July 31, 2008

UPDATE

For weeks, people have been asking what happens next fertility-wise. Well, I'm still technically pregnant from the last baby. My levels plummeted and then plateaued; the nurse said she's never seen anyone's levels stay the same from one week to the next. And we all know there's no way I could be pregnant again, so I have no idea what's happening or how to make it stop. I can't make any appointments with the fertility clinic until the levels get back to zero. So I'm stuck in teeny-tiny-bit-pregnant limbo for now.

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July 28, 2008

A BAD DAY

It seemed like such a nothing choice, putting that Ray of Light CD in the player. I haven't listened to it in nearly ten years.

It wasn't a nothing choice. I am unable to do anything now but sit immobilized with my thoughts.

This CD takes me back to France. And not in a good way. That year of my life, I wish I could erase it. It is such a deep wound. I spent eight years loving France and waiting to get there, and then I hated it once I was there. After a horrible month of bad experiences with my host family, worse experiences with teachers, and being chased by a pervert until I had to climb under a car to hide from him, I turned numb to France, pretending I wasn't there. I got into a hurtful and bad romantic relationship with another exchange student instead. The year culminated with my near-death. And anything that reminds me of that year makes me sick.

*****

That's how I started a post yesterday. I never finished it because, coincidentally, a friend from that year in France called me while I was writing it.

The post sat as it was; the bad feelings lingered to today.

I remember thinking it was cute that The Girl wrote a post just to remind herself of a day when she was feeling fine. This is my post to document a day when I'm not doing well.

Yeah, it's 0100 and I'm still awake.

It was that France stuff hanging over me today. Thinking about how crappy the year was, what bad choices I made with my life, and how awful I feel in the pit of my stomach whenever I think about it.

But mostly today it was the eyes. I feel like they're getting worse instead of better. I'm back to hating my body. I'm back to feeling the unfairness of having a body that won't accept a baby and eyes that won't accept Lasik. I am discouraged.

And I'm reading a book for a SpouseBUZZ review. I read the entire second half of the book tonight, two hours of feverish reading. It took me right back to the last deployment. It included names that I'll never forget: Kenny, Iwan, Khan, Falkenburg, Sims. (And just now, in looking up how to spell "Falkenburg," I couldn't avoid three names that brought the tears: Prewitt, Rosales, and Becker.)

So here I am, at 0100, not having such a good day.

And I just thought I ought to document it.

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July 27, 2008

HEH

Oh, and I think it's cute that all of you are saying, "But you didn't call meeee." I said non-internet friends, sillies. Also, AWTM, you are PCSing like tomorrow, and, Guard Wife, you are taking the freaking bar exam this week, so I'm not gonna call either of you and waste your time with stories of how my eyes are too blurry to watch an episode of The Dead Zone.

But I did watch Friday's episode of The Soup, and I was laughing so hard I was pounding the coffee table with my fist. I wonder if there's laughing gas in the eye drops I'm taking...

Oh yeah, and my face is still sticky. My hair keeps sticking to my cheeks and forehead, which is not pleasant. I even considered putting Goo Gone on it, but the bottle said to avoid prolonged exposure with your skin.

Vision-wise, I see about the same as I did yesterday.

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GUESS I FIGURED OUT WHAT TO DO TODAY

You know what you can do with only 20/30 vision? Housework. Bleh.
Scrubbing, sweeping, mopping...so far I've found that none of those take perfect vision.
Just my luck.

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July 26, 2008

RECOVERING

I have to wear metal eye protectors to sleep in. I told my husband they make me look like Spiderman. Just in case he didn't truly believe me...

spidermaneyes.jpg

Incidentally, I took eight of these pictures of myself lying in bed, hoping that one of them would be decent. So today when I was picking out which one to put on the blog, I felt like I was back in the eye doctor's office: Which is better, #1 or #2?

Also, notice that they have to be taped to my face. I cannot for the life of me get the sticky residue off; I've tried soap, exfoliator, and even rubbing alcohol. I am certain that by the end of the week, I will have two tape lines of pimples in an X on my face. Lovely.

