Well, I still love you

Yesterday I received a call from my RE/surgeon’s office about the ultrasound I had for my ovary. It was originally ordered by another doctor but I just felt he needed to be aware of the three consecutive cycles of pain that I’ve been experiencing, not long after having surgery to fix everything up. The good news is, the cyst first discovered on accident during my emergency room visit for a kidney infection has shrunk. It was over 4cm in the ER down to 2ish cm during last month’s scan. He said it’s likely resolving on its own and not considered endometriosis-related.

The bad news is the adhesions are returning. I’m a little over four months post-op and they are returning. We knew this was inevitable yet I didn’t think it would be this soon. We were working on our original suggested plan of TTC on our own for 6-9 months and not only were we thwarted for three cycles by this stupid cyst but now there’s a jungle of rubber band like adhesions returning to the scene. It’s like we can’t catch a break. I get kinda good news about my AMH being better and then this.

For the rest of the day all I could think about was the discussion with the nurse who basically said if we are planning another IVF, it needs to be soon. There’s not much time to sit and think about it anymore, between my age, my endo, the adhesions, and who knows what else. I knew this day would come. I wanted to see it through to the end of the year and revisit things in January. Now I’m not so sure we have that luxury anymore.

It’s so final. I mean, that’s it. I go on the pill or some other suppressive treatment and that’s it. Game over. It boils down to we try something invasive soon or we don’t try at all.  It’s TTC or my health. No one should ever be faced with these decisions. It absolutely sucks. I had class after work yesterday and didn’t feel like bringing it up to my husband right before bed so I waited until this morning before we left for work. When I explained everything to him he paused and asked if that meant the pill and I told him probably so.

Then he paused again and said, “Well, I still love you.”

I thought good. That’s all that’s left. It’s a good thing.

I really don’t know where to go from here, short of a miracle. I’ll finish out the year working on my overall health, my added supplements for the deficiencies we’ve discovered, and I’ll choke down a few more herbal teas and maybe have a few more acupuncture sessions.

And then I guess that’s it.

2016 we close up shop.

It’s just that simple…

The night before we left for a little anniversary getaway I met with friends for dinner. I hadn’t seen them in a while and my radar was in high gear. Within the first 20 minutes my hunch was correct. One of them is expecting baby #2. I know I sound like a broken record here with, “I’m truly happy for them because they are my friend,” but Jesus when will this get easier? And by easier, I mean for me, not them. It’s already “easy” for a lot of couples. They decide they want to have children and boom, success! They go away on vacation or have a fun night out at a party and bam! Or they have the luxury of selecting a month, taking Clomid and ding! Done! Just like that. And when they want to give their child a sibling it pretty much happens the same way. So, yes, I’m happy. Happy as I can muster and then I pick up the pieces and move on to the next announcement.

So as we planned for our mini-vacay here’s a stark contrast to how our “planning” goes:

Squeeze in acupuncture beforehand. Drink nasty Chinese herbal teas. Get a new tea prescribed that won’t arrive in time to take on trip. Expedite shipment of said tea and pay almost as much in shipping as the cost of the damn tea. Try my first cup of it before we leave and almost barf. It is by far the worst of the three formulas I’ve tried. Oh yes, I’ve been on three now. Doesn’t everyone when TTC? Pack other tea to mix with this tea in the hopes that I can somehow choke it down. Oh yeah, and I need to consume it 3x a day, while in a metropolitan area meeting with friends, watching a marathon, and visiting museums, I’m supposed to carry around this container with little plastic measuring spoon, whip up this nasty concoction and drink it. I did it once and gave up. No one should have to work this hard.

Oh and then, THEN, I have to pack my saliva testing kit and spit into tubes two out of the four days we are away. And, keep them frozen, and then transport them home, keeping them frozen. Do couples do this while TTC? No? We do!

And then it’s all the supplements and vitamins that I take around the clock, while spacing them out with my nasty tea. And all the time I cut into the work day to run to pincushion appointments, then make up the time I missed. It’s the robot TTC sessions and the fights, ruining our anniversary and making us question if we’ll ever survive this.

