Friday, September 28, 2007

Nothing Much Going on These Days

Well I haven't blogged for a while but not because I've been too busy. Rather its because my life has been pretty boring these last couple of weeks. The only real highlight in there was that my ovarian cyst has gone away, so I'm back on the clomid again. Of course when the highlight of your life is getting the opportunity to take a fertility drug with lovely side effects ranging from constant headaches to extreme moodiness perhaps something is a little off kilter.

But of course another highlight was last Friday when we got the refrigerator door replaced to fix the scratch caused by the delivery guys. Unfortunately, the service guy who I think hailed from somewhere in the former Soviet Union region was not up to speed on American personal hygiene and had horrible B.O. I mean it was B.O. so bad that I could hardly stand to be in the kitchen with him and had to air the room out afterwards. And in my rush to get this stinky guy out of my house, I didn't really pay close enough attention to how even the doors were and forgot to mention that the ice maker dispenser was having issues. Jeramy was a bit irritated over my inability to adequately cover the service guy supervisor function, but then again he wasn't there to smell him.

Oh well. At least its Friday. Next week I have a business trip to San Diego to keep me occupied for a few days.

Friday, September 14, 2007

He can't bear to be outdone by me for long

We hit the river last night (surprise, surprise) and Jeramy managed to hook into a very nice Silver. It's even a little bit bigger than the one that I caught last week. Take a look...

I took today off because I felt like I needed a break after the bad news on the ovarian cyst, and Jeramy is working 4 10's right now so he was already off today. Well except that he has to go in at 6pm tonight for a natural gas shut down but whatever. So we went fishing for a little while this morning until it started raining on us, but we just caught a bunch of pinks that we threw back. We've got so many pinks saved up in the freezer now for smoking that there isn't much point in keeping them anymore. But they sure are fun to reel in!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

An Update on the Baby-Making Front

Well first of all there really isn't much to share at this point, but because several people have asked I figured I'd post a blog on it.

So here is the deal. As many of you may know Jeramy and I have been working hard at changing the name of this blog for several months now. Unfortunately we have not had much luck, but honestly I was prepared for that going into this. Most of you probably don't know that I have always had very irregular periods since I was a much so that I began referring it as the quarterly rather than the monthly. When I was in my teens that was a wonderful thing, and then I went on birth control for a decade which regulated my cycles. However when I went off the pill last fall, the length between cycles grew further and further apart topping out around 65 days.

After charting my cycles for a couple months to see what was going on, I went to see my regular doctor who ran all sorts of tests on me. In the end he couldn't find anything that explained my problems and referred me to an OB/GYN. Unfortunately the OB/GYN he referred me to did not have a new patient visit open until October...and this was back in early June. Being the impatient person I am, I was not willing to wait that long. I also had chatted with some girls online about these issues, and found that most of them had not been very happy with their OB/GYNs when it came to fertility issues because they did not have the knowledge and technology that specialists have. So I did some research online and found a practice of about six Reproductive Endocrinologists (REs) about a 10 minute walk from my work that accepted self-referrals. I managed to get a first appointment within 3 weeks with the RE who started the whole practice and specializes in ovulation disorders.

After doing another exam and more bloodwork, my RE basically concluded the same thing as my regular doctor. I have an ovulation disorder technically called oligomenorrhea but that it was not explained by any of the usual causes. In fact, he said we'd probably never know what was causing it. However, the good news is that ovulation disorders are among the most treatable of infertility conditions, so if I have to pick a problem I guess this is a "good" one to have.

The first approach to treatment that my RE recommended was a drug called clomiphene citrate (aka clomid). We will try this for 3 cycles before pursuing any further testing or more aggressive treatment. In addition to taking the drug, they monitor me with ultrasounds and other tests to make sure the drug was doing its job and that I did not experience any side effects that would negatively impact the whole process. So in August I took my first round of clomid and everything went very well except for one thing. *NOTE: if you are squeamish at all about hearing descriptions from me on female anatomy and reproduction I suggest you stop reading now.* Basically a woman's body produces cervical mucous during the most fertile time in her cycle (ovulation), which helps to transport sperm around the cervix and to the recently released egg. One of the side effects of clomid is that it can completely dry this fluid up, which is what happened to me. My RE ran a test right after I ovulated, which showed that I had very little cervical mucous. So for the next cycle, he recommended that I do an Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). Basically this is the same thing as artificial insemination, and the purpose would be to get the sperm past the cervix so that the lack of cervical mucous is not a factor.

