood park to play, so the wives could meet each other and introduce their small children to each other–we are not military, but the company moves us a lot and none of us live near our families so we tend to flock together. One of the wives, we’ll call her Dee, is my friend. The other wife, we’ll call her Meme, is not my friend. I told them about my pregnancy and they both talked about their pregnancies and expressed their uncertainties about having another child. I felt like I was finally “one of them”, you know, a SAHM, instead of just a (mediocre) housewife. I would have a new way to bond with other women and make friends, through my pregnancy and then through play dates, soccer games, PTA meetings…I loved feeling part of “The Mommy Club”.
Two days before I had my miscarriage, the hubs came home and announced that Meme is pregnant with their third child! Just a couple weeks behind me! I was slightly irritated for no particular reason. Then I had my miscarriage at 7w2d. I didn’t really mind that Meme was preggo, because I had already decided I didn’t like her and now I had an excuse not to ask her to hang out–I’m sure she just assumed I was devastated that I lost my baby and she was pregnant–so I left it at that.
For whatever reason, I didn’t hear from Dee very much for awhile, and I sensed some apprehension from her in our conversations. I didn’t read much into it. I had offered many times to babysit her 2yr old son if she needed or wanted me to. Finally she took me up on my offer. She said she had to go to the OBGYN and I didn’t even ask why…but after I got to the apartment she was just acting weird–nervous. And I began to suspect but I didn’t ask. My heart sank as the thought crept in, that Dee had been avoiding me for weeks because she was pregnant and didn’t want to tell me? That hurt my feelings. My suspicion was confirmed when Dee walked in the door after her OBGYN appointment, holding the very same prenatal goodie bag they had given me a couple months ago. I said “So you ARE pregnant! I thought you might be” and she blushed and said “Yeah, I am”. I felt a little betrayed…and how strange that two women who had lukewarm feelings about having more children became pregnant almost instantly right after I announced my pregnancy? From what other IF bloggers have written, it seems to be part of the curse of IF…everybody will be pregnant but you, and probably announce their pregnancy either during or right after your miscarriage, while you still have a maxi pad strapped to you.
Now Meme and Dee are getting ready to have their babies…my EDD for my first miscarriage is October 12, 2013. Even today I had coffee with Dee and since we are both moving soon and she is in the 28th week of her second (and final) pregnancy, she gifted me two pregnancy books as a well-intentioned parting gift–encouraging me that I will “need them soon!” I used to think that bloggers who “woes me” about the passing of their due dates were being a touch melodramatic. But now as my own due date approaches, and I’ve lived through 2 miscarriages and several more pregnancy announcements…I am going to be quite inconsolable on October 12th. I dread it, actually.
On the bright side, me, kitty, and the hubs will just be getting settled in our new place, and we will be living in my hometown where I have friends who will not constantly remind me that I am not pregnant–there’s my silver lining.

My Cat Ate My Clomid

Well sort of…he tried to…
I am Mother to an exclusively indoor American short-hair male calico cat. I’ll wax poetic about him later. Although he is an indoor cat, he loves to ‘hunt’ bugs and he has a bunch of toy mice that he will bat around the house, and when he’s done with them he ‘drowns’ them in his water bowl, as if to say “game over”. He occasionally drowns found objects in the water bowl, such as my ponytail holders or recently a valuable string of pearls (that were left on the counter–where he is NOT allowed and he knows this).
Last night I was on cd6 and I’m taking 50mg Clomid cd3-7. I have an arduous nightly routine that includes taking about 20 pills (meds & supplements) and then shoving something (either suppository or enema) in my rear-end to keep my Ulcerative Colitis “quiet”. I was having Clomid-inspired hot flashes last night and getting ready for bed seemed like a particularly big pain in the butt (no pun intended, but ha ha). Right before I was to decide between suppository (easier but less effective) or enema (always works but I always worry I will accidentally soil the bed). I had bloody diarrhea, which means my UC is “angry” and so I sucked it up and did the enema.
I was feeling sorry for myself because I know that the hormones (Clomid + Progesterone) are wreaking havoc and “flaring” my autoimmune issues: Ulcerative Colitis (UC) + Lichen Sclerosus (LS). My va-jay-jay is still sore from sex two nights ago because the LS is causing scar tissue inside and out, plus the Clomid is causing me to have brown discharge and I can’t use a tampon since my vagina feels like it has rug-burn…I was having a moment where I felt totally awful and wondered how much longer I can keep doing this to my body (miscarriages & hormone therapy). I laid down and realized I was having UC-inspired lower back pain, and I thought “f*ck it, I haven’t taken any Vicodin in a long time” so I went back downstairs and broke one of my (coveted) hydrocodone pills in half and took 1/2 a pill. I was sweating bullets as I huffed-and-puffed back upstairs and flopped down in bed.
Just as I got comfortable I realized “I forgot to take my Clomid!” I sat bolt upright. Geezus, how could I have forgotten?! So I stumbled back downstairs, opened the medicine cabinet and fished around for the little silver packet of Clomid pills…found it and took #4…and decided to put the package on the counter so I wouldn’t forget it the next day. The Vicodin kicked in and I slept like a baby.
Woke up to Kitty meowing in my face and jumping all over me and the hubs, figured he was hungry and came downstairs to take a look at his bowl…and saw there was something silver and shiny sitting next to it. I gasped, “You didn’t”?! It appeared as though Kitty had jumped up on the counter and decided to play ‘mouse’ with my package of Clomid…”please tell me he didn’t ‘drown’ my last Clomid pill!” The package was beside the water bowl, not in it, and when I picked it up it was dry and the last pill was still sealed properly, thank God! I was sitting there thinking “what if I had to call the pharmacy and tell them my cat ate my Clomid? Would they even believe me?” And also I tried to imagine my cat having hot flashes…luckily neither scenario played out. I shook the package at Kitty and he got a spanking–that’s what kind of parent I am–the kind that spanks (not maliciously though, the only way he knows the difference between playing and punishment is the tone of my voice).
So cheers! to the completion cycle #2 of Clomid pills…now the fun part begins…will I ovulate on-time or will it be late again? Baby aspirin? Check. Metanx? Check. Endometrin? Check. Mucinex? Check. Preseed? Check. Fabulous SA results from the hubs? Check. Remicade to mediate my NK cell activity? Check. Now all I need is a good egg.