Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I found the song!

Ever since I made Gracie's adoption video, I have been looking for that one special song to use for Sophie's video. (Yeah, I know it's early, but I want to include some of the paperchase in it too.) I was going to use the same song, because it truly is beautiful, but I feel like it is Gracie's song now and I wanted Sophie to have her own. Anyway, for almost two years I have been searching for that perfect song. Well, I found it! I first heard it on the T.V. show Medium's season finale. I knew it was a Dixie Chick's song the moment I heard it. I hadn't heard all of the words, only the chorus, but I liked it. I love, love, love the Dixie Chicks. LOVE THEM. I don't care about their political beliefs. I just love their music. (Did I mention I love them?) Anyway, I picked up their C.D. this weekend, and got to hear all of the words to a song on their new C.D. Taking the Long Way. It is called Lullaby. You can hear it here. It's a beautiful song. I think it will be perfect. I can't wait until we have pictures of our beautiful child to put into a slideshow with that song. Right now it feels like that will never happen. Joe called the doctor today about the letter he was writing for our medical forms. He hasn't written it yet. He has decided he wants to wait until the biopsy results are in. This is not what he told us when we were sitting in his office two weeks ago. This is going to delay us by another week. I'm beginning to feel like we will never be DTC. The rest of our dossier is ready to be sent. We just need those medical forms so our social worker can put the finishing touches on our home-study. It is so hard not to lose hope. Especially right now, when I am laying flat on my back in pain. So hard. It looks like I won't be going to work tomorrow either. I have to get out of this house. I'm going stir crazy. And now I'm depressed. I have to believe this is all going to work out in the end. Oh, and on a side note, this weekend was the four year anniversary of when we started trying to conceive. Four years ago on Memorial Day we began charting my cycle and actively trying to become pregnant. Forty-eight wasted months. If we had begun the adoption process just two years ago, we would have our baby right now. I don't know how much longer I can wait.

The lyrics to "Lullaby":
They didn't have you where I come from
Never knew the best was yet to come
Life began when I saw your face
And I hear your laugh like a serenade

How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up

I slip in bed when you're asleep
To hold you close and feel your breath on me
Tomorrow there'll be so much to do
So tonight I'll drift in a dream with you

How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up

As you wander through this troubled world
In search of all things beautiful
You can close your eyes when you're miles away
And hear my voice like a serenade

How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up

How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up
Is forever enough

Flat on my back and bored

I'm sure my husband would find some way to make that above title sound dirty. You would think I would get used to this being "sick". I've had three surgeries. I have had plenty of practice. But this is different. I'm having no pain at all. Unless I move. If I lie perfectly still on my back, I feel fine. Except that's pretty boring. At least when I had my surgeries I could sit up and make bracelets. I'm tired of laying perfectly still on my back. Watching television. Or perching the computer on my stomach so I can write this post and check my blogs. So what am I doing to entertain myself? I'm watching the movie Rent over and over, and singing along at the top of my lungs. I know every single word. As I have mentioned before, I'm like an idiot savant when it comes to music lyrics. The movie is nowhere near as good as the play(I've seen the play six times), but I'll take what I can get. I think my husand is going to kill me if I rewind it and play Seasons of Love one. more. time. So I'm bored. Work would be better than this. I hope I can get up and around more tomorrow. I hope I hope I hope.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Home from the hospital

Well, I'm home from the hospital. Finally. That certainly is an all day ordeal! But my kidney biopsy is done. That's a relief. They took me in at 8:45, right on time. The procedure itself was not too bad. The most painful part was the shot to numb the area. I did feel the needle go in, and it was pretty uncomfortable, but I told the nurse and she put more meds in my I.V. and then I don't remember much else. I barely remember the ride on the gurney back to my room, even though Joe said I was conscious. Then I got to eat, and nap, and watch some T.V. and read my book. I had literally no pain while at the hospital. I am starting to feel it now. I did get into trouble when my doctor came to see me and I had my hospital bed in a sitting up position. Apparently I was supposed to be laying completely flat for six hours. Oops! After he left the nurse said it was O.K. as long as I wasn't getting up and around(which I did, to go to the bathroom, but I didn't tell her!) I guess I'm not a very good patient! I'm feeling some pain now. It feels kind of like I threw my back out. But only on one side. I'm fine as long as I am laying flat, but it is hard to sit up and I definetely can't turn to either side. It's not horrible though. Just uncomfortable. The doctor who did my procedure said I should NOT go to work on Thursday, but if I feel up to it, I'm going to. I might have to wrestle the car keys away from Joe to do it though. There are other people who took off this week, and I really am needed there. We'll see how I feel. I feel bad taking so much time off. I've been off since Friday! Talk about a long weekend! They won't have the results of my biopsy until next week. I'm going to try not to think about it. At least the biopsy is over with. I'm getting kind of tired, so I'm going to sign off for now. Pictures later, from the fun Memorial Day and the hospital. (Yeah, I made my husband take pictures of me in the hospital. I'm weird like that.)

