What if I say I will never surrender?

Well, hey there.

Here I am.

It’s been a while so I will play catch up tonight, before writing about the more pressing things I have had on my mind.

A large part of why I have not been writing is that I have been in the throws of fertility treatment (which really deserves its own special place in hell). In between hormones and appointments and stress I haven’t had the emotional capacity to write. Though, lord knows I have tried.

Over the past few months I have learned again and again, that my body is doing it wrong. I am running out of eggs. My immune system is killing pregnancies. I have endometriosis. Ovarian cysts. Polyps. “Doctors appointment” to me, is synonymous with “Doom”.

On the plus side I now know more about human reproduction than I ever anticipated. So ya know, if I ever get a chance to go on Who Wants to be a Millionaire and there happens to be a question on zygote development or hormone production; I may be in with a chance for the big bucks. Don’t worry. I won’t let it change me.

One of the more interesting aspects of my treatment is the intralipids. Basically once a month I go into hospital for the day to have an IV of some soy/egg concoction. I am banned from taking steroids (according to my immunologist) due to the whole rampant psychosis thing. So the intralipid treatment is another way to suppress my immune system to allow a pregnancy to progress. Apparently anyway.

Intralipid infusion. 20 minutes after the nurse 'tissued' me, and my hand blew up like a balloon (which sadly, I don't have a photo of).

Intralipid infusion. 20 minutes after the nurse ’tissued’ me, and my hand blew up like a balloon (which sadly, I don’t have a photo of).

I also had a laparascopy surgery to treat my endometriosis, which wasn’t too bad. I have a history of waking up like a wild combative beast after a general anaesthetic, so my anaesthetist told me she was going to sedate me before I woke up. It must have worked because when I woke up there was no sign of a struggle, and my nurse seemed uncharacteristically relaxed.

One thing that really struck me was how NICE the nurses were. I’m used to nurses barking at me or being profoundly unsympathetic. After my hernia reconstruction (which was a fairly large operation that I spent a total of 7 days on a surgical ward for) I had the audacity to ask a nurse for some painkillers. I was told – in a rather snippy tone – that I HAD to expect SOME pain, and was very reluctant to offer me relief. I was an involuntary psychiatric patient at the time, with my own psychiatric nurse, and I half wonder if she thought I also had some sort of substance abuse problem as well. But even if I did; 24 hours post open surgery you hurt. You need painkillers.

Anyway, this time, during the night after surgery I was in a lot of pain. I left it for about three hours before, out of desperation, I pressed the call button and waited to be told off. Instead this lovely nurse came, and looked at my chart and dosed me with oxycodene in a rather maternal manner. I promptly got high (which was odd as I used to take the stuff 3 times daily and never felt remotely stoned) and then fell asleep. My sheets were changed. I was spoken to in a respectful manner. I was given options not orders. I was not a psychiatric patient, nor was my psychiatric history deemed particularly relevant. I was treated better. It’s hard not to make assumptions.

Of course, things never run smoothly in our household. So a few nights after the surgery Hubster and I woke to Master D coughing in an exceedingly ominous manner in our bedroom. Seconds later he threw up. Fifteen minutes later he hurled again. Master D climbed into bed with Hubster, and in an effort of self preservation I escaped to the couch – because gastro after abdominal surgery? HELL NO. But the damage was done, and we all went down with a despicable, no doubt Kindy acquired, stomach bug.

In the middle of everything I started to feel very negative about everything. I felt like we had too much on our plate. I had too many appointments. Too many health concerns. Every week I seemed to spend most of my time in hospitals or doctors waiting rooms. I felt drained.

So when Hubster announced he was going to Sydney on business I booked tickets, packed bags for Master D and I, took some of my annual leave and went with him. It was the most wonderful week spending quality time with Master D, seeing the sights of Sydney, and getting the hell away from everything that was going on. Only marred by reacting to some food, getting sick, and then having dreadful anxiety problems. Because autoimmune diseases never take holidays.

When we got back I saw my psychiatrist who put my back on Seroquel for the interim. I hadn’t slept properly in weeks, was having constant panic attacks, and was getting more and more unhinged. The med change seemed to help and I began sleeping again and my anxiety has subsided somewhat.

So here I am again. Just about to start another round of fertility treatment. Fighting to keep my autoimmune disease and mental health stable. Juggling a plethora of appointments. Trying to fit in a full time PhD and part time work in the mix.

I’m doing ok.

Each day at a time.

It takes a lot for me to surrender.

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Somewhat of a perfect day…

Yesterday was somewhat of a perfect day. I woke up and did almost four hours of work. Then I went out for lunch with my Mum. We went to this little cafe on the coast. The wind was whipping and howling, the waves were crashing and the sky was dark. People were coming into the cafe to shelter from the weather, taking comfort over a warm coffee.

It’s a quirky little cafe that I frequent often, The Wild Fig in Scarborough. The kind of cafe where tableware and chairs don’t match, and fake grass lines the walls. It’s got the best food. Beautiful textures and flavours. The kind of stuff you wouldn’t make at home. After a divine gnocchi I ordered their famous chocolate pudding. It was heavenly!

Then we went out into the cold and the wet. I raced down to the beach from the carpark to get a photo of the weather. This is what I got.

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The wind was buffeting against me as I stood precariously on top of a ledge to take the photo. I was laughing, trying to keep my balance. I made it back to the car just in time, before a deluge of rain hit.

We then drove to an Indian grocery store. I stocked up on ghee and a range of beautiful fragrant spices for the curry I am making this weekend. I discovered it was so much cheaper to buy spices from the merchant than in supermarkets.

Finally we went home, Hubster and my sister were caught in a rail breakdown and were both very late home from the city. So my mum and I looked after both the boys and I made a minstrone soup for everyone.

Some days, no matter how simple and seemingly innocuous, are just perfect.

I also made the decision to come off my Saphris. I’m not happy with the side effects I’m having, they are having an impact on my life. I’m conducting somewhat of an experiment. I’ll come off the Saphris, and if “the People” start bugging me too much I’ll go back on the drug. But the way I see it, I’ve had “the People” around for a good decade or so. I know what I am in for. My psychologist told me I may never be completely free of “the People”. They might always be there, I just need to learn to control my reaction to them. This is something I am working on.

I did find it hard to get to sleep last night. I’m so used to taking the Seroquel and Saphris and being knocked out. Last night, with only the Seroquel, I tossed and turned then fell asleep naturally. I had forgotten what that was like.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings.