Monthly Archives: October 2011

Vagueries

Things that remain unresolved:

  • What the hey-in-fucketty is happening about the possible rescheduling of the surgery. I didn’t try calling on Thursday or Friday – as I actually have a job, see? – and am gearing up for the re-assault of the day surgery unit telephone un-answering service. The whole subject makes me tired. Eh. Needs must.
  • The Official Medical Advice from the day surgery unit, re: baby-making sex and the cycle in which I am due to have this surgery is don’t. If I ovulate early or when I usually do, this cycle will not be the cycle I have surgery in. If I ovulate later than usual (for me), it will be. H is all, well, let’s use contraception then. I am all, well, we could be ‘wasting’ a cycle for nothing, then. Net result, we have had no sex at all.
  • My mother is very horrified at all the waiting and rescheduling drama, and wants me to go private right now this minute. OK, there’ll be less waiting about, but surgery done privately in Britain doesn’t really seem to be done to a higher standard than the NHS (fresh flowers in the waiting rooms are not my priority, nu?), and I have heard some absolute horror stories about private clinics refusing to deal with complications and dumping the poor patient back into the NHS system anyway. So I am in about seventeen minds about this. Haste! Caution! Haste! Caution! I am 36! I am in agony! One slip of the knife and I’m spayed! What to do? What to do?

A thing that makes me bloody angry:

  • We went to my mother’s this weekend because it was Minx’s birthday tea. The tea-party went rather well, Minx and her friends screamed ecstatically at the tops of their voices all afternoon (an I make a noise like that, it’s because I am dying), she liked her presents, and all was well. Her father, revolting specimen of humanity that he is, used the occasion to tell her mother my sister Trouble that he was leaving the country to be with his new squeeze. Which would be all very well, but he expects Trouble to break the news to Minx (strike one), he still owes Trouble, my mother, my step-father, and several other people in the area a lot of money for bills and rent and loans and such and he has made no plans to get the money to any of them before he leaves (strike two) and he seems to think if he leaves he’ll be exempt from child support (strike FUCK YOU). Never mind the whole at-his-daughter’s-birthday-party, a venue he clearly chose because he knew Trouble wouldn’t make a scene for Minx’s sake.

Something that makes me weepy and irrational:

  • Minx’s birthday tea was also the anniversary of one of my miscarriages, two years ago. It was a scary one – for no good reason at all (I was only just over four weeks pregnant) I bled in a manner best described as unwisely lavish, and ended up being hospitalised, go me. I have been on the verge of tears and/or tearing someone’s head right off (no one in particular. Anyone would do) all week. I think I will get over all my miscarriages at just about the same time I die of extreme old age. I think anyone who expects me to get over them any sooner can go play in traffic.

Just about one too many

There are two schools of thought, at work, about How To Deal With A Pregnant Colleague. My school, which comprises thank fuck most of my office room, says you hold doors open for her and help her carry things with more enthusiasm than usual, and otherwise, if she doesn’t mention it, you don’t, and that is that. The other school, comprising a large chunk of the other office room, thinks you should not only speculate wildly and at length about the poor innocent woman’s belly-contents, but you should try to make everyone who passes through the room join in, and you should also tell anyone in ear-shot all about every other pregnancy you ever did hear about, whether anyone else knows the people involved or not. I am not, I think, according to Emily Post, allowed to shout ‘shut the fuck up,’ which is a shame, but manners are manners, and I have some even if others do not.

And then H had a work ‘do’, as we call them in the UK, and took me along as his +1. H was rather involved with the event, so sweetly introduced me to a handful of people before he beetled off to Organize Things and Corral People and, frankly, Show Off.

The first person he introduced me to was the husband of H’s pregnant colleague. Which was fine, I knew she was pregnant, H had told me a while back. However, several other people did not know, so I stood by this very nice man, smiling, as he told about six people in a row that yes, that’s right, there was a baby on the way, wasn’t that amazing and cool, yes indeedy.

To be honest, I didn’t really think much about or of this. It seemed all very fair enough and understandable and I am not really at the utterly skinless Allergic-to-the-P-Word stage any more. I have callouses on my P-Word receptors. However…

The next group of people H introduced me to, all ladies, began by discussing H’s above-mentioned colleague’s pregnancy. OK. And then the pregnancy of someone I’d never heard of. And the pregnancy of another person I’ve never heard of who looks just like someone else I’ve never heard of, who was also pregnant. And did I know that yet another complete stranger to me had had a baby? And so had someone else. Had anyone heard how total unknown was? Was she expecting yet? As they moved on to ideal presents for people going on maternity leave, I sidled away.

Later on in the evening, during a break in the music, two men stood directly behind me and talked about how the recent spate of redundancies was probably why all the ladies in the building were going ‘fuck it’ and getting pregnant. I did laugh – ‘fuck it’ indeed – but still.

And then someone I’d actually met before leaned over and asked me if I knew that H’s colleague was pregnant. Given that H’s colleague was on stage at that very moment looking like she’d put a party balloon down her smock, I said ‘no, is she?’ in tones of amazement. Forgive me.

When H had finished showing off, I went straight home and ate a mini-cheesecake. It didn’t help. I still feel completely hollow.


Bear with me. I have questions after the whinging.

Item – I’m probably in a grouch-tastical mood because I’ve been in pain for four days and I am now, officially, Tired and Emotional, without the benefit of a good stiff belter of G&T into the bargain.

Item – I missed work today, and this was Very Wise, because I have had several infuriating soak-through-everything-in-lavish-gush moments, and I’ve been weaning myself off the diclofenac suppositories onto mefenamic acid by mouth again, and ended up with bad cramps.

Item – I can’t bear to take the diclofenac up-the-jacksie for more than three days in a row. It’s uncomfortable, damn it. It makes me sore. Not the act of shoving things up there in the first place – I use a great deal of KY Jelly (only use the tube seems to get in our household, eheu, gone are the days, etc.) and I do have slender fingers (OK, that’s TMI right there) – but diclofenac is a NSAID, and like most NSAIDs it is an acid – dichloranilino phenylacetic acid to be precise, and delicate mucous membranes + regular applications of acid = ow. Oh, come on, why do you think NSAIDs by mouth give you heartburn, gastric bleeds, and if you’re bloody lucky, ulcers? Exactly. Anyway. It gets sore, the cramps are less intense, so day four and five of my period, I take mefenamic acid by mouth instead, which works fairly well, especially when combined with tramadol, and I taper that down to paracetamol on day 5, and sometimes all my clever planning is pointless and I hurt. When I remember how much I used to hurt, this time last year, say, I feel happier about matters, admittedly.

Item – Any of you who have used progesterone pessaries during IVF cycles etc., will know that if you put things made of waxy grease inside your person, front or back, they melt, as they are designed to do, with body heat, and once the medication is absorbed, there is this, err, well, residue? Anyway, I dare not fart unless I am sitting on the toilet. Another very good and important reason to have spent at least 24-hours leaving my back passage unviolated before going back to work. Bet you all wanted to know that. Sure you did. Don’t look at me like that. This is The Human Condition. It’s practically Art.

Item – Enough of this bottom talk.

Item – I finally received the Official Letter from the Mothership Hospital regarding my laparoscopy in November. Progress!

Item – Did I mention the surgery coincides with arseholish precision with H’s birthday? Bah.

Item – Even more arseholery – given Satsuma’s current production schedule, the one she has kept up for over a year – I should still have my period on the day I’m supposed to be being sliced-and-diced. Given that my periods are a) heavy and b) require my taking shit-loads (no, wait. Ill-chosen term, considering the above. Let’s pretend I wrote shed-loads) of painkillers, NSAID and narcotic, can anyone tell me if either of these things will be a problem?

Item – H, bless him, is more worried about the painkillers. What if I can’t take them? What if I do take them and then they can’t do a general anaesthetic and it’s all cancelled? I told him I’d just not take them if that’s what they recommended and he blenched with horror.

Item – I am more worried that if I am bleeding heavily, they won’t do the surgery. Or, they’ll do the lap part but won’t do the hysteroscopy or check my fallopian tube for obstructions by flushing dye through it. Which will, to my mind, make the surgery about 70% a WASTE OF MY FUCKING TIME. Let me explain. I know I have adenomyosis. It is not operable. If I have endo and it is operable, yay!, but it won’t fix my pain issues to have it removed. It may, however, improve my chances of getting pregnant and staying pregnant, so bring it on. However, my main fear, especially given that I haven’t been pregnant since February (unless I was in July, you know, when I had the 14-day-luteal phase May stop this train of thought RIGHT HERE. Thank you) – where was I? Oh, yes. I am afeared that I can’t get pregnant because the endometriosis or the fibroids or, fuck it, both, have blocked my fallopian tube. Or, the fibroids and/or adenomyosis have finally borked my uterine lining good and proper. So I need, need I tell you, to have the surgeon have a good look at the uterine cavity and check the tube. If these things can’t happen, I will pitch a fit the like of which will burn a hole straight though the atmosphere and incinerate the Moon.

Item – Another thing I therefore did today – call the Mothership Hospital to ask advice. I left a message. I left a second message. I talked to a human who said a nurse would call me back. ‘When?’ I asked. ‘Later today,’ she lied. Hmph. Guess what I’m going to be doing again tomorrow, from work this time, with added awkward?


The end is nigh. Again.

