Thursday, February 28, 2008

It never hurts to ask

So today is CD2. And, so on the coldest day of the year I got myself up out of my warm bed to go down to the clinic. Mind you I had to keep my fingers crossed that Max would start this morning (he did but he doesn't like the cold).

I arrived at the clinic at about 8:50am this morning expecting to find a full waiting area for blood work, and a longish list for the ultrasound. At my clinic you have to sign up on the blood work sheet, sign up on the ultrasound sheet and sign up on your doctor's sheet. My name was the next name to be call on all the lists AND the doctor was in and running on time. After hitting the bathroom (I'd had a large tea on my 1hr+ drive to the clinic) I went over and had blood taken. After that I went and sat in the waiting area until I heard my name called. It seems that the person that calls the names from the ultrasound list feels that saying it at a barely audible level is sufficient for people to hear their name. I usually sit right up near where she stands so I can be sure to hear her. Someone who was right behind asked if her name had been called to which the reply was "I called everyone". I doubt anyone other than me actually heard her call out the names. Anyway, I was finally called and went off to get the ultrasound done by one of my favourite techs. Immediately after she said not to go back to the waiting room (the normal procedure) be cause the doctor was "right behind me" meaning he was ready for me. She put me in one of the offices to wait for him and sure enough, within 10 minutes he was there.

First thing out of his mouth was "it's been a long time. what took you so long to come in?" And all with a big smile because he was glad to see me. :)

I explained about the delay because of Christmas and the travel in January for work. I then mentioned we had wanted to start with the January cycle but our car woes started then and we couldn't. I then told him about the problems we had this past month with Max and asked if it would be possible to start the cycle and pay the balance (we've paid a third already) by the end of March as V. has said we should be able to. He was fine with that and said sure no problem. I did not tell him that I'd asked our nurse just before the end of January if we'd be able to cycle and pay afterwards and she'd said the business office had said no. Well of course they'd say no. I know she didn't even ask him. Anyway, that's water under the bridge. So I asked him two questions. The first - what were their success rates on a FET (40-50) and second - what can we do to increase our chances of success. The change in protocol below is the answer to the second question. I was just on Estrace and PIO last time. Plus all FETs are done with assisted embryo hatching at transfer.

So, it's a go!!! We're cycling now. I've been put on Estrace, 4mg three times a day (at least I believe they are 2mg tabs), 5mg of prednisone once a day and the 81mg low dose aspirin once a day. I go back in 10 days for a lining check. He said that transfer day was flexible but I'm not sure, if CD12 is a Sunday if that means we can delay transfer to CD17 so that I have the weekend to relax. I'll have to find out when I go back in. I also found out from the nurse who was going over the protocol with me that he's also requested a fragmentation injection (I think that's what she called it) on day of transfer. I asked what that was for and she said to prevent clotting so I ask her if that was heparin. She said yes and confirmed that I'll have to continue heparin injections with the PIO when we go to transfer.

So, that's where we stand right now. I'm thrilled we're able to move forward this month!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Here we go again.

Tonight we missed not only the shellacking of the Ottawa Senators by my beloved Toronto Maple Leafs to the tune of 5-0 and the beating of the Indiana Pacers by our beloved Toronto Raptors to the tune of 102-98, but we also missed attending the George Clinton concert that I won tickets to from Flow 93.5. Why did all of these things happen? The same reason everything has happened or not happened this month; Max is being a King Kong beeyatch!!

I am at class this week and left downtown Toronto for the burbs (in this case, lower Scarborough) at 5PM to go and get the car from the mechanic. I was apprehensive but the car started just fine and drove just fine all the way back home to Ajax without issue. I was meeting Pam at home because we were on our way back out to a George Clinton concert at the Phoenix. I took the car because if anything was to go wrong again, better it with me in the car tonight and not with Pam on the way to work tomorrow. Be careful what one wishes for.

We took the AC inverter because we needed to charge the camera battery which was going to be used to provide some nice candid shots and video of us boogie-ing at the concert. It started making noises like when it has a short though which was the first sign of trouble. Shortly there after the lights on the dash dimmed, then the radio cut off and the usual suspects started to act up. Great, here we go again.

I pulled over and came off on the Liverpool exit in the hopes of making it to an area of street where I was the least disruptive. As luck would have it, we were able to pull into an Esso station (where the attendant will be reprimanded for his attitude once I get through writing to his bosses) and park near the car wash, out of the way. I called our mechanic, who lived nearby in Pickering, and he came out to see what the issue was. While waiting for him to arrive, I was checking on the pulley, and belt, and alternator; all of which were recently installed. All of them were still there and still connected but when I tugged on the wires at the back of the alternator, two of them came out of the plastic connector. I won't repeat what I said at that point.

So, our mechanic checked it out, tried to get the wires back in and had to pop out to grab some other tools and a flashlight. After some effort, we were able to get the wires back into the connector securely and we jump started the car. After only a few minutes, we shut off the car and tried starting it again to ensure the alternator was charging the battery; it was and it did start. So, as it was well past the time, we were missing the concert, the hockey game and the basketball game so we just headed back home. Our mechanic said to bring it back in the morning and he would change the connector to ensure that this did not happen again.

I know what some of you are thinking but let me assure you that a) our mechanic is very good and feels very bad that this keeps happening to us, b) these were unforeseeable instances and stuff happens so nothing could have been done short of changing EVERYTHING in the engine compartment and c) Max is not a hunk of junk just a poor lad that needs some TLC that he never got previously.

We started the car this morning with no issue and I drove it in to drop it off. As luck would have it, it started to snow so people in Toronto did their usual "how do I drive in this" schtick so I was late to class again this morning. I'll pop out this afternoon after class to pick Max up and take him home for some well deserved rest. That, hopefully, is the end of these adventures for the winter. Well, we have one more with a check at Crappy Tire of the tires as there is a vibration I do not like at speed. The rest will wait till the spring when I intend to do a full tune-up with new NGK platinums, new wires, hose off the interior (both vehicles need that in a bad way) and generally ensure things get looked after before next winter.

OK, these posts have been more for the guys to break up the usual CD1-12 talks. :) We will now resume the posts on fluids, tests, yoo-hoos and such.



Since V. has updated you all on the ongoing saga of my car you know I'm frustrated. It seems that there is a force greater than us directing things right now. However, I intend to look it in the eye, much like the cold I refuse to get from V., and tell it where it can get off. Today is CD27 and I am calmly waiting for CD1 this week. That could be Wednesday or Thursday. Whenever that will be, I will go down to the clinic on CD2, subject myself to the bloodwork and ultrasound and see the doctor. I will be upfront with him about our financial set back this month and keep my fingers crossed that he will allow us to do the cycle and pay during/following. I'll have to confirm with V. but I think we'll be able to pay something on account in about 2 weeks. I'm just not sure if we can pay the balance off during March. If the doctor says no, then so be it and I'll be back at the end of March. I know borrowing the funds isn't an option because I had a conversation about our car woes with the "lender" and there was nary a bite. I didn't ask either and I don't plan to at this point.

So, a couple of more days and I should know our fate.

Monday's funny

A little repeat from my own blog (and with thanks again to my little brother), but necessary after everything else. Better to laugh than to cry. Enjoy.



If you remember the Original Hollywood Squares and its comics, this may bring a tear to your eyes. These great questions and answers are from the days when "Hollywood Squares" game show responses were spontaneous, not scripted, as they are now. Peter Marshall was the host asking the questions, of course.

Q.Do female frogs croak?

A. Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water long enough.

Q. If you're going to make a parachute jump, at least how high should you be?

A. Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it.

Q. True or False, a pea can last as long as 5,000 years.

A. George Gobel: Boy, it sure seems that way sometimes.

Q. You've been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman?

A. Don Knotts: That's what's been keeping me awake.

Q. According to Cosmopolitan, if you meet a stranger at a party and you think that he is attractive, is it okay to come out and ask him if he's married?