So, yesterday was not so great. My friend and I decided that we did this all backwards: we hung out this week and culminated with the surgery, but we should've started with the surgery and then hung out, since I can't do anything but sit. Because my vision is blurry, I can't watch TV and I really ought to limit my computer time (so hard for me). Did I mention that I can't watch TV? Yesterday I sat alone listening to a book on tape. Lame.

Today my vision seems a little better, which is reassuring. But just in the hour I've been on the computer, I swear it's gotten worse, so I'm going to get offline now. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself all day. One thing I can do is gab on the phone, so I think I might catch up with old friends. Like non-internet friends. Yeah, I still have a couple of 'em.

UPDATE:

I just called six people and none of them answered. Lame.

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July 25, 2008

UNDERWHELMED

I woke up this morning a tad underwhelmed. I didn't feel safe driving myself to my appointment, so my friend took me. The doctor said he likes his patients to be at least 20/25 by the next day, and I'm 20/30. Now, that's WAY better than what I can see without my glasses, but I still feel like I'm in a little bit of a fog. Some of that could go away in time, and I freaking hope so because I certainly won't be happy that I spent thousands of dollars to still need glasses. I go back in a week to see if there's progress. But the pessimist in me thinks that this might just be one more nail in my loss-of-faith coffin.

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July 24, 2008

EYEBALL UPDATE

So, the lasik, eh?

I went in and waited and waited; naturally they were behind schedule. There were two other ladies in the waiting room who had done the surgery a few years ago and who were in for a touch-up. They said that, even with having to have a touch-up, they would do it again in a heartbeat. They also said that there's no pain whatsoever.

Hmmm, I am not sure I agree with that.

I went in and they numbed my eye and drew marks on it with a marker. That's because of astigmatism; apparently when you sit up straight, your eyeball is in a different shape than when you lie down, so they have to mark you sitting up before they recline you. Then they took me in and cut the flaps in my cornea. Painful isn't really the right word, but it was uncomfortable as all get out. They put this suction cup thing on your eye and create a vacuum seal and then start cutting. It was blindingly awful. It was so hard to keep my eyes open, and the even had me in this Clockwork Orange contraption so I couldn't shut my eyes. Still, I would've given anything to close them. It was like my brain shut off and the only thought I had was get-it-off get-it-off get-it-off. They did my left eye first, prounounced it a success, and did the right eye. But no pronouncement after that one.

Then they walk me across the hall and put me under another machine. I hear lots of commotion from the doctor and nurses and get the vibe that something is wrong. Panic attack. I am trying not to freak out or cry for what feels like an eternity before some nurse pats me on the arm and assures me that there's nothing wrong with my eyes, just the machine. Turns out the machine was having trouble uploading my info, so someone had to go back downstairs and save my flie to a thumb drive and come back with it. But I seriously thought something had gone horribly wrong. It was entirely unnerving, lying there for interminable minutes thinking that I had just lost my right eye.

Then, by the time they came back with the thumb drive, I had been lying there with my eyes closed for several minutes. So when they turned on the machine and the light flooded my eye, I thought I was going to pass out it was so bright. Nothing like being in complete darkness for five minutes and then having a flashlight shined in your eye from six inches away.

The wild thing about this next part is that it's done on camera and broadcast into the waiting room, so my friend and her son watched them pull back the flap in my cornea, pulse the laser into it, and then replace the flap. She took pictures with her cell phone, heh. And then we were done.

I shut my eyes, got guided out of the office, into the car, into my house, and into bed. My friend then had to figure out how to tape the protective eyewear to my head before I went to sleep. I woke up three hours later and took the goggles off.

I can see...decently. I guess I was expecting this life-altering transformation already, but as of right now I see better than I did naturally but not nearly as good as I did with my glasses. They say the process can take up to 48 hours to really work, so I'm hoping I have better vision in the morning.

Oh, and I would never say the process was easy or painless, but whatever discomfort I experienced -- I spent a lot of the time with my toes curled and my fists clenched, wishing I could be anywhere but with a blinding light in my eyeball -- it will be worth one hour of discomfort if I can see. My eyes are still extremely itchy this evening, maddeningly so. I would give anything to rub them, but that's the biggest no-no. I hope the worst of that goes away by tomorrow.

