Monthly Archives: May 2007

Alice in Hysterosalpingogram Land

Have I ever mentioned that New York has a lot of people? When I had my first mammogram, I was called into a mass dressing-room with four other women who proceeded to tell me about flattened breasts and pinching. There are so many people that the doctors appear to do mass screenings and tests.

I had a similar experience today while getting my Hystamhemmeneschememna dye-up-the-tubes test. The nurse called three names from the main waiting room. The three of us, me, a slender woman I’ll call Judy and a slightly older, slightly over-dressed woman I’ll call Nita lined up and followed the nurse into the highly-air-conditioned labyrinthine facility. I was given a cup and told to which line to fill it with pee, and told to put the cup in the blue bin next to the toilet, then go around the corner and sit in a green chair. I did as told.

The green chairs were lined up against a wall in a corridor facing a series of doors. Shortly after sitting in the chair, Judy came out of her bathroom with a cup in her hand. I started to laugh. “Was I supposed to take the cup out here?” She laughed, too. “I don’t know. Am I going to get yelled at for having my cup?” We both laughed, as a half-naked man walked past us, his gown opening slightly in the back, still wearing his men’s shoes and long socks. People kept opening the dressing-room doors and closing them with big keys and walking around embarrassed in their blue gowns and foam slippers. The doors looked like rabbit holes to me. I wondered if there were bottles inside that said “Drink Me.”

Judy was soon told to put her pee back in the bathroom and we both laughed some more. The situation was just absurd. Pee in a cup is absurd. It is my theory that they didn’t actually do anything with the pee. They just wanted to give us something to do while we waited. It was freezing. I cursed myself for neglecting to bring a sweater. Nita came back and mentioned that she didn’t want to be late for her son’s graduation. I congratulated her. Then she proceeded to tell me in exquisite detail about the color and texture of her menstrual blood and her blocked tube. I tried not to laugh. I don’t think I laughed, but rather asked her polite questions about if she thought she’d get surgery, or if the block had any hormonal imbalances attributed to it. A part of me still wanted to laugh — leftover giggles from the mystery of the pee cup.

I was brought into a room and asked some questions and signed a form. Then I went back to the green chairs. Luckily, I had a great book with me. Nita walked by clothed again and announced that her tubes were cleared out. Both tubes clear. I congratulated her on her son’s graduation and her clear fallopian tubes. She said it didn’t hurt much and I shouldn’t be scared.

When I finally got to my own dressing room, the size of a phone booth, the nurse told me what to do, and left. All I could remember was that I was supposed to make the gown open to the front. I put on my gown and foam slippers. The slippers had a smiley face imprinted on the top of each foot. I admired them. If I had worked at that foam slipper company, I know I would have been the one who suggested we put a smiley face on them. I spent the next ten minutes wondering if I was supposed to stay in the phone booth room or go back to the green chairs, cursing my poor short term memory and listening skills.

When I finally got to the procedure room, it was as expected. But it did hurt a little more. The doctor asked me if I had any questions. I told him I just wanted to see my fallopian tubes. I was lying there with my feet in stirrups, thinking that one day I would have my feet in stirrups pushing out that baby. The most painful part was the speculum, which was strange, since they don’t bother me much when I have a pap smear. It must have been big. I couldn’t see it through the sheet draped over my legs. The dye hurt, too, but I just yelled the word CONTRACTIONS in my head, and the pain didn’t seem so bad. And I finally saw my fallopian tubes. They each looked exactly like a curl of smoke from a cigarette. My uterus looked like a triangle the size of a Dorito, but less regular. “It looks good. All clear. Everything is normal.” Great! I was escorted back to my dressing room. I looked at the nurse and put on my best listening ears, determined not to forget whatever directions the nurse was about to give. “Have a nice day,” she said and left.

Two hours after going in, I left the office, walked directly to Central Park and stood in the sun.

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Good-bye Clomid!

If anyone is wondering what it is like to be on Clomid, I have some musings for you. At least this is how it was for me.

I did not get bitchy, as Dr. Mug suggested.

I did not have any headaches, as per Co’s experience.

