(Manic) Monday Mind Dump

Happy Monday, everyone. I know how much you look forward to this day each week; I know I do. Ugh.

Today is a Manic Monday. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. My thoughts are just kind of all over the place.

My father was released from the hospital Saturday night. When I went to see him Saturday afternoon, he was 90% better, eating and moving around the room, being hyper. Apparently he went down to the lobby the night before and played the piano for the nurses. Typical. But his memory was still not perfect. He was remembering things that never happened. Either way, he was talking completely fine, unlike two days prior to that when he could barely say my name or purse his lips to give me a kiss. I am more than relieved he is home, and that this nightmare is hopefully behind us. I don’t think he realizes how scary this was, and how close to death he could have been.

He took so long to wake up properly from anesthesia due to 3 possible factors: He never went under anesthesia before, his medications were stopped cold turkey prior to surgery and he continued without them for a few days after, and one doctor thinks some of the septic toxic garbage from his gallbladder entered his bloodstream and traveled to his brain.

Either way, we will never know exactly what happened, but it took him a week and a half to fully emerge. I’m just grateful my stress levels can now return to normal.

I basically forgot about Clomid and this double-cycle. Now that the stress is over, my brain has gone back to its old ways, mostly. It’s CD 12 (I just started over, counting-wise), and I have no idea when I’m going to ovulate. And it’s kind of freaking me out.

Even though I have done all this before, this cycle I’m kind of worrying about it. What if I don’t have EWCM? What if my OPK’s never turn positive? What if I drink too much water before my evening pee and it shows negative when it’s really positive? These things happen to people, you know. And here’s a big one – what if I don’t ovulate at all, like last time, and this whole thing is for nothing?

I had read somewhere that Clomid needed to be taken every day at the same time. On the last day, I took it an hour later. Is this okay?

These questions seem silly, but they leave me feeling anxious. If I ovulated every month, like normal people, this wouldn’t be an issue (well, none of this would be an issue). I would have the same signs every month, and I’d know that the day was coming. But now, I don’t know my signs. Now that I’ve switched to the cheaper OPK’s, it’s even a little harder. This morning that second line was….pretty dark, close to the control line. But not exactly the same. Does the second line get darker as I get closer to ovulating? Am I getting close?

A few days ago, I was feeling pretty negative about this. My body is so messed up, with all the autoimmune crap. I might not ovulate on this dosage either, and then there’s only one more dosage left before Clomid is thrown out the window. Then what?! I really, really wanted Clomid to work. However, last night I did some googling (I know, I know) and it actually made me feel better! There are many people who did not ovulate on 50 mg, but did on 100. Granted, I did ovulate on 50 once, but then I didn’t, so I’m not sure which boat I fit into on that one. But you know what? I just might ovulate this cycle, on this third round of Clomid. I just might.

Yeah, I think I probably will. So you can understand, then, why I’m obsessed with making sure I don’t miss it! Not sure if I want to enter into trying every single day for two weeks straight though.

So that’s it. That’s my brain today. Oh, and My Fitness Pal, the app on my phone that tracks my calories, has also occupied some brain space. I know a lot of you love it out there. I.hate.it. I really do. You know why? Because I had a salad today, and do you know how long it takes to enter in every single vegetable in my salad, plus how much of it I ate? But I will continue using it, because it works. It really, really does. I better have some weight loss in the next few weeks, that’s all I have to say.

And now, I’m off to the gym. You know why? Because I ran out of calories on MFP, and the more I exercise, the more calories I get to eat. Off I go.

 

Thankful Thursday – for real this time.

Yes, now I know why Thankful Thursdays exist. Up until this point, I found myself on Thursday nights searching for something good to be thankful about. I was looking for small, selfish little things, like a tasty meal, or a good book. Sometimes I hoped to be thankful for ovulation. Obviously, I didn’t ovulate last weekend, and it was hard. Up until today.

Today, I have stopped looking in all the wrong places for what to be thankful about, as my answer is right in front of me. My father woke up today.

I have been lucky enough to have had very little by way of loss in my life (knock on wood). I have lost a great-grandmother when I was 11, and I lost my grandmother (to cancer at age 66) when I was 17. That was hard. I have lost my teaching partner, two years ago, to a car accident in the middle of the school year. That was also hard. Finally, my husband’s aunt (age 44) committed suicide two years ago as well, leaving behind her two teenage daughters. Those were all hard. But there are people out there who have lost so many people that they can’t list them all. I am lucky enough to count them on one hand.

