Saturday, December 19, 2015

Gone too long

It's been a while since my last post. To be truthful I am just lazy and plus there is nothing interesting to write about.  I joined Twitter last summer and has found it to be useful in sharing my daily struggle with chronic pain and endometriosis so I have been spending more time there.   When I first joined it was kind of depressing to see so many young women struggling daily with endometriosis and chronic pain.  At the time even though I talked about chronic illness I haven't accepted that this is where I am at with my illness. I thought somehow I was going to overcome it and be normal and that is just not happening.  So now it is about acceptance, management and finding a new normal.

I am blogging at 6am in the morning.  Normally I am never up before 8am but we have all been sick the last 10 days and it has been hard on my little girl.  It started out as a cold and she is so congested that sleeping has become a challenge.  Now she has sinus and ear infection.  She saw her Doc yesterday who suggested we hold off giving her antibiotics for a few days to see if the congestion resolve on its own. To make it complicated we are going home for 3wks and scheduled to fly on Friday.  It's a 15h flight and she has to get better before that so fingers crossed that all goes well.

Preparing for vacation was going smooth until all the sickness derailed it for over a week and I am now left to do all that needs to be done.   The Endo pain is at a minimum this week so that helps.  My fatigue has also improved the last few months so that is a plus.  Hopefully all will go smoothly.

Have a merry Christmas an a Happy New Year.


Monday, August 31, 2015

Life, big girl & chronic pain

How I love summer and it is slipping away too quickly and I am appreciating the warmth even on the hot muggy days.  At the beginning of the summer we went out shopping for a dining set for our deck but ended up buying a conversation sofa set.  Best decision ever.  Every morning I have my tea curled up on the sofa and soaking up the sun.  When the pelvic pain becomes too much  I just lay there watching my girl play with her water table.   My husband doesn't like the hot weather so he is usually out on the deck only at night but we have both been using it a lot so worth every penny we spent.

On other news my girl is turning 4 years old and over the last few months she has been so interested in actually playing and conversing with other kids.   My nieces and nephews are much older than her so she really doesn't have anyone to play with on a regular bases so we decided it is time to put her in part time daycare.  I found a place I liked that is reasonably priced.  We visited 3 daycares and I liked one the best but it was a little pricey.  I also felt they are too focused on learning and not enough on play.  A 4year old just needs a lot of play and I think kindergarten is enough to get them prepared for school.  So I picked a place that fits in a lot of play.  On the three days that she is home we will redo the alphabets with small letter recognition and may be start on teaching her how to read.  I also plan on continuing to teach her our native language.

This week she went to preschool for 2 hours just to see how she would manage.  Over the week we have been playing school with all her little dolls and talking about it.  So on Thursday morning I told her that she was going to her playgroup.  She was so excited and was dancing around and she also understood that mommy and daddy will drop her off and go home and come back later.  When we arrived at the preschool the kids were having circle time and as soon as we walked in the teacher asked her to hang up her backpack and sit with the kids and asked her name.  Wes snuck out after that
 and she didn't even look back.  She was so ready.  If DH wasn't with me I would have went home and cried. I was happy but felt a little sad.  She has never been away from me or my husband.   Instead we went for coffee and talked about our childhood :).  It just feels like yesterday when we brought  the 5 lb little baby.  When we went back to pick her up she was happy to see us.  Didn't get a chance to talk to her teachers since they were busy with getting the kids ready for lunch.  So next week she officially starts.  If it wasn't for the expense I would have liked to do four half days but didn't find an option that was not too expensive.

Of course I have to talk about my reproductive organs in ever post. After all my day is spent fighting the terrible pelvic pain.   The last few weeks my pain has been up the roof. The fatigue is much better and it is due to drinking Red clover leaf tea ever other day.  That staff really works, it also minimized the increased pain associated with follicular phase.  If I could I would drink it everyday but last time I did that my CM was no show so I try to not overdo it.  But this cycle It seem like my hormones have
normalized but that means more pain as endometrial implants respond to the increased hormone.  Well I think that is what's happening.  I am in so much pain that I have been sleeping on the floor for the last three nights.  It seem like the hard surface decreases the internal organs movement.  I feel that on the left side something has stuck to my colon.   I was suppose to do am MRI but insurance did not approve it and they want an ultrasound done before an MRI.  My doctor is joining another practice and his old office will not tell me where he is going.  They actually said he won't be seeing patients at his new position which is a lie.  When I saw him last he said he is joining another practice but has a non-compete agreement that is for a year so he is moving to my state so he can practice. So now I have to wait until his new information appears on the Internet.   Otherwise I will have to pick another doctor in his old practice.  The reason I went to him is because he is one of the better specialist on endometriosis.   The waiting is killing me.  I should stop the rumbling here.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Alive and kicking