Basically, I feel like someone put a pump into my bellybutton and filled my abdomen with about two extra inches of air. Or, I feel like I ate a dozen doughnuts without drinking any water. The worst symptom has been the bloating.

I also had blurred vision twice for only a few seconds. The first time it happened was really freaky. I’m going to blog about that series of events on momtourage. Basically, I was walking in the park and I saw what looked like a guy’s aura separating from his body. If anyone reading is geeky enough to collect rocks, as I have been, it looked like I was watching him through a piece of optical calcite.

optical calciteThe second time was while I was pushing Cakie on the boardwalk today. The slats morphed into a crazy spinning winking blur of lines. I felt like a tiger chasing zebras. But it passed pretty quickly.

The last symptom is one that I’m not really sure I can attribute to Clomid. It may be a symptom of being a teacher at the end of May. I’m losing my mind a little. I suddenly can’t spell. I stop what I’m doing half-way through and forget what it was I was doing to begin with. Oh, I’ve also had bouts of exhaustion.

It really has not been as bad as I’d thought. I figure the loss of my mind will prepare me for pregnancy, anyway.

Next up… the HSG aka the Heminahschememmina dye-up-the-tubes test on Wednesday. I’m not scared. It may suck, but it will only be temporary. I can’t wait to make this baby.

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memememeee!

Vee and Jay posted this very random meme which caught my fancy. So I did it. I’m not tagging anyone. Do it if you want. I think it is kind of sad that it was so hard for me to think of five favorite toys.

What were you doing ten years ago?
Training parents to volunteer as tutors in public schools. Kicking my friends’ butts in karate class. Dating someone who was too much like me for it to ever work.

What were you doing one year ago?
Watching my son learn to crawl.

Five snacks you enjoy
Strawberries
Popcorn
String cheese and V8
Ginger-os
Cheese and crackers

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire
Pay off my student loans
Start a business
Put a down payment on something with a yard in Brooklyn
Move my mom up to NY
Make a scholarship fund for kids who go to the school where I teach

Five bad habits
I chomp my gum
I forget stuff right after I hear it
I lose my #$^$%& keys, wallet, cell phone pretty much daily
I stay up too late
I always neglect to list all of my bad habits on lists of my bad habits

Five things you like doing
Dancing around the living room with my hon and my son
Wandering around NYC
Writing
Reading
Walking my second graders across the Brooklyn Bridge

Five things you’d never wear again
Gummy jeans
Gummy shoes
Flourescent socks
That bridesmaid dress she’d said I could totally wear again
Aqua Net

Five favorite toys
Laptop
Tivo
Big stuffed dog chair named “Dawg”
Milles Bourne, no Bohnanaza … I know — playing cards
Little Flower (That’s my childhood teddy bear. Yes, I still have her.)

That’s it.

I have two more, non-meme-related things to say:
1. Clomid makes me bloated. Blah. But I’m not mean yet.
2. Hi Mom!

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Clomid Twins Power — Activate!

Form of:

Me.

Just me.  It didn’t do anything weird or make me any meaner of a teacher than I have been already this week.

I say “Clomid twins” not because I’m trying to make twins.  (Nooooo!)  But because my neighbor, codename: Gwen, had to start taking Clomid yesterday, too.    So every time I see her, we connect our Wonder Twin rings and activate our secret powers of womanhood. I always loved the Wonder Twins.  I loved the absurdity of the fact that one of them could only turn into things made out of water.  So to get out of a sticky situation, I think it was the girl, would have to say something like, “Form of: a dagger made of ice!” or “Form of: an ice rope!”

BTW, the Clomid is merely to “see how my ovaries respond.”  I don’t really know WTF he was talking about, but I don’t think I’ll actually inseminate this cycle with the Clomid.  I’m not sure I actually want to do that at this point.  On the other hand, if he says we can try this month, I’ll probably be on board. I’m just doing everything the guy says, so I won’t have to go much longer on this damn ride.  I’m car sick already.