My mind has been in a different place since last Saturday. I suppose it was a nice reprieve from thinking about babies, ovulation, and pregnancy. It’s hardly crossed my mind. Instead, I’ve been thinking/worrying about my father. As I have posted before, he had gallbladder surgery last Friday, and it turned out to be gangrenous, which, if it spreads, can be a very big problem. It didn’t spread. However, he couldn’t wake up out of anesthesia. Over the course of the following days, he “came to” a little more – only enough to fly into a rage (which is NOT him at all), ripping out his wires and hurting a few nurses in the process. He was sedated and restrained, multiple times. They kept him under, because when they lowered the sedation, he would react like that. It was not good. They ran every single test possible, and I keep having to Google the names of these tests because I didn’t know what they checked. All were normal. Blood was normal. Everything was normal. But he couldn’t wake up.

I’ve been upset and stressed, obviously, for days, and wondering if there was going to be something wrong in his brain..maybe he had a stroke, brain damage, who knows. Then I got word yesterday that my aunt paid him a visit and he grinned at her. I knew it was time to go see him.

I’m not a sick-people person, I’m not a hospital person, I suck at making people feel better and knowing the right things to say – but I am good in a crisis. There have been a few of those in my life and I rock them – until they’re over, and then I’m a mess.

I was imagining a scene out of Grey’s Anatomy – this massive hospital was a teaching hospital, after all – and I wondered if I would be saying my name over and over and trying to see if my father could remember who I was. If he would wake up at all. I thought I might have to be admitted myself because I’d be bawling my eyes out the whole time.

My sister and I went this morning (she’s 20, and oh, by the way, my father is 59), meeting my father’s GF there too. As we walked in, his eyes opened a little, but it was a blank look. Then we went over to him, and said “Hi, Dad,” and it was like a light bulb went off. I could sense the second he realized who we were – and then he started crying. It was a scene from Grey’s Anatomy.

I’ll spare you every little detail, but I’ll put it this way: He is about 50% “awake”, or “with it”. His thoughts are clearly perfectly on time, as he was making appropriate facial expressions and even chuckling at times. He cried a LOT, and also at appropriate times. (I mentioned my husband was at work thinking of him, and that brought tears.) He cried when we left, and kept trying to kiss my hand. But his speech is not on time, and his eyes, for the most part, don’t look at anything or anyone in particular. He mumbled and sputtered, unable to find the words. He was able to get out some short phrases, and one big sentence that went like this: “I had a dream that some guy put a stick up my ass.” His GF replied, “That wasn’t a dream, honey.” He smiled. He took his first drink of water, and even swallowed a pill. He asked how he got to this new hospital (transferred hospitals a few days ago). He kept trying to get out of bed. We would force him back in, and he’d sit back, frustrated, only to try it again a few minutes later. Then, a new nurse walked in, asked for a few pieces of information, including his Social Security Number. We looked at each other, and all of a sudden, he spouted off the whole thing.

I have never had this sort of thing happen in my life before. It was totally emotional and draining, and still is. I never thought I’d have to see anyone I’m close to, much less a parent, like this. I still sometimes feel like I’m a child, and I was not ready to have to face this.

But today, I am honest-to-god grateful that my father woke up, knew who we were, wanted to go home, drank some water, and is starting, piece by piece, to become the person he was before this happened.

We don’t know what happened. I am going to guess it was three factors. 1) That gangrenous gallbladder obviously made him very sick, which would mean a longer recovery. 2) He takes medications that the surgeon stopped all at once, without slowly bringing it down, and probably went through withdrawal symptoms, one of which could’ve been not waking up properly. 3) He just had a reaction to this anesthesia and is waking up from it so extremely slowly.

Either way, today was basically amazing. I’m mad I can’t see him tomorrow, and definitely will Saturday, but it’s clear it’s going to be a while before he is back to his old self. Now, though, I’m not worried about adding to that list. My dad is going to be okay. Now, I really understand the meaning of grateful.

I also have learned the meaning of another phrase – “Don’t take life for granted.” Or your family. Seriously, I would be devastated if I didn’t have my family. I don’t think of this often enough, and really haven’t internalized it until now. I love you, family.

