Wednesday, May 23, 2012

13 Vials later.....

You'd think with that much blood, we'd get some sort of answer as to what the heck is going on this poor excuse for a body of mine. But no. The nurse phoned to say all levels are perfect. No sign of Lupus.

"Does that answer your questions?" she asked.

I laughed. No seriously, I laughed at her. Strait out laugh and simply said "No." She seemed concerned, until I continued laughing. Further stating that we now have absolutely no clue as to what is going on. She was then sympathetic.


Now what?

I somehow was able to block out all thoughts of my health on our trip, and what I may be coming home to. I am now sitting here with my mind flooded with questions. If it's not Lupus, what the hell is it? Am I losing my mind? (Don't ask my husband that.)

Can we talk about poop for a minute? (Random. I know. But I swear I have a point to make.)

So vacation was my official last hoorah with dairy and gluten. I knew it would be too difficult to eat vegan and gluten free while at an all inclusive resort in another country. What's a girl to do?! So I enjoyed every last bite of fresh fish, cheesy eggplant parmagiana, horrably bad for you nachos with cheese, oh I had it all! Including the creme brulee. Which I don't regret one bit. Did I mention the fries.....

But all those foods kept one thing from happening. Poop. Poop wasn't happening. At least not how it normally does. For those of you with Celiac Disease, you poop all the time when you eat gluten, right? But those of us with a sensitivity, we back up. At least I do. (Am I alone in this?)

And the dairy definitely didn't help. My stomach was like a vault. Only unleashing once a day which lacked the usually consistency. This did not help when I tried to feel and look confident in my two piece. My bloated belly protruded out everyday. Thank heavens for long, flowy maxi dresses.

So what's my point? Monday began my official, yes Official Gluten Free Vegan Diet. There, I've said it out loud. I attempted before vacation, but now things are serious. I felt awful when I got home. I can't even begin to describe the pain I felt with my lack of BMs.

But Monday morning, I started things off right. We grocery shopped Sunday night, so that I could have a chance to finally focus on nutrition. (I didn't even purchase any chips!) So for the past 2, 2.5 days I have been eating pristinely. And let me tell you....






Things are starting to clean themselves out. The bloating is going down. I'm starting to have more energy, and my appetite is finally back. It's amazing how quickly the affect can be. So far so good. Here's a peak at last nights dinner.

Anyone else struggling with food allergies or sensitivities? 

Here's what you missed....

Our daily view
Reading on the beach, how we filled our mornings.
Beautiful weather every day!
Coconuts on the beach, with rum. Yummy!
Hubby had one too!
Yup, still beautiful weather....
Food was delicious, especially the eggplant parm.
More sun.
More food, fried grouper to be exact.
Last night dinner and drinks.
I'm going to miss this view.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Am I gone yet?

After sitting through Tuesday's appointment, fearing everything that could possibly come from the blood tests, I am thankful that I am leaving town bright and early tomorrow morning. Actually, tonight. Our plan is to stay in Medford at our traveling couple companion's condo, then head to the airport tomorrow morning around 5:30am. (Which means I'll be up, showered, dressed and ready somewhere around 4:30, if I sleep at all.) The test results aren't back yet, and I'm secretly praying they don't come in today. It will take all my self control not to pick up the phone if Dr. C calls. Part of me wants to know, while the other is relieved I have no answers prior to vacation. Which I think Hubby is relieved of as well. So crossing my fingers I know nothing until I return.

You'll notice I haven't been listing the food I've consumed every day. My apologies for not following through. This week has been crazy, and it has taken everything in me to not eat gluten. I forgot how hard it was. But so far so good. I've cut out the majority and only enjoyed it once a day. Definitely feeling better since the cut, but I can still use some work. Let's hope the resort has some options!

On another note......

When we booked our trip, we neglected to realize the fact that we'd be gone on Mother's Day. Something I never miss for my Mama or Mother in law. I am sadly thankful that I won't be here. We shared 2 great meals last weekend with each set of parents celebrating Mother's Day though. And now I have the freedom to relax on a beach on Sunday and forget that it's Mother's Day, (and that I'm still childless). I like to pretend the day doesn't affect me, but in all honesty, the morning comes and I'm bitterly sad.

But not this Mother's Day!

