Lots of emotion

It’s now (almost) Tuesday, nearly three weeks since my operation. I’m going back to work on Thursday, and I’ll be glad to get back into a normal routine.

I’ve had plenty of ups and downs recently. I spent a good few days feeling extremely anxious about any possible social engagements over the Christmas period. The ever-present social anxiety coupled with the decision to drink or not drink at events; all of which feels even more unsettling when I think about it through the filter of our infertility struggle, which is the biggest thing going on in my life right now.

Last week my friend came to visit me – the one with the two year old. She didn’t bring her along though – I just wanted to have some time for the two of us together. I had been pulling away because I was finding it very hard to relate. I was focusing on our differences rather than our similarities, and last weekend I decided I needed to try and put that aside, and spend some quality time. She is my oldest friend, after all! So we had a lovely afternoon. I did feel uneasy and lost when she had been talking about playgroups and potty training and waiting lists for schools for a while – a kind of sinking, ‘oh my god this might never be my reality‘ sort of sadness. But it was OK, we moved on to talking about other things. I’m really happy it went so well 🙂

On Thursday I went to collect my sicknote from the GP, and as I was pulling out onto the main road, I passed my Dad, who was walking to the chemist. I won’t go into all the details but it’s impossible to stop there, and he had more or less reached the chemist, so I went on my way. But he wasn’t wearing a coat! I flicked the indicator stalk button thingy and it told me the temperature outside was 7 degrees. Now, Dad had lost his coat and hat somewhere a week or two ago, but he went shopping with my sister, mum, aunt and cousin to buy a new coat. He is suffering from short term memory loss and it makes me so sad. I find myself wanting to protect him. I popped in to my parents house on my way home from the GP. Mum was busy in the garden and I said to Dad, ‘where’s your new coat, Dad? It’s 7 degrees out there and I saw you walking to the village with no coat on!’. He kind of said ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I should put it on, I don’t want to upset you’, and he gave me a hug. I just dissolved into tears…Lots of emotion.

He sat me down at the kitchen table and made me a cup of tea. Mum came in from sorting the chickens and we talked about stuff. Dad showed me the new coat, plus an anorak with a fleecy liner (that mum doesn’t like). He felt the new one should be for best only, as it cost a lot of money. But I explained it was to replace the lost coat, which was for everyday. I made sure he didn’t just think it wouldn’t go with his casual clothes. So hopefully that’s all sorted, he’ll definitely be wearing a coat from now on!!

I also told Mum about Mr W having come home from the pub a couple of weeks previously, and having a huge argument with me. A few days after the operation, and he started the argument by blaming me for the state of the kitchen! Which was in a mess, but I’d already decided I would clean it up the next day. Well, he was even talking – not in so many words – about divorce. I didn’t know what to do. I really thought that might have been it. The argument changed to the subject of IVF. Apparently I had been ‘ramming it down his throat’ for far too long and he’d had enough. A little while after that, he burst into tears and said he just wished we could do it naturally. He’s worried and afraid what will happen if it doesn’t work. I really needed to get all that off my chest, but I’m so glad I waited until everything had well and truly blown over before I said anything to Mum.

So yes, a bit of a rough ride so far. But I think I’m settling down again, emotionally. I’ve got a lot to write about in future posts, as various thoughts have been floating through my mind. I somehow have an urge to understand much more about endometriosis – about what causes it and how to minimise it’s effects, if that is possible. I feel like it is a part of me, it’s just something that my body is doing, and rather than somehow blank it out of my thoughts I need to know it better.

I’m also trying to let go of the idea that I know what my future should look like, and let go of trying to control the outcome at every stage. I do know what I would like to happen, and sometimes that does get the better of me and I worry about how I will cope if things don’t turn out the way I want them to. But I know I need to be open to all possibilities, otherwise I risk not seeing the good things in my life – the things that might not match my hopes and dreams but are blessings nonetheless.

