Friday, March 30, 2012

Frivol Freitag oder Frivolous Friday: Doctor Who

Nerd Alert

I love Doctor Who. I am not really a sci-fi fan, but Doctor Who is the exception.
Yeah, I have to say, I agree with this.
Photo credit:

If you do not know what Doctor Who is, you are not alone. It is a BBC show about a Time Lord (alien) that travels in time and space and always has a human companion with him on his adventures. The thing about it that makes it unique is that it started 49 years ago. It's come and gone over the last five decades, but it seems to be going strong right now.

My favorite Doctor is David Tennant. He wasn't the first that I saw, but he quickly grew on me and now I'm a total fan. Not as bad as some, I'm sure, but probably not totally balanced. DT left the show a couple of years ago and Matt Smith took over. I don't like him quite as much, but he's pretty good.

All of this to say that I was able to buy a really cool Doctor Who coffee mug from a couple of days ago. It had been out of stock for about three weeks and was finally in. Nerd-gasm! I am waiting with bated breath for it to come in. It's a little smaller than the mugs I have right now, so it will also help me cut back on caffeine. Total win!

This awesome mug will soon be mine! Bwahahaha!
Available at
Anyway, if you like sci-fi or British shows, check out Doctor Who! It's a fun way to spend an hour. Or more.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Rant alert.

There's something that some fertiles do that drives me crazy. They find out they are pregnant, and then they tell you and others around, but they say it's early and it's a secret.

Keeping it secret, I understand. Telling everyone, I understand. Telling a few select people, I understand. But, why say, "I'm pregnant, but it's kind of a secret," to someone you barely know? I do not understand this. If you are telling any person that you happen to know that you are pregnant, it's not a secret! Do people understand the meaning of that word anymore?

Fricking fertiles.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Diese Woche schleppt oder this week is dragging!

Or your Monday realizing it's only Wednesday
A week is a long time to wait until the next beta.

I have continued to POAS every morning. This morning, the line was slightly lighter than yesterday's line, which was the darkest I've had so far from the cheapies. I went to the commissary yesterday and bought 6 dollar tests and did one of those too this morning. That one has a decent line, so that makes me feel a little better. I ordered more cheapies last week before the news and am waiting for those so that I can do more obsessive testing more cheaply.

Other than that, I'm a little nervous at my lack of symptoms. I know it's very early, but the only thing I've really got going on is sore boobs. I've had a tiny bit of nausea and have been grazing a lot to try and help that. Oh, and I'm pretty sure I've got the start of a yeast infection, which means that my hormones are out of whack and I'm eating yogurt. (I used to get a yeast infection every other month on Clomid.) Other than that, nothing's going on.

I've been having bad dreams about my temps dropping (I'm still temping), but they are still mostly up, although not climbing.

DH is gone for the week. I wish he were here to reassure me. We don't normally talk very much when he's gone, but I may call him tonight to see how he's doing.

I'm keeping busy sewing and helping out at the library, alternately thinking about what's going on and trying not to think about it at all. I'm terrified of losing this pregnancy. I'm not even thinking of myself as pregnant. I just can't yet. Until I hear a heartbeat I'm trying to protect myself. Even then, I'm not sure that it will feel real.

The one concession I've made to the news is to wear my cute, more expensive than the usual jeans more often. They are fairly tight and it's possible that I won't be able to wear them in a little while, so I'm trying to get my money's worth out of them.

Only 5 more days until my next beta, and it cannot come soon enough!

CD 31, 19 dp trigger

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sehr frühe Schwangerschaft

This is a difficult post to write. I've been avoiding it since last week. I just got off the phone with my mom.

You may have noticed that I've been a little vague the last few days. That was partly because it was the weekend and I was busy, and partly because I haven't known how to share this news with you. I've read this on other blogs and it has made my heart sink and my guts wrench.

I got a BFP.

I thought that I was seeing lines on the cheapies, so I went and got a box of three FRER tests. I tested on Friday again, like I had been testing all week. I saw the line on the cheapie, but DH didn't see it. So, before he left, I went up to my saved FMU (gross, I know) and dipped in the FRER. After a few minutes, there was a faint line. I showed it to DH and he saw the line too.

I tested again on Saturday with a FRER and got a darker line. Of course, DH and I have been very excited while simultaneously terrified of anything going wrong. I've been testing with cheapies the last couple of days and am still seeing faint lines, although they are getting a little darker. Today I went in for the blood test, and it was positive. Beta is 113. I go in next week for another blood test and an ultrasound to see if there is a heart beat.

I started this blog because I was tired of seeing other people's TTC journey's come to an end. I would follow along with them, and then, when they got that BFP, I would stop reading or just to the blog version of the lurk. I decided that I needed a way to tell my story, even if it was to the ethernet and no one else.

Now, here I am with the thing that I have been working for, hoping and praying for and I feel a little bad about starting this blog. It will probably change in tone if those lines keep showing up. I am excited, but terrified at the same time. Not of being a mother, but of finally getting my BFP and not getting a baby at the end of it. This blog is one of the first in line for getting the news, after DH, my mom, and a couple of good friends. I don't intend on telling anyone else before hearing a heartbeat, and maybe not even then. I may wait a while longer just to be sure this thing isn't going anywhere.

If you have been reading and decide to stop, I completely understand. I've enjoyed having this one-sided conversation and will go on with it for as long as it feels like a good thing to do. If you decide to stick with me, great! I hope to hear more from you as the time goes on.

So, that's my news. On a personal front, I am ecstatic, but any readers have been on my mind because I know how it feels for me to here someone else's good news. I hope to be sensitive and I hope you'll be understanding.

Thank you.

CD 29, 17 dp trigger. BFP, beta 113.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sommerzeit oder daylight saving time

Today is the time change here in Europe. We are behind the States for the changeover. I'm not sure why, but that's the way it is.

This weekend has been pretty nice so far. I went to a quilting class yesterday and then came home and went for a run. It was a good way to spend a Saturday.

The blood test is tomorrow and I'm looking forward to the results with bated breath. DH leaves tomorrow for a conference and will be back Friday. I'm bummed that he won't be around for the results of the blood test, but that's the way it goes. It will be nice to have the week to myself.

I'll post once I get those results. Hopefully it will be tomorrow, but I've never done this before so I don't know how long their lab will take.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Frivol Freitag oder frivolous Friday: vacuuming

I have to vacuum soon. I don't like to vacuum, especially here.

I have a really nice vacuum. It's one of those Dyson, sucks up anything in sight, please God keep it away from your eyeballs or one might get sucked in, vacuums. It sucks up crap like nobody's business and has a self propeller function and it doesn't even have icky bags to change, just a plastic cylinder that all the dirt goes into and then I dump out once the suction will only get hairballs from 6 inches away instead of a full yard. It's a really good vacuum.

