Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Spooky Tales: That Time When I Didn't Have Insurance

A little over a month ago, I quit a job that I'd had for the last seven seven years.  And in the process, I gave up the insurance plan that I'd have for about that same amount of time. 

I had officially transferred into the the bleak and horrifying world of the...


Image from Scoopnext via Huffington Post

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Just Us for For Now

"Is there a word for adults when they aren't parents?"
Steppa laughs.  "Folks with other things to do?"
"Like what things?"
"Jobs, I guess.  Friends. Trips.  Hobbies."
--from "Room"

Today, I confessed an embarrassing concern I'd had to a friend.  

After my miscarriage, I'd worried that Ben and I would grow bored with each other if, down the line, it ended up being just the two of us...forever. I told her I know that's ridiculous but almost a year ago (can you believe it) I had a thought one day-- that if Ben and I didn't have children, we'd have nothing to talk about from that point on.  I think I was concerned about this because having kids was just the next step in our plan, and we'd spent so long talking about it that it seemed unlikely that we'd ever find anything worthwhile to do, or talk about, again.

Many people, mostly parents actually, have assured me that this is an INSANE worry to have.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Five Years Max

I think it's time for a little kidney update. So, here goes.

My transplant nephrologist recently told me that I'm probably only going to have my dad's kidney for another two years.  That would put its transplant life at just five years.

Trust me. I know that's not a long time.  We all hear and read stories of people having their kidney transplants for 10, 20, even 30 years.  Well, this is the story of the girl who only had her transplant for five years.  

I really wished, hoped, and at one time I prayed, that I would get to be in the first group, regaling others with the success story of my kidney transplant. But five years is not a success story.  It's more like a failure. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Homeowning: The Pros & Cons

Last Spring we asked my friend to help us find a house.  Three months, a few screaming matches, and four rejected offers later we found our humble abode.  It was a little further away from our ideal location. But it cost less, has more space, and has better renovations than some of the other places we considered. It also doesn't hurt that we live ten minutes away from my favorite store.  Wegmans. Yes.  My favorite store is a grocery store because I am hungry...all the time.

Around July 22, Ben and I celebrated the one-year anniversary of us closing on our first home.  Around this time last year, we sat in a room for about two hours signing our names over and over again, sometimes reading the fine print, and then I handed over a check with what seemed like a billion zeros written down for our down payment. 

Now that we've had a mortgage for a year, I've decided that home owning is...a nice idea.  But it's not the BEST idea.  Here are my pros and cons, with a few of Ben's mixed in.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

When I Talk About My Miscarriage

A list of some things that happened when I've talked about my miscarriage:

A female relative sends a message to me about her miscarriage.

Another female relative sends a message about her miscarriage.

Another female relative sends me a message about her miscarriage.

A colleague tells me about her miscarriages.  

A colleague tells me about his friend's stillbirth.

An aunt tells me about her miscarriage.  

Another aunt tells me about her miscarriage, but also her stillbirth.

A colleague and his wife take me to lunch to share the story of their son's stillbirth.

A friend tells me about her relative who had a miscarriage.

My nurse at my kidney doctor's office cries with me while telling me about her miscarriage.

The same colleague and his wife share with me everything they went through following their son's death.  

My kidney doctor tells me about his and his wife's miscarriage. 

The neighbor with whom I started walking to the commuter train in the morning tells me that he and his wife suffered miscarriage.  

A colleague tells me about her miscarriage.

The security guard at my office tells me about her miscarriage.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Posts from the Archives: Part 2

I really liked revisiting my posts from a few years ago in May.  So I'm doing it again in July. SO SO fascinating to see where my head was at and what things I was interested in a year ago and even earlier.  

Apparently, I didn't write a blog post in July last year.  This was probably because I was still trying to keep my pregnancy a secret. You know, the "first trimester way."  So, instead you get to revisit...

Friday, June 24, 2016

Mid-Year Review: Is 2016 One of My Best?

This doesn't really need to be said again BUT... 2015 was s*&t.  I guess I just don't want you to forget that fact.  I don't want to forget it.  Yet, if I'm being honest, sometimes I do.  

I started this year with one goal: find more ways to enjoy my life.  This is unoriginal.  Spend five seconds on Pinterest and you'll find enough "Live Laugh Love" images that you'll want to rebel against the notion.  "I REFUSE TO LIVE, LAUGH OR LOVE!" you'll shout.  The more this idea gets thrown in our faces, the less genuine and urgent it feels.

I chose this broad goal because I felt like I spent too much of 2015 doing the opposite of enjoying my life.  I'm a recovering control freak and psycho planner.  And when Ben and I agreed  to "plan for" our baby, I relapsed into my old ways of trying to control the process and the outcome of every single situation.  And everyone knows that when you try to control everything, you enjoy NOTHING.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Three Years, Three Things

Ben and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary on June 15. YAY.  For this year's anniversary post, we each answered a set of questions, a few that came from outside sources, about our relationship.  This post is a long one, so feel free to skip to the end and watch a clip from one of Ben's and my favorite movies and our favorite filmmaker.  ***You'll also be able to hear the song we danced our first dance to playing in the background LOL***

Three favorite things about being married:
Jewel: I love the feelings of safety and security in a relationship that come with marriage.  And I like how I can say whatever I want to Ben and he's not judgmental. That might just be unique to Ben, but I do think there should be open lines of communication in every marriage.

Ben: It's such a comfort knowing you can come home and someone is going to listen to you gripe about work or ask you if everything is OK and generally BE THERE.  Jewel is so tied into the DNA of my life now that if I have to spend a few days away from her I pretty much forget how to function like a respectable member of society.  Two other great