Follow me on the crazy, hopeful, discouraging, funny, and ultimately successful (one way or another) path to parenthood while facing infertility.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My Sick Sense of Humor Strikes Again

As an infertile woman, doctor's appointments suck. I have decided that from now on I am going to put the date range 2010-2014 and just list the number of egg retrievals, hysteroscopies, laparoscopies, and one very exciting pericentesis (thank you, Ovarian HyperStimulation Syndrome!) under "Surgeries," because it's just easier than listing them singly for each one, and far less depressing to lump them together than to give them the individual attention separate boxes would imply. I hate getting X-rays (as a clumsy woman, this happens more frequent than I'd like) and having to always answer the technician's question "Could you be pregnant?" with "NOT A CHANCE IN THE WORLD." I really, really love it when they ask me, "Are you SURE?"

But today, today I had the experience of an echocardiogram and a holter monitor adhered to my ladies, because I've been having stupid heart palpitations again. I had them a long, long time ago in my early twenties, and then they settled down, and then this past November had them ramping up quite a bit. I went to the regular doctor, had a bunch of bloodwork done, had all the symptoms of a thyroid issue, but bloodwork didn't support it. (In a weird way I was sort of hoping that was it and that that could be a sneaky reason why our last cycles didn't work at all, and why I am on the flubbier side, but nope. All the thyroid testing at the clinics we went to wasn't wrong, it definitely wasn't my thyroid. I get to blame my flubbiness on PCOS and love of good food only, sigh. Please note in no way am I wishing for a thyroid disorder here or diminishing those who have one.) Bloodwork did say I was borderline low for B12 and low for Vitamin D, so I started taking B12 lozenges that dissolve in your mouth, hopefully making absorption easier for this celiac dame, and became more diligent about the 2000 daily IUs of Vitamin D (not lozenge, maybe that's why it was still low?).

And for a while, the fluttering seemed to calm itself down. But about two weeks ago, I once again had the bird in my chest, or the more disconcerting feeling of a sudden vacuum, like someone is doing chest compressions that you definitely don't need and stealing beats from you.

It's probably nothing more than anxiety and possibly caffeine. I will cry if I need to quit the coffee altogether. It's just so necessary when you have to be on at 7:40 am and sometimes have parent meetings at 7:15 (which is cruel, by the way). What do I have to be anxious about? Oh, just school starting back up and the adoption process and saying goodbye to our embryos and stuff, no biggie. But, heart disease runs in my family and with an uncle who had a heart attack in his 40s and me recently entering my 40s, it's probably not a bad idea to make sure it's nothing more nefarious.

Here's where my sick sense of humor kicks in...

An echocardiogram is basically an ultrasound of your heart. It is incredibly cool, because you get to see your valves working away, which look like little trapdoors opening and closing, or a little weird muppet guy jumping up and down on a tube. At least that's kind of what it looked like to me. There's pretty red and blue colors, there's the sound of your heart beating from different angles, the swishing of blood, and just a really great view from so many sides of your hardest working muscle.

So I'm lying there on the table, watching my heart and its valves doing its thing, and hearing the weird sound of the beat from time to time, and I can't help myself.

"You know, after 5 1/2 years of infertility treatments, it's kind of funny that this is the first time I've seen a heartbeat on an ultrasound. It just happens to be mine."

Luckily I'd already mentioned the adoption process, so it wasn't totally out of left field, but WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Why couldn't I just think that thought and leave it in my mind, instead of subjecting my dark humor on others? It was just an irony I couldn't leave alone.

It wasn't quite the same, as the transducer is going all over your chest, neck, and upper stomach and not lower where you would suss out a baby, but it a was a funny feeling nonetheless.

Well, funny to me, anyway.

(I also said my greatest fear is to have that hole in the heart thing that Barb.ara Her.shey had in Bea.ches, and the ultrasound technician said if anything was seriously wrong I'd know right then because she'd call the cardiologist in, so I said, "Whew! Plus, I mean, she really looked like shit when she collapsed and was diagnosed, so I guess I'm okay there." Thank goodness she laughed, because I am not a model or anything but I do have color in my face and lips.)

I have the joy of not showering for the next 48 hours as I have a holter monitor to hopefully catch the fluttering so they can see what it is, and I have to wear bigger t-shirts because while the monitor is way smaller than it used to be (like the original iPod with wires on your skin!), it still leaves weird lumpiness under my chest from the wires and it has to be a highnecked shirt kind of situation since there's an electrode fairly high near my collarbone. This is where I am thankful for huge boobs. I can hide quite a bit of this equipment in the space between, which is nice. It just goes a bit lower than the valley of the girls will conceal.