Plug adapters
The problem is that, as Americans who occasionally live in America, most of our appliances are 110 volt. In Europe, the voltage is 220. There are some things that you can just put a plug adapter onto, like lamps and electronics, if they are dual voltage, but everything else that has 110 voltage, you have to run through a transformer in order for it to actually work and not explode in a shower of sparks. My husband learned this lesson last time we were here after he ruined an alarm clock and the coffee pot. The clocks won't keep time anyway because of some other electrical mismatch between America and Europe, so they are kind of useless.

Transformers are not cool robots from another planet that look like cars. They are actually boxes that you plug into the wall and then plug your American appliances into. The small ones aren't too terrible to use. The big ones are super-duper heavy and a pain to lug around. They are also really expensive. Typically a 300W transformer is about fifty bucks, while a 2000W is more like $200 if you buy it new. I, however, am a thrifty gal, so I bought mine from the thrift shop on post. The only problem with this is that the sockets in the transformer are really loose, so I have to wiggle the plug in the transformer's socket until the appliance comes on. Then, I have to be very careful to not jostle anything while I go about using my appliance. Sometimes this works, but more often, I have to go wiggle the plug several times while using the appliance on the transformer. This kind of made me feel sorry for DH the other day, as I think he sometimes faces a similar challenge with me.

A Guide to Vacuuming in the Sinking Household

  • Get the vacuum from upstairs, then get the transformer from downstairs and bring them both to the main level. 
  • Plug the transformer into the wall, and then the vacuum into the transformer. (You can see some interesting pyrotechnics if you plug the appliance into the transformer first, and then the transformer into the wall, but then you have another set of complications on your hands.) 
  • Commence wiggling, making sure the vacuum is turned to the on position. Wiggle. Wiggle. Varooo...dead.
  • Sigh. 
  • Wiggle, wiggle. Varooooooooooo. Success! 
  • Try not to bump anything and commence with the vacuuming. 
  • Do not turn on the self propulsion because you are vacuuming expensive area rugs instead of boring old carpets. 
  • Slowly drag the vacuum over the rug. 
  • And back. Back and forth. 
  • When the vacuum dies, go back to wiggling the plug. 
  • Congratulations, you got two whole feet of the carpet clean and it's only been half an hour! 
  • Take a break to check facebook. 
  • Repeat for eternity or....
  • Give up and continue the process of slowly destroying the rug by using the beater brushes/self propulsion. 
  • The fringes of the carpet get stuck in the vacuum. Dammit! Jiggle the cord to stop the vacuum. 
  • Curse the whole process, leave everything out in the living room to mock you while you have a cookie. 

photo credit:

Now you have a step by step guide. Anyone who wants to come and vacuum will get a free cookie.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3

Another couple of test today, just because it's so much fun to pee into a cup. Still negative.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I'm driving myself crazy aka Ich mache mich verrückt

Ah, the two week wait. The time that I go from being a rational (ha!) person to someone who pees in cups and then saves that pee for a couple of hours just in case I decide to test again.

I tested on Friday morning before DH and I left for vacation. The night before I had had some weird twingy pains in my left side; it felt like near my fallopian tube. I figured it was from sitting too long because I had been in the car a lot that day. Since we were going on vacation and I expected to be drinking, I tested just in case. It was super early. I got a positive that even DH saw. I decided though, that it was still leftovers from the trigger the week before. I took a couple tests with us.

Is that a line? Nope, just a cat hair.
I tested Saturday morning and got another, fainter positive. I didn't test Sunday or Monday. I tested yesterday and, while I saw a line, DH didn't see anything. I am notorious for seeing lines where there aren't any. I tested again today. The first test was hard to read because it had been banged around in my backpack while traveling, so I decided that was inconclusive. The second test (taken from my FMU after DH went to work) I thought I might have seen a line, but like I said, I am good at imaginary lines. I think this overactive imagination comes from being an only child.

Then I broke out the big guns. I took a Clear Blue Digital. I bought these yesterday when I was picking up cat food. I've never used one before, but they are all kind of the same. I kept telling myself it would be a BFN. It was. Shocker.

Not my tests, though I may be this crazy.
I decided to order some more cheapies off of Amazon. I only ordered 25, because I shouldn't need that many and I didn't order any ovulation tests because I'm hoping that I won't need those again. I like to torture myself by looking at other people's positive tests, so I was looking through the pictures of these tests on Amazon. I showed DH this picture from Amazon to show him that I am not alone in my craziness. The "approximately" in the time past o made me laugh. If it were 7days 9hrs, maybe that would be the difference. But, I save my pee for hours and hustle my husband out of the house so I can do another test, so am I really any more sane?

So, today it'll be another day of trying not to think about my uterus. I'm going to work in my sewing room. I should go running, but I just really don't feel like it, so I'm not going to unless I feel like it later.

Tomorrow I'll be back at the library morning and evening to help out. Friday night is the ball (ugh, balls) that DH is dragging me to. Saturday I have a class in a town about an hour away. Hopefully today will be the day that I have to most chance to be crazy and subsequent days I will be too busy. I'll try not to go cross eyed looking at my latest test.

CD 23, 12dp trigger

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Aus dem Urlaub zurück oder back from vacation

It's kind of a long post today because I have a few days to catch up on where I was actually doing something and there are more pictures than usual.


DH and I got back from vacation yesterday. It was a short trip, but it was just what both of us needed. We went to Palma de Mallorca, Spain. There's an airline here in Europe called Ryanair. They are cheap and no frills; I mean none. A few years ago Ryanair floated an idea to have passengers pay for toilets. Definitely no frills, but they are still cheap and the flights aren't too long.

We got there Friday early evening and took a taxi to our hotel and got a first look at the sights. Everything looked great. The hotel that we stayed at promised free bicycle loans, but it turned out that all (four) of their bicycles were out for repair. Bummer.
Ice cream disguised as coffee. I like it!

Saturday, we got up at our normal time, about seven a.m. We got a slow start and found a coffee place at about 8:45. They weren't open until 9. I had forgotten the way places in Spain get to a late start in the mornings. We came back in a few minutes and had coffee. I had an "iced mocha", which was pretty much chocolate ice cream in a coffee cup. Yum!

Palma Cathedral
We walked around a bit more, and went to the cathedral in town. It was really beautiful, with a different style of stained glass than I've seen in other cathedrals. After that was lunch, and then a siesta. Since DH and I are getting old, it's nice to take a break and rest for a while in the afternoon.

