Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Adios, 2008

Today marks the end of a very long year for me. It has had more ups and downs (especially downs) than I ever imagined, and frankly, I'm glad to be done with it. Out with the old, rotten year, and in with the new. It is going to be a very good year, because I have decided that it will be so.

After much soul-searching, I've realized that I really need to make time for myself to make myself healthy, and that's my New Year's resolution: to get healthy. Good food, plenty of sleep, exercise, yoga. It's such a simple thing, your health, and one that you don't give much thought to until you don't have it. I've been trying to patch myself together while going a million miles an hour this last year, and it clearly doesn't work. So, I'm giving myself a few months to really get it together. Hopefully, that will be all it takes to get me in premium condition. And then, hopefully, a baby will naturally follow.

Also after much soul-searching, I've realized that there are basically three things that I want to do with my life, professionally. One is to try to obtain a particular job abroad. One is to start my own business, but not in my current field. And the third thing is so crazy I can't even admit to it out loud, not even here. Each of these things is harder and more impossible than the last. But I'm totally and completely in love which each possibility, and nothing else appeals to me at all. The solution? Well, since each is more impossible than the last, I'm going to pursue all three at once. In theory, I could actually do all three at once, even if I was successful at all three. But given how impossible each one is one its own, that seems unlikely. But hey, who knows? The sky's the limit. My second New Year's Resolution is to do something each day that furthers my attempt to achieve on of them. Of course, I'll fill you in on how it's going! The best part? I can keep my blog name. . ."Borneo" will just stand for that elusive job abroad, which could indeed end up being Borneo.

In baby news, we won't be trying this cycle, because I'm technically supposed to still be on malaria medication, and because they still haven't sorted out exactly what happened while I was diving. The doctor took me off the malaria medication out of concern I was experiencing side effects, and I could theoretically still suffer an outbreak. I'm on a load of other medications for stomach issues, and slowly feeling better, so hopefully, I'm on the mend. I'm currently on CD2. After several years of looong cycles, my last three have been 28, 24, and 26 days in length. Hopefully, I will have regular, even cycles as we start actively trying again.

I hope today finds you happily ushering out the old year, and looking forward to the new, as well.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

I have so much to be thankful for.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, if you celebrate, and a terrific day anyway, if you don't.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Yet another trip to the doctor

I had another doctor's appointment yesterday. Currently, we're looking at the possibility of some sort of stomach issue--an ulcer, or acid reflux. No question that something is going on. One theory is that the increased pressure from diving combined with the stomach stuff caused me to start breathing funny when I got out of the water, which brought on full-blown hyperventilation, and that it keeps recurring when the stomach is irritated. I'm really uncomfortable just below my ribcage, and constantly feel like someone is sitting on me.

Pam, thanks for your suggestion about the panic attack. During a panic attack, you can also hyperventilate, which is why the symptoms are the same as what I've been experiencing. I definitely wasn't having a panic attack--I was the least stressed I've been in forever, and very relaxed. They don't know why I have been hyperventilating, but it apparently can happen in non-stressful situations, too. The pressure in my chest definitely has something to do with it.

So, I'm left in yet another medical quandry. Sometimes, I feel like I'm never going to be well, and able to TTC again. I'm starting to wonder if we should start pursuing some alternate form of parenthood. I don't want to keep wasting month after month, if we're never going to get to a point where we are going to be able to create a biological child.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Show and Tell--Sunday, December 21, 2008

Have you ever returned home after a trip, and realized that your pictures do not do justice to what you have just seen and done? Well, that's how I feel about my vacation photos. It was an AMAZING trip, and they don't begin to do it justice. But I will try.

We spent the first four days in the jungle in Hond.uras, hiking and mountain biking and kayaking. I saw monkeys in the wild, and a poisonous snake, and a tarantula. The latter two were located in the environs of where we were staying, this truly amazing mountain lodge. Specifically, the snake was found outside one of the bathrooms, and the tarantula was found inside someone's room. Freaky!

