Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hush puppy meltdown (Originally posted July 22nd, 2012)

This new super low carb diet is killing me...went out to eat at my favorite bbq place (which we always do when we go to run the errand we ran today) and instead of a bbq sandwich with sweet tea I got a bbq platter (no bread) with water. Only the platter came with a bunch of hush puppies on top! I loooooove those hush puppies but they are 100% carbs and that Dr. saying "Every time you have something bready you're lowering your chance of ever getting pregnant" kept ringing in my ears. I managed to resist eating any of them but having to give up my absolute favorite food in the world (and having it right in front of my face and having to throw it away) was too much...I had to leave as soon as I was done eating and started getting all weepy in the car on the way home. And then started flipping out and yelling at B about how he wouldn't take an alcoholic to a bar 2 days after they quit drinking so wtf is wrong with him suggesting we go to this place (Even though we just went there like we always do when we run this errand, as a matter of routine). And yes I know bbq sauce has some carbs.

I've been weepy on and off since Friday actually. I bet the hormones I have to take now to start up my period aren't helping with any of this either. Still no sign of that, but it's only been 3 days and the lady said I might not get my period until a few days until after I finish taking 10 days of these pills. Then I switch over to clomid day 3-7. And have sex days 12, 14 and 16. I really hope this doesn't end up coinciding with the trip I have to take next month, but with my shitty fertility luck, it will. I'll only be gone 4 days, and I can have sex in the morning before I leave and the afternoon I get back, so I'd only actually be missing 2 days. But if it takes 4 or 5 days to get my period after I finish these pills, I could be ovulating the second to last day of my trip which would be the worst- eggs are only good for 24 hours if unfertilized.
Another symptom of PCOS discovered today- disrupted sleep is reported by 85% of people who have had it. I'm a very light sleeper and when I get woken up it takes me like at least an hour to fall back asleep. Another mystery solved! Also, the major cause of PCOS is insulin resistance and I have many signs that indicate I have that (like discolorations on my skin). My brother has diabetes so that's really scary...I do NOT want to have to give myself shots every day. Hopefully extreme low carbing will help with that.

Another thing- the spots I have on my thigh which are a marker of insulin resistance didn't appear until I moved to the south. The only major dietary change I had when I moved here is I switched from getting an egg white and cheese sandwich on a whole wheat roll for breakfast (my breakfast almost every day in grad school) to Mcdonalds breakfast with an egg and cheese bagel + a medium iced coffee. Not only did i have a big non whole wheat bagel for breakfast almost every work day, but I also had a huge coffee chock full of high fructose corn syrup. I haven't had these for a few weeks since I've been working from home, and this morning I checked out those spots on my thighs and it seems they have gotten less dark than they were a couple of months ago. Mcdonalds is really the devil. I miss those iced coffees already though...maybe I can get some sort of latte from my local coffee place - with all the milk I don't mind the lack of sugar as much.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Oh hello 5 am (Originally posted July 21 2012)

Did you ever break up with someone, and then the next morning, wake up at like 5am thinking everything is ok at first, but then it hits you that you broke up with that person? And once that hits you, you are done with sleep for the day and just lie there being depressed for a few hours not able to fall back asleep?

Yeah this morning was like that, only instead of breaking up with someone, I might be infertile, and even if I'm not, will very likely have a hard time getting and staying pregnant.

Last night I talked to a friend with PCOS and 3 kids who told me all sorts of fun things that clomid could do. Like the way the first time she took it, when she ovulated it was so painful she ended up going to the ER. Lovely.

Also made the mistake of looking up information about PCOS, which I shouldn't, cause there just isn't anything I can do about it. But did you know people with PCOS have a 45% chance of miscarriage? Even better!

If in the end it comes down to things like surgery and having to inject myself with daily things and multiple miscarriages, I don't know if I could do that. If it comes down to that I might just not have kids, or adopt.

Also in reading I discovered that one of the symptoms is unusual discolorations around the groin/armpit area, which I totally have, so that's another weird thing explained (I have a few weird discolored spots on my thigh, and I was like "Wtf are these? am I getting skin cancer or liver spots or something?").

It would also explain why I have always had so much trouble losing weight and am always overweight even though I eat very healthily for the most part (like chicken and brown or wild rice for dinner/ egg whites and turkey sausage on whole wheat for breakfast is my standard fare- I don't live on chips and ice cream). I don't eat too much, and I'm fairly active (I don't jog every day or anything, but I walk my dogs once or twice a week, garden and pull weeds every day, gem mining once a month, etc,) but I'm still 213 pounds and 5 foot 7 which makes me "obese". Kinda makes me super pissed at my mom for all the times she harped on me about my weight, and all the borderline eating disorders and super low self esteem about my body that I had for years as a result- cause now the fact that I could never lose weight actually has an explanation, other than my mom's (and apparently my doctor's) explanation of me stuffing my face, which I just don't do.

I'm also pissed at my mom in general because we've partially reconciled but not enough that I feel comfortable talking to her about having PCOS, because then I would have to tell her we are trying to have kids, and I don't want to have to deal with any potential drama or even just her not being happy about me having kids. And I highly suspect she might not be as happy as I would want her to be, since that would tie me to B forever and will lead to more drama when things like "I'm not circumcising any sons I have" comes up. Which is just a shitty situation in general. I feel closer to my blog friends than to my mother, and this is making me feel momless again like I did when I didn't talk to her at all for 4 years.

This is probably just anger displacement though. I can't be angry at my body but I can still be angry at my mom!

