Archive for The wolf

Part 2: Surprise! Your kidneys are broken.

Part 1: Introducing lupus – my unwanted life companion


So it was now the end of January 2005, I was 22 years old and had just been diagnosed with lupus. My rheumatologist strongly suspected kidney involvement because, well, my pee was apparently filled with blood and protein but no bacteria (which would have been present with a bad UTI). He didn’t want to start me on any medications until a) he knew for sure the kidneys were being attacked and b) if they were, the extent of the damage.


Maybe it’s time to pause the story for a moment and explain exactly what lupus is for anyone who might be unfamiliar. is a great place to get more information but I’ll give you the quick and dirty here. Basically, lupus is an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system begins attacking your healthy tissue. So far no one really knows why this happens and there is no cure, only treatments that keep symptoms at bay. Most of these involve destroying the immune system so they aren’t exactly pleasant, but they seem to work so it is what it is. Since the definition of lupus is pretty broad, it can affect each person differently. Some people only have arthritis and skin issues, others, like me, have organ involvement. It can affect just one organ or several, and what is affected can also change over time. Recently Toni Braxton has announced that she has lupus affecting her heart and Nick Cannon (Mariah Carey’s husband) has lupus nephritis (kidney involvement). 90% of lupus patients are women and it also disproportionately afflicts minorities.


But coming back to my own story, my rheumatologist Dr. Miller immediately referred to me to Dr. Joel Mittleman of Cedars Sinai. I found out many years later that he was the nephrologist that did Nat King Cole’s daughter’s (Natalie King Cole’s sister) kidney transplant (maybe there is something to the whole six degrees of separation thing!). He was a busy doctor but since I was referred as an urgent case I was able to see him within a few days.

Dr. Miller had mentioned to me that it was possible Dr. Mittleman might recommend a kidney biopsy be done. I still couldn’t believe there was something wrong with me beyond the arthritis, it had just never occurred to me that there might be something else beyond what I could actually feel. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that my kidneys might slowly be failing no matter what my labs were saying.

When I met with Dr. Mittleman, he had spoken with Dr. Miller and gone over my records and he said he really did think it would be best if I had a kidney biopsy as soon as possible. He explained that while there are urine and blood tests that can be run, because the kidneys are very good at compensating for damage (i.e. if some filters are destroyed, others just work harder until too much has been destroyed and the kidneys fail. This is why someone can suddenly present with kidney failure despite very few warning signs) the only way to know for sure how badly damaged they were was to study the tissue itself. For that they would need to insert a needle into my back (under local anesthesia) in order to remove a tiny piece of kidney. This would be done twice and both samples would be studied for damage and based on how damaged the samples were they could extrapolate how much damage had been done to the kidneys overall.

As shocked as I was by the lupus diagnosis I was even more in shock hearing that I would need to have this procedure done, one which involved an overnight hospital stay. I had never had to stay in the hospital before, I had never had any kind of procedure done in the hospital, I had always been a fairly healthy kid and never so much as broken a bone before.

My doctors proceeded with a sense of urgency so I didn’t exactly have time to absorb everything. The biopsy was scheduled for a week later so I had time to tell work what was going on, that I would need to be out, maybe for awhile. My boss at the time was known to be a bit of a tyrant but she had suffered health problems herself and was very understanding, they told me to take all the time I needed. My parents wanted to be with me for the procedure so both of them drove down and stayed with me for the week following the biopsy. This was the first time I could remember my dad taking time off work with no notice.

I was scared of the procedure itself. I have always hated needles and blood and believed myself to have a really low tolerance for pain so everything about this terrified me. The idea of being awake for the procedure didn’t help things but I was told general wasn’t necessary for something like this.

We went to the hospital early in the morning, I filled out a million forms and was eventually asked to change into hospital gown and had an IV placed (again as someone who hates needles, this was a ton of fun – NOT). I was led back to the procedure room where my doctor and a few other people in scrubs and gowns were waiting for me. I can’t remember if I was given any sort of sedative or not but I was told to lie face down and given the local. Eventually it was time to start the biopsy and Dr. Mittleman walked me through what would happen. I was told to hold very still (I was so scared I was going to accidentally flinch or move) and I felt pressure when the needle was inserted. He told me he had gotten one piece and was going to be going in again for the second. It was all over pretty quickly and then I was wheeled to a hospital room.

After this my concept of time is pretty fuzzy. Cedars Sinai only has private rooms and I remember it was not an unpleasant room. They said they would bring in a fold-out bed later on because my mom had asked to stay with me overnight. I was told they needed me to stay in bed for about 24 hours to reduce the risk of internal bleeding. I wasn’t even allowed to use the bathroom – I had to call the nurse for a bedpan. Luckily I managed not to go #2 during my stay!

At some point my family and Paul left to go to the cafeteria and they came back saying the food was amazing. I don’t remember anything about the food I was given, I don’t think I had much of an appetite and I was pretty out of it because I think they were giving me painkillers at that point. A nurse would come every few hours (including in the middle of the night) to take some blood. More needles, ugh.

Finally it was nighttime and I was given something to help me sleep. My nephrologist had come earlier in the day I think, but my rheumatologist came after I had been given the sleeping pill so it must have been past 9 or 10pm (he was a workaholic!). I remember being so appreciative that he had come to see how I was. I didn’t sleep all that well because of being woke up every couple hours for a blood draw (sidenote: how are you supposed to recover when they don’t let you sleep?).

By the morning I was completely ready to be out of there but had to wait for my nephrologist to come and release me. He finally came around 9 or 10am and I was asked to sit up for the first time in almost 24 hours. I was allowed to get up and use the restroom but when I got back to my bed I was dizzy and my blood pressure was too low. They decided to give me an IV of saline solution to help raise my blood pressure and I remember feeling secretly relieved that at least I didn’t get the IV put in for nothing! I was told to rest for another hour after which my doctor came back and I was finally released.

I was told what to watch out for, signs of infection or internal bleeding and that I needed to take it really, really easy and was not allowed to do anything remotely strenuous.

For my part, I was just glad that it was over and I was going home. I was hoping we’d have some answers soon and that the worst was over, unfortunately as far as my symptoms went, things were only about to get worse…

Part 1: Introducing lupus – my unwanted life companion

Despite all evidence to the contrary, this is not a pregnancy blog.

It’s just that, for a variety of reasons, I actually don’t get to talk about the baby and pregnancy very much in real life and so this blog becomes my space for that. There are only a few people in my life I have been able to just blab and blab to about all my thoughts and fears about pregnancy, or just things that I find downright interesting and am surprised I never learned in sex ed or bio class!

But as much as I will inevitably talk about pregnancy over the next six months, followed by baby updates, I think it’s also time for me to talk more in detail about my past and how exactly I got here.

It’s interesting that despite having kept this blog pretty religiously over the past twelve years of my life, huge chunks of my life are glaringly absent from this space. Things that I never wrote about at all or wrote about in very cryptic ways to avoid people knowing what I was really talking about or going through. A lot of this was due to not really knowing who was reading, being afraid of how it could someday affect my career path, and of feeling judged but not knowing who was judging me.

I’m not completely over any of those fears, and the idea of my parents finding this place still freaks the bejeezus out of me, but now that I am basically “out” at work, I do think it’s time to share more about my experience with lupus and how it has affected every facet of my life.

In a way I feel like I owe it to the 1.5 million fellow Americans who suffer along with me, mostly in silence. There is so little attention given to this disease that affects so many, this largely invisible disease that has only recently started to have any big name advocates to bring the spotlight on those of us who have to live with pain and illness every day. My story probably won’t change much in the grand scheme of things, but I know that every time I come across the blog of someone else writing about their lupus and how it affects them, it is comforting to realize that there are others out there who get it. Others out there who want more research, more answers, and hopefully someday a cure, every bit as badly as I do. Sometimes it’s enough just to know I’m not alone.


I’m not really sure where the story truly begins, but I guess the best place to start would be my senior year of college, the first time when looking back, I had clear and unmistakable signs of a lupus flare.

My boyfriend at the time, The Marine, had just returned from Iraq and our relationship was falling apart like a band-aid being peeled ever so slowly off raw skin. It’s a post for another day (one I really do plan on writing) but the gist of it is that he wanted to return to the “normal” life of a college sophomore (where he had left off before the war) and I was about to graduate and truly believed he was The One. I think on some level he did really love me and on another level he might have felt guilty that I had waited for him and so he couldn’t bring himself to break-up with me right away when he returned and knew that he didn’t want the responsibility of a long-term girlfriend who had her sights set on marriage.

Anyway, it was a tumultuous year. I was jealous, insufferable and clingy. He was emotionally distant. And we were trying to maintain a long-distance relationship since I was still in LA and he was attending UC Santa Cruz.

On top of relationship stress I was worried about finding a job after graduation. I found myself about to graduate from college and still had very little idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up. Except I was about to be a grown up. Oops.

Obviously my problems were all what you would call “first world problems” but they were my problems nonetheless and they did stress me out. And as I now know, stress can contribute greatly to lupus flares.

It started small. The joint in my right elbow would lock up. I attributed it to too many computer games. I even saw a TCM practitioner about it, as well as a PCP at Ka.iser and was told it was a dislocated thumb (TCM) and tendonitis (PCP). This was during Thanksgiving 2003.

The pain in my elbow would come and go, worse somedays, better others. The ex finally put me out of my misery during Spring Break of my senior year. I was devastated but also determined not to show it. I partied, I worked long hours at my internship, and I finished my last quarter of college.

Edited to add: I forgot to mention the small but, I think, important detail that after the breakup I started tanning. I had always been pale but living in LA the pressure to have at least some color on my pasty body finally got to me when I was back in “attract a man” mode. Given that I was already having signs of mild arthritis, tanning was about the dumbest thing I could have done (UV rays are HORRIBLE for lupus) but I’ll cut myself a break since I had no idea what I was risking beyond skin cancer (which admittedly was already pretty dumb of me. But I was 21 and heartbroken, so again, cutting myself a break).

I noticed after nights of clubbing in heels that I would have a hard time walking the next day. I would get up out of my chair and my ankle or knee would lock in pain out of nowhere. Sometimes it happened so suddenly that I would nearly collapse onto the floor. I didn’t think much of it, except that maybe I should quit wearing heels. It honestly never occurred to me that something could be seriously wrong with me.

I graduated college in June 2004 and met my future husband on the day I graduated. I also started working full-time at the fundraising firm for which I did my internship. The hours were long, the environment was stressful, the pay was for shit. They didn’t offer health insurance when I first started and I didn’t realize that I was still covered by my parent’s insurance (it’s changed with Obamacare but at the time you were covered until the end of the calendar year of the year you graduated from college) – but as it turns out I was very lucky that I thought I didn’t have insurance because I never saw a doctor. I say I was lucky because my company started offering health insurance as of January 2005 but had I been seen by a doctor in the interim my new insurance probably would not have paid for my treatments since they could have classified it as a pre-existing condition.

As 2004 passed, my symptoms began to ramp up. When I woke up in the morning, I never knew what joint would be aching or swelling. I remember being home for the holidays (I think it was Thanksgiving again) and my knees swelled up out of nowhere. My family wanted me to see a doctor but I was convinced I didn’t have health insurance and so I didn’t. I honestly wasn’t all that concerned, I still didn’t believe there was anything seriously wrong.

My parents bought me a new Sleep Number mattress for Christmas that year (I thought maybe it was my crappy futon causing all my morning aches and pains) and I didn’t have a frame for it so I put it directly on the ground and I remember somedays it was such a struggle to get up out of bed because various joints hurt so badly I couldn’t push myself up. I was like an arthritic grandma at the age of 22.

