Fertility Drugs Can Change Your Life!

Who knew.  Secondary infertility has saved my life!!  Sounds crazy, right?  It’s true, though.  In my last post I talked a little about the meds I’m taking, but more about the side effects etc.  So here’s the deal with the meds:  Dr. Hamilton (my favorite doctor in the world currently) put me on a cocktail of 100 mg of Clomid CD 3-7, 3 mg Estradiol (which is estrogen) every 12 hours CD 8-12 and finally Prochieve gel (which is progesterone) daily from CD 17 until there is a negative home pregnancy test on CD 27 or for the first 10-12 weeks of the pregnancy.  (CD means cycle day, btw).  Since I haven’t been ovulating with any regularity at all for the last 5 years (since Jake was born), my body hasn’t produced any progesterone of its own in most of that time and my estrogen has also been extremely low.  Now I knew that conception would be impossible without those hormones, but what I didn’t know was that those little devils effect a lot more that goes on in your life/brain than just reproductive things.  I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on television, and I don’t know the whats, whys or hows of it all, but balancing these hormones this past month in an attempt to knock me up has changed my life irrevocably!

People that have met me since Jake was born don’t really know the “real” me, at least not the me I used to be when my body worked the way it was supposed to.  Before Jake was born I was a happy go lucky kind of gal, one who cared what she looked like when she left the house, always wore makeup (unless it was hellishly hot outside and it would just slide off – like today), couldn’t sit at home doing nothing without feeling like she was going crazy, was exceptionally social and happy.  The Shannon people who have known me for 5 years or less that people have known has been slovenly about her appearance much of the time, has never worn makeup – even to things like weddings, has constantly made plans (b/c I genuinely wanted to do things with people that I like) but then cancelled them at the last minute b/c the thought of actually leaving the house and doing something wasn’t just distasteful to her, but was honestly frightening.  This Shannon has been afraid of everything all this time.  I used to spend 6-8 hours a night driving around with my best friend Deniece when we were teenagers, early twenties.  I LOVED being in the car, being on the go.  Now I’ve been terrified of being in the car for any length of time and while I was able to control it to the degree that I could sit in the passenger seat with TJ driving or let friends pick me up (even that was rare, though, and there were only a few people who’s cars I would get into:  Shannon’s, my brother in law’s…OMG those are the only two I can think of…wait, I would let Andrea drive my car with me in it.  I was not, however, able to get myself to drive the car anywhere other than to McDonald’s up the road or maybe the gas station at the corner for a pop, and NEVER with Jake in the car.  It was a full blown phobia, it seems.

A few years ago, I met Spinsanity Shannon and joined a few knitting groups.  I thought that would be the beginning of getting better.  I had met a great group of women who were interested in the same things I was.  I learned to spin, yay, went to meetings and was social for the first time in years.  Even that didn’t last for me, though.  ‘The fears, the laziness, the apathy took back over and it’s been almost a year now since I’ve even seen any of them.  My loss, not theirs.  I keep planning to go back and I always let the fear of not being wanted, not being accepted get in the way.  This is one example of the way that I’ve been self-destructive over the last years.  I feel like I’ve digressed a bit, though, b/c I had to get up to tend to Jacob for awhile.  Back to my point…

