Thursday, July 31, 2008

The American health system sucks ass

Thank you all for your support yesterday! I'm really happy that the blog seems to have got off to a flying start. Now I just have to keep up my end, eh.

I got a check in the mail yesterday, which was a partial refund for money that I paid for my HSG in January. I frankly don't understand anything to do with that HSG anymore. If I ever did. See, I knew my insurance wouldn't cover it, and I thought that the first time I had an HSG (back in the dark ages - you know, when I was still optimistic) that I had paid full whack for it. So I asked to just pay the full amount this time. Which I thought I did. But it seems that the hospital went and charged my old insurance for it, seeing as they had my insurance on file from my laparoscopy. Now, if they'd told me they'd try to seek insurance reimbursement anyway, I'd have happily given them my current card and told them to have at it. But they didn't, and I didn't. Needless to say, the old insurance company turned it down. Not surprising, really, seeing as my company switched insurance about a year prior to me having this procedure done. Then I get a letter in the mail asking for $1400+ to pay the balance of the HSG. Which as I'd already forked over about $750 kind of pissed me off, so I ignored it.

Then I received a notice that my application for charity help with my hospital bill had been denied. Nice of them to tell me, really, seeing as I never even applied for charity help. The words "insurance scam" were starting to ring in my head at this point, and I seriously considered filing a complaint against the hospital for being jackasses. The next thing to happen was a bill for $734, so I thought I may as well just pay them some money to shut them up, as I was sick and tired of dealing with the never-ending HSG at this point, so I paid them $234. I did fully intend to pay the remaining $500, but figured I'd spread it out over a few paychecks. A couple of weeks later, just as I was getting ready to send a check for $250, I get a phone call from them, threatening to send me to collections and demanding payment. Fine, says I, have the money. The girl on the phone volunteered that I could post-date the payment up to 30 days if I needed to, as long as I gave her the bank details so they could take it as an electronic check. Well, I'm not going to pass up an opportunity to hang on to my cash for as long as possible so I said to post-date it to the next date I was going to get paid. Two weeks went by, they took the $500. I thought it was finally the end of the matter.

But, oh no, it is not called the never-ending HSG for nothing. I then got a bill for $75 from some doctor I've never even heard of, for apparently looking at the x-ray films. Which I thought the RE had done while I was in the room. But hey! Someone wants more money from me! What a surprising situation. By now I'm heartily sick of all this, seeing as this HSG was for my FET. Which was two failed IVFs ago. So it's not something I necessarily enjoy being reminded of. So I paid up. I thought this, THIS finally has to be the end of it.

Nope. Got a check in the mail for $250 for overpayment. I mean, I'm happy to have a check in my hand, but am at a loss as to why they felt the need to hound me for money, only to turn around and give some of it back. It just seems a crazy business to have all these people chasing this money and then having more people paying it back again. What an inexplicably inefficient system.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Please raise your glasses...

I'd like to announce a little venture I've been working on, so I hope you'll join me in this party to celebrate the launch of my new blog.

It's not going to be a replacement blog, so don't worry about missing any of my daily prattle here. But this is my private blog for spewing out my innermost thoughts, that I don't necessarily want the world to find by googling for something unconnected to infertility. The new blog is a product review site which I started because, well for one, I'm always googling for product reviews for things I'm thinking of buying, and secondly because with the income taking a dive shortly as I go off to school I want a site that will generate some good traffic. Ahem.


I'd like to introduce The Green Frugalista

*Do you want to go green but are scared off by the high price of organic items?
*Would you like to buy more eco-friendly products but don't think you have the time to drive to five different specialty stores to find everything?
*Are you hoping to be more of a tree hugger but don't have the time or the energy to make everything yourself?

Don't worry, the green frugalista is doing the hard work for you, driving around (in my Prius of course) checking out products that you can actually afford and find in your local stores.

Check back regularly for product reviews, shopping commentaries and more.

Woo-hooo! I hope everyone mingles nicely and enjoys the champagne and nibbles. Don't spill anything, please. But please do take a look around and let me know what you think. I've got a few reviews up, and will be adding them on a daily basis (at least for now while I'm building the site up). If you have any products that you think are worth reviewing, or want to do a guest review you can either comment over there, or comment in this post. I'm trying to make it all about green products that the average gal can buy easily, so there won't be any $90 moisturizer reviews. The products may still not be totally frugal because I'm not that interested in making stuff myself, but hopefully they will be things that an average busy working person can use and enjoy.

And if you think it sucks ass, well, you can say that too!

P.S. I hope you love the header too. It is by Calliope so if you like it, check out her "header art" page and order one yourself. You'll see that my new yoga girl has made it over here too.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Infertility is like losing weight

Stephanie emailed me another great analogy yesterday that I'd like to share with you (with her permission). And then I might stop bashing Saturday's commenter. Or I might not.

Stephanie said:

It's always hard to know what the right thing is to do. Sometimes I think of it like trying on clothes while losing weight. You know, like shopping in your own closet?

I have this pair of jeans that just don't fit. I've lost nearly 30 lbs and they still just don't fit. They're better but, still just not right. I have a pair of shorts that I've been hanging onto, however. I tried them at 10lbs and no luck. 20 was better but, not quite. 27 was that magic number and, out of the blue, I decided to try them on and they zipped and buttoned and looked perfect.

I guess that different IF options are like those clothes- you just have to keep trying them on until you either give them away or they fit just right. I guess you just never know exactly when that will happen. And, no matter how much thought or work you put into it, when it fits just right, it always seems a bit like a surprise.

YES!!! I mean, not only YESSSSS for Steph losing nearly 30 lbs, but I think it's so apt. It's like accepting that I need to move on from my own eggs is those size 8 pairs of pants that clutter up my closet (donor eggs being the jeans, adoption being the shorts, and donor embryo being the work pants). I want to get into them. I know I should be able to get into them. But I can't magically put them on without being ready for it - without having done the work and lost the weight. And I don't know which pair of pants will fit me best once I finally DO lose the weight, but I know that one or all of them eventually will. However, even if they do all fit, I may decide that they are not ME any more, and may give them all away to go out and buy new things.

Saturday's commenter is essentially saying to me "Sarah, you are FUCKING FAT. You should be wearing size 8 pants. In fact, you should have been wearing size 8 pants 2 years ago. You should NEVER have gained this weight, and I don't know WHY you aren't wearing size 8 pants, because I AM. You are FUCKING LAME. You should have known that there was never any hope of not gaining weight by repeatedly stuffing pizza in your piehole, you FAT FUCK. "

Instead, Saturday's commenter could have been more helpful and said something like "Sarah, I know you're not happy at that weight. I don't know if it'd help you or not, but I did Weight Watchers, and it was awesome for me. I feel so much better and am just so content with life now. I really want that for you too, because I just know you'd be happier. If you lost the weight, you'd fit back in those size 8's that you've hung on to. But I know that WW doesn't work for everyone - my friend did hypnosis and learned to hate pizza. I have another friend that had a gastric bypass, though that might be a bit drastic for you. But, you know, whatever works. In any case, I'm going to be cheering you on all the way until you get there too - or until you realize that you're wonderful just the way you are and stop wanting to lose the weight."

