Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Another kind of two weeks

Today I shot 600 photos. One for each piece of my kid's art that we were trying to preserve. And mostly all toss after that. Yeeeesss, I know I'm the packrat who keeps everything, but at some point, paint cracks and chips, and macaroni & glue crack and crumble. So all I'm going to say is, damn I'm glad we finally bought this digital camera!

We're keeping several special pieces and framing and hanging them, but the rest have to go. They are disintegrating and it's not going to be pretty. Bit weepy over here.

Anyway, still overall a better week so far. Lots of fevered organizing here today, and the replacement bed for the hideous rock-hard TempurPedic arrived, free. Thank God for Sleep Country and their guarantee. I now have a nice plushy super soft regular bed. No more pain, agony, overheated sweaty unbreathable memory foam. I can't believe astronauts actually sleep on that. No wonder they're all alcoholics! 2 more weeks and I would've started shooting heroin to relieve that back pain.

All over now, just a distant memory I hope. The new one has lovely coils and a fluffy supersoft topper. All the better to do some pushin' on the cushions, I say! Wheeeeeee!

The next few days the boys are sleeping over and hopefully will be fine while Mr.Cotta and I hang out and enjoy ourselves. Unfortunate side effect----not too much blogging time. Sigh....and when they get back, I'll be with them 24/7 for the 10 days afterwards. So they may not want to sit around watching while I read blogs.

So, for the next two weeks or so, I'm not sure how much I'll be around. I'll try to read, and I'll definitely be checking email, and trying to keep up here and there.

Off to try the new bed. If I'm going to be spending a lot of time there, I'd better start, eh?

Friday, July 27, 2007

I want a do-over

This week has sucked. I finished Harry Potter and felt really happy and now I'm just down....


Renovator lady hasn't called back. I think she dislikes me and doesn't want to work for me but won't tell me to my face. She is newly pregnant and perky, and I didn't even say anything scary to her, just said congratulations and kept talking. Cause I need someone to fix my plaster. Now she won't come over. Can people now SENSE I'm the dead baby lady? Maybe she's afraid of this happening and she's quit working, period?

The boys went to daycamp this week, and were late every day because they dawdled and I've been too tired in the morning, and they are upset and it made camp lousy because they missed some fun things.

Plus, some nasty child stole Kaz's Nintendo DS right out of his backpack at daycamp and the camp was NO HELP at all, and kept acting as if it was his fault for bringing it. Meanwhile, every other kid brings theirs, but of course, it's my kid who get picked on. Over $200 to replace it & the game. We can get a new one, but that's not the point. Theft should be called theft and the victim shouldn't be blamed. I'm going to see most of the parents at pickup today. I'm debating just standing in front of the exit and asking each of them to search their own kid's belongings at home and if a new DS mysteriously shows up in their house to anonymously return it via the camp. Plus, my son now feels like he can't trust anyone he's with all day because one of them is a thief who got away with it, and so he doesn't want to make friends with any of them.

I've been avoiding the topic of the overnight camp situation because my husband and I fought about it. He is just not as upset as I am, and can't understand why it matters so much to me. The camp is the same, even this week. Luckily the Doctor from the camp, the medical director from the camp, and our own Doctor were livid and backed me 100% when I spoke to the camp. They know they could've gotten in trouble with their own professional colleges if medical care is incompetently done while under their watch. Plus, of the other overnight camps I called and the voluntary group that sets standards for camps, both agreed with me that it was outrageous. One Director of another camp told me that he would have fired the counsellor immediately.

But none of that matters to Mr.Cotta. He just wishes it would all go away. That I would just drop it. Of course, he also has an aversion to Doctors and medicine....so every conversation about health with him is difficult.

Did you know that the Ontario government has absolutely no legal standards for residential camps or daycamps? They do for schools and daycares and parents. (Remember, us parents are the fuckups who do everything wrong according to the media.) But, no government laws or regulations govern camps. AT ALL. Three guesses what I'll be harassing my political buddies about next...

A couple of friends have really ticked me off recently with the whole, suuuure we'll call you and get together, except they never ever do. Plus, one of them was supposed to bring her son over to have a playdate with Kaz, and when they just never showed up, he felt even worse.

I have no babysitter for tonight. I had set up people to watch the boys and they bailed. Reservations are at 7. Fuck.

Our bank forgot to take out our mortgage money for the last 2 months. Some computer screwup. But we still owe the money, so they took it all at once yesterday. Ouch....gulp.

And the best? BFN this morning. Expected, but still, fuck.

I want a do-over. Next week better not suck. Or I really WILL lose my mind.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


(Camp drama continues...almost resolved, I'm trying to write something coherent now, just had to get this other bit out.)

Just had to get the surfer dude out of my brain. Ahem.