‘Scuse me, am menstruating. Must lie down and feel useless, hopeless, despairing, woe-is-me, waily-waily, Universe is ending – crap, it was supposed to be ending today, wasn’t it? – nauseous and slightly stoned. Hurrah.


Triggers

Item – towards the end of October, 2009, I discovered I was pregnant for the second (possibly third. Bastard chemicals) time. And promptly miscarried. Dramatically. (Who’d’ve thought such an early miscarriage would make such a bloody mess?). I was, I swear, not really thinking about this particular miscarriage at all. The subject of miscarraiges generally, admittedly. But I do seem to have some kind of ghastly internal calendar app that goes ‘bing!’ a week or so before the anniversary of something horrible.

Item – The 15th of October is the increasingly internationally recognised Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I didn’t want to make a big deal of it. Making a big deal of it makes my skin feel crawly and several sizes too large, and the pink-and-blue ribbon, lavender-everything-else, angels-in-heaven aesthetic of it all makes me feel sick. Which is, I know, deeply unkind of me, as many many women get a great deal of comfort out of the idea of their lost babies being angels, and pastels and babies are inextricably linked in the public consciousness. But I am an atheistical snarkazoid and think of my dead embryos in shades of ivory, midnight, and blood. Anyway, there it is. A big event in my tiny, lopsided online community. I nerved myself to mention it on F*ckB**k. I was not going to post about it much here. That’s where I am, grieving-wise, or thought I was (but see next item, for Foolish May Is Foolish).

Item – However, I did want to be home by 7pm to light a candle, and join the Wave of Light following the sunset round the planet. We’ve done this, H and I, for the past four years. We talked about doing it a few days before hand. H saw my FB post. And then we went our separate ways – I was having lunch with my girlfriends (huge long post somewhere in the works about having girlfriends, especially these girlfriends) in another city entirely, and H had an important meeting/rehearsal thing for a Thing he is doing which is not my business to spread all over the internets. H can do that if he likes. (And it makes me so proud I think I might just kvell myself into a spasm). I had a simply marvellous day out. However, the train home went tits-up on me and I knew I was going to be late, later than 7, anyhow, and I couldn’t get hold of H. H’s mobile phone, I could get hold off, but he wasn’t answering it, so… Well, actually, so I left him an increasingly angry and frantic set of texts and missed calls, and got home to find him still not there, and lit the damn candle at 7:30 pm, and proceeded to have a text-message row with the now responsive H, who’d simply been somewhere very noisy (‘pubs‘, I believe they’re called) and couldn’t hear his phone. The which excuse I’d buy if it weren’t for the fact we have a row about his bloody phone and the fact he can’t hear it and therefore doesn’t answer it every few months for the past four years. H was extremely sorry and repentant to realise he’d forgotten the 7pm candle thing, and even more sorry and repentant to realise he’d really pissed me off. But still. I was really pissed off. I am still really pissed off, but self-aware enough to realise that a lot of this is to do with Slough of Despond also hormones and therefore it isn’t actually fair to still be pissed off with H. So I sublimate, and am pissed off with everybody.

Item – There was a blood-curdling story on the BBC news, that doctors might be diagnosing anembryonic miscarriaged prematurely, and therefore performing D&Cs on viable pregnancies. This is of a piece with the whole Campaign for Better Miscarriage Care, really. Now, before anyone panics, I know, I am sure, that my own D&C, for my first miscarriage, was performed on a very dead and anembryonic pregnancy indeed. I had a scan at week six, and a follow-up scan more than a week later that confirmed that the gestational sac had not only failed to produce a foetal pole, or a heartbeat, but had actually shrunk a little and collapsed into a weird oblong. No, my PTSD-type reaction was, of course, partly induced by the spiral of miserable reminiscence I was whizzing down into like a penny in a coin vortex funnel, yes, but it was also empathic. I couldn’t sleep for thinking of all the women out there who had read this and were now… thinking… that about their doctors and themselves.

Item – Speaking of unfortunate news stories, someone at work – luckily a stranger to me – was speaking loudly to her friends the other day about how the NHS should not be wasting precious resources on fertility treatments. After all, child-bearing is a choice, and people shouldn’t have to pay for others’ choices. She said this while pushing a buggy with two children in it. I, tax-paying fool that I am, am paying for her disgusting spawn to be immunised, to be treated for their coughs and colds at the GP’s, to be hospitalised if there’s an accident or severe illness, to be educated, and if she loses her job, which she might, economy in pan etc., and I keep mine, I will be paying for her hideous whingeing little snot-and-chocolate-covered grubs to be fed, housed, kept warm and clothed via social security. And, you know, I don’t begrudge anyone else, my taxes on behalf of their children’s health and well-being and education, not a penny of it. I’m a socialist, I believe in national health care and education and benefits. Her, and all the others who think my kids can rot in limbo because they are, after all, a mere ‘choice‘, I begrudge every single fucking penny, from the failed STD clinic free condom through every scan and midwife visit right up until her crotch-fruit can pay their own fucking taxes.

