Monday, July 27, 2009
Bad news: I have no time to blog anymore!
I am pleased to announce that I now have my own "thing" as opposed to before, when I was usually just proud to say "I'm an engineer's wife" or my hubby this and my hubby that. Don't get me wrong, I'm majorly proud of my man, but for a long time I've felt like an extension of him and his career, just mulling along and supporting him without really having my own thing.
And now I do, and it's awesome.
Ladies and gents, I am about to become a state-certified phlebotomist, or for those with less-than-stellar medical terminology knowledge, a professional vampire. When you go to the lab to have you blood drawn, or go to the blood bank to donate blood (which, PLEASE, go do, right now!), I will be the one sticking the needle in you. Sounds weird, I know. but I LOVE it. I always wanted to be in the medical field, but never felt like I was good enough at school to handle the education, or like I was a strong enough person to handle the pressure that is ever-present in hospitals. But I wanted it, and I went for it. I registered for the SRJC's phlebotomy program, which is one of the hardest classes offered on the campus - 5.5 units in 8 weeks. We were poking each other on the very first lab day - head first into something that is quite terrifying. I was crazy scared at first, not only about having to put needles in people and hit the correct thing without hurting them more than necessary, but also about the studying and the tests, which I knew would be incredibly difficult. Thus far, I am one of the top students in the class, but in lecture/testing and the lab. I sucked at it at first and wondered if it was the right path for me, but I did something very unlike myself: I faced what I was scared of and dove into it as quickly as possible. I knew the only way to get past the fear of failing was to just do it, and learn from whatever mistakes I made. I was previously quite a coward at my core so this was a big deal for me; it has changed me enormously for the better in how I approach situations and has also been a wonderful boost to my confidence. I love what I'm doing, I love the people I'm working with, I love coming home and having something of my own to talk about, and I love having my own true identity and career goal. It's a huge step in the direction I want to go; I may have years of nursing school ahead of me but this will allow me to be getting hospital experience under my belt the whole time I'm in school, which will be invaluable once I'm actually a nurse and applying for jobs. It's a wild, busy ride but I'm really happy.
In other news, Daisy turned one in May, we had our 2nd wedding anniversary in June, for which hubby bought me a nice new laptop, and then later we got iPhones and pinned it on the anniversary for an excuse, too. =]
I freakin' love my iPhone. I had no interest in it until we went into the store to get new phones because our contract was up. I was dead set on the new Blackberry Curve, and within 15 minutes I was in love with the iPhone. It's just so handy and versatile, and my love for it must be quite clear because 2 weeks into my phlebotomy class, 3 of my 4 professors had gone and gotten one on account of me. I should get a commission.
Babies are still desired, but no closer. I found a fertility clinic in San Francisco that specializes in my condition, PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) but have yet to go down. My overwhelming desire for children is being set aside due to finances... my unemployment has run out, and we received word that hubby's wages are going to be garnished due to an old credit card. We thought we had dealt with them but apparently not, so we're going to see a lawyer tomorrow about possibly filing for bankruptcy, or at least finding a way to stop them. It really sucks and is causing so much stress that we just don't need... I hate it.
C'est la vie I guess... so much good going on, but always tainted by the bad.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
So yeaaahhhh, my vagina hates me. It has hated me since April of 1997 when womanhood finally reared it's snarling, evil head. Since that awful day, I've have gone though more super-plus flow tampons and overnight-flow pads and even diapers than most women and babies go through in their adult lives and infancies, respectively. It's a nightmare that never seems to go away and that is always evolving. Docs come up with a new way to kind of tame it, but within a year it becomes immune and figures out a way around said treatment and we're back at square 1. So there is only one conclusion, obviously... there is a masochistic, evolving demon that lives in my uterus. Fuck.
