Say What You Need to Say

Over the past week I gave the girls of the Braces Bunch a few updates of what was going on here. While the posts were short and cryptic, I thought I would spend a few moments writing them out.

Back in late January, E decided to go to the chiropractor to see what was up with his shoulder. This had been a three year problem and he was getting sick of the pain. The chiro thought it was a slipped disc and recommended that he have an MRI done – this was the first MRI. After the MRI finished he called me and said, “L, when I was in the open MRI they moved the camera.”

Moving the camera scares the crap out of me. Three years ago when E’s grandma broke her hip, the doctor came in and said to us, “At the top of the xray I saw something that concerned me, so I moved the camera.” After that he told us that there was a mass in her lung. So when E told me the camera was moved, needless to say I was scared and I couldn’t let him know.

A few days later he called me at work in tears and said, “I have a large mass on my thyroid, I need to have a biopsy done.” The mass was about the size of a golf ball on his right side and his biopsy would be done on Valentine’s Day. It was determined that the mass was indiscriminate. Next stop would be endocrinologist in March. The endo decided that it would be best if the mass was removed (a complete thyroidectomy) as it was pressing on the windpipe and effecting his swallowing and breathing. The endo asked us what we wanted and we responded, “The best surgeon there is.”

After meeting with the endo, a few days later he gave us the name of the surgeon he would recommend – needless to say we googled her and were amazed by the reviews. A few weeks later we met with the surgeon. Needless to say when she came in, I was immediately scared by her title on her white jacket, “surgical oncologist”. But her demeanor and care, put that to ease. She told us all the things that a mass on a thyroid could effect, male fertility made her list, along with earaches, shoulder pain, headaches. She informed us that it would be about 6-7 weeks before his surgery would take place due to her schedule, yet she was not worried about the mass interfering more than it already had.

E’s surgery took place on this past Wednesday (5/21). When we met with the surgeon before E was wheeled in, she told me that she would have him for about an hour and half and then we could go home in probably 4 hours. I told her, “Take good care of my E.” She smiled back and said, “I will.”

Two hours into surgery I got a call from the OR, the OR nurse told me that E’s mass was much more ‘finicky’ than originally was thought. For someone who needs control, this was not a good thing and I became super fidgety until the surgeon walked out two hours after that. E’s hour and half surgery turned in to a four hours surgery. When the surgeon walked out to the waiting room, I immediately knew everything was okay because I wasn’t brought in to the private consultation room, she sat down right next to me. She started by saying, “This wasn’t no golf ball, yet it is as benign as they come.” She told me it was so large it had grown behind the thyroid and was affecting many parts of his body, strangling his vocal cords and beginning to wrap around his windpipe. She said, “While I was removing it, I said, ‘Well that explains that symptom’.” It was so large and filled so much of his neck cavity, that she wanted to keep him overnight for observation. At that point my face must have shown what I was thinking (‘There goes CO#4’) and when she asked why I had such a face, I could not tell her, even though she knew.

What many people may or may not have known, E and I had scheduled CO#4 for May. We decided on May back in December, because of the fact we wanted to wait until E graduated (did I mention he went back to school and got his degree?). Once my cycle was determined, it was scheduled for the morning after his surgery. Since the surgery would be an outpatient 1 1/2 hour procedure, we were told it would be okay by the surgeon’s team. In fact one of the nurses said, “Out with the thyroid on Wednesday, in with a baby on Thursday.” It was sort of our mantra in the week leading up to E’s surgery. Once the surgeon told me that it would be an inpatient procedure I canceled CO#4 without even consulting E. It was by far the hardest call I had to make the entire day. E was so out of it that he didn’t realize that CO#4 was canceled until Friday afternoon. I believe it was a blessing in disguise.

Which brings us to today, four days later, and needless to say I have had a lot of time to reflect. Even though CO#4 was canceled and made me realized that having my husband feeling better is such a relief. E comments how he no longer has pain in his shoulder, he has more energy, and he can breathe and swallow better. His pain and swelling is still there. Last night as we were talking I said, “If CO#4 is a success, 4 will be come my lucky number, and I will send the copy of the ultrasound to the surgeon with a note that says, ‘It took 7 years but one missing thyroid I believed changed that. Thank you!’.”

So CO#4, remember the mantra is, “Out with the thyroid and in with a baby.”

3 Covert Operations, 2 Ankles, and 1 Chance to Conquer CO#3.3

So what has gone on since I last checked in April? Well – CO#3 has been canceled TWICE. And I always thought 3 was my lucky number.   You probably saw on Twitter CO#3 was canceled in April because E’s grandfather passed away and he had to go out-of-town. We have been dealing with the after effects of his grandparent’s estate since then.

