Wednesday, June 29, 2011

10 on Tuesday

But wait, you say, it's not Tuesday! I know this, but I failed to get this post up yesterday, so there you go. I'm posting it on Wednesday and we're all just going to pretend for a moment that it's actually Tuesday. So, today is Tuesday (Wednesday) and it's time for 10 on Tuesday!

  1. My dad has now been moved from ICU to a private room. He is doing better than he was. He is off IV and catheter now, but still has a feeding tube in place due to not being able to swallow and, although it is better, his is still having difficulty with speech. A speech therapist is working with him for both his speech and swallowing. We're hoping he will be able to swallow without aspirating when he has another modified barium swallow on Thursday. His doctor told him that when he can swallow some thick liquids, he will let him go home. My dad is hoping to go home on Thursday. He did get a mini-pass yesterday and got to leave the hospital for an hour and a half after signing a statement that he would come back. He was a happy man then, lol!

  2. I broke down this week and purchased a Kindle. I'll admit I haven't wanted to get one. I'm definitely a person who likes the feel and smell of a real book, so I was a little resentful of electronic readers. My mom, though, got one a couple of months ago and, while my dad has been in the hospital, I've been playing with her Kindle. I decided I wanted one, so The Hubs and I purchased one on Friday night (we got ours from Walmart). And, I have to say, I love it! I have so far added about 37 books to my Kindle - a lot of classics like Alice in Wonderland and Pride and Prejudice. I've started reading Les Miserables, which is a book I've wanted to read for a long time, but never got around to. Loving it so far! And I'll retract my previous opinion and say the Kindle is AWESOME!!!!

  3. I also bought a Flip Camera Friday night. I've been wanting a video camera for a while and I love the Flip. It's very basic (no editing available) but it's perfect for me and the price was right - it's normally $129, but was on clearance for $89. Just right!

  4. We're changing insurance at my workplace as of July 1. I'm okay with the change. It doesn't really affect anything as far as my coverage. Or at least that's what I thought. I was looking at the list of medications that are formulary (insurance will cover the cost) and I noticed that Synthroid was not on the list. In fact, it was on the list of non-formulary medications and listed a generic. My doctor won't prescribe the generic (she actually stated it's not worth the time they take to make it), so I'm now confused at what to do. I spoke with my pharmacist and she said it should only be around $15 - $20, so not too bad. I hope she's right!

  5. Another thing I noticed on the formulary list is that, while follistim is a non-formulary medication, Gonal-F is formulary. Now, I don't know if this actually means anything for me, since our policy still doesn't cover IF treatment, but it's an interesting possibility nonetheless.

  6. Has anyone noticed that beautiful My Fitness Pal block over there -->? 10lbs. That's how much I've lost so far! Actually, 10.2lbs, but who's counting (ME!!!)? Haven't weighed this week, so I hope I've actually lost even more than that.

  7. Speaking of Synthroid, I have an appointment with my endocrinologist tomorrow. I don't yet have a blog name for her. I'm debating what to call her. She has a very dry personality - in fact, some people would say no personality - and she's very prim. I don't mind her (much) and I think she'll be pleased with my weight loss and I think my Hemoglobin A1C will be done below diabetic levels when they check it tomorrow!

  8. For the last 5 years (ever since we moved to the US), The Hubs and I have had a tradition of attending the fireworks display in our town on July 4th. We were looking forward to that very tradition this year, only to find out yesterday that, due to the drought conditions affecting South Georgia, there will be no fireworks display this year. It poured rain last night. In fact, it's rained a good bit this week. The county stated that the fireworks would be moved to later in the year. I told The Hubs that was like telling me "well, I know your birthday is in November but it falls around Thanksgiving, so we're going to move it to February, k?" I understand they're worried about fires starting (for anyone not in the know, Okefenokee Swamp in Waycross, Georgia is still on fire), but just don't bother with the display.