St. Pat's Day Guinness
After the siesta, we headed back out to dinner. Since it was St. Patty's Day, DH wanted to have a Guinness. He had had one earlier in the day, but it was St. Patty's, so we headed over to one of the Irish pubs that we found in the city. It's amazing how there is nearly no city that you can go to that doesn't have an Irish pub. DH got his Guinness and then we decided to have dinner at the pub. Unfortunately, there was no where to sit at the bar and all of the tables were reserved, so we had to change plans and had Chinese for dinner instead. After dinner there was a second stop at the pub for another Guinness, and back to the hotel.

The next morning, since the hotel's bicycles weren't available, we decided to find a place to rent some. After picking up the bicycles, we started to make our way up to Bellver Castle.  We took a couple of wrong turns and ended up at the Nuevo Pueblo Espanol instead. It was really cool and totally worth the diversion. There was practically no one else there and it was really fun to wander around all the different buildings. It actually reminded me a lot of the Tomb Raider video game. 

Walking down the empty streets of
Nuevo Pueblo Espanol.
After wandering to our hearts' content, we made our way to the castle. It was uphill quite a ways, but the bicycle had low gears and I wasn't too sweaty at the top. The castle was free, for some reason, and it was another fun place to wander. Next we headed out on our bikes and rode east for a while. It was beautiful, riding next to the ocean, with the sea breeze and sunshine. We rode out for about an hour, plus a couple of stops, then turned around and made it back to Palma in forty-five minutes. We took the bikes back, and then it was siesta time. We had dinner at the Irish pub that night. I had a Cobb salad with chicken. Pretty tasty.
We saw kite surfers while we were riding our bikes
Bellver Castle

Monday morning we woke up kind of slowly and then checked our flight information. The flight was about two hours earlier than I had thought. Whoops! We packed up our stuff quickly and had the front desk at the hotel call a taxi. Within half an hour, we were at the airport. Security was the quickest I have ever gone through it, which was nice. Then it was the normal waiting for the flight and then flying home. 

Ah, the sun and the sea. I'll get back there again, someday.
It was a quick trip, but it was very restorative. Both DH and I were surprised at how needed this vacation was. We reconnected and spent some quality time together. We saw some beautiful new sights. It has made the last few days of this 2WW much more bearable. I see more vacations in the future.

CD 23, 10 dp trigger

Monday, March 19, 2012

The journey to now, part one, oder Reise zum Teil jetzt zwei

If you didn't read the first part, you can find it here.

It was so frustrating....

On 11 May, we flew with our suitcases and our cats and, at least for me, without enthusiasm or patience. I didn't want to be back in Germany. I wanted to be close to home, to Mom and Dad, because I expected to be getting pregnant soon and wanted to be close enough for my parents to get to be grandparents.

We landed on 12 May. It was beautiful weather, and in some ways I relaxed a little bit. Our house in Colorado still hadn't sold, and we would have to establish ourselves in this new community, but at least we were here and could begin the process. On the way from the airport to the new base, I could hear Shadow yowling from the luggage compartment under the bus. Poor thing.

Imagine this, but smaller with less chairs.
When you get to a new place with the military, they put you in a hotel until you can find housing. In our room, there was a bed, a desk, a dresser, and one chair. It was DH and I and the two cats in that room for a month. The cats don't get along that well, so we ended up putting the luggage rack in one corner with a suitcase on top so that Shadow could sleep on there and Moo could sleep on the bed with us.

We went about getting settled. When you move overseas, there are a lot of things to do to establish normal life in your new location. There are driver's licenses, some basic language classes, finding a home, getting put into the medical system at the new MTF. Lots to do. We moved into our house (the only one that we had been able to look at) in the middle of June. At the end of June, I finally got in to see the OB/GYN on post. This was the next step in the referral process.

This doctor seemed nice enough, but he was dismissive of what I had been doing to try to help things along. We hadn't been trying quite a year at that point, so he seemed hesitant to work with us, but since I had been diagnosed with PCOS he deigned to give us his expertise. I'll call him Dr. Insensitive.

Dr. Insensitive told me to stop charting, that that didn't do anything anyway. He didn't seem to like that I was on Metformin, but refilled the prescription since I had already been taking it for six months. He prescribed Clomid at 50 mg, told me to get a blood test on CD 21, and we would go from there. He was very sure that I would be able to get pregnant, no problem.
Clomid, the crazy maker

I didn't stop charting, mostly because it's one of the very few things that makes me feel like I have some control over this process. Round one of Clomid was determined to be non-ovulatory by blood test. I was given another round at 50 mg. Same result. The next round was 100 mg, and that was determined to be a proper dosage, due to the bloodwork. That was August. I did another 100 mg cycle in September during which I know that I ovulated late, but Dr. Insensitive had stopped ordering blood tests since one came back positive at 100 mg.

Early September of 2011, my mom had had surgery on her stomach to repair some lingering problems from childhood. The surgery didn't go well and she had another one three weeks later. After I heard about the second surgery being scheduled, I went ahead and got a ticket back home. I left in early October and returned in early November. Those cycles I did not take Clomid; October, because DH stayed in Germany and November because I didn't have access to the medication early enough in my cycle.

In December, I called Dr. Insensitive's office. I hadn't seen him since June and I wanted to have a change in prescription or blood work done to verify ovulation (or lack thereof) or something to move this process along. The receptionist went ahead and scheduled an appointment with the doctor for the week after Christmas. At this point, I felt so discouraged and broken down. We had passed the year mark and the officially infertile status rang loudly in my head.

At our appointment, Dr. Insensitive was, well, insensitive. I told him that the Clomid wasn't working, that I wasn't ovulating. He said that the blood work proved otherwise. I tried to show him my charts and he told me that those were useless and that I really shouldn't bother with them. He asked if I wanted to keep going on Clomid. I said no, but I wouldn't mind trying Femara. He harrumphed at that, and told me to go get an HSG done, and after that, he would put in the referral. His parting words were, "Maybe you won't even need the referral. You could be pregnant by then." His false confidence made me break down. I needed some real hope, not placating words.

DH and I went over to the lab. They used to do HSGs, but didn't any longer because the community that we are in is in the process of shutting down. I had to go to Landstuhl, the big military hospital over here, to get the HSG done. I called them and they said that I should call on CD 1 of my next cycle to schedule the HSG. I was on CD 3, but it couldn't be scheduled for that cycle due to New Year's being in just a couple of days. I had to wait out another cycle.

February came around, and with it, the chance to do the HSG. I called the lab and scheduled the test. I had to get a blood test done for pregnancy beforehand, which is kind of crappy. Dr. Insensitive had put the order in wrong, but the people at Landstuhl were able to work it out. (I got a call the next week, asking if I was going to be in the next day for my HSG. Dr. Insensitive was apparently having some major problems with getting the orders in correctly.)