See the difference, commenter?


By the way, you are all invited to a launch party tomorrow for a new little venture of mine. Get your little black dresses and high heels ready. Champagne will be served.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Infertility is like math

You know, Saturday's nice little comment got me thinking more about a theory I have been formulating. I call it the "infertility is like math" theory. Or "infertility is like maths" if you speak the Queen's English.

See, I'm a nerd. I have a degree in physics. Yup, told you...nerd. But what I noticed in high school and college is that in math (and physics and electronics - probably all of the "hard" sciences) most people eventually hit a wall. Like that wall in marathon running. Oooh, wait, maybe I should have an offshoot theory of "infertility is like marathon running".

Anyway, the math wall. You would be going along, going to classes, understanding all the concepts, getting your homework done, being as happy as you can be with math. And then a new topic would come along and you'd have no clue. No freakin' clue. And you'd look around yourself surreptitiously, to check out the looks on everyone else's faces but somehow they seemed to all be understanding it and yet you were inexplicably floundering at that point. You'd hit a big nasty brick wall in your understanding of math. Somehow, you were pushing through this fog in your brain and the teacher was doing an impression of Charlie Brown's teacher saying "Waaaah wah wah wah-wah" without any of it making any sense to you.

Pretty much all of my friends hit that wall before me, and all at different times. And, being as I was a nerd, they came to me and asked me to explain. We'd work on the problem together. I'd try and think up different ways of explaining it. Sometimes my friends "got it" fairly easily, sometimes they didn't. Sometimes they never did, and math became a looong hard slog until they could finally quit it with relief. And eventually, I too hit a math wall. I remember it distinctly. I even remember the lecture theater I was in at the time and how many people were there (maybe 2nd year undergraduate?). It was volume differential equations. I had no problem with ordinary differential equations, but somehow adding another dimension just made my brain go splat. And suddenly I was like "OH! This is how all my friends felt at various points when they would come to me and say how much they hated maths".

But the thing is, although I might have secretly wondered if my friends weren't as smart as me if they hit the wall over something "easy" like fractions, I never voiced that out loud to them. I worked with them and tried to explain. Most of the time, I knew my friends were smart, because I knew they could breeze through French class with ease, or English, or any number of things. It was just math. So I knew this was just something where my brain was wired a bit differently than theirs.

So this brings me to infertility. I have a friend at work who hit the "infertility wall" - the point at which she didn't or wouldn't or couldn't go any further - at OPKs. She just couldn't bring herself to use an OPK because it felt wrong, it felt like too much intervention. It wasn't something that she felt comfortable doing. And it took her 3 years to conceive, but eventually she did conceive and now has a healthy boy. I suppose if things had never picked up for her, she might have been able to sit back and deeply examine her feelings and finally do something more about it. Or she might not have. She might have decided that having children was not meant for her. Personally, of course, I didn't quite understand what the big deal was about an OPK but, well, it's her life. That was her wall.

My own "infertility wall" has been moving away from using my own eggs. I just wasn't able to understand it, emotionally. I wasn't happy and wasn't comfortable. But due to some serious hard work, I AM now ready. The sensations have felt the same as hitting that math wall, though. I have looked around and seen other women "understanding" it easily. They "got the concept" of giving up on the genetic connection much easier than me. I wondered what they had that I didn't. But in the end, it just all comes down to different wiring, brain or heart or history. Who am I to judge someone's path if they gave up on their own eggs before even one round of Clomid and moved on to adoption? That's obviously the best path for them, and good luck to 'em. Maybe Clomid was their "wall" and although it was something that scared me at the time, it was merely a small hurdle to me.

So I guess what I'm saying is that 99% of the women out there DO intuitively get that everyone's "infertility wall" is in a different place. There comes a point to all of us (if we don't get lucky and finally get knocked up) where we have to do some serious thinking about the next step. I suppose a lot of people don't even come across a wall. They come to a fork in the road, and just decide to go down one path or another without too much pain. Perhaps it's just a hurdle that they have to jump, like filling that first Clomid prescription was for me. Perhaps they just see the sunshine and pretty views that are open to them down one path and they don't even realize that the other path goes into a dark place and has a big ole wall blocking its way or they see that wall and just think that sunshine and pretty views are so much more inviting and don't even think too hard about the wall. But that 99% of women don't judge other women for where their wall is, or how high the wall is, or how hard it is to get around. At least, they don't judge them "out loud", which is almost as good. It's the other 1% like that commenter that feel the need to not only secretly think how dumb we must be for hitting a wall at a place that they didn't, but to try to shout at us "just get over the freakin' wall already and get on with it". They're like an army drill sergeant yelling at a squaddie rather than someone that'll take time to explain how to get over the wall, or someone who will patiently wait with you while you figure it out for yourself, even if it's now gone dark and everyone else has completed the obstacle course and gone home.

Me, yes, I've been beating my head against the wall for a long time. But I had to beat my head against it enough times just to be sure it wasn't going to crumble and fall and let me get through it instead of having to go a different way.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

More excited about a handbag than I have a right to be...

I love all my peeps. You know who you are. My FF peeps, and my IVFC NY Clinic peeps, and my Cyclesista peeps, and my N54 peeps. Those of you that have supported me without judging how slow I am on the emotional stuff. Mwah. Big smoochies to you.

I totally blew the detox yesterday, drank far too much diet coke and alcohol and now I'm in pain. But I've got to tell you about my shopping exploits. I bought a handbag and wallet at...wait for it...Walmart. For $22 for the pair. And I am so freakin' excited about them you'd think they were from Prada or something. I've been thinking about the logistics of having a school bag and a handbag, and switching between the two. I don't want to carry both a handbag and a school bag on school days, I don't want to carry a school bag on work days so putting everything in the school bag wouldn't work, nor do I want to carry business cards and lipstick and other work-related stuff like my swipey security card to school. Especially if I'm bicycling there, as I don't want to lug around too much needless weight. And I don't know about you, but if I have to transfer individual items between bags, something gets left behind on a routine basis. I'm just crap like that. So I knew if I tried to just transfer the important items I'd end up without a phone for the day, or without my wallet, or something. So I've been vaguely thinking about a wristlet or small bag that I could put the essentials in and then transfer that between the handbag and the school bag. I was in Walmart anyway, so I thought I'd take a mosey over to their wallets and bags, and see if I could find something not too hideous and cheap-looking. I almost, almost bought a bag that was crap but might have worked when I spotted a line of handbags which included a matching wristlet. I almost squealed right there in the store. And the interior of the bag is sectioned off so that when you take the wristlet out, everything doesn't fall into a jumbled heap at the bottom. My wallet wouldn't fit in the wristlet so I ended up looking for another one, and found one that was big enough to do the job, but small enough to work in the wristlet.

So...tada! My wallet, keys, phone, blackberry and vehicle registration stuff all fit in the wristlet, sort of. The blackberry hangs out of a pocket but it's secure enough if it's in another bag, and I can jettison the blackberry and just take the wristlet for nights out or running quick errands at the weekend. It's the perfect thing. Squeeeee!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Marginalizing other choices

Gosh.  Sometimes I wonder what people think they will achieve with a comment that just bashes the blog writer's head in.  I just got a comment on an old post.  And by old, I mean, December 2006, old.  I wonder if the poster thinks that she'll knock some sense into me?  I'll post it:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "At the crossroads of indecision":

NO, "so many women" DO NOT fail donor egg. If you had decided to NOT bankrupt yourself any longer and take your remaining funds to CCRM and do a donor egg cycle, you would be changing diapers right now, instead of reading this post (years after posting).

Sarah, you continued to go down a path that was CLEARLY fruitless in this obsessive quest for genetic offspring. Well, there you have it - zero.

You could have said, hey, I failed 2 IVFs with bad quality eggs/embryos. You could have just been thankful to have the technology to have KNOWN it was time to move onto donor egg and fulfill yourself instead of beating your own head against a brick wall and then sobbing when the wall didn't move for you.

Sheesh! You now have exactly what you set out to have - NOTHING! For Pete's Sake, go the donor egg route and realize your dream of becoming a mom. Isn't that what's paramount?!

Obviously this is someone that "knows" me in the sense of having chatted with me on some board or other.  I assume.  Unless she has just found the blog and thinks she can sum me up in an instant.  But doesn't know me at all in the sense that I have explained time and time again that:

a) I had to come to the ability to accept and want being a mother to a child that was not genetically related to me in my own way and time.  I don't think it was an obsessive quest, but even if it was, what's it to you?
b) I'm not bankrupt - just because I am now choosing to spend my money on acupuncture school and not an immediate donor egg cycle doesn't mean that I couldn't do a donor egg cycle right now if I so chose.
c) I'm not left with nothing.  Through this journey I have had some very deep and painful experiences, yes.  But I've also had profound insights into my own character and have opened my heart.  I think I've become a better person because of it.  I'm radically changing my profession and my entire life because of it.  I would certainly never judge someone that took a different path from what I would do, or what I think they should do. Unlike this commenter.
d) Is becoming a mother what's paramount?  I'm not sure that it is.  I think being the best mother possible is what's paramount.  And if I was honest enough with myself to realize that in December 2006 I would always have thought of donor egg or adoption as "second best" and would always have mourned that hypothetical genetic offspring, then I think that I took the best option available to me at that time.  I'd rather have spent longer getting here, knowing that NOW I am truly fully open to doing a donor egg cycle or adopting than to inflict on my child any slight perceived bias that I might think somewhere in the hidden, dark recesses of my brain that that was not really my child.
e) It never was 100% clear that I could NEVER succeed with an IVF with my own eggs.  I'm still under 40.  I'm still not 100% clear that if I started trying naturally tomorrow and kept trying for the next 3 years that it would be utterly impossible for me to conceive my own genetic child.  Obviously, I'm (probably) not going to do another IVF with my own eggs, but is it 100% clear that there's NO hope of a normal egg?  Not to me it isn't.
f) I don't regret any of my IVF cycles.

In my view, there are far too many women in the IF community that think like this commenter. Even one person with this type of view is too many. Yes, I would have saved money in the long run by not doing so many IVFs.  But if that wasn't the right choice for me, isn't it up to me to decide what IS the right choice?  There are plenty of women out there (and I may be one of them) that decide not to continue with treatment.  That decide that being childfree/childless is a viable option, and one that they are going to go with. Yet there are segments of the IF community (and it seems to be particularly women who have chosen to use donor eggs) that marginalize and put down women who choose not to continue treatment.  PJ at coming2terms has been discussing this recently - how women that are childless are made to feel invisible in this society. 

I know quite a few women who chose to use donor eggs, and who are very happy with their choice. They wish that I could have the happiness that they now have, yet they don't judge that I have not taken that step yet, and may never take that step.  I appreciate every single one of them that has offered me their views on how it has worked out for them.  They truly have helped me move on to being ready to do that myself.  Yet there always seem to be one or two that DO judge, and think that bashing me over the head is a much better way to convince me to do what they did.  And I'm not sure why they can't realize that some of us will get there at our own pace, and will make decisions based on what is right for us at the time, thankyouverymuch. Please, grow some empathy, darlin'.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Aww, I missed it!

100,006.  Damn that game of Sudoku that took me longer than I expected!  Oh well.  It's still pretty darn cool, if I do say so myself.  And thank you Elizabeth for being #100,000!  I feel all warm and fuzzy...


Oh so close.  Thanks Bleu! :)


Just saying.


I just noticed my page counter is at 99,841. Nearly at 100,000!

Yet more detox news

So, I know you're all like, totally dying to hear how the detox/weight loss thing is going. I mean, nothing interesting going on the rest of the blogosphere, right? Like, waiting for beta results or twins in the NICU or anything. Nope, you want to hear about my fatness, I am sure.

Well, I stopped the detox on Saturday and as of Wednesday morning I had gained half a pound back. I was fairly angelic with the food choices, I have to say - tons of fresh veggies sauteed in mostly water with a little oil (and a lot of chilli, cilantro and lime juice) with some protein such as tofu or seitan, with protein shakes for breakfast. By yesterday morning it was up to a pound back, as I started having more bad foods. By this morning, after a baaaad day involving cookies, ice cream, pizza and beer, I was back up 2.5 pounds. Some of today's gain I am sure is just water weight from extra salt consumption and the like. But anyway, I am going back on the detox for 4 days. I figure 8 days on, 6 days off, 4 days on, 4 days off, 2 days on and then just try to do it as often as possible on weekends is a good compromise between actually being able to eat occasionally and easy weight loss. We'll see.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ohming time

I did it! I went along to the Buddhist center. And I might even go back again. It was not entirely what I expected, though. See, the last time I went to a Buddhist center, oh, maybe 9 or 10 years ago, it was to a meditation class. And the monk led us nicely through meditating. It was all very lovely and ohm-inducing. This one, however, was not a class. I mean, it wasn't billed as a class so I'm not sure what I was expecting. They had an orientation for beginners at 7, which I expected to be sort of class-like, then the main meditation started at 7.30. Except the orientation didn't do much other than confuse me, and we were expected to follow along with chants from a book and then basically meditate on our own for an hour. Well, by "on our own" I mean in a room with other people but with no instruction.

It was the chants that really got me. They were written out in Tibetan script, and then phonetically, and then in English. So we were supposed to chant in Tibetan, following the phonetic instruction, while thinking about the meaning. Umm, sorry, but I can't chant in Tibetan and follow the English version at the same time. Maybe one day I will be able to, but there was no meditating on the deeper meaning going on in my head. It was more along the lines of "Om Mani Peme Hung - wait a minute, is this the same as Om Mani Padme Hum but written differently? Om Mani Peme Padme Hu...oh, out of time. Om Mani Peeme Hong....uh, nope." But the more confusing part was that we chanted three times, and then people seemed to speed chant it many more times - I wasn't sure how many it was supposed to be or what was going on at this point. So I just focused on saying it slowly and correctly while the large older gentlemen next to me was going (at a thousand miles per second)..."Um-a-num-a-num-anumanumanumanum..." with his mala clicking around at lightening speed. Or at least, that's how it sounded.

