It’s been a strange week. A stinky week and a beautiful week. It’s been a week.
Monday: I took my last shower on Monday. Our lovely old house is now sans-full bath as the renovations have begun. Luckily, we still have a powder room with the essentials (toilet and sink), but for the bigger cleanliness rituals we’re looking to the kitchen sink and the local gym. It’s been fun! (And stinky.)
Tuesday: Oh, Lord, Tuesday. I’ve already written about Tuesday. Tuesday kinda sucked.
Tuesday didn’t totally suck because I got to see my RESOLVE girlies at our regular monthly support group meeting. We welcomed three new folks to the group, which always elicits part joy and part sadness, and I fielded a question about whether or not we’d had any recent “successes.” That one stung. I didn’t know the answer and feared the worst as some usually chatty gals that I knew were in active treatment had fallen very silent as of late. I responded to the group that I was quietly hopeful I’d have news to share soon, but left with a somewhat heavy heart.
Wednesday: Wednesday was Advocacy Day! And, as if to reiterate why exactly it was I couldn’t leave work and travel to D. C. in the midst of finals week, work was insanely busy. I managed to squeak out a few letters to my senators and representative, caught up on my Twitter stream through the early evening, and drank myself silly at trivia that night. That infectious combo of advocacy day-fueled inspiration and trivia night-fueled intoxication went a long way toward easing some of the pain of Tuesday’s disappointments.
Wednesday wasn’t all hope and
beer rainbows, however, because I’m a total nut-job heavily motivated, assertive, and informed patient. After my rheumatologist appointment was canceled on Tuesday I made it all the way to Wednesday afternoon before I called back and demanded they tell me something. I seriously should know better than to hope a medical receptionist would be helpful by now. I did badger convince her to release the very basics of my lab results to me. See, thing is, I was fairly certain the receptionist would say, “Yup, everything is marked as normal. Have a nice life!” And, while I have a paranoid healthy respect for the fact that “normal” labs are not, in fact, always normal (see: Hashimoto’s Manifesto), I was happy enough to have the receptionist tell me “normal,” walk away knowing I’d most certainly be cycling again at the end of this month, and leave my crazy informed followup questions for the rescheduled rheumy appointment on Monday.
Thing is, I knew from the moment the receptionist’s “Umms” started that not everything was “normal.” She finally regained enough composure to helpfully say, “I don’t know about this rheumatology stuff. Oh my I can’t even pronounce any of these!” <dagger, stabby, dagger> I asked her specifically about ANA speckled (the previously elevated value that landed me at the rheumy in the first place) and she said “I see an ANA, but there is nothing about speckled. ANA homogenous is in red, though. It says 1:320.” So, great, another unexplained elevated ANA (normal, btw, is 1:80), and a missing lab value I most definitely need. Someone fell down on the job. I’m guessing my totally incompetent rural hospital lab failed to order all the tests requested. Highly likely given the fact that the phlebotomist – you know, the one that offered to be my surrogate in February when I was in there every other week due to my failing pregnancy – said to me, “Wow, I don’t know any of these tests!” when I went in last week for the draw. I watched as she kept plugging random combinations of words into her computer terminal in a desperate hope of finding the right tests, and was fairly certain at the time that she just gave up and skipped a few. Of course, when one is holding back tears forged from the rage of repeated medical incompetency, it’s hard to correct the perky phlebotomist. Now, the other option is that the test was actually performed and reported but the receptionist can’t read. Honestly, that’s a highly likely scenario there, too. <stabby, dagger, stabby>
Finally, the receptionist said, “I’m not going to try to pronounce any of the rest of these, but I will say only one other is flagged as abnormal. I’m not allowed to give you the value, but this thing called ‘C Reactive Protein’ is high. You’ll have to ask the doctor about that one.” Hello, heart, welcome to my stomach. Seriously, not ANOTHER thing!? So, here I sit knowing I’m most certainly not “normal” (shush up Mr. But IF), but not knowing whether these values mean much of anything. All I’ve been able to dig up on C-reactive protein is that it is a sign of inflammation or infection and, supposedly, predisposes one to heart disease. Fuck the heart thing, my whole grandparent generation died of strokes and heart attacks in their 50s so I’ve known for a long time I’ll be in the ground looong before Mr. But IF, so whatevs. I just want to know if I’ll be leaving grieving young children behind or not dammit! What does this mean for infertility and miscarriage? So far Drs. Google, Twitter, FF, Facebook, and, unfortunately, Braverman, have left me hanging. Anyone?
Thursday: Thursday was pure beauty. You know that unusually quiet RESOLVE gal I mentioned? Yea, IVF#1 success! And, an early member of the group who wrote late last year to say she’d be pursuing adoption? Baby boy home safe and sound and in his loving parent’s arms! And, for good measure, another member I’d lost track of that had been informed by her RE that her options were donor egg or nothin’? She’s disappeared of late because she is currently entering the second trimester after an own-egg IUI. Combine all of that with the post-rain, puffy cloud, amber sunset we saw as we drove home from picking out our tile and light fixtures, and all I have to say is life is wondrous and beautiful. (Seriously, I’m not crying, it’s, um, just these damn allergies!)
Friday: Well, Friday’s barely here, but there can’t be anything wrong with a Friday. (Well, maybe day 5 sans-shower might dampen it a bit.) Anyway, I’m planning on taking my inflamed/diseased/who-the-hell-knows self out on the town tonight. This will likely involve some porch sitting with friends, growlers from the local micro-brewery, and live music from a great local band as the town collectively celebrates
the college kids getting the fuck out the beginning of summer.
I’m going to stop my prognostication there. I’ll save discussions of Sunday for Sunday. Well, assuming the hangover is gone by then.