  9. The Hubs and I are trying to decide what to do for 4th of July now. We're thinking we may go to Savannah (if they're having their fireworks display). Or we may just stick closer to home and grill out. But we'll probably go somewhere for the day. Just not yet sure where :D

  10. I'm going to be booking tickets in the next week or so for The Hubs and I to go to Atlanta in late August to see Cirque du Soleil's Dralion! I'm very, very excited about this! In fact, I might possibly have already mentioned this, lol!

That's it for this week! Have a great day!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Update On My Dad

First off, let me say thank you so much for all the thoughts and prayers that have been going up from the online community for our family! It really means so much to us!

I wanted to give you an update on my dad's condition. It does seem like he has had a stroke, but one brought on by hypoxia (shortage of oxygen) rather than due to an embolism (blood clot). It was a relatively mild stroke, however it is exacerbated due to him having COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Saying it is relatively mild does in this instance, however, mean that he is still currently in ICU. We are hoping he can be moved to a room in the next day or so.

He had a Modified Barium Swallow (swallowing) test performed yesterday, which he failed. He was aspirating everything he tried to eat during the test: thin liquids, honey, thickens (pudding, applesauce). They stopped at that point rather than moving on to more solid foods, which would actually strangle him even more. He is still unable to talk, also. What all this means is that he will have a speech therapist working with him for his speech, swallowing and confusion over the next few weeks.

During last night, it seems he had a very bad night, attempting to climb out of his bed and pull his tubes out. The ICU nurses called the doctor on-call overnight and he ordered an injection of the sedative Halodon (a psychotic sedative) which has knocked him out completely today. He is currently completely non-responsive. We can't even get an actual evaluation of how he is today.

Depending on how he is doing when the sedative (which has been ordered to be given NO MORE) wears off, it will determine whether he is staying at the hospital he is in currently (the one I work at) or moving on to one in Savannah.

That's about all we know for now. I'll keep you updated as we know more! Keep those thoughts and prayers coming! We need all we can get!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Need Thoughts/Prayers

I need your thoughts and prayers please! My dad has had to be brought to ER today for a probable stroke. He is being admitted to ICU. Right now we know very little, but I will update you when we know more. We know right now that his oxygen saturation levels when he came into ER were registering at it's highest at 60% (should be at least 94% to 100%). Please, please just keep him in your thoughts/prayers! He is 70 years old and has not been in good health for the last 20 years. I'll update you when I can!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Critical Thinking: When Is Enough Enough?

This is a question I think every infertile faces at some point in time: when is enough enough? When have you truly done all the fertility treatment you can face? When do you decide IF treatment is a waste of your money and what you're really meant to do is parent a child through adoption, so you're moving on? When is it just easier on the heart to move on to living child-free?

These are the questions facing The Hubs and I at the moment. For us, what the question boils down to is this: what counts more towards our limit, the time spent trying or the actual treatment accomplished in that time?

You see, we're unique to a lot of couples who've been TTC for a while because, while we've been trying for 7 1/2 years, we've really only done a minimal amount of treatment. Due to one circumstance or another, the only treatment we've undergone has been four Clomid cycles. Not a real overflux of treatment, I think you'd agree. However, if you look at the time we've spent on TTC, I think you'll find that this is a significantly greater time than a lot of others in our position spend attempting to create a family. I will say not a greater amount of time than everyone - I can, as I type this, think of at least 3 people who've spent at least this long or longer in their own TTC game - but certainly a greater length of time than your average infertile.

What has held us up, you ask? Well, initially it was because we were living in the UK and were planning to move back to the US. We thought it made better sense to wait to seek out help discovering what was wrong until we were settled in the US. And, at the time, it did make more sense. Now, looking back, I wish we'd chosen differently, but you can't change the past, so on we move.

