Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Blood

CD1: On Wed, I was in NYC for work and couldn't call my clinic.

CD2: On Thurs, I called the clinic and the answering service (who was kind of rude) said that the clinic is closed on Thursdays... well ok then.

CD3: On Friday, I called the clinic at 8am when they opened and asked if they could take me for the CD3 bloodwork that day.  She said "Didn't we give you a 'script for it?"  Well yes, they did, but they told me that was just in case CD3 fell on a weekend.  I told her that, she sighed and told me to hold on.  When she got back on the phone she said that the bloodwork lady was soooo busy and that was a lot of blood to take and... well, couldn't I just go to LabC.orp?  (Btw, I HATE going to those places, I've had bad experiences with them not giving a shit and treating you like garbage.)  I'm a push over and I say, "sure".  I get directions from her and hang up.

I knew I was going to be late to work, which was fine, but I had to be at work by 11:30am for a conference call.

I arrived at the address and drove around the corporate park area looking for the building number, which I didn't have.  Finally found it, went in to a very empty waiting room, signed in, and waited for about 5 mins.  She called me up and I handed her my 'script and started to hand her my insurance card.

"Oh we don't take that insurance."

I look at her.  She looks back at me. "Yeah, they don't have a contract with us." Sigh.  So I ask how much it would be to just pay out of pocket.  I seriously was thinking about doing it just to get it over with.  She tells me about $500 and I decide to save myself the money.  She can tell I am defeated because she asks if I know where this other place is.  Well, sure, I know where that address is but given that it's after 10am now, and that place is at least 20 mins away, there's no way I'd make it to work in time. Ah well.

I called the clinic when I got to work and told them and they apologized for sending me someplace that doesn't take my insurance.  I know I should have called them before I went there, I just didn't think it would be an issue.

CD4: On Saturday I decided that I would stop by the other place to get it done quickly before R and I go on with the rest of the day.  But silly me doesn't call the office until 11am and they close at noon on Saturdays. I suck.

Summary: No CD3 bloodwork for me.  Better luck next cycle.


My grandpa died one year ago today.  I'm not one to put a lot of meaning in a death-day.  I don't feel any different today than I do on any other day except to be amazed that a whole year has passed already.  I miss him the same amount every day.

Every day I feel the same amount of sadness for my grandma that she has to go on without him.  For 32 years of my life they were a pair, never one without the other in my mind.  Now, for the past year, it is only her. That's hard to get used to.

We usually host Thanksgiving at our house (have for the past three years anyway) - I love the preparation and cooking and having everyone at my house.  I think it's my favorite holiday.  This year I decided to go and be with my grandma instead of host it at my house.  I've never celebrated Thanksgiving at her house before.  There will be a good amount of people there so hopefully the hustle will keep her mind off of last year for the most part.

When I get there on Thursday morning, that distinct, gruff voice won't greet me by saying "Jilly's home!" as I walk up the basement stairs to the kitchen.   I won't get to chat with him from my favorite place at the counter, as he sits at the dining room table, leafing through a newspaper and chewing on a toothpick.  I won't ever see him fall asleep in his living room recliner, to the late news on TV, as grandma and I chat in the other room.  He won't ever cook me pasta again or laugh over the fact that we like it al dente and grandma likes it mushy.  I'll never again see his flowers and tomato plants growing in the front yard, or see the bags of vegetables and garlic that he grew, around their house.

But, I'll remember all those things forever.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Always Unexpected

{girly-talk warning!}

Well, yesterday I spotted just the teeniest bit and today is apparently CD1. Weird. And good. I was either on CD117 or CD43. Annoyingly long. Waiting can kiss my ass.

It's very light but I'm just going to go with it.  I'll call tomorrow and then hopefully have my CD3 bloodwork on Friday. I'm very glad I don't have to choose to take the provera.

I looked back at my FF notes and apparently I had a little ewcm about 14 days ago. Interesting. I suppose it's too  much to hope that the glumetza and exercise are helping but it gives me some happy thoughts about this coming cycle.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Patient Fertility / GYN Appt - 10/28/09

It went fine I guess. When I was filling out all the new patient paperwork I actually was able to write truthfully that I exercise ~3 times a week and jog ~2 miles each time. That was cool. I’ve never been able to write anything like that before.

The one and only doctor at this place is a man and I prefer female doctors. I was told over the phone that if I needed anything done to my hoo-haa a nurse practitioner would most likely be the one to do it. Well, I met with this main doctor (Dr. M) and to my surprise, he busted out the dildo cam on our first date… err, I mean, appt. I was definitely not expecting a u/s but who am I to turn one down! Apparently I can survive an exam by a man.

There was also a female doctor, who seemed to be learning, following Dr. M around. They were both very thoughtful and made sure I could see the screen of the u/s. I hate those silent u/s’s where they don’t let you see what's going on and don’t say a word throughout the whole thing. As I laid there staring at the screen, I tried to imagine what it would be like to see an actual baby.

Just like all my other u/s’s, they saw both ovaries and there was no sign of cysts even though I specifically asked about the “string of pearls” symptom of PCOS. He also measured my lining, and even though I haven’t had a real flow in over a year, my lining was very thin.

Dr. M of course thinks I have PCOS and put me back on glumetza. I’m taking it now and haven’t had many side effects but I’m only up to 2 pills a day. The goal is 3/day. I’ll probably make it there at the end of the week.

I want more information than just his guess that I have PCOS. He order a bunch of blood work for me to be done on CD3. Uh yeah, that’s a problem. When the eff is CD3?? I never freakin get a real period. Right now I’m either on CD110+ or CD30something if I count the last time I spotted (off and on for about 3 weeks) as a period. I told him this and asked him if I should take provera. He said sure and wrote me another script. He says I should count any spotting at all as CD1. Ok then.

My appt was a few weeks ago now and I haven’t taken the provera yet. The “what-ifs” get me every time. What if this cycle is the one and only time I’m going to ov this year and I take provera to end the cycle? Missing that non-existent opportunity scares me for some reason. It shouldn’t – I know I’m being stupid. I just need to take it and get on with the blood work. But what if the blood work gives me no additional information again? *sigh*

Overall the appt was fine and I like the office. They were all very nice but no matter how much I told them that I’m not interested in IUI/IVF/etc at this time, that’s still their main focus. I have a feeling he wants to try me on clomid again. I guess I wouldn’t be opposed as long as they monitor follicle growth (or lack of) at the same time.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Week 9 (Goal Reached!)


Week 9 Instruction: Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).

Note: Again, (and from now on I think) I only timed the actual jogging portion. Counting the warm-up and "cool down" (walking to get back home or to get back to the car) we probably go an average of .5 miles in addition to the mileage listed below.

Day 1 – 10/29
Run time: 30:12
Run Distance: 2.11 miles
Ave Pace: 14:20/mi

Day 2 – 11/01
Run time: 30:13
Run Distance: 2.13 miles
Ave Pace: 14:12/mi

Day 3 – 11/03
Run time: 30:13
Run Distance: 2.08 miles
Ave Pace: 14:34/mi

Neither C or I were worried about bumping up to 30 mins. We did repeat week 8 but only because we wanted to keep ramping up very slowly. On Day 1 we weren't intimidated by the 2 extra mins and we were able to push through to 30 mins without much problem.

Right at the beginning of the run on Day 1 the bottom of my right calf/top of my heel (maybe my achilles tendon area?) started hurting. It felt very tight, like it was cramping, and it wasn't an ache, more like a bit sharper pain. I have no idea what it was from. It wasn't really bad, just something I noted. I ran through it and it didn't get any worse, but it didn't get better either. I tried to stretch it out well afterwards. I continued to notice it while just walking around after that.