So at the beginning of this month I started my second round of clomid with the intention of adding in IUI as well. Unfortunately when I went in for my first ultrasound on Friday to check follicle growth (follicles grow on the ovaries and contain the egg that is released at ovulation) there were none to be found. The only thing there was a cyst on my right ovary, presumably left over after ovulating the previous cycle. So they had me come back on Tuesday, and they found the same thing. Ovarian cysts can be a side effect of clomid and they usually resolve on their own. However as long as the cyst is there the follicles aren't going to grow so there is no point in doing an IUI this cycle. So now I'm just sitting around and waiting for my period to come again so that my doctor can do another ultrasound to see if the cyst is still there. If its gone then we'll try the second round of clomid again as the cyst nullified this one. If its still there I have to wait another cycle. And since my cycles can be very long when I'm not taking clomid that could be a very long wait.

So that is the story to date. Who knew that getting pregnant would be so hard or require quite so many visits to the doctor? Or so much money? While my insurance paid for everything related to the diagnosis (or lack there of) of my problem, it stopped paying the second I started the clomid. I definitely get frustrated and depressed over it at times, but I've been doing my best to keep busy and concentrate on everything else going on in my life. Jeramy has been very supportive through all this as well, and has certainly done his part in terms of going to the more important doctor visits with me as well as...ahem...everything else that is required of him at the specified intervals of time.

I have thought of just abandoning this treatment all together and pursuing a course that involves smoking crack, quitting my job and applying for welfare. After all that approach seems to work well in terms of getting other women pregnant. (Yes folks...that is a joke).

Anyhow, I'll try to give periodic updates when there is something to tell. But honestly it is really just a whole bunch of waiting then a sudden burst of activity and then waiting some more.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A very nice weekend

I have to say that I had a very nice weekend. I think it was good primarily because it was a weekend with the right mixture of activity and relaxation. In terms of activity, we went fishing both Saturday and Sunday mornings, and on Saturday evening we went to our friends' son's 4th birthday party. I also managed to have the house in a cleaner state at the end of the weekend than it was at the beginning, which has been a rarity lately! On the relaxation end of things both Saturday and Sunday afternoons were rather leisurely. Sunday afternoon was by the best though because it was the Seahawks season opener (we won!) and while I watched the game (and yelled at the TV set) I helped Jeramy tie up leaders for fishing this week.

It really almost felt like the first weekend of fall, even though the season doesn't officially start for another couple of weeks. The weather is still gorgeous but there is a cold, crisp feel to the air especially in the evening. And it is the time of year that all things fall start to happen...river fishing, football, new TV shows, etc. I'm just now realizing that fall is one of my favorite seasons!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Another Good Day Fishing

Jeramy and I headed out to the Puyallup River after work yesterday and managed to spend about 4 hours on the river. We both had a pretty good day, but me especially. The coho salmon (aka silvers) are starting to come up river in greater numbers, and we greatly prefer to catch those over the pink. First I caught a silver that was a nice 7 or 8 pounds. Later I managed to pull in an even bigger one...about 12 pounds. Needless to say, Jeramy was a little jealous. Plus I, being the smack talking fisher-woman that I am, did not hesitate to rub it in. However, while I might have excelled in quality he beat me in quantity with 1 silver and 3 pinks and he threw back a lot more than I did.

Here is a picture of my catch...notice how I can't seem to hold the bigger fish up as high. My arm was getting sore waiting for Jeramy to snap the pictures!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Our House has been Infiltrated by Huge Spiders

So I mentioned a few weeks ago that Jeramy killed a spider in the bathroom for me. Well since then we've had several more spider citing incidents all confined to the bathroom culminating with one this morning where are very large spider was actually sharing the shower with Jeramy. The fear of running into a large eight-legged creature at every turn is a little disconcerting to say the least. My only consolation is that Jeramy tends to find them first now that he gets up earlier than I do in the morning.

