Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How Infertility Has Changed My Life

Infertility/subfertility is really awful.  Everyone has a cross in their life, and this tends to be one of those more private crosses.  I am not saying that it is worse than others, because how can you really measure agony?  However, when a burden must be carried silently, with little help from loved ones, it can feel heavier.

I realize that when people are diagnosed with cancer and they have their CarePage or blog that they share with their families, they are only sharing a small amount of what they are struggling with.  Also, in those situations, they are often dealing with life and death issues.  I will not lie to you, though.  In the past, I did think about how nice it would be to share the sadness I experienced with IF with my loved ones in the way that some people with cancer share their journeys.

Instead, my journey is largely silent.  Over time, I let my guard down and shared aspects of this cross with some of my close family and friends.  Mostly, I conveyed the facts.  "I'm trying [insert treatment here] this cycle."  "I'm having surgery."  "My surgery went well.  The doctor found [this]."  Etc.  Sometimes, I would mention that it really sucked.  I rarely went deeper than that.  I realized that they probably didn't want to know the extent of my gut-wrenching sadness.  I longed to tell them some good news for once, so I often minimized my pain.

During these past few years, something has been happening within me.  It has occurred at a snail's pace, but now, looking back, I see the difference.  God has increased, and I have decreased.

I remember asking for this very thing in my prayers.  In moments of great confidence, I remember even thinking that I didn't care how He brought it about.  "Help me give you my life, God."

So, I have been allowed the privilege to walk beside Jesus for a little while--helping him carry his cross by shouldering this yoke.

I still have a long way to go, but my life has improved so much because of infertility.  I know some of you also have similar experiences with your faith.  You would never choose this cross, but in some ways, you may be very thankful for where it has taken you.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Do You Think I Had Endometriosis?

It doesn’t really bother me that much that the testing of the tissue samples came back as inconclusive (well, “not endo” for one sample and “maybe endo” for another).

I am pretty sure I had it.

In high school and college, my periods ruled my life.  Before the days of Aleve, I would wake up in the middle of the night, writhing in pain, after my Tylenol wore off.  I’m not sure why I didn’t try Advil.

Well, I can’t remember when Aleve hit the market, but when it did, it changed the game.  I could sleep through the night without waking up in pain.  I religiously took Aleve every 12 hours, because if I didn’t, I could not function.

One time, I had to run a mile for my Fitness for Life class in college.  I was out of shape, but also on my period.  It was the first time I experienced Aleve failing.  I think it was due to a combination of my physical activity, dehydration, and my period.  Well, I barely hobbled the track.  After I was finished, I pretty much collapsed onto the ground in pain.  My teacher was concerned, and asked if I was alright.  “Cramps,” I said.   “Water and stretching should help,” he said.  “Not those kind of cramps,” I quipped.

Well, afterwards, I spent what seemed like an hour in the locker room, alternating between laying in the fetal position and pacing up and down the locker-lined aisles.  One girl finally asked if I was okay.  I told her I had cramps.  I can’t remember if she expressed understanding or not.

One day in college, I forgot to take my medicine between my classes.  In the middle of a lecture, I started to feel pain.  I thought, “I’ll just tough it out.”  Yeah.  Instead, I left the classroom, went to the bathroom, took the medicine, and walked around the building in agony.  I ended up back in the bathroom, but never back to the class.  The teacher sent a classmate to check on me, which was embarrassing.

Nowadays, since my lap surgery, my period pain is manageable without medicine.  I still feel twinges every once in a while.  One time, I thought the pain was progressing and I would need to pop a pill, but then the pain diminished.

Before the surgery, I had agonizing pain.  Now I do not.

I think I had endometriosis.

Do you think I did?

Also, is it going to return?