On Day 1 we went around the little loop (my neighborhood) once, and around the big loop (adjacent neighborhood) three times. On Day 2 we went to a new area of the local bike path. This day was much tougher for some reason. We both felt really tired and C ended up stopping to walk for a min or two near the end. She caught up to me though. Looking at our pace, maybe we were just going slightly faster than usual so we tired more quickly. My achilles tendon area hurt again on this day, but it was a little bit better.

On Day 3 we repeated our course from Day 1. It was very cold and windy out - pretty unpleasant for jogging. I have a zip-up sweatshirt that I wear but half way through my core gets too hot and I have to take it off. However, my thighs and my butt are always freezing! I'm going to have to get something to wear under my jogging pants for the winter.

Day 3 was pretty crappy. Along with the cold and wind, I felt completely uncoordinated and weak. I know this will happen sometimes but it sucked that it happened on the very last day. We wanted to celebrate but instead we had to concentrate to make it all the way through. We usually talk quite a bit but we were pretty quiet on this day trying to make our bodies to what we wanted.

We made it though! Week 9 completed! We are proud!

C and I are celebrating this weekend by going out to dinner at The M.elting Po.t. She's never been and I've only been there once. It should be fun :)

It's really amazing to me, especially if I go back and read posts from the early weeks, that I'm now able to jog without stopping for 30 mins. We even jog for most of the 5 min warm up now, instead of walking.

My achilles tendon pain was yet a bit better on Day 3 and now I'm pretty sure it's gone. At the very beginning (last March/April/May) I had very tender shins but this time around, and all the way through to week 9, I haven't had that issue. My knees I can't quite figure out. I continue to have almost no knee pain when I run but my knees hurt when going up and down stairs. They always did but it seems as if it's a little worse now. It could be just normal aging-with-arthritis stuff. I plan on going to an orthopedist next year if I continue with the running. Just to make sure I'm doing all I can to preserve what health my knees do still have.

The biggest difference I have noticed (I really started to notice in the past few days) is my breathing. I used to breath so hard that I could barely swallow. And I'm not talking on the longer jogs. I'm talking during jogging for 3 or 5 mins this would happen. If I had to swallow, I would breath a few times and then hold my breath while I swallowed quickly. It was unpleasant. Now it's totally different. I don't have to think to swallow anymore. I breath much more easily, even at the end of a 30 min jog.

I haven't ever managed to get back that magic "I could jog forever" pace. I think I've been close a few times. Jogging always with C is a factor I think. We talk which takes more energy and makes it so that I can't inwardly focus very well. I wouldn't change it for the world - I love going with her - but jogging alone seems to be a different experience.


So, now my first goal is complete.

My overall goal is still to jog regularly for a year ('till the beginning of Aug 2010), but I need a new short term goal. I'm not sure what it should be yet.

C and I need to figure out what we are going to do now. Should we just continue jogging for 30 mins, 3x, every week? Should we go back to the beginning of the couch to 5k plan and jog for distance this time instead of time? Should we work on jogging more often?

I'm not sure I will ever want to jog for more than maybe 30-45 mins but maybe that will change. I always imagined myself jogging about 3 miles, 3x or 4x per week and that's it. I'm interested in doing 5k's eventually but a 10k? I'm not so sure I'll ever be that good or even have the desire.

Decisions, decisions...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Week 7 and Week 8 (Three Week Summary)

Whoa, I am still jogging! I know, it's amazing. To me it is anyway :) It's been forever since I've posted an update so here is a summary of the last 3 weeks. The program I'm following is here.

(For weeks 7 and 8 the instruction is the same for all three days.)

Week 7 Instruction: Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).

Note: Total time for all days on week 7 would be 25 min jog + 5 min warm up = 30 mins. Walking at the end (any time over the 30 mins) throws off our actual pace so days where our pace is crappier were days we walked longer to get home.