Monday, May 29, 2006

A glorious day

Today was a glorious day. A happy, fun filled day. We spent the entire day at the beach. The weather was perfect. Sunny and warm, with a slight breeze blowing. We made our way down Laguna Canyon road to Crystal Cove State Beach. It's where we always go. You can always find a private spot, away from other people and because it is quite a downhill hike to the beach, we get our exercise in too. I got sunburned. I read a trashy novel. I searched for seashells and found a sand dollar. I went swimming in the ocean. With my clothes on! I had forgotten my bathing suit. I laid on the warm sand until my clothes were dry. I went for a walk in the surf with my husband. It was a beautiful, perfect day. I am relaxed and rested and ready for round two at the hospital tomorrow. I hope every one else had as nice a day as I did.

Happy Memorial Day

That's a strange saying. Happy Memorial Day. Can there be such a thing? Should there be such a thing? For some people, Memorial Day is not a happy day. For millions of people, their Fathers, their Mothers, their brothers sisters, cousins, aunts or uncles are not here with them to celebrate Memorial Day. For some of them, they will never come home again. For me, Memorial Day has always been about having a day off. A long weekend. Sometimes even a vacation, an excuse to get out of town. Having a BBQ. But lately I've been thinking about the true meaning of Memorial Day. Here's a definition of Memorial Day, from the Columbia University Press encyclopedia:

Memorial Day
a holiday in the United States observed in late May. Previously designated Decoration Day, it was inaugurated in 1868 by Gen. John A. Logan for the purpose of decorating the graves of Civil War veterans and has since become a day on which all war dead are commemorated.

Memorial Day is supposed to be a day on which we remember those who have died at war. O.K., This not relevant to me, because I don't know anyone who has died in a war. So it isn't a sad day for me. But my husband was in the military when we met. I was eighteen and he was twenty. He was due to be deployed to the Persian Gulf in six months. I was terrified. Not only because I couldn't bear to be away from him for more than a few hours at a time(ahh, young love), but because I was afraid that he would never come back. Luckily he was discharged before his deployment and went on to start his college career, which ended in a Master's degree. I used to thank God every day for that. As time passed, I forgot to thank him anymore, and now we've pretty much forgotten that he was even in the military. But I still think and pray about the millions of people who are in the military, fighting for our freedom and being killed every day. Our social worker's husband is in the military. He was past the age of deployment when they ran out of people to send and his number came up. He is serving in one of the most dangerous places in Iraq. She is left at home with a three year old and a new baby. I worry about his safety, yet I don't even know him. I worry about him never coming home and leaving her alone with those two small children to raise. I try to do my part to support our military. When my radio station had drives for military families, I brought things. When our school asked for donations for toiletries the soldiers needed, I went to Target and filled the cart, throwing items in, careless of the cost. I am having my kids write letters and draw pictures to send to the troops. Because I want to do something to let them know they are appreciated. This is a completely separate issue from supporting the war. Because I don't support the war. But I support the people fighting in the war. Because they are just doing their jobs. And it is a job that I hope no one in my family ever has to do again. So what I'm getting at is, why can't Memorial Day be about remembering those that have died in a war, but also about remembering those who are still fighting? I am going to get my kids involved in this organization called A Million Thanks. A Lutheran High School in Orange, CA started a service project to send one million thank you letters to our service men and women. They have surpassed the one million mark, but now they need 300,000 more letters and then they'll have enough to thank every single person serving in the military right now, even the reservists. I've pledged to send in fifty letters from my kids. Will you help me? What a great thing to do on Memorial Day with your kids. What a great way to open up the lines of communication about something I think we spend way too much time not talking or thinking about. It is a small gesture that would mean so much.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

