Thursday, August 31, 2006

A new, positive outlook for the future... FINALLY!

I finally have a new, positive outlook for what is to come for TTC...finally, finally.

On first impressions alone, the MFM clinic had their act together - we were amazed from the second we stepped into the clinic. All we had to do was hand over our paperwork I completed ahead of time, they copied my insurance card and drivers license, and we paid my $10 co-pay. Plus, they validated our parking ticket, so we didn't have to pay for parking - spiffy! Less than ten minutes later, Dr. W actually came out to get us, personally, and led us to his office (which his walls were PLASTERED with diplomas and certifications...very reassuring we are in the best of hands). What a breath of fresh air that was!

...I must say up front that I am going to have some FUN with Dr. D next time I see him! Dr. W explained to us that he sees Dr. D at least 2-3 times a week, between weekly staff conferences at the obstetrics department in the hospital and consults while women are laboring/delivering - so, he assured us, he and "Tommy" (yes.... TOMMY!) will be in touch often about what is going on in our case, well beyond the formal "consult report" he will send over to Dr. D this week. What a nice reassurance that was... And, I am going to have a ball calling Dr. D "Tommy" next time I'm meeting with him. Heehee!

Now, onto the nitty gritty of the appointment...

After explaining the usual "stuff"of the consults they run through - how at least 70% of women will go on to have normal PG's after habitual m/c's, how nothing can really be done in the 1st trimester if a woman is going to m/c, how the "school of thought" is split on certain protocols of treatment (like progesterone, baby aspirin, etc.), yada, yada, yada - we went over family history. He said Dr. D did not send him everything from the recurrent loss panel he would have liked to see (i.e., the chromosome panels on both Hubby and I) - he wants to see it because of a case of CP and a case of Down's Syndrome on Hubby's side of the family. But, that is okay for now since Dr. D did not flag anything. He will request it from Dr. D after the appointment, just to verify Hubby's chromosomes are okay (Hubby is jealous that, technically, he can call me a "mutant" and can't - what a weirdo I married!).

He reviewed the genetic testing results from the d&e in 11/05 and the d&c in 3/06. Obviously, a gender could not be determined in the 11/05 d&e because there was really no baby to test. I knew that. But, he said that in the genetic testing from the 3/06 d&c, it showed a "normal female." I knew that too. He said that, honestly, there is really no way to tell the gender of that baby - at the stage of PG I was at the time of the d&c, there is a good likelihood that part of what was included in the genetic testing was specimens from me from the procedure, resulting in the "female" result. I knew that too - I have read up A LOT on how many errors in gender can be made on genetic testing from a d&c. But, in my heart, I know my last angel was a girl - and, he was kind enough to respect that.

He then asked the question "Why were we here?"

I explained that after Dr. D found the homozygous MTHFR mutation and elevated homocysteine levels, he urged us to come over for the consult before we considered getting PG again. Dr. W then said that he was glad it was Dr. D who suggested the consult, not us pushing for it and forcing the issue. The reason for his thoughts on that are, even though he knows we are scared and nervous about TTC again (as are many couples who have dealt with recurrent losses), our heads and hearts are in the right place to try again. He said when women/couples force their docs for the consult, especially after only one to two losses, emotionally they are not ready for this - and, in the end, they may not even have a problem that needs to be addressed. Not that being proactive is bad, in his estimation... He said that, even though we (really I) have had a hard time dealing with the losses, we (really I) are thinking logically and pushing to address the long-term issues of my healthy first - and THAT will make his role in this more successful. It is very nice to know he would like to see the long-term issues addressed first - can't have a healthy PG withouth a healthy mommy, right?

Then, we got into the specifics of why we were there...

Dr. W said, first and foremost, we HAVE to get the homocysteine levels way down. He said that, well beyond PG losses, the levels are not good for my overall, long term health (specically cardiac) and they have to be brought down now. So, he wrote a script out for Folgard to start immediately - then, since we are not looking to start TTC again until Janaury, he will retest the levels in early November. Of course, one of the other docs involved (either Dr. D or Dr. McC) can test it earlier if they want - just make sure a report is sent over to him to keep him updated. Once I DO get PG, then I will be seen very often in the 1st trimester for u/s's and check-ups at the clinic, in addition to Dr. D, since the 1st trimester is the most important for the condition. So, we should have many u/s pics to share, when the time comes. :)

As for the thyroid issues - he said that, until we know for sure if I really DO have a thyroid issue, he can't say for sure how things will go. Yes, my levels are elevated, but not HIGH - which means, either I am starting to go hyperthyroid or this could actually be a fluke and my thyroid could be normal (especially with no family history of the condition). So, he wants to see the results of the thyroid scan and uptake tests done on 9/13 and we will go from there. If I do have a hyperthyroid, I have four months to get it under control (which is plenty of time) - and, in his estimation, because it is not running rampant and it was caught early, I should just need oral meds to get it under control. For clinic purposes, if I am hyperthyroid, I would be seeing them often throughout the entire PG, checking for normal growth in the baby and thyroid levels. He said, yes it is a complication - but a managable complication as long as I am being seen regularly by them, my Dr. D and an endocrinologist (which I have to schedule today, just in case I need it).

He also said that he needs to request from Dr. D the thrombophila and autoimmune panels run in the recurrent loss panel from May - even though Dr. D said to me the results were normal, he wants to see them anyway to verify the results (not that he doesn't trust Dr. D's judgement - he assured me that Dr. D ran one of the most thorough recurrent loss panels a doc could run). If he sees anything that is on the high-end of "normal," he will consider also adding in the baby aspirin and/or heparin injections into the cocktail with Folgard.

Now...on to the part that pissed me off with Dr. R (the upper GI doc) and why I will NEVER, EVER see him again on purpose...

Not only did he not give the elevated thyroid levels urgency to me...
Not only did he not address the pressure in my stomach which was causing me to not be able to eat and feel sick to my stomach after what I did eat (chalking it up to good 'ol IBS)...

...He totally MISrepresented the CT scan results on the fibroids! I have worried for a month now that this was going to be an issue...and, depending on where they were located, I might have to have surgery to remove them. Turns out the report said I have one fibroid at the top of my uterus on the outside - which is the SAME ONE I KNEW I HAD FOR AT LEAST THREE FREAKIN YEARS!! So, I have worried for a month over nothing. I am pissed.

Dr. W said that, knowing this is the same fibroid I knew I had all along and that it caused no complications with PG and labor/delivery with Chris, that it should not cause any problems now. So, that takes fibroids out of the mix of complications to worry about. Yeah!

My goals for this week now stand at:

  1. Scheduling a much-overdue annual exam with Dr. D
  2. Scheduling an infertility consult appointment with Dr. D to see how he is planning to get me knocked up next time around
  3. Scheduling the endocrinologist appointment (just in case I need it)
  4. Calling Dr. P (my counselor) to update him on things, at his request, before my 9/11 appointment
  5. Finish up and pawn off my projects at work in prep for vacation - YEAH!
  6. and PACK!

Overall, I have nothing but hope for TTC again...finally. I still have the hurdle of the thyroid scan, but cannot worry about that now until the test is done.

So, for now, I am going to concentrate of LIVING again....and enjoy my vacation, and my time with Chris and my family. I am going to keep walking and feeling physically better. I am going to thank God for what I have in my life and take what is to come with some grace and resolve. I am going to live my life again. And, it is such a good feeling.

I do ask everyone to say a special prayer for my friend S... She had her FET done yesterday, and the procedure went very well (better than any of the previous transfers she has had done - BIG day for good news all around, huh?). She has gone way to long with infertility and it is her time to be called Mommy. Please pray that she gets that BFP she and her DH have been waiting for... They deserve this and it is their turn to get off the rollercoaster of IF.

