Coping Mechanisms

I tested negative at 12dpo on a FRER.

I called Dr. Angel’s office and he returned my call and sounded truly disappointed and surprised that the IUI didn’t work this time, he just kept saying “everything looked really good”. I tried not to unleash my full crazy on him, but did throw out several conspiracy theories, “maybe my testosterone is high and I need metformin”, “maybe I need to ovulate sooner, since I didn’t ovulate until CD17, perhaps I need to ovulate closer to CD14”, “maybe my eggs are all bad”, “maybe there is something genetically flawed about my eggs or Mr. MLACS’s sperm”, “maybe it’s the Remicade, since it mediates NK cells and implantation requires NK cell activity, maybe my NK cells are overly suppressed and I need to get off the Remicade”, or conversely, “maybe my immune system is still too active and preventing pregnancy”. I told him “I just wish I knew why”, and “maybe I’m one of those people who won’t get pregnant and it’ll take years to figure out what is wrong”. I know my voice didn’t sound panicked but ordinary people who are not losing their minds do not have these sorts of schizo conversations with their OBGYN after one failed IUI. I am truly special. Dr. Angel ordered a blood draw to check testosterone, progesterone, and quantitative HCG–yes, he went ahead and ordered the beta today at 12dpo because he, like me, feels that the FRER’s are pretty damn accurate.

I cried on and off all day. I felt alone (and I was). And I felt broken (I am). I just couldn’t find comfort in anything or anyone. I had an opportunity to go decorate a Christmas tree with my sister and her daycare kids, but I had to say no. Instead I went to Quest to have my blood drawn and argued with the phlebotomist because she said “now this doesn’t say STAT, so it’s not STAT” (very redundantly) to which I replied “well it oughtta say STAT because it’s a beta and I’ve never heard of a beta not being STAT” (sounding indignant) and then I proceeded to call Dr. Angel’s office to push my agenda, but it was a futile attempt because they were out to lunch. The phlebotomist got a little snippy and said “I used to do a lot of these and they were never STAT” to which I replied “well I’m used to working with RE’s, and they want things STAT” (like, lady, there’s one fledgling RE’s office in this damn town so I wouldn’t expect you to know) and she STFU. I looked and noticed that she had 2 viles for the blood and upon confirming that she only needed two I gave her my left arm because it’s slower–I’ve had so much mf*ing blood drawn that I have a system–2 viles or less you get the left arm, 3 or more the right arm, and I prefer IV’s in my hand. I had one of those “is this really my f*ing life? when did this become ‘normal’?” moments as I sat there watching my blood trickle into the viles, completely oblivious of the phlebotomist.

There was a lady who came in to the Quest office after me, a very frail lady with a hunchback and a walker–I opened the door for her and sat back down. She said out loud, “oh I can’t see this sheet to sign it (referring to the sign-in sheet)” so I jumped back up and grabbed a pen, and before I could ask she said her name was Bernadine. I thought, what a pretty antique name…and I loved her accent–she had a southern drawl–and she said “thank you honey”, and my heart felt a little warmer. I just adore sweet little old ladies. As I was leaving the Quest office I noticed a man on a cell phone standing over Ms. Bernadine, and as I’ve worked in several Dr.’s offices I assumed he must be her transportation. I walked outside and saw a van with the name of a retirement home on it, and my heart sank…does this sweet old woman have no one to care for her? Is she all alone in the world? I wanted to run back in the Quest office and scoop her up and take her with me. I was saddened. The point of this story about my brief encounter with Ms. Bernadine is to give you an idea as to my frame of mind…I looked around at gray skies and snow covered straw-like grass…and I got in my car with nowhere to go and no one to see…and the world seemed like a very cold place. I unceremoniously removed the gauze from my arm and stuck it in my console on top of the gauze from last time.