This is where we were kayaking, as we were putting in.

And the view mountain biking through the jungle. The path we were following wound along a cliff on the edge of a river that was several hundred feet below us. It's kind of hard to tell from the pictures, but it was absolutely breathtaking. We pedaled through all sorts of little mountain villages, past women doing their laundry in streams, and soccer fields carved into the side of the mountains. It was surreal to see corn drying on sheets in the sun next to a line full of perfect fresh-washed soccer uniforms!

One of the amazing things for me was to wander around and look at all of the gorgeous things that just grow wild. There were masses of this beautiful flower growing wild on the side of the road.

We did a little hiking in one of the national parks, before we got sketched out by the dark, slippery trail and the prospect of all of the (poisonous) things we might accidentally encounter. We had to hike over a long expanse of swing bridge to get across the river. I totally love those bridges!

At the jungle lodge, we had this amazing suite that was sort of like a really gorgeous treehouse (with private bath and hot water), which looked out over the mountains. It was really, really private, but three of the walls were just screened in and open to the environment. We'd wake up every morning to all sorts of gorgeous birds flying around and this amazing view:

Finally, we had to leave the jungle and move on. We took a ferry over to a little island, where we had planned to do some The island was also very beautiful, and we found this nice little place to stay for an absolute pittance. We were there for about a week, hanging out in little thatched roof beach bars, snork.eling,, and all was really, really great. Until. . .things got bad.

And here's where we end Show & Tell, and get to the rest of the story. Now, I am incredibly neurotic, so I had researched the dive shops before we left, because I wanted to make sure that we were going to be with a reputable shop. We went and checked out three of them, and we went with the third one. We did three dives, and all went great. But after coming up from the third dive, and getting back on the boat, something happened. I had been back on the boat about 10 minutes, and was staring at the shoreline, waiting for the other divers to get back on the boat. I was very calm--it had been a beautiful dive. All of a sudden, though, my hands were ting.ling very badly. I got a tightness in my chest, and then I felt like I couldn't breathe. A minute or so later, my handles crumpled up and I couldn't unbend my fingers. It was really freaky. They gave me oxygen and laid me down on the deck, and we were to shore in minutes. I felt better a short time later, and they said they thought I had just been dehydrat.ed.

I went back to our hotel, showered, and we went to dinner. I felt fine, and we went to bed and I fell asleep quickly. . .only to awaken a couple of hours later with tightness in my chest. A half hour later, and the same symptoms were back as I had experienced on the boat. I will spare you the drama of trying to get in touch with a doctor in a third world country when you don't have a phone that works, the owner of the hotel is MIA, and none of the neighbors will answer the door. Suffice it to say, we managed to get in touch with the owner of the dive shop, who put me on oxygen and drove around the island until he found the local doctor.

The doctor on the island sees a ton of dive-related problems, and did a bunch of noninvasive tests on me. He wasn't sure whether I had a decompress.ion related illness (ie, "the be.nds"). We had dived according to the tables, so that didn't seem likely. I had to go back every day for like three days. In the end, the symptoms came back (mildly) two more times, and they concluded that it was decompress.ion ill.ness, but they finally said it was so mild that I could fly home (altitude can make it worse, so this was a MAJOR stress). We paid a boatload of cash to come home a few days early, because Del.ta wouldn't switch our ticket, since we were leaving out of a different city (we stayed on the island a few extra days, and the travel arrangements to get to the city we were supposed to fly out of were just too complicated for us to do if I wasn't feeling so hot). I got home without incident, but still didn't feel great.