 

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I’m in hospital, waiting for surgery. The consultant has been to see me. As usual, everything seems much more serious than I realised.

I’ll hopefully be having both fallopian tubes removed, but the surgeon said he may have to open me up to do this, as it may be too difficult with laparoscopy. Apparently everything is very stuck down, making removal of two small parts very difficult. He may not be successful at all.

I got the impression from the consultant in January, that he had managed to do quite a good job of removing the cysts and clearing a lot of the endometriosis. But here I am, looking at having a laporotomy, and even that might not work.

Oh and I needed to hand in a sample earlier, for a pregnancy test. The nurse who did it just walked past my bay and said, looking relieved and laughing abit, ‘negative’. How much nicer it would have been for her to come and speak to me properly and just explain what test had been done, and the result, with no sigh of relief.

I want to cry, but I’m on my own, there are only nurses around. They don’t seem to understand, they just have to get people into gowns and off to theatre. I’m not going until 3 o clock, so I have a long time to wait and I’ll have to stay in overnight.

I’m going to try and keep calm, but I really just want this to be over.

I can stop holding my breath

Thank you for the  comments on my last post, I really do appreciate all of your support 🙂

I have good news. I spoke to our friend’s partner this morning – he was on his way back to the hospital. Thankfully, it looks as though she is going to be OK. She was out of bed and walking a little this morning, and they’re just waiting for a bed to become available on the ward so that she can be moved from intensive care. They’ll be doing an assessment next week to determine what treatment she’ll need. I’m so relieved… It must have been terrifying for her family.

I also have more good news…at work on Friday I did my normal routine of taking my phone out of my bag and taking it off silent, putting it in my pocket. I was doing this partly so that I would be immediately aware of any updates on our friend, but also because it has become my little ritual, hoping for a phone call about my surgery. Well, what do you know, it actually rang! The words ‘private number’ made my heart race a little bit, and I recognised the voice of the lady from the booking department straight away, as I’ve rung up about three times during this almost six month wait. She said she had two dates available – the first was a very last minute 3rd October! Monday! I said I would love to have that one but it’s not really fair to my work colleague, to drop everything at such short notice, and so I’ve got 26th October. I’VE GOT A DATE!!! AT LAST!!! It arrived in writing this morning 🙂

I’m feeling motivated to improve my health before surgery. This time I have a huge advantage in that I’m not ill like I was last time, prior to the operation. I’m well, and I want to do all I can to be ready. I can now see what is hopefully the ‘beginning’ of the process, and it feels a lot more tangible compared to the aimless waiting. There are a few things like yoga and meditation that I’ve been wanting to try, so this will be the incentive I’ve been lacking. I am (but trying not to be) a little bit excited!

Oh yes and it’s day 20 today 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to be happy

For some reason I’m starting to remember snippets of my dreams again. I haven’t remembered dreams for months, years even. Although the drinking dreams used to come up now and again. Anyway, last night I remember talking to someone in my dream, and I was telling them I knew how to be happy. “You carry it around inside you”, I said. Meaning, it’s not what happens to you  that counts, its how you determine yourself to be, on the inside. Oddly, I wasn’t coming from the perspective of being happy, but just knowing how. Bizarre.

At the same time I was talking about my ideas, literally as I was still talking, I was aware of someone – a girl – by the side of me, who was telling anyone who would listen, she thought there was another way. It was kind of like, when you’re talking in a group of people, and there’s some talk across people, breaking off into other little discussions. But I could still hear. She was saying “You have to go out into the world and give it to people…” and the unsaid part was ….then you will feel it yourself.

Now, where all of this came from I have no idea. I mean, I have had a rocky couple of weeks. Last week I fell into a depression, which I might talk about later. It has started to turn around, but there’s a long way to go (isn’t there bloody always with me).