A. Rose Marie: No; wait until morning.

Q. Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older?

A. Charley Weaver: My sense of decency.

Q. In Hawaiian, does it take more than three words to say "I Love You"?

A. Vincent Price: No, you can say it with a pineapple and a twenty.

Q. What are "Do It," "I Can Help," and "I Can't Get Enough"?

A. George Gobel: I don't know, but it's coming from the next apartment.

Q. As you grow older, do you tend to gesture more or less with your hands while talking?

A. Rose Marie: You ask me one more growing old question Peter, and I'll give you a gesture you'll never forget.

Q. Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather?

A. Paul Lynde: Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.

Q. Charley, you've just decided to grow strawberries. Are you going to get any during the first year?

A. Charley Weaver: Of course not, I'm too busy growing strawberries.

Q. In bowling, what's a perfect score?

A. Rose Marie: Ralph, the pin boy.

Q. It is considered in bad taste to discuss two subjects at nudist camps. One is politics, what is the other?

A. Paul Lynde: Tape measures.

Q. During a tornado, are you safer in the bedroom or in the closet?

A. Rose Marie: Unfortunately Peter, I'm always safe in the bedroom.

Q. Can boys join the Camp Fire Girls?

A. Marty Allen: Only after lights out.

Q. When you pat a dog on its head he will wag his tail. What will a goose do?

A. Paul Lynde: Make him bark?

Q. If you were pregnant for two years, what would you give birth to?

A. Paul Lynde: Whatever it is, it would never be afraid of the dark.

Q. According to Ann Landers, is there anything wrong with getting into the habit of kissing a lot of people?

A. Charley Weaver: It got me out of the army.

Q. It is the most abused and neglected part of your body, what is it?

A. Paul Lynde: Mine may be abused, but it certainly isn't neglected.

Q. Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do?

A. George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.

Q. Who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your elephant?

A. Paul Lynde: Who told you about my elephant?

Q. When a couple have a baby, who is responsible for its sex?

A. Charley Weaver: I'll lend him the car, the rest is up to him.

Q. Jackie Gleason recently revealed that he firmly believes in them and has actually seen them on at least two occasions. What are they?

A. Charley Weaver: His feet.

Q. According to Ann Landers, what are two things you should never do in bed?

A. Paul Lynde: Point and laugh.

I'm too stubborn to set it afire or drop it into the lake.

Max is in the shop again; that would be the nickname for my wife's 1995 Maxima GLE. We have other nicknames for the car right now but as this is a family blog, we won't display them here. Let's just say that a few of them would make a teamster blush.

On Saturday, we went and picked Max up from our mechanic following the repair of the latest rendition of "I fall to pieces", where the idler pulley/belt tensioner decided to fall off on my wife's way home from work on Thursday night. It started fine and we were rushing back home to Ajax as we were going out with Mr. and Mrs. Skibum.

Partway back home, Pam calls me as lights on the dash went off. I had her follow me off to a side street and I immediately checked for the just installed pulley and new belt; both were still shiny and new looking and running correctly. I did not want to risk the delay going back to the shop with it and just wanted to rush home, get ready for the evening (we were going to dinner at Il Fornello and then seeing Dirty Dancing at The Royal Alexandra Theatre), and deal with it the following day.

So, we started back and I zipped along the highway with Pam following me. I admittedly drive faster than she does most times so I was almost two exits ahead, practically home, when she texted me that she was dead. Now, those that know me know I love concise information that gets to the point; they also know that I prefect that information to be relevant and useful. My dear wife has a penchant for giving me neither until I am pulling out what little hair I have on my head. So, imagine how I was greeting the text on my phone of "I'm dead." Really? Interesting. Still managing to text in the after life I see.

