Words to Live By

Happily married. 41. Infertile/perimenopausal. TV and iPod addict. Transplanted Canadian living in California. {Warning - abundant sarcasm and frequent *gasp* profanity lie herein.}

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Longevity Calculator

My brother sent me this link to a longevity calculator. No doubt this is fallout from eating a big reality sandwich and he's thinking about his own mortality. Not a bad thing to do a little inventory on your life and see what you're doing to and for yourself. It said I was going to live until I was 92. Egad, that seems mighty, mighty old. How long are you going to live?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

In Case You Were Wondering

The answer is yes, the dogs sleep with us. Both of them. Bailey likes to stretch out next to DH while Tucker curls up in a ball in between our feet. With an extra combined 185 pounds of dog on board, even in a king-sized bed, it's often a miracle I don't end up on the floor.

Pet therapy is a wonderful thing. In fact, Bailey IS a therapy dog. We belong to an organization called Furry Friends Pet Assisted Therapy Services. We visit two sites right now, a retirement home and a homeless family shelter, once a month to each site. Sometimes going to the homeless shelter is difficult, there are always lots of young mothers with several children, but they are the ones who get the most out of the dogs' visits.

I'm not sleeping well but otherwise am doing OK. I am really busy at work and have been putting in long hours. I miss my husband and my dogs but all the extra money will be well spent on our vacations this year. I'm a consultant, so the more hours I work the more money I earn. Now if I could just do away with those pesky quarterly estimated tax payments...

Monday, April 25, 2005

My Other Therapist

I gotta give credit where credit is due...here's my other doctor. You can see he's got a mischievous streak, but he's funny and sweet and jumps for the pure joy of living and playing ball.

Again I'd like to thank you all for taking the time to comment here. I'd especially like to thank Ms. R for her kind words and for her understanding. It shouldn't phase me by now, but I'm still amazed at how many women this has happened to. It seems every time I talk about it I find out that someone else I know is also a survivor. I've often wondered how I could ensure that the cycle stops with my generation (my mother was also abused); I never thought that the answer was that I would not have any children of my own.

Dr. Tucker

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Dog is my Co-Pilot

Thank you for your kind words; writing it down and talking with friends and family is really the only way I know how to hack my way through these emotional jungles I lose myself in. That and the love of a good dog (or two). My therapists have prescribed more cuddling and ice cream, which is helping a lot, and more ball-throwing, which I'm not sure is helping me any but they're happy, which makes me smile.

I have a new policy -- as you can see by the new intro at the top of the page -- comments left by anonymous trolls will be deleted. You don't have to agree with me, but if you disagree you have to be respectful about it, or at least funny. And you gotta leave your name. Them's the rules.

DH and I will be flying home Mother's Day weekend for a family get-together, in the works before the accident but solidified by it. We'll see if my mother actually shows up -- my Dad will be there and that's usually a deal breaker. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone, I only get home every couple of years or so and when I do, I don't get to see everyone since they're fairly spread out and you never know whom is not talking to whom.

In the meantime I'll continue to follow furry doctors' orders and curl up in the warm blanket that is the love of a good man.

Dr. Bailey

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Ashes to Ashes

The funeral was today. I feel so bad for my surviving brother, being there by himself, surrounded by strangers on what was surely one of the most difficult days of his life. Even though they could not have been more different and went in totally separate life directions, they were twins and I'm sure there is a bond there that I don't understand. All I know is how I feel as the little sister, and it's a lot of sadness. Yes, even with many years of silence between us, there is still a grieving process.

For the incredibly insensitive troll who didn't think I deserved condolences, in light of what you decided not to share (i.e. your identity), I believe a big FUCK YOU is in order.

For the rest of you, perhaps a definition will begin to explain the complexity of my emotions.

in┬Ěcest [in sest] noun - sexual activity between two people who are considered, for moral and genetic reasons, too closely related to have such a relationship. [13th century. From Latin incestus , from castus.]

When it began I was 4, he was 11. When it ended I was 10 and he was 17. Without realizing what he was doing, my Dad saved me by kicking my brother out of the house when he was 18, after showing up late for dinner and high on something one too many times. It was the one and only time I've ever heard my father say FUCK in my presence. As in, get your things and get the fuck out of this house.

In my late 20s I finally dredged up the courage to tackle this demon and began therapy. Four years later I wrote a letter confronting him and copied the immediate family. He completely denied that anything happened. His wife at the time was in the court system and claimed to have found an anonymous police report accusing him of abuse. I had no knowledge of this report, and responded that if one existed, it proved he had done this to someone else as well. He hid behind her skirt and never responded in any way. She tried to file a restraining order against me and was unsuccessful.

