The Yeast Infection from Hell

My life came to a screeching halt this past week. This is why I’ve been MIA. I’m just now — as of yesterday — going back out in public, showering everyday, and getting off the couch to let the dog in and out.

I had the yeast infection from hell.

Picture your worst yeast infection. Now multiply that by 5. I couldn’t move, couldn’t sit straight, couldn’t walk around the house. J had do tons of little things for me, in addition to cooking dinner every night and cleaning up. Bless his heart, he was so patient and took such good care of me. And didn’t complain once.

I’m not 100% better yet, but I’m getting there. I’d say the pain/discomfort started out at a 3 last Sunday, went up to 7 on Monday (the day I pleaded with you all for prayers), and went up and stayed at a 9.5 the rest of the work week. I went to the doctor on Friday morning, got some medication, and by that afternoon it was back to about a 7. Today I finally felt a semblance of normal again. Not quite there, but about 85% better.

It was so bad I had to sit on ice packs every half hour. I couldn’t shower because the hot water made it feel like an inferno. The water literally stung my skin. I tried everything — raw garlic, raw honey, coconut oil, tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, probiotics. You name it I tried it. I don’t bother with yogurt because it doesn’t help me. I don’t bother with Monistat or even the prescription Diflucan because they don’t help me anymore. That’s why I didn’t go to the doctor until Friday.

Monistat: no thank you.

Monistat: no thank you.

I’ve had yeast infections about once or twice a year since I was a teenager. Monistat and other over the counter medications used to work. When the yeast started building a resistance to it, I upgraded to Diflucan and got that prescription. Then the yeast started building a resistance to that. At that point, I didn’t know what to do but turn to Google. I read all sorts of things about garlic, honey, and all those natural anti-fungals and anti-microbials that help fight off illnesses, specifically yeast infections. To my surprise (and relief!), I found a regimen that worked. (If you suffer from this and you’re at your wits end with over the counter stuff and Diflucan — ask me, I’ll tell you all about stuff that could potentially help you.)

The regimen I found included apple cider vinegar, raw honey, raw garlic, and supplements of garlic, good quality probiotics, and vitamin C. It worked — I’ll never forget that weekend that I tried this and woke up with relief. Unbelievable.

Fast forward 5 or so years later (this is about how long one regimen works before the yeast build a resistance to it) — garlic no longer works its magic. I’m sure it works to a point, but it doesn’t heal me wonderfully like it used to. I had to turn to something else.

So that’s why I went all week without going to the doctor. I knew they couldn’t do anything for me. I was going to try other things myself that I hadn’t tried before. I didn’t expect the doc to truly listen to me (as you’ve seen from my earlier posts, I have had bad experiences with docs — this isn’t the same doc, but still). I figured they’d try to throw Diflucan at the problem by saying “just try it” even after I told them it wouldn’t work. You know how doctors can be. Many of them don’t truly listen to you.

By Friday I was desperate, so I just went. I thought at the very least, they can get me on their radar and I can make them listen when I tell them Diflucan won’t work. I can ask for something else to try, and who knows they may have an idea. I’ve gotten so used to being my own advocate with TTC when it comes to doctors that I default to not trusting them on most other things, too. It’s eye-opening how much miscarriage/TTC changes you — you’re not expecting that and then one day you realize you are seeing things differently. Sorry, that was completely off-topic…

To my surprise, there is something else out there for yeast infections — something prescription strength that seems to work for people when Diflucan doesn’t. (Doctors are discovering that Diflucan is building a resistance to yeast for a lot of people, so it doesn’t always work. But if you’ve never tried it and you need it, definitely go for it — it worked for me for a few years.) Anyway, I’m now on Terazol (generic is Terconazole). It’s a 7-day regimen, and I’m on day 3. Clearly, it’s helping. I’m just hoping it gets it all. Sometimes those yeast beasts stick around after you thought you killed them all. Or at least, in severe cases they do — and my case was pretty severe. But the doc said we can try boric acid if this doesn’t work.

I didn’t like the fact that I had to resort to taking medication. I’m not usually one to care that much about putting drugs in your body, but with yeast, it can build a resistance so fast. I’ve been so used to going the natural route. But I was desperate, so it is what it is. I’m feeling better now and that’s all I care about!

Sorry to walk you through all of this, it ain’t pretty. But if you are still reading then clearly you’ve had this problem, or know someone who has, and you know how awful it can be. I hope this helped someone — if I can help one person not to suffer by sharing what works/doesn’t work for me with a bad yeast infection, then that will be one less person who has to feel like this. It is truly the worst. And I’ve had bad bladder inflammation, miscarriage pain, and two thrombosed (painful, clotted) hemorrhoids this year, so that’s saying something.

I’m so glad this week is over.

Need Prayers Today

I’m having just an awful awful day, and it’s only noon. I got a yeast infection this weekend that’s gotten worse despite doing all kinds of stuff to treat it, I am nauseous and just generally feeling woozy today (so much so that I didn’t want coffee this morning which is not like me), and I’m slammed at work with deadlines and really important stuff — some of it writing, lots of writing, which is what I dread most (my writing is slow and super choppy, and I hate the insecurity that comes with it whenever I sit down to write). On top of all that, I’m feeling immense anxiety and a cloud of darkness just sitting on me. Not the best mental state to work in, or even function properly in.

I had to get on here to vent, because I’m about to lose it already. I’m praying, but I think I need others to pray for me, too. If anyone out there reads this and will pray for me, please do. I’m being mentally, emotionally, and physically attacked it feels like, and I desperately need peace from God today… and healing. Healing that only He can bring.

Thanks in advance.

I opened my Bible randomly this morning to see what the heck is going on, see if I could get a word from God just for me. I landed on this:

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. — John 1:5

It’s good to be reminded that the darkness will not overcome God’s light, even on days like today. That no matter what it seems like, God is still there. It’s kept me going the past 3 hours. I thought maybe if I put it here it might help someone else today, too.

I also read this on a friend’s Facebook page this weekend, and I just love it:

True faith is trusting God, even in the darkness. Greater faith is trusting that the darkness is just a tiny, black speck in the beautiful masterpiece He’s painting.

It gave me peace about a lot of things.

My First Time BBT Charting

I thought I’d post this because it’s kind of entertaining. And it may make some of you with spikey charts feel better. You aren’t the only one.

Needless to say I’m a stresser. And this was one month I remember feeling less stressed than usual! Not sure why it was so spikey, so all over the place. I think it honestly does take several months for your body to realign itself after a miscarriage, especially one that happens as late as 12 weeks. I feel pretty normal again, but clearly my hormones are still working themselves out. Dang you, hormones! Get with it already!!!

Can you tell which day I went to my friend’s baby shower?! Put your hand over the last half, then look for the one ginormous spike in the first half. You can’t miss it.

*Note: I whited-out our baby dance days because well, I do have some sense of propriety. 😉

Aug 2013 BBT chart minus BD days

One Day God Will Say, “ENOUGH.”

I’m convinced women struggling to conceive and women experiencing the pain of pregnancy and child loss are some of the strongest people out there.

It is one of the most difficult things to experience, because it’s generally seen as an area within people’s control — something “simple” and “basic” that people have been doing since the beginning of time, part of the human experience.

That alone can make us feel isolated. But to make matters worse, child loss and infertility are not talked about by the general populace, so a lot of people — including, and sometimes especially, other moms — truly don’t understand why it’s so traumatizing for women. Outside of our “club,” people just don’t get it.

Like I said in an earlier post, our “normal” pregnant friends get to be blissfully unaware and none-the-wiser. And that state of mind they have, it gets pushed in our face when we are already dying inside. It literally kicks us when we’re down, especially when we have no clue when we’ll ever get back up.