Since I’ve taken the meds, I’ve found myself with a completely different state of mind. Where I used to spend 80% of my time in bed either knitting and watching TV or playing on the computer etc.  I’m all about getting my house in order now.  The upstairs is almost done:  our bedroom is completely organized, clean and gorgeous, the office is about 95% there and we have Jake’s room yet to do.  Our upstairs bathroom still needs a lot of work but mostly stuff TJ has to do, so I can’t do it.  I’m doing laundry 3-4 times a week – how the hell do we accumulate so much laundry, seriously?!?!  The biggest changes, though, have been in my fears and my almost pathalogical need to be by myself over the last years.  The last two “weekends” (our weekends are usually Monday night through Thursday afternoon b/c TJ works the early morning shift at Duncan Friday through Monday) we’ve gone up North (I swore I would never go there again after we moved back down here) and I’ve had a GREAT time.  I rode the quads with and without Jake (was TERRIFIED of them before, wouldn’t even sit on one when it was off) and I had a blast.  Going fast rocks!!  I went to the beach (pictures in next post about Jake’s mini-birthday party) and played in the surf and sand (not like me at all, I’ve had a lake/ocean/pond/anything with living aquatic creatures phobia for as long as I can remember) with Jake and loved it.  I even learned how to mud and sand a wall to prepare it for painting.  The big change here is that I enjoyed all of these things and didn’t long to be at home, in my bed watching TV.  My DVR is suffering greatly from this change in me.  Where it used to always be almost empty b/c I watched TV constantly, now it’s almost full b/c I spend so little time with the boob tube.  My knitting has suffered (oh, I just got the Zephyr Options needles from Knit Picks, btw, but haven’t used them yet.  Pretty.) b/c I don’t spend much time sitting around.  Today has been a lazy do nothing day just like yesterday b/c it’s just too hot to move around w/out a/c in the house.  As soon as it’s cool again, though, I’ll be back to chores and getting this house in order.  I tried to work on the living room a bit yesterday but was sweating and dizzy before too long.  It’ll get done, though.

So, long story short, as TJ says, it’s not like my wife has changed, it’s like being married to a completely different person!!  I’m glad when he says that and I like the person I’m becoming.  Still have a long way to go, and I’m still a little nervous re: the social aspects and being accepted by the people I want to be with most after blowing them all off for so long, but I guess even that is a part of growing and changing.  I’m going to have to face it eventually; I’m working on my courage.  Oh yeah, one other HUGE change.  I’m driving again.  All over the place and LOVING it more than I have words for.  TJ is now regularly getting into the passenger seat and having me drive him around…the freedom is exhilerating.  It’s been a real pain to try to schedule everything around when he could drive me or when someone else can.  I’m not usually one to toot my own horn, but GO ME!!!  LOL

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Feeling Friendless…or maybe just sorry for myself…

I think cabin fever has finally gotten to me.  I’ve cut my pain meds. down a SIGNIFICANT amount as well as completely getting off of Zoloft and I’m seeing a HUGE change in myself and my drive to have a life.  You know, like I have the drive to have a life that doesn’t revolve around solo knitting, interneting and sleeping.  The problem is…I think I’ve driven all my friends away with my past ho-hum attitude and my unwillingness to make – or keep, if I’m being honest – plans.  ARGH!!  When Andrea lived with us I had a built in friend even if I bitched about the lack of privacy at times.  When she first left, it was a relief; I didn’t have to deal with being “on” at all, ever, if I didn’t want to.  One of the best things about having her around was her dragging me to things like knit night and other events even if I didn’t feel like getting dressed and going anywhere.  I always had such a good time with “the girls”, that was never the problem.  I didn’t even want to go home at the end of the afternoon/evening once I got there, it was the motivation to get there that was killing me.  Much like my sex life, but that’s a whole other story for a different day/post.  In a lot of ways, Andrea was really good for me and my social life.  Now she’s gone, though.  Has been since late Aug. and it’s just now really effecting me and my socializing (sad commentary about the state of my life, huh?)