The rest of the family was split on this news, as usual. My Dad was horrified and was very supportive, as was my other brother, who was able to cooberate and clarify certain events. My sister was terrified that I would tell her secrets, which I did not, and whispered to me that I was making a bigger deal out of this than I should. My Mom finally had to acknowledge that some of the things I had accused him of did indeed happen, given the agreement from other sources. Even then, she blew it off as something he was not responsible for, because "he was a child". And what was I?

Soon after this confrontation I turned 30. Within 6 weeks I left my ex-husband. The therapy had opened up a lot of wounds and made me realize the patterns and habits I was carrying that were self-destructive. Including allowing myself to be treated like shit by my husband.

The death of my brother, my abuser, is not something I had prepared to deal with. He died a young man. And today I feel like a very little girl.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A Death in the Family

Ever since I heard the news I've been trying to process and digest, and I'm just now at a place where I can even begin to write it down in this forum.

One of my brothers was killed in a car accident last Saturday morning, in Pennsylvania. He was the passenger in a SUV that hit the back of a street sweeper at full speed. He wasn't wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle through the windshield; he was killed instantly. The driver, his wife's best friend, was wearing a seat belt and sustained multiple rib fractures and a broken arm, along with various cuts and bruises. She will be fine, physically at least. He leaves behind a wife, three step-daughters, the youngest only 5 years old, as well as two ex-wives and three daughters in their 20's. My other brother (his twin) will be the sole family member at the memorial service on Thursday.

I haven't spoken to him in almost 15 years. I'll tell that story in a future post. In order to heal myself, I had to cut him out of my life, and he's been dead to me for a long time. Now he really IS dead, and I'm having a difficult time wrapping my brain around the concept.

I just wanted to at least get started on this topic and put the facts out there. Perhaps it would have been more cathartic to write while I was still in the initial shock of it all, but I feared it would be too scattered for an audience without any historical reference to figure out. Family is indeed a strange beast.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

The Week in Review

I've got a hodge-podge of things rattling around in my head that I need to get down on blog-paper so the noise will stop. In no particular order, chronologically or by importance.

While in Vegas I bought a TransPod FM for my iPod Mini so we didn't have to listen to the crappy radio stations. I could have bought it cheaper online but since it's working so well I didn't mind paying full price. I have an iTrip that I bought with the iPod, but this works much better. The best part is it charges the iPod while it's playing, unlike the iTrip, which uses the iPod's power and drains the battery within an hour.

A friend sent me this pictoral representation of the process of choosing a new Pope, Popapalooza 2005. I wish I had the creativity and the time to do stuff like this. LOVE the advert at the bottom.

Tuesday I had a dentist appointment for a relatively simple procedure. I have a very bad past history with dentists, and have paid through the nose for the past 5 years or so to see a dentist outside of our insurance coverage that deals with phobic patients. Now that I've stopped pouring money into my uterus I needed to get back to my dential problems and decided to get back inside the insurance group, not to mention their office is 10 minutes from home. I'm pretty sure my new dentist is gay, which somehow makes me feel comfortable. I was feeling fine, not even the usual nervousness, so I didn't ask for nitrous. Within 5 seconds of him injecting the novacaine, I was overcome with nausea and dizziness. I almost fell out of the chair. They gave me oxygen and a cold cloth on my forehead and took my blood pressure. It was very low, I think she said 80 over 50 or something like that. They almost called the paramedics! I kept telling them to give me a minute and I would be fine. After about 5 minutes I did feel fine, they re-took my blood pressure and it was normal, so he decided to go ahead and do the dental work, even though he said he wasn't supposed to. I have another appointment next month. I'll be taking a Xanax and getting nitrous. That'll be a day off work, I'm thinking.

Finally, the part you've all been waiting for, an update on my sex life: non-existant. The first cycle after the failed injectibles I cut myself some slack, the second cycle I felt a little guilty, but then that one (as well as the first) ended on cycle day 20, so I figured it wouldn't have made any difference anyway. Here we are at prime ovulation time and I still have no drive whatsoever. Granted, both of our libidos are somewhat compromised by medication, and DH has been training every night after work in preparation for a big martial arts test next week. More excuses. I would rather read my book than make love. I think I am afraid to put myself into a situation where I have a 2 week wait. I don't want to feel that feeling again. How do I get my mojo back?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

What Happens in Vegas...

... SHOULD stay in Vegas. This was my second trip, and I think I've seen enough. Seldom have I seen a more poignant example of the Ugly American. I realize there are people visiting there from all around the world, but the vast majority of them are Americans. You can tell by the bad haircuts and the non-existant fashion sense, the juvenile attitude towards nudity, the roving packs of white males and the inability to gauge when to say "when" to a bartender. Here are more random thoughts, observations and tips from me to you:

** I can't stress this enough: do NOT bring your baby/toddler/pre-teen child or children to Vegas and drag them around casinos until all hours of the night.

