Friday, December 30, 2011


Well, here i am at 16 dpo, cd 30, the longest cycle ive ever had, and im not sure where we're at. I had a lot of what i think are false early prego symptoms, which i attributed to the clomid side effects. then on 13dpo i took a first response early pregancy test. i got a faint positive. and when i say faint, i mean faint. so instead of it being a BFP(big fat positive) like i was hoping for, for me it qualitifed as a TFP= tiny faint positive. so unsteadily i got my hopes a little up, hoping that all of the hcg from my ovidrel injection was out of my system and we were really on our way to success. patiently i waited until the next morning (14dpo) to test again. this time i used a cvs brand early pregancy test. again a TFP. in my head i thought, ok, 2 for 2 this is good. later that day i started to spot some, with mild cramping, and i thought, oh shit its over again. (warning: next sentence may contain tmi) well, i've been spotting for the last 2 days nothing bright red, mostly shades of brown, some pink. im well aware that this could be the start of my period. im also aware that im a day late because the clomid can extend the length of your cycle.

my brain has been running around in circles for days about whether i had a chemical pregnancy, categorized as a miscarriage within the first 5 weeks, often identified by faint positives on early pregnancy tests by women ttc, or if the hcg from the trigger shot is still in my system, or if i could actually be pregnant this time around. so i scheduled and went in for a blood test this morning. the rational side of my brain says, no of course not. you're period is just taking longer to actually start due to the clomid. and my heart is saying, just hold on to some hope, everyone's pregnancy is different, some women spot and cramp for weeks.

well, no more wondering. just got the call from my doctor's office. its a no go this cycle. as sad as i am im just glad to have an answer. again.

its just a really hard process for my wife and i. i mean clearly, of course it is.  and i really struggle when i get into my self pity mode when its an unsuccessful cycle. i know there are women who have it wayyyyy worse than i do, and im thankful that my situation isn't as bleak as some other women. but its just hard when i feel like my body is the problem. with the diabetes, and the thyroid condition, and the blocked tube, and the endometriosis. even though everything is well controlled its hard to feel like the problem isnt with me. i know this sperm can get people pregnant, thats how we got our little Sofia. we know these doctors have this down to a science. i just need some luck.

and ill keep waiting on my luck, and our baby, because i know until the right baby is ready for us, there will be no baby.

so guess who'll be drunk this new year... :o/

hoping that 2012 brings a load of health and happiness my way, and everyone else's way too.

see ya 2011, good riddance.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

officially in the 2ww

yesterday morning i had my second iui and unfortunately, none of the family was available to accompany me to the insemination (i feel like there is a very fine line between going to something like that alone and feeling empowered/independent, and feeling lonely). i just took Sofia who managed to keep me quite busy and challenged through the 45 minute wait for the thaw, but when it came down to procedure time, she sat in her stroller like a champ, downed a bottle, and slowly but surely threw everything i had left on her lap to busy her to the floor. whatever. i was happy (but not surprised) that she was good , and i was pretty relaxed. between just laying still and trying not to think, and talking to her to keep her happy, i felt calm. that really really is my goal this time around. just stay calm. theres no point in getting all worked up until we know where we're at. and we wont know anything until 2 weeks from now. who created this system? there should definitely be a faster way to find out lol. without a doubt ill be busy, baking xmas cookies, wrapping all of the presents, putting together sofia's kitchen for xmas morning (!! we're so excited to be santa :oD), and running around town, but geez i feel like this is going to be a long one.

maybe ill try to crochet sofia a new winter hat. she already has a million of them, but a home-made one by momma would be sweet too no? my mother just bought her a hat crocheted specifically to fit her little head, that looks like a lamb. its really really cute. i should take a picture and get it on here. its really cute, and i wish that i had the drive + time to learn how to crochet that well and make a business out of it. maybe one day....

anyway, im off to do dishes as usual. crossing my fingers that the next two weeks goes by very quickly (although i dont want to rush through the xmas season, i friggin love xmas) and that i get the answer i want this time.

happy holidays to all!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

clomid and ovidrel and (iui)s, oh my!

well. today is technically cd 13, but other than that not sure what to call today. i had done my day 10 + 11 bloods and ultrasounds on sat and sunday, and they called early sunday afternoon (while i was tailgating at the Jets game)to tell me i should come in tomorrow morning for my first iui. usually i would be thrilled and just say "yes maam, what time should i be in" however, monday dec 12 was to be a more significant day. i officially finished the adoption of our daugther yesterday. now i am legally her mother absolutely everywhere we will ever go. im so relieved to have this process over with. but you can imagine my panic when they called me. im in the middle of drinking a beer, in a crowded parking lot, with music blaring and people yelling and playing football, and me standing as far as possible from everyone trying to figure out how this was going to work. i asked if i could come in later than the 730-800am window the woman gave me bc our court appearance was scheduled for 9am. she said " no dont worry, just do the ovidrel shot in the evening on the 12th, and come in on the 13th for your first iui". of course this wasnt good enough for me bc i was not familiar with the woman who i was speaking to. i called back and asked to speak with one of the PA's who had done my iui in october and who had done my 2 sonograms over the weekend. she is one of the sweetest, calmest, nicest people i have ever met and she put my worries to rest. so i agreed to the original plan. and with that i grabbed another beer lol.

so this morning, with my mother and my daughter in tow, we headed out to long island ivf. i had brought my mom to just watch the baby while i had my procedure done. i wanted the baby there, kind of for luck, but kind of as a way of having my wife there with me. she was unable to take the day off and i just needed a part of her there. so once the procedure was done and i was giving myself 5 minutes to relax i kind of did just that. i relaxed. i didnt feel sad that my wife wasnt there (although clearly i would prefer her to be there) and i didnt do much of anything. i didnt do much visualization. i did some deep breathing. i thought of how much i am in love with my family as it is right now, and how wonderful it would be to be able to bring another bundle of joy into our lives. and then, honestly, i just imagined myself lying on my back in the grass, in the park, in the middle of a brisk spring time afternoon (just as the light panels above suggested). i felt at peace. i was so much calmer this morning than i was in october. as devastating as a failure would be, im so much less scared of it this time because ive been through it already. sure it would suck, but at least we have more sperm. i've been really working on letting go of any false sense of control that i thought was possible to have in this situation and for now i feel peaceful, which is a huge surprise to me. but im happy to be feeling this way. and im hopeful. and tomorrow i get to go in for a 2nd iui because none of the follicles had burst yet. going back tomorrow will jst remind me of my wife's successful one and only iui attempt bc she was also inseminated twice, in december, just two years ago.

so on we go, on to an alcohol-free holiday season (hopefully, but if not ill know by new years whether or not im in the clear for "some" champagne).

ill keep my fingers crossed and a smile on my face and in my heart, and if its meant to be this time, then its meant to be. and if not, ill just keep on going with my family by my side.

who doesnt love a roller coaster ride once in a while?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

the (2nd attempt at what we think is the) beginning of cycle 2

well, we made it to december. today is cd 6, and i began my 5 days of clomid yesterday. ive really been working on letting go of any notion that i have any control in this situation. im just trying to convince my brain, that when our next baby is ready to come to us, then thats when we'll be successful. its just so hard because everything we're doing would usually imply otherwise. we opted to go the doctor route because they do this everyday, so that makes you think you'll be luckier faster, but no matter how well everything goes, there is still the element of luck. they can monitor my bloods and give me as many sonograms as they like, but none of that will change the fact that my luck/or lack there-of will be the deciding factor in how long this process takes.

part of me feels really dumb ranting about how "long" this is taking, bc clearly i've only had one actual attempt at this, but this is something ive been planning, and actively preparing for, since last april. i was finally approved for the cgm and received that in april. my a1c has plummeted since then. I believe when i got the cgm my a1c was 7.1 or 7.2, but clearly i wasnt being that strict with myself at that point. and at first it seemed like such a big deal to be on top of my numbers all the time and work on timing my insulin, but its really not that hard. which is always what everyone says. when you first start its such a chore, but once you're in the habit, you dont even really think about it anymore. so im glad im at that point now. although, (here comes my one rant not related to pre-/pregnancy) i currently use the omnipod insulin pump. the pdm (handheld remote kind of thing) has a freestyle meter integrated into it. freestyle has been working closely with omnipod to develop a new testing strip, and they have, but it has not been fda approved (the strip story). despite the fact that it was not fda approved they started distributing it, and people started using it. myself included. no issues with it, it works just fine if not better than the old strip. ive been using it for, oh id say 3-4 months. all of a sudden its a big deal that it has not been fda approved. so my medical providers were unable to ship my normal supply. the solution: send me a new non integrated meter. fine. im thankful that i have great insurance and my health is taken care of and they make sure i have everything that i need. but now im carrying 3 devices. its a little excessive. im hoping that they get their clearance soon so that i can go back to my normal 2 devices. its just so much to carry with me everywhere i go, and although i do have a little make-up case kind of thing that i've used to organize all of my on-the-go supplies, its still huge. whatever, ive never been a little bag kind of person. its no big deal, just something that took me by surprise. can you imagine how many people used to rely on a freestyle meter and now have to learn something new? i mean, hey, no big deal for the youngins, but the geriatrics, oh boy, they're not going to be happy.

oh, back to pre-preggers ish. so my wife and i have totally noticed how much my mood is affected as soon as i start back in the monitoring process. after some thought, i've realized that i have been looking at our pregnancy situations much too individually. when she got pregnant, we got pregnant. even though it was her body it was our baby. and thats how i need to look at this. because apparently ive been putting up a wall, so much so that its almost visible, because i have so much anger about my medical complications. im hardly even mad about my diabetes, its the cyst stuff, the blocked tube, etc. i know that so many women have it so much tougher, and who knows, i could have it that bad too and we just dont know it yet, but im kind of mad about it. we just have so many obtacles in general. but i totally take my anger out on her and its so apparent that even i can see it now. so im working on that. im working on accepting things are what they are, and managing my anger about my fertility hurdles.

ok, lastly the best news ive gotten in a while. my adoption of our daughter is almost complete after a nearly 2 year process. we got a recommendation for a lawyer from a friend, and decided to use her due to the referral and her prices were a bit more moderate than others we'd known of. long story short, she was not the most professional and did a very poor job with the timing of everything (clearly the process should not take 2 years from start to finish. we had contacted her in feb of 2010 when my wife was only a few months along). shes lucky i didnt have her address, i swear i would have gone to her home and stalked her. she made me furious the whole time. however, we're almost at the end. she emailed yesterday to say that our court date is on monday, dec 12. of course that will be cd 12 and all three of us are required to attend. which means if we're able to do an insemination this month, ill be flying solo. already asked my mom to accompany me to the visit, and to watch the baby (in the waiting area) while it all happens but it will definitely be difficult. but we really have no choice. its just the way her job is. so im trying to just prep myself for that. ill bring pictures and my ipod and get myself in good mood. i know what will be will be and this is just the way it works out this month. no one ever said that this process would be easy or convenient, right?

anyway, i feel better after getting all of this out. and sofia's lullabies and my typing has lulled her off into nappy-land. now if only i can get the dishes done while she's asleep....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

is november over yet?

so things have been very uneventful lately. just waiting to get my period so that i can call the doctor and get started on the clomid. its been a very long wait this month. we've been busy, and Thanksgiving was wonderful and entertaining and drunken. our guests were wonderful, Sofia was wonderful, and Disa was wonderful. not much more could have gone right, except for us forgetting to cook and put out the corn (my dad and i love to mix it into my mashed potatoes). a very minor detail, that i dont think anyone noticed.

Sofia has been hysterical and getting even smarter lately. She makes our days exciting and this whole process do-able for me i think. shes not even 15 months old yet, and if we give her something to throw in the garbage, she does it on command. i feel like she understands what we say to her. shes a really good baby, but oh my, is she going to be a tantrum-ie kid. shes very determined and stubborn. when she doesn't get her way, its not pretty. hoping we can find a way to mellow them out before they get too bad as she grows. but truly, shes fabulous.

december is filling up with events already. we have a church event, a gathering of lesbian friends who want to become parents (we're kind of putting on a workshop for them with another set of lesbian parents, sharing our stories and info) a friendly xmas party, a birthday, and xmas already on the calendar. i just want to get my period so we can get started again.

i know ive said it before but this cycle is the cycle that my wife got pregnant when she was successful. so we're kind of hoping that luck is on our side in December the way it was last time. this would keep baby's birthday in the summer time, allowing my wife to have uninterrupted time with baby when he/she arrives. this was the last possible conception date in our original (sept '11-dec '11) "window". that "window" went out the window when we learned how many obstacles I was facing.

so here's to hoping that these next few days go fast, I get my period on time and not late (funny ill be singing a different tune next month), and it starts to feel like xmas soon. a lot of people have their decorations up already, but its so warm out. its like 65 degrees today in ny, wtf?! i need some cold, and i need it to be December to be in the xmas spirit. but we're almost there. but almost doesnt count.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

no such luck

well, we had opted for another month of a natural cycle for november. we really had no intention of utilizing fertility drugs, but it looks like its our next option. i was curious (and hopeful) to see if the cyst that had been on my ovary had damaged my right ovary badly enough that I would only produce mature follicles/ovulate from my left side. this natural cycle has proved that this is not the case. hence, this month is shot. thanks to my CD 11 & 12 endovaginal sonograms, we were able to see that the follicle on my right side (blocked fallopian tube side) was almost twice the size of the follicle on my left side. so with minimal chance of my left fallopian tube picking up the mature follicle from my right side, and my decision to not "waste" the sperm on a very small chance of success based on the circumstances, we're skipping November. this is absolutely the last thing we wanted to do because this is the last month in our original "window"/timeframe.

we're both crushed, but I'm a little more at ease. I feel like this month long break will give me the time i need to really get into a positive head space, not that hosting Thanksgiving for 16 helps. mind you we have a 2 bedroom apartment and the living space is not the largest. we've hosted for the last 5 years and this will be our 6th time. oh and since we have a 14-month old, we're completely behind schedule this year and .. yea.. completely unprepared at this point. oh well, we'll pull it together, we always do.

so we've decided that I'm going to go on Clomid for the December cycle in the hopes that i will have a greater chance of developing a mature follicle on the left side. the doctor said they like to do Clomid for three months straight, and if there isn't any success in that time period, they like to sit down at the end of that three months and talk about more aggressive options. i sure hope im pregnant in 3 months because I dont know how much longer I can do this. i mean ill do it as long as i have to, but this blows emotionally. i have no idea how women who have been ttc for years do this. im simply not cut out for this.