Getting to know you – February ICLW

As a I take a quick break from the stresses of my life at the moment, I’m happy to announce to my fellow bloggers that I’m doing February’s ICLW for the very first time. For my non-bloggers, this is a monthly idea, created by Stirrup Queens, where you comment on people’s blogs that you are new to (you see Stirrup Queens’ giant list of blogs as a starter). It’s a great way to meet more people in the ALI community and for other people find your blog as well, so it’s all good. I was going to say a little something about myself, until K.Smitty at Daydreaming in Progress completed a little “Getting to know you” survey and tagged me as one of the people to continue it. Thank you!!

Getting to Know You

1 – Post the rules
2 – Answer the 11 questions from the person who tagged you.
3 – Create 11 new questions for the people you tag.
4 – Tag people and link them to your post.
5 – Let them know that you tagged them.
Here are my responses to K.Smitty’s Questions:

1. What dinner item ends up on your table most often?

I am not a chef. As we know, my husband is the cook in the family, and a damn good one at that. When he cooks, seafood tends to land on our table, especially scallops. On Valentine’s Day, he made me an arugula salad with fennel and sea scallops, sea bass over quinoa in a tomato vinaigrette, citrus creme brulee, and sugar-free marshmallows. See what I mean?

Like I said, I can’t cook very well. But when I do, I make minestrone soup. It’s delicious, healthy, you can put anything you want in it – I could go on and on. I’ll make a post about this sometime soon.

2. What song(s) always makes you smile and/or get up and dance?

Ha – I also can’t dance. I suppose if I really tried it would be…tolerable, but I am so extremely self-conscious about this for some reason. That said, I can sing in front of thousands of people. But I can’t dance. And there are songs that always make me sing. For example, I belted out “Melt” by Rascal Flatts in the car today.

3. Favorite bad-for-you food?

Since I cut out gluten and sugar, everything I like falls into this category. However, I’d have to say – donuts. I could eat an endless amount of donuts – chocolate, jelly, those with sprinkles, french cruller…my mouth is watering, seriously. I love donuts.

4. Any irrational fears or bad habits?

My bad habit is biting my nails/skin around my nails. I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember, certainly elementary school. I find that when I give myself a manicure, I don’t do it as much. But it’s something I’ve been trying to break for a long time. As for irrational fears, this one makes me laugh, too, because I can only wonder what my non-blogger friends are thinking. It’s not a fear, per say, but, vomiting. Especially when it’s induced by alcohol. When that’s the case – I can’t stand to be around it. The smell, the amount of it..it’s repulsive to me. College was tough, sometimes, and I knew to stay away from the super drunks, because I guaranteed they’d be puking by the end of the night. When someone is throwing up because they have the stomach bug, I am equally disgusted, but mostly obsessed with not catching it. I hate throwing up. And you know why? Because when I get the stomach bug, I throw up a million times. Last year, I threw up 16 times (yes..I started counting after 10, my record is 19) and was wondering when I could be admitted to a hospital. Needless to say, I have never thrown up from drinking.

5. What’s the #1 thing on your Bucket List, (besides being a mommy)?

It’s sick that it’s taking me a minute to think of this. I have always wanted to be a mother. However…the #1 thing on my bucket list would be to afford/buy a large home, in the woods, with lots of big windows. I want my white, sheer curtains to blow in the breeze as I blast folk/bluegrass music in the kitchen. Luckily, my husband shares this same goal.

6. Do you live in the same area you grew up in or have you moved a lot?

I do live in the same area; same town, as a matter of fact. This is not permanent – I like my town decently, but not enough to raise my kids here. We will leave when the housing market goes back up and we can afford to. We live in my childhood home – my parents got divorced a few years ago, and we bought it from my mother when she remarried. We had mixed feelings, but it was better than an apartment. I have been in this house, with the exception of one year in an apartment and college, since I was four years old.

7. What’s your take on smartphones? Got one? If so, what one? Love them? Hate them?

Got one, love it, hate that I love it. It’s the iPhone. I fought against it for a very long time, and caved this past October. And I.can’t.put.it.down. That said, I get all my blogs through email and the RSS feeder, which is an app on my phone. Even fertility friend is an app. So my life is really on this phone.

