Monday, July 31, 2006

Project: Grad Student

I was formally accepted into a graduate program earlier today! I received my letter from the program last Friday but didn't want to post anything here until I'd gotten my acceptance from the university as well.

Part of me is intensely freaked out by what I'm doing. If things go right, I could be teaching in a classroom later this month and taking classes myself at night. Everything depends on whether or not a school really, REALLY needs a teacher with my expertise since I'm not certified yet.

Aside from the panic over not really knowing what the hell I'd do in a classroom as a teacher, I'm also a little worried about the possibility that I'll get pregnant before the program is finished. It's not terribly likely, but it is possible, especially if the results from the endometrial biopsy tell us anything new. If we weren't struggling with infertility and had gotten pregnant during the first year we tried, I wouldn't have applied. Part of me is tempted to call it fate, and think of this program as something I was meant to do before we have kids, but I'm not completely convinced that this is true.

In any case, it's sort of a moot point because I'm in the program, classes start soon, and I've got a stack of teaching applications to fill out. Mostly I'm just really happy about this and can't wait to begin. I've missed being a student, and teaching is something that I've been wanting to do since before I graduated from college. I don't know if I'm "meant" to do this or not, but it feels like the start of something exciting, and that's all I really need.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Definitely Not Worst Case Scenario

Well, I'm back! The appointment with Dr. F went very well. There were a few tears (mine) when she asked if we'd tried relaxing, but overall she was very sweet and understanding. She backed WAY off with the "just relax" advice after I told her that not only had we relaxed, but we'd gone on vacation, I'd done accupuncture, and we spent $400 on my mind/body therapy class earlier this year. In the grand scheme of things, I think we've given "just relax" a fair shot, and now it's time to "just get some damn tests already".

Dr. F didn't completely agree with our reasoning about the endometrial biopsy. To her, my spotting issues (and for those keeping score at home, I'm now spotting for 11-12 days during my luteal phase) just screamed low progesterone in spite of the perfectly normal progesterone levels at my last blood draw. She really wanted to write a prescription for Clomid and see what happened, but when I explained my concerns about taking Clomid unmonitored she agreed to let me take progesterone suppositories (don't Google that, Dad) instead. We'll do more bloodwork next month to see if I really need them.

This next part will forever enshrine Dr. F in my Awesome Medical Professionals Hall of Fame. Even though she didn't think it was necessary, she offered to do the biopsy because I wanted it so much. There was a free appointment at 1:00, and did I want to do the biopsy today?

I almost kissed her. This sort of thing NEVER happens in the military medical system. Most of the time you have to wait weeks for any type of appointment because the clinics are so overbooked that they just can't squeeze you in any earlier. She wrote a prescription for some Percoset, sent me upstairs to J's office to relax for an hour, and then she performed the biopsy.

It hurt. Not as much as my HSG, but it hurt. She got a nice, big sample, though, and I should have the results back sometime next week. Our follow-up appointment is August 9. Unfortunately it's not going to be with her because the Army is transferring her to another hospital. Oh well. It's disappointing that I found a doctor I really clicked with only to have her leave after one appointment, but I'll survive.

Now we're home, and I'm curled up on the couch with Jasper and feeling pretty good about things. I'm nauseous as hell from the Percoset, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that we're finally back on track to figure out just exactly what's going on. I'll take pain and nausea any day if it gets me just one step closer to having a baby.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


I'm getting really nervous about my OB/GYN appointment tomorrow. Best case scenario is that I love the doctor, he listens to our concerns, agrees that I need the biopsy, and can schedule it for sometime next week.

Worst case scenario is making me very anxious, though. What if this doctor is another in the long line of crappy medical professionals I've seen in the last four months? What if he's like the nurse at my old RE's office who was insulting and demeaning? Or the dumber-than-dumb internist I saw earlier this month? What if I hate him?

I know I shouldn't worry like this. If I hate him, we'll just find another OB/GYN in the practice, or even possibly go civilian. It'll cost more, but it's not like we're expecting to get out of this infertility hell with our savings intact. I just want to like him so much! I want to finally trust a doctor again. I want to have some hope that we'll get through this.

