Thank You, Dick Foam
Things are…better. I’m cautious about using that word, but I suppose you can look at the objective signs of recovery: I get out of bed every day, I can usually manage to do something productive for at least the first half of the day before I hit the wall, and while things suck now, I am still aware that they will get better at some undetermined date in the future. So, that’s something.
I also have little moments of grim humor. Yesterday I misread the cast list for an old movie and thought the actor Dick Faran was named Dick Foam. This led to a moment where I decided to Google “Dick Foam” (I don’t recommend you do that) and then spent a long puzzled moment not understanding why his name didn’t come up on IMDB. Finally, it occurred to me that my tired eyes actually blurred the letters and there was no wonderful human named Dick Foam. And I laughed. Out loud. That felt ridiculously good. I also had a similar moment this weekend where I went out on an errand, and listened to the Rolling Stones’ song “Start Me Up” in the car, and the combination of that song plus the feel of hot sun on my skin was deeply cathartic. I felt like a normal human being again, and it made me recognize how rare that feeling has become lately. Jon and I were talking later, and decided that the words “Dick Foam” would become our catchphrase for a moment when you can forget the whole sordid mess for a second and just feel better. Every time it happens, we’re gonna thank Dick Foam, the patron saint of momentary pauses in our suffering (and something less saintly, but Google him for that one).
Now I’m in a bit of limbo – I am conscious of the fact that I’m not ready to get pregnant again (and hey, it might not even be possible), but also mindful of the fact that sooner would be better than later (hello 37th birthday!). Eventually I am going to have to move forward with this process, whatever that means at this point. To start with, I have a lot of work to do. After what happened with the D&C, it is clear that I need to change my infertility doctor (who, in the middle of my miscarriage, refused to see me on the grounds that “she’d discharged me” to OB so I was their problem), my OB clinic (which doesn’t even have an ultrasound machine), and the hospital where I was planning to deliver. That’s a lot of new medical expertise to track down and try out. I also have to decide if I want to try any assisted reproduction treatments – I was just being evaluated for that when I got pregnant, and I have no idea if I really need it or if I can do it on my own again. I’m still being monitored for my condition so I need to follow up on that as well. It all just sounds so exhausting when I write it down, and frankly, right now, my motivation is at its lowest ebb yet. What I actually want to do is avoid all medical personnel for a while, and just let things drift for a month or two. Drifting is the most painless way to be right now – it keeps me from the pain of trying and failing and it gives me a little space to breathe and remember what I used to be like.
This is what infertility does – it takes over your life. I’m hoping that anyone reading this who doesn’t understand about infertility but does know me will get that. You remember what I used to be like, right? I was not a person who obsessed about this kind of thing. And yet: look what has happened, in just under a year. I’m not unique at all – in fact, my reaction is downright common. But this is what this process can do to you. You have to fight it pretty hard to get yourself back.