Cop-Out’s

I am SOOO tired of cop-out excuses!!! I don’t know about you but, it seems like that is all I hear lately from people. I don’t know why this has suddenly become a trend but, it’s getting OLD.

If you don’t want to do something . . . just be HONEST!!!

There’s a novel idea, HONESTY! Honesty is best for everyone. Quit worrying about hurting someone’s feelings and cut to the chase. You’ll get a lot more respect in the long run if you can “grow a pair” and tell the truth.

I believe the reason people have a difficult time being honest with the themselves and those around them is lack of self confidence. If you can’t be honest with someone else, then you really aren’t being honest with yourself.

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My Hiatus

I haven’t posted in a looooooonnnnnnng time. So, I’m going to try to make up for it with a few new posts this weekend. Since I was last on here so much as happened.

April flew by. I was busy putting together details for a church fund raiser, selling pies for Mother’s Day.

May:

  • Made and delivered 175 pies for said fundraiser
  • Spent Mother’s Day with friends in Houston
  • Went to Nathan’s Dr. appointments in Houston
  • Went to a Roughrider’s Game
  • Had a Stella & Dot / Scentsy Party (it was a HUGE success) I got a TON of free Scentsy and Stell & Dot jewelry
  • Nathan started a new job (and he LOVE’S it). Go see him @ Select Comfort in Vista Ridge Mall if you are in the market for a new mattress. It’s the best mattress you’ll ever have.
  • More planing for girls camp

June was CRAZY busy too. I’ll talk about that in other posts. 🙂 (notice post is plural, hahaha)

I’ll try really hard not to be gone that long again.


What is Endomitriosis?

According to the Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/endometriosis/DS00289):

“Endometriosis is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, bowel or the tissue lining your pelvis. Rarely, endometrial tissue may spread beyond your pelvic region.

In endometriosis, displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would: It thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. And because this displaced tissue has no way to exit your body, it becomes trapped. Surrounding tissue can become irritated, eventually developing scar tissue and adhesions — abnormal tissue that binds organs together.

This process can cause pain — sometimes severe — especially during your period. Fertility problems also may develop. Fortunately, effective treatments are available.”

In some cases, mine included, endomitriosis is hereditary. My mother had it and my grandmother had it. My grandmother had a full hysterectomy at the age of 30. My mom has also had a full hysterectomy. I don’t want this to be my fate. That is why I am working so hard to keep what I have left. I don’t want to take hormone replacement therapy (HRT). I have enough to worry about without adding the side effects of HRT to the mix.

Endomitriosis affects 20% of the female population in the world. Some have more severe cases, others have less severe cases. Unfortunately, I am one of the severe ones. I have “Stage 4” endomitriosis. I don’t know many people who have endomitriosis as bad as I do. I can count on one hand the people I know personally who have had similar experiences to mine i.e. surgery, lupron shots, etc.

Some of the symptoms of endomitriosis are:

  • Painful periods
  • excessive bleeding
  • infertility
  • blood clots
  • menstural cycles longer than 7 days

Endomitriosis is “fed” by the production of estrogen in the body. This is why I have been on the Depot Lupron medication twice. The laparascopic surgery is done to remove lesions. When my left ovary was removed my ovary had attached to my hip, intestines and my bowel. My ovary was the size of an orange at the time I had it removed. A “normal” ovary is the size of a walnut. My doctor was able to remove most of the lesions with surgery.

After sugery, Lupron shots will continue to remove any remaining endomitrioma. Because it can’t live without the hormone estrogen it “dies” off. Depot Lupron is an injectable medication that induces the symptoms of menopause. I didn’t have a period for 6 months but, I got to experience what menopausal women go through. Each time I took the shots I took them for 6 months. It was not an easy process and it’s also expensive. Each shot with my insurance cost $100 + $20 for the doctor’s visit to administer the medication.

It can only be diagnosed by laparascopic surgery. The only “cure” for this illness is hysterectomy. Pregnancy can give a reprieve from the disease but once the body is menstruating normally, the endomitrioma will begin to grow again. Once the Lupron shot are finished, your body will begin to produce the natural hormones again. Which will in turn produce the endomitriosis again. It’s a never ending cycle.

I have seen the same OB/GYN for 11 years. For six years, I saw my OB/GYN every 3 months for a sonogram. I have established an great relationship with my doctor. We have a non-typical Dr./patient relationship. Every time I go in we joke and laugh. He asks about my family and what is going on in my life. His nurses know who I am and are always happy to see me (probably because I pay them, LOL). They all greet me by name. I am glad that I can discuss different options with my doctor and he is willing to try things I ask him about.