This happens every year about this time but for some reason this year is worse than usual. So I decided to do a little web research this morning to determine the best way of getting rid of these guys. I figured that there must be some information out there on the best kind of bug bomb or pesticide to use when exterminating these little monsters. However, it turns out that I had no idea what I was really dealing with at all.

It turns out that these are likely male Giant House Spiders. Apparently these spiders have evolved over time to live *gulp* inside your house and are found specifically in the Pacific Northwest and also parts of Europe. They can grow to be 7.5 cm in diameter which is nearly 3 inches. They are not spiders coming in from the outside like I thought. Rather they take up residence in places not frequently visited by humans or other large mammals such as corners, behind boxes, and in crawl spaces. Most of these spiders will spend their entire life in the same building. Late August through October is mating season so these spiders we're finding are probably males searching for a mate. You find them in sinks and bathtubs a lot because they are attracted by the water (all this wandering makes a horny spider thirsty after all) but they find themselves trapped when they can't climb the slippery walls to get back out.

I read an article in the PI from a few years ago that said there are not a lot of good extermination options and most will only work temporarily.

I also found a good website on spider myths:

However I take issue with how these myths are debunked. They assume that once you know the facts (the spiders are not venomness, they kill other bugs, they are not aggressive, etc.) that you will cease to be afraid of them. But you know what, fear doesn't really work that way. You can throw all the logic you want at me, and I'm still going to freak out every time I see one of these suckers because they just make me shiver and panic. And now to know that they're living their entire lives in my house, that what I'm seeing is just the tip of the iceberg, and that there is nothing that I can do about (or should even want to do about because they are really quite "friendly spiders) does nothing to make me feel better.

Is there a support group out there for this or something?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Have I mentioned that I love river fishing???

Every other year there is a very large run of Pink salmon in Puget Sound who are headed for area rivers including the Puyallup/Carbon and Green. So in a "Pink" year as soon as fishing in the Sound slows down Jeramy and I head out to the Puyallup and Carbon rivers. And I have to say that it is hard to beat the excitement of river fishing in a "Pink" year. First of all, I simply like fishing in rivers because you're literally up to waist deep in the river. There is just something about the scenery, the sounds, and the connection with the water that allows me to tune out everything else around me. Second, I like that I get to be in control of my own fishing destiny. That may sound like a strange thing to say, but when we fish on the boat I'm usually the one driving. So that means I'm completely reliant on Jeramy to set up the gear and even grab the poll and start reeling before it gets handed off to me. It's sort of the difference between a team and individual sport, I guess. Finally, there are just so many of these salmon its crazy. When you are standing in the river you can actually feel the fish bump into your legs at times. Often times people can have a fish on every few casts and reel dozens of them in during the day. You fish with pretty light weight polls and the salmon are pretty determined not to be caught, so the fight is really exciting.

Anyhow, Jeramy and I met up with some friends out at the Puyallup yesterday for the Labor Day holiday. Since it had been a couple of years it took me a little while to get back in the swing of things. This is actually the first time when we've fished the river with other friends, and it was definitely great to have them around because that offloaded some of the "Jennifer-burden" from Jeramy. Mike and Randy showed me how to cast and reel better and also how to tie on gear. These are all things my husband has tried to teach me, but he has found me to be obstinant to his instruction. I felt a bit bad for distracting them with my ineptitude, but they didn't seem to mind and even tried to convince me to call in sick in order to go out again today. I have to say it was pretty tempting...

After six hours of keeping some fish and throwing back several, we had our limit of 6 fish each (12 total) and were exhausted. A lot of people just catch and release, because Pink salmon, especially those in the river and close to spawning, are not particularly good eating. But they smoke up okay, and we're happy to stock up on fish for smoking since all that Sockeye was destroyed in the refrigerator debacle while we were in Yellowstone.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Labor Day Weekend is off to a Good Start

We did well out on the water today. Jeramy caught an 8 pound Coho and then our friend Bob got a 12 pound one. I caught a smaller Chinook but it was wild so we had to throw it back. Plus we got a couple crab too. Here are a few pics from the day:

Sunrise...keep in mind that we'd been on the water for a while by this time!

Jeramy and his big fish...

Bob and his really big fish...