Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

One down, 79 to go...

Before I get too sidetracked with cruise nonsense, I have been meaning to write a post about our first wedding anniversary last weekend.

Since our cruise is our actual celebration, although not on our anniversary date, we wanted to keep the weekend of pretty low key. Add to that the fact that Nascar is in town that weekend, so my parents were down doing their biannual charity work, and we were pretty set on a dress down celebration.

We attended the race and watched it from the M&Ms suite, and met the driver, Kyle something-or-other.

We also got to talk to Coach Gibbs (who will always be a football coach to me, but apparently he now does something with racing), although I refrained from yelling foul mouthed Redskins/Dallas banter that would have embarrassed my husband. I will say that if you're going to attend a Nascar race, doing so from the suites is the only way to survive the sweaty, drunken, slurred southern drawl, matted back hair crowd, as well as preserve your hearing for later in life. In fact, I prefer attending all major sporting events in the suites, except for hockey because then you are less likely to find yourself in a middle of a drunken brawl and that is precisely why I attend hockey games in the first place.

My parents got us a wonderfully thoughtful gift in that my mom recreated the top layer of our wedding cake, and managed to track down our imported blown glass cake topper that flung itself off of our cake precisely fifteen minutes into our reception, shattering all over the entry area and leaving a gash in our cake the size of a snowball. Had I not been so intensely sick of everything wedding related and more concerned with when I could take a nap than with what our cake looked like, I probably would have sobbed. But now I have it back, and I love it.

My darling husband also researched the fact that the first anniversary is the paper anniversary and he presented me with beautifully rich monogrammed stationery and a journal. I updated his storybook/scrapbook with pictures of the Beagador and got him golf stuff because, well, that's what he likes.

With an entire year of blissful wed-dom under my belt, I feel the need to share my vast wisdom with the masses, so I will tell you the secret to a happy marriage: Choose your mate wisely, because at some point things are going to really suck and they will be what you have to fall back on. That, and to kiss, even when you want to smack each other, because kissing each other whenever you want to is why you married each other to begin with (according to Sweet Home Alabama anyway, which is like the marriage Bible).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Anti-Infertility Bills

The legislation in Arizona is currently determining how to proceed with two bills that are fundamentally anti-infertility. I won't bore you with all of the details, because really, those who aren't dealing with infertility aren't going to find it all that interesting. But, I will say that if you have been previously, or are now so inclined to write to your representatives this is a good time to do so. Here is a copy of the letter that I have emailed and faxed to every single Arizona Representative. If you would like more information, let me know.

Apr 13, 2010

Representative Doug Quelland
Capitol Complex- House, Room 128
1700 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2890

Dear Representative Quelland,

As a resident of the great state of Arizona I urge you to oppose two
bills, SB 1306 and SB 1307, which will make it harder for couples with infertility to have a family.

I am aware of amendments that have been made to the bills, but THEY HAVE NOT BEEN "FIXED." They are still anti-infertility
treatment and anti-family. I strongly oppose these bills and I will be watching how you vote.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) has been practiced in this country for
almost 30 years, bringing more than 50,000 babies to overjoyed couples each year in the U.S. alone, and something approaching 3 million babies worldwide. This medical treatment is mainstream, medically proven, and accepted.

Donor egg treatment, similarly, has been practiced for more than 20 years all across the country. It is the standard of care for many
couples, especially young women with premature ovarian failure and women who have undergone lifesaving chemotherapy to beat cancer. For such women, if they ever want to become pregnant and have a baby with their husbands, donor egg therapy may be their only hope.

Yet, suddenly the Arizona legislature has decided to single out these life-giving, pro-family medical treatments from among all others and subject them to a new regime of Governmental restriction. I urge you to oppose these bills.

SB 1307 harms us because:
-- it sends our doctors to prison if a microscopic embryo is
"harmed;" this will drive doctors from Arizona and mean no
hope for people with the disease of infertility;
-- it contains vague language which could be interpreted to limit
treatment options such as embryo cryopreservation, a key tool in
minimizing the risk of multiple births which can be unhealthy for
mother and baby;
-- it stops progress on research to better treat infertility;
--- it makes it hard if not impossible for infertility patients to
donate any unused embryos to research, which is the preference for many
post-infertility couples;
-- it accords unprecedented protections to microscopic embryos (policed
by the threat of prison for doctors) that could plainly interfere with
the practice of IVF in Arizona.

SB 1306 interferes with donor egg treatment by:
-- imposing burdensome and inaccurate informed consent obligations on
doctors who offer donor egg treatment;
-- threatening doctors with loss of their medical licenses and prison
if they fail to follow the new informed consents to the letter;
-- limiting or outlawing valuable research involving eggs that could
help treat infertility, and laying the groundwork for further
restrictions by describing egg donation in dehumanizing terms.

If embryo cryopreservation is prohibited, Arizona will become the Triplet, Quadruplet, or Quintuplet Capital of the country, as women will be forced to transfer all the embryos they may produce in a cycle.
Those high order multiple births will wreak havoc on health care costs, not to mention the poor maternal and child outcomes that would likely result.

Alternatively, in the absence of embryo cryopreservation, doctors could be restricted to allowing only a few eggs to be fertilized so only a
few embryos are created in which case patients and doctors will likely
just leave the state rather than receive substandard medicine at
astronomic costs.