Once we were actually in the US, there always seemed to be something else holding us back from seeking help: my dad's illness, money, The Hubs being out of work. When we finally did seek treatment through my OB/GYN, she wanted us to try Clomid before getting a referral to an RE. We did that. Four clomid cycles, all a bust. Finally we got our RE referral and it looked like we might be getting somewhere, then my body decides it's not happening.

Stop. Go directly to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. No, instead we were lost in the land of treating hyperplasia. And Type II Diabetes. And Hypothyroidism. And Sleep Apnea. And the revelation of a missing right fallopian tube. And any other mundane illness that could creep up to prevent our dreams from coming true. But finally - FINALLY! - we got that all sorted and it looked as though we might actually be on our way towards our goal. But, alas, we were once again stopped and told we would have to wait. This time, I needed to lose weight. 30 lbs minimum.

That brings us to where we are today. I'm working on losing that weight - and I'm doing a pretty good job of it - but I don't know when we'll actually move on to any treatment. Our RE won't even do an HSG to see if the one remaining tube I have is clear until the weight comes off. He says "I can get you pregnant at your current weight (at that time it was 273 lbs, it is now down to 263.6 lbs), but I can't keep you pregnant. And, any pregnancy would be much too difficult for anyone your size."

That's where we're left. 7 1/2 years of hoping and longing and wishing. 7 1/2 years of heartache and disappointment. 7 1/2 years of not knowing what to plan for or when, or even if, we would ever be parents. And still, we're no further than we were before. We haven't even progressed one centimeter from where we were 7 1/2 years ago (or at least that's how it feels).

That brings me back to our question: when is enough enough? Should we keep on moving towards trying an IUI or IVF? Should we give up on trying to reproduce biologically and focus our time, energy and finances on adoption? Should we try to come to terms with living child-free?

Honestly, I'm not so sure our finances would sustain IVF AND adoption. I'm pretty sure we could manage an IUI or two, but, after reading so many of the stories in the IF world, I'm hyper-aware of the fact that IVF does not always work. I want to be a mother. I've never wanted something so bad in my life. Living child-free just does not seem an option for me. The Hubs feels similarly. How we become parents is not really that important, but the fact that we do become parents is hugely important.

I've done without a lot of things in my life that are deemed "rights of passage". I never had a big 16th birthday party - my dad was sick and it wasn't an option for us. My marriage proposal wasn't a big production - The Hubs just kind of asked and I said yes, we just wanted to be together forever without anyone being able to separate us. I never had a bridal shower - we were living in England, only came to the States a week before our wedding and couldn't really take much back with us. Wedding showers aren't a huge deal in England (at least not with The Hubs' family and friends) so we had no shower there either. I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

I don't mean to whine, but I have sacrificed a lot of the time-honoured, traditional experiences in life. Being a mother is not one of those experiences I'm willing to forego. I just won't do it. I will stamp my foot, scream and cry like a petulant child if I have to, but I simply will not accept that I will never be a mother! The maternal instinct is too ingrained in me.

So, what to do? Where does that leave us? Waiting to try an IUI? Moving on to adoption? Praying for one of those "miracles" everyone who has never experienced infertility tells me about?

Or simply continuing to ask myself: when is enough enough?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Flashback Friday - Senior Portrait

As another part of the "Get Lynn Blogging" initiative, I've started another weekly feature on my blog. This one will be called Flashback Friday. Each Friday, I will post a memory from my past. Just a trip down memory lane for me and a glimpse into my past for my readers. I think it will be an enjoyable Friday post. Now, onto the first weekly installment!

It has officially been 14 years since I graduated from high school. I can hardly believe it! It seems like only yesterday I was starting 9th grade! I can remember it just like it was yesterday. My real question is, where did time go?!?! I truly don't remember 14 years passing. I have to wonder if part of it is because I moved off to England. Are those 3 1/2 years lost years?

