Surgery Follow-Up

I went for my surgery follow-up on Friday.  Dr. H said everything looked good and that I had a large follicle on my right ovary.  I'm pretty sure what she saw was an empty follicle from ovulation last weekend... Does anyone know if you can ovulate twice in a cycle?  She said sometimes older women can, which I knew, but what I read said that both eggs ovulate within a 24-hour period.

I do have a strange pattern to my bbt chart this month.  I'll try and paste it in later, but basically I have the first rise Saturday/Sunday, then a big dip (could be estrogen fall-back pattern), then up again and then two descending temps (from 98 to 97.7 to 97.6), then back up again to 97.96 and holding.  The lowest temp, 97.6, was taken an hour earlier than I normally get up, so maybe that impacted things, but not the 97.7.  So looking at that, if it's possible to ovulate twice (NOT within a 24-hour period), maybe I did?  The first ovulation was so early, by several days.

Other issues the doc and I discussed:
  • She had her last child when she was 44!  How cool is that?  Her advice to me is to get fit and relax - hmm, I never heard that before!  I feel pretty fit for me, but maybe I'll amp up my health habits and try to lose a few more pounds.
  • Regarding the fibroid, I asked her what she would do if she were me (someone recently suggested asking this question and I thought it was a good idea).  She said if I want to pursue donor eggs, she would go forward with the fibroid surgery.  But if I want to try with my own eggs, she would forgo the surgery at this time, which would cause me to lose three months of trying. 
  • She said she took out several polyps.  I was under the impression there were just two or three!  She wasn't sure how many exactly, but definitely more than three.  She said my uterus is now "perfect." :)
  • I asked about protocol considering my past responses.  She said she would definitely not have me take lup.ron, as I did in my first medicated try, as that shuts down my system (at least for older women).  She would also not recommend using Fem.ara first, since last time I was only able to fit in one day of stims after taking several days of Fem.ara.  She would also increase the dosage of Meno.pur.
  • She reiterated that no one had gotten pregnant at my age on a medicated IUI cycle... But.  They had gotten pregnant on the cycle FOLLOWING a medicated IUI cycle, trying naturally (and also with IVF of course).  Isn't that interesting?  They don't know why but there seems to be a positive boost gained from doing the meds but not until the following month.  So, we still plan to do a medicated IUI.  She told me about two lower cost IVF programs, which I intend to look into.  I'm not holding my breath, however.
  • Our Cobra was unfortunately just discontinued.  We signed up for plans which allow us to stay with the same doctor, though.  We'll just be paying more out of pocket for the fertility-specific procedures.  S is making a good salary now, though, and says we can afford it (my increase in hours helps too).  We will either be going forward with injectables this coming cycle or the one following, depending when this cycle starts.

In other news, I attended a community college conference last week from Wednesday to Friday and had some co-worker bonding time, in addition to learning some new assessments and counseling tools, etc.  Everyone is kind of mad at one of our co-workers/counselors.  I'm not, as it doesn't really affect me, but I guess he's been complaining a lot and has not been thinking of impacts on other people.  I don't love gossip, but it does make you feel included when someone confides in you.  Also, it's nice to go to dinner and talk about things other than work and get to know people on a deeper level.

Apparently when I'm in one of these events, I'm pretty "immersed" and find it hard to focus on other things.  S felt a little neglected and scratchy about it, especially coming out of our romantic wine-tasting weekend.  We went to a fun Stop Key.stone XL activist training in SF yesterday, though, and reconnected.


Wine Tasting and Long-Due Relief

S and I ventured up north to Sonoma for a wine tasting getaway this weekend, using our Sonoma Pass.port for discounts.  We left late Saturday morning and got home Sunday evening, hitting various wineries on both days.  We'd had the trip planned for months, but because S started a new job and is trying to complete other freelance work, he tried to postpone it a week.  I have to admit, I was not the understanding girlfriend, as I'd really been looking forward to it!  He agreed it was right that we go since we'd had it planned, which was cool, and we ended up having a fabulous time.

I guess I should backtrack at this point and explain how the ex conflict resolved itself.... Yes, we came to an agreement finally!  I think I shared that in our final counseling session a couple of weeks ago, he agreed to respond to my email proposal that he talk to the ex every three or four months.

Now, I knew this wasn't going to be an acceptable offer... maybe that makes me an inexperienced negotiator.  I was thinking that you propose what you ideally want even if it's off the chart of what you think they'll accept, and then they make a counter offer and maybe you go back and forth a couple of times.