“What am I going to do with myself now?” I thought. First things first, there was a Starbucks right next to the lab and I always reward and self-soothe with Starbucks, so that was a no-brainer. There was a serious line at the drive-through because it was lunch time so I had a few minutes to ponder my next move. I have a list of things to do around our house but maybe I should try to cheer myself up. I find meandering around Barnes and Nobles to be my most favorite form of therapy, and I thought “maybe a book will distract me from obsessively trolling IF/RPL blogs and lamenting my failed IUI”. Mr. MLACS called while I was in line and he encouraged me to go, so I robotically drove myself to the mall.

Of course I cried on the way to the mall.

I walked in to Barnes and Nobles hoping that I didn’t look like I’d been crying, and could hardly manage a whisper to thank the person who opened the door for me. I wanted to be invisible. I took inventory of the place as I walked in, but my coffee was “kicking in” (and my enema and my milk-o-magnesia…constipated much?) and I had to run to the bathroom. It figures that I would be having a bad day and then be forced to take an epic dump in a public restroom. I cried silently on the toilet, but emerged from the stall feeling like a burden had been lifted (literally). The first book I noticed as I walked by the “New Age” section was by the Long Island Medium lady, Theresa Caputo…not sure that was a coincidence because I’m dying to meet her and get a message from my dear departed mother, but I kept walking.

And now it’s time for a confession: I like to read cheesy Christmas paperback books. You know the ones. They have titles like “A Christmas Miracle” or “The Gift of Hope”. My eye was caught by a Debbie Macomber book (that I hadn’t read) called “Angels at the Table”. Will Lucie Farrara and Aren Fairchild reunite after their chance meeting in Times Square last year on New Year’s Eve??? My educated guess is: Yes. But I’m going to read it anyways.

Then I began circling the “Books Worth Reading” display. And they were all worthy books–Pulitzer prize winners and such. But most of them were too ‘heavy’ for me or I just didn’t like the author’s picture on the back of their book…I discriminate based on this, because if the story is about a little girl’s family torn apart during the Holocaust, then I don’t want to see a picture of some yuppy-looking beatnik dude smirking at me on the back cover. It just ruins the credibility of the story for me, and it seems fame-whorish for authors to put their damn pictures on their books. Unless it’s a biography. Nonetheless, I spent at least an hour reading excerpts from books on this display. I finally settled on one called “Gifted Hands”, about a Neurosurgeon named Ben Carson who spent his childhood as a black youth in inner-city Detroit but ascended to become the director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. Now this, I give a sh*t about.

I went to the ‘Clearance’ section and kept picking up books with storylines that the mother is dying of cancer. WTF. I just can’t…I can hardly read books about mothers let alone mothers dying of cancer (as my Mom did) and I’m thinking “I probably need therapy”. And then I thought…”I’ll have to tell my infertile friends that (according to these books) being a mother is now synonymous with dying of cancer so maybe if we remain childless we’ll spare ourselves death by cancer, ha ha ha”. It sounded much funnier at the time. Obviously it’s not funny in print. Sorry.

I gave up and got in line. While in line I had the presence of mind to pick up a gift card for my MIL. I would say that Barnes and Nobles did not disappoint me today–I left feeling atoned.

I cried as I left the mall parking lot.

My brain felt fuzzy as I tried to figure out the next best use of my time…I just kept driving toward my house…and all of a sudden when I was one street away from my house I decided that I MUST go to Walmart to get the sh*t to make all the Christmas goodies that I’ve promised Mr. MLACS and to complete my vision of handing them out in cute little containers to Dr. Angel and other vital people in my life. I made a U turn. I know it’s ‘cheating’ but I parked by the Walmart garden center because it’s SO much easier to check out there as opposed to the regular lines and you don’t have to feel guilty about not donating to the Salvation Army bell ringer (there are none stationed at the garden center doors)–I should not be sharing this information with you because not many people know about this trick, but you’re welcome.

I proceeded to buy $120 worth of various forms of sugar and Christmas wrappings. Very therapeutic. For Christmas this year, e’rybody gets diabetes.

I cried on the way home from Walmart…FML

XOXO