Whatever the reason, I'm now 14 years post-graduation. I'm not sure how it works for other schools, but at our school, when you reached your senior year of high school, you would have your Senior portraits made. These would be made during the early part of summer before your senior year started. So, for me, it's been 15 years since I had those photos made,

This shouldn't be such a big deal for me, but it is. In fact, the only reason I even thought about Senior portraits is the fact that my eldest niece, Boop, actually went this week to have her Senior portraits made. This is the child who was born when I was a freshman in high school! She's already reached her senior year! She'll technically be an adult in November! I can hardly believe she's basically grown now. It makes me feel old and weepy. She was my only niece for a while and, unlike my nephew, she actually lived here. I can remember taking her trick-or-treating the Halloween before I moved to England - she was Hermione Granger and I was Professor McGonagall.....we made our own robes and they were awesome! Where did that little girl go?

In any case, with Boop having her shining moment to get her Senior portraits taken, it made me think back to mine. Having my Senior portrait taken was certainly memorable. Not the photo itself, but the events leading up to it. My photo was taken with me having had only 4 hours sleep! Why so little rest the day before an important photo shoot you ask? No, I wasn't a party girl at that time (that came a couple of years later, lol), so I hadn't been out tearing up the town. I had been in Washington, D.C. for a week with the Younger Lawyers of Georgia for summer law camp. We arrived back to the Atlanta airport at 8pm the night before my photo shoot! I live about a 4 hour drive from Atlanta, so it was very late when we got home. Then, of course, my parents wanted to know all about the trip.

When I eventually got to bed, it was around 3am and I had to be up at 7am to make it to my 8:30am photo shoot! I feel like I looked bleary eyed in the photo, but everyone has always said they couldn't tell. I'll let you be the judge.

Please be gentle with your comments! I think we must all cringe when we see these old photos of ourselves, lol!

Wanna share your Flashback Friday? Post a link in the comments section to your own Flashback Friday blog post and I'll come by and bask in the memories with you!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Part 2

It's Thankful Thursday again! Be sure to join in and tell me what you're thankful for!

Today I'd like to talk about my wonderful hubby. I am so thankful he came into my life almost 11 years ago. Many of you know the story of how we met, but for those who don't, you can find that here. Monday of this week made 10 years since The Hubs first made his grand debut in the US and since our first "real life" meeting. We've been an "official" couple for 10 years now. Wow, how time flies!

The Hubs has been my rock for a decade. He has been the reason I keep going a lot of times when I'd rather just give up. He makes me smile when I'm sad. He makes me feel joyful oftentimes when the world looks bleak. He's my biggest reason for staying sane! He's the part of me that holds hope and the part of me that knows, no matter how awful things may seem at times, nothing can be completely without hope or completely unsalvageable as long as we have each other.

He makes me happier than anyone else and he pisses me off more than anyone ever could =D We are a couple who loves passionately and fights passionately. I've always told him that, whatever problems we may be going through, I wanted to keep the passion in our relationship and we do! He is my best friend and the only person I tell all my secrets to. He knows me better than anyone else and loves me in spite of and because of my faults. I couldn't have a better partner for this journey called life.

We've had tough times over the last decade, but we've come through. Not unscathed and not unscarred, but still in one solid - if slightly banged up - piece. No, life is not always moonlight and roses, but it's also not always doom and gloom. The Hubs has the ability to make me laugh even when it looks like we may be facing the end. I don't know what demons and catastrophes may lie in our future, but whatever they may be, we'll face them together. I am so thankful I have such an awesome friend, lover and partner to hold my hand through the battle of life.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

200th Post - Blessings By Design

Okay, so I know you've been wondering when I was going to get around to posting this. Sorry it's taken me so long, but I've been working hard at getting everything together for it!