And then finally, on a Thursday night in early January 2005, a mere handful of days after my new health insurance kicked in, I woke up in the middle of the night with searing pain shooting across my upper back and both shoulders. That was the first time I had ever had pain there and it was completely unbearable. I couldn’t move without pain, I had to use the bathroom but I just literally could not move. I started crying and Paul woke up. I told him I couldn’t move, that my whole body felt like it was on fire and I finally admitted to myself that something was seriously wrong with me.

The next morning, Friday, I called in sick to work and Paul and I immediately set out looking for a doctor for me to see. I called my cousin who was a family medicine resident at UCLA and told him what had happened. Since I had a PPO he advised that I go directly to see a rheumatologist. Paul looked up rheumatologists that took my insurance and decided that I should call someone named Dr. Bruce Miller. Why? Because he had a strong sounding name and an office in Beverly Hills. Yes, that is seriously how Paul picked the best doctor I have ever met.

So I called Dr. Miller’s office and his assistant Delia answered the call. She told me that unfortunately he was completely booked but I guess she heard the desperation in my voice and she said she would take my information down and see if the doctor would call me on his lunch break. I firmly believe she was one of the angels God sent down to help me when I needed it the most.

Dr. Miller? He was undoubtedly an angel in my life. In fact, if our little one is indeed a boy, his middle name will be Bruce.

He did in fact call me back during his lunch break that day. He spoke with me for awhile, listened to my story while he could have been having a nice sandwich. And then he said that he was completely booked for the day but he did think I needed to be seen right away. He asked if I could come at the end of the day, his nurse could draw my blood and take a urine sample before she left and he would see me after his last appointment. Keep in mind this was all taking place on a Friday, when most doctors want nothing more than to get home and enjoy their weekend.

Months later as I sat in his waiting room (he was almost always running behind but I never minded because I knew it was because he never rushed an appointment and wanted to give each patient personalized and thorough care) another patient began to chat with me. I always got a lot of stares in the waiting room because I was usually the youngest one there by a good 40-50 years. People wondered what I was doing there. The woman asked how I had found Dr. Miller (clearly prying but I didn’t mind, she was very nice) and I told her that I had just called out of the blue one day. She was shocked. She told me that there was a four-month waiting list for new patients, that she had been trying to get a friend in to see him for awhile without success. She told me that he was considered one of the best in LA and that she knew of quite a few other doctors who came to him for their own care.

It was my own Footprints in the Sand moment, realizing that the only thing that made any sense was that God had led me step by step to this very doctor, the one who would diagnose my lupus within two weeks of my first visit with him. A disease that often takes years to diagnose. I guess I was “lucky” in the sense that a) I presented quite clearly with lupus nephritis (arthritis, protein/blood in urine, positive dsDNA, low C3 and C4, anemia, etc.) and b) I had an incredibly thorough doctor who knew exactly what to look for and which tests to run.

I’ll never forget the day he called me to come into his office after he’d gotten all my tests back. I couldn’t even drive myself at that point and Paul was in class over an hour away so I had to ask a friend to take me the office. I was terrified, I couldn’t deny it anymore, something was really wrong with me but I had no idea what he was going to say it was. I was sitting on the exam table and he told me he was pretty sure I had lupus.

I remember him telling me that I wasn’t going to die, that the treatments had improved a lot and that death was quite rare nowadays. I know he thought he was being comforting but the fact was I had no clue what lupus was and it never even crossed my mind that I could die from it until he said I wasn’t going to die from it. He told me I needed to see a nephrologist because it was attacking my kidneys, and I realized that’s why his nurse kept asking me if I had a UTI everytime I gave urine – because there was blood in my samples. He was incredibly compassionate and gentle, and other than the death comment quite comforting about the fact that I was going to be okay.

Still, I left the appointment in shock.

