Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Do You Believe in Signs?

This Sunday we went to mass, not church. (Mass=Catholic week, church=Episcopalian week) We decided we'd get some stuff done around the house, return a lamp shade that didn't quite work for a bigger one, go workout, and then attend the 5:00 p.m. mass at the student parish. I was quite involved in this parish when I was an undergraduate as a peer minister, lector, Eucharistic minister, parish council member, I ran a retreat once-- I even worked as the evening and weekend secretary for awhile. I had great attachment to that church until I had a run in with the pastor at the time who wasn't very pastoral. It happened after my grandmother died, and I stopped attending church for a few months. He's long gone, and when I go back, I still love the feel of the church. It's vibrant and young and Catholic. Which still means a lot to me. More on this in a minute.

The priest's opening prayer asked to think about what we were most longing for this advent season and I got that sudden pricklyness that happens behind my nose when I know I'm going to cry. I didn't have to search very hard to know what I'm most longing for, and then it struck me how apropos it was that I was longing for a baby during the Advent season. And then I thought, boy, it's going to be a loooonnnng Advent season.

Next thing I know, I've got Partner elbowing me in the ribs because there was our dentist! Singing with the choir! Boy, do we like our dentist. A lot. And I hate "the dentist" actually. But I love this dentist. The priest's homily made a lot of sense, was just long enough, and hit home with some of the same issues he introduced in the opening prayer. And then, inspired by the service, Partner ate the "cracker" as she says. This is, of course, par for the course at our Episcopalian church, where "everyone is welcome at God's table." This is one thing that made me cry the first time we attended the E-church; I hate gate-keeping as part of religion. I loved the first time Partner and I had communion together, rather than me leaving her behind in the pew. I asked her before we went up, "Do you believe, right now, that is the body and blood of Jesus?" (Look at me gatekeeping!) She said no. Whatever. My mother attends communion every week and doesn't believe it either. She wanted the "cracker" and who the hell am I to deny her this? (Oy, don't challenge me on this either. It's been another one of the doozy fights with my father. I understand the theology, okay?)

After mass, we congratulated our dentist since just mere hours before when we were opening the mail, we got the announcement that she was pregnant with her third. (Hm. More babies.) She's incredibly sweet and remembered to ask about us, and was super when we told her our news. I recounted my history at this parish, and she asked if we came there all the time. I gave her the short half-time Catholic/Episcopalian answer, along with my concerns about when we have children. Oh no, she told us, but this particular parish has a gay and lesbian outreach ministry, and I should email Mr. X, who's straight but is the coordinator, and ask him about it. I had such a nice time at mass, I wondered if running into our super-kind dentist who told us about the outreach ministry was a sign.

Over beer and stilton fries after mass, both of us questioned what the outreach ministry did. Welcome and affirm the identities of gay and lesbians Catholics, or make small noises about dignity and larger noises about reconciliation. Maybe it wasn't a sign after all.

This is clearly not something we worry about in our E-church where the Vestry voted as one to approve the blessings of gay and lesbians unions.

Still, I picked up the advent book from the Catholic church and have been doing the advent reflections. Thus far, every single one of them has focused on Elizabeth, and how she was "barren." Is this a sign? What does it mean? And lately I've felt pushed back onto the Catholic side, for no reason in particular other than probably I'm just very comfortable with the mass, and as similar as the E service is to the RC mass, it's still not. And I love our E church. I do. But as I said above, I can't quite seperate from the RCs. It isn't really an issue until we have children, but as many problems as the RC-church has, it's been a solace to me in times when I have needed it. Maybe I can't leave because it's so familiar? Maybe I thought, I just need to reconcile myself, and understand I'm meant to be an active dissenter about the way the RC church is totally schizophrenic on some issues. (Having children throws a wrench in for me.)

And then this week, we read this news, which of course infuriated me. Incensed me. And I thought, good Lord! Just as I feel the scales tipping, something this happens. Is God trying to tell me something? Or just challenge me? Or perhaps, more likely, I have nothing at all to do with this, but it's all coincidentally happening as I become, once again, introspective about faith.

And then today, our priest of the E-church called our home to see how we were since he hasn't seen us for a long time. And then that felt like a sign too.

Looking at this post, I sound very superstitious about it all, don't I? Hm. Katie's Church of Vague and Coincidental Signs. Come one. Come all.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Dinner Conversations

In the aftermath of Thanksgiving, my mother pronounced to me, "In the future, I think we should ban all politics talk."

"Then what the hell else would we talk about?" I asked her back. She didn't seem to have any suggestions. I don't know what other families talk about at the Thanksgiving dinner table, or any table for that matter, but my family talks politics. For example, served up with this year's dinner was: a discussion about the recent mayoral election in Detroit and the requested recount from the loser; Sharon, Likud, and the creation of a new political party in Israel, generational culpability of the national, state, and local government for what happened in New Orleans; not politics here, but we discussed the failure of the 17th Street Canal and current theories about why it failed; black prisons (i.e., our scary offshore secret prisons); the incredibly chilling nature of our current government; why my mother was not as surprised as her children at how frightening our government has become (and a digression into the Vietnam war and Kent State); Rumsfeld vs. Cheney: Who's More Creepy; and finally the Iraq War.

I know there are certain topics that polite people are supposed to avoid at the dinner table, but I guess we've just always been rude. And my family has had some doozy fights stemming from talk that started innocently enough, but derailed. I can remember storming away from the table after discussions about abortion rights. I know we've had some serious rifts regarding social security. What do other families fight about if not this stuff?

When I was a child, we had Thanksgiving at my grandmother's every year. One of our "must have" dishes is rutabagas, a taste that one probably adores or abhors. As I've gotten older, I've found that I actually like rutabagas, which is more evidence of my taste buds dying, but as a child, I needed a lot of inducement to eat these bitter root vegetables. My gramma, who I adored, would tell me to eat them right up because I couldn't be a republican and not like rutabagas. My grandmother was a republican alright and her main advice to me as I went into the voting booth for the first time in my life was to "pull the arm for the straight ticket." (Man; I am not that old, but I really did pull the arm! We need those old voting booths back with the heavy curtains and big machines. I hate those flimsy grey things.) She was also a banker, and if our professions have anything to do with our voting, I suppose I can understand it that way. Still, I can't imagine many other families where proving your political alliance was an effective way of getting a kid to eat her veggies.

And we're all pretty savvy and across the political spectrum. I'm a little fond of some of our family politicians too, starting with this guy, the founder of the modern day Republican party. I'm inordinately proud of my relation here, and find myself more in line with this particular political proclivity than the former family member. But no one in this immediate house, with the exception of me, has ever really expressed an interest of going into politics, just discussing them, sometimes ad nauseum. Partner was pretty intrigued by the whole thing when she first started coming to family dinners, but now I'd say she's an eager participant, and on the whole I don't think this type of discussion has done me any harm. It's made me have to think about issues through some tangly parts, and it's probably honed my logic. I have to use evidence to convince anyone in my family, and more often than not, know my source. This hasn't hurt me as a scholar, and even though we've had some doozy fights, I'm not prepared to give up politics at the table.

On Thanksgiving night, when we finally delved into the pumpkin pie and Iraq war conversation, everyone was in agreement, even the highly conservative Pater. He may not have agreed with our more strident opinions that our ever-so-truthful prez should step down, but he did agree that we all seemed to be lead into the war by false pretenses. (I kept my mouth shut here about all the protests Partner and I walked in and letters I wrote and how we never felt lead into war, but more bound and gagged into the whole thing, but okay, okay, I digress.) One brother solemnly proclaimed that in his opinion every Senator who voted for the war should step down out of disgrace, except for Byrd, who was, he maintained the sole dissenter.

"No way," I said. "Levin's been against this thing from the start." I like our veteran Senator from the mitten state, Carl Levin, who has been a vocal opponent of our action in Iraq from the start. (If you think Trump is the king of the combover, think again.) In my opinion, the fact that he's on the Senate Armed Services Committee, is privy to a certain level of intelligence due to that, and was so openly opposed to the whole Iraq quagmire is a thinking point. Then again, others on that committee did indeed vote to move forward, so it's not that compelling a thinking point, but still. Think. The brother did not believe me and continued to tell me that the vote was 99-1. "Uh-uh. 77-23" Which was still not believed and I was challenged to find a credible source, which I did, and then thought (silly me) the whole thing was dropped. Until I made a schtoopid comment after the topic has been long gone (but brother is still searching for that 99-1 vote). I made the comment in what I thought was a moment of levity, but it was perceived as rubbing it in. Big argument follows. Brother leaves house. Mother cries. Sister cries. Everyone eventually sleeps. Next morning, Mother tries to ban politics talk. Our own personal Patriot Act, one might say. But this house of little rebels won't allow such a thing to happen. (It will never work, Mom!) The next morning, as my mother was trying to make sense of the argument she wisely stayed out of, she kept saying to me, "It was political, wasn't it?" and I kept saying it wasn't political at all. But it was. Because at the end of the day, it's all politics. Even the fights we have with each other that seeminly not based on politicss (and are rare) are based on some political system our own family has devised over the years.

We'll go on loving each other fiercely; that's what we do in my family: love and fight with passion. As much as the dear mother wants peace, love, and happiness 24-7-364, I'm fairly certain the concept bores the rest of us to tears. We couldn't stand the silence. It would be like those Chicken Soup books all the time, and I for one, might have to be in the bathroom throwing up the entire night if that's what our house was like. I do think we probably need to learn to argue with each other and not take so personally when we're wrong, or someone makes an argument that is so contrary to our own belief. That's probably what gets us into trouble. But for now, never one to tremble silently at the table, I'm gearing for the Christmas political season, keeping my head in the news, and I'll be ready. With my rutabagas.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

For Pamplemousse

Something about the first real snow. It's quiet and clouded. I've made a fire in the downstairs fireplace, which is snapping away, waiting for Partner to come home. And no matter how good a manhattan is at all times, in all weather, for some reason it's even better in front of the fire, at dusk, when it's snowing. We're making pies and cranberry walnut bread here tonight. The cats are snuggled on blankets on the couch. We don't have to go anywhere tonight. We can sleep in tomorrow.

Earlier this week, Pamplemousse expressed some desire for snow, and I thought she was crazy. Today I remembered all the romance of snow. So, Madame PM, these snaps are for you!

"Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farmhouse at the garden's end.
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier's feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm. "
Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The Snow-Storm"

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Dangerous Places (I Can't Avoid)

1. Family (Birthday) Parties
Saturday, the whole family, except one brother and fiance, went over to Cousine Italiano's home for the first birthday of her daughter. I wondered how I would feel at the party after our recent non-success at getting knocked up. It was, in fact, just fine. Just grand. The baby is darling and clearly doted on. Cousine Italiano, however, is now living with her in-laws and confided to me that she can't wait to get out. She says that the baby never cries. She's not sure this is so healthy since the baby is clearly figuring out how to manipulate those around her. They are moving out in four weeks. (I might have actually heard the hours involved here too.) But seeing the baby was not the hard part, it was hearing Cousine Italiano, who had no idea of what we're trying to do, complain to a roomful of people about child-rearing.

"If anyone wants a baby, they should come and talk to me first! I'll tell them how it really is!! They should know how you never sleep and don't get to go out at all and how you're tethered to the house and tired and crabby!!! Seriously, just come talk to me first!!!!" Loud. She was really loud. I felt her voice jabbing into my heart, pushing me back into my chair. I can feel the same tears now I felt then pricking at my eyes. I wanted to cry out, "TETHER ME! I don't want to sleep! I'll take the crying! I'll never go out again, but for the love of GOD, give me a fucking BABY!" I also thought, "Ungrateful bitch. She doesn't even know how easy she's got it." But of course she doesn't because every person's experience is just what it is. Her experience is not one of having trouble conceiving or carrying a child. She doesn't mean to be callous, but at the same time, I sat in a hot over-crowded room and listened to her crow about how awful it was to be mother, knowing full well she was talking about how wonderful it was to be a mother, and I just wanted to scream. How many of us have been in this position? Later, I confided to her what had recently happened to us, and she was very nice and sympathetic and didn't say one thing stupid like, "Well, you can have mine anytime you want."

2. The YMCA
Partner and I recently joined the YMCA in an attempt to be more healthy. We did this on the spur of the moment after my friend, M, regaled us at the church social hour with tales of how wonderful the new Y in town is. We went on a tour on our way home from church and joined on the spot, came back that same afternoon to work out, and now we have committed, uncharacteristically, to working out at least three times a week. The new Y is gleaming and down to earth and all-in-all, we love it there.

