invasion of privacy

Who's To Blame For The Infertile Insane? (Thursday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. Hey, ...If you were good enough to show up for work on the Thursday before a holiday weekend, you pretty much can create your own agenda for the day.) So what were we talking about? Oh right. How society is to blame for all ills and evils on the planet including, but not limited to, our infertility issues and subsequent loss of mind.

It's also possible that some of our nuttiness can be attributed to not only people but things as well. "Hormones" comes to mind.

I mean, you know how you don't feel quite like yourself around PMS time?

Maybe you feel a little off-balance, or spacy, or irritable or like you want to choke everyone in your path and punch them in the face until they stop yapping at you?

Well, so here we are: A group who has been diagnosed, tested, and probed to death.

Been prodded and annoyed by friends, neighbors, coworkers, relatives, and your random yenta on the street.

Gone through loss of money, friends, self-esteem and ultimately, our minds.

All we need now are 250 IU's of hormones coursing through our bloodstream at 80 MPH on a nightly basis to finish us off.

And this season's fashion trend will be a straight jacket. All of the upscale infertility patients will be wearing them (over their opening-goes-in-the-front examination gowns I suppose). 

So there I was, about four months into treatments and handling everything as well as could be expected. Translation: My straight jacket was coming apart at the seams. Then it happened. 

I had had three failed go-rounds with IUI (Intra-Uterine Insemination). I switched clinics and Dr. Wiseacre at the new facility insisted I take a fourth journey into the IUI unknown.  Cutting to the chase: I was prescribed a few hormones too many.

Then there was "Steven". (I may as well take the quotation marks away because that's his name): My coworker, my friend. Yes, he was a little nit-picky at work about rules and cleanliness. But I adored him.

A Pre-IUI-hormone overdose conversation:

Steven: "Lori, you're really not supposed to eat at your desk."

Lori: "I know."

In the throes of my hormone high: 

Steven: "Lori you're really not supposed to eat at your desk."

Lori: "What's it to you? Why don't you mind your own business?! Who are you? You're nobody. You're just this pain in the ass who always has to be up everybody else's ass.

(He heads to his desk with an urgent gait. I stalk behind.)

What do you even do here anyway? Do you have a job? Do you even work here? You don't ever seem to do anything but irritate people!

So what if I eat at my desk? What's it to you? I'd better never catch you eating at your desk!"     

I waved my granola bar within millimeters of his face, having visions of beating him to death with it and stuffing his body in the trunk of his car.

The poor guy. Even in my damaged mental state, I could see he was mentally debating whether to call security or just pee himself.

Listen I gotta go. I'm going to run down to Mexico to get some fireworks for this weekend. Oh, I can get them at Wal-mart? I didn't know. I'll talk with ya tomorrow.

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My Private Infertility: Trying To Keep Everyone's Nose Out Of My Uterus (Friday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. Maybe you can print it out and take it with you on a bathroom break. I'm not proud.) So, what were we talking about again? Oh right. People who, for some unknown reason, want to know every detail about our personal business: Infertility issues and all.

All week I've been proposing my board game series designed to deal with such folk.  All week, the games' objectives have been to get people to shut up and go away.

To wrap up the week, however, I'm doing a 180 on these people: Details? You want details, you say? In the wise words of the car commercial:             "You asked for it. You got it. Toyota."

My final offering in the Busybody Board Game Series is: "All or Nothing".

You want information on my personal life. That's fine. But it's all or nothing.

So let's begin:

My unfortunate coworker/victim approaches as I search the vending machine for a mid-morning snack to supplement the eight snacks I brought from home.

As I scrutinize each item to see what I can get for sixty cents, she gets in line behind me eyeing the last remaining KitKat bar.

I make the mistake of inquiring about her week end. She waxes poetic about taking the kids to some...(I really don't know. I pretty much got bored into blankness at that point.) And then, just as I came to, I heard this exiting her mouth:  

"So how come you never had kids? Don't you want any?... You probably shouldn't be waiting so long to try, you know."   

That did it. Them's are fightin' words! Let the game begin!  It's "All or Nothing"!

I take a deep breath:

"Well, I didn't really want to get married in my twenties. I liked this one guy in college but he had another girlfriend and I was really upset about it and I sat on my bathroom floor in my dorm for two days crying into the toilet."

(She's still there, mentally chanting the mantra. "Don't press A5, Don't Press A5".)

"Then, in my thirties, I had only one date: We sat on his bed in his basement apartment that he shared with his sister, (at least I think it was his sister), and watched Italian soccer for three hours. I wanted to jump out of the window but then I thought, just my luck, it's a basement apartment. I'd probably land in the laundry room and break my leg and be lying there in the dark all week end until somebody had to wash their clothes for work on Monday."

(I recount the sixty cents in my palm for the ninth time, this time starting with the dimes.  She must be PMSing. Who else would be waiting this long for chocolate?)

"So  then one day I went to a gay Chanukah party where I met my husband. He didn't call me right away and that really bugged me. Who knows why guys say they'll call and then they don't? But then we finally got together."

(She remained, tapping her foot and huffing, but still there. Maybe her blood sugar had dropped so low by this time, she was too weak to bolt. )

"So we tried to have a baby from the first day we were married. I mean we were looking at calendars and having sex, counting days and having sex, using ovulation charts and having sex, having sex and having sex. Then I had an infection, I mean I don't think it was an STD or anything, but you can never be sure. So once I was fine, I went for fertility treatments."

"I started with IUI, you know intrauterine insemination and they did three rounds of that, and I got a little pregnant but not enough to be pregnant pregnant. Then the fourth round, they overdosed me on the hormones. I was taking 250 IU's a day and I told the doctor that would be too much but he said to do it anyway and then it turned out I was right..."

(And if she was PMSing, why hadn't she tried to rip my head off yet?)

"So then they had to start me on IVF, you know, in vitro fertilization like that baby Louise that was the test tube baby born in England years ago, only the baby isn't really born in the test tube like I used to think..."

In these forty minutes,  a line of sixteen people had formed behind me at the vending machine. I felt like I was blocking the only ATM at the State Fair or even worse: A buffet.  

Like playing "telephone" as a kid, grumbles started at the back of the line. By the time the message made its way up to me  I heard: "Tell her: Two puddings, the fork and my onion wedding. "

But since none of those items were in the machine and I know the people I work with pretty well, I feel sure I deciphered their original message correctly: 

"Tell her to put the fking money in already!"

Listen, I gotta go. I have a sudden urge to get a chocolate covered wafer candy bar. What do you call those again? I'll talk with ya on Monday.

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