I also ask everyone to say a special prayer for my sister's manager at work... He died suddenly between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning and wasn't found until his wife came home from an out-of-state business trip yesterday morning. They are suspecting a massive stroke and no one was there to get him to the hospital. May he find some peace....and everyone he worked with find a way to remember him as the nice guy he was.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Song for the moment: Surrounded

by Dream Theater

Morning comes too early
and nighttime falls too late
And sometimes all I want to do is wait
The shadow I've been hiding in
has fled from me today

I know it's easier to walk away
than look it in the eye
But I will raise a shelter to the sky
and here beneath this star tonight I'll lie
She will slowly yield the light
As I awaken from the longest night

Dreams are shaking
Set sirens waking up tired eyes
With the light the memories
all rush into his head

By a candle stands a mirror
Of his heart and soul she dances
She was dancing thru the night above his bed

And walking to the window
he throws the shutters out against the wall
And from an ivory tower hears her call
"Let light surround you"

It's been a long, long time
He's had a while to think it over
In the end he only sees the change
Light to dark
Dark to light
Light to dark
Dark to light

Heaven must be more than this
When angels waken with a kiss
Sacred hearts won't take the pain
But mine will never be the same

He stands before the window
His shadow slowly fading from the wall
And from an ivory tower hears her call
"Let the light surround you"

Once lost but I was found
When I heard the stained glass
shatter all around me
I sent the spirits tumbling
down the hill
But I will hold this one on high
above me still
She whispers words to clear my mind
I once could see but now at last
I'm blind

I know it's easier to walk away
than look it in the eye
But I had given all that I could take
And now I've only habits left to break
Tonight I'll still be lying here
Surrounded in all the light

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Can't wait to shake this jittery feeling

Finally, my GP's office got it right - the thyroid scan and uptake is scheduled for 9/13 at 8 am. But, it just seems so far away to have any answers....and so long before I can get rid of (or really lessen, at least) the anxiety and jittery and shakiness I have been feeling for months now. I am so tired of waiting for things to happen...

I think I am ready for the MFM appointment tomorrow.... A little more than 24 hours from now, some of the questions I have been waiting so long to have answered will (hopefully) be answered. All I have to do is print out my charts from after Chris was born until now, so I have them on hand (in case they want them).

Vacation is just around the corner - I CAN'T WAIT!!!! If I can make it to Saturday without wanting to "hurt" my Director, it will be all good. :)

Not that I dislike my Director or anything - he has been so wonderful to me during all of the losses and struggles of the last year or so, I can't imagine working anywhere else. But, I just can't handle the workload right now - I panic when he throws things my way now, which has never been a problem in the past for me. I am afraid to open my e-mail in the morning to see the barrage of e-mails from him of things that have to get done (and here I sit on Blogger! Haha!). Guess I just need to try to slow down a bit now...not that I can right now. We have so many projects coming up, and not enough staff to handle it all. I hope the week or so off will refresh me a bit...

Will post an update tomorrow after the MFM appointment...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Getting ready for D-Day - MFM Clinic Consult

....Only 7 more days until D-Day.... our MFM Clinic consult.

There are so many things to ask... So many concerns to bring to the table. I hope they are ready for us! Haha! Dr. D has the knowledge that I am a planner - and a researcher. He is always prepared for my questions and research when it is appointment time for me. Hope he warned Dr. W I am coming!

Dr. D's office confirmed this morning that the referral for the consult is already faxed over to the clinic, and they will be faxing all of the bloodwork over when they request it (which should be within the next few days). So, all I need to do is show up with my questions in hand. At least one doctor's office has it completely together!

So, here starts my list of questions to ask. Any comments or suggestions are welcome - Just post them to the Comments.