I know that being happy for me involves quitting alcohol. I don’t know how the rest of life should go. No idea. I think I like to be on my own; that’s bad for me…too much negative thinking (who knew). I fit in with only a very tiny amount of people, and don’t feel comfortable being with those I know less well. I feel less than, not good enough, like I don’t measure up.

I find it very hard to put down all the negativity, even though I would love to be able to walk out of my life as it is, and into a positive and fulfilling one. Infertility has complicated things, and added to the barriers that I feel between me and other people (barriers that may or may not actually exist).

I’ve decided that instead of counting days quite so much, waiting for them to stack up to some magic number, I’d be better off spending my sober time trying to get to the bottom of all this. Why do I feel so judged by other people? Do I think they are so different from me? Why don’t I have the confidence to find ‘my people’ if I (sometimes) crave the type of recognition and belonging that brings?

And on the darker days, the one I really struggle with is If I don’t find solutions to all of the above pretty quickly, and if I ultimately fail in my efforts to become a mother…How will I know I have a place in the world?

Sorry to end on such a negative note, I just need to get it all out there.

Baby Raspberry..? Post #2. Testing, testing 1,2,3

Well, two tests, anyway. We’ve put the brakes on Husbands sperm retrieval procedure for the time being. He got a phonecall today from the surgeons assistant who seemed very keen to book him in for the 3rd. Nice to know they can accommodate us so quickly – Mr waking felt that the surgeon is busy sharpening his scalpel blades in readiness!

BUT we’ve decided (even though I’d like to bury my head in the sand and carry on with sperm retrieval, regardless) that I should have both the AMH test and Ultrasound before we continue any further. Before we part with £2000+ for Mr W’s procedure. Which, of course, is common sense.

I’ve booked my appointment for Friday, 12 noon. I texted Mr, and didn’t hear very much from him, but when I got home he said he’d cancelled all his work so that he can take me 🙂 Which is lovely. I’m glad he can come with me because I’m anxious…I feel strangely vulnerable. I hate the rushing back and forth from work, and I’m not overly enthused about the ultrasound wand, or having blood taken. But I can handle those aspects. It’s the results I’m worried about. If it’s bad news, this could actually put a stop to all hopes of us having a baby Raspberry. I’ll keep you posted…

baby raspberry…? Post #1

I use the name ‘Raspberry’ on my emails to Belle, and I wanted to stay anonymous even though I’m now writing about infertility on my sobriety blog…so this is what I’m calling the fertility posts until I can think of a better name!!

I just sent an email to my husband’s surgeon (who did the vasectomy reversal), enquiring about sperm retrieval. I’ve got a horrible feeling it’s going to cost upwards of £2000. I’m not sure whether that will fall under the treatments that my parents have offered to fund for us or not…as we move closer to things actually happening, I need to have that conversation, obviously.

The patient advisor at the fertility clinic we will be going to said that sperm retrieval should be done first, before our other tests. but I’m now wondering whether to contact her again and ask about an AMH test for me before we have anything else done. But that’s kind of a double edged sword. My gynaecologist did say to me at the last appointment that AMH testing does provide more information which is useful, however it’s not the whole story. I’ve just had a quick google too, and I found a forum where people were discussing AMH levels. One girl said pretty much the same…she was devastated when she found out her levels – they were low even though she was only 29. But she succeeded with IVF. She said AMH is not the entire picture, even though it is an indication. I’m not sure. I just want to go ahead with all of it, because a chance is a chance, right?!

A good day

Yesterday was a much better day at work. I felt a bit fragile and emotional because the pregnant teacher and head of dept were giggling about her baby bump. She’s showing a lot more, and for some stupid reason, I just don’t know where to look when people talk about it. But I’m still trying really hard to redirect my thoughts to myself, and the action that my husband and I need to take to get to where we want to be. I’m doing quite well at that, I think. Having said that, my brain is trying to have silly, anxious thoughts about what my colleagues think of me. A and I were talking about the new supply teacher, who seemed very anxious. I compared this to myself – I admitted I’m an anxious person, but I didn’t think I made other people feel anxious by being anxious myself, as this supply teacher does. He said ‘oh yes, you were very nervous when you started here’. Yes I know. But  I wasn’t immobilised by fear, I’m certain of that. I remember deciding to smile, say yes a lot, and be friendly all the time, and worry about what the hell I was doing later. It was a good strategy, I think! But now I’m worrying that I looked like a total idiot.

