Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fan Faire Goodness!

Yes yes, I am a consumate gamer. *hangs head in shame and grins wickedly* I adore the virtual world I get to play in when I'm not busy in real life. It's fun, it's interesting, and I've made and met some great people that way.

So when the opportunity arose last year to attend Fan Faire, hubby and I jumped at the chance. This year, we're already planning for it.

The polls are up. For the next two weeks, the SOE gaming community gets to vote on the location and the dates for this year's Fan Faire event.

1. Orlando, June 19-22
2. Orlando, June 26-29
3. San Diego, June 26-29
4. Las Vegas, September 4-7

We did Vegas last year. And I have to tell you, I <3<3<3<3<3 that city! It's sweet. I really want to go back and finish seeing it all though. We scheduled on the spur of the moment last year so we didn't have time to work everything in. Hubby and I do want to go back there. But September 4-7? Not good dates for much of the gaming community. Think about it... right after Labour Day. School? For both students and teachers or those who have children, it's not a good time of the year. Not at all. I hope for their sakes, that Vegas is not the chosen date/location combo that is selected.

San Diego is WAY over on the other side of the continent of course. I've never been to California and I'd really love to go. I have a really good in-game friend from out there... who came to Vegas with his wife last year with us. The four of us had a grand time. It's awfully expensive to fly though. But it would be a lovely travel opportunity. The date isn't bad; it does come awfully close to the Canada Day (July 1) holiday though. Meh. But then again, the choice of San Diego doesn't surprise me at all; that is where SOE HQ is located. Maybe we'd get a tour?! *hopes*

Orlando? I love Orlando. I have been there dozens of times, and I enjoy the city. I know it well. And well... *scuffs a toe* I gotta see me the Mouse's House while we're there. I'm such a big kid at heart you know! Again though, I'm not too keen on the June 26-29 date because of the proximity to the July 1 holiday. I'd prefer the earlier date of June 19-22 personally. And hubby and I could save money and drive down to Orlando too. That would be fun. I'd enjoy doing that.

There are some problems with the way the poll is set up (i.e., splitting out a single location into two different dates) and the fact that during all these times, humidity will certainly be a factor (dear God man, can we not consider May as an option!?) but wherever Fan Faire is held, hubby and I are setting our sights on being there and having a glorious time! Woo hoo!!! *dances*

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Doc Approves

Yesterday afternoon, I left work early to handle a few medical things. First up... another blood draw to confirm the high TSH reading that was found last time. "My Angel" (aka my dear phlebotomist) found a vein on the first try! Heavens, she is brilliant. I adore her! I managed to take a good photo of her yesterday too.

She told me that her 11-year old daughter reads this blog (*waves*) and she laughed with me about being invited to my baby shower when hubby and I get lucky. That's a promise! I can certainly do that and I'd be pleased to do that too! Given all that she has done for me already, it'd be entirely my pleasure to have her there.

I went from the lab over to my GP's office. Four items there to discuss:

1. The flu shot -- finally got my shot. I'd put it off before the holidays because we were going away and all, but I know I needed to get my shot, because if the flu hits me, it hits me hard.

2. TERRIBLY dry skin -- I suspected a patch of eczema actually, but she indicated that it's just a few spots of really dry skin, so much so that it's peeling. I'm awfully OCD when it comes to handwashing so I've likely overdone it with a spot or two. She recommended a type of cream that's thicker than my usual hand cream to help clear it up.

3. Torn calf muscle -- last Tuesday night, I felt it pop, like a rubber band that had broken. I buckled down on my knees, in sheer and utter pain and thought, "Oh God... how am I going to drive home!?" I made it. Eventually. I took two days off work, iced it, kept it up, etc. (it swelled and bruised horribly) but it's on the mend. She figured another 2-3 weeks will heal it up well enough to get back to the elliptical or treadmill. Until then, the recumbent bike it'll have to be. *sighs* Oh well.

4. High TSH -- Given my plethora of symptoms and of course, now the bloodwork results to back it up, she's prescribed a low dose of Levothyroxine to help with the Hypothyroidism. We'll check levels in a couple of months and see how it's going. I'm crossing my fingers we see something in that time.