So she’s gone and TJ and I are out of the “blue house” in Kalamazoo and living in our very own (bought and paid for) house in Battle Creek.  Hmmm…my blog name doesn’t fit anymore.  Somehow, though, Battle Creek Mommy Knits doesn’t sound as good.  I like the alliteration.  I think I’ll keep Kalamazoo Mommy…it sounds better and it’s close enough.  But I digress…  So we’re in our own home and it’s still got a long way to go.  All the rooms are livable, but the bedrooms need painting and ours needs carpet.  We need blinds, I’m sick of the neighbors, who I think might be drug dealers (both sides, sigh), being privy to every aspect of our lives.  The biggest issue, though, is the kitchen.  We still have to drag our appliances from blue house to this one (before the 10th when the house belongs to the bank…thanks again, Rachel, for the royal screwing) and finish bringing the furniture.  Had we known that we were going to buy this house we wouldn’t have planned a three week trip to the other side of the country right before Christmas.  What’s done is done, though, and whining and bitching won’t fix it.  We need to get the shit done and get a kitchen in my house.  We are making due surprisingly well, though, with a refrigerator down the basement, an electric fry pan, two crock pots and a microwave.  We managed to have Christmas Eve at our house for family, feed them and even have leftovers.  Sweet and sour meatballs…mmmm…oops, I’m digressing again.  LOL  We also need to go out and buy a new love seat, the chaise chair we have, while comfy and pretty, isn’t really a very viable option for company.  I think a love seat that matches the club chair and couch would be a much better fit.  Especially since I want to start hosting a knit/spin night here once a month.  I feel like I have so much to give back to my knitting friends and I love the thought of entertaining in my very own home.  I admit, too, there’s the smallest pull at the thought of not having to go out and still being social; old habits and all…

So now I’m starting to feel a lot more like my old self.  The self I was back before I moved to Kalamazoo 10 years ago.  When I was still down in the Detroit area there was very rarely a night when I just sat at home in front of the TV doing nothing.  I was always out and about.  Clearly hurting my back the way I did when Jake was born changed a lot of that, but I wasn’t exactly a social butterfly before he was born, either.  Living up north created, or brought to the surface, most of the fears that have plauged me for the last 4 years or so.  The fear of driving being right up there with reasons for me to stay (safely) in the house.  Cutting down the meds and this new house (new start?) seem to have taken care of that.  I actually left the house today to go shopping and out to eat with Jake while TJ is out of town.  There was plenty of food in the house and no reason I HAD to leave, but I made the choice and I’m happy to have done it.  I felt so normal when we got home.  Sad, huh?  Now that I’m ready to have a social life again, though, I fear that I’ve driven away the very people I want to be social with.

I’ve blown off or declined to make plans with Shannon more times than I can count and I don’t even know how to start going about making that up to her.  Sorry, if you’re reading this.  My knitting girls I haven’t seen in over a year – I keep saying I’m going to come to knit events and then blow them off.  Not that I think it really effects anyone one way or the other if I’m there or not, but it does kind of destroy my credibility.  So now I’m feeling like maybe it would be better for me to just try to make all new friends (my favorite M.O.).  The problem is that I DON’T WANT TO!!  I like the friends that I have/had and I want to get back into the swing of things.  I just don’t seem to know how.  See, I warned the world in my post title that I’m feeling seriously sorry for myself tonight.  I’m bored to death and wish I was out doing something, of course I can’t be with TJ out of town and Jake here.

Jake and I spent the whole day today, other than when we were out, playing Wii.  I love, love, love that thing.  BEST Christmas gift we got this year.  Jake loves bowling, fishing (UGH) and billiards.  He’s really good at bowling, too, and often out scores both his father and myself.  It’s so cute to watch him play.  It’s not enough, though.  I need friends, I need a life outside of this house.  I will NOT be a prisoner in my own house, mind etc. anymore.  I WILL overcome this, somehow.  Any thoughts, advice etc. are more than welcome!!

If you’re still here and reading, thanks…there will be actual knitting content next time, which will be soon.  Have a happy new year everyone!!

A little of this and a little of that.

Maybe not as better as I thought.  The kidney infection is still gone, thank God, but now I’m plauged with cluster or migraine headaches that suck just as badly if not worse.

