2013 Can Suck It (Take 2)

I just wrote the longest, bitchiest post I could possibly imagine. And I published it. And then I decided to un-publish it, because it’s slightly funny but mostly just insanely bitchy and I’m not doing you any favors by sharing it with you. So, it’s gone. But it was basically talking about how crappy 2013 was, and that is worth mentioning so I’ll list the offences of 2013:

1. Miscarriage: Feb. 25th, 2013. It was not a “missed miscarriage”. The bleeding started but an ultrasound revealed an embryo that measured within a couple of days of anticipated conception, with a heartbeat of 160bpm, at 7w2d. Yet (after a visit to the ER that night confirmed no heartbeat), it was dismissed as a statistic by my OBGYN, I was given Misoprostol to ensure complete ‘evacuation’, and told to give it a month and try again. Then I went on to have a chemical pregnancy on August 2nd, 2013 (there was a sac and if FELT worse than my prior miscarriage).

2. Chronic Illness: Ulcerative Colitis has worsened 10 fold this year. Post-miscarriage it was revealed that I have several other problems, including:

  • Hypothyroid (may very well have caused my miscarriage)
  • Lichen Sclerosus (an autoimmune disorder that causes the skin in my genital area to atrophy–it’s painful)
  • Elevated ANA’s (anti-nuclear antibodies–an indicator of Lupus)
  • Elevated NK cells (natural killer cells, which play a delicate role in implantation)

3. Horrible doctors (totally unsupportive and incompetent–when I was most fragile post-miscarriage)

4. Marital issues I’ve written about some of it in the past–it’s not easy to have marital problems on top of all this other bullsh*t in a town where you don’t know very many people and you’re scared sh*tless that you might be really, really sick. Oh, and you’re blaming your body for killing your seemingly perfect embryo and feeling desperate to figure things out to protect future pregnancies, while your husband tells you that you’re overreacting and wasting money. Things are different now, but they really couldn’t have been much worse for awhile.

5. Moving But not knowing exactly when or where. Mr. MLACS hated, absolutely HATED his last project. And he thought he’d get promoted to an upcoming project (a domestic job), but that did not manifest–he got dealt a lot of sh*tty hands this year. We decided to “abandon ship” and started looking at other companies, but no one could give us a solid offer with the pay he should command. We had to make a lot of hard decisions and in the end he chose to stay with his company and do a job in Canada (commuting), and we moved back to my hometown. But this process began in April ’13 and we did not know where we were going until August, then we moved abruptly in September. STRESSFUL. And for most of the summer I just felt frozen–I was watching life moving on around me while my own life was suspended in wait.

6. Finances Just when we think everything is going to be fine, something pops up. It causes us to fight and it caused me a lot of anguish on top of the other stuff I was dealing with. Part of it is medical bills, which is a bitter pill to swallow–first you have a medical crisis, then you find yourself in debt over it, often with no resolution. And I didn’t work–I went back to school to become a nurse and most recently I’ve been obsessed and single-minded about having a baby (which is getting expensive as well).

After our (practically immaculate) first conception in January 2013, I couldn’t have predicted that I’d be sitting here–not only childless–but not even pregnant a year later. I don’t think anybody would’ve predicted this–my doctors kept patting me on the back and sending me home until a couple months ago when I met Dr. Angel and we started IUI’s with injectables. I couldn’t have predicted any of what happened this past year. I was in a strange city trying to transition into a new phase of my life (motherhood), trying to build my (difficult) relationship with my husband, trying to forge my way to a new career (nursing), and trying to figure out WTF was happening to me and how to deal with it– all while fighting chronic illness and multiple miscarriages. I don’t know what I expected, but I was not prepared for what happened. I’m still traumatized. And, in fact, I think that I have gotten worse recently (in no small part due to the IUI hormones)–I’m fighting feelings of anxiety, anger, depression, sadness, insecurity, indifference, irritability…I’m quick to anger and I have NO FILTER (hence why I 86’d my initial “2013 Can Suck It” post). I don’t know if 2014 is going to see the resolution of the above listed grievances that I have against 2013. I could really use something to look forward to, but I don’t have anything. Yet…






Glass Half Empty? Glass Half Full?