See, either surfer dude was in there, because I keep seeing double or triple or well, 23 times over every time I look at your blogs in bloglines. Does anyone else have this problem? I mean.....none of you have actually uploaded 15-35 posts in the last 4 days right? Cause there is no way I really have hundreds of posts to read. Must be a malfunction....probably only 20 or 30 when I drill it down, right?

Although, on that subject----could all of you take a peek and look at what your feeds are set to? For those of you who don't know what that is, go under settings, and feeds, and set them ALL to full. Some of you have them on partial or title only, or eeeeek OFF, which means that when things get screwed up like this I will never be able to find you to read you.

And I want to. Badly. I am feeling rather ranty and outraged on behalf of several of you who have had to go password protect or move or take down your blogs.

Someday someone has to explain to me why this happens. We are supposed to be an advanced civilization, yet, at a moment's notice ordinary human beings seem to descend into Lord of the Flies. Or Grade 6 prom night. Stalkers come out of the woodwork, friends spy on us instead of courteously trying to help, families don't like what we say....even when we blog pseudononymously and their freakin' names aren't even ON the internet.

So in the spirit of being kind to others, go visit my friend Thrice. She is struggling with ADD, heart failure, a difficult marriage, and trying to parent her kids after infertility and almost dying in the last few months. And she was oh-so-lucky to get some "advice" today from a passerby.


Go show her some love. For me. Thanks y'all! *Smooches*

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My weekly ho-humming

So this being my first month on DHEA I'm not sure I expected anything in particular, but I do find it interesting that my luteal phase seems to be longer. In the months prior to this, I discovered that my cycle seems to be getting shorter and shorter and more and more messed up. The amount of estrogen/progesterone required to maintain a 28 day cycle has become, well, bizarre.

But this month my body seems to be working a bit better. I'm technically in the 2ww, but I think that's a lost cause this month. I finally figured out that the scribbled letters "tid" on the piece of paper he gave me meant 3 times a day, duh....must learn how to read bad Doctor handwriting someday. Is there a course in that?

And he wonders why I like to email him, silly man. Speaking of which I'm waiting to hear back from him. He's on vacation and it may take a while, but apparently, his assistant told me that almost all the previous studies attempted were done with women who had been on it for less than a month, even 2 weeks, and his is predicated on the idea that it takes 4 months for the body to respond to increasing follicle production. This article talks about that concept more.

He's trying to get women in his study who are on DHEA for 4 months then do IVF. Problem is, lots of them seem to be getting knocked up before he can IVF them! (Yes, I'd love this problem....) Good news, is though he has had a lot of women in the last year, and many many pregnancies. It will take until 9 months after the study is done to figure out the live baby rate, but I'm encouraged by the pregnancy rate myself.

And yes, I know there are no definitive randomized control trials just yet, but frankly, there aren't very many of those in fertility circles, and there never will be unless women like me agree to be guinea pigs, right? I mean, it's not like anything else I'm doing is working, so what the hell?

As for side effects, ehhhh, not that I'd notice yet. I already had acne, and I'm always irritated and anxious. Ok, not always, but it's pretty darn cloudy, rainy, blechy out there. Feels more like I'd always imagined London to be, or a Harry Potter novel & Dementors are roaming the earth. Is this just Toronto, or is there summer sun somewhere in North America? Please?

So, we'll see if Dr. Eyebrows has anything more to add. I'm trying to figure out if it matters to take oral estrogen but separately or estrogel or does it even matter? Do they interact? Don't know....never mind the rest of the shit I'm on.

I got a letter from my osteoporosis doctor. My vitamin D level is low and she wants me to take more. Of course, no blood test numbers, and there was more than Vit.D measured. No explanation, just a note from the nurse. I really prefer phone calls frankly. Makes it so much easier to ask questions, but they are all so afraid of PHIPA - (Personal Health Information Privacy Act) these days that we could all be dying and nobody sensible would help, because they are all so terrified of phoning us to tell us the news! And really I don't get it, why is it so much more private to write a letter than leave a message on voicemail? My mail is more likely to be stolen than my private voice mail or email to be broken into.

Hmmmm, I think the problem is the lawyers who seem to over interpreting these rules and stretching them into bizarrely unrecognizable versions of the original. I have a couple of funny ranty stories about that actually...have to post those.

More news on the camp situation btw, some good, some not so satisfying. Next post, I promise.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Yes, Virginia, there is a Harry Potter

I finished the whole book. Amazing, awesome, wonderful writing, loved it so much I am now rereading all of them 1 through 7. Much angst doing this for the last few days because I had to pay attention to my relatives and everyone in Montreal at the exact same time and if we had been at home I would've just read until my eyeballs burst. I love seeing all my in-laws, they truly are the family I've never had, but trying to pay full attention to them while being riveted to this book was soooooo hard.

