Saturday, 24 April 2010

The investigative cycle begins

And I know not everyone can say that!

I completely bizarre week where I was actually in my school 2 1/2 days this week.  Professional Activities were keeping me active mostly but I took Wednesday to have the first round of invesitgation done.  First they took 16 vials of blood....they said they don't have to do this every time, and I said "Good because I suddenly need a doughnut."  I had to drink a full litre of water before driving down to the clinic so I was pretty uncomfortable at this point.  Then they did an outie ultrasound with my full bladder, uncomfortable to say the least.  Then they did the innie professional as this was, there's just no way to say what this feels like.  I left feeling like a cat who had been stroked backwards.  Now here comes the amazing part.  I waited all of 15 minutes for my results on the ultrasound and spoke to a doctor who says everything looks NORMAL!  Celebration time come on!  No calls about my bloodwork says that they're all normal too.

So far OHIP has covered everything.  This coming week I have to take Wednesday off again for a Saline Sonohysterogram....they're putting a saline solution into my uterus for a different kind of specialized ultrasound.  Then Thursday morning before school I have to get another ultrasound and some more bloodwork.  I will repeat this for the next week.  They're trying to figure out when I actually ovulate. 

On Friday, Tim is going to drive me down for 7:15 a.m. to Credit Valley hospital for the HSG - a dye test where they put a blue dye through my whole reproductive system to check for any blockages.  That sounds pretty yummy, doesn't it?  So by the end of this cycle they're going to have lots more information about what could be preventing us from conceiving.

Aren't you glad I'm not posting any pictures?

Friday, 23 April 2010

the Media curve

Dr. Lipton's Prezi on social media....possibly life-altering in its complexity and optimism.

I spent all of yesterday working with my dear partner M who is really my lab rat for evil ideas.  I dream it up and she makes it happen while I observe and dream it up and then she makes it happen again.  It's an excellent working relationship and I think I'm really benefiting from it.

This year we've had access to our document camera (affectionately known as ELMO) and a SmartBoard.  Since M rejected the SmartBoard as clunky and in-the-way-most-of-the-time, I have adopted it into the library.  One of my first big goals as T-L is to make the library more of a Learning Commons (Carol Koechlin (one of CK's books).   I think that means I'm going to be spending a lot more time online.

If you have the opportunity, you can read up on Dr. Lipton and Carol Koechlin.  Then you'll have an idea what's going on in the 1/3 of my brain devoted to work (another 1/3rd goes to food, and another 1/3 goes to procreation).  Now that I've been notified that my mother is reading my blog I'm attempting to clean up my language a bit.  I can't help it....the Watson part of me wants to be all biological, and the Webb side of me wants to swear like a trucker and have a beer. 

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

"Did you know dolphins are just gay sharks?" ~ Brittany on April 13th episode of Glee

I went to hear Dr. Mark Lipton ( speak about social media and education and it was liberating.  I suddenly want to go to university again!  He has combined his passion of media with a previous career as an elementary educator and he's trying to persuade the education system to get on board with media literacy.  There were many new gems I gained from his workshop but one that resonated was that we should stop being protectionist in our philosophy, and start being investigative.  Of course, the block I'm getting from my graduating students is that online coursework is dull and difficult.  I think that this line of resistance to our class wikispaces is because of 2 main reasons: a) they don't like the fact that adults are in their hangout space....the internet, and b) it makes them really accountable for their work and thoughts. Apparently, about 50% of all post-secondary credits are now earned online. 

I've just earned this title at school: Directions Team Head of Digital and Information Literacies.  What a mouthful.  I'll have to come up with a way cooler acronym than DTHDIL...which is unpronouncable.  Basically it means that technology and library are now to be part of every high school course so I need to engage teachers, students and parents through library services.  I'm excited and terrified.  I'll be full-time librarian in September and I have to tell you, I don't think the shine will wear off too quickly.  In midterm report week, the light at the end of the tunnel is that I may never have to do this again! 

I love the series Glee, which restarted for season 2 yesterday.  I'm not a hard sell on the musical genre anyway, but then combine it with a satirical approach to high school and I'm invested!  I know it's not for everyone.  In fact, that's kind of how it feels to try to sell technology and research at I'm trying to get a bunch of Discovery Channel-watchers to convert to Glee. The inner child part of me that used to:
  • hide in the closet reading Judy Blume
  • finished a novel each Saturday morning in bed 
  • played library stamping cards for books, instead of with Barbies
is so so happy. As someone who now still spends every waking moment absorbing online, print, video and audio material, I think I'm up to the challenge.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Truckin' and Scrappin' with the Lord

We have a house!  We squeaked in a mortgage just under 4% and had the inspection done too.  We've booked the moving truck for 2 dates: Saturday, May 22nd and Monday, June 21.  A nice gradual move. 