  • How will the treat the MTHFR mutation and resulting high homocysteine levels? How soon do I start treatment? How often do they follow-up pre-conception to make sure the levels are evening out and holding steady? Should we consider baby aspirin or Levonox or a combo of both?
  • What about the new fibroids found? If they are internal, or will affect getting and staying PG, should we consider removing them?
  • How will we manage hyperthryoid, if the tests turn out to indicate that it is in fact a problem?
  • What would they suggest about the next IF protocol? Try Clomid one more time, or change the protocol totally?
  • Why do they think I am spotting mid-cycle now (except on the BCPs)?
  • How often would I be seeing them in addition to Dr. D, once I get PG? Who do I call first for a beta - or a + HPT?
  • How do I manage the mega-nausea I had with Chris, when I do get PG? With the prospect of so many meds, I want to ensure I can take them and keep them down.
  • What are my real chances of miscarrying again?
  • What are my increased risks of harm to the baby with these medical conditions together? How much higher are the chances of birth defects, specifically, ones that would be a life-long struggle and pain.
  • Should we consider no longer TTC?

I wonder how long of an appointment I DO have!?!?! Haaahaaa! With all of these questions....I hope there is enough time to answer them. :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Restoring some much needed faith

Had my physical done today with Dr. McC - and a good chuckle with him since he decided it was time for a baseline EKG. When did I become old enough to warrent the need for an EKG at a physical??? Am I really getting that old? Haha!

So, here are my bloodwork results so far:

Homocysteine levels:

  • from May: 10.8
  • from August: 15.3
  • average range limits: 3.3-10.4

Thyroid levels (T4 specifically, since this is the level in question):

  • from July: 12.1
  • from August: 13.6
  • average range limits: 4.5-12.0

Vitamin B-12 and Folate levels fall well into the normal range.

Cholesterol levels (which has been a constant battle for me for years now):

  • Total: 227 (should be under 200)
  • LDL (bad cholesterol): 133 (should be under 130)
  • HDL (good cholesterol): 60 (which is higher than normal, and balances out the LDL)

So, now I have to schedule the thyroid scan to see what is happening with the gland itself. There is something going on - but which is the real cause (MTHFR or thyroid) is yet to be determined.

BUT, I have a path to follow now, which is great. The Librax is a "patch" until we know what the real culprit is, and thank goodness it is working! I have some moments of anxiety, heart racing, stomach upset, etc. But, I'll take it over the past few weeks when it was impossible to escape it. I can eat again, and I have gained 2 pounds back in a week.

Dr. McC did promise me, though, that he will be in contact with Dr. D to make sure he is completely up to speed on what is happening - and that Dr. D gets this information to the MFM clinic for next week's consult. We may not have the full picture yet, but he said there is no reason to delay the process and postpone that appointment. Yeah! He wants them to give an opinion on treatment options - and work with them to make sure the care is managed well. Finally, I have the docs on my side.

He said he personally sees no reason why I can't go on to a healthy pregnancy...and hearing that right now feels so good. I won't get my hopes up too high just yet - I need to hear what the clinic has to say about m/c and birth defect odds first. But, it is a little faith that I need right now.

...Now, if I can only get my boss to STOP dumping more work on me!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Balancing the emotions I feel

One of the ladies in my long-term FF BG's PM'ed me on Friday to ask how I was doing...and, you know, I am not sure anymore. It took me several days to truly figure out how I felt...and it wasn't easy to write the response back because I just can't say how I feel anymore.

I feel like I have a misbalance of emotions, like I am ping-ponging between being optomistic one moment to feeling like everything is going to cave in the next...

