Needle-Woman: acupuncturist or closet stalker??

Last week, when I went to see Needle-Woman, she got me to start filling out a BBT (basal body temperature) chart. I’m sure all you IFers out there know what it is. I’d never seen one before. Despite my medical background, it was never the sort of thing they said much about in medical school. Obviously I know what your temperature is supposed to do, but I had no idea of the sheer amount of information you’re supposed to fill in. Maybe it’s just Needle-Woman’s personal charts, but I now have to fill in:

  • Temperature (obviously) – this annoyed me actually. I did do my temps for a month a while back, before the AS was diagnosed, and actually when I had the chemical. I have to say I was quite half-hearted about it, couldn’t really be bothered, and didn’t pay any attention to what they were, or the pattern of them. Probably a bit of a waste of time doing them, all in all. It annoyed me now, as I had to go and buy a thermometer.
  • Menstrual flow – oh come on, Needle-Woman, it’s bad enough having to see it, or the lack of it every month, without having to write it down, so I see it every day when I fill in the silly temperature thingy and can’t stick my head happily back into the sand for the rest of the month.
  • Headaches – what does this have to do with anything? I’m not sure…
  • Pain – this is apparently period pain, not just any random pain I happen to notice. She is surprised that I get cramps on more than one day. If only she knew…
  • Tender breasts – thought this was normal?
  • Mucous – have never paid any attention to this. Am so going to forget.
  • Intercourse – I absolutely refuse to fill this in. I have the coil, it makes no difference.

Like a good patient, I filled in the first few days, and took the chart with me to my next appointment. She barely glanced at it, looked at me pointedly and said “Have you been drinking?” Now bear in mind that this was 2pm, I hadn’t been drinking that day (things aren’t that bad, that I have to drink alone in the middle of the day just yet) but I had had a glass of wine the night before. “Um, yes, last night” I said, feeling somewhat guilty. Why do I feel guilty? I’m 10 years over the legal limit, and lets face it, one glass of wine does not an alcoholic make.

She gave me a small lecture on how I shouldn’t drink in the first part of my cycle etc, and I nodded and smiled, not really listening to her. I couldn’t work out how on earth she knew I’d had a drink? Did she have spies looking into our 12th floor flat? Did she inspect the bins to look for wine bottles we’d thrown out? Had she bugged me? Even worse, did I smell of alcohol from the night before? I should point out that I had showered, changed my clothes and cleaned my teeth twice in the intervening time. I started to wonder if perhaps I really had a problem?

So I asked her how on earth she knew I’d been drinking. Apparently it was my temperatures (um, they seemed normal to me) but she only admitted it under sufferance, and was a bit cagey about it. Which leads me to suspect that maybe she has bugged me after all.

She was full of talk about how she’s going to get my periods down to 4 days of normal flow, with one day of spotting at the end, instead of 2 days of spotting, one day of light flow, one day ever so slightly heavier, another day of v light flow, and 2 more days of spotting. She’s also apparently going to get rid of my period pains, which to be honest I’m not that bothered about. I didn’t take a single painkiller this month, and the pains are really not that bad. I’m well aware that some women have a horrendous time of it and I really have nothing to complain about in that respect, and I don’t. But if she can sort out the periods completely (which I have to say I’m sceptical about, considering the fragmented state of my endometrium) all power to her. And I’ll call my first child after her, male or female, and leave her all my life-savings in my will if she can also get me pregnant.

I have absolutely no idea what to do on Thursday. Thursday was our baby’s due date and we want to mark it in some way, but we don’t know how. I have an intense desire to get out of Sydney for the day and so we’re thinking about hiring a car and getting the hell out of here. If anyone knows anywhere lovely to go within driving distance that isn’t the Blue Mountains, then please add your comments below.

I am finding that things are getting tougher as the due date approaches, I don’t know whether you all found the same. I’m crying much more, and feeling like I want to hide away. I don’t know whether people get it or not.

A friend of mine, S, who actually let’s face it has not been much of a friend through this whole miscarriage/infertility/AS business sent me a message on Saturday morning to say that she’d had a little girl on Friday. I felt sick to be honest. I didn’t know what to say, so I just said thanks for telling me and for not letting me find out on facebook, and congratulations. She sent a message back which proved that she just doesn’t get it. She sent the message not to spare my feelings, but to show off her new baby. I know that not everyone understands miscarriage and infertility, and there are a lot of people who haven’t been through it, but is it too much to ask that people try to understand? I have lots of friends who haven’t been through it, and they still try to understand, send me messages to say that they’re thinking of me etc. Is it time to let S go by the wayside as she keeps disappointing me again and again? Do I really have to keep “turning the other cheek”? How on earth do you manage to sound enthusiastic and congratulatory and genuinely excited for people without giving away the fact that you’re curling up into a ball and dying inside?

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6 responses to “Needle-Woman: acupuncturist or closet stalker??

  1. Poor you and Mr Wombat. I’d been going to suggest the Blue Mountains of course. How about Kangaroo Valley?

    Regarding your FB friend – she’ll be mortified eventually, but not for years. In the meantime, people move on. Friendships drift apart. FB makes that more obvious, because people we used to be close to are still visible. If you don’t want to unfriend her, then hide her updates from you and use Lists to hide yours from hers, which amounts to the same thing. And unfriend her when you next have a life change, like moving back to the UK.

    About the drinking thing: have you ever heard of Cold Reading? I suspect your acupuncturist took a stab (ho ho) at the idea you’d been drinking. You’d have thought her astonishingly perceptive whether the answer was “yes, constantly, and I had a triple at lunchtime” or “not really, though I did have a sherry trifle three weeks ago”. I doubt you’d even have remembered the question if the answer was “no, nothing at all”.

    I am so sorry it’s your bad sad due date. And yes, I think you should do something to mark it.

    xxx

    B

    • Thanks Ben,
      Like the acupuncturist pun..! I think I’m going to prove her wrong, anyway, as my temps are the same without drinking…
      As for my FB status… am just surrounded by women giving birth this week… another 2 since I posted this and another one due. Is so exhausting trying to be happy for them when I just want to cry, and do cry. I also want to stamp my foot and scream that it’s not fair…
      xxx

  2. Maybe you should fill in other random things, like when you went to the shops and put a wash on. To much information doesn’t necessarily mean writing about your mucus and sex life!

  3. I know exactly what you mean. I got a message from someone to tell me that she had heard you should try for a baby for 6 months after having treatment to your abnormal cells. She’s pregnant by the way which wasn’t planned. I don’t actually think people think and I don’t think they will truly understand unless you’ve been through something similar. I hope today goes okay. I am thinking of you and you should cry as much as you like. Regarding S – maybe you should keep her at arms length for now. That’s what I am doing. Take care. xxx

    • I agree – they just don’t get it. The really annoying thing is that S actually had a miscarriage, many years ago, and had 4 years of counselling afterwards! Which is why I’m so shocked that she is so insensitive again and again.
      Thanks for thinking of us yesterday xxx

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