The appointment is at 11:30 tomorrow morning, so I won't be back with a report until 1:00 at the earliest. Any good appointment vibes you can send my way would be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The end of civilization as we know it?

Is anyone else totally creeped out by the ads for this refrigerator?

A TV? In the fridge? For the love of puppies and kittens, WHY??? What sick, twisted design team was trying to come up with a new gimmick to make people pay $$$ on kitchen appliances and came up with the idea to just put a TV in the door? More to the point, who's buying these things?

Maybe I've just been watching too much TV in the last couple of months, but every time I see this ad I get irritated. Whatever happened to family time at dinner? Whatever happened to having actual conversations with your spouse and kids? Conversations that don't include a running commentary on the latest episode of your favorite TV show?

There's just something very, very wrong here.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Moving Forward

Friday's the day we really start the infertility testing in earnest again. I have an appointment with an OB/GYN who supposedly has some experience with IF patients, although this is according to his scheduler so I'm taking it with a grain of salt. We're going to push for an endometrial biopsy to see if we can't figure just what the hell is going wrong every cycle and causing my luteal phase spotting.

I'm both excited and nervous. Excited because we've been in a holding pattern just waiting for this appointment since May, and nervous because I don't think I can handle another crappy doctor who treats me like a crazy person. I'm very glad that Juan will probably be able to make the appointment since I think it'll be harder for the doctor to blow me off with my very own MD sitting there next to me, pushing for this biopsy.

In the end, though, I can't wait for Friday to come around. I can't wait to start trying to solve this problem. I especially can't wait to start trying to conceive again. Our break this month has been great, and I've felt much more optimistic about life in general than I have in a quite awhile, but my arms are still empty and my heart still has a baby-shaped hole in it.

I'm ready to move forward.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

10 Weird Things About Me

Taking a break from the pet-related posts, here are 10 weird things about me.

1) Back in college I had very specific things I ate for dinner every single day. I can remember which year it was based on what I was eating at the time. Freshman year it was broccoli and cheddar Lipton rice packets. Sophomore year it was microwave bowls of spiral mac and cheese. Junior year it was spaghetti. Senior year it was regular Kraft mac and cheese. I'm fairly sure that my roommate for three of those four years hates me a little bit for my OCD eating.

2) I pluck my eyebrows obsessively. If I feel a stray hair coming out, I'll rush to the bathroom to pluck it. Even if I'm in the middle of doing something else. The only time I won't do this is in public, but I have been known to do it at work.

3) I hate removing nail polish. HATE it. I have no idea why, but I still have polish on my toes from back in May. Before our move. I know it looks horrible, and I know I should at least take it off (and preferably put new polish on since I live in my sandals this time of year) but I just hate doing it.

4) I want to get pregnant and have a baby more than anything else in the world, but sometimes I wonder if I'm going to be a good mother. I doubt I could be as good as my own mom was. I worry about that.

5) For some unknown reason, I sometimes type an extra "e" at the end of words that don't end in "e". For example, I just caught that I typed "spaghettie" instead of "spaghetti" up above.

6) I love superhero movies. Love them. I have no idea why, especially since fight scenes bore me.

7) I once owned ever Star Wars novel ever published. Thankfully I grew out of that phase after high school and have whittled down my collection to just the "must haves". They still take up an entire shelf in one of my bookcases.

8) It took me two hours to pick which books I was going to put on the bookshelves in the guest bedroom and which ones I was going to put on the shelves in the loft. If we ever have a big party, I assume that people will hang out in the loft and I want them to think that we read interesting/impressive books. I don't think that my complete collection of Diana Gabaldon romances would impress anyone.

9) I didn't realize J and I were dating until we'd gone out 3-4 times. In my defense, those first few "dates" could have been just two friends hanging out. In Juan's defense, I was pretty dense about how much he liked me.

10) I'm a person with mixed dominance, which means that I do some things with my left hand and some things with my right hand. For example, I write and eat with my left hand, but throw a ball with my right. Because of this, when I try a new activity (particularly a new sport) I have to try doing it with each hand before I figure out which one works the best. I still have no idea which is my dominant hand when playing golf. I gave up after one lesson.