The HSG was painful. I wouldn't call it excruciating, but I would rather not to have to do it again. I had been researching HSGs as soon as I heard about them, so I pretty much knew what was going to happen. There were four people in the room, six including DH and I. I have gotten to the point that I really don't care who is doing or seeing things, if it's going to help get me pregnant. One tube had some adhesions, but the radiology doc managed to get it to open up and the dye spilled through on both sides. I was uncomfortable for about half an hour afterwards and took it easy for the rest of the day, but was fully recovered very shortly.

After the HSG was done, I called and got the ball rolling on getting the referral the rest of the way through. At the end of February, I finally had my referral in hand. I saw Herr Doktor for the first time on February 27th, 2012.

It's been a long road getting here. I've learned that I need to be my own advocate, that no one else is going to push things as much as I will. I've learned that research can be my best friend. Knowing what the next step typically is is very helpful for me. I can anticipate what is coming next and ask about the next step if the doctor doesn't mention it. I've learned that you have to know the system to be able to use it. Checking and double checking is okay.

Through all of this, I have tried to hold on to hope. Hope is the most elusive, slippery, crazy thing that I've found on this journey. The ups and downs of each cycle and the hope that keeps me going despite so much heartbreak. I hope to get pregnant. I hope to have a healthy baby. I hope to be a mother.

CD 22, 9 dp trigger

Friday, March 16, 2012

Schönes Wochenende or have a nice weekend!

Normally the Army has something called "family time". It is supposed to be one day a week when soldiers get off of work a couple of hours early and they are supposed to go home and spend time with their families. I don't know how well this has worked for other people, but DH has never been in a job where he gets any family time. He always ends up working until the normal end of work day or later.

Now, whatever general is in charge of DH's work has decided on a different policy. This general has done away with family time in favor of giving everyone a four day weekend once a month. I think this is a much better way to do it.

So, tomorrow DH and I are headed out for the weekend. We'll be back on Monday. I'll post again when I get back.

Schönes Wochenende everyone!

CD 19, 6 dp trigger

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dankbar Donnerstag: Aus Heizöl!

Aren't they pretty?
Spring has slowly been approaching us here in Germany. Crocuses are blooming and the tulip leaves are up. There are a couple of trees in our yard that are just starting to flower. So, I've been turning the heat down bit by bit in the house. I like it cold. DH likes it warmer. (I blame it on his skinniness.)

It was fairly cool this morning, enough so that it work both DH and I up this morning. I got up at five, and he followed about forty-five minutes later. DH was complaining about being cold and said he was going to turn up the heat. Fine.

He turned up the heat and then tried to take a shower. The water never got warm. So, we went down to check the furnace.

German homes are heated a variety of ways. Some places have natural gas, like a lot of places in the States. Some places have electric heat. Our place, like some others, uses heating oil. It's great when you have it, but once you are out, you're out. This morning, turning the radiators up didn't work because we were out of oil. I measured the oil a few weeks back (our gauge is broken), and we still had some, but apparently with the cold spell last month, we went through the remaining faster than expected.

It was chilly this morning!
We haven't filled the oil yet, so we didn't know where to go to get more. We knew there was somewhere close, but weren't sure where. The only place we could find a website for in our town didn't have a local number listed. So, we finally drove over there. They were able to schedule delivery for between ten and eleven. We had to pay in cash, but thankfully we had that much in our bank account and it was just a matter of calling our bank and extended the ATM withdrawal limit for the day.

I left (I had a once a month meeting that I really wanted to go to.) and DH stayed home to wait. When I got back here at about two this afternoon, he was still here. The "between ten and eleven" delivery showed up at one thirty. It's annoying, but that happens all the time in the States too.

So, today what I am thankful for is that my husband and I can work together to solve problems that come up. I am also thankful that DH is understanding that I want to have a life and is willing to miss work to fill in when I can't. Along those lines, I'm thankful that his job right now is flexible enough for him to do this. And I'm thankful that we can call our bank and they will work with us right away.

CD 18, 5 dp trigger

I put a link in for our bank, because they have been great to us. USAA is a bank that is for military members and their families. If a relative of yours has served in the military, or if you have served, it's worth taking a look at what they have to offer. They have always been great at working with us. I highly recommend them.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mein Fehler oder my mistake

I've been back in Germany since last May and have been trying to make friends. It's hard though, with all of the fertility stuff and not sharing that with people. It's a big part of my life right now and it's difficult to open up enough to someone to start a friendly relationship while keeping a huge part of my life under wraps.

I've been trying to schedule stuff to do during this 2WW. Tomorrow I am going to a quilt guild meeting. I invited someone that I barely know, but am friendly with, to come with me. We have to leave at around 8 am to get there in time because it's a bit of a long drive. She and I were chatting back and forth last night about it, but neither of us mentioned exactly when this would happen. This morning I got a message from her saying that taking a shower had exhausted her. I thought this was weird and didn't respond. About an hour later, I went back to fb and saw that she had thought today was the day of the meeting. I thought that was weird, so went back and looked at our conversation. Sure enough, I had put that the meeting was Wednesday instead of Thursday. I feel terrible! I contacted her as soon as I noticed and apologized. We'll see if she decides to come tomorrow or not. I hope I haven't blown it.

Yes, yes it is.
It's so easy to get so caught up in what is going on with me that the rest of the world takes a back seat. I'm so concentrated on injections and timing and how exactly to take progesterone and being angry at my thermometer that I forget that there are seven billion other people on the planet that have concerns and struggles and feelings that have nothing to do with my fertility. I'm going try to take this incident as a reminder and be more aware of and sensitive to others.

Or at least, make sure I have my own shit together.

CD 17, 4 dp trigger

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Leben einer Hausfrau oder life of a housewife

I am making this exact face
right now.
Yesterday, I started losing my mind a bit. I called and scheduled a pregnancy test with the doctor for the 26th. It was that or the 23rd, and I have a ball (ugh, balls) that my husband is dragging me to that night. And the next day, I have a class an hour away. So, I thought that the next Monday would be better since they do their testing at 7 a.m. Of course, as soon as I hung up the phone, I started second guessing myself. I was thinking myself down all of these alleyways and back roads of my mind that didn't even need to be considered. So, I went and did something productive.

I don't know if you can tell, but I don't work. Well, you know, it's that old saw that I work, but I don't get paid for it. Whatever. I don't work. I volunteer a few hours a week at the library and I try to keep my house reasonably clean and I cook dinner. The library has been good because I kept thinking about getting a job, but didn't want to because I was worried I would get pregnant right away and then want to quit. Plus, after a couple of hours there, I really have "worked" enough.  A friend of mine keeps bugging me about going to school and getting my bachelor's, but I haven't wanted to start that because of the possibility of pregnancy on the horizon and also because it costs a fair amount of money and I don't see using a degree. Because I don't work.

