Tag Archives: health

Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway

When its raining, but only kind of spitting, and the wipers make that awful sound on the windshield I can’t stand it. A rain sensing windshield is my dream, because I am unreasonably mad at the over wiping of the wipers. How about if the rains just stop coming now? C’mon May flowers!! Speaking of May we found a new place to call home and most of our belongings are there now. When should we start sleeping there? We treasure every “last” here on Delaware Ave. We drank Manhattans as we sat on lawn chairs in our empty living room and looked around at our echoing space remembering all the good times here. I don’t know why I’m so emotional about this move, the memories come with us wherever we go. By the time I was 15 I had moved probably 15 times or more, we then moved into the first not apartment we had lived in. At that time we made our mom promise that we could stay still in that house until we finished high school. I’m super adaptable and good at moving, I like the change of scenery and the opportunity to pare down the items you possess.

The Lafayette house is twice the square footage we live in now, it has a dish washing machine and garburater and a garage. In a lot of ways we are really moving up into a better place, even the landlord is super cool and has allowed us make some changes to the place to suit our style. Win after win, but I’m so sad to see our itty bitty blue house go. I think I pictured bringing our babies home to this house, and the babies are nothing but a twinkle in our eyes at this point. Its a reminder that the thing I want most in this life is outside my control, and hasn’t happened yet.

Josh worked like a hoss in March and April and he lost more than 25 pounds Which I wrote about here. We hope this means his fertility numbers are improving, we hope that some babies will find their way from the twinkle in our eyes to the 3rd room in our new house. We already set up room number two for our annual hosting of an intern this summer. We have so much to look forward to in this space, so many meals with friends, and dance parties outside, and such a great view of the fireworks. I’m real thankful, just incredibly grateful that we found somewhere when we needed to.20170430_185646

I will not wax philosophical about putting my belongings into a boxes and transporting them across town, I know how my readers hate philosophy talk. (this is a joke…obviously) The Prius is packed full of the kind of things that don’t make it into boxes, and it is strange to think of all my stuff and how little is has to do with who I actually am. In my trunk:  I have a bag of tutus and a fedora and my kitchen aid mixer a pair of pants that is passed furtively among 3 friends and some oranges and onions. I don’t normally feel defined by the things I own but moving makes you really consider what you possess. I moved no less than 6 vases of dried lavender! What?!? Who am I? OH yeah, I’m Katharine raised by an often single mom in lots of different places taught to say what you mean and that if people don’t like you that’s not your problem.  Well for the next 2 years I shall be Kate of Lafayette, and hopefully future blog posts will not be written from the bathroom. (The bathroom is the only grounded outlet in the house my laptop won’t plug in elsewhere) Eyes still twinkling.

Last Man Standing

“Rest your head on your mat, open your eyes, see the mat.” I see it. I has tiny circles separated by capital letter I’s and inside the circles are little squares. My eyes get blurry like I’m looking at a magic eye picture from the 90’s, but i don’t see a hidden picture of a dolphin appearing. This is of no consequence to anything. At the end of class he says “open your eyes, meet the eyes of the people sharing your practice today, see each of them” I prefer seeing people to seeing my mat. They have eyes and expressions and they sweat with me here today. Baptiste Power Yoga is hard, and I feel like I am building something when I’ve finished. Daily yoga is my Lenten commitment. I cry every day because they say “happy baby” which is a pose you do towards the end while lying down, and the hot tears drip into my ears. I’m not totally sure why I chose this for Lent. I know that I didn’t want to give up anything since my diet is already paleo and very restricted, and I feel like I have a lot of loss in the balance of my life. So adding something felt like a safe choice, turns out an hour a day commitment is still a sacrifice. Shrugs.

Fun update: we went to the naturopath on Friday morning for our most recent fertility results. These results have to do with my dear sweet grooms body not mine, and so I asked him yesterday if its okay for me to write about. “This is our journey, Kate, not mine. Be as transparent as you need to”. Our culture has taught us that one’s manhood is tied to his performance and sperm count, I challenge that to say this guy’s manhood is tied to his response when asked to be vulnerable with his numbers. Together we have done so much work to improve our fertility, and now we embark on a new leg of the journey towards being parents. ( I doubt anyone really watches my song links, but I literally listen to this song everyday. it is the title of this post. Last Man Standing )

In November I wrote about the odds being stacked against us for natural conception, here are the details of that, and the fantastical new plan to beat the odds. The swimmers need to be at least 60% quick and zooming, we’re at about 30%; We need at least 20 million of them and we only have 16 million, lastly only half of our guys are normal the other half have two heads and coiled tails and stuff like that. Upon receiving this news (on his 37th birthday) he had his game face on and was ready for the next step, our ND calmly asked “how hardcore do you want to be.”  “Very” was my champions answer. She explained oxidative stress like this (3 minute animation)  and told us that  carrying some extra weight is the main cause of his oxidative stress. Well he has been hitting the gym an hour or more a day, 5-6 days a week since November and while he has lost some weight he needs something more dramatic to jump-start his metabolism.

