Thursday, October 07, 2004

Sickness and Ghosts

I'm in limbo as I wait to get sick. My daughter was sick all day yesterday and the night before. Last night was throw-up free which is wonderful. Today she's home just to finish recovering, and she felt jipped that her hookie day was spent sick on the couch. (Speaking of which, I have to call that company with the fabric protection and have them come out and clean that area where she was sick and it didn't come out with my attempts.)

So I know I've been exposed and I know I will get sick. I've read that pregnant women have a 9 times higher rate of death from the flu than regular women. Of course the rate is so low that 9 times is still not that significant. Pregnant women have lower immune systems so the flu can be worse and last longer. Oh yay! My biggest concern is who will take care of Janie if I get sick.

The good news is that Matt is coming home tonight, two weeks early because they finished their work in Florida. I just have to hold out getting sick until tonight. What a lovely homecoming.

Taking care of Janie while pregnant did prove to me that I must be in the 2nd trimester. Despite all the disgusting things I cleaned up in the last 36 hours, I gagged a few times (when she wasn't around) but I didn't throw up. Actually, I survived the whole 1st trimester without throwing up once, but I did have many episodes of feeling sick and that I could be at any moment. I think if I was still at that morning sickness stage I would have been too weak and sick to take care of her.

All hail the 2nd trimester. A weekend ago I even painted her playhouse, finally! I'm actually feeling more energetic like my old self, pre-IVF. That's a long time of feeling sick or sore or extremely tired.

I guess I should feel like I'm going to make it, but I'm still not there yet. There should be a name for this condition because it's very strange. To want to be pregnant so badly, trying for years, extraordinary methods, then finally getting pregnant and not believing it. Like post traumatic stress. Crushed so many times that it's hard to reprogram and believe I'm in a safe place.

I run into ghosts of the past when I go to familiar places. When I went to the OB's office, I had a few tears in the exam room. Sitting in there reminded me of the other times I had been there, a mess by the time I reached the exam room after waiting with all the pregnant women. I seemed to be the only one who wasn't.

There was my appointment after being two weeks late, first time my cycle was longer than 31 days in 2 1/2 years. I had taken many negative HPTs and one negative blood test before my period finally showed up. I had allowed myself to get hopeful and the fall back to earth hurt like hell. My OB/GYN had set up an appointment to talk about it and I think because she was worried about my emotional health. At that appointment she told me to get back to the RE's office, that at least then I would be trying and have a chance. And at that appointment she found my breast lump. I remember sitting in my car in the parking lot, holding my order for the mammogram and wondering what would happen to Janie if I died. When I drive in the parking lot, I see the space I sat in that day. As I walk past, it's like walking past a ghost and I step quicker. She's still there, stunned into silence. Soon she will have her first mammo, and soon after surgery. She doesn't know that it will be okay. She is still sitting in her car, unable to drive home and with no one to call to pick her up.

I've held the surgeon's order for a repeat mammo since early August without calling to schedule it. I could say I'm a procrastinator but there's much more to it. It's not the pain of the mammo, because through infertility I've been through much worse. Squishing my breasts is better than poking something past my cervix. For one, I'm concerned about doing a mammo while pregnant. Sure they'll shield me, but what if it's not enough? What if I put this much wanted baby into unnecessary risk? Mainly, I'm worried about a bad result. What happens if they didn't get it all from the left during surgery? What about the right one which was uncertain and left to be reviewed in 6 months (now 3 months overdue)? I know the odds are greatly in my favor, but a bad result would be a very bad result. It's enough to make me put it off another day...and another day...

I don't want to go back to that mess again. I remember laying on the bed and finding that lump time and time again. I hadn't found it in my shower self-exams before the appointment. Now, I would lay and find it like I was studying it. I wanted to learn what it felt like so I could find the next one. How long had it been there and I didn't know? Like Glenda the Good Witch asks Dorothy in Wizard of Oz, "Are you a good lump or a baaad lump?" It was small and very hard like a piece of gravel. Other good lumps were soft and moved around but this one didn't. It was different. It was foreign and it didn't belong.

Unfortunately I couldn't have an FNA, fine needle aspiration where they poke a needle in to see what's inside. It had to be surgically removed. Now I've got a scar on Lefty Lucy, one seen only by me, my husband, my surgeon, my OB/GYN, and my daughter. It's almost 2 inches long. I don't mind the scar. I wasn't planning on being a topless dancer or centerfold anyway. It did make my left breast a little more perkier than my right. I make a slight adjustment in my bra so that if it gets cold I'm not pointed in different directions.

I guess that's too much information, but considering I've posted on when CD 1 was, it's all open for discussion now. What's a little nipple among friends?

If I'm out for a few days, it's only because I'm sick and in bed. Nothing exciting, not even with my hubby coming home. Did I tell you it's tonight? I'm so excited. I'd better get the house cleaned up while I still can.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I should tell you.....i"ve been feeling sick the last couple of days and too chicken to blog about it in case it turns out to be nothing more than "you're pregnant, stupid." So, maybe this is voodoo sick? Maybe I'm sick for you? Maybe you won't get sick!?!!! I'm hoping, I don't want you having to feel miserable too.

Hooray that Matt is coming home, I hope you really get to enjoy the homecoming, but I know that even if you're feeling sick you'll be glad he's home.

I know those ghosts. There's the one that made me cry because no matter how hard I tried to change the subject at lunch yesterday, everyone kept switching it back to babies.

There's the one I don't want to acknowledge from when I had my cervix biopsied, knowing cervical cancer runs in the family.

I am praying for a healthy mammo, when you go. There's no big deal about some nipple among friends, so i hope you continue to share. know what I mean.


2:03 PM  
Blogger Dee said...

I'm sending lots of positive thoughts your way that you don't get sick! Waiting for the possible arrival of such an unpleasant thing...that just sucks big time.

But I'm happy to hear Matt's on his way home to you and Janie! (And I'm still grateful to him and his fellow comrades.)

Keep up the great nipple talk, ur, I mean writing. What's a little areola among friends?

2:53 PM  
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