Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Take This PTLS Away From Me

I am going to share some personal things - kind of like ripping myself open to share what is hidden beneath all this skin.

Almost 5 years ago, I gave birth to my last baby. I had a very hard pregnancy - harder than what felt like all of them, but during all my discomfort and doctor appointments, my doctor looked at me and told me that this should be my last pregnancy. She said that my body really couldn't take anymore and mentioned that the risks were greater after having 3 c-sections. She recommended a tubal during my c-section stating it would be easy and no life changing effects. I had questioned her because a friend of mine kept telling me that after her tubal she was dealing with a lot of hormonal changes that just were not in her norm. Sadly, I did not believe her and my doctor laughed it off saying there is no evidence of hormonal changes. When I came home after one appointment and told my husband that I decided I was going to get a tubal, he was very upset that I would make that choice. I was deciding to do something without talking to him about it and doing something that was not "normal". I completely blew him off, rolled my eyes and spatted that this was my body and I would do as I please. I was confident that my doctor - who delivered all 3 of my boys, knew what was best for me medically. I trusted her and that was all I needed.

My birth of my last kiddo was not at all peachy and honestly felt really dramatic. Even through all the pain during that delivery, there was something in me that wanted to change my mind on the tubal. Suddenly I felt that it was a bad decision. I kept my mouth closed worried about what the doctors would say if suddenly during the surgery I changed my mind.. and how could I honestly - I signed a waiver and release form.
Once I got back to my hospital room and was holding my sweet chunky baby- I knew I made the wrong choice. My heart knew. What is done is done. I just needed to accept that I was no longer going to have babies. I prayed that over time I would accept that.

A few weeks after delivery, I entered into PPD and it was  bad. Both my husband and mom saw the signs and supported me to talk to the doctor. At my check up I filled in that depression sheet and before she even asked how I was doing, she said that I had every red flag on that paper. That started the heavy dose of medication for PPD. Over time and during doctor appointments we had to up the dose - doctors saying that it was the time of the year that was the hardest - giving me tips to get out of the house and walk and try to do things for myself. Once my periods became "normal" again, they were heavier and painful but we chalked it up to a normal change of hormones.

So now... I have a list of medical things of "hormonal" changes - bad mood swings, depression, chronic fatigue, bad PMS, cramping that comes and goes all the time, extreme cramping during cycle, serve headaches, constant migraines, dryness, chills and sweats,hair loss,  unexplained nausea, gas pain, indigestion, and intestinal distress, feeling of memory lapse, lack of concentration, anxiety, and nervousness. Granted this could be from different medical things, but over the years and current situation and medications are still not really helping, I am left feeling that I am missing the bigger picture.
This time I have done research and talked to many women who have been in the same place as I am. I am TIRED of taking medications. TIRED of having so many sleepless nights unless helped with medication. I am TIRED of taking medications to help depression and anxiety. TIRED of all the headaches and migraines - and TIRED of still feeling all those things. Why take all this medication if I am still experiencing all of the above. Yes, maybe the medications could be helping but it is so draining to still feel all these things and be scared of what happens if I miss a day or completely get off of these.

What does all this mean?? Well, I am led to believe that a tubal DOES affect a person - and yes, not everyone will go through the same experience but for me, I fall into that category of PTLS.

If you are into reading- here are some interesting articles:

http://www.tubal.org/VGHPTS.htm
http://www.newhealthadvisor.com/Post-Tubal-Ligation-Syndrome.html
http://tuballigation.org/top-50-symptoms-of-post-tubal-ligation-syndrome/#.V5ecN6KbV6o 