8. Got any furbabys?

Absolutely! Scroll down a few posts to see a few pictures of them. Sadie and Riley, rescue mutts from Georgia, both are four years old, not related, same rescue, two different times. They are hyper and they shed and they lick their butts, but man, are they cute. We treat them like children, and talk to them as such.

9. What’s your favorite outfit you own that makes you feel fabulous?

That’s a good one! I actually can’t think of one off the top of my head. But I can talk about colors – I’m very pale with dark hair, and I’ve always thought black or white look good on me. I try to go for the Gap look, for less. I’m into solid colors (you’d be lucky to find a pattern in my closet), and I add scarves (including ones I’ve made) and flats. I’m not very fancy.

10. (Because I’ve had a rough day): If you take out any instances about not being pregnant, how often would you say you get emotional in front of your husband? 

I have cried more in front of my husband in the last three days than I have in six months, at least. Taking away this crap with my father and my lack of ovulation (aka, this past weekend), I’d say I get emotional in front of my husband…rarely. Every few months? But I’m not hiding it from him – I don’t really get emotional, in terms of tears.

11. Do you have a favorite quote? Or even a favorite Bible verse?

Interestingly enough, I don’t. I’m not religious, and I’ve always had a thing against quotes – I think there are a few out there that are ridiculously over-used, and show up on everyone’s walls and bathrooms. Those “live, laugh, love” quotes come to mind. “Everything happens for a reason”, “believe”…you know. No offense.

Here are a few bloggers I’m tagging to keep this up:

A Blanket 2 Keep

whenisitgonnabemyturn

Here are my questions:

1. What is a random, goofy hidden talent that you have?

2. Who is your favorite actor/actress, and what movies or shows did you love them in?

3. What is the craziest, most ridiculous dream you’ve ever had?

4. How many times have you been to the hospital for non-IF related things?

5. What countries have you traveled to and which was your favorite?

6. If you could hire your own nutritionist, fitness trainer, or personal chef, which would you choose and why?

7. What is your favorite indoor activity? Outdoor?

8. If you could explain one thing about IF to someone non-IF to help them understand, what would you tell them?

9. Talk about your siblings. How many do you have?

10. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

11. What is your favorite condiment? (You know, ketchup, hot sauce, parm cheese – my personal favorite)

This survey brings me back to my junior high days on AIM, when we would send these giant surveys around to all our friends. At that time, I think the only one who truly cared was the person writing it. Now, with the support of the IF community, I think that’s changed!

Even if I didn’t tag you, feel free to copy this one and keep it going! To those ICLW-ers reading, thanks!!

An update: CD 27..I mean 6 (see “stair-stepping”), took 100 mg Clomid tonight and hoping for an egg to drop in a few weeks. My father was transferred to a different hospital today, where they discovered that his not-waking-up thing from anesthesia might have to do with the fact that he’s been off some medications since he had the surgery, ones that he’s been taking for years. Apparently “delayed emergence” from anesthesia is one withdrawal symptom of not having these medications. He hasn’t opened his eyes yet, but he’s becoming more restless. I see that as a good sign.

 

Stair-stepping.

It’s been a trying few days. Worse than I originally imagined. That said, let me first stop and say that everyone has a story, and there are people going through horrible, devastating things right now. While I did not know about her blog previously, I have found many bloggers mentioning her today and her baby, so I will keep her in my mind as well. Everyone has a situation, but the things that happen in our lives just occur at different times.

This past weekend, I was supposed to ovulate. Determined to make it happen this cycle, I had our timing down perfectly, without telling the husband when or if I was ovulating. I’ve consulted my chart like a champ for the past week and a half. I’ve used OPK’s – both the cheaper versions and the rest of my digitals – twice a day, every day, for the last week and a half. Remember my optimism? I was telling myself, just a few weeks ago, this will happen this time. I can feel it.

Ha. What I could feel was a whole lotta nothin’. I’ve already written that post, so I’ll skip over the details. I didn’t ovulate. Clomid didn’t work, even though it did work the first cycle.

