Sunday, December 28, 2014


It has been a while since I blogged.  Just stepped away from blogging life to enjoy the holidays.

For Thanksgiving I prepped and cooked over two days.   Right before the family arrived I was in so much pain I had to lay down and hide in my bedroom for about 30 min.  My two sisters who are going through some problems decided not to join us and I was very hurt.  It wasn't like they had somewhere to go.  I could have just made it simple and had an easy Thanksgiving with just my husband and toddler MH.   But I wanted to make a good meal for the family and for us to get together and enjoy a meal specially for my sisters who are at a low point in their lives.   I tried to be understanding but with all the pain and fatigue I was a little emotional  but put is aside and had a good time with the people present.   The next day I was on the couch the whole day recovering. 

We spent Christmas afternoon with DH side of the family and it was a lot of fun.  Toddler MH being 3 is now in to gifts.  This is the first Christmas where she actually understood & enjoyed receiving gifts; any time her name was called she marched to Santa to accept her gift.   Since we don't see DH side of the family often it was nice to touch base and just hang out. 

On TTC front I had two normal 28 day cycles with normal flow which made me very happy.  Yes after a year or so of very light cycles I am seeing normal bleeding.  I think it may have to do with a combination of Raspberry leaf tea and pycnogenol that I have been taking for the last six months or so.   It gradually increased in flow over the 6 months period, but it looks like every two cycles it goes back to being 40 day cycle.   Right now I am on cd30 or so and a few days post ovulation.   So I am going to get my lining checked again. 

I saw my Thyroid doctor last month and we are going to half the NDT and add 5 mg of T3.  I haven't been tolerating T3 while on NDT.  I haven't adjusted the dose yet, I wanted to enjoy the holidays in peace and will experiment with the new dose.  I am also going to try LDN once the thyroid hormone dosage is sorted out.  We shall see. 

As usual next Wednesday is our Christmas and I don't plan to invite any one.   We may go to see my aunt or just stay home. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Pycnogenol & other things

So back in July I started taking Pycnogenol supplement.  It is an extract from the pine bark of French Maritime pine tree.  A limited study in endometriosis patients has shown that it is effective in reducing pain.   It is being used for a lot of others things from anti-aging, circulation issues, heart disease , cancer and plenty of other ailments.    I started with 1 capsule (30 mg) and increased it to two capsules after a few weeks. 

I did not notice any reduction in pain but what I noticed is that since I start taking it the number of brown spotting prior to my period has been reduced to a day or none.   I haven't taken it long enough to determine this is real but it is promising.   About a month ago I noticed my stomach was acting up specially in the mornings, I take it after breakfast and dinner.  So I stopped for a few weeks and I have resumed taking it once a day and will go up to two capsule a day.  If anything may be my skin will start looking better and my body will stop growing gray hair :).

I talked about hysterectomy being an option down the line but probably wouldn't help me since I don't have crazy cramps like I use to around my period and removing my uterus would not take care of the endometriosis outside of the uterus.   Well lets just say I am rethinking it.   This cycle after ovulation I felt great, my pain was minimal and my mood was even better, felt hormonally stable and come P + 9 I started cramping.   It started with lower back cramps, feels like labor contractions.   Today is P + 13 and I am still cramping like crazy.  It is on and off but enough to ruin my day.    I took pain killer for two days because I needed to stay out of the house.   It is crazy to have serious cramps for a week. 

I usual host Thanksgiving and I have never made the traditional Thanksgiving meal.  I usual stick with the Ethiopian dishes.  But this year I was thinking of doing strictly Thanksgiving menu.  I have never  oven roasted meat so today I am trying my hand in oven roasting a whole chicken and see how it comes out.   Lets just say I hate touching whole chicken.  My family is not much in to Turkey so I probably will substitute the turkey with chicken.   What I was hoping to avoid making both the traditional Thanksgiving meal and also Ethiopian dishes;   it will just be too much work.    My niece is a college freshman and she is home sick like crazy.   So I asked her if she has any request for Thanksgiving she said to have Ethiopian food.   So now I am stuck, may be I will have my sisters bring the Ethiopian dishes, we shall see.  



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A day in the life of a chronically ill mother

I woke up around 3am with IBS symptom, pain and sweaty hands and feet.   I lay there for a minute assessing the situation;  experience has thought me that it is better to get up and move about, get a glass of water and lay flat on our living room floor to stretch out my back and to relieve some of the pain.

After I calm down, I sit on our sofa and start reading stuff on the internet.   An hour later the pain has subsided a bit and my belly has calmed a bit so I decide to go back to sleep.   So I slowly go up the stairs trying not to wake up my little girl and husband.  No matter how quite I am DH is a light sleeper and always wakes up.  He opens his eyes looks at me and goes right back to sleep.  I curl up against toddler (she sleeps with us) and I drift off.  

The alarm set for 7:30 am.  I hear it and I jump and shut it off.    Usually I just let it go on so it wakes up toddler.  Since I lost an hour I needed to sleep in.    When we finally wake up it is 9 am, I have the same pain but with less intensity.   For a minute my mind goes to a place I don't want it to be, Oh GOD please don't let me die; not good, not good at all and overly dramatic.   I wake up toddler and we cuddle for a bit before washing up and heading downstairs.    I note that I have a stress headache and I am also more anxious than usual.  I brush it off and go about my business.  I make fried egg, toast with peanut butter and apple slices for toddler MH breakfast.

I take my thyroid med and start cleaning up the living room.   The house it too quite.  I rarely remember to put on music but I needed something to occupy my mind away from the pain.  I go through our old cd collection and put on a boys II men CD.  Haven't heard their music in ages.

I haven't mopped my floor for a week.  Hard wood floor is forgiving but I just couldn't let it be today, I have put it off for the last three days.   I sweep and mop the floor and I feel better for at least accomplishing something.   The dishwasher needs to be emptied but I put it off for later.  I make myself omelet for breakfast with leftover baked potatoes from the night before. I make tea, print some work sheets for toddler to scribble on.    I have her sit on her high chair.  We are on letter F.  F for frog, F for foot etc.  She draws and I am happy that she actually now colors the letters instead of just scribbling aimlessly all over the paper.    This occupies her for some time and I am a happy camper and read some blogs, news and check my e-mail.   I was reading a blog post by 'Peace of Christ' and enjoyed her blog post chronicling her day so I decided I would do the same so the reason for this post.

Toddler had enough with drawing so we go out on our deck and it actually feels good.  Not too cold and the sun is finally out.  I crank up the music and start dancing with toddler.  I am one of those people who like to dance in private :).  She loves it, but she loves it more when I hold her and we dance.  My back is not up to that task especially after mopping so I distract her and we play with a pile of leaves on our deck.    I was wondering where my Mom and Dad were, they said they were coming but didn't say the time.  I am actually excited to have company, it is also an early day for DH so he will be coming home at 5.    Tuesdays are nice.

My mom and dad finally show up and they said they already had lunch and all they want is coffee.  Toddler is happy to see her grandparents and my dad is overly excited to see her.  He says "give me my medicine" and she runs to put her hands on his forehead and rub it:).  They play this game every time he sees her.   I start on lunch for toddler and I.   I give her a slice of cheese followed by pasta with no sauce and a banana.  For lunch I have left over chicken, cucumber salad, beets & potatoes that my mom brought.   A small glass of coffee after lunch always puts a smile on my face.  I empty the dishwasher and clean up after lunch. 

My dad leaves and mom is staying the night to help cook for a get together my father has planned with his friends which I agreed to host on Sunday.    I give toddler milk before her nap.  After she finish she gets up and runs around, she doesn't want to nap since we woke up 1.5h later than our usual time.  DH calls and says he is on his way home.  It is now 4:30 pm and he shows up a little earlier than expected.   Stir fry beef with tomato salad served on injera is usually on the menu for Tuesdays.  DH picks up the beef and injera after work.   He decided to head to the gym while I struggle to put toddler to nap.  She is upset over something but she is just tired.   I lay with her on our sofa and she finally drifts off.    I quickly cook dinner which took me about an hour and we head out to the grocery store with my mom to get stuffy for the party while DH eats dinner and toddler naps.    We decide to go to Shoppers since I have $10 coupon.  I love these coupons.

For dinner I warm up some left over veggies and pasta for mom since she is on a fast (no meat).    I make a cheese & chicken sandwich for toddler.   I struggle with her to finish her dinner.  We eat dinner followed by ginger tea with honey.    Toddler is watching TV.   DH is preparing an exam he has to give on Thursday.    We talk more with my mom while I pack up DH's lunch and clean the kitchen.   We decide to call my sister just to check on her even though it is late.  She is going through an ugly divorce.  She has the kids every other week until permanent custody is decided next month.   It is a sad situation. 