Have I peeked your curiosity of what is PTLS? Here is a brief description of PTLS
Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome, or PTLS for short, is an iatrogenesis condition , meaning “Doctor caused” or “Doctor produced.” Many women suffer after having a Tubal Ligation.
Post tubal ligation syndrome is often the result of a rapid decline of estrogen/progesterone hormone levels caused by the blood supply being damaged to the ovaries during the TL surgery
 1. Ectopic pregnancy or pregnancy (well known risk of tubals)
1a. Hot flashes, flushes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy feeling, chills
2. Bouts of rapid heart beat
3. Irritability
4. Mood swings, sudden tears
5. Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats)
6. Irregular periods; shorter, lighter periods; heavier periods, flooding; phantom periods, shorter cycles, longer cycles
7. Loss of libido
8. Dry vagina
8a. Itchy vagina-at times raw like, can radiate from whole area, with absence of yeast infections.
8b. Color change in vaginal area. (color gets darker - purple/black)
9. Crashing fatigue
10. Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
11. Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom
12. Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion
13. Disturbing memory lapses
14. Incontinence, especially upon sneezing, laughing; urge incontinence
14a.Prolapse of uterus due to rapid decreases in estrogen levels.
15. Itchy, crawly skin
16 Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons
17. Increased tension in muscles
18. Breast tenderness
18a. Decrease in breast mass
19. Headache change: increase or decrease
20. Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea
21. Sudden bouts of bloat
22. Depression
23. Exacerbation of existing conditions
24. Increase in allergies
25. Weight gain
26. Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial hair
27. Dizziness, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance
28. Changes in body odor
29. Electric “shock” or “stabbing” sensation under the skin.
30. Tingling in the extremities
31. Gum problems, increased bleeding
32. Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, change in breath odor
33. Osteoporosis (after several years)
34. Changes in fingernails: softer, crack or break easier.

 I feel like I am stuck in a helpless situation. Reversal surgery can be anywhere from $3000- $7000 and again should be researched correctly. The last thing I want to do is get that botched and have even worse symptoms or another list of issues. This surgery is not covered by any insurance and unless you have a stealthy savings account or impeccable credit score - well, a reversal is just not feasible.  I am almost 40 years old - does this mean if I accept my health issues that I have right now that they will get worse the older I get?? I mean if menopause is anything like this - I really do not want to do that. I am already miserable and making my family miserable in the meantime. The chances of getting pregnant - I am ok with that - even pushing 40. My heart never felt finished and if God wants to bless this family again, I gladly accept that! But what I want is to feel so kind of normal again. 

What do I do?? I feel like I have a splinter that can't be reached. I feel like I am crazy and no one will believe me unless it is a woman who has gone through the same thing. Sadly, there are so many, but unforunatly the medical community is not very supportive in listening but quickly writing prescriptions to band-aid the affect. Now- this is not a dig on EVERY doctor, I know there are some that do listen and do care, but sadly their hands are tied unless you opt for surgery or try another medication. UGH.

Today, my desire for doing anything is gone. I got a full day of rest yesterday but still feel so tired and worn out - and I haven't even done anything. The desire right now is to sleep more - let the day just pass by because all the day will bring is headaches, bloating, no energy, and no desire to do anything. How fair is that for my kids? How fair is that for myself? I know I am missing out on many things, but right now all I want to do is not feel the heaviness of a medicated life.

Am I crazy?!

Monday, February 23, 2015

I Screamed Like A Girl!

Did you see my post today "OH SHIT!! I WON!!"



Actually it is really hard for me to concentrate to explain all this but I will do my best!

There is an awesome photographer that I have followed for years, Kelly Brown.... she lives in Australia, beautiful and brilliant. I have taken a class she did before on a program called Creative Live- it is a place for creatives and business classes- you can check them out here- actually a very neat thing they do!

Anywho- Kelly posted a few weeks ago that she is coming to America to do another class- this time going in deep on the photography side and business side of it. Creative Live always invites people to be in the audience to get more hands on learning with the pros. I have applied many times for different classes, but I really wanted to be a part of this class. I never thought it out about how I could or even how I could make it work, but I applied. In fact, yesterday I made a comment about how I keep wishing to see an email that I had won a seat to her class.

Today, I GOT THAT EMAIL!!! What is even more exciting is I learned I was hand picked by KELLY herself. Do you know how awesome that is??!! Like fucking awesome (sorry mom- but I am excited) There is a total of 10 people selected out of like HUNDREDS from all over the world. In fact one of the girls going is from Germany!

Bad news.... we are required for our own travel and accomadations. Good news- there is someone that has TimeShare and has opened it up to 3 other girls to share!! Oh and I need to cover my expense for dinners while I am there.

So a trip to Seattle to meet AND work with one of my photography idols.
March 7-11

I have 48 hours to let Creative Live know for sure if I will be there. And I feel terribly guilty for even begging to try to get there- my hubby works very hard for all of us and there just is not the extra means to send me on my way. It is no fault on him- he wants to make it happen, we just can't do it on our own.

So here is my shameless family plug!!!

Help Send Me To Seattle!!!


I have set up a Go Fund Account in hopes that I can make this happen. I need to raise $700 to cover expenses - a little less if I packed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! Here is the link if you would like to help- no pressure ;) - Think of it as an early birthday gift!


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My Soaps Are On- BE Quiet!!

Ugh- Don't judge but I totally got sucked into the Bachelor this season. Someone had made a comment about it on facebook and I got curious.. and well- it killed my cat. Not literally.

And sucked in I got. At first it was like I was just rubber necking at an accident except this time it included some well-cut-muscular farmer boy and a house full of self absorbed chicks. Not judging any of them but I mean- seriously- it was like a Cosmopolitan Fashion Show! If you have never seen the show, and I don't blame you, it is about a guy or a girl that dates a bunch of people to find their husband or wife- by the time the show ends. They send these girls on the most exotic places for dates and have this dolled up cocktail party at the end of the week to see who gets a rose and continues on the show to keep dating. So really unrealistic... why?? because honestly how many of you dated a guy the flew you to places or made a night like a Cinderella ball?!

ok.. so the Bachelor this season is a farmer named Chris- you can see his whole show bio HERE. Seems like a very sweet person- honestly.

OK- so I got sucked into this show- laughing histaricially the first episode. It is so entertaining to me to watch these women be crazy! It really shocks me every week about how people act. So much catty-niss. So every week, I catch the replay of the show via Hulu. It is like my soaps and I make the kids go away so I can listen to it all in quiet. One of my hubby's friend even sits with me to watch it. We can't help but giggle and comment about what is going on!

Today my daughter walked in during a part of the show and she shrieked how disgusting it was- and she was right. All these girls putting themselves out there- making out with him.... all for his attention to MAYBE be his wife. Do they really know this dude- and what about the fact that he is dating like 15 at once- how much can one person really stand out?! I was so proud of her making that comment and I pray she keeps that thought with her for LIFE!

One part of the show I enjoyed today was Carly was SO - ugh- mean. Yes, I get she was annoyed by some things that were happening but holy crap she just has a mouth on her- always complaining and the show was edited to make you feel that she thought she WAS the one. At the end she got eliminated (no rose) and I just want to believe Chris let her go because she was a little "too concerned" about the others. It is all just a drama-fest, but like I said entertaining to watch.

I left off at the hometown visits only because I had to feed my kids and the luck of them being quiet this time at night, just is not going to happen.

So you want some pathetic entertainment?? Watch The Bachelor!!

Who do you think Chris will choose??

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Angles We Hear On High

A while ago I shared my journey of darkness and how my son helped me back to the light. I will be forever grateful that he is the one that keeps pushing me out of my comfort zone- as he seems to notice when I need it the most.

A few days ago I shared a story of a man I saw in Wal-mart and I called him an angel. I believe in angels and believe they come in all different ways and I truly believe that he was one on this day. I was doing my shopping- not in the greatest of moods- after all, I was shopping with a three year old at Wal-Mart- yuck! It was a crowded day- the day before Thanksgiving and there weren't too many people in the aisles with smiles, but this guy, this angel... he was there for many. He had stopped me for a moment- made some small talk about how busy it was and shared a big smile at both Jack and I- and of course we greeted him back with a warm smile. The rest of the shopping seemed to have gone a little smoother. I noticed him a few more times pausing and chatting with people- again flashing a smile and walking away as the other party also smiled. As we stood in line to check out, I looked over and there he was again. This time he turned around to this old lady behind him. She had only a few groceries and no smile on her face- as you could see the annoyance in her face from the crowds of people. He started with small talk, giving her compliments, asking if she needed help. She suddenly volunteered that today was her birthday. He smiled and said "Happy Birthday" with such joy in his voice. He then bought her chocolate, handed it over to her and said "same time and place next year!" I saw her face just light up with a beautiful smile... and just like that he was gone.