My first period required diapers. Not like hugely giant pads, but ACTUAL adult diapers that my mom brought home from the hospital. Somehow she did not seem concerned, or at least not as mortified as I was. I am 12 years old and bleeding out like someone jackhammered my cooter so she just brings home supplies to soak it all up. Nice. She had a similar experience, so she just warned me to tough it out and get used to it. SHE has had a hysterectomy at this point. If I weren't so desperately clinging to the ever-thinning chance of breeding little minions of my own, I would have done the same. It has actually been offered to my by my gynecologist... I am 23 years old and she has offered to give me a full hysterectomy should I ever choose it. That tells you how mean my cooter really is to me.
When I was 17, my masochistic vagina and her inner counterparts decided to spawn a friend. It started within my right fallopian tube and got so big that it obliterated the tube and grew into my ovary and stretched the whole thing out, from the inside, to just a useless, paper-thin layer covering this giant cyst. I missed the last quarter of my senior year recovering from it, and all I have to show for it is a scar the size of the Grand Canyon.
That is my surgeon's large, plate-sized hand, obscured in size by my monstrous cyst. Awesome, right?
This is not a little dish... this is a full-sized hospital bucket, nearly filled by the mass of my vagina's demon-spawn. This is also my ovary and fallopian tube, stretched completely around it so you have no idea either one is there. So now I'm like, half a woman.
This has been my worst experience thus far. I had not even been aware of the fact that anything was wrong until it shifted onto my hip nerve and had me screaming like a rabid banshee. It was filled with liquid so, when still inside me, it kinda spread out and formed to my organs so I looked like i maybe put on a little weight, but it wasn't like a big obvious watermelon tumor thing sticking out. Not to say I didn't look much better once the 17-pound monstrosity had been removed. I hope to never experience this crap again.
However, I'm terrified that I will. I keep waiting for one to pop up on my only remaining ovary and completely lose all hope of having babies. I want the babies. Sometimes I look at babies, full of poo and crying and general grossness and I almost wonder why. But I know without a doubt that I want to be a mom more than anything else in the world, and no matter how many doctors tell me it won't happen, I will keep trying until my body is wasted. Which seems not far off.
I've been on about 20,000 different types of b/c to try to control my cycles. For about a year before I was married, we tried something new after the birth control failed time and time again and a new approach was deemed necessary. Lupron injections... a synthetic hormone that forced my body into menopause, thus halting all menstrual cycles. It wasn't permanent so it wouldn't jeopardize having children something, but temporarily made me a sweaty, hot-flashing, crazy old bitch. My hubby got a super nice preview of his life in 20 years.
Menospause - now in travel size!
The Lupron worked... for a time. About a year and a half later (approximately 3 months after we got married) I stopped the Lupron to see if maybe we could get pregnant. For the first time EVER in my entire life, I had a series of normal cycles. By normal I mean every 30-35 days, 5 days long. They were still heavy, but I could PREDICT when they were going to come and this was a fascinating new thing to me. Prior to that time, my periods could have been anywhere from 2 months to a year apart, and would usually last anywhere from 3-12 weeks. No, I'm not kidding.
I was so convinced that I would get pregnant because my cycles were suddenly regular that I mangled my poor hubby in procreation sex. But it never happen, and within 3 months the wonder of regularity was going away. Right before Christmas, my period came. By March, it had not stopped once. My doctor gave me two options: a D&C and if that didn't work, a hysterectomy. I was so exhausted and fed up with all the months of bleeding and excruciating cramps that I almost caved to a hysterectomy. But I couldn't do it; I want the kids too bad.
So we tried the D&C. I was admitted to the hospital and taken in for surgery and everything went fine. I continued to bleed for another couple of weeks but it started to slow and eventually stopped. When it stopped, I decided I'd had enough of my gyno's opinions and we went to a fertility specialist. Not just to see if she could help me get pregnant someday, but to see if she had any ideas to help with my cycles. She told us she couldn't help us get pregnant right away because of my weight, but she did put me on an experimental drug that amazingly, a year later, is still working. It's called Femara and it is usually for breast cancer patients, but has been shown to help women like myself who are struggling with super-heavy flows and irregular cycles. For the first 8 months, I had no period at all. That was a very nice 8 months. Then, in November, I got the 2nd round of fairly normal cycles. Since then, I have had a period every 30-40 days, about 5-7 days long but never longer. I have real hormone surging and like actual PMS for the first time ever (my poor hubby... he'd never had to experience that with me before and now I think he questions why he married me about once a month). But there is no denying that these periods are AWFUL. I bleed so heavily that every time it first shows up I lay in bed crying, wondering if I should go to the ER. I have to sleep with towels underneath me in case my fabricated dam of the heaviest-flow tampons and TWO overnight pads doesn't hold. And the cramps are as if someone took an over-sized corkscrew, held it in the fire until it was glowing red, and rammed it up there and just started twisting it around. It's terrible.
