Saturday, October 31, 2009

(Un)Happy Halloween!

This is my cat doing the "Hunchback"! He didn't need a halloween costume and neither was he impersonating! He was very upset at me for pouring down greasy, oily medication down his ears for days to treat his ear mites. To him, that liquid was like the ultimate evil that was attacking him--He would shake his head berserkly from side to side till it all oozed out onto his lovely fluff!

He no likes!

Alas, that was many "ears" ago and thankfully, that was the last I saw of "Zoey the Hunchback"!


I think it's apt that I dedicate this "I will keel you" pic to the evils out there. Attention to all:
  • Infertility diseases that plague us with immense psychological, physical and financial suffering
  • Fertile women who rub it in our faces that they're pregnant, again, and how easy it was
  • Relatives and friends who keep asking us when we're gonna start a family
  • Insurance companies that tell us our medical treatments are not covered because we're technically not sick or eligible
  • Those Nurse Jekylls (thanks Maddy) and so called Dr Hydes that prick and prod us and experiment with us like we're just lab rats with no feelings
  • Those OPKs and HPT tests that always turn up NEGATIVE
  • AFs that always show up every month, especially after you just peed on dollars worth of HPTs
  • People who tell us TTCs to "Just Relax...."


Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Day To Celebrate!

Today, October 29th, is National Cat Day! And I'd like to pay tribute to my wonderful Fluff of Fur for all the love, cuddles, entertainment, laughter and companionship he's given to me and my husband since he came into our lives 8 years ago.

He's given us so much. Even

Customized frayed and holey furniture...

Long-lasting claw marks from overzealous playtime...

Hairball surprises where you least expect it...

Dead animal "presents"...

Midnight walks all over my face--when I'm sleeping...

Litter-box duty...

And not to mention, always in vogue fur-covered clothes...

It has all been worth it!

I'm sure it hasn't been easy for him putting up with his crazy human parents either, but I'd like to think that he's had a blessed and a very interesting life with us! See inset pic of balloonified Zoey waiting to take flight ;-) ! (I swear no cat was harmed in the making of this image - a bit humiliated perhaps...)

Even if real human kids come into the picture later, Zoey will always be my furry baby! Okay, gotta go - time to smother my furball with some luuuurve!

Monday, October 26, 2009

"O" No! I'm Insufferable!

Today's post:

Whine, whine, whine, moan, moan, groan...Whine, whine, moan, whine, groan, moan, whine, whine, whine! (x 10,0000000000000)

I still haven't ovulated.

"What? You're still obsessing about that?"'re all yelling?

Uh-huh! I've had two positive OPKs now, but my BBT hasn't fallen, so I know it hasn't happened yet. Whine, whine, whine, moan, moan, groan...

My brain is incapable of thinking about anything else except ovulation and sex right now! Yes, I am a mad woman on heat! I don't know how much more my poor hubby can take of me bugging him for sex - he's so deprived of sleep, but I've already warned him that he has to make a "deposit" everyday for at least the next three days! So much for raw, spontaneous sex huh!

But the fact is, none of this sexercise matters if I haven't ovulated yet. Whine, whine, whine, moan, moan, groan... (x another 10,0000000000000) So I thought I would double check with my TCM doc.

He read my pulse. He told me that I had not ovulated.

Yup. Based on my basal body temperature (BBT), he's just about 100% right. I didn't even tell him a single thing about my OPKs, or BBTs. Isn't it really scary how much my TCM doc knows about my body simply by reading the pulse on my wrists? He normally takes a reading from both my wrists - right side for qi, and left side for blood circulation, but even though he has been handicapped because my right wrist was "unavailable" (due to the injury), his supersonic fingers "heard" what my ovaries were saying! Freaky!

So after a bit more whining and moaning from me, he assured me that my condition was actually still good considering what my body's been through with the injury. He said it's likely that my O has been delayed because of that ie, some of the qi and energy in my body has been diverted to heal my cuts. OK-that's a pretty logical answer. My wounds have indeed been healing pretty well. The stitches on my palm have been out for 4 days now.

My wrist is still stitched up and looks nasty, but it's starting to turn pink like the rest of my arm. There's no feeling on the skin though. According to the doctor, the nerves have been severed but they do grow back, albeit at 1 mm a day. Not bad, except he says that nerves have to regrow from our back, which according to my calculation, based on the length it has to grow, it will take about 3 years to get to my wrist! Bring out the symphony again --
Whine, whine, whine, moan, moan, groan...Whine, whine, moan, whine, groan, moan, whine, whine, whine! (x 10,0000000000000)....

Let's hope I have something to cheer about tomorrow... Go O! Go O! Go! Go! GO!
Pretty puhleeze....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

October Sex Fest Back On!