Ha! So appropriate

Ha! So appropriate

Couple ‘o things. And I’ll start with “Warning: Massive Profan*ty” for those who are overly sensitive. Um…yeah, you might need to sit this one out.

1. Glass Half Empty
We moved to my hometown because Mr. MLACS took an assignment on a project that will take him away from me for (supposedly) the first two weeks of the month. I agreed, as long as he would be home for procreational purposes (I ovulate toward the end of the month) and the holidays. I didn’t want to put this much info out there, but whatevs, Mr. MLACS’s job is in Canada, and between his HR screwing up his paperwork and the US government shut-down (don’t get me started, I am NOT a fan of Obamacare, as I know plenty of under-insured hard-working poor people who don’t qualify because they make too much money! And today an unemployed-pothead-musician friend was bragging about signing up for Obamacare on facebook–he’s a nice guy but he does not deserve free healthcare! But I digress…)
Basically, Mr. MLACS is still at home (oh and SUCH a joy to be around. Note: workaholics who aren’t working are as pleasant as junkies with no drugs). So besides dealing with his b*llsh*t tempertantrums, this means my ttc schedule is totally screwed for this month. And I’m begging him to change his schedule so that he’ll be home for us to ttc and also for the holidays. But he just snaps at me and brushes me off…no “Honey that’s what I want too, I’ll let them know that my FAMILY comes first and I’m sure it’ll work out” or even a “Babe, if I can’t be here we’ll do IUI or whatever we need to do to have a baby”…Oh no, not this dude, he offers NO reassurance. We engaged in a fight yesterday where he had the nerve to say “It’s not MY fault YOU can’t get pregnant!” Which besides being the jerkiest thing he could possibly say, is also factually bullsh*t: I can totally GET pregnant, I just haven’t managed to STAY pregnant. F*cker. At least get your facts straight. Oh, and I love how he throws completely IRRELEVANT insults into a fight that had nothing to do with ttc–like a suckerpunch. Lame.

So I’m like, now wtf am I supposed to do? How will I get pregnant if Mr. MLACS is not going to be around pre-ovulation? Will he fight me about doing IUI’s cuz he doesn’t want to pay for them? Will he actually grow a pair and give his work an ultimatum? I think right now all he’s concerned about is his job, and he considers ttc MY problem (obviously, from his malicious comment about it being “my fault”). Hmmmmmm. So this always comes back to: Mr. MLACS gets stressed about money and work (which makes him volatile and unapproachable), I have issues I need him to work on with me, but instead of working on stuff with me he finger-points and blames and hurls insults, and NOTHING is accomplished. Always predictable, gotta give him that. Mr. MLACS, can you please stop being such an a**hole? Thanks. Cuz this sh*t is hard enough as it is. Also thanks for doing the damn dishes–but that does NOT make up for the other bullsh*t. It’s called a c-o-n-v-e-r-s-a-t-i-o-n, and we should definitely have one of those (not to be confused with: fighting).

2. Glass Half Full
Since we’ve been back in my hometown, Mr. MLACS has given me some compliments–he really likes the apartments I chose; he really liked the chili I made for dinner last night. He’s been quite agreeable to hanging with my family and friends–who all consider him part of the family. He’s been trying-ish to quit smoking cigarettes. He’s sweet to the cat. He’ll put a blanket on me when I’m cold and twice this week he has slept on the couch to give me room in the bed (I guess I was flailing about). He offered to make me breakfast this morning. Obviously, he supports me financially and takes his role as provider very seriously. I mean, he’s got his finer points. I won’t poison his apple just yet 🙂

Also, I’ve acquired 3 new doctors this week: Gastroenterologist (GI), OBGYN, and a Chiropractor. I like them all, but particularly my new OBGYN, who we’ll call Dr. Angel.
Dr. Angel is the soon-to-be FIL of a good friend of mine. He was listed as one of the providers who takes my insurance AND delivers at the hospital I was born at (which is where I would like to, God willing, have my own baby). My friend put in a good word for me, because Dr. Angel is established and can pick-and-choose his patients. My friend told me Dr. Angel is quite conservative and religious (hence I call him “Dr. Angel” as a nod to Christian faith). Dr. Angel’s children are examples of the doc’s firm beliefs–his kids are the most level-headed, goal-oriented, pleasant and polite people you can possibly meet. I finally met Dr. Angel today. He is a blessing.