Blech Part II

Scratch that last post, I think I'm getting sick. That would explain the general ickiness and malaise I'm feeling. Plus I have a temperature.


I feel icky. Not getting-sick icky, and not dirty icky, just icky. I'm bored, I'm frustrated about a number of things (J's insane schedule and the BS our old apartment complex is trying to pull with our refund to name a few) and I just don't feel motivated or inspired lately. I'm fairly sure that this is just a passing ickiness, one that has happened before and will probably happen again, but right now I'm just stuck.

I'm also feeling a fair amount of guilt about how stressed out the cats seem. Arcadia spent all day yesterday (and all day today, from the looks of it) in the upstairs bathroom windowsill. I'm not even sure she had anything to drink or eat in spite of the fact that there's food and water for her and Codi on the second floor. She was so brave on Monday, coming downstairs to investigate Jasper and even hopping up on the bed for attention when he was in the bedroom. Now she just seems content to be antisocial, and I hate that my friendly girl doesn't want my attention.

So, blech. And ick. I know the cats will be okay. They'll cope. Heck, Codi's WAY better today than she was yesterday. And I'll be okay. Maybe I just need to drink more water. It helps to see how happy Jasper is to finally have a home and a family of his own. It also helps that J got his call schedule for August and discovered that he's not on call for the whole month. If that's not reason to celebrate, I'm not sure what is. For now, though, if I'm not posting much it's just because I don't have anything to say other than blech. And ick.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Jasper: Day Two

For a dog who was in a shelter yesterday, Jasper has settled right in to life here. He's currently snuggling up next to me on the couch, enjoying a belly rub. He was a perfect angel in his crate last night (minus one small accident) and hasn't made a peep when the cats come out to investigate. He watches them, but doesn't try to approach them or bark. From my perspective, this is a VERY good sign of how he's going to act when we let him off the leash inside the house.

The cats are somewhat less laid-back about Jasper's presence than he is about theirs. Codi has spent most of the day on top of the refrigerator and Arcadia is electing to live behind the washing machine. I can't say that I blame them for being freaked out, but hopefully over the next week or so they'll stop hiding and start relaxing a bit.

Tomorrow we visit the vet to make sure that Jasper's a healthy boy, and then get him signed up for some obedience classes.

And now for an obligatory AWWWWWWW puppy picture. This was Jasper and Juan, napping together yesterday afternoon.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


So, remember this post? Well, I'd like to introduce you to someone...

Meet Jasper!

J and I had a long talk yesterday and decided that we'd start looking for a dog. Our original plan was to wait until October, but we realized that:

A: we're essentially settled in the house already,
B: the cats are NEVER going to be ready for a dog, so there's really no point in waiting on their account, and
C: I'm not going to be working from home forever, and at least now I can spend all day with the three animals, sorting out any conflicts and making the newest member of our family feel at home.

Then today J's attending physician told him to leave early because he worked too many hours last week. After he got home we both had the same thought--head down to PetSmart to check out their weekly adoption fair. The first dog we saw was Jasper, and we both fell in love. He was quiet but friendly, and when all the other dogs started barking at a terrier that was walking by, he stayed quiet. Interested, but quiet. His foster family listed him as good with cats and kids, and after spending some time with him, we were both sold. An hour later we were dog owners!

So far, so good. The cats are reacting about as well as can be expected. They're still in pretty heavy denial that anything unusual is happening, but are starting to sloooowly approach him to investigate. For his part, Jasper perks up when they're around, but so far hasn't made any moves towards them. My guess is that a week from now he'll be letting Arcadia boss him around just like Codi does.

I love this little guy so much already!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The cats now hate me very much

The official verdict from the vet is that Arcadia is a PITA, but she's a healthy PITA. Thank goodness. She's also a healthy PITA who now has a microchip embedded between her shoulder blades. If she or Codi (who also got 'chipped) ever escapes, any Humane Society in the country will be able to locate us through the tracking number on the chip.