Also, from a gender perspective, this whole thing is a giant mindfuck for me right now. I spent the past decade studying gender, and arguing with people who say there are biological gender differences by gender, saying they are minimal at best, and one of my arguments was "I don't [insert stereotypical female behavior], and ain't I a woman?" I also went through a period in college where I questioned whether I was transgendered to some degree, because throughout my life I've been called "Manly" told I "wear the pants in my relationships" etc. Even as a teenager, I always got along better with men than with women (I was frequently the only woman in a room full of dudes), and most of my best friends are men. Only to find that I probably have a disorder that leads to an unusually high amount of androgyns or "male hormones". That doesn't mean that the majority of gender roles aren't social rather than biological, but it's still..i don't know how to process that. I guess me as a woman having an unusually high amount of androgyns shows there is biological diversity in women too...I should go discuss this with my old feminist theory prof/mentor who I recall was working on a paper trying to prove hormones didn't matter, but couldn't, because they did. But yeah. I'm glad I switched over to more family/sex research instead of just research on gender (Which I started out doing), cause this whole thing makes me question a lot of things I thought were true about gender.

I don't think "half an hour of intense exercise" every day is going to happen, but half an hour of walking with my dog to the point it makes me sweat is very doable. So yesterday me and B walked around 45 minutes to the park, and this morning I walked to the park again with just Max and figured out that if I'm with Max (as opposed to Max + Barkley, who is slow as hell and likes to stop and smell every bush that we pass) I can do a park loop in half an hour that's really pretty pleasant. So I did that this morning too. And then I took Barkley out on a walk around the small loop in my neighborhood (we have a big one and a small one), which was another 15 minute walk, just cause when I got home with Max he looked so sad that he didn't get to go on a walk with us. Plus walking is fun.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


This weekend I went to visit my inlaws for thanksgiving, and my father in law mentioned that he knows I must be pretty busy because when I'm really busy at work I hardly ever update my blog. Well that's true, but there's another reason I haven't been updating much lately, and that is because the thing that has been preoccupying most of my thoughts (and a lot of my time) was not something I was sure I wanted to share here.  So instead I've been blogging about it at my other private blog.  But now I've decided I am ready to talk about that stuff here.  So what I've decided I'm going to do is take my other blog posts that I've been writing for the past few months in my other blog and re-post them here, and slowly release them over the next few weeks until we catch up with the present day.

The thing I haven't wanted to talk about is that B and I have been trying to get pregnant, and that in July I was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and had to make an enormous amount of lifestyle changes in order to improve my chances of getting pregnant.

For some brief history: When B and I first got married in 2009 I went off birth control right away with the intent of starting to try getting pregnant, so that we could try to aim to have the child while I was finishing up my dissertation.  I stopped using birth control in May and had a period then. Then I didn't have another one until July. Then I didn't have another one until October. At around October I took a pregnancy test and felt very relieved when it showed up negative, since it was getting to the point where I would be graduating in June, giving birth in July and starting a new job in August the next year.  After that we had to stop trying for a while, becasue I would be starting a new job and you don't get maternity leave your first year on a new job. I figured the irregular periods were due to withdrawel from birth control, and besides my periods had never been very regular as a teenager- I used to get them every 5-7 weeks, and I took many a pregnancy test in college (before I was on birth control) as a result. Then I went on birth control when I was around 20 and have been on it with the exception of a few months here or there ever since.  

So we stopped trying in October 2009, and I moved to my new job in July 2010. At my job I go up for review and reappointment in my third year (this year) and then I get a guaranteed paid research leave for one semester in my fourth year (next year).  That seemed like a perfect time to plan a pregnancy around- I will have a paid semester off where I can work from home and have no teaching or service responsibilities and then could theoretically go on "Maternity leave" the next semester which in my school means I would teach 1 class instead of 3 and not do service (we get 3 months paid leave vs. the 4 month semester). And I would use the research leave as actual maternity leave and the maternity leave to make up for that research time. And I can take the research leave either Fall 2013 or Spring 2014 so that gave/gives us a nice long window of time.

So in December of last year I went off birth control again to give my body a nice long time to get rid of all those hormones and figure itself out before we started trying over the summer. And I got a period in December, and then in February, and then in April, and then not again...and then it was July and I still hadn't gotten my period and I wasn't pregnant. And that's where these blog posts pick up.  So here are a couple from the day before and the day I found out I had PCOS. Stay tuned for more.

Originally posted July 19th 2012:

I also haven't gotten my period in 103 days, wtf! And I'm not pregnant! Clearly something is fucked. Anyway I made an appointment with the lady parts doctor for tomorrow, but I'm trying not to freak out too bad- my coworker had the same thing happen to her like 20 years ago and they gave her some pills to regulate her hormones and she got pregnant like 2 months later, so I'm not too worried. I wanted to wait until I got my period again to make an appointment (So I wouldn't be getting my period at the appointment) but this is fucking ridiculous, so I just went and made the appointment.

Originally posted July 20th 2012:

Welp, the doctor is pretty sure I have Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) which is what I thought I might have. She also is testing a bunch of other things like my thyroid which I'll get the result of next week. In the meanwhile she gave me some pills to start up my period again, and Clomid for once it starts to keep it running. Kinda scared about the clomid part cause it can double your chance of getting twins but I guess I'd rather have twins than no babies! Then if I don't get pregnant after 2 months on clomid I'm going to go back for another appointment. At that point B would probably have to get tested too.

Also gave me a long lecture on being fat that made me feel like a loser. :( She was basically like "the pills arn't guaranteed to work and the best way to increase your chance of getting pregnant is losing weight" and then told me I have to exercise for half an hour of intense exercise every day, and can't eat any carbohydrates anymore and made all these snarky comments about putting the bread down. What am I going to eat? I'm already lactose intolerant and have high cholesterol, I seriously can't win. :( I'm guessing lots of chicken and salads.

All in all a bummer of a day. At least I have some pills to try to help now, but I was afraid I had PCOS and hearing that it probably is what I have really really sucked.