Anyway, I think my initial offer was probably a bit too extreme, and he said later he felt like I was basically proposing he cut off all communication.  So, after our session, he avoided responding for a few days, then came back with an email that said some reassuring and affirming things about his feelings and commitment to me, as well as offers of transparency (telling me about any contact) and talking to me before making any commitments (to help with something or whatever).  He suggested, however, that communication frequency stay as is and fade gradually over time.

People, including my brother, advised that I might just accept this, but you know how sometimes you just know you can't tolerate something?  Like you feel it physically - that it's just not right and you emotionally can't handle it?  Well, that's how I felt.  From my perspective, I had forgiven a lot in the past and "put up with" the anxiety around his ongoing connection to her more than I should have had to.  I wanted him to prove that he could and would compromise to help me feel safe.  So when he didn't give anything on the frequency, I balked and pulled back for a few days. 

During this time, I did some serious reflection, including seeing a counselor once on my own to both get some empathy around the situation, but also gain more clarity about my own issues.  I realized that I was trying to deny that he had deep care and concern for his ex-wife because that felt threatening.  Well, as we all know, denying something does not make it untrue.  So, I came to an uneasy acceptance of that, which felt like an important step.

Also, I acknowledged that I have never had a relationship longer than a couple of years, nor ever been married, so my experience and ability to truly understand his situation is limited.  Finally, regarding my own fears, I received more normalization about my sex drive not being perpetually set to "on"; that it's okay and very common to not be in the mood sometimes.  I think because S seems most often in the mood, and because of some previous dysfunctional patterns I had in relationship, I can feel like something is "wrong" if I don't feel raring to go all the time.  This new perspective takes pressure off, and I was later able to talk with him about it in a healthy way.

In any case, when we came back together last Wednesday night to discuss things, I felt pretty self-connected.  Our conversation started rocky and somewhat defensive, but after a while I had an outburst about my frustration around dealing with the situation for so long and wanting a loving relationship and the ability to trust and relax, etc., and why couldn't he give a little, even to two or three weeks (in communication frequency)?  At which point, he finally let go of his stance and said that he could do two or three weeks (along with the other agreements).  What a freakin' relief!  It felt so good to come together, and I knew at that point that we were going to be okay.

So this weekend was a celebration of sorts, I guess, and a culmination of plans we had made a long time ago.  We had great conversations about our activist plans around Key.stone XL, previous relationship history, the source of our wanting to become parents, and more, as well as just having lots of flirtation and relaxed fun.  One of the wineries was beautiful.  We hit it on a sunny day in the early afternoon and were able to take our last wine tasting out onto the property and walk around a bit.  You can't beat that feeling!  *Afterwards, there might have been some making out in the car. :)

We brought Zoey again and she did great, though she continues to not eat as much while we're away.  I give her regular treats to supplement.  We've perfected the art of playing ball in a hotel room!

Oh, and oddly, I think I ovulated on Saturday morning (Day 9 of the cycle starting when I went off BCPs for my surgery).  My temp went up a bit that day and all the way up on Sunday.  I may have missed the window, since we didn't BD until Saturday night, but fingers crossed, maybe it was just on time.  It would be a great story!



 Never having gone through it before, I can now report that surgery is a most interesting experience.  I was first on the docket (rotation?), and therefore required to arrive at 6am.  Neither S nor I are at our best at that hour, this is for sure.  Crabbity crabbity.  We did get there on time, however, then spent the next half hour sitting in the first waiting room.  "First waiting room"?  Why yes, because then they call you into the second waiting room, where you proceed to wait some more.

Things got a lot more interesting, though, once I went into pre-op (sans S).  I and two other gentlemen first received a short lesson in how to remove and store our clothing and put on the lovely blue gown provided for us.  Key in the lesson was how to tie the two ties appropriately.  Hint: the second one should NOT be put through the holes in the gown and should be fastened on the side.  Then, we each were taken to our own separate waiting area and sat in beds/chairs (cool beds that converted into chairs), replete with computer check-in equipment and a sliding, circular curtain for privacy.

On a serious note, huge kudos must be given to every person I dealt with - the receptionist, O.R. nurses, anesthesiologist, doc/intern, and my own doc - for their exceptionally kind, positive, and efficient demeanor.  Seriously, I was WELL treated and cared for.