I called Paul and told him what the doctor had said. He had class the next day but an hour later he was knocking on my door. He had gotten in the car immediately and stayed on the phone with me without telling me he was coming because he knew I would tell him not to. I already knew I wanted to marry him before that, but after that I was a little more sure.

I don’t remember at what point the shock broke and the tears started, but it happened sometime that night. I don’t remember telling my parents. I don’t really remember much else about that night besides what I just wrote.


And….now it’s late so I think I’m going to have to finish this another time. Up next…meeting the nephrologist and my kidney biopsy.

specialists vs normal people doctors

First, the good news, my beta at 4w5d was 5,043!  The nurse seemed quite happy with it so I’m going to take that and run with it for now.  She even said that they’d be able to prove to me soon that there really is a baby growing in there hehe.

And now the annoying stuff.  I’ve been on a quest to find a regular OB and I’m so frustrated by dealing with office staff that is only used to dealing with “normal” people.  They don’t seem to understand what “high risk” means and since this is my first pregnancy, I really don’t know what it means either, but I do know it means that I should not be getting my first u/s at 12 weeks.

I was specifically told by my high risk ob that I should be getting u/s quite frequently, if not at every visit.  I was also told there would be more labs done and more frequent visits than in a “normal” pregnancy.

Well the staff at all these “normal” people offices don’t seem to get that at all.  They keep telling me that as long as there are no obvious complications (i.e. bleeding, cramping, etc.) that they believe I’ll be treated the same and on the same schedule as any other patient.

Um, no.

That is not going to fly.

Then they ask me things like why I’m high risk and clearly have zero clue what lupus nephritis is and why it would make me a high risk patient.

I just don’t want to deal with these doctors for “normal” people.  I like the safety of my specialists who actually know what lupus is and what the risks are.  I don’t know if I can trust a “normal” OB who I will probably have to educate on my condition.  I mean, seriously?  What is the point of seeing a doctor who you have to teach about your medical condition?

I love my high risk ob so much and am so upset that he can’t be my sole provider through this.  I have a feeling that every visit with the “normal” OB is going to be needlessly stressful and frustrating.

I hope I’m wrong, but I just can’t see this going any differently.


Look at me posting two days in a row!

I am supposed to go get some labs done but for some reason I’m really dreading it today.  Maybe it’s because the draws at this lab almost always hurt.  Or maybe I just enjoyed the past few weeks of not having my veins molested.  All I know is I really, really don’t feel like being poked right now.

Unfortunately for me, at last check my liver enzymes were stable but still higher than normal so that needs to be monitored.  And even though my rheumy did not seem concerned that my complement levels were low (low C3 and C4 are a sign of active lupus), I know from looking at my past labs that they were on the low side even given my always low numbers.  So for my own peace of mind I’d kind of like to see them again before we have to really start factoring pregnancy into the equation.  I’m assuming that since I’m only 5dpo right now that even if there is something fertilized and swimming around in there it shouldn’t be affecting my numbers yet.  Or if it is…well…that would be a really bad sign wouldn’t it?

Speaking of 5dpo, I tried so hard today to just forget about the “two week wait” (2ww), but then came lunch time and the suggestion of Japanese food just reminded me, wait a minute I can’t eat raw fish (my favorite)!  And then I grabbed some chocolates from the box where our admin keeps snacks and had to think twice about whether or not I should eat it (I did).  How am I supposed to forget when I’m also supposed to be vigilant about what I’m eating/drinking?

Hoping that the next six days fly by…

chapter 2

So turn around
You’re not too far to back away
Be who you are
To change your path, go another way
It’s not too late, you can be saved
If you feel depressed with past regrets
The shameful nights, hope to forget
Can disappear, they can all be washed away
By the one who’s strong, can right your wrongs
Can rid your fears, dry all your tears
And change the way you look at this big world
He will take your dark, distorted view
And with His light He will show you truth
And again you’ll see through the eyes of a little girl

My anxiety levels have been increasing over the past few days.  I don’t have any great explanation for it beyond it just being normal for me to periodically get depressed/anxious and also I might be pms-ing.  Might be because I really don’t know what my body does or how and when it decides to do what it does.  I’m on a strictly need-to-know basis – we’re tight like that, me and my body.

