Monday, December 29, 2008

My Mood: Exhausted

I have insomnia.

I can't sleep and I'm up with a sick dog and a time bomb of illness known as our younger cat.

Jelly has kennel cough again and wants to cuddle up all the time. Kitty has what may or may not be an abscess developing on her chest. If it is then this will be her second in as many months. The last one required an hour wait in the lobby at the vet's and a $116 bill for a quick 5 minute confirmation of my diagnosis and some antibiotics.

The landlord is coming in the morning to inspect the apartment to see if it is possible to run an extension off the gas line to put in a dryer for us. We have a washing machine but no dryer which would have come in handy when Jelly peed all over the couch five minutes ago. Now the couch will be missing half its slip cover in the morning as it will be resting on the drying rack over the heating vent.

I will now return to 1/2 the couch with a book where I will cuddle Jelly so at least one of us can rest peacefully.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Crows Footprints and Red Red Apples

Images from my walk to work this morning. We are in the middle of several snowstorms. Most of the snow had melted as of today and we are bracing for another 6 inches tomorrow. This never happens in Portland, OR. It was magical and relaxing to throw on the old hiking boots and ipod and walk and take photos. Above photo foot prints from crows in the snow.

Here is the last apple of fall hanging on in the face of old man winter.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snowed in on the couch

We are snowed in! There are infomercials on tv for hip hop exercise tapes and I need to get off the couch and clean the house.

Here's what got me motivated. For those of you who know my love of Liz Lemon Enjoy!!! For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, watch 30 Rock.

Don't ponder

Don't wonder



Saturday, December 6, 2008

Here We Are, the End of the Year.

So it is December. We are thinking about picking out our tree and perhaps throwing a small Christmas party. After all, someone needs to help us drink all that spiced wine I make.

We just returned from a great week in Chicago. Rarely do we have that much time to visit with family and friends. A week felt like a luxury. We got some snow the last few days we were there which made me very happy.

Today is a beautiful day in Portland. Cold and clear with blue skies which is abnormal for this time of year. We installed light blocking shades in our bedroom last night...totally necessary for city living. I can't believe we've gone this long without them! After a nice night of sleep we woke up and took the dogs for a walk on Mount Tabor. For those of you who've never been to Portland Mount Tabor is our neighborhood park and also has the designation of being the only volcano in an American city. That's right, our local park is a volcano! Don't worry though, it is extinct. No eruptions anytime soon. Now Mount Hood is a different matter. It has been trembling more and more lately. Here is a photo of Mt. Hood as seen from our walk this morning.

Here are some more photos from our walk.

Here are a few random photos of Jelly. First is her pirate eye patch for her bad eye.

Jelly's Halloween Costume.

In other exciting news I stumbled on a book that has changed out lives.

This book explains that 50% of miscarriage is just nature running it's course. That means that 50% of miscarriages are the result of TREATABLE CONDITIONS. Such a simple reverse of logic why have we never looked at our problems from this perspective? Perhaps the most frustrating angle to our experience has been the countless doctors and genetics councilors who have simply told us to "keep trying". Keep trying huh? I wonder if a single one of those people has ever lost a child. Can they possible fathom what they are asking us to do? The grief, anxiety and depression we will walk through if we lose a baby again? My guess is NO.

Well, now we have hope. This book led me to several others which are educating me on all the prepregnancy testing we should have been receiving this entire time. Testing that no doctor has offered us. Testing to show everything from genetic problems to blood clotting issues. Tests that have been there waiting for us all along. When we lost the last baby we went to one of the mostly highly acclaimed research hospitals on the west coast for me to have a D&C. At this hospital we saw a genetics specialist. When I asked for further testing including testing the "products of conception" (another horrible medical term) I was told that they would not run tests until I had lost 3 pregnancies. In other words we are expected to simply go home, 'try again' and only then if we lose another baby will they "consider" further testing.

As I am sure you can all understand we are now processing some serious anger about our lack of medical care. According to my research the single most important test is to check the miscarried fetus for abnormalities. This should have been done with the first pregnancy since I miscarriage after 10 weeks (when most chromosomal abnormalities miscarry by), and my second pregnancy since I already had a history of losing pregnancies. Not only were we not tested, we were scoffed at for daring to ask before we have lost 3 babies. I mean really, are we living in the dark ages? There is absolutely no reason to be treated with this lack of concern when you are losing children.

Now, the good news. Through this research I learned of two Perinatal centers here in Portland that work with couples like us. Unfortunately one is at the research hospital we attended so I am skeptical about that one. We are going to call the other center after the new year and see what their approach is. I will no longer take no for an answer. I will no longer allow a doctor to imply that I am hysterical or imbalanced for wanting answers. I will no longer accept a doctor that implies I am wasting his or her time with my questions.

So, some sadness and frustration but a silver lining. This is the first time in a long, long, time that we have felt hope. Now I am holding my breath and hoping that our insurance will cover the testing. Remember, the medical community doesn't believe we have a medically necessary situation here. urrrgggghhhh.... Wish us luck and send us your prayers and positive thought, we are going to need it.

If you would like to understand further what we have been experiencing, paste this link into your browser and watch the short video at the bottom of the page:

If any of you know people going through fertility struggles, please refer them to these books. I wish I had known of them earlier: