Saturday, August 28, 2010

A surprising calm

I've been immersed in my work lately. No time to spend on my poor neglected blog. No time to tend the garden. Not much exercise. But I am enjoying my new job - it's amazing compared to the last one! I feel like I have a bit of control, a bit of respect, and a bit of joy in my work now. Teaching is hard work, I never doubted that, but so far it seems to be right up my alley. :)

Last weekend hubby and I traveled to a design conference in another (bigger) city. It was cool to get out of town for a few days and just be somewhere completely different. It has given me the creative kick I needed to start making art again.

While we were there, I also bought a few books (I LOOOOOVE books!), and so far this one has really captured my attention:

The Art of Choosing is written by Sheena Iyengar, a blind Sikh psychologist who has spent her career studying how people make decisions. It's a fascinating read and I highly recommend it. BTW, I choose this book because it had jellybeans on the cover, and because I had a cat called Sheena when I still lived with the parents. hehe :P

So how is everything else going? Well, surprisingly well, as the title of this post suggests. I've only had one serious cry/wail about our situation since my last blog post, so I will take that as a sign that I am coping quite nicely. On the otherhand, I am slighlty concerned that I'm not more upset now. I worry I might be bottling stuff up and just not dealing with it. I still notice babies and baby-related-stuff everywhere. At the cafe at lunch today I was fine, then a grand-dad came in with an infant in a car-capsule, and I noticed there was a "breast is best" pro-breastfeeding sign on the window. Just can't escape it. It's annoying me, but it's not driving me totally insane. I will take that small blessing! :P

One of my colleagues got an email yesterday which tested my "cover" strongly. (By cover, I mean that I've not told anyone at my new job what we've just gone through in regards to infertility and being disqualified for public IVF funding.) She has a friend in the UK who had been complaining for months about feeling tired and lethargic. It was getting worse. She had been to her doctor several times and nothing was helping. They couldn't figure out what was wrong. Then she mentioned the swollen ankles. Doctor decided to do a pregnancy test.... (she was on the pill) ...and lo and behold, it's a BFP! Want to know the amazing part? She's 7 months! WTF? How in holy hell could you not notice that! My colleague went to great pains to explain that her preggers-friend was a university-trained intellectual, not just some dumb-ass. But 7 months!? I asked the first question you ask when you hear a story like this: is she, ah.... is she a large lady? No. Slim. Where could she hide it? I dunno.... so now I know of a true case of this happening. Really happening. Only seen it in trashy womens mags and on telly before. But it happens in the real world. So that made for an interesting few minutes where I had to sit and try and compose myself, right before a class too! Sigh.

I can't remember if I told you before, but my one ray of hope was an organisation called Fertility NZ. I emailed them frantically, hoping that they could help somehow. Or at least explain what had happened. The wonderful ladies there have called me twice over the past couple of weeks with words to the effect that:

  • this sort of terrible mess happens regularly to NZ couples
  • they get a couple of complaints from desperate women every week
  • no I am not going mad
  • yes those doctors did behave poorly
  • no there's not a helluva lot we can do about it
  • yes they want our help to stop this crap happening to other people
  • but we will contact the fertility clinic on our behalf to get us some answers
So I wrote a letter for FertilityNZ to pass to the fertility clinic:

Currently, we are still waiting for a response from the fertility clinic. I hope they realise that this sort of treatment is unacceptable. I hope they find some common decency to re-score our case in a fair and decent way. I hope we are given a chance.

The lady from FertilityNZ did make me realise that we are not at a total loss... under the current law we WILL qualify for funding in Sept 2012 - still a while away, but possible. It feels like forever to wait and I really don't want to. But it's the only thing I can do at the moment. At least I'm not too close to 40yrs to wait (funding is also immediately cut once the woman turns 40). So that is another small blessing.

She also told me that they are actually trying to get the law changed in New Zealand, because it is so unfair to so many couples. She described how many folks get caught in the "time trap" - waiting, waiting, waiting until they qualify for funding. :(

So now you know why the blog's gone a bit quiet. There is nothing much interesting to report. Which has meant I've been rather calm. All this activity and planning, appointments and scans, tests and pills. It's all just stopped. I can now go back and do some gardening. Make some art. Focus on my design projects. It feels a bit like my brain is on holiday from the most grueling job in the world. I'm sad that it all didn't go as planned. But I'm so tired, and I don't see many options to push any further. I'm not giving up, but I'm having a rest. :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I may have been quiet, but I haven't fallen off the map completely!

Yep, took a two week break from blogging, from thinking, from doing much at all except throwing myself into my new job - which I love by the way! I just want to let you all know that I'm ok, kind of. :P

Thank you to everyone for your kind thoughts and emails. It's helped more than you can know.

After getting the news that apparently we would not be eligible for publicly-funded IVF treatment we didn't know what to do at first. "Grieve" seemed to be the natural response. Then get bloody angry!

But then I remembered a New Zealand organisation called Fertility NZ. They offer advice, advocacy, education, information, and support for those New Zealanders affected by infertility. I had nowhere else to turn, so I wrote them an email. It's not everyday I spill my most private thoughts and fears to a stranger on the end of an email address, but I seriously felt like I was out of options.

Less than two hours later, a super-lovely woman who shall be called S emailed back asking for more information. I had to wait two days to get a lunch hour long enough, but I called her and we spoke for an hour. It was the best conversation - helped me to realise that I'm not crazy and what has happened to us is not right. Not right at all. (If you want the details, please read here and here.)

S advised us to get together a list of questions to put to the fertility clinic, to try and figure out this whole mess. So I've been doing that. And working a demanding new teaching job, and doing freelance web design work on top of all that. Trust me, my brain is full!

On the diabetes front, things have been interesting. Take a look at the last two weeks numbers:
Breakfast numbers under 10mmol/L. Woohoo!
Check out those breakfast numbers! Two whole weeks and only one result above 10mmol/L. I don't think that has ever happened to me in 22 years of blood testing! :) Woohoo! And why did it occur? Well, I have decided it's because I'm not stressed about my old job anymore. I can't believe that I stayed there, and actually did myself physical damage. Well, now I have proof - stress is bad for you. Duh. (Umm, yes, in case you were wondering, that is a smudge of blood in the top right corner. Eww)

From my desk at my new work, here's a 11.1mmol/L reading, next to my log book, which got all smeared with blood when I failed to notice my finger was bleeding. Oh yeah, and I was teaching a class at the time. So that was interesting: I had to stop and fossick around for a tissue! haha :P My students won't forget that class in a hurry!
I hate these stupid people on the cover.
So that's the rough guide to my last couple of weeks. Better blood sugars, stupid fertility clinic, and working to 10pm most nights to write 4x courses, so I can teach them the following day.

Oh, and I had an appointment with my diabetes nurse educator. You know, the one who always makes me cry. Well, surprisingly, it went very well. She saw my new numbers, my new insulin calculator on my iPhone, my new carb-ratios, and my new carb-counting and proclaimed me to be doing very well. Actual praise. Wow! :)