Since this is the no spoiler blog, I won't reveal anything in the post, but feel free to give me your impressions in the comments. All of you who haven't read it or are still reading it, DON'T click. It is so worth the wait to read it in the right order.

Oh, and to The New York Times editors who published reviews in advance and broke not only their word, but the hearts of millions of readers around the world?

Nice legacy guys.

A quick buck you may have made, but what you fail to understand is just how much your reputation has suffered. Not just with cranky me, but with so many people who read you now and the children who never ever will. When even my 10 year old now thinks the "New York Times paper are cheaters and liars", you know you have a problem. (No, I didn't coach him, he heard it on the radio, knew no one was supposed to be telling the big secret, and realized grownups were breaking the rules and were still getting dessert!! and not sent to their rooms!! in fact no punishment at all!! His sense of justice is deeply wounded.)

You know the kind of journalist I admire?

Francis Pharcellus Church, editor of the New York Sun, waaaaayy back in 1897. When confronted with the choices of ignoring a child's letter, destroying her innocence, or encouraging her faith in the unknown, he did the right thing. There is a wonderful sense of community in the shared experience of anticipation, of surprise, of being in unison, of wonder at all the amazing things that might be possible in the world, even if we have yet to discover them.

From the Newseum website:

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

By spoiling the surprise, the NYTimes proved it never truly understood the story it was reviewing. It let the selfishness and greed of the Dark Arts take over its soul. And in the end, it will be the worse for it.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


I'm not around this week because I was madly trying to get some errands done and help my friend with taking care of her house and dog while she's dealing with her sick kid.

And this weekend we are in Montreal.

Sort of a vacation and sort of not one. We have a nice hotel room but Mr.Cotta's off to meet someone for work and we've spent most of the day at the National Swim championships watching the competitions. (Someone in our family is competing.) Anyway, I am sunburnt and exhausted and am about to take a nap, while my kids are swimming in the hotel pool with my BIL taking care of them.

And yes, you'd think we might've missed the delivery of our Harry Potter books, but noooo, haha! When I figured out that we weren't going to be in our city, I cancelled our local delivery order and ordered two for pickup here at Indigo downtown. And yes, Kaz and I stayed up 'til midnight and lined up to get ours. It was really fun, and of course we tried to stay up reading, but couldn't make it past the first eighty pages.

I'm somewhere near 200 now and I'm afraid to read the news because I don't want it to be spoiled!

Have to go now, kids are calling. So much for naps...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sorting throwing and tossing

I'm sorting and throwing things away today & yesterday. My organizer is back and we have several jobs we've been doing, including the kid's rooms and the serious freakin' volume of paper I've acquired.

About the camp, I've spoken to the Executive Director now twice. He is the son of the current owner, and fourth in line or something to run it. Seriously.....stupid guy, bad at management. Says something about inheriting the right to run companies, eh? He really has no fuckin' clue what the problem is. He said he was sorry a couple of times, but basically the counsellor's explanation is that Kaz looked fine without the meds, so he didn't worry too much.

He assumed that all kids with ADD are hyperactive, and Kaz has the inattentive kind, as do I. We stare off into space and forget where we are, when to eat, what time it is. Basically Kaz never even noticed 90% of what was happening around him whenever he was off the meds, so of course he was quiet and compliant. Just like an 18 year old counsellor would like, right? No bugging him, no bothering, not making him work too hard.....jerk.

Anyway, I'm not done yet, I'm still planning on roasting the Doctor over an open fire, and I haven't received any explanation as to why his asthma medication wasn't done daily.

Personally, I wanted the counsellor fired instantly, and the section head who lied to me to get strung up, but it looks like they aren't going to be....even though I for one, would NEVER trust people like that to work for me, especially when they are in charge of children. I mean really, if they aren't going to tell the truth about important things like this, what else are they covering up?

I swear I'm never ever going to send Kaz back to that craphole.....

A side note to anyone in the GTA, a friend of mine S. is in Vancouver because her son is very very ill with meningitis in the hospital. (They were on vacation there together.) She left her dog here at home in Toronto, and can't get back to get the dog from his sitter obviously. We can't take the dog because of allergies, soooo can anyone take care of a labrador retriever from Thursday until maybe next week, Tuesday-Wednesdayish? He's about 8 months, a puppy really and has lots of energy.

Email me if you can help, thanks!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Figures this would happen....

Before I describe yesterday, I'd just like to say that when I discuss sleepaway camp and my kids, it's not just about what they'd like, or whether or not camp is a good thing or a bad thing. The only description I can come up with for how this feels is really pathetic but it's all I've got.

