Saturday, January 31, 2009

Because You're All So Interested in Me

I have been tagged three or so times for the "25 Random Things About Me" chain note on Facebook. I hate those things, because usually they're a series of inane questions about the last time you cried and if you've ever been in love. I have more interesting conversations with my cat. But this particular note allows for 25 random things about me. Now, since this blog has become a virtual confessional for all (some) of my deepest darkest, I suppose 25 more things about me couldn't hurt. Let's see if there's anything left worth reading about . . .
  1. Because of an unfortunate incident with salmonella when I was fourteen, I can no longer stand the smell of eggs, nor eat kettle corn with as much pleasure as I once did.

  2. Occasionally I dream that Tim has done something to really piss me off, and my dream self tries to beat him senseless with whatever objects she can find, but can never manage to hit him hard enough.

  3. Sometimes I wake up from these dreams so frustrated about whatever I was mad at Tim about and not being able to adequately physically punish him for it in my dream that I can't help but give him a good, hard, real-life shove.

  4. I slept with a pink teddy bear named Fremont for about a year. For most of that year, I was eighteen.

  5. When my freshman boyfriend left for his mission, he sent me some of his favorite band t-shirts for "safekeeping." When I got engaged for the first time, I put everything he'd ever given me in a box and tossed it in the dumpster, including his favorite limited-edition BrandNew shirt, which he was pretty pissed about me having tossed when he found out. I secretly (well, less secretly now) take pleasure in having done this small act to irritate him. He deserved (and still deserves) it.

  6. As a toddler, I horded toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, and other toiletries under my bed. I would also remove toilet paper from the roll and pile it in my closet.

  7. I lose a little respect for married women who don't take their husband's last name. I think it shows a lack of commitment.

  8. As a teenager, I aspired to own enough underwear that I wouldn't have to wash any for a year. At least an hour of my life was spent considering the best way to deal with a full year's worth of dirty underwear.

  9. I have issues with claustrophobia, but only when things are covering my face. I can't handle it when people breathe near my face, which means occasionally I kiss the same way Tay Zonday uses a microphone.

  10. I often have nightmares about having tomato skins stuck to my teeth.

  11. When I put in a little effort, I'm really attractive.

  12. Before I stopped eating red meat, I had a severe addiction to Carl's Jr. Western Bacon Cheeseburgers. If the CJ's in Provo didn't do such a horrible job making them, I'd be there right now, groaning with pleasure over a masterpiece of barbecue sauce, onion rings, cheese, and burger. Oh man.

  13. I compulsively read every piece of literature provided with medications I take, including over-the-counter products.

  14. I got to the rank right before black belt in Tae Soo Do, but had to leave for college before I could complete my Dan training.

  15. At one point in my life, I spent 15-hour days doing orchestra (cello), school, French horn lessons, a play, gymnastics, and martial arts, all before I went home to do my homework.

  16. Now I have far fewer hobbies, most of which include sitting on my butt facing either a computer or paper. That's part of the reason why I took up making jewelry.

  17. In my life, I've gotten third place, fourth place, and honorable mentions in writing contests, won second and third place in martial arts tournaments, taken third place in a spelling bee, and utterly failed at an egg-tossing competition. I've also received an award for "most likely to star in a Pantene commercial" because of my amazingly long, healthy, sexy hair (which some of my friends would refer to as "Spanish hair").

  18. I am a decent poet, but I almost never mention it or show anyone my poetry because there are so many people out there that think they're good at poetry, but are really terrible. I secretly fear that I am one of them.

  19. I love seeing the excited looks on people's faces when I tell them I'm a writer, but hate seeing their disappointment when I tell them what exactly it is that I write.

  20. Tim and I adopted Coco one Saturday because I was extremely lonely and baby hungry after seeing my best friend's newborn baby the week before.

  21. I share an office with the winner of my company's "Spirit of Imagine Learning" award. I can't look at the large, glass thing without picturing the kind of damage it could do to a human skull.

  22. I stop and think really hard before typing the words "Imagine Learning" in any of my blog posts, because I know that Chris gets Google Alerts about the use of those words and will end up at least skimming my entry. I am occasionally tempted to say "Imagine Learning" completely out of context for no other reason than to boost my readership by one. Hi Chris!

  23. During my 'tween years, I wanted to be a forensic pathologist (a medical examiner like Jack Stapleton in Robin Cook's books). I abruptly decided to abandon my medical school ambitions when I saw a pathologist's assistant slicing organs and placing them in cassettes to be made into slides by an ultra-thin-slicing machine. The whole thing made me quite nauseated.

  24. I greatly enjoy being well-informed about the workings of the human body. In my youth I would watch surgeries on television (beats me why they put those things on TV), read up on just about everything in my parents' medical encyclopedia, and routinely browse a book of home remedies.

  25. At 16, I was a pro at multivariable calculus and differential equations. Today, I probably couldn't solve a simple single integral. In many ways, that makes me feel like both a failure and a woman past her intellectual prime.

Okay, so now I've wasted 25 topics for blog entries in this one post. Are you happy now? It's a good thing I'm so dang wonderful, mysterious, and interesting that I'll never run out of things to say about myself. Lucky you.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Best I Can Do on Lortab

I'm drugged up for the time being, but April sent me this great video. I don't feel so sorry for myself anymore.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Feeling Old

Most of you probably saw the picture of my "old lady pill organizer" I posted the other day. Between that and being a total invalid this last week or so, I'm beginning to feel old. Well, it doesn't help that most of the time when I go to the doctor's office, the waiting room is full of old folk. I hate medical lab/office waiting rooms. They feel gross and dirty. And every time I visit one, it's packed with either old people or pregnant people. Sadly enough, I relate more with the old people.

So here's to the biological clock:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Not a Happy Post

Today is not a good day. As I have for basically all of the last week, I feel awful. At least I haven't vomited (yet) today. So far, the massive amounts of progesterone Dr. Young put me on have only made me a little PMS-y and introspective (I want to punch people, then think for a long time about why). But yesterday, the insanity began. I've been crying about everything. And nothing. Things actually worth crying about make me want to lay down and never get up again because the world is such a terrible and miserable place.

It's today I finally feel like my thin thread of patience has broken, and released the unanswerable question: Why? Why, after feeling so awful for so long, now that I finally have some hope of things getting better, do I feel worse than ever? Why have I been sick for years? Why am I stuck in this horrible town where every woman I see when I'm out shopping, at the doctor's office, at church, or anywhere else is sporting either a belly bump or a sweet child? And why can't I just be happy for their miracles instead of being bitter about my malfunctioning body and secretly calling them "Fat'n'Happys" so I can forget that they're people too?

Why can't I stop thinking that somehow, this is my fault? Like if I hadn't gotten engaged to Glenn and gotten a huge hormone overdose with my first month on the Patch (from Hell), I would probably be a Fat'n'Happy by now myself, and I would never have been miserable or put Tim through the stress and hard work of taking care of me and sometimes our entire household alone.

And what am I supposed to learn from this that I'm obviously failing to learn?

And when will I finally be healthy? Or is "normal," healthy Amy gone forever?

And who even cares after all of this time?

And where, of all of the places I've turned for peace, will I find it?

But the way how to survive all of this is the only thing that's clear. Faith. I can't deny my knowledge that Heavenly Father has a plan for me, and that what I'm going through is a part of it. My suffering now will make me more able to succor a sister who suffers later. My misery is not useless.

I sometimes grumble that all of my pain and sickness over the past few years could easily add up to a pretty nasty nine months of pregnancy, and if things had gone right, I'd have a baby by now. I hope something almost as miraculous can be borne of my sorrows.

Monday, January 19, 2009


It's only natural for things to come full circle, so I shouldn't be surprised that I'm sitting here in bed, shaky, nauseated, tired, and achy, just like when I first started to feel sick. I've been through this incredibly long process of actually finding good doctors and getting diagnosed, and here at the end of my "medical-mystery" phase (and the beginning of the PCOS meds phase), I seem to feel even worse than I did two years ago.