Dr. Angel greeted me warmly! He then proceeded to let me babble on about the issues of the past year, carefully listening to every word and asserting questions–very politely, of course. He was soft-spoken and I sounded very boisterous compared to him, but either he liked me or he deserves an Oscar because he chuckled at my jokes and his eyes twinkled the whole time we talked.
Right off the bat, he suggested doing an HSG–which is cool, because I was going to ask him if we might ought to try one to see what’s happenin’ in my ute. He said what other doctors, including my RE’s, would not say: it’s NOT normal to lose a baby with a heartbeat of 160bpm at 7w2d. In fact, something was clearly very wrong. Hallelujah! That innate knowledge is what has spurred my medical quest for answers, so that another baby wouldn’t have to perish from whatever ill befell this first unfortunate child en-utero. But other docs just completely dismissed me and said “oh miscarriages happen so often and they’re usually chromosomal, blah blah blah”. However, I started bleeding BEFORE my baby died…I started bleeding and went to see my doc and the US showed a baby that measured almost right on target, a baby that had a heartbeat of 160bpm…not a dead baby, not a baby with a slow heartbeat or an empty sac…this baby may well have been normal, but I’ll never know, because my old OBGYN dismissed it as “typical loss of first pregnancy”, didn’t test the tissue for abnormalities, and told me to go try again. And my RE’s both acted as though I was overreacting (but kept offering up IVF like McDonald’s slings hamburgers). Not Dr. Angel though. He’s different. He seems to want answers just as much as I do. If something works or doesn’t work, he wants to know WHY, not just guess. We’re kindred in our lust for empirical data. I can tell he’s awfully sorry that I’ve lost 2 pregnancies already, and he is concerned that I not lose a 3rd. *Sniffle, Tear*

So, we talked, he examined me, and the plan is that I will start my menses (any day now that I’ve quit progesterone) and then I’ll call to schedule the HSG with his office. I won’t take any hormones this month–no Clomid or Endometrin or even Metanx. I’m relieved, cuz I need a f*ckin’ break from this stuff–the hormones mess with me physically and emotionally (you probably know what I’m talkin’ bout, right? Hormones SUCK!) Also, Mr. MLACS will most likely be in Canada when I ovulate (please God, let him go so he can get his wits about him), so there’s really no point in taking hormones. Dr. Angel said to just take this month off. He’s reading through the thick binder of medical records that I offered him, and he said that he’ll give it some thought, we’ll do the HSG, and then we’ll formulate a plan. Sounds good to me! PLUS, he has a deal in his office where you pay a flat fee of $350 per month and it covers as many ultrasounds as you need for monitoring, plus I believe it covers insemination too! Or a-la-carte I think insemination was only like $70.
That is a great deal, don’t you think?! And it means I don’t need to go see a (greedy, agenda-pushing) RE! Dr. Angel said he is PCP for most of his patients, and will be happy to monitor my thyroid and manage everything beyond my GI. Do you have any idea how happy it makes me that I only need 2 doctors?! I’m ecstatic. I really, really adore Dr. Angel. I mean, I wish I didn’t have all the issues I have, but I feel very fortunate to have good people helping me through them (yes, that includes you Mr. MLACS).

October is now officially “taking a break” month, and as much as I hate to postpone baby-making for a month, I know it’s an opportunity for me to get my sh*t together: work with the chiropractor, work-out, eat better, settle into our new home, take a break from hormones, have the HSG, figure out Mr. MLACS’s schedule, possibly set up an IUI, etc.

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…