wineless coping strategies

So, yesterday I got some pretty bad news.  I went in for a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) test to see if my tubes are open since we’ve been unable to conceive after trying for over a year now.  I have a history of abdominal surgeries, having had my appendix out at age 19, a tumor (benign) removed from my right ovary, and a uterine fibroid removed a couple years ago.  But, at the time of my last surgery my doctor had said everything should heal up fine and she didn’t foresee any problems.  

Turns out my right ovary ended up basically dying off after the last surgery — just too much intervention they think.  And ironically, the right tube is open but there’s no ovary, and the left ovary is healthy, but the left tube is blocked.  So the bottom line is, there’s no way for me to naturally conceive a baby at this point, unless they can unblock the tube with surgery (another surgery!) and then we keep trying.  (This has a pretty low success rate, not to mention I’m nearly 37 and don’t have lots of time.)  Or, we can have IVF.  I said I’d never do IVF, that it’s too invasive, too expensive, and that I didn’t want a baby bad enough to mess with nature like that.  But now that we’re faced with that being the only choice, I’m not so sure.  

The procedure yesterday was supposed to cause “moderate cramping,” but instead I felt like I was dying the pain was so bad, I went into shock and couldn’t feel my hands or feet and almost blacked out.  They rushed me to the ER and finally got me stabilized, but I had terrible cramps the rest of the day and still don’t feel great.  When I got home and told my husband I couldn’t stop crying.  I know we still have options, it just feels different, like this isn’t the way I imagined it going.  All I wanted to do yesterday was mourn this loss with some wine.  After all, my head was saying, all this time I thought maybe my drinking was the problem with trying to conceive.  And clearly, it has nothing to do with that at all!!!  Green light!  

Luckily my husband softly reminded me that he didn’t want me doing anything that would make me feel worse about myself later.  He told me he loved me no matter what.  He stayed home from work so he could be there if I needed something and he let me lay on the couch and soak up endless episodes of Nashville.  He went out and got me a huge salad and some ice cream to wallow in instead.  

Still sober.  Coping mechanisms:  crying, girly TV shows, ice cream, popcorn, allowing myself to lounge around and feel so that I can get it out of my system.  Maybe some yoga in a little while.  The husband was right — have to choose things that will restore me right now instead of damage me further.  




30 days!!!!!

This feels quite monumental indeed.  Today is actually day 31… I wanted to actually make it all the way through the 30 days before posting for some reason.  Despite being thrilled to be here at this accomplishment, yesterday I battled with the voice in my head saying, “isn’t this enough, then?  You’ve proven yourself now, with 30 days, it’s a respectable number, just go on and finish that bottle of wine in the fridge, no one has to know!”  

Lots of red flags in that wolfie voice, so I ignored it.  But last night was one of my “challenge situations” as I like to call them.  My husband was gone for the night since he had an early morning court appearance in another city, and I was home alone, relaxing.  Having precious alone time is a rarity and something I cherish, and by cherish I used to mean I would open a nice bottle of wine and settle in with a good book or an addictive TV show and just let myself check out.  Looking back, I can clearly see that a nice buzz quickly kills any feelings of loneliness or inadequacy I might feel and instead makes me feel like a successful, hard-working power career woman who is entitled to her sophisticated glass (ahem, bottle) of wine because she works her ass off the majority of the time.  Recognizing that I was actually escaping those feelings has helped me sit with them instead.  Before these efforts to kick the wine habit, I never surmised that I was “using” alcohol like they say in AA.  I just love wine, that’s all!  But it’s true, the drinking alone thing has its problems and I am so glad to be taking an honest look at this stuff now, however hard it is to admit.  

The other thing that I always rolled my eyes at, and never grasped, was the one-day-at-a-time concept.  But I have to admit, that concept really does help when I’m in a tough spot.  I kept thinking that last night, when the wine from the fridge was calling my name.  (Said wine is only in the fridge because we had a little dinner party on Saturday night, and served wine, and now there’s leftovers — I clear sign that I was not partaking, because I would not have left bottles of wine unfinished!!)  But three things kept me going.  Number one, when I had my phone call with Belle, she told me to email her first if I felt like drinking and see if she thought it was a good idea.  Well, we know what Belle would say!  And the thought of trying to come up with a valid reason to drink just caused me to see clearly that I had nothing good and it was all wolfie talking.  Number two, the thought of starting over at day 1 was too depressing.  If I played the movie till the end, I just saw my own disappointment in myself that I would inevitably feel and that was enough to keep me sane.  Number three, I just told myself that I wouldn’t drink just for one more day, and if I still wanted to drink tomorrow I would.  Now it’s tomorrow, and I don’t want to drink, and I’m so happy I didn’t drink yesterday!  

Today I’m going in for a medical procedure to see if my tubes are open (my husband and I are trying to conceive, with no luck as of yet and it’s been over a year now… since I’m closing in on 37, it’s time to see what’s up and if we need additional intervention.)  I’m nervous about this test and the idea of possible bad news.  But at least I have a clear head!