So this morning I called the nurse. She called me back while I was on the treadmill at the gym. I made sure to call first thing, to allow time for them to do whatever they wanted, because I know most of these ultrasounds and blood tests need to be done in the morning. Well, she said I needed to get down there, now, for a blood test and ultrasound. I was excited – I hadn’t planned on an ultrasound. I told her I was at the gym, and would there be time to shower? No, because they were almost done doing their ultrasounds for the day. So I hurried into my car, sweating like a beast, and she called me again. They aren’t going to do the ultrasound today, after all, the guy who does them has already left, it’s too late. I could go for the blood test, though. Depending on the results, I could go in tomorrow morning (I have today and tomorrow off from school) for the ultrasound.

I got the blood taken. Late this afternoon, I got the call back. Not only did I not ovulate, there was no ovulation in sight. A failed Clomid cycle. However, the doctor would like to bump me up to the next dosage of Clomid, 100mcg.  I asked if I still needed the ultrasound tomorrow – no, the numbers show that there’s nothing happening in there. Then I asked how I would be monitored in my next cycle. She said I would have a CD 21 blood test done. I asked about an ultrasound, just for piece of mind. I told her, frankly, that we’ve been trying like crazy the last week and a half and I spent a lot of money on OPK’s. She literally laughed out loud and said, “Are you tired?” I chuckled with her – she wasn’t being mean, I think she thinks I’m crazy. She may be right. You know I don’t “go with the flow” – I don’t even know the meaning of that phrase. She told me not to bother with OPK’s, to just BD for fun, every other day-ish, and they would monitor it with the blood test. Well, I’m glad for the blood test, but let me tell you, I’m not about to throw my charting, OPK’s, and timed BD-ing out the window. It’s just not happening, it’s not in my nature, I can’t do it. But she doesn’t need to know that.

So then I said, “Okay, so are you going to fax in a prescription for Provera?” She goes, “What? No – you’re going to start it today.” Huh? What do you mean, today? She said it’s called “Stair-stepping”, a relatively new practice. I put two and two together and drew this conclusion – a period is meant to release the egg and all the crap that went with it. Given my numbers, I’m guessing I had no egg development whatsoever. So there’s no need to have a period. So all of a sudden, today went from CD26 to CD5. I take my first Clomid tonight. Is this Clomid cycle 2? 3? Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy to have skipped an unnecessary 17 days of waiting. 10 on Provera, 2 to get my period, 5 until Clomid. I’m happy to have ditched that. But could this even work? Who gets pregnant on Clomid when they take it twice in one cycle?? Anyone out there heard of this before?

There’s something else consuming my mind 24/7, and sharing it with ovulation woes makes for some weird thoughts. My father is still in the ICU. As I mentioned the other day,  he had his gallbladder taken out on Friday. It turned out to be gangrenous, and the surgeon said it was one of the worst he’s ever seen. My father had been feeling unusually fine, with just some pain, when he could’ve been way sicker. He had no idea. That said, it was a successful surgery. But my father has not come out of the anesthesia, and today is Day 3 like this. Basically, he is being kept heavily sedated. When they lower the dosages a little to try to bring him out of it, he is “agitated and unresponsive”. I haven’t been to see him, but I am in contact through texts with his GF. I imagine he’s aggressive, trying to rip out the wires and whatnot. But this isn’t really him. In other words, the anesthesia has messed with his brain, and he’s not reacting right, or coming out of it properly. So they keep trying, he keeps reacting that way, and they put him back under. They have given him a battery of tests – blood tests, a CAT scan, an MRI, and an EEG. I haven’t heard about the EEG yet, but all the rest have been completely normal. I had feared the gangrene had spread into his blood, which would be an absolute nightmare. It didn’t, which is probably a miracle in itself, given how bad the gallbladder was. So this has nothing to do with it – it’s a strange reaction to anesthesia. But this is Day 3, like I said. And the more time goes by, the more I’m worried. I’m hoping there was no brain damage. So today I’ve been in basically a constant state of nausea, one of my signs of stress. I’m trying not to freak out. He might be transferring hospitals tomorrow to one way bigger with more tests and doctors, but we will see. Yes, I’ve had the awful thoughts that I’m not even going to type right now. Then I’ve had the thought that when he comes out of this I’m going to kick his ass for scaring the crap out of me. Definitely didn’t see all of this coming, and I wasn’t emotionally prepared. Luckily I’ve got a “no drama” husband, who tells me not to worry, nothing worse has happened, he’s being monitored, he’ll be fine. So tonight I’m going to go with that.

Like I said, it’s been a trying few days. CD5, here we come.