So yes, I believe we are some of the strongest people out there. We don’t get to be blissfully unaware and none-the-wiser anymore. But one day God will pull back the curtain and speak to our situation, saying, “ENOUGH.”

And after you have suffered a little while, 
the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, 
will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
–1 Peter 5:10

The Lord will fight for you,
You need only be still.

–Exodus 14:14

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; 
Perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not abandoned; 
Struck down, but not destroyed.
–2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame,
and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
–Hebrews 12:1-2

But Jesus looked at them and said, 
“With man this is impossible, 
but with God all things are possible.”
–Matthew 19:26

So we do not lose heart. 
Though our outer self is wasting away, 
our inner self is being renewed day by day.
–2 Corinthians 4:16

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, 
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
–Psalm 34:19

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; 
I have called you by name, you are mine. 
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; 
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; 
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
 

–Isaiah 43:1-2

Just found this letter I wrote to J in January

Little did I know what this year would actually bring…

My darling J, 

I love you so much. Today marks the end of January, and already I feel 2013 has so much in store for us. I can’t wait to see what God’s going to do in our life and in our marriage this year. I started out by charging ahead, thinking I knew what was best for me (and us) and trying to control everything, thinking I could fix anything, and worrying about little things that didn’t matter. But just in the past couple of weeks God has really shown me that He is in complete control. So I’m going to let Him be. And I’m going to truly step back, seek Him, rest in Him, and be the best I can be in the important roles He’s given me for now — your wife, and His servant. 

Thank you for being a virtuous and God-fearing husband. For constantly considering and doing what’s best for our family, but at the same time really trying to pay attention to my needs and my heart. For truly hearing me when I have something to communicate, for trying new things with me, for encouraging and challenging me when I begin to self-destruct or unravel, for always believing that I’m strong and smart, and for not accepting it when I say I’m not. For laughing out loud with me (and finding the same things funny), and reminding me of how much I cherish that! Sometimes that just makes my day. God teaches me so much through you. I know without a shadow of a doubt — I’ve always known — that you are my perfect match.  

I want to encourage you in the ways you need it most, and I’m going to continue working to figure out what that means each day. Anything you ultimately decide or feel is right to do — I’m behind you 100%. I believe God is going to do some unbelievably amazing things in your life, and with your job — and jobs down the road. Live in the present, but don’t stop thinking about what God can do, and WILL do, in your life, in His timing. You are so far beyond other men around you, you always have been. Yet, you are humble, you are committed, and you work hard. God will reward that. He is just waiting to surprise you and bless you. Keep at it. I’m so proud of you. And don’t think about the grind, years down the road. Take one day at a time, and keep trying to find things that enrich your life and give you joy outside of work. We will make time for that, and I will help you make time for it, and figure it out, as much as I can, or as much as you want me to. Just don’t lose sight of that, regardless of how busy work keeps you right now. Your personal well-being is way more important than a job, and we can always figure out a better situation for you, and for us, if we feel we need to. 

I can tell that you are trying to meet my out-of-the-blue needs, especially lately — even when they change by the minute and it completely throws you off! Thank you for hanging in there. You don’t always have to have the answer or the perfect words to say, but I so appreciate you trying. That’s all I really need. And most of all, thank you for already being the man you already are. I love the character, strength, warmth, sincerity, ambition, and fortitude of the man I married. I waited for you, and everyday I’m thankful for you. If I don’t say it enough — I’m so grateful to you for all that you do. The little around the house things, and the big I-can’t-believe-he-married-ME-because-he’s-so-incredible things. To say I’m so lucky is an understatement! 

It’s been 1,793 days now that we’ve had each other, and I think I knew on day 1 that I couldn’t live without you! 

