My Prophetic Dream

baby kai

My husband and I had been trying to have a baby for over two years. I had taken fertility drugs, had daily shots administered by my husband on my then-firm butt. Early every morning, before the sun reached the sky, I drove to the fertility clinic like a robot to get my blood drawn. My veins looked like pieces of bruised, rotten fruit, like a once delicate peach or apricot. I was depressed and cried easily and often. One night I had a dream that G-d told me everything would be okay and that I would get pregnant and I would have a son. I clung to that message and told no one about it until now. That single dream and memory kept me going. Weeks later I found out I was pregnant. Nine months later, I gave birth to my newborn son.

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The Cranky Defense

It’s early Monday morning and I was woken up by the screech of the buzz saws right below our bedroom window jarring me from sleep straight into a miserable, throbbing headache.  Before I even began my day the hammers pounded in my head along with the screeching of the electric saws in high decibel, extra-loud volume, like the shrieking sounds of an inconsolable child.

I am cranky because the work being done on the house is to fix a big (sic: expensive) problem that meant digging under the house, replacing wood and floor tile. Two square feet of floor tile was replaced and now I have a dark and dismal two- toned, mismatched kitchen floor and I hate it. I think it is symbolic of all that I feel.

I am miserable because neither my husband or I have a job and that scares the hell out of me. Our two teenage children are winding down their school days and will be in summer camp for 8 weeks. I am happy for them but let’s face it being in a house with your beloved spouse, 24/7 is not good even in the best of times. I tug at the collar of my shirt, to indicate present and future hyperventilating; I know he must feel the same way.

I’m cranky about many different things: that we weren’t invited to a barbeque, that we don’t quite fit in with the “in crowd” that we are in a bad place because of the economy. Little things make a difference:  I was looking forward to watching the finale of Survivor with my husband but of course, the second I opened my computer I saw who the winner was. Really? Can they not just wait 24 hours before they plaster the spoiler all over the internet?  As an act of great love and kindness I did not tell my husband who the winner was; he deserves the pleasure of surprise.

I feel ill at ease and at night, before bedtime, I try to think of  jobs to do but that just causes me to get agitated and then I can’t fall asleep. When I finally fall asleep, I sleep restlessly and have nightmares about my mother every single night. I am always angry at her and she is mean and doesn’t seem to care.

The only positive side to my crankiness is that at least I am not eating an excessive amount of food to cheer myself up.  In the past, I would have been at Mr. Donut Man ordering raspberry jelly doughnuts. Oprah and her friends would be so proud.

My health is unchanged, I have no energy and the new drug, Cellcept, used for auto immune diseases hasn’t kicked in yet. I don’t know if it will even help. My guru Dr. keeps telling me to be patient; that’s easy for him to say. He hasn’t had Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and a myriad of other illnesses continuously for the last 3 years.  I am tired of being patient. I am tired of being tired.

I went for a blood test again today  at Quest Labs that hurt as the needle wiggled and skipped to find its way to my bluish-gray vein.I made the mistake of glancing over and seeing the dark red blood filling up tube after tube.  I noticed that their linoleum in the lab was identical to the dreaded beige-brown fiasco that now lives in my kitchen.

I’m lonely. I ache for my father who passed away eight years ago and I miss him, Father’s Day is looming ahead of me like the extended weather forecast for thunderous storm clouds. It’s a lengthy invitation to depression. I think the only place I should  go to is the cemetary where my father is buried. At least there, I am allowed to cry; I am allowed to mourn, and all my pent-up emotions will explode and I will place a perfectly round, white stone on his gravesite and allow myself to grieve.

*FML. No, Wait. Don’t.

I’m in a quiet mood tonight. The rain is dripping outside, the humidity is high, spirits are low but even. I am not happy in a joyful way yet not depressed in a hide- under -the- blanket- way either. I’m coping. Coping is a good thing I think, it beats hysteria by a mile and clinical depression by tens of thousands of kilometers.

There are times in our lives when coping has to do. This is that time for me and my family.  When life has piled an extraordinary amount of pressure and stress upon you all you can do is try to go with the flow or basically moan and groan and give up. Moaning and groaning is  not an option. Anymore. We all know the drill, sometimes up, then down, down, down and hopefully up again. You need to believe in the “up again” because EVENTUALLY things will be better someday. It’s just hard to see at the moment or the last two years. Believe me, I know.

