Monthly Archives: October 2006

I Know What I Have To Do

I was getting ready for bed. It was late, probably after eleven. She followed me into the bathroom. She was trying to talk to me about something. God knows what. She was drunk. I hate it when she gets drunk. That’s when she wants to talk. Not when she’s sober. No. And it’s not really talking. It’s all crying and blubbering.

She followed me into my bedroom, still talking. She kept saying, “I know what I have to do. I know what I have to do.” She wasn’t really talking to me. It was more like she was talking to herself.

I got into bed and turned my back towards her. I had bunk beds with Sesame Street sheets. I curled into a ball and pulled the covers up way over my shoulders so no cold air could get in. Again she said, “I know what I have to do. I know what I have to do.” She turned off the light and closed the door. As I tried to settle into the scratchy Big Bird and Cookie Monster sheets, I thought to myself, “It’s so much easier to sleep. I can find her in a pool of blood when I wake up. I’ll deal with it then.”

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So very negative

Apparently the docs are just as surprised as we are that we didn’t get pregnant this time. The stars were all aligned. We know I produced a good follicle. We know I ovulated. My cervix was open, and we had good cervical fluid. Our nurse practitioner says that my tubes might be blocked– so I could be ovulating but the egg isn’t making it down the tubes and/or the sperm isn’t making it up the tubes. She suggested an HSG.

I’ve checked with insurance, and they’re 95% sure it’s covered at 90% (nice, eh? They can’t tell me definitively), so we’ve gone ahead and scheduled the procedure for November 9th. I’m going to take the day off b/c it sounds like I’m going to feel yucky afterwards. It’s done in the Radiology department of the hospital and technically minor surgery.

Halloween tonight at Katie and Dave’s— just one block (stumbling distance) from home. I’m definitely going to be drinking.


Filed under Young'n

Dear OBGYN offices of the world

It’s cruel and unusual torture to tell someone the results of their pregnancy test will be in at 3 and then not answer the phone after 3. This will likely pass, particularly if we are pregnant this month, but right now, I hate you.

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Filed under The way the world works

Detecting Lung Cancer

A new study recommends the use of CT scans for detecting lung cancer. If the advice is taken up, it would be the only screening test for lung cancer. Unlike breast cancer where mammograms are used for early detection among higher risk populations, there are no such tests for lung cancer. In my mom’s case, a CT scan saved her life.

Despite the fact that she presented to her doctor with superior vena cava syndrome, a widely known but commonly overlooked side effect of lung tumors, her doctor ordered an X-ray instead of a CT scan. Her 11 centimeter tumor was not detected with the X-ray. Her doctor ordered a CT scan, but the earliest the hospital could schedule the scan was three weeks out. Fortunately, the ER doctor immediately recognized the symptoms of SVCS and ordered a CT scan. Within an hour we had pretty good idea of what we were dealing with. She started chemotheraphy the next day and raditiation therapy the following week.

Looking back, she had symptoms for several months. She didn’t go to the doctor because she couldn’t afford the insurance through her job at Home Depot. Of course, she couldn’t afford to take off work either. As she got sicker, she was weak, and it was hard for her to perform at work. She showed up to work every day and worked to the best of her abilities, but she couldn’t perform her job duties. The Home Depot fired her.

After losing her job, she went to an urgent care facility. She thought she might have pneumonia. They gave her some antibiotics. She sought out a primary care physician who gave her more antibiotics.

Perhaps if CT screens were part of the standard protocol for people at risk for lung cancer, my mom’s cancer would’ve been detected sooner. The top three killers of women are heart attacks, stroke, and lung cancer. If a middle-aged women who has smoked for thirty years presents with a persistent cough and bulged arteries in her neck, I think you should do more than write a prescription. Of course, adoption of screening protocols works best when people have access to affordable insurance and healthcare.

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Filed under The way the world works

Not Knowing

I want to take a pregnancy test, and I’m dreading taking a pregnancy test. I’m so pathetic. Tomorrow will be 14 days past the day I got the trigger shot of hcg and 13 days past ovulation, so all the hcg from the shot should have dissipated. So I could probably get an accurate result with a home pregnancy test. But if we get a positive, we’ll have to wait till Monday to get a blood test at the doctor’s, and we could spend the whole weekend celebrating something that’s not real and then have a horrible disappointment. If we wait, I might just get my period over the weekend, and then it would all be over. I’m on Day 24 of my usually 25-26 day cycle right now, and I don’t feel like I’m going to start, but the progesterone bullets usually delay my period by a couple of days anyway.

I don’t want to think about what we’re going to feel like if we get another negative. I keep asking myself if going crazy not knowing is better than knowing you’re definitely not pregnant when you want to be.


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Lost Voices

There’s a letter on CounterPunch attributed to Kevin Tillman, Pat Tillman’s brother. Pat was the former NFL player who was killed in Iraq by friendly fire. When he died, the military told everyone, including his parents, that he died in combat. Kevin’s letter shows that even the folks who are on the front lines don’t buy all the bullshit of the Bush administration. Their position as soldiers means they can’t always express their true feelings, in the same way that an HR rep can’t tell an employee when she’s getting screwed – only the stakes are much higher in the case of a soldier.

I think it’s easy to get worked up when we see military-types being uber-patriotic and assume that everyone in the military believes the administration’s rhetoric. I can’t imagine the unspeakable horrors that our soldiers and the citizens of Iraq are enduring because of our leadership in Washington. It disgusts me.


Filed under The way the world works