After bawling my eyes out for two days, the OPK finally decided to turn positive on CD21! I'm ecstatic. But what a roller coaster ride it's been. I've been POAS like an addicted lunatic since CD15. And it had been very hard seeing a negative, one after another, especially with the high expectations I've been having. I really wanted this cycle to be an improvement on the last one, since I've been doing so well with the intensive moxa sessions, acupuncture and herbs. Seeing an improvement was especially important as I had just passed the one year mark of starting TCM treatments. But peeing on those damn sticks had been one big disappointment after another, day after day.

I've never even felt this devastated with BFNs for pregnancies. At least I knew I was given a shot at it. With no egg around, it felt like I wasn't even given a chance! And that really shattered me. And with all the additional bad luck I've had to deal with recently, this was the straw that broke the camel's back. But then, someone must have pitied me and given me a break. Although there's no guarantee, hopefully with the Luteinizing Hormone surge, it really means that ovulation is going to happen. Here's a pic of how the OPKs have been teasing and taunting me. (These are the lucky few I picked from the mountain of peed OPKs sitting on my dresser! I didn't want to show them all, incase you thought I was nuts or something ;-) Read from bottom to top. It's positive when the left blue line is similar or darker than the right line)

So all is good for now, and it's all systems go with hubby now! I might have to face another episode of devastation in a couple of weeks if AF comes, and I don't know how I will be able to handle it. But for now, I have a chance, and I am going to make my damndest best of it!

Friday, October 23, 2009

No "O"

It's CD 20 and still no ovulation. Damn!

But, but, but...My heat levels have improved. My egg white CM has been amazing. My saliva was in full-fern bloom!

My OPK says "NO!"

I turned to one of my books to try and understand the mysteries of ovulation. The first line of the chapter read,

"Ovulation is probably one of the most important aspects of fertility."

My heart sank. Damn it! I obviously haven't got "one of the most important aspects of fertility". I am screwed!

Just when I thought things were going well--My body was cruising at full speed ahead, and then--It slams on the brakes!

I can't even begin to understand what the hell goes on in my body.

I am so frustrated.

I am in a funk.

Infertility plain SUCKS!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

First Year TCM Anniversary

Today is the 1st year anniversary of our first visit to our TCM clinic. I can't believe how quickly a year has flown by, and I can't believe I am still going there! Both my husband and I have been diligently going for our treatments every week, except during our one and a half month vacation hiatus. Chugfuls of black, muddy, herbal medicine; thousands of pin-pricks and some USD7,000 later, we still have no baby.

This prompted me to reflect on the past year's progress and assess what the hell we're doing with our time and money. Is it worth it? Should we have put the money towards something like IVF instead?

For those of you who are new here, my husband is being treated for low sperm morphology, and I for endometriosis, hormonal imbalance and a cold condition. Our TCM doc believes that once these problems are resolved, we should be able to conceive naturally. So my husband and I have electroacupuncture twice a week, and we drink a tailor-made herbal concoction everyday. I have upped my treatments with daily moxibustion and electroacupuncture everyday between the end of my period and ovulation during my last 2 cycles.

But has all this been worth it?

I wasn't sure but DH put my mind at ease for these reasons:

IVF does not guarantee us a baby nor try to resolve any of our underlying health/fertility problems. But with TCM,

- my endo is being treated and my symptoms are diminishing, hence my quality of life has improved
- my periods are being normalized and are more manageable now
- my husband's energy levels have increased significantly
- we managed to conceive once, which proved to us that we can conceive naturally and my husband's sperm is working!
- we do not have any bad side-effects from the treatment

Weighing the two, TCM has definitely been more beneficial to us. And so, TCM it is for us. So bring on the putrid potions and gnarly needles Year 2! We're ready for ya!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

SuperGirl Egg Whites

Talking about what comes out of my va-jay-jay isn't exactly what everybody is dying to hear, nor is it quite socially appropriate. But what I had last night was so spectacular, I can't not write about it!

If Supergirl was ever real and had cervical mucous, I think what I discharged last night would be exactly it! So after doing the "deed" with DH, and propping up my hips for 15 minutes - you know, doing all the stuff desperately TTC women do, I went to the toilet to pee. After wiping with a wad of TP, I let go the TP without looking. But strangely, it felt like it was still stuck to the va-jay-jay. I looked down. Huh? No TP there. But it still felt like something was hanging off me. I looked again. Then I saw the wad of toilet paper hovering midway above the water. What? What's going on here? So I retrieved the hovering TP and noticed that it was connected to me with some kind of superglue! I wiped the "glue" off me and had a good look. Holy Moly! That stuff just came out of my va-jay-jay! It was absolutely translucent and glossy with a slight yellow tint, exactly the way egg whites look. EXACTLY! Except that it was so strong, sticky and super-stretchy that it could be pulled to a length of 4-5 inches long! I was blown away! I have never seen anything like it coming out of my cha-cha! It was unbelievable. I even checked with DH and asked if it was "his"! He doubted it. So did I.

Well, unless there's a strange chemical reaction that happened when we were doing the "deed", my only conclusion is that that was all me! Ahh! So that is why they call the fertile CM egg white! It really looks like it! I know I sound like an extremely clueless, naive girl, but with the sorts of hormonal & menstrual problems I've had through my life, I guess I've never been normal. And all that acupuncture and herbs and moxa must have made me normal! Now I'm beginning to feel like a REAL woman!

And those super egg whites came at the right time because I should be ovulating any day now. It's CD18 and the egg should hatch around CD19 (fingers crossed). I've been peeing on the OPK obsessively and is seeing the second line appear very slowly. Yay! I think my LH surge is coming, followed by the egg hopefully! So my DH and I have changed our TTC strategy a bit. We will try and increase our chances of conception by having all his soldiers ready up there and waiting for the egg to break loose - instead of going nuts like rabbits only when we see the surge. So we're starting early. Who knows how long it'll take his soldiers to make the big swim - they aren't exactly marathon olympic champion swimmers!

Anyway, here are some pictures. No - not of my egg white hanging off my cha-cha, you perverts! LOL! Here's an update of my Frankensteinian arm, taken today when the dressing was changed, with the stitches still in. Although there hasn't been any noticable progress, my skin is STILL alive. Woohoo!

The cut on my palm is healing nicely. And neatly. My skin however looks awful! But it's red and alive and not infected, which is what counts:

Here are the cuts covered in gauze and antiseptic cream. The yellow stains on my arm are the side-effects from the local anesthetic:

And here's the arm all bundled up neat and nice. So you can never see how badly I'm itching in there!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bad Luck Comes In Threes?

Lately, my life has been hit by a wave of bad luck. As I laid down today like a pin cushion, waiting for needles to be stuck in, I showed my TCM doc how I was starting to look like a Dalmation. I was having dark spots on my abdomen as a result of bruising caused by the acupuncture needles.

He laughed, having understood the ridiculous hardships that have befallen on me the past week, and told me that bad luck usually comes in threes. So let's do a Bad Luck Tally, shall we?

Bad Luck No.1 -
Cut hand with broken glass - CHECK!
My hand got cut bad when I broke the glass pot I was washing, requiring stitches at the hospital.

Bad Luck No.2 -
Chipped tooth and broke filling while eating cereal - CHECK!
How bad can my luck get? And over a frackin' piece of cereal too! Beware all you eating Tesco's Fruit & Nut cereal. Their wheat flakes are hard as granite! For me, that meant going to the dentist to have some lovely excavation and drilling done on my tooth! A joyous occasion, this is not!

Bad Luck No.3 -
Getting all bruised up from acupuncture needles - CHECK!
A little bruising from acupuncture once in a while is not uncommon, as the needle will likely hit one of the body's many capillaries occasionally. Unlike most people, I bruise easily, but TWO bruises in a week? This is how sexy my abdomen looks, that is if Dalmation happens to be the hottest animal print now...

My TCM doc tried to cheer me up saying that all this bad luck meant that bad karma had been cleared away, and that something good was coming around the corner for me. I certainly hope it's a baby! I wonder if good luck comes in threes too? My husband joked that it might be triplets. Har Har! Fuhneeeeeee! Like I am that fertile!

I've completed all three of 'em bad lucks now! Can I please have some good luck now?

Don't you think it's weird how chaos and bad luck catches up with you like a tsunami after a period of calm? At least that seems to be the way my life plays out all the time! Does it ever happen to you that way?

Monday, October 19, 2009


Ooooh! I am so busting to go to the toilet but I have to wait another hour. I am desperately trying to fulfill the 4-hour recommended wait before peeing on the ovulation predictor kit. So hopefully writing here will take my mind off any fantasies about peeing!

And here's the latest update about my little skin - it's still alive! Woohoo!

If only I could describe in words the anxiety I felt as the doctor was peeling away the bandages... It's crazy trying to anticipate what I would see under there. Is it grey? Is it black? Is it dead? Will we have to snip it away? Please be alive, puhleeeeeze!

But as the wound was slowly revealed, I saw purplish and red blotches! According to the doctor, it's good news! Overall it looked red, and the blood supply is getting through. The skin is still hanging in there, literally too! The purple blotches were blood clots, but he said that would slowly be reabsorbed into the body. There were some watery blisters too, which he had to pop with a needle. It was so strange because I didn't feel a thing--there was no sensation there at all. But he said I wasn't out of the woods yet. It could turn necrotic--that's the medical fancy schmancy way of simply saying - dead! And even worse, the possibility of an infection, which would kill all my chances of keeping my skin. So he slapped on the antiseptic cream and bandaged me up. The other cut is doing really well though so there is no concern there.

Maybe eating all that special wound-healing fish soup actually helps with the healing. And perhaps my constant incessant instructive orders to my brain to heal my wound is helping too (if my brain were another person it would probably be very annoyed with me!) I am constantly visualizing the healing in my head- the blood and chi flowing to the skin, healing nicely and getting better (just so my brain gets the picture what it should be doing! No misunderstanding there!)

On the fertility front, it's CD16 today and I should be ovulating anytime soon, usually around CD19. So its POAS time! I think I've amassed some 200 bucks worth of OPKs in my collection for this. Shhh! Don't tell my husband!

And I've diligently gone in today for my electro-acupuncture and moxa, now No.7 for this cycle. I really don't know what my chances are of conceiving this month, with all the stress my body's gone under, including drugs I've been pumping into my body ie, antibiotics, tetanus shot, anesthetic, plus I'm due for some dental work tomorrow. More stress. Drilling! Aaaargh! My TCM doc said my heat level fell a little from yesterday (it amazes me how he is able to keep track or quantify something so intangible and subjective). I feel my odds are probably lower, so that sucks!

There's nothing much else I can do now. So I'm waiting to pee, waiting for my skin to heal, waiting for me to ovulate, waiting to get pregnant. Sigh! Don't you sometimes feel that you spend most of your life just w..a...i....t....i......n........g?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Day In The Life of Zengirl

My heart sank when I went to the hospital today to have my wound checked - the flap of skin on my wrist had turned gray. And the doctor said it didn't look good. It means that the skin had not been getting much blood supply and it's dying. He did say that it was still early and that he would leave it there till my next check-up in 2 day's time. Oh, my dear little skin-please live!

But on the TCM front, I seem to be doing quite well - despite the fact that I had gone out to party last night and stayed out till 5 in the morning! We had a triple date with some friends who had flown in from Sydney. The two couples who have 5 kids between them got somebody to baby sit all their kids, and it was going to be an all-adults wild night out, which was so rare! Woohoo! My part-Mummy, part-Frankenstein arm was not going to stop me!

We went for a lovely dinner at a Balineses restaurant. I gave in to the temptation of an icy cold non-alcoholic Lemongrass Mojito (YUM!) and I thought I'd counteract that with lamb, which apparently is warming. Maybe it worked. Our Sydney friends wanted to go dancing after, and sadly, we had no idea where to take them. We (the other 2 couples) have not gone clubbing like for at least a decade! How sad is that? They asked me when was the last time we went dancing---"Ummm....On my wedding day 10 years ago???" Tragic! Well, we did find our way to a strip where all the "happening" clubs were and after sussing them all out, we found one with music that we liked. Dancing. Pool. More cold drinks (eeek!). Chit-chatting (or more like shouting across the deafening music. Ringing ears after. We stayed till they closed (is that cool?) and adjourned for supper at a 24-hour place and ate and talked some more till the crack of dawn! It was so much fun! It was an incredible and one rare night for us late thirty/early forty somethings!

And SO! What was my TCM doc gonna say about last night? Surprisingly, my heat levels have gone back up and are staying there despite the cold drinks and the trauma my hand's gone through. He wasn't too happy about the cold drinks though...

So I had Moxa No.6 today. He's giving me a break tomorrow though. Yay! I've been spending so much time at his clinic-I'm there everyday. It's kinda interesting hanging out there though, seeing all sorts of patients come through. Today they got a call informing them that a famous celebrity was coming in . So all of us at the clinic were gossiping and guessing who it could be. Within minutes, a pretty young woman walked in with her father. Apparently it's a famous actress and VJ. I don't know who she was, so it was kinda anti-climatic. Oh well!

Anyway, back to my unglamorous life, I'm doing all I can now to help my wounds heal well. My TCM doc recommended juicing some aloe vera with red apples (with a bit of ginger to counteract its cooling properties), and having that once a day. And also making a soup from a special type of fish called the snakehead or Channa Striatus, which supposedly has anti microbial, anti inflammatory and wound healing properties. I had no idea where to get any of these ingredients except the apples, so it was speed-dial Mom 911 time! Amazingly, she managed to get some aloe vera from her neighbor's garden and find the fish too! My mum's so great! She comes through for me every time!

So that's pretty much a day in the life of me. Snore, snore! I wonder who reads this stuff???

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Shit Happens!

Here I go again! Accident-proned me has managed to land myself in the ER for gashing my hand open in two places today.

Be Warned: This post is not for the faint of heart! Stay away if you can't deal with descriptions or photos that contain blood!

I was washing my pyrex pot (the one I was going to boil my herbs in) when it slipped onto the granite edge of the sink and cracked open, cutting my right hand open instantly. Before I felt any pain, blood was gushing out from my palm. There was a cut 1 inch long and it looked like a quarter inch deep. Then I saw a second bleed 2 inches below my wrist. The wound looked odd - it was then that I realized a piece of my skin was hanging by a thread and the gash was also bleeding profusely. That was when a little panic started to set in.

Luckily my husband was nearby and rushed for the first aid kit. (No soy sauce this time-for those who knew what happened last time!) Having lived in earthquake country (California) before, his First Aid kit was well equipped with sterile gauze, bandages and useful stuff for klutzes like me! He bandaged me up and we headed to the Emergency Room at the hospital near my home.

The ER was full of people, but the doctor managed to see me within 20 minutes. He checked for my motor function-I was able to move my fingers. Thank god no tendon was cut - that would require more complicated surgery to reconnect it. Only a little of the muscle and capillary vessels were cut.

As for my skin - he gave me 2 choices:
1) Reattach it - if the blood vessels are not able to nourish and heal the wound, it has a chance of dying and turning black, which would then lead to a big scar
2) Plastic surgery where they would graft skin from somewhere on my body to replace the dead skin, if I am worried about scarring

Cut my skin from some beautiful virgin part of my body? No thanks! I am not that vain! So I went for option 1 and hope for the best!

To help with the pain, he gave me local anesthetic, which HURT LIKE HELL! Although my cuts were quite bad, I hadn't felt much pain, which was rather surprising- until he jabbed EIGHT times around my wounds with the syringe! I was grimacing in so much pain! DH who saw everything said my hand was swelling up like a balloon where he was pumping the anesthesia! Within seconds, the numbness kicked in and he proceeded to wash my wound with savlon antiseptic, hydrogen peroxide and then saline solution. Well, thank god for the anesthetic because I don't think I could have handled the stitching and stretching very well. According to DH the doctor managed to stretch the loose skin and sew it into a nice fit back to where it should've been. It was shrunken and curled before. Eewww! Gross right? He gave me a tetanus shot plus anti-biotics and pain killers. I will have to go back every second day to check on the skin and to re-dress the wound. Stitches should be out in a week's time.

Here are the gory pictures. Sorry they're not very good quality. They were taken with a cellphone camera.

Here are my raw wounds after the home bandages were removed, before being treated:

Here's the doctor stitching my palm:

.......And here's the doctor stitching my flappy skin back:

As the local anesthetic is beginning to wear out now, I am starting to feel the pain. I've been told not to use my wounded hand nor get it wet for now. So I am currently living the life of a one-armed lefty - a precarious task for a righty! I am wondering how I'm gonna get through everyday stuff like having a shower or wiping my ass!!!! I am having great difficulty typing all this with one hand, but I seem to be managing - one letter slowly at a time!

As if this wasn't enough of a set back, my endo ass has begun to throb a bit - just when I thought I was getting better! My TCM doc asked "What happened" when he saw my heat level had dropped. Perhaps I had enough heat to fight off ass-throb day on CD10, but I didn't have enough heat reserves to last me through CD11, which had been a cool overcast and rainy day. Either that or ass-throb day was late by a day! Either way, I think my heat is all spent!

Despite all this crap that has happened to me, I still feel blessed and lucky - that I had not done even more major damage to my hand and that it was only one hand, and that the glass had not slashed the main artery on my wrist (it was so close) which could have led to death. Sure my hand will not look pretty anymore, and my life will be very inconvenient for a while, but all things considered, I think I was quite lucky today!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

TCM Works For Endometriosis!

I nearly forgot that today was Ass-Throb Day!

Today, CD10, is the day that my endo habitually and passionately tortures my butt by making it throb like hell - more specifically, my whole rectum tract. But today my ass didn't feel anything like a nuclear reactor waiting to explode. Infact it was rather zen in there! Which made me forget all about Ass-Throb Day!

This could only mean that my endo is losing its clutch on me and that I am truly getting better!

After months and months of acupuncture, herbal medicine and several sessions of moxa, I can finally draw the conclusion that Traditional Chinese Medicine is working for endometriosis. My symptoms of pain have decreased significantly and my periods are getting more normal. All you endo gals out there, pay attention! There is hope in TCM!

My endo has begun to heal without me taking a single dose of Lupron, birth control pill, or going under the knife. The prognosis for TCM as a cure for endo has always fundamentally sounded better to me than Western Medicine. What Western Medicine offered was ridiculous. Having no solution, nor any idea what causes it, it experiments by offering victims drugs to stop your body from functioning normally. They butcher you up, cutting parts of your body away and then cross their fingers, and hope that the endo won't come back, even though they know it likely will. These surgeries expose you to the risk of death, eg: from having a bad reaction to anesthesia, or from overdose due to a miscalculation of dosage, to the possibility of infection. In many cases, the pain continues and repeated surgeries are even normal. And for women desperately trying for a child, all the drugs and multiple surgeries just leave your body even more hostile to pregnancy. And to counter the increased infertility, they put you on more drugs and hormones and force the conception to happen outside the body (IVF), and put it back into your body knowing that your body hasn't been fixed in the first place. Yet women subject themselves to all this craziness and risk because Western Medicine tells them that there is no cure and that there is no other way.

Well, there is it seems! TCM is certainly uncommon in the western world, but it has been used to treat the largest nation in the world for thousands of years. Western Medicine is only now slowly discovering the wonders and knowledge of this ancient form of medicine. But specifically in endometriosis, I have personally seen how effective it is for me. So given time, I believe it really works.

And how does TCM work for endometriosis? I had to ask my TCM doc again today. I know that it reduces the symptoms, but with all their medical terms like yin, yang, wind, heatiness, dampness, deficiency, and stasis, it's really hard for me to understand how it works. I mean, it's hardly scientific! After his explanation, this is my conclusion: Endometriosis is a condition caused by "stagnant" blood or poor circulation in the body. Acupuncture and herbs work by dissolving these stagnant blood and improving its circulation. The adhesions will disappear because the TCM treatment works by regenerating the cells in your body, like in stem cells, repairing dead or damaged cells of the scar tissue (adhesions). At least this is how my medically primitive mind understands it. I don't really care how it works exactly, as long as it works and I am not experiencing any bad side effects from it.

How my body is behaving today is another testament to its healing effects. It's raining and chilly outside but my usually cold body is unaffected. After all, it is Ass-Throb Day! I used to think that my ass is able to predict rain, as it always rains when my ass pulsates with pain. I believed they were related. I have developed a highly sophisticated formula for this event:

Endo + Rain = Ass Pain or

Endo + Ass Pain = Rain

Well, there's no ass pain, so something else is missing from the formula and it's definitely not the rain. By logical deduction, it appears to be the endo. And that's my highly scientific conclusion.

With the results I am getting I will definitely stay on the path of TCM now. My TCM doc is currently prescribing intensive moxa for me. (I just want to clarify to anyone reading this out there that moxa is not a fix-all method for all conditions. It is appropriate for people who are suffering from cold conditions like me) I am very focused on healing my endo right now because I believe that it is affecting my fertility. So once it is resolved, I truly believe I should be able to conceive naturally. This notion is not too far-fetched because I conceived once before with the help of TCM.

I had my 2nd moxibustion session for this cycle today. It went really well, although the guessing-the-right-twin didn't go so well for me! I could've sworn that after having had a long look at the twin who did the moxa for me yesterday, I would've been able to distinguish the two. I thought I had the same girl today, but nope-I was wrong - AGAIN! It was the other twin today! So now I have an interesting guessing game to add to the smokin' fun of moxa now! Wish me luck for tomorrow!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Burn, Baby Burn!

I started my first moxa session of the cycle today! Yay! The moxa's been doing wonders for me! Sometimes AF really overstays her welcome, hanging around for up to 10-14 days! But this time, AF's visit lasted only 7 days! My body looks like it's finally finding its balance and behaving as it should. Gosh! Dare I say-I'm actually becoming normal!  

I had hoped to start the moxa earlier but my TCM doc said AF had to be over first. He gave me a break over the weekend and so here I am today, CD9, never been so eager to be torched and smoked before! 

The moxa didn't get off to a good start however. I had 8 needles in my body and only 20 minutes to get each of them heated with the moxa. It took the woman 10 minutes just to do 2 needles! Hello! I'm paying $35 for 20 minutes - get a move on there! She was fumbling around a lot and seemed unsure of what she was doing. That was strange I thought, considering that she did pretty well the last time. I blurted out,

"You did the moxa for me last time right?" 

"No. That was my sister."

HUH? It turns out, she's an identical twin! And both she and her sister worked the same job at the clinic! She was identical in every way, down to the length of the hair and even the sound of her voice! I was flabbergasted! All that time I thought I was speaking to her sister! It was the first time she was administering moxa and it showed! I must say I was pretty anxious the whole session through. But I'm happy to say that I left without a single burn mark on my body! 

My TCM doc's very pleased with my progress. After checking my pulse today, he said that my heat levels were impressively good, considering I just had my period. It had also been good throughout my period. I guess you could say I am no longer a cold-blooded reptilian! He's keen to see me get stronger and better, and told me to come in for moxa everyday for the next 4-5 days. I'm so excited to be doing this for my body, knowing how good it is for me. I just hope the girls doing the stinky moxa for me will be just as happy to see me! 

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What I Had For Dinner :-(

I was a really, really bad girl today. I binged on the worst sorts of food that you could ever eat for endometriosis and fertility-- wheat, dairy, caffeine, hormones and cold drinks!

A new mall had opened up in our neighborhood and we succumbed to the lure of TGIF, which seemed to be so happening tonight. It was packed and every table seemed to be celebrating someone's birthday.

So here's my menu of poison for the night:

Fried Mac & Cheese:
Wheat and dairy galore! Great for enhancing inflammation already caused by endometriosis!

Chicken & Shrimp Pasta in Creamy Cajun Sauce:
More wheat and dairy galore! My Endo-induced inflammation is gonna have a party!
Non-organic chicken! A shot of yummy hormones to tip my already crazy hormones off the charts

3 cups of cold Pepsi:
Liquid Caffeine! Wonderful for killing fertility! It's thirst-quenching coolness is wonderful for creating blood stasis, period pain and endo. Just what I need!

Now my stomach feels like there's a tornado blowing in there! I am not looking forward to what my TCM doc has to say about me tomorrow... This is pure self-sabotage. And I am sure I will pay for it dearly! But I feel so happyyyyyyyy!

Do you ever give yourself a break and succumb to the dark side occasionally...especially when it comes to food?

(Pic compliments of Zoey when he was a kitten)

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Zoey Escapes! This is one of the many times that my cat Zoey attempts to escape from the house. I had left one window opened in the bathroom and he fearlessly went for it! He has given me many heart-attacks over the short course of his life!

I always keep Zoey indoors, afraid that the dogs in the neighborhood would get to him. And I'm paranoid about catnapping too! Yes, you could say I am a rather over-zealous and over-protective "mum" to Zoey. But he is my "baby"! Although I foiled his Great Escape this time, I met him on the other side and let him enjoy the outdoors under supervision, as I always do everyday. He must have felt great about his freedom, because he was extremely contented after that.

I too have been feeling this exhilaration of freedom - freedom from intense pain that usually dogs me a few days a month when AF visits. The last few days have been incredible because I was pain-free after CD1. I usually only see the four walls of my bedroom during the first few days of my period, compliments of endometriosis. Today is only CD5 but already, I feel like weeks have passed and I've lived such a full life: I've been out for dinners, out on a movie date with hubby, gone to the clinic for acupuncture, hung out at Starbucks with my fav caramel hot chocolate, managed to mop the floors, do the laundry, iron a mountain of clothes, clean the litter box, cook meals, make Zoey a new toy, reach out to my friends, do my work and blog! Plus the usual eat-shit-sleep!

I am amazed at how much life can be lived in just 5 days, and stunned by the realization that this is how much endo robs from me every month! Endo has imprisoned me for such a long time, and I am thrilled to be breaking out from its clutches. The freedom to live my life the way I want, while bleeding, has been liberating and exhilarating! I owe so much to my TCM doctor for making me better and for helping me regain my life back. Down you go endo! Down-you-go!

I feel so happy and free! A quote from Walter Matthau (as Albert Einstein) in the movie "IQ" sums it up passionately for me --


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

This Made My Day!

Woah! What a sweet surprise I got from Eileen today! She gave me my first blog award. I am so honored that people actually read my blog! Thank you so much Eileen!

As a recipient, there are some things I gotta do--the hardest one being the one-word answer (have you seen the length of my posts?!!) It will be impossible, but here goes...

1. You Can Only Use One Word
2. Pass this along to 6 of your favorite bloggers
3. Alert them that you have given them this award
4. Have Fun!

The Fun Part
1. Where is your cell phone? Table
2. Your hair? Short
3. Your mother? Wise
4. Your father? Gone
5. Your favorite food? Pasta
6. Your dream last night? What dream?
7. Your favorite drink? Tea
8. Your dream/goal? Happiness
9. What room are you in? Home-office
10. Your hobby? Photography
11. Your fear? Loneliness
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Parenting
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something that you aren’t? Pregnant
15. Muffins? Anytime!
16. Wish list item? Baby
17. Where did you grow up? The tropics
18. Last thing you did? Photo processing
19. What are you wearing? Dress
20. Your TV? Upstairs
21. Your pets? Adorable
22. Friends? Too few
23. Your life? Blessed
24. Your mood? Calm
25. Missing someone? High School Friend from Australia
26. Vehicle? Toyota
27. Something you’re not wearing? Bra
28. Your favorite store? Any home-decorating store
29. Your favorite color? I love 'em all
30. When was the last time you laughed? Yesterday
31. Last time you cried? Oct 1
32. Your best friend? Hubby
33. One place that I go to over and over? TCM clinic
34. One person who emails me regularly? Hubby (?!)
35. Favorite place to eat? Under the stars (doesn't have to be a restaurant, right?)

I only ventured into blogoland recently and I don't know that many bloggers. But here are the ones I have started following recently who have touched my heart with their spirit, strength, humour and resilience. I am passing the award to:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Less Pain, Life Gained

The flood gates opened today, and I am surprisingly well enough to be sitting up writing this. The red tide arrived on the dot as I had expected, and though it brought some pain with it, it is amazingly manageable. I actually managed to leave the house on CD1-something I've never been able to do the last 6 months! I am a functioning human being today, which is cause for celebration! Woohoo! 

I had such a wonderful day today. I went out for dinner with a group of friends and even had them over at my house after dinner. (I entertained on the first day of my period! GASP!) I did have some help though to manage the slight bit of pain. With the history I've had with pain, I am certainly no bubbly sunshine anytime pain comes near me. And so I armed myself with 500mg of naproxen sodium before heading out to dinner. Took an hour to take effect, (I am surprised that it even worked, because sometimes it's as effective as eating candy) and it lasted a good 6 hours. As a trade-off I am now suffering from a bit of gastritis. As soon as my guests left, I crashed on the couch for 2 hours. I only had 1 hour of sleep the entire night last night because of the dull ache - although not that painful on my scale of pain-o-meter, it was like having an annoying toothache the whole night. After the nap, I am now bright awake even though I have not made up for the loss of sleep. The painkiller's worn off now, and the pain came back momentarily. But I can happily say that it's GONE now-entirely on its own! and I actually feel energetic! I really think the worst is over!  

So I've only had 1 day of pain. Why was I spared this time? I haven't done anything different during this last cycle, except for moxa, to warrant this improvement. So I think the moxa must have made a great difference to my body. I saw my TCM doc yesterday and even though I complained to him about the dull ache that had started to creep in, he checked my pulse and said there was no blood stasis. I guess he was right because so far my flow, although a little heavy, has been free of clots! What a big difference compared to the previous cycle! Everything is flowing as it should and I would definitely attribute this to the 12 moxa sessions I had! I am just sooooo happy that I am finally beginning to see some real improvement. 

If the pattern of my periods before I last conceived is anything to go by, that means I should have at least another 2 pain-free, flowing periods before I will be able to conceive. Hopefully that's the kind of logic my body works with. Now it's looking possible that I might conceive before the year end. I don't want to speculate, but I am certainly feeling positive about this now.

Who knows what the future brings. But for now, I've got my wish -

I finally got my life back! Yeehar! 

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Sad Finale

It's CD31 or 13DPO today and I took an early pregnancy test.

It's another Big Fat NEGATIVE!
(Do they have to make that negative line so BIG?)

I should be very, very upset today, but I think I had done all my grieving yesterday. I had been expecting it.

For some strange reason, I am feeling better today, physically. All the strange twinges of pain the past 10 days have gone. I don't feel like there's a rock in my uterus anymore. Even pre-period cramps are not around. Very strange. I feel like they're hiding somewhere waiting to pounce on me any minute! My appetite has returned. No sore breasts. Nothing seems to be going on inside my body now. My body feels completely devoid of... anything. Maybe that's what a big fat "negative" really means.

My spotting has grown heavier. My BBT has been plunging. My body is definitely telling me to stop hoping. Aunt Flo should be here in a day or so, and I am praying it will be a painless visit. At my doc's advice, I will be going in for one last moxa session before the flood gates open. Hopefully, this will decrease the probability or intensity of pain that normally hits me on Days 1-3. I hate being a prisoner of pain. I am looking forward to a dinner appointment on Sunday with some wonderful new friends I made. And I will be devastated if I have to miss that because of pain. Endometriosis has controlled much of my life.

I want my life back!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I Wore Black Today

The possibility of losing my "baby" hit me really hard today. This is the closest I've been to getting pregnant in the last 6 months since my miscarriage, and to see it slip away again has been devastating.

I woke up today, 11 DPO, to discover that the brown discharge I had since yesterday (10DPO) had not ceased nor lightened. I was really hoping for it to be a sign of implantation bleeding - short and light, since it started within the expected period of implantation bleeding which is 6-10 days past ovulation. But since it's still going strong on the second day, followed by slight cramping that came and went last night, it's looking bad. Plus, all my breast tenderness over the past week has disappeared completely - which doesn't augur well for pregnancy. It seems like my little bean may not be able to hang on. And this tore me up. I think the dreaded Aunt Flo is coming. I never thought I would ever cry over a pregnancy that hasn't even materialized yet. But it's like seeing a dream being destroyed in slow motion. Each day has been a long and turbulent struggle emotionally.

It didn't help when my TCM doc had nothing positive to say today. He still couldn't find a pregnancy pulse. After hearing about my spotting and symptoms, and not being able to read a positive from my pulse, he told me that my chances of being pregnant now was even lower today. I could really see it in his face that he was very disappointed too, even though he has really been trying to help me. I brought up a 2nd scenario where I assumed that a conception never happened - and asked him why I was spotting on 10DPO, despite the intensive treatments this cycle. I never spotted that early in my past year of charting. That only reaffirmed his conviction that it was implantation bleeding and that my little bean has been fighting hard to stay alive. Despite the emotional turmoil, my acupuncture session today felt really good. I felt it calming my uterus down. It felt restful and good. But as soon as I left his clinic I bawled my eyes out.

So is all this implantation drama for real? It seems very highly possible, but things are not looking good now. Black felt like an appropriate color to wear today. My soul found solace in its quite darkness.

Yet, implantation bleeding has been known to last 3 days. I still have hope, despite the odds. But my heart can't really take this torture anymore. I think I am far on enough in my cycle to take an early pregnancy test now. I have decided to do it tomorrow morning and end this torment. I am hoping for the best, but I am prepared for the worst. God help me through the days to come!