highlights from my hospital visit

Here are a few highlights from yesterday's hospital visit that I wasn't able to fit into my (too)long post yesterday:
--I had to go through several processes before I was shown to my room. The first nurse that weighed me and took my blood pressure was not very personable at all. In fact, she didn't say two words to me! Taking someone's blood pressure can be kind of intimate(she was holding my arm under hers) and it is quite uncomfortable when the person doing it doesn't smile or even say hello to you. Joe was blown away by her behavior!
--When they weighed me, I about fell off of the scale when they told me the number. I had lost two more pounds, putting my weight loss at a total of 15 pounds! Yay me! I can hardly believe it!
If things continue like this, I know I can lose the sixty pounds I am supposed to lose.
--The second nurse(she will be referred to as "girl" because she was the receptionist and she looked about nineteen years old). Anyway, when this girl showed me my room, she gave me my gown, told me to undress and put my things in the bag she provided and told me my nurse would be in soon. That was it. Thank you and goodbye.
--When my roomate was ushered into the room by this same girl, she was talking and laughing like they were best friends! I understand they were closer in age, but C'mon! What am I? Chopped liver? She even stood outside the curtain while my roomate changed and chatted. Give me a break! Isn't there something else she should have been doing? She certainly was in a hurry to get out of my room!
--Note to self: When undressing down to nothing to change into a hospital gown in a room that has a sliding glass door that faces the doctor's parking lot, make sure the vertical blinds are closed completely. Otherwise you will give those doctors a show they probably would have rather not seen. I'm just saying.
--When the nurse came in to take my blood and put in the I.V., there was just her. One nurse. When she put in the I.V. it hurt. A lot. So much that I had to suck in my breath and ball my other hand up in a fist with the sheets. I was surprised by how much it hurt. I have had countless I.V.'s done and none have hurt like this. The I.V. was placed in my right arm, as it had better veins(I'm told I have terrible veins). After she put the I.V. in my right arm, she brings me some papers to sign! What? My right arm hurts and is extremely painful to bend at all and you want me to sign some forms? Could this not have been done before you put the extremely painful I.V. line in? When I tell her I can't bend my right arm, she says "Oh sure yu can. It shouldn't hurt". "But it does" I tell her. So she lets me scribble my signature with my left hand, but seems bewildered that I am unable to bend my right. Whatever.
--When my roommate had to have her I.V. put in, there were several nurses present. Hell, there was a team of nurses! You should have heard them! "It's alright honey. Just take deep, slow breaths." When it appeared(sounded like) that wasn't working, the nurse said "Let me numb it with some Lydocain first. That should make it easier." Excuse me? Numb it? No one offerred this to me! What the!?
--Finally they are able to get the I.V. in. There is much cheering and congratulating. Everyone is saying to her "Oh, you handled that very well. Good job!" On my side of the curtain I haven't seen my nurse(or any other) for at least a half an hour an we are already an hour and a half past my scheduled procedure time. I'm laying in bed rolling my eyes thinking "Is this really happening?" Am I on some kind of T.V. show? This could be a sitcom!"
--After being ignored for forty-five minutes, my nurse comes back into my room and says she's really sorry, but they need more blood from me and of course it will have to be taken from the other arm, since the I.V. line is already in. Oh yay. Now both my arms will hurt.
--Then when the nurse came in to tell us that I would not be having the procedure done today, I had the emotional outburst that I explained yesterday. It was bad. I was so embarrassed. Usually I save those kinds of outbursts for the car ride on the way home, or until I get home and only my husband has to witness them. I was sobbing. Heaving sobs. To the point of hyperventilating. We're talking snot flying, wiping my nose on the sheets crying. You would have thought they just told me I was going to die or something. I have no idea where that came from. But once it started, there was no stopping it! I was trying so hard to stop that at one point the nurse told me to just let it out. She said it was better to get it out than bottle it up inside. Apparently that's what I had been doing for quite some time. And this was happening in front of not only this nurse, but my roomate and her mother too. I'm sure they must have thought I was a nut case. I was thinking it! (My husband knows I'm a nut case so I don't know what he was thinking)
--Finally the nurse left and I was able to get dressed. Still crying. But quietly. I looked in the mirror and Oh my Gosh! I looked like death warmed over! Twice! No makeup, hair pulled back into a scraggly ponytail. My eyes were so red I looked like a demon! I'm not kidding you. Even Joe couldn't believe how red they were! I'm serious! They looked like this. Pretty scary!
So when the nice mother next door told me it was worth the wait, I couldn't look at her! I stared at the floor the whole time she was talking. I was soooo embarrassed. I didn't want her to see my demon eyes!
-All's well that ends well. We went straight to my favorite Mexican restaurant from there. Weigh Watchers be damned! I hadn't eaten a thing all day and I was so hungry. Then we went to the movies. And the whole rest of the horrible day was forgotten.

*Note* Aside from the first two nurses I came into contact with, the rest of the nurses and staff were wonderful. Even the one who put my I.V. was very nice. I think the only reason it hurt was because of my "bad" veins. I don't want to give people the wrong impression. Aside from that one small misunderstanding(ha!) the rest of my visit was fine. I was made to feel very comfortable and I am not dreading going back there on Tuesday. I know that everything will go smoothly then.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Wasted Day