I'm a lady juggler with a lot of balls in the air.  Why would anyone want to start fertility monitoring and move house all in the same season?  Self sabotage, most likely.  Sometimes I think I push myself right to the brink of what I can handle just to see if I can do it.

Last evening Tim and I had a very weird night (almost as weird as the 416-er, wine cellar leads to bar fight leads to big female kiss wedding, but that's another story).  We began meeting our good friends R & R for sushi before heading over to Theatre Orangeville's opening night of "18 Wheels", a musical about truckers.  I shit you not.

You already know that I'm a musical lover but this really stretched the boundaries of taste. Act 1: We meet 3 truckers who love what they do and hate what they do, like most of us, and Sandy the waitress who waits in a truck stop in Mount Forest.  They sing about how much they look forward to seeing her, there's a nice little song about haulin' chicken guts in August. Insert pathos: they launch into a dark and dreary song about almost dying on the highway 400 in a snowstorm but instead only killing 12 people.   I shit you not. 

The breaking point arrived when the cast launched into singing about "Jesus riding shotgun" and the sold out audience of blue hairs and Far Side ladies started clapping along like it was a revival meeting.  I had this feeling like I can't believe this theatre is reality and I'm in it.  Like an existential and nightmarish moment all at once.  We left at intermission. 

In my defense, I was given the tickets for free as a way to encourage school trips to the theatre and R did say that she had seen it in Toronto and it wasn't too bad.  But besides the fact that the main character was played by the theatre director's wife (again), let's just say they Orangeville-d the script up a might too much.

So afterwards we consumed copious amounts of alcohol and laughed a lot.  Max had his first sleepover last night at Auntie Tracey's with his cousins.  I wonder if that's why I couldn't sleep in. Today I'm going to get my gardening wiggles out (since I'm 'tween homes) by scrapbooking!  I packed myself one giant portable (well, portable if I had a sherpa) kit full of scrappin' goodies.  Now if I can just resist the Michaels store, I might be able to afford furniture for the new place.  Why does retail therapy feel so good?

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Not so scary after all

Did you know I'm a big fan of Nip/Tuck?  P warned me that it would be a slick lookin' office that would offend my rural sensibilities....I should have had my hair done and a manicure before I went in.  Glossy, glassy, calm and stimulating decorating scheme with swirls of flooring that made it much more like a labyrinth than a medical office.

Everyone was very nice and trying very hard to not say anything that would set anyone Disneyworld.  The doctor asked us to do a written history, a verbal history and then examined me physically and basically said that he'd like to start all over again to figure out if there's anything physically preventing us from getting pregnant. There is nothing apparently wrong from my cycles or my physical checkup. So starting at the beginning of the next cycle I get a pelvic ultrasound, a saline sonohysterogram (ultrasound using saline) and a hystersalpingogram (the dye test) on different days so they can a) make sure that I'm ovulating and b) start monitoring my cycle's pattern. I'll get some blood work done too.  Tim goes next Monday for a semen analysis and blood work.

If all goes well, we will start monitoring the cycle in earnest, I'll be going down daily for ultrasounds to have a check to see if I'm ovulating.  In the meantime, the doctor asked me to start taking folic acid, to cut out caffeine, to stay in bed for an hour after sex (yippee!) and to have sex more often.  Not so scary after all!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010


At the age of 25 I suddenly gained 60 pounds in about 6 months.  Easy: hypothyroid...a little thing called Hashimoto's syndrome.  A little blue pill each big deal.  I weighed 200 pounds on my wedding day in 1998.  Then the carpal tunnel started, and losing the feeling in my finger tips when I was driving, I couldn't sleep at night for the pain, and gradually developed more pain in the toes and ankles, and occasionally in other joints.  I saw a battery of specialists and still no official diagnosis....most likely a form of rheumatoid arthritiis or lupus that would deteriorate my joints over time.  Tried a cocktail of drugs to treat the symptoms and very little helped until August 2008, when I tried Prednisone.  It made me feel invincible, but strung out, weepy, easily upset, etc. 