It amazes me how things and people show up in our lives just when we need it. No matter if it is meeting a new friend during a MOPS meeting, having a stranger smile at you at a store or having friends and strangers pray with you when you need it most.

My son has seemed to be struggling lately with just being "blah"- nothing seems to make him happy unless you talk about Spider man with him. He just doesn't seem.... well .. happy. I feel like all his light is gone. Last week at church service I seeked out someone in the children's ministry to see if there was a group I could introduce him to. They invited us to attend Saturday church. So- it was in the calendar and I was going to make it happen.

Today I woke up not feeling 100% and just feeling that darkness creep up on me. I had to do a session this afternoon so I decided that I would work, feed the kids and go to church- after all it was for the kids. Honestly I could not wait to get there. There was so much bickering and whining that all I wanted to do is take them to class and have an hour to myself! What I found instead.... was ever changing.

I love worship time - gives me a moment to believe that I can carry a tune and for some reason at this church I am not afraid to belt it out. To those that sit in front of me, I apologize for my out of tune lyrics! I danced, I sung and I shouted it out tonight and WOW  it felt great. I praised God for all that He is and all that He has made of me.

For a year now, things have been financially difficult and I get stressed so easy when it comes to that subject. I hurt because I see my hubby working so hard and I feel helpless that I can't do more. I hate the burden of money. I hate feeling helpless. I hate watching my husband have a dream and trying so hard to make it happen. Being a cheerleader for him just does not seem like enough. I want to do more. I trust in God but I know that I still hanging on to that wheel.
At each service those who need prayers are welcomed to lift a hand and prayers will be given. Of course I hesitated because my need just didn't seem as important as others that might need an extra prayer. But I lifted it up, swallowed my pride and emotionally feel to my knees. I opened my heart and was honest. A woman appeared at my side, Angela. She asked my name and prayer request.

"Jackie. My prayer request is financial" that is a very hard thing to share. Why do we have so much shame in sharing that? She smiled and began to pray.
I wish I could remember what she said word for word because at that moment I felt such weight lifted off my shoulders- and the tears just began to fall. She helped me find my way again- to the one that means all. He has a plan for me. For my family. He knows what we need and she re-opened my heart to trust and believe again. As she said "amen" I was so grateful that I was there in that moment. My life needed it more than I realized. The night was perfect!

But then it got better.

As prayer was ending, another woman, who smelt like a field of lavender, came and knelt by my side. She came to pray with me.. for me. We hugged each other and once again, tears just fell. MY God- how amazing are you to bring this woman to my side- someone that does not know me and pray for me. FOR ME! Jesus was there- right next to us and His love showered over both her and I.

My heart couldn't possibly love more than that moment.

Then something amazing happened.

The first lady that prayed with me, Angela, came back to me with the most generous gift and blessing that she will never know how much it really means. Words of "thanks" and a tear-filled hug can not possibly  explain that gratitude. I sat in my seat for half the service just crying- tears of joy, happiness and love. The rest of the service I sat there just speechless. I battled with the thought that I could not possible accept such a gracious gift. I wondered all night how I could possibly thank this family. Nothing seems big enough. Tonight all I can do it sit here and stare at her generous gift and just be touched.

Lord, THANK YOU! Thank you for placing these amazing people in my path and in my life and Lord I pray that you show me what I can do!
To these beautiful women that I met today- THANK YOU. I know that really does not explain my heart as my words just can not explain how GRATEFUL I am for you. Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you!

Monday, November 10, 2014

I Believe In Miracles

I have totally slacked on my personal blog but knowing so is a good excuse for me to take one of these snowy days coming up and concentrate on it. But today I wanted to get personal again- and share my heart on something.

MIRACLES

To be honest, I find that my faith comes in different strengths on days. Some days it feels so strong and other days... well... I am just grateful that no matter where I am on my path, God's arms are always there for me.