Well, I have just returned home from a late lunch and a movie with my husband. That's right, a movie. But Michelle, you might be asking, I thought you were going to spend the whole day at the hospital having a kidney biopsy done? Yes, that is what I should have been returning home from. The only problem is, I did not have a kidney biospy done today. I was supposed to. I was scheduled to. I had planned to. Things do not always go as they are supposed, scheduled, or planned. I did go to the hospital today. I showed up there at eleven a.m. sharp, two hours before my biopsy, as planned. I went through the admitting process. I was shown to my room. I put on a hospital gown. They came and stuck me to get blood, and inserted an I.V. line. The nurse asked me a thousand questions about my health history and entered all of the information into their computer. Do you know what my nurse's name was? It was Concepcion. Pronounced Con-Cept-Tion. You know, as in to have impregnated or conceived. I thought to myself "Are you kidding me?" Only people who have suffered from infertility will understand what a cruel joke that is. Anyway, she was very nice and that's beside the point. By this time it was almost noon. T minus one hour until the procedure. I was reading a magazine, and all was going well. I had the room to myself, so it was pretty peaceful. That is until they brought me a roommate at around 12:30. She was a young girl in her mid twenties escorted by her mother. She talked a mile a minute and giggled at everything. Apparently everything is funny when you are being admitted to the hospital and are being asked a ton medical questions. Everything. That girl giggled a lot. There was a flurry of activity around her, getting her checked in and settled. Meanwhile it was like a ghost town on my side of the curtain. I was starting to feel as though I had been forgotten. By this time it was one-thirty. A half hour past my scheduled procedure. Joe was becoming impatient. I was too, but tried not to show it. By two'o'clock Joe was getting downright antsy, and called the nurse to find out what the holdup was. I was starving at this point, having fasted and all. The nurse came in and told us radiology was running a little behind, and it would only be another half hour or so. Only one and a half hours after they scheduled me, and three and a half hours since I had arrived at the hospital. At two-forty five Concepcion comes into my room and says "Please don't get mad at me". Huh? Immediately I'm thinking "No good can come from this." That is not the first thing I want my nurse to say when she walks into my room. She explains to me that I cannot have the biopsy done today. I immediately burst into tears. "What? What do you mean I can't have it done today? You people scheduled it for today! My tears turn quickly into heaving sobs, the kind where you can't catch your breath. I don't have an explanation for this behavior, except that I am due to start my period and am feeling very emotional. I was truly embarrased by my reaction. But I couldn't stop. The sobbing continued, and I was helpless to stop it. At this point both the nurse and my husband plead with me to calm down, as my neck is turning all shades of red and the nurse is afraid it is hives. I try to breathe. But I can't. I can tell the nurse is taken aback by my (over)reaction to this news. She is also very sympathetic. She tells us that someone from radiology will be coming straight down to explain the situation to us. A few minutes later another nurse from radiology walks into the room. She sees me sobbing, the nurse trying to comfort me, and my husband looking like he might just kill the next person who walks into the room. Boy does she have her work cut out for her. I managed to calm down enough to listen to her explanation of why I can't have my ssheduled procedure today. Apparently when the hospital does a biopsy, they have the sample sent out to a lab at another location. To get the sample where it is supposed to go, they use a courier service. Long story short, the courier service was closed today for Memorial Day weekend. There was nobody there to take my sample to the lab. A piece of information that the radiologist had only just found out, at 2:30 p.m. So if radiology hadn't been running behind and I had my biopsy done at eleven when it was scheduled, I would have had to do it again. Thank God for small miracles! Upon hearing this information, my husband about came unglued. He was furious. He really let her have it. I don't recall exactly what he said, but I know the word "unprofessional" was used, as well as "highly inconvenienced" and "unneccesary emotional trauma". That nurse's hands were shaking by the time he was done. I was embarrased, but secretly so glad that I had him there to stand up for me. Otherwise I would have just sat there crying, saying it was O.K., that I could come back another time, and please excuse me for this emotional outburst(things I was saying already). I explained to the nurse that we are in the process of adopting a child, and that this was really holding us up, and that's why I had become so emotional. Finally the nurse left to let me get dressed. I began to cry again, and asked Joe why are we hitting obstacles at every turn in this adoption process? What if this never happens? What if it wasn't meant to be? He assured me that wasn't true, and this was just a delay. To which I answered "We've had four years of delay. I'm tired of delays." Oh, by the way, of course my roomate and her daughter heard the whole thing. As we walked by her on our way to the door, the mother turns to me and says "I just wanted to tell you to not give up. It is worth the delay. I have two adopted children, and it is so worth the delay." And I know that she is right. But it is still disheartening. So I'm scheduled(again) to have the biopsy done on Tuesday morning. First thing. The radiology nurse said it was her day off, but that she would even come in on that day and make it her personal mission that everything went off as planned. This calmed Joe down a little. I will have to miss a couple more days of work. This will not make my boss happy in the least. But I can't wait anymore. I need to have this done with so we can begin treating whatever it is I have. So it was a wasted day, in terms of medical progress. But not a complete waste. Because I got to have lunch and see a movie with my husband, who takes such good care of me and is my greatest advocate. Not such a wasted day after all.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Not Alotta

I simply don't have much to blog about right now. Not a lot is going on. I have been anxiuosly awaiting the letter from my doctor so I can go and pick up my medical forms from my primary doc. It still is not here. Darn it! We can't move forward until we have that letter. That's it, when I see the doctor tomorrow I am going to demand ask nicely when the letter will be done. It has been over a week already! I'll be spending all day at the hospital tomorrow, having a kidney biospy done. Too fun! I have to check in at 11:00 a.m. The procedure us from 1:00-2:00 and then I have to stay five more hours so they can monitor me for internal bleeding. Five hours! That seems like a bit much to me. But hey, I'm not a doctor, right? That puts me back home at around 7:30 at night. I told my husband he does not have to stay there the whole time, but he insists. I know he has a ton of finals to grade, and the hospital is not exaclty the most peaceful place to do it. He takes such good care of me. After the procedure I am supposed to lie flat on my back for the next two days. Two days! That also seems excessive to me, but again, not a doctor! So as you can see, I have a fabulous Memorial Day weekend ahead of me. A day at the hospital, followed by two days of bed rest. That much fun should be illegal! Please tell me you people have something more fun than that planned for this weekend. If you do, could you post it in the comments section so I can live vicariously through you? Thanks, I appreciate it. I'm not sure if I'll be posting tomorrow night, as the radiologist tells me I'll be pretty out of it. I think she called it "twilight". Oooooooohhh.....twilight sounds pretty. And peaceful. I may just enjoy this after all! :)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