 

Drum roll please….

Enter the HCG diet. Daily injections of this cool hormone will cause him to burn fat cells as energy, and somehow survive on 500 calories a day. Don’t worry guys its only for 3 weeks and then he can resume normal (is paleo diet normal now) eating. Did I almost pass out at the office when I heard about this, and saw the price tag, and comprehended the commitment level? You bet your buttons I almost did. So I’m in the waiting room looking at the patterns in the carpet and sipping water and being told to breathe, and my bad-ass groom is getting the instructions to take injections at home and how to count calories and scheduling weekly followups with our ND.  My head is spinning. Sally you will be proud of how Dr.Science this post is, the rest of you might be rating this post high on the EW! scale.

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Here’s us on our wedding day

I honestly don’t even know what to expect in the next 3 weeks, but did I know what to expect the last 3 weeks? NO one could have known that we would be sad and mourning the loss of a perfect little baby in our family, and it felt like I couldn’t breathe at some moments. Today I showed up though, and I might show up again tomorrow. Its a daily thing. We wake up grateful and put one foot in front of the other, we look each other in the face and try to see one another. So far that’s what I’ve learned from yoga-show up and see. We do not know what will happen in the hours and minutes we spend on this earth, sometimes its awful and unbearable and we feel crushed. The man I have married is so clearly the best partner for me in this journey. He is grounded and focused and kind and compassionate and also really tough. We are sharing our story so that you can see into us, and can lament and rejoice with us at the appropriate times. If you have experiences with this diet or infertility or grieving lets talk about those things and learn from one another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve got a million miles ahead of us

You bet I’m listening to Justin Beiber <I used to believe we were burnin on the edge of somethin beautiful> I still believe that Justin! <Don’t fall asleep at the wheel, we’ve got a million miles ahead of us> Okay, I won’t! Also watching Tim Burton’s Alice In wonderland. The flowers are so mean to Alice, am I right?  “She’s not even wearing the right dress” they gossip about her as she passes by. Then Absolem says “You are not hardly Alice” everyone is against her! I have loved the story of Alice in Wonderland since I was a small girl, I think it’s all the other worldness. It’s certainly not the rabbit that makes me love the story, rabbits are all together  untrustworthy. At least the Hatter believes in her from the start; she has some friends, some help in her journey.

I have felt so incredibly loved by many of you kind humans. You have gingerly and tenderly asked if you can ask the state of things in my womb. Your nice, all of you so nice; not at all like the gossiping flowers. Yes you can ask, and I promise to tell everyone everywhere when we have succeeded in our dream to have a baby. In the meantime we are plugging along trying to stay paleo and stay active and healthy, taking our vitamins and such. I’m focusing on gratitude and staying positive.

This time last year we were preparing for 3 days in the hospital. I was making cookies for the nurses and visitors, and getting my Christmas all in order, and making plans to lay low and recover for 6 weeks (an eternity). I will spend next week baking and gathering with friends, working on choreography to teach in December, and going to yoga. I love to look at the passing of time, don’t you? We get further from the things that were painful, yet new potentially painful things are on the horizon. It gives hope though to look back and see how you have used time.

“Sometimes I have believed as many as 6 impossible things before breakfast” Alice says this to cheer herself into doing something impossible. Here’s why movies are so great, 90 minutes in she is much more muchier and she’s absolutely Alice. She isn’t confident that she knows who she is or what she was brought here to do, but she’s got a hunch and a few fans. We have some news that the odds for natural conception are stacked against us a little bit, but we aren’t giving up. Thank you all for cheering us on, and believing in our dreams with us. Seriously, when this kid gets here you are all invited to party like its 1999 with us. (I hear that party=naps to pregnant people so be ready for napping fun times) Till then, pop the champagne we have so much to be grateful for. Would you comment telling me why your grateful? (even if its your nice new baby, I promise to be grateful with you instead of being envious) I’m grateful that I’m not about to get operated on. Your turn.