 I will be waking up in Punta Cana, enjoy cocktails and lots of sunshine! Enjoying every moment of not being a mother. Doing whatever I please and not having to think or be concerned with anyone else.

So to all my infertile friends: Think of it as Hopeful Mother's Day! Enjoy Sunday! Do something for yourself, do something you've wanted to do but haven't. Do something you couldn't do if you were pregnant or a mom. Let it be a happy day and remind you of all the reasons you're fighting to become a mom. Stay strong and remember there is always a way. It may not be the one you planned, but it's the one you're meant for.

To all my motherly friends: I hope you have a fabulous day and remember to squeeze those little cherubs that you have been so luckily blessed with. Say a prayer for all us interfiles and remember being a mother is a gift. No matter how trying of a day can be, you've been given the greatest gift there is. Please don't take it for granted. Happy Mother's Day!

See you all in a week! (Did I mention I will be unplugging completely on this trip! No phone, no email, no nothing! Sooooo looking forward to it!)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

From Not Trying to 13 Vials

Yesterday I attempted to cancel my 3 month follow up with Dr. C scheduled for today. Seeing as we are taking a needed break, hubby and I decided it would probably be best to forgo the appointment and reschedule for after vacation. Then I was told I'd have to pay $100 cancellation fee.

It was pretty silly to drive all the way to work for 8am, then have to leave at 8:45am, so I took the morning to pull myself together and conjure up a plan of what to say to this man. I arrived for my appointment at 9:30am and patiently sat in the waiting room until 9:45am until Barbara came to take me in. Barbara happens to be my Creighton Model teacher, but works part time for Dr. C. She's a bubble of energy every time I see her.

She takes my weight, blood pressure, and pulse. Then we open up my charting, and begin looking things over. Seeing as I've been charting once a week, things aren't 100% accurate. But they are good enough. (I haven't been charting everyday. I find I become obsessed with it which contributed to my break down.) She notices the same thing I do. This month has been my best cycle in over 4 months. However, my mucus cycle is longer than usual, which can indicate an ovarian cyst. So that was briefly discussed.

She soon leaves and Dr. C comes in about 10 mins later. And then it began.

I had everything worked out in my head. But his slow approach always seems to throw me off. He takes some time to look over my chart, then glances at his past notes. We then begin discussing that Chris and I are taking a slight break, mostly from the meds. We aren't "trying", but we aren't being careful. He agrees that that may be a good idea, for us mentally. He said he cringed when he saw that I was on his schedule for today, because we've been struggling and trying for so long. (He truly cares.)

As we talk, we somehow end up discussing the following. Don't ask me how, or in what order, but this is what he has come up with. (At least what I left with.)

1. He wants to retest my thyroid levels, seeing as I've been off the meds for awhile. If the levels are up, I'll be going back on Levothyroxine.

2. He wants to test my Progesterone and Estrogen levels, verify if I have a cyst or not.

3. He wants me to go back on Low Dose Naltrexone. He believes there is something definitely wrong with my body, and that it is not working properly. We're not sure what it is, but he's hoping the Naltrexone will help to bring my energy levels back up and my immune system working properly. We did discuss the lack of sleep issue when I was on it last. He suggested if that happens again, I should be open to taking something for sleeping. Not what I wanted to hear.

4. Blood work for several other antibodies, not sure the names. They will help to rule out if there may be an auto immune disease that we have missed. We discussed Chrohn's Disease as well, but he's pretty sure it's not that. He did do an external pressure exam on my abdomen, and I had a lot of tenderness, especially near where my large intestine meets my small intestine. (Inflammation in the small intestine is Chrohn's Disease apparently.) He said "Go on vacation and relax. We'll discuss that next time." So for the moment, I'm attempting to rid it my from memory.

5. HCG shots were also discussed. Seeing as I have inflammation continuously in my body, he thinks the HCG shots may be a better alternative to Progesterone and Piroxicam. HCG shots are taken post peak, days +3, +5, +7, and +9. The shots help your growing baby during crucial implantation time, and helps your body with inflammation as well. Therefore replacing Progesterone and Piroxicam. However, some insurances don't cover them, so we'll be looking into that as well when we return from vacation.

6. Continue taking Pycnogenol every day. It seems to be making a huge difference with the inflammation. And until we can determine what's causing it, it will help with the pain.

7. Gluten, Soy, Milk. Without bringing up diet, Dr. C starts discussing tests conducted in Europe. They apparently have a broad scale blood test they do on foods and allergies. Here in the US, we for some reason don't believe in it. But the 3 major issues that arise in most people's testing, were sensitivities or allergies to glutens, soy and milk proteins. (Funny, since that's what I've been trying to rid my diet of.) We then discussed vegan diet and going gluten free again. Apparently I am to truly start eating gluten and dairy free, and eat minimal soy. He believes I'm probably allergic to at least 2 of the 3. And for some reason, hearing a doctor say I'm allergic to these things, affects my self control to eat them. So tomorrow starts Day 1 (again) of gluten & dairy free. (Which should be a challenge on vacation, hopefully not though.)

8. Take Piroxicam this cycle. He said even though you aren't "trying", this is a good cycle, and you just never know. It won't hurt to take it. (Hopefully they won't find it hidden in my luggage this weekend.)

9. Enjoy Vacation! Per Barbara & Dr. C.

Our follow up is scheduled for June 5th. We have a month to chat and discuss what we want to do next. I will hopefully get a call from Dr. C this week with the test results. 13 vials!!! That so far is my number to beat. I didn't even feel faint. I probably will though when I receive the bill.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Is it a sign?

This morning, I tossed and turned for a good 3 hours. It seems to be happening more and more often. Originally I believed it was my giddy, school girl excitement for our upcoming trip. Which yes, I still blame partially for the early morning tossing sessions.

But this morning I awoke around 5am, but then quickly fell back to sleep. I woke around 6:30 and began to foggily (is that a word?) remember what I had just dreamed. And as I did, a slow and creeping smile spread its self across my face. There I sat, staring at my son. He had a bald head covered in peach fuzz, the start of his blue eyes turning brown, a slight pug nose similar to mine, slightly squinty eyes like my husband's and the fattest cheeks you've ever seen. His pudgy milky arms kept reaching up to touch my lips as I made a fish face at him. This wasn't a child I had lost and was finally meeting in heaven. This wasn't a child I'd never have. This was a child I have yet to meet. Have yet to deliver.

My life was at the point it's at now, only a year or so later. I had all the feelings of infertility consuming me. I knew I had struggled to get here. I knew this was my only child to be. He was it. My son. My husband was sitting next to me, but was not as engrossed as I was. For he had already accepted our son as real. I on the other hand, seemed to be just taking it all in for the very first time.

As I stared at this beautiful 6 month old boy, I felt at peace. Every weight, concern, anger, anxiety I ever had about conceiving was gone. I knew he had been a surprise.

When I truly started to grasp the depth of this dream, I began to wonder. Or better yet, feel as though this was a sign. (I'm a strong believer in signs, and when you need one, they appear. They always have.) I've surrendered, as I stated recently. I've surrendered to the possibility that I may not have children of my own. I'm in the middle of a much needed break. I've stopped charting, monitoring and hoping.

And I know I've said this before, but sometimes to get what you really want need, you must stop trying to control it and simply surrender yourself to fate.

Was this dream my sign?

Was this supposed to push me to give it one more month?

Or did this all just come to the surface because I've been suppressing it for a month?

Whatever it's meaning, I hope it is a glimpse into the future. I can still see his beautiful face.....

Friday, May 4, 2012

Recap of Day #9

Breakfast was yet again, you guessed it....a protein shake. Shocked? I did add a scoop of the protein powder, so it was pretty grainy. Snack was bad, very bad. I had my usual tea and honey. However I happened to have some left over chips from yesterday's lunch that I scoffed up. Only one serving. And then I continued to rummage through my desk drawer and found a small portion of Tings. Gluten and dairy free. Super light, and crunchy. Only had 1/2 to 1 serving. Oops.

Lunch, hmmm lunch. We decided this dreary rainy weather had gotten the best of us, and opted for a hot lunch instead of our usual salads. I just could not get warm yesterday, this definitely helped.

Mexican Wrap from Boston Bean House
Yummy. Their food is homemade, made fresh every time you order. The family that owns and runs the cafe is super sweet and always smiling. I love that.