In order to preserve what ovary I have left, my doctor and I decided to keep me on birth control pills. I am on LoSeasonique. So I only have 1 period every 3 months. It’s really great!! It manages my pain and my hormones. And the best part is that during the time I have been on these pills, my ovary has reduced in size. I am very happy with the results of the unconventional treatment that we are trying. As long as we continue to have this type of progress, we will continue this route. Now, I only have to go a sonogram every 6 months. It was a joyous day when he told me not to come back for 6 moths. I love my doctor but, I have seen him more than any woman should have to see her gyno!!!

Going to the doctor is always an emotional experience for me. I know that another surgery is inevitable. At some point he will tell me we need to remove the current cyst or worse. I know that a hysterectomy is in my future. I hope that day does not happen for a long time. I am willing to try almost anything to keep the ovary I have left.


Endimitriosis sucks

MY STORY:

I have endomitriosis. This this the cause of my portion of our fertility issues. Yup, I said “my portion” because Nathan and I both contribute to our inability to conceive. I don’t think he would appreciate me sharing his issues with everyone, though.

I was diagnosed with this terrible disorder in April 2003. In march of 2003, after experiencing several weeks of excruciating pain in my abdomen, I went to my family doctor thinking I had a bladder infection. My doctor quickly informed me that the location of my pain was NOT my bladder. He referred me to the in-house gynecologist who performed an exam and sonogram and discovered that my left ovary was severely enlarged. He suggested I make an appointment with my regular OB/GYN immediately.

I was able to see my regular doctor a few days later. He performed the same exam and sonogram as the previous doctor. Upon seeing the size of my ovary, I was told I would need to have surgery that week to remove it. I was immediately scheduled for surgery that Friday.

We planned for a laparascopy, three small incisions in the abdomen, to remove the enlarged ovary. This is a day surgery and I would be home that afternoon. The back up plan was to do a “bikini cut” and remove the ovary if it was too large to be removed throughout the three smaller incisions. The “bikini cut” is similar to a c-section. This required a 2 night stay in the hospital. When I woke up from surgery, I was in a hospital room. I was told my ovary was too large for the laparoscopy. I got the “bikini cut”, oh joy!!!!

This brings on a new set of challenges  . . . staples to hold me together!!! My favorite 🙂 After the surgery, I was rewarded with menopause shots, aka Depot Lupron!!! The purpose of these shots is to stop by body from producing estrogen. I was lucky enough to be able to take these shots for 6 months. I had the wonderful opportunity of experiencing the glorious symptoms of menopause for 6 months. All kidding aside, the next 6 months were torture: hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, etc. Any symptoms that a menopausal woman would experience, I got to experience at 26. Nathan hated it!!!!

When my ovary was removed, it was the size of an orange. Normally, ovaries are the size of a walnut. Needless, to say I was in a ton of pain. The pain was so bad, that I couldn’t sleep. I would function normally throughout the day and go to bed around 10pm. I would wake up around midnight wanting to cry but, not wanting to wake Nathan. Riding in a car was not fun, any pot holes or bumps jarred my body and made the pain so much worse. I found myself bracing against the seat of the car hoping it would absorb some of the motion but, it never worked.

Since the initial diagnosis, I have had two more laparoscopic surgeries. Each was to remove a cyst that has grown on my remaining right ovary. Each of these two surgeries and subsequent surgeries have removed a portion of my right ovary. I also took another 6 months of Depot Lupron after the 3rd surgery. After each surgery I can tell when the cysts are coming back. I have learned to feel the cysts and I can tell how bad it is based on the pain level I feel during my cycle.

Currently, I am taking birth control pills to help control my hormones and estrogen production. My doctor and I are trying to prevent having another surgery. In the 16 months I have been on “the pill” my ovary has reduced in size. Each time I see my doctor, we are both excited by the outcome. Since I have been on the pill, I have experienced little to no pain even though I know there is a cyst waiting to be removed.


Camp Director

I accepted the opportunity to be camp director for our church’s youth camp for girls. I am SO excited about this opportunity. It has been nearly a year since I have worked with the youth. I have missed their beautiful smiling faces.

The year 2010 was a VERY difficult year for me. I was struggling with my identity and I felt as though my work in our youth group was the only thing holding me together. Each Sunday and Wednesday I looked forward to the optimism, love and acceptance that I desperately needed in my life. My girls at church were my rock. I was dedicated to their service. My life revolved around what I needed to get done for my girls and I loved it.

I was released from my calling as a youth leader at the end of March 2010. After I was released from my calling in the youth group, I was devastated!!! With Nathan working 4 nights a week, every Saturday and most Sunday’s I felt almost completely alone.  It took me the remainder for 2010 to work through the emptiness I felt.

About one week ago I was presented with the opportunity to attend Girls Camp this year with “my girls”, OMG, I wanted to say Y-E-S immediately. However, it wasn’t that easy. I knew I had to check with my boss first. I knew he was taking vacation days the week of Girls Camp. I also knew that if I was meant to go, Heavenly Father would create a way for it to happen.

