Monday, July 20, 2015

Lipoma Surgery

ceiling tile view from my gurney
As a follow up to my earlier post, today was surgery day and it went very well.  I had 6 lipomas removed., 2 on my left arm, 1 on my left rib cage and 3 on my leg.  The surgery was at Scripps hospital. 

The prep started last night with another run to the store for a watermelon, which I ate from 8:30 - 9pm, the cut off for my last chance to eat or drink before surgery. We woke up at 4:45am so I could take a shower with antibacterial soap.  Then we walked and fed Parker and headed off to the hospital at 5:15am for our 5:30 check in.  The watermelon worked because they got the IV started on the first try even though they had to take a few vials of blood first.  

About 5 years ago I developed a pretty severe latex allergy.  Because of this, it required extra paper work extra bracelets and giant signs all over the OR.  I am so happy that they have all these precautions because it is not fun to deal with the reactions that latex causes.  Around 7am I kissed Ryan goodbye and they escorted him out to the lobby and got me in my gurney.   

surgery is so dramatic
I also have issues with anesthesia.  About 4 surgeries ago, the anesthesiologist suggested putting the dot behind my ear that is usually used for motion sickness.  Well it did the trick again this time, no nausea.  I also ask that my meds be given in the IV instead of sending me home to take oral pills and they always accommodate this request. That way I don't have to go home and force myself to eat when I am not feeling my best.  This time I got my first dose of antibiotics and my pain meds in the IV.  The only small issue i have is there is some pain at each of the sites.  My surgeon really wanted to put me on vicodin, but I absolutely hate pain meds and I really don't want them in my body any more.  I also don't want to do pain meds right before a transfer.  So I opted to skip the meds and only take Tylenol. Right before the surgery started, they told me I would be in recovery for about 1 1/2 hours.  I was shocked, I thought I was only in recovery for 30 min.  Ryan said that is how long I am in there once I am awake.  I turned to him and asked "I wonder what I am doing for the hour that I am out"?  Fast forward to this morning and the recovery nurse said that she checked me in and then walked away to do something and when she came back I was completely naked on the bed.  She said she had never seen anyone do that before. I took off the gown and all the blankets!  I don't have any recollection of doing this and sadly now I know what I do when I am knocked out and so does everyone else in the recovery room.  

Shortly after coming home, my brother came by and delivered some beautiful flowers.  Not only are they pretty but the smell amazing and now the whole house smells great.  I have the greatest brother!
flowers from my brother
I have an appointment on Thursday to remove the stitches.  My only restrictions is I can't take a shower until they are removed but I can survive two days.  Going to try yoga tomorrow and hopefully I can do some poses that don't let the fabric touch my bandages.

Thanks for Reading,

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Emotional Side of IF

The support group that I run in San Diego hosts guest speakers from time to time.  I am always looking for people aside from the REs that are involved in the infertility community to come speak at our meetings.  Dr. Karen Hall came very highly recommended by past Cookies members as well as my acupuncturist Jeneanne Paden.  Dr. Hall is a licensed psychologist that specializes in infertility counseling, miscarriage and third-party reproduction issues.

I have read a lot of books about living and dealing with infertility, but having a group discussion led by a psychologist was very different and really worthwhile.  She touched on a lot of things that really hit home.  IF is a very isolating issue to have to deal with.  One of the many benefits of the support group as well as this meeting was knowing that what I am feeling and going through is 'normal' and that I am not crazy for feeling/saying/acting the way that I do.

Here are just some of the issues we discussed that are appropriate to share here:
  • The stress level that comes with IF is huge.  It is truly a crisis.  It is similar to being diagnosed with a life ending disease.
  • It is important to remember to continue to live life and be present in our marriage.  Find an activity with your spouse that you can get lost in and not discuss infertility.
  • It's OK to put a bubble around us to protect ourselves.
  • Take ownership of your own happiness.
  • IF is a grieving process.
  • We have to let go of the fairy tale of how it should have been.
We talked a lot about marriage and the struggles our relationships are put through when dealing with IF.  Ryan was out of town for this meeting, but I took some notes and we will try some of the communication techniques that she described.  My hope is that by trying some of these things it will help ease some of the pain that IF brings to our marriage.