So, after more texting and another phone call, I finally figured out exactly where the car died and went back to Whites Road to then head east again to pick her up. Pam asked me if I was going to do anything with it and I asked her, "Like what exactly?" We were now running late to get home, get changed and be ready to go so I just wanted to get back and get it done. As expected, we had to make them wait on us for a few minutes while I put clothes on and DW put on her face, as she says (she is quite lovely without the layering, I assure you).

After a nice dinner, and a decent show, we were dropped back home. We changed and headed back out to the highway where I found a tow truck driver's card stuck on the driver's door. Uhm, sure, thanks for the toothpick bud but we are covered both by my limited knowledge of cars (thanks Dad) and by our CAA Plus membership (thanks Dad). We own an inverter and a decent battery charger with car start function so we connected an extension cord into the truck where the inverter was and ran it forward to the car and charged the battery for 40 minutes while we listened to music and caught a short nap. The nap was interrupted by another tow truck dude knocking on the passenger glass, scaring the crap out of us (even though I expected a tow truck person or a cop to have stopped). Nice enough guy, even though I told him no thanks, and he confirmed we should only need an half hour to an hour to charge to give us enough juice to get home off of Salem; he also suspected, like I did, that the alternator had finally given up the ghost. We got the car home around 1:30AM and I put the battery to charge overnight.

The next day was brutal. We woke up later than planned because we were both tired and our colds were started to affect us (more mine than hers). We were late getting out to the Auto Show as we planned to be at the doors when they opened and ended up there after noon. The timing also nixed our plans to head out to the west end to see my Dad and cousin. Before we left, I started the car without issue with the charged battery and took the positive cable off the battery pole; the car died immediately. SIGH. We need a new alternator as this one has (insert expletive here) died on us. I just put the charger back on and we headed out. I called our mechanic on the way home and told him what happened. He felt bad and wished we had turned around to bring the car back the day before. I explained we had plans (and I was tired of being late for these folks) so we would just deal with it on Monday. He said it was okay to drop the car (AGAIN) on the back ramp and push the keys through the door as before. So, like we did Friday night, we drove off to the garage in Scarborough with the hopes of favourable traffic and lights in order to make it all the way. As it was twlight, I did not have to turn my headlights on at all and made it all the way in with power to spare. Only once did I drain it faster as this (insert different expletive here) idiot nearly ran into me as he swerved to miss this (one more expletive please) taxi driver who cut into his lane coming out of the gas station at McCowan and Ellesmere.

This morning we popped in to give him the power steering belt we had also bought as we did not want to take anymore chances with anything but he assured us that the one currently on was like new and did not need replacing. Pam dropped me downtown as I am taking a TCP/IP course this week (yes, I know, but I still don't get it all). Hopefully, as our mechanic says, the car will be ready this afternoon in time for me to be able to leave downtown, pick it up and meet Pam at home with enough time to turn around and head back downtown for our George Clinton concert at 8PM. If not, we will go and get it in the morning on the way to work and class.

The car is not a bad car despite all of this unscheduled drama. It's just an older car with high mileage (over 300kms) that wasn't maintained meticulously by any of its previous owners. So, things are starting to creak under the strain and we happen to own it during those times. I still love Max and will keep it as my own (soon to be modified) ride when Pam gets the minivan of her dreams. Currently that is the 2008 Kia Sedona LX Premium but realistically will probably be a 1998-2002 Ford Windstar/Grand Caravan or Voyager/Montana or Venture or Silhouette.

I will let Pam blog about how this further affects our timeline. Sigh. Life happens, eh?