Mad photoshop skills.
It was late this time. To the point where I though maybe it wasn't going to come and I would have a nice, long, blissful no-period time again. but it showed up yesterday, out of nowhere, and I can't even lay down for fear of bleeding everywhere. I seriously question my sanity every time it comes, wondering if children are really worth putting myself and my husband through this every time. I know how much it hurts him to see me so miserable and in so much pain and for him to not be able to do anything about it. He fully supports any decision I make, hysterectomy or not. I don't know why, entirely, I continue to put up with this, but I want our babies so ridiculously badly that I just can't give up. I will suffer through it month after month, year after year, until we meet one end or another: babies, or no chance of babies.
Turns out my vagina isn't the masochist...
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I have a new sister-in-law! Er, I guess I should say cousin-in-law-who's-now-my-sister/cousin-in-law....
My husband's cousin has been thrown into the
So last week, shortly after her dad and step-mom left for some Christian marriage counseling bullshit retreat in Georgia, she hopped on a bus to Eugene, Oregon with some help from her neighbors (who were more than willing to do anything to help her get away from that family) and was met there by my amazing step-dad-in-law. They drove for HOURS to get back down here to California, were completely exhausted upon arrival but nevertheless left 20 minutes later for a lawyer's office so that my in-laws could file for emergency temporary custody. Emergency custody was granted on Monday and she is now being enrolled in high school, and all of us couldn't be happier. Bear is happy to see his cousin for the first time in years and to have her be a part of our lives, as am I. As for me, I'm just stoked to see her get at least a couple of years under a stable roof, with a good, strong, loving family who respects her and wants her to succeed. I'm stoked to see her get to be a kid for a couple of years, to enjoy her last years as a teenager in high school, learning and living with people her own age. She is an amazingly strong and resilient young girl and she has so much potential, and I'm so happy to have her here. And as for my in-laws, I don't think I could possibly explain how brave and awesome they are or how much I love them. They are turning their lives upsidedown and inside out to help her and to make her a part of the family so that she can have a chance to succeed and to be a kid for a while, and that is as heroic as two people can be in my eyes.
My dear in-laws, I love you both so much. V has a real life now because of you and that is the best gift any child could ever get. You guys are amazing.
My dear V... welcome to the
As for you, Bear... CLEAN THE CATBOX!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
The word homework brings on the beginning of a panic attack.
I know I have to just butch the fuck up and get through it, but god I hate school. It has never been my forte and I highly doubt it ever will be. So much for being a doctor... I'd never get through 8 more years of school + a residency.
I am taking 4 classes this semester - a full load.I am keeping up fairly well in everything but my English class (which I happen to be taking concurrently with my husband), which is my only class that I am taking online. Previously, I have excelled in online classes. No problemo; way easier for me to make my own schedule than follow someone else's. But for some reason, that is not the case this time around. Bear isn't doing very well either. I am struggling enormously. I love the language, I love reading, but I despise essays, and I despise having to critically read things. I just want to fucking read something and enjoy it at my own leisurely pace, not stampede through it because I have to have it done at a certain hour. Nor do I want to break it down bit by stupid bit and analyze every conceivable thing the author might be implying. I just want to read it, and I don't want to write about it. Blogging is the extent of my writing and I am perfectly content with leaving it at that.