i had asked my PA about Clomid earlier this month, but I think i was scared away. im petrified of the idea of multiples, especially because my mother is a twin (fraternal), but it seems that Clomid only has a chance of twins in 5-10% of cases, and thats with the woman having two fully functional fallopian tubes. so my fears are pretty much eased there. my other fear was that ill produce too many follicles and then we'll have to skip the month to avoid multiples, which would defeat the purpose of taking the Clomid. but at this point, having to skip this month and waste time, we feel like these are risks we need to take,  but i have so many thoughts/emotions about all of this. am i being too impatient? am i pushing my luck? should i not be looking to fertility meds already? ive only been through one cycle thusfar, but i just want this so badly, like yesterday. my clock has been ticking loud and clear since my wife gave birth to our daugther. i want to do this, now.

so hopefully the next few weeks fly. and then,  just about 2 weeks before christmas, we can try again. funny sidenote, my wife got pregnant from her december insemination in 2009. my insemination date is a week after hers (or so it seems by my Fertility Friend mobile app) and since they usually deliver babies of diabetic women 2 weeks prior to the 40 week due date, if we were successful our babies would have birthdays one week apart. i would love that because that would mean only one joint birthday party to plan a year.

fingers crossed, yet again, that time flies, and we're successful soon. happy holidays!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

gearing up for cycle #2

the biggest task on my to-do list today is ordering more sperm to be shipped to our fertility place. We only have 4 vials left to be shipped, and the PA recommended that we ship 3 of those 4. We have one left over from the first attempt because we only inseminated on one day, so with the next three, we should have enough for at least the next two attempts. and hopefully one of those attempts will be successful. it kind of stresses me out because i would really like our children to be half siblings biologically. i dont think our donor is "producing" any longer, so if we run out of sperm prior to deciding that we're done adding children to our family, we'd have to find another donor. clearly this wouldnt be the worst thing in the world, God knows theres plenty of sperm out there for purchase, but again it would be something that we did not plan on having to think about. like everyone says... we plan and God laughs. (you can substitute God with Life, Fate, whatever you want if you dont like the G word)

its really difficult for me to balance my hopes of conceiving and my wife's immediate success, with all of the ttc blogs, stories, etc that ive read about how some women try for years. im not going to lie, im pretty intimidated by how grand the scheme of "ttc" can be in terms of time. for me i just feel like i need this to happen like right now. i dont want to have to have my diabetes in such tight control all of the time. dont get me wrong, my a1c is the best its ever been since ive been diagnosed, but im working really hard for that. i feel like ive gotten so strict with myself and staying on top of my cgm readings, timing my insulin boluses, and waiting to eat, im feeling burdened. but what i need to keep telling myself is that its all preparation for whenever the right baby wants to come along to us. im just like, the worst wait-er in the world. i mean im a lot better at delaying gratification than i was when i was younger, clearly ive grown and matured, but i guess i still have quite a ways to go.

off to make a very important phone call and complete the rest of my housewife duties.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

5 strikes, im out.

my 5 strikes were the 5 hpt that i was torturing myself with. today is the start of cycle #2 for me, so we're at cycle day 1 again. im not terribly disappointed, clearly i would have loved for this to be a "one shot deal" literally, but come on, how lucky can one lesbian family be. i'm just glad that i finally have my legitimate period. i had been spotting for the last two days, which from what ive read on other blogs and websites is usually the way AF will start, but for some women, they have spotting just before their AF and then wind up preggers. so i was on a very hopeful up and down emotional roller coaster for the last few days.

im totally ok with this. believe me. im just happy to have an answer. so now we move on. the frustrating thing about moving on is its another month of wait and see. wait and see if i have good looking follicles on the correct/left side. if i dont, we're out of the game for this month completely, and we wont know if i stand a chance until cd 12ish im guessing. so for the next 2 weeks im going to consume alcohol, hot dogs, cold cuts, and i am almost seriously debating a tattoo. that last one prob wont happen, but thats the most extreme desire of my fine-if-im-not-pregnant-ill-just-go-out-and-do-all-of-the-things-i-cant-do-while-i-am-pregnant-tantrum.

we have a weekend full of plans again, and i have my co-worker's son's big jewish wedding the following weekend so my life should be fun filled until we get to hopefully try again. and if we cant try until decemeber, well, that means more partying on thanksgiving for me. im hoping that all of this potential splurging doesnt mess with my sugars too much. ill have to keep a close eye on myself lol.

im debating referring to my body as the obstacle course from now on in my general life. im a lesbian so clearly there is an obstacle to fertility there, im only working with one ovary and one functioning fallopian tube, and im a diabetic - so im immediately considered a high risk pregnancy once i am successful. nothin i like more than a good challenge though.

keeping my head up and looking forward from here. whatever will be, will be.

Monday, October 31, 2011

12 dpo, nothin but bfns

so like an impatient moron i began testing on 10 dpo. its only 12 dpo now, which is still a little early, but im losing hope and this is killing me a bit. its like torture, and i keep doing it to myself, day after day. but hey its my first go at this. if we're unsuccessful this time around, i certainly wont test so early next time. seeing a neg result on a prego test repeatedly blows. i thought that i would somehow be like my freak of nature wife who got pregnant on her first iui and had a bfp at 10 dpo. i guess thats bc our daughter is a little force of nature.

also, although the world of ttc blogs and forums is quite abundant, im feeling lonely. like really, there must be some other lesbian diabetic woman ttc though iui with only one "good" fallopian tube. where are you?? LOL come and share in my insanity while i torture myself instead of just waiting for my period due date, which is friday by the way. i was reading the app on my phone wrong for days thinking that i was due on tuesday. yea i should have realized the numbers/timing didnt make any sense. my head has been spinning, forgive me.

so its halloween today and the lil one is going to be a duckie. cant wait to get her into her costume. have to do a few errands which is annoying but i did take the evening off from work so i could spend it with the fam and see baby go trick or treating to the neighbors houses. its her first walking one, i didnt want to miss one second. hoping this week flies by.

i really just want to know if im + or really -. like im ok with whatever it is, clearly id prefer a + but whatever will be will be and im ok with that. we have more sperm, andLink we have time and thats really all we need. oh and a some luck, but you'd think we'd have some of that already no? we got angel #1 pretty easily, so i guess we cant be too greedy in taking up all of the luck.

anyway, if im really - (clearly im having a hard time believing that im not prego, i really think i am) ill probably be drinking a lot of alcohol until we try again lol. not that drinking is a healthy coping mechanism, but its one of my favorites.

anyway, keeping my fingers crossed even though my hope gets tinier every day, like they say in the ttc community, "you're not out until the old witch arrives". and by the old witch, they're talking about AF (Aunt Flo). yea im in love with all of the abbrevs too. eye roll. for anyone who has never seen all of the abbrevs from the ttc world, here's some help..... an extensive list

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

day by day

so today makes 5 days post insemination. i dont think i have any real symptoms. dont look at this and think im crazy. there are tons of websites about the earliest possible symptoms. and yes the women who contribute to those websites may be totally insane, but come on, having a baby is no small feat when there are obstacles involved. its hard not to get crazy.

the only things that i think may be legitimate are that im feeling pretty fatigued, and i feel like i can smell everything. who knows, maybe im crazy, but maybe im not. going to try to wait until friday to take an ept. gonna do one fri, sat, and sun. thats the plan i think. supposed to start my period next tues so i guess im just looking for a heads up with the epts to see what to expect in the next week.

trying to just accept that whatever will be will be. looking forward to finding out something later this week.