** At the nicer bars and clubs, women often get in for free if they are by themselves, while if you are a couple both of you have to pay the cover. So, stand in line separately and join up again once you are inside.

** If you are pregnant, please don't drink. There isn't some magic fairy dust that will make the alcohol drank in Vegas any less threatening to your fetus than anywhere else (despite the fact that most drinks are watered down).

** There are two outlets on the Strip that sell half-price show tickets for the same day, they open at noon.

** Unless you are going from one end of the Strip to the other, skip the monorail and walk. By the time you walk to the stations you could have been half-way to your destination.

** We are in our early 40's. Most of the people in Vegas were either 10 to 15 years younger or 10 to 15 years older than us.

** Do not travel in groups of 10 or more, you take up too much room in restaurants and make the rest of us wait even longer to be seated.

** Parking is always free at a casino. Getting out of a casino parking garage requires a GPS and a trail of bread crumbs.

** Get off the Strip and drive out to the desert, there are many amazing natural wonders to see that don't involve a g-string or break-away clothing.

Red Rock Canyon

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Happy Birthday, Mom...

...and thanks for the assvice, as usual. As I've mentioned before, my mother and I don't have much of a relationship. We send a couple of cards and make a couple of phone calls per year. Yesterday was one of those days, her birthday. I didn't even tell her about our infertility struggles until about 6 months ago, as we were entering the final stretch. She seemed surprised, both that I hadn't told her before (wonder why?) and that I had a problem at all, since she always had "the opposite problem, I got pregnant at the drop of a hat". We both know that's not true, but its useless to argue with someone who is a pathological liar. And I mean that in the clinical sense. Yesterday I had to hear the story of a friend of hers who assumed she was infertile and got pregnant at 40 just out of the blue. Yes Mom, I know the story. I tried to explain to her that my test results and other factors pointed to the reality that I'm probably not going to have a baby, and although its possible, its not probable. She proceeded to tell me, with great authority, that women who are entering "pre-menopause" (Mom, its called peri-menopause, and I'm not there yet) sometimes "drop an extra egg". Oy.

I know I needed to look at a pretty picture today, I thought you might like to see one too.

Sundial in lavender - Surrey, UK

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Surely There Must Be Others

I've been trying to find like-minded ladies out there in blog land, and I'm finding it surprisingly hard. Don't get me wrong, I love my rowdy band of Infertile and former Infertile friends, they are all in various stages of this madness, but all except one are not where I am: childless and not pursuing other options. There are "Moving On/Adoption/Childfree Living" types of forums on the TTC and pregnancy bulletin boards, but all of them I've checked out have been hijacked by the adoption league. Again, I'm happy for anyone who is going this route, but surely, there must be others out there in the same boat as me.

So, gentle readers, if you know of anyone who has a blog that I can paddle along with, please either pass their info along or tell them to seek me out.

Best By

If I were a jar of mayonnaise I would be a bio-hazard. I've obviously passed my "best by" date. I got my period yesterday, after a second 20-day cycle in a row. I am trying to tell myself that my body is still adjusting after all the meds I've pumped into it in the past two years, but the voice on my left shoulder isn't buying it. "You're old", she whispers in my year, "and your body is fucked up." Thanks. I know I can always count on you. The voice on the right shoulder is either gagged or has larangytis.

Obviously I've moved to another stage of grief, its called You Suck. There must be a reason why I've not been able to conceive. I have myself convinced that I'm too lazy, selfish and morose to have a child. Or, if you want to say that in a nicer way, I'm too set in my ways and don't have either the patience or the requisite silliness to have a child. Either way, it's me. Some days it's all I can do to throw the ball a few times for my dog before I tell him to go lay down. I don't think a child would be so easily placated. Even with treats.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Dead Wrong

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In a scathing report on the intelligence community, a presidential commission Thursday said the United States still knows "disturbingly little" about the weapons programs and intentions of many of its "most dangerous adversaries." The panel also determined the intelligence community was "dead wrong" in its assessments of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities before the U.S. invasion. "This was a major intelligence failure," said a letter from the commission to President Bush.

Here's the full article if you want to read the rest. The part that worries me the most about this is the Henny Penny factor. What happens if Dub-ya has a press conference tomorrow saying that North Korea has nuclear weapons and we need to go in there and take care of the problem. Are we going to believe him? I'm sure as hell going to be dubious. It used to just be the administration I mistrusted, now its the intelligence community as well. Is there a bunk on the space station I can rent?