I am sure that things are going to be just fine. My body will adjust to all the meds, my various organs will start performing their proper duties, and eventually I'll be able to function just like a normal person, instead of making weak attempts to leave the house and having to sit down every few minutes instead of managing a walk through the mall like a normal person.

You may be able to tell I'm a little grumpy. I do normal things each day. Being sick isn't stopping me from saving babies or climbing Everest, but it is stopping me from doing the important things: doing laundry, shopping, taking care of Tim, rocking my job, and seeing the people I love. It's taken me until today to get Tim a present and give him a birthday dinner, and I barely managed that.

I need to start blogging during the day again—these late-night posts are sounding really whiny.

A Little Insecurity

Am I a terrible friend?

I don't have that many friends. My facebook buddies are people basically forced to friend me by school, church, or professional network pressures. I'd guess I never talk to 90% of them—and I may be being generous with myself in that estimate. But it's not that I don't talk to them; it's that I have a few friends for a few years, then they disappear. Then my facebook friend list becomes the repository for all of my former friends and colleagues.

Now, it doesn't usually bother me that my friendships are, for the most part, short lived. What does bother me is that when I see folks everywhere with lifelong friendships, I get the itching feeling I'm doing something terribly wrong. I mean, I suppose it may be the fate of a blunt, cranky, and (let's be honest) relatively self-centered person to lose friends as easily as she gains them. I suppose I could change the self-centered part, and the crankiness is usually hormone-based, but I'm not going to stop being blunt anytime soon. Heck, I'm way less blunt than I was a few years ago (yeah, I used to be an even bigger jerk).

My gradeschool friends disappeared before junior high, and my junior high friends and I had nasty breaks before 8th grade "graduation." My friends from the first year of high school and I split toward the beginning of the second year, and I barely talk to anyone from high school anymore.

Now, I'm pretty sure all of that is normal. Or it's a part of my chronic move-on-itude. In any event, I'd basically waited until college to form any lasting friendships, except Eileen. And she's basically the nicest, sweetest, most thoughtful person in the whole world. She keeps friends like gangbusters. She may be the only person on Earth with friendliness enough to counteract my friend-repulsion powers.

I've kept an Ashley and a Miriam around for over five years now, and that seems to be working out. I mean, I love having friends (especially these two), because a woman needs other women to talk to, commiserate with, and sit around in their cold apartment watching movies on a sick day with.

Anyway, I had another friend I thought I was close with, but then she got married and asked our whole group except me to be bridesmaids. That hurt—especially after I'd invited her to be one of my bridesmaids. Which brings up my other major insecurity: nobody has ever asked me to be a bridesmaid. Ever. Basically every Mormon woman my age has been a bridesmaid at least once. I feel both cheated and rejected.

Anyway, that friend disappeared into Canada with a few futile attempts at contact on either end, but I think we both know that our friendship must've gone down the tubes a long time ago without me noticing. I think it's that relationship that really made me realize that I must be doing something terribly wrong.

Maybe it's being horribly insecure about not keeping friends.

Gosh, this post is boring. I need to write a few more so when you all finally scroll to this one on the page, you'll be too bored to keep reading.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Those of you who saw my Facebook status today know that I had two doctor's appointments today. The first was with my endocrinologist, Dr. Maturlo, and the second was with my new OB/GYN (not so much OB, since I'm not preggers), Dr. Young. If you need an endocrinologist or an OB/GYN, I highly recommend these doctors. Today they figured out more than my last five doctors combined have over the past two years.

In the morning, Dr. Maturlo addressed my hormone issues head-on by prescribing Metformin. She also noticed the subclinical hypothyroidism evidenced on the labs another doctor had called normal! She also noticed a teeny bit of swelling in my thyroid, so in two months, I'll have a thyroid ultrasound.

