Saturday, March 28, 2009

Insanity: A Memoir.


Highly Overrated,

Simply Disturbing.

The Ultimate Revolution!

Letting Go.

Out of my mind.

Unfeigned Enlightenment.

Shooby Do Wop Wop Shooby Do.

Endless Memories,

Sporadic Thoughts.

Plumb Tuckered Out,

Amusing Label.

I am the Walrus Goo Goo G'Joob.

Silent Struggle.

Back To Bed.

Copyright ©2007 Sarah B. Paquette

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How to Shell a Hard-Cooked Egg

B/w was scheduled for early morning yesterday to determine whether I was to get surgery today. Lucky for me, the hCG went back down to 218. No surgery! Hoorah!...or is it?!

I'll be the first to admit, I'm sick and tired of all of the travel as well as suspense involved with my reproductive system these days. I was totally resigned to losing my tube after everything I've been through, drove back and forth, back and forth, back and forth from the RE's office (an hour away from work), was told I may lose the tube even after 2 doses of the demon methotrexate, was then told that it wasn't necessary ~ the injections worked, then was told I may be losing it anyway because my hCG levels were back up again, now am told I'm not going to need lap surgery afterall. Egads!~

I really need to step away from all of this IF stuff for a while. I'll feel much better about starting over after a much needed break. My body is starting to feel back to normal ~ I can actually fit into my jeans! My intestines are still all screwed up, but overall, I feel pretty good. I'd like to start taking vitamins's getting warmer outside and that means my routine 4 mile walk with Skoola Fazoola, my sweet 4-legged, will be well underway soon.

I attended my first wire jewelry techniques class last night and I absolutely loved it! My thumb only bled a little while twisting 16 gauge copper wire. :) Bought myself some trusty pliers and sparkly glass beads on sale today and am anxious to start making beautiful wearable art. I think it's a lovely way to take my mind off my uterus. I'm so happy it's spring...the season of colored eggs is upon us ~ oh wait...let's change the subject, please.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Going to Great Pains

Protocol for Medical treatment (Methotrexate) of Ectopic Pregnancy. Written by The Royal Oldham Hospital. Revised March 2001

Good success rates (More than 90%) in appropriately selected cases
Comparable to conservative surgery in terms of subsequent fertility
General anaesthetic avoided

Risk of toxicity: nausea, stomatitis, bone marrow suppression, pneumonitis, elevated liver enzymes
Repeated visits to ensure resolution of pregnancy

Selection criteria:
Clinically stable
Able and willing to attend for follow-up scans and blood tests
Early unruptured ectopic pregnancy
Under 8 weeks gestation
No free fluid on ultrasound scan
Ectopic sac <3cm>

Discuss with consultant
Counsel patient, obtain consent and give information on medical treatment of ectopic pregnancy
Blood tests:
Group & save serum,
U& E,
Prescribe a single dose of intramuscular Methotrexate 50 (fifty) mg
(if weight is <50kg, prescribe 1mg/kg)

Discharge with following advice:
Avoid sexual intercourse
Avoid alcohol
Avoid folic acid
Ectopic may rupture.
To come back in immediately if feeling dizzy or exacerbated abdominal pain Avoid conception for 3 months

Twice weekly hCG until falling, then weekly until <10iu/1
If hCG not falling, request ultrasound scan If no significant fall in hCG after 7 days, then consider either repeat methotrexate or surgical treatment (discuss with patient)

Note: hCG may fall slowly. Median time to resolution is 1 month Discuss contraception


I was at work when I got the call yesterday from RE's nurse that my b/w results came back surprising (Note: RE hasn't seen this happen before). My hCG levels rose from 239 last week to 330 yesterday. Went back to RE for u/s which showed a significant change in the size of the cyst and halo of fluid ~ they were both barely noticeable. As RE put it, "don't want to put the cart before the horse", so I was advised to come back on Monday for more b/w and if the levels are still steadily increasing, I'm to get laparoscopic surgery to remove my right fallopian tube on Thursday (3/26).
Not to sound gruesome, but I have has only been worse since I was injected the 2nd time with the demon Methotrexate a few weeks ago. Last night, when I went to the bathroom to pee before bed, my lower body was in total distress. I never felt it coming and then all of a sudden, I was suffering...hardcore. I turned white as a ghost and almost fainted a few times from the unbearable torture in my abdomen...not necessarily from my intestines, but the muscles too. I've never felt anything so excruciating in my life. I've had horrid constipation symptoms before, this fuckin' hurt a million times more. I could barely lift myself from the toilet for fear that the pain would get worse, laid my exhausted body on the bed, and writhed in agony. My husband totally freaked out ~ kept asking me if I should go to the hospital. All I wanted to do was sleep. I took some extra-strength tylenol, my husband rubbed my head, and I felt my body relax. Thankfully, the pain subsided enough that I was able to sleep through the night.
My reason for writing about this incident is that I've really been OK for the last 2 weeks. I've been feeling healthier except for the constipation on and off, and was starting to feel like my life was getting back on track. Then, I get the phone call at work yesterday that my hCG is rising, feel my heart skip a beat, anticipate surgery that day, am told to wait until Monday to determine the outcome, and then writhe in pain that evening. Coincidence? I think not.
It's official. god hates me.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Moment to Myself

This was the very first art card I ever made. At the time, I was going through relentless mental anxiety ~ IF related, of course. Not sure if it was the clomid or doubts. Indubitably, I needed a way to expel what was seething inside. Collage art paved the way to alleviation. I've been skipping down its creative path ever since.

Friday, March 13, 2009

OnE mOnTH SuPpLy













The photograph illustrated above (of my typical daily IF prescription amount) was taken shortly after I swallowed my 2nd dose of Chinese Herbs suggested by my acupuncturist. At that time, I had been seeking medicated fertility treatment for 6 months ~ going to acupuncture 1x week for 3 of those months. My herbal concoction changed twice... each prescribed amount involved more herbs and less hope.

Before I decided to take the photograph, I stood in the kitchen, hovered over the counter, meticulously counting 24 tiny round black beads that were strangely attracted to each other due to the static electricity produced by my fleshy finger on the crisp paper towel, and an obscure gauzy veil lifted from sight. It all became quite clear...

HOW MUCH I cherish my baby even before he/she is born.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Oh, Bloody Hell

The nurse just b/w results came back ~ the hCG levels dropped to 239. More b/w scheduled for next Wednesday (3/18). This is the routine for the next few weeks until the hCG reaches 5. At this rate, we're looking at the end of March to early April for my hCG to completely disappear. Then, I must wait (2) consecutive menstrual cycles to ensure that the demon Methotrexate is completely out of my system and will not affect a potential fetus. June seems sooooooo far away at this point.

In the meantime, I am faced with a decision to continue on an IUI journey and hope for the best... basically risking my chance for another ectopic... OR begin IVF treatment and bypass my tubes altogether. Dependent upon an HSG test, to show whether my right tube is still open, the doctor is leaving it up to us to decide how to proceed. IVF is much more invasive than I ever cared to experience.

Oh, what to do!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Egg Epistle


Dear Egg,

The doctor says that you are a delicious size comparable to a grape. What wonderful news to hear! I've been doing everything expected of me, you know. Steering away from my dark java morning addiction, practicing yoga at least once a week, meditating often, swallowing hormone pills on time, taking my temperature when I first awake from a sound sleep, resisting alcoholic beverages when I want them most, remembering to take Chinese herbal supplements twice per day, spending quality time with couples who have small children, eating wholesome foods and drinking room temperature water, as well as progressively reading the natural fertility guide books I was recommended by an expert.

I don't know, Egg. I'm not feeling so great today. The cramping becomes unbearable; the persistent anxiety gets to be too much. I blame myself. Perhaps I should have sought treatment a long time ago. Maybe it's too late - things can't be remedied. Times like these, I feel like a empty vessel becoming chilled to the core when determined attempts to house and nourish something as warm and tender as you go unnoticed and ignored. Who would want to snuggle inside an icy igloo when the alternative is affectionate bliss? Life's hands can be so cold. Mine are no exception. My attitude turns frosty while my heart radiates motherly warmth.

I know you're there, Egg. You are forever in my thoughts and silent prayers. I'm making changes, keeping positive, although some days are better than others. Can you sense when I stretch my tired limbs in quiet isolation? Are you satisfied that I am going to great efforts to ensure your protected survival?

Can you hear me, Egg? I want you to feel cherished. I am grateful for your existence. Are you thankful for mine? This ovulation process has been so grueling, Egg. There are days I don't think I'm strong enough to endure. I tense up at the slightest pang of discomfort. I cry alone. Do you experience my inner pain as well?

Why are some selected to bear ripe human fruit without their knowledge or consent whilst others contemplate and manipulate their delicate production and still remain solitary? Why does something seemingly so easy have to be so difficult? You appear to be a figment of my vivid imagination only to disappear when your presence is revealed to others. Everyone I know goes away in the end. Why should you be any different?

Dear Egg. I will continue to do what I'm supposed to do. Set my troubled mind at ease as the internal anguish is intolerable. Release. Find what you seek. Endure.

Please don't grieve for me, Egg. This too shall pass.

Dutifully Yours,


Friday, March 6, 2009

Jesus Christ, Leave Me Alone!

Let me start out by saying that I am not here to offend anyone. I honestly believe everyone has a right to their individual beliefs and should be allowed to express them freely and without discrimination. However, just as I do not press my beliefs on people, I would appreciate that others follow suit. With that being said, I just want to clearly express that I do not believe in a god. I also believe that the bible should not be taken in a literal context but merely as a collection of intelligent fiction that blends legend with historical accounts and is meant to be symbolic literature taken with a grain of salt. Allow me to clarify ~ These opinions do not make me an evil human being.

When I was growing up, my parents brought me to church on countless Sundays. I was baptized, went to parochial school from grade school through high school, took communion, was confirmed, confessed my sins, and remained good friends with a nun who taught me in second grade. I have never believed in god. As much as I try to wrap my head around the concept, it all just seems so preposterous a notion to me. I am not comfortable praying to an invisible entity. I do not believe that kneeling down, clasping my hands, bowing my head, and pleading to the "guy in the sky" for forgiveness will ever bring me closer to bearing a child.

I am the oldest of 4 children and grew up in a discordant household. My parents' belief in god did not bring peace to my family nor did it miraculously cure the extreme disharmony that threatened to destroy it. I lived very fearful of my father and suspicious of my mother. One mild example, when we arrived home from church, all hell would break loose. My father demanded a hot breakfast, my mother complained that she didn't feel like cooking for 6 people. They would vociferously yell at each other...the kids would run and hide. This Sunday routine lasted for years and I eventually grew to hate anything that had to do with church. I'll refrain from writing about the abuse.

Long story short, my parents divorced after 25 years of marriage. My father and I were estranged for almost 8 years before I decided to invite him to my wedding celebration. I wouldn't say that our relationship has been repaired in any way...Now that I'm older, I've just learned how to cope with his antics a lot better.


I did eventually call my mother about the ectopic. She said some really poignant things. I felt relieved that I spilled my guts. I did not want to call Dad. I never feel like he listens and in all honesty, I was fearful of what he would say. He is a fire-and-brimstone christian and knows I'm an least, he should. I told him numerous times that I do not believe in his god. SO. I took the easy way...and sent him an e-mail.


My abridged letter to Dad:
Sorry that I haven't been able to keep in better touch. I've been seriously ill and just this week am trying to get back on track again. I missed 6 days of work over the course of February...not to mention the multiple excursions to the hospital and back and then trying to work in between. It has been a real eye opener and I'm happy to be well again!
DH mentioned that he told you that we are trying to conceive. As fate would have it, we are having trouble. We realized something was wrong and went to a specialist last January 2008 only to be misdiagnosed and have to go to another doctor about and hour away from work. Anyway, long story short, I got pregnant last month for the first time ~ however, it ended up being ectopic (the baby was growing in my right fallopian tube) and I had to have 4 injections of chemotherapy to resolve the issue. This has been an extremely emotional as well as physically trying time for me. I'm extremely lucky to be in good hands...some women die from ectopics. DH has been a wonderful support too. I feel much better, although I'm not out of the woods just yet. You take care and I'll be keeping in touch.