  • I feel so down in the dumps sometimes, I can't imagine how I am going to dig out of it.
  • I feel like I am reliving the "Who shot JR" saga on Dallas - the events of the past year seem like a dream and I am not connected to them at all.
  • I feel angry because of what has been robbed from me - from us as a family. I should have been a mommy of two children two times over by now, and I still have another EDD to get through in October. Things should have been so different right now, and I am angry and feel robbed.
  • I feel guilty for the toll the losses have taken on my relationship with Hubby. Thank goodness he is a very understanding and supportive man - he has been my rock too many times over.
  • I feel like the proud and happy mommy I should feel like whenever I get that "Hi" and big smile from Chris when I come home from work. Chris has been the best thing through all of this...and it saddens me that I have lost precious time with him over the past year.
  • And, interwined in all of these emotions, I feel like such a hypocrite for it taking me so long to get over these losses - I have my Chris, and I thank God every day for him. But, one of my friends has endured 3 IVF cycles, one unmedicated FET that resulted in a m/c and currently going through a medicated FET. She lost her only child a little past 5 weeks of pregnancy. She has been trying for over 4 years now. When I talk with her, I can't help but think I am feeling sorry for myself and should just get over it already. Why should I feel so angry and upset when I have my Chris to kiss goodnight?
How do I balance these feelings? I am just not sure.

I know that part of the balance will come once I have a full picture of what is going on with me medically, and it is finally corrected. My ups and downs have been so frequent over the past months, but I know now a lot of that has to do with very raging hormones (or, horrormones, in my opinion). I just haven't felt like me in a long time - happy-go-lucky, independent, content, happy. So, until I am through the testing completely for the thyroid issues and Dr. McC looks at everything together, I have to deal with the symptoms (racing heart, anxiety, shaky hands, dizziness, stomach issues, weight loss) without medical correction. I just haven't had more than a weeks time in the past 8 months where I haven't felt completely healthy - and it sucks. It grates on your very last nerve.

The rest of the balance will come once I know if TTC again will really be in our future. TTC is riding on my health right now - which has been waxing and waning like the tide - and I hate it. I can't TTC again if the chances are not good for a healthy child - I cannot play God with another person's life just to have another baby.

Even at my worst, I have not abused my body to the point of ill-health. Sure, I partied a bit in college, and at times have eaten without thought of the consequences on my health. But, I never truly abused my body - yet, here I am with so many things going wrong in a one year period. Why? I can't even blame familial genes for the MTHFR and potential thyroid issues - I am the only lucky winner there! Then, why?

And, on top of all the medical crap, we still haven't addressed what med protocol we will use in the next TTC cycle, if there is one. I just can't see continuing on Clomid alone or at all, given the poor responses I have had with it this year. Although, I suppose that can change with the 35 pounds I have lost over the past year (if I don't gain them back, of course). So, my doc and I have to really sit down and figure out what we are going to do - if we are going to take the chance again, I want to ensure the best possible ovulation I can get. I know no one can guarantee me that this will work, but I need the best shot I can get for it to work.

...Back when I was young, I had several goals for my life: to go to college and get an education (the first in my family), to find the right guy and be happily married for the long-haul (and I was grateful to meet him early on in high school!), to be financially stable (not rich, but comfortable knowing the bills were paid), and to be a the best mommy to 2-3 children I could be. Up to this point, I have attained everything I wanted, except for the last, and most important, goal. I know I am a good mommy to Chris, but I never wanted him to be an only - and now I am really staring down that decision that he may in fact be an only. Not that being an only is bad - it didn't screw up DH. But, I WANTED 2-3 children, and I am just heartbroken that I might never have that.

...Maybe I am just being selfish...

There are so many things stacked against us now, and I just don't know if I can take the chance again. One medical complication alone wouldn't be so bad (okay, it can be) - but, with the MTHFR mutation, possible thyroid issues and the additional fibroids together, I feel like I am just setting myself, and my family, up for more losses and more heartache. I just don't know what to do. I can't put myself and my family through another loss (or losses) just to fulfill my goals and dreams. But, I so want another child. Is that too much to ask for?

It has been hard to be in such a different place in my life than most of the ladies on my BG's on the various sites, and I haven't wanted to bring everyone down. There is so much joy to share in our children, and the children yet to be...after a while, I feel like I am going on and on and depressing everyone.