But the YMCA is a family place. There are little peanuts all over that make my stomach leap around even more than my body. When we walk to the locker room, here come some peanuts down the hall, all bundled up in their warm clothes, or there's another in some ballet outfit, or here's one now all in white going to a martial arts class. Wet hair, dry hair. Crying. Laughing. I want them all. My routine at the Y goes something like this, workout really hard and then go stand at the glass wall overlooking the pool and look down at the swimming peanuts. Look at the mothers with visibly pregnant bellies. I love the swimming peanuts. On Saturday morning, Partner and I stood and watched swimming lessons for 20 minutes. We didn't talk, but we held hands. I wasn't sure if I was the only really effected by this, or Partner was humoring me by watching the kids too until last night. As we were headed into the locker room, we saw the most adorable family coming out of the family locker room, kids in knit hats carrying their little swim bags, puffy in winter coats. Partner looked at me and said, "That's the thing about the Y...." Yes. That's the thing about the Y.

3. The mailbox
I am not having as many problems here as ma pauvre amie, Amy, and my mailbox is a walk in the park compared with her postbox lately, but the baby and maternity catalogues? Fuck them. I also am currently hating the Fit Pregnancy subscription that Partner's mother lovingly got for us. Such a wonderful gesture, truly, but even more this happened, I hated every one of the women in this magazine for looking so perky and adorable and still skinnier than I am now with their giant smooth pregnant bellies.

Other places loom on the horizon, but things that I thought would be hard, like seeing the bellies of my two pregnant friends, are not difficult for me at all. I am too excited for both of them. My friend Lynne has always wanted me to be present at the birth for her children. I missed the first two kids (who are the most incredibly beautiful children) and she so lovingly told me this time that if it felt hard for me, of course she wouldn't ask me again. I can't believe the empathy-- it's just so good to have at least one friend who seems to understand how hard this can be-- but I still want to be there. I can't imagine not being invited. Even if I can never get pregnant (and I don't believe that will happen), I would want be present for such a miracle in my friend's life.

Now What?

I don't really know what to do with myself here at the blog after the frenzied baby making posts. It's not that we're not busy or doing interesting things, I just somehow feel empty of posts partially because of my empty uterus. Having the period was harder than I thought it would be-- just made it more real, I suppose. Once in awhile, I have had moments of exasperation thinking about how we have to start all over from the beginning. No embryos frozen, so we're back at square one. All those shots. I hate thinking of Partner having that retrieval-- it seems awful. But now we're old hands, so maybe it will be better? Someone tell me it will be better. For now, we're both back on the pill and experience all the wonderful side effects associated with that little devil tablet.

As for my hives. Uhg. I went to the dermatologist who verified to me that they really were horrible and she immediately gave me a prescription for a Prednisone, a steroid. She was more than concerned it had already developed into cellulitis since it was so warm and it actually hurt me too. Some of my hives looked like bruises, literally black and blue, and it was not the injection site. I got a 'script for Keflex also, but the prednisone seems to working, so I am not taking that right now. All I can say is that these pills suck, but seem to be helping. I am still red, but now after six days on the meds, I am not a giant itch. And there is no more heat emanating from my hips. Although it has recently turned bitter-ass cold here in Michigan, and I find myself slightly nostalgic for the heat source. It's a bitter pill to swallow. Not metaphorically, literally. Even if I have the pills in my mouth for 1/10th of a second, the bitterness is overwhelming. I was really really concerned about nausea, but so far, none. If I forget and take them too late, I will not sleep. For example, two nights ago I forgot and consequently woke up every time the wind hit the house. Our electricity went out about two in the morning, and I woke up from hearing the sound of the power powering down. That's some light sleep, folks.

The dermatologist wants me to see an allergist just to be sure it's the sesame, and not the progesterone. I don't even want to think about what it would mean to be allergic to the progesterone. It's highly unlikely since my own body produces the hormone, but apparently some people are allergic to estrogen, even when their own bodies produce it. The ramifications of this allergy coupled with fertility treatment: well, let's just let that bridge loom in the foggy distance for now.

She also conjectured that the hives may come back even after I stop my dose of prednisone since that oil doesn't move anywhere fast. I wish there was a way to get it moving. Don't you think this is an excuse of hot baths and multiple massages? I certainly do, and if I was a smarter woman, I would have agitated for this more when the symptoms were the most severe.

