22 September 2018

Random update

IVF: Still waiting for our next transfer, don’t have a date yet.  I have done the Estradiol patches longer this time and we added the estradiol in pill format as well.

Fitness / Fitbit:  Haven’t really updated this stuff in awhile because lazy as....  Also, summer was miserable.  I don’t think most people appreciate just how hard it is just to move when you have MS and it’s HOT, breaking CA summer records nearly every day HOT.   I got down to couch potato steps.    Just leaving the AC room to go to the bathroom felt like a workout.  It’s still pretty warm, but I got back into walking this week.  I hit 5 days of walks that varied in time but were all in the 1 hour - 1 1/2 hour range.  I’ll probably do an hour again tomorrow to make 6 days.

I find that if it’s not a daily sustainable goal I just give up.  Like the Fitbit.  I fell for the you must hit 10k steps a day and totally failed.  I was still wearing the FitBit but was never opening the app to see what I was doing, because I knew.  For me personally, 6k steps is realistic.  I can walk an hour and hit my steps + exercise goal.  If I get anything else it’s a bonus (this week the highest I hit was around 9500 steps, the lowest was 3500 or so on a non walk day).  Setting the goal to something more realistic for my age and health issues made me fail way less though I was still failing most days this summer.  I also pre-ordered the FitBit Charge 3 for my birthday.  I feel like the Flex2 was a good place to start.  It’s nice and small.  No extras.  It’s really just a bracelet.  I thought I  just wanted the bracelet even after using the hubby’s old Apple Watch.  But I find I am missing the fitness extras and am wearing that old Apple Watch so I can SEE how I am doing as I go instead of estimating based on lights.  The Flex also doesn’t monitor the heart. I feel like if IVF is successful this time, I’ll want that.  And there’s not much else I want so... Seems like a good present for my hubby to get me ;).

I think that is all.  Not much else going on.  Same old same old (which is usually a good thing).    I think October is when I reach the 1 year anniversary of going meat free.  Maybe I’ll write about that soon.  I do kind of miss blogging style stuff that I faded from when everyone went to FB.  But then everyone is on FB now and not Blog sites so....

31 August 2018

Returning to IVF land...

We have accepted another profile.  This time we’re aiming for fresh instead of FET, but we aimed for that last time and the egg donor backed out, so you just never know.  But we have done a baseline ultrasound.  We’ve added extra estrogen.  And at the advice of the doctor who is monitoring us locally, I also added a separate folate supplement to go with the prenatal vitamin.

Today was all about getting the med schedule in order as the first sample calendar ignored the fact that they wanted to add extra estrogen after our two failed cycles.

Ah the fun part of IVF that I didn’t miss.  First cycle = they sent the RX to one speciality pharmacy which was pretty much the top end of prices for the country (and we all know drugs in America are like 5x what everyone else pays to start with) but they had everything during shortages, so whatever, we’ll pay extra to get all we need and we paid 100% cash out of pocket because our insurance doesn’t have any fertility treatment coverage (will cover some testing but no treatments).

  Second cycle we transferred everything to Walgreens and found out my insurance does actually cover all of these rxs except the expensive one (of course) then the expensive one we sent to yet another pharmacy as they were the only place I called who had it that time (never ending shortage is annoying).

This time?  She sent the entire list of RXs to yet another pharmacy that neither she nor I mentioned before but she did mention it was (you guessed it) another shortage, so I just assumed that is who has it all.  She told me to call them to set up delivery.  Warned hubby this could be another expensive med haul, but wouldn’t know until I talk to them (wanted to be sure we still have room on the main credit card because so much money out lately).  When I called they didn’t have it yet.  But they did tell me they will bill insurance (which the other speciality pharmacy wouldn’t do).  So now I am thinking worst case scenario is about half the price of what I quoted hubby hubby as worst case scenario.  I hope anyway.

Good thing I have meds left over to get me started because they’re sending the RX in late on a Friday, to start meds Sunday.  I’d be pretty stressed right now if I didn’t have leftover meds because there is a chance we won’t even get to the point of filling it today.  She said it takes hours just to get processed by their system,  then they call us about filling, then it takes a few more hours to process any insurance.  Which seems right.  Just really stressful if you’re not already in the game because who sends a time sensitive RX in to a mail-order pharmacy late on Friday for starting Sunday?  IVF clinics, that’s who.  Honestly I’d almost rather order early and risk needing to add something or paying for something they decide to remove, than stress that you won’t have what you need on time.  