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Such a lame excuse to say I’m tired, everyone is tired more or less

I make these little deals with myself, where accomplishing a strange task gives me some kind of bragging rights…with myself. Do you do that? I went to Costco for eggs and butter last week, I didn’t get a cart because if I can carry it all I won’t go over budget. So I’m in line with 4 dozen eggs, 2 lbs butter, 3 lbs of almonds, and a big jug of maple syrup. The fellow in line behind me offered me the extra space in his cart because I was balancing  all of this in my arms, I proudly declined stating that this was my workout. I walked out of there with my head held high, and my bicep quivering under the load.

I went to horse camp this weekend for a ladies retreat. I prepared myself to be out of my comfort zone since I’m not a “Horse Person” at all. The horse part was so wonderful, what fascinating creatures. My face hurt from all the smiling.  I went on a trail ride, and then had a lesson in the arena, and then another trail ride; I got to comb out the mane of a giant draft horse who I think really liked me.  I did not adequately prepare myself to interact with 50 or so women who are all moms. When I say moms I mean the majority of the women had 4-6 children and a few moms I met had 8 children and were pregnant. If you were not a mom at this retreat you were a teenager or you were me.

I came home with a very full heart. I felt both encouraged and discouraged. I felt that I had been given everything I needed, but also a very aware of the great big child shaped hole in my life. I lay awake in my bunk at night coiffing my inner monologue and speaking truth to myself. Its good for me to wrestle with these things, pressure makes diamonds right? Of course I want to be a sparkly diamond of a person, not a hard lump of coal. Truthfully I feel more aligned with the coal version of myself. I’m not proud of jealously and discontent in my heart, it doesn’t look good on anyone. However I’m going to be honest and acknowledge my less flattering thoughts because I want to heal them and change them. I don’t want to pretend I don’t feel sad.

I had a … procedure today. If you have had an HSG you can hug me next time you see me. If you haven’t I’ll spare you the details lets just say there’s a catheter and x-ray visible dye, as my friend Samantha would say “its not friendly”. It was my second time having the procedure so I was familiar with how it goes down, which did not make it more “friendly”. Anyways:Guts! The results were not what I would call super exciting, but the powers that be say its better than bad news.  My dear sweet groom was there for what should have been an hour, and turned into 3 hours. We were both late to work, and a little shaken up from the whole ordeal.

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Waiting room selfie

When I was waiting for it to be my turn to get married (which wasn’t till I was 32) I whined secretly to myself about all the good wedding ideas being used up. She walked down the aisle to my favorite song, those were totally my colors, I was going to wear basically the same dress, that venue was spot on with my Pinterest. Same sob story now with babies. As it turns out I got the best wedding I could have dreamed, best song-best dress-best colors-best venue-BEST GROOM. I wouldn’t change a thing, right down to the eleven week engagement. So why wouldn’t my baby story be just as deluxe?!?

I don’t promise to swear off fruitless acts of bravery and bragging rights to myself. I was once in the delivery room with a person who insisted on having a natural and silent birth. Why? There is no gold medal, no ten foot check, no news story to cover your amazing feat. You get a baby, same as anyone in the delivery room. I can’t decide if the unnecessary self sacrificing is worth anything, or if its just meaningless martyrdom. Maybe the small things we challenge ourselves to do (that go unnoticed) prepare us for the difficult things our story requires us to rise to. Maybe they wear us out so that we can’t elevate our actions to meet life’s asks of us. What do you think?

I do promise (not to you, but to myself) to be more aware of the nonsensical stories I pretend God is writing for me, and to call them out as such. I’ll re-read the incident log as having been written by someone who thinks I’m worthy. Shading the story I read (of my life) as a page turner with a victorious win at exactly the point it seems like defeat is lurking. I’ll try to say YES a little more, try not to isolate my experiences but share them with my community. Pay attention to the details that matter, will you join me?

If you listen to this…I’ll love you forever.

Stephen Kellogg: Lonely In Columbus (This Blog’s title at 1:18)

(side note, I could listen to this whole album on repeat for years on end)

 

Go & make yourself some friends or you’ll be lonely

I do not keep lists, I often misplace my keys, and I’m usually late because I’m so present in the current moment I fail to look ahead for the next.  BUT when it comes to public bathrooms I have a system: 1st sit down 2nd secure the necessary amount of toilet paper 3rd unleash the torrent. Under no circumstances should you do step 3 before step 2.  I do not like to be caught unprepared in that vulnerable situation.

Being prepared isn’t always enough, is it. Sometimes being prepared is downright impossible. Its so nice and tidy to have a plan, and to avoid uncomfortable experiences where you are in need and have to ask for help. Lately my life has been filled with reaching my hand to a stranger in the next stall, hoping they can be my rescue. I don’t like being rescued, it violates my sense of autonomy.