I scooted home after work, quickly changed, and ran out the door to boot camp. So glad I did! Intense workout, pretty sure calories burned were between 800-1000. (Didn't feel so bad about the chips after that.) And I was able to withstand the intervals more so than usual, which means I'm showing improvements. Love that!

Dinner consisted of Eggplant Quinoa Salad, so delicious!!!! Sauteed the eggplant, 5 cloves of garlic in safflower oil until it started to breakdown. Added in 5 sliced mushrooms, 1/2 onion and some rosemary. Then 1/4 yellow and orange peppers to saute as well. 2 plum tomatoes and 1/2 cup of diced green onions. Let simmer and soften for about 15-20 mins. 

Cook the quinoa separately, then once the veggies are all cooked, dump in the quinoa and stir. Let simmer on low for 5 mins. The finished product is filled with so many flavors and is quite filling.

I sprinkled some Cabot (lactose free) Extra Sharp cheese that I had in the fridge. So good! I may have snuck in two of the cookies from yesterday after dinner. Shhh, don't tell.

What did you eat yesterday?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Recap of Day #8

Breakfast was the same ole shake I always make in the am. Boring, I know. But it starts my day off right, even if certain things seem to creep there way in....

I managed to stick to my salad for lunch, but opted for Shaws today instead. I splurged and picked up their vegetarian dumplings from the sushi section as well. This gray, damp, rainy days has me yearning for heat, so something warm was necessary for lunch. I failed and purchased chips. They were however gluten free, but for some reason gave me heart burn. Boooo.

Shaws Salad Bar $3.50

Vegetarian Dumplings from Shaws

Gluten Free Chips
 When I got home from work, I was oddly tired and felt the yearning for my sofa. And a snack. Multigrain chips and some Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus seemed fitting.
I have a chip problem. That and hummus.
 Somewhere between vegging out on the sofa and heading to the gym, I felt the need to bake some cookies. Random, I know. But on occasion I get cravings. I thankfully had everything I needed for some Chocolate Chocolate Chip Coconut Pecan Cookies. (Yes I made those up.)
Cookie ingredients
 Don't they look yummy? I know, my camera phone isn't ideal, but it's so much easier to send photos to myself for the blog. One day I'll day.
Baking cookies.
Don't worry, cookies weren't my dinner. After a 60 mins workout at the gym, and some serious stretching (need to prepare for Bootcamp tonight), I wasn't in the mood to cook. So I made myself a dark chocolate berry protein shake. I even added the grainy protein powder and some how stomached it down. Then completed the day with two cookies and a cup of tea. 

*Even though I am failing miserably at being gluten free, I am reminding myself at every meal to think about how much I've consumed. If anything, this past week has kept me thinking about nutrition and what I am inhaling all day long. And having to post all of this for you (the world) to see, it's helped. So thank you.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A little Book help please?

As the days continue to count down, and I begin to get as giddy as a school girl, I find myself in need of book suggestions. Travel time is approximately 6 hours to Punta Cana with only 10 days left. Never mind the daily lounges by the ocean or pool. That's a lot of reading. So I am turning to all of you, in hopes for some great reads.

Check out my Nooked It page for everything I've finished recently. Then submit your suggestions in the comments section of this post. Please help? I love recommendations and greatly appreciate them!

Of if you have any good movies you could recommend....that would help too.

You're the best!

Great book, about half way through. Hoping to be done before we leave. 
So load me up with suggestions people. 
You know you can. 
What's your favorite book of all time?

Recap of Day #7


Kashi Oatmeal with So Delicious Coconut Milk


Hannaford's Salad Bar $3

Cape Cod Reduced Fat Chips, 1 serving

Needed some soup, damp and rainy out.


Roasted Bok Choy

Gluten Free Noodles, White Yams, 0 calories

Stir Fry Ingredients


Almost done.....

Dinner is served!

Any questions?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What's REALLY going on?!

I am getting back to me. The "me" that is happy, smiling, and enjoying life. It has not been easy. I've had serious break downs and moments where I almost picked up the phone to reserve my psych bed. Trust me, there's nothing wrong with seeing a shrink, and I still think one day I'll have the courage to actually do so. But for now, I talk to my husband. About everything. (Sorry babe.) Not some things, not the things I think he'll want to hear, not the nice stuff everyone likes to listen to. EVERYTHING. (Down to how many bm's I've had for the day. Yes, I'm referring to poop, again.)

I realized though that I am not talking to you. Yes, YOU. My readers. I haven't been sharing everything like I usually do. Mostly because I'm still very confused as to what is going on in this head of mine. Every part of me wants to continue trying to have kids. My brain however has been in overload. I can no longer handle the stress and realm of everything we have endured. My brain has simply given up. Shut down. Closed for business. One moment I was cooking dinner on the stove, the next I was a blubbering idiot sobbing on my husband's shoulder.

I've given up.

I'm not sure for how long.

I'm not sure where I'm going to go from here.

I'm not sure what I can physically and emotionally handle anymore.

I feel like I have been trudging along with the realization that one day I would get what I want.

I no longer have that unquestionable thought that I'll have a biological child.

I no longer know where or how my kids will be conceived.

I've just simply given up.

Sometimes the best thing you can do, is throw your hands in the air and surrender. It's probably the bravest most powerful thing I've done. After all, we have no control over these things. We have no way of knowing how our life is meant to go. We simply try. We attempt to make things the way we want them as best as we can.

I hope that I can have kids.

I hope I can be a mother one day.

But for now, I'm surrendering.

My white flag is up.

I will continue living my life, not obsessed with the idea of having children. I will fill my time with the things that I love. Family. Friends. Hiking. Wine. Working out. Yoga. Food. Cooking. Hugs. Walks. Reading.  Fuzzy blankets. Traveling. I hope one day I will know what the next step is to be. Because, right now, I don't know.

What I do know, is that I love my husband, more now than ever before. I know I "know" him as best as you can truly know a person. These 7 years have been hell, but we're still smiling. And if my life is meant to be lived beside him and nothing else, I am okay with that. I am blessed to have that. He is my best friend, biggest supporter and best protector. And I am the luckiest girl in the world to have his love.

So for now, I'm going to continue being selfish and bask in the thought of my upcoming week in the Caribbean. Let's all pray and send positive thoughts that the forecasted rain is just a big hoax. I would greatly appreciate it.

11 days and counting......

Monday Recap Day #6

I did far better yesterday, but still not perfect. We'll get there....eventually. Breakfast was my usual shake with a 1/2 scoop of vegan protein powder. I'm not a huge fan of it, the textures is a little too grainy for my taste, but protein is important so I sucked it up.

Morning Snack/Tea Time
I was actually not hungry around 10am, like I usually am. I know I stated awhile ago that I go through cycles. This is apparently the week of low to no appetite.

Hannaford's Salad Bar $6
I was good and opted for the salad bar again. They even had edamame yesterday and marinated mushrooms. Salads are always better with marinated mushrooms!

I did however break down and get a small bag of chips which I split with Hubby, so I truly only had one serving.

Cape Cod Reduced Fat

Dinner was late last night do to some much needed house cleaning and laundry folding. Pretty sure I had 5 loads to fold and another in the dryer. Sigh. I started cooking somewhere around 7:30, yet we didn't eat until 9pm. How did that happen?! None the less, the meal was delicious. 

This is where I fell off the wagon, just a bit. I had a left over pie crust (not homemade) lying in the fridge. I despise wasting food so I felt compelled to use it. I had picked up some jalapenos and vegan cream cheese to make jalapeno wontons, yet neglected to realize I was out of wonton wraps. Fail. So I rolled out the pie crust as thin as possible and made mini jalapeno pillows.

Ingredients. Onion was not photographed, he was shy last night.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Chop jalapenos up pretty small along with the onions.

Happy Jalapenos

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon chili powder and curry powder. Dash of salt and some black pepper. Add the cream cheese, whole container. Stir until mixed well. Cut pie crust into 5" x 3" rectangles. Scoop a tablespoon of mix onto the pie crust. Press edges together and roll up. You don't need to be too crazy about sealing them, just roll so the cream cheese doesn't leak too much out the sides. 

Bake for 15 mins until brown. Serve warm with Frank's Red Hot Sweet Chili for dipping. 

Those little tarts in the front are the jalapenos!

I also made a quinoa stir fry with onions, red & green peppers and carrots. Sauteed them in olive oil, then added the left over cream cheese and jalapeno mix with some soy sauce. Yum!!!

Quinoa Stir Fry

Washed it all down with some homemade iced green tea with organic honey. Cheers!