Sunday, October 31, 2010


I think I've posted before about how I'd like to be one of those minimalist types. You know, people who have 20 items of clothing in total, one laptop and this spare clean apartment with one sofa in it. Or something. But, I like shopping, so that's always been a problem for me.

But I set my mind on slightly reducing the number of possessions I have. Of course, this means that I have to wait for suitable moments of time and energy in which I can tackle such projects, but I am on a clothing kick right now.

Last week I reduced the number of casual pants I have to 40 (this includes all shorts, track pants, yoga pants as well as jeans and weekend stuff). It makes me cringe a bit to relate that I had to reduce to this number, as 40 still seems impossibly high. Why 40? It just kind of happened. I had 50 in my head as a number for pants overall (with the aim some day of having 50 pants + skirts, and then whittling the number down further). But I didn't have the energy to tackle work pants, so I started with the closet section that has casual pants in it, and once I'd tried everything on and put everything that didn't fit or I didn't like or just plain wasn't going to ever happen again on to the "donate" pile, it came out to 40 left. So I stopped there. More than 20 pairs of pants got donated. Eeek. So much STUFF. Too much.

This week I went on a shoe buying binge (hey! BOGO!), so it came time to tackle shoes. I have gone up half a size in shoes in the last 5 years or so (mostly I think due to gaining weight but I lost 22 lbs and have kept it off for ~18 months and the feet have not shrunk). So there are many shoes that I just couldn't wear any more without wincing. Onto the donate pile they went, and when I counted what was left, I had .... 39 pairs of shoes. Given that I like round numbers, one pair of shoes was rescued from the donate pile to make 40. It's weird how that number cropped up again.

Maybe 40 will be my number. Maybe I'll try for 40 tops next. [Well, being honest, it'll probably be 40 sweaters, 40 tops/shirts, and 40 t-shirts.]

Of course, the trick is going to be to reduce my shopping tendencies. Having limited spare time has helped with this, of course, and I am making a conscious effort NOT to just buy things mindlessly. I'd rather buy fewer, higher quality pieces of clothing that will last a long time, than keep consuming, consuming, consuming. But it's so damn hard to change ingrained habits.

Friday, September 24, 2010

All clear on the boob front

Thank you guys for hanging out with me, and sending me good vibes. It is good to know that you are there.

I got the letter on the boob issue today - no abnormal findings. Phew. Even though I was only saying today that I felt sure that there was nothing wrong - with every day that went by, it seemed less and less urgent, and logically I knew that I should be fine, still, I breathed a sigh of relief when the official word came.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

The finding

I have something in my boob, apparently. My new doc told me to get a mammogram, so I did, and now they're being all freaky that they can't provide me with a report until they get my baseline mammo from my old doctor and compare. Because there's a "finding." I expect that it's nothing, as if it was something serious: (a) you'd be able to feel something, which you can't, and (b) they wouldn't be sending me snail mail letters telling me to get the mammo film over to them, they'd be calling on the fellytone, and insisting on follow-up imaging STAT.

But still, the mind can't help but wander over to the particular corner of memory lane where jabbing oneself with fertility drugs is stored, and thinking...hmmmm. Ah well, all will be clear eventually I suppose.

And I don't feel that I can share with too many people because then it's like I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, and demanding attention. But my work friends have been useless, frankly. One is a radiologist's wife, immediately freaked, and had me call her husband to discuss, who of course said "well, this could be perfectly normal," which is what I knew all along - it could just be some fibrous stuff that means nothing. Another has had many cystic things in her boobs, and thinks I'm making a mountain out of a molehill. Which I'm not. I just mentioned it. Gah. So that put me off mentioning it to other people outside the family, because most of them don't know me well enough to know my level of not freaking out but still being just a teensy bit concerned at the back of my mind.

So, here I am. Not that I have an audience here any more, but it makes me feel better to put stuff out there in the ether. Sharing without really sharing, as it were. I suppose I shall call my old doc again on Monday and find out if they've sent the darn records off yet.

