Sandy's Web Rotating Header Image

Uncategorized

The Mean Reds… Alternately titled: Depression Sucks King Kong’s Yoo-hoo

Even dogs can get the blues

Even dogs can get the blues

The other day I came across a pretty powerful video blog. In the video, several bloggers described their experience with depression. It struck me how brave it was for them to come out and openly describe, so honestly, what it is like to struggle with depression. (Click here to see the video yourself)

What is it about mental illness that has people wanting to shy away from addressing it… or owning up to grappling with it? When filling out a questionnaire form at a doctors office, I’m quite comfortable to list all of my ailments– from high cholesterol to any of the surgeries I’ve had. In fact, after going through gallbladder attacks, it’s like a badge of honor to say, “yeah, it’s the worse kind of pain you can imagine, made me faint against a tree once…blah blah blah blah…” Hell, I’ll even get into the nitty gritty of the childbirth experience: natural child birth, rips, and the burn-baby-burning pain! Again, it’s like a badge of honor. You go through that much pain, you earn the right to tell your war story.


Ripping from yin to yang during childbirth… yeah, lets discuss. But depression? Um, no… not going to talk about that, that’s personal!


In the video, one blogger talks about the pain that a depressed person feels. For anyone who has experienced depression, you know that the pain is as real as pain caused by any other sort of physical condition. When you think about it, all pain is invisible, right?? So why is it harder to believe that someone is having pain from a mental source, rather than a physical one?? Yet, for some reason, it’s easier to accept… in fact, it’s more socially acceptable to have pain from a broken arm or a ripped va-jay-jay. Okay… maybe NOT a ripped va-jay-jay. But nobody is going to get denied insurance from having had a ripped nether region!


Now is ze time on Sprockets vhen ve dance!- Dieter

"Now is ze time on Sprockets vhen ve dance!"- Dieter

Most depressed people (unless you’re Dieter, see photo) would do anything NOT be depressed. But it’s not as easy as “SNAP OUT OF IT!” Also, just like every other medical condition out there, it’s not a “one size fits all” scenario. When I had my gallbladder attacks (see what I’m talking about, watch me brag!) it took two years… TWO YEARS for them to find out what was wrong with me. Why?? Because the pain was not in the usual location. It was all,“I want to be an individual and you can’t put me in a box… I’m gonna be smack dab in the middle of your stomach, where people will think I’m a Hiatal Hernia…. I’m gonna be around a while BEYOTCH!” Yeah, it was nasty like that. My point being, depression comes in many shades, there is a whole spectrum. Regardless–Depression is real. It’s nasty and mean… but, IF acknowledged, it is totally treatable and can be kicked in the arse.

For anybody who might be reading this and in want even more information, here are a few great links I’ve recently bookmarked:

Help for Depression

AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention)

To Write Love on her Arm

Baby Center- PPD Help

Postpartum Progress

Progeny on the move…

Recently I went house-hunting with my daughter. I know it’s uber cliché of me to say this, but it truly DOES feel like just yesterday I was bribing her to eat breakfast… Just yesterday that I was braiding her hair and picking out her clothes… just yesterday that I was wondering when the hell her feet would stop growing and bugging her about whether or not she finished her homework. And now… we come screeching to the present, where I’m helping her find a new place to move into with her… with her… with her…boyfriend!

I leave the little one with Scott… and off Sonora and I go to inspect this potential new abode.

First off, I notice, it is NOT on the beaten path- score, 1 point.
Second, it’s a water tower – score, 10, points.

Water Tower House

Water Tower House

It seems as if we drive over the river and through the woods to get to the water tower. We arrive and the second she sees it, she’s in love. (I will take a brief moment to gush at how much she is like me. I too would have loved this very weather-worn house.) I see the house through her eyes and with all my heart I immediately send out messages to the universe that this NEEDS to be my daughters first house. It’s so full of character, I can almost see the creative energy seeping through the nooks and corners of the interior.

