Monday, April 25, 2011

Show and Tell

I thought I might try a little bit of show and tell today.

This is where JP and I got married. It is a very old theater that, over the years, was turned into a department store, then split into several store spaces, and now finally it is being attempted to turn it back in to a theater. It still has a really long way to go. JP has a passion for local history and architecture, and I fell in love with this place the first time I ever set foot inside of it.

There is is during the ceremony, from the other angle. These pictures were taken from the balcony. The entirety of our ceremony took place on the stage.

I have no idea what the date of this picture is, but it's the front of the theater, way back when.

As I have mention in previous posts, during our evenings and weekends, we also run a small gaming business. It also happens to reside in an old historic building.

We love it. Our store is on the bottom floor, there is living space on the 2nd, and the 3rd is empty. We are in the process of trying to buy the building from our landlord. Unfortunately, it needs quite a bit of work done to it, but we're going to factor that in to the buying process.

Last but not least, the other love of my life, my furbaby.

This is Zeus. I rescued him from Chihuahua Rescue USA about 4 years ago. I love him dearly, and do not know what I will ever do without him, despite the brat that he can be from time to time!

I hope you enjoyed!

Friday, April 22, 2011

EGD Report

Hello ICLWers! The post below this one will give you a little bit of a rundown on my story.

I survived my EGD, only very slightly scathed.

I woke up at 5:15 am to leave the house by 6:15, to be at Surgicare by 7:30, for the procedure at 8:30. We got there on time, registered, waited for a bit, then did the business/financial talk with one of the receptionists. After a little more waiting in the lobby, they took me back for the initials. They checked my blood sugar, blood pressure, weight, pulse, etc. Everything in order. Then I had to pee in a cup for a pregnancy test (oh irony), and slip in to the ever fashionable hospital gown. Then the nurse sat me down in a recliner, got me a heated blanket, in inserted my IV (my first ever). I thought it would be about as bad as any other blood draw, and it wasn't too much worse. JP got to come back and sit with me while I waited to be taken into the procedure room.

Two more nurses came to get me at about 8:35, took me to the procedure room, had my hop up on to the table, hooked me up to the heart and blood pressure monitors, put the little oxygen tubes in my nose, and then informed me that the doctor wasn't yet in the building. Keep in mind that I am completely terrified of this whole process. Nervous as could be, and had been since waking up that morning. The SOB doctor didn't show up until 9 am. 30 minutes after the scheduled time. I could understand if he'd gotten backed up from patients all day, but this was his first appointment! He popped in for 2 seconds to ask me if I had any questions, and then one nurse is spraying the numbing agent into the back of my throat while the other is injecting the sedative. The next thing I remember is a few moments of gagging, and then being wheeled into the recovery room, where I zonked out for 20 more minutes.

In the end, I just had a bit of throat soreness, and discomfort when I eat, but that is already starting to subside. I apparently have a bit of acid reflux damage, for which I was given a prescription.

The nurses were wonderful, but I can't comprehend why any doctor thinks its ok to arrive at the site of a procedure 30 minutes after it was supposed to have started. When did he lose his empathy for his patients? It really makes me appreciate the doctors that I've been to that are so caring and wonderful. I need to remember to tell my RE how much appreciate his time and care.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Welcome ICLWers!

I know I'm a day early, but tomorrow I'm having an EDG at the buttcrack (technical term) of dawn, and I'm not sure how I'll be feeling the rest of the day. I'll be sedated for the procedure. I've never been sedated before, and I'm terrified.

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is an examination of the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and upper duodenum with a small camera (flexible endoscope) which is inserted down the throat.

Anyway, this is my 2nd ICLW, and I'm hoping to snag a few new readers, as well as some new and interesting blogs to read. I'm Jamie, I'm 31 years old, happily married to my best friend, JP, who is 36. We'd been ttc for 3+ years, though started at the RE at the end of last year. I have PCOS, no natural cycles or ovulation. After 3 failed IUIs, I decided that I was spinning my wheels until I could take off most of my weight. With the RE's blessing and encouragement, I've been going through preparations to have gastric bypass surgery.

At my my recent appointment at the weight loss center, I was given glowing praise at my progress (36lbs lost, at that time). The doctor decided that they're ready to submit me to my insurance for approval, which means that the next time I go in (May 11th), will be my last appointment, and they'll schedule me for the consult with the surgeon.