3.5 more pounds down

Thanks for the kind words on my last post. That post was due directly to the fact that my co-workers told me that a former co-worker of mine came to visit on Friday after I left. She turned twenty-one a few months ago. She is unmarried, unemployed, and irresponsible. She is a few other things too, but this is a G-rated blog, so we won't go there. She didn't even graduate high school. And she tried to get pregnant(with her abusive boyfriend). And she succeeded the first time. Yesterday my co-workers spent fifteen minutes telling me how she is positively "glowing", she seems so "calm and grounded", and how happy she looks. I had to get up and go into the bathroom to hide my pain and disgust. Yes, as a matter of fact I do work with a bunch 0f clueless, insensitive people. That's beside the point. I'm having a hard time with this one. A very hard time. I'm feeling angry and bitter and sad. I'll get over it. I'll keep plugging along. I always do. Enough about that. It isn't worth any more of my time or heartache. I lost another three and a half pounds this week! Woo Hoo! I've lost eleven pounds in the last three weeks. I still can't believe it. That is very good for me. Usually I average around one to one and a half pounds a week. The first time I joined W.W. it took me almost six weeks to lose that same amount. I am soooo happy. I know the weight loss will slow down at some point, but right now it is awesome.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Is it ever O.K.?

I've been struggling a lot lately with the "infertility" issues. It happens like that some times. I'll go for weeks at a time not even thinking about our inability to get pregnant. We haven't been trying for a few months, and pretty much all of our energy has been going towards thinking about the adoption. That's the way I like it. Then, other times(like now), I obsess over it. I can't get it out of my head. I feel sad about it. I feel anger. I was wondering to myself why I go through these cyles, and it seems to be directly related to the number of pregnant women that are in my life at the time. Right now there are a lot. At least four. Two of whom only recently announced it. It happens in waves. I work at a Catholic school, so there are always pregnant women. You get used to it. Lately though, it seems like every time I find out about a couple and deal with it, there are four or five more that pop up. I wish it didn't bother me. I try not to let it. But there are days, like today, when I end up crying all the way home from work. Why all of these other women and not me? Why do some people get to be pregnant three, even four times, and I don't even once? I can't get past the unfairness of it. This is a totally separate issue from the adoption. Notice I didn't say "they get to have three or four children." No, I said they get to be pregnant. Something I wanted more than anything. I still want it. People ask me all the time "What will you do if you get pregnant during the adoption process?" My answer is and always will be "Then we'll have two beautiful children." Sophie is in our hearts. She is our child. She will always be our child, no matter what. Nothing can change that. And yet I still have this yearning to be pregnant. At times it consumes me. I try so hard not to let it. I want to let it go. But I can't seem to do it. My therapist says it is a process, and there is no way of telling how long it will take. But I want to know! How much longer? I want to skip to the end, to the part where it is okay. The part where I don't have to go into the bathroom and cry just because someone announces they are pregnant. I want to get to the part where I don't hate pregnant women. To the part where I don't cry myself to sleep at night wishing for something that will probably never be. But I don't know how. Then I read posts like this and I find myself shaking my head and saying Yes! Yes! I feel the same way! I'm so glad I'm not alone! But then it makes me sad that there are so many other women out there feeling the same way, yearning for something, that for some, will never come. I guess what I'm asking is, does it ever go away, this yearning, this pain? Is it ever Okay? Will having Sophie here make that pain disappear? What if it doesn't? Why can't I let go of this?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Renaissance Faire Pictures

We spent the majority of our day at the renaissance faire. It sure is fun. We try to go every couple of years. Here's some pictures. We didn't stay for the jousting this year, as I was so tired. We saw it last time we came, and it was great. I spent the entire time looking for just the perfect pirate to take my picture with to show Cameron. Finally, when we were just getting ready to leave, we found this one. He was more than happy to take his picture with me. Then he made Joe take one too. Ha!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Bad Blogger

I've been a bad blogger lately. I haven't been posting, and believe it or not I am way behind on reading too. I have like a hundred and twenty posts on bloglines to read. I better get cracking! I haven't been all that busy. Mostly I just have not been feeling well(physically. Mentally I'm good. As soon as the doctor told me he would sign off my medical form, I was feeling so relieved and happy). No, I've been so so tired. The doctor said my thyrooid was low again, and I'm anemic, so those are the culprits. Knowing what is causing it does not help me to drag my butt out of bed at 5:30 in the morning. I've been having to nap in the afternoon. I've been having major cramps this month too. Ugh. After we get this kidney situation figured out, I am making an appointment with my gynecologist to talk about the hysterectomy. I'm tired of this pain. It zaps my energy too. So that's it. I'm happy that the adoption is moving forward, but I'm tired. So tired. I'm sure this is how many mothers of small children feel. I'll survive.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The test results are in......

