Wednesday, November 04, 2009

NaBloPoNO!

For the last 3 years, I have participated in NaBloPoMo, a challenge to post on your blog every day for the month of November. I wasn't successful each year, but I always got something great out of it. WRITING!

I am not the most skilled writer but what I get out of writing is a form of therapy, improve writing composition and thankfully some great Bloggy Friends. Some days of November I would be really scrapping by on what to write about, and last year I was pregnant during November (ended in miscarriage but that's another story) but we weren't telling yet so that was soooo hard to not write about what was on my mind.

This year, I am pregnant again (small update - 12 weeks... Woo!) but have told people already so I thought I would easily do NaBloPoMo again and just gush baby drivel. But instead I find myself with carpal tunnel and tendinitis in both arms (worse now with the pregnancy), and in a few stressful situations (work, housing, financial fun, etc.) and did I mention I'm exhausted? I find I have little time for reading blogs, let alone writing anything for my own.

I'm only writing this now because I woke up in the middle of the night and meditation and breathing exercises were not helping the insomnia. Probably stupid for me to get on the computer, but there was a work email nagging me to get out.

So this year, November started without me writing a post each day. It probably would have been good therapy for me, so maybe I'll try to write a little more on here anyway even without the official challenge. They may be short posts, as the burning pain can only be ignored so long, but I'll try to post more just the same.

Welcome to my non-challenge yet still challenging November challenge.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

3rd Times a Charm

Funny thing.... you know how in this post I was just saying how I am now 35 and that I was all boo hoo about fertility and complications and never wanting to get to this age without having kids and all that blah blah blah?

Well, the day I wrote that, I didn't know that I was already pregnant!

Knowing I have a "tight" left tube and a submucosal fibroid just under that tubal opening which is possibly the cause of the "tight" tube, I had been recommended to have 2 surgeries. One to look at the tube and possibly remove it if it is obviously abnormal, and the second to "shave" down the fibroid so it didn't affect the uterine cavity. I asked if it was possible to get and have a successful pregnancy with these conditions and was told yes, but chances would be better after the surgeries and the risk of further ectopic pregnancies would be down. I am concerned of doing any possibly unneeded surgeries which add risk to my fertility, so my doctor asked that we try for 3 months and then we should discuss surgery again.
My husband and I work well to deadlines, so sure enough with the 3rd cycle after that discussion with my doctor we successfully got pregnant.

Ok, so I probably shouldn't say anything because we are still in the "Worry Time" but when is it not the worry time when it comes to pregnancy?

I am only 6 weeks pregnant but have been pained to walk up and down stairs for weeks without holding my chest, have been readily gagging for at least 2 weeks, and last week I was hit over the head with the almost constant desire to be unconscious. No food is satisfying right now, as I am either really hungry or feeling ill. I have been forcing myself to eat and rarely can get full before I get too nauseous so I'm just constantly hungry which makes me more nauseous. Sure I complain from time to time to my girlfriends, but really I am thrilled to feel this way... well, most of the time.

My beta-hCG numbers looked great at 4 weeks and tripled in 2 days. And today I had an early ultrasound to make sure this was not another ectopic pregnancy and it's definitely a uterine pregnancy and we saw a little flicker of a heartbeat. No measurements were taken today as its still a little too early to do that with the in-office ultrasound. I go back on Tuesday to start the pile of paperwork and to schedule my first real pre-natel appointment.

2 pregnancies ago, we had a heartbeat and growth up to 8.5 weeks so I know that the drop to 10% chance of miscarriage once there is a heartbeat doesn't mean a whole lot when you've been in that 10%. We do have a little issue of a fibroid above the implantation site, and development is going to be closely monitored. I will have more ultrasounds then your standard pregnancy and am considered high risk due to multiple factors:
fibroid uterus = risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm labor, placenta abruption, etc
previous uterine scar tissue = risk of placenta accreta
previous uterine surgery = risk of uterine rupture, preterm labor
multiple cervical dialations = risk of incompetent cervix

I have many friends who have a hard time getting pregnant. Me, I can get pregnant but have a history of having a hard time staying that way and for the most part we have an idea of why. I feel grateful that we are not in the position of so many of my friends who have no answers and just keep being told to keep trying and spend so much time, emotions and money on their dream. I guess we too have had our own emotionally trying times, but having an idea of the issues gives us a small sense of power in the situation.

So her we go again!
As we have said since the ectopic in February, 3rd times a charm!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Un-Pausing

Projects tend to get put on pause in this house. They start with vigor but don't quite get finished. This is why we have doors that have been primed to paint, but never painted. Stuff in piles as we started purging out a closet but never decide where to put the stuff that didn't belong there. Walls which are partially painted but the day finished and no one felt like painting the next day, or the next, or the next. And probably why there are STILL cans of paint in the living room.

So this weekend we are un-pausing some projects. Some background on the biggest...

Floors
When we first moved in we decided we would change the kitchen flooring as it is a hunter green faux marble linoleum and the sink in the kitchen.. MATCHES with its hunter green enamel self. The living room carpet was (note I said WAS) pretty nice but after years of living with a cat with a tender tummy.... steam cleaning can only do so much. The upstairs carpeting is a mash-up of what I can only imagine to be SALE deals or free room size chunks the previous owners got their hands on. And we won't go into what happened when Eric removed the popcorn ceiling and then painted knowing we would eventually replace the carpet. Ok I will go into it...he didn't use any sort of protective covering and you know there were drips and spills and uh ohs.

Kitchen
Our kitchen has its original partial board cabinets and to go with the faux marble floor, it has a faux marble laminate counter top too. Someone previous to us decided to paint the cabinets and used FLAT paint. That's right, the paint you CANNOT WASH as it ends up wiping off. IN THE KITCHEN! Brilliant. So the cabinets look like crap. There is actually a missing cabinet and they just put doors over the hole to cover it up. And the guy we bought this place from hired a cheap guy to put in venting for the range hood who CUT HOLES through the cabinets to vent it through the outside wall and into the water heater closet outside and up through the roof. Seeing as this was not approved by the HOA and was not to code, I stopped that work half way through since it wasn't finished when we closed escrow. So now there is a lovely hole running through the cabinets and into the outside shed. AWESOME! Nice and breezy.
Then lets add that some of the cabinet doors are falling off and have been re-screwed on so many times that the "wood" is stripped. I say "wood" because its particle board that is disintegrating.
Oh and the drawers do not have glides, they are wood on wood grinding every time you open them so anything under the drawer gets a showering of particle board dust so I have to wash everything before and after I use it.

Can you tell how much I love my kitchen?

Well, a few years ago.... 4.5 to be exact (note, we moved in 5.5 years ago), I bought some wood laminate flooring to be used downstairs. We had it all worked out. We were going to replace the kitchen cabinets and then put down the floors. That flooring as been sitting next to our front door "acclimating" since the day we brought it home. Our friends ask us over and over, have you taken care of those floors yet?

We have made plans to buy the kitchen cabinets multiple times. We have picked them out, drew up the plans, but never actually purchased them. Thankfully we have also never started the demo because that would be sad, but might have caused us to get moving.