I”m getting my shit together, though.  Even though it was late, I got my secret swap package sent.  I really hope she likes it.  I plan to spoil her rotten next month (the last package) to make up for the lateness.  I’ve wanted to be a much better swap partner than I’ve been, but my swapee has been so great and understanding about everything I’ve been through.  I’ve been blessed with great swap partners on both sides. Since my camera seems to be another of the things on the dead list, I thought I would just go ahead and describe what I got in my first package ( a little late, I know, but I was hoping to have pictures instead of just describing…argh).  First and foremost I got an amazing skein of sock yarn from the Great Aiderondak Yarn Company; mostly deep, saturated blues and burgandies with some orange, green and purple thrown in for good measure.  Swapper (I’m tired of saying “my partner” etc. so I will just call her swapper for now) said that she hoped it would inspire me to try my hand at socks and all I can say to her is “enabler!” LOL.  I am going to try to make a pair of socks with it once I’ve finished up my commitments to X-mas knitting.  There were goodies for Jake (too sweet) also a Disney towel that expands and opens when you throw it in the water…I’m saving that for a day that a bath is the last thing on his agenda.  There were two stunning stitch markers that had leaf charms on them and I’m in love…of course I’m a total stitch marker whore to begin with so that isn’t too surprising.  There was a tub of body butter (another of my weaknesses in life; I swear Swapper read my mind) in a very relaxing lavendar scent…great for right before bed moisturizing; calming and soothing scents help me drift off to sleep (now if I could only stay asleep…)  I saved the best for last, though, an absolutely charming little project bag with squirrels and pumpkins all over it; the perfect autumn project bag.  I will post pictures as soon as I get the camera working again, or get a new one, whichever comes first. 🙂

On the house front, it’s a done deal now.  We had our inspection and everything came back okay, so we’re going ahead and will be closing on election day.  We’re hoping to be fully moved in by Christmas.  There’s quite a bit to do in the kitchen.  That’s an understatement, really.  We have to gut the whole thing and start over.  I’m excited about that prospect, though.   It means that the floors, counters and cupboards will all be our choices and that will make it feel even more like home.  We’re also going to get all new fixtures and lighting to start with. Those will be our two big before we can move in projects.  There are a lot of other little changes and tweaks that we want to do here and there, but they will come over time.  There is so much really beautiful old, dark wood in the house and I’m in love with it.  I’d love to be moved in even sooner, but we leave for CA and AZ in mid-November and will be gone for 3 weeks.  It makes for a bit of a crunch to get everything done in time for moving in; in my insanity I’ve insisted that I want to host Christmas Eve for my MIL, BIL and SIL (really by BIL’s girlfriend, but they’ve been together since Jake was a newborn and she’s his “Aunt Katiebugs” so that makes her family in my book) in the new house.  The offer was made in the excitement of getting the house and I’m a little stressed about it, but I don’t regret it.  It’s my motivation to stay on track and get things done.

I really think this move will be good for me.  A fresh start, if you will.  Andrea disappeared on us, again.  I don’t know why I thought this time would be different, but it’s the elimination of one of my crutches to stay in the house all the time.  I’ve been working (with limited success) on becoming a much more social person.  I’m trying to get past all the phobias and hermit-like habits that I became so enmeshed with when we were in Lake City.  I’ve made some really good friends in the last year or so and I really hope I haven’t blown them by being me and not ever going out of the house.  It’s the craziest thing.  I WANT to go out and do things, I have a great time when I’m out with friends, but when it comes time to actually LEAVE the house, to go out, I feel this panic start to rise inside me.  The last time I did anything social was the Michigan Fiber Festival with Andrea, Shannon, Emily, Kai (I know I spelled that wrong, didn’t I Shannon?) and Abby.  Jake had so much fun with the kids and I had a blast with the older folks.  We made plans to get together and Jake got sick, then I got sick and this whole thing spiralled.  Needless to say, plans never happened and even though TJ keeps telling me that people understand when you’re sick etc.  I feel too embarrased to call and apologize for my freakish behaviors and phobias – again.  Yes, I know I’m an idiot.  So anyway, I plan to be a lot more social and spend time with my knitting group again (if they’ll still have me) and do other things.  Being in Battle Creek will be good in that sense since one of my biggest hurdles is the long drive (and yes, for me Kalamazoo to Battle Creek seems like a LONG drive).  It’s time to get Jake socializing with other kids and to allow myself to have a life and have fun and not hole up in the house like some sort of leper.  I deserve to have a life and friends, damnit and I’m not going to blow it if I get a second, or is it third or fourth, chance.  Okay, when did this become a self-pitying rant about how I’ve screwed up friendships and made a agoraphobic out of myself?  Life is positive and I’m going to be positive.  Self-loathing over, let’s move on!! 🙂

Back in Michigan and doing great

I’ve been a very lazy and bad blogger.  Lots has happened and been going on.  Life is better than it’s been in years and I’m thrilled with almost every aspect of my life.

