Sunday, March 27, 2011

Infertility: 5 Things I've Learned

Prewarning, this isn't my normal. Sometimes one has to talk home truths. I hope me baring my soul here can help someone else though.

Over the last two and a half years my husband and I have tried very many times to achieve what most people can do without thinking about it. We've been trying really, really hard for kids. We've tried temperature and calendar methods, we've counted days, we've done blood tests, semen samples and sworn at doctors. We stopped drinking at all, we took vitamin suppliments, and we briefly entertained the idea that maybe its all about our house being wrong. Yes, we went *that* crazy. Or maybe I went that crazy, and he didn't know any other way of helping than to go along. I don't know. He's been awesome either way and I love him very much. Once or twice we've had near hits, and that makes oit that much harder each month to pick ourselves back up and carry on, and I think we're nearly at our limit. But what has made it so much harder isn't that we've had no success for two and a half years. It's that we've had no real help with our problem for that amount of time. So lets look at some home truths about infertility.

1) The White Elephant.
You know the game you used to play as a kid, where you would say 'don't think or talk about the white elephant' and no one won? Infertility is the adult version of that game. No one talks about it, ever, and then we talked to some of our friends one day and went 'WAAAAA infertility!' and they went 'OMG you too?'. Everyone we know has some relationship with it, whether it's just 'I had a miscarriage and we have used contraception since but GOD I want a baby!' or 'I'm never able to have kids, I'm way over weight and have advanced PCOS'. What I fail to understand is why it is such a hush hush topic? Ladies and gentlemen, in not talking about these things, we are shooting ourselves in the foot! You don't talk about it, and evryone ends up thinking they are the only one with any such issues, and let me tell you, that makes the suffering so, so much worse.

2) Doctors.
I'm sorry to burst the bubble for those out there who believe their doc can fix everything and is wonderful, but here is the home truth: Your doctor is simply human, just like everyone else you know, and therefore makes mistakes and has emotions just like everyone else. Your doctor is not infaliable. T (my man) and I have been to three doctors about our problems so far, and I have a fourth doctor I am going to begin seeing on Thursday. The first two doctors were terrible; one said my husband, who drank 3 to 5 standard drinks over the weekend and nothing during the week, was an alcoholic and that was where our problem came from. He also said that it didnt matter how irregular my periods were, if I was having them, I was perfectly fine and fertile. He lasted one appointment, and my husband still worries about his drinking today. Another doctor said that there was no way that my husband being vegetarian could have any adverse effects on his fertility. Not trusting this by now, we went home and did some research that showed a vegetarian diet leaves a man with no zinc, therefore lower sperm count. On to doc three. By now he was taking suppliments for zinc, and tests proved him perfect, so we looked at me: We've done it before, so It all works there, my bloods came back fine, doc couldnt find a thing to point at with me and wouldnt look at the items I was begging her to look at, ie Porgesterone levels. At the same time, she refused to refer us to any specialists, because I am, in her viev, too young to be having problems and the specialists won't want to look at me. So we were stuck now; doctors could no longer really help us, but they refused to refer us, despite us having tried for nearly three years now. Like I was saying, they're faliable and they're human. Both of these observations suck balls.

3) Age Works Against You Everywhere You Go.
I am 22 years old in several months. My husband is older than me by a few years. We have been trying for kids since I was 19 years old. In Australia, we are distinctly told if you have been unable to get pregnant for two or more years, go to your doctor and get them to refer you to a fertility specialist. Sadly, because of my age doctors will not do this for me; apparently fi I were 33 years old they would, quote, have no hesitation in refering you this instant, but you are young, you have your whole life ahead of you. Unquote. Yes, I do have my whole life ahead of me. I want to breed, have my kids now, in the next 5 to 10 years; not get to 33 and have the first of them. That is not only impractical, its unkind to the kids. I can give them more NOW. So HELP me. Oh wait, yeah, that stupid age thing. Age should not factor into fertility, but at the moment, it is the ONLY factor there seems to be.

4) Any Help You Can Find Is Overpriced.
Recently, my brother gave the the phone number of a place that he believes can help me, and after talking to the manager extensively, I agree. However, while my man and I are comfortable, we are not made of money. No one is. So this leads me to wonder how in my right mind I can justify paying $180 for an hour with someone just for a first consult? Per person? ANd it wasn't cheap before that either; going to the lackwit doctors we went to cost $60 per 15 minute session. The problem we are finding is that doctors know they have you by the proverbial balls when it comes to fertility issues. They know that if you are desperate enough to have to be there, you really cannot protest at the price. My worry is that while I am able to get the help I need, hopefully, or at least while I am able to AFFORD the help I need, what happens to those who cannot?

5) Family.
They are meant to be the support network, the people you fall back on, the ones you can cry all over and sometimes yell at for no damned good reason at all except that you're going off the rails and they love you enough to understand. Sometimes they're nmot. His family has been fantastic, and some of mine (thank you D&M!) have been a dream. But a lot of my family either simply do not understand, or are outright scornful. Apparently due to my age I should stop being an idiot, stop worrying and stressing as obviously thats the problem and things will happen. Or the better argument: Get over your grief and move on like a normal person. And the cincher? Doesn't matter if you've gotten over the grief, or if you are not stressing, or worrying; denying you need to do these things reinforces to them that they are right and you are delusional. Sadly it is not allowable to round house them, so you have to smile, grit your teeth, and run an internal monologue of swearing.