So I didn't reach enlightenment. My legs fell asleep during the meditation and then really effing hurt when I moved. I was not very successful at quieting my mind. That's OK. Nobody is going to do terribly well the first time out. I will try again, most probably. I liked the place - it had a nice calming vibe with lots of pretty hangings and buddha images. The nun in residence was very cute and smiley. I liked that we prayed for world peace and for the health of the Dalai Lama. It didn't feel intrusive onto any theories I might have about God and who or what he/she/it/om is. And I did learn how to say Padmasambhava so I'm sure that'll be useful in the future.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


OK, so as part of my brave new world, I have decided to go along to my local Buddhist center tonight for their meditation practice. It's something I have vaguely wanted to do for a while but have always been too much of a lame ass to go. But no more lameness! I am going! I am going to become more involved in community things and not hide myself away from the world in a fit of infertility-induced self pity.

And by writing it here, I'm putting the intention out there so I can't back out.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Brave new world

Going to college now is a lot different than it was 21 years ago when I first went to college. For a start, there was no need last time for professors to lay down the law on cellphones and other communicators in class. Or to state that no texting was allowed. We didn't have such gadgets available to us - cellphones were still yuppie toys the size of a small brick that were carried by the rich. It was a rare person that had a PC in their room - most of us were either too poor or too worried about them getting stolen to have them. There was no information available on the internet about the professors, what the syllabus was, what the textbooks are. I think my college may have had a webpage. A single page. Which gave the address and contact details and a bit of blurb. I certainly didn't research anything online. There was nothing specifying what font your assignments had to be in - the professors were lucky to get them typed. All mine were handwritten. Hehehe, at least I'm not 80, or you'd be subjected to tales of me having to walk barefoot in the snow uphill there and back to get to college.

When it came time to get textbooks, you got your list in the first week and all trooped off to the campus bookstore and were duly price gouged. Now I have found out the textbooks in advance for most of the classes, and have been busy googling. I found one, new, for $26.39 instead of the list price of $106, so I have already snapped it up. I haven't been so lucky with the others, but I am finding them for an average of $75-$80 when most of them are listed at $120 or so. It's also so much easier to buy books second hand, as you're not confined to a noticeboard on campus, hoping that nobody else beat you to that one posted copy of one of your books.

Much of the difference, I am sure, is due to the fact that I will be attending a community college for a semester, rather than the giant university I was used to. The classes are limited to either 28 or 37 people, depending on the subject. There are strict attendence rules. It's like going to a high school in many respects, rather than what I would classify as the university experience. Certainly there will be no getting away with sleeping at the back of a giant auditorium packed with 200 or so fellow classmates.

Of course, I am a lot different too. I will be the nerdy mature student sitting in the front row. At least, while I'm at the community college - I expect everyone will be the same when I get to acu school and we'll all be interested and excited about learning. The community college work load doesn't scare me (although the acu school one does). However, it is nice to start a semester actually intending to do all the work rather than try to skate through doing the absolute minimum possible so as not to cut into my drinking and partying time.

But all of this brave new world is not helping me to feel less cut off from my old world. I am not doing much infertility blogging these days - either reading or writing. I do have a post brewing about my next step, but it will percolate for a while longer. But essentially I often feel like the failure that dropped out off the end of the world. There's no happy baby story at the end of the day for people to relate to - although I know that my story isn't entirely over yet. I am not even doing much with my other little "hobbies" like researching my perfume addiction or hanging out on immigration boards. People accuse me of being addicted to the immigration boards if I go to post to try to help out someone who is still waiting for that elusive green card. I haven't even been to the diet board in a while as I've been doing the "stuffing my face" thing followed by the detox thing. Ahh well, I guess I'll figure all this out as I go along. Any suggestions for new interests, though? It's got to be something cheap. But it'd be nice if it had a community I could chat with.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Behold, my efforts at being self-sufficient!

Bwahaha, like that's ever going to happen. But I did decide to plant two fruit trees, a mango and an avocado. No doubt I will have moved before they produce fruit but hey, maybe it'll be a selling point for the house - that it comes with the possibility of some fruit. And yes, I know the mango is very close to the fence, but there's not many other places for it, and besides, it's supposed to be a small variety that can be pruned to shape. And it's the neighbor's fence.  But I might move it in the next day or two as it's not right.

Once I buy a machete so I can get into the coconuts that already grow in the yard, I'll be set. Errr, mango and coconut guacamole, anyone?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Oh God, I just had to chew...

I couldn't keep it up any more. I just couldn't puree one more cup of soup, so I am breaking the detox. I am trying to still eat super healthily, and in fact, my dinner was just vegetables, herbs and spices so it's exactly what I would have made into soup, but you know, I got to use my teeth. Protein tomorrow, yay! I am planning on picking it back up again next weekend to try to keep the weight loss going. And then I'll transition back to 1700 calories a day, which will probably seem like having a Thanksgiving meal every day after this fast.

I tested my cholesterol this morning, thinking that I'd go book a physical with my doctor if it was good. But annoyingly it was sky high. In fact, it was 100 points higher than the last time I tested. 100 points! I am more and more convinced that IVF meds cause my cholesterol to spike. What's worrying is that it's been over a month since I actually took any meds so I dread to think what it must have been right after the IVF. I must get it down, so I must step up the exercise and start adding some cholesterol lowering foods. You'd have thought that 8.5 days on nothing but fruit and veggies would have dropped it down, but maybe it hasn't been long enough. Sigh. I guess if it doesn't drop soon I will have to go to the doc, but I know I can get it low again and I really don't want to have to take cholesterol drugs or have that as a preexisting condition. Although it may already be classed as a preexisting condition because of last year's spike. Double sigh.

Friday, July 18, 2008

7 days, 7 pounds

Well, I lasted a whole week on the detox! And I am down 7 pounds. Wow, wow, wow. I never thought I would last this long, never thought the weight would come off that quickly and never thought that I would actually not be hungry. And I totally never thought that not only would I have the willpower to do it, it wouldn't even need all that much willpower in the first place.

I am following this plan. Kinda, sorta. Loosely. Trust me, I was very skeptical of the detox. A bunch of women at work got into it last summer, and I scoffed and said that they would never keep the weight off. But most of them have, surprisingly. Well, at least a good portion of it. And then a few of them started up again this summer and I got suckered in.