We are greeted by the grounds keeper and he’s like a character out of a book. He too is weather-worn and full of character. He shows us into the house and we walk into a very small bottom floor. There is a small kitchen and small (as in micro-mini) bathroom. The bottom floor can easily be taken in with a glance. We then climb a small staircase, to the middle section of the house. It has been labeled as the bedroom, but only out of necessity… because no mattress could venture up beyond this point. This small area has a mini-gas-stove stuck in the corner. A double sized mattress would engulf the entirety of this room. Then, there is a ladder that leads you through a hatch in the ceiling to the third, and final, level of the house. On the top story, there is a closet and views of the surrounding rural area… oh, what views!

This room longs for shabby chic!

This room longs for shabby chic!

She’s in love… and I’m in love. That’s when it hits me…. I’m unemployed. The funds that I have to help furnish any new place have suddenly become very limited. Last year, when Sonora lived in Florida for a couple months, I sent many-o-care-package. That’s what moms do. But now, this time around, I’m unemployed and I need to conserve my spending and remember that my savings needs to remain dormant for a while.

This unemployment is a bit of a fart in a quiet room… it stinks!

What to do, what to do… Thank gawd I was poor in a past life. I’ve totally got this. I know how to decorate on a dime! I’m having flashbacks of my first apartments…. and suddenly I’m having an epiphany moment: I’m going to give Sonora the ultimate gift for those who need to decorate on a limited income– a high temperature glue gun! Though it may just be the espresso talking, and not an actual epiphany, I’m feeling like I’ve got a plan. And I always feel better when I have a plan. All hail the mighty glue gun, making 2nd hand objects look all funky and new!

Now I’m all excited and raring to hit garage sales… but I need to pull back the reigns and acknowledge that the espresso has hit my blood stream, because I’m getting way ahead of myself. After-all, I suppose I should let her turn in the application first…

The Awakening…

Dublin

Dublin

When you bring a baby home from the hospital, it’s all “ooh’s and awwww’s” to any twitch or wiggle. You look at your new little addition for any spark, any sign that the little lump of cute-leach-ness begins to merge into the personality you can feel simmering beneath the surface.

And so it was with Dublin. The boy chuckled in his sleep from the get-go. CHUCKELED, like a knowing old man. He stared, as if casing us all out. I felt like he was studying us, like if he could grip a pen, he’d probably have been taking secret notes.

I could feel the awakening starting early, like he was trying to get the slip on us. But I’m a watcher too and I could see his moves. First came the sly little smile, then the following us with his eyes, and progressed to where we are at today, with the grabbing and mouthing everything.

A couple weeks ago the screaming started. Shrill. Stop. Smile. Shrill. Stop. Smile. This made me realize that he’s just like my first born, Sonora… and I inwardly shivered “Gawd, this one’s going to be loud like me too!” Poor Scott.

The Doctor says that a babies personality starts to show at 6 months, but I think it’s a bit like an awakening. There are clues from the day they’re born, letting us know what we’re in for. I think Dublin is going to be a bit of a flirt and good with the ladies. I also think he’s going to be sensitive and a music lover.

I wonder if anyone has ever taken a picture of a babies eyes, every day, for the first year of life. I bet that would be an interesting experiment. At what point would you see the shimmer of understanding staring back at you?? Things that make you say, “Hmmmmmm….”

For anyone who thinks that’s an interesting idea, you might find this video interesting. It’s an experiment done by Deb Roy, a MIT researcher who set up cameras all throughout his house and filmed his son for the first year of life to document the birth of his vocabulary.  You can view the video by clicking this link: The Birth of a Word

Waiting. Hoping. Waiting.

On Tuesday, when I had still not heard from the clinic, I called about the test results and was told that it turns out that the only one who is able to access those test results is the woman who runs the research program, since they were sent to the research programs special lab. Unfortunately, she is out of town and won’t be back until Monday. MONDAY! The two days I expected to wait until we knew if we were in the program is now going to turn into two weeks…. TWO WEEKS! AWK!


This has left me feeling anxious, crabby and impatient. I’m like the old Mervyns commercial, where the woman is standing outside the door chanting, “Open. Open. Open…”


Since I refuse to think about things like the statistical averages of IVF at my age actually succeeding… I think about other things, like: if the only one who can access my test results is the fertility clinic research coordinator, who happens to be out of town at the moment, then the Estridiol test results I saw last week can’t be my most recent…. Which means that the number I saw must be a typo from a previous test…. Which means that I worried over nothing. Maybe. I hope.