It's pretty cool when you think about it, and given how much we'll probably be moving over the cats' lifetimes, it was something that needed to be done. Plus it's the law here.

I'm a big fan of the microchip, but the cats were slightly less impressed with it when the vet brought out the big ass needle that is used to embed it under their skin. It was probably the biggest needle I've ever seen, and they were not happy about it. Codi hissed at me and the vet, and Arcadia just whipped her head around and looked accusingly at me as if to say, "YOU'RE the reason my life is so hard!"

We're all home now, and both the cats are doing their best to pretend that I'm not here. Good for them. Personally, I would be only too happy to go another year before I have to wrestle them into their carrier again to visit the scary vet.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Free to a good home

Anyone want a cat?

Apparently the novelty of having me home all day long has worn off for Arcadia, and she's driving me nuts. Specifically, every night at around 5:00 she decides that she's bored downstairs and wants to hang out upstairs. She's not going to go up there unless *I* go up there, though. Every day I decide to indulge her by going upstairs for awhile, usually waking up Codi (who would be perfectly content to never, ever leave the windowsill in the master bathroom) so she can entertain Arcadia for awhile. This works for maybe 20-30 minutes and then Arcadia is back downstairs with me, crying her head off.

She doesn't want to be petted. Doesn't want to play fetch even when I break out a fresh bottlecap. Doesn't want to do anything except sit right next to the couch and cry. She's driving me crazy, and aside from letting my cat force me to spend my day upstairs in bed (which, no) I don't know how to get her to stop doing it.

It's occurred to me that maybe she misses J. He's been pulling some really late nights at the hospital, and the transition between him not working at all to him being gone almost 24/7 has been rough on all of us. If that's the case, she'll just have to get used to it. I'm also SLIGHTLY concerned that she might be having bladder crystal problems again. We haven't gotten in to see a new vet yet, and this is kind of similar to what she was doing a few months ago when all of the couch peeing started. I'm really hoping that this isn't the case, and part of me says that we haven't had any "incidents" yet so I think it's unlikely.

Ugh. WHHHHHYYYY? Why must such a cute little kitty be so annoying???

Monday, July 10, 2006

Mission Accomplished

I've had a VERY productive day. This morning I had my doctor's appointment, which was mostly a big waste of time since the sole purpose of the visit was to get me a referral to OB/GYN so they can start my infertility testing again. I did get the referral, though, and one of the nurses even gave me the name of an excellent local RE that she and her husband went to when they were having problems conceiving.

From there I finally went over to the university to drop off my application for the teaching program. I should hear back from them sometime this month. If I'm accepted I'll need to spend a week observing a classroom and then can start my own classes and look for a teaching job.

Speaking of jobs, I GOT ONE!!! My old boss from DC called me late last week and asked if I'd be interested in some part time contract work. I jumped at the opportunity, and can now officially call myself gainfully employed! It's only going to be 10-15 hours a week, and won't last forever, but at least it's something. I also applied for a position at Barnes and Noble today, which I should be a shoo-in for since I worked for the company for many, many years in high school and college.

From there I ran all over the mall to pick up odds and ends that we've been needing, and am now lounging on the couch at home waiting for Fed Ex to arrive with a packet of materials I need to start working. I'm just so happy that things are starting to fall into place.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Officially on a break

We're taking a break this month. I'm tired of thinking about infertility, J's tired of thinking about infertility, and after 15 months it's time for us to give ourselves some time off.

Tomorrow is my first doctor's appointment to start the IF testing process again. Cross your fingers for me that she doesn't make me wait another month to see an OB/GYN before I can get the endometrial biopsy. I'm afraid to get my hopes up that this doctor will be as wonderful as my PCP back in Maryland was, but she can't be worse than the craptastic REs who treated me during our last two months in DC. All I really want is to make it thorugh the appointment without bursting into tears (thus labeling me the crazy patient who can't keep her shit together in front of her husband's colleague) and for the doctor to be sympathetic to our situation and want to help us figure out what's wrong.

Friday, July 07, 2006



Apparently last night's storm has brought them out in droves, and now I'm running my machine with Oxy Clean, Tide, and maybe a little bit of tequila in a (hopefully successful) attempt to kill this thing. Bleach would have been better, but alas, we have no bleach.