So yesterday, I took the day off and we visited a home design showroom in town that just opened up a month ago. Their parent company mainly works with Banks and property management companies to get properties ready to sell. Many of these places are in foreclosure so the stuff is really reasonably priced and of decent quality. They do flooring, windows, baths and kitchens. You don't have a lot of options for some things they offer and that is how the keep the cost low. AND they do installation.

So on Wednesday, they will be coming out to do measurements and give us a bid on the kitchen, counter tops and the floors. We don't know if they will install the flooring we already have or if we will end up trying to get rid of it on Craigslist, but things are so much more promising now. Since they do installation I have more confidence that this will actually happen. Do it yourself projects have the tendency to stall in this house.

The remainder of the weekend's task list:
Purging a few closets and packing things up that can go away or into storage. The goal is to minimize the things in the house to what we actually use regularly. I have a feeling a lot is going to Goodwill.
I can't wait to get my hands on Eric's closet.... this man has got a lot of shoes (mostly all black) and old T-shirts!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Another Year Older

Yesterday, I added another year to my life officially. I am now the age I never wanted to get to without having kids. I am now the age where all I think about is fertility and healthy babies and how to have a healthy baby all the while trying not to stress about it as that seems to be the biggest evil. I am the age the OB/GYNs tells you it all goes down hill from here but with an odd sense of hope and promise in their voice. I am a statistic. I am 35.

HOLY SHIT! How the hell did this happen?
(BTW - yes Mom, I do swear... I guess it's time to come clean)

I spent the day shopping with my husband and prepping for a snacky food filled affair with some of my closest friends. We bought me a gorgeous Japanese knife and bamboo cutting board, $40 of Bluefin Tuna for Tuna Tar Tar and all the makings for Goi Cuon (Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls). I prepared to make sushi rolls for my friends and made about a bazillion spring rolls. As I haven't been in the kitchen much for about 7 months due to pain and I had a blast. I'll be icing my arms all day, but totally worth it.

Due to the good ol' arm pains I also dropped photography, so I decided to say hell with the pain, I want to remember how to use this fancy thing we bought so I brought along the camera. Here are a few photos which are poorly lit and a good reminder that I need to actually USE the settings on the camera or get and learn some photo editing software (which reminds me I need a new computer).
The boys (and Maya) and the food.

The lovely Maya

Autumn and Autumn's Mom (aka Dot)

Julie (aka JellyJules)

The Girls and an IKEA catelog

iPhones users must huddle together for warmth

Don't let him fool you. The cupcakes were delishous! He just had a fever.

A few more photos are here.

Thank you my friends for sharing a lovely evening together! You all make sting of this year a little more bearable.

Hello World. I'm back. Again.

I don't know if anyone is still out there, but something is drawing me back here to talk. Sure, the blog has become a part of my therapy and my way to "process" all the stuff life brings. But it has also brought me some good friends and a way to keep in touch with old ones as our modern day life makes it all just a little bit harder to do. Simply, I miss you guys.

As Jules mentioned yesterday, I haven't been blogging or really typing socially for that matter as I have developed RSI's in both arms. I am diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on the right side and Tendinitis all over both arms. I work hard and long (too long) and I no longer have time to IM, blog (read or write) or pick up the phone. Typing this right now gives me a burning pain that travels from my right writs, up my arm and down my back. It's AWESOME!

But alas I miss my community. I miss taking time out everyday to at least read about my "bloggy friend's" worlds. I miss writing about the positive things in my life and instead only seem to be drawn here to bitch about the challenges.

Facebook has been an interesting outlet and I've been using it off and on, but the blogosphere gets more out of me and I get more out of it. I also joined Twitter recently (30 minutes ago) but I don't get it but we'll see how that one goes.

So today I am older, and I am taking things back which have gotten away from me. My health. My family. My friends. My Internet. (so profound!)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Whine Party

Today I took a half day off from work as I had scheduled a fun fun GYN procedure in the afternoon. I knew it had the potential to be upsetting, painful and that I very well may want to crawl into bed for the rest of the day.

GOOD THINKING!

Today I had a Saline Sonogram. It isn't super invasive and the uncomfortableness isn't long lasting but it still sucked! This procedure was to look into the insides of 'lady land' to see the reason for the multiple miscarriages. I had a myomectomy 1.5 years ago to remove 2 large fibroid tumors from my uterus which could result in scaring and I also knew that I could have fibroid regrowth. This procedure would hopefully give us a clearer picture as to what is going on in there today.

Many of you ladies who have had early ultrasounds during pregnancy or who have had other reason to look into lady land, are familiar with the not so fun transvaginal ultrasound. I've had lots of these thanks to having fibroids and an ectopic pregnancy and all the fun around those beauties. This sonogram is like that one, but they also insert a catheter and fill you up with saline so they can see a contrast. Basically you expect some cramping and discomfort. Which yea... sucked and I totally should have listened to the advice the great Internets gave me which was to take pain meds ahead of time.

The thing that isn't sitting well with me was the infertility clinic NP who performed the procedure. My doctor had planned on being there but was out sick today. Since my doctor wasn't there the NP asked me for my history so she knew what she was looking for. She seemed shocked at all I'd been through which didn't sit well with me that she was unaware of my case. She didn't explain the procedure and just started.

TMI alert!

#1 - the speculum was too big and she was ROUGH! Let's just say I am still uncomfortable. I've had painful experiences with the torture devise known as the speculum, but this was ridiculous pain.

#2 - The pain around the filling of the uterus was expected from my internet reading but I am still in shock that she didn't explain anything. I mostly felt terrible for Eric as he sat by me wincing every time I made a peep. I am generally a very quiet patient with a high pain tolerance but I could not just lay there today.

#3 - I was already upset about the potential outcome of this procedure because while this would hopefully give us some answers to the miscarriages, this would also tells us the next steps which could include surgery to remove more fibroids and/or scar tissue. So as she was pointing to things on the screen and saying 'that looks like scar tissue', 'there is a fibroid', 'there is another fibroid' , she suddenly said "OH! Look at THAT!" which you never want to hear while in such a precarious position. Those ultrasound images are hard to read if you don't know what you are looking at (I include myself in the not knowing crowd), but then she said "it looks all spider webby in there!", which of course I can't see but ok, that doesn't sound good. She said based on my history she is thinking it is scar tissue from the surgery but my doctor will have to do a hysteroscopy to know for sure (basically sticking a camera all up in my business to see more stuff).
My general opinion is that this kind of news, especially in an infertility clinic, should not be delivered in such a manner and fully feel that if my doctor was there that this experience would have been different.

#4 - When we talked about the ectopic pregnancy she asked if I had an HSG test yet, and when I said no and she was surprised. Then she asked what my treatment was for the ectopic, which was methotrexate injections, and she said, "You do know not to get pregnant for 3 months, right?" which is not what my doctor said. Again, I don't think that exchange would have happened like that if my doctor was in the room.

So now we know there are more issues in lady land. AWESOMENESS!