Since he is my only back-up at work, he and I cannot be gone at the same time. I had to make my case very carefully. I was willing to be flexible and only take 2 of the 4 days so the showroom would only be closed one day.Needless to say, he really didn’t like the idea of us both being gone. But, he did offer a solution. He thought his plans might fall through. He did some checking and guess what??? His plans fell through!!! What a blessing for ME!!!!

One of the few things I liked about being a youth was Girls Camp. It was an escape and an opportunity to help me grow spiritually at the same time. It’s an opportunity to get out of the normal grind and become closer to your Heavenly Father and learn more about yourself and the person you want to become. What more could you ask for as a teenager?? This is why I love Girls Camp so much.

I truly hope that I can meet each of our awesome Young Women’s needs and expectations and make this year’s Girls Camp one they will never forget.

LET’S GO LC1st!!!!!!


Do you have kids?

It seems like a simple enough question, right? How many times have you been asked that question? How many times have you asked someone that question?

Maybe a better question is: How many times has someone dodged answering your simple question? “Do you have kids?” or “How many kids to you have?”

Is it really any of your business how many kids someone has or if they even have kids at all?

The answer is NO! It is absolutely, NONE of your business at all.

Have you ever considered that you could be asking someone about one of their most painful and difficult challenges in life?

Here are a couple of facts I found:

An estimated 10 to 20 percent of couples will suffer some form of infertility. (www.ehow.com)

Low sperm count, decreased motility, or abnormal shape of the sperm are responsible for infertility in about 40% of these couples. Female causes account for 40% of infertility cases, and 20% are attributed to a combination of both. (www.fertility-facts.com)

On a daily basis, I get asked this question at least one time. And, it is usually a perfect stranger who knows nothing about me. Why do we feel the need to probe into people’s personal lives? Why do we feel that this is a series of questions that is OK to ask someone you don’t know?

Over the years I have learned a few ways to divert attention. I change the subject. Most people don’t even realize what I have done. One of my standard answers is “No, we have dogs”. This immediately gets them thinking on a completely different level. And I now control the situation and where conversation goes. I am immediately more comfortable with the line of questions that will follow. It took me a while to figure this out. I used to say something like “Oh, we’ll get there some day” or “We still have plenty of time”. On the rare occasion, depending on who is asking, I have been brutally honest. One time I told a cousin “Well, if my plumbing worked correctly, we would probably already have a couple”. Needless to say, he was SHOCKED, jaw dropped to the floor!!! It was priceless 🙂 Unfortunatley, I am not always in a situation where I can be THAT HONEST with people. So, I take the high road and say things that are more acceptable. If only other people were that thoughtful before they asked the question. . .

For those of us who aren’t fertile Myrtle, please consider the questions you ask before you ask them . . . This will save someone a lot of heartache.


Things NOT to say to someone struggling with infertility

Oh boy!!! This is HUGE!!!

Have you ever said something and later regretted saying it???? I know this happens to everyone. But, have you ever been insensitive to someone struggling with infertility? More than likely, the answer is a resounding Y-E-S!!!! You may not even realize what you have said is inappropriate. People that have never dealt with infertility personally, don’t understand how hurtful things can be. I am going to make a list of things NOT to say to someone who is struggling with infertility. Please try to have an open mind and consider how hurtful these things can be to someone else. Many, if not all, of these things have been said to me by someone I have come in contact with. Sometimes it’s family, could be co-workers, friends, etc. but, they are all equally hurtful no matter where they came from.

  1. Do you have kids? or How many kids do you have?
  2. Why don’t you have kids yet?
  3. Try not to think about it.
  4. You’re trying too hard.
  5. Give it up to God and you’ll get pregnant.
  6. There are options for people like you.
  7. Haven’t you heard of church services?
  8. Why don’t you adopt one of those Chinese babies?
  9. I have this friend that went through that  . . . (story ensues)
  10. You should just adopt first, then you’ll get pregnant.
  11. Are you sure you’re doing it right?
  12. Do you need some instructions?
  13. Y’all must be the newlywed couple? (We got this one for about 8 years)
  14. It will happen in the Lord’s time.
  15. You just need to relax.
  16. (insinuated) It’s never the guy’s fault.
  17. Invitation to join the “Empty Nester’s” group at church.
  18. We’ve decided you don’t need anymore dogs. You need to have a baby.
  19. Do you need one of those? (said to Nathan as the person was pointing to a crib)

This is just a sampling of things that have been said to me or Nathan. I will focus on a few of these individually in posts to come. Some of these comments are from complete ignorance, some are down right MEAN and some people just don’t get it!!!

Someone attempted to apologize for a few of the above comments by saying “I should have been more informed”. FYI, that is not an apology. That is an excuse for bad behavior. If you are guilty of saying any of these things to anyone, please make an effort to apologize. Take a step back and try to see infertility from the other side. Infertility really is a lot harder than most people realize.


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