This was his entire response:
My dear, Sarah -

I am so sorry to hear of your illness, and your disappointing period of conception. I am constantly praying for both of you to receive your hearts desires. I am not sure of how close you both are to believing in, and staying in touch with God, but I know He is there for those who trust in Him, and He will be there for them in times of need. I hope you turn to Jesus as your Savior, pray to Him for help, and then be patient to receive His blessings.
Sarah, I know it works, because I have been asking for God's help all of my life, when my life wasn't going in the right direction, and He has always been there for me. My life has always been up and down like everyone else, but in the end I have always come out on top again with His help, and all I did was ask for His help.
How you believe, and what you believe in is entirely left up to us as individuals, but if we truly want our lives to begin to head in a more positive, and pleasant direction, we have to believe it will, and make the necessary changes in our way of thinking, and put your Faith in the Truth, which is God's written Word.
I know, it's difficult to be a good follower of the true God in today's world, because the world has become so deceitful and immoralistic. We all have to live in the world, but we don't have to be of the world. We must remain the ones who believe, and stay the true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, and live good, righteous lives in His honor. We will all then benefit through His Grace, and receive His Peace, Love, and Blessings.
A child born to a mother, and father, and husband and wife is the greatest gift of all from our Father God in Heaven, because only God can create this human life. We will continue to pray for both of you, and both of you continue to pray, and have Faith, and patience for your blessing to come, and it most certainly will. God will bless both of you, that's a reality.

Love, Dad


All I wanted to read/hear was that he was there for me if I needed anything. Perhaps we could make arrangements for a visit and talk about what happened. God forbid, during these difficult times, he should take a stand as my father and really BE a father. He never was a good example. Why should anything change now?

I feel incredibly isolated when it comes to my immediate family. As I've mentioned before, I am close to my middle sister. We keep in touch pretty regularly and DH and I spend the nights there when we visit PA. I'm very grateful for our relationship...we survived plenty of shit growing up; however, I would like to feel some sort of pleasant connection with my parents...just once. I wish they would call me on their own. I wish they were capable when I need them most. I wish their god told them to help me. I implore them to listen for I'm going through hell.

Thee end.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I was "tagged" with the Honest Scrap award by my sweet Fashionably Infertile e-friend on Thursday. I am honoured and happy to oblige.

'Ere 'Tis The Rules:

1) Choose a minimum of (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.

2) Show the (7) winners names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with "Honest Scrap." Well, there's no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.

3) List at least (10) honest things about yourself. I chose to list (25)...just because.

'Ere 'Tis My Scraps:
1. I must sleep in pitch black silence with a blanket over my shoulder.

2. I have this recurring dream since childhood that a troll/gremlin/scary black thing that I can’t really see hides under the bed and sloooooowly pulls my covers off. Sometimes I get pissed off and brave and try to catch the little no avail.

3. I’ve loved Tori Amos since high school, especially when the Little Earthquakes album came out in 1992, but not so much since she got uberly popular. When an artist becomes mainstream, I usually ditch ’em.

4. There is a dark mole on the side of my nose tip since birth. Sometimes I have a tendency to stare at it in the mirror...secretly wishing it would just fall off already.

5. I lack patience...specifically when it comes to ignorant people.

6. To me, dish washing is the ultimate housekeeping curse.

7. I am obsessed with all things Victorian, especially paper ephemera and photographs. My collection has only gotten larger since getting a better paying job and a husband who thinks I’m cool and weird, not necessarily in that order...

8. I’m a granola-stalkin’ treehugger who strongly supports and encourages the fair trade movement; however, I just can’t get enough of the Anthropologie clothing store and I hesitate to discover what their ethical policies are for fear that I will never be able to set foot in one again.

9. I love bats and have wanted to study them since Mom bought me the Wildlife Treasury cards when I was 8. Is there such a thing as a Batologist?

10. I’m an extreme movie critic through and through. My husband will attest to the fact that I compulsively know actor and actresses by only seeing/hearing them in a film once AND I can usually spot a mistake without any help. It makes for an interesting movie night.