All my love,
S

Two weeks after I wrote this, we got pregnant. And, well, the rest is history. 2013 certainly has had a lot in store for us, none of it we expected… and it’s not over yet. But I thank God for giving me an amazing husband, a husband who continues to floor me with how much support and love he pours on me. And I’m grateful to have a marriage that God is strengthening so early on. Yes, it’s tough — very tough — but I would rather have a marriage like this than one that coasted in the early years only to be hit with something traumatic 15-20 years in. So in the midst of everything we’re facing right now, I am so incredibly grateful to have a supportive, loving, perfectly matched partner.

I remember a time in my early/mid 20s when I wondered if God was ever going to bring me someone. When I was worried that all my friends were going to get married and I still wouldn’t have a boyfriend. When I thought that no man would be what I wanted him to be, and I would just end up going on awkward dates forever (I didn’t even date often — I was picky). It’s funny how God works. Just when you think it’s not happening and you are about to give up, He pulls back the curtain. One month before I turned 25, J and I began dating. Yes, that was young. I thought it was old… but I don’t think that anymore. (I thought I’d meet my husband in college because I just thought that was what was supposed to happen.) This year has altered my perspective and allowed me to see (reminded me) that God does work. He IS working. All the time. We just don’t see it. Years from now we’ll look back and see that curtain pulled back. But we’re not exactly going to see it now, and if we did — bear with me here — we wouldn’t see it the same way. The experience has to change us first. Turn us up on our heads. We will be different. For the better, although not without a few bruises. But ultimately different…stronger…with a different perspective.

I’m counting on it. I’m already in the middle of this experience, I might as well allow myself to change from it. (It’s too late for me to allow it, honestly. I’ve already changed.)

My Current Therapies

  • Power Washers and Blowers. Just give me a tool that can blast something into oblivion and I’m good to go. Getting the grime and gunk off of something is great therapy, especially when there’s a motor behind it.
  • Yoga. It’s harder than it looks, and so worth it. I can literally stretch and breathe the tension right out of my body, which is probably just what I need right now. And the 7 minutes of relaxation at the end is heaven.
  • Music. Not just any music. Throwback early- to mid-’90s music from middle school — you know, Smashing Pumpkins, Oasis, Bush, The Offspring… back when radio music didn’t make you want to kill yourself. Also Colbie Caillat, Sara Bareilles, old Sara Evans, Tegan & Sara (yes lots of Sara’s), and even Justin Timberlake and old Destiny’s Child. Fun music, music I can sing soulfully to without feeling like I’m always an octave lower than the singer is (thank you Colbie), and music from Grey’s Anatomy (am I right, Grey’s fans?). And Ice, Ice Baby. Because it never gets old. Stop. Collaborate and listen.
  • Candy crunch. It’s actually called “Candy Crush” but I like the way ‘crunch’ sounds instead. I’m not one to get into phone games but my friend told me to try it months ago and ever since, I’ve been hooked.
  • My darling dog. I have a 2 year old chihuahua-weenie dog mix and she is my little snuggle bunny. And she books it up and down the hallway at what seems like 50 miles per hour. Okay okay she’s probably not that fast, but she really does run like a cheetah and bounce like a deer. And she hides behind the door or under the bed and makes you look for her. It’s hilarious, entertaining, and precious.
  • The Big Bang Theory, Arrested Development, Parks and Recreation, or Friends. And Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives.
    Man, I miss that show. This scene reminds me of all those great half-drunken gab fests with my girlfriends in college.
  • A good IPA and an SEC football game. Something like Terrapin’s Hopsecutioner or Sierra Nevada’s Torpedo Extra IPA. Watching my team (currently ranked #11 in the country after a close loss to another top 10 team last week — we were #5) and yelling at the TV. There. is. NOTHING. better. This is why fall is my favorite time of year.
  • House projects. We bought a house a year and a half ago and it needs some work. There’s still much more to be done, and it’s a great distraction. Not to mention really rewarding. This weekend, we tiled the floor of our guest bathroom that had (brace yourself) carpet in it. Can I just say, EW.
  • And last but definitely not least, this blog. If I tend to be a little long-winded it’s because this is really my only verbal outlet. I’ve stopped discussing my miscarriage woes and ttc struggles to the people in my life because they either a) don’t get it and inadvertently say something insensitive and hurtful, b) already know the whole story and I don’t want to overload them by whining all the time, c) some combination of the two, or d) don’t know at all and it’s this whole off-putting scenario of me bringing up the fact that I miscarried this year only to sense that they are now uncomfortable in the conversation and really can’t believe I just told them that (how dare I bring up something so awkward?).
  • Oh yeah, one more. Reading other ttc after a loss blogs. It makes me feel like I’m not crazy or a horrible person for some of the irrational, ugly thoughts I have throughout the day.