Wish me luck that I wake up in the morning with better vision.

UPDATE:

As posted above...

If you're really squeamish, this might freak you out. But there's a youtube of a Lasik surgery, and it's exactly what they did to me. I must say, sitting in the waiting room watching these creeped me out at first, but after I'd watched three people go ahead of me, it wasn't that hard to watch. But still...not for those who get grossed out by eyeballs.

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July 22, 2008

A SLEEPOVER

Charlie and I will be gone for a few days; we're going on a sleepover to my friend's house. Her husband is out of town this week, so we're going to knit and bake. And then she'll nurse my eyes back to sight. So I may not be around for a few days, but hopefully when I return I'll be 20/20.

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July 20, 2008

A PECK OF PEPPERS

I've never grown anything edible before, so I am fascinated by my new little garden. I go out and look at it constantly, mostly to marvel but also to be on the lookout for hornworms!

So I was tickled pink to come home from DC and find that my little buds and marble-sized peppers had turned into this:

peppersgreen.jpg

Four on one little plant! How is it standing under all that weight? And the little pepper that I took a photo of a month ago?

pepperred.jpg

He's red! He's still only the size of a golfball though. But this farmer thing is addictive.

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July 19, 2008

MY ALTERNATE REALITY

The Girl and I have a running motivational speech, wherein we admonish each other not to live in an alternate reality. Hers is that if her husband hadn't deployed and gotten stop-moved, she would be back in the US now instead of still languishing in Germany. Mine is that I would already have a baby instead of still being in not-able-to-be-pregnant hell. We have to constantly remind each other that, even though we don't like it, we have to live in the reality that is.

But this is hard for me today, because my husband just found out his next deployment schedule. He still has six months left on this one, and he already knows tentative dates for the next one. And I can't help but be overwhelmingly disappointed that this baby we were pregnant with a month ago would've worked out so perfectly. Baby would've been born right after the husband got back, and he would've been here for the birth and then maximized his time at home before he left again. Now that we already know when he's leaving again, it's like another sock in the gut that I wish this baby had worked out.

I am still planning on getting fertility testing done, and perhaps heading into Mordor this fall. But if things go perfectly well, and I get pregnant on my own in a doctor's office right away, the baby will be born right as my husband is deploying again. That is not a reality I care to live in. In fact, that was the exact reason that we started trying to have a baby when we did, so we could avoid such a crappy situation. But there it is. Perfect Baby is no longer with us, and now we get Undesirably Timed Baby. That is, if Baby even works out for us at all.

I promise you, The Girl, that I am trying really hard not to dwell on that alternate reality, where my husband actually gets to enjoy the birth and early life of his child. And I swear, I was doing really well and was practically over the fact that I am not pregnant anymore. I was moving on, but this is something that makes me wistful for the alternate reality I almost had.

However, I take some vicarious comfort in this: no matter how we slice it, you will be back living in the US before any sort of baby enters our home! And that is something to definitely look forward to.

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OH HEAVENS

Dear AirForceGuy,

You know how you were ashamed that my Tibetan terrier kicked your pit bull's butt? I have a piece of news you'll be interested in. Remember how Charlie kept scratching his ears the whole week? We went to the vet yesterday: he has a yeast infection in his ears.

Trust me, our dogs are equally emasculated.

charlierug.jpg

Poor Charlie, that's just not cool at all.

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SLEEP

One of the bad things about having a deployed husband and no job is that I don't have to do anything. Time is just one big fluid thing, and the distinction between separate days becomes arbitrary.

I have always been an insomniac, but having a husband with a set schedule helps keep me on a system. Now that he's gone, there's no reason to go get in bed. I end up promising myself 'just one more episode' or 'just one more chapter.' My bedtime creeps ever so later: 1AM, 2AM. Same with when I get out of bed; if there's no job to go to, and I stayed up until 2AM, why not sleep until 9:00? It's a bad cycle.

