Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Prices and Service

These days, we are all scared of losing our jobs. You would think every business would be focusing on offering better prices and services, but you'd be surprised.

I feel sorry that Borders is going out of business. I also feel guilty, given how few books I buy compared to how many I read. Now that they are closing their stores and offering their merchandise at reduced prices, I went on a shopping spree. I bought a  bunch of toys and gadgets for my sisters' kids, a few children books, and a doggie bed. There was one book I actually wanted to for myself, but even at a 30% discount, Amazon had it for less. After seeing that, I am amazed that Borders lasted so long.

Another thing that amazes me is the terrible service at the post office. I'm hearing that USPS revenue is low, and that they will have to close some post offices. Well, sending packages through them is still the cheapest option, and their employees know it. Maybe that is why they are so rude. Not only that, but at my closest post office all the employees are foreigners and their English is horrible. And please don't call me intolerant. I am not a native speaker myself, but Americans understand what I say and I understand them. Previous experience has taught me to arm myself with patience when dealing with mail employees. Yes, there is a country called Austria, it is definitely not Australia, and I did not misspell it. Yes, I already paid for that box, your co-worker made sure of that. Here's the receipt, see? Yes, I already filled out the customs form, you don't have to send me to the back of the line. No, I did not bring packing tape. Oh bummer, do I really have to pay for a full roll? Sure, I guess I'm lucky I get to keep it.

My recent experience was totally different. I went to a UPS store. An employee offered to measure my stack of gifts when she saw me looking at the boxes. She called a coworker (in a different language, see? She was also a foreigner) who got me a box that was just right. While she weighed it, I looked around the store and picked a card. She gave me the rates, and helped another client while I wrote my card. I chose to send my package through regular mail, since I am not in a hurry. The rate is the same I would have paid at the post office. She gave me a customs form to fill out and helped yet another client while I filled it out. Then she printed the labels, let me double check them, and added the box and the card to my total. She threw in some air cushions for free. I did not have to tape the box shut, nor attach the labels. She understood my English, and to my ears, hers was perfect.

Now, was that too hard?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Thank you

I think all the comments made me feel much better. Everyone of you knows what I am going through, and that really makes a difference.

I had to tell my parents and sister about this cycle due to travel issues. I am not looking forward to telling them the bad news. I wish I could just say something like: "It's negative, I'm fine, please don't say anything". But that's rude.

And so, I am putting it off until it becomes inevitable.

I also do not want to discuss the next step with either the spouse or Dr. Careful. I know what that is: IVF. Frankly, I don't think I can take it. What I really want to do is hit the antidepressants again.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I cried, as usual. I tried to be quiet, but the spouse came out and hugged me and we cried together while we sat in the living room. After that I had my shower and walked to a bakery to have breakfast with a friend. After I came back, the spouse and I walked to a bagel shop so he could have lunch. I was not hungry. The yellow dog was with us, and so we had to sit outside. From there we walked to the park, until the yellow dog was exhausted. We came back home, and had beers, almonds and olives in the garden, followed by a very long nap during which I dreamed of cute little girls.

Later we went to the library and a coffee shop, where I tried very hard to read a book I was not really interested in. I pulled out a magazine but that did not work either. That's when I noticed the bugs on the window. They were very tiny, and there were four or three. They kept butting against the glass, then falling to the window sill, then climbing the glass again or trying once more to fly through it.

There were a couple dead bugs on the window sill. Apparently, they just keep going until they die of exhaustion.

The sad part is, I felt a little like those bugs. I keep butting my head against the glass, though it's obvious by now that I cannot go through. And throughout the whole process I am accumulating as many bruises and getting as exasperated like those bugs.

Now that's where the analogy stops. I'm not going to be a dead bug on the windowsill. The problem is, what happens now? Where do I go from here?

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Tirednes- check
Breast tenderness - check
Frequent urination - check

The tiredness and breast tenderness can easily be blamed on the progesterone suppositories. The frequent urination reminds me too much of my recent kidney infection.

I am drinking cranberry juice and, aside from this post and skipping the wine, trying very hard not to think about pregnancy.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Mommy to be, from A Miracle in the Works, kindly included me in her list of amazing bloggers. Frankly, I don't feel very amazing at all, but I appreciate the interest. I am to pass on this tag to other bloggers of my choosing, so here I go:

My Journey through Infertility
Endo and beyond

Also, I should include seven things about myself, so here I go:

1) I read every night before going to sleep. If someone recommends a book, and I can get it through the library, I always give it a try. I might not finish it if I don't enjoy it, but I usually do.
2) I do not have a TV.
3) I do not wear make up except for weddings or other special occasions.
4) I like wine and beer, but not spirits nor cocktail drinks.
5) I hate cooking, but I love all sorts of foods from all around the world, and I'll try anything new.
6) I like all animals except spiders.
7) I am very disorganized, but like keeping things clean, especially the bathroom and the kitchen.