My mom goes to bed and DH has finally finished his work so I sit with him and we watch TV for a bit while toddler plays.   Since toddler had a late nap she is not up to sleeping but we call it a night and go upstairs.   DH and toddler read in bed while I take a hot shower, massage my lower back and get ready for bed.    I think I pass out before toddler :)   

Monday, October 13, 2014

This & That

1. Earlier last week I was feeling really crappy.  I woke up one day and just felt irritated and depressed.  Being on cd 12 or so I was baffled.   I was mopping around for a few days and full of anxiety for no reason and bam, I started spotting on cd15 and the anxiety and depression lifted.  The next day AF was here.  Yes I had a 15 day cycle, I should have suspected this since I only had fertile CM right after AF for only two days.  Welcome premenopause or what ever this is.   My last few cycles were long like lasting 40 days.   I think my body is trying to reset after the HCG injection a few months ago but it could also be this is my new normal.   When I took estrogen pre-ovulatory in the spring the same thing happened.  I had a couple of long cycles  and a 16 day cycle followed by two text book 28 day cycles.  Then I took the HCG injection and things haven't been the same ever since.  Lets just hope that things will reset and I will be back to regular cycles.  

2.  I have been thinking about what options I have medically in dealing with the  endometriosis pain.  Premenopause could last years so I need to look at my options now that having another child looks out of reach.   Hysterectomy is not a good option for me since the endometriosis pain is localized outside of the uterus.   I don't have a lot of bleeding or intolerable premenstrual cramps.  What makes my life hell is the pain especially during the ovulatory phase.  I don't think I want a complete hysterectomy, I think removing my ovaries at this point is a no no.   So my options are limited.  My pain level is gradually getting better since I am off estrogen.  I am trying to clean up my diet as much as possible and see if that makes a difference.

3.  Most days I am OK with not having another child but some days it hurts.   When I got pregnant last summer I was hoping for a girl because I wanted my little girl to have a sister.  But recently I have dreams that I am holding a baby boy or when I see a baby boy I have this weird feelings.   I don't know where this is coming from.

4.  This weekend I did not do so good with keeping up with the anti-inflammatory paleo diet.   We went to California kitchen and DH pointed to the option of gluten free pizza and I just had to have it.   Well the curst tested like cardboard and couldn't eat much of it after the 2nd slice.    I also consumed sugar in my coffee and cream.   I have been doing so good with adding extra veggies.  I am not into raw vegetables so may be I will share a few of the simple recipes I use for veggie dishes.

5.  I rarely get colds or flu.  Like may be a cold every two years.  Last time I had a flu is back in 2005 I think.   So I was talking to my cousin who always gets what ever is going around and she takes care  of herself more than anyone I know.  I was telling her that for whatever reason I rarely get colds.  That afternoon I felt kind of off and my throat felt scratch.  Next morning I woke up with a cold.  So I took it easy for a day and by the next afternoon I was feeling like myself.  I better  not say this thing out loud.  I have enough sickness as is, don't want to add to my misery.

Monday, October 6, 2014


1. The new diet where I am eliminating legumes and most grains (except teff & white rice) has been going Ok.  Partly a failure I guess, I just couldn't take myself off sugar in my coffee.  So right now I have a teaspoon of honey with tea in the morning and a teaspoon of sugar with coffee in the afternoon.  In addition, I was only able to give up crème in my coffee for like a day.  I guess I can manage drinking dark coffee when I am at home but I just don't like store bought coffee test without the cream.  One thing I did well with is eating more veggies.   I have included veggies at ever meal including breakfast and I am loving it.  Usually I always have something green for lunch and dinner but breakfast was lacking.  I also try to make two-three vegetable dishes a day so that we get variety.  On Friday we went to Trader Joe's and bought all kind of veggies that would last at least a week.  I also cut down rice portions by half.  The aim for this week is to look into baking with almond floor so I can slowly back away from rice.  The other day I was going to buy it from a local organic place but a small bag of it costs $10.  I figured I can get it somewhere else for cheaper.

2.  Toddler MH turned three two weeks ago.  We had a small party for her at home.   The girl still has no interest in eating cake or for that matter a lot of other things.  I am attempting to have a structured time where she can sit and do some preschool.   She knows all her letters, colors, shapes and can count to 20.   She also knows most of the Amharic letters.  Since she was two she has been watching Amharic learning videos and that helps a lot.  I am struggling with teaching in two languages.   I am thinking that mornings will be reserved for learning in English and may be 30 min in the afternoon we can learn some Amharic.   It is really hard to teach a 2nd language.  Mostly we talk to her in Amharic but since she watches some TV she has a tendency to only talk in English.   She does understand Amharic but she is just not at a point where she can talk with the exception of a few words here and there.   For us it is very important that we teach her Amharic, it is just part of teaching her about her culture.  I often see grown kids complaining that their parents did not take the time to teach them about their culture and language. 

3.  I am reserved about posting pictures of my little girl.  DH doesn't know I have a blog.  Yes it is been four years and he doesn't know I have one.  At the beginning I didn't tell him because I think I thought he would find the idea too weird, especially with something so private as infertility.  I had planned to tell him if I stuck with it but then it is nice to have something so private.   He knows I read blogs, mainly blogs with infertility. 

4.  Around this time of the year I always struggle.  I hate winter.  I love fall but it just reminds me of winter and I get depressed.   I noticed that I am visibly down on cloudy cold days.  The summer has been fun with sitting out on our deck sun bathing while toddler played with her water table.    I have not taken vitamin D in a few months.  My Dr. said the one thing she want me not to stop taking is vitamin D.  But I don't do well on it.   I just can't pinpoint the exact issue I have with it but every time I want to take it my gut says no.   I take prenatal everyday which has a low vitamin D dose.    I will be seeing my Doc in Nov and will see where my levels fall.

5. On TTC front I am on cd12.  For the last few months I have had 40 day cycles.  So unheard of for me with out any meds.  If anything my cycles were short before my 2nd surgery.    This happened after a cycle on HCG.   So right now I am on no meds.  I am done with meds for now.   I am drinking red raspberry tea everyday and taking pycnogenol.  After the HCG cycle I had no CM the entire month so I tried Red Clover tea for one cycle.  It worked wonders with the CM but my period went back to being 2 days of spotting and nothing else.  So I have dropped the Red Clover tea and we will see what this cycle looks like.   A few days ago I had some fertile CM which disappeared and today I am on cd12.  I guess it is going to be another 40 day cycle.

6. In the summer we had a lot of family activities to the point of seeing the large extended family for three weekends straight.   This past weekend it was nice to not have to be somewhere.   We had a slow weekend where we went out for coffee, to the mall, playground and just sitting at home with my hubby.   The next few weekends I am going to make sure we go out and enjoy what is left of the relatively warm weather.  Hope everyone reading is doing well.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Day 1 on Anti-Inflammatory/Paleo Diet

I have been gluten free for six years and that has helped a lot with inflammation, IBS and endometriosis.  However I still do have some issues with some foods.  

I am not fond of diets.   The word "diet" for me is obsessing on weight loss, being hungry and deprivation and I want none of it.  

I have been reading about Paleo diet and inflammation  for a while and wanted to try it but the hard rules kind of turned me off.   I am not willing to go completely grain free.  Since I have been dealing with inflammation for a while I kind of have some idea on what food makes me ill.  

I don't drink soda or alcohol.  I also gradually gave up oatmeal, corn and beans over the past few months.   I had some beans/corn the other day because they were noting cooked in the house and I was feeling lazy.  I have been paying for that mistake over the last few days. 

So here are the foods that I already avoid: gluten, corn, beans, chickpeas, lentils, oatmeal

The foods I know I need to avoid based on my reaction after I consume it: diary, sugar, sometimes coffee but I think it is due to the cream and not coffee it self.  But it does disturbs my sleep sometimes but I am not willing to part with coffee :). 

Being Ethiopian lunch and dinner often involves injera made of teff grain.      This is the one thing I am not willing to give up.  I also haven't noticed any reaction to teff when it is fermented.    I also am not willing to part with rice right now but will try to eat less of it.

So the foods that I will give up in addition to the ones I already avoid: sugar, diary

I am allowing myself a teaspoon of honey with my morning tea. Since I avoid most foods that I have issues with this diet will focus on consuming more vegetables and fish.   I will also focus on more soups and easily digestible meals.   

Today's breakfast: a cup of acorn squash soup, a small avocado with lemon and green tea with honey. 

This weekend I will spend time planning all meals.   Wish me luck. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Love of Coffee

I just put down toddler for a nap.   Yep, at 5:30pm, we have been having issues with sleep but that is all our fault for not having her on a consistent schedule.  Any how that is for another day of blogging. 

So I am sitting here and decided to have a cup of coffee (small cup) even though I know it is going to disturb my sleep. 

Coffee has so much meaning in our culture.  It is a social event and it brings so many memories of home.   Although I love the traditional Ethiopian ceremony I was never a coffee drinker (ceremony picture below).   But this was not by choice, I avoided coffee for the longest time due to heart palpation I had since high school and was told that coffee would aggravate it.  So I become a tea drinker.   I would only drink coffee when I visited family over the weekends but never consumed on a daily bases.  The smell of coffee is addictive enough that at work I was adamant not to give in to all the flavored coffee.  That lasted for years but they I got pregnant with toddler in 2011 and it all changed.   I so craved coffee that even before my lunch I would day dream about the half a cup of coffee I allowed my self during my pregnancy.   Since I couldn't have gluten, coffee was the one thing I could indulge in.    Since then I haven't been able to give it up.   On days I wake up in the middle of the night due to caffeine I vowed to myself that it would be the last time I drank coffee but then morning comes and everything changes.  

It was not too difficult for me to give up gluten but coffee is a different beast.    I also sometimes would feel guilty that my one cup a day might be contributing to my infertility.    But I only drink one cup a day after lunch and on occasion I would drink in the morning if my mom is around.   Coffee has become a symbol for all the glutinous treats I can't have so to heck with fertility, heart palpitation and sleeplessness.  I am just not ready to give up my one cup of coffee.   After all I am from the birth place of coffee :).  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Managing chores with Chronic Pain

The pain, hormonal states & fatigue associated with endometriosis is often unpredictable.  Some days my pain is minimal and the next day I am barely making it through the day.  I left my job two years ago since I needed time off and also wanted to focus on my child and health.  Pregnancy was a blessing, the pain was gone, the hormonal instability were gone and replaced with joy but once I had my baby girl the pain slowly but surly has returned.   It is not as bad as pre-surgery but could get up there easily.   I have finally accepted that this is my reality.  At some point I had such high hopes that surgery was going to take me out of my misery and that the endometriosis will never come back.  When that didn't happen I was hopeful that after pregnancy that it would not return.  Well, that is not my reality either.  I am learning slowly to accept that this is my normal.  Right now I have accepted that in my current state there is no way that I could work and raise a child.  It would just be too much for my fragile health and I would be sacrificing my home life.  Before kids working was manageable, at times barely manageable. At the end of most days I would come from work and crash.  I can't do that with a child. 

I do things to reduce the pain but there is always going to be some sort of pain and hormonal instability.  With the acceptance I have been able to not fight the pain but work with it and try to deal with my day to day activity as best as I can without tasking my body too much.   Here are some ways I get stuff done around the house.

1. Cleaning:  While toddler eats breakfast I usually spend about 45min cleaning my living room and unloading the dishwasher.  I sweep the floor, mop if necessary and straighten up.   No I can not designated hours for a task such as cleaning, or cooking for a party or any thing that involves physical activity.   If I clean for a whole day I need a couple of days to recovery.  Instead, the different cleaning tasks are spread through out the week.  I usually clean the master bedroom bathroom toilet right before I take a shower and also clean the shower while I am in there.  The sinks might get done when I brash my teeth on a different day.  Never both at ones unless I have extra energy at the end of the day.  My husband usually mops the bathroom floors after toddler takes a bath.  The kitchen gets cleaned while I am cooking, that is if I am not in too much pain.  On the days that I don't cook, I would clean the stove, fridge or the other bathrooms.   The house is clean enough but not spotless clean but I am Ok with it.  

2. Cooking: I cook every other day.  Since it would be too physically tasking for me to do too much in a day, I use the days I don't cook for cleaning, laundry or to sit on my sofa and watch TV or read.  Usually, I mop the floors on non-cook days and do laundry, wash my hair or what ever else needs to be done.   Non cooking days are essential, it gives me time to recovery from the previous days of activities. 

3.  Laundry: It is random.  DH takes care of his own.  I do bedding and toddlers and my cloth.  I usually put a load when I take toddler to the basement for play.   It usually sits in the basket for days to be folded. 

4.  Groceries: all groceries are done with my husband.  We usually go on weekends and anything we need during the week my husband would stop by after work.  I really don't have the energy to go grocery shopping with a toddler.  It would just wipe me out for a day.   When my mom was with us I did the grocery shopping. 

5. Toddler's hair: yes it is a chore.  Her hair is very curl and takes a while to detangle.  It would take me about 1.5 hours to detangle and braid her hair.   This gets accomplished on non cook days and usually after breakfast.   DH gives her a bath, that tasks is just too strenuous on my back specially if her hair needs washing.  He has been doing it since she was born.  I give her a bath when necessary during the day but there will not be any hair washing.

6.  I know there are people in worst shape that me.   It is finally sinking in that this is how my life is going to be and I have to adapt and find ways to make it work.   I use to see it as a temporary situation and I am going to get better somehow but that is not the case.   It doesn't mean that I am not looking for ways to improve my health but as we all know there is no cure for endometriosis.   I am very thankful for what I can do in spite of the pain. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Update & Crazy Hair

1.  I just put toddler for a nap and came up to our office so I can give an old coworker a recommendation.   Its amazing how much one forgets in two years.  I had to go back and review some stuff so I can talk in details about her experience.   It kind of made me miss work but oh well.   The coworker will be layed off from her job in a couple of months and she just found out she is pregnant so she wants to get a new job as soon as possible.   I talked to her about a few months ago and she told me that they are TTC.   And then today while we were texting each other about the job she applied for she came out and said that she is 7 wks along and you know my infertile self went to oh my God, she probably tried for 2 months and just got pregnant.  That jealous feeling started raring its head and I had to stop myself and say I am glad she doesn't have to experience the pain of infertility.  And then she texted and said it took 7 months for them to get pregnant and that made me feel a little better.  I real don't like these feelings.

2. On reproductive front I started taking Pycnogenol about three weeks ago.   They say it will take months to see the effect but I had no spotting or brown bleeding prior to AF this cycle.  How cool is that, it just showed up.  The cramps have also been tolerable and I haven't taken Advil since it started yesterday.  In addition I only had faint cramps two days prior to AF.   The flow is also normalizing and it is not scanty anymore.  For the last few months ever months the flow has increased some and no clots.   It seems that the red raspberry leaf tea has helped a lot.  It has been at least three months since I started drinking it.  I am going to add promegnant juice to my daily regim.  I am so done with taking meds.   My LP has lengthen on red raspberry leaf tea alone and we shall see how the next couple of cycles look like.   I am hoping that the Pycnogenol will help with the endo pain.  We shall see. 

3.  DH just started the fall semester.  He only had a couple of days of break but he has been off every afternoon in the summer so its not too bad.  His fall schedule is kind of crazy and he will be teaching two nights so we won't see him until 10 pm on those days.   It is going to be hard on both toddler and I.  We have been spoiled over the summer.  My mom is no longer with us.  She is now living temporarily with my sister who is in the process of an ugly divorce and needs my moms support.   So it will just be toddler and I all day. 

4. We were thinking of putting toddler in daycare for two days a week so she is exposed to other kids.  There is a daycare at DH's work but we can not justify that cost just yet.  She will be going in the spring, by then we should be Ok finically to be able to justify that spending and I am also counting on our tax return.

5. I will leave you with a picture of toddler and her hair :)  Love her curls, it takes a while to moisturize and braid.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

déjà vu: up at 3 am

I have been up since 3 am and two hours later I still can't sleep.   About a week ago I thought it would be a good idea to try raise my NDT level.  I am on very little NDT (only half a grain~ 32 mcgs).   Three months ago I couldn't tolerate increasing it or either adding T3 as prescribed.  I had palpitation, shoulder & arm pain etc.  So I have only been talking the NDT in the morning for the last few months and the symptoms have pretty much subsided. 

For about a month I have been feeling sluggish, especially after lunch and I thought it is time to try again and this time only increase the NDT by 1/4 grain in the afternoon.  After about five days of taking it, yes only 1/4 grain increase,  I am having the same symptoms without my heart racing but with the stomach discomfort, shoulder pain and arm pain.   I feel like I am marching on the same spot and it is driving me crazy.  On top of it I strained my neck and was unable to move it for a couple of days :( and that increased my headache. 

Now I am back to believing that my adrenals are not optimal and it is time for another saliva test.  Here we go again, back to spending more money.   I will also have to go back to get my thyroid levels checked.  The last time I was on the same dose my T4 was low. 

So freaking frustrating.   And I have no idea where my cycle is, cd24 today and no CM, none at all.  At least the hormone induced headache seem to have lifted but replaced by tension headache from te neck pain.

I went to a family gathering last Sunday and people told me I looked good, this is before the thyroid mess but I had pain/and was fighting a headache.  If only they knew.  I guess on the outside I am cool as a cucumber :).