I was initially asked a bunch of questions, then my vitals were taken and IV was installed (inserted?).  After which, the surgery process was thoroughly explained to me.  The only concern came up when I signed a consent which included "laparoscopic surgery."  For those who have not heard of this, it means an abdominal incision, which is not what I signed up for!  My expectations were clearly set for a simple hysteroscopy and polyp removal by vaginal means.  This confusion was cleared up, though, by the explanation that extremely rarely the uterine wall may be perforated, and they would need to assess and repair this through laparoscopic means.  Okay, I guess I would want you to go forward in that particular situation!

S was able to hang out with me once I was prepped and awaiting the surgery time, which was comforting.  When the stout gentleman nurse finally brought me back, I was ready to get the show on the road.  As we entered the surgery area, I understood the term "operating theater," as it is a very large room with several people intent on performing their "roles," accompanied by many props.  I felt calm and secure from the moment I entered.  Not long after being situated on the table and cleared for "take off" (they actually called it this), I felt the anesthesia go in through the IV on the back of my hand.  My legs were fastened in rather comfortable stirrups and... I was OUT.

The next thing I remember, I woke up in the spacious recovery area, again cared for by attentive and kind nurses.  I felt gooood.  Yeah, I definitely was pretty high at that point.  I remember asking how things went and if they got it all, and the nurse answering in the affirmative.  Also, I remember raving how everyone was so great, and how I wanted to tell them how great they were.  I recall thinking of S and how awesome he was; how much I loved him and how much I wanted to have a baby with him.  And then I passed out for a bit again.  Then drifted in and out for a bit longer, and then was pretty much alert.  The nurse gave me some juice, after which she called S to pull the car around.  I got dressed, sat in a wheelchair (another first that felt pretty strange) and wheeled like a baby or an elderly person out to curbside.

For some reason I was starving and made S go through the McDonald's drive-through to get one of their big breakfasts with pancakes and a coffee.  I did eat it slow, but they said they gave me some anti-nausea med before I left surgery, which must have really worked!  S continued his run of super sweetness by taking Zoey on a walk and out for some playtime before he headed back to work (he just landed a long-term contract!).  He's coming back tonight with some yummy Chinese food.

So I guess I can declare this surgery a big success!  Thank you for your kind wishes.  I'm not sure what will come of it but mission definitely accomplished.  Oh, and when I was in recovery, the doc gave S a series of color pics of the inside of my ute.  You can clearly see the polyps in some of them; it's pretty cool.


Conscious Sedation

Polyp surgery on the books for Friday at 8am!  I have to be at the hospital at 6am - Ouch.  S is going to take me there and home.  Today in my surgery phone consult, the nurse said I'll be getting some really good IV drugs to achieve "conscious sedation."  She described a previous eyelid surgery - with a bit too much detail I must admit - in which she had received the same medication, and said that it makes you drowsy, drifty, and like you don't care.  She said she understands why people become addicted to the stuff, and I started to wonder if SHE wished she had her own supply.  lol  In any case, it sounds like I'll be in a good state of mind for the procedure.

In other news, I've felt somewhat "consciously sedated" in my own life this week; kind of lost, and I'm not sure why.  Sometimes lately I feel very close to S and other times kind of distant.  The trip to Oregon was difficult but okay, and good in some ways.  We had a challenging conversation in counseling last week about agreements regarding exes.   Then a good conversation Sunday morning in which it seemed like we came closer together around it.  And continued on to spent a lot of nice time together over the next day.  Then, yesterday, after we separated, I felt lost and adrift.  Why?  I don't get it.  I would have thought I would feel hopeful and happy after our conversation and time together.

Today, we had a great hike this morning, then tension on the phone about the way he is responding to my work with a coach (exciting to be making headway on a goal to take on several individual career counseling clients).  He sometimes seems less than supportive when I share about it... I'm not sure if it's because of his own career crossroads or some other reason, but it sucks when you really want someone to show support and they don't or can't.  Anyway, I got off the phone abruptly when I sensed this lack of support, and then he got upset at me with the way I got off the phone.  Aaargh.  Maybe he's feeling vulnerable.  Maybe we're both feeling vulnerable.  Maybe these stupid supplements are continuing to make me feel funky and sensitive. 

I guess I'll take a shower and head to bed.  A couple full days of work at the college ahead, so that should distract me from my funk.  Oh, I do have a bit of good news:  the college raised my hours up from 10 to the highest level of 16.  Yay!