Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Another Diagnosis. *BIG SIGH*.

So this Summer I have been having allergy problems (which I've never had before). I've also had a sleuth of weird things going on, like losing tons of hair (more than usual), super-dry skin, muscle cramps, fatigue to the point of being absolutely worthless when I get home, difficulty concentrating, feeling more cold-natured than usual... etc, etc. Many of these symptoms I've had for a long time, but the fatigue has been far worse than usual lately: it's exasperating.

While I was visiting with my new allergy doctor, he asked me questions about my overall energy levels and whatnot, since according to him, hormones and allergy problems go hand-in-hand many times. So he ordered a range of blood testing on me. The nurse got FOUR FLIPPIN' vials out of me by the way, which was insane. Yesterday I had my follow-up with him, and got to hear another diagnosis, and possible cause for my ovaries not working: hypothyroidism.

He actually mentioned "Wilson's thyroid disease" which is not at all recognized as a medical condition. In fact, many many doctors say that it's a bogus diagnosis, and that the symptoms that have been used to describe this disease (many are outlined above) are psychological in nature.

Oh sure!!! My dry skin and hair loss are clear signs of me going mental. Anyway... it turns out that this Wilson thyroid disease has been claimed to be a mild case of hypothyroidism, but one which can deeply affect many women. This allergy doctor put me on "sustained release T3", a type of thyroid, to help increase my energy levels, help reduce weight gain from low thyroid, reduce my difficulty concentrating, etc. However he recommended that I find an OB-GYN who is willing to work with me and is willing to focus on finding the proper estrogen/progesterone dosages for me. He suggested that I take bio-identical hormones, which are better than the synthetic hormones that often come in birth control pills.

The problem is... it is NOT at all easy to find a doctor who is willing to "walk that extra mile" to help one patient find balance. I have seen some doctors, some willing to help, some not so willing to do anything; and it's physically and mentally exhausting to go through it. I keep paying co-pays to doctors who either don't know what to do with me, or are not willing to do more than prescribing birth control.

I have an appointment with a doctor on September 20th. I have not read great reviews on this doctor, but I've got to try someone else. There is one great doctor who doesn't have any openings until mid-November; I'll probably set up an appointment with her as well, in case the first doctor doesn't work.

*sigh*. I'm afraid and not looking forward to this. I'm afraid to see that helpless look in a new doctor's face and hear, yet again, "you've got very serious hormonal imbalances going on, but I don't know what to do..." I am willing to try this thyroid supplement, though I have read some serious possible side effects and that scares me, too. But I have to try something.

Yesterday I went to help my good friend Janelle pack for her and her family's big move to Dallas. I'll miss her a lot. While I was very happy and glad to be able to help, it did affect me some to see her 6+ month pregnant belly, and her son running around the house. Through this condition, this seeming curse, I am learning a great deal about humility (which makes me wonder if in some way, this curse is truly... a gift). However, in the past week or so: (a) we have been rejected by a Christian agency for not belonging to the same Christian denomination; (b) I have been yet again told that my body's not at all working right, and have learned of another possible diagnosis which will require me to try a medication that may result in very serious side effects; and (c) been particularly weak, physically first which in turn makes me weak spiritually.

I'm ready for some good news. At some point, soon. I would love to hear some good news for us. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

When Believing is not Enough... Apparently

Well, we have been rejected by the first adoption agency that we sent application papers to. It turns out that being a practicing, believing Christian couple is not enough for this agency: instead, we should have belonged to the same church.

Aggieland Pregnancy Outreach (APO) seemed like a very fair (not to mention cost-effective) adoption agency. Their information packet and application paperwork were well organized, and they seemed to be genuinely interested in bring Christian families and children who need a loving home together. They also don't have differential pricing for children of different races, as other agencies do. We had been warned that APO had somewhat strict requirements when it comes to selecting adoptive families, but we truly hoped that by setting up a meeting and explaining our beliefs, they could better understand that we fully intend to raise our children as believers in our Father, who so loved us that He gave His only Son in sacrifice, to save us all. We could have explained so much... It just seems a bit ridiculous to not even give us a chance. Instead, I got a "please let me know if you would like to discuss further, but you currently do not meet our requirements..."

But, I guess this was not meant to be. In all honesty, I feared we would be considered "undesirable" because of this very same reason; but I also hoped that they would let us show them how much love we're ready to give a child. I understand if they want to have their requirements, and want to reject us. Okay. What ticked me off is that we sent our application about two weeks ago, and never got a "hey we got your application, thank you for your interest" email, or anything. The only reason we finally heard from the Director is because I emailed him to make sure he got our paperwork, so he then replied. If you're going to reject someone, LET THEM KNOW! We have been looking at other agencies as well, but were also on standby to see what they said about us.