No, no. I can’t allow myself to think like this. I worked in a supermarket for 10+ years, completely away from my academic background of science. Then I got this job, where there was no-one doing the job to train me. So I picked it all up along the way. Even when the second technician joined a few weeks later, she’d never done the job either. I’m really proud of how I’ve progressed and what I can do now. Dammit, who bloody cares if I was nervous to start with!! This just goes to show that sobriety is absolutely the way forward for me, as my mind definitely tends towards anxiety, and drinking would only add to that.

So to continue with the story…N and I swapped activities for the day – there was an experiment coming up which meant she could put into practice the skills she learned on a recent training course, and I explained I really needed some practice using the spreadsheet. So instead of doing what we both found easiest (she is so good on the computer I am rather intimidated), we worked on areas we needed to improve. Win/win!

It’s been a good day today. I slept in late (Mr had a fire call, so I was awake for a couple of hours early morning), then did a couple of loads of laundry. Walked to the post office, then did a detour on the way home, along the reservoir and through the woods. The birds were singing, it was lovely. I planted more seeds in the greenhouse, then had a bath, and made curry for tea afterwards.

It’s late now, husband is out at the pub and I’m going to have one more AF drink then go to bed. He said earlier he’d like to go out, and I thought oh no, I hope he’s not going to try to make me go with him and ‘just have one drink’. But no, I told him he should go if he wanted to and he said ‘can I?’. I don’t feel I’m missing out at all, and I’m so glad he’s doing what he wants and I’m doing what I want. Another win/win:)

 

 

Overwhelm? Lists.

I had a little cry on my own today at work. The teacher who’s pregnant is really showing now. She was saying that the kids asked her about it today, and people are just generally talking about it more. I’m envious. It’s hard to change the way I feel, so I tried to change my focus instead. We have a plan, my husband I. Some days it feels like a long time until things get properly moving, but realistically, we need to be getting ourselves prepared for this. So I concentrated on thinking about our next steps – what needs to happen for me, now? What action do I need to take? it seemed to work – I have more control over what happens to me at this point, than I ever will over what is happening to someone else.

The thing is, though, I want to strike the right balance between getting things done and avoiding overwhelm. Because I know I’m more likely to drink if I wind myself up too tightly. For example, amongst other things, Husband told me yesterday that we (I) really do need to get a new (used) car. It has been on the cards for a while, and now it’s passed it’s MOT now would be a good time to sell before it loses any more value. So I’ve started down this whole ‘I need to sell all my worldly possessions’ train of thought, to be able to pay for a new car. Or at least put something down as a deposit.

I spoke to my other colleague, N, about some of this and she said, ‘do you make lists?’. I said yes, but I don’t want the to-do list ruling my every waking moment. But she pointed out the benefits of getting everything down on paper to clear the mind. Yes! I need this! I need a clear mind!! I also realised that a list had worked well for me over the holidays – I seemed to be in an optimal frame of mind for tackling it. I have asked Belle about determining this fine line between achieving and obsessing, and I look forward to her take on it as she often talks about overwhelm.

Other news: last night I swapped the winter duvet for the summer one, which made for a MUCH more comfortable night!…Went for another walk – only a short one – this evening. The sun was shining, it was lovely…And I’m looking forward to a good day at work tomorrow – I came across some software on the internet which I’m excited to share with N. I see lots of cataloguing inventory in our future. Mm, lists. That department WILL be organised if it’s the  last thing I do.

