Saturday, December 10
Friday, December 9
I leave the fertility specialist in tears almost every time we see her. Dr. Scotchie is amazing, and she's only a few years older than me. She's a terribly empathetic physician, which is a high value for me, as I've interacted with a number of strange, odd, blunt, impersonal physicians (when my dad had his stroke).
Yesterday was our followup, which took an hour because I processed everything verbally. I had a million questions, it felt like. I probably could have picked her brain for another 40 minutes, but she (surprise!) had other patients to care for. She is going to put me on Lupron, a 3-month drug which will put me into a "false" menopause. Well, actually what it will do is shut my ovaries down (this is how I understand it. However I'm not really an expert on this at all). The ovaries not producing estrogen will cause me to have menopausal symptoms.
Anyway, My husband has the ears of a positive person: He heard that we have a really good chance of getting pregnant after I take this Lupron shot. (Freaking Menopause, people!)
It's just that I'm so angry that we even have to be on this path. When she talked about statistics, I heard: 20% chance of conceiving with shots and IUI. 11% chance with pills and IUI (and you can't really do IUI more than 3 months in a row). 5% chance on our own. Decreasing probability over the next year because my endometriosis will grow back.
Seriously God? There are meth addicts that have children!
When I told Adam how angry I was he reminded me of three couples that we know that are infertile (And I just now remembered a 4th) that are some of the most amazing people we know, and they are certainly holier than I am.
So, I've concluded that there must be some kind of connection between being really holy, and God saying "no babies for you!"
Wednesday, December 7
I think most counselors - well, most decent counselors - are pretty good at self-analyzing, and realizing when they are blue, dark, depressed, down. Just the other day at work, one of the counselors mentioned her annual wrestling match with that general feeling of malaise during the winter.
(The current everyday experience of rain and/or fog isn't really helping, either)
As I stood at our doorway, getting ready to get to bed (erg, its already late...) I looked around the living room, decked out with modest Christmas decorations. The white lights glowed from the tree and the garland.
I realize I'm blue. Not getting what I desire (that what is biblical and natural) has pushed me into a dark place. A place where I know the Lord is with me, but has not released me from. I'm not skipping or running through this place. Walking. Through the valley of the shadow.
But the small, glowing lights of Christmas work their own therapy.
The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
Sunday, November 27
Today was probably the first day that I didn't notice any residual shoulder pain. I awoke with a headache, but I attribute that to sitting strangely while knitting. I'm sore near the incisions and internally, but nothing severe. I've cut back on medication, and only taken a few ibuprofen at this point.
I'm really posting my experience, because I felt that much of what I found online was terribly scary, or unhelpfully vague and also wasn't very clear about what to expect each day after surgery. I wonder if someone out there Googles "laparoscopic" "surgery" "endometriosis," if they might find these posts and be helped. I hope so.
I get super super sad at the end of each night. I think partially because of the drugs, partially because of wearyness of my body fighting to be better, partially because of the difficulty being on this path.
I'm also just disappointed that I'm not seeing more evidence of healing.
Tomorrow and the next day, I will NOT MOVE! It will be Buffy 24-7. That or Bones.
Friday, November 25
Movement was significantly smoother today. The incisions looked fine and seemed to be healing nicely. Sitting up and down became less and less of a problem.
The unexpected was the hit of blues that came around 5 pm. Just a sadness that descended. Because I wasn't thinking especially emotional thoughts or experiencing sad events, I am connecting this to the operation. Apparently post-op blues are not uncommon.
I'm going to bed now, going to rest up for the next few days and make a decision about returning to work on Monday or Tuesday.
I realized that I would not be "good to go," and I was pretty anxious about the pain that would come with the surgery. What I wasn't expecting was my inability to sleep more than an hour without getting up to go to the bathroom (albeit, very very carefully) or take medication.
I slept quite a bit the first day after, but was able to move around, sit up for long periods and even go visit some friends next door.
Day two was really when it all hit. The pain in my shoulder was excruciating. Apparently the CO2 gas that is needed to push the abdomen wall away from the internal organs gets stuck underneath the diaphram, and radiates pain to the shoulder. It was the worst pain. The internal organs just felt sore, as did the incisions.
Because it was Thanksgiving, we headed over to our friends house, and I did alright for about 2 hours. But I hadn't gotten a nap in (and I always felt exponentially better after a nap) and so shortly after we ate one of the finest Thanksgiving dinners, I had to leave to rest.
When I woke up, as was par for the course, I felt so much better than before. Too bad I hadn't snuck a nap in before.
I was surprised that the pain that I felt was mostly the shoulder. It was terrible. I medicated properly and also used a heating pad. But the only way to really get rid of the pain was to expel the gas by burping. My poor hubby! Such a unlady-like endeavor.
Nearly a year ago, my husband and I started our attempts at "starting a family." Those are his words. I'm sure that at my finest, I might be a little more colorful in my words. Pregnancy never occurred.
I was certain it was because I was so stressed out as a private therapist - trying to keep our little world afloat on $11,000 a year. When My Husband, The Saint, graduated from grad school, he was immediately offered a job (in a terrible economy, in fact). We moved to a financial secure world, certain that this was the context in which we would attain pregnancy.
I had read everything there was out there about getting pregnant, and was faithfully buying the proper "stuff" - sticks to pee on, tracking my temperature, checking "fluid," etc. Each month, my period came and some months I took it in stride - especially early on. I thought that it would certainly take us 3-6 months to get pregnant. But, as months 8...11..12... 14 came around and we failed, I became more and more depressed, just feeling a sense of doom and hoping that I was wrong.
I went in for a normal gynecological exam, and the nurse asked me about endometriosis. I cried and said, no, no one in my family had it. Beginning periods early in life, Painful cramps, difficulty conceiving? (She had described me exactly.) "No," I responded, "I mean, we've all had painful cramps, but that's just part of life, isn't it?"
We were referred to a specialist who also predominantly talked about endometriosis. I started looking it up online, and prepared for a number of tests. The ultrasound showed a clear growth of endometriosis on my left ovary. Surgery was scheduled.
I was desperate to find anything hopeful, and the second test - an x-ray called an HSG showed that my tubes were open. I cried with happiness. At least there's ONE thing that was right in my body.
Oh, but not so fast! Even though the tubes were open, the dye that they inserted into my uterus and fallopian tubes didn't fill the abdominal cavity as normal. The doctor doing the test didn't seem super excited about what he was seeing on the TV. I left feeling ambivalent.
We met with our doctor, and she said, Yes, in fact, there were many signs that I had at least severe endometriosis. We prepared for surgery.
Thursday, October 13
Ah! the urge to write a post has overcome me again!
I guess a follow up on my previous posts would be a good starting place. Obviously, I was pretty irritated (a nicer word than angry) about not being hired to a position that I was clearly able to do. I struggled a bit with bitterness and resentment, realizing I was blaming the person that didn't hire me for the confustion I felt regarding the future. I also realize (and realized then, too) that God ultimately was the person I was angry with. I had this perfect plan, and he didn't seem to come through.
Of course, he did come through. Just not the way I had planned or would have perceived. (Because I'm SO amazing with my ESP.)
I made a friend very early on here - a person who is friends with seemingly all of my seminary friends that studied at the college - and one day, when she was so gracious as to have coffee with me (and listen to me ramble on about counseling theory, life and frustrations regarding my future) She said, "I have a friends who is hiring an admisnistrative position at a local graduate school. Would you be interested?"
I really was.
Not only was I interested, but the person hiring actually responded to me. And she responded quickly. (There's another story in that comment, but I would have to out some people and so I will refrain. Suffice to say, Contacting a person a MONTH after you saying you'll contact them next week regarding an interview....Not so fabulous human resource management, people.) So having a quick response and setting up an interview in a short amount of time - very much appreciated.
I interviewed, was offered the job, and began it a few weeks ago.
I love it. Perhaps I love it because it doesn't require the emotional toll that being a counselor did. Perhaps I love it because my boss and I are pretty similar in humor (laughing together during the first interview was a good indication!) Perhaps I love it because it has given me a role to have and a place to go.
Whatever the reason, I'm pretty happy with God's plan A, my plan B. Reading over the last few months of blogs is helpful to remember that he's got it all in hand, even when it's painful for me to wait.
Sunday, September 11
Friday, August 19
The thing about living on a college campus as an adult is the fear that you're going to hate the whole experience. After all, around this time during the year that these college students were born, I was flirting it up with that new guy in Jr. High. (If you really want to make me feel old, ask me what I was doing when the freshman were born. That's right. Singing my heart out in High School.)
But It's 7:54 and my fuzzy brain is screaming for more coffee. Adam is downstairs working already - has been for a while. It's Freshman move in day. I can already feel the energy, anxiety, excitement.
And I just heard the guys outside. "The door?" you ask. No, outside our kitchen. The walls are thin. (Another reason that I feared hating this experience). And I could hear some of the RAs of our guys halls talking and laughing a bit.
And I thought, "I love those guys. They are so great, they're so like my brother." And if you know my brother (and most of you do) you'll agree. He's one of the best guys in the world.
That's what these RAs are like. They're like brothers and sisters. And, yeah, there's the "duuuhh-they're-your-brothers-and-sisters-cause-Jesus-made-us-a-whole-big-family" way of thinking about that. But its more like having new family that feels like old family.
Monday, August 15
And so I'm not regretting where I'm from, but this last weekend reminded me what it feels like to live with people who have joy and hope for the future. As I was talking with one of Adam's RA staff members, I likened it to have been living in the light, but having worked in darkness for two years. I'm so glad to have had that experience in counseling, but ministering to those who are exclusively dealing with depression, anxiety and any number of traumatic experiences is weighty. I can feel the weight coming off of my shoulders.
Here's why (a sampling of my favorite photos from the Resident Assistant's Retreat)
I realize as well as anyone that there will be a lot of growth, pain, sadness, and difficulty this year for everyone - RAs, students on their halls, RD staff. But this weekend reminded me that though the brokenness of the world exists everywhere,
it does not dominate.
God does that.
Wednesday, July 27
And this low level, mild, depression is a difficult thing to get your mind around. It's like "I could eat." It's not that you're really hungry, and there may not be anything to remedy, but it's there.
It's the feeling - a sense - that things aren't right, but that there's nothing really to do differently.
This is funny and, from a therapy standpoint, mostly true:
Addie told me in a comment that my purpose (for The Right Now) was to be happy. And I took that to heart. I asked myself, "Why am I not happy? I'm doing whatever it is I want to do, whenever I want to do it." This, I have found, does not lead to happiness or contentment.
I was encouraged last night to get a schedule and to stick (mostly) to it. Make sure my hubs sees that there is productivity in this time that I don't have a Go-To-Work job. I DID create a schedule about two weeks ago....but sticking to it? Not so much.
Which brings us to my contimplation as to why I haven't been productive so far. And in my heart, I realize, it's this lethargic-depressive-unmotivated seed that has taken hold and surrounded my mind. It tells me that one more hit on Etsy will make me happy. That one more documentary on Elisabeth I will bring me contentment. To push off the dishes will keep me from discontentment.
But all of these things come, anyway.
So today is The First Day. It's already feels more like the old days than before: I'm up first. (in the 3 years of marriage, I've almost nearly always been up well before hubby.)
Today, Electronic Blogging World, I will:
Shirk and Slack
Go to the Farmers Market. Buy fresh Veg. Team them with brown rice.
Go for a run!
Finish 5+ notes for Licensure.
Do all the dishes
Get a Load of Laundry finished.
I will not:
Get sucked into all the mommy blogs about organization (holy cow...! Have you seen this black hole...?)
Spend an hour on Etsy
Blog all my day away. (Sorry. I do love you Blogworld.)
Thursday, July 21
Put up every framed anything we own, leveled it, measured it and made sure it was aesthetically pleasing. This is a feat, because I like to gather things that are similar and then hang them on the wall. Observe:
Done 17 loads of laundry. (I helped fold a few of them and he showed me where the laundry facilities are)
Pick out decorations that match both our 10 year old rug and our Anthropologie inspired wall hangings.
Endure his wife's panic attacks that she can't find what she wants for the guest room on Etsy for less than $200.
Go to 5 stores looking for bedding.