I feel that sleepaway camp is not part of my culture or belief system. My friends who practice other religions or don't believe in consumerism tell me they are surrounded by Christmas everywhere in November and December and it's all they can do to restrain their kids while they beg for presents and Santa. Christmas IS nice, it has lots of wonderful qualities, but it's not part of their belief system, so why should they have to participate in it, or let their kids participate? Are they saying Christmas is bad? Or just that they don't want to do it? Maybe they do their own holidays. Maybe we don't ALL have to raise our kids the same way?

And that is how I feel about sleepaway camp. I am surrounded, bombarded, harangued endlessly in real life about fucking camp. I really do keep a holly jolly smile over my gritted teeth and spout platitudes like "Gee, it's just not something I'm used to," as I pack and label and spend and spend and spend.

I know many of you love it and send your kids away every year, or went away every single year when you were kids. And it's really okay for your families. It is. I don't get it, but you are welcome to do it.

This only becomes a problem when we intermarry. Like when non-sleepaway camp people marry sleepaway camp people, and try to raise kids? Difficult.....

So we leave this morning in the pouring rain for pickup. Mr.C. insisted on leaving at 8 am even though pick up isn't until 2:30 pm and we are 3.5 hours away by car. He wanted to stop for lunch etc, so trooper that I am, I go along with it. Brought the newspapers and my laptop.

No wifi access anywhere of course. Stupid %^$#%&^ bureaucracy can't get it together. I guess they missed that part of rural economic development 101.

We get there, eat lunch for half an hour, and wait for 2 hours in the rain at the pickup point. We were a tiny bit early. Didn't want to linger in the dirty bathroom. So we hung out. Tried to think happy thoughts about all the letters Kaz never sent, and all the promised phone calls I never got from the camp telling me he was really okay. (Okay I got two, but I'd been promised waaay more.)

He came off the bus, and I gave him giant hug, and fell all over myself asking questions and loving him to pieces.

I'd like to say we had a happy ending but I can't. Kaz was acting so strangely as we drove I knew something was wrong. He was so rude to me I wanted to cry, and inattentive, unfocused, red-faced, and just_plain_odd. So I grabbed his medication bag.

And hit the roof.

They only gave him his Concerta for the first few days he was there, there were loads of pills left over, and I'd sent the exact amount needed. Same for his asthma puffers and his allergy meds. Even though I had expressly typed out the Doctors orders describing what he needed to take and when. I spoke to the Camp Director about how dangerous it was for Kaz to be off the meds if he was near a body of water and hand delivered the instructions to the office just to make sure. I spoke to the Camp Doctor and reiterated why he needed to do preventative puffers and how the allergist wanted to ensure he had no more attacks. I also made sure he knew about the allergy meds and the Concerta.

I was crystal clear, verbally and in writing. Meanwhile, the Camp Doctor never even checked that his meds were being given to him. Considering they are a controlled substance, it might have been prudent. The section head lied to me on the phone last Sunday and said he was taking his medication. They violated a Doctor's orders and a parent's orders.

Kaz may or may not have wanted to take them btw, but it's not his decision at this point in his life. He also wants to eat candy bars instead of vegetables, and skip school so he can play Wii all day, but there is a reason 10 year olds need adults to take care of them.

The Director promised me they would take care of my precious living child, and instead they cavalierly put his safety at risk. Children with ADD who are unmedicated face a risk of drowning six times higher than those on medication. And those fuckers took him on a canoe trip on a lake, without medication. In the woods, miles from a hospital, they did not do his asthma puffers.

Can anyone explain to me why I shouldn't sue them?

And you all wonder why I'm hyper vigilant about safety? I swear sometimes I feel like Moms & Dads are the only thing on earth standing between our kids and disaster.

I'm phoning the camp in the morning. I am going to calmly and quietly say some of this, then let them react. I'll let you know what happens.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Life Renovation

I've been throwing things away literally....and symbolically. Rearranging my stuff always makes me rearrange my life. Last week I threw away bags and boxes of junk, and sorted out zillions of bionicles and legos and nails and screwdrivers, and DVDs, and well you get the idea?

This week I switched my living room and my dining room because my dining room is much larger and it made more sense to put our larger couches and the piano in that room.

Yeah, I moved a piano, all by myself!

Ok, not true, I actually had help moving it, and the other furniture. Still, I worked my tail off moving every damn thing back and forth....and really it has changed my outlook on life. Fresh start, new direction, new TV cable hookup, switched all the lighting fixtures....brilliant.

Feeling much better cause Kaz is back this weekend from camp, and of course, with all the good karma in the blogosphere these days, I'm feeling a little wee bit of hope. Congratulations to Julia & Steve, and a big thanks to Sharah at Outlandish Notions for doing a statistical analysis of that half-baked PGD study.
I really value all the smart funny and fabulous women the blogosphere has let me meet.