But last night, I found myself exhausted. I felt like I was drugged, I was so tired. Maybe it was the midnight drive home from DC catching up to me, I don't know. But I shut the lights out last night at 8:45, before it was even dark outside. And I woke up this morning at 7:45. That's a heck of a slumber.

Oh, and trust me, I am enjoying it while it lasts. There's my silver lining to not having kids yet; I can sleep for 11 hours if I need to.

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July 14, 2008

LOVELY VACATION

My time at Heather's house was so nice; we just sat and crocheted together for three days. I joked to her husband that we were going to get bedsores! It was so relaxing and nice to just talk. And her husband used to be Civil Affairs, so we compared notes.

I'm here at AirForceHouse now. There was an "incident" tonight: Charlie was wrestling with their dog and their dog's foot got caught and it ripped his toenail completely out by the root. Ouch! AirForceGuy is mortified that our Tibetan terrier managed to take down his pit bull. Heh.

More later.

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July 11, 2008

NO PRIZES FOR ME

I don't feel so great today. Unsettled, disappointed, depressed. Getting lasik surgery was supposed to be my consolation prize for losing the baby; now it looks like I don't get First Place or the consolation prize. No prizes for me. No silver lining, no green grass, no happy ending. They told me to come back in a week and they'll re-run the eye tests to be certain.

Thank goodness I already had something good planned for this week.

I leave tomorrow to go visit friends. My first stop is Heather, the recipient of all those squares I've been crocheting. We will have a nice couple of days of pure crafting, and I can have some precious company while I get some more work done on my afghans. My next stop is AirForceFamily. AirForceGuy has even arranged a Top Secret excursion, something that even required some sort of security clearance. I am so curious to see what it is. (And so is my husband, apparently!)

You know, I was supposed to take this trip in May, but a dead baby threw a monkey wrench in it. I am really glad that I happened to reschedule for right now, because I could use the distraction and the joy in my life.

Today will go down as a really bad day in my life: the day I felt extra salt in my wounds. But if this is the worst day I ever have to face, then I will have lived a very good life.

It just sucks today.
But my vacation will help boost my spirits.

And I'm taking the laptop, so I hope to stick around the 'sphere...


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TOO MUCH REJECTION

I can't carry a baby.
And my corneas are too thin for lasik.
I hate my body.

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July 09, 2008

NO MORE TOMATOES

My mother and I planted a vegetable garden while she was here, and I had four thriving, big tomato plants on the back fence. I go out there tonight and find this.

tomatoes.jpg

Every second plant was stripped completely bare. No leaves. Huh? I move in for a closer look.

caterpillar.jpg

Two of the fattest, grossest caterpillars took up residence in my garden. Both totally engorged with an entire tomato plant. They were about four inches long and as thick around as a Tootsie Roll.

Blech.

Naturally, I pried them off with a spatula and dumped them over the fence into the neighbor's yard. They don't have anything planted in their yard anyway.

I'm bad.

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July 08, 2008

LOSS OF FAITH

So I just wrote this morning about how safe and easy this deployment is. Now I'm going to write something mildly contradictory.

CaliValleyGirl just pointed me in the direction of the I Should Be Folding Laundry blog. This blogger, Beth, sounds like the kind of woman I'd like to be. Everyone speaks glowingly of her. She lost her pregnancy (twins) back in February, and this is what haunts her now:

So, on February 25th, 2008, when the nurse could not find their heart beats, I was fearful and faithful, I had faith as I took the elevator down to ultrasound, faith that these babies would soon be kicking me in my ribs. I had faith.

But then I watched the words "no cardiac movement" being typed slowly with one hand onto the screen. A piece of me died at the moment. And sometimes? I think that piece of me was my faith.

Because now I tread through life cautiously, I fear cars running into our's and injuring my children, I don't get my hopes up for our new house because I'm certain the deal will fall through, even with the closing being less than a week away. I fear another pregnancy, I fear I'll never see Brian again when he leaves for a business trip, I fear for Be Design, I have lost faith in myself and people and my surroundings.

I fear the rug being pulled out from beneath me in every situation.

