Wow, it’s been over a year since I last blogged. I know I used to get on people who got their happy ending to all of a sudden disappear then I go and do the same thing lol. I just haven’t been feeling much of the infertility and child stuff lately. Unfortunately we’ve been dealing with aging sick parents, parents relocating and within the last 10 days have friends that lost their son less than a month before he was due to be born. Also, I had a really close call getting into some serious shit due to my own stupidity that could have been life altering. I won’t get into specifics but 2018 has not been a pleasant year so far and to be real it will likely get more difficult before it gets easier. But that’s life just have to make the best of what is.
Which brings me to why I’m writing now. Over the course of the five plus years in the infertility I’ve met many amazing people and formed many friendships. There are too many to name in one post and I know I’d forget some I’d later regret, In some cases these friends are people who at times I wasn’t the nicest to. I won’t make any excuses for it as I own my behavior. Some of these people no longer interact with me and I understand why and hold nothing against them. Others have stuck by me despite me shitting on them multiple times for that I truly love them as friends.
One of these amazing individuals is Kaeleigh MacDonald, my buddy from Canada. I initially connected with her on Twitter and also through her blog Unpregnant Chicken. She’s a witty, funny upbeat personality who is easy to like and get along with. She’s also incredibly passionate about helping others and no doubt all of these qualities have led her to be an amazing mom, wife and friend. Well over a year ago she had asked me to put together a guest blog piece on a topic of my choosing. I had the topic picked out in my head. I had many long runs where I would write it out in my Head only to come home and never sit down to write it. I felt bad cause Kaeleigh kept asking about it and it was just a matter of carving out time to write it. Finally about two months ago I finally got my piece to her.
Some of you I know have read it and I’ve shared it on other social media platforms for others to read and hopefully explain where I’m coming from and where I am now. I hope you enjoy it. I really want to thank Kaeleigh for the opportunity to share my story, for being a great friend and being the amazing person she is.
I figured it was time to do a personal update piece because it’s been a while since I last did. When I think back a year ago and to where I am right now it’s amazing how things have changed. A year ago I was working through deep depression, my personal life was in the crapper, I was in the middle of training to run my third half marathon and on the flip side my work life was on solid ground.
Today I am for the most part passed depression, my personal life couldn’t be better, I am in the middle of a four month rest period so my Achillies Tendon injury can heal (causing me to drop out of running my 1st marathon) and my work life sucks. Until I thought about it the last few days my depression hasn’t been much on my mind outside of taking anti depressants every morning. I’m no longer down about my life. Sure there are still times the realization of not ever becoming parents fucking sucks but overall I’m in a good place. My personal life is as good as it has ever been. My relationships are better than ever. I’m more comfortable with who I am and it’s easier to look past the little things. I’m able to feel and give love again. I have that happiness and laughter rather than anger I had last year. And next weekend I will be seeing my friends one year old son for the first time as I am getting together with my college friend for a weekend of Civil War battlefield visits in VA.
Three weeks ago I had to officially shut down my training for the Philly Marathon in November as I sustained some tears in the tendon from my Achillies tendinitis. It took convincing from my acupuncturist to accept it. Though I felt when I couldn’t even run 3 miles without pain I had a feeling the time had come to shut it down. If this had happened a year ago no doubt I would have gone into an even deeper depression. Instead frustration is what I’m feeling. The frustration of having to stop doing what I enjoyed due to once again my body betraying what my mind wants it to do. November 27th is a long ways away but I’m hoping that day I’ll be able to go for a short run pain free.
Overall life is well. I’m more confident I can work through short term challenges and have not thought much about what the future holds. The long term future does scare me. I still have fears about not having family outside of our home spending the holidays alone. There’s nothing I can do about it now. Whatever it will be like when we age it will be. There’s no use in letting it get in the way of the life to live right now that I can enjoy.
I hope everyone is well wherever you are at in your journeys.
Those of you who are friends with me on FB know it was an interesting week for me two weeks ago to say the least. The week prior during a track workout I had my right calf cramp up. This isn’t that unusual as I have calf and Achillies tendon issues. I got through the rest of the week and my long run on Sunday without any major issues though my calf wasn’t at full strength.
