I gathered all my leftover needles, syringes and drugs this weekend. I will take what I can to my next doctor’s appointment in the hopes they will dispose of my sharps and redistribute the new stuff. I really want them out of the house and out of my life; I’d throw them in the garbage if it wasn’t one of the worst possible things you could ever do. The shedding continues as this pregnancy grows and regardless of what may happen, I know I will never take another fertility drug ever, ever again. That part of my life is over.
Amidst all the mechanical workings and gauze pads, I came across a half-open pack of gum. Because that’s where my gum goes.
When you have surgery you can’t eat or drink anything – not even water – for like 18 hours beforehand because you could vomit/choke/die under anesthesia. To me, already miserable in the muck and mire and management of IVF, this broke the camel’s back. (Irony!) Sound medical reason aside, this denial of a basic human right signaled my total defeat in the fertility process. I had absolutely no say in what happens to me. I couldn’t even take a drink of water without permission and man I was thirsty. I drink water all night long. I even treated myself to a beautiful crystal carafe for my night table. I have fantasies of installing a fountain next to my side of the bed so that water is always fresh and available but then I realize that would require a catheter so I just drink from my cup and fall back to sleep.
Despite my love for candy, I don’t chew gum. I don’t even know how I thought of it but I’m glad I did because gum saved me. This blog could be titled Gum Salvation for as much as it helped me during my IVF cycles. I was chewing but not eating. I was swallowing but not drinking. I met the pre-op requirements but found a way to soothe myself. Chewing gum was my proactive health measure. Why don’t nurses or doctors recommend this to their patients? It must be okay from a risk perspective because every one of my care providers saw me chomping like Britney trying to quit her Parliaments.
Seeing that gum packed away for another surgery told me three things: 1) I am cheap as hell, 2) I really don’t like gum, and 3) I don’t need it anymore. I ceremoniously popped the remaining five pieces in my mouth, closed my eyes and let the minty juices flow. And actually I guess my IVF gum told me four things: 4) I will put anything sugar-coated in my mouth regardless of its age or storage location.
Gum Salvation. Praise.