Monday, May 07, 2007

My own pathetic delusions of grandeur

Ah, the joys of trying to reproduce and the mysteries of the female body. For about a week at the end of March, I thought I was pregnant again. After the miscarriage in January, my doctor thought it would be prudent to check my hormone levels with the new pregnancy to be sure that they were rising at the proper rate. Unfortunately they were not, and she thought that we probably had an ectopic pregnancy. After much ado, including having my blood drawn five times in one week and an ultrasound by a radiologist who should NEVER be allowed near a vagina ever again, they decided that there were some cells making up a non-viable pregnancy somewhere in my person, though not in my uterus, and that I would need a few shots of chemotherapy to kill the cells and make sure that they didn't spontaneously start growing, potentially rendering my infertile, if not kill me. And since death was not on my to do list, I figured, okay, let's get the shots.

My own personal opinion was that I was not actually pregnant again, but rather that there were a few leftover "pregnancy cells" that didn't get removed in the D&C and were still wreaking havoc with my hormone levels. Alas, no. The doctor assured me Friday that, after the miscarriage, I had gotten "pregnant again, but not." You'll notice the quotes around that last statement. That's a direct quote from a medical professional. "Pregnant again, but not."

How the hell does THAT work? you may be asking yourself. It was a question that sprang from my mouth before I found a nice, tactful way of saying "what the fuck?!?!?" Apparently I'm a medical anomaly. She said that what probably happened was that an egg was fertilized, but never attached anywhere in my body, but also never left the body, so it just floated off into the abyss that is my abdominal region. It was fertilized, thus pregnant, but since it never attached, not.

Huh. Okay then. So I asked if this was considered another miscarriage. Nope. Pregnant, but not. The whole situation made me feel strangely happy. If it never attached, I was never pregnant, therefore I'm not confirmed broken yet, and hopefully we can continue on to have a happy healthy baby one day soon.

During the whole Pregnant But Not Pregnancy Extravaganza, I became somewhat of a regular with the phlebotomists in the lab. After the 5 Draw Week, the chemo shots, and the subsequent blood work that confirmed the hormone levels were dropping (two draws that week, once in Phoenix), the doctor wanted to monitor the numbers to be sure they continue to drop, so I've had to go in once a week to have blood taken. Friday after my appointment I stopped in for my weekly visit. Tuesday morning's been my usual vist time, but last week it just didn't fit into the old schedule. So Friday afternoon, I stopped in to find a whole new staff works in the afternoons. Okay, no worries. I'm sure they're capable folk. But here's the alarming part. When the gal called my name, she said "oh, we were wondering if you were coming in this week!" Then two other phlebotomists, two that I had also never seen before, poked their heads into the room to take a look. Then they all looked at one another as if to say "Oh, so THIS is that Tabbal woman who's in here ALL THE TIME."

What the hell?!?! Have I become some kind of Phlebotomist's nightmare? I've now gained a spot in Hypochondria Folklore?! And then this morning when I called to get the results of my test, the office voicemail system no longer has the option to speak to the nurse. Have I been driving them all so crazy that they have altered office protocol in a vain attempt to avoid me? Have I become that woman, the one that you dread seeing walk through the doors of your office? The one that causes all employees to scatter like roaches when the light turns on?

I feel like going into their office yelling "I'm NOT crazy!!! I'm pregnant, but not! My hormones are all over the board!" 'Cause THAT wouldn't make them think I'm nuts.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Hey, where's my soapbox????

You know what I hate? I mean, absolutely loathe??? When people say that they're not teaching their child about a religion because they "want their child to make their own decision about religion when they grow up." Because inevitably the speakers parents shoved one religion or other down their throats as a child and now their determined to go to the opposite extreme and not give their child any guidance at all about religion. But naturally, one extreme is OBVIOUSLY better than another extreme, right? No need for happy middles here, folks.

Now, it's not that I hate the fact that people would let their kid grow up and decide that their religion is something other than my religion, because that's not the case at all. Frankly I don't much care what religion a person is. If you're an asshole, you're an asshole, regardless of faith, color or creed. The thing I hate about the statement "my child will make their own decision when they grow up" is that if you don't teach your kid about religion, ANY religion, how do you expect them to make a decision regarding that religion or any other? I mean, you wouldn't avoid swimming pools, lakes or ponds and then one day look at your kid and say "so, what kind of stroke do you plan to swim across this body of water with? The crawl? Sidestroke? How about a good old fashioned breast stroke?"

I mean, really, pick SOMETHING? Or if you don't subscribe to any one religion at all, at least teach the poor little bastard about your belief system in general or teach them about a bunch of different religions (which I think would be a good idea for more parents to do anyway) so that at least when the time comes for them to cross the ocean, they're not flung in with not even a fundamental knowledge of how to stay afloat.

Because really, in the end, of course your child will make his or her own decision. And hopefully you've taught them enough for their decision to be an educated one.