1. My computer is having so many issues and I haven't been able to use it much and the motivation for blogging is not there.  Truthful, I really don't have anything interesting to say.  Our life is the same routine which is fine but not so much fun :)

2. We are enjoying summer, as much as my physical well being allows it.  There are days I prefer to just stay home curled up on my sofa nursing my pain.  My little girl is growing up so fast and she is just so adorable and precious.  She will be turning 4 next month and she talking a lot.  She is constantly asking questions and making me laugh.   She will be going to daycare for 2days/wk ones summer is done.   I am happy that she will spend time with her age group but I will have to do the drop off/pick up and there are day where my pain level is through the roof and driving becomes challenging so I am a little worried.

3.  Health wise I went to see the GYN that I saw last year.  The first time I went to see him was to determine if I had scar tissue in my uterus which came up negative and I haven't seen him since then. Since I had two cycles where I had a lot of menstrual cramping and no AF I was a little worried and wanted for him to do an ultrasound and also wanted to hear his suggestion on how to minimize the endometriosis pain.  The visit went better than I expected.  He thinks I may have adenomyosis and he wanted to do an MRI and go from there.  He also suggested I try the Mirena for the pain.  I have never done well on any hormone treatment so far so I am hesitant to go that route but I have no other choice unless I go get everything removed.  The Mirena will put a stop to the possibility of a miracle baby but it has to be done.  I have heard a lot of horror stories about the Mirena but some swear by it for Endo pain management.  I am fighting with insurance to approve the MRI and we will go from   there.  I also got blood work done for LH, FSH and estradiol.  They were all within a normal range.  
The FSH is on the high side at 12.5 but seems expected for my age.  The day after the blood draw AF showed up after disappearing for two cycles.  It appears that I am ovulating but sometimes no AF.  I knew I was ovulating since I have mid cycle pain and also the usually hormonal shift.  

4. It has been 3years since I quit work.  I need to go back hence #3.  I am hoping the Mirena will work some.  In order for me to consider going back I need to control the pain, get rid of the migraine like headaches but most importantly kick the fatigue.  I assume that if we control the pain the other two will be resolved.  One thing is for sure, I will not go back and struggle as I did before having my baby.  I never want to go back to the daily agony of working while in pain and fatigued.  Just thinking about those days give me anxiety.

5. We are planning to visit DH's family in the winter.  It will at least be for a month.  Instead of being excited to be able to go and see my home country,  I am nervous.  I can deal with the pain some how but I don't know how I would deal with the fatigue and hormonal ups/downs.   The pycnogenol was helping a lot but after a while it started giving me stomach ache so I stopped it.   LDN helped some too but I can't tolerate taking it at night anymore.  I am going to try taking it during the day and see how I do.  Red clover tea has helped some too but not enough.  I want to be well prepared for the trip so we can all enjoy it.   After all escaping winter for a whole month is something to look forward too.

6. I love summer.  The extended daylight is just wonderful.  It is going so fast and we are enjoying it as much as possible.  My DH doesn't like hot weather so when it gets too hot he doesn't want to go out much but I tried to spend as much time on our deck as possible.   

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Brutal peri-menopause symptoms

This past week was brutal emotionally and physically.    I haven't had any relief from pain even though I am post ovulation.  Let me back up a bit, last cycle all was going fine, some pain as usual, ovarian pain mid cycle.  I wasn't paying much attention to CM.  So a few days before my period I started cramping, boob pain, nausea, and lower back pain which kept me close to my sofa.  I waited and waited but no AF.  You all know what happens after this, I become convinced that I must be pregnant.  Ha ha.  So by cd17 I given in and pee on a stick and it was negative.   The next day I pee on another stick and get a BFN.  I have not felt this crashed in a long time.  I was so sad and the no period started to worry me on what could be wrong.  So I cramped for a week but no citing of AF.  no spotting, nothing.   So I started googling "no period and cramping" and learn that it is one of peri -menopause symptoms.   Yea, it is strange to have period cramps and never bleed.   So after the cramps stopped back to a preovulatory phase an started to have mid cycle pain at the right time and even saw some CM.  After what felt like ovulation my pain level increased.  My ovaries are hurting and I am blotted and mid section hurts like hell specially when I lay on my belly.  Every day I wake up with pain and a headache this week.  I believe I am p+9 (cd23).   I started drinking Nettle tea in addition to Red clover tea and that could have also contributed to the no AF.    I stopped both this cycle.