Curious and curiouser.


Meanwhile, I’m still waiting. Hoping. Waiting….


To be continued….

Waiting game….

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting…. wait, what’s that… oh right, I’m still waiting! I thought it would only take a couple of days, from the last round of testing, for us to find out if we were officially in the IVF study program; but here it is five days later and we still do not have our official, “YOU’RE IN!”.

Everything is moving forward as if we’re in the program. Since mother nature stops for no one, we need to get through all the protocol so we’re ready to go if we’re accepted. That meant my having a phone consultation educating me about the IVF experience and what I can expect if I am to soon become quite closely acquainted with a needle that likes tummy fat. I also had another phone consultation informing me of more blood tests that are required to be completed and in their office no later than two weeks before my Aunt Flows arrival, as well as one blood test and a visit to a porn-o-matic for HIM. He gets off so easily in all this testing stuff!! (pun not intended… ok, fine. Pun intended.)

During both phone consults I asked about my recent blood test results and if they had come in yet and if I’d be able to view them online (at the patient portal the fertility clinic has set up). She said that I would hear from them before they ever made it to the online portal. I asked her if that meant that I could stop compulsively checking my portal every few minutes, she laughed and said I could stop checking, I’d hear from them first. I didn’t stop checking, because I’m neurotic like that. Interestingly enough, lab results ended up being posted, despite my ever hearing from the clinic. Unfortunately, they were incomplete and didn’t have all the results, only some I didn’t understand and my Estradiol levels. And the Estradiol levels were what had me concerned the last go around…. and even more unfortunate: they had gone up some more! Now I’m sitting here biting my nails wondering what this means to my FSH levels…. because if the FSH levels come back too high, we will be declined from the program.

Yes, yes… gibberish gibberish gibberish. So, translation: high levels are bad, low levels are good….. and I’m higher than Charlie Sheen on an average Friday night.

I feel like this fertility time bomb that might just blow at any moment. So I hold my breath and tip toe around, willing my levels to remain steady….. “Steady girls, steady… almost there, alllll mossssst THERE!”

Though, the truth is, at any moment during the IVF treatment we could get kicked out. There are so many check points that we have to pass, and it won’t be until that final needle hits my belly that I can fully exhale. It’s very intense, like a several month long thriller movie.

Meanwhile, my mood is great and I’m optimistic. I find myself perusing the twin strollers on Amazon and maternity clothes.

Eggs on film…. an anniversary story.

Tomorrow is a big day. Tomorrow’s testing will be the deciding factor in whether or not the GAME-IS-ON for IVF. Tomorrow I strip, scooch down to the end of a table and spread for a nice man in a white coat (that’s an indicator that he’s the good guy), while letting him explore my nether regions with a probe that projects the whole thing onto a huge flat-screen hanging from the wall…. not exactly how I’d envisioned spending my two year anniversary, but fairly close.


Yes it’s true, coincidentally, tomorrow will be the two year anniversary of when my guy and I met, an event that led to where I am today: trying to have a baby at 40, when my one and only other child has JUST flown the nest.


Unlike previous/recent appointments, I have not had one pre-appointment-mini-melt-down and no irrational tears have been shed. No crying at work. No crying at my doctors office. No crying during an end-all fight with my future baby daddy. No… I’ve been quite happy the last few days, which is really strange because it was all-star-PMS week too. Here I am in the midst of the final seconds of the IVF game, where if I win, we go to the IVF play-offs…. GO TEAM GO. Meanwhile I’m calm… very-very calm…. and all this inner calmness is starting to freak me out.


The pivotal moment has arrived. From our last appointment they learned my mid-cycle endometrial lining was excellent, but my follicle count was a bit low: 4 on one side and 6 on the other. Not even a bakers dozen. However, it wasn’t so low that we were rejected out of the program. Tomorrow they will take a day-three looksie to find out what my antral follicle count is. They’ll also do more blood work to see if my day three levels are the same as they were last time, which were okay, but not great (FSH 5.61, Estridol 92, and LH 2.16). Yes, yes.. I know, for those who don’t speak Over-40-Baby-Making-101 all of this is a bit of gibberish, but trust me, these numbers and tests are important to the baby making process! Sadly, the numbers are more necessary than having the s-e-x! Turns out you can have a baby after forty with good numbers and no sex, but you can’t have a baby after forty with bad numbers and lots of sex. HMPH!