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Don't ask me to tutor your child

JustSayHi - Science Quiz

I really didn't like school as a kid and science just wasn't my thing.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Lemme just bend over for easier access

The world hates us. Just when you think things are on the upswing again, we get knocked down again. We've just laid out a lot of money in the last 4 weeks on my car. That money, as you know, was destined for the FET cycle so we have to delay it unless some act of god changes that. Now that "vehicle" and I will use that term loosely as I'd like to drop kick it to the curb decided that last night was a good time to break down while I was on one of the major highways in my city. Thankfully (I guess) being on the toll road was the better option as it's not as heavily traveled and tow trucks are quicker to reach you. And apparently, when you call for a tow being stuck on a highway has its advantages as you become a priority call. It seems, for those car-type readers, that my idler pully fell off the car while in transit. I was able to continue for a fair distance before the car finally died but no idler pully means no belt (it fell off too) to run the alternator to feed the juice to the battery. We should be able to get the battery charged enough to get the car to the mechanic later but that's about it. I was able to get the vehicle towed home as at that late hour, the mechanic wasn't going to be at his shop last night.

In any case, this means another outlay of cash and further delays I fear. I'm really tempted to just show up at the clinic next week and see what happens. I know from reading other people's blogs that cycles aren't always paid for up front. Regardless, maybe we should just assume the position because after all, we're taking things up that orifice on a regular basis is seems.

Sooner or later things have to get better.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Family Day

That's what today is in Ontario. We have a new statutory holiday which is celebrated the 3rd Monday in February to break up that long period between New Year's and Easter where there is no break. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to has today off. Those who work in union environments where holidays and vacation time are written into collective agreements don't get today off. If you work for the federal government, such as the postal service and banks, you don't have today off. Many of those people chose to use a vacation day in order to spend time with their families. V. and I are lucky that we both get the day and as such we headed out for breakfast at his favourite pancake place today. We're debating about whether to go to a movie, but I'd just as soon hang out at home and catch up on some reality tv we're behind on (love that pvr) or watch one of the hundreds of movies we've got on dvd or even fire up the 360 and play the game I bought at Christmas. We'll see how it goes as a couple of friends have both mentioned the movies. As much as I love going to the theatre as the next person, it's going to be packed today.

On other things, I've been lazy for the month contrary to what I promised myself and not lost a lick of weight. However, I've been making an effort to prepare and provide more healthy choices for V. and I foodwise, and I finally started back on the treadmill on Friday. Woohoo!!! That one I'm very pleased with as I'm confident I can get back into the swing of my early morning walks before I head in to work.

On the TTC front, today is CD20. I'm not sure we're going to be able to start the FET cycle in 10 days. I don't know if we're going to have all the money needed as we've had some unplanned expenses the bulk of which was car expenses for my car. That money would have covered the balance of the funds needed for the cycle. So, it may be getting pushed one more cycle. V and I have to sit down and go through the budget for the next month or so and see what's up.

Anyway, however you're spending your day today, I hope it's a good one.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines, fellow.....uhm, what are we called again?

Anyhow, you know who you are and even if you are not, Happy Valentines Day!!

That is pretty much the gist of it in our household as we adhere to a VERY wise practice that my mentor, the General (and his wife), told us. Basically, the Hallmark(tm) holidays and traditions are nice and colourful and expensive. They can also be disingenuous, static and flaccid. So, instead of the usual following the rest of the lemmings (i.e. Valentine's, Easter, etc.), we cut it down to ones we actually enjoy (for us those are Wedding Anniversary, Christmas and Birthdays) plus random, plentiful acts of kindness and love throughout the year.

What this does is almost eliminate those instances of anger and hate when, typically, the man forgets the special date during the year. Instead, the spouse will not know when something special is being done or picked up for them and will be pleasantly surprised. Recently, we went out for a friend's birthday party and I got Pam to hand money over to Skibum for the Dirty Dancing tickets he has been holding for me. That was her final Christmas gift, plus dinner that evening. She was definitely surprised because I lied and told her she had nothing else coming.

She does the same for me and it could be a special meal, or dinner and a movie or Reese's Pieces from when she hits the Bulk Barn. I L-O-V-E RPs so I know she was definitely thinking of me when she gets them. Without the expectation, we appreciate each other's thoughtfulness that much more and it means that we know without a doubt, when we are apart, there really is no distance.

From Pam and I, much love to you all. Enjoy your day and your evening.



Friday, February 01, 2008