Day 1 – 10/8
Run time: 33:48
Run Distance: 2.11 miles
Ave Pace: 16:01/mi

Day 2 – 10/11
Run time: 38:20
Run Distance: 2.15 miles
Ave Pace: 17:48/mi

On Day 2 we went to a different place to jog. I was hoping it was going to be a bike-path type area in the woods but to our joggy dismay it was more like hiking on a little dirt path with a lot of small hills. The hills killed us - we are not used to doing any incline at all. We had to walk a lot but tried to jog as much as possible. If not for jogging though we would have really enjoyed ourselves. It was a beautiful little spot and only about 5 mins from my house.

Day 3 – 10/13
Run time: 32:01
Run Distance: 2.13 miles
Ave Pace: 15:03/mi

Week 8 Instruction: Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).

Note: Total time for all days on week 7 would be 28 min jog + 5 min warm up = 33 mins. This week, to get a sense of our true jogging pace, I started only timing the actual jogging portion and leaving out the warm up and any walking we may do to get home. On Day 2 I wanted to time to 2 miles even because we were almost there at the end of the 28 mins. On Day 3 I'm not sure what I did - possibly timed the warm up but then stopped it right after the 28 min jog was done.

Day 1 – 10/15
Run time: 28:14
Run Distance: 1.89 miles
Ave Pace: 14:55/mi

Day 2 – 10/18
Run time: 30:05
Run Distance: 2.00 miles
Ave Pace: 15:03/mi

Day 3 – 10/20
Run time: 33:15
Run Distance: 2.20 miles
Ave Pace: 15:09/mi

(Then we did week 8 over again)

Day 4 – 10/22
Run time: 28:07
Run Distance: 1.89 miles
Ave Pace: 14:51/mi

Day 5 – 10/25
Skipped jogging this day. C and I went for a hike instead. We didn't measure it but it was probably ~2 miles total and we tried to walk at a brisk pace the whole way. Took River with us - he was soooo happy to be included and he got to wade in the river a little too.

Day 6 – 10/27
Run time: 28:06
Run Distance: 1.93 miles
Ave Pace: 14:32/mi

C was with me on all days. I mentioned this before but she has really been a huge help for me with sticking with this. We both think it sucks and we both are determined to continue. It is also nice to be able to get together at least three times a week and chat about whatever. I'm truly grateful to have such a great relationship with my sister.

I was able to jog the 25 and 28 min intervals without stopping to walk at all. There are days that are tougher and that we really have to talk ourselves into making it to the very end, but I did them all. C has a tendency to go faster than me; so, on rare occasions she has to stop and walk for a few mins, but that probably only happened once in these three weeks.

We are not working on increasing our speed at all. The intended speed is still very much out of our reach at this point (1.93 miles instead of 2.75 miles on week 8, day 6). We do try to either keep about the same pace or beat our last pace by a bit.

Mostly we jog at night, in my neighborhood and in the adjacent neighborhood, doing different combinations of loops. On the weekends we try to get out (in the daylight *gasp*!) and go someplace different like a bike path or that hiking trail.

On all days, except week 8, day 5, I did anywhere from 100-140 crunches. I'm still not seeing much of any weight loss or clothes fitting me better but I do think my abs are improving a little. While doing the crunches, I can now crunch up higher than I could at the beginning.

I've basically given up on the wall push-ups. I didn't do them at all in these three weeks. We still do a ton of stretching - briefly after the warm-up and then an extended period after jogging. I am paranoid about injuries so I probably do way more stretching than I actually need. IMO you can never have too much (if you are doing them correctly) and plus, it feels good.

Speaking of injuries, there was nothing to report in these last three weeks. There is usually a good amount of pain involved but nothing that sticks around for more than a day.

This all feels both like a big accomplishment (just look how far I've come from a couple months ago! not to mention that I've never exercised regularly before this EVER) and an insignificant accomplishment at the same time. It continues to be so hard to get out there and go, and the jogging is very difficult in the first 5 mins and at the end. Overall though, I think we are proud of what we're doing and we still want to continue.