I miss the simple times...the naive times. Then again, maybe that is the point of my journey... Maybe I need to find my way, through whatever it takes.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mutiny on the Body

I am starting to think my body has decided to scale a full-fledged assault on me now...why? I would LOVE to know!

Dr. McC called me at 9 pm tonight - b/w is back from Tuesday already! Wow! Talk about getting answers fast!

Good news: My Folic Acid and B-12 levels are normal. Yeah! But, he is going to re-run the homocysteine levels that Dr. D ran in May to see how different they are now. Should be back by Monday.

Bad news: My one thyroid level went up from the original b/w in July. CRAP!!! So, he is arranging for a thyroid scan now and an appointment with an endocrinologist so we can see exactly what is happening. He said this could explain the anxiety, the weight loss (bummer), the lack of concentration, the stomach issues.

Luckily for me right now, the Librax I started on Tuesday seems to be working - I am upset, but I am not off my rocker over it. It had definitely eased the anxiety a bit, and has calmed the tummy so I can eat now.

I am just so frustrated now... Ever since we started TTC again in 7/05, it has been down-hill from the second we started. I am beyond pissed off that my body just doesn't want to cooperate for the one thing I have wanted in my life: another child.

But, I am trying like hell not to really freak out - I can't, until I have the full picture in front of me...

....How long until 2006 is over?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Finally getting the answers I need!

After a loooong lull in the posting here on my blog, I am finally getting the answers I need to why I have felt sooo crappy for so long! Here's the skinny on my medical crap for the moment:

Met with my counselor on Monday - when I explained what has been happening with the ongoing stomach issues and how they seemed to revolve around weekends and meeting up with friends, he said that they do not sound like true panick attacks, since they are predictable. However, there is definitely an anxiety response going on that needs to be addressed to the events I am avoiding.

He has some theories on it...

  1. If you subscribe to the Freudian school of thought, he said I could be unconsiously making myself feel how I would feel right now if I were still pregnant. Since some of the symptoms mimic how I felt with my PG with Chris (pressure in upper stomach, which felt like Chris' feet constantly in my rib cage; nausea, which I had constantly for the first 4-5 months of PG with Chris, and on-and-off throught the rest of it), I could, in my mind, be making myself still feel PG. Now, my counselor does not believe in the Freudian school of thought, so he said just take it as a theory and take it for what its worth. But, I suppose there could be some truth to it, since your mind naturally goes on to think where you would be in the PG as the EDD approaches.
  2. What he DOESthink I could be doing is unconsiously allowing myself to avoid situations where talking about the losses would naturally come up - and, I think he got some validation to his theory when he asked how I have been about the losses recently: I just started to cry all over again, which I haven't done in weeks. It seems the people we have to cancel out on because I don't feel good ARE the people that have been the most helpful through the losses and are the most likely to bring the subject up. Now, we just need to figure out the WHY of the avoidance behaviours behind it.
My counselor does think I could benefit from an anti-anxiety med, so after I saw Dr. McC (my GP), he wanted me to call him and let him know whats going on. But, he said since my thyroid panel had come back elevated (more on that below, since elevated seems to be relative to each doc!), he said I should make sure that we know what is going on with that before jumping into anti-anxiety meds since hyperthyroid can cause anxiety. Makes sense to me!

I saw Dr. McC yesterday and, after listening to what has been happening over the past 7 months or so and reviewing all of the tests Dr. R (the upper
-GI doc in the office that Dr. McC had me see when this all started) ran, gave me something called Librax, which is a smooth muscle relaxer for the stomach, to take about 30 minutes before I eat dinner - he is hoping that it will control the "spasms" my stomach is doing, which accounts for the pressure that I have been feeling in the area and the inability to eat, especially at dinner time. Librax has a secondary anti-anxiety effect, so he is holding off on giving me any kind of anxiety med (which he thinks I do need for a while). We will see how this works through this week and when I go in for my physical on 8/22, we will see if he needs to switch it.