Imagine this, but without makeup.
Not a pretty picture.
I have worked in the past. Not very much though, I'll be honest. I worked when we first got married for a while. I can't remember how long. Maybe six months? It was as a hostess at a pie restaurant. The pay and the hours were crap, but I got a discount on pie. (Come to think of it, maybe that's part of the reason I started packing on the pounds after getting married.) After a couple of moves, I got fed up with being home and got a job in August of 2005 and kept it until the next April. That one was as a cafeteria lady. I got to wear a hairnet and everything. The height of glamour. Eventually, I quit because DH was deploying and I wanted to travel with him before he left. Then I had a job filling in as church secretary for a month. The only thing that did was manage to royally screw up our taxes, the consequences of which I was still dealing with five years later.

After another couple of moves, I was in eastern Washington. I got a job while I was there, at a quilt shop, for all of fifteen months. I loved that job and would have stayed forever if I could have, but in September of 2008, DH came back from his latest deployment and we went to Colorado. While in Colorado I had an unsuccessful business out of the house. Just when I had started building a decent client base, we got the orders that we were coming back to Germany.

I am a little jealous of women that have jobs. I see DH's coworkers and they seem so successful and happy with what they do. I read blogs of women that are working and it seems glamorous somehow. As though they are living in a fast-paced world where they are up against challenges daily and always overcome. They are important and needed. It makes my life seem small.

This is what I look like most days.
 Especially the high heels and apron.
On the other hand, I like to be able to travel whenever I want. I don't enjoy being overly busy. I like cooking dinner and being able to spend the day going for a run in the middle of the afternoon or sewing for a couple of hours or reading. I feel like I have a small life, but for the most part, it's a good life. And at some point, I will add mothering to my hausfrau duties. This is a cliché, but I believe that raising children is the most important work that a person can do. 

Plus, I still don't have to change out of my pj's. 

CD 16, 3 dp trigger

Monday, March 12, 2012

The two week wait begins, oder die zwei Wochen Wartezeit beginnt

Another two week wait. This one is the first one where I have been jabbing myself for the whole cycle, so maybe I'll have a better chance this time. This is what I always tell myself. The maybe I have a chance part, not the jabbing myself part, just in case you think that I am a regular injectable drug user.

The weekend went well. DH and I had dinner on Saturday, our actual anniversary. On the way to dinner, we saw an honest to goodness blimp. Not a balloon that looked like a blimp; a real blimp with someone flying it and everything. It wasn't even Goodyear. I've never seen that before. It was cool. Sunday we went to the sauna. The sauna is so relaxing. I did see a couple of preggos, which always bums me out a little bit, but not enough to detract from the rest of the day. 

And as for the TTC bit, we did the PODO Saturday and Sunday morning and this morning as well. DH loves this. He wishes we had doctor prescribed morning fun every day. I, on the other hand, am just glad that I don't am not required to have as good a time (if you knOw what I'm saying) for the task at hand. Now we can resume with our regularly scheduled (Ha!) sexy times. 

I did take a pregnancy test on Sunday morning, just so that I could see a positive result from the trigger shot. I know it's kind of silly, but it gives me hope that at some point I will see another positive test, and I need hope like that from time to time.

I called Herr Doktor's office this morning to see what the next step is. I need to start taking the progesterone I'll start tomorrow. I want to make really sure that the egg/eggs have left the ovary. Then I go in for a blood test on the 26th at 7 a.m. I'm glad for two whole weeks without any needles, but this is also the hard part of the cycle because there is just a lot of waiting. 

Today, though, I'm taking the day off. The last couple of weeks I've been much busier than usual and last week especially was stressful in a variety of ways. So today, I'm just hanging out at home. I should go for a run, and I might do that later, but so far I am just watching TV and not thinking about much. Or trying not to.

CD 15, two dp trigger

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Gehen in die Sauna oder going to the sauna

I've always liked saunas. You sit there in a hot room and let the warm air surround you. You breathe deeply. You feel your pores open up and your muscles relax. It's wonderful.
The official instructions on how to use a sauna
Saunas are popular in Germany. I can't say how popular, because I can't speak German to ask, but there sure are a lot of people every time we go. When we go to the sauna we pack a lunch and bring a book because it is a several hour or all day affair. I think the longest we've spent in one day is ten hours.

The biggest difference between German saunas and American saunas is the clothing. Or, lack thereof, in Germany's case. Germans don't seem to care about nudity very much. I've mentioned that there is no drape at the doctor's office and he doesn't leave the room while I undress. Boobs are pretty much fair game for public viewing. If you ever go to see a show with dancing girls, they will probably show you the full moon. Nudity is just not a big deal.

The place that we go has a couple of swimming pools and thermal baths with special salt in them and those areas are not nude. Well, at least not most of the time. A couple of days a week during certain hours everything is nude.

But, if you think that you will escape the public nudity by skipping the sauna, you are mistaken. The thing that was the most surprising to me is that the changing room is co-ed naked. So, be prepared to get comfortable with your nude body, and with seeing others in their all-together.

Just make sure you bring a towel to sit on.
Once you get into the FKK area (also known as naked town. At least by me.), you start to not worry that much. Everyone is naked. Most people don't look as good naked as you do, or think you do. It's all just the same. I've gotten to the point that I feel uncomfortable seeing people in bathing suits in naked town. It is hilarious when you see someone trying to stand out while naked. One visit I saw one woman with gold, heeled sandals and another woman with a chain around her waist that attached to her naval piercing. Most people just don't give a rip though.

If you ever get a chance to come to Germany and try out a sauna, I highly recommend it. It is a very relaxing way to spend a day. And if you are near Mannheim this is a great place to go.

Here's another blog's post about saunas that's pretty informative.

CD 14 One day past trigger.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Maowigge is what bwings us togevver today

Today is DH's and my eleventh anniversary. Wow, eleven years. That is a long time. It's over a third of my life. We've been through been through six moves, four deployments and sixteen months of TTC. We've been really, really broke and less broke. We have supported each other through struggles; through moves and deployments and family relationships and just life. I like to think that we have followed our vows of for better or worse.

DH and I have a pretty good marriage. It's not perfect, but no one's is. We get along and enjoy each other's company. He's been really supportive of all this fertility nonsense. When I get really sad and tell him that I don't want him to miss out on being a dad because of me, he just reassures me that he loves me and that he'd rather spend the rest of his life with just me, than find someone else who can make babies.

He's been doing this thing for the last several days where every morning I find a card counting down to our anniversary. A couple weeks ago I was complaining that the BX didn't have any good cards because they don't have Hallmark any more. He took this as a challenge. So he's taking birthday cards and modifying them to be anniversary cards. It's so cute. Speaking of cute things, lately he's been calling me "sleepykins" when I'm tired. I love this. I think it's adorable and wish I knew how to tell him so.