Then when we decided to go for CO#3.2 E ended up doing a double lateral grade II sprain of his ankle, in non-medical terms it means he sprained not only the inside of his ankle but also the outside. So instead of CO#3.2 we got to see our BFF the Podiatrist (I really do love the podiatrist) but he really wasn’t the person I wanted to see! So for the past month I have been taking care of a man in a boot.

So maybe CO#3.3 will be the one – it won’t be until late December at the earliest.

In other news, I am most likely going to have to take a season off from speedskating :-( Now if CO#3.3 works I really be taking the season off and a few subsequent seasons. Although here is why I am going to take it off this year… my right ankle has just not been cooperating as of late. Since injuring it over Christmas last year, it  never got back to where I needed/wanted it to be. Since my skates have no ankle support I have decided to not do further damage. While I do have some time before the ice opens, I am going to take it cautiously as I do not want to be 70 years old and not able to walk because I destroyed my ankle in my 30s.  I am not in the mood to finance a fancy Italian sports car for the podiatrist as we see him way too much. Plus I highly doubt E would like to take care of me while I am in a boot, as he has said to me many times as of late – this just doesn’t look fun for you.

Umm… ya think!

CO#3.3 – BRING IT! 3 is my lucky number and I am ready to WIN!

The Happiest Place on Earth

Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon left me livid at the end of the day. After I made sure that every person I loved was okay – anger set in. I was livid. I was pissed the someone would go and blow up a place that I have called ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’. I have been to Disney and I know they claim they are ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ but if you have never saw the face of a runner or skater finish a marathon there is a lot of happiness there.  Finishers of a marathon might have aching muscles and horrible blisters, yet there is definite happiness. When I sat in the VIP area at the Twin Cities Marathon a few years ago, I got to see the runners as they crossed. Their happiness is undeniable. There is a special aura at the finish line of any event and a bomb at the finish line made me angry, pissed, and livid. To take away the happiness of the runners to harm the individuals who have supported these runners – is NOT OKAY in my book.

If you do not believe me, let me use an example that hits a bit closer to home. When I won my third senior national speedskating marathon title,  I bawled like a baby when I crossed the finish line. I cried because I accomplished something that I doubted. I cried because the year before my right ankle caused me to get a DNF (did not finish). Hell, I cried when I thought back to when it happened as I was writing this blog post.  Of my five national titles that is the one that means the most to me. In fact, I was on a high for about three days straight.

Whether we recognize it or not, the finish line is a common thread for all of us. As IF sisters we have a common thread and we are connected to many more common threads between this community. For example I have met some really awesome girls in the IF community who are runners, triathletes, knitters, card makers, and a whole slew of things that makes each of us awesome. Our interests and passions keeps us together in our darkest moments and bring us towards whatever finish line we are seeking.

Finally, JackiJaguar a few years ago wrote a brilliant blog post several years ago called Imposter! – if you have not read this blog post or have not read it in a while – READ IT. That my friends is why any finish line is important.

Building Strength

After the BFN, I decided to drown myself with a margarita, enjoy an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s, and order a pizza. It was some sort of a desperate plea to save myself from the frustration that I had felt. Since E was away for curling, I had to melted into self-despair by myself in hopes that I would feel better. I went to bed and cried some more, and just hoped that life would go on normally.

Yeah right!

I awoke on Thursday morning with a notification that I had been tagged in a photo on Facebook. The photo just happened to be my sissy’s pregnancy announcement. My brain was not completely put together when I saw the notification. In fact, I chalked it up to the fact that she wanted to garner all of the ‘likes’ and comments possible. Not thinking beyond that I went to work. When I walked in to work I had a lot of angry ‘thanks for not telling us’ faces staring at me. It took me a few seconds of processing and I said, “Oh Shit!”

***Note, we have a no swearing rule in our office and it is 25 cents if you are caught swearing***

Since my coworker group (minus the supervisor) are extremely close we know each other’s business and have few, if any, restrictions on each other’s Facebook profiles. That tagged picture showed up on my timeline, quick and incorrect processing on their part – it was assumed it was a pregnancy announcement on my behalf. Although, even though they had some inkling that CO#2 was going on, my outburst  in the bathroom on Wednesday, when I was charged 25 cents after saying ‘Fuck!’ and hitting my fist against the wall – was probably enough to cause a bit of confusion among the group.

Instead of going straight to the problem, and untagging myself, I went to my mum. I wanted my mum to demand that my sissy fix it, I also wanted my mum to share with my sissy know how pissed I was. I wouldn’t even call it being pissed; moreover, I would call it being set up. I informed my mum how that my sissy’s choice was incredible unprofessional, had put me in a bad spot, and I wasn’t even sure what E was going through. I later found out that E, was pissed as well – in fact, his mother had a moment of ‘thanks for not telling me’ when she saw the picture.  We were untagged later that day by my sissy – yet no apology has been given.