End up at Marshalls, and gently encourage his decision-inabled wife to pick out the bedspread that actually will look good with the wedding gift that has driven the entire theme of the room.
Make the bed, stuff the pillow shams, arrange the bedspread. (I praised how wonderful it looks.)
Go to 5 more stores looking for antique dishes that are $125 a piece.
End up at Marshalls, find pieces that actually work, though not antique and not $125 a piece.
Hang said pieces.
Go to 3 Antique stores with wife, looking for a bench/table/chest to sit at the end of the bed, so that guests don't maim themselves on the King-sized metal bed frame that juts out from the Queen-sized mattress.
Convince wife NOT to buy the Louis XVI Armoire for $3200 (The lady said would take 20% off!! She had a southern accent!)
Find perfect table, convince wife that table is perfect. Buy table for 3.75% of the cost of that Louis XVI Armoire.
Arrange perfect table in guest room.
Written a blog post
Looked at my projects. Drank some more coffee.
Thursday, July 14
The Easy Life may very well be deepest desire of my heart. I imagine that as the months (without a clear direction) go by, I am going to wish for an easier and easier life. I want to know what is going to happen in life. I want to know what my role is, I want to know if my education and experience will combine in order to have a job that I love and feel a sense of contentment in.
Spoke with my sister recently over Skype. First off, her dog is a) the cutest and b) the funniest dog in existence as he constantly searched behind the computer to find the body that was sure to go with the talking head.
She and I talked about confusion. When things, events or circumstances don't look like what a person first thought they'd look like. Each of us have many different areas in our life that we feel confused and wonder where this path will lead/end, as our life paths turn and twist in ways we didn't suppose.
I don't know about her, but a little more "easy" and a little more verbal communication from the Lord is all I'm asking for. < / sarcasm >
In that context, during my reading of Job today (from my beloved "Bible Reading Plan for Shirkers and Slackers", which I restarted this
Ok, so I don't have sores from the crown of my head to my feet, nor am I in the throes of depression as is Job's case, but he says it. Just in a chapter of poetry, and not "Um, what the heck, God?" as would be my poetry.
I realize I'm not gleaning all of the theological meaning there, but as I read it, I heard Job go, "THIS IS SO HARD, GOD. Why couldn't I just have avoided all of it?"
I'm not at the end of Job. And as a counselor, I know to rush the reassurance of "It will be ok" or "in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" is just frustrating when timed inappropriately. Scripture, even GOOD scripture (the right thing) must be used at the right time, in the right way.
I'll keep reading and I'll see what God has, plans that I can't even imagine.
Friday, July 1
I don't really like surprises, and never have. Adam and I agreed when we were first married to never plan surprise birthday parties for one another.
This surprise was not fun or exciting nor do I think of it as a postive thing right now.
Last week, Eric Youngblood at Rock Creek Fellowship quoted or said, "If you're not suffering now, you will be soon." I thought of our life, and how things had been so good, and in that moment I thought, "Well, I'm not suffering now, and I don't see any obvious suffering in the future."
Suffering for me comes in the form of disappointing news regarding a job. It comes as I'm pretty much alone in a new place with only acquaintances - though they are lovely and nice. I miss my support system in St. Louis. I miss my family.
So I'm now looking for a job. I'm looking for a place to be, a role to have, a way to contribute to the community as a whole. And it's hard when you presume to know these things - who you are, where you belong, what your role is - and it changes or does not come to pass.
So I look at God and say, "So now what?"
Thursday, June 30
Wednesday, June 29
a) Busy beyond compare, forcing myself to work ridiculous hours, putting pressure on myself as the main breadwinner and succumbing to my fear of potential financial destitution (There will obviously be an upcoming post on fear of money and fear of the Lord)
b) Living in the world of confidentiality and always feeling uncomfortable sharing things even about myself, because I've gotten so used to keeping everything quiet (can we say, "overreacting?")
and c) WITHOUT INTERNET AT HOME
I will be hopefully keeping everyone in my St. Louis and Montana life apprised of our goings on here at CC. (Let's hope even more then keeping everyone updated, I will also be humorous, or at least interesting).
Next up: photos of the move....
Thursday, March 24
In you, LORD my God,
I put my trust.