We are going out to dinner at Die Kartoffel (The Potato) in Ladenburg. (Click on the Speisekarte if you go to the website.) Their main draw is steak (Mmmmmm.....steak), which you cook on super hot stone slabs.  That way your steak is cooked exactly how you like it. It's a bit pricey, but amazing. And it's one of the few places that you can get a baked potato around here. It's looking to be a fun night out. One thing I know for sure is that I will have good company.

Happy anniversary, DH! I love you so much and am glad every day that I married you.

CD 13 Trigger today.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Prüfen Sie die Eier, aka: Checking the eggs (Part 3)

Another u/s today. I had hoped that my follicles would be growing a little faster by now. Last night I Dr. Googled "average follicle growth per day on Follistim" and other similar phrases. It looks like for a lot of people, they grow 2mm per day and the closer to ovulation, the faster the growth. My follicles have been growing at about 1mm per day and have been very steady and have not sped up. It kind of seems like it's a normal cycle for me.

My ovaries can be real jerks.
I have a feeling that my body doesn't really give a shit about the Follistim at this dose and is giving a big ole "Neener neener! That's not gonna work!" to Herr Doktor. I suspect my dose will be bumped up for the next cycle. I'm tempted to bump it up a little on my own, but so far am resisting.

Herr Doktor was at a conference today so I went to another doctor. We'll call her Frau Doktor. Frau Doktor was very nice and explained all of what she was seeing. My lining is 6 mm and they like to see it at 7 or 8 at trigger time. (I haven't been drinking my tea like I should.) I have one 12mm follie on the left and two 16mm follies on the right. That made me happy to see that there was more than one growing. I hadn't seen that with Herr Doktor. I wouldn't mind seeing Frau Doktor again in the future.

This may be an actual picture of Frau Doktor's secretary.
Frau Doktor's secretary, however, is a different story. Whenever she sees anyone at her door, she gives the most aggrieved sigh you can imagine. When I went in, I said good morning, and then told her I was there for an ultrasound. She irritably asked for my name, and I gave it to her. Then she told me to go sit in the waiting room. I hadn't been to this office before, so I asked where the waiting room was. She grumpily informed me that it was down the hall. I give a lot of leeway to people with bad attitudes (I imagine that they might have had a terrible morning, or they have a headache, or they are annoyed by hearing that same stupid song on the radio over and over), but she acted the same way on Monday. She just seems like a sour puss. It made me very glad that Herr Doktor's secretary is very nice.

I am making another two trips to the Apotheke today for more Follistim and waiting for the results of today's blood test to see if I will trigger this weekend or have to go back in for another u/s on Monday. I'm hoping I'll be able to trigger, but suspecting that I will be going back in. Honestly, I don't expect this cycle to work, but I kind of felt that way going in. It's the first round of this new treatment, so I'm not broken hearted at the possibility of it not working at this point and I'm willing to give it a little longer. One of these cycles though will be the one that works.

Thanks to The Cornfed Feminist for the term "pants off dance off".

*Edit* Pants off dance off comes from Robin at Polycystic inside. I've been reading many blogs and got them mixed up. Thanks for the correction.

CD 12

Update: I just got a call from the clinic. I am to trigger tomorrow and make with the pants off dance off this weekend. That will make DH happy, and it should make for a decent anniversary weekend.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Schwangerschaft Ankündigungen oder Pregnancy Announcements

I'm not doing Thankful Thursday today. Why? Because I'm not thankful. I'm a sad, empty, bitter infertile who's pissed off. So that's what I'm going to write about.

Since DH and I decided to start trying, there have been pregnancy announcements from people we know every six to eight weeks. At first, we weren't actually trying, since DH was deployed, so it wasn't really a big deal. And lots of people that were getting pregnant had dealt with infertility, so that was okay. Then DH came back, and every time I heard an announcement, I was crushed, but I told myself I would be the next one announcing. This has not worked so far. (So much for the power of positive thinking!)

Yesterday, as I was stretching after my run, I realized that it had been close to six weeks since the last announcement, (Five actually, but who's counting? Oh yeah, ME!) and I thought to myself that this time I might just be the next one. I haven't thought this for a while, but it could be true this time. I'm shooting myself up with drugs, and I have a doctor regularly sticking his wand (ha!) up into my lady parts, and I'm getting blood draw like I'm starting some sort of food bank for vampires. I might have a chance. Maybe it will be me. I think then the universe sensed something was out of order and decided to redress the balance and remind me that I will not be next.

Ha ha! Don't get your hopes up!
I got a note on a post from my cousin that she wanted to skype. This is the closest part of my family, physically. She and her husband and 10 month old son live in England. She got pregnant right after they moved there She was the second to announce her pregnancy before DH and I started trying, and I was really happy for her because they had been trying for quite a while. They hadn't started on the medical front yet because they had just gotten health insurance, but that was coming soon. So I was so happy for them. I love her and I am godmother to her son. It has been so nice to have part of the family so close.

She and I skype every couple of weeks or so, so I opened skype and called her. She asked how things were going with me. I told her about all of the appointments and the size of my follicles and showed her my giant bruise from the injections. That is when the universe struck to redress the balance.

She told me that the "physical intimacy in her marriage was lacking"; that they have only been doing the PODO about once a week. Their son is sleeping in bed with them (They aren't co-sleeping, so much as really tired.) and things just haven't been right on that front. They did manage a quickie on Valentine's Day though and she was a week late, so she got a HPT, and sure enough it was positive. Then she went to the doctor for a blood test the next day, and wouldn't you know it, that one was positive too!

I just sat there with a smile frozen on my face. She didn't seem that excited, so I asked her if she was happy about it. She said she was in shock, that she never expected it to happen so fast. Then she talked about how she is going to wait to announce it to the world until after her sister has her baby in June (A previous blow to my heart.), but there are several people she'll tell before then. She tried to change the subject and asked how my mom is doing and said that she would be sure to visit her when she goes back in June, which just killed me because I would be back there now if it weren't for TTC. Then her husband came home, and our call mercifully ended.

Cue crying. Waves of tears. I wept until DH got home, and then he tried to comfort me. It helped a little, but I felt trapped and had to get out. I wanted to get out of my house, out of my town, out of my skin and out of my broken body with its empty womb. I went out and rode my bike. I'm not sure how long, and I'm not sure it helped, but it was something. I just kept replaying it in my head and thinking terrible thoughts. A quickie on Valentine's Day. She'll go back to the States and visit my mother. She'll have two kids before she's 23. They have no money. Why can't we be parents?