More than my disdain for assistance, is my gratitude that even strangers are willing to help.  I had this new doctor who said that if I want to do nothing to remedy my condition that would be ok. He didn’t push his treatment plan, or a drug that he gets paid to represent, and didn’t jump to worst case scenario. That is one point for allopathic doctors in my book. However, he did send me to do a radioactive iodine uptake test.

I’m going in the morning at 8:45. It has to be Wednesday because they can only receive nuclear mail once a week, it comes from a weapons grade nuclear plant in the Midwest. Aaaand I’m supposed to put it in my body, which everyone including 2 naturopathic doctors think is safe and harmless. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!! (I actually may be)

I’m grateful to have so much support as I go into strange new kinds of medicine. I have this one friend who researches things for me, she assures me that the best possible outcome is on its way. Like googling what kind of spider that was that I just killed, she is not afraid to look up freaky procedures and the risks and benefits.  She messages me the most qualified reasons I should hope for good health, and reminds me that it could be worse-a lot worse.

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friends. remembering friends.                            Hbd Sarah, we still miss you.

 

 

Asking the neighboring potty breaker to pass me a portion of T.P is not the worst thing that could happen. Once again I’m reminded that community is what we all need. That vulnerability is valuable, and helping someone even if we barely know them is joy inducing. For now the balance of receiving help and giving help is tipped in the accept direction. I anticipate a season when I can dispense assistance freely, I hope to be generous as my tribe has been with me. You people are awesome! Stay tuned for radioactive Kate updates.

Soon I’ll be a stranger in a strange new place

I’m one of those people who are especially enchanted with the changing of the seasons. I mark on my calendar the first flip flop day of summer, the first tree to change its leaves mesmerizes me, the first snow is marked with baking and reading and hot drinks. Today I took my wee beastie Pony for a nice long walk to settle us both down. I saw garden beds caked with brown dead matted down leaves with little purple and white crocus bulbs bravely peeping up. Daffodils will be here before you know it, the brown seemingly dead trees and bushes have tiny tiny green buds, its happening guys-SPRING IS SPRINGING. For me it was a particularly long winter and I welcome this season with big open eyes and ears. I’ve been so restless lately, even my hands are twitchy, and my heart has been beating with this new wrong rhythm. I am ready for new things to occupy my mind, things that don’t have to do with my guts.

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My budding Lilac bush

“Anatevka, Anatevka…intimate, obstinate, Anatevka”

I’ve had this song stuck in my head today, its at the end of Fiddler on the Roof when they have been forced out of their town and are packing up to leave the only home they have ever known. I am not at all comparing my situation to the plight of exodus, I had abdominal surgery, its not even close. All I’m saying is that I have this song in my head.

“Tumble-down, Work-a-day Anatevka.”

Anyways like I said I’ve been restless lately. I told my groom that I wished I could go back to college to become a high school english teacher. (That day, I did want that) Now it seems like way too much work. I’ve been looking at flights, and dreaming of buying a house, and maybe we should get another dog. Part of this is that I’m just scared that after all of this preparation the baby thing won’t work out. (wow, I can’t believe I just said that) The other part is…

Well let me go back a little bit. Tuesday I went to see a new Naturopathic Doctor, nothing wrong with my first ND just thought it might be good to have a fresh set of eyes on the issue. She was very doctor-y and medical-ish and I liked her a lot because she told me to drink Pregnancy Tea, and take Pre-natal vitamins and I’m like “yeah, that stuff!” She took my blood right there in her office and sent it to be analyzed. Turns out I have this high level of thyroid hormone in my body which means my thyroid is suppressed.  I’m pretty confused at how it can be suppressed and have high levels-that seems counter-intuitive. Whatever. I have an appointment with an endocrinologist next week.

So side effects of this thyroid thing are: thumping heart, shaky hands, restlessness, fatigue, and weight loss despite a good appetite. I thought all of those things were just part of recovering from surgery, and detoxing that Lupron injection from back in September. I feel glad that my “symptoms” are in fact symptoms and can be explained. Now I’m just annoyed that I have to think about my guts more. I’m over it.

“after all what have we got here? a little bit of this, a little bit of that.”

My Lenten commitment is giving up good parking, and parking in the back, and using the time it takes me to walk  in to wherever I parked to be spiritual and stuff. At first all my prayers were a wishlist of things I want to happen to me and to my people. Next my prayers were gratitude and joy at all the love and provision God has blessed me with. Both I think are good prayers, and I’ve always known that while God is an artist and likes well done things He isn’t particularly impressed with long sentences. I have turned to praying familiar Psalms as I walk in from my far parked car . Its not original but it keeps me from being apathetic. (which I would like to be sometimes, because all the feels are so many feels.) But I won’t do that, I can’t, I’m not that girl.