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Quitting HCG

I know I mostly talk about cycles, pain, infertility and endometriosis mostly but this is my reality and some day I will have more interesting and happy blog posts. 

I tried the HCG injections post ovulation last cycle.  I had terrible cramps and AF was once again the most painful time of my cycle like old times without the excessive bleeding.   I haven't had this much pain in the days leading to my cycle in months.   I can't think of anything but the HCG being the cause. 

Usually the most painful time is right after period up to ovulation.   In the last couple of months the endo pain was somewhat tolerable.  I didn't have tension headaches daily, or my pelvic and butt weren't to the point of me having to massage/beat it under a hot shower to get the knots out.   I still had pain but it wasn't pain where I had to lye down ever few hours.   After the HCG shots and painful AF, all have returned.  I was hoping HCG will at least stabilize me hormonally or help lessen the pain but that isn't the case.  The last two weeks have been horrible especially this week.   I wake up with a headache and pain up to my ears every day this week.    TTC this week is out of the question, I have been in too much pain to want to do that.  In addition, I don't even know if I ovulated or  not, I haven't noticed any fertile CM and I am on CD14.  

My gut tells me that I should stop the HCG.  I know I only took it for one cycle but I can't risk it. In addition to all the physical pain,  the pain of infertility reared its head when AF showed up.   For a day I was convinced that I was pregnant because of all the pre-pregnancy symptoms.  Yes please slap me.   The next day it all came crashing down and for half a day I was in that desperate state and I had to pull myself out of it.   I am having a hard time dealing with the fact that MH will most likely be an only child.  

My doctor suggested I take estradiol in addition to HCG to raise my estradiol level post peak.  That will not be happening.  No HCG, estradiol or progesterone for now.    I need to listen to my gut feeling.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


1. My niece graduated from high school and her parents had a party for her last Sat.  Huge party, more than 100 people showed up.   Most of the food was catered but I was tasked with making two huge pans of lasagna.   Since you all know my energy level and pain tolerance the work had to be split into two days.  I made the sauce a day before and made the lasagna on Sat morning.   The lasagna came out so good that both pans were gone pretty fast.   Of course I didn't test it since I am off gluten but the sauce was pretty good.  There were non left for the late comers.  We stopped by my sisters the day after the party for lunch.  They had some kind of yellow cake and I caved in and took three bites.  Lets just say my energy level was fine on Sunday but by Monday I was so sluggish and had a migraine like headache and I knew it is the gluten.  It took three days to get out of the funk. I had mild digestive issue for a day but the headache and fatigue were not fun and I just got around to mopping my floor that was suppose to be done on Monday.  I learned my lesson. 

2.  After cramping for four days AF showed up never be able to deal with the disappointment of AF arriving when TTC.  It has been six years since we first started to TTC, why is it so hard to deal with the disappointment?   I drank a lot of raspberry tea to deal with the cramps.  I should have drank it post ovulation too, it had made a huge difference in elevating my PMS.

3. I need to go see my Thyroid doctor.  Last time I saw her I was suppose to be on T3 twice a day in addition to desiccated thyroid twice a day.  I couldn't tolerate the T3 even at a lower dose so I stopped.  I also couldn't tolerate the 2nd dose of desiccated thyroid.   I was on T3 only for a few years but once I added the desiccated thyroid I couldn't tolerate T3.   So for the last few months I have only been taking desiccated thyroid in the morning.  I raised it by half a pill this morning.  I would like to split it twice a day instead of taking it all in the morning.  But I keep forgetting the afternoon dose so now I am taking all in the morning.   Is it best to take desiccated thyroid on an empty stomach?  I always take it 30 min before I eat breakfast and that had worked fine for me.  But I think I need to raise my level since my T4 was slightly lower on this dose so before I even go back to my doctor and do labs I want to raise it and see how I do.    

6.  Right now I am in less meds that I was for the last few years.  I am only taking the desiccated thyroid and prenatal vitamins and occasionally B12.   I am thinking of adding pycnogenol to my supplement to see if it helps the endo pain.   I don't do so well with a lot of meds, I feel overloaded especially my digestive system. 

7. I wouldn't have minded going to my doctor every two-three month as planned but I can't.  She doesn't take insurance which means I pay $300-400 out of pocket for each visit.  I can only do that twice a year.   I think I may have to find another doctor close by that would take insurance and treats with desiccated thyroid.  

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Not Feeling So Hot on HCG

Today is p+13.  Since I started taking the HCG I have had nausea and cramps.  The cramps were faint but now I am hit with almost unbearable cramps and lower back pain.   The nausea is here even after 4 days of the last HCG injection but fading.     Emotionally I am fine, no hormonal crash.   The last few unmediated cycles were much better than what I am going through right now.  We shall see what the next few cycles are going to be like on HCG before I decide to stop or continue to take it. 

I am also not too impressed with my p+7 numbers on HCG

Progesterone: 13 ng/mL
Estradiol:  82 pg/mL  (low)

They also did a test to determine ovarian reserve and that number is low, more in line with premenopausal.  Oh well, I didn't expect anything better. 

My boobs hurt, I am cramping and no bleeding yet.   This better be pregnancy symptoms, if not this is not funny.   Then again the cramps are too painful to be pregnancy symptoms.  Not loving HCG at all. 

I bought those cheap HPT tests a while back and the reviews for them were mixed.   Since I have HCG in my system I thought it would be good to test and see if they work.  It was negative on cd12 so those tests must either be crappy or HCG leaves my body running.  

I have toddler parked in front of the TV.  Going to sip some tea and relax.


Thursday, July 3, 2014


1.  The other day we went in to a bread bakery that recently opened.  When you walk in you are hit with the most wonderful smell and it smelled so delicious.  So we looked around for a bit and DH said he didn't want anything.  Since I can't eat gluten we didn't buy any bread.   So that night I dreamt that I was baking all kinds of bread, with all kinds of seeds and eating all night.   I am usually over gluten, there is always bread for toddler and DH in the home but I never cheat.   If I cheat usually it is a few bites of fried chicken that I make for DH.  But I guess I can only take so much.  Hehehe, I ate so much bread in my dream that I woke up satisfied.  

2.  Moving on to TTC, I am on P + 7 and has done two HCG injection so far.  I had a blood draw today so we shall see where the progesterone/estradiol levels are.  I knew that I might start getting pregnancy symptoms because of the HCG but thought much later than P + 7.  I have had faint nausea and slightly tender boobs since yesterday.   I don't find these symptoms fun.  I am assuming it will increase the more HCG I inject.  I know that HCG might improve PMS but I don't know if I am ready to trade the PMS with a new set of symptoms.   Plus the last few cycles my PMS was at a minimum with out meds but I think that is due to Red raspberry leaf tea I have been drinking for the last two months.  

3. Since DH is only working par time in the summer we have been watching the World Cup every single day since it started.   This afternoon we didn't know what to do with ourselves since there is no scheduled game.  We are loving all the intense games.  So much fun  and screaming.. 

4. We have a lot of family drama going on.  My sister is filing for a divorce.  The spouse is putting the kids in between their fight and it is a sad and dangerous situation all around.   You know the things that you thought will never happen in your family and they are slowly unfolding in front of your eyes and you are left with the feeling that you are watching a movie.  Oh boy, I am praying for the kids that they come out of this situation sane.  It is that serious and it is stressing me out.  I am so mad at the parents. Kids are teen and preteen years and are not mature enough to handle all the craziness that is around them.  It is very sad for everybody watching and we can't do anything to prevent the situation.

5. During the summer our upstairs get really hot if we don't have the temp way down.  So one night we decided to crash in the basement where we watch TV.  We put a few comforters on top of  thick rug and it has served us so well.  In addition to getting a decent sleep in a cool place my back is thanking me.  I used to get up in pain and would have to walk around for it to slowly subside but now I walk up stretched.  The only down side is the hard surface gives me lower back pain since I have a curved back and not being full supported.  I am trying to work around it so that we spend the entire summer in the basement.   We will have to change our mattress in the winter and get something very firm. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


This cycle will be the first time I am taking HCG.  I am on cd14 today and definitely ovulating.  I woke up today and just felt off.  DH is home today, we had breakfast and I started on lunch so we can go out after lunch.  Well, the only thing I managed was to chop some onions.  I went out on our deck to get some sun for about 10min and came in and crashed on our living room sofa.  My back and mid section were doing their thing and my legs felt tired.  My lower abdomen was throbbing, yep ovulation.  I took Advil and slept for about 2 hours.  DH cooked lunch when he saw the state I was in.  I feel much better this afternoon. 