After the appointment, we got a late lunch because I couldn't eat anything this morning out of being too crazed with work stuff to take the time. So we went to a nearby diner which we had never been to and I drowned my fears, pain and sorrow in a giant strawberry milkshake which had fresh strawberries and really good vanilla ice cream and wasn't too sweet, a giant helping of french fries which might have been the most potatoey and yummy french fries ever, and a big bacon cheeseburger (ahh yea, you know what I'm talking about!) with thick cut bacon, and a cleary hand patted patty that was at least an inch thick. Eric had eaten lunch already so he enjoyed a housemade bearclaw, many of my fries and we split the shake.
Black Bear Diner -- Check it!

After getting home, I basically slept the rest of the day away (since I had worked until 2am a few nights in a row, I think it was well needed)

So that's the current update in the adventure of me and my dreams of being a parent. I used to believe that being a parent was the whole point to my life, and while my experience with fibroids and lots of therapy has helped me adjust my perspective and accept that I'm ok as is, the dream is still alive but the pressure isn't as great (all the time).

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Brief Update

Just stopping to say hi and to throw out a little update.
  • Wrists still hurt... better but still hurt and am now awaiting my worker's comp insurance to approve the physical therapy. Considering my case was opened at the end of January, this is getting ridiculous.
  • Working too much, trying to figure out how to find the balance.
  • Got a new tooth night guard because the stress is some how showing up in my mouth. Jaw clenching and pushing my tongue against my teeth and moving them. Who knew that clenching causes gum recession and flaking off enamel. Also causes wallet lightening because mouth guards are EXPENSIVE! This is my second in 2 years.
  • In the attempt to reduce stress and in celebration of getting home while it was still light out, we went for a jog yesterday and surprised myself at going 1.5 miles after no exercise for months. That may not sound like much but to me it totally is. I was able to pretty much chat with Eric the whole time. We even managed to sing this song for a short chunk of the route...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Milestone day

Today is a day which will be marked on the calendar. Ok, maybe it won't be because it depresses me a little even as I try to look at the upside to it.

Today I am reminded I am older.
I am no longer dealing with teen angst... much.
I am not afraid of the bullies.... much.
I am able to go to the store and buy what I want... mostly....on credit.... but I don't because I also know the difference between need and want.
I am wiser.
I am stronger.
I am a little bigger too... but we're trying to stick to the positives here.
I don't care as much about wearing the perfect outfit so the cute boy behind me mind notice me.
I've accepted I have straight hair and no longer feel the need to put chemicals in it to change it's structure so it frizzes out instead of laying all shiny and straight.
I have accepted that I am no longer a size 0-2, even if I haven't quite accepted my current size.
I like that I can't see my ribs anymore because that was kinda gross.
I make pretty decent money without getting up at 4am to throw papers at people's houses.
I have learned that being treated badly by a man is NOT OK! and there are other fish in the sea!
I own stuff.
I have found my own voice and use it regularly.
I may not still regularly speak to my friends from my childhood but I have surrounded myself with who I feel are life long friends.
I've accepted it is ok to loose touch.

So even though I am reminded about all of these GOOD things at this point in my life (plus more but my wrists are starting to say we've had just about enough typing for the moment), today is a milestone day which depresses me a little because....

I FOUND MY FIRST GREY HAIR!
It's too soon! It's just too soon!
I also have dark dark brown hair and this hair is white white white and kinky and right in my part on top of my head.

sigh... so much for not caring so much about my hair.
BACK TO THE BOTTLE!

Monday, March 02, 2009

44 Meme

Because I haven't written anything but sad medical crap for a while now, I thought I'd take J's prompting from her meme post today and follow through with completing it myself.

44 Things about me!

1. Do you like blue cheese?
Indeedy I do. Maytag Blue is my favorite. Really creamy.

2. Have you ever been drunk?
I have, although not recently. For some reason I decide to drink the most at company parties. I guess FREE is a big thing for me so I feel the need to partake. Good thing the company doesn't throw parties anymore. Upside of the recession?

3. Do you own a gun?
That would be a BIG NO!

4. What flavor of Kool-Aid was your favorite?
Fruit Punch or Cherry

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?
Usually no, but lately yes.

7. Favorite Christmas movie?
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
Hot Cocoa, Hot Water or Vente Non-Fat Sugar-Free Hazelnut Steamer, thank you very much!

9. Can you do push ups?
Yes, but no to the pull ups. And actually at the moment I can do neither due to the wrist issues.

10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry?
Wedding/Engagement Ring. It sparkles real pretty.

11. Favorite hobby?
hands down... BAKING!

12. Do you have A.D.D.?
YES! Not diagnosed but I think it is pretty obvious.

13. What’s your favorite shoe?
I have these pair of sandals with a chunky 2 inch heal and stretchy strappy upper which I LOVE but am afraid this will be their last year. I don't have many shoes because my feet have issues and when I find shoes that are comfortable, I wear them until they fall apart. Such is the reason I am usually in highly unfashionable running shoes.

14. Middle name?
Rebecca -- and I LOVE IT!

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment?
My hands/wrists hurt
I probably shouldn't be typing this right now
Why is there only one more thin mint sitting in front of me?

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink?
Water, Milk, Hot Cocoa (which is mostly milk... right?)

17. Current worry?
WORK SHIT!
and
What am I going to wear this weekend to Starshine's play?

18. Current hate right now?
anything having to do with our flooring at home.... ok and also the perpetually moldy caulking in the corners of our tub/shower which needs to be stripped out and redone. Yea I know... gross!

19. Um, where did 19 go?
After reading this Meme a few times I am going with the same assumption as everyone else and talk about when I was 19. 19 went down the toilet with working at a burger joint, dating an abusive guy, calling off an engagement and going to community college not being able to figure out what is it that I wanted to do when I grew up. BTW - that abusive guy ended up with an abusive girl and later called to apologize.

20. How did you bring in the New Year?
Celebrated Julie's birthday with friends, a yummy dinner and fun games.

21. Where would you like to go?
Anywhere I can use my passport. But mostly right now I want to go home.

22. Name three people who will complete this?
???

23. Do you own slippers?
I do but I don't wear them.

24. What color shirt are you wearing right now?
Black although I'm also still wearing my big puffy down jacket over it.

25. Do you like sleeping on Satin sheets?
Nah. I love jersey knit cotton or other natural fiber. currently on the bed are Beech sheets.

26. Can you whistle?
I like to think I can, but not when compared to people who REALLY can.

27. Favorite color?
All my life it has been BLUE, but greens are starting to work their way in.

28. Would you be a pirate?
uh... doubtful. I'm too much of a rule follower (except for the speed limit)

29. What songs do you sing in the shower?
I don't really know of any specific songs and it doesn't happen that often. I know Christmas songs and other Churchy related songs creep into my head during those quiet times. Mostly I'm just trying to get out of the shower quickly so as not to waste water.

30. Favorite Girl’s Name?
Kaitlyn - and no we won't be using it because guy from #19 used it.. BASTARD!

31. Favorite boy’s name?
Benjamin - also won't be using it for other reasons.

32. What’s in your pocket right now?
Nadda

33. Last thing that made you laugh?
Co-worker talking about how his wife spent $380 on 2 pairs of jeans and other co-worker said, "but just think of how hot she'll look while you are eating Top Ramen when you are both laid off in a few months."