I will warn you, its melancholy, but I love it.

“Where else would Sabbath be so Sweet”

use the sleeves of my sweater, let’s have an adventure

When i was young I was existentially opposed to talking about the weather. It seemed to me shallow, and that any meaningful conversation was not to be started with talk of whether it is raining and how wet everything is. As I have been forced to grow up some I can see that the weather is something we all experience and thus can be the beginning of connecting with a stranger. Meaningful conversations can only occur if one human is connected to the other. So lets apply meaning to our visit today by starting with how incredibly long the Autumn has been here in Central Oregon. Thursday is “remember remember the 5th of November” and we have yet to see the snow fly here in town. While I have the Egg Nog chilled and ready to drink for the next season, I’m really enjoying the showy changing of leaves in my neighborhood. Come down to the far end of Delaware ave and see the large perfectly symmetrical maple tree in its brightest yellow flood of color. You’ll thank me.

ad·ven·ture: an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.
There has been much talk of adventure in my tribe. “Ships are safe in the harbor, but that is not what ships are built for” John A. Shedd from Salt in my Attic. We are encouraging one another to untie our ships and see what awaits us a few hundred miles from shore. My groom and I feel that we have been at sea for a while. This adventure is not particularly fun as some of our adventures have been. I resonate more with the hazardous description. With a heavy dose of optimism we are finding our way through what seems like a little storm.
We went to the pre-op appointment yesterday and got some happy answers to our most brow furrowing questions.  Like “can i see the little punks after you take them out” and “will my intestines ever be on the outside of my body”.  (yes, and no) The thing I was looking least forward to confirming is that I will in fact spend definitely one, probably two, and possibly three nights in the hospital. I wrestled with that as I tried to fall asleep in my dark room last night. Today I have concluded that the real reason is that I will have to receive around the clock care from strangers, depending on them to help me with normal things. I’m a nurturer by nature, I have chosen 3 career paths that are overtly care taking. Accepting nurturing is not my best position. I know I’m not alone because I spend a fair amount of time convincing people that they need me to take care of them; “thank you for trusting me” is how I close each massage session. So I’ll take some of my own medicine and imagine that my possibly 3 days in the hospital is like a retreat for me… Spa weekend! Okay, maybe not quite a spa weekend, you get the idea: Positive visualization.
A word about drugs. I took the Lupron injection after a blissful two weeks in France. It has made me constantly overheated, and wicked tired. Like fall asleep halfway through a glass of red wine while watching my favorite show at 8  pm kind of tired. At first it also made my heart beat all caddywumpus, and ruined my appetite. (both of which have passed now) It seems to be doing the shrinking job though. If you are person who asks God for things for other people, i would like to solicit your petitions for extremely shrunken fibriods by surgery day- which is November 25th. The smaller they are the better chance i have at having a reconstruct-able uterus. Overall not that bad of an Rx if you ask me.
Lastly many of you have offered to help and i can’t say how lucky i feel to have a tribe like that. Its hard to imagine needing help, and in what way really. I have been ordered to drink 4 cups of bone broth daily after surgery for 10 days. So maybe homemade bone broth would be helpful since that’s a lot of cooking for my groom. ( i guess i can make some now, but i don’t have that big of a freezer!) I will certainly be concerned about my little dog, so if anyone likes to walk dogs it would be a relief to know that my creature is being cared for as i am incapacitated. If you think stopping by the hospital to visit a lady in recovery would be fun on Thanksgiving or black friday then you are invited. I’m not a person who likes being alone much, and even if  two of you just catch up with each other as i doze in and out of consciousness i would feel like i had a party in my room and that would be funner than being all alone with nurses and machines. I’ll make cookies the day before i go in for visitors, k? k.
Really and truly thanks for following along with my journey. I’m still scared, but knowing that people think i’m brave makes me feel like i can go forward from here. I hope the snow does come, and soon. My life always seems to reflect in the seasons, does that happen to you? While the snow can be a bother to drive in, and to shovel, and for the heating bill, it seems worth it to me. The soft white silence it brings, the floaty way the flakes fly, and the way it makes you want to cuddle up together is its reward. I’m ready for winter, and for holding still, and for *gulp* being taken care of. But really though, come to my end of Delaware and see the colors before they’ve fallen.
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