It's like a bad dream. I felt (and still feel) sad and numb. I'm so tired of it being other people. I'm also tired of not being able to be happy for others at their good news. I hate being bitter. I hate cutting myself off from people because I can't bear to see their children and the joy that they bring. I hate plastering a smile on my face when I am shattered inside. I just want it to be my turn.

And someday, it will be.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Prüfen Sie die Eier, aka: Checking the eggs (Part 2)

Today was my second u/s for this cycle. I made it there earlier than last time, but I was still the last one in there. (Dang it! I wonder how early I would have to get there in order not to be last?) I brought some hand sewing with me and that was a nice way to pass the time and be productive simultaneously.

Imagine this woman as Asian, and you'll get an idea.
There was a different nurse today, a little woman who looked to be of Asian decent. She didn't speak as much English as the nurse that I've seen before, but it was enough. She jammed a needle in my arm to take some blood. Seriously, she was not gentle. I'm getting a little sick of the blood draws, but hopefully there won't be so many next week.

I went back to the waiting room and then Herr Doktor called me back. When I was taking off my pants, I noticed some drapes folded up the the changing room. I asked if I was supposed to use one. (I didn't notice them last time.) He said I could if I wanted; that the American women sometimes use them, but the German women don't. So, I skipped it. It was really tiny, like a dish cloth, and I didn't use one last time, so what's the difference, right?

The right side had a 14 mm follicle. He said the left side had smaller follicles. I think the left side had one 12 mm. My lining must have been fine, because he didn't mention it. I asked if I could go to the sauna this weekend. He asked why not. I asked if I could keep running. He said that would be fine. I need to have another u/s on Friday, but I'll be going to a different doctor because Herr Doktor will be at a conference in Mannheim. The best part about that is that it won't be as early.

Sure I 'll limit myself to three.
So, now I'm back home. My plan is to go for a run this morning, go to the bakery and pick up some quarkbällchen for breakfast, and then go shopping for a dress for an upcoming military ball. The run and the breakfast, I am looking forward to. The dress shopping, not so much. Balls, blech.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The journey to now, part one, oder Reise zum Teil jetzt ein

I started writing this post last Monday before my first appointment with Herr Doktor. It's a bit long, so I'm going to break it down into two posts. Here is the first part.


It's been a long time getting to today. In about an hour I am heading over to the Women's Clinic in my town to see the professor of reproductive endocrinology and gynecology. Also, today marks the start of a new cycle.

Thinking in earnest about having a baby started a little over two years ago. My husband was deployed, but we had decided it was finally time. I went off birth control. I started taking over the counter prenatal vitamins. I started paying attention to things that I had never, ever even considered like where my cervix was sitting and what was coming out of it. Things were going well. In June of 2010, I started charting. DH came home for R&R and we gave it a go. It was only two weeks and the timing was off, so it didn't happen. No big deal.

I'll be honest with you. During the time leading up to R&R, I had been paying attention to the length of my cycles and there was a hiccup on the horizon. My cycle was going to involve me being on my period when my husband was home. My period at that time usually lasted for a week. Out of two weeks. I know some people don't mind having sex when they are bleeding, but I'm a little more squeamish. It seems icky to me. (Or did then.) So, I took the pill for one cycle to try and control when the bleeding would happen. I waited until a week into my cycle and then started the pill. It didn't really work, but I think that's where things started to go wonky.

The two weeks of R&R were over much to quickly. DH left, and I went back to real life. I started running in July of 2010. I ran my first 5k in September at an embarrassingly slow time (56:35). I bought a dress for my husband's homecoming. I ran another 5k, at a better time. (Not sure what that time was because I didn't have a watch and the race wasn't timed.) November 6, 2010 DH came home from his fourth deployment. It was wonderful to see him. We started trying for realsies.

Meanwhile, between June and November, something strange had happened to my cycles. When I first came off birth control, they were "normal" (But we all know there is no such thing. Only average.) But in June, they shifted. Changed. They were longer. Much longer. My charting showed mountains and valleys instead of the plateaus and buttes I was expecting. The cycles were maddening because I couldn't figure out what was going on. My longest cycle so far was 59 days. June 2010 to August 2010.

Anyway, back to DH and trying. A return from a deployment or long term separation from my husband always institutes a kind of honeymoon period for us. We weren't getting anyway closer to making a baby, but we sure were having fun in the process! (Let me tell you, the process is less fun now.) In November of 2010 I had a 17 day cycle. The next cycle was 57 days. I went to the doctor for my annual pap smear in January 2011. I told him how crazy things had been. He listened. I now realize that this is somewhat of a miracle in a military treatment facility. The doctor put me on Metformin, told me that I needed to take some blood tests and get an ultrasound. All of that got done. DH got a semen analysis. He results were great. Then we got the not so good news. I had PCOS.

You have to know something about me. I am a researcher. If there is something that I am interested in, I will find any information available and use it. I read books, blogs, articles, reviews. Thoroughly. When DH and I were getting ready to buy a house, I did my research. I knew neighborhoods, school districts, and average days on market. I took every piece of information available to me and used it. I'm the same way with TTC.

I had read about PCOS, back when things were hunky-dory, and I had thought, "Thank goodness I don't have that! That must be terrible!" Ah the naivety.

There I am, diagnosed. But, I was on Metformin. That should help things. DH and I went back in to talk with the doctor. He said that he would like to give me a referral to a fertility specialist. This freaked me out a bit. I asked what the steps were on the fertility spectrum. He said for PCOS patients usually the first step is Metformin, then adding Clomid to the mix, followed by birth control pills for a few months to regulate cycles and a few months off of them, trying. After that, artificial insemination and then IVF. This scared me. Lots of pills I could deal with, but going straight from that to physical medical intervention seemed like a big jump in level of care. But, we were a long way from that, so I wasn't really worried.

March 10, 2011 was our 10th anniversary. We got married young (18 for me, 20 for him), but things have worked out and we have a good marriage. We like each other. We get along. We like spending time together, and we like spending time apart. For the 10th anniversary, we went to a very ritzy hotel for the weekend. We had room service, which was a first. We ate breakfast overlooking the lake and the golf course. We spent Saturday in the spa, enjoying the different rooms. It was great.

Around that same time, we were waiting for the next assignment. We had hoped to be in Colorado for at least five years, but the Army had other plans. When DH contacted his branch manager (A kind of a career manager for the Army. They work with assigning you to your next job/location.) about the next step in his career, the branch manager thought that we had just moved in December. So, out of the thirty-two months we were in Colorado, five months were "extra".