So far everyone at the fertility clinic have been very reassuring as to thinking that we’re in. I however do not count my chickens before their little follicular eggs hatch!


Stay tuned…. things are going to get exciting. Maybe. I hope.

Crazy about eggs….

“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained…”  ~Mark Twain

I’m a pretty in touch with my brain…. that is, until I become passionately not. The brainy and oh-so-intellect side of me talks the big talk and fully believes in what it’s saying, so perhaps that’s why me (and everyone else around me) become shocked to find out that despite the hard exterior, I’m really sort of emotionally fragile. Life is always easy during the game planning portion. But once you get out there, on the playing field, things become a bit more challenging…..

Brainy me: We’re going to have another test
Emotionally fragile me: We’re going to have a test and it’s going to tell me I’m o-o-old. *Sniff *
Brainy me: The likelihood of finding infertility issues are high, but we don’t know that’s what they’ll find.
Emotionally fragile me: The tests will say I’m old and HE will leave me for y-y-younger eggs-s-s. *sniff *
Brainy me: Even if I’m infertile, there are ways to have babies.
Emotionally fragile me: I’m never going to have a baby because I’m o-o-old *sniff * *hic *
Brainy me: His staying up the entire night before the big test and playing video games is unrelated to his desire to have kids…
Emotionally: He doesn’t l-l-ove me…. he doesn’t feel my u-u-rgency… doom….. doom…. DOOOOM!

And so on and so on.

Despite the fact that HE has not learned to “talk me down” yet, here we are a few days later and the following things miraculously happened: Our relationship survived another mini-melt down of mine. And after our newest fertility office visit, where we had an ultra sound and the doctor reviewed some recent test results with us, we were told that my getting pregnant is probably related more to my tubes potentially being blocked, then to my age.

I’m feeling sane again. And hopeful. Things are looking rather well for us being part of the IVF research program. But I don’t think that I’ll fully believe it until they’re sticking the needles into my belly.

We will go back to the fertility clinic in a couple of weeks. I’ll have another ultrasound and some blood work done…. if that goes well, we’ll sign a contract and some release forms… and booYA, we’re in and the shots will start in March!

THE BIRDS!


Walking from my car into my office has become quite treacherous! For they’re everywhere…. the… BIRDS!

Parent birds that have taken up habitation in the bushes next to my works parking lot dive bomb anyone who would dare to tread near a nest. I actually had birdie feet touch-down a few weeks ago. The bird made contact with my head! I nearly screamed, because I didn’t see it coming. That little bugger was uber stealth like!

I sometimes think about those birds and their fierce instinct to protect their young. Their bravery to go up against creatures of all sizes and species. Their consistency makes me wonder if they even believe in lunch breaks! I’m beginning to doubt that they do.

Yet when it comes time to let the little birdies learn how to fly, they hover, all the while allowing the little birds to hop about autonomously. I wonder what sort of pep talk they give…“Fly higher than a cat leaps” might be a favorite chirped saying.

I see a lot of similarities between the birds and their human parent counterparts. As a parent I know I’ve gotten my feathers ruffled several times. There have been many-a-situation where I would have loved to dive bomb…. if only I could have been able to fly!

Watching our children grow and leave the nest has similarities to birds…. we watch, we hover… we hope they fly above the cats claws. But it’s not easy being a spectator, there’s still that dive bomb instinct. But we don’t….. we just hope and pray that we have given our children enough know-how to figure things out…. Or, to have good enough communication with them that they don’t hesitate to yell at us, “Need a little help here!!”

I look at my daughter and am amazed. Over night she’s turned into this mini-adult. True, in a few weeks she’ll be legally an adult, but she’s in those early stages of adulthood and barely through the doorway that separates her from her youth. This 18 year adult is going to be very different from who she’ll be when she is walking through the 21-year-old-adult doorway. And that is still just the start of the metamorphosis into the full fledged adult she’ll someday become.