This is my 200th post (if the post title didn't clue you in!) and I would again like to say thank you to my wonderful friends! You have helped me reach my goal and, in fact, surpass it! I now have 102 followers! It makes me feel warm and fuzzy to know there are that many of you interested in what I have to say =D

In my last post, I promised you something special for my 200th post and The Hubs and I have been busily working on a special project. I'm now pleased to reveal it:

Blessings By Design

What is Blessings By Design, you ask? Well, I was inspired by Mel's Make a Wish, Take a Wish post over at Stirrup Queens. I thought it was a fantastic idea and it got me thinking how awesome it would be if something like this were widely available (I know even now as I type this that someone is going to post and tell me something like this already exists and I'm okay with that. I'm a firm believer that you can never have too much of a good thing!), sooooooo...........The Hubs and I started something!

Blessings By Design is a website where you can post an ad for what you're wishing for, whether it be something you need but can't really afford that someone else might have and no longer need or a book you've wanted or thoughts/prayers or even help making the mortgage payment that month (this one would obviously require more than one person to fulfill the wish). A sort of "online philanthropy" or pay-it-forward kind of thing.

It may be a huge success or it may fail entirely. Either way, it's something we felt led to start, so there you go!

I hope you'll all stop by and check it out. Blog about it. Tell all your friends about it. Post your own wish. Anything to help get the word out about it! Thanks so much for all the support you give me!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Part 1

Wow! Thanks to Mel's Make a Wish, Take a Wish post yesterday, I have now met my goal (for the present) and have 102 followers! This is fantastic!

As I close in on my 200th post (more about that in a moment), I've decided that my blog has in recent times become a bit too whiny and depressive. Not always. I do occassionally speak on positive things (my weight loss, etc.) but I feel I sometimes focus on the things that are not going the way I want them to, rather than being thankful for the things that are going splendidly. Therefore, I've decided to start a new regular Thursday post for me (you are more than welcome to join in and, if it's been done before, I apologize to whomever's idea I'm stealing!) called "Thankful Thursday". I plan to remember - at least once per week - what I'm thankful for.

This week, I'm thankful for wonderful people who spend some of their limited online time reading my blog and following me. Truly, you are the people who keep me blogging! Without your comments, advice, support and sympathy, I don't know how I'd get through this mess we call infertility (or life, for that matter!). For the last 9 years, blogging has been a huge part of my life. My first blog kept me going during the time I was in England, my second blog saw me through the transition of returning to the US as a married woman and this, my third blog, has been my outlet for all the frustration I'm feeling through our IF battle. You, my dear readers, have been the peanut butter keeping this sandwich together! So, once again, thank you very much for your friendship, your support and your love!

The Hubs and I are working on a very special project to coincide with my 200th post. I'm hoping to be able to unveil it for you this weekend, so stay tuned! I'll now leave you with bated breath until my next installment this weekend....

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

10 on Tuesday

It's time for the 10 on Tuesday! I really can't believe I haven't blogged in a whole week! I've several times thought of things I wanted to say and then decided they just weren't important enough. I guess I'll have to just start posting them anyway, lol!

  1. As I mentioned in last week's 10 on Tuesday, I got my hair cut since we last met. I like it. It's a lot shorter than it was, but not so short it doesn't look like me. It's much cooler now that we've hit the summer months!

  2. Also mentioned in last week's post, I got my glasses! I also like them a lot and am pleased with how they look on me, particularly with my new haircut. The best thing about them? For the first time ever with glasses, I can tell a difference in my bad eye (the left one) with the glasses on and with the glasses off! Huge accomplishment I feel!

    New glasses and new haircut. Whatcha think?

  3. About 2 years ago, I bought the 40 Day Love Dare book. The Hubs and I started the challenge a couple of days after the purchase and, true to form for me, we lasted about 2 weeks and then stopped. Last year, we decided to give it another go. Again we started but failed. We've been talking about it over the last few days and we think we're ready to give it another try and really stick to it this time. I hope we can manage it! I'd really like to complete it and I feel confident we may be able to. After all, we both finished the A to Z Blogging Challenge in April and, so far at least, I'm sticking to my eating right and exercising. Fingers crossed third time will be the charm for us to finish it! Who knows? Maybe the Lord is simply waiting for us to complete this small task He has set for us before rewarding us with the child we've waited on so long.