The author expects you to do colonics, and follow this regimen of green drinks and berry drinks, with fresh veggie juice for lunch, and soup for dinner. But I have been doing my own thing, pureeing fruit and fruit juice along with a "greens" powder so I have one mixed, juice, and I make enough of it to have it several times in the day. But it's a filling juice, because it has lots of pulp and spirulina and other good stuff in it. Most mornings I have had a fiber drink in the mornings as one of my juices. And then I've been having soup twice a day but no veggie juice. And no colonics or enemas or any of the many other things she recommends. But it seems to be working. The key is to take in 8oz of something that gives you nutrients, like a juice/greens powder mix or a soup, every 2 hours. Religiously. Not letting yourself go much longer than 2 hours so you don't get starving hungry is crucial. And usually I try to have 8oz juice then 8oz herbal tea then 8oz water, at least in the morning. By mid afternoon I am down to less volume as I might cut out a water drink, or a tea, or whatever. But I am basically drinking all day. No protein, no salt, no dairy, no chewing. There's also a specific plan for breaking the detox, including when to introduce protein and other things.

On the health front, I am finally feeling happy and energetic. I think I got over the crabbiness slump and the headachey period. I can see some rosiness in my cheeks which didn't used to be there and it might be my imagination but I think the dark circles under my eyes are lighter. My fingers and toes no longer ache, but I am still getting a small amount of foot puffiness by the end of the evening. And as for bathroom issues, I am feeling very "light" in that regard. Meaning that although I usually "go" every day, often I still feel kind of blocked up. And sometimes I find that I'm not feeling too "empty" and need to go again 2 hours later because my body didn't do a good job of clearing everything out in one go. Sometimes by the end of the day I feel like my stomach looks like a balloon because I am constipated. Even if I've already pooped twice that day so I am not in fact constipated. So right now I'm only "going" once, and not feeling balloon-like by the end of the day, which is nice.

I think I'm going to stick at it until Monday morning, which will be 10 full days, then I'm going to do 5 days of super healthy food in accordance with the schedule to break the detox (so I can have some protein, and more importantly, can chew some food), then go into another 10 days of detox so I can really try to get 10-15 pounds off before I go back to my sparkpeople plan of eating 1700 ish calories a day.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I'm a student, baby!

I did it! I registered for my classes at the local community college. I stayed up until midnight last night, as that's when registration opened for me. I got my second choice schedule, but that's just fine and dandy as that's what I was aiming for. My first choice of schedule became impossible last week some time, when the 9.30am psychology classes filled up and were no longer available. So I had to shuffle a couple classes and instead of going 9.30 to 6.15 like I originally planned, I will now be going 8 to 4.45. Not being the earliest morning bird, this is a tad worrying, but I'm sure I'll be fine. I am taking 5 classes to get all the credits I need - English composition, speech communication, art appreciation, general psychology and intro. to American government. Suddenly the recent advisor's warning of a heavy course load seem to be ringing true. But seriously, how hard can some of those be? Two of them at least should be easy peasy.

However, by starting earlier it will make cycling to college easier because it'll be cooler earlier in the morning. Yup, cycling. I had originally planned on going Tuesday and Thursday during the day, and then taking one class on Wednesday night. The Wednesday night class was partly because the acupuncture school has me doing late classes three nights a week and I thought it'd be good to ramp myself up into that type of schedule by taking one night class now. But then gas prices kept rising and I thought that in order to save money I really should only take two trips to the college a week instead of three if I could manage it. And that led to a google maps session in order to figure out the shortest driving route, which told me that the community college is only 4.5 miles away. As my office is 4.8 miles away and I cycled several times last winter it suddenly dawned on me that I could really save gas money and get myself fit if I just cycled to college. Oh, and save the environment, blah blah blah.

All of which, naturally, gave rise to a shopping spree. Some of you may remember that a while ago I said I'd found and ordered the perfect eco-friendly school bag. But alas after I ordered it, the company emailed me and said due to an inventory glitch they didn't have the color I wanted and would I very much mind having plain black? To which I said no thanks, because, well, I'm vain. So I have been waiting, half-heartedly thinking it would be much more eco-friendly if I just made do with the bags I already have, half-heartedly looking for another one in other places, and also thinking about the yummy Timbuk2 messenger bags that I had previously spotted. But, after the cycling decision (and also realizing that unless they change the schedule I can't take the train to the acu school but instead will have to drive), I decided that I just had to have a messenger bag. I prefer cycling with a messenger bag than a backpack for some reason. So it was off back to the Timbuk2 site, where they had new colors on the hemp/PET bags, and voila. I spent money in the blink of an eye. I got this cute brown one that so reminds me of an old school satchel, it makes me want to squeal.

Obviously, I then had to fill my new messenger bag, so the back to school sales started calling me. Leading to the purchase of a delightful assortment of pens, highlighters, markers, mechanical pencils (oh I do love me a mechanical pencil), a stand-up pencil case, a ruler, a large notebook and a small notebook and some bicycle safety accessories. And here we are. Due to a forgetful moment when ordering, I got the small size so the bag is actually too small to hold my stuff plus lunch plus a textbook. Let alone 5 textbooks, one for each class I am taking. So I will just have to hope that either none of my professors require textbook toting or that the cafeteria serves dirt cheap and healthy foods. Or that I can figure out how to make reaaaallly flat sandwiches. Or that I somehow figure out how to take along some dried food that can be reconstituted with water from a drinking fountain or something.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More detox

Sigh. I feel really blah about waffling on about my detox. It's like when I was doing IVF I had something to write about that I knew everyone else would be interested in or could relate to. Because we're all IF'ers. But now...blah. I mean, I think about babies and kids and pregnancy many times every day. Many times. Most of the times these days it is just wistful, and doesn't hurt, so I am very lucky for that. I really have retained that amazing peace and calmness that came to me. I am not angry at how this worked out (or rather, didn't) and I don't resent anyone else their ability to become parents. Although I will admit, the resentment factor was tested at Walmart last night, but hey, I pulled through. Nobody got glared at. Nobody went home sulking. don't want to read that, I'm sure. You don't want to hear how I looked at someone else and yes, while I thought "why does she get to have kids and not me?" it was immediately followed by "meh, why do I get to have all the advantages *I* have and not her?"

But anyway. So, this detox can be done for up to 21 days. A friend at work did it for 20 days recently and she is the one that is pushing me along. Another friend did it for 2 weeks. They both lost 10-14 pounds, and more importantly, have kept most of the weight off. But I want to stop, I really do. It's not actually that hard, as I am not that hungry and not craving any particular food but I am so tired of not chewing. I am tired of drinking goopy juices and soups all the freakin' time. But I want to lose the weight. I started this detox being all about getting rid of the toxins and feeling healthy again after my recent bad eating habits, but now it's all about the weight loss. I want to get back on track to where I was before I went to Vegas and did that last IVF. I want to at least get back under 180, which I haven't been for over a year. Probably well over a year. Probably closer to two years, and if we don't count occasional dips into the 170's after hard dieting efforts, we're probably talking about 2.5 years of being mostly above 180. I am tired of it. I don't want to be this weight. I also want to feel amazing and fantastic. My friend J. said that towards the end of the first week on the detox she was like this peaceful, spiritual person who was loving the world, and her skin was glowing and she was feeling so energetic and healthy. I want that. However, she said that during the second week she became really crabby - of course I seem to be moving straight to crabby without passing beatific. Such is life, I suppose.