I am struggling to understand myself right now.  Understand what I’m working towards and what it is I’m looking for.  More and more I’m convinced that what I’m looking for is God.

I’ve never known how to say this, not really, but maybe I need to just lay it out there, no matter how embarrassing it may be to say it…

I believe in God, I really, truly believe that and I think I pretty much always have since I started attending church at the age of five.  First I believed in God because I was raised believing in God and as I grew up the argument made perfect sense to me.  I looked around at the world, particularly at some of the beautiful scenery I was introduced to as my parents dragged me from state park to state park, and it was just so obvious to me that there had to be a God.  From age five til my midteens I lived what looked like a typical Christian lifestyle, I went to church on Sundays, prayed before meals, helped out with church events and generally and genuinely turned to God for guidance, particularly in times of distress.  I must admit though, even at this time, when I was a “good Christian” I felt deep down inside me that I hadn’t really “died to myself,” not completely.  I never let go of the selfishness deep down, the wanting to live for myself.  Not even at my “best.”

And then during the latter years of high school, my rebellious nature and some unfortunate things that happened drove me to question was God really a loving God?  I mean, did He really care?  Or was He just up there taking care of the big details and letting us worry about our puny little lives?   Was there any point in talking to Him at all?  And I started to believe maybe there wasn’t as I went about my life without Him and nothing really bad seemed to be happening.  In fact, I was having more fun and was becoming a more interesting person!  And I got in the habit of not turning to Him and not caring what He might think about my life or my priorities.  I convinced myself He didn’t care anyway, so what did it matter?

But then, I got sick and suddenly God’s love became so incredibly clear to me again, or maybe for the first time.  I’m not saying it’s my own fault that I got sick, but there are certain things you can do that are terrible for triggering lupus and I did a lot of them before I got sick…For anyone out there who may be struggling with chronic illness or any kind of illness, please don’t take this as any kind of judgement on anyone other than myself.  This is how I feel personally about my illness, and I strongly believe that I shoulder a lot of the “blame” for it, if there is “blame” to be shared at all.  I don’t blame God because the things I did that I suspect could have contributed to my current condition are all things I probably wouldn’t have done had I been living my life for God at the time.  Also, for the record, I don’t think lupus is a “punishment” from God for the things I did, but a consequence, like when you tell your kids not to touch the stove and they touch it anyway?  They’re going to get burned.  Getting burned isn’t some punishment you inflicted on them because they touched the stove, but rather the whole point of you teaching them not to touch the stove in the first place right?

I saw how God loved me anyway, despite how messed up I’d become chasing after my own happiness, how He still took me back and cared for me and saved me from myself.  My body was attacking my kidneys and it could have been when they failed that I noticed anything was wrong, but God made sure something else entirely happened.  It’s why, in a very weird way, I’m grateful for the experience of having lupus even as I wish for them to find a cure for it.

But anyway, I guess that brings us to the present part of the story, the embarrassing part.

I haven’t forgotten that God cares about me and what I do in my daily life, I just can’t seem to get myself to live that way.

I spent so long living how I wanted to live that I can’t seem to adjust myself back to living for God.

And ultimately, I know that’s what’s underlying all the anxiety and tension inside me, but I can’t seem to force myself to shut up and just do it already.


Last Friday I had a checkup with my rheumy and like clockwork I had a dream about The Ex and rejection last night.

I almost feel bad for The Ex (though I’m sure he doesn’t care) that he appears to be associated with such negativity by my subconscious.  Consciously I hold nothing against him, in fact I’m grateful for our experience together because it ultimately prepared me for the hubby, but it would seem that my subconscious thinks the man is all Sadness and Pain because seriously?  Everytime my doctor makes me feel as though my body is hopelessly broken and like I might as well just give up now, my mind inevitably starts to obsess over why the ex didn’t want to live happily ever after with me.   Not very subtle right?