We have been off the TTC wagon since December.  It has been a nice break and I was trying to keep it permanent but failing.  Since I am going to start the HCG we are going to go ahead and try.  With the exception of AF being light my last cycle LP is 13/14 days.  I am encourage to TTC this cycle.  I am having a lot of fertile CM and I am excited to try.    I don't want to slip in to the obsessive TTC wagon.  There will not be obsessive peeing on a stick to try to determine if HCG has left my body etc.   I don't have the energy for it.  But I would be lying if I said I wasn't excited and also scared of injecting myself.    I will go for P + 7 progesterone/estradiol test.  Since my last cycle I had a longer LP without meds I am hopeful that my progesterone level has improved.   I am hoping that HCG will also help with the pain.  So much hope riding on HCG.

Monday, June 16, 2014


1. We had such a wonderful weather this past weekend.  Both days were spent outdoors.  What a blessing.  We went to a local farm on Sat and had a picnic with some friends.  Toddler loved it a lot and run around like crazy.  On Sunday I dragged my husband to a local park which has a garden and we walked a little bit.  It was beautiful, a little too hot for my hubby but I loved it.  However, two days of outing is too much for my body.  Today I am paying for it.  It kind of kicked up my pain.  I usually wake up with pain but today's was extra specially.  I cooked lunch and I can feel it start to become intense.  I rested while toddler took a nap but by late afternoon it started back again and now I am bloated.  But I don't care, we had such a wonderful weekend. 

2. I was suppose to start HCG injection but I put it off and I have had two cycles med free.  This past cycle I had a 12/13 day LP with no spotting which is good for med free cycle.  In addition no PMS, I felt little cramping here and there before AF started but overall it was pretty sweet.  I almost always have PMS that start about a week before AF.   The cramps during my period were a little intense but resisted taking painkillers.   I also had a good amount of bleeding so that is encouraging.   It is still lighter than normal but close enough.  I am on cd5 and will be doing HCG injection this cycle.   Just hoping that it helps with the endometriosis pain.  We will also TTC, we shall see.

3. After cooking dinner I put all the left overs in the fridge and just left all the pots/pans out.  It will get washed tomorrow morning.  I am learning to let things go when I am in pain.  My kitchen is a mess tonight but it is more important that I rest.   Sometimes I get frustrated with DH, when he sees that I am in pain I want him to go in there and clean the kitchen.  But I also want him to play with toddler etc.  I just wish that he is a little more involved in the kitchen. 

4.  Since DH has summer schedule (only two days of work/week) we have had a lot of free time and have been watching the World Cup.  It has been fun so far. 

5. I can't believe it is already June.  It will soon be 2 years since I quit working.  I have been thinking a lot about what it will mean to go back to work with my current pain level.    It might be doable on painkillers but for how long?   Having a large gap is never good for ones career.   I need to find a way to manage the pain so that I can work.   Going back to work for me will mean that the house work will have to be neglected.  DH will have to share the burden.   I may consider going to some pain management program.  

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer.  Warm weather puts a smile on my face. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Planning/having a wedding while ill

Around the time of our engagement my endometriosis had really kicked in and was so bad that I was in daily agony.   I started gaining weight, had to eat constantly and had lower back pain all the time and standing/walking for more than 20 min was impossible.  At the time I didn’t know what it was, every Dr. I went to said I was perfectly fine.    In addition, I was fatigued and I believe my thyroid and adrenal hormones were off even though the famous endocrinologist looked me in the eye and told me I was in perfect health (I wanted to slap him).    When we got engaged we figured it would take about 6 months to plan our wedding.   It was a family affair and we involved our immediate families and we assigned tasks.  

During one of the planning meetings with family I remember I couldn’t sit still because my lower back was killing me.  I would go to our bathroom and lye on my yoga mat and stretch my back and come out.    I remember cooking for the meeting the day before in agony; let’s just say the food wasn’t very appetizing.  Over those six months things started getting worse.  I still made it to work and managed to put in a full day with the help of over the counter painkillers.    The hypo symptoms in the morning were so bad that I rearranged my daily tasks so that I spent morning at my desk instead of the lab.    Walking to a different building for meetings at work was difficult and I would drive instead of walk 10 min.   Sitting straight on a chair was close to impossible.  With all this going on I still went ahead with the wedding in the hopes that I will start to feel better. 
I bought my wedding dress three months before the wedding and within those 3 months I had gained another 5 lb.  Within the 6 months I was up 15 lb and that is a lot since I am only 5 feet 2 inches tall.  I barely fitted in the dress.   I was blotted and I am pretty sure people in the family, especially DH’s family thought I was pregnant.    This was all before I figured out gluten was an issue for me so I had consumed a lot of glutinous food around the time.  I had 3-5 bowl movements a day; it felt like the food just went straight out without being digested.    I was always hungry and ate at least six times a day.   

A couple of months before the wedding I was tested for H. pylori and it was positive.  I felt slightly better after the antibiotic treatment but the endo pain was the same.    However, I was not going to let my illness get in the way of getting married.    At the end of a work day I can barely lift my head from the headrest of my car seat. 

The wedding day arrived which started at 6 in the morning.   I had told my sisters to carry food for me at all places I was at prior to the reception so I can snack.  We had the wedding service in the morning, followed by a picnic and picture session.    It was a beautiful sunny day and by the end of the church service I was beat.  During the ride to the picnic location I rested a little bit in the limo and out we were in the sun.  By the time the picnic was over I was dead.  I can recognize the pain face of pictures taken towards the end.   My husband was the only one that recognized my pain face.  Before the reception I took Advil and took a nap.     Picture below taken at the picnic.

During the reception I took more painkiller.  I wore sandals, there was no way I was going to manage high heels.  My bridesmaids wore high heels even though I had asked them not to and they towered over me.   That was the least of my worries.     I sat for most of the dancing and would get up every 20 min and pretend to dance :)  The wedding party was high energy (except for me) and they were drank and on the dance floor all night while I sat and watched.  My husband was out there too dancing for most of the night.  

If you see the wedding video you can't tell I was in pain but that is what Endometriosis is all about.  You look health from outside while your insides are killing you. 


Thursday, May 22, 2014


1. I am so excited that the warm weather is finally here.  I bought toddler MH a water table that I put out on our deck and while I sun bathe she has been content with it for hours

2. Potty training, oh boy.  I was actually excited about the whole potty training thing.  When I thought MH was ready in the winter it was too cold to try the training and I figured she  needed a little more time.  So for the last few months we watched potty training videos, read books and I took her to the restroom with me and time and time again said goodbye to Mommy's pee.   As the weather finally warmed up on a Monday morning three weeks ago we started.   We first watched a potty video she liked on YouTube.   We then took off her dolly's diaper and said goodbye, dolly peed on the potty then toddler peed on the potty after about 30 min of sitting on it.  She was excited, I was even more excited with the idea of saying goodbye to the money sucker diaper.    She was trilled with the task of dumping the pee in the toilet and flashing.  We sang, danced, clapped and she got a sticker and a cookie.  We did great the first day.   She had a few accidents but when it happened she started running towards the potty which she would eventually fall since we have hardwood floor and she slipped on her pee.    Day 2 we were a little distracted by unexpected visit from family (a usual occurrence).  However, we tried our best.   On day 2 when she had accidents instead of running towards the potty she just sat on her pee.  She was scared of falling, and before she slipped, she would sit on the pee and spread it on the floor with her hands :(.  Mommy wasn't too happy but I kept my cool.  After all it was only day 2.  My goal was to have her trained in a week. Hahahahahaha
Damn those videos that say they trained their kids in a day or three.  By day three no poop happened in potty.  Little girl was holding to it, so out of fear of the greatest constipation, I put a diaper on her after dinner and she went behind the side of our living room sofa as she usually does and did her business on the diaper.  So I said she is not ready for #2 to happen on the potty so I backed away from insisting #2 happen in the potty. 

Day 3, 4, 5,6,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,25.  By the third week she figured out the pee thing and would sit on the potty to pee.  She is running around without underwear the whole day but she has accidents if we don't insist she sits on the potty.  I keep repeating, "pee in the potty" but I am exhausted but seeing the improvement I am encouraged.  This week we have been focused on #2, just telling her that it needs to happen on the potty but no show yet.  We shall see.   

3. Moving away from all things potty; since I decided that I will give HCG a go, I was waiting for a sign of ovulation but none was to be seen.  On cd16 I started cramping which I thought weird.  Then I remembered, last cycle I only spotted brown stuff for two days, right after that I had fertile CM which I thought was odd but it disappeared a few days later.  So 16 day cycle, I had a full period with a good amount of bleeding which reminded me of the old days.   The cramps were brutal though and I blame the red meet I have been consuming after Easter.   Time to take it out of my diet.