Nevertheless, as of right now, I am still on the detox. The longing to lose weight is winning out over the longing to stuff food in my gob. It's touch and go, but so far the scale is winning. And I am down 5 lbs as of this morning.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Math, math, hellish math and detoxing

Why is it, when you are detoxing and/or dieting, every single freakin' ad on TV is for food, food, glorious food? Unbelievable. But, I will say that at least that helped me turn the TV back off last night and catch up on some math studying. I worked through all my algebra and arithmetic topics like a good girl, and went to bed feeling quietly confident, having just scored 100% on a practice test. Yay me.

So this morning, bright and early, I went along to the local community college, paid my fee, and sat down to take the placement test. The English tests went well. Except two of the questions were misleading as there was more than one potentially correct answer to both of them. But whatevs. Then up popped the algebra test. Hmmm, I thought, I thought I was supposed to get arithmetic before algebra, but OK, whatevs, maybe arithmetic will be later. I trundled through them, doing well, feeling good. And then that test finished, and the computer told me I was now moving on to college level math. Ruh-roh. See, I didn't study for college level math. I only studied for algebra and arithmetic. Everything I read seemed to imply that only algebra and arithmetic were needed. But nope. I did not get to do the arithmetic test and there it was, the first question on college level math, asking about trigonometry. I mean, really. What IS a sine or a cosine? [No, don't tell me, I don't actually want to know.] I used to know at some point in my life what those things were, but that was over 2 decades ago.

Ah well, c'est la vie. So I took a wild ass guess and kept going. Luckily a lot of the questions could be figured out somehow, even if my methods were not exactly elegant or the proper way to do things. And the final results were: reading comphrehension - 112, sentence structure - 119, algebra - 119, college level math - 63. Ahem. We can tell where I didn't brush up, can't we? And, as an aside, why is it that American tests go over 100? In good old blighty, most test results would be out of 100, no matter how many questions there are, so to make 20 questions add up to 119 is a bit confusing to me. Although I know that it's an adaptive test where they make the questions harder if you do well, and easier if you don't do so well so I guess that's where the extra points come in. Anyhoo. I knew I had to get 83 or above in English to place into the college level classes, so I was pretty safe there, and I that I had to get 72 or above in math but wasn't sure if it was an average result or needed in each subject. And anyway, I'm not even doing any math classes, so I just needed enough of a result to enable me to be awarded credit. So the guy in the test center told me to go to Advising to find out.

Off I went to Advising, where I sat and waited for a while, and then finally got to see someone. Who again didn't understand the concept of me having a bachelor's degree but not having ANY general education credits, nor why I didn't have to do math classes now. So I went through the whole spiel again about how not every country in the world has the same educational system, and that my entire degree is science and math so I am exempted from science and math now. But finally she got it, and said I was good to go, as it was only algebra I had to get 72+ on. So she said I was cleared to sign up for the classes I want, after warning me that I am taking on a VERY heavy class load and that I will struggle. Whatevs. I guess when you're used to dealing with reluctant 18 year olds what seems like a heavy load is different than it appears to a 40-ish year old who has taken bar exams while working full time at a law firm.

So - hoorah for the end of math! Hoorah for the placement test being done! And now it's on to hoping that the classes I want at the time I want them are still available when general registration opens up on Thursday. Right now the degree-seeking students are able to register and people like me can only watch the number of available places in each class tick down slowly. Hopefully it will all be good.

I am still detoxing, by the way. I am down 4.5 lbs. I really, really want to chew something though, so I'm not sure how much longer I will keep it up. I had this initial thought of doing 4 days, Friday-Monday, which I've done, and then maybe keeping it up through the following weekend, to do a total of 10 days if it was going well. I kind of want to do 10 days but then again, I really want to eat real food. So I am mostly taking it hour by hour at the moment. As of right now, I am still on it.

Monday, July 14, 2008


I have found myself, at various points today, rubbing my skin. Like my cheek, or my upper arms. Just aimlessly rubbing because it feels so silky soft and smooth. I guess the detox must be working.

The headache is mostly gone, although small remnants of it are lingering around.


I was quite diligent with the math studying yesterday. Although I still wasn't feeling quite prepared enough by the time 10pm rolled around. And just as I was working on some test problems while debating whether to push through for another couple of hours, the infamous detox headache hit. And in seemingly no time at all it developed into a horrible, terrible, no-good, head-pounding, brain-splitting headache.

I went to bed. I tossed and turned. The headache burned. Random thoughts were whirling around my brain, not making any sense but keeping me awake. I debated taking some good old strong painkillers but then I am supposed to be detoxing, so wasn't sure if that was appropriate. In the end I decided I would just wait it out. I downed a ton of water, thinking that maybe it would help flush everything through, and it did seem to help a bit. I eventually dozed off. But then woke up again fairly soon afterwards with my head pounding, and now thirsty. So that's pretty much what I did all night, wake, drink, try to relax, doze, wake, rinse, repeat.

There's no way I can do a college placement test today. I am rapidly running out of time, of course. Bleh. So, I am now aiming for tomorrow morning, and am hoping it will be good enough. And hoping that my brain can cooperate - if it doesn't shape up by tonight, I am seeking help in pharmaceuticals.

Yes, you did all tell me that detoxing while studying math was crazy!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Detox, III

Amazingly enough, I have not fallen off the wagon yet. Of course, it helps that I am not doing an extreme fast, like trying to survive on just water for 3 days. I've tried that before, and crashed and burned spectacularly. Nope, this time I am trying to feed my body with good nutrients about every 2 hours. But it's all fresh juices or pureed drinks or soups - nothing solid, and only fruits or veggies or teas with the occasional herbal supplement like spirulina. No dairy, no other protein sources, no salt, no coffee, none of that nasty stuff.

I feel pretty good, although again my fingers and toes are stiff. My feet are nicely deflated though, and not puffy any more. I had a nap yesterday afternoon, and took a short bike ride. I will try to do some gentle walking today. Or maybe swimming.

This morning, after 2 days, I am down 3.5 lbs. I know it's not going to be a permanent loss, but if I can hang on to half of whatever I lose, I will be happy. I might even keep it going for a few days longer as I'm doing so well on it at the moment.

As for the math, meh, still haven't done any. I did do some English yesterday (it's a math and English test, but I am more confident on the English). So today HAS to be solid math day. I'll start soon. Promise.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Detox, II

So far, so good. The headache yesterday afternoon went away after that extra cup of tea, although it kept trying to come back all evening. I made myself a delicious soup for dinner - I boiled onion, celery, carrot, green bell pepper and a potato for a while, then added a lot of kale, boiled a bit more, then threw in some hot pepper flakes and a giant bunch of coriander. Then pureed. Deelish! I went to bed as it got dark, which was super early but I need the rest.

And didn't study any math. I will, I will, promise! Unless that headache comes back. Actually, no, I must power through. I have GOT to sit that college placement test before Thursday.

This morning I am down 2lbs, which is good, although I am not convinced that yesterday's weight was accurate as it had shot up 1.5lbs since earlier in the week, so it may have been a temporary high blip.