Friday, October 21, 2011

actively TTC

cant believe im here already.....sooooo... yesterday I had my first IUI. the doctors had called on weds (2 days ago) to say that my bloods showed that my LH was surging on its own and I didnt need to do the ovidrel injection. they made my appointment for 8am yesterday morning.

arrived on time and signed in. in a few minutes was called in to verify the number on the vial of sperm they were going to thaw. 20-25 minute wait for the thaw. then off to room #1 to empty my bladder and undress from the waist down. ive heard that so often lately lol.

within a few minutes a polite knock on the door from the PA who would do the insemination. luckily it was the woman we liked who had done my wife's insemination the first time. she was so lovely. explained everything that she was going to do. so nice. so friendly. made the experience wonderful. or as wonderful as a cold metal speculum can be lol. for me that was the worst part. barely felt anything else. she told me i had a good amount of CM which sounded like a good thing. she explained the process for insemination and she was done in less than 2 minutes. super fast!

when she left the room, i laid on the table and my wife held my hand. we both were pretty emotional. so much at stake, odds of success 20% at best which isnt bad, but a hard reality to acknowledge, not sure what the next steps will be if we're unsuccessful with this attempt. will i ovulate on the correct (left) side next month? should i have the procedure done to open my right fallopian tube to increase my chances/be able to try more often? really trying to keep all of these questions out of my head but id be a liar if i said they weren't there.

so now im just trying to be relaxed. called in the troops, one of her Grandmas, to come over and play so that I can just relax a bit. the nice insemination lady had said that if it was possible to take it easy and not lift my 20+ lb infant for the next 36-48 hours it might be beneficial. so just going to try to take it easy today. going to try not to stalk too many ttc websites that list the earliest possible pregnancy symptoms. although i kind of have a hard time relating to those bc i know exactly when i got inseminated. at this point im 2dpo(days past ovulation) but I only got inseminated yesterday. so im hoping to feel some twinges or slight senstion in the next two days and im hoping that will mean the hopefully fertilized egg will implant itself. im thinking positive, but i feel like if i put it in writing on here ill somehow jinx myself.

ive worked hard to get here. my body is ready. my mind is ready, and i deserve this.

we've got a busy weekend planned and i better find a way to fill my non-work hours next week. dont think ill be able to test until 10/30 with an ept (early pregnancy test) so have to stay busy!

hoping for symptoms and success!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

just need to vent

So yesterday, I get my regular phone call after a morning of bloods and a sono. The PA tells me that the follicle is mature enough, and we're getting close to being ready to inseminate. Then she asks if I've heard from the Diabetes in Pregnancy Center who had written me a "clearance letter" back in early June. In the clearance letter they recommended that I complete several additional steps, just to be sure I'm in tip top shape for pregnancy. These included getting an EKG done, doing a 24 hour urine collection(every friggin drop for an entire day), which was just as fun as it sounds, and meeting with their dietician. All of these things were completed within 6 weeks from the date of the letter June 2nd. The Diabetes in Pregnancy Center was supposed to write me a second "clearance letter" stating that I had completed these things, and that they were giving the green light for me to be inseminated. I called at least 3 times in the last week and a half nagging them for it but to no avail.

So yesterday I sprung into psycho mode. I called the office and demanded to speak with the nurse who had written the original letter, and who acted like it would take 3o seconds to write and it would be done in no time (when i had orginally called to request this second letter). She tells me that now the doctor wants to see my data from my PDM (personal diabetes manager - which is my remote control for my pump, as well as my meter) and asks when i can bring it in. I said tomorrow (which is today, bc it seems like the only day i have left if they plan to inseminate me tomorrow). Her reply is, well only Marie (director of the program) has that software on her computer and she might not be in tomorrow. At this point I'm fuming. I told her I would send her all of the information I could about the last three months. They have my A1C and my thyroid levels from my fertility specialist so I still have no idea why they were holding out. I sent them the 38 page log of the last three months' numbers, a histogram of when im in range, a little out of it, or way out of it (thanks to omnipod's nifty software - CoPilot) and a statistics sheet. Then the doctor calls me to make sure that the numbers i just provided him with are correct!! Who the fuck do you think im pricking all damn day? My dog? I was furious.

How dare these people question my honesty, after I'm doing every damn piece of legwork for this "project". I started this process 5 months ago to try to avoid last minute bullshit like this. Its not my fault you didnt ask for my numbers earlier, its not my fault you didnt do your job when i called you 3 times to request this letter. How fucking dare you almost put this ovulation cycle in jeopardy. Honestly. This is my fucking life, and if i could do all of this shit myself, BELIEVE ME I WOULD. I've really struggled with how difficult it is to keep all of my providers in contact. Can't someone throw me a fucking bone? Like can you just call eachother instead of contacting me to call the other one? Come on, I run after a toddler all day. I'm just so tired of planning, and other people not doing their jobs in a timely manner. Like the PA who i work with all of the time from my fertility place, was going to "check to make sure the specimens arrived" at their other location like a week ago. Never got around to doing it and told me yesterday she would call, and I said don't bother I called the other location last week to verify. If it was me, would I wait until 3 days before an insemination to check to make sure someone's magic baby juice was where it was supposed to be? God no. I'm a social worker for Christ's sake, and people need stupid shit from me all of the time like letters verifying that they go to weekly therapy and I do that shit in a timely fashion.

so frustrated, wishing that i could just do it all myself. its hard to go through all of this.... planning, other people holding you up, other people giving you "permission" to try to get pregnant. it just makes me so jealous of the straights. even though baby making can be stressful if you run into problems, like you get to hop in the sack, get some good lovin, and hope for the best if you time it right. no one tells them if they cant if their health isnt at its best. (which i understand why i need to be monitored and such but its really hard to put yourself in a position where other people are the boss of your reproductive rights). and the straights just get to try and try and try, no money spent, no wasted effort, no wasted time synchronizing paperwork, fielding phone calls between multiple providers, etc. ::SIGH::

anyway, got that out of my system, now onto calmer and more positive thinking. gonna go lay with the dog on the couch and pray that baby naps for a bit.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

getting there...

so the last time i wrote was 2 months ago, almost exactly. one month ago I had my surgery to remove the 7cm cyst that was on my right ovary. it was an endometrioma and seems harmless enough, only there is a high likelihood that it will return. and additionally it turns out my right fallopian tube is also blocked, but from what the doctors have said, that may not present as much of an issue as it might sound like. i had my first transvaginal sonogram since the surgery last week, and apparently there is still a cyst issue on my right ovary. it appears to either be a small part that they were unable to remove, or it could even be another cyst beginning to develop and grow. im not sure what i hope, but whatever will be, will be.