And the news is........good! Better than I expected. I have an autoimmune disease that is causing my kidneys to function improperly. That's also what is causing the high blood pressure. We aren't sure what kind of autoimmune disease it is yet. To find out, I have to have a kidney biopsy. It doesn't sound very pleasant, but it will tell us exactly whats wrong and how to go about treating it. The best news is that he agreed to write a letter for the adoption saying that this is treatable and I am expected to make a full recovery. Yahoo! This means we can get our dossier finished and hopefully turned in by June. I am sooooo relieved.
We won't be in Limbo anymore. We can actually move forward. Yes! The doctor was thrilled with the amount of weight I lost too. According to their scale, I lost eight pounds. In two weeks! That's very good! I think I can do this. I just have to take it one week at a time, and when I'm finished, I'll be slim and healthy for both myself and Sophie. The only bummer is I have been banned from exercising until my blood pressure comes down. It was dangerously high again today. I was just starting to get into the groove! He says it shouldn't be more than a week until the medication he gave me starts working. I am feeling so relieved right now, I can't even tell you. A very good day!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Weight loss and feeling nervous

I lost 2.5 pounds this week. With the weight I lost on my own, that adds up to seven pounds. I know I should be thrilled. But I'm not. It's just that when I look at the big picture and the outrageous amount of weight I have to lose, it is so overwhelming. If I lost 5 pounds a month, it would take 14 months. You do the math to see how much total I am supposed to lose. I can't even type it without tears welling up. How did that happen? How did I manage to get this fat? I can't do this to myself. I have to focus on one week at a time. Forget the above paragraph. I'm overly tired and extememly worried about the doctor's appointment that I moved up from next week because I can't take the waiting anymore. I am praying that whatever condition I have, it is treatable and won't pose a problem with the adoption. Praying hard.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Back to normal

Well, I'm back to my sweet, normal self today(stop laughing). I am over the bitterness I was feeling yesterday. Mother's day is really a hard day for me. I dread it. I'm glad it's over. I truly do miss my mom on that day, and it is a horrible day for infertile women. You wouldn't understand it unless you have experienced it. I know it won't always be this way, but it has been a hard day since my mom died, and even harder since we started trying to get pregnant. At least we don't have that part to worry about anymore. Anyway, I'm feeling "normal" again. As normal as I get anyway! Had a pretty good day. Work was good. It is a beautiful day and I'm sitting here with the back door open and the breeze blowing in, typing on my laptop, which I am still totally in love with. So that's good. I'm about to go to the store to buy some chicken and corn on the cob to BBQ for dinner, and that's good. It's all good! Hope your day was the same!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Mother's Day. Bah.

If you are looking for a happy, sweet Mother's Day post, you will have to visit my sister's site. Yup, my nephew is cute. I'm afraid I have nothing happy or sweet to say today. Mother's Day is not my favorite day of the year. In fact, it ranks right up there with October 15th. That is the day my Mom died. I miss my Mom all throughout the year, but certain days are worse then others. Like the day she died. Her birthday. Christmas. And Mother's Day. It isn't just missing my Mom that makes me loathe Mother's Day. It's the fact that I don't fit in with the rest of the world on this day. I am not a Mother. I do not have a Mother to celebrate with. I feel a little bit like a single person must feel on Valentine's Day. Everywhere I go, everywhere I turn, there are advertisements for Mother's Day. Florists, cell phone companies, even Home Depot has commercials geared towards Mothers. Every time one of those commercials comes on the television or radio, I roll my eyes and turn the station. I'm sick of hearing about it. I'll be glad when it's over. For a few years my husband thought we should get out of the house, that it would make me feel better, so he took me out to breakfast. It was not a good idea. Everywhere I turned, there were babies and children. Mothers and their daughters. Every meal ended with me crying at the table while my husband hurried to pay the bill. We don't go out to breakfast on Mother's Day anymore. No, tomorrow we'll be doing what we do every year on Mother's Day. I'll stay in bed as long as I possibly can, with the covers pulled over my head. Then my husband will insist that I get up, and we'll go sit in a dark movie theater. We'll see an R-rated action-adventure movie where I'll be unlikely to run into any babies or daughters with their moms. Then we'll come home and I'll breathe a sigh of relief that I've made it through yet another Mother's Day unscathed. *Sigh* I have to believe that someday I might have a reason to celebrate this day. For all of you out there waiting, may this be one of the last Mother's Days that leaves you wishing.

More pictures

I have nothing new to post, so here are more D-Land pictures. Lisa got better ones. My camera is not working properly. Cameron and Gracie went home this morning. *Sigh*. I miss them. Oh well, back to looking at the pictures we took and remembering what a fun time we all had.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Oops! I forgot to mention

Did I forget to mention that as I type this, my sister and family are headed down to So Ca to visit Disneyland? And that I am taking off work tomorrow to go with them? And the kids are having a sleep over at my house on Friday night? How could I forget to mention that? This means I am going to be one happy camper, getting to spend three whole days(and one whole night) with my niece and nephew! Woo Hoo!

P.S. When Lisa asked Cameron if he would like to have a sleep-over at Aunt Michelle's house, he said. "O.K. But how come?" Lisa answered "Because Daddy and I want to have our own sleep-over." To which he said "Huh?" Heh! Luckily it was time to get out of the bath at that exact moment! :)
I just arrived home from the lab to have the tests done that the nephrologist ordered. What an ordeal! To begin with, I had to drop off my twenty four hour urine sample. Boy, was that fun to do. We don't have a private bathroom at my work. We use the same bathrooms as the kids. That means I had to collect my urine in a bathroom with five year olds knocking on the door saying "Miss Michelle? Are you still in there?" In addition, I had to come up with an explanation of why I was carrying a big orange jug that said "Biohazard" on the side. Fun. Also, because I had to collect all of my urine for a 24 hour period, I had to plan very carefully when and where I peed. Not easy when you have to go to an hour long appointment straight from work. At least it's done with. Now back to my lab visit. The receptionist had a fit when she saw my lab form. It had fifteen tests marked off on it, as well as copious amounts of writing from the doctor. She started complaining that she had never seen so many test requests, and that the doctors never fill out the codes properly, blah blah blah. Like this is my fault or something! Then she starts going on and on to her co-worker that she is not staying late tonight, that she never gets out of there on time, and this is just what she needs at the end of the day! Hellooooo....I'm standing right there! I got there at four and they closed at five. It's not like I showed up ten minutes before they closed or something. How unprofessional and rude! So after standing at the counter for close to twenty minutes, she finally has all of my tests recorded in her computer and I am ready to have my blood drawn. The phlebotomist takes me into the back(she was very nice) and says, "Oh, you'll have to lie down for this" and I'm like "What?" I don't need to lay down. I'll be fine." And she says "No, you will have to lie down. I need to take twenty tubes of blood." "WHAT?!!! You have to take TWENTY vials of blood?" "Yes, so you'll have to lie down." So I lie down on the table and she puts the needle in my arm and it hurts! I tell her that it hurts and she says, I know, but I have a good vein here and I don't want to take it out so if it doesn't hurt too badly I need you to hang on and I'll go as fast as I can. Ummmm...O.K. I guess. What choice do I have? So I'm flat on my back on the table looking up at the ceiling and she's asking me if I am O.K., when all of a sudden I don't feel so good. I start feeling nauseated and a little dizzy. Keep in mind that I have been feeling both of these for quite some time and they are side effects of the high blood pressure. But now it seems like the room is getting dark and I start feeling lightheaded. I have no idea why. She didn't take that much blood. Meanwhile the needle in my arm is really starting to hurt. At about the point where I couldn't take it anymore, she was done. But she wouldn't let me get up. She said I had to lay there for at least fifteen minutes. At this point all I want to do is go home, but again, what choice do I have. So I lay there f0r what seems like forever and she doesn't come back for me, so I sit up, get my purse and head for the door. As I'm walking out she is calling after me "Wait, are you sure you are O.K.?" I turn and nod at her and smile and get the heck out of dodge. What an exhasuting trip! Glad that's over. Now I just have to wait for the results. I pray that they tell us exactly what's wrong with me and we can begin treating it.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Weight Watchers

I went to a Weight Watchers meeting tonight. I was so happy because when they weighed me I had lost five lbs. from last week when I was weighed at the doctors. Yay me! I was on W.W. for a year and a half about five years ago, so I pretty much know what to do. My goal this time is to actually attend the weekly meetings(instead of just weighing in) and stick with it. I don't want to tell you how much weight I have to lose in order to be in the normal weight range for my height. It's a lot. I can't think about that. I have to take it one day(week) at a time. Joe wasn't too happy that I'll be spending another $12.00 a week, in addition to my weekly therapy bill and outrageous pharmacy bill each month. But these things are for my health, right? Maybe if I lose some weight I can get off some of those medications. I hope so.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Ho Hum Day

Just another noneventful, ho hum day. Physically I am not feeling great. Headaches, nausea, horrible backache.(kidney ache?) I'm bummed because I'm supposed to be at Bunco right now. I didn't go because my back hurt so bad I couldn't wait to get home to lie on the couch. It is feeling better now. After re-reading my post about the kidney disease symptoms, I felt I should clarify the "itching" symptom. I was referring to my skin being itchy, nothing else. I have feeling itchy all over my body for about six months. I talked to the doctor about it awhile ago, but he said maybe in was my detergent or something, even though I hadn't made any changes to it in the last several months. Anyway, just wanted to clear that up! My skin is itchy, O.K.? I'm doing pretty well on my diet. I guess I should just resign myself to the fact that I am going to be hungry between meals. I'm trying not to snack too much during the day. It gives me a little more room to have a larger point meal at dinner. It is practically impossible to go out to eat and stay within your points range though. I am going to a Weight Watchers meeting tomorrow night. Hopefully they'll have some solutions. I do have to say, I am absolutely addicted to these. They are like crack. I crave them. I eat two at one sitting(they are one point each). I start thinking about them and I can't stop. When I go into the freezer to get one, I have anxiety that when I reach into the box it will be empty. Addicted, I tell you! Well at least they are better for me than chocolate! I took my sleeping pill early and now am falling asleep typing this. Time for bed.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


I did twelve loads of laundry today. Yes, you read right. Twelve. Needless to say, I got a little behind on the laundry. Now I am caught up. I have pretty much been doing laundry since I got home from lunch with my Dad. Now I am tired. The good thing about living in an apartment is that I can do five loads at one time. The bad thing is it cost me twenty-four bucks. Oh well, that's a small price to pay for being totally caught up on my laundry, right?