You ALL help me change my life, every day. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

My rusty ovaries

So my last couple of posts have been rather amusing, eh? Good to have a giggle or two isn't it?

In all seriousness, I've started to take DHEA because Dr. Eyebrows is so very chuffed about it. Apparently it makes ovaries rise from the dead and shine like chrome, instead of the rusting and creaking currently on display. I had to send away for it because Health Canada has themselves all in tizzy over it. You need special access permission to import it to Canada or something. Silly me, I thought we already had a permission system for drugs, called "prescriptions from medical doctors."

Yep, good enough system for prescribing percocet, but not good enough for DHEA.

So, I've googled searched, sent out an email, and still am not sure if I'm taking enough. I'm only on one 25 mg pill a day which seems to low based on some examples and some studies which claim that egg production and quality increased dramatically. (Fewer chromosomal abnormalities apparently) I'm not just interested in fertility here either. I am kind of hoping it will help knock my body back into normal hormone territory over the long term.

This place seems to have a large number of women in a study already. Any opinions?

Dr. Eyebrows has lots of women in his yet to be finished study who seem to have spontaneously become pregnant, but I don't know how many were POF like me, or if they all seem to be 35+ women who are naturally entering menopause but still have lots of antral follicles. I have pretty much none of those.

On Day 3 you all seem to have 20-30 antrals. A year ago, the last time I let anyone count the buggers, I had two, one on each ovary. I used to believe that was okay, cause all you need is one, but we apparently need more than that to end up ovulating.

So my last two hopes are on DHEA or on using estrogen or both. Any opinions? Assvice? Help?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Vibrafest, Pt.II

All easily shocked people, AVERT YOUR EYES. Married people might be discussing, GASP, SEX. Aaaagggghhhhhhhhhh---------

Okay, now for the real Vibrafest post.

Why that name? A political buddy made it up when I joked that my version of a bloggers get together was a bunch of woman friends having brunch and then going to a sex shop together and picking stuff out. Which of course is what we did....

I hesitated to post this at all because I've heard from more than one politico that they are astonished that women are sexual creatures. As a woman, getting ahead in politics or business means being sexless & inhumanly professional, so writing this out will probably get me tossed from the party, or at least from the list of electable women. Apparently the reason many of these young dudes were so shocked about Belinda Stronach's rumoured activities was because they believed that she was unusual; that she had a libido like a man, inferring that other women don't regularly have great orgasms.

Uhhhhhh, not quite....

Every woman I know either has or wants to have great sex and great orgasms. Even the politicians and lawyers and CEOs. I may not have agreed with all of Ms.Stronach's political positions, and I feel sad about her recent breast cancer diagnosis, but her personal life was pretty damn irrelevant, IMO, and slamming her for liking sex? Dumb...considering half of all voters are female and like sex too.

Even the infertile and recurrent miscarriers like me want to have great sex lives. Yes, even US.

Bataan Death March Sex month after month as we do timed intercourse on strict medical orders, lupron & follistim injections that leave as dry as dustbowls, ovarian failure that steals our desire, idiotic researchers who try to preach the lie that HRT is bad, medically ordered to refuse sex we really really want during high-risk pregnancies, and male factor IF that depresses our loving adorable fabulous husbands, all the hell our marriages go through, and yet, still, we want great sex, always have, always will even if the public can't handle it.

So Reality and December Baby and I went to Come as You Are and met just the nicest saleswoman EVER. I have to confess, I haven't been to this store before, but I have been to a few other places, whose ambience was....errr.....decidely creepy. Come As You Are on the other hand was very very welcoming, open, clean. They have battery loaded samples of each item they sell on shelves with instructions and everyone is welcome to touch, pick up, look at, whatever. Okay, maybe not WHATEVER right there in the store, but you know what I mean. Ask for whatever you want to buy and they bring it up from the storeroom in a sealed box. Nice, because you know that except for a brief test at the front cash to check if it's in working order, no one else will be gazing on your personal purchase except for you and your significant other.

I liked the store's emphasis on health and safety and cleanliness. They have phthalate free items, latex free ones for those with allergies, and even instructions for keeping everything nice and sterile. Especially important for IFer's because picking up an intrauterine infection, or bacterial vaginosis or yeast can make it difficult implanting our little fetbryos. Kind of a problem....their website has lots of great info, for those of you who own pre-existing toys and want some ideas or want to order something but might feel nervous walking into a store.

I confess, I already own a Pocket Rocket, in fact I've owned a few and ahem...bought newer versions as the old ones got phased out.