For a few years, hubby and I have talked seriously about getting a tubal reversal. From the moment I was unmedicated from my last c-section, I KNEW it was a bad idea. I have very difficult pregnancies and I was in tears with my last little feeling that he was for sure my last. But one look at his little face.... I know I needed more. Yes, I know I am crazy. And yes, I am thankful for all that I do have. I have been blessed with 5 beautiful and amazing kids. Even on my bad crazy mom days... I love them to pieces and I want more chaos. I feel guilty every day that I agreed to do something so permanent. There are times where I spend my days in private in tears because my heart hurts so much. My family feels complete but yet, not. I do not know how to move on from it.

The cost of a reversal - for us - is more than we ever had or will have in our account. The option of a high priced credit card is not an option either. I am not asking for donations or even pity.... and please do not think that I have no heart care for the families that do everything and anything they can for IV treatments.. I know how much families go through for the small chance of their miracle. But for this moment, I want to be selfish and focus on my heart.

We have looked into programs on donations- where you share as a pool and familes on the waiting list are funded the cost of a reversal. But I have such a huge fear- that also leaves me in tears and sucks me into my black hole.

My youngest is 3- full of energy and pretty much doesn't need that mothering that I have grown so accustom to.. the diapers, the breast feeding and the cuddles. I am lucky now to get a hug longer than 3 seconds out of my kids. My hubby has been great on giving me attention but no matter how much I try to make him curl up, he just doesn't fit just under my chin and on my chest like a little wee one. I am so fearful of asking my hubby to give everything possible- taking away from our family needs to pay for a procedure that is a huge "maybe". I know there are success stories- I have read and heard many, but the fear of failure is so thick in me.

For over a month I have been deeply praying for a miracle for God to please give us a miracle and open and repair the only fallopien tube that is "workable". There are moments where I know it is possible- for anything to happen. I have heard and read stories from the bible of amazing things that have happened. And even in modern times I have read stories of truly unthinkable miracles. But does God have a plan for me?? Does he feel my heart and hear my cries... It is wrong to want this... so many of us need miracles- in health, in emotions... in life.

I want a MIRACLE.

I want to see on that stupid stick and see those pink lines show up. I want to  have that nervous giggle as I show hubby. I want those sick days where I feel like I am going to die... I want that feeling of  feeling this miracle child fluttering around... I want to lay in bed with hubby and put the remote on my belly and we laugh as we watch this child in my womb kick it off... I want the doctor appointments... the expectation of D day... I want the surprise of birthing a baby and finding out what have- a boy or a girl??? Lord, I want your miracle... Please heal this body. Give me the miracle Lord of having another child! In your name... Amen!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Survival

So life hasn't been exactly exciting. I mean it is winter which means I am even more locked up in my house. But the view from my window is great :)

The past few days have been.. heartbreaking. Not in an "ohmygawsh- did something happen?" kind of way. My little is not wearing diapers anymore. yes, exciting that I no longer have to smell poopy diapers or wonder where that smell is coming from or even have to worry about the cost of buying more diapers, but he is my baby- my last little one and as exciting as it is to graduate from diapers, I find myself really sad. Sad because he is no longer a "baby"- which he has proved a long time ago. This little guy still climbs up on my lap and curls up and even snuggles up to my neck or chest just to smell me. Yes, it usually ends quickly with him licking my face and laughing hysterically, but for a moment it was baby heaven. Now, I am chasing this wild child all over the house, giggling as his chunky little legs and bubbly butt runs as fast as he cans!
















