Daring To Dream

To recap my last post:

  1. I had the Stelara infusion a week ago and it is working–no blood in my stools and I feel better all-around.
  2. I’ve gained 10 lbs and lost a lot of hair since I started taking 6MP (mercaptopurine) a few weeks ago.

Well, I spoke to the IBD Specialist’s Nurse Practitioner via email (patient portal–so convenient) and she told me to go ahead and quit the 6MP. So I have not taken it the last 2 days and so far, so good–no blood.

Speaking of blood though, I am having my first *real* period in 6 months–it’s very heavy but not painful, just uncomfortable. It’s a good thing though, because it means my body has healed enough that it is willing to consider getting pregnant.

I was cleaning the guest bathroom yesterday and stumbled across some brown paper bags of medication, and I knew they were mine not Mr. MLACS’s, but I had to stop and think of what it was…??

And it stung me like a bee–it’s Crinone (progesterone to support a pregnancy). The Crinone I had bought and paid for back in December after I met my new OBGYN and expressed to him my desire to start TTC (trying to conceive) again. Just before all hell broke loose with my UC-turned-Crohn’s. I shelled out $300+ for this stuff, and I wonder if I will ever get to use it.

Mr. MLACS has been very flirty with me lately, and instead of feeling “blah” about it, I have felt more interested. I got a babysitter and we went on our…2nd?…date, just him and me, since BG was born (28 months ago). We went out to eat at a fun Caribbean-style restaurant–I even had half a glass of wine! I had been thinking about having a glass of wine and I finally felt good enough to try it, and I was tipsy but my liver appears to be worse for the wear. We talked about having a second baby, and we are both ready to try (Mr. MLACS is most def ready to resume our sex life).

We are actually in a much better position to TTC *now* than we were before I became ill. Before I became ill, we had no idea how we were going to get our (burnt to a crisp) dream home repaired. Our marriage was strained from the stress of moving to a place where we knew no one, our house burned down as soon as we signed the contract, and Mr. MLACS’s job was grinding him to the bone, leaving me alone with BG and to do ALL the things by myself. We were miserable. And *then* I got sick and that was the “stick that broke the camel’s back”. Things had to change, there was no trudging on the way we had been. I couldn’t. And at first everything got much, much worse. But when you hit rock bottom, the only place to go is up… So things have been steadily improving. Most importantly, our trials have made our marriage stronger. Well that, and I am not afraid of being unable to parent BG through a pregnancy and another baby, because I managed to do it through my illness. Plus, Mr. MLACS really stepped up and now him and BG are very close–she doesn’t need me as much. If you recall, he was away for work most of the first 18 months of her life, so we were all used to me being the primary caregiver, even when Mr. MLACS was home. But when I got sick, he had to take over and that was actually a good thing, because they have a very strong bond now.

So there are silver linings to my illness–we are stronger as a couple and as a family. We have had time to settle our affairs and we are going to move into our new home soon–we are finally out of the stress and the depression/funk we had in the wake of our house burning down. Mr. MLACS’s job has become a much less toxic place and new management is very “pro-family”, so he is home on time a lot more and a lot less stressed.

We are in a good place to have a baby.

I just have to wean off the prednisone before we can try. I’m going to drop from 32.5mg to 30mg tomorrow. I can’t imagine that my weaning will go completely smoothly–I’ll probably have to hold several weeks at various doses, pending my symptoms. But I am daring to dream that the Stelara will quell my immune system and allow me to wean off the prednisone, given patience and time.

Assuming I can straighten myself out, then we’ll *just* have to work on getting pregnant (ha ha ha ha ha–because it was SO easy–it *only* took 6 IUI’s to conceive BG).

I mean, everybody’s gotta have a dream, right?

XOXO,

MLACS

 

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…

 

 

 

 

 

Lackluster. But I’ll Take It.

Update**

I saw Dr. Angel yesterday (Friday) and my uterine lining was ‘7’–plus my follies were a lovely ‘14.5’ and ’14’ on the left ovary and the cyst on my right ovary is continuing to resolve–plus I got my HCG shot delivered via FedEx–plus I retrieved Mr. MLACS from the airport. However, it was a bummer having to inform Mr. MLACS that Dr. Angel said “no hanky panky” until after the IUI. Naturally, Mr. MLACS was rather disgusted at the thought of waiting 3+ weeks for his ‘welcome home’, only to be cock-blocked by our OBGYN. However, there is a ‘silver lining’ because there were 2 packages delivered yesterday: My HCG shot AND His brand new ‘Grand Theft Auto 5’ video game. So we both felt rejected–he ditched me for his video game. But that was ok, because I didn’t have any expectations since he’s been working every day for the last 23 days and had a long flight home. Even after rising early to go see Dr. Angel and driving 4 hours round-trip to fetch Mr. MLACS from the airport, I still managed to rally myself to do 40 minutes of walking at 3.6mph on the treadmill and some serious stretching–I noticed my muscles were more tense than usual…I’ve been wondering if I might have caught a cold…

When I woke up I realized that I do indeed have a head cold. Congested, slightly achy, throat sore from snoring/ breathing through my mouth (Mr. MLACS confirmed that I was snoring). I blame myself for not using hand sanitizer at every opportunity. But honestly I don’t mind, because if my (auto)immune system is busy fighting a head cold then maybe it will forget to attack my colon (Ulcerative Colitis).

Today I woke Mr. MLACS at 7am and dragged him with me to witness the follies/ uterine lining/ fancy chair/ dildocam. My husband is 6’6″, which I can only assume was the reason that Dr. Angel apologized for the dust on his ceiling fan when we walked into the examination room–because I certainly wouldn’t have noticed it (and FYI, I don’t think to dust my own ceiing fans until I see dust hanging off of them, so who am I to judge?). My uterine lining measured ‘8.5’; my two follies on my left ovary measured ‘16.5’ and ’16’; the cyst on my right ovary continues to shrink (hooray). I was happy with the progress and Mr. MLACS gingerly reached up and dusted off Dr. Angel’s ceiling fan as a courtesy before we left. We swung by Walgreens to pick up some OPK’s and Tylenol. When we got home I POAS–my OPK test line was barely visible so I’m nowhere near ovulating on my own (not a big surprise, because I usually don’t get a positive OPK until CD16 or CD17 and it’s only CD13 today). Hoping to trigger on Monday and do the IUI on Tuesday. Also, Dr. Angel had blood work done yesterday and I forgot to ask him about my Estradiol and TSH levels. *sneeze*sniffle* I have to be at Dr. Angel’s office tomorrow morning at 7am, and I’m hoping that Mr. MLACS will remind me to ask about my labs because my brain doesn’t function well at this hour–especially when I have a head cold. This weekend thus far is not the ‘romantic reunion’ I had hoped for; Mr. MLACS is playing his video game and I’m on the couch with my cat and my box of tissues blogging about my ovaries. Meh, sometimes life is lackluster, but I’d rather have good news tainted by ‘blah’ than bad news coated in ‘glitter’. XO

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“.