Anyway, we were hoping to be in the States somewhere and hopefully close-ish to family. That did not happen. Instead, we got the assignment to Germany with less than sixty days notice from orders being given to the day we would fly. Not only did this throw a wrench into our everyday lives, but it put a hold on further progress with TTC. I got a call about a week before we flew out in May letting me know that I had finally gotten the approval to see an OB/GYN on post, but I couldn't go because by that time my medical records were already cleared and I was officially off their books. It was so frustrating.


I think that's enough for now. I will continue this story sometime. Tomorrow is my second u/s for this cycle. I'm looking forward to see how much further along those follicles are! Grow, follicles, grow!

CD 9

Monday, March 5, 2012

Prüfen Sie die Eier, aka: Checking the eggs

I had a great time at my sewing retreat. I came home to a husband who spent all weekend on the couch and ate pizza or cereal every meal. I think we both had a good weekend.

This morning I had to get up way earlier than normal to get my first u/s this cycle. Day eight seems a bit early to me, but I'd rather too much attention than not enough. I arrived a few minutes before seven, and there was a full waiting room. The order was first come, first served, so I was last, but that worked out just fine.

After being called back, I went into the nurse's office and she made sure that I was me. Then I went into the Herr Doktor's office. He had me go behind a curtain, undress from the waist down, and then come out and hop up on the table and get my legs in the stirrups. (I hate it when they tell you to, "Hop up." It feels so demeaning somehow.) If I had had to do this ten years ago, it would have been really difficult and embarrassing. At this point though, so many doctors and nurses and other health care professionals have had a peek, and DH and I regularly go to the German spas where everyone is naked, so it's not a big deal. 

Imagine this, but with a whole body and no drape.

Herr Doktor suited up the transvaginal wand, aka Wanda, and off we went. In the States, they handed me the wand and asked me to insert it. Herr Doktor didn't bother with that, and it was fine. He said my lining looks good (Thank you red raspberry leaf tea!) and said that I have one 10mm follicle on the right ovary and one 12 mm follicle on the left. It may have been the other way around. I'll have to listen better next time. He had me put my pants on, gave me another prescription for Puregon (Follistim), told me my blood work from last time came back with all normal levels and asked me to come back Wednesday for another u/s. Auf wiedersehen, Herr Doktor.

I went into the nurse's office and she gave me the written prescription and drew some blood. Once I was done there, I paid for my parking and went to the Apotheke. They asked me to come back this afternoon and pick up the Follistim, so I did.

On the subject of the Follistim, out of six injections, I only have two giant bruises and one little tiny bruise. Three of the injections didn't bruise at all. I think part of the reason is how long I take to ice the area because when I'm in a hurry, I get a bruise. The other part is that the area to the left of and below my bellybutton must be full of blood vessels that are extra leaky. That's the only place I've bruised. The bruises don't hurt, even when I press on them.

Anyway, another appointment for Wednesday, early again. I'm encouraged by how well my ovaries are behaving so far, so hopefully it will be all good news. I'm looking forward to seeing Wanda again and hopefully she'll give me good news. I have a feeling she and I are going to get to be very good friends.

CD 8

Friday, March 2, 2012

I Love Lucy

I really do love Lucy. I remember as a kid watching I Love Lucy on Nick at Nite. There were other shows that were good, but Lucy got me laughing every time.

(Now they have Friends and That 70's Show on Nick at Nite. I may be getting some idea how old my parents felt while watching I Love Lucy.)

I think that the humor in those shows has staying power. Yes, the relationship between Lucy and Ricky isn't one that we would look at for an example of a good marriage. Yes, there is a strange dynamic between the two that reminds me of a father and daughter. But, the physical comedy and a lot of the jokes are still funny. After 50 + years, that's really saying something.

I'm rewatching all of the I Love Lucy shows via Netflix. I'm on the very last disk now. It's interesting to watch the progression of Lucy and Ricky's relationship. I wonder how much influence Lucille and Desi's own marriage had on the show, or if the show influenced their marriage.

Anyway, I just love that show. I love all the crazy situations that Lucy gets herself into and that Ethel is always there to help her out, and Fred sometimes too. I love a happy ending and that's something you can count on with Lucy.

CD 5

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dankbar Donnerstag, aka: Thankful Thursday; Health Insurance.

Thankful Thursday is something that a few of the bloggers that I read do. It seems like a good idea to recount what blessings one has in one's life instead of always focusing on the negatives. There is something to looking at life's abundance to take one's mind off of life's lacks.

Health insurance may sound like a strange thing to be thankful for, but today, that's near the top for me, for several reasons. Today the reason I'm most thankful for health insurance is my mom.

Mom was born with a flap of tissue between her stomach and small intestine. No food was able to get through. She had two surgeries in her first ten days of life to try to correct the problem. They did the best they could, and she was alive, but apparently cried her first couple years of life and could not keep any food down. But, she grew up and life went on.

Fifty some odd years later, there started to be some problems with her stomach and digestion. She always drank tons of Diet Pepsi (I am talking 8 to 10 liters a day!) and food went through her quickly. But now she was having pain sometimes if she ate a heavy meal occasionally so severe she ended up in the emergency room. She went to her doctor and he recommended surgery to fix the problem. It sounded like it would be a pretty easy fix. She went in for surgery the Friday of Labor Day weekend last year. She sent me a message on Facebook before going in bemoaning not being able to play Farmville all weekend. (Oh, Mom.)

I won't bore you with all the details; I'll just give you the broad strokes. Surgery one, Labor Day weekend. It didn't take. Surgery two three weeks later. I showed up about a week after that and stayed for a month. Mom was moved to a different hospital, then discharged at the beginning of November with ongoing issues. Since November she's been in and out of the hospital several times; maybe a dozen. Right now she's at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and they have determined that she'll have another surgery within the next several weeks and hopefully the problem will be fixed.

This medical drama has been difficult, so say the least, but (!) that health insurance is a godsend. The medical bills total in the hundreds of thousands of dollars right now, and will continue to get higher. Thankfully though, Mom and Dad have not had to pay most of that. I'm pretty sure all they have paid is their deductible. Every time she goes back into the ER, I thank God that her insurance is there.

My dad went through his own medical drama a few years ago. His was heart surgery, also done at the Mayo Clinic. His bills also were in the hundreds of thousands, and he may have to go back for more surgery in the next few years.

For myself, I'm really thankful that with this fertility stuff we have health insurance. Tricare may not be the best system out there, but it is cheap and, if you jump through all of their hoops, they do provide decent care. They have covered everything so far in our process to get pregnant. The only thing they won't cover is "non-coital means of reproduction". This means that they won't cover the actual IUI or IVF procedure, but they will cover all the meds, U/S, and testing. Let me tell you, if we had to pay that out of pocket, we would be trying on our own a lot longer!

So, health insurance is what I'm thankful for today. It may not be the most obvious thing, but when you need it, it is so good to have.

CD 4