11. My husband is my best friend in the whole wide world.

12. I've always felt a certain affinity towards the Dodo.

13. I once wrote a letter to an egg. Mine.

14. I dye my hair pink and feel sheer elation when out of the corner of my eye, I see pinkish strands glisten in the sunlight.

15. I secretly want to sing in a Ska band.

16. I love to wear knee-high boots and long stripe socks.

17. I share a birthday with Frida Kahlo, the 14th Dalai Lama, and George W. Bush.

18. I am an eco-preneur who owns (2) earth-conscious websites ~ and .

19. (5) places I MUST visit before I die: Belgium, England, New Zealand, Tibet, and France.

20. My Blog. An electronic substitute for a hand-written journal...mainly because I'm too lazy to use a pen.

21. I wear French parfum everyday.

22. I really enjoy weird obscure surrealist art and film.

23. I wish my sister lived closer.

24. I am a collage art enthusiast and love to discover little stories within them. I've only just started to make my own...bringing my own little stories to life.

25. I have a large tattoo on my upper left arm of a lotus flower and ocean waves. Now that work proclaimed we are still receiving a bonus this year despite the economic downturn, I plan to elaborate on it...thinking a splashing koi will complete my half sleeve quite nicely.

So. I now bestow the Honest Scrap award to:

A Monkey Girl's Existential Drama

The Glimmering Prize

Hope Springs Infertile

Infertility Reality

Seaweed and Gardenias

Sugar Magnolia Creations

Who Shot My Stork?

My b/w results came back this afternoon and I'm happy to report the hCG levels have now dropped to 394. I'm scheduled for more b/w next Wednesday. (This will be the routine for the next few weeks until the hCG is 5.) My sister-in-law is in town on Saturday and spending the night at our house. I plan to consume a frosty adult beverage this weekend...even if it kills me.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Time for Smiles

...yes, Indeed!


This small collage was finished a few weeks ago...or so I thought. I was trying out a new image transfer technique using packing tape and a bowl of water and chose the "Alice crowned as Queen Alice puts on the crown" image from one of Tenniel's Alice in Wonderland illustrations. I printed the small image on recycled copy paper, placed packing tape over top, cut around the image, flipped it over, then rubbed really hard with a bone folder to get the ink to stick to the tape. It was advised that I then dip the taped image into a bowl of warm water and let sit for 15 minutes. While the image is wet, rub and rub the paper into little pieces very carefully until it comes apart from the tape. The result is a transparent tape image to place on your collage. Voila! Wrong. I repeated those exact methods 3 times before I got REALLY frustrated. The piece of paper, in its entirety (not bits of pulp), came apart from the tape and sank to the bottom of the bowl. I believe my problem was I was using the wrong type of image. I needed a magazine scrap, a photo, etc. There just wasn't enough ink from the inkjet printer to stick to the tape.

The soggy paper image faintly turned muddy green from being immersed in water and when it dried out, I really liked the effect. What could I do with it? I was going to throw away my mistake. Then it occured to me. This recent collage came to mind. A crowned Alice fit perfectly seated in the corner with her "imaginary friends", who were also wearing playful hats. I added the tiny clock to fit its "time" theme and to match Alice and her issue with being late...or was that the pesky white rabbit? Anyway...I then found a watch crystal and placed it over top Alice to imitate a 'looking glass' and to relate to the girls using their vivid imagination while they have a tea party.

"Time for Smiles" is made on top of an old game card measuring 5.5 inches x 3.5 inches. I used collage sheet images for the (2) little girls and the oversized teacup hat, Victorian-style German scrap butterfly wings, gold pigment ink, white and yellow acrylic paint, tiny bronze brads, espresso brown archival ink, gold foil renaissance borders, a dictionary book scrap, typewriter font letter stamps, a vintage wallpaper scrap, clear stickers from K&Company, a tiny gold metal spoon charm, and an old watch face and crystal.

This whimsical piece was really fun to create and brought a smile to my face when I didn't think that was possible at the time. For me, Art has a tendency to heal.