They told me that if I still didn't feel well when I got home, I needed to seek treatment, so I did that. I consulted four different doctors. One said I didn't have decompress.ion ill.ness, and didn't need further treatment for that. One said we should wait and see. Two said I needed immediate evaluation and possibly treatment. The "treatment" for decompress.ion ill.ness is to be locked into a tank that re.pressurizes your body and slowly brings you back, so the gasses that are in your blood can come out of it appropriately. You have to be locked in for 2.5 to five hours, and needless to say I wasn't looking forward to this, because once they start, they can't open up the chamber. Anyway, I ended up doing this a couple of days ago. Guess what happened? Shortly after I got out, I had the EXACT SAME symptoms as I had on the boat that first day.

So, I ended up in the ER, where they ran five million tests on me. They have no idea what is wrong. They did heart tests and took xrays and did an arter.ial bloo.d gas and all sorts of other tests. They said that I am hyper.vent.ilating, but they don't know why. It doesn't really make any sense, because it's happening when I am completely calm and at ease--the first time, we had just come up from the dive, and I was totally relaxed, and the second time, I had finished the treatment (which I had been majorly stressed about), and we were pulling into a restaurant to go to dinner on our way home. I didn't even realize that I was breathing funny, either time. When I picture people hyper.vent.ilating, I picture people breathing really heavy or really quickly, and I wasn't doing either. I think I am also having some sort of stomach issue, because I have been feeling a lot of pain/pressure in my stomach, just where my ribcage ends. My highly unscientific theory is perhaps that the spicy food irritated my stomach while we were down there, and the pressure from irritated it more, to the point where the pain and tightness from the stomach is impacting my diaphragm. It sounds kind of crazy to me, though, and I feel like a bit of a lunatic. How can something so weird and crazy happen on what was supposed to be a very relaxing and much-needed vacation??? Ugh. I have an appointment to go back to the doctor again tomorrow, so perhaps we'll find out more then.

Drama aside, it really was an amazing trip. I made a lot of big decisions, and I feel completely refreshed. I'm excited for the holidays, and am decorating up a storm. Today's agenda includes a pot roast and Christmas cookies and present wrapping.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'm Back!!!

Had an amazing trip, and then I had a horrible health care scare that caused us to come home a few days early, which we are still sorting out. I will update soon, but I am busy catching up with all of the blogs that I read, and sorting out Christmas. I have amazing Show and Tell pic's for tomorrow, though!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hitting Home

Over the last couple of days, as I've been frantically trying to get all of my last-minute vacation loose-ends tied up (42 items on my to-do list; 25 done. Eeks!), I've been finally giving some thought to the coming months. I am really excited for this trip, because I've wanted to do it for forever. But I'm also getting excited for after the trip. Very soon, we will be trying again. Like, it will actually be here, no strings attached. I've been thinking about my work schedule (there is another project potentially on the table for February-March), and I've decided that I am "only" going to work 50 hours a week. That's all I've got in me. I might even keep it to 40. I think they may ask me to take on this project that is not currently mine, and I may actually say "no." I've NEVER said "no" before. Ever. But, I don't want to work 80 hours a week for the next couple of months. I want to work half that, and have time to take the Clomid, and do whatever else the doctor recommends, and not have to worry about work stuff. I want to focus on me. So, I've been thinking all of that, and then it finally occurred to me: we could actually get pregnant in a couple of months. It might actually happen for us. I could be being a little optimistic, but it really could.

Also, I just volunteered to help out with a charity fundraiser, and I'm really, really excited about it. It's something that I've wanted to do FOREVER, and I just decided that I am going to make time to do it. We had the first meeting last night, and it was fantastic. I came home completely and totally invigorated by the meeting. There are some really dynamic people involved, and it's for a great cause that I believe in. On top of all of that goodness, I feel like I have the skills to make a real contribution, and make this fundraiser more successful than ever. There are a million ideas floating around my head. I'm so glad I decided to volunteer.

Today, the glass is half full.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Barren Bitches Book Tour #15

Okay, I'll admit it. . .with my vacation looming, I forgot what day it was. I was supposed to have this post up late yesterday or early this morning. Except I thought tomorrow was Wednesday, and so I'm a little late.

