Endo was like, the best diet EVER!

Thanks to my long struggle with endometriosis, I managed to waste away 40 pounds. I was wearing clothes I haven’t worn since my first year of marriage and they were still falling off of me. While I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love the weight loss, it was also fairly scary to me because I knew that it came from being technically anorexic. I would try to eat and I could barely make my way through one of the little McDonald’s hamburgers that come in a happy meal. I’d cook an enormous meal and take literally two bites before I’d be gagging.

After the surgery I started to be able to eat again, but I was trying to be really careful. I knew that if your body is starving, it’s going to store every new calorie as fat. And I really liked my new look, even if it didn’t come about very healthily, so I wanted to do what I could to preserve it.

Then the hormones kicked in and all bets are off. Suddenly the Lupron is making me an insatiable garbage pit and I can not get enough food to satisfy the constant cravings running through my mind. I’ve been known to eat two dinners and then want dessert. I’ll find myself wandering through the house looking for food to shut up the voice in my head screaming “MORE!” The nights are the worst. I crave sugar so badly my teeth itch.

So obviously I’ve gained some weight back, but I’m still not back up to my largest point. I look fine. I’m still wearing all my own clothes, some of them are still falling off of me and others aren’t so much. But I’m really starting to develop a complex. I lost so much weight so quickly and I’m putting so much weight back on so quickly, that it kind of shocked the sense out of me. I always prided myself on being pretty happy with how I looked even though you could never pay me to put on a bikini in public – but not anymore. Now I’m all too aware of every calorie I put in my mouth. I’m debating keeping a food diary and trying diets.

And I’m panicking about the precedent I’m setting. Here I am on Lupron, hormonally eating. Once I get off it I’ll start fertility drugs which will cause me to hormonally eat. Then I’ll get pregnant (knock on wood) which will cause me to hormonally eat. By this time next year I’ll be such a fat butt. Ug.

I really hate that I’ve turned into one of those girls. Who publicly talks about her weight and diets and blah blah blah. And here I am blogging about it. Oy. What a cliche.

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Enter Dr. BFF

On Friday we had our first meeting with the doctor who will do our In Vitro. It was terrifying. Not because we didn’t know what to expect or because we were afraid of what we’d find out, we’ve already been through that part of it all, but because we are both pretty comfortable where we are right now and the thought of venturing back out into that war zone is … oh gosh. Am I sure kids are worth it?

If I didn’t have religious convictions that taught me the importance of family, I think I’d just get a hysterectomy and move on. I’d go back to school and either be a professor of something or a writer or a therapist and enjoy all my extra income and the undivided attention of my husband.

But, I do have religious convictions, so I have to find a way to close my eyes and step back out there and try to stay safe.

We looked at a bunch of different options, including a doctor in Beverly Hills who charges based on a sliding scale, and a few doctors who do the whole shared risk “money back guarantee” thing, and cost wise as well as comfort wise, it looks like Kaiser is who we’ll be going with. Mainly because they’re the closest to home and if there is one thing I AM NOT DOING it is living through the dreaded two week wait away from home. And because they charge $11K for everything including drugs up to ICSI and assisted hatching. Those are extra.

Until we actually met the doctor, those were pretty much our only criteria. We’ve learned that in this medical game, we are beggars and can therefore not be choosers.

Today we drove an hour away to Fremont in the Bay Area and met with Dr. BFF. His offices were posh, his receptionist sweet and friendly, his nurse concerned and capable and a fellow crafter who was interested in my project du jour, and not a baby or parenting magazine as far as the eye could see. We waited in an exam room while he reviewed our history and Bear got his first view of The Wand. He could not look away.

Dr. BFF called us in and asked us to tell him our history and experiences in our own way, aside from the clinical stats he held in his hand. I went right into doctor-speak with dates and ratings on the pain scale and whipped out my films and records, which he was obviously grateful for, but what he wanted was for us to get to know each other. He asked us where we each grew up, where our favorite place to live was, our opinions on the Red Sox and urban vs rural living, what Bear’s time in South Africa was like, how surprising it was to him when a blond blue eyed mormon boy spoke to him in fluent Korean, and his most romantic vacation with his wife.