trying to own that last statement and think as positively as possible because... im getting inseminated this week. my left ovary + fallopian tube are doing just fine and working just like they should. i've been getting blood work done and a sonogram every other day for the last week and the PA who did my sonogram, believes that tomorrow might be the day, just have to wait for the blood work to come back to decide. so im excitedly waiting for my phone to ring, although i dont expect to hear from them until later in the day. its so crazy how fast everything seems now. I mean dont get me wrong, ive felt every second of every single day, but i cant believe ill be getting inseminated this week.

so the funniest thing ive conjured up in this whole process as a part of my thinking positively thing, is that my wife and i will wind up being Long Island IVF's star couple. She got pregnant on the first try (2 IUIs, one a day, for two consecutive days with the assistance of an Ovidrel shot to force ovulation) and my theory behind this is.... since neither one of our bodies had ever encountered any type of semen/seminal fluid/preejaculate etc, in that area, our bodies must be so excited to see something new, and then they want to keep it. the only way to keep it is to make a baby. so it worked for her and im crossing my fingers that it works for me as well. ah, gold star lesbianism, its gotta be good for something, no?

so thats whats news around here. im focusing on relaxing my body and mind (as much as i can while running after Sofia, Disa, balancing work, bills, our marriage etc) and staying positive. im sure ill be needing to vent more often in the next few weeks, but im staying positive. i deserve good things/happy occurances in my life, ive worked hard to get to where i'm at, and my body is as ready as it can be. im doing what im supposed to be doing, the doctrs are doing what they're supposed to be doing and i know that my stars will align and this will happen.

with a happy heart and my fingers crossed ill be waiting!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

its raining its pouring...

it seriously is today, and i like a good hard summer rain, but im already feeling lonely and gloomy and not so spunky. eh enough about the weather.

my wife and my daughter are still on vacation. we've been on two vacations in the last month which has been wonderful. we visited the dominican republic for a friend's wedding and were there for about 3.5 days, and then we were home for a week, followed by a trip out to california to visit my wife's extended family. aunts uncles cousins and grandma. i was able to be out there with them for a week and it was really great. very relaxing, beautiful weather, and minimal stress. i flew in on the red eye tuesday and was in my bed trying to catch a few zzz's before i had to be back at work at 10. worked tues and weds. disa's oncology appt was thursday. it went very well, he thinks she's pretty much in the clear, we just have to be very watchful over her for new growths, lumps, bumps, so i couldnt have been happier. that must have been why i partied the way i did on thursday night. friday i was recovering for most of the day, and then had some friends over for a very funny and calm friday night. saturday was a friend's baby shower, which was hard to go to alone, but i was really glad i went. didnt do anything last night, havent done anything yet today. its been hard for me to get through this week without them which is why ive tried to keep myself so busy and occupied. i am actually looking forward to going back to our "normal"/non-vacation life. isnt that odd? but its so true. so now i've just got to get through today and tomorrow and they should be arriving home tomorrow night. i cant wait to hold them both.

coming back to reality has reminded me of all of my health shit. im really tired of dealing with it already. and not the diabetes or the thyroid issues. im pretty angry about this cyst. its the last thing we need right now and throws a pretty big wrench into our plans.

i've gone for two transvaginal sonograms and it seems like i have one large cyst thats about 7cm in diameter. i havent met with the doctor again (yet) but im assuming that ill need surgery to have it removed. I dont really care about having the surgery done. i mean im certainly not excited about it, and of course im a little scared, especially bc i am afraid of how long he'll tell me i have to wait for my body to recover before even starting to try to conceive. i just want to get this roadblock out of my way. its hard to stay positive when it seems like everything is working against the plan you have. and your smart realistic sense talking wife isn't right next to you to tell you to relax. im aware of the phrase "you plan and God laughs". i mean i guess its the truth, but we're big time planners. this whole cyst thing was not in the plan, potential surgery is not in the plan, recovery time is not in the plan. im kind of in a funk today and it feels pretty crappy.

its weird that i thought i would have all of this fun stuff to do, watch shows my wife doesnt like watching, party like a bachelor, etc, and i did party and have a good time, but when im by myself, nothing is really satisfying. like i could watch some tv, but its just so much less enjoyable by yourself. theres no one to talk to, except the dog, and i can only talk to the dog so much. im not a reader. i dont feel motivated to actually do anything productive. im just grumpy without my ladies. ::sigh:: cant wait to see them tomorrow. hoping the rest of today and tomorrow go by quickly.

maybe ill have better news the next time i write. fingers crossed....

Friday, July 8, 2011

holy roadblock. batman.

yesterday was my wife's birthday and my first exam at the IVF office. i thought that would be the perfect thing to do on your life partner's birthday. go to a doctor visit to talk about expanding your family. sounds lovely right? not when you're me. here's what happened.

we go into the doc's little office room, have a seat, go over my medical history, menstrual health history, family medical history etc. my mom had endometriosis, a condition where the endometrium grows in places other than where its supposed to and causes pain, irregular bleeding, possible infertility. fine. lets talk about the diabetes. i talk about how ive recently started using the cgm, my control is getting better, im down to a 6.7 A1C. he pisses me of by saying "thats a little high". do me a favor, phrase your words differently. tell me, "great work you're almost exactly where we want you". whatever, im sensitive. fine. could cause some complications. fine. nothing i havent read about. im totally aware, my control is getting better and better. fine. lets go do the physical. great.

so my wife and i go into the exam room. i get naked and throw on the glamorous pink paper gown and try to stay calm. first things first, extensive breast exam, check. fun speculum stuff, great. now its time for the internal stuff. manual physical exam, whatever, check. internal sonogram time. doc goes " im having trouble seeing your left ovary" me: "is it missing?" nope he found it, thats fine. the probing gets moderately uncomfortable and im starting to get worried. he's looking at something in particular. im cringing from the pain and pressure being applied to whatever he's looking at and he asks my wife to come over and take a look at what he's seeing.

apparently i have 1 or 2 "large" cysts by my right ovary. fml. this probably explains the excessive bleeding ive always had, the painful cramping, and the one night a month im woken up out of a deep sleep by unbearable abdominal pain. fabulous. he starts to talk about exactly what they could be, i could need surgery, etc. go for additional tests. so much fun. as if i wasnt already a lesbian with a health condition, now i potentially have another condition that could fuck up my fertility? fantastic. so after our little chat with the doc, he leaves, i get to put some clothes back on and i cry a little. my wife tells me everything will be fine, how good it is that we found this before it was a bigger issue, before we wasted time and money and sperm trying to get pregnant if this is actually a significant issue, and that we know nothing yet. shes very right, this is all true. but my to-do list keeps getting bigger and bigger, and my health issues seem to just keep on multiplying. its pretty frustrating, but i am soooooo thankful that i have great insurance coverage, and hopefully we can afford all of the extra crap i need.

in other aspects of my life, disa's first appointment with the oncologist is scheduled for next month. time to really see what we need to do next. she might need her spleen removed. we shall see. sofia is getting bigger and stronger, cuter and funnier every day. shes a great baby, but sometimes she's quite a handful. right now shes yelling at me from her crib bc she doesnt feel like napping but believe me, she's very tired, and she needs a nap. my wife's birthday was truly lovely other than this doctor crap yesterday. i feel badly that i scheduled it for yesterday. ug.