My hope is that surgery will be scheduled for July, and then 12 months after that I'll be cleared to start ttc again. My fear is that we'll get to that point and find out that there's something else wrong.

I started this blog mostly to track my progress, keep myself in check, and hopefully find some support out there in interwebsland. I also wanted to share my story. Before I made the decision to go forward with this plan, I scoured the web for info on fertility after weight loss surgery, and came up with virtually nothing. Hopefully, now, girls out there like me will know what to expect.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you'll stick around!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

An Anniversary

On this day, 5 years ago, I first met my husband in person. My life would never again be the same.

We met via an online web-based game. A silly little thing that I found interesting more for the intelligent nerdy conversation than for the actual game-play. He and I carried on a casual flirtation. Neither of us was looking for anything serious. After a couple of months of this, when I dropped my laptop and cracked the screen, he offered me a replacement monitor until I could get it fixed.

I made the 2 hour drive to his city, and he met just outside of town so that I could follow him to his office. I parked and got out of the car to say hello, and the very first thing that he did was kiss me. I can definitely say that I've never had an introduction quite like that! We had a long(ish) distance relationship for a while before I moved in with him in January of 2008.

We got married in October of last year, in a very unique and non-traditional ceremony. I wore pink, he and his groomsmen wore Harry Potter house ties and Converse Chuck Taylor's (and the uniqueness doesn't end there!). It was the most wonderful day of my life.

I am thankful for him every day. He is the most amazing person I have ever known, and I am a better person because of him.

I love you JP!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Have you ever noticed?

Have you ever noticed that you don't realize how much relief something gives you, until that something is gone?

For a few weeks now, I've been having a kind of achey pain near my right hip joint. The last time I cycled, the nurse saw a small cyst on my right ovary, but wasn't concerned about it, and I'd forgotten all about it... until the last few weeks. I had convinced myself that it was probably just my imagination remembering that the cyst was there, and overreacting to the thought. I was mostly right.

I have carpal tunnel. Not severe, but bad enough that it effects my sleep. I wear wrist braces at night, and my GP had me taking Mob.ic, an arthritis medicine and NS.AID, to reduce inflammation. In preparation for surgery, my bariatric doctor wanted me to stop taking it. No big deal, as the wrist braces at night help way more than the medicine anyway.

Turns out that it was helping other body pain, as well. My neck pain is more frequent, and I considered that it might also be why I'm having some hip area pain.

I decided that it was better to be safe than sorry, and I called my RE's office to see if they could get me in for a chat and an US, to see if maybe that cyst had gotten out of control.

I went in today on my lunch break. The usual drill of stripping from the waist down and hopping up on the table and throwing that oh-so-attractive pink paper blanket on. I knew that my right ovary likes to hide. They've had trouble finding it in the past. Today was no exception. After extensive poking and prodding, internally AND externally, it was deemed that there are no cysts, but that doesn't mean that one hasn't recently burst. Dr. G thinks it is likely just skeletal/muscular.

If I wasn't sore this morning, I sure am sore now! Despite that, I was reminded why I love my RE and his nurses so much. They commented positively on my weight loss (36 lbs!), asked for updates on the surgery process, and made me promise to call with my surgery date when I know it so that they can pray for me that day. So sweet! They also gave me a pro.vera prescription to see if we can't have better luck jump-starting my period now that I've lost some weight. Dr. G even said that I was doing so well that they likely wouldn't need to wait the full 18 months after my surgery to start ttc again, that we could start in just 12 months. Woohoo!!

Tomorrow JP and I go for a behavioral class at the weight loss center and my 2nd to last visit with the bariatric doctor. Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

My "Weekend"

My mother is a teacher, and this week was her Spring Break. As this is my weekend to work (at 4 am, no less), my days off were Thursday and Friday. I took off Wednesday, as well, grabbed my husband, and we went to visit my mom for a few days. We live at the opposite corner of our state, so its about a 5 hour drive.

I have a truly wonderful family. My parents divorced when I was 12, and though my dad was around for the obligatory "every other weekend", Mom essentially raised us by herself. My maternal grandparents and local Aunt and Uncle also pitched in when needed. We're all very close, and I'm immensely thankful for them. My grandfather passed away a few years ago, but my 80 year old grandmother is still as active as she was when I was a kid (well, almost). I can't say enough good things about these amazing women (and man!).