I have a feeling that our exterminator is going to be making a LOT of money from us in the next few months. Damn you, West Texas, and your lethal household pests!

***EDITED TO ADD: The exterminator soaked our baseboards in scorpion-killing-stuff (which is pet safe once it dries) and told me that while our neighborhood is "known" for scorpions, his company has had a lot of success in getting rid of them completely with monthly treatments.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Wait, are we back in DC?

Ho-ly crap. We had quite a downpour today. Actually, it was more like a flood.

Juan and I were out running errands all day and started driving home around 5:00. It's usually around a 20-25 minute drive to our home on the West side of town from where we were on the East side. It started raining as soon as we got in the car and this is how the roads looked 20 minutes later:

Photo courtesy of KFOX

Excuse me??? This is THE DESERT! Dry, high desert, where it costs a small fortune every month just to keep your grass green! I guess freak weather happens everywhere (the 1998 tornado in downtown Salt Lake City comes to mind) but I had no idea we'd ever have rain like this here.

At least we got off the roads fairly quickly and didn't have the problems that some people had. This picture was taken outside of town around the same time we finally made it home:

Photo courtesy of KFOX

At any rate, we're fortunate that there was no flooding in the house and no damage in the yard. And at least I won't have to drag out the sprinkler for awhile!

Status Quo

I'm here, there's just nothing much going on lately that's worth writing about. My first doctor's appointment to start figuring out what's wrong with my body isn't until Monday, so until then I'm just twiddling my thumbs.

In non-thumb twidding news, I should be able to hand in my application to the teaching program next week when my last letter of recommendation arrives (thanks, Sharon!) so hopefully I'll be able to find a job quickly since I'm sure I'll need most of August to figure out just what the heck I'm doing in a classroom.

J had a good first week of work, but it's been exhausting. He leaves the house around 6:00 am and doesn't get home most nights until after 8:30. This month he's working in an intensive care unit, though, so next month when he's in an outpatient clinic the hours will be better. Today is his first day off, and I fully expect that he'll sleep through most of the day.

We're getting our ducks in a row for the trip to Denver next month for my parents 30th anniversary party/vow renewal, and I can't wait to see everyone. It's been years since I've been to visit my mom's family, and while I've seen all of them at weddings and various trips since then, I haven't seen my grandma's new condo or my cousin's new cats yet. The best part is that Juan was able to get a weekend off for the trip, so we'll be able to go together.

I guess this post has no theme except for "things that are happening sort of right now" so hopefully I'll be able to think of something vaguely interesting to write soon. Until then, hope everyone had a nice 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


It's another crappy evening. I'm tired, I'm hurting, and it doesn't seem like any of my support mechanisms are working at the moment. Part of that is my fault--sometimes I forget that other people can't read my thoughts and know when I need them to reach out to me. Part of it is this move because it's thrown so many things in my life into disarray that I have much more time to sit and think about my situation. Part of it is that I'm just mad and sad and hurting.

How do you tell someone that you need more support? That what they see as "being supportive" I see as "not putting in any effort at all and expecting me to tell them exactly what to do all the time"? I have no idea. I WANT support, I NEED it right now, and lately it's like all I'm getting is assvice and half-hearted attempts at empathy. Don't get me wrong--my friends and family have been great through most of this process, but it's fairly clear that a lot of them are just sick of hearing about it. Sick of me breaking down over seemingly random things. Sick of blog entries like this.

I think that what it really boils down to is that they're sick of me.

And I don't know how to fix that. Therapy? Paying someone to listen to me bitch and whine? My past experience trying to explain all of this to a therapist resulted in some of the assiest assvice I've ever received. I'm not interested in experiencing that again, and quite frankly I don't think that I'm clinically depressed. I'm situationally depressed, but I don't need therapy for that. I need the people in my life who love me to do a better job of loving me. To try to understand what I'm feeling. Because I would do it for them. Because I HAVE done it for them, and now it's my turn.

I don't even know if I'm going to post this.