Friday, November 11, 2005


It's always that coin where the flip side is the not-so-good part of the really good. For example, our RE office. It's clear they like Partner and me. Once the staff told us they were trying to figure out how to get us on payroll so we could be there all the time. (Fun!) Another time when I went in, of the girls (and they are girls, little twenty-something cute nice girls) pulled back the glass partition as I was signing in. "Oh, you know, you don't have to sign in!" I was little embarrassed, but slightly proud in front of the one other woman waiting there. And I like the office staff too. They are all very kind and upbeat and laugh at my stupid jokes. It's true: on the day of the pregnancy test, I made a cake and some cookies for them too. When our nurse called to tell us the bad news, she said that everyone in the office cried when they heard. She was crying when she told us. And then, of course, there was that really kind offer from Dr. BusyBusyBusy... This makes the RE office pleasant.

But there's that flip side. Dr. BusyBusyBusy is really busy. Sometimes during our last cycle I felt like we were being cycled around. Dr BBB on vacation, our nurse on vacation, can't see the follicle-come back tomorrow so the doctor can look, oh no the transfer will happen tomorrow sorry you drove an hour, etc, etc. But ultimately, we decided we were in good hands. And I still think that.

But when I was there Tuesday, I was told a prescription would be called in for the yeast infection. When I got the pharmacy Wednesday night, no one had done it.

When I showed them my hives, the advice was, "Take Benadryl and put calamine on them." When it was clear this was not working and my hives had only gotten worse, I decided I should call. The hives are awful. They are growing and hot and itchier than the wooliest wool undergarment on a hot summer day. And did I mention they are HOT? And sore, like big rugby bruises from my former rugby days. I called the RE office. The doctor's advice? Put 1% hyrdocortisone cream on them. Keep taking Benadryl. (But I'm already doing that?) Then the final advice was to "go to my dermatologist or GP."

"I don't have a GP," I said.

"Oh well, that's Dr. BusyBusyBusy's advice, but if it doesn't clear up he's worried it will develop into [something I didn't hear because I was getting angry at this point.]"

"Do you have recommendation for a dermatologist or GP?"

"Isn't your dad a doctor?"

"Yes, but he's a [specialist surgeon]!"

"Well, put the cream on for a couple of days, and if it doesn't help go see a GP or dermatologist. That was what Dr. BusyBusyBusy said."

I was seeing red. I think they should have some provisions for patients who are having allergic reactions to drugs they gave! Am I being unreasonable? I had to call four dermatologists offices before I found one that had an opening. (Lucky, because the next opening after today was 21 February.) And I know we should have a GP, but my dad is a doctor! (The shoemakers children have no shoes.) As I itch my outer hip, aka upper ass, I am cursing the RE office the whole while. For now I itch, but in one hour, hopefully this dermatologist will do something to cure me.

I wonder if I'll have a love-hate thing with her too?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

General Update

It's one thing to be told you aren't pregnant after a blood test, but it's quite another when the period starts. And for me the first few days weren't bad-- a little spotting and so light, I could almost convince myself it wasn't happening. That maybe I was a fluke, and I would prove the RE's office wrong, even though in my heart of hearts I knew they were right. But last night-- All I can say is that the RE office is right beyond a shadow of a doubt. The day after we got the news, I called our nurse back and asked all my questions, one of which was that I wondered if I should expect a heavier than normal period this time. "No," she said, "I've never heard anyone say she had a heavier period." Let's just say, I am not sure I believe her. (If you know this to be true, please let me know.)

Also, my other side effect is hives. Hives all around my hips near my injection site. It seems the oil my progesterone was in, sesame, is causing an allergic reaction in my body. It's itching the holy hell out of me. I have taken Benadryl and put on anti-itch cream, and it's not working. I'm giving it two more days, and then I'll go in for the steroid shot.

And finally, it appears the antibiotic gave me a yeast infection. When I tried to self-treat it with a three day dose of Monistat, I thought I was going to die. I have very sensitive skin, and apparently this translates to the nether-regions as well. The stinging was insane, and eventually I gave up and took a shower to "get it the fuck out of me!!" The good news is that it seems 20 minutes of hell with only one day of the three day Monistat dose, clears me up.

It's Wednesday. This feels like the longest week ever.