I’m hovering….. in the background, letting her start to make her own decisions. And it’s more intense than any sporting event or horror movie. Yet this hovering is allowing me to observe this most intriguing young adult. It’s like this chess game and I’m impressed by her thought, surprised by her reasoning and proud…. very-very proud of her deductive skills.

I wonder if birds ever look at their young and think, “Wow! That was some good-crazy-arse flying! Way to dodge the claw, bird, way to doge the claw!!” Or, if they’re just happy that they’ll be able to get to go back to their favorite perch and scout out some worms.

Sugar… Come Back to Me!

It’s like that typical (awesome) scene in a movie, where the man purposefully kisses a woman. You know what I’m talking about? He sees what he wants and with eyes locked on his target…. He sets out across the room/field/train/spaceship/car/Texas to get it… never stopping until there is lip-lock, and if he’s lucky… tongue.

This describes the scene playing out in my brain every time I pass the tray of cookies in the kitchen. But I resist. I RESIST. There will be no tonguing the chocolate chips for me.

For the first time in my life I’m doing a sugar fast. No sugar for a whole month! I had no idea how connected sugar and I had become. This time apart has left me to reflect on what a volatile relationship we actually had, sugar and I… one with quick spikes of highs and the inevitable crashing lows.

It was evident early on that I couldn’t easily quit sugar. I was 18 and working in a donut shop. People would warn me that I would eventually hate donuts, but instead I just kept finding new ways to love them.

Fast forward *cough*21*cough* years and here I am, trying to find the strength to say no to the sweet temptations sugar provides.
How it’s going thus far….

SUGAR I MISS YOU! Let me count the ways… Caramel Macchiato, Chocolate Cookie Dough Ice Cream, Peanut Butter Cookies……. Ohh OOH ooooh!!!

These are just a few of the items I’ve put on my subconscious ‘to do’ list for when the month is over. Until then, I pray that my subconscious doesn’t take over and I become a subconscious eater… like a sleep walker that eats.

Optomistic Lemming

There’s a great scene in the movie ‘(500) Days of Summer’ where a split screen demonstrates the intersection of expectations and reality. They meet and right when it seems as if they might merge on the same path, they often go their separate ways…..

And so it was with the expectation and reality of my New Year resolutions: They did their meet and greet and almost hung out for a week or two;  though, I suppose it would be more accurate to say that they just discussed getting together. They met at the threshold and exchanged numbers, but reality is screening my calls.

What I’m trying to say is, I’ve not been sticking to my New Years resolutions. Hell… I can’t even remember what they are!

Statistically speaking, I am a lemming. Scan the Internet for various New Year resolution stats and you’ll find that around 90% of all optimistic reolution-ers do not follow through with keeping their resolutions. People can talk the talk, but to walk the walk would mean exercise and that my friends holds the number one spot on most resolution lists (exercise more)…. which means it’s not going to happen!

You might think the blog entry ends here, with my weeping whimper of defeat…. BUT NO! I’m going to go and review my list of resolution’s and come up with a plan-o-action. BRB!

I’m back.

Shit.

This is not going well.

Don’t believe me?? Please join me in taking a little look at the dueling Expectation Vs. Reality of my 2010 New Year’s resolution’s:

In the left corner, you will see Expectation, weighing in at 121 lbs., very svelte… yet curvy and optimistic. In the right corner…., please say hello to Reality! Reality weighs in at 133, remarkably curvy…. less svelte, but still optimistic.

Expectation and Reality shake hands and they’re off!!

Expectation:

Walk the dogs AT LEAST 4 times a week!!

Reality:

I’ve walked the dogs four times….. in the last three weeks.

Expectation:

Cook a REAL dinner at least once a week!

Reality:

I just loaded my freezer with frozen dinners.

Expectation:

Lose 10 pounds

Reality:

Make that 13 pounds, since I’ve gained three pounds since writing the list!

Expectation:

Read more…the old school way!

Reality:

I’ve put a stack of books on my bedside table. They need dusting.

Like I said before: shit.

I AM NOT A LEMMING….. I am NOT a lemming….

To be continued…