Today my hands are feeling quite stiff and sore, and my feet are swollen and painful. One of the reasons I wanted to do this detox is that lately my feet swell every day and get sore by the end of the day. It really bothers me - not in the sense that I can't stand the pain - it's not that bad, nor are my feet so giant that it's affecting mobility or anything, but more in the sense that this means something bad is going on. Is it the extra weight I'm carrying? Is it something else? I keep reading that edema is a sign of high blood pressure, but I keep checking at those cuffs at places like CVS and it is as normal as ever. Anyway, it concerns me and I need to do something about it. Whenever I finally get to the regular doctor for a checkup, I will mention it if it doesn't stop by then. Usually it is OK in the morning, so it's kind of both annoying and gratifying that this morning my feet are bad. Hopefully this means the detox is doing something.

Friday, July 11, 2008


3.20pm, day 1: The headache has hit, and I feel slightly nauseated. Bleh. The hunger isn't too bad, as I'm taking some liquids in every 2 hours. But I AM hungry - it's manageable at the moment, although I'm starting to worry about the rest of the day.

Other than that, I feel fairly upbeat and energetic.

So far I've had:

breakfast (8am) - juice drink (ingredients listed in previous post), green tea, water, enzyme tablets
snack (10am) - juice drink, white tea, water
lunch (12pm) - broccoli soup, white tea, water
snack (2pm) - juice drink, raspberry tea, water

I'm now sneaking in a quick extra tea. I might also switch up the juice for the 4pm snack, as I'm getting bored of the juice I made this morning, although there is plenty left. I bought some premade juices, so I might have a Bolthouse Farms Vedge juice instead of the fruity stuff.

Not quite sure how I'm going to study math this evening, but we'll see.

Hello? Is it me you're looking for?

Drove down to the big city last night to drop the relatives off for their flight. Yay! I have my house back again! But I have to say, it was actually nice having them here, and I'll probably miss them. We did do quite a lot of fun stuff. It was way less stress than hosting my dad and his wife, so it was mostly cool. But I do like my alone time so I am looking forward to the weekend.

I had a weird experience driving back though. I was tootling along I-95 on the way home (because I now tootle instead of speed, all in the name of saving gas), at about 9.45pm, when this white minivan went past me, with their interior light on with a woman in the passenger seat banging on the windows at me, and it looked like she was shouting. My heart leaped into my throat, because I immediately thought that perhaps she'd been abducted and was crying out for help. [See? I can do the American fear thing too!]. So I sped up, so I could overtake them, and she was gesticulating again, but she looked pretty happy and had a smile on her face. So then I decided she hadn't been abducted but thought that maybe my lights weren't on or something, or they were a bunch of college kids having fun (she was quite young). So I got all paranoid about the lights, but nope, they were on. I continued on, and they seemed to slow down. But I started getting more and more worried that maybe she really had been abducted and that it might be my duty to try to get her help. So I slowed down, and let them overtake again, phone at the ready to call the cops. This time she was clearly making silly faces at me. I tailed them for a bit, and overtook one last time, trying to appear nonchalant that I just happened to be driving at erratic speeds. She was definitely waving. I have no idea what it was about. Either someone will come up to me today and tell me what a feckin' idiot I am for not recognizing them, or someone will realize that they were waving at the wrong damn car. I have a fairly unusual car - there's maybe 2 or 3 in the local area - so maybe they thought I was a friend of theirs. Freaky, though. But if that was you - hey! hi! great to see you! I nearly called the cops on you, you dolt.

I started my detox this morning. So far, so good, but then I've only missed one meal, AND am allowing myself green or white tea today, so that I can come down from the caffeine high gradually. I might allow myself a cup of green tea tomorrow morning too, I haven't quite decided yet. This morning for breakfast I blended a big juice drink that I will have 3 or 4 times today - I pretty much just put whatever fruits and juices I had left in the fridge into the blender and that was that. Plus a scoop of spirulina. So today I mixed up orange juice, cranberry/pomegranate juice, an apple, a pear and a bunch of cherries. Probably not the most finely balanced or well thought out mixture, but hey, it tasted good!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Freaky deaky

So, has Go***ogle Street View come to your area yet? I mean, I remember the big hullaballoo when it was first introduced and it only had the big cities. I checked out NYC for a couple of minutes, and thought it was mildly interesting. But I was tooling around this morning on the map site, trying to map out a good cycling route to the local community college, and there was the option for street view! They've been out and done my city some time in the past year, and I didn't notice. So up on screen pops my house, in all its glory. With my car sitting in the driveway. And I can go up and down all the local streets. So then of course I have been off exploring, looking at the local park (seriously? Who drives down the road in the park apart from the park maintenance people?), my office building, the supermarket, the fancy shopping street, the elementary school. I don't know why it is so freaky, but it really is. You can rotate the view, look up and down, go down streets, look left and right. Freeeaaaky.

It kind of makes me long to live in a gated community because it doesn't show them as I guess they couldn't drive past the gates. But I don't suppose it'll be long before big brother is in the gated communities too.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I think I might...

try to do a detox over the weekend. I've been eating like a crazy woman with the relatives here, and they are going home on Thursday night. My fingers are feeling arthritic, which they tend to do if I have had too much diet Coke recently (no, really! It's a very noticeable effect with me). I also feel like I have several years of infertility toxins built up, and am feeling the need to clean myself out before I start on the next phase of my life. Not that I expect any actual "cleaning out" but I feel like it might be good to have something to mark the end of that life and the beginning of the new one. It's more of an emotional thing than a physical thing, but I feel the need to have a physical component otherwise it is just more of the same old stuff that I've been doing anyway.

So, Friday is the day. I think I will try for a four-day liquid-only detox, with fresh juices and soups. And lots of water and herbal teas. And if I can continue it beyond four days, then that will be a freakin' miracle but hey, maybe it'll help me jump start myself back onto my diet.

While studying math. Ruh-roh.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Classy action

Oh, I'm so bad. I did hardly any work yesterday. Registration has opened for the fall semester for the local community college. But not for me. No siree. Just for current degree-seeking students. Registration for credit-seeking but non degree-seeking folks like me opens next Thursday. But, you can now see the class schedule, and you can see how many spots are left on each class.

So of course I spent a few hours figuring out the perfect timetable for me, if I can get into the classes I want. And then I figured out an alternate timetable or two, in case some of the classes fill up. And then I spent a while obsessively logging in again to see the "number of spaces left" number going down. I can tell it's going to be a long week. Because of course even though there are a ton of classes, I've now sorta kinda got my heart set on that perfect timetable so it bugs me every time a place gets taken.

I still haven't even taken my placement exams. Even though I promised faithfully that I would study lots of math while I was in Vegas, I didn't do anything. So now this weekend is designated as studying weekend, after the visiting relatives go home. And I'll take the test on Monday morning, hopefully pass, and be able to register for what I want on Thursday. I hope. Provided there are places left. In fact, you'll have to excuse me a moment while I go and check how it's all going...