It doesn't help that I got the second letter reminding me that they need to see the previous mammo on the anniversary of my mom's death. At a young age. From the big C. But a different organ. But still. Gah.

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's been a while

I went to a new GYN yesterday (I have switched to a practice that does not include any OB along with their GYN - much more civilized for the likes of me). She tried to talk me into doing fertility treatments while I still had time. Umm, yeah.

OK, so I had tried to fudge my history with the nurse a little bit when they were setting up their new patient screen, by saying I'd done "a few" IVFs and downplaying the whole thing. Eventually, the truth will out, of course. But I did like the way she tried to imply that my fertility problems might have been my partner's, and that these days you can "order out" while you're single and use a donor. Ha! After I explained that I was "ordering out" and had tried three different donors, she finally got the point.

And once the whole sordid history ["how many cycles?"] came out, she sat back and said "Ah. I see." And I said "really, I am at peace with it. I am FINE if I never have kids. If I meet someone new and I manage to get pregnant, I'll be THRILLED. If not, that's OK. I'm not doing any more treatments." And we moved swiftly along.

But will I be fine? Someone recently told me that they saw me working with children in the future, especially those with ADD/ADHD. And I immediately died a little inside, and wondered how I could handle that if I don't have kids of my own. Of course, I still may adopt. Still could do donor egg. Still could have a miracle. Still could climb Mount Everest.

I suppose I had always seen myself doing infertility work due to my particular background, but you know, I've been looking around at doctoral programs, and at the people jumping on the infertility bandwagon, and it isn't really appealing, to be honest. I think these days I see myself more as a generalist - a little infertility, a little back pain, a little geriatric work, a little pediatric. But then again, maybe I should be a brain specialist. I do think so much infertility is actually a brain/heart/mind thing as opposed to a plumbing problem. We're under so much stress that it really does mess everything else up. I look back now to see how tightly wound I was going through those IVF cycles, and how I am much looser and freer these days (in spite of my crazy schedule), and wonder if things would have been different if only I'd got the stress, the grief, the depression, the crazy dealt with first. Not that I didn't try. I tried damn hard. But I didn't know how, and people telling me "just relax" and "open your heart" stressed me out even more. So maybe I could tie it all together - infertility, depression, ADD/ADHD, anxiety, it's all in the mind. Maybe that's where I'm heading.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Crunch. Time.

You know how when you are impossibly busy, something else comes along, and you think "holy crap, how am I going to fit this in as well?" And then you fit it in somehow, and then something further comes along, and you think "Oh Lord, another thing, how on earth is this going to work out?" And then it does...


So, hahaha, in addition to my impossibly busy schedule, I am about to start a herbal internship program for one day a week. I think I have gone slightly crazy. But, it was an opportunity too good to pass up. This is the opportunity about which I was already wondering how to finagle even the possibility of getting an interview for in my third year. This is the opportunity that you apparently have to be reccomended for. This is with the most respected acu doc in the area. I am super lucky that someone in the program recommended me for this opportunity now. I may not get another shot at this, and I would be insane to let concerns about my schedule prevent me from going for it. Insane. I can't not do this. I will make this work somehow.

In other words, I'm thrilled. But frantic schedule reshuffling will now commence. I think if I move my work start time an hour earlier, and the finish time an hour later on Mondays and Fridays, and drop a clinic session at school, I will be OK.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I find that, slowly but surely, I am starting to imagine what my future life might be like in acupuncture. I am finding what floats my boat, and what I care not-so-much about. Of course, I still have a long way to go, and a lot of things to learn. But it is nice that my imaginings are starting to take shape.