I trust in you;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
who are treacherous without cause.
Show me your ways, LORD,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, LORD, are good.
Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful
toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
For the sake of your name, LORD,
forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
Who, then, are those who fear the LORD?
He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.
They will spend their days in prosperity,
and their descendants will inherit the land.
The LORD confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever on the LORD,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart
and free me from my anguish.
Look on my affliction and my distress
and take away all my sins.
See how numerous are my enemies
and how fiercely they hate me!
There's nothing quite as discouraging as hearing nothing. While I hate the answer "no, we've gone with another candidate," (and by the way, no matter how gracious the response - and we've gotten some gracious "no's" - it's still just a kick in the stomach) the quiet uneasiness of hearing nothing is awful. Silence encourages hope, which is so painful when dashed.
It takes me about a day to work through the disappointment, anger, sadness and frustration when we don't hear a positive response. It's the reminder that I'm not in control.
So here we are. Praying. Praying, Praying, Praying for opportunities. Praying for interviews. Because my husband is a phenomenal worker, a brilliant teacher, one who puts an amazing amount of time and effort into his lessons.
Please Pray with us.
Saturday, March 12
We'll see how long my endurance runs, but I was reading Addie and Molly's blogs and feeling just a little jealous that they are keeping up with their blogs - with life being hectic and crazy for both of them. I thought, well, sheesh, I don't have a 6 year old or a 3 month year old. If they can do it, so can ....I?
Today is the third day in a row that Adam and I have left the house for more than 5 hours to do work, as we both need internet to complete our jobs. The problem with home? No internet. (WHAT? Why not? Adam and Hannah are LUDDITES!) You know, I've thought about this a lot, and last month we were the closest we've ever come to getting internet at the house. But then we're like, "$37 a month? That's a dinner out, or at LEAST 5 times to the coffee shop to get coffee and internet." And I like coffee.
So here we are again at Borders. This time we're at my favorite spot. A big table, next to the electrical plug and near enough to windows to see the sunshine, but not burn to a crisp sitting in it. We've done this a few times.
Today is also the third day in a row that I've actually done what I was supposed to, based on my Remember The Milk task list. I'm a "Getting Things Done" junkie that falls off the wagon pretty regularly. (I linked to someone else's blog because it was a better example than the actual David Allen website -which is there to sell you things.) So, I need a good task list and was given a good review on RTM. Of course, I emailed the person supporting RTM, and found that he's moving on to another organizational program, but THAT one is $75! No thanks. Free is the name of the game in the Porcella family right now.
Adam is applying to teaching jobs right now around the country. We're praying for God's direction and *blessings*, and maybe a miracle to bring us close to family in either Billings or Philadelphia. The most interesting position is one in a state that won't acknowledge my professional counseling license - Which will be completed in August, Lord willing.
Licensure is a fun topic - I'm working about 50 hours a week trying to get licensed by August, so that if Adam and I have to move in the summer I'll be ready to go. I'm way ahead on client hours but way behind on reading hours. I mean, reading is very important to keep up with the latest and greatest in Christian psychology (no, not an oxymoron). However reading about eating disorders is the last thing I want to do at 10 pm when I get home.
I'm currently reading about Boundaries, (a book by Cloud and Townsend) along with about half my client load - homework assigned to them because I like it so much! I'm a terrible person when it comes to boundaries. I've had to learn that I'm a very subtle people pleaser ("fear of man issue," for all of those Westminster-ites out there) who gets very angry when I feel like others are expecting me to do more than I can. Previously, I've blamed others for their unreasonable expectations. I'm now learning to figure out what I can reasonably do and then deal with the disappointment of others when I can't be all that they want me to be (i.e., workhorse, savior, Tigerblood Goddess.)
And since everything lately has a Charlie Sheen component: My arm-chair diagnosis: Axis I: 296.52, BiPolar, Moderate; Axis II: 301.81, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, with Borderline features. I'm currently ruling out Histrionic features. In the south, they'd just call it a Hot Mess. ("I'm Bi-Winning!)
Ok, so I'm going off to actually DO the things that my RTM list says I should do....since I bragged about it, and have now procrastinated!