This is the amazing one that has been around for a few years and is renowned for having a very very strong vibrating action. Rosie O'Donnell is rumoured to have given them out in party loot bags in the past. Celebrity endorsed you might say...lots of movement in a tiny package, it can be used during intercourse or all alone. And even for women with very very low estrogen, it can wake the dead...no kidding...if you can't have an orgasm on it, your blood E2 is likely below 5, and ummmm get thee to a Doc. Safe for women who are allowed orgasm but not intercourse during a high-risk pregnancy. Downsides - handsfree is not possible, and noise might be an issue.

I bought a few new things yesterday.

An old favourite of mythical IF'er, Charlotte from Sex and the City is the Rabbit Pearl, which has dual action and a multi-level controller conveniently located on a separate remote. Very good for solitary use or with a loved one, but not really usable during intercourse In an interesting twist, just might help bring on labour for those of us at the end of nine months, who are praying for our cervixes to dilate and have uncooperative husbands. And conversely, not so good for those who want their cervix left completely unstimulated during a high risk pregnancy. (Just remember to use a condom or be very very careful when cleaning, regardless.) Definitely not as intense as the Rocket, but a really different experience so perhaps not comparable? I approve of it.

The Cone is a handsfree one that is very different from the average and a cool design. I still haven't tried out all the variations. (This website has more.) Trying everything would take weeks and Mr.C. was tired last night after we "reviewed" my purchases. But so far, very very cool. Worth a $130 bucks? Umm, not sure. That's a lot for something like this. For solitary use, not bad, but I'll have to post an update on the various multispeed options/positions, etc. if Mr.C. ever recovers from yesterday's testing. There are a lot of combinations possible. I say, if you are looking for something unique and have the spare cash, go for it.

I also bought this Silver Vibe, but Mr.C. & I wouldn't recommend it. Unfortunately, there are some things mechanics can't duplicate and I guess this is one of them. Damn....oh well.

And my find of the day, not really a toy I have to admit; they sell a silicone based lube called Pink that in actuality is the best damn antifrizz hair leave-in conditioner I've ever used. Just pure dimethicone & silicone. It might work as a lube, I have no idea cause I'm not using it down there, just on the top of my head. Fabulous for my overprocessed hair. Makes it look like those models on the commercials. I used to use Citre Shine, but they took it off the market. Thank God I found a replacement!

So our final results: Rocket, a classic that is still awesome, Rabbit, good, but in a different way, Cone very good so far, final results still pending, waiting for the Russian judge to file. Silver Vibe, eliminated from the competition.

Gold medalist: My hairstyle.

P.S. most comments a-ok, any trolls will be deleted, k?


I had a very busy distracting weekend. If you've already been to Reality's or December Baby's blog's you'll know why Sunday was fun. On Saturday Mr.C. and Mac and I wandered around the Toronto Outdoor Art Show and even picked up a few nice artsy things. We never ever get to indulge in non-practical items, so this was truly decadent.

Seriously, I'm so glad I've met great friends who will take my mind off my troubles. I haven't heard word one from my son at camp, except for one tiny postcard saying, "I'm alive" and unlike most other camps, this one doesn't communicate very much with parents, or frankly very well with parents.

For most parents in the stiff upper lip set, that's fine, but for me? Not so much....parenting after infertility & loss is always a different experience. I'll never just relax and kick back. I can't. For days now, I've been freaking out wondering if he's alive, happy, healthy, if they are following Doctor's orders, etc. etc. Turned out they were following some orders and ignoring others, sigh....so thank God I finally DID get hold of them. He's happy, but after I made it clear (issued orders, threatened, got pissed off) that he must be given extra food because he's underweight, they finally agreed to do it....what a joke, are they unclear whose kid he is?

Makes it hard to think about adult stuff, either job stuff, fun stuff, or couples stuff, which I'm putting in a separate post, so we don't mix our subjects. Hmmmmm.......

Friday, July 06, 2007

Dinner & Music

Scientific studies are generally either causation or correlation and are pretty easy to tell the differences between, as long as you are careful with them. Causation means we can show a direct link with physical evidence, and those studies can be smaller, but still be pretty accurate. Correlation studies are simply seeing that two things occur at the same time or circumstances, and for there to be any accuracy, you have to exclude anything that could cause a problem, and you need really large numbers involved.

I once explained it to my kids like this. Almost every night we have dinner at our house. Almost every night we have music playing during dinner. For exclusions - Music is not played during lunch or breakfast. A simple correlation might be that dinner causes music, or music causes dinner. A study might be designed to observe how often dinner and music happen together. A small sample of nights at our house, from say...the last several weeks would prove that dinner causes music.

But if you were to observe over several years, you would note that dinner did occur without music long ago. You would see that in other homes, dinner occurs with or without music, and that music is played even when no dinner is planned or eaten. A bigger sample gives different results.