I guess this was not meant to be. Onto the next agency.

Friday, August 10, 2012

I'm So Ready.

Today was a very good day. I went to work at the daycare where I've been doing part-time work for 10 years or so. The Director asked me just a couple of weeks ago if it affected me to hear and see babies around me, and I'd explained that it depended on how I was doing that day, emotionally. Today was a good day.

As I came back from my lunch break, I realized that there were three babies crying in the infant room right behind the office where I was working. There was also one teacher there who was trying to feed a fourth baby, so I thought I'd go in to help. I sat on the floor and began talking to the chubby baby boy who couldn't quite crawl yet, while I tried to rock another boy about 3 months old. The lady who was there said that the itty bitty one was probably hungry and handed me a bottle; so I sat down with him, tried to feed him but realized that he really didn't care to eat. Since he kept crying on and off, I swaddled him with his blankie and began walking around the room while swinging him. Oh, I was in heaven. It felt good to realize that I haven't "lost my touch" with babies. When I used to work full time at the daycare, sometimes teachers would ask me to come into their rooms so I could help a baby feel better. I don't know why, but I have always been particularly good with babies, and they almost always love me from the second they see me. So this afternoon, God gave me a piece of heaven.

It's been quite difficult to accept that we may need to wait two years until we can become parents. Two years until I can hold a baby at home and make him or her our child. Today made me want to wear a t-shirt in public that says, "Looking to adopt a baby soon!". Which surprisingly enough, women have tried SUCCESSFULLY by locating a birthmother of their own.

*Sigh*. I'm very much hanging on to His Promise. Because there is no other way I will be able to wait that long without Him.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Keepin' It Real: lows at work.

The past two weeks or so have been pretty rough. My hormonal state was at the perfect progesterone-high for me to be extremely down when Sam's niece was born. I hesitated on whether or not to post about my personal prayers from about a week ago while at work, but in order to keep considering this blog my personal journal, I find it essential to stick to my "disclose all" policy.

So, about a week ago at work as I furiously battled tears, I wrote this:

"Every time when I think the pain is starting to subside and I feel I can begin to move on, a child is born to someone we know, or someone posts photos of their newborn child on Facebook, or someone announces their pregnancy... I'm feeling tempted to resent you, Lord, I cannot fight this battle without you. Hear my plight Lord, let me put on your armor so that I may get out of this depression... my heart, my whole being aches. I have a knot in my throat and tears I'm fighting to keep from dropping. Infertility is such a horrible agony. Free me, O Lord, from these demons that torment me; help me move on to the place where You want me to be. I'm powerless without You, Lord; I beg You, listen to my plight..." 

A part of me felt awful about not being able to see my sister (sister-in-law really, but I love her so) and her beautiful baby girl. That day, as the delivery time approached, I prayed and pleaded that both momma and baby would be okay. I checked my Facebook a hundred times, waiting for Shelby's first photos. I could feel the excitement, but it was all cloaked with such a mournful sadness. I'm working on a present for Shelby and this somehow makes me feel better, because it makes me realize that I will see them fairly soon. I'll have to time it just right so that I'll be in the chock-full estrogen part of my cycle, as the odds of being content are so much higher then. 

We have also begun calling adoption agencies and are slowly learning about the process. It's a daily struggle to accept that becoming parents will likely take a year and a half, at minimum. This is twice the amount of time a woman is pregnant, and it means spending so, so much more money than if it could happen "the natural way". I'm trying to move on from what we could've had because, well... nothing comes out of that. But like I said in my prayer, permanent infertility is agony. A cyclical agony.

I found this article titled "Infertility Etiquette", which I found quite interesting in that, the writer herself KNOWS. Women like her are the only ones whom I can truly, truly relate to. It reminds me that I'm not alone, even though many times I do feel pretty lonely. This particular fragment gives a very accurate description of the struggle:

"Infertility is, indeed, a very painful struggle. The pain is similar to the grief over losing a loved one, but it is unique because it is a recurring grief. When a loved one dies, he isn't coming back. There is no hope that he will come back from the dead. You must work through the stages of grief, accept that you will never see this person again, and move on with your life.
The grief of infertility is not so cut and dry. Infertile people grieve the loss of the baby that they may never know. They grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mommy's nose and daddy's eyes. But, each month, there is the hope that maybe that baby will be conceived after all. No matter how hard they try to prepare themselves for bad news, they still hope that this month will be different. Then, the bad news comes again, and the grief washes over the infertile couple anew. This process happens month after month, year after year. It is like having a deep cut that keeps getting opened right when it starts to heal."