I was at Dr. Young's office for about two hours this afternoon. That may seem like a long appointment, but he was so efficient and smart that by the time I left, I really felt like we'd taken five steps forward. He looked at my charts and decided to do an ultrasound—right there and then! I told him that I'd had one done in the summer, and they said it had come back normal. His response: "I bet this one won't!"

Here's what he saw:

Okay, okay, I know it's blurry! But you probably wouldn't be able to identify anything anyway. I'll take you on a little tour through my insides.

The top left is a picture of . . . drum roll please . . . a 4 cm cyst on my right ovary! (And the crowd goes wild!) I know that's not something to be happy about, but hey, it explains the ovary pain!

The other pictures are different angles of my uterus, the lining of which is massively thick! So ta-dah! That explains the two-month-long, non-stop bleeding marathon.

He ascertained from the his real-time view of my internal organs that (a) I do indeed have PCOS, and (b) my uterus tilts backward. The whole tilting thing actually makes no medical difference, and isn't even an abnormality—it's just a fun fact about my body that most women can't claim.

Okay, rewind—I have PCOS! Now, that's not something to cheer about either. At all. But it's a diagnosis. I had time this summer to come to grips with the possibility of PCOS, so when Dr. Young decided to make it official, the words came with a flood of relief instead of worry and dread. This is treatable. I have options. I have a community. What is wrong with me has a name. I am filled with gratitude for these things, and for the friends, family, and Father in Heaven who have offered constant support to help me get here. If it weren't for you guys, I probably would have assumed I was suffering from some psychosomatic garbage and given up. So many of you awesome people have pushed me to find better doctors and get better care. I can't thank you enough.

I still have more tests to take, more appointments to make, (and more rhymes to fake), but at least for the moment I have somewhere to go! Dr. Young had a good solution for me to regulate my bleeding that involves neither birth control nor fertility pills. He also prescribed pills for my other symptoms. The metformin my endocrinologist prescribed will help to treat the PCOS, and I have more appointments in February and March to figure everything out. I have lab results on the way, and Dr. Young has promised another round of tests once he sees Dr. Maturlo's lab results.

In the meantime, I have a fun little tour for you of my own personal pharmacy. My doctors sent me home with a total of five new prescriptions. On top of the three I already take and my vitamins, I have a total of TEN current Rx bottles sitting on the shelf. Now, one of those pills is an "as needed" that's expensive, so I don't always have it every day. Two of the others are the same drug in different doses that I'll switch between and occasionally forgo altogether. Once I do all the math, on any given day I will take between thirteen and fifteen pills.

Here's my weekly regimen:

Colorful, huh? All these pills make me feel like an AIDS patient. I'll average 98 pills each week. If I get the side effects of all of them, I think it'll add up to one huge popping sound as my body turns into an overripe mango.

Glad I'm Not Bald

I have a thick, luxurious head of hair. Ask anyone. I can grow it as long as I want about twice as fast as a normal person, and I don't fear cutting off multiple inches, because I know they'll be back soon!

I can't complain about my genetic predisposition for excess hair—caterpillar eyebrows, sideburns, and wildebeest legs. I certainly can't complain when tweezers, waxing, shaving, bleaching, and pants are always there to come to my recue—ooh, and laser hair removal. For anyone thinking about having their armpit/leg/bikini/facial/other hair lasered off, I highly recommend that you go ahead with it, and use American Laser Centers. They're pro. Tell them I recommended you and you'll probably get a discount.

Anyway, what I'm saying is that I'm lucky to have all kinds of fabulous hair for two reasons: First, my eyebrows are just the right thickness that I don't have to draw them in or trim them. They take shaping excellently, and if Audrey Hepburn eyebrows ever come back into style, I'm in business.

My second reason for happily having hemi-hirsute hairiness is that I do NOT have the lady version of male-pattern baldness. Today, on my visit with Dr. Maturlo (my new endocrinologist), she asked me if I was losing any of my head hair. AHHH! It just made me think Boy, things could be so much worse! But I'm not losing my hair. And if I were, I could probably just have what I leave on the shower wall reinserted.