Not Pregnant. Again. Rainbows. And other assorted things.

There is so much to catch up on, on here.

Let me start by saying no, I’m not pregnant, as far as I know. I’m about 99% sure I’m not, anyway. My armpits smell to high heaven and other assorted things (yes I know, gross), but I’m at the end of my cycle, my temp dropped, and I’m spotting–so I would be absolutely shocked if I didn’t start my period tomorrow.

Frickin stupid body can’t conceive even when we hit 3 good fertile days this month!!! (We never time it so perfectly.) BOOO!!!!!

The good thing is that even though I couldn’t pinpoint ovulation or count my luteal days last month, I did NOT spot mid-cycle this month like I did last time, I DID pin-point ovulation this time (at least down to a 2-3 day range), and it looks like my luteal phase is exactly what it was pre-miscarriage: 13 days. Eh. At least I can count on something.

You’ll notice I’m being flippant about this because if I give into the despair I feel right now I think I’ll go off the deep end. Yes it’s only month two of trying again, but mentally it feels like this experience is all wrapped together as one big, depressing, difficult, seemingly never-ending life season — trying to conceive, the horror of miscarrying at 12 weeks, bleeding for 8 weeks and dealing with bladder inflammation etc. before taking 3 months to heal, being slammed with pregnancy announcements this summer, going to my friend’s baby shower who was due with me, then finally being able to try again, only to be betrayed by the hope given to me in all those articles that say tons of women get pregnant the first cycle after a miscarriage. About that last part, I’m sorry, but BULLSHIT. Sorry for the language. But bullshit.

So I’m being flippant because I have to. I will crumble if I don’t try to keep myself together. I had my good cry the other day (and another day, and another day) and I honestly think that now my mind is just outright rejecting the possibility that this could take a while or something could possibly be wrong after my m/c. My mind is rejecting the harsh reality of another cycle come and gone, not pregnant, after the hell I’ve been through this year, and amid lots of friends getting pregnant. So I’m not going to dwell on it. At least not today.

Can I just say that it’s pretty much impossible not to symptom spot in the two week wait? I promised myself last month that I wouldn’t, and I really, REALLY tried. But it’s impossible. I didn’t actively look for things, but it’s pretty hard not to notice that you’ve got gobs of cm for days (sorry, TMI), that you’re really tired 2-3 days in a row, that you had a temp dip around what could be implantation time, and so on. Your ttc brain, especially when you’ve been trying for at least a few months, is hard-wired to see things even when you’re trying not to look for them, even when you’re trying to find things to do to distract yourself. It’s almost subconscious and you might as well wave the white flag every month.

I’ll admit, this isn’t pretty at all, but to be completely honest since this is my diary, I was pissed off at God the other day. Just flat out pissed off that He didn’t let me get pregnant this month. If I had conceived, I would have been due the week of Mother’s Day. (:( ) The same week as my mom’s birthday (she loves being a grandmother–my sis has kids and she never shuts up about them). And I would definitely have that cute bump at Christmas that I really, really wanted to have. (I may not now.) And, okay this is silly, but I really wanted to have my kid’s birthday during the school year, not in the summer. My birthday was during the school year and I wanted my kid to have what I had: tons of friends to wish me happy birthday (if even superficial friends), perhaps my boyfriend/dad to send me flowers on the day so everyone could see, things like that. You don’t get that with a summer birthday. Not to mention you’re lucky if your friends can attend your summer birthday party, with family vacations getting in the way. What if my kid’s BFF can’t make it to her 10th birthday party? I just can’t have that.