It’s the cheese that I ate that makes me feel guilty because my casein-defective body can’t make babies when it’s too busy fighting dairy crime. Or it’s the donuts we had. Twice. Because I just don’t care anymore about the candida that’s wreaking havoc on me and covering all my organs with sludge.

Maybe it’s the cyst that’s been hanging around on my left ovary for the past three cycles that for whatever reason decides to show up after having extensive surgery, cutting into our 6-month window of TTC before giving up. Good luck with all that when you have a giant cyst messing up hormones and throbbing for a week each month. Hubs thinks I should just get the ovary removed. Part of me agrees but yeah, let’s just make it even more challenging with one remaining ovary.

And this is just the here and now, this doesn’t even begin to cover the years of temping, testing, procedures, shots, medicines, thousands of dollars and tears. Some days I wake up, sit on the toilet and try to remember, am I supposed to pee on anything today, spit into something, take my temperature, or mix up some tea? Now which is it?

I just don’t know how much more of this I can handle. I kinda wish my RE took everything out, leaving us no more hope and making it without a doubt obvious that this chapter is over. It’s just that simple.

Closure test

So I’ve been bouncing around between appointments lately – acupuncture, herbal followups, integrative med followups, consuming a certain kind of tea mixture for 7 days thru CD3, then starting a different mixture for 10 more days. I’m still getting poked and my pulse checked and am asked to stick out my tongue at each appointment. I keep going along through the motions until I’m ready to say “enough.”  But then some interesting things have been happening.

My Vitamin D is so much better now and so is my Magnesium. My doctor wants me to retake a few other tests to see how things are going. One of which is the candida test which I’m pretty sure will still show up as being an issue, but I’ll be curious to see if there’s even a slight improvement. I also explained what had happened last month where I went to the ER to find out I had a kidney infection but discovering I also had a fairly sizable cyst on my left ovary. My doctor thought it was too soon to have this after surgery but wanted to determine the type of cyst as it could interfere with my hormones and everything we are trying to do. So I scheduled an ultrasound.

She then suggested I try a month-long saliva test to see what my hormone levels are doing throughout the entire cycle. I figured why not. What else do we have to lose at this point? So every few days I have to spit into a tube and freeze it. This should be interesting when hubs and I are traveling later this month and two of the four days I need to produce a sample and keep it frozen until they can be reunited with the collection in my freezer at home. So there’s that.

And then, it was suggested I retake the AMH test, or what I now refer to as the “closure test”. I really dreaded the idea of this. My RE/surgeon had suggested this before I even had surgery. His thought was since my results were really low four years ago (0.39), if they are even lower now it might not be worth having the extensive surgery and we’d go right to suppressing my system, which meant no more trying. I just couldn’t bring myself to find out things could be worse. I knew they’d be worse. So I resisted and elected for surgery anyway. It’s what my gut told me to do, quite literally.

So here we are a few cycles later and the herbalist wanted me to retake this test and so did the integrative med doctor. It’s a puzzle piece in the plan so they know how to treat me and so I complied. Last night I was out with friends at dinner and then a work-related event when I noticed I had missed a call. It looked like one of the many numbers I see when getting a call from the hospital and 99.9% of the time they are a recording telling me about my next appointment. I usually play the message for a second and delete but this time it was my favorite nurse calling with the AMH results. Part of me wanted to stop playing the message. My brain kept saying Hang up! Play it later! Don’t ruin your evening! But I couldn’t help myself. And then I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

My AMH level went…up. More than doubled.


Wait. What?!

In her message she sounded pleasantly surprised but did mention that the Dr. would probably say “your fertility is only as good as your lowest test.” But she said they didn’t go down, which really seems strange. I’m 41 years old now. I thought I’d be into the “undetectable range” by now.

So now the questions begin. How does that even happen? Was it the damn Vitamin D that was never tested prior to IVF? Is it all this crazy acupuncture – Chinese medicine – nasty tea – cutting out gluten and dairy and limiting sugar? I’m not running much anymore, is that it? Is it a fluke?  An error? Transposed numbers for either test? The fact that I’ve nearly given up on this whole thing?

I realize this number is still low but if this were the number I would have had four years ago and while doing IVF, I can’t help but wonder if the outcomes would have been different. But I can’t go there. I put in a call this morning to the nurse to ask her all these questions of which she may not have answers for. So I guess we’ll see and maybe I just might be on to something with all this crazy stuff.

An herbal verbal warning

I had a follow-up appointment with the lead herbalist yesterday. It’s really confusing how this whole group operates. When my integrative medicine doctor recommended acupuncture and herbal therapy, I thought they were two different people. To my surprise, when I walked into my first herbal consult, it was with the acupuncturist I had just seen the night before. Why couldn’t we just double up and book a longer appointment, then? I was put on some stinky tea concoction that I choked down for two weeks. I continued my weekly acupuncture sessions and then went on vacation, and then had to miss another week due to a conference conflict on his end. Even if I’m not entirely sure if it’s doing anything, I’m actually looking forward to my session next week.

So anyway, back to yesterday. My acupuncturist/herbalist had recommended I follow up with this lead herbal lady. Not sure why we didn’t just refill my tea script, but this is all new to me. Another copay later and another discussion about my history, and this is getting exhausting. And at some point, there almost was a hint of a mini-lecture about how women need to start sooner. I wanted to say “So I should have just gotten knocked up in my 20s by someone who wouldn’t have married me, then tell my now husband ‘well, at least I got the kid thing out of the way, in case we can’t have any of our own.’?”

I almost wanted to give my own lecture about how not all women are career women and not all women find Mr. Right in their 20s. I almost felt like I had to defend myself and my “choices” even though they were beyond my control and not really choices. I didn’t know I’d have endometriosis from like, birth. I didn’t know that 20+ years ago perhaps the doctors didn’t treat it in the ways they know to be better now. I trusted my doctors whole-heartedly. I didn’t know I’d have to stay on the pill until my early 30s because that’s when Mr. Right finally came along. I never had a career path. My God, I’ve been an admin my entire career so that I could someday easily step away to be a mom without regrets. I certainly didn’t know any of this at the time of my first period at age 11. None of this.

Oh how I’d love to have done this differently. There’s a lot of things that maybe I couldn’t control, but dammit if I only had pushed my doctor’s during the 4+ years we spent in the fertility offices. If only I went with my gut that the endo would be an issue and not bypassed via IVF. If only I had stopped waiting for them to advise me poorly. If only I had pushed for surgery sooner, instead of wasting two whole years post IVF to discover how messed up my insides were. There isn’t anything this herbalist or anyone else is telling me, that I’m not already beating myself up over.

I am 41 years old. I really don’t know how much more of this I can put myself through. I’ve been asked to retake my AMH test, the test that absolutely shattered me four years ago, telling me just how low my reserve was. I can only imagine what it is now. I’m also going to do one last fertility panel to check the proper hormone levels on the proper days of my cycle. This will also help to determine the course of action with acupuncture, herbals, etc. Or it might just determine we are done. Totally done. And in some ways, maybe that’s best.

Goodbye, kitty

We made the horrendously difficult decision to put our Xena to sleep yesterday. She was sixteen and was in my life long before hubby came along. We had a history together. When I moved to my second apartment and learned that cats were allowed, I decided to become a first-time pet owner. I acquired her sister from a coworker who was looking to place a kitty in a loving home. She was a cuddly little runty thing and only 9 months old. She was gray with white feet and face and I instantly fell in love and named her Zoe. I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving little Zoe alone all day while I was at work, so the very next day I went up to our local APL to find her a sister. I remember getting there and there weren’t many cats out but was told there were several new kitties being cared for and fed and I could come back in a couple hours to see them.

I went to lunch and came back, looking at all the cages and interacting with all the kittens. I came across a trio of the prettiest light-colored calicos. One was crazy rambunctious, one was very shy and not interested in interacting, and the middle one was somewhere in between. I knew that she was the one I wanted to adopt. After taking care of the paperwork, I remember coming back to find that she was the only one left of the three in the cage and that her sisters were adopted. I was so sad seeing her waiting there all alone that I couldn’t wait to get her home.

I put her in the carrier that I had purchased for “small/medium” pets and got a good laugh when I realized how big it was for my tiny kitty. Every time she tried to walk as I carried it, I’d feel her slip as the carrier became unbalanced and she’d slide into one of the walls. She was the tiniest little puffball.

Once I got her home, Zoe let it be known that she was not happy. It only took 24 hours for her to rule the roost. She would wrestle the new kitty or chase her away, but kitty kept coming back for more. Within a few days, they were fast friends. I still struggled with a name for her but when I thought about how tough she was and how she could almost make it to the top of the bed in one leap, or would climb the back of a dining chair like a ladder and with one shaky outreached paw, try to reach the table to see what I was working on, I decided to call her Xena. She was my brave little warrior princess.

Oh how I wished there were smart phones back then. The silly stuff my kitties did would bring me such joy. Watching one of them wait behind a corner for the other one to pounce, which would launch the unsuspecting kitty three feet into the air. Or the time that Zoe put a shoestring into her mouth and then scooted backwards so that Xena would chase it. OMG, it was the most precious thing ever. Or the time that Xena wanted the rest of my milk and wedged herself into my drinking glass to lap up the last drops. It was literally a kitty in a glass. Oh, how I miss those days. They were there through all the breakups, quitting of awful jobs, and when I moved from an apartment I loved, to a condo I didn’t (just so I could be a responsible homeowner).

When it came time for me to move from the condo to my husband’s house, things snapped in Zoe’s little brain. She became so hostile to poor Xena, growling and hissing and making sounds I’ve never heard before. We let them both roam the house so they could distance themselves but it wasn’t working. Zoe began peeing and pooping over everything that we had to confine them both to the basement as it was the only good spot for their litter. We tried everything, even kitty prozac but she kept getting worse. She would pee in her bed, then curl up and sleep in it. We’d go through this daily. She had a wild look in her eyes and didn’t seem to care that we were there. One final day, as I pulled turds out of her fur, I decided this was no way for her to live and the vet agreed. We had to let Zoe go so that Xena could have a better life. It was an awful, awful day.

Xena seemed to adjust to being the only kitty and we were a family of three from that point on. She moved with us to our new house and adjusted just fine. She was always such a sweet and sensitive cat. I felt like a pretty good pet owner until the past few years when human health and human things took precedence. I sometimes felt like I neglected poor Xena and took advantage of how self-sufficient cats can be. In the past six months, my husband and I started noticing she was getting bony and at first chalked it up to her getting old. We’d never owned a pet into the geriatric years and wasn’t entirely sure what to expect.

Then the past two weeks I really noticed a change in her and how skinny she looked and I felt awful. Like an awful, horrible pet mom. I took her to the ER last week and after they ran tests, they at first thought kidneys, but then decided it was thyroid first, then maybe underlying kidney issue. They also found three masses that were most likely cancer and warned us that it wouldn’t be worth putting her through anything drastic at her age. I felt horrible and wanted to try to make her feel better so I agreed they could keep her overnight to give her fluids and see how she does for them. Her tests were slightly better the next day and they sent us home with thyroid meds. The plan was to bring her back in three weeks to see if there was any improvement.

The first day she ate great and administering the meds went ok. But each day after that, the eating seemed to be getting less and less. With our vacation approaching, I started thinking about what she could handle. Boarding her would have done her in, leaving her with family to check-in on her and administer meds, would have done her in. I was all set to ask my brother to stay with her the entire time but hated the thought of putting that guilt on someone else if she took a turn. We monitored her closely the rest of the week and it just became more apparent to me when she moved so slowly, almost limping. It was difficult to get up and down from a reclining position, something she was doing more and more of and in places she normally didn’t lay. I couldn’t bear the thought of coming home to a dead kitty, wondering if she suffered all day until she passed.

So we did the humane thing and said goodbye last night. It was the hardest thing. Even more difficult than our Zoe. At first I felt guilty for keeping her around for our sake, to then feeling guilty for putting her down because it seemed convenient. The guilt on both ends of the spectrum was unbearable. Everyone has said we did the right thing, but it’s so hard to feel that way. Every time I wanted to change my mind, I’d watch her slowly deteriorate another day. I miss her dearly.

Last night I kept waiting for her to walk past my chair to be petted. Last night I soaked my pillow in tears. This morning I could barely go downstairs where it was eerily quiet, knowing she wouldn’t be there to greet me. I’m not sure I could ever own another pet after this pain.

So now it’s just me and hubby, just us two.

Goodbye, my sweet Xena. Go and play with your sis, she’s been waiting for you. 


Thought process

It’s been a pretty craptastic weekend, proving that celebrating 41 still sucks.

For several days I was dealing with a lot of aches and cramps. Was it my back, or my ovary, or my kidney? It started on my left side, got more intense, then moved to the bladder where I experienced UTI symptoms (the worst of them in the morning of my actual birthday, yay me). I took some over the counter medicine and upped my water intake. The left-sided ovary pain was still there and I could think about was wondering if this was a good sign. Is this cramping a pregnancy sign since I haven’t had anything this severe before? With my lady organs all back where they belonged, I have no idea if they work properly anymore or what’s to be expected as normal.

By Friday night, the pain moved to my right side and I was having weird back pain. I was out shopping with my husband and thought maybe it’s my ongoing back issues or maybe my purse was too heavy? I didn’t think much of it and went to bed. At around 1:30 a.m. I woke up and the pain was worse. I had been peeing more and feeling the UTI symptoms again so I took more medicine. I tried to go back to sleep but I grew worrisome and 45 minutes later I decided I should go to the ER thinking maybe this is kidney related.

After about 3 hours in the ER, including bloodwork, an IV for pain meds, and a cat scan, it was determined that I have a kidney infection and the pain I originally was experiencing on the left side was in fact a cyst, probably from ovulation. I immediately felt like an ass. All that hoping and wondering if I could finally be pregnant landed me in the emergency room and on antibiotics. It leaves me wondering if this is how it’s going to be every month since having my surgery? Maybe I should just give up and go back on the pill.

Later that day, we still successfully hosted a party with family at the house when my mom pointed out that my cat didn’t look healthy. I recall telling her last week that I thought she seemed awfully thin lately. But she seemed worse and the very next day, I was taking kitty to the animal ER. They took one look at her and I instantly felt like a horrible “mommy”. How did I let it get this bad? I admit that I’d been a little neglectful when we were consumed with human health issues these past couple years, and before that I was in IVF la-la-land with hormones all over the place and basically just distracted in life. Having never owned a pet as a child, I didn’t know what to expect, what was considered normal aging and what might be wrong. I had been such a good pet owner until these last few years. I contemplated all of this while petting her for over an hour while we awaited the blood test results. I felt awful. I thought, this is why I’m not “real” mom.

And, the initial diagnosis was kidney issues, just like mommy. It was a kidney-kinda weekend. I was assured that this can be common in elderly cats and with my kitty being a ripe old 16, we were on par with that. I just didn’t have the heart to put her down. Not right then and there. After talking with the vet about what they could try so that she’d feel better, I decided to let her stay at the hospital for a few days. Then I went home and cried the rest of the day and night. I’m just not ready for this but I don’t want her to suffer, either.

Later that evening I got an update that they found a few masses on/near her bladder which could be cancer. But the good news was she was eating better and was getting more comfortable. They planned to do an ultrasound again in the morning and would call me back. I spent the rest of the night crying.

Today they said she’s doing really well, eating great, peeing fine despite all the discoveries. They want to check her thyroid next, and make some determinations on how we can treat her. Obviously surgeries and other major things are going to be out of the question due to her age, but if we can have her around just a little while longer so that I can treat her like a princess, something we’ve been sadly neglecting, I want to make it up to her as long as she’s not suffering.

So I’m keeping busy today, trying to clean the house without crying when I see her pet carrier near the door, or stumble upon one of her cat toys. This sucks. This all really sucks. Please let things get better, all around. For all of us.

This is my kitty about six months ago when we didn’t notice any issues. :(

This is 41

I’m a mess. Still having some left-sided cramping, although it’s eased up a bit since yesterday. No clue if it’s because of the acupuncture or if it’s resolving on it’s own, or it’s progressed into something else.

Enter bladder pain and spasms.

I’ve been starting to get these episodes of bladder pain where it feels like a UTI coming on but ends up not being an infection. I’ve been tested and it’s been negative. It usually happens at the time of my period and I was really hoping it would be resolved after my surgery. I didn’t have it during my last period, so the fact that I’m having it post-ovulation is a new one for me.

This morning was awful.

Between not sleeping well lately and nerves of needing to be up extra early for work, IBS was in high gear and worked in tandem with my bladder. I think I christened every bathroom in the house.  Every time hubs wanted to see me off for work and wish me a happy birthday, I was in a different bathroom for the second or third time each. I don’t know what this is, but I’m starting to wonder if it’s interstitial cystitis. No clue on how to be sure but it doesn’t help that my pelvic floor and pretty much everything below the navel is a mess, or the fact that it commonly affects those with endo, or perhaps it’s just a new phase to embrace on my way through perimenopause.

So this is 41, apparently.

To recap:

I’m trying to be gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free.

I’m taking all my vitamins and supplements daily.

I’m going to acupuncture once a week.

I’m not on some really nasty traditional Chinese medicine herbal  tea 3x a day.

I’ve now got less than a 6-month window left to TTC.

I feel like crap.

I do not run much anymore.

I’m exhausted (in so many ways).

Yep, this sounds about right. Not at all what I was expecting at this point in my life, but it is what it is.

Worst part…no cake for me today. Well, at least until the weekend, anyway.

Not without a fight

So I’m almost through my 30 day Gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free experiment. I wish I could say I didn’t cheat, but I did. But I think it was a much better attempt than last time, so we’ll see what comes of this. One thing I’m noticing is how incredibly tired I am. When I first started all my supplements and this new routine, I started feeling great, but now, not so much. No clue why that is.  Are the tiny cheats really impacting me that much? Some days I just feel depressed about everything. Maybe that’s it?

I started using OPKs again while we count down our last few months and I’m back to noticing every single twinge now. I’m trying to be mindful of my body now that it’s somewhat put back together. The last thing I need is a complication to arise. And then it started. Some low back pain to the left that later started to migrate around to the front left side. No clue how to classify it as I have low back pain, like ALL the TIME. It was around day 8 of my cycle. It persisted for several days.

Does this mean the acupuncture is working? I have no idea but things have been “stirred up” in there more than last cycle. Over the weekend our new bed arrived and while it’s still too soon to assess, I think it will definitely start to help my back pains. Also, over the weekend I hung out with my mom for a bit. I was telling her about how things were going with all this diet restriction stuff and mentioned that I started acupuncture again and would soon be trying some stinky TCM tea. She was a little surprised and I told her this is the last stretch. I’m not going down without a fight. And then I realized that’s how I have to look at all this. It’s my last big push. My last fight until I have no fight left in me.

Too bad that lately I don’t feel like I have much fight left. I don’t feel well most of the time and when I try to exert myself with exercise or running, my body feels like lead. But I keep pushing through. And the low left side pain returned. It started up again on Sunday and became more noticeable yesterday, which was CD15 and it persists today. My OPK was positive on day 12, but which day did I ovulate? Did I even ovulate? Why am I experiencing ovary-type pain for eight days now?

I have no answers. I’ll be heading to acupuncture later today and we’ll see what he has to say. I have yoga tomorrow and, oh yeah, it’s my birthday tomorrow, too. Ah-ha. Maybe that’s the real reason for feeling the way I do? We’ll see.

What do I want?

I don’t know anymore. I had a really hard day yesterday and I’m not even sure why. I’ve been having more low back pain and some weird front pains that I no longer know how to begin to decipher since everything was such a mess down there before. Ovulation? Who the hell knows. I invested in some OPKs again, but not sure how well they work on an almost 41 year old. We ordered a new bed, something this almost 41 year old definitely needs. I went to my physical therapy class for the second time since returning from my surgery hiatus, only to have to say goodbye again in three weeks when I go on vacation and then start a 6-month design class for work.