I was wary about being away from home and visiting Mom for as long as I was.  Friends were starting to ask if everything was okay with TJ and myself.  Yes they are, better than ever, actually.  This trip was one of the best things that I’ve chosen to do in a long, long time.

Today was not a great day, though.  I planned to get up early, get some chores done and hopefully spend part or much of the day with my friend Shannon who I haven’t seen in over two months (sigh).  I didn’t end up being able to fall asleep (probably due to extensive napping earlier in the day) until after 9 am and when the alarm went off at 1:30, my head was pounding so bad that I couldn’t even turn the light on.  Migraine hell, my friends, migraine hell.  It wasn’t until almost 6 pm that I was even able to get out of bed.  Even now my head still hurts to some degree, even down into my neck, but it’s more bearable as long as the noise level is low.  I probably shouldn’t even be playing with the computer, but TV hurts, reading hurts and I’m crazy bored.  Anyone that called today and I didn’t answer or get back to you, I’m sorry.  Will get with everyone tomorrow or over the weekend.  I’m going to keep it simple and quiet tonight b/c tomorrow is ZPDK and I’m not missing it for anything.  I miss my knitting buddies.

Back to my life changes…since I’ve been back, I’ve left the house more than I have in the last few years.  Living in Lake City screwed with my head a lot and I became very much of a recluse, to the point where leaving the house was frightening for me.  Moving here helped, but not as much as I would have liked.  I joined my knitting groups, which I love, but even that was hard.  I have yet to drive myself to any of the meetings.  First Andrea went with me, which got me going in the first place, then either TJ would drop me off and pick me up or Shannon would pick me up and take me.  The fact that I was going was progress, but not enough.

Driving has been a huge issue for me.  I don’t know what it has been, but I’ve been terrified of driving.  Even getting the new car last year didn’t change it much.  Socialization has also been an issue.  I was really shut off, preferring to stay at home and watch TV or knit or whatever over going out and having fun.  In CA, though, I didn’t have that option.  I had to go out with Mom and the family and having renewed my friendship with my cousin Krista was a HUGE factor in my change.  She really pulled me out of my shell a lot.

Since I’ve been back, just over a week, I’m happy to say that TJ and I have taken Jake bowling twice, have gone to the carnival in town twice and since they’ve been up north (since yesterday) I’ve left the house to pick up this and that ON MY OWN, even driving the car.  I know how stupidly simple that sounds, but to me it’s a HUGE deal!!  I feel better about myself than I have in a long, long time.

I’ve been knitting and spinning quite a bit as well.  I finished my first mini-skein of plied yarn.  It’s far from perfect, but it’s pretty.  I’ll post pictures once I get the camera back (I left it in CA).  I’ve been working half-heartedly on a few mystery shawl projects, and I’ve gotten really back into working on my Clapotis shawl.  I love working with the bamboo yarn; it’s hand-dyed from Yarntopia Treasures (Tammy has gorgeous yarns, btw.  Her bamboo and cotton/bamboo blends are so soft and so pretty.  I love them) and the colorway is Seventh Heaven, a combination of blues and greens.  The drape on this yarn is so pretty and I can’t wait to finish this so I can wrap myself up in it.  This and the multi-directional scarf I’m working on for Krista (also with Tammy’s bamboo yarn – Surreal colorway this time) are the only two I’m really working on at this point.  I’ve tended to start many, many projects and set them aside when something else catches my eye.  I’m determined to finish at least one of these two projects before I start something else.  I want to work hard now, b/c I know that once I get my wheel, I’m going to be spinning all the time for awhile.

Okay, the headache is back a bit, so I’m going to sign off for now.  More later…