Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Year/Beginnings/Reservations

Again, it has been ages since I've blogged. I'm gonna try to be better about that.

It's been, strangely enough, exactly 6 months since I last blogged. It is a new year, a new decade... much has changed, and much is still the same. There is a lot of hope on the horizon, of lot of promise of good things to come, but those things aren't quite here yet.

To follow up on some things from my last post:

1) I finished my phlebotomy course. I passed with a B (I would have been happier with an A but really I was just ecstatic to get through the damn class), got all of my 40 required class-lab draws done, did a job shadowing in the ER in September which was awesome, but where I also contracted the H1N1 virus. My phlebotomy externship was due to start 5 days after my shadow and I wound up having to postpone it until mid-October as H1N1 kicked my ass. My externship was amazing. I met some truly wonderful people, both patients and hospital employees alike. I did realllly well and finished my externship with 118 draws, when the state only requires 50. I hardly missed at all and all of my patients seemed to be honestly impressed with my knowledge and skill, and most would forget I was a student. It was nice to say I did well and I am very proud of my accomplishments in that regard. At the end of November I finally had all the documents in hand that I needed to send in to the state to get my license, including my certificate from my school and the hospital, and my National certificate.

November 20th saw them shipped off via certified mail so they wouldn't give me any of that "we never received your paperwork" crap. I hunkered down and prepared to wait until at least February for a response, as that was the time frame people were giving me for the wait. However, Christmas day I happened to check the status on line just in passing, and discovered my application was approved, and very shortly thereafter I had a piece of paper with my license number on it. 2 weeks after that, I finally got my real license.

I nearly peed myself when this finally came, a full month earlier than I had expected it to. I'm super excited, but it hasn't changed anything unfortunately. In the 3 weeks that I have had my actual license in hand, I have yet to find a single opening at any location for a phlebotomist or lab assistant. While I'm proud of my accomplishment, the change a job would bring has yet to come to me.

2) I mentioned in my last post that we were considering filing for bankruptcy. Well... we did. When we found out that my hubby's wages were going to be garnished by over $400 a paycheck, there was absolutely no way we could have that happen and be able to keep our heads above water. We didn't really have a choice. I was totally against it at first and embarrassed, but I am now so happy that we did it. The weight of that financial burden being gone, of knowing that we no longer owe tens of thousands of dollars for ridiculous reasons to mean, heartless companies, is HUGE. My stress level has plummeted. Our relationship has gotten even better than it was, and it has brought us closer. It changed our habits for the better and gave us the opportunity to see and analyze the mistakes we were making, and learn how to make better financial choices from here on out. It was scary and expensive, but it's done and we are happy.

3) Babies. Still, none. But there is, finally, some hope. Remember that clinic I mentioned that specializes in PCOS that I had found? Well, we finally went down there in December. They were having a free seminar to introduce themselves and their practice to potential new clients, and to explain causes and possible treatments of infertility. The clinic is state-of-the-art and AMAZING. I walked in and nearly walked out because just by the decor I thought there might be a $1000 cover charge just to step over the threshold. But they are the same price as, and in same cases cost less than other clinics we have looked at. Scott loved the seminar for all its information; he was engrossed and I was surprised at his interest. He later explained that though he knew what my issues were, he never really knew what exactly our options could be, or why some people are infertile for other reasons and he found the whole thing fascinating. So we stayed and watched the videos and sat through the Q&A, and were invited to talk privately with the doctor doing the presentation if we were so inclined after the seminar was over. I had been very nervous the whole night, getting hopeful then telling myself to stop because I had heard so many "no's" before. So the moment the seminar ended, I grabbed Scott's hand and marched straight up to the doctor and introduced us, and told our story. How we've been to numerous clinics who refuse to help us because of my size. How it kills me that I see women hundreds of pounds heavier than me who can get pregnant, but I can't. How I understood the risks of carrying a child to term at my size and how I was willing to take those risks and sign away their worry of a lawsuit if something went wrong. And I flat-out asked him if he was going to reject me because I'm fat, or if he would understand that I am young and healthy and we want a family and deserve it, because if not then we weren't going to waste the money and time to drive down there again. He looked me straight in the eye and said he would never refuse to help someone get pregnant simply because of their size. He explained he had gotten women bigger than me and with worse cases of PCOS pregnant, and that he would love to work with us. I broke down crying right there, because I had honestly come to believe that no one would ever agree to help us unless I miraculously lost 150 pounds. I hugged him and cried on him, thanked him profusely, and we went out to a celebratory dinner. 2 weeks later, we had a (free, again!) phone consultation with him to discuss our issues and options and next steps. He wanted us to send over our medical records, have lab work done and for Scott to get a semen analysis and me to get an HSG, or hysterosalpingogram, which is a special kind of x-ray done on my uterus and remaining fallopian tube and ovary. The next phone appointment, which was last week, we went over all our tests and determined that my uterus is in excellent shape, Scott's sperm are just fine, and my tube is not blocked. He explained that fertility rates frequently go up after an HSG, so he wants us to try timing intercourse with my supposed ovulation (which I don't think is happening) and see what happens. So now we're stuck there. However, I have also recently been put on insulin, as oral medication alone has not been doing the trick. When I went in for my insulin instruction appointment, I was weighed for the first time in months. I discovered that I am now just 13 pounds away from the weight I needed to get to for my bariatric surgery, which I had kind of given up on. I don't know how I lost the weight, but now I am considering the surgery again. If I do it, my HBP and diabetes would probably go away, and we might not even need infertility treatment as things may normalize after the weight loss. But, if I do do it, we would have to wait at least a year to even start trying to get pregnant for the safety of the baby. I am torn. We both desperately want a baby now, but it seems much smarter to try to get my health fully straightened out, for the sake of not just our theoretical baby's well-being, but for my own. I don't want to be on all the medications I'm on when I'm pregnant. I don't want to barely be able to move because of the added weight. I want to be able to keep up with him/her as they grow. But I'm still terrified of the surgery, of having my system rerouted, of going under, of the possible complications, and of the way of life afterward. I love food. I don't eat badly... I love cooking and eating super delicious, local organic foods. I love experiencing other cultures through food. I love how food brings families together, and I love going out and trying new foods with my hubby. Food is an adventure, and "the only beautiful thing that truly nourishes." My surgery will condemn me to years of jello, cream of wheat, and very small amounts of very boring things. And even after that, even once I'm fully healed and at goal weight, there are foods I can never experience again, and it will always be in super tiny amounts. Giving that up is definitely worth getting a baby in return, but that doesn't make it any easier to commit to the decision. And though 13 pounds is not that much, it feels like 1,000 pounds. 13 pounds will not be easy for me to lose, as the last 35 has taken me ages to get off and I don't even know how I did it.

Reservations and decisions to be made are abundant right now... I feel like a sucky horoscope.

For my own sanity, I need to blog more often, so I will. That's all for today, but Daisy sends out her love: