31 March 2006

Project update

Well, I'm up and running seemingly with no problems, although we're not really sure we figured out what the problem is. There were no viruses (thanks for the Stinger suggestion!) according to 3 different anti-virus programs; Ad-aware, Spybot, ScanSpyware, Spysweeper, and something else I can't remember the name of found minor little annoyances. It's just Trend Micro that keeps finding these malware files, but it can't delete them, nothing else finds them, and if 14 out of 15 programs think my computer is clean, then I'm willing to live in blissful ignorance! Thank you all for your suggestions, tips, and well wishes, and - ahem - not suggesting I get a Mac because they're practically immune, t'was much appreciated.

So now that that problem is out of the way, what's the number one thing NOT to do two weeks before Pesach, especially when your mother is visiting? That's right, sprain your ankle! Thank Gd, it's a very mild sprain, I'm able to walk on it for short durations, so it only kept me from my cleaning for one day. It hasn't kept me from stressing, though. Show of hands, please, how many of you - for whom Pesach cleaning is an issue - have read every "guide to stress-free Passover cleaning" you can get your hands on?

Well, let me tell you: it's all bubbemeiser (lit. "grandmother's story;" means "nothing resembling reality whatsoever"). There's no such thing as "stress-free Passover cleaning" unless you go away to a resort, and that's a-whole-nother issue. So today I take a break from Passover cleaning, so I can prepare for Shabbat. It takes a lot of work to have a day of rest, let me tell ya!

I wonder if there are any kosher-for-Passover resorts in the Bahamas...

24 March 2006

'pooter blues

I've got a nasty, insidious form of malware on my computer that is gunging everything up and making it very difficult to remove. It crashes my spyware removal program, which means I have to reboot, which means the malware resets itself, which means I have to start all over again.

All of which prevents me from blogging. Blargh.

Stupid, mean, nasty spyware.

21 March 2006

I have a point, I just keep it under the sink

In a previous post about the size of the Humongous needles that were given to me accidentally for my first cycle, it occurred to me that some might wonder why I happened to have that syringe handy for scanning. That would be because I haven’t thrown a single bloody thing out from my first cycle.

If you go into my bathroom, and peek under the sink cabinet, you will find an old kitty litter box. In it, are the remnants - the dead bodies if you will - of Cycle #1. The used needles, safely stowed in an old mayonnaise jar, lie helpless, spent, their lives meaningless since having been cruelly discarded. Lying next to jar, the remains of the Gonal-f. Didn’t use quite all of it, but there wasn’t enough to be useful to someone else. The $900 bottle laughs at me from within the litter box.

Why do I keep these vestiges from a failed cycle? Why do I leave them there, under the sink, to mock me day in and day out. Why do I subject myself to these constant reminders of money spent on overpriced medications that are not covered by healthcare?

I have no idea. I just know I can’t yet bring myself to properly dispose of my medical waste.

18 March 2006

The downside of anonymous blogging

I had a fabulous time this Purim (and I'm still recovering - why do you think I've hardly blogged?!). But I can't tell you about it. Because by telling you about it, somebody could figure that it was me. I mean, who 'me' is. Er, who I am. Oh, whatever.

If I were to tell you about it, it would have to go something like this:

I had the best time this Purim! I went as [blank] and Hubby was [blank]. Everyone laughed - I think we had the best costumes. We had a [blank], which was really special. After the reading, we all sat around and [blank] and talked about [blank]. Of course, I [blank]. And apparently, because I [blank] I [blank]. Oh yeah, this was really funny - then, later, I [blank]. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! The next day, we had another reading, went to a lovely seudah (meal), which was really yummy and I enjoyed, in spite of [blank]. I thanked [blank] and [blank] for [blank] and [blank]. We visited a few more people, passed out the last of our mashloach manot (traditional gifts of ready-to-eat treats) and went home and [blank].

I can't wait for next Purim!

14 March 2006

Health news

Today's news:

In a startling decision, the Health Minister of Canada, the Honourable Tony Clomid, agreed that the government of Canada should, and will, start covering infertility treatments at 100%. Starting April 1, all IVF, ICSI and other procedures that Canadians suffering from infertility must endure will be covered by their respective provinces' health care plan. Medications and other extraneous expenses related to infertility procedures will also be covered under this new plan. While organizations like ATIME and Small Wonders expressed concern that this new legislation will cause them to fold, this is good news to the thousands of Canadians undergoing infertility procedures who must currently pay upwards of $8,500 per cycle.

In other news, all provinces in Canada announced, effective April 1, all Canadians must pay an extra $8,500 in health plan fees annually.

Chag Purim Sameach! (Happy Purim Holiday!)

09 March 2006

A blessing on your needle

In keeping with the supposedly Jewish theme of this blog, I should mention with regards to my previous injections post, that we started injections on Shabbat. Actually, our primary issue was whether or not Hubby could give me the injection on Shabbat, since I am such a wuss about needles. It’s one thing to know I can give myself a medication injection, it’s another to put someone else in the position of breaking Shabbat* because I’m a weenie. This was actually the issue that made us realize our rabbi could not be our posek (rabbinical authority) on infertility issues. With loads of warnings months in advance that we might be starting injections on Shabbat, and a suggestion from us (via another blogger!) on an authority to call, one week before we started he was still telling us he needed to study the issue.

One week before is not the time to start studying the laws regarding injections on Shabbat. After lots of hinting and suggesting that there were going to be many more questions down the road, our rabbi clued in and suggested we call the posek directly. So we did, and since we got the answer (it would be preferable for me to inject myself, but if I am unable to do it – for whatever reason - Hubby could inject me on Shabbat with no problem), I never actually bothered to study the laws myself. I’m not sure exactly what the issue would be with injecting on Shabbat (any more-learned folks out there want to throw in your $0.02?!). I do know that you should be extremely careful not to cause yourself to bleed, but sometimes that’s just an unavoidable consequence of injecting. Also, when cleansing the injection site, you should either apply the alcohol directly to the skin, or use a non-absorbent cloth – do not use a cottonball.

Persephone has the same information in a post on her blog (scroll down to “injection shabbat infertility”). She points out that you should call your rabbi, which you should. Your own rabbi should always be your first call. Just know, if your rabbi is not knowledgeable on the subject of infertility, you have options. There are enough things to worry and stress about with infertility, your rabbi should not be one of them.

*I couldn't find a good link to rules of Shabbat, so in a nutshell: there are laws about what you can and can't do on Shabbat, i.e., drive, turn lights on or off, cook food, exchange money, etc. When Jews talk about "breaking Shabbat" we are referring to breaking one of these laws.

08 March 2006

Smells fishy to me

Oh feh. I just read that the Jewish month of Adar is associated with fertility, because the astral sign of Adar is the fish, and fish are considered extremely fertile. :Þ

At least it makes for a good Purim joke for infertiles.

07 March 2006

From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee

A History Repeats entry

After having all the blood work done, the clinic doctor tells us I need to lose weight. (You’d think with all the blood that was drawn from me, that alone would have brought my weight down.) So, on to the diet bandwagon I jumped. After two months, I lost enough weight for the doc to give the go-ahead for us to start our first cycle. Happily, we skipped into the orientation session with Nurse Lancet, and she whipped out Ye Ole Big Box of Freakin’ Huge Needles and I proceeded to get very queasy.

I hate needles.

They give me the willies. From the very beginning, I told Hubby that he would need to stab me (and he wasn't allowed to enjoy it, either!). I prayed that I would get the snorty stuff (Synarel) or the stabby pen (Gonal-f), but no, I got straight-up, stick ‘em in needles. And just for a good laugh, in the package they sent home with us, someone accidentally dropped in a handful of 3cc/mL syringes. Those would be the ones with the 1 ½” needles. Do you know how long 1 ½” inches is? Let me show you:

Here’s a second view, comparing to my thumb:

(And no, the needle is not twisted. It’s an effect caused by scanning. Makes it seem even worse, eh? You have twist it like a screwdriver to get the sucker in…::shudder::)

Imagine shoving that puppy into your belly. Ouch. I nearly had palpitations when I saw Gargantuan, and I cried just thinking about sticking myself with THAT. You can’t imagine my relief when I called the clinic and they said that was a mistake. Phew.

Well, the very first night rolls around, and with a palpable mixture of excitement and terror, we load up the first needle. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I get a burst of courage: “Let me do it!” I gleefully exclaim. Hubby looks at me, doubtfully, but being the supportive Hubby that he is, he hands me the needle. I pinch the belly, identify my point of entry, aim, press the tip of the needle softly against the target, squeeze my eyes shut, start squeaking “owowowowowow” and plunge. Omigosh, I did it!!! I did it!! Yay me!!

In my excitement, I forgot to unpinch and release the needle. Duh. It hung there, like a weary soldier, until I remembered to withdraw it a few seconds later. But it didn’t matter, I was so proud of myself. And I stabbed myself everyday, twice a day, for the next 13 days. Not that it helped our fertility any. But I still did it. All by myself.

04 March 2006

Can I pay you to keep my enemies out?

I have no intention of making this a political blog, nor did I ever intend to address anything political here, but c’mon, I GOTTA get this out of my system.

I cannot believe that George Bush truly believes it is in the US’s best interest to hand over control of 6 of her ports to ANYONE, never mind the birthplace of US-striking terrorists (two of the 9/11 hijackers hailed from UAE) - George Bush’s handholding with the Saudi Crown Prince notwithstanding.

I almost always get my gas at the gas station on the corner. They’re convenient, no other reason. Imagine me giving my house key to whichever attendant is on today and asking him to be responsible for what gets in and out of my house. Even if I pay him big bucks, seriously, what does he care?! Besides, he’s working at the gas station. At most, he’ll pop around the corner once in a while to see if things are okay. If he’s responsible, he’ll hire someone to watch my house, but won’t he hire someone at the cheapest rate possible, to maximize his profit? And I have no say in whoever he hires, so who knows who’s watching my house!

Why on earth would any country, anywhere, hand over that kind of control of their own sovereign border to another country??!

I could get into the whole boycotting Israeli products, and US law that prohibits any company doing business in the US to participate in the Arab boycott, which in and of itself should negate the whole Dubai deal, but that’s a whole ‘nother rant completely.

Oh, and full disclosure: While I live in Canada at the moment, I am an American citizen.

02 March 2006

You be Hobbes; I'm Calvin

An Infertile's Guide to Life, according to Calvin and Hobbes:

Hobbes: Watcha doin’?

Calvin: I’m killing time while I wait for life to shower me with meaning and happiness.