On Sunday night before I noticed a red spot on the back of my right calf. I didn’t think anything of it as it didn’t hurt. Monday night when I got home after work I noticed my right calf was red and swollen. The skin was also tight. I put heat on it to see if that would help. Tuesday morning the calf felt better the swelling went down so like the dope I am I decided to go out for the 6 mile run I planned on doing. Throughout this whole time my wife told me to take it easy and take a day off (of course I didn’t listen). During the run and after the run I felt ok.
It wasn’t until later in the morning while at a meeting that my calf started to feel like a balloon about to burst both numb and tight (below is a pic of my sexy swollen calf in the ER I took). Reading symptoms online I had some signs of a blood clot. I didn’t have any chest pains or trouble breathing so I wasn’t too worried that it was that. Though I didn’t want to take any chances so I went to an Urgent Care Center after work.
At the Urgent Care Center the doctor told me it was either a blood clot or some type of infection but he didn’t think it was an infection because I had no scraps or cuts on my leg. They didn’t have an Ultrasound machine there to confirm so I would have to go to the ER and have it done there.
For anyone who has been to the ER you know you can be there for hours. So I called my wife and told her I was coming home to change, grab a snack and then we’d go to the Hospital that is 5 minutes from the house. The Hospital is less than 5 years old. When it was being built I thought that would be where our children would be born. Of course on the way to the hospital I had to joke with my wife that we would finally get to check out the new hospital. She laughed and said she didn’t want to see it like this. Mind you at this point she was ready to strangle me for not listening to her earlier in the day.
Throughout the entire ordeal I was pretty calm in good spirits joking around and laughing. It wasn’t until I was having the Ultrasound done where my nerves kicked in. Some deep breaths and meditation calmed my nerves. Once the tech told me no clots I was relieved but still uncertain as to what it was. 30 minutes later back in my ER room the Physician Assistant came in and told us that I likely shredded a piece of muscle off my calf that caused a blood vessel to burst which caused the swelling. I would have to take it easy for a few days elevate and ice it after that I should be ok.
So at the end of the day I was ok and I got to finally check out the new hospital that infertility prevented us from seeing. 🙂
The follow up is that two weeks later I’m doing well. I had my last long run before my next half on the 15th yesterday and I’ve begun acupuncture treatments to help.
All in all things have been great in my world outside of that scare. My training has never gone better for a race and I feel a good race coming. This past Friday night I went to a fucking amazing PJ concert where they played the entire ten album front to back to start the show (only second time they’ve done that). Saturday I went to a Met game with the Metsies off to a good start this season.
Hope everyone is well. 😀👍🏻
Going into infertility people/couples are clear on what they want. They want to become parent(s). I wanted for my wife and I to become parents but infertility isn’t going to allow that to happen. It is not a path that will be a part of our story for reasons out of anyones control. The fallout from it led to me becoming “Infertile Me”.
Infertile me is dark, scared, depressed, raw, ugly, mean and hopeless. Infertile me almost destroyed my marriage. Infertile me hurt people. Infertile me brought out the worst in me. Infertile me blinded me from the many good things in my life that I’m grateful for. Most importantly infertile me was not who I really was.
I don’t want to be infertile me any longer. Being infertile me doesn’t serve me. I don’t want to be dark when light is shining. I don’t want to be scared of the unknown when it brings anxiety. I don’t want to be depressed when there are so many things in my life that bring me joy. I don’t want to be ugly, raw and mean because that’s not who I am or who I want to be. I don’t want to be hopeless when nothing ever stays the same.
I’m not sure who I want to become or what I want my life to look like. That will come in time. But the one thing I do know is that I don’t want to be Infertile Me because I’m a better person than that.
A great post on something that needs to change in the infertility community if we’re ever going to become a more supportive inclusive community.
Over the last 15 months there have been few things that have made me happy in my life. Trying to find positives in a shitty situation has been near impossible. What’s helped me get through it obviously are my wife and support system. That support system includes other family and friends, my therapist who I saw for 7 months in 2013 and the many wonderful people I’ve met online. One of those many wonderful people is Lori Holden, who is an Adoptive Mom and infertility survivor. I’ve mentioned her in a number of blog posts. I can’t say enough nice things about her and the type of person she is. Her book “The Open-Hearted way to Open Adoption” is a must read for anyone considering pursuing adoption or who is an Adoptive Parent.