34. Best bed sheets as a child?
The only sheets I really remember were these ones with Rainbow Brite on them which I never understood why my mom bought them because I didn't even like Rainbow Brite and I was too old at the time for character sheets. These also happen to be the sheets I got for Christmas one year (yea, sheets for Christmas... WOO!) but I found the receipts and tags in the trash and was SO BUMMED and ungrateful that I do believe I cried to my mom about them who was furious. Yea... that whole story is probably why remember those sheets.

35. Worst injury you’ve ever had as a child?
Dislocated my elbow, chipped bone and broke nerves while doing an Aerial in gymnastics. I landed the trick but managed to do all of that damage in the air. Never felt a thing due to the broken nerves but was in the hospital for weeks and was scared most of the time.

36. Do you love where you live?
BIG NO!

38. Who is your loudest friend?
Hmmm.... probably Michelle although I haven't seen her for years I still consider her a good friend. I think she'd agree.

39. How many dogs do you have?
None. although I have 2 cat's which Dot refers to as dogs.

40. Does someone have a crush on you?
Yes and I share a bed and last name with him. HOT!

41. What is your favorite book?
Tough one. I don't read much but if I finish a book it's generally because I loved it.

42. What is your favorite candy?
OH man this one is tough because I admit to loving candy. I'll name a few:
Giant Chewy Sweettarts
See's Butterscotch Suckers
See's Milk Bordeaux
See's Butterscotch Square
Shocktarts
Peanut butter cups

43. Favorite Sports Team?
None

44. What song do you want played at your funeral?
Uhhh....something kinda cheerful and pretty please.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Learning Patience

So I guess an update is in order.

I saw my doctor on Thursday who at the time was still feeling this was a normal miscarriage. She did an in-office ultrasound which didn't really answer the if this is an intrauterine or ectopic pregnancy. She saw things that made her think it could be either.

Not very definitive.

So she had me do another round of blood tests to see where my beta-hCG levels were. If they were dropping quickly it sounds like a normal miscarriage. If they weren't we were back to thinking it is ectopic.

Blood drawn and waiting commences.

Friday 7am
I'm up, showered, dressed and about to head out the door to a crazy day at work when the phone rings. It's my doctor calling to say that my numbers did not drop, she is concerned the pregnancy is ectopic, she is in the OR all day but had a cancellation and would like to bring me in to do a D&C and then a possible laparoscopic surgery to look for and remove the pregnancy if she doesn't find it in the uterus. She asks, "Do you think you can make that happen today?" Even though my day is full of busy crazy important work, I say "I'll make it happen."
She assures me that my numbers have dropped so low that there is no way this pregnancy is viable even though they are not dropping anymore. They are in the 300's at this point, when they were in the 700's a week earlier and should have been doubling every 2-3 days.
I'm instructed to not eat or drink anything and to come in at noon to be prepped for surgery in the afternoon.
I email my boss to tell him what is happening and he is more than supportive. I try to do as much emailing and work as I can do as I am quickly getting more and more anxious.

Friday 11am
The Operating Room Admin calls to say that my doctor will no longer be able to do my procedure today and that she'll call me this afternoon when she gets out of surgery to talk about the next steps, but that I am clear to eat now.

WHAT?
More waiting....

Friday 12noon
My doctor calls another doctor who's nurse calls me to say that I need to go to the hospital imaging department to get an Ultrasound done at 1pm. There were no appointments available but they have been told I'm coming. I ask if I am to drink the requisite 32 oz of water to have a full bladder for the scan and she says just to drink a little. Usually OB ultrasounds are done by a different department, but the hospital imaging department does them when there is an emergency and I unfortunately know this because this will be my third. AWESOME!

Worry sets in

Friday 1:30pm
I drink a glass of water as we drive to the hospital and of course I get there and they say my bladder isn't full enough for the scan (BECAUSE I WAS TOLD NOT TO FILL IT!). So I chug the 32 oz and sit in the waiting room waiting for it to make its way down.

Friday 2:30pm
HELLO FULL BLADDER!
Scan commences. I chit chat with the technician about iPhones and such. We talk about all sorts of random things. I will say that all of the technicians are so nice there!
And now it's time for the OTHER part of this scan. I never talk during this part. It's just weird. But this part of the scan goes on, and on, and HURTS in certain spots. It's clear she is taking a lot of images of certain areas. This part took almost an hour. She reviewed the images with the radiologist who asked for more images... wee!
When all is done, the tech says I REALLY need to follow-up with my doctor.

I felt like crap after that ultrasound but to avoid the next step we went out to get some dinner. Eric was really hungry and we all needed a break from the craziness of the past few days. But now what?
Do I wait for my doctor to call me or do I call the on-call GYN to find out answer?
I opt to wait... it's a lot easier.

Friday 6pm
Phone rings and it is an anesthesiologist calling to say that she is putting me on the surgical board for Saturday at 1pm to make sure I don't get bumped again.
WHAT?
I haven't heard from anyone about my ultrasound yet. I haven't heard from my doctor about the next steps and I'm pretty sure she wouldn't be the one doing my procedure if I had it done on a Saturday. I'm totally confused.
Just in case, the anesthesiologist did the full pre-surgical interview.

I email my doctor just in case she checks it. I'm a little panicked and am not comfortable with someone else doing my surgery. I trust my doctor and don't want just anyone cutting into me.

Friday 6:30pm
I call the advise nurse who can contact the on-call gynecologist to find out the results of my ultrasound and who has hopefully been in contact with my doctor to know the plan.
With my insurance group I have to first talk to a non-medical rep in a call center and have to tell them my whole deal before they will transfer me to the advise nurse. Once I get to the advice nurse I have to tell it all again. The advise nurse finds out that the on-call GYN is familiar with my name and needs to review all of the reports and would call me in 30 minutes. She says that if I haven't heard anything by 8pm to call again.

Knowing that the on-call GYN knows my name is worrisome. So we continue waiting.

Friday 8pm
Still no call, so I have to make the call again.
Again I have to tell the whole story of the day... twice. Of course I don't get the same rep and nurse.
They tell me he'll call as soon as he can and to call back if he still hasn't called before I go to bed.

Waiting continues....

Friday sometime after 9pm
HE CALLS! Eric wants to know what he's saying and is brilliant and picks up the other phone to join in (I couldn't even think of such an idea my brain was swirling around too much)
Ultrasound results
It is still not clear if the pregnancy is intrauterine or ectopic. WHAT? They see something in both places (that's what we knew about the little in-office machine too). Ok great, no real answers.
While my doctor wanted to do the surgery to get definitive answers, she agreed with the on-call GYN that we should go the route of treating me with medication to end the pregnancy so we do not risk affecting my fertility more than needed. Either way, an ectopic pregnancy is a risk to my health so action had to happen right away.
Usually this drug is administered at the Chemo clinic because the drug is a low dose of chemo but the clinic is only open M-F and my doctor did not want to wait any longer. The doctors set it up that I would get the drug administered at the ER the next day. I had to wait until the main pharmacy was open so they could mix up the drug so 10am the next morning would be it.

Breathing still....