In other news, I almost screwed up on part of my million-things-to-do-to-get-knocked-up list.  I made the appointment for the HSG at the very last minute.  Luckily, I did get an appointment within the alloted menstrual window. I’m getting it next Wednesday. Whew.  I need a personal assistant.

I’ve heard bad things about the HSG, in my head it is the Home Shopping Getwork.  I don’t really feel nervous about it.  Yeah, it can be painful.  But what is pain?  If it is not chronic, it happens, then it is over.  I have to take the day off from work, which means I only have 20 days left of school.  I really don’t mind that, either.   Plus the geek in me is dying to see how my real ovaries look.   If that isn’t fodder for a poem, what is?

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It is midnight

It is midnight and I am not asleep.   I have to teach tomorrow and I am not asleep.  It seems I am afraid of the Clomid.  I’m supposed to take it before I go to bed.  So I guess I’ve decided not to go to bed.  That means I won’t have to take the Clomid, right?

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If I Were a Bird…

I would be the bird that pooed on the president.

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Biology 101

I’m all wrapped up in a spiral-helix.  Biology has been on my mind of late.  Namely, how important is it in a family, and why might it be important – or not so much so?  Since I try to be vaguely anonymous on this blog, even though pretty much only my friends read it, you may not know that I have crazy red hair.
Though I don’t love the title, I have been enjoying the book The Roots of Desire: the Myth, Meaning and Sexual Power of Red Hair, by Marion Roach.

Red hair is weird thing to have.  Strangers tell you how beautiful it is.  One doesn’t know how to respond, because it just grows there. It takes neither effort nor intellect to grow it.    If they aren’t complimenting it, the perfect stranger may be giving you a lineage of red hair in her family going back several generations or calling you a red-headed woodpecker or inquiring about the color of your pubic hair.

Roach’s book seeks the origins to attitudes about redheads.  Do we have worse-than-usual tempers?  Are we hot in bed?  Are red-headed men not to be trusted?  Apparently attitudes about my people go back as far or farther than ancient Egypt.  They have roots in anti-Semitism, and have resulted in some burning at the stake.

My whole life I’ve sort-of expected to have red-headed kids.  I’ve thought of my hair as a curse and a gift.  I thought I’d pass it on.  When I ended up with an African American woman as my partner, I basically gave up on the idea.  (Though I insist that Cakie has red highlights.)  It is not impossible, but far less likely that my red-headed gene will dominate when meeting up with a biracial donor’s.

Which brings me to my next biological contemplation.  I also expected to have two children with different biological mothers and the same donor.  I like the idea of the kids having a biological link, even though it may not be with someone we have actually met. For the past almost-two years I’ve watched Cakie and looked forward to meeting his future little sibling.  How will they be alike?  Will the next one look like Cakie and me?  We recently ran out of Cakie’s donor’s vials.  There are none left to buy.  Unless somebody sells some back, or I track some down, that is the end of my little biological link idea.

In my heart of hearts I know that biology does not always make a family.  My sister tried to get pregnant for ten years.  Finally, three weeks after Cakie was born, she gave me my first niece.  I’ll call her Doe, since that’s what Cakie calls her.  Doe was born in Guatemala.  My sister fostered her there for months before taking her back to the states.  She was born in a different continent to a different biological mother, but no child that exists or will exist can be more my sister’s daughter than Doe.  No child could be more my niece.

And no sister could be more my sister than my step-sister.  I’ve known her since she was three, and I was eight. Her dad married and later divorced my mom. She’s my sister.  Doe’s my niece.  For that matter, Cakie is my son.

I keep thinking about the bible.  I don’t know it very well, but I do know that one of the books of the New Testament begins with a genealogy of Joseph tying him back to whom?  Abraham or someone?  It’s an effort to connect Jesus biologically to an Old Testament figurehead.  Joseph, he’s the guy who didn’t have sex with Mary.

Maybe biology adds validity to relationships deep in our ancestral minds.  It can be fun (or scary) to hear your mother’s laugh come out of your own mouth or see your toddler make the same face your brother makes when he laughs. I can’t say biology means nothing.  I can’t say it means everything.  I just can’t say.

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