English is extremely important for me because of the direction I'm attempting to head in. The nursing program at my school is EXTREMELY competitive and goes not only by grades but many other factors. One major factor is how you do in English, because apparently they've found a correspondence between how well students do in English and their likelihood to succeed in the nursing program. I personally don't see the correlation but that is not of importance; what matters is that I really need an A in English and I don't think I'm going to get it. I'm already 2 weeks behind on homework and I had an essay due this past Sunday that I haven't even looked at. The book we are reading right now baffles me and I can't stand it, so you can imagine how well I'm keeping up with that. I'm so frustrated because I know I need to do well in it, but I deplore the thought of even trying to catch up and I feel awful.
In conclusion, I will pay you $1000 to take my online English class for me if you can promise me an A. But you'll have to accept payments... like maybe $20 per month for the rest of my life, okay?
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Thanksgiving was awesome. I made lots of food, everyone had a great time, there were no beheading or eyes scratched out, it was just great. I knew stuffing the turkey with prozac would work. =]
Christmas was equally awesome. I got everything I wanted, and more, espeically because there was again no fighting and it was just a damn pleasant day. We had all decided on a "frugal" Christmas courtesy of the economy, but apparently my mom didn't get the memo and bought me a full-sized Cusinart food processor and a 9.5 quart Le Creuset dutch oven, two things I've been drooling over and fantasizing about someday wasting money on for years. I got her a blown glass hummingbird feeder... not quite of equal value, but she loved it. And even though I was slightly embarassed at my mom's generosity when we had specified frugal Christmas (my in-laws got us a couple of video games, Cranium WOW, and a Chia herb garden for me, so I hope they didn't feel awkward because I loved it all), I can't complain because I LOVE my new kitcheny stuff. I've become a pro at hummus and pesto and pot roasts and short ribs and all that yummy stuff. Super fun, super awesome.
My other new love. Hooray!
The New Year was boring but way exciting at the same time. We did absolutely nothing to celebrate New year's, but during the vacation period for the holidays we bought a brand new TV and painted our whole downstairs. Kitchen is a fun, warm, light yellow. Living/dining room is an olive reen with a dark red "chianti" accent wall where the TV is. It feels much more like home and we looooove it. The TV was a steal, too, thanks to Circuit City going out of business, so we've been throughly enjoying it.
The new TV!
School started mid-January, and it's a bitch. Bear's taking 11 or 12 units while working full time (though one class is online and one is a drafting/CAD class he takes every semester for work) and I am taking 15 units. We're both taking the same online English class (that we suck at keeping up with), and we're both taking math classes that suck. I'm also taking Cultural Anthropology and BAND!!!! Indeed, I am a band geek again in the my school's Symphonic band, playing my loverly bass clarinet. Woop woop HOORAY!
So we're trying to keep up, but it's hard and I think we both feel like we never see each other anymore. It's definitely had its strain on us but we're doing the best we can with it. It all needs to be done so we're just trying to get it over with. There was a huge lack of sex but then my new hormone medication changed everything up. Now I'm the horny teenager and he's the I'm le-tired and too le-tired to get funky one. But a couple of times a month we manage to sneak in some really crazy good awesome sex, and it keeps us going. He did well on Valentine's by taking me to a French Cabaret/all-inclusive champagne gourmet dinner, and all the drinks + the sexy cabaret + the lingerie that I actually went out and bought just for the occasion PAID OFF. Great night. And did I mention how much I love that man? He really is just the most amazing part of my life. *sighrainbowsheartsgaystuff*
In geekier news, we both finally downloaded and began playing WoW. We are addicted. It is pathetic but awesome.
So indeed, we are chugging along, trying to survive in this crap economy and pull ourselves through school and come out happier on the other side. I will post more often from now on, I promise.
I leave with my favorite quote from a recently seen commerical: "Chumbawumbas man, the soundtrack to my life!"
P.S. I pulled off a 3.6 GPA for the fall/winter semester; an A in WordCore, an A in Medical Terminology, and B+ in Pysch. Not bad, eh? GO ME!
P.P.S. Daisy says HI!