Monday, July 07, 2008

Cut adrift

I feel so out of it. I'm sure a lot of this is to do with mostly cutting myself off from the internet for 3 days. My out-of-town relatives have been using my laptop, and I have been paranoid that I might leave it logged in to my email account, or to an IVF site, or to an IF blog. I was even so paranoid as to clear a bunch of things out of my favorites so that the relatives couldn't easily see them. They probably know everything anyway through the family grapevine, but I haven't told them about my IVF exploits, and I see no need to now that I have given up. So I quickly snuck on and did a few things, but kept my surfing very minimal.

But it's of course also to do with actually being out of it. In the sense of out of cycling, out of trying. Done. Finito. I have EWCM going on, and I know it's going to be going nowhere. I know that my cycle will eventually settle into whatever it's new normal is going to be, without the constant interruptions of one drug or another. But I can't help but thinking how fertility can be increased in the cycle following an IVF and wondering if I had a partner if it might make me feel any better, in the sense of having a hope of a miracle. Then again, that might make things worse.

So, a long weekend goes by, and other women get further along in their cycles, or in planning for their next cycle and I am sidelined. And the more I think about things, the more I think that adopting while at school would be just craziness, and then worry about whether I'll be able to do it in 3 years' time or if I could stand 3 years of not doing anything about becoming a mother. Maybe I'll decide that I will be child-free after all, not due to any great wish but due to inaction and delay mounting up on me.

I have also been composing a post in my head about the fear of violence. I do believe that we are only perpetuating the violence, and inflicting more of it on ourselves, if we are constantly scared and constantly listening to that voice of doom inside our heads. But I can't do the subject justice yet. Perhaps it's partly a different cultural mindset. But having grown up with IRA terrorism, and yes, with street crime going on, I have always known that violent crime could, and probably would, happen to me. So because I have always expected it, I have always taken what I consider to be sensible precautions and moved on. I have not been blindsided by surprise when things happen. I have also not been paralyzed by fear. Then again, while I have been mugged on my own doorstep, I have never had my personal space invaded so perhaps my thoughts are different from some of yours. I want to acknowledge Bleu's comment from the other day, and say that I am very very sorry that what happened to you happened. But I am not sure that we are helping each other by scaring each other.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The River of Grass

Behold the Everglades.  Or at least, the bit of them that I saw today.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Nervous nellies

That's you lot. You're all nervous nellies. I am fine. I am a sensible girl. I always look through the window before opening the door. I have a panic button right there that feeds into my alarm company, that feeds into the police station. I don't invite people in. I live in a nice neighborhood, but I take sensible precautions. Yet, I would rather live my life slightly at risk of a home invasion by opening the door to someone who may need help, than worrying about it constantly and giving myself an ulcer. And if I do die in a home invasion, you can all tell me that you told me so, but also know that I prefer life this way. I am a believer that when it's your time to go, it's your time, and there's not much that can change that.

In 2005, the death statistics were -

Number of deaths for leading causes of death
Heart disease: 652,091
Cancer: 559,312
Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 143,579
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 130,933
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 117,809
Diabetes: 75,119
Alzheimer's disease: 71,599
Influenza/Pneumonia: 63,001
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 43,901
Septicemia: 34,136

Homicide is at #15, with 18,124. Which is below drug and alcohol-induced mortality. Now, I'm not saying that #15 is anything to be sniffed at, or that I shouldn't be worried about it. But I am 36 times more likely to die of heart disease than of homicide. Or, given my family history, I'm actually more likely to shuffle off this mortal coil due to stroke or cancer. Or, given the bad drivers around here, due to a traffic accident. And let's face it, the homicide statistics are quite skewed by young men who kill each other in gang incidents.

But, thank you for your concern. It is duly noted. If Dave ever comes back with the money (and yes, I did check yesterday that his car was at the house where he said he was working) I shall tell him that he's not to go knocking on doors late at night as it worries people.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The knock on the door

Not 5 minutes after all the relatives went to bed last night (and no, there was no teeth cleaning or peeing - again), there was a knock on the door. I'm a tad wary of people knocking on the door after dark, and especially after 10pm, but heh, as I'm never one to pass up a good opportunity to find out what's going on in the world, I answered. At least I was still up and dressed, unlike last time there was a night time visitor.

So this guy is standing there, telling me how he's staying at and fixing up the house two doors up, he's a carpenter, and he left his wallet on another job site which is all locked up and he really needs to borrow $10. I mean, the guy launched into this freaky long-ass story about how the wallet is in his toolbox which is locked in the other site, and Alan, who is two streets away isn't in. [Like I was supposed to know who the fuck Alan is.] And I must recognize his car, and he's friends with the gay guys that live in the house, and they asked him to get the house ready to sell. You know, the big one with the bamboo in the front yard. And then how he'd been to two other neighbors to ask to borrow money and they'd turned him down, and one guy came to the door with a gun behind his back. [Hmm, thinks Sarah, why didn't I think of getting a gun, although I have a panic button right next to the front door so I always figure I'll hit that if anything goes awry.] And he can go to Winn Dixie and get some milk, bread and eggs, and he only needs $10 and I can keep his watch as collateral, or his drivers license, and he's a good, honest guy, and blahblahblah. Honestly, I think he was slightly drunk. Or else completely insane. Or just panicked and hungry and not knowing where to turn.

Well, after that song and dance, what could I do? I figured if the guy had the need or just plain chutzpah to knock on a strangers door after 10pm at night, he clearly needed $10 more than me. So I gave it to him. He thanked me effusively, blessed me several times and promised faithfully to pay me back. Yes, you may call me a sucker. But I have no expectations of getting the money back at all, and am perfectly prepared for him to spend it all on booze or drugs, so if I have no expectations of it really being a loan, am I truly being suckered in? Maybe it was just the payment for the entertainment of his story. Haha. Well, we'll see if it comes back again or not.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Observing other people

So, my cousin will say that he is going to bed. And then appears to just...go to bed. No peeing, no teeth cleaning, no face washing. Nothing. Says nighty-night and then off he goes. I mean, OK, so he's a guy, and he's recently separated from his wife, and he's on vacation, so maybe the no teeth cleaning/washing thing is just a rebellion against social hygiene norms. Maybe he is just taking advantage of the opportunity to be a slob. Or maybe he is actually doing it, but I am not noticing (kind of hard in my house, as it's very small, but hey, I guess it's not beyond the bounds of possibilities).

But how on earth can you go to bed without peeing?

It's just not possible! I have to pee right before I go to bed. And even if I do my pre-bed pee, and then get distracted into doing something else, like scooping kitty poop or turning the dishwasher on, most of the time, I have to go and pee again, even if it's going to be just a few drops. It's I suppose mostly in my mind, but I cannot get to sleep if I haven't emptied my bladder recently.

Is my cousin an aberration or am I? Was I just mercilessly trained by my mother to avoid peeing accidents and now it's so ingrained my brain just won't let me turn off without going through the rituals? Am I weird? I like to think that he's the weird one. He must have a bladder of steel, or something.