4. Lets just say, family drama has been at the highest this season and I am praying and hoping that everything will work out.  I hate early morning and late night phone calls.   I get so anxious that someone is going to tell me one more bad news.  My sister called me yesterday after 10 pm, one more bad news to add to the list.  It could have waited until the morning but no she has to ruin my night.  It took me a good hour to fall asleep and I walk up multiple times during the night.   Having a large family for the most part is a blessing but it is also hard since you have to hear of everyone's problems.  It is draining emotionally.

5.  My hubby has a few days of before the summer session  classes begin so we plan to go out and enjoy the warmer weather.   We shall see how I do physically.  I am in the first part of my cycle where the pain is at its worse.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

HCG might be my new friend

Last week my hubby and I drove 2h to my Napro appointment.   I pretty much expected that another surgery would be recommended due to my increased pain.  I reminded my doc that the last surgery gave me some relief but I still continued to have pain shortly after the surgery.  I also reminded her that of my family history of early menopause and that I was at an advanced age and the reason for the light period is may be due to age.   So at P+7 I am going to have a blood draw for a test to determine ovarian reserve and see if I am indeed approaching menopause.   She also suggested post peak HCG may help with building endometrial lining and I may respond to my own hormones better than taking the estradiol.   This will avoid aggravation of the endometriosis by eliminating external estrogen.    She also said HCG will help with the PMS.   So I said I will take a prescription for HCG and will discuss with my husband if it good idea.   I am not too positive that it would help with the lining but the possibility of it helping the raging PMS I am experiencing recently have me interested. 

I came home that day and was reading up stuff on line on HCG and found this
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15690968.  It is a study from 2004 claiming HCG might help with endometriosis pain.   Although I am not too keen of injecting myself it may be beneficial for me to at least try it for a couple of cycles and see how I respond to it.

A few days after Easter I was hit with the worst PMS ever.  One day I walk up and felt off, you know the kind of off feeling that has you brace yourself for what it is going to bring.  I was fighting the feeling of just feeling utterly crappy the whole day when I finally gave up and just sat and sulked.  I took it easy for a few days.  By last Sat I was feeling better and spotting brown stuff and waiting for AF to start.  AF never showed up, all I got was brown spotting for 2 days.  Just wonderful.  The brown bleeding may be what ever residual stuffy from the hysteroscopy.  I had bought those cheap HPT tests so just to make sure I tested for the next three days.  Mind you we are avoiding so at the off chance that it may be possible to get pregnant on P+4 action hahaha, yea.   So the problem is my boobs hurt a little, I am seeing fertile CM at cd4 and a little nauseated at night.   I have no idea what my body is trying to do.   The last few days I feel great.  No pain, no blotting and just feeling good.  Just enjoying the easy ride after the awful feeling from last week. 

Hoping HCG will give me some relief

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Possibly Closing Shop

I hope everyone had a blessed Easter.  I didn't fast for Easter but I did go meatless for the entire time so that is a plus.  May be next year I would be able to do vegan only.  My DH and my mom always fast so my only meal that consists of non lent food were the eggs and cheese I consume for breakfast. 

We had some family drama over the last month that left me very angry and sad.  I wasn't motivated to do much of anything so I wasn't sure I wanted to host Easter lunch.   Then I thought it and it would only be my sister, parents and my brother's family.  I still would have to cook for us so I figured either way I am going to end up doing a lot.   So two days spent prepping food.  E.th.opian food requires a lot of onions so I spent a day chopping all the ingredients.  We moved it to dinner instead of lunch and we had a peaceful low key lunch with my hubby and little girl.  

So I guess I will move on to the reason for the title of the post.   For the first time in years I am feeling less burdened with infertility.    The last few months we have been avoiding and that has given me such peace.  I am finding myself talking and thinking about infertility less and less and that is such a blessing.   At this point I don't care if I ever get pregnant again.  I would welcome if it happens but I have had enough of the torture and I want out.    I have a Napro Dr. appointment on Friday that I made a few months ago.  I wanted to cancel it once I found out I had no scar tissue in my uterus.  I know my Napro Dr. is going to suggest HCG shots but I don't think I want to go there.   I asked my DH if we should keep the appointment, and we came to a decision that we at least should see her one more time and go from there.  

I feel a little guilty that I want to stop TTC because that would mean toddler will be an only child.   I feel that may be I am not fighting hard enough since I a able to get pregnant but unable to stay pregnant so I tell myself at least we have the first hurdle figured out.  But then again the guilty feeling only last a short time and I am just back to the happy feeling of not being burdened by 2WW. 

So I am on the final works of possibly closing shop and for the most part it makes me happy. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Learning to treat myslelf gently

I wasn't planning to write a blog post today but I am sitting here unable to do what I should be doing.  Since quitting my job over a year and half ago I have been meaning to set aside at least 1h of my time during the day to focus on reading up and learning so that I am better prepared when it is time for me to go back to work.

I have failed big time.  At first I didn't want to be reminded about work.    I put it off all the time and I was preoccupied with trying to fix my health, raise my child, make it through the day with pain and basically function day to day.   I recognized that I needed a break so I gave myself about six month and I just let it go.  Even if I tried the willingness was not there, I couldn't focus and I was easily distracted when I started anything that is related to learning. 

Earlier last year I started going upstairs leaving toddler with my mother for 1-2 hours in the morning.  I was in too much daily pain to sit at a chair for more than a 30 min.  I usually would lay on my bed and try to focus.  It didn't work out.  I would start reading blogs and just drifting away every time I tried.  When physically and emotionally you are not ready to go back to work you just don't want to do any reading.  Work is the last thing I wanted to think about.   I was busy trying to get pregnant and I so wanted to have a 2nd child.    Even though I thought about work and going back it was the last thing I needed to worry about at the time.  

Last summer I slowly started reading up then pregnancy happened and I was way too excited and happy to do anything else.  After the miscarriage. for what ever reason I couldn't go back to it.   Early in the winter I started taking dissecated thyroid and it felt like something lifted.  I found myself motivated.  I prepared a calendar on what I needed to cover.    The endo pain was minimal and my mood was great and I was getting excited with the prospect of going back to work.  I told myself if things look good I will start looking for a job by the summer.   Well come Dec. another pregnancy but a chemical one.   After that my pain has intensified and all the complication from it (sleep issue, racing heart, fatigue) has me exhausted.

I realized that I am too hard on my self.   I finally realized that it is not because I am lazy or procrastinating to do what needs to be done.  It is that mentally and physically I do not have it in me to focus on extra tasks.  I barely make it through the day with raising a child and taking care of the house.   I get so consumed with the chronic aspect of this illness that I can not focus on extra things.   I think  I need to learn how to fully accept the cross of chronic illness/pain and find a way to live with it without fighting it.   But HOW?

Friday, April 4, 2014

No Scar Tissue

After the D&C last August,  my period's haven't been the same.   I barely spotted the first cycle after D&C but didn't think of it much so I figured the next cycle things would be back to normal.   Ever since then I have had very light cycles.  It improved slightly with estrogen cream/pill taken after ovulation but my endometrial lining sill measured around 5 mm. 

My Napro Dr. suggested I may have a.sherman's syndrome as a result of the D&C.  So I decided to see a Dr. that specialized in removing scars from the utrus.  After searching for a bit I came across a Dr. in Washington DC and saw him three weeks ago and my 2nd appointment was today.

At the first appointment we talked about my history.  He was very nice and informative.    He sent me off with a prescribtion for Estrace to be taken preouvlation and to come back for a histroscopy.

Last cycle was unmediated, no estrogen or progesterone.   It lasted 44 days.  The previous cycle I had started the estrogen cream and I think that threw off my cycle.  When my period started I was surprised.  I cramped for a couple of days with no bleeding so I thought it would never show or just end up with only spotting.  To my surprise I walk up in the middle of the night with bleeding.  Since the D&C I have never bleed at night during my periods.   It was also bright red and no brown spotting.  It lasted only 2 days with light flow but the was like a real period so I was encouraged that things may start looking better.   Like I said this was unmediated but I had two acupuncture treatments and I also drank red raspberry leaf tea pre ovulation so that may have helped it some.  

I started taking 1 mg of esterase after my period and today is cd 9 so I have taken it for 5 days.  So my appointment with the Dr. today started with an ultrasound and followed by a hysteroscopy.   The ultrasound showed that things seem to be normal but my lining is only 5 mm thick but It showed that I do have the triple layer but a sorry looking one.  My ovaries looked fine.   So we moved on to the hysteroscopy.