I understand this "loss of faith" completely. I was carefree going into this second pregnancy, but when it too ended, a part of me worries that this will always be my fate. I actually plan to lose the next baby, figuring out who I'll call and what I'll do. I imagine giving all my baby stuff away in the future because I've never used it and the tags are still on.

And the worst of this is the nagging feeling that the loss of this pregnancy means the loss of bigger things. I've imagined my parents dying before they get to become grandparents. I've imagined losing a brother. I imagine someone breaking into the house and killing Charlie. Or me. And I often have the ridiculously morbid thought that "at least I won't be pregnant when the Army comes to the door and tell me my husband is dead." Because the only reason I can see for denying me the joy of a baby is to spare me the agony of raising the baby alone.

So I worry about my husband, not because there's anything to worry about but because I too fear the rug being pulled out from under me.

And then last night in my book, A Short History of Nearly Everything, I read about the likelihood of an asteroid hitting earth and killing us all. So there's that rug to worry about too.

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July 03, 2008

WORRY AND CRUSH

When my mom was here, I was on and on about something. I can't even remember what. She looked at me incredulously and said, "And I thought I worried about stuff."

Today has been a day of worrying.

I got an email from a friend; her sister just lost a pregnancy and had to have a D&C. They couldn't stop the bleeding afterwards, and she nearly died. Four hours of surgery and many transfusions later, she is OK.

A D&C did that. I just had one of those.

I know there are risks in everything. Hell, I am planning on having someone shine laser beams into my eyeballs soon. But this got to me, this scared me. This thing I've been trying to do for a year and a half, this having a baby, it can kill you.

So I've been a little freaked out today. And I started thinking about Sis B and her Scheduled Worry Time. So I popped on over to her site to check on things, since she'd been having some early contractions.

Baby Crush was born. Early. And little.

Wait...a 4 lb baby? A little preemie? Who needs a hat? Hot dog, I'm on it.

I'm glad Sis B and Crush are OK. One less thing to worry about today.

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July 01, 2008

REWORKING MY MIND

I've been feeling pretty mopey they last few days. No real reason, just bummed. I had this exchange with my husband yesterday:

Sarah: I'm feeling kinda down. I've been listening to The Cure a lot lately.
Husband: Oh God! Don't do that!

His exclamation was too funny; he knew right away what listening to too much Robert Smith can do to your head.

I also had a dream last night where I was trying to find a date for prom. Every boy I ever had the hots for in my life made an appearance in the dream, and every single one of them rejected me for a date. I think that says a lot about what's going on somewhere in my subconscious too.

My bio of George Washington wasn't doing much for me either way, so I left him right as the Revolution was starting and switched books. I was given a book called Stolen Angels at the miscarriage support meeting, so I thought I'd give that a try. And while I was heartened to find that many of the stories had elements that were similar to mine, I found myself coming away from the book armed with knowledge I didn't want to have. I found myself daydreaming stuff like, "When the next baby dies, I will do X differently." Not exactly positive thinking. So I set that book aside for a while too.

I picked up A Short History of Nearly Everything, and a wave of peace rushed over me. I had forgotten how calming it is to read about the universe. How much it puts my hill of beans in perspective. How much comfort Sagan's cosmic calendar brings to me.

I read this paragraph with wonderment:

Not only have you been lucky enough to be attached since time immemorial to a favored evolutionary line, but you you have also been extremely - make that miraculously - fortunate in your personal ancestry. Consider the fact that for 3.8 billion years, a period of time older than the Earth's mountains and rivers and oceans, every one of your forebears on both sides has been attractive enough to find a mate, healthy enough to reproduce, and sufficiently blessed by fate and circumstances to live long enough to do so. Not one of your pertinent ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stranded, stuck fast, untimely wounded, or otherwise deflected from its life's quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material to the right partner at the right moment in order to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result - eventually, astoundingly, and all too briefly - in you.

I want to participate in "life's quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material" too. But today I'm centered enough to realize that it's miracle enough that I'm even here, and that my desires are tiny on the scale of the cosmos.

And no more The Cure for a while.

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