Dr. McC was rather annoyed that Dr. R niether addressed the stomach pressure issue with me (since this has been going on since April/May), nor clarified the bloodwork he ran that turned up the "elevated thyroid" panel. He said my one panel was .10 over the normal mark and the other was completely normal, so he is re-running it just to make sure it is okay, which it probably is.

He is also running b/w for folic acid and B-12 levels - apparently, there is a disorder called Pernicious Anemia which is a form of anemia due to very low levels of B-12, which can cause the stomach issues I have been having - and goes hand-in-hand with the MTHFR mutation Dr. D found back in May. Finally, someone is listening! If it turns out my B-12 levels are really low, he will have to order B-12 injections once a month until my levels get to normal. He does, however, want to see what the MFM clinic says on 8/30 about suppliments for Folic acid/B vitamins before he would start the injections so I am not going over what I need.

The medication really did work last night - I was able to eat without feeling sick afterwards, and I was able to sleep all night. So, I am hoping this will work. Only downside to it is I absolutely have to be off it when TTC because it is very harmful to a fetus - but, by the time we get there, I am hoping this will be all over anyway.

....And, I also am down to 148 lbs! Yikes! I was trying to lose weight (I wanted to get down to 155 lbs, which was my wieght when we got married), but not this way! I keep getting comments now that I look "grey" or "too thin." Thanks for boosting my confidence, people! Good thing is, I will probably gain some of it back as soon as I start eating again!

So, I am hoping this is the start of me feeling BETTER! I am so sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. And, I want my LIFE BACK!

I am so grateful to Hubby for being so understanding and helpful - and pushing the docs to try to find out exactly what is going on with me. So many things have been on hold for us, and he has been so patient. I am forever grateful for that - I am sure most men would have thrown in the towel by now!

And, I am so grateful to my friends, both IRL and who haunt my blog. All of you have been so good to me, lending a listening ear - I could not have made it through this without all of you!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Facing some issues head-on, before they get worse

In talking to my mom yesterday, after a few days of utter chaos with my stomach (Thursday into Saturday, I am 99% sure, was yet another stomach virus that I caught from sweet Chris - thanks, sweetie!), I am coming to the realization that, yes, I do believe I have the lovely Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS - for when the doc finds nothing else wrong with your GI tract!) that my mother, sister and aunt share, along with the very lessening symptoms of GERD. So, I suppose this is something life-long now, and who knows when things will flair up or not. Yuck!

But, on top of that, the big IBS attacks seem to be getting very situational - before baby showers (like yesterday morning...see the elaboration below), baptisms, birthday parties, gatherings of larger groups of friends, simple stops to the store, huge projects at work... So, my mom (and my dear Hubby) both asked me if maybe these "attacks" are actually turning into real panick attacks. My mom has them, so it would not be a surprise if I, too, would start getting them.

Here are some of those symptoms I found on-line (thanks, Dr. Google!):

Irrational fear or dread - Check! Who on Earth fears going to the check-out at CVS?
Muscle tension and headache - BIG Check!
Chest pain - Wouldn't call it pain, but pressure, yes.
Elevated heart rate/palpitations - Normally, no. But, starting the morning of an event, Check!
Insomnia - BIG Check!
Diarrhea/GI distress/IBS - BIG Check!
Nausea - Check!
A feeling of fullness or chest pressure/shortness of breath - Check!
Jumpiness/Irritability/Shakiness - Check!
Sudden changes in body temperature/Hot flashes - Check!
Tearfulness - Check!
Depression - Probably...

An example of this is the baby shower I went to yesterday for a friend of mine from my old job. Originally, I was going to stay with her and her sister while the shower was going on - she is in bed-rest with twins because she has an incompitent cervix. But, he doc gave her clearance to attend under MANY restrictions (like, staying a wheelchair all day) and that changed the plans on Saturday.

