By Angie

Back to Akron

untitledI’m moving this weekend. While I’m not overly thrilled about the area I am moving to, I do have a number of things I am excited about in regards to this move:

  • No more scary landlord.
  • Rent to Own.
  • 100% ours within 5 years.
  • 3 bedroom, 1 full bath, with a front porch, back 2 tier deck, fenced in yard.
  • We can probably buy this house in cash in 3-4 years with the rent savings.
  • We can do whatever we want to it.

There are downsides of course:

  • 100% ours. If something breaks it’s our problem.
  • Not so great area (Kenmore).
  • Neighbors are very close, and kinda trashy.
Our House
The house. “Our House”.

All in all it is going to be a fair trade I think. As far as safety we have the dogs and we have Time Warner installing their top level security package next week. Not much we can do about the neighbors outside of ignoring them. The other plus’s definitely outweigh the drawbacks. The siding is new, as is the roof. Foundation is solid. The majority of the very expensive items about the house are okay (heating, plumbing, electrical).

Next up will be painting and flooring and decorating. I will probably share a lot of that as we go, as we plan to reclaim and build the vast majority of things ourselves. Bill likes to call our home style Steampunk Farmhouse. I think this will be fun. If nothing else, it gives me something to focus on between cycles.

Lap to Square 1

So I finally had my laparoscopy. I had my consult back in February with Dr Falcone, but due to my crazy insane May schedule I pushed off having the surgery until this past Thursday. At my appointment back in February, Dr Falcone did get to look over my previous surgical notes and mentioned to me that the OB that performed my surgery only noted scar tissue in my abdomen. He did not note endometriosis. That OB however had told me at my surgical followup and my RE at the time that I had endometriosis. He also said based on my symptoms he believed I had endometriosis, so having a lap was a good idea for my pain.

cb143be01de7407c6c1a3b80984802daWell, the good news is, I don’t have endometriosis.

The bad news is, I don’t have endometriosis.

During my lap he did find scar tissue throughout my abdomen which he removed and sent to pathology for testing. Given I had never had abdominal surgery before my ectopic we are hoping pathology can shed some light on what might have caused the scarring, which also affected my left tube and caused my ectopic.

As far as my infertility though this dumps me squarely back into “We don’t know” territory. I even got pictures of my healthy ovaries, remaining fallopian tube, and uterus, for all the good it does me.

Now I have to call my RE in New York and give him the news and see where I will go from there. Right now I’m pretty unsure. I’d really hoped I would finally have an answer to not only what is wrong with me, but why I have such intense pain for several days twice a month. But no. I get nothing. Either way I will probably be cycling again come August, but this will probably change up my entire protocol. We’ll see I guess.

Trying Mindfulness

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One of the things I was recommended during my extended counseling was to find a counselor and/or pick up some books on mindfulness. It was also something they regularly practiced during group sessions. It is however something I kind of shrugged off and ignored once I left the program, and haven’t worked on since I have yet to find a counselor I like locally.

Recently though I’ve finally admitted to myself that while I don’t often have suicidal ideations any longer, I am constantly on edge and am easy to set off. Of course the person that bears all of this pent up anxiety and anger is my husband. As my husband calls it, I suddenly act like a “normal nagging woman” as opposed to my typical laid back self. So while to outsiders I might be acting like a “normal” person, it is completely out of character for me. And it’s getting to me.

To try and combat this, I recently picked up the book Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman. Now I just have to calm the hell down enough to focus, read, and try to practice it.

Does anyone out there have experience or other recommendations for practicing and/or learning about using mindfulness in day to day life?

Advocacy Day 2015

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Last week I got to attend Infertility Advocacy Day. Advocacy Day is a RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association event that gives those of us in the infertility community a chance to sit down face to face with our Congressional leaders and discuss infertility and adoption.

So last week I drove to Washington DC with 1,308 letters for Congressional leaders from 45 different states. Intent on making a change.

I was chosen by RESOLVE as one of 25 people to be a part of the Inaugural Ambassador Class. I spent Wednesday with 24 other infertility community members and the RESOLVE staff getting valuable training on how I can rally my local community to support RESOLVE and the infertility and adoption community.

Thursday was the big day! I spent from 8 am to 10 am receiving training, and then we were off! One amazing part of this is that RESOLVE makes your appointments and gives you your schedule. All you have to do is learn about the Bills and go to your meetings!

Everything went well. There were 5 of us from Ohio to meet with the staff of both Senator Sherrod Brown and Senator Rob Portman. Afterwards, Jessie and I split off from the other 3 and went with each other to our respective House Representative meetings. We met with the staff for both Representative Dave Joyce and Representative Jim Renacci.

This year RESOLVE really focused on the words we used when discussing the Bills and as such there was a real difference in how we were received. That combined with the CDC’s National Public Health Action Plan and we saw a lot of positive feedback this year.

My 2 days in Washington DC are, without a doubt, the most empowering days I have had in my entire life. It really has given some control in a situation I have no control over. It has also connected me with some of the most amazing and powerful people I have ever met in my life.

It’s an absolutely amazing feeling to sit in a room with a couple hundred other men and women that, while their story is different, understand exactly what you are going through. To know we are all fighting so that future generations don’t have to suffer the way we have is absolutely uplifting.

Be the change you want to see. I am.

I’ll leave you with a gallery of pictures from my trip. Now the countdown to next year!

Control Freak

a6df485aa31175652c08a60204e7dbb8One thing that has come about with my infertility is a realization that I am a control freak. This was a surprise to me given the fact that most people that know me would describe me as fairly easy going.

I wrongly had this idea in my mind of someone that likes to control things as someone who is high strung, nagging, yelling, always organizing, etc. Basically every bad trait the media portrays as being the signs of being a control freak.

But I am a control freak. I’m just a control freak about my body and my surroundings. I seem totally laid back as long as I have a sense of control (IE: I can leave when I want, I can take medication to fix something, I can work harder). If you take that control away I become a depressed, ruminating train-wreck of anxiety.

I’m sure this is brought on by numerous things, not the least of which is the very idea that if you work hard you can do anything. Reality is a cruel task master and it likes to remind us sometimes that that is a lie. There are certain things in life that are outside of our control. Some people can cope with that notion.

I can’t.

And that has been a large part of my issues surrounding my infertility. My inability to give up control over what is happening to me. My body is failing me in a big way and there is not a single thing I can do about that. All the thinking and hoping in the world will not change the fact that I will never make love to my husband and create a child. Something so seemingly basic and primal, something the majority of the population takes for granted. Something the majority of us are programmed to do, I simply can’t do.

So while dealing with the monthly grief that comes every time my body fails, I also have to come to terms with the lie that if you work hard you can get anything you want. That I simply cannot control this situation, and that is okay.

And therein lies the problem. How do I stop a thought pattern that has done me well in every other part of my life? I wouldn’t be where I am currently if I hadn’t changed my way of thinking. Of banking on the notion that I am in control of my life and that if I work hard I can change it. It’s worked until now. It’s gotten me a better life partner, job, home, circle of friends, everything. Now there is this one last, most important thing and that line of thinking does nothing but make it harder.

And that’s where I am currently failing. I have to change the way I view my ability to have a family, without hurting the way I view everything else. And right now, that’s still an impossible task.