He looked at the photos from my first lap and his jaw hit the ground. I told him that Dr. I’mnotlooking said I was clean as a whistle and Dr. BFF said, “looking at this I find that extremely hard to believe.” I could have reached right across the desk and kissed him on the mouth then and there, but he continued to earn my undying devotion by telling me what I was looking at in the photo.

“This is what healthy peritoneum tissue looks like, smooth, see? See how yours isn’t smooth? Look right here, see that? That’s called a window. That tells me that the endo has buried deep inside your organs. I can’t believe your doctor would have gone in that deep, especially since that thing right there is your ureter, so I would think that you would have continued to feel pain even after the surgery. I’m guessing on your right side, probably especially when you try to have sex.”

Bear and I literally sat there with our mouths open. He just described the past four years of my life by looking at a small photo of my organs.

He then went on to give us a list of all the IVF Clinics in town and told us to check them all out, set us up with a plan to make use of the time I have on Lupron to get everything all prepared to jump as soon as my cycle starts, gave us phone numbers that he could be reached at so we wouldn’t have to drive in for special appointments to discuss test results, told us that we might be candidates for insemination after all (which would cost us a whopping $20), commiserated with Bear about embarrassing semen sample stories, and hung out with us at the nurses station until his nurse came back to get us our next appointment.

When we left his office, Bear and I didn’t say a word until we got to the car. Like we were afraid to wake ourselves up from a very good dream.

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What’s been keeping me so busy?

Well, a few things really.

#1 This!

#2 THIS!

#3 THIS!!!

and a totally unfruitful and unproductive job search, but I’ll save that to complain about another day.

So, what you see there in picture number 1 is the new love of my life. My Dyson vacuum. I’ve heard people say it was great, but that does not describe the truly life changing force that is the root cyclone technology. Truly, the suction is so strong that it’s like vacuuming with a fire hose. I live in an 800 sq ft apartment, and by the time I was done vacuuming the life out of this place, I had filled and emptied that canister 6 times. 6 TIMES PEOPLE! That is disgustingly awesome.

#2 is my brand new baby. I love her so. Her name is Ethel and I rock her to sleep every night. She is an Olympus E-Volt 500, 8 megapixel, lightweight camera with an enormous lcd screen. I’ve been pining away for a digi SLR for years now, literally saving any pennies I could find. I thought that I wanted a Nikon D70 because I have a Nikon film SLR and I wanted to be able to scrimp on the lenses. So we went down to our local independent camera store to talk to a salesperson who actually knew what they were talking about and found Stephen, a beautiful Nigerian man who knows everything about these cameras and is all too happy to teach us. He talked us down to the D50 because price was a major concern for us, so he was convinced that we’d get all we wanted out of the D50 and pay less for it. He won us over for life.

While I was off at youth conference, Bear went into the store to pick up the D50 as a surprise, but they were all out! His romantic surprise dreams were crushed! But the beautiful Nigerian saved the day. Stephen negotiated a price on the Olympus so we paid the same amount thanks to rebates and got a way better camera.

When I came home Bear had a couple of presents all wrapped up for me on the couch and the house all cleaned spic and span. I opened the first little present, and it was a 2 Gig memory card, so I immediately knew what had to be in the big box. But when I opened it up and it wasn’t a D50, I was immediately disappointed. Little did I know what I had in my hands. What a fool I was!

Now, #3. That is the Robin. That is our future home. See, here in Modesto, the real estate market has gone ca-razy. It is California after all and a lot of Bay Area commuters live here, so the prices were insanely high. Like, this 2000 sq ft 3 bedroom home was selling for 480K. All this talk about the real estate bubble bursting, however, is finally starting to make sense because the market here is going soft like melted jello. Every street we walk down has three or four homes for sale on it. There are three different home builders just down the street putting up colossal neighborhoods, and they’re starting to run into problems. All the big big houses are still selling OK, but the 3 bedroom ones will not move. Basically, no one wants to pay 500K for a house that is about to be worth half that.

So the prices are slowly dropping, and we’re reaping all the benefits. Bwah ha ha ha.

Bear has already passed big scary awful test #1 to get his license and now he just has to take sort of frightening, unpleasant test #2 and he should get a mondo raise, we will no longer be “starving students” and we will get a house and my long awaited PT Cruiser (I know they’re goofy looking, that’s why I like them!).

Crazy times. After nearly 7 years of marriage and all of our downs and slight rises and downs some more, things are finally, FINALLY, FINALLY turning around for us.

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