So today, I'm glad I'm not bald.

Monday, January 5, 2009

BYU Catering

My work is having an awards banquet on Thursday. I do not like awards banquets. That is, I do not like being forced to sit through the same eight people being clapped at over thirty-seven mediocre accomplishments in order to earn a plate of "banquet" food. It's been a long time since I last associated the word banquet with anything other than these:

And speaking of being so desperate for a cheap meal (now that men no longer kneel and beg for the opportunity to buy me one) that I'll sit through enough halfhearted clapping to make my hands hurt, every awards banquet I've ever attended has been catered by BYU. To give you some perspective, BYU catering is on about the same level as the food the red, angry, overweight cafeteria lady in the too-tight, macaroni-stained labcoat served at your elementary school. You remember the stuff—they had to serve it to you on compartmentalized trays to keep the individual food-like items from joining forces to destroy the universe:

To back off from the whole "apocalypse by food I hate" thing, BYU catering food is the same type of glutinous edible mass at the cafeteria food, but without the compartmentalized tray. When I worked for the BYU Telefund, one awards banquet featured a BYU-original: moldy breadsticks.

Needless to say, I'm hesitant to attend anything involving BYU and food anywhere near each other.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Look Back at 2008

What I did this year

I started playing WOW, got up to 70 with tier three or so stuff, then quit. I took a new "real" job and sadly left my post "web developing" at the BYU Law School. I turned 22. I graduated with my BA in English Language because BYU can't get its crap together and start calling the program English Linguistics, which is what it really is. I spent a week in Florida and went on my first upside-down roller coaster. I moved to Denver and experienced real city life. I celebrated my 2nd anniversary with my AMAZING husband Tim, having dinner and a show in memory of the best two years of my life so far. I took my first business trip from Denver to Provo for a conference at my work. I moved back to Provo where Tim and I found ourselves a much larger apartment and filled it with new furniture from IKEA. I went to California to celebrate my dad's 50th birthday. I saw my best friend sealed with her family for eternity. I hosted a visit from my mom. I helped my sister-in-law cook her first Thanksgiving meal. I switched from Mac back to PC. I went to California and visited with my in-laws and my family. Whew. Long year.

What I did while not blogging for the last week or so

At the end of Tuesday, the Imagine Learning crowd had an office Christmas party—minus iPods, dueling parties, interventions—with lots of singing. As I mumbled along to "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas," all I could think of was the traditional Holly Jolly Run I used to do with a couple of girlfriends. Thinking of the first annual Holly Jolly run, I remembered making terrible lip sync videos, learning Ashley's mental hospital dance, and that not-so-fateful trip to the airport with one Mark Mills.

Okay, I've obviously escaped 2008 entirely. What I meant to talk about was the amazing week I spent with my family. Christmas Eve we went to my in-laws' place and read the Christmas stories and listened to lovely music by awesome sister- and brother-in-law. (Do you ever notice that when I write that, it's very clear that I'm speaking of two people I'm related to by marriage, but when I say it, it sounds like I'm lying about having a sister?) Christmas morning came with presents galore, my favorite of which was a bodipod 21 from my mother- and father-in-law. You're all welcome to come to my apartment and sit on it, because it is the most comfortable thing in the world besides Tim. You are not welcome to sit on him.

We ate burritos with Ryan and a quite-pregnant-now Sarah, enjoyed a few movies and played games with the Gordon Clan, then headed to my folks' for our third Christmas of the week. I love my family. Being with my parents reminds me sometimes of why I am the way I am, and what I can do to use those traits to my advantage. I very much inherited my mom and dad's personality traits, including my mom's mild germophobia and intense passion for life and my dad's strange habits and extremely friendly outlook. If you know me well, you know it makes a strange combination, but what I'm saying here is that I have a darn good excuse for all of it: I'm just turning into my parents. And I have no problem with that.