Last night  was one of those crazy days. The night before it was even more CrAzY and I didn't think I would survive the next day, but they all surprised me and were great little minions. I had prepared them that morning that I had a client coming over to do photos so I needed the house to be cleaned and they were to play downstairs while I worked. I was thrilled when 3 of the 5 were such great helpers and it was really nice to get a deep clean in on the house. Things were going great! Then my clients showed up. The kids went downstairs and from that moment on they decided to be the loudest they have been all week. Awesome. So now, this sweet couple that is expecting their first baby is probably thinking the whole time that they will never have more than one child lol. My house was like instant birth control. One moment I get a dramatic teen  coming upstairs freaking out that lil J has hurt his arm. After investigating the situation downstairs and didn't hear any crying, bleeding, cuts, etc, I went back up to finish session.
They (the clients) were very sweet and thought most of it was funny. I was so glad they understood kids and was not bothered by it. So after surviving the battle of the siblings during the session, I made dinner, everyone actually sat together nicely at the table and actually finished their plate. Big deal when they all eat! I was noticing that little J wasn't moving his arm and he would cry here and there. My first thought was oh great- his elbow must be dislocated AGAIN but then I noticed it was his other arm. SERIOUSLY- this can not be happening. I drilled all the kids and of course I got "I didn't touch him", " I have no idea what happened" and I also got "he hit his shoulder on the counter". Hmm.

I kind of left him alone for about an hour- letting him sit and watch him like a hungry hawk. By the time I came back from going to the bathroom, he was up jumping around again and punching his brothers- Everything was fine. Thank goodness! I prepared my kids that everyone was going to go to bed at the noral bedtime and of course bedtime was dragged out for every excuse possible. As 11pm came inching by I was begging for a netflix movie to put little J asleep. I do not know how this id has so much energy this late at night. He does this crazy funny thing where he will crawl around on my bed- as fast as he can in circles. He looks like a dog trying to catch his tail. Oh man- it is great entertainment until he wants to do a flip at the end and kick you in the face. Funny moment O V E R.

At 4 am I was awaken by my little snuggle bug with that clicking- tounge smacking sound only children make before they throw up all over you. I bolted out of bed, praying my face was not the target. After a few hours of being on puke patrol, we finally got some rest- only to learn that we all over slept and everyone missed the bus.

Today, due to the lack of sleep, left me with a terrible headache and the silent begging of nap time and pure laziness to do nothing today. Ok, well, I did feed the littles but that was about it. But today gave me  little blessings throughout the day which I am so blessed for. A client order came in and I got to peek at her beautiful album she ordered, Jack has been going potty ALL day- with no accidents, I got lots of snuggles from my littles, I had a soda, I enjoyed the frost on the trees, received some wonderful emails, talked to hubby, culled some other images, booked a newborn session in ID.

To celebrate a very lazy but blessful day, I announced to the kiddos that for dinner we are having cereal and ice cream. I am the coolest mom ever- at least for dinner time.

Hey - don't judge! It's called survival!









Friday, November 22, 2013

Mini Cheese Cakes

Things have been pretty quiet lately... which I have been trying to welcome it with open arms.  Today I was full of morning energy so after I baked some almond poppyseed muffins, I searched for a cheese cake recipe.
I am notorious for wanting to bake something and always missing ONE ingredient. Boogers! I needed heavy whipping cream. Had none. So I looked up how to MAKE heavy whipping cream. And well.. unless you lived on a farm with cows- you can't make home made heavy whipping cream. Ok so I inventoried again on what I had. I had ready to bake dough, sour cream, cream cheese, eggs and sugar. There HAD to be a recipe with this stuff to make a cheese cake.. Grrrr. I came up empty handed. Then I found one that used chocolate chip cookie dough... and the aerosol whipped cream. HARK! Yes.. I have that! Ok well.. I had sugar cookie dough.
jax creations photography
I wanted something bigger than muffins/ cupcakes so I used my mini pie tin. I scooped an ice cream scooper size of cookie dough into each "cup". I rolled it in my hands and flattened. I can not confirm nor deny if I actually licked my hands after that.
jax creations photography
Then I took my softened cream cheese and some sugar (that is what that white canister is), put on my whipped attachment and watched it turn into creamy goodness
jax creations photography
wheeeeeeeee.. It is so much fun watching this!
jax creations photography
Then you open up the Reddi Whip... squirt it in your mouth and squish your face... because its fun... Then squirt in kids mouth.. because that is even funnier.
jax creations photography
After your cookies cool - for about 15 minutes and then spoon on the cream cheese mixture.
Then you can go through your pantry to see if you have any decorative SOMETHING... and then find nothing so decide to go ahead and chill it for a few hours and PRAY hubby likes it :)
jax creations photography
jax creations photography