So that's it for today.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Hidden Enemy

I've been watching my carbs for a long time now. It has not helped me ovulate regularly, but it has helped with other PCOS symptoms (mostly weight loss and hirsutism). I don't go to Atkins extremes, but I do avoid pasta, potatoes, cereals and sweets. I do eat a lot of vegetables and a reasonable amount of fruits.

And so it annoys me when I find myself eating carbs where I least expect it. Recently I bought a vinaigrette. I did not bother reading the ingredients, and thus was surprised when my salad tasted sweet. Sure enough, my vinaigrette had sugar in it. When I'm not lazy I make my own vinaigrette and I never put sugar in it, nor do I know of anyone who does. Then it occurred to me to check recipes online, and it turns out that nowadays it's common to add sugar or honey to vinaigrettes. When did that happen? So, no more store bought vinaigrette for me.

And then there's today's example: I just made meatballs. My meatballs are atrocious, with no bread crumbs, rice, starch or flour in them. I make them with flaxseed and chia seeds. I freeze them and I bring them to work for lunch, so I made a batch enough for four days. After I was done with the sauce, I tasted it. Good, but too sweet. Then I checked the can of tomatoes. They were organic tomatoes, and once more I failed to check the ingredients when buying them. The culprit? Organic sugar cane.

I usually use a store brand of canned tomatoes, but this time I was tempted by a very good price for organic tomatoes. Again, it stumps me that someone would add sugar to tomatoes.

I realize once more how hard it must be for diabetics to keep their blood sugar under control, when they keep hiding carbs where you least expect them.

The worst thing is, I hate throwing food away. I can donate the rest of the cans, but there is not much I can do with the vinaigrette.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Chemo Caps

I hate it when there is a bad situation and there is no action I can take. My sister started chemo today,  hence the knitted chemo caps. It took me over a week to finish all three.  I just finished washing them and I might have to wait until Monday to mail them to her. I wish there was something more I could do for her, but for now that will have to do.

Often when I was knitting them I forgot that I was in the middle of a two week wait. Funny how tragedies put things in perspective.

A friend asked me how I was feeling. I thought she meant how I felt about my sister's cancer. But no, she wanted to know whether I felt pregnant or not.

How the heck do I know? My body does not speak to me. I have missed symptoms of pregnancy and blamed them on a UTI. I have also had imaginary pregnacy symptoms that have caused me a lot of grief and disappointment. I still prefer the Schrödinger's cat  metaphor. I did not bother explaining it, saying that I avoid thinking about it as much as I can.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What not to say

You know the drill. You're introduced to someone and you start asking questions about each other. The inevitable one, after finding out that you're married, is whether or not you have kids.

I used to say that we had a dog instead, but after the old dog died I lost practice. So I reverted to my: "sadly, no". Which usually keeps people from telling me that I should have kids because they are such a wonderful gift from God. Also, they can also tell that this is something I don't like talking about. But I just met a lady who did not  take the hint.

She asked me what church we're going to.  I just told her I don't go to church (not entirely true, I still go sometimes). Her reply? That I should attend St. _____ church. After all, he is a "very powerful saint". We might have kids if we start going.

I did not hit her, though I really wanted to. I only explained what I did not like about St._______, and compared it to another church that I like better.

The worst part? Later, a friend of my commented that this woman had been very nice.

Nice? I believe my perceptions are all distorted.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The eternal wait

I am very grateful for the compassionate comments I got on my sister's situation. I did give her a short update on our infertility situation, just so she understands that, if we do get pregnant, I would like to go see her sooner rather than later. She still prefers to brave chemo on her own. Well, with her husband's help, which is all right. He is a wonderful guy.

Meanwhile, I went ahead with the last scan. Of the five follicles, four looked about the right size. I did the trigger and did get a positive ovulation result. I used the very expensive kit, the one with a smiley face. I hate those kits, and not because of the price, but because of the smiley. As if ovulation guaranteed good results.

Anyway, the IUI is done, and I am now biting my nails, as usual. I know it's only two weeks, but it feels like forever.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Five follicles

I know, whooppeee, right? Especially since I only had three on my first scan. And why didn't I post anything about the first scan? Well, my mind was elsewhere. That same day, before my scan, I got a call from my sister telling me she's been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

It's like all of a sudden nothing matters. Whether I have five or no follicles is not as important as whether or not my sister survives. Heck, even my cousin's divorce suddenly ceased to matter. More than anything else, I want my sister to live many more healthy years and continue to be the caring, loving mother she is. Her kids need her. And I need to know that she is all right and that all is well with her.

She has no clue I'm undergoing fertility treatments. In fact, nobody in my family knows, just a few friends who live far away. I have no idea of what I shall tell my sister, or if I should say anything at all.