So there you have it folks, my findings so far in my quest for actual help. Anyone in Perth, Remede Wellness Centre are very happy to help, have wonderful attitudes, and despite the pricing (or because of it?) give me confidence. Good luck!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Study on Humanities Quest for Idiocy

Well, I've been having a ball recently. No, really! I have become fascinated with the lengths people unconsciously go to to in order to unknowingly become an idiot, and by fascinated I mean 'is watching avidly and has forgotten that the popcorn exists'.

I called the bank 4 weeks ago to get my card reissued with my married name on it; having worked in a similar industry I know that issuing a card like that is very easy indeed. So I breezed through the process, cheerily said goodbye to the young lady on the other end of the phone...and opened my mail the next week in bemused amazment. I had an awesome, shiny new card...with my old name. Take two, I called back, tried it all again, and the next week got the right name on the card (Check!) pin number. Seriously people, where is my pin?! So...take three...they agreed to just dodgify some facts in the system and allow me to continue using my old pin as neither the call centre or I trust that another mail out is going to get it right :P

And my fence! THAT is an ongoing saga and a half, let me tell you! :P It's been broken for coming up three months now, and the fencing company is regaling me with a series of awesomely funny excuses as to why they cannot fix it yet; I say funny as some of them are os bad they directly contradict their earlier statments. Firstly they 'would get to it next week, we have what we need to fix it, but we have a lot of other jobs to do'. Fine, I can deal with that. Then they tried to tell the strata company they had already fixed it; how stupid do they think I am?! And now they tell me 'we can't get the materials to fix it right now due to the cyclone in Queensland, we'll try to fix it bt the end of the month'. HOW stupid do they believe me to be? I'm not sure, but they've got the strata company, hook line and sinker. What I want to know is how the materials they had two months ago to fix my fence ended up in Queensland?

Here's the prize of the day; a tale from the recent travels of my husband and I. And it totally beats the previous ones, infact, it's my unquestioned favourite. The man and I decided to take a train from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Singapore...Singapore. Don't do it, it's disgusting. Anyhow, after an appaling 7 hours travel, only 4 of which the train had spent actually moving at all, we arrive at the check point just inside the Singaporean boarder. Hop off the train, passports at the ready, and we're all faced with BIG signs that looked like this:

There was a lot of writing underneath in not english, but basically it meant 'we're serious, don't p*ss us off, kk?' My husband and I respected that sign, and we obeyed. Just after that we were waiting in line to have our passports checked and two things happened. One, we saw another sign that looked like this:

but with a list of things under it that went like this: We can and will confiscate and delete any pictures you take. We can and will arrest you, charge you, fine you. We may shoot you.

This being Singapore, we believed them. LOTS. Secondly, we started chatting to an american dude in the line with us, recently from Thailand. Finally, we got to the front, passed through uneventfully, and lined up to get back on the train...and waited to be allowed. And waited. FINALLY 45 minutes later here comes the american dude. Hi, what kept you? we asked. Oh, I took a picture, and they got all upset, and started yelling, and took me into a room and made me give them my camera, and they deleted the photo, I'm really not happy about it hey! We looked at him for a few seconds. Did you see the signs saying 'dont take photos' at all? we asked. Sure enough... Yeah, thats what I was taking a photo of!
And if thats not bad enough: Didn't you see the other signs that basically said 'don't annoy us, we will shoot you?
OH WOW, where are they?! They would make AWESOME photo's to show the dudes back home!!

So there we have it; my study on humanities attempt, albeit unconsciously, to become completely bafflingly idiotic. It has been awesome fun!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Well...its currently nearly half past 8 in the morning, and I am in the bath with the tap dripping on my knee as apparently it doesn't know how to NOT. I feel amazingly frazzled. You left on a work trip yesterday morning, and things haven't been right since. I miss you terribly, and my week is looking bleak without you. Not ony isit looking bleak, it is looking empty, bar sleepless nights, as apparently I once again have insomnia. You leaving me alone should be banned for the sake of my mental health!

And because of this, I have made a decission. I know I cannot fly over to be with you right now, though god help me, I really really would totally want to do that, so instead,next time you have to go on on of these trips, ima come too! I know that means finding someone to sit the animals and look after the house. I know thats a possibly expensive thing. But I don't care. I miss you. I would do anything to be with you right now. I watched the sun come up this morning at 5am, I had a shower at 4.

By the end of this week I will have drunk enough coffee to be immune to it.

So I think we need to take the 'have and to hold' thing majorly serious, an have and hold each other everywhere we have to go. I'll come too next time. And we'll both continue sleeping, which is something I am currently wishing for like mad. And we'll spend every moment we can cuddling. I'll see you on Saturday, and that day cannot come soon enough, love.

Because I Can