Well, that's my story of the day. I didn't appear to horrify the ultrasound tech too much, and I managed to keep my mouth shut while being hooked up with electrodes around my bra (huzzah for being able to wear a bra with this thing!). I guess if I horrify only one person today it will be a good day.

20 comments:

  1. Some of those moments really are laugh-or-cry, aren't they? Having a similar sense of humor (I horrified a couple of people once by explaining that I dressed up my daughter as Harry Potter for Halloween because "she almost died, so she's the 'girl who lived'!), sometimes it's just a great way to cope.

    Hope the holter monitor isn't too bad for the 48 hours and that the medical powers-that-be can get to the bottom of the palpitations.

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    1. Oh, wow -- I love the Harry Potter costume! I relayed that story to Bryce and he thought it was awesome, too. It is truly a great way to cope. So far the worst part is not being able to truly shower and having it be pretty warm out there. Otherwise, not so bad!

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  2. After all those moments where the technicians ask you about whether you're SURE you're not pregnant (never mind an infertile usually knows), I think it was fair trade. And I frankly had a good laugh.

    Agreeing with Katherine. May the next 48 hrs go smoothly and you get some answers.

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    1. Heh heh heh! True, good payback but I did feel kind of bad because the tech was so nice and didn't ask me any of those crazy questions. GLad to provide a laugh! I'm hoping for answers, too.

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  3. "The valley of the girls." Hahahahahahahaha! Laughing IS better than crying, sometimes. We get a dark sense of humor from Dad, too, don't forget. It is a nice coping mechanism when it doesn't alienate people and/or scare them.

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    1. Heh heh heh. I'd argue it's a nice coping mechanism in part BECAUSE it horrifies people. :)

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  4. Humor required. Well dine. Here's to gettong an answer to the palpitations.

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    1. Thank you! Couldn't help myself. :) Followup on the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, can't imagine I'll be stressed then.

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  5. I hope your mind is put to rest re the palpitations - don't you be thinking of Beaches. And yeah the dark humour is absolutely the best kind! (Different Shores - site won't let me comment through Wordpress)

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    1. I am a Worst Case Scenario mind, always. The commenting thing is weird... I did have two come through for approval, so maybe it's just the blogger moderator? And hooray for dark humor. If you don't appreciate it, you probably won't get me. :)

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  6. I hope all is well.
    And a sense of humour is needed to cope with infertility I think. I make a lot of jokes about ultrasounds now

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    1. Isn't it both awful and helpful to find things funny that make others cringe? I feel like saying, "yeah, this makes you uncomfortable, but it's my REALITY." Ha! I hope all is reasonably well with you, too.

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  7. We might be soul mates. I say totally inappropriate things like these all the time. It isn't that I am trying to make other people uncomfortable.. I just think I'm funny!

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    1. Ha! I am always looking for kindred spirits! I feel like the older I get, the tinier my filter. I feel like also I feel less compulsion to make others feel comfortable by not talking about my situation(s). It's sort of helpful to share realities that aren't so cozy to the people who lucked out and don't have to live it. But not as a punishment or anything, just because I find my personal tragedies hilarious at times! :)

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  8. A sense of humor is how we avoid a nervous breakdown. I applaud you.

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    1. Thanks for the applause! I'm not sure how successful I've been in avoiding nervous breakdown throughout the years, but it does help for sure. If you can't laugh, the only other option is to cry or go numb, right? (I rely on those too, but laughing is more fun)

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  9. Using humor is a good way to cope. Glad you still have it. Good luck on your first day of school!

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    1. Thank you! Aaaaa, right around the corner...along with lots more opportunities to use gallows humor. Already a zillion people in the halls have asked eagerly for news I can't provide. Sigh.

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  10. Sorry you are under stress and it's giving you physical symptoms. I hope you can carve out some mindful and restful time in the next few weeks. End of summer is a weird time of year. Heart ultrasounds are cool (at least if there is nothing seriously wrong). I had in years ago at age 20 to find the cause of a heart murmur. I had similar thoughts to yours, but not the one about seeing a baby's heartbeat since this was long before I was trying to get pregnant. I can totally see why you'd have that thought now, and I appreciate your sense of humour though I feel sad for you too.

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    1. I'm thinking it's got to be physical symptoms of stress, because if I was in trouble they'd surely have called me by now (followup in a week with my GP). THe heart ultrasound WAS cool! I love the opportunity to see my innards, creepy as that is. It's a fine line between humor and sadness, with the humor covering up that feeling of "well, that's never going to happen for me." It's all good, you have to cope somehow, right? Thanks for your thoughts and I hope your end of summer is smooth, too. It is weird...I saw a meme once that said "August is just one long Sunday night." SO TRUE!

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