We arrived late-ish on Wednesday, had dinner (homemade chili!) and socialized. Thursday we made a trip to the nearby big(ish) city, did some shopping, had lunch, etc. Friday we piled in to the car (JP, Mom, Grandma, and my younger sister) and drove about an hour to a city that is mostly Amish, with all kinds of little shops and stores and homemade food.

Needless to say, my diet went a little bit out the window for a couple of days, though I still tried to be relatively good. I brought home a jar of no-sugar-added strawberry jam, pear butter, sweet black rice, red rice, 3 different varieties of Amish cheeses, and a whole bunch of bulk spices. I can't wait to start trying them out!

It was a good couple of days! For the most part, I think it was a good distraction for JP. Though, now that we're back home, and the funeral service for his friend is tomorrow (on the opposite end of the country), I'm a little bit worried about him. There are plans for a get-together with mutual friends, and I think that will really help. They can all cry together, laugh together, and grieve together. I may be unable to attend, as I have to be back at work again tomorrow at 4 am. Ugh.

I hope everyone else has a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Loss

Yesterday my husband lost one of his best friends. Wil was biking home from work, and was hit by a car. 36 years old. It breaks my heart.

JP is in so much pain, and I all I want to do it be able to make it better. We're heading out of town for a couple of days to visit with my family. I'm hoping that the change of pace will make it a little bit easier.

He was wearing a helmet, reflective clothing, and had a flashing light. He did everything that he was supposed to. The anger that I feel toward the woman that did this is something that I have never felt before. Please, please, everyone out there, when you're driving, please always watch out for bikers and pedestrians.

In Wil's memory, I am vowing to keep my hands completely off of my cell phone while in the car, unless I am at a complete stop.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Wednesday Appt. Recap, etc.

Tuesday morning I went to have an exercise evaluation. Basically, this consisted of a nurse taking my pulse and blood pressure, having me walk around a track for 6 minutes, pulse and blood pressure, 5 minute rest, pulse and blood pressure. I had a quick chat with the nurse about target heart rates, and a few other things that I already knew, and then I was out the door and on my way to work.

Wednesday's appointment at the weight loss center was pretty routine. I've lost a total of 29 lbs so far. Hooray! My BMI is where they want it to be around the time of surgery scheduling. The doctor and the dietitian are very pleased with my progress. There was apparently nothing unusual to report regarding the results of my exercise evaluation. I have 2 more appointments with the doctor and dietitian, 2 behavioral classes, and then I get to meet with the surgeon to schedule my surgery. Moving right along!

I also addressed a snag that I was having with scheduling one of the procedures that they require me to go through before surgery. They need me to have an endoscopy. They office they normally refer to wanted me to pay 100% of the cost of the procedure before they would do it. That's $1400! My insurance plan is a high deductible HSA. I haven't yet met my deductible (partially because of a paperwork nightmare going on with the sleep study stuff), and there isn't a whole lot left in my HSA, so there's just no way I can afford $1400. They don't offer any kind of a payment plan, either. I talked to the nurse about it and she said she would call a few other offices that they sometimes did referrals to. She found one that will do the endoscopy with no money up front, and let me pay on it as I can. Hopefully, once the sleep study mess is dealt with, I won't have to worry about paying anything at all. Relief!

The diet and walking program continue to go well. I'm to about 1300 calories a day, and 38 minutes of walking. It's progress!

I find myself still scouring infertility info and blogs during my down time at work. I find that it helps me keep my eyes on the prize, the whole picture, even if it does occasionally depress me. I keep calculating the time line of surgery, recovery, being released to try to conceive again, pregnancy, etc. I haven't yet let my mind obsess about what might happen if I go through all this, and I still can't get pregnant. The worry is ALWAYS there, though. The completely ideal schedule would be surgery in June, I have wait 18 months before trying to conceive again, so assuming the weight removes the remaining hurdles, we could be trying again in early 2013, and baby by the end of 2013. Its way too optimistic, I know that. But hey, it's motivation.

I'm so glad to finally have some followers! I hope I'm not boring all of you too much!