Please, no one get the wrong idea here, I am TOTALLY in love with my husband and wouldn’t trade him for anything – not even if The Ex had the cure for lupus stashed away – and I’m completely not in love with The Ex or vice versa.  My subconscious is just dumb and I’m really convinced that since he was the last really painful experience in my life, my mind associates him with being depressed now.

Anyway, the doctor took  the opportunity to reiterate to me once again (I’m starting to feel like I have Ex dreams to look forward to every four months until I either switch doctors or ignore him and get pregnant against doctor’s orders) that he will probably never feel comfortable with me getting pregnant.  I kind of wasn’t expecting him to bring it up again (or maybe I was just hoping he wouldn’t) after the last awful conversation in February but as soon as he started to go there, I was prepared.  I didn’t even flinch when he mentioned adoption (nor did I acknowledge he said it).

But when he started talking about the risks for pre-eclampsia (which unfortunately looks a lot like a kidney flare) and a woman under his treatment who’d had that happen and the baby had to stay in the NICU due to preterm delivery….

That did bother me.

And then on Saturday morning my mom told me that a cousin who I grew up with had an early miscarriage.  Won’t go into details, but unfortunately even that part of it doesn’t seem to be going as it should and I’m just….completely heartbroken for her, so much so that I’m not even sure how to react.  I want to cry and yet I don’t want to let myself feel it because I’m afraid I will feel it too much, if that makes any sense?  I’ve lurked in the infertility blogosphere long enough to know there are a million wrong things I could say, but I’m going to write her an email because I’ve also learned that it’s much worse not to acknowledge it at all.  I don’t know if she knows that I know yet, but with the way the family grapevine works I assume she figures we will all hear soon…

Hearing about my cousin and what my doctor said together shook me.  I’ve been so set on the idea that once I get myself healthy we can at least start trying to get pregnant and now….now I’m just scared.  Wondering even if I can get myself healthy enough to get pregnant, will I stay healthy through a pregnancy?  I started to think about the fact that I don’t fucking trust my body, not one bit, so how can I trust it with the most precious thing in the world – an innocent life?!?  HOW?!

I don’t know if I can.

I really, really want to.  But honestly…as it stands now…even if I were off the meds…in my heart of hearts I know it would be a horribly selfish thing if I got pregnant.  I’m too aware of how broken my body is and I don’t trust it not to try to kill even the things that belong in there (see: YOUR OWN FREAKING KIDNEYS).

So my only hope now is that I can miraculously get my health to a place where I don’t feel that way anymore.  I don’t know if it’s possible.  But I hope it is.  And if it isn’t, I hope I have the strength to know that.

Today I went to my first full acupuncture appointment.  She told me that she thinks my kidneys and heart seem weak based on my tongue and pulse.  Kidneys are obvious since I had just gone through my medical history with her but the heart less so and to be honest it freaked me out a little because I do often feel like I’m having an irregular heartbeat or mild chest pain.   All my EKG’s and stress tests have been normal so I’ve always written it off as being in my head – but maybe not?  I remember my mom telling me that TCM believes that by the time your tests are going wrong it’s too late (makes sense to me).  I’m not 100% sold though on acupuncture and herbs, but (fingers crossed) my insurance covers a dozen or so visits (no copay) so I’m trying it for free anyway.

In other, more exciting news, Paul and I started attending church again.  And by that I mean we’ve gone two consecutive weeks in a row to the same church and I think we’ll probably keep going.  It’s one of the ones we church hopped before when we were torn between a couple and then stopped attending both.  They both had their pluses and minuses but I think until we have kids this one just suits us a little better.  I was feeling pretty down before yesterday’s message and then the pastor gave the exact sermon I needed to hear.  It never ceases to amaze me how God does that.

Sorry if this post felt choppy but it’s literally one of a dozen I’ve started since the last and I really just wanted to get it out before I could think too hard about each sentence and delete the entire thing.