Hubby and I are looking forward to our appointment in Montreal. We've made plans to get together with my friend T who lives there; we'll have dinner with her before we return to Ottawa that same evening. It'll be good to see her too! And Ms. C? I know you're up there too. If I need anything before then, can I holler at you? :)

And how's everyone else doing?

Monday, January 21, 2008

High TSH

The last bloodwork results are in. It's the TSH that's high...

My TSH = 5.02
Normal TSH = 0.30–4.70

And somewhere I've read that optimal TSH for pregnancy is under 3.0.

If my TSH is high, it could indicate hypothyroidism, which is something my family physicians all my life have wondered about and often tested for. Before this, my readings came back in the normal range, but usually high within the normal range.

Very interesting indeed. I have the requisition to redo the bloodwork so I'll go this week. I want to get to the bottom of this!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Repeat the bloodwork?

Interesting development:

I got a call from my RE here. They want me to repeat the TSH and T3 bloodwork.

I wonder if this could give us some answers.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Good and the Bad

Awhile ago, we were told that my hubby's office was going to be transferring the particular job that he does to the head office in Montréal. They asked if he would be willing to move, and he indicated that he wasn't. As such, we knew that he would be out of work as of March 1, and he stepped up his efforts to find other employment.

Yesterday, he signed a Letter of Offer for a new job. The job starts next Monday (they want him ASAP) and it will be a government position (casual to start, to ensure he likes it and they like him, before it becomes either Term or Permanent). The best part? It's a $15K increase (before taxes of course) over what he is currently making.

Which is perfect. Cause that is exactly what the IVF/ICSI + TESE in Montréal is going to cost us. Colour me tickled pink!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Movin' on up...

We have an appointment in Montreal on February 21st at 2 p.m.

I think I see the long line waiting to get on the rollercoaster... Yup. There it is. *points* Over there. Come on hubby. *tugs his shirt* We need to get back in line.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

You're gonna be SO proud of me!

I did it! You have no idea how thrilled I am to be able to log in here today and tell you that I did it!

This afternoon, I left work early and I went to the lab at the medical clinic. My Angel met me with a smile and a hug, and a hopeful grin, asking, "Any news for me yet?" (She's a cheering section all unto her own!) I laughed at her and I gave her a belated Christmas Card that I'd hoped to give her before I went away for the holidays. I also gave her a copy of the Globe and Mail article, and told her that I mention her now and then in my blog. Next time, I told her I'm going to take a photo of her for the blog. She deserves some serious kudos.

Nonetheless, today, I deserved kudos too. Why? Because I went there, to that lab alone. ALONE. BY MYSELF!! Do you know how huge that is?! It's a step that I am really proud of. With the phobia and past experiences that I have had with needles and blood and all the rest, it's immense. Given the utter hell that I've been through in the past with giving blood for tests, it's only My Angel that makes it easier for me.

And even today, when she was trying to find the vein (that conveniently hid from her after she'd found it!), tapping my arms, rubbing the skin, trying to make it bearable, I was able to withstand it. When she stuck me once, and didn't get the vein, for a split second, I trembled, wondering if I could go through with it. And I knew I could. She turned me round (cause I still have to lie down; I wasn't willing to tempt fate all THAT much today!) and tried the other arm, and voilà! She got it! Lord bless her for her patience, her understanding and her compassion. It is through her and these gifts that she has that I am able to do what I did today.

I went for bloodwork all by myself. And I couldn't be happier about it! This was the last test needed before our file gets referred to Montreal for IVF. And now we see where the road takes us.

Special Occasions
Today, January 8 is the anniversary of the date that my husband proposed. Back in January of 2003, we had already bought the ring (together) and I had given it to him saying, "You take it, and keep it, and when the time is right, if the time is right, you ask me." He had planned to propose at New Year's... alas, an allergic reaction I had that night put the kaibosh on that plan. So instead, on January 8, he did the deed.

It's a cute story: I had been wearing a simple, yellow gold ring that we picked up on vacation about a year prior to his formally popping the question. And that night, on January 8, we had decided to go out for dinner. At the table, he took my hands and played with my ring, saying, "I think it's time we replaced this ring, don't you?" I said, "If you're ready... sure." But he'd left the ring at home, and so he promised to ask when we got back to the house.