well i feel a little better putting this all out there, even though no one actually reads this. maybe someday someone will be looking for a blog like this and somehow stumble upon mine, and maybe that person will know they're not alone in their quest for pregnancy. here's to hoping we all get to where we want to be, sooner than later.....

i get into

Friday, June 10, 2011

the start of (hopefully) my last non-bio-mom summer

summer can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, and one key thing it means to me is BBQ (and beer). I love to bbq and eat bbq'd foods, particularly sausage (insert lesbian joke here). so of course memorial day comes around to signal the start of summer, and I have to go and eat 3 pieces of sausage in one day. probably didn't do me any favors in the cholesterol dept when I had my blood drawn at my prepregnancy consultation last week. but even with that said, my cholesterol wasn't high enough for concern. the director of the program at the center for diabetes in pregnancy gave me the green light to go ahead and contact the fertility specialist we used to get my wife pregnant with Sofia. so I was pretty thrilled. My A1C that they just did came back with a reading of 6.7. I'll take it. It's not where I want to be, but I've only had the Dexcom CGM for 2 months now, and if i can see that much of a decrease in such a short period of time, I should be able to see some more significant decline by Sept. I'm shooting for at least 6.5, and I would love to be at like 6.1 or 6.2. We'll see. I'm sure that besides being mostly vigilant in my diet, when it comes to the many bbqs ill be attending this summer, I'll be letting myself splurge here and there.

And then there's beer. I always have a hard time keeping myself in range when I drink beer. I also tend to drink more than the average diabetic, which makes it a very cat and mouse game. How am I sure that I drink more than the average diabetic? I just am. You can take my word for it. My diabetes has been a blessing in the alcohol department. It has helped me curb behavior that had the potential to ruin many things in my life. But when I'm drinking beer, I tend to spike pretty quickly and it becomes a very cat-and-mouse-like game. check my sugar, see that I'm high, do some insulin, have a few more beers, same thing, so that im always doing more insulin to bring my bg down, but then I have to be careful before bed so that I dont swing too low. its not a fun game to play, and im glad to say that i play it pretty rarely these days, which is a good change for me. it hasnt been easy, i considered myself a pretty big partier, but im glad that i drink a lot less than i used to.

alcohol consumption brings me right back to the baby making process. i mean i know alcohol does that to a lot of people, but its different for me lol. as ive mentioned i want to be really really secretive about when we start "trying", but one of the things im most worried about is people noticing that I'm not drinking at a social function or something. it would be highly unlikely for me to go to a function that has alcohol, and not consume any. im hoping that they'll all buy my "im just trying to get really good control of my diabetes" story, and i think most of them will. i consider myself a pretty good liar. not the best quality to have, but i lie really rarely. and i think in this case, the ends justifies the means.

so our first appointment with the fertility specialists is on my wife's birthday next month. i hope she's not feeling like im trying to steal her birthday thunder. i'll have to really get working on trying to plan something for her.

on a "daily ramblings" note, we got a bit of somewhat devastating news this week. our almost 6 year old pit mix Disa, had a small surgery to remove some growths a few weeks ago. We got the biopsy results on Wednesday, and one of the growths was a stage 2 mast cell tumor = cancer. the good things, its already out of her body, and it was only stage 2. i of course could see no good in this when i heard the news, and cried for most of the rest of the day, with the exception of the hours that i was at work seeing 5 clients in a row. they were kind and no one told me how shitty i looked. thank you lovely clients. so the next step with the pup is to get her back to the vet soon to get some xrays taken and have some ultrasounds done to see if there are any other tumors in her body that we cant see from the outside. i have lots of hope that she'll still live a long-ish and healthy-ish life, as she's not even fully healed from her big 5 inch incision yet and she's already taking Sofia's toys again and running around the house. she's a big goof ball, and our true "first baby" and we love her so dearly. im trying not to freak out any more until we have a better idea of what we're dealing with. ::sigh::
theres our first baby guarding our second. thats a bed full of love.

so thats about all thats going on for now. oh, one last thing. i went for a decent walk with Sofia and another friend and her little girl today, and my sugar has been fabulous. of course, just more evidence that i need to work more exercise into my daily life. im a little lazy, but i need to start making more decisions for my future and not just for my right now. im working on it, and on that note, im off to softball!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Oy. Nerves.

So tomorrow morning is my first Pre-Pregnancy consultation at the North Shore Diabetes in Pregnancy Center. I am nervous to the point that I'm barely tired at all, and I need to actually get up early tomorrow to get to my appointment scheduled for 10am. Getting out of the house with a dressed, clean-diapered, safely strapped into her car seat child is not an easy task for me when I have a distinct time to be somewhere. I have always said that I like to be punctual because I hate waiting, but honestly I'm usually 5-10 minutes behind schedule, and that usual, has become slightly longer since Sofia arrived. So tomorrow will be a challenge no matter what.

My anxiety is "slightly" multiplied by the fact that my wife is unable to take the day off to accompany me to the appointment. Its really ok because in the long run, I'm going to need her to take any number of days off depending on how long it takes us to get pregnant this time around. I much rather have her miss my first consultation than one of my inseminations. Its just hard because we were literally together through every step of the process while we were planning baby #1, and I mean every step. I was at every single appointment. It helped that I was unemployed for the last half of her pregnancy which made me uber available, so I am just trying to adjust to the fact that I will most likely be attending a significant percentage of my appointments alone. Not that I'll really be alone, Sofia will be with me, and really I know that I have at least one close friend who would take a day off to accompany me if I needed someone's support. I think I've mentioned how I am excluding 98% of my family and friends from this process as I don't want everyone to know that we're trying, just in case we're not successful with the first few attempts. We plan to try 3 times, this september, october, and november, as we would like to time the baby's birth for the summer so that my wife will be off from work and can have tons of time to bond with the baby one s/he is born. Yea, we are really big planners.

Also, I've not yet printed out all of my blood sugar logs for the last month. And, my friggin eye doctor who I called Friday, was unable to complete the simple task of providing me with a general ophthalmology report by today. I was told on Friday that they would call me when the report was ready. Needless to say I hadn't heard back from them, and when I finally remembered this afternoon at work, it was too late for me to have any time to pick up the report prior to tomorrow's early appointment. Not my fault, trying to let it go. I can just get the record to the doctor next week when I go back to meet the director of the program.

I'm pretty anxious right now I'm not going to lie. My biggest fears about tomorrow include them telling me:
1- my A1C is too high and they won't work with me(at this time)/make a referral to the IVF doctor I plan on using
2- that they are going to set these crazy goals for me that I'll despise them for wanting me to stick to
3- any other possible bad news/reviews of my health.

I am well aware of the steps I'll need to take and I'm sure I'll be as crazy and strict as I need to be. I'm kind of not looking forward to having people look over my shoulder and judge me.

Well I feel a little better having gotten that all out. I'm going to try to fall asleep. I need to be up earlier than I prefer. Wishing myself good luck!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Good Dog, "Bad" Baby

As Sofia gets bigger and bigger, she is getting more and more mobile. As she attempts to pull up on unsteady household objects, or tries to put non-baby-things in her mouth, I will usually try to get her attention using my discipline voice first prior to walking over to remove her from whatever potential harm or object she shouldn't be near. Disa is very familiar with the discipline voice from her puppy days, and her occasional behavioral outbursts. This has created a unique situation in my house. As I try to sternly talk Sofia out of whatever mischievous activity she's in, Disa thinks I'm speaking to her, and will shake with anxiety while she lays on the couch next to me because she can't figure out what she has done wrong. Even when I say "Sofia, don't touch that" Disa still thinks I'm talking to her due to the tone of voice I'm using. Hence when I address Sofia I'll say "No Sofia, Good Disa!". Its very interesting. I hope the dog becomes less sensitive to this tone as Sofia becomes more and more curious. Fingers crossed. Its very tiring to address my human child and then have to praise my furry one all of the time.