Feeling a bit calmer

I am feeling a little bit calmer about the situation. Usually I have to have a big freak out over something before I can deal with it. Isn't that what I always do? Anyway, I woke up this morning feeling better about things. As Tracy commented on my last post, the doctor said I had kidney disease, not kidney failure. Kidney disease is treatable. There is nothing I can do right now except get the required tests done, and then go from there. Well, that and watch my diet carefully and exercise, both of which I have been doing since Wednesday. I immediately started on Weight Watchers that day. I did it for almost two years once before, so I know the drill. I'm going to go to a meeting next week. Joe and I have been walking every night, despite the back pain. My back actually feels much better today. I think it was sore from the ultrasound yesterday. She really had to push hard to get some of those pictures. Overall I am still feeling like crap. My legs are still quite swollen and my face looks like a Puffer fish, but mentally I am feeling better. Thanks for all the good wishes. It truly helps. I'm going to have to take it one day at a time. At least now I know why I haven't been feeling good, and we can figure out what to do to make it better.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Back from my Break

I have decided to come back from my blogger's break a little early. I was going to wait until Sunday, but I need somewhere to vent, so here I am. I have also decided to continue writing in the manner to which you have become accustomed. That means I am still going to use this blog like a diary. I don't care if people like it or don't like it. I started this blog for me and ultimately that's what I want to use it for. I'm going to try very hard not to obsess over who's reading(or commenting). (I said try, O.K.?) I wish I could tell you all that my week got better after my last post, but sadly, it did not. I have been sinking ever so slowly into a depressive state since last Sunday. I even started my period and it still didn't help. I have been feeling lousy(physically). Really lousy. I wasn't able to put my finger on exactly what was wrong, I just didn't feel right. I have been retaining a lot of water lately. That means my ankles and feet are swollen quite a bit. My face is puffy in the morning when I get up. My eyes have been extremely swollen, but I thought that was from the amount of crying I had been doing. I've been doing a lot of crying. When I get up, in the shower, in the car, at work(the kid's saw me once), on the way home, as I fall asleep. A lot of crying. Joe is worried. I think he has cause to be. We've been fighting. That is not normally something we do a lot of, and it doesn't feel good.
My back has been hurting. I have been walking in kind of a hunched over position for the last two days. I thought it was because we had taken a very strenuous two hour hike in the Laguna Canyon last Sunday. I have been having blinding headaches. The worst headaches I have ever had. I'm getting them early in the morning and they are waking me up. Who ever heard of a headache that wakes you up? I haven't. I thought they might be hormone related. I have been doing a lot of "thinking" this week about why I have been having these physical discomforts. Well, I was completely wrong. About all of them. You see, I went to see a Nephrologist on Wednesday. He asked me some questions about my health and past history. A lot of questions. He looked at the results from the urologist and he did an exam. His diagnosis? Extemely high blood pressure(dangerously high) and some form of kidney disease. He isn't sure which kind, or how severe, but he says I definitely have it. Not "maybe". Not "Let's do more tests to see if you do." He said "You have kidney disease." No ifs, ands, or buts about it. I have all of the symptoms.
1. Changes in urination. Check.
2. Swelling. Check.
3. Fatigue. Check
4. Itching. Check.
5. Metallic taste in mouth. Check. (This is actually listed as a side effect on one of the medications I am taking)
6. Nausea. Check.
7. Shortness of breath. Check.
8. Feeling Cold. Check.
9. Dizziness and trouble concetrating. Check Check.
10. Flank pain. Check.

So I have all of the above symptoms. And some of them I have been having for quite some time. He scheduled me for a kidney ultrasound(which I had today), and a bunch of blood/urine tests. I am doing the blood tomorrow, but have to wait on the urine until I'm off of my period. I have to collect a sample of my urine over a twenty four-hour period. Yippee. I might sound quite calm as I sit here typing this, but believe me, this is seriously freaking me out. Seriously.
Freaking. Me. Out. I have spent the last two days either popping Xanax and trying not to hyperventilate, or crying my eyes out. Neither is helping. Typing "kidney disease", "kidney failure", and "dialysis" into Google has not helped me either. It has, in fact, made it considerably worse. Joe has banned me completely from visiting any more medical websites. Don't tell him I had to visit one to type the above symptoms. The fear I am feeling is paralyzing. These are serious life-threatening conditions. The doctor told me I have to lose weight immediately. I have to cut salt out of my diet. I have to exercise every day. Do you know how difficult these orders are for me? Unfortunately weight does not just melt off of me. I have to work very hard at it, and it is slow. There is salt in EVERYTHING. Ice cream has salt. Cereal has salt. Low fat granola bars have salt. Even Pop Tarts have salt in them! (Not that I'll be eating any of those!) Furthermore, do you know how hard it is to exercise when your back hurts so bad you can hardly stand upright? So I am laying here on the couch with the computer propped on my stomach typing this and trying not to cry. And failing miserably. I can't even go into how this affects the adoption. If this turns out to be serious enough, it could put it off indefinitely. China certainly isn't going to give one of their children to someone whose kidneys are failing. I can't even entertain the thought. If you pray, please, please pray that this turns out to be something treatable and non life-threatening. Please.