Returning home (yes, yes, we lived in sin for about three years before he asked the question), it was all but forgotten as we got tied up with the animals, tidying, preparations for the next day at work, and all the rest. Around 11 or so, we went to bed. And there, lying in bed, he sat straight up and said, "Damn! I knew I forgot something." He pulled out the ring, rolled over and said, "I'm sorry, it slipped my mind. So, would you marry me?"

My response? "Nuh uh. You gotta do it right," said with a smirk. He got out of bed, came round to my side of the bed, got down on one knee (stark naked mind you!) and I sat on the edge of the bed, with nothing but the light of the moon in the bedroom. He took my hand in his and asked again, "Gil, will you marry me?" And I nodded and said, "Yes." After he put the ring on my finger, I joked with him, "Bout time you asked!"

And happy belated birthday to my mom! Yesterday was her birthday. I called her, and spent an hour chatting to her and my dad. She's in great spirits; she told me that they just made plans to go to Florida in the spring and I know she is really looking forward to it. They deserve it. They deserve nothing but the best.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Look! Another New Year!

We're back from our holiday in West Virginia and I must say, we had a great time visiting with my sister and her husband, and his whole family. Christmas was fantastic and my sis and I did the turkey for everyone (there were nine of us around the dinner table). The drive to and from WV from Canada's capital took about 12-13 hours each way, with extra time on the return trip to stop in Columbus, Ohio to visit a gaming friend of mine who I've been chatting with for more than two years now. It was lovely to meet him and his wife in person for the first time, rather than just hear his voice over my headset!

I am so glad that we went to see everyone. Now I have a good frame of reference when my sis talks about driving to this or that place, or how her house is laid out, how far it is to her MIL's house... stuff like that. And I am told that my sis and her husband really enjoyed having us there as well. That's good; I hate to be a burden to people when I stay in their home.

Upon return to Ottawa, we launched ourselves back to some sort of regular routine. Okay, I'm not back at the gym just YET. But I'm getting there. Besides, it's the first week of January; this is the week that all the "New Year's Resolutions" people come out of the woodwork and invade the gym! Etiquette people! Jeez, wipe down the machines when you're done willya!? *shudder* Ugh. Just icky. *wince*

Early January... the time for New Year's Resolutions. Yes, it is that time of the year isn't it? You know something? I have one resolution this year. Sure, I want to lose weight. Sure I want to get out more. Sure, I want to spend more time with family and friends. But the resolution I have?

Do whatever it takes to make me happy.

It's as simple as that. It CAN be as simple as that.

If that means more gym, so be it.
If it means changing jobs (something I'm sort of considering now that I've tasted being a manager), so be it.
If it means travel, so be it.
If it means trying IVF, so be it.
If it means letting go of the dream... so be it.

Scary as it sounds, but I have to live my life right? I have to get through each day, and be happy at the end of the day; otherwise, what's the point? Why put myself through months, years of agony and put my marriage at risk, put my mental health at risk, put my social life on hold... for something that may never be? I want to be a mom, of course. But at the risk of losing myself, of changing who I am? Of losing my husband and putting my sanity at risk? My happiness never to be found again because I put myself through hell with treatments? Is it worth that? Many of you who have had success can answer that I guess. I'd like to hear your take on it. But for me, and others who haven't yet had success, and may NEVER have success (let's face facts shall we?), I'm reaching that crossroads.

A friend e-mailed me yesterday and said that I have sounded more upbeat and more like my old, positive, happy self in the last few months. She's right. I have. Why? Because I am letting go. I am not putting my eggs (ha ha!) in the 'fertility' basket anymore. I can't. I can't have that unfailing hope. I have hope, but it isn't going to come at the cost of losing myself. I won't let that happen.

Inuit Adoptions
I read an article in the paper a couple of days ago, about people from my home province (Newfoundland) looking north to the Inuit population for adoption. In "Couples Look North to Adopt Children," the details are laid out: Nunavut has the highest birth rate in Canada (more than double the national average); the Atlantic region has the lowest birth rate in Canada; and the Atlantic region has the highest wait for newborns (14 years in some places). Best of all, in the Inuit culture, there is no stigma made about 'giving away' a baby, rather you 'make a gift' to both the child and the new parents. Sounds like a win-win situation for those couples who are seeking to adopt and who are willing to promise that the child's heritage is not lost. I thought the article was well done. Very sensitive and outlined some of the process. I thought I'd mention it for those interested.