A little over a year ago I started seeing a naturopath recommended to us by colleagues who had also experienced infertility. Within 3 months, I had reduced all the swelling in my body.  I'm at 182 pounds now and feel better than I have in a long time.  I've changed my eating habits, and have been trying a combination of acupuncture and herbal remedies.  The naturopath then said that I'd be pregnant within the year.  I'm not.

I don't know why I'm suddenly making the leap to the fertility clinic.  It's probably because of the large tick-tock sound in my head that seems amplified around the time of my birthday.  Our benefits cover a certain portion of the treatments.  But the invasiveness seems to oppose the natural approach I've been taking to the rest of my health. 

I wish I could get my head in the game for tomorrow's first consultation.  I think I'm philosophically and psychologically uncomfy with most of the treatments, but I feel helpless and more desperate day-by-day.  I wish I could just be happy with the other blessings in my life....but I still want another baby and I think I'd always regret not trying the clinic approach, if I didn't go.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Desperate rutting

I had a conversation with a student this week....she was Pro-Life and I'm started out as civil, anyway.  Being the adult in the room, I did my best to make sure that she wasn't just yelling out her opinion over and over again but her final argument brought out the worst in me.  She said "If women aren't willing to accept the responsibility of having a child, then they shouldn't have sex." I retorted "If God only wanted us to have sex for the sake of procreation, then maybe He wouldn't have made it so fun!"

Tim, my dear husband, is sick.  I'm disgusted with his snivelling, selfish, phlegm-covered humanity.  And I feel guilty for being disgusted.  I reminded him, not so sympathetically, that today is day 12.  Day 12 of the cycle of year 3 that we haven't been pregnant. That anxiety, his illness, it really sucks the God-injected fun out of sex, I'll tell you.  Sometime soon, despite the phlegm, either early in the morning, or late at night so as not to disturb our wee Max, we'll partake in the act of desperate rutting.  And hopefully, like a crocus emerging from the warm spring soil, my womb will welcome the small zygote of our love and I will be pregnant!

I go for my fertility acupuncture again tomorrow.  I want to believe I want to believe I want to believe that it's helping.  Then Wednesday, I'm playing hooky to drive to the big city to have our first consultation at a real live fertility clinic.  It scares the Bejeezus out of me, truthfully.  I wish it wasn't so one-sided....I know, as I've tried my family doctor, my ob-gyn, my naturopath and now the fertility clinic, that they'll look at me more under the microscope than Tim and frankly, I don't know if I have the courage/patience to do it all over again.  I'm going to listen to what they have to say, but I don't know if I have it in me to do this all the way....sperm-washing, egg extracting, IVF.  Ewwwww.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Up and Down

My brother-in-law and I agree on one thing: some people in the world, like him, like to come down, and others, like me, like to go up.  My drugs of choice are caffeine and alcohol and together they create the perfect blend of easing my conscientiousness and revving up my inhibitions.  I'm not truly schizophrenic, but I have this memory self within me that I call Martini-and-cigarettes-girl, and she is the perfect me in absolute self-sabotage mode...the me at 22 years old when I've never been skinnier or living a more existential life.  Here in the year 2010, as I turn 38 and edge ever closer towards 40, Martini-and-cigarettes-girl lurks ever closer and wants to come out more and more often.

I think growing older gives you an excuse to become more and more eccentric and I care less and less what people think of me.  Having said that, it has taken me 4 drinks to have the nerve to attempt this, my first blog entry devoted entirely to me.  This year, the year of the tiger, has been tumultuous already.  I suspect that I'm affecting my life through the auspices of a tiger-filled year, but it may be the other way around.  It would be nice to be able to blame all of my impulsive decisions on the Chinese New Year, or a mid-life crisis, but I'm far too responsible for that. The truth is that I'm evolving, and I'm not sure how I will emerge from my cocoon.  I imagine it will be a combination of hideousness and beauty.  I've been drinking a lot more lately.  I dream of smoking cigarettes again.  And I've started gardening like a madwoman.

Things that I've done already this year:
  • seen more than 50 % of Oscar-nominated movies
  • threatened to divorce my husband during an anxiety attack
  • been kissed by a woman
  • sold my house in 5 days
  • made an appointment to go to a fertility clinic
I suspect that I'm not alone.  I suspect there are more of you that would prefer to go up.  I invite you to come along for the ride. I've got a thing for cider or pinot grigio but you can drink anything you like.