Well, actually, I'm a little early. About six to eight days early this month. But that's a whole other story, and we'll save my cycle craziness for another time. On with the show. . .

The book this tour was Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh. I cannot lie; I found it oddly depressing. I don't recall reading it as a child, which likely means that I did not read it, but in reading it now, Harriet struck me as a sad and neglected child, as did Sport. I felt sorry for both of them. The thing that was interesting to me is that had I read this as a child, I'm quite sure that this would have gone right over my head, and I would have been enthralled with the idea of a child who was left to his or her own devices, and incredibly envious (I had what I thought were the most strict parents on the planet).

And now, without further ado, my answers to the questions:

In the beginning of the book, Harriet is explaining the game Town to Sport. She goes thru a list of typical town places from the 1960's. What places/professions do you think a savvy Harriet in 2008 would have in her town?

Um, an excellent toy store that had a make-your-own sundae place inside, and those giant stairs that you can "play" like a piano, and really cool video games that you can ride. There would be a fantastic spa that gave fabulous massages in your own private suite. . .the weather would always be nice. . .and there would be really great restaurants overlooking the river. . .lawyers and doctors and governors and teachers and really hot policeman would live in town, and no one would be homeless. The town would have a giant bookstore full of fireplaces and cozy armchairs, and it would be locally owned by people who really like books, and waitresses would come around with free cookies and peppermint cocoa and really good coffee and chai. There would be a Fourth of July parade with antique fire engines and everyone from town would show up, and all the kids would have those pinwheel things and little miniflags, and everyone would be wearing red-white-and blue. And then there would be giant fireworks at night on the Fourth, over the lake (because Harriet's town has a lake AND a river). In fact, there would be fireworks every Saturday night all summer over the lake, but the ones of the Fourth of July would be the biggest and the best all year.

Because savvy 2008 Harriet would know that the world isn't a perfect place, and she would yearn for utopia. Or maybe that's just the grownup Queenie. . .so hard to tell.

What would you have done in Harriet's position after her friends discovered her notebook?

I would've lied and said I was trying to be a writer, and that I'd read that one technique is to take people you know, and make stuff up about them, and write about that. Sometimes a little white lie is better than the truth. . .

How much of Harriet's behavior in the latter half of the book do you think was a direct result of Ole Golly's leaving? Would she have gotten so out of control if Ole Golly was there for her to talk to about the lost notebook?

I think Harriet's behavior wasn't due necessarily to the loss of Ole Golly, but rather the loss of the only person in her life that provided stability and guidance and attention. There was an ocean between Harriet and her parents. When Ole Golly left, Harriet had no one. Her parents did not know her, and she did not know them. The only one she had ever relied on had just left her. The problem was not so much that she did not have Ole Golly to guide her through this difficult time, but that she had no one. Left to her own devices, things spiraled out of control. In this regard, I think Harriet is much like all of us, child or not: we need people to be our beacons in the storm, to shepard us through the tough times. Without them, we can sometimes make very bad choices. Harriet's parents really failed her for quite some time.

Obviously, this book brings up many questions on privacy and journaling. At one point, Harriet journals all day at school instead of doing her work. Has anyone worked on their journal/blog at work? And been caught? When do you blog/journal? Do you do it when you should be doing something else?

I never, ever blog from work. I am too afraid our IT people would discover the link. I know they've got a way to track the sites we've visited, and I would be horrified if they found my blog. I make it a practice to only blog from home. If I am blogging at home, however, it is quite likely that I'm supposed to be doing something else!

Want to keep reading? Hop along to one of the other stops on the tour:
Stirrup Queens
Slaying, Blogging, Whatever...
Clumsy Kisses
Our Own Creation
Aurelia Ann
The Road Less Travelled
Working On It
Here We Go Again **Gold Star for Jen!!!** She posted while in labor with her brand-new daughter. Read her post, then leave her congratulations!
The Fertile Infertile
Baby Smiling in Back Seat
All Things Deb