  4. Speaking of divine influence, I experienced something unusual for me last week. In fact, the only other time I've experienced it led to me finding The Hubs. What was it you ask? Well, I experienced a feeling of really needing (I mean overwhelming need) to speak to someone. The someone in question is a lady who works for the OB/GYN associated with our hospital helping mothers who want to place their children for adoption find appropriate homes for them. That's not all she does - she also gives parenting classes, advises new mothers of any help they may be entitled to, provides "Welcome Home" bags for departing new families - but that's the bit that concerned me when I saw her last week. I've spoken with her in the past about The Hubs and I possibly being interested in adopting, but it's never been a definite thing. When I saw her, I told her that I thought we were ready and that I would like her to keep us in mind should anyone come in who was looking to place their child for adoption. I explained we would love for the birthmother to consider us.

    I'm not really sure where that leaves us because things haven't really changed as far as where we're currently living (next door to my parents). Nor do we have a current homestudy in place. However, I feel like things are on the verge of changing and I feel, when the time is right, everything will work out perfectly. I guess it's called having faith, huh?

  5. In the meantime, I'm beginning to make plans for that big birthday bash I'm planning in Savannah for November. Yes, I know it's five months away, but I don't really care. I'm looking forward to it and it makes me happy to plan!

    I've decided that, even though the evening will consist of roaming round the bars and clubs in Savannah, I want to have a theme. So far, I have 3 themes I'm considering. I'd like your opion on which you like best.

    Theme 1 - "Things To Do In Savannah When You're Not Dead Yet" - A play on the movie title "Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead", my thoughts are that all the party-goers could dress like either gangsters or flappers. It would be a very fun evening and all the men would look dapper and dashing while the women looked flirty and fabulous!

    Theme 2 - "Lynndi Gras" - Obviously, a play on Mardi Gras. The dress would be purple, gold and green. Glitzy and glamorous. Party-goers would be provided with beads which they could keep for themselves or pass out to the other people out celebrating the evening.

    Theme 3 - "Lynnapalooza" - Not really sure where this idea came from apart from everything with the ending sound "apalooza" just seems to be chock full of fun. Party-goers would simply dress in something sparkly and fantastic! Not sure what else I might be able to do with this one, but still thinking.

    Any ideas, suggestions, thoughts....whatever are very welcome. Even new themes! I've still got plenty of time to plan. I want this to be a fabulous night!

  6. I had another weigh-in this past Friday. I had lost another 1.4 lbs, for a grand total so far of 4.4 lbs! I'm very excited and hoping this Friday's weigh-in will take me to at least 5 lbs down or more. Fingers crossed!

  7. It is only 38 days until the final Harry Potter movie releases!!!!! I could simply squeal! I am ridiculously excited about it. I just can't wait. Anyone else feeling the impatience waiting for it?

  8. I have now entered the final year of my degree course. In less than a year, I will have completed all the classes needed for my Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences with an education concentration. One of my assignments recently was to declare the grade level and subject area I hoped to teach. After much agonizing and debating (3 years' worth, in fact), I finally settled on Secondary education (9th through 12th grade) and History. Here's hoping I don't live to regret that decision, lol!

  9. In keeping with discussing my degree, I checked my transcript earlier today to get an idea of how I'm doing. I wanted to see what my current GPA was. I was ecstatic to see that my GPA is currently a 3.9 (out of 4). Woot! Woot! Very, extremely proud of that accomplishment!

  10. Finally, I am currently only 2 posts away from reaching 200 posts. I am also currently only 4 followers away from reaching 100 followers. I would really, really like to celebrate that 200th post by reaching 100 followers. It would simply make my day! So, if you read but aren't yet a follower (blatent begging to follow), please, please decide to follow and help me reach my goal!

Well, that's it for me tonight! Hope you're all doing great! Hugs to you!