So I'm still on the CGM learning curve roller coaster. I had been doing better but in the last week or so I've hit some more rocky road. I've had a few issues with my pump being clogged, which I can always assume is the problem, but I won't really know until I remove it and see if the cannula is clogged, which is a risky move because then I may be under-utilizing a perfectly good 3 day pod. It's been quite frustrating lately. I can't tell if the poorer numbers are due to exercising less ( the weather has been very rainy and I haven't been able to get out on any walks with Sofia AND basketball is over) or if I just need to create a non-period basal. It seems that my numbers are better when I am menstruating, but I'm not really sure. Sorry if this is TMI.

Anyway, I've realized that I really am going to have to become a complete lunatic with my diabetes if and when I'm able to get pregnant. I think that I've tried to avoid the reality of how meticulous I'm going to have to become, but I think I know even now, prior to any pre-pregnancy consultations, the lengths that I will need to go to in order to keep my diabetes in outrageously strict control. This will mean really scheduling my meals, making sure to do insulin way before I eat, measuring out exact food portions (I hate measuring things when it's not for a recipe), exercising on a regular and consistent basis, and God knows what else. I'm sure that when I am able to get pregnant I will be so focused and dedicated that it will all just seem like things on a to-do list, but it's very daunting at this point.

As far as pre-pregnancy consultations, I have my first one in the beginning of June. I'm kind of excited, but also kind of sad. My wife and I work opposite schedules mon-thurs, and of course my appointment is early in the day when she is teaching as they do not have any hours that would accomodate both of our schedules. And of course her co-teacher is already going to be absent that day and she will have to go in to work. So I will be walking into this sit down appointment with just my daughter, who they will probably assume I birthed, and then I'll have to explain the whole sitaution. I debated taking one of our friends who knows the baby plan (as we intend to keep the process secret from 99.5% of our family and friends as we begin trying for baby #2) but then I'd have to explain how "no, this is not my wife, my wife is working, but she is just a good friend" and I feel that situation might seem a little odd. I'll just put on my big girl mommy pants and go without any adult support. I'm sure I'll be fine.

Anyway, baby #1 is just waking up from a nap, and we'll be heading out on a laundry trip in just a few. You can not imagine how badly I wish I had a washer dryer in our apartment building. (its only a 3 fam)

More to come soon, stay tuned.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

1 Month in with the CGM

So I'm pretty sure that I've had the CGM up and running for 4 or 5 weeks at this point. I've really done a lot of learning and a lot of tweaking to my pump settings, and for the most part I've seen some really good improvement (on some days). I still have the bad days where it seems like I'm high for no reason, but thats usually because there is an issue with my Omnipod Insulin Pump (my pod). Like yesterday for instance, I knew I had eaten a lot of carbs, but I had also done enough insulin to correct myself a couple of hours after I had eaten and I just stayed high. Even when I was at work, and had pumped myself full of insulin before I left to go to work AND corrected even more before I left to go home for dinner, I remained high once I got home, and for the rest of the night. When I went to change my pod it seemed as if there had been some kind of blockage in the cannula, but not a complete blockage, which is why my pump did not alert me of the problem. Changed the pod before bed, and woke up in significantly better range. Not where I prefer to be first thing in the morning, but below where I had been.

One thing that I have learned helps to keep me from spiking is doing my bolus a good 15-20 minutes prior to eating. Now I know that a lot of people know that already, but (a) its hard to schedule yourself like that (b) when I want to eat, I want to eat (c) if you have no idea what you're about to cook, that only takes 20 minutes to prepare, its hard to estimate how many carbs you'll be consuming. But long story short is when I make an effort to bolus prior to eating, I'm much happier with the curve my sugar goes on. It's much less severe.

The last couple of days have been pretty good (other than yesterday). I've been able to keep my numbers between the two dotted lines that is my goal range, and it was lovely to go on a brief hiatus from the beeping and buzzing my cgm does when I'm too high or too low. It also helps my mood significantly, and I find that I'm generally much happier when I see that I'm in really good control. It's a good, healthy, happy feeling. I'm really hoping that I can keep up the good work and really get my A1C down before my next endocrinologist appointment. That would be so lovely. Keep your fingers crossed for me... thanks.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Learning Curve...

First of all, I have no idea how other moms manage to write blogs on a somewhat consistent and continual basis. I barely have time to do all of my household chores everyday before I have to get ready for work in the afternoon, never mind sitting down for a few minutes to try to think clearly and write a blog.

So the learning curve. I've had the Dexcom 7 for almost 3 weeks now and it really is interesting. It is certainly a tremendous help to know where my BG is at and in what direction it's going. The one thing that I really wasn't expecting was the sensor's "margin of error". It only has to be within 20% of your actual BG to be considered accurate. So if your BG is particularly high, the "margin of error" just gets larger. I really thought that once I had the Dexcom I wouldn't be checking my sugar with fingersticks often at all, but I find myself sticking to my usual routine of checking all day, up to 10 times per day. I just don't trust the CGM to be that accurate. For me its really important to know exactly where my sugar is when I wake up, before meals, after meals, before bed, and any time I think the CGM is lying to me.

One of the most interesting things I've found with the CGM receiver is just to see the wave of my blood sugar. We all know that your blood sugar will go up and down throughout the day, but it is reallllly interesting to see it plotted out all day continuously. The smaller waves are nicer to see, and the mountains and valleys aren't that fun. I've been struggling lately to keep my blood sugar up in a good range in the evenings around bedtime, which is a big change for me. It's really a new thing for me to need a cup of juice and a bite of peanut butter to try to keep my BG in a safe range when I'm trying to fall asleep. I'm not quite sure why this is happening lately, but I'm not ready to just change my pump settings just yet. I want to see if this issue is going to level itself out or not. We'll see.

I've been changing the settings on my pump to tend to some of the daily issues I've been seeing on the CGM receiver, and one major change that I needed to make was to my overnight settings. I found that I'm spiking around 3am, which I would never have known. According to the CGM I've gone up to 250 on some nights around that time and I was really unaware of the fact that this was happening to my body. Although I think the CGM's readings might be a little exaggerated, I've been able to change my settings to the point where I am waking up slightly under 100 in the mornings. I had been having some trouble keeping my BG in that range for my morning reading and it really does help me start my day in a better mood when my BG is where it should be.

Speaking of moods, prior to being diagnosed in March of 2009, I never really knew much about diabetes and how it affects a person's personality, but I feel like I am a prime example of the possible effects. Prior to my CGM, if I tested and my BG and it was unexpectedly high, typically I was in a pretty foul mood. Angry, unpleasant, cranky, etc. I guess we could call that the effect on a person's personality. If I am low, I get very strange. My wife says that she can tell when I'm low just from the way I act. I'm not sure how she would describe it, but I think I get a little intense, irritable, and disoriented. I'm not quite sure what it's like being around an intense disoriented person, but it must be an interesting experience. I don't have any diabetic friends either, so I've never had the experience of witnessing someone else's low.