My husband and I are currently dealing with the devastation of
infertility, and we know first-hand of the difficulties it brings. I
urge you to reconsider making this process any more difficult for my
family and for all of those dealing with the process of creating a
family in the presence of infertility.

On behalf of the more than 100,000 Arizona citizens who are contending
with the heartbreak of infertility, I respectfully urge you to oppose
SB 1306 and SB 1307 when they come before the House for a vote.


Mrs. Christina Park

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sweet therapy

It's amazing the things that people use in place of cognitive behavioral therapy: drugs, sex, shopping, food, alcohol, even working out can become destructive in an addictive behavior pattern.

Last year when I had a bad bout of costochondritis, an ER doctor originally diagnosed me with anxiety issues. It didn't feel right to me, but I'm a pretty high strung person so I didn't completely disagree. Knowing that if I was manifesting such serious psychosomatic symptoms I needed help from an expert, I took it upon myself to go to a psychiatrist. Although she agreed that I have anxious tendencies, and she offered me some new coping mechanisms for that, she also diagnosed me with sanity and tried to fire me twice in the last year. I only saw her every few weeks, and each time she tried to tell me that there was nothing else she could offer me, I changed the subject. Unfortunately, people with chronic pain disorders are often called crazy, acutely sensitive, or even hypochondriacs, and I wanted that ace up my sleeve should some doctor again decide that I am simply insane and manifesting my own pain problems. It's easy to tell them that you're in the care of a mental health professional and she deems you completely sane.

Unfortunately, I have officially been booted from the shrink. She told me that she will be happy to consult with any future doctor on my mental health, but that she was offering me no further benefit.

In truth, she wasn't offering me much benefit to begin with, because I choose to cope with my stress in an unusual way: I turn into a modern day hybrid of June Cleaver and Betty Crocker (who listens to Flogging Molly while baking).

With fertility treatments causing me to be moodier than John Mayer, my oven has been getting quite the workout lately. And thanks to our amazing fruit and vegetable co-op, I have had no shortage of beautiful spring produce to use up.

In the last few days I have gotten up, hit the gym, and then come home to don my beautiful pink retro polka dotted apron. I have baked double fudge stuffed devil's food cupcakes with cream cheese icing, a dozen sausage/egg/cheese/potato breakfast burritos, a gallon of fresh strawberry jam, loaves of strawberry bread and banana bread, and now I'm starting on apple cinnamon monkey bread for the boy to take to work tomorrow. I have no idea what my next session will involve, but I have a basket of sweet potatoes, apples, a pineapple and two yellow squash to use up soon (Iron Chef anyone?).

Unfortunately for my poor husband who has been amping up his workouts lately, none of my favorite coping mechanisms are exactly low calorie. Sure, I substitute wheat flour and splenda here and there, but I doubt it makes up for the pounds of chocolate, butter, chorizo, or sour cream I use.

The girl scouts who dropped off cases of cookies to the base today to thank our troops are also not helping his cause.

So while Tiger Woods and Jesse James chose very different 'addictions' (I don't believe this for a minute, I'm just being sarcastic about these creeps), I still didn't choose a very healthy one. Perhaps there are people out there who are addicted to meditation, or volunteering, or knitting hats for homeless eskimo children, but we each choose our path.

Mine looks like this:

Tasty path, right?

Monday, April 5, 2010

April showers don't let me down.

Okay, so it's been months since I've blogged.

I read other's blogs with such envy as they manage to make cooking dinner and taking out the trash news-worthy, while I struggle to figure out what in our lives would make good blogging fodder.

In a little less than three weeks we leave for our Caribbean cruise and I am both excited for vacation and terrified that the bikinis that I must wear will be hideously unflattering. Prior to now, I would have just stopped eating for a few weeks beforehand, dropped ten pounds and been done with it. But, it turns out that starvation mode isn't so good for the body when you're trying to get knocked up so I've been sticking to my promised 1200 calories a day and putting in time at the gym a little more often. Our fertility specialist won't treat us if my BMI falls below 19, and right now I'm at exactly 20, so unfortunately I'm not allowed to lose much more. Although I'd love to get back to my high school weight, I am happy to now be a little lighter than the weight I was when I was diagnosed with cancer five years ago (FIVE - YAY!). If you didn't see me in the year or two that followed I will just let you know that hormone therapy packs on the pounds! At the highest point I think I had put on THIRTY pounds! Yikes. Not ever being heavy before, it was tough to take off, and especially hard to do the healthy way since Corey isn't a fan of me only eating every other day. I have about four more pounds that I'd like to lose, and then I'll be done.

We are trucking along with the infertility treatment. I will spare the gory details because not only is no one interested but me, but it also involves a lot of acronyms, drama, emotion, and disgusting things you'd probably rather not know about Corey or I. So, just rest assured that we are doing whatever we can medically do.

Corey was officially promoted last week. I know it seems like forever ago that he found out he was getting promoted, but the Air Force takes it's sweet time and does things in a particular order so he was one of the last groups to get promoted. Although it doesn't change things much in his particular job, it's still nice for him to see an additional stripe on his uniform and it's another step on our ladder.

Easter was quiet around here, but we will have an eventful April so it was kind of nice to stay home, catch up on episodes of LOST and chill with the puppy (who is almost not a puppy anymore). Next weekend is NASCAR which means that my parents will be down working for their charity, and our one year anniversary is Sunday, which means that I have exactly six days to figure out what kind of lovely paper central present I am getting for my darling husband. Do nudie magazines count for a paper present?