Item – A friend, who is drifting away to the furthest reaches of friend-hood, has been posting pictures of her (very beautiful) child on FaceBook (perhaps I should stay well away from FuckBook for a bit). I should have a child the exact same age as hers. And, naturally, twice as beautiful. It – oh God, I’ve turned into that woman – stung. Our friendship really started falling apart when I miscarried and she sailed on into a healthy, normal pregnancy, and birth, and motherhood, and I lost more babies and she… stopped talking to me. This friend is now trying, laudably, bless her, to get back in touch, and I, less laudably, want to say to her ‘my life is a bit foul, really, and H and I are slogging through a seemingly endless trough of shit, and funnily enough quite a few my friends, noteably the ones who had no problems at all conceiving and carrying to term, simply dropped me and ran and this made me feel no better at all. Incidentally, I’ve lost at least one more pregnancy since you last asked, and now I’m awaiting surgery. Are you now going to regale me with ninety-seven quadrillion adorable-baby-related anecdotes? Let me stop you right there.’

Item – Oh, and there’s my job. I know it’s bad form to complain about one’s job in the current economic climate. One should adopt an attitude of uncritical adoring gratitude. But my job is currently driving me round. The. Twist. The students are demanding, stupid, lazy, selfish, noisy, and did I say stupid? Well, a lot of them are stupid. Money doesn’t talk, it swears, to quote the one-and-only Bob Dylan. Most of my colleagues are lovely, clever, sensible beings. A few of them are idle, vague, confused, lazy, thoughtless, difficult, spiteful, and whiny. I can’t get from one end of the day to the other without having to clear up, sort out, rearrange, delay, or reschedule at least an hour’s work because one of them has fucked up or arsed around or been utterly unbothered. And someone is possibly pregnant. I wouldn’t mind – she’s a nice person and why shouldn’t the nice people have babies? – but a certain gossipy cadre of staff (who, funnily enough, share a large chunk of Venn Diagram with the spiteful, whiny, lazy ones) have gone into Noisy Speculation Overdrive. I hope said Cadre get piles. Then at least they won’t be able to just sit there while they refuse to work and loudly snivel on and on about everyone and everything that is so very not their business.

Item – the two things I wanted out of life in my 30s – a baby, and to write a book. If I can’t have one, the other doubles, trebles, in importance. About this, I had such a fucking melt-down on Sunday I think my head exploded. Certainly it felt as if it had exploded. Vicious circle – I am so tired and depressed and unwell that after a full day’s (unsatisfactory) work, I have no energy to write. After a few days’ not writing, the depression and anxiety get worse, which, you know, helps, also, vicious circle perpetual motion motor right there.


Small squeaky self-pitying apology

I am in – what am I in? A bit of a state, perhaps. A crise de nerfs, or possibly a somewhat self-defeating desire to dehydrate myself completely crying and have a headache.

Or perhaps I have just moved my monthly mini-nervous-breakdown from right before ovulation to the second week of the two-week-wait (you know, where normal infertile women keep it).

I have so many long, articulate, blog-posts half-written, two-thirds-planned. I can’t quite make myself write any of them.

All I see is bleak, with no way out. I have been here before, and scrambled out many times. I’ll scramble out this time, sooner or later. Just, it makes me an exceedingly tedious blogger while it lasts. Sorry.


One for the amateur psychologists

I dreamt I was back in my childhood home (never a good start, this), and our cat, or, at least, a cat who was supposed to be our cat but looked very little like any cat I ever owned (dreams are so bloody weird like that) had just had kittens. Kittens! Dear little fluffy kittens!

Despite being newborn, they were at the cutest bouncy open-eyed mobile stage, rather than the little-furry-slug stage of true newborn-kittenhood. And they were all curled up together in a little heap in the middle of the stone-flagged draughty kitchen floor, looking highly picturesque, but, also, come to think of it, cold and uncomfortable. So I fetched a large towel and artfully folded and bunched it into a sort of nest, and carefully laid the kittens on it.

Even as I was picking them up, something went wrong. They started to shrink in my hands. From the size of, well, kittens, they were suddenly the size of mice. By the time I’d got them all onto the towel they were the size of my thumb. And then so small they could’ve curled up on a ten-pence. And then the size of flies.

And then the draught turned into a stiff breeze, that caught the towel and made it flap, and I made a grab for it, and the kittens were gone.

I am still haunted by that image of the tiny, barely visible, flea-size kittens, who were fine until I started meddling, blowing away.

[This dream comes to you courtesy of the Bleedin' Obvious Workshop, making quality dreams for anyone too busy to see a shrink just now, ensuring there's no way you can forget about your issues while you wait.]


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