Saturday 8am
My Doctor calls to apologize for all of the drama, waiting and confusion of the day before and to talk to me about the findings, and the new plan and lets me ask all of my questions. She is clearly sick herself and I can hear the beeps of the ER in the background. I later learn she has another patient in there with a REAL emergency in the ER.
She advises that I not eat or drink anything just in case the surgery comes up again while in the ER.
Turns out she was in surgery all day the day before and was already scrubbed in when she found out I was being bumped from the surgical board. She then had issues with her remote access and couldn't look up my phone number to call me herself the night before. She called the on-call GYN and he said he'd do the calling.


Saturday 10am
I'm HUNGRY!
We are back in the ER. Much of the same staff is there who were there when I was there the week before. Oddly comforting.
I'm prepared this time. I bring reading material. My iPhone is fully charged. I bring all of my prescriptions and copies of my EKGs from the previous week because the anesthesiologist couldn't find them in the system. Most importantly I bring a pair of really lovely fuzzy soft socks and a hoodie to put on over the backless gown. I had a feeling we would be doing a lot of waiting around.
I first need some blood work done to make sure my liver and kidneys are doing well and to get a beta-hCG level as a baseline for the post-injection blood work I'll get every few days until my levels are back to zero. They say I need a GOOD IV to get the injection so they want to do that to get the blood too.
My arms aren't so good for blood work and worse for IVs so a few nurses come in and out looking and smacking and then turning to get someone else. One nurse tries and fails but all of the other nurses won't poke without knowing they will get it. A few hours pass and they finally learn that I don't need the IV and that any ol'blood draw will do.
Finally it is time for the injection and the new on-call GYN comes in to do it. She's the only one certified to give a chemo injection on-call at the time. My doctor told me about her and that she had already talked to her about the plan. I ask even more questions and we talk about what to expect and she again reassures me that my beta-hCG levels definitely show a miscarriage and very likely an ectopic pregnancy. She makes sure I am ready and then its time for the shots.
IT BURNS and 4 days later it still hurts.

Now we are back to waiting. More blood work to see where my levels end up. If they don't go down then another set of shots and more waiting. If that doesn't work then we're back to scheduling surgery.


The last few days have been full of ups and downs and side effects. I've been home from work because I feel like crap and hurt physically, am extremely fatigued and admittedly emotionally not all together. Even the bit of work I've done has left me in tears. Thankfully I am feeling physically better tonight and am hoping the nausea I had last night doesn't return.
As I talked to my therapist about, this time is going to be emotionally and physically very different. At this moment it is feeling terribly harder and this time I don't know if I'm going to be strong enough to be as optimistic as I once was.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dr Called....Again

My beta-hCG values have dropped to 398.
So it looks like I'm miscarrying again. I go in to see my doctor on Thursday.

DAMN IT!
CRAP!
GRUMBLE!
POO!
FRICK!


...
sigh

Dr Called...

Turns out my OB was in today so I left her a message that I was concerned about my beta-hCG results. She said the levels are high enough that she's not concerned about ectopic anymore, and that she has seen this slow rise before and it be totally normal. She wants me to go back in today to get another test done.
If they are still low for this many days past ovulation, then she'll want to see me as something is wrong. If they are back on track, then she'll want to see me next week for an early ultrasound or do another blood test. She said as long as I don't have sharp pains or a fever or short of breath then I should be fine.

Next step... get poked again and then wait for her to call me.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sharing News

Ok, so here is what I want to share....

News#1
After last Sunday, I had another heart palpitation episode which was stronger, longer and scarier. It woke me up in the middle of the night and we went to the ER right away. They immediately did an EKG without me even signing in. They caught the palpitation on the EKG unlike last time. Then over the next few hours I remained hooked up to the monitor with an irregular heart beat, with the monitor alarming every few minutes saying I was in VTACH or Non-sustaining VTACH or some other acronyms I don't remember. They did a few more EKGs while I had an even "funkier" rhythm, as my nurse called it.

The ER doctor ordered lots and lots of blood work, I was given an IV and put on oxygen. He then ordered a chest x-ray which I was very hesitant to agree to because I am ...

News #2
...Pregnant again (just 5 weeks so I probably shouldn't say anything but I am because that's what I do and I have crap to talk about here)

After finally getting them to let Eric back to talk to me, and the radiology tech expressed his concern, we called Eric's friend who is a cardiologist and gave him the low down and he said it didn't sound like I needed the chest xray and he advised we refuse it. After much todo, the ER Doc talked to the on-call cardiologist who said it was fine to skip the xray. I also emailed my OB, who responded that it would have been fine to do but sounded like the cardiologist felt it was also fine to skip.

A bit later, they tried injecting calcium as it can help the heart. Did nothing.
Then they tried injecting a beta-blocker. Slower heart rate, but still palpitating. I did feel the immediate change though. Then they gave me a pill form of the beta-blocker and an hour later..... regular beats between palpitations. YAY! And then all regular beats.
and then it became really boring as my phone battery was dying so I could no longer check email or update Facebook which was the only thing entertaining me because Eric was asleep at this point (he can sleep through anything!).
Since I was stabilizing they decided not to admit me, and a few hours later they discharged me and sent me over to cardiology for a Echo cardiogram and to meet with my brand new shiny Cardiologist. I'm 34 and have a Cardiologist. Oh and by the way, an Echo with pregnant boobs... PAINFUL!

My Cardiologist, cute little blond pregnant thing that she is, felt the Echo was normal but wanted to consult her colleagues and the Electrophysiologist about my EKGs to figure out where the irregular beats were coming from. She also switched me to a different beta-blocker medication which has been studied more with pregnancies. She felt the palpitations are being triggered by the pregnancy and should go away after I deliver.

Since Thursday, I've only had one little heart flutter and have mostly felt ok in the heart department. I'm a little lightheaded and really tired, but that could be a symptom of the pregnancy or the medication. Hard to tell.

Ok, so on to the pregnancy. YAY! First try after the miscarriage last December!
BUT.....
With these heart palpitations, my doctor is a little concerned about Eptopic pregnancy. Since the first episode stopped on its own, she was less worried but still wanted me to do a round of quantitative Beta-hCG testing to make sure the pregnancy is progressing normally. First test was at about 18 DPO and was 615, which is pretty high for that far along. My doctor emailed me and said to go back in 48 hours and then we'd see how it's going. I did the test but didn't hear back from her. Waiting through Friday and the weekend. Then today I went to email her but the email system said she was out until Wednesday. So I decided to call her office to get the results myself which I am now regretting. 48 hours later the hCG level should have doubled, but it was only at 782. Poooo

Could be a vanishing twin.
Could be Ectopic.
Could be I'm miscarrying again.
Could be I'm in that 15% who's levels do not double every 48 hours but even those usually have complications.
Could be no problem at all.
(Stupid internet providing me with more information than I wish to have at this moment)

I should have waited to let my doctor tell me her thoughts but now I get to try not to worry for the next 2 days.

So that's my news. Off to ice my wrists. Too much typing.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Wouldn't You Like to Know?

I have stuff to share, but I've gone from one bad wrist to both of them paining me so I can't share it here without lots of short spurts of one handed typing.