I hate having a hysteroscopy.   Although I had taken pain med prior to the procedure, it was still painful.   So the hysteroscopy showed no scar tissue in my uterus.  The opening of the fallopian tubes look find.  But my lining looks like I just finished a period, looking pretty bare after 5 days of estrogen.   So that is not good.  The Dr. said it seems like the receptors are not responding and I also produce enough estrogen on my own and the additional estrogen hasn't done any thing for my lining.
We discussed what my goal is at this point, if it is to get pregnant he said I am better of seeing a fertility Dr. and if I am more concerned with taking care of the pain to do another surgery to get rid of the endometriosis.    He referred me to another Dr. if I am interested in looking in to trying to get pregnant and that it is beyond his expertise. 

I don't want another surgery at this point.   Although I am relieved that there is no scar tissue we still haven't solved the lining issue.  If scar tissue was the problem at least he would have tried to remove it and that would have maximized the chance of pregnancy.  However, my issue is unresponsive lining and I think that is much harder to solve since it is not responding to the standard estrogen treatment. 

I have an appointment with my Napro Dr. end of this month.  We shall see what she recommends.  I doubt that she would be able to help me since she had suggested the estrogen cream and that did not help my lining much.   For the next few cycles I will focus on acupuncture and natural treatment and what ever she suggests and see if we see improvements.    I am willing to try to build up my lining say for the next 4-5 cycles.   After this I want to be med free and will stop the estrogen treatment that is feeding my endometriosis.   I have had an awful few days with the pain, it is worst pre ovulation and I can barely do my minimum daily chores.   This will have to come to an end soon.   Gone are the beautiful few months I had pain free :(. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

On Money

A few months ago I came across a website on budgeting and saving for early retirement.  In an effort to divert my attention from all things fertility I have been reading some personal finance stuff.

I am after all almost 40.   I don't feel 40 or act that age for that matter.  I think I still have some maturity to do.  I look back at when my mother and aunts were around 40 and boy oh boy such a gap.   Since they started having kids at an early age and have a large extended family to manage on top of  multiple kids their maturity level at that age was nothing comparing to mine and this included finances as well.

Any how, in general I am not reckless with money but not frugal either.   I never had credit cards debt any other debt besides a small student loan and car loans.   Besides a couple of store credit cards I don't use much I only have one credit card in the last 10 years and I never use it either.   I hate owing money.   I have never carried a credit card balance ever.

During my last year of college I had to do an externship and needed a car.  So I took out some student loan and bought a new inexpensive car.    My sister was paying my car insurance until I started working after graduation.   A few months before I started working I had less than $1000 in my account which I sent half of it to go visit a friend on the west coast.    Yes crazy, and I didn't have a job lined up either so it is not like I knew I was going to be employed anytime soon.   I think that is the most irresponsible thing I ever did.    With three years of working I went to Europe twice (just vising friends), and traveled in the country a few times.   I spent a lot but  I have no regrets visiting places but I wish that I had put in more in my retirement account.

When it comes to money DH and I are pretty similar.  He is a minimalist and doesn't have a need to buy stuff or drive a shiny car.  He has no ties to material stuff.  He held off buying a car for as long as he can.  I on the other hand like to buy cloth and small stuff but unless I have the money I won't buy it and it has to be reasonably priced.   I am so glad that we are not that different when it comes to money so we rarely fight about it.

All though we have no debt except a mortgage we lack in the retirement department.  DH has a PhD so he spent a good amount of his time in school so retirement saving started very late and I did not put enough earlier on and with me  not working contribution has stopped.   In addition, we both immigrated to this country so that is an additional time spent settling in a new place that delayed any kind of saving.

Since working for me is far from reality now (endometriosis have me flat on my back again) I have been looking at ways to cut our household spending in hopes of being able to save a little more for retirement. 

Our utility bill is high, water is high and we have cable and phone bills.   We don't need cable but when we moved in to the house we couldn't get the stupid antenna to work for the basic channels.  For the first 8 years DH and I have lived together we never had cable until we moved in to our house recently and didn't miss it.  When I lived with my sister earlier on we had cable and I would sit and watch some stupid show for hours and waist a good half a day of my weekend and I wanted that to stop so when DH and I started living together I decided not to get cable.  In the process saved so much money. 

So where the saving needs to happen is to decrease our utility usage and also cut coupons for groceries.  I am aiming for 25% decrease over the next six months and see how it goes.   I am looking for ways to cut our cable.  We shall see how this will work out.   I don't want to do any extreme frugality here, after all we have to enjoy the now.   In reading up some ways to cut cost I came across a site that had listed "pooping at work" as one of the ways to save toilet paper.  Hehehehe, now that is crazy.   I hope I don't became that frugal in the process.

I am writing this so that I can be held accountable for the goal :). 


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Not Meant To Be

My due date for the first miscarriage is on April 2nd.   A couple of days ago my mind got lost on what could have been and I felt really angry and sad.   We lost our baby between 7-8wks of pregnancy and all though it was an early loss it doesn't make it easer.

My mind goes there, on what could have been if we did not lose our baby.  Right now I would have been so excited and anxious to meet our baby.  The whole family would have been in anticipation of meeting a new life.   I would be puffy on the face, feet swollen and tired but happily tired.   My husband would have graced me with his beautiful smile ever time he sees my swollen belly.   I would have been folding tiny outfits, soft blankets and overcome with joy for the life inside me.   My mother & sisters would be preparing food and helping to get the house ready for guests.   Most of all toddler MH's life would have changed for the better even though she wouldn't have know it. 

It wasn't meant to be.  I miss my baby. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

New Doctor & new hope, may be

My Napro Doc said there is a possibility that I may have A.sh.rman's syndrome based on 5 mm of endometrial lining thickness and light period during a medicated cycle.  I didn't talk to the Dr. directly, she had a nurse call me so I really couldn't ask that many questions.  Any how since I suspected something is up already I found a Dr. in the area that specializes in treating people with A.sharman's and I had my first appointment today.  

I made a mistake and made an early appointment, we are late risers and toddler MH had a hard time waking up for the 45 min drive.   I was called by the nurse after 5 min of waiting so I was feeling good about it.  I made a mistake of not having my medical history faxed from the Napro Dr.  I wanted to first meet the Dr. and see if he could help me first before I had my extensive private medical history faxed.   But I think it would have helped a lot for him to know the history prior to seeing him.

Any how the appointment went well.  He was attentive, asked me a lot of questions, didn't rush at all except he made me wait 15 min half naked prior to the exam.   After we went over my history he said he wanted to do an internal exam which I expected.  What I didn't expect was the re.ctal exam.  As soon as he said he would like to do one I wanted to run out of that office.  I hate these exams, I know I know, who likes them but I just despise it so much.  I think it was because I was hurting a lot when I had one with my Napro Doc prior to my 2nd surgery. 

The exam wasn't too bad I guess, I have had worse.  He pressed on some points that where painful so possible endo, mostly on the left side but he said overall he thinks things are OK down there as far as the endometriosis.   Since I have bleeding the estrogen he also thinks if there is any scar tissue it may not be significant.   He suspects that my lining is not responding to the estrogen and possible a receptor issue rather than scarring or a combination of both. 

So I am scheduled for a hysteroscopy in two weeks and he wants me to take 2 mgs of esterase everyday for two weeks to build up the lining.  He said he wants to look at the lining at its optimum and if there is any scar tissue he can start working on it the same day if it is not severe.  If severe then I will have to have to be under for the removal.   This visit will allow for two things, see the health of the endometrial lining as well as take care of any scar tissue.

I told him that it looked like I haven't ovulated, haven't had any fertile CM and I am on cd24 which is very unusual for me so I am sure the estrogen cream had something to do with this.  He said go ahead and start on the esterase even though we have no idea where in my cycle I am on.  I am a little uneasy to move forward with this.  Usually he will advise to it take during the follicular phase and do a cd14 or after hysteroscopy.    If I take this and AF arrives in a few days as expected then I will have to start it again, this means taking it longer than necessary and it will possibly mess up my cycle even further if I am post ovulation right now.   However, it is unlikely that I am post ovulation, since no hint of ovulation and no hint of AF.  By cd24 I would have started spotting or cramping.   I am going to wait until Sunday and if I don't see any thing will start taking it.

As much as I liked the Dr. and the possibility of solving what ever is the problem my mind keeps going back to calling it a day with infertility treatments.  I don't have it in me to fight any more.  I want to fight for my health so I can take care of my family.   I don't want to experience more losses.  I think I am ready to let it go after this treatment but surprisingly  DH doesn't seem ready.  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Endometrial lining & Thyroid

I got a call from Napro Dr. office last week regarding my ultrasound result.  It was done on P + 6, 3 days after starting the estrogen suppository.  My lining measured 5 mm.  Not very good.  However, it was only 3 days of treatment so I assume my lining could have been a little better towards the end of treatment but would still not be optimal.   The nurse also said I possible have As.herm.an's Syn.drome which I already suspected but I would still have to do an HSG or hysteroscopy to determine if this is the issue.   My AF was much better this cycle in quantity, even with the 5 mm endometrial thickness.  It was 2-3 days of light flow.   Without estrogen it was only 2-3 days of spotting.