But whatever.  Whether it takes us until Monday to sort this or we sort it today, I start stabbing my stomach again this weekend!  Yay!  <— not sarcasm, because as much as I hate being stabbed daily, it means stuff is moving forward.  This time with extra estrogen and folate, so maybe that’s my magic baby recipe and maybe it’s not, but at least it’s time to start the process of finding out.

15 August 2018

Dylusions Dyalog vs J.D. Butterfly Effect book

Dyalog cover and inserts
I own all three current Jane Davenport Butterfly Effect traveler's notebook/journal covers that feature her art and sent the blank one to my mom.  I'm happy with them.  I cannot use all three at once so I really didn't NEED another traveler's journal cover.  Then the Dylusions Dyalog "Believe" cover landed on my IG feed and I knew I at least WANTED it.  It got here today.  Figured I'd compare the two as I searched for that before buying the Dyalog cover and didn't  find anyone doing a comparison.

First if you don't know what traveler's notebooks/journals  are, they're a system that you can use for notebooks or journals and calendars, sketchbooks, etc... The journal or notebook (I've seen them called both) itself is generally just a cover.  They often have an elastic loop closure as the center of the cover.  They come in a variety of sizes though the most common I've seen seem to be around 8"x5".  The ones I am posting about here are canvas but there are a lot of makers of them.  Leather, vegan leather, vinyl, repurposed books, fabric, etc.  You could easily make your own.  My sewing skills exist, but just barely, so I decided to buy mine.  They tend to have a rivet at the top and bottom of the centerfold, they either come with elastic pre-run through those rivets or you can add you own.  That elastic is what holds your paper inserts inside.   There are too many inserts to name but you can usually find calendars, blank, specialty papers (like watercolor or multimedia) or you can just cut and fold your own preferred papers to fit.  They're nice because they're very portable and if you finish one insert, you can just remove it and replace it.

So onto the comparison:

The blue mermaid cover is the Jane Davenport Butterfly Effect cover and the pink one is the Dylusions Dyalog cover.   There are a similar size but the Dyalog is just a little larger, so you shouldn't have inserts that stick out of the cover.   The official Jane Davenport Butterfly Effect book is  8.7″ x 4.9″, while the Dylusions Dyalog is   8.75” x 5.875”.   The JD Butterfly book has slightly rounded corners while the Dyalog is more squared.  They can use the same inserts.

The inside covers are quite different.  The Jane Davenport Butterfly Effect book is blank white.  The Dyalog inside cover is decorated to match the outer cover.  The elastics are very similar The only real difference in their set up is that the Dyalog elastic closure has a metal end piece on both ends of the elastic while the Butterly Effect book put them in one end piece.  The Dyalog cover feels a little stiffer at first but they're both lovely and both soften as you use them.

For me the biggest difference isn't with the covers, but with the inserts available for each (again, you can cut your own or use any books that fits, but I figured I'd try their books too).   The covers boils down to personal preference.  I like both.  If I decided I needed another, I'd go with the Dyalog, but only because I already have three JD Butterfly Effect covers.

There's a much clearer winner when it comes to the inserts.

As you can see, the individual Dyalog inserts are much more substantial.   They are 12 pages (folded into 24, sewn in the middle) and retail for $5.99.

The Jane Davenport inserts are 4 pages (folded into 8, I think the marker one was stapled and the watercolor was loose papers - it's been awhile, I could be wrong) and retail for $6.49.

If I were buying only the inserts, I'd go with the Dyalog ones as you get more for less.  Both are perfectly fine papers.  I personally like the Dyalog papers better.

The Jane Davenport inserts do have blank covers while the Dyalog inserts have art on the covers.  Personally that didn't make a difference for me.  The blank JD cover gave me more canvas, but I don't think that difference is worth the price difference and it's not like you can't just decorate the Dyalog covers too, just they have a premade background for you.

I bought my Jane Davenport inserts and covers on Ebay and Michaels.

I bought all of my current Dyalog stuff from the Etsy Store: PerriAnnsArtsNThings (I don't personally know the owner, but have purchased from them twice and was happy both times, so I do recommend starting there for either the Jane Davenport line or the Dyalog line if you want the best price, good CS, and fast shipping).