Blogging without typing is a tad difficult.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Heart All A Flutter

We all know how whiny I've been about the wrist, right?
I will be calling the doctor today to give him an update and to find out the next steps. He had only put me on limited use through the week so I dunno what he wants me to do now. But along with the wrist update, I also get to give him an update on my fun of yesterday afternoon.

Around 3pm I was sitting on the couch, just finishing up some lunch (who says a bowl of meatballs and a can of soup can't be lunch?), when I noticed I was having heart palpitations. I've had them before but usually just a flutter and then back to normal. Perhaps a surge in adrenaline and then nothing. This time they just went on an one. My heartbeat was not regulating. I continued to sit on the couch watching TV for another half hour when my mom come over to drop some stuff off and she didn't stay longer then a few minutes. I didn't tell her anything was wrong because at that point I wasn't really concerned yet.

After she left I realized it was still going on and I asked Eric to Google what to do to get something like this to stop. He suggested resting, so I laid down in bed and he rubbed my back but nothing was getting better. I didn't feel weak or bad in anyway other than the constant flutter which was annoying and now starting to get worrisome. Eric called the advise nurse who asked me lots of questions and asked me to take my pulse and blood pressure. Pulse high, blood pressure low. She wanted me to come in right away and to have Eric drive me and to warn him that I might pass out. Getting up I realized that my arms and legs were shaky and felt weak. AWESOME! Then in the car I started feeling lightheaded. WEEeee!

At the doctor they checked my vitals and my heart rate was even higher but my blood pressure was now really high. Since my Oxygen was good they had me wait to see the doctor. FOR AN HOUR! Well, 40 minutes to be called back, and at least 20 minutes before he saw me. While waiting I started feeling really bad and I was getting scared, and then poof... I could breath again and was able to sit up fine. So of course, by the time the doctor listened to my heart it was all fine and regular. A little fast but regular. Good I guess, but then he said that they cannot diagnose the arrhythmia unless they catch it on an ECG and since it was regular now he could only tell me to contact my regular doctor for follow-up. GREAT!

He went ahead and did an ECG right then to make sure and to get a baseline. But yea, it was normal by then. Kinda frustrated me that if they had done the ECG first, that they would have a record of it.

As I was being hooked up with all of the wires, Eric asked "Do you want me to take a picture for the blog?". Since I felt like crap and was in a gown open in the front, I declined. I know, how prudish of me. How thoughtful of him to ask though! The technician said I could have a copy of the report though, so here you go.... my heart on a page.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Stream of Consciousness

Typing one handed so I don't do permanent nerve damage to my right hand.
I'm right handed so this is difficult.
Sleeping in a night brace makes it feel much better by morning.
Not allowed to pick up the kitties because they are over 10 pounds, and they keep asking why and I can't seem to get them to understand.
Even with a brace and trying to type all day one handed, I still manage to over use it.
I think I over used it just taking a shower and brushing my teeth this morning because it's already achy.
Eating is difficult, Maybe I'll eat less and loose some of the 10 pounds I put on in the last 2 months.
This is doubtful.
My boss's boss threatened to send me home and disable my remote access if he caught me using my right hand again.
I have good managers.
I associate my self-worth with my work too much that it's killing me that my work is not getting done.
It's rainy today.
I should be happy about this, but instead I see it as wet and cold and grey.
My arm hurts and I feel whiny.
I'm reading a Suze Orman book about what to do now that the economy SUCKS. It's freaking me out that we have avoided organizing our finances since we got married and are not in a good situation.
Woo!
I have to realize that taking the time to make my meals is necessary.
And bringing lunch to work and then still going out to eat and wasting said lunch does not help.
It's probably not good when your co-worker's girl,who is a market analyst, writes to say that our Company's earnings call makes it sound like lay-offs are coming.
We've gotten through this before, we can do it again.
My thoughts sound depressing.
My train ride is about over and I'm not looking forward to walking to work in the grey, cold, wetness.
I miss knitting.
I hate sounding so blue, because I'm not. Not all the time.
Last night I cried and was thankful my husband held me. He's good like that.
Today I'm tired but am charged up to get some work done....one handed.
I'm looking forward to a lunch of Dim Sum to ring in the New Year and get to know some co-workers I don't really know.
I hope they don't all speak Chinese the whole time because that is one of the things my father didn't teach me.
Just realized I can't use chopsticks with my wrist situation.
I'll be eating Dim Sum with a fork which seem so wrong.
I'm not that good with chopsticks anyway.
My father gave up on that one too.
My laptop battery is running low.
I had this really great chat with my friend yesterday.
I'm very thankful for her.
I don't keep in touch with friends really, unless they are online. I find that sad.
Thanks to being online all the time I have made some really great friends I would have likely never 'met'.
I hope this wrist business heals up quickly because I have much to write about.
Well, my laptop battery is about done with me and the train ride is almost over so I shall try to quiet my brain for a few moments to let my left hand rest and to prepare for the day.
Ha! My brain is never quiet, so I'll just have to force this to end.

Happy weekend all!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Paining

So we all know that I've been a bit of a bummer 'round these parts. Well here is some more bumming news....why stop the trend right?
While I haven't been posting much anyway, I might have to take a real break.

Last Thursday after a long day at work, I noticed a dull pain in my right wrist. Then on Friday it got worse and some of my finger tips got all weird and felt numb and tingly and the pain moved up to my elbow. I stayed off the computer over the weekend and tried to rest it. I read a book almost all Saturday (and napped - Awesome!) but even that hurt it. I wanted to bake cookies for the Super Bowl, but mixing and dishing and dipping them in chocolate was too much wrist action. Needless to say I'm writing this all left handed because I over-used it again doing just one more (or 20) things yesterday.

A massage therapist friend massaged and poked around and he basically said, "You've really F@#$ed this up". Let's hope NOT!

I have a doctor appointment later today. Wish me luck.

**Update**
Icing, heating, using a brace and VERY limited keyboarding. Hopefully being kind to my arm will let some swelling go down will help everything heal. Typing with one hand is a little too slow to do much posting :-( also no knitting which is OK since I stopped a few weeks ago when my left hand was starting to hurt. oh and chopsticks?.... no way.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Done with Being Down

Tomorrow would have been our 18 week Ultrasound appointment. When we would have found out the sex of the baby. Instead, I'm back to peeing on sticks. I had a feeling the shoulda-been blues would hit me during this time, or I should say get worst because they haven't really gone away.

I know I was all upbeat sounding back in December. That this was just a little delay. A little bump in the road. And while I still feel that way, it sucks. Pregnancy and babies surround me. While I don't actively tear up, I do feel pangs of .... SIGH! I don't really feel jealousy. Nor regret. I guess it's frustration and worry. Worry of having to go through that again.

What really gets me are stories of parents. Of loss. Of changes in plans. New beginnings are still joyful and exciting. I am truly happy for those around me who are starting or adding to their families. I will talk about placentas, and sore boobs, and the importance of staying hydrated. Of co-sleepers and brands of diapers, and what diaper bags to buy so that daddy is cool carrying it. And also for the random stranger who is just starting to show or about to pop. But I also feel a sense of wallowing. That I'm feeling sorry for myself. For us. For our little one. And this is going on a little too long.