A very long period of unemployment, a longer period of sickness, stress for the teenagers and from them, stress from the relatives, stress from our stressful selves. Take a deep breath. Now breathe. I feel like I should have a cup of Sleepy Time tea right next to me. With milk and honey added to it. And, perhaps an English biscuit or two.

I need to take a vacation in my mind. Where to go, what to do? Climate? Sunny, of course. I see the rolling green hills of Spring and red, yellow and pink tulips blossoming everywhere. Birds chirp happily singing their sweet songs. I listen, lying on my back, head on my crossed arms, feeling the soft grass as my cushion and the sunlight warming my eyelids. It’s 75 degrees and life is sweet.  At least in my mind and my lofty imagination that is.

I went to my Dr.’s office today and when he asked me how I was doing I said I was “coping.” But, after addressing what was happening, and describing the actual events I found myself going from “coping” to “miserable.” Literally, within one minute of each other, sitting in the same, plaid, uncomfortable bumpy chair my status changed to “miserable.”  I even asked for platitudes, I asked for rainbow idioms but I got nothing, no advice from him except his comment: “Try not to fall.”  Huh? Is that the best you can do? Couldn’t you even come up with there’s a silver lining in every thunderstorm, cloud formation or tsunami? Apparently not.

It gave me pause to think. If I am complaining and recounting all the bad stuff to myself or anyone else, what good does it do? It just seems to focus on the misery and the past and not leave room for the possibility of a better time, a different time, a good time.

So for the next few months, I will be focusing on the positive, wherever and whenever I find it. It started tonight with a Weight Watcher’s dessert that I added whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles to. It was in the People Magazine that I bought for myself  with a smiling Sandra Bullock and her beautiful baby on the cover. It was reading Confections Of A Closet Master Baker by Gesine Bullock Prado that had me smiling warmly with nostalgia: marzipan, chocolate treats, plum cake or as we called it “Kvetchekuchen.”

So, here’s to the Bullock sisters and to HOPE, to dreams and most importantly, here’s to positive energy. Energy that I have to control, and I will; I will definitely try.

*FML stands for F-ck My Life, thanks to the FML website.

The Methotrexate Blues

Oh me, oh my.  My poor, poor stomach. I am feeling sorry for myself and I don’t care.   I take the drug, methotrexate,  twice a week for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an auto immune disease. I hate it. A few hours after I take it (with food, without food,  after food, after a lot of food) my stomach feels like it’s going to explode, and generally, it does. I get cramps, feel horrible, and look worse. I look pasty, have NO energy and have to stay in bed. And I sleep. A lot.  Is it worth it?  I really do not know. That is what I am grappling with today as I lie under my covers feeling cold and weak and on your one to ten stupid scale, Dr. Guru, I am a 2, and that’s rounding up.

Yesterday was one of the best days I’ve had in about 18 months. I had energy, I had spirit, I had faith. I went to the grocery store and happily shopped for an hour and a half. I walked, I strolled, I tilted my head to face the warm rays of the sun. I was so happy. So I napped for a couple of hours in the afternoon, I was fine with that!

In the early evening, my husband Dan and I went to my sister’s house for a cozy  dinner with her and her husband. She made tacos, with chicken, cheese, yellow rice, crisp lettuce, red beans…..and we all laughed and chatted amiably and I shared a Diet Coke with her. We sound exactly the same and we usually interrupt or laugh at the same second.  She told me that I “looked really good” and I was absolutely delighted. I felt good, I felt happy and now I am paying a price. A huge, unfair price.

Went to bed at midnight last night and woke up at 12:00pm this afternoon.  Took four of  those horrible tiny yellow pills, the “M” medication and from then on  felt like_ _ _ _. (Fill in the word of your choice). I couldn’t make it out of bed, except to use the bathroom, and I had no energy; believe it or not, I needed a nap during the afternoon.

I’m resentful and disgusted and depressed. I went from such a wonderful day to a pathetic day. I AM thankful for the one wonderful day I had, believe me, but at what cost?  If there was a pattern I could adjust to it but there is none. I don’t have an instruction booklet for my own body and my body has a life of its own.  The only change that could possibly  made in the future is that I inject, yes, you heard correctly, inject the drug directly into my thigh. Hopefully,  this avoids the stomach complications but I haven’t gotten a definitive answer from the Dr. on that.  I’m cranky and frustrated and  the next time I see an orange it will probably be to teach me how to inject myself.  Swell.