There is good news in the blogging world though; a couple of you have attained the finish line!
Decemberbaby (aka Sara) had a girl on New Year's Eve. Go congratulate her! And Nina over at Stella and/or Ben has a baby girl, born on December 30. What a cutie!

Christmas Meme

I've been tagged for a Christmas Meme by Pam over at Baby Wanted: Apply Within. It's late in coming Pam, but better late than never right?

1. Egg nog or Hot Chocolate?
Egg nog is good, but I prefer Hot Chocolate.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
All wrapped! And marked "To Gil, From Santa."

3. Coloured lights on tree/house or white?
I love the look of all white lights. It looks very classy, but I prefer the traditional look of coloured lights. Oh, all blue lights looks lovely too!

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
Real mistletoe? Nope. Fake stuff? Sometimes. Not always.

5. When do you put your decorations up?
The decorations are up and ready to go for December 1. They do not come down before January 6, which is Old Christmas Day, per tradition.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
Christmas dinner, turkey and the trimmings, is a must at holiday time.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child.
I was about 6 or 7 years old and my sister is a year younger than me. We were visiting my aunt and uncle on Christmas Eve and we were about to leave for home with Mom and Dad. There, on the cement porch, my sister and I looked up to the night sky and we SWORE up and down that we saw Santa flying overhead. I believed, with all my heart, that I had seen Santa Claus and we were never so anxious to get home and get to bed!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I don't know that I "learned" the truth per se. Somewhere around the age of 10 or 11 I guess I figured it out. But to this day, I believe in Santa, as in I believe in the goodness of all people, the joy in your heart, the giving nature and the abundance of happiness that I experience when I give something I know the recipient will enjoy. The essence of Christmas is giving; and if Santa embodies that, then I embrace it wholeheartedly. Yes Gil, there really IS a Santa Claus.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas eve?
I used to as a child, now I don't. Christmas Eve is more enjoyable for me than Christmas Day and it was always that way. I could prolong Christmas Eve for a week and be thrilled!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
A total of 850 coloured lights, with a lighted angel at the top. Homemade ornaments that my mother did years ago, old ornaments from my grandmother's and grandfather's tree, and from my Dad's home when he was a boy, a few "mass-produced" ornaments that you can get pretty much anywhere, but most are unique. My mom started giving us an ornament per year when we were kids. When we moved out, we got all our ornaments to take with us. So I have brass ornaments with my name engraved and the year; I have ornaments collected from family vacations at Christmas (1997 in Disney for example), and an ornament that my grandmother made before she passed away. Those are dear to me. I don't know what I would do if I lost them or they were damaged. No tinsel on my tree though; we have cats!

11. Snow! Love it or dread it?
I LOVE SNOW! Hate shovelling it though. :(

12. Can you ice skate?
No. I used to but broke my ankle when I was 10. It's too weak to skate on anymore.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
Not particularly. I remember a few gifts, some of which I've tried to track down on the Internet but other than that, no. I do remember the year my sister got a guitar though!

14. What is the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Being surrounded by family and friends.

15. What is your favorite Holiday dessert?
The rum cake that my aunt makes!

16. What is your favorite Holiday tradition?
Delivering gifts on Christmas eve and then having wine while we stuff the stockings.

17. What tops your tree?
A lighted angel.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?
Giving. Always giving.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
There are too many to name but here are a few:
Little Drummer Boy by The Harry Simeone Chorale
Do They Know it's Christmas by Band-Aid
The Angel Gabriel by Sting
A Spaceman Came Travelling by Chris deBurgh
The Holly and the Ivy by Rita MacNeil

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?
Love em, but in moderation. I prefer chocolate!

Thank you...
... for the prayers and good wishes for my friend and her daughter that I mentioned in my last entry. They're still working through this and trying to make sense of it all. I guess we all are in our own way.