23 July 2018

Kicking myself

First off, there is no news in the IVF department beyond we're still looking at doing our third transfer this year.  And they have decided the only thing to change is to put me on more estrogen for longer.   Hopefully that's what makes it stick, because we really don't want to pay for three more rounds.  We will if we have to it, but it'd be our last three attempts.

Somehow Amazon Prime Day + me = pencil cases.  On both this 2018 Prime Day and the last, my splurge was a pencil case (well this year I also got headphones but only because mine are dying and I would have been buying new ones anyway).  But this year I am kicking myself over not grabbing up the Pentel 8 Color automatic pencil.  Sure it only would have saved me a few bucks, but with the failed adoption and what we've paid for IVF so far, a buck or three saved here or there adds up.

I've written before about the Pentel Multi 8 set that I bought back in 2016.  They're essentially the same pencil.  The clear colorful one is the American version.  The grey one I bought is the import.  They use the same leads and work the same way.

At the time I bought it, it became one of my fave pencils instantly.  The leads are often described as being closer to crayons than traditional lead.  I feel that's a fair description and that can obviously be good or bad, depending on how you use them.  The leads are proprietary. Depending on where you shop the replacements run $2-6 for two leads.   Leads that are at least half the length of most standard 2mm leads and they have a metal cap at the top that prevents them from sliding out of the pencil unless you intentionally want set it to remove them.  But they are still 2mm leads.  It's taken me awhile, but while organizing this year's Prime Day pencil case that I finally realized I don't really have to buy their refills.  I've been wanting a similar pen for regular leads.  So I grabbed one of the Staedtler 2mm leads I had and cut it.  I was extra careful to make it just a hint smaller than the Pentel branded ones because the way these pencils works = the lead must be fully inside it's slot, so you can turn to open the slot another color is in.  If your cut a lead too long and then try to swap colors you could break your pencil.  My test worked.  And that made me want another pencil.  One for colored leads and one for standard.  I will say their leads do last awhile and for coloring you're ahead to buy the proprietary leads.  But if you travel a lot and don't want to carry a lot of colored pencils and standard leads, cutting your fave leads to fit, means you can take either multiple hardness of leads with you or just extras of your fave all in one or two pencils.

I was also on the look out for a pencil that holds the smaller 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 0.9 leads in one pencil.  Seems Pentel did have a version a few years ago but it's no longer available and the few I did find were now selling for $200'ish which this girl cannot ever see paying for a single pencil, no matter how many leads it holds.

26 June 2018

Taking a break

So our second transfer failed.  We're taking a few month break because these failures are costly and tiring.  Haven't given up.  We've still got one more transfer already covered so there's that.

23 May 2018

We have a calendar!

Test tomorrow to determine if our ivf calendar sticks. And oh yeah we finally got a calendar! I do feel a little more zen this time around. I mean, still nervous because if this fails we only have one more shot and the two back to back trips through CA have broken the bank. So if it fails there is no back to back trip again, there’s wait until we can save for the third. So oddly enough there’s more stress this time around. I just feel more at ease anyway.

On FB I am seeing more on this day posts about how we felt this route was the next one for us as we truly got ready to move beyond IAC's bankruptcy.  Although I regret not having gone this route instead of adoption from the beginning, and wouldn't recommend agency adoptions now, if we had to learn that lesson I am still glad we chose who we did as an agency.  In theory they best matched our morals in that they didn't exclude people accept those who legally cannot adopt.  In reality, they used us and ran the business into the ground, but thanks to minimal regulations, I fear that's most agencies now.

I just wish I knew if our current route will work out.  Such a long painful journey.  I'd like to think it'll work out in the end.

21 May 2018

Our egg donor backed out

Our egg donor backed out.  Can't really be mad at her.  Her body, her choice.  Did make for a stressful weekend reviewing new profiles.  We were offered two.  One got ruled out pretty quickly so then it was a question of is the remaining profile one we wanted to accept or would we wait for others.  Part of the problem in deciding is I'm already on meds.  Quitting mid-cycle wasn't appealing. Wasting drugs.  Doing tests again.  Etc.  It all factored into our decision along with the profile.  We finally decided that we were okay with the remaining profile.  So we're still moving ahead on basically the same calendar.  Just another little bump in the road.

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