I’m struggling. I’m about to embark on new things for my career, while giving up on other things that are not only needed for my healing, but that I actually enjoy – my physical therapy and my yoga. I eventually want to be well enough to run again. At least I think so. I still don’t know where to take my career or my job. I still don’t know how long I want to stay in our house/neighborhood, but then over the weekend got a serious bug to research home projects and desperately want to paint some walls. WTH? Just last night I told hubby about the new kitchen countertops we should try and budget for next spring. Again, WTH?

I’m all over the place. It’s literally minute to minute in my brain. Do we keep TTC, giving it all we got? Or do we throw our hands up, close our wallets to all these ridiculous things we are trying, and just focus on other things? I can not begin to express how much this consumes my brain and how exhausting it is. Every time I’m on the edge of moving on, I just can’t. So then I fill my thoughts with ideas of travel and career changes, and I just can’t. I think about moving but then have ideas I want to pursue with the house, and I just can’t.

I almost wish my previous surgery was a hysterectomy to put an end to all this.

I just don’t know what I want and when I think I know, I can’t.

Death by dairy

Just put that on my gravestone because I think some days I’d rather die with a belly full of cheese than to keep on like this. This restrictive diet thing is ridiculous. I’ve already pointed out how angry it makes me when so many women out there are unhealthy in so many ways and get pregnant like it’s nothing. Then there’s me who is now in the middle of trying to be:

Dairy free

Gluten free

Sugar free

It’s supposed to be for 30 days and I’m on day 14, so not even halfway through.

My breakfasts consist of:

Fruit (which is technically a sugar but oh well)

Smoothie (no whey protein because that’s dairy)

Cream of rice (which tastes like school paste)

Bacon (who knows, another oh well)

Maybe an egg (again, need to avoid dairy)

And then there was this…a beacon of light on breakfast!

Gluten-free pancakes with blueberries!  I used a butter substitute and the tiniest drop of pure maple syrup which I might have not even needed.

I would like to eat these every day, but probably won’t.

For lunches:

Salmon (in any form I can get it)


Hummus with rice crackers

Black bean chips with guac


Salads with chicken

Salads with salmon

Salads, salads, salads (getting awfully tired of them)

Dinners are usually all over the place depending on how late I get home from work or a class and what we have on hand:

More chicken (hey, whaddya know)

More salmon (dejavu)

Few potatoes

Veggies of all kinds

Burger with no bun or cheese (oh what fun)

An occasional pork chop

And then there’s snacks:

What the heck do I eat in place of cheese? My absolute go-to for snacking and just plain heaven?

Well, there’s this…

 And let me tell you, at first I thought it was pretty nasty, especially the havarti, but I had to experiment with the varieties and decided that melted is the way to go, with cheddar being the best and provolone is not bad.

No those are not corn tortilla chips. Those are nut thins rice crackers under my pretend cheese. Sigh.

So is it going well? I don’t know. It’s awfully boring and if you aren’t as well-planned out with grocery shopping and meal-planning, it can be challenging. Some days I want to shoot myself, honestly.

The toughest part has been finding a way to incorporate all three restrictions at once. I could find something that’s gluten-free but has quite a bit of sugar. I could find something dairy-free, but again, the sugar. It’s in practically EVERYTHING!

Including wine. Sort of. I’ve researched if there are any beverages I could enjoy because it is still summer and I can’t just sit there with my lemon water. Of course beer is out of the question but wine seems to still be ok as long as it’s dry, which is not a problem for me as red and drier whites are more my thing. So I’m allowing some wine so that I don’t go completely crazy.

And then, to make matters even more complicated, I started acupuncture and had my herbalist appointment today.

No COLD food or drinks.

Are you kidding me?  No more salads, salads, SALADS?!?

All this for the tiniest improvement in my cycle so we can find one good egg. And maybe reduce inflammation, if that’s even possible. And maybe help my stress and anxiety, but good luck with that!  I’m stressed just writing this!