That’s All Well and Good

Time for a lifestyle, fitness, health status update.

I started seeing a new acupuncturist today. I found her after doing some research; she was awarded best SF acupuncturist by the San Francisco A-List. I also gravitated toward her undergraduate background: BA in environmental studies from UCSC with an emphasis on biology and writing. Oh yeah! Great minds think alike. I’m excited. We established key metrics and have a plan in place.

She was was pretty impressed with what I’ve done so far to get on track:

  • Stopped taking medication: wellbutrin, ambien, no more botox.
  • Eliminated sugar from my diet.
  • Eliminated caffeine from my diet.
  • Curtailed alcohol consumption.

I feel like I’ve done so much, but I have more homework. Here were her recommendations:

  • Acupuncture 1-2x week.
  • Chinese herbs.
  • Try Juice Plus, PreNatal, PreNatal fish oil.
  • Avoid wheat, soy, dairy. Try almond milk, rice milk, or coconut milk.
  • Eat cooked, warm food and drink.

I see a nutritionist on Monday and will share her recommendations as well.

Alternatives to IVF

The hubby and I are slowly ticking off actions items on this long and arduous path to breed a single child. I hear from MANY people (including some from my team of doctors) to go directly down the IVF path. I had lunch with a friend of mine today who told me very bluntly that she felt I was wasting time and that IVF was the route to go. I winced, I hemmed and hawed. She looked me in the eye and pretty much called me a fool. Gotta love friends who are completely honest and looking out for your best interests. I actually hear that from a lot of people. What are you waiting for? IVF guarantees success.

Is it just me, but I have to believe that in this very scientific and evolved world that there are alternatives to writing a check for a minimum of $15,000 and injecting myself with hormones. The con against IVF, I have heard, is an increased risk of cancer, although people who have done IVF seem to dismiss this as arbitrary.

I don’t consider myself at all an expert on these matters. Hell, I could’ve killed an unborn child with doses of botox. But I am very curious about successful alternatives to IVF and hoping to get some answers from my own network. I know that adoption is an option (which I am more than happy to undertake), but would like some advice or personal anecdotes from people who have gotten pregnant not through IVF and not the natural way (i.e., pregnancy through IUIs or other means not yet considered).

I have this strong instinct that we are going to get pregnant and it will not be through IVF. Any advice is much appreciated!

Kaiser Perma-neglecte: The Ongoing Saga

My website is going through a few updates, so you many see some finicky stuff going on. Hopefully it will all be better very soon.

I’ve written some denigrating posts on my financial experience with Kaiser this year. You can see the background by searching on ‘Kaiser’ in my blog and reading through a handful of posts.

You’d think I’d be happy with the latest bill I received, but it makes my blood literally boil. I’m sitting here ready to explode, I’m so infuriated. The bill started out at $500, then after several rounds of pleading with customer billing, it got revised to $250. Guess what the bill amount is now. It is $43. If I continue to ignore, I wouldn’t be surprised if my next bill has a CREDIT!

I need to send a link of my blog to the CEO and CFO so they can maybe get a glimpse of the financial pain they are causing their patients. Zero accountability. Let me repeat, everyone who works at Kaiser has zero accountability. Not the receptionists who mis-codes your service. Not medical records when they fill out Family Medical Leave Act forms incompletely. Not your dermatologist when she gives you shots of Botox without bothering to read your file filled with blood work and tests on trying to conceive.

Instead of PAST DUE, the bill now states UPON RECEIPT. I guess that means whenever I get around to it? I have no clue, but as I’ve mentioned before, I have no intention of paying a single extra cent to this clueless hospital organization.

Injection Dysfunction

I am so down. We were instructed not to try and conceive for the next several months. What a setback. I feel such sadness, such anger–but not sure who to direct it to. Myself, Kaiser, my doctors?

I have been getting botox injections for hyperhydrosis for years. It’s become so routine I wasn’t necessarily thinking that the toxin can harm a fetus. Maybe it’s my fault for not being proactive and asking the question. The issue only came to light after the injections were done and my dermatologist happened to ask how things were going. I happened to mention that we were trying to have a kid at which point she furrowed her eyebrows. She calmly said that I was not to have botox done if I were to become pregnant, and she herself questioned out loud why dermatologists do not ask whether or not a patient is pregnant.

One week later, I’m days away from ovulating and decided to pose the question to my reproductive endocrinologist on whether it’s prudent to even try and conceive. The nurse called back to say that the team has agreed I am not to try until the effects of the botox have worn off which can be 6 months or more! I am crushed. If I’d known, I obviously would have stopped botox long ago.

Doesn’t it seem like the pregnancy question should be a procedural one during botox injections? Isn’t one of the benefits of Kaiser having an integrated medical record and plan? I am beyond upset right now.

Botox Bubbles

I’ve been getting botox under my armpits for years now. When I first started going, I got the injections every six months like clock work. Recently, I haven’t had to go so often. I went 10 months this time, no sweating, before I returned to my friendly dermatologist. She’s the best. I love my Kaiser dermie.

Here’s the process. Firstly, it takes a long time to book a dermatology appointment so you’ve got to be a little forward-thinking. I’d already been sweating for a couple weeks and using deodorant before I went in today. Secondly, there’s no surprises. I always see the same doctor. She always swipes each armpit clean using 4 packets of alcohol pads. She starts with my left armpit and in a grid-like fashion, pricks into my skin and injects. Same thing with the right armpit. I know I bleed because she has me clamp my arms down with gauze before I put my top back on.

But this time, for the first time ever, I looked at my armpits in the mirror and had quite a shock. It looked like I’d been attacked by a very blood-thirsty mosquito. I had about 25 small, but inflamed red bumps. I had 50 of those things when you combined both arms. Pretty scary looking!

This all made me wonder. When people get botox on their face, does the same thing happen to them? Their forehead bubbles from the injections? Also, I have dark skin, and even darker skin in that area because of the shaved black hair. If I get red bumps on my skin, I can only imagine how botox affects fair-skinned people. Gross!

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