I know this happens to a lot of people. It happens all the time. I know it could be a one time thing and all will be perfect next time. But I wonder if I'm strong enough to get through this time. To get to the next time. To get through the worry which will undoubtedly overwhelm me next time.

I know no one knows. Know one knows what and when and if the next time will happen. But I know I need to be strong, but I also need to be honest in order to be real, to heal, to be whole. I'm bummed and I'm sick of it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Call me Linda Blair

I admit, I've never seen The Exorcist and I do not EVER plan on it, but I am aware that there is a scene where the young Linda Blair's head spins. Tonight I feel like this might happen at anytime. I am feeling really really irritable tonight and am just waiting for some small thing to set me off. The announcer on the Winter X-Games Eric is watching and/or Eric making comments about the cooking show I was watching was getting me really close, but I resisted because I knew it was a stupid reaction to nothing.

Wheee!

One irritation point of my Sunday evening is that I made this really awesome corn bread last month and apparently didn't write it down or save the link or where ever I got the recipe. I know I adjusted it, and I recall there were reviews of the recipe which tells me it was on the net. But with all I remember about it, I can't find it. I've been looking for it for well over an hour and still nothing that seems right.

GRUMBLE!

Meanwhile I have a chili simmering away. Now I truly love a LONG simmered chili, so this time is not wasted at all. But still... it is getting too late for dinner and still NO RECIPE. Yea, maybe I'm obsessing on this whole cornbread thing, but it was that good.

I have since given up on the recipe finding and have tried out the Better Homes &Gardens recipe with some adjustments. We'll see how it tastes (it's currently enjoying it's brief cooling time before we dive into our 9:30pm Sunday dinner). At least I already have all of the various dishes cleaned and the only thing we'll have to deal with is the chili pot and the cornbread pan.

Oh SNAP! I still have a load of laundry I have to do before tomorrow morning. I have a feeling I'm going to have a really tough Monday morning.

Cornbread Update: It turned out squat, dense and greasy. I admit I did up the butter a touch, but not enough to make that much difference. Sigh. Dont' worry, I'll eat it anyway.
Oh and I put diced raw onion in my bowl of chili because usually I love it and I have brushed my teeth 4 times and I can still taste it! EWW!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Overwhelmed by Procrastination

Have you ever found yourself with a situation on your hands where it starts off very minor and could take no more then 5 minutes to clear up and be done with. And then you don't deal with it right then and it gets worse, and worse, and it becomes easier to not deal with it then to face it. And when you try to face it, starting the process is overwhelming and walking away to deal with it later just feels easier. Yes, I'm a procrastinator.

I have been feeling like this is a constant in my life. Some situations are minor, some major and some just feel like they are there all the time nagging me to get my act together. Some take physical effort, others it is mainly brain work or cooperation of multiple brains, but all take time. Perhaps this is just part of being an adult and having responsibilities. I look around me and I feel like there are so many people who seem to really have it together. But then I figure everyone has stuff they probably aren't dealing with, but it is how they cope with what goes undone.

I guess you can say I'm a perfectionist, and I have a hard time letting things go (you've probably figured that out by now). I'm working on that. Don't ask me how... but I am. I have to.

This past weekend was full of procrastination, and then on Monday both my husband and I jumped up and spun around the house taking care of lots of those little annoying things, the weekly chorey things, and some not so little and overwhelming things and we both felt so much better when we went to bed that night. Now if we can only do that with organizing our finances, setting financial goals and getting a tax person, and I'll feel WAY better.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I Can't Believe I Did It!

About four years ago I started using this photo sharing site called Flickr, some of you may have heard of it. I was really getting into it. Sometimes I was trying to "compose" shots and tried to get all artsy but then most of the time I filled my account with snap shots of whatever I did that day. At one point I got really self conscious and only wanted really good photos up there (because I wanted to turn my little point and shoot hobby into something more artistic) and then I didn't really care because I wanted to just use it as a sort of photo book to share and to remember.

I had paid for a few years of a Pro account but in Nov of 2007 totally stopped updating it. I hadn't stopped taking pictures but I was no longer carrying my camera every where I went. And the time to sort and choose which ones to upload seemed to have gone away. I was bummed because I enjoyed that part of my life, plus I had already paid for the service.

I also have a Picasa photo account, but there I have an storage limit since it's free. I started using that site for photos of work events so I could keep my work and personal photos separate. I enjoy some of the features of Picasa, but since I've already paid for Flickr and it's unlimited storage I feel I should use it.

And now, we recently purchased a new camera, so I'm hoping to take my pictures to the "next level" whatever that may be. I'd still like to have a place to share them so what now?

Do I let Flickr end where it is and just use the blog as my photo sharing site which I'll then of course be limited to Picasa's limits again?
Do I research other photo hosting options? Perhaps host it myself?
Do I return to Flickr and start updating it from now on out?
Do I go back through a year of photos and upload the photos I never got around to uploading?

Well, crazy me spent my Sunday going through various external hard drives and camera memory cards to come up with A LOT of photos to share. I found photos from 2006 through the present which I wanted to share with family, friends and whoever. I decided to return to the way of Flickr and started the long evening of uploading. The photostream is somewhat in chronological order, but mostly the sets are where I spend my organizing time. Hopefully I'll be able to keep it more up to date from here on out. (yea right)

Go on over and check them out. There are 16 pages of new ones to peruse.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lunching with Starshine

As some of you in the blogesphere know, our lovely Starshine is moving soon. She currently lives in Southern California, but will soon be packing up her and her husband's things to start their new adventure back in her home state of Texas. She has some family up in the SF Bay Area, so she hopped on a plane and headed up north for the weekend.

While she was up here, a few of us Bay Area Blogger had the chance to meet up with her for lunch. J, Dot and I had a wonderful time chatting with her over some yummy Mexican food and Margaritas.


Starshine and Dot had never met in person before, so this was a first time reunion of sorts which was a long time coming. J and I had met up with her in 2007 at her bridal shower, but Dot was unable to attend that day. She has become a very special friend to us all so a meeting up before moving to Texas was a must.

Through blogging we have all connected in so many way. Recently, Starshine and I each received the same camera for Christmas so we did a lot of camera talk and asking each other advice on what we have learned so far. We are both beginners and are eager to learn how to use all of the new tools to express our creative sides. I'm sure we bored J and Dot when we'd suddenly start spouting off about this lens and that setting. I have a feeling you'll be seeing more and more photos on both of our blogs.

We spent the entire afternoon together and could have easily continued talking all night long. But alas, other family members would like to spend some time with her too and we had a bit of a drive back across the bay to spend time with our own families. Sigh.

We hope this will not be the last time we get to spend time with her. She is quite a gem.
Thank you Starshine for making the trek up north. We wish you and your hubby lots of luck and happiness on this next chapter of your lives.

Mental Note: I should try to get in front of the camera occasionally

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Husband Done Good!

As I've noted before, my husband considers gifts to be a big deal. He puts much thought and research into gifts for me. He's also very sneaky and pays close attention to my constant blah blah blahing to pick out the perfect gift.