I am on cd14 and no hint of ovulation what so ever.  I usually ovulate on cd13/14 or sometimes. I haven't seen any fertile CM so it seems like the estrogen cream has messed up my cycle.   Just wonderful. 

So I have been looking for a Gyno in our area to see about As.herm.an's syn.drome.    I really do not want to go to the Dr. who did the D & C.   I could have the HSG done in his office but I think I am better off just going to a Dr. that specializes in removing scar tissue from the uterus.   So after searching and searching I finally have a Dr. identified and will call for consultation.  Just hope that they take my insurance.  

It wouldn't be wise for me to keep doing estrogen treatment  just in case that my lining is sheading and not exiting fully due to some restriction in my uterus.  Pretty much this will end in endometriosis and could also be a reason for the recent increase in lower back and pelvic pain.  After I found out the ultrasound result I immediately called my old acupuncturist and made an appointment for the weekend and I am seeing her weekly.  Luckily my insurance covers this so that is a plus.

I saw my Dr. who treats my thyroid.  My labs looked fine with the exception of free T4 which was low.  This was the case when I visited the emergency room last month so not surprising.  We increased the naturethroid med to twice a day so I will be on 64 mg.   We cut back on T3 med and split the dose to twice a day instead of just one in the morning.   I am so excited to go up in dosage for the naturethroid since that made me feel a lot better.

I am still waking up in the middle of the night sometimes but are able to fall back asleep easily so that is an improvement and I haven't had any palpations recently.   I haven't resumed the LDN but will do so in a couple of weeks once I adapt to the new dosage of thyroid meds. 


Thursday, February 20, 2014


It has been a difficult month to say the least.  After 3 wks of sleep trouble (getting up in the middle of the night with palpitation and pain in my arm and shoulder), last week I started taking Advil before going to bed and it has saved me so far.  I don't take it ever night but if I think I am going to need it I will take it. 

I saw a cardiologist last week and had another ECG done and all looked normal.  I am pretty sure my heart is OK but It doesn't hurt to check it.  I will go in for a stress test next week and will be monitoring my heart for three weeks (waiting for the monitor to arrive).  

After paying more attention to my symptoms it appears that the issue is most likely my endometriosis flaring up.  I started to notice that I am having more pain on the left side around my hips and it feels like when I move sometimes I get a dull internal pain.  It almost feels like there is some restriction there, like my colon is stuck to something.   The pain quickly radiates throughout my left leg and also left hands and chest.  I have noticed this through out the day when I have stood/sat for to long or is holding toddler.  For at least one or twice a day I would have to lay flat on the floor and stretch it out which helps a lot.

I am a little depressed about this, I am frustrated and tired of dealing with the same issues day in day out.  I guess the endo flare is due to using estrogen suppository, I expected it but didn't think it would happen this fast.  So the plan is to try to get pregnant as soon as possible once my lining issues have resolved.  AF showed up last week and it was much better than what I had as far as volume.  It is still light compared to my normal but it has improved a lot.  I was barely spotting in earlier cycles.  I am waiting for the ultrasound result.  The Dr. was out of town but should be back tomorrow.  

Trying to get pregnant is going to be tricky since toddler sleeps with us and with me being sick there hasn't been much going on.  Sometimes I feel like the distance between DH and I is widening and not health for our marriage.   I have tried to get toddler to sleep on her own but she got sick in January and the little training she had she lost since we were not comfortable having her sleep in her crib alone since she was having breathing issues.  Now she refuses to even be in the crib.  With pain, sleeping issues and all, time with my husband is far from my mind.  I just want to go through the day with at least my daily activities accomplished. 

As much as I want to have a 2nd child and give toddler MH a sibling I can't be doing estrogen treatment for long.  So I will have to draw a line on how long to try this and give it a rest.   I don't want to be where I was before, in pain and going crazy from migraine headaches.  I want to be able to take care of my child without the constant nagging pain and debilitating headache that comes with it.  With that said I think it means time to let go of future pregnancies and move on.   I am not there yet but it is not too far away.

My thyroid Dr. canceled my appointment last week due to snow but will be seeing her tomorrow.   We shall see where things stand. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

More Episodes of Palpitation

So like planned I completely stopped LDN for a week and started back up again last Monday.  For  a third time I woke up around 3 am again.   I tried it a few days later and the same thing happened again so I figured I am just not tolerating it well and asked my Napro Doc on how to go forward and we agreed to try a lower dose for a week and see how it goes.

So I haven't started the reduced LDN yet.    The last few nights I walk up between 3-4 am and couldn't go back to sleep.  My heart wasn't racing though so that was an improvement but the sleep disturbance is awful.   Like Sew suggested this must be a symptom of low cortisol but it could also be due to high cortisol.   So last night I stayed up late and slept around 1 pm and walk up at 3 am again and this time my heart was jumping out of my chest which gradually calmed down.  My legs were so cold and my left arm and shoulder were killing me and are still sore.  To make it worse I couldn't sleep until 7 am this morning and had to be up by 9 am for an P+7 ultrasound.   Now I am pretty beat.    

I am on 32.5 mg of NDT and 60 mcg of slow release T3.    The NDT was added about three months ago and I was on only T3 for the last 4 years and had no issues with palpitation or sleep disturbance.   Besides this issue I am loving the NDT.  It had done wonders for the debilitating anxiety.

I have an appointment with my Dr. but it is a month away which is not acceptable.  I will have to see her sooner but DH is only available every other Fridays so I could only schedule then.     So I left a message for my Dr. asking what to do, I already did my lab last week so they should have the numbers.   They are still waiting for the lab result and they moved my appointment to next Friday. 

I want to add HC and see what happens but I am terrified of making the issue worse in case I my cortisol is high.   I couldn't tolerate 20 mg of HC last year and had to cut to 5 mg only.   I only took the NDT this morning and left out the T3.  Hoping tonight will be a better night.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Dump water on my fire

Its been a though few weeks in our house hold.   Toddler MH was sick for a week after a vaccination.  My DH got food poisoning and was pretty out of it for at least three days and was struggling to eat but he is OK now.   

I was feeling so good both physically and emotionally.    However, the last few days have been crappy.   AF arrived last week accompanied with minimal cramps.   It was a med free cycle.   Besides headache and hormonal shift I had no other symptoms so I was just enjoying the easy ride.   I started taking Fer.t.ileCM on cd2 and started with twice a day.   A few days later I noticed that after I had taken a shower in the evening I was feeling really tired and not myself so I went to bed early.   I also noticed that my pelvic pain was also high that day, and felt like my mid section was inflamed. Around 3 am I woke up and felt uneasy and was sweaty.  I laid there for a few seconds and forced myself to get up to pee.  Once I reached our bathroom I knew there was something seriously wrong.   I forced myself to pee and went back to my bed.  By then my heart was beating like crazy.  I asked DH to put his hand on my chest, and he was startled on how fast it was beating.  I felt lightheaded and thought I was going to pass out.   DH called 911, by the time they got to our place my heart wasn't beating as fast but it was still above normal (112 bpm) so they suggested that they take me to the hospital.  So I spent 4 hours at the ER, had an EKG done which was normal.  Blood work was also normal.  My blood pressure was slightly high but went back down after an hour at the hospital.   My stomach also hurts and It feels like I have been glutened.   I haven't had one of these episodes since 2008/2009.   I had a few episodes like this before due to a combination of anemia and pain.    It is possible that the Fe.rtileCM might have been the cause since that is the only thing that is new.   I stopped all supplements for a few days and only taking my thyroid meds so that I can give my stomach a break.   I also stopped LDN for two days and last night I took it.    I walk up at 3 am again, I was feeling the exact same symptoms and my stomach was killing me.  Instead of getting up immediately, I laid there for about 5 min, my heart rate was also high but not as high as the first episode.  Now I am thinking it could be the LDN.  So I called the compounding pharmacy and asked them if they have changed anything with the formulation.  They said it is a new batch but the fillers were the same and same lot as last month.   They also said they haven't received any complaints from other customers.   I am going to stop all meds except my thyroid meds and resume the LDN in a week and see what happens.

Just when I thought things are looking bright I seem to be taking several steps back.  I am so terrified of the Endo pain creeping back up.  Plus I am going to start estrogen cream post ovulation and that can't be good for the endo.  I am debating weather this is a good idea.  In an effort to get pregnant I do not want to end up in more pain than I am.  

This is so aggravating.  I was going to focus on building up my uterine lining this cycle.  Now the focus has been diverted in trying to get better and I have had a stupid headache that won't go away