If anyone is looking for therapy in San Diego, Dr. Hall was very professional and very experienced in this area.  Here is her info

Thanks for Reading,

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Slight Delay in Plans

So about 2 years ago I started noticing this lump in my left rib cage.  It is a nothing thing except very irritating.  But my focus was on infertility so I ignored it.  Anyways fast forward to now and I have 7 of these annoying lumps (called lipomas), 3 in my leg, 3 in my arm and the same one in my ribs.  3 of them are very painful.  I went to a surgeon yesterday and he is going to remove them on Monday.  It will be under anesthesia and I will have to be on antibiotics for 10 days.

I have decided to postpone the transfer.  Both antibiotics and anesthesia wreck havoc on my body, especially on my cycle.  I usually have breakthrough bleeding.  Since I have waited so long for this opportunity, I want everything in the best possible state within my control.  Therefore, this will delay the process.  This will push back my plan to start in July to priming in August.   That will put the transfer in September or early October.

Both Ryan and I are in agreement to put it off but it's still tough to wait even longer for this to happen.  If these things weren't painful I wouldn't be doing this, but these little suckers are very painful.  Just another minor setback in our infertility journey.

Thanks for Reading,

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Shrine to Fertility

     Over the years we have received various good luck charms from family and friends.  Today I decided to put them all together and create a shrine to fertility.  Hopefully putting all of that love and energy in a spot where I can see it, will really help me feel the support that I desperately need.  At this point in our journey, it is so very important to stay positive which is something I really have a hard time with.  Thanks to all that have added to our shrine.

     My brother gave me this wooden stretch Saint bracelet as a good luck charm.  He isn't Catholic, but he is religious.  He has one too that he wears. I was wearing it the day we found out that we had two normal embryos which is the first time I have ever gotten good news from the doctor.  I had a friend that was also going to get a phone call from her doctor and I kept it on until the phone rang for her.  She received good news too!  The power of the bracelet.

     My friend who is Catholic, gave me this St. Gerard laminated prayer card.  St. Gerard is the patron saint of expectant mothers.  I used to keep it in my car so that I looked at it every day, but now it is on the mantle.  The St. Gerard prayer is written on the back and reads :  O good Saint Gerard, powerful intercessor before God and Wonderworker of our day, I call upon thee and seek thy aid. Thou who on earth didst always fulfill God’s designs, help me to do the holy Will of God. Beseech the Master of Life, from Whom all paternity proceedeth, to render me fruitful in offspring, that I may raise up children to God in this life and heirs to the Kingdom of His Glory in the world to come. Amen.

     My Aunt gave me an amazing gift.  She gave me a special pouch with some very special items inside.  My Aunt is very spiritual and spends a lot of time with Native American friends and loves the spirituality the culture provides.  She was very close to a woman named Phyllis Big Left Hand.  Phyllis was Southern  Cheyenne.  I met her a few times.  Once Phyllis blessed me at a Pow Wow in Los Angeles years ago.   She was raised by a medicine man in the traditional ways of their culture so she was the real deal.  The leather that the pouch is made of is buckskin.  It was gifted to my Aunt during a healing ceremony on the Pima Reservation in Arizona.  Inside the pouch is all spirit sage, tobacco, cedar and lavender.  The all spirit sage, tobacco, cedar were also gifts from Phyllis.  They were meant for my Aunt to inspire her to learn the old ways and songs.  The stone my Aunt found at a crystal shop when she was looking for something for me.  She said the stone placed itself in her hand.  The stone is the shape of an embryo which is what drew her to it.  My Grandmother contributed by added some lavender to the pouch.  Not only does lavender smell great but it is also my favorite color.  In the Native American culture the turtle is the oldest symbol for Mother Earth and often a sign of fertility for many tribes.  Other Native American tribes see Turtle as a symbol of persistence and endurance.  The beadwork along the edge of the pouch is symbol of a Cherokee medicine wheel.  Then my Aunt said she blessed it off before she gave it to me.

     Lastly, my Grandmother gave me a candle for Christmas.  She saw that this candle had a picture of a baby on it and thought it would help to bring me good luck.  Technically it's a picture of a statue known as Divine Child Jesus.  But hey, if she thought of us when she saw it and thinks that it will bring us good luck, I'll take it!  At this point I will take all the luck and good thoughts anyone wants to send our way.  Ryan and I lit this candle the night before our transfer and said a baby dust prayer.(shown in a previous post called Egg Retrieval).  

Thanks for all the love and support!  The mantel looks lovely.  Here's hoping some baby dust is coming our way! Please still keep us in your thoughts and prayers.  It means so much to us and we really appreciate.

Thanks for reading,