It’s day 5 and I’m happy 🙂 I hope you guys are too xx

Ask for help

I was right about the sleepless night! But I had a good day at work despite quite a lot of yawning and some more hot flushes just to keep me on my toes. Lab coat off, cardigan off, fan face with nearest available piece of paper/card/anything!! Then everything back on again when it’s passed.

My pre-op assessment was this afternoon, and I was fine with going alone until I realised I was soooo tired. Mr W said he would be unavailable, so I called my dad this morning to see if he was free. He had choir, but he said he could cancel. I didn’t want him to forego choir so I said I’d be ok. He suggested my sister as she was on day off, however, I know she hates one of the roundabouts on the way to the hospital, and will ordinarily go to great lengths to avoid it. But if that is your actual destination, you can’t really avoid it. So I said no, its OK, I’ll really be fine by myself. I know that seems a bit of an odd thing to decide, as my sister would have loved to help, I’m sure, BUT she also gets very stressed whilst driving, so had she offered, she would have had to tackle the roundabout I mentioned. And no doubt I would have felt very stressed as well. On ordinary days, when we’re just going out shopping etc, that wouldn’t be a problem, but I was already anxious – thinking of the surgery really, rather than the pre-op – so I knew I didn’t want to add to my anxiety. I was trying to keep everything as calm as possible.

As it happened, my husband’s day had changed because of the nature of one of his jobs, plus it was wet so he couldn’t do the roof work he had planned. Being home early, he was able to take me, thank goodness! Otherwise I think I would’ve needed a strong coffee and wound the window down to stay awake. And parking is a nightmare at that hospital, it takes ages of driving around to find a space, so if you’re on your own you have to plan time for that too, to still get to your appointment. So, great news all round!

I spoke to my mum just after all this, and she offered to come with me. She doesn’t drive, but just wanted to keep me company on the way! Which would have been really great, had I needed it. People really are there when you need them – I had four family members who all could have helped. I’m very grateful they are there for me – and I’m glad I did ask for help.

On day 4 being sober, I want to do whatever I can to make this last as long as I can, and something tells me that it’s not just how I cope when I’m really struggling on day 7 or 10 or 14 that matters. It’s going to be the little things I can do every day to look after myself, to stop myself from reaching the ‘can’t cope’ moments, that will make all the difference.

In fact, the last few months, I haven’t been doing any of those little things. And when I got to day 7, day 10 or day 14, the result was that I didn’t cope, I gave in and drank wine.

Ask for help, you won’t regret it 🙂

 

Things are looking up!

Yesterday we went to see Dr K, my consultant. I asked about the side effects of the Prostap injections and like the GP,  he didn’t seem to think depression is a possible side effect. Odd. Why the reluctance to agree with my instinct that it was the hormone that caused the sudden bout of depression? Anyway…

I also asked about removal of the fallopian tubes… yes it needs to be done prior to ivf, and yes it can be done on the nhs! Woo hoo! I even have a date for pre – op assessment:mrgreen:. The next thing for us to do is find a fertility clinic and book a consultation. I need to be finished with the hormone injections for three months before we can start ivf. But they can be stopped at any time, and to be honest, I think today’s will be my last. I stumbled across a website today which details many more severe side effects of the drug I’m on, called Prostap. Other names are lupron and leuprorelin. It’s not fertility treatment in itself, but medical treatment for endometriosis. So now we’ve decided, the ivf takes priority, plus those side effects really worried me.

When I had the injection this morning, it was a locum that I saw…she had a book of medications and their effects/side effects open on her desk. I mentioned the depression when she asked how I’d been since the first injection, and she looked in the book…sure enough, depression and mood swings were listed as possible side effects. Now maybe it’s just me being paranoid, but I felt it was very strange that two other doctors didn’t seem to want to consider that the two things might be related. And then I find the website detailing how these other side effects aren’t studied or documented…. so that’s it for me with that treatment – no more!

Other good news…its day five sober!! And feeling pretty good I have to say☺