So far I am liking the gentle Japanese-style of acu (as opposed to Chinese-style "no pain, no gain"), herbal medicines (though the classes are boring and with a TON of information to learn), ear acu (I cleared up my own backache in 5 minutes just jamming a probe on the right points in my ears). And, actually, I like learning the "western" medical stuff. Some of my classmates are dismissive of western medicine because we're doing the eastern spiritual/energetic stuff so why should we have to sit through pathology classes? But I like it. Partly because I have always liked gross medical stuff, although of course I am always imagining I have whatever we're studying - I have a spot on my arm that has in my mind been both skin cancer and MRSA within the course of a week. And every time we talk about skin diseases or infectious diseases I come over all itchy, which is not terribly reassuring. But partly I like it because I know that patients will be coming in with western diagnoses. They won't be saying "oh, I get dizzy now and again, and sometimes I am thirsty and sometimes I pee a lot." They'll be saying "I have high blood pressure and diabetes." And I want to be able to understand the disease, and to be able to speak in terms that the person can understand. I also want to be able to understand prescription drugs, so that I can know which drugs and herbs react/interfere with each other. Most doctors will just say "I don't understand herbs, so I don't know which ones react, therefore don't take any." If I can counter with appropriate information for the patient to take back to their doctor, all the better. But it would be nice not to have to fight with patients' doctors. It would be nice to work in an integrative setting with a doctor that is not dismissive of this stuff.

Of course, thinking about working in a doctor's office doesn't stop me from constantly looking at buildings in my city and thinking about whether they would make a good clinic. Particularly old stores with apartments above them. I really dig the idea of living above the shop, as it were. I don't know whether this is just because it would save money to have one location, or because it appeals to a sense of history. That's the way people used to run their businesses - out of their homes. It just seems funky and cool. Of course, it does mean living on a busier road, as such stores are not generally on quiet residential backwaters, but hey, that's the price you pay.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Whoa. Freaky.

So, right, akashic record thing. They said I had to open myself up to other things, especially to learning about areas that are adjunct to or complementary to what I'm learning with Chinese medicine. Maybe other healing modalities, other herbal medicine traditions. Whatever whets my interest. I shouldn't cry off about not having enough time, I should just do it. Go to the seminars or classes or whatever. And broaden my horizons. Not the least because the more things I go to, the more people I will meet, including (I hope) the future Mr. Sarah.

Right. Just do it. Easier said than done to someone who is chronically worried about being time-deprived.

Well, we were leaving the school clinic on Saturday when I got persuaded to go to the home of some fellow students to learn about an energetic healing class one of them is doing. I said no to start with, true to form. But they pushed, they said there would be food, and that it would only be a few hours and besides, I had nothing else planned for Saturday night. So with the "just do it" motto floating around my head, I stepped out of my comfort zone and said yes.

We had a nice dinner, and then sat around discussing this healing thing, and I've got to say, I was a bit skeptical. It involves what basically appear to be mirrors. And some colored threads. And some other things that I couldn't figure out. Yah. Like I said, it wasn't floating my boat any. But the guy that has done the class decided to do a treatment on me to demonstrate. And.

Whoosh is all I can say.

I felt this energy from these darn mirror things. I felt my chakras, especially the ones where I have blockages. I felt fear bubbling up. I felt many things. And then they left me for 10 minutes to relax, and as I was lying there, all these insights came to me. Insights into the whole infertility mess and my mother's death. About how things happen to us that we can't control and plan for. And I felt at peace. It was like these two aspects of my life were mirrors - my mother got ripped away from me, and so did my child. Or, at least, the child I thought I was creating with my carefully planned SMC backup plan. You can't plan. Things happen. Sometimes things happen to teach us a lesson in a fairly brutal fashion. But it was like, here, here is this 30-year period of your life in which you were miserable. Bookended by two miserable events. But for the first time, I came to see them as bookends. A beginning and an end. An open and a close. A start and a finish. And that I can close that chapter of my life, and look on to the next with happiness. Because I don't need to drag the misery around any more.

And then my friends came back in the room, and continued the healing, and we got to a point where my head opened up and I got dizzy from the vastness of space that was inside my head.

Um. Yeah. Whoosh.

Don't worry. My head went back to normal again. I think...