Apparently he had really been listening to me talk about my on again off again knitting hobby and how I never realized how expensive it would be. Not as much for the yarn (although my yarn stash has become insane and only a year ago I didn't understand why people made such a fuss about the size of their yarn stashes... I understand now), but for the needles. I didn't realize that each knitting project/yarn combo could require a new needle size I hadn't yet acquired. And even though I was buying kinda crappy craft store needles, there costs still add up. Oh, and then I started needing different cable lengths for the same size needles I already had. Or started needing different styles of needles for more advanced projects. Each project was costing more and more.

Yes, I realize my non-knitting readers (all but 1 of you) probably aren't following my knitty babble, but I must explain this information for you to understand why my husband is so awesome.

My husband heard my absent minded grumbling when realizing I needed to go back to the store again because I needed a different needle, heard me complain about the cost, how I preferred bamboo, how knitting on the train was easiest with circular needles, and how my new love of making hats requires new needles with shorter cables and apparently heard me mention needle sets with interchangeable cable lengths.... because my Christmas present arrived on our doorstep this week (delivery delayed by a shipping blunder)
KA Bamboo Interchangeable Circular Needle set from Japan
Sizes US 5-15
Cables to create lengths ranging from 16-53"
All in a very cute and handy fabric caseAll of the sets I had seen don't go as small, contain as wide of a range of needles and cables and most were metal needles. Much research he did, and reviews look promising.

Thanks my love!
Off to knit.

P.S. Since Donna is likely the only one who is still reading this (she taught me to knit), I want to let her know that I also just made the leap from craft store yarn to the real stuff. Cascade Leisure Bulky (50%Alpaca/50%Cotton) to be made into a hat for my SIL (maybe). My first HANK and they even wound it for me. Found here. Smallish selection compared to other LYS's I've been to but VERY nice staff. And lots of sample projects to fondle and get ideas from.

Knitting Weee!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Cars and Coffee (or steamed milk for me)

Today my car is in the shop. It's there often. Not so much for fixing broken things, but more for maintenance. By sticking to the schedule my car maker so lovingly put together for me (every 10k miles) and driving a 100 mile a day commute, my car is costing me more then it should. Even though I'm trying to take the train more and more, the miles still seem to add up quickly.

Oh sure, it has never broken down, and it gets great mileage for a 9 year old car (still getting at least 33mpg), this maintenance is killing my budget (if I theoretically was organized enough to have one). I suppose the servicing may be why it has continued to run so well, but at the same time I'm probably stupid to be continuing to bring it to a dealer service center to pay their inflated prices. Maybe I'll GET it washed today too, since I'm already throwing money at it.

So today I am working from a Starbucks a few blocks from the dealer. Sadly, there is only one non-big-name cafe in downtown Walnut Creek and they have terribly uncomfortable chairs. I sat there for 5 hours the last time, and my back just wouldn't let me do it again. I walked by it and it was dead empty. Kind of sad. They have tons of power outlets though, so if the crowded Starbucks I'm in gets too much for me to handle, I may wander down there for a few hours.

Perhaps a tour of all of the Starbucks (4 total), Barnes and Noble, Pete's, Saxby's is in order for today. There's nothing like a change of scenery to make the day go by.

Monday, January 05, 2009

First Day Back

Today is my first day back. First day back to real life. First day back to work in the office after a 2 week vacation and a week to be at home while waiting and coping. My co-workers were great to pick up my mess to get through some looming deadlines, and today I get to see what has become of it all. I did not check e-mail once in the last 2 weeks.... work email that is. And my other personal email accounts, were only checked occasionally. It was great to be unplugged for so long. I'm trying to figure out if I missed it. Any of it.

In the last 3 weeks, my life changed and yet it has also gotten back to normal. I feel "normal" and I look "normal" but I am changed none-the-less. I have dealt with our loss the only way I knew how, by ignoring it and being upbeat and all business about it. And then when I thought I was doing fine, I broke down. When the opportunity arose to start trying again I lost it. I wasn't ready. I'm not ready to go through that again. Eric had no idea what was going on because I had pushed my hurt so far down he only saw the light of the future. My grief brought up his grief and we spent the first few days of the year just being in that place.

2 weeks ago we flew out to the East Coast to be with Eric's family for Christmas. They were absolutely great about everything. We only get to see them once a year if not every other year. Eric's nieces are growing so fast (3 and 9), so it was fun to reconnect with them and to see all that has changed. As always, we had a great time with Eric's sister, brother-in-law and his mother.

We rented a cottage in New Hampshire for the week of Christmas and spent the bordering days in Massachusetts at Eric's sister's house. Lots of cooking and eating of the kinds of snack foods I don't usually buy for our house. Chips and Dip are my and my hips friend. Mugs of hot chocolate with piles of whipped cream were almost constantly in my hands. We made comfort foods, built big fires, and stayed very cozy in the cottage when we weren't out in the snow or shopping for those last minute gifts.

We had a beautiful White Christmas, and lots of fun playing in the snow. The day of our arrival at the cottage was one of the most exciting as we discovered just how much the Honda Odyssey and Accord are not equipped to go up a hill of ice to the driveway of the cottage (the Accord got much further then the Odyssey). Unloading 2 cars with enough luggage and groceries for a week AND Christmas presents for 7 people and carrying it all up an icy hill in the dark... AWESOME! Of course the boys were able to get the cars up the hill with a few bags of salt and sand, after the cars were completely empty. We were snowed in the second day which was a welcomed calm way to start the week. We got to see sunny days, snowy storms and freezing rain in that week. It really was a wonderful time where time seemed to go slowly at first and then magically the week was gone. Sigh... hopefully we'll be able to return again in a few years.

Last week my company opted to shut down the US/Canada offices for the week, so while unplanned, I got another week off (using vacation time of course). I was going to sort and purge and organize. Our house was going to feel light and chaos free. I was going to go through the last year of photos I've never sorted through or published on Flickr, and I was going to renew my Flickr account for that matter. I was going to see friends and catch up on all sorts of things. Well... I saw a few friends, and this morning I finished the last load of vacation laundry (it wasn't that much it just got easier and easier to walk around the sorted piles of clothes on the floor). Yesterday I even processed all of our photos from the vacation. Hey, getting through 1 week of photos is a dent into the 15 month and growing backlog. The drawers, freezer, closets and pantry are still a total mess, but I'll get to them someday.

Oh, I should mention that after the miscarriage, we did a little self-pity shopping and bought ourselves a camera. It was a planned purchase to get for the baby, so we decided to get good at it now for the next time. It's not super fancy, but it is my first experience with something that doesn't fit in my purse. Let's just say that I had thousands of photos to go through from our 10 day vacation and I was only in about 2% of them. I think I love it. It has an issue with the video out port, so it will be getting returned this week. But this time I know a little bit more about it and will be choosing the lenses instead of just taking whatever kit lens they packaged with it.

So that's a little update on how my Holidays played out, and how my new year began. I truly hope that yours was as full of warmth, family, fun and memories... but hopefully you got through those lofty ideas of doing stuff around the house.

Hope your first day back was smooth going and over painlessly!