Am I in the wrong for wanting an apology? Was I in the wrong for being mad?

Paging, “The Persistent Girl Who Knows How to Persevere.”

Let me start off by saying… FUCK!

You probably know what I am going to write about. Yep, the witchy bitch arrived this afternoon. No worries I obsessively searched ‘implantation bleeding’. Test was given … BFN. And then I realized it was reality I have decided to suck it up to the fact I know how to fail.

I seriously thought that CO#2 had worked. I tried to live my life as normally as possible. I was tired and cranky this past week. I was overly emotional over the floor that I had cleaned was not cleaned to MY standards. And the 6th sense co-worker didn’t say anything until yesterday, although still freaked the shit out of me when he did. I SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE CLEAR.

Oh and sixth sense coworker when you asked me as I was leaving work today, “So should we blame E for this?” Nope… you can blame me because I couldn’t fucking get the job of a 2WW done.

Please excuse me … I need to drown myself in a margarita (or two or three). Then when I am done, I am going to find the real me, the persistent girl who knows how to persevere.

If you are curious about E… E said we will try again, that we will. CO#3 – you’re on because I will find that girl and I will win.

Covert Operation #2 Has Commenced

After Covert Operation #1 failed, E informed me we would try again, although we were a bit emotionally beat up and were not ready to go back into the full swing of things. I also suggested that we wait until after the holidays and the stress that the holidays bring. So we started Covert Operation #2 right after Christmas.

I was actually remarkably calm through the entire process, actually I chalk that up to the fact that Friend #1 and I had a totally unrelated conversation last night. There was motivation in that conversation, which put my mind at ease about outlying facets such as my job and schooling. She has some inkling that Covert Operation #2 is going on, although I haven’t stated it out right. I figure if in two weeks this operation ends in success – I will let her know.

So like operation #1, we were ready. The swimmers were ready. We had the fertility statue. We had the belief that this will work.

As I was chilling, I asked for my phone. E looked at me and said, “Oh I hope you are not going to tweet this.” Nope, just going to read my book for work – what would I have tweeted? Laying on my back hoping my husband’s sperm takes a liking to an egg. Here is to covert operation #2!  No way! This is our secret, we worked our asses off to get to this point.

This time I am feeling a lot more confident. With Covert Operation #1, I felt that we were rushed. I haven’t been able to completely figure out why I have felt that way. It might have been that we were trying to hard to become a part of my cohort’s baby boom or that we knew my sissy and BIL were actively trying (note: they had early miscarriage – 5w3d in June and are pregnant again and due in July 2013).

We have kept this under wraps from everyone. Which means my sixth sense coworker has made no weird comments out of his mouth… yet.. and me being the superstitious type I want to keep it that way. Remember, he scared the shit out of me when he said 2 days after Covert Operation #1 commenced, “Oh that is your mom instinct kicking in.”

I have my fingers crossed. I have my toes crossed. I will not test early. I will not test early. I will not test early. Oh and since we are in control of this operation (so much different than when we first started in 2008), I want to tell E, if it comes to this. I have my idea of how I am going to do it. Hell, I have had to endure four years of on and off scrutiny of our baby making journey. I want to be able to do one thing that fertiles get to do, tell my husband I’m pregnant.

2 week wait – it is on… BRING IT!

Why 3 Numbers Will Always Warm My Heart

The day I met my hubby, I also met one of my very best friends. She came bouncing into my hotel room and gave me this huge hug. We had spent the months prior to this meeting emailing each other and talking on the phone. We both had the same positions on campus and were together at a regional conference. We became instant friends and did everything two friends would do if they were together for the weekend.

As we parted ways, we would see each other a few more times before we graduated college. Then once we graduated college we began our annual birthday traditions. She just happens to be six days older than me and we always felt that it would be fun to celebrate our birthdays. Once E and I got married, seeing her became even more sporadic – we both got busy with life and in six years of marriage – I have seen her once.

Although sometime in our friendship we would start signing our emails with ‘444’. It continued on into text messages. One day it was 4:44 pm and I sent her ‘444’ in a text. It is corny – I know.

A couple of days ago I got a picture text with the car radio clock showing 4:44 and a note ‘Just thinking of you’.

What was I doing then? Finalizing Round #2 of another secret covert operation. I burst into tears right there.

So what does ‘444’ mean? You know I am not 100% sure. When someone asked me I responded:

4… friends and family

4… love

4… God

And since we have no idea who started it – I will probably never know. I mean you are suppose to have those friends that you have your own secret language. I mean this is the girl who on my 30th birthday sent me a ‘pipe cleaner crown’ with the note – “Now you can have fun”. Needless to say I paraded around with that thing on the entire day and looked like a dork – and I did not care!

I will tell you about Secret Covert Operation #2 in a later post.