One of the many wonderful things Lori does through her blog is post a column the last Monday of every month called “Perfect Moment Monday”. Lori describes what “The Perfect Moment” as being:
Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.
For months I had gone by and not participated in describing a Perfect Moment that I’ve had because I had been so down. But recently I realized that I do have Perfect Moments, I just was too depressed to realize it.
I’ve described before on this blog that I am a huge sports fan especially when it comes to my teams (Mets, NY Giants and NY Rangers). One of my favorite annual sporting events is Opening Day in baseball. My first Mets Opening Day was on March 31, 1998 at Shea Stadium. It was my Senior Year of High School and took the day off. It was also the only Opening Day I’ve been too that I’ve been able to wear shorts and a T-Shirt too. Every other Opening Day I’ve been too (6 others) it’s been frigid as it usually is in April in Queens.
Today will mark my 8th Opening Day I’ve been too. For me as a Met fan they are my Perfect Moments. It’s the start of the baseball season and a new beginning for the Metsies. It’s a day that I take off from work to celebrate my love for baseball and the Mets. It’s the first day to “Meet the Mets” for that season. The Mets are 0-0 with a 162 games left that leave a world of possibilities. And the Mets have the best record on Opening Day (34-18) of any team in baseball history, so you are almost sure to see them win. Even though typically in my lifetime the Mets have been pretty bad outside of the mid to late 80’s, late 90’s and 2005-2008. It’s not about that for me. It’s about having fun and celebrating something I love to do and that is go to the ballpark to see a game.
Every Opening Day is a Perfect Moment for me that I am sure to experience today……………..even though I may not notice it at the time.
I’ve been debating on whether to make my blog public recently. Most of our friends and our families already know anyway. Plus if you follow me on twitter it has my full name on there. But I thought I would be fun to open up more about me the person here for those who don’t know me. So I figured for you all who read my blog I would share some random facts about me to get to know the guy behind the blog:
-I am short, only 5’4″.
-I am 100% Italian which means if I ever had joined the mafia I could have been made.
-Although I have lived in NJ since I was 2.5, I actually was born in NYC and lived in Queens before my parents moved to Jersey.
-I have one younger brother who is 6 years younger than me.
-I went to college in Virginia majoring in Political Science.
-I interned on Capital Hill in the Spring of 2002 in an office that was two doors down from an office that received Anthrax right after 9/11
-I worked on a Congressional campaign after I graduated college and actually got a chance to meet Former VP Al Gore.
-My Social politics are liberal but as I’ve gotten older my economic politics have become more conservative.
-I am a huge sports fan who loves the Mets, football Giants and hockey Rangers.
-As being a big fan of those teams, I hate the Yankees, all teams from Philadelphia, teams in the NFC East, Devils and Islanders.
-My favorite athletes include Mike Piazza, Adam Graves and Mark Bavaro.
-My most hated athletes include Roger Clemens, Martin Broduer and Michael Irvin.
-I am a big Howard Stern fan. I know some people find him offensive but I find his show entertaining. He makes my hour and twenty minute commute more bearable.
-I am a big Bruce Springsteen fan (I know surprise surprise I’m from Jersey).
-I also love Pearl Jam and saw them for the second time in concert in Philly last month.
-I am not really coordinated which is why I swam and ran long distance as a kid.
-If I like a person and become comfortable with them I will joke around with them. Those I don’t like I won’t joke around with.
-My favorite movie of all time is Goodfellas.
-I love dumb movies with lots of dumb guy humor that I love to recite lines too. My favorite comedy is The Big Lebowski.
-My favorite stand up comedian of all time is George Carlin.
-My favorite city in the world is Florence, Italy.
-My favorite city in the US is San Francisco.
-Before I got married I had little cooking experience in fact a few months into marriage I once cooked a cucumber thinking it was a zucchini. Now I can cook well just not as well as my wife.
-Speaking of food I once ate 4 Philly Cheesesteaks from Genos within an 8 hour period.
-I’m an Apple person and I’ll never go back to a PC or non Apple phone.
-My wife is an attorney who does Family, Bankruptcy and Real Estate. I joke with people if I ever mess up I’ll end up in a card board box.
-Speaking of my wife, I proposed to her in Paris at Luxembourg Gardens. When I asked she said “Of course”.
There you have it, that’s me in a nutshell.