We also saw Dr. BusyBusyBusy yesterday. Who just said he thought maybe there was an embryo problem. They all fertilized, remember, but then only two of them made it to blast stage and the rest died. But that we should try again. Give Partner more drugs so she'll produce even more eggs, and not that we're doctors or anything, but this exactly what we thought they should do. I love when the RE's educated opinion jives exactly with ours. And I don't want to say much more, but he's also giving a break on cost. Which made me cry.

We're on downtime now for a bit. He wants at least a month to pass, and so we'll call to start it up again on day 18 of pill packet two. That's fifty days from now. Not that I'm counting or anything. But fifty days until the next Lupron shot.

And that's a lot of manhattans.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Dirty Harry's List of How to Feel Better after the First Failed IVF

There are things one can do that can ease the disappointment and dejection after a failed IVF. Don't let anyone tell you booze won't help. It does.

Here's my list of how to feel better, quicker.

1. Go to your parents' house and cry in your mother's arms. It will help if you are sandwiched between your partner and your mother. Usually this might make you feel smothered, but on the day you get your bad news, this will actually help.

2. Stop crying fairly quickly as you realize a manhattan is near proximity. Drink 1/2 of manhattan in single gulp, prompting disapproving looks from mother previously engaged in comforting you.

3. Continue to drink your manhattan while checking your email. Realize the blog-world is amazing and you love all your blog-pals. Look at drink and realize it's empty and then wonder if there is such a thing as beer-goggling your blog-friends. (Later revisit this topic, and realize that you were not doing this-- your blog-friends are more than blog friends and are indeed friends and even when not tipsy, you still love them.)

4. Pour another drink while trying to ignore your future SIL, who is not being malicious or mean, but is just not thinking when she repeats several times that it is her nightmare that you will have your baby during her wedding. Remind yourself of how you felt at your wedding and remember how wonderful it was. Do this in aid of sympathizing with her fear, but still, work at ignoring her ill-timed comments.

5. Gorge yourself on the "Southern Comfort Food Feast" your brother and previously annoying future SIL have made for you. Your future SIL is southern, so this is good authentic eats. Feel guilty about being annoyed now. White beans and rice, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, cole slaw, pulled bbq chicken sandwiches-- all of them homemade-- will fill your belly and you even though you realize you are stuffing yourself because of emotional needs more than hunger, you feel good at this end of this meal.

6. Go home after this, and sleep like shit. Realize that drinking many manhattans, even after being off them for only one week, can have a very deleterious effect on your morning.

7. Drink real coffee the next day. Fuck the decaf stuff you were drinking. Skip the healthy breakfast you were previously eating when you thought you were pregnant, and instead eat the some of the leftovers from southern comfort food feast. Potato salad: not just for picnics!

8. Finally, after working the next day and having to tell other people you know and love about your news, meet up with your crazy smart Native American friend who has been promising to teach you how to hold and shoot a gun for a year. Decide that it is absolutely the right time. You might be very scared when meeting him at the shooting range since you are the only woman there and you have never even held a gun before. You will feel silly in the "ears" and "eyes" you need to wear. You will cringe when not only you friend, but the ranger gives you lecture about safety. The gun will feel big and scary when you hold it for the first time. But ultimately decide that this was the best therapy ever and he might need to take you to the range again the very next day. Decide every one of your friends who is going through this same shit should find someone to take them to a shooting range at least once during their ART treatment. Finally be dumbfounded that you are liberal lesbian espousing such a thing.

My Target!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sometimes I guess those hpt's are wrong. But sometimes they are right.

This time, it was right.

I guess I'll have a manhattan. And another. And another. And another.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I could have just waited until tomorrow when the esteemed and busy RE office will draw my blood up into a little vial and send it off to a lab. They'll call me around 4:00 and tell me some news that will stop the echo in my head that goes am i aren't i am i aren't i am i aren't i am i aren' ti?

Today marks one week since transfer, so we know it's early. That digital readout doesn't leave much room for questioning, does it? Even when we took the stick out of the reader, it wasn't even vague.

I really would like to crawl back into bed and go back to sleep. What stupid thing we did today. And I can't even cry. Because maybe it's all wrong and tomorrow I'll be elated and this will all be a distant memory.

As Linda Ellerbee used to say, "And so it goes."