Anyway, back to the learning curve. I have found that doing a bolus 15-20 minutes prior to eating really helps to keep me from spiking too severely. I know that a lot of diabetics know this as a fact, but it is really difficult for me to put into practice and make a daily habit. So I've been making more of an effort to try to make sure that I start my bolus insulin a good amount of time before I start to eat.

I just feel like there are so many things on this CGM learning curve I've yet to master, and so many more things on my pre-pregnancy checklist that I really need to get into the habit of doing. But one step at a time I guess... yea one step at a time.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Time to start something new..

So, here goes nothing. I recently found my Livejournal stuff that I wrote 6-7ish years ago when I was 20/21. Apparently I had over 200 posts! I had no idea I wrote that much about my life but I do remember feeling like it really helped me to cope with all of life's drama. I had stuff in there about my jobs, my family, my friends (and in some bad moods I made my posts private so it was like a real diary and I said kind of mean things sometimes.. but the funny part is that the 2 people I wrote about in private entries, are still my best friends... one of them is now my wife). Since that time a lot has changed/happened, and I think its time I give whats now called blogging another chance.

At this point in my life, I've pretty much achieved all of the goals I had set for myself, something I'm very proud of. I've gotten the degree I wanted, I own a dog, and I have a loving marriage with an amazing woman. Yes I said marriage. We were married in 2008 while it was legal in California. We created a baby out of a lot of love and just a tiny bit of sperm, and little Sofia is now almost 8 months old. There are still 2 more lifetime goals that I want to reach. The first is having a successful pregnancy, and birthing a healthy baby, as a diabetic mother. This one is somewhat in the near future and I kind of started on that journey last week. I'll get into the details in a second. But the other goal, is to own a home, and that my friends, is a very long way off as far as I can tell. Reason? Two words. Student loans. Uh...... yea.

But back to the pregnancy goal. After fighting my insurance company for over a year, I was finally approved for a Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (often referred to as CGM or CGMS). This is a device that will track my blood sugar every 5 minutes, show me my blood glucose reading, and also tell me in which direction my blood sugar levels are going on a little cell phone sized wireless device. Amazing right?

I started using the CGM (a Dexcom 7) last Thursday. It was really interesting because with my insulin pump, I have to do very little in terms of its attachment to my body. I currently am using the Omnipod wireless and tubeless pump, and luckily for me it has an automatic insertion method. I press a button on the Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM, kind of like the pump's remote control) and it does all of the work of inserting a small plastic tube called a cannula, under my skin to allow the pump to deliver insulin directly into my body. My biggest concern when setting up my pump is to make sure there is enough insulin in the pump to last me for 3 days, and to make sure that the adhesive bandaid type fabric that holds the pump onto my body is nice an flat and seals all the way around the pump. With the Dexcom CGM, I understood that from the moment I inserted it, I would not be given any information until the first 2 hours had elapsed. This is very different from my pump, which allows me to utilize any option I want immediately after the insertion is complete. But I think that all good things in life are worth waiting for so I've got no complaints there.

On the first full day I was extremely frustrated because I was having very high readings from the CGM, and I confirmed all of these high readings with my regular meter (integrated into the PDM) and I just could not seem to get my blood sugar levels to come down. It seemed like it didn't matter how much insulin I did, my levels just remained so high. At that point I was feeling helpless, and it seems silly to feel helpless when you have two devices attached to your body that are supposed to help you to feel in more control, but all I could do was wait for the insulin to kick in, and hope that happened fast. It took a few hours but eventually my blood sugar levels came back down. I'm still not sure if the high readings were due to stress, or by body reacting to the soreness at the CGM site (on my abdomen, the only location of the body the CGM has been approved for use) or what, but I was super frustrated.

The next day I had planned to walk to our daughter's pediatrician's office which is about 2 miles away to see how exercise would affect my blood sugar. I had a bowl of cereal which usually makes me spike pretty high and did about half of the insulin I would normally do. About 3/4 of the way to the office I was at almost 200, but my exercise managed to keep me from hitting that point. I got there, picked up the paperwork I needed, and headed across the street to the park. My numbers stayed in a slightly high range at the park, but I had prepared myself for that because I wanted to see how much the walk home would bring my numbers down. When I left the park I was at 150 and as I occasionally glanced at my receiver through out the walk, I watched my blood sugar steadily come down. When I opened my front door, I was at 104 with a straight down arrow, meaning that my blood sugar was dropping 1-2 mg/dl per minute. The arrow that I mentioned is shown on the CGMs receiver (the cell phone thing) and shows the "trend" of your blood sugar. If your blood sugar levels are staying pretty steady, then you get a sideways arrow, if they are increasing you can get an arrow pointed diagonally up, saying it's rising at a certain rate, a straight up arrow, saying it's rising kind of quickly, and a double up arrow means its rising really quickly. Same thing goes for the down arrows, diagonal, single down, double down. I wound up hitting 80, still with a down arrow, and knew I'd need some juice to keep my blood sugar from dropping too low. The juice started to kick in a few minutes later, and I wound up around 100 in just a short while. It was a really interesting experience and was the first positive one I had with the CGM. We all know that exercise is good for us, but for me to be able to actually see the exercise having such an impact on my sugar made me feel really good.

Since Friday, I've had good days and bad days. I think thusfar the hardest part for me has been when I feel like I've estimated the amount of carbohydrates I'm going to eat correctly, I do the amount of insulin I think I need, and I sit there obsessing over my receiver, watching my blood sugar levels go up. That just makes me feel like I'm a bad diabetic and that I have no idea how much insulin my body needs. But after 2 years of doing this, I've gotten pretty good at estimating (most of the time) and I think the problem is that I'm not waiting long enough to check my blood sugar levels. The body is going to have some blood sugar spikes when you eat certain things, but if I didn't have a CGM up and running on my body, I would probably not know about these spikes, and I wouldn't feel so frustrated, as when I tested 2 hours later, I'd probably be back in a healthy range. Having and utilizing a CGM could easily drive a person insane, and to avoid that outcome for myself, I'm starting to train myself to look at it less.

Yes, this is getting kind of long for an entry, but it's hard to get everything I've been dealing with for the last week out in one short burst. It's something new, and of course there is a learning curve. I just have to learn to let myself learn. How's that for a sentence? I need to give myself time to adjust to a new system, and that is something I've always struggled with. When I need to learn something new, I hate the process. I always feel like I would like to fast forward 2 months to the time where I've finally gotten the hang of whatever it is I'm learning. Then again, everything in life is a learning process.

So the CGM is my first step towards getting my body ready to attempt getting pregnant. I've started to exercise more lately even though I like to think I stay moderately active. In the winter and spring I play in an indoor basketball league, and in the summer I play softball. I really enjoy taking walks when the weather is nice, and I've been able to do some of that more recently as the winter weather is finally winding down. Notice its almost late April and I'm not counting Mother Nature's winter weather as down for the count yet? It's sad but true here in New York. The climate is definitely changing, and I don't think its a good change.

I'm hoping I can keep this updated pretty regularly. Guess we'll all just have to wait and see.....