Or a REALLY good scientist would carefully test Mr. or Mrs. Cotta by preventing them from flicking the on switch to the stereo prior to dinner, or maybe make them eat dinner in a lab without any source of sound.

Or he could just get his head out his ass, and realize that dinner doesn't cause music.

Which leads me to the ESHRE conference this year that has been turning out loads and loads of papers, presentations, studies. Only one problem...most of them seem designed to get headlines, not progress the cause of curing infertility.

I once mentioned to a friend that several of the REs, OBs & Peris we all see are very PR savvy & competitive, and I don't think she believed me. But really, most of these guys have loads of dough, so much that when I run my annual Google, Lexis-Nexis, & credit check on each of my Docs, they come up overflowing with cash. (No, I'm not kidding, when I was young and naive I dreamed of kind & competent Doctors, now I'm old and bitter I want to read the case files on all their lawsuits...)

So I know it's all about headlines.

How else can I explain the fact that this piece of trash got presented? There was no separation of methods of alternative therapies, no tracking of who saw a licensed Naturopath or Acupuncturist vs. who just bought a bunch of crap from their local health food store. They literally lumped every single type of treatment together, but of course, didn't take into account that patients LIE about alternative treatment to medical Doctors all the time. Why do they lie? Because so many medical Docs dismiss alternative therapy without ever actually studying it, and patients are so afraid of the white coats, they don't want to fess up. They can end up harming themselves because of dangerous interactions, or wasting their money on things that don't work. Or tragically, they could miss out on something that does work.

I remember one pharmacology lecture at our local big university, and the prof described a study they had done on Greens. The creator claimed it was wonderful for health and energy and the immune system, but without a study, no proof. So...they did a study. And in a large double-blind placebo vs. Greens randomized control trial, the people taking Greens had better functioning immune systems & better health, as measured by blood tests, compared to the beginning of the study.

But no-one wants to hear that, they only want the bad stories. So we have trashy poorly done studies, and GREAT BIG HEADLINES.

Like this next one, a discussion of PGD and IVF outcomes. I can't begin to describe all the problems I have with this study, but you know I'll try. Causation studies are 100% better than correlation studies at a level of 408 patients per group, I believe. That's far too small in my opinion when we don't even know for sure why the women were doing fertility treatment. Had everyone of them gone through a thorough diagnostic workup for thrombophilias? Had they all had laparoscopy to check for endometriosis? Did any of them have genetic or chromosomal issues that might've clouded the results? Was it simply blocked tubes? Male factor? If so, did they have ongoing adhesions elsewhere that might've harmed follicle development or implantation? Why were only women 35+ put in the study when we know that women of all ages are susceptible to chromosomal losses, which is why the SOGC now recommends offering prenatal screening to all women?

We don't know the answers to these important questions, because it was poorly designed.

A better example is the genetic study I was in. It had only 50 people in each group (patients & controls), but it was a causation study. Every woman, even the controls, had had a laparoscopy and either had proof of endometriosis by pathology, or proof they were endo free. Then they did a gene test looking for PAI-1 alleles. 48 of the women who had endometriosis had the PAI-1 4G/4G allele or the 4G/5G allele. The women without endo had the 5G/5G allele. This gene prevents excess fibrin from being swept away whenever a tear, even a micro one is caused. Endometriosis adhesions are fibrin. That's causation people.....so 100 total divvied into two groups is okay. More is better, but at some point we have statistical confidence. Would it be better to watch the fibrin as it grows? A little bird told me they have done it in a lab. Just a bit harder in a live woman because we don't know how to stick tiny cameras into the body for years on end yet.

For the PGD study, embryos were sampled very very early, which leads to the possibility of mosaicism, or that the scanning they used was not adequate. The lead researcher (and I'm using that label loosely....eyeroll) admitted that they had not scanned every chromosome that could possibly show up. WTF? There ARE methods that can scan for every chromosome, so why the hell wouldn't they have used the more advanced procedure? This is the equivalent of using substandard old-style radiation treatment for cancer, and declaring that radiation doesn't work! Now we have NO WAY of knowing why the women miscarried, because all chromosomal abnormalities like say Trisomy 3, 4, 5, 6 etc....cannot be excluded.

You know how they could've saved this study?

By finding out why each woman in the study lost their embryo. Think about it, for IVF at least we know that sperm met egg, we know that sperm and egg were growing and dividing and at least one did get into each uterus. No one checked if it was a receptive environment ahead of time, so no one could take low molecular weight heparin, or aspirin, or extended progesterone, or steroids, or hcg....but they could've looked afterwards, right?

For almost every single case in this study they could've done chromosomal analysis on the fetal tissue, or checked for calcifications, or inflammation, or infection, or thrombophilias. Many of the pregnancies in this study ended after 6 weeks and many after 12 weeks, so why couldn't they look?