So, I was up all night on Saturday night with what I throught was a bad upset stomach (yet again). But, during that time, I kept ruminating on what the baby shower the next day was going to be like: Who was I sitting with; how was I going to handle being around my PG friend who is due 2 weeks after when I should have been due with the last miscarriage; what was traffic going to be like (heading to the Jersey Shore early on Sunday is not always the wisest thing!); was I going to lose it during the shower as everyone oggled over her and the gifts; was Chris going to nap while he was with Hubby; was Hubby going to do the things I needed him to do for me to get ready for work the next day; how long was it going to take me to get home; what were we doing for dinner (not that I was hungary anyway)....etc., etc., etc. You get the picture.

These thoughts are SO STUPID! So TRIVIAL! Yet, I can't shut them off!

When I got up Sunday morning, my stomach was still a mess.... So, my thoughts turned into Do I go, do I not go?, over and over again. I needed to decide by 11 am so I could let the hostest know... But, I finally bucked up and left at 12 noon for the 1 pm shower - and, of course, I was fine (except for the THREE pregnant reminders of the baby I was not having in late October/early November - but, that is for another post). And, although my stomach was not perfect, I was calmer and able to eat and socialize.

So, what does this all mean now? Another phone call to the doc, of course (Hubby was doing that one, since he has the magic touch getting a hold of our GP!). Long-term, if this is really what this is all going to boil down to, I don't know.

Do I need meds - probably. Although, I really didn't want to start anything now since we wanted to start TTC again in January. But, as I really see these behaviors in myself, along with those who are closest to me seeing them (and telling me about it), then it is probably wise to start thinking of taking something now before this gets any worse. I have to put my family (and myself) first before trying attempt to have an addition to the family.

I can't believe my journey of loss has brought me here... Makes sense, I suppose. But, where did I really lose it? Or, it is just genetics taking advantage of the situation? Who knows... And, yet again, the control freak does not have answers...just more questions.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Uh, gee. Thanks for the reminder of what I am missing, BabyWeekly

After I found out I was going to miscarry my June angel on 11/7/05 after the second u/s showed an empty sac, I went through and deleted - or at least I THOUGHT I deleted - my e-mail address from all of those lovely e-mail lists on pregnancy and what you should be expecting week by week. I did this so fast, along with deleting everything pertaining to the pregnancy in my siggies on Fertility Friend, Connected Moms and Fertility Family, because I couldn't stand looking at the reminders of what wasn't going to be.

But, low and behold! Look what pops into my e-mail - not my spam file, but my e-mail this afternoon:

BabyWeekly Tips – Week 6
Managing Cradle Cap

If your baby develops a yellow, hard crust on his or her scalp, don't worry - this is called cradle cap and it's very common. If your baby develops a yellow, hard crust on his or her scalp, don't worry - this is called cradle cap and it's very common. To soften the flakey skin, try rubbing a small amount of vegetable oil (such as olive oil) on your baby's scalp, leave it on for about 15 minutes, and then use a fine-tooth comb or soft brush to gently brush the flakes off. However, be careful not to brush too harshly; your baby's scalp is delicate and can get sore and red if brushed in the same spot too long or too hard. Make sure you wash your baby's scalp after applying the oil; leaving the oil on can cause the flakes to stick even more. To help dissolve all the oil, leave the shampoo on for a few minutes before rinsing off.

Uh, gee. Thanks for reminding me how old my angel baby would have been today.

This is one of the hardest parts of having had the three miscarriages - the small, "incidental" reminders of what was not to be that sneak in. Just when you think you are beginning to accept and move on, something like this comes along to slap you in the face and sets your whole mindset back a few steps. Dammit.

At least I listened tod my guarded heart in February when I found out I was pregnant again - I never signed up for any of these e-mails. So, at least I won't get slapped again later in the year when I pass through my not-to-be EDD on 10/30.