The rainbow I spotted

The rainbow I spotted

Lastly, I was mad at God because He sent me a promise. A promise to not allow this horrible experience to happen to me again. On my ovulation day. Let me explain.

For years, I have only seen rainbows in the sky when a big life event is going on. I saw one the day I moved back home after living out of state for the first time. I saw one on my college graduation day. And I saw two–two! one on top of the other!–when I was at a baseball game with J when we were dating. I had been wondering if he was the one for me, and even though I felt very confident he was, I wanted God to show me that J was the man He had been preparing for me my whole life. He did–and He did it by sending me a rainbow (two!).

Well, I haven’t seen a rainbow in a few years, that I can recall. And last on Thursday, August 22nd, that changed. It was my ovulation day, and He sent me a rainbow. It hadn’t even been raining that day.

Was this God promising me that this would be the month? I tried not to think about it that way. But He knows how special it would be for me to have my baby around Mother’s Day, after all that’s happened. So maybe? Or maybe it was God showing me that He would lead J to a much better job soon. Maybe it was that I would definitely be pregnant again at some point (I have this fear that my m/c messed something up and made me infertile–I know, it’s irrational. But that’s where my mind goes, because I’m sure it’s possible.)

Or maybe it’s a reflection of God’s original promise when sending Noah a rainbow in the Bible–the promise that God would never again flood the earth the same way — or in other words, never again wipe out mankind. Interesting, right? In my situation, it seems that would translate to Him never allowing me to go through another miscarriage, another loss of precious life. This is the one that seems to stick with me.

The second rainbow

The second rainbow

Only time will allow me to see what God’s message to me really is.

This Saturday, over a week later, we were out power-washing our porch. The water sprayed across the yard, combined with the sunlight streaking in the same direction, created another rainbow. I was flabbergasted to say the least.

What does this mean? A true RAINBOW baby?

How on earth did I randomly see this two weeks in a row?

So when my temp dropped the very next morning, I got mad. Very mad. I thought, how could you do this to me God!? Why even bother sending me the message?! Why THAT DAY? And why another one?! Why fill me with hope and excitement only to leave me feeling sad and pissed off all over again?

I don’t know the answer. But I asked His forgiveness the very next day. It doesn’t mean I wasn’t mad all day. It doesn’t mean it didn’t take me a while to let go of my pride and admit He knows more than I do, that He’s got this.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that He has something very big in mind for me. I just don’t know what it is yet. So I have to trust Him.

But IT’S HARD. It gets drastically harder with each month that comes and goes.

I guess that’s going to make the victory so much sweeter. THAT’S what I’m looking forward to. THAT’S where my hope is. Ultimate victory.

Looking ahead, if I were to conceive next month, I would be due the week of Father’s Day. I guess we’ll see what happens. I’m hopeful, but not in the sense that I expect it, anymore. I expect God to work, but not necessarily on my timeline. Am I happy about that? Honestly… no. Do I get pissed off and extremely down from time to time? Uh, yeah. But am I happy that God knows more than I do, has got something great in mind for me, and that He can be trusted with this? Yeah, I’d say I’m pretty darn happy with that.

By the way, I finally had some wine last night, after going without for two weeks. It felt great. I think a spicy tuna roll is next.

Now I’m off to yoga. Another new distraction I quite like.

—————————————–

“This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you,
and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
I set My rainbow in the cloud,
and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.
It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud;
and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you
and every living creature of all flesh;
the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.”
–Genesis 9:12-15