For each pregnancy were there any cases of birth defects? Terminations for fetal anomalies? IUGR? Preterm deliveries? Pre-eclampsia? Stillbirths? - a serious cause of death which is regularly excluded from stats simply because it makes the study numbers look bad and no one wants to find the causes of stillbirths?

On the live babies who are born afterwards, were any chromosomal tests done? Any metabolic tests? Were there any children with mosaic results?

Without follow-up and outcomes what is the point of this, besides headlines?

This study, once again, is bullshit. 'Scuse me while I go pick music for tonight's dinner. It would be a better use of my time I think.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Princess and the Pea

I already had this typed out, so here it is, but I owe Adrienne a post, so I'm doing that after this goes up, 'kay?

I'm a princess, truly.

The kind who can feel a pea through endless featherbeds, my skin bruised and sore from the horrible pea way down below.

Well, you can just imagine how I thought a TempurPedic bed would be the route to heaven. Soft foam, no springs, no issues, just peaceful rest, right? Ummmmm, nope, wrong.

It only works for people who can sink and are normal temperature. I don't weigh enough to make a dent in the damn thing, sigh...literally my rear will dent into it, but the rest of my body just hovers on top like I'm lying on a piece of wood. Mr. Cotta sinks in perfectly, just like the commercials. He loves it. He is also tall and has a normal non-hot flashing, normal thyroid, etc. I am a cold feeted short no muscles kind of woman. Bird like except for my growing ass and waist. Tempurpedic requires normal room temps and normal body temps and no issues with sweating, etc. His sdie of the bed is perfect, mine is bumpy, sore and completely disappointing. Thank God we can return it and exchange it for a normal bed. There was a lovely deep soft one that hubs agreed to try, so I think I need to call and switch it, before this Princess gets any worse.

As for the peaceful part of this story, just thought I'd mention that if any of you would like to get a professional organizer like mine, check out the National Association of Professional Organizers for a referral, or if you can't quite bear to spend money try Flylady. If you are in my city, email me and I'll give you the name of the company I hired. Both of these groups are not going to try to sell you containers or shelving units. But they will help you throw stuff out, donate, get rid of stuff, file a zillion papers, etc....so you won't need the containers or the shelves. Are containers nice? Are shelves pretty? Yes, but only if you need them....and considering 47 giant bags & boxes of garbage/recycling/donations left my house 4 years ago, and I didn't actually need to renovate my old house as a result, mmmmm maybe try flinging some stuff first?

I tried to clear the junk on my own (and even with Flylady) for years but could never quite figure it out. Until I hired a disinterested unemotional third party who simply spurred me on and kept me going when I just wanted to run away from the whole mess and hide. I'm the kind of person who avoids the big sorting jobs because I end up pulling everything out, shoving it behind me as I go, then can't put it back, because I'm trapped in behind a wall of junk. Instead, she takes things away to be removed and clears a path properly and puts the remainder back in the right place, all nice and ergonomically neat and tidy.

I get to be a Princess with a pretty house and no bruises on little ol' me.

Peace, but no peas. Just right.

Trying for a bit of perspective

Good things must be my focus if I am to make it through the next week and a half.

Like----for starters, I have spent today and last Wednesday with a professional organizer who came to my house and helped me seriously muck out my basement. Every single toy, crayon, clothespeg, ancient campaign button, childhood memento, and sewing thingy has been examined, sorted, classified, & packed, thrown out or recycled.

She's coming back in a week and a half and we're going to possibly tackle a closet or two (eeeeekk), but in the meantime, my basement looks like a magazine ad! Weeeeeeeee!!!!!

Next good thing, a new cycle isn't so depressing cause it means new hope for the big "O" eh? No, no, no not orgasm, ovulation! I can have loads of fun with my handy dandy toys, the big goal is a normal functioning endocrine system. So, thank goodness my DHEA has arrived, and I'm going to start taking it tomorrow. The odd bit....it came in a couple of brown paper envelopes, addressed from various names. I swear if my doctor didn't tell me to order it from this place, I'd wonder if I'd accidentally ordered some ex. Oh well, onward and upward, right?

Next good thing is, I spent yesterday windowshopping with Mr.Cotta and we tried sitting on couches and chairs and staring at beautiful things we can't afford yet. It was fun looking at it all though!

I have to go write a fake cheerful letter to my kid now, maybe snap a dorky picture of us all, and write odd little sayings on it....Perez Cotta, anyone? hehehe

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Happy Red & White Day

No, no, no not the day where we celebrate Canada Day.

I mean the day where my white underwear is covered in red blood.

Happy fucking CD1.

Can this shitass weekend get any worse? Oh yah, maybe I could find out I'm really a mole rat.....