It is pretty clear that I haven't given up on getting pregnant even though we are not actively trying and that I have been telling myself that I have given up and moved on.  I guess my mind hasn't but for my sanity I need this to sink in.  

I had an appointment with my Doc to go over my thyroid hormone levels this past Friday.  My appointment was in the morning and I only slept 4 h the night before and I was in pain and in a bad place emotionally.  For the first time ever I cried in my Doctors office.  I just couldn't keep the tears in while explains the pain and roller coaster of the month.  She was so nice about it.  I am not a crier.  If I cry it usually happens in private but it was just too much that day and I was exhausted.

In a lighter note I am enjoying the weather.   We have been looking at preschools around here.  My little girl is turning 4 in Sep and she will start attending for a few days a week once summer is done.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

On Money-ER(Early Retirement)

So in an effort to redirect my energy from all things fertility/infertility and TTC I have been reading a few helpful blogs on money management that has helped me some in dealing with money. 

As you know I never had any intention of being a SAHM.  I always thought it was ideal to stay home for a few years after you have a baby but I never thought it would be feasible financially and career wise without some big sacrifice that we were not willing to make.  But as with most things in life things don't go as planed, circumstances will force you to make some changes to the much thought out road you envisioned for your life.   

So it has been over two years that we have been living on one salary.  It has been an adjustment but not as difficult as I thought out it would be.   However, the loss of  my income has a big impact on our retirement funds.  The plan was after we bought a home (which we did 2.5 years ago) we were suppose to significantly increase our retirement contribution. 

So my hope is that my health will start improving as Menopause approaches.  I am betting on the endometriosis pain getting easier and I will be able to go back to work in some form or another in a year or two but that is no guarantee.   

The blogs I have been reading on retirement are mostly focused on achieving early retirement.   Since I can't make that goal for me right now, I have adjusted my goal to being able to save as much as we can now and may be I will be able to go back to work and be able to save a lot more if we stick to our current life style.   The trick is not to maximize our lifestyle as income increases and eliminate excess spending. 

My DH laughs at all of my planning.   When I tell him about people who have saved enough and are retired in their 30s and 40s he says he is not interested in retiring.  Even if that is not the goal wouldn't it be wonderful to not worry about money even if you choose to keep working and knowing that you can walk away from your job when you see fit.     That is just liberating. 

Any how, everyone can learn from these blogs what ever goals they have financially.   If you read this far then you have some interest in early retirement or just saving more for retirement so hope these blogs help you as well.  It certainly has helped.

1. Mr Money Mustache : This site has helped me a lot in looking at money as a tool to have a more meaningful life and to really question unnecessary spending.

2. Go Curry Cracker: These couple retired in their 30s and travel around the world.

3. Budgets are Sexy:  The blogger quit his job to permanently blog about money. 

4.  Early Retirement Extreme: for the extreme :)

  Hope you enjoy it


Thursday, April 9, 2015

peri-menopause or what?

My cycles are driving me nuts.   Its been more than a year now that it hasn't been regular.  I usually have a 40 day cycle, followed by a 16 day cycle and two text book 28day cycles and then back to 40 or 16 day cycle.  This has been going for more than a year.   Gone are the 26-28 day regular cycles.

So I had a 30 day cycle in Jan after a 16 day cycle.  So I was expecting another 28 day cycle.  I had cramps for eight days, deep menstrual cramps and lower back pain that left me exhausted.  On what looked like P+15 I started to think these might be pregnancy symptoms.   So I told myself I will test in the morning on P+16 if I don't seen anything.  So next morning comes  and there was nothing.  I found a stick in the back of my cabinet and peed, BFN.  I cursed a lot under my breath while getting toddler ready and go down to have breakfast.  Then I went to pee and to my surprise I see red. 

I think my head is playing some games with me.  30 min after I tested I see blood.  Ha, what kind of a joke is this.   Once bleeding started the cramps subsided.   If I didn't know better I would have taken the bleeding as implantation because it looked like old blood and it was very scanty.  So two days of very light flow followed by a day of spotting and I was done.  The cramps felt like I was going to bleed a bucketful.   After my period ended I was bracing myself for the usual pre-ovulatory endometriosis pain, instead I was hit with fatigue and lower back pain for a good five days.  Over the weekend while we were out I barely said anything, not intentional just was way too tired to even have a conversation and my DH was thinking I was feeling sick.   So I stayed low and slept it off.  I immediately started taking picnogenol which I had stopped taking for a month or so.  The fatigue has lifted and the pain is tolerable.  I saw fertile CM around cd7 which disappeared a few days later.  So I am bracing myself for a 16 day cycle. 

What is really bothering me is on top of the pain having more than a week of cramping before AF.  Usually the post ovulation my pain lessens and that is when I recuperate for the next pre-ovulatory pain.  

This looks awfully like peri-menopause symptoms.  Irregular cycles, minimal bleeding, hormonal ups and downs, wacked up CM etc.    We have stopped actively trying but we are not avoiding either.  It has been more than a year since the last failed pregnancy so there is a very slim chance of it ever happening. 

I have to stop myself from associating certain symptoms with pregnancy and just accept that this is what peri-menopause looks like and wait for all of it to end.    In the meantime I will go hide under a rock.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

On Money #2

About a year ago I wrote on how we were planning to save money by cutting some of our expenses so we can increase our retirement contribution.   I didn't think this was going to be easy since both DH and I are for the most part on the same page when it comes to our finances and that we don't really have excessive spending.   The followings are areas that we tried to cut back

1. Cell Phone Plans: Both of us were on Verizon plan and did not have smart phones.  We paid about $96 on a basic plan (phone & text) which we were happy with.  We never had smart phones even when I was working.  I never saw the need for it since I was stuck at work all day and the rest of the time I am home and use my I-pad for most things. 
So a few months ago I changed over to Republic Wireless and got a smart phone for $150 and have a $10/month plan.   My DH uses his phone rarely so he decided that he will also get a smart phone, mainly for the camera and sign with Ting.  His is a prepaid plan and it costs him about $5-10 a month.   Now this might not work for some people.   The$10/month republic wireless plan doesn't have a data plan but you can use Wifi for Internet and also it defaults to wifi service for calls when available.    The plans has been working wonderful for us and once we cover the cost of the phones we will be saving about $70-80/month on it compared to our Verizon plan. 

2. Water consumption:  We looked in to low-flow toilets & washing full loads of laundry to minimize water bill.  We also installed a control at the kitchen sink where we can adjust the flow.  My sister changed all her toilets to low flashing and said she it has made an impact on their water bill but I didn't really like those toilets, it seem like sometimes their is a need to reflush.  After reading about is a bit we decided to just adjust so that the tanks only fill up 3/4th of the way.   We didn't want to go out and spend money on new toilets.    Another thing I just don't want to give up is my long hot showers.  I take a long hot shower to manage my endometriosis pain and that is not something that I am going to give up.  But I have really tried to make sure I wash a full load of laundry.     

3.  We also tried to lower our thermostat by a few degrees.  We used to set it at  74C and changed it to 72C at nights but  it became really cold in our bedroom and toddler MH doesn't like sleeping under a blanket and sometimes asks for a her PJ bottoms to be removed.   It may be 72c by the thermostat but our room is much cooler so we had to increase it back up to 74C.  We are babies when it comes to cold weather :).  So we have failed in this department.   I think in the near future it might be better to upgrade to efficient windows. 

4. Cable: I sometimes watch TV, especially when my pain it at its worst and I am not able to do much.  But I really don't care for cable much.   When we were in our apartments we didn't have cable and relied on just local channels for years and we were fine with it. But now we are not able to get the local channels without the cable connection and so we singed up for cable service when we moved to this house.   We are looking in to ways we can get rid of it when our contract ends.

5. Food: This department is a fail.  I looked in to joining Costco but the one closest to us is not very convenient and I didn't think we are going to save much.  I try not to buy anything that I have to freeze.   My freezer right now has some chicken, a small container of ice-cream and some spices.  We go to the grocery store at least three times a week and buy fresh.  So food is our biggest expense in general and I try to buy vegetables that are on sale and buy eggs & chicken from Trader Joe's to minimize expenses.   

6.  Other sending: DH doesn't like eating out much so we try to eat at home and may be end up going out 2-3 times a month for a meal.   Most of the time we eat at home and go out for coffee.  I really don't miss eating out much since I can't eat a lot of things because of the gluten free diet and that I am also trying to be careful and eat as much fresh vegetables as I can.    Cloth is another area where we don't spend much on.  DH hates shopping and may go out 1-2 times a year for cloth.  I am at home and don't need to buy a lot of cloth.  I usually just go out about twice a year and we don't buy stuff if it is not on sale & reasonable priced.   

In general we have made some improvement but not a lot.   We are more aware of where the money goes.  We were able to increase our retirement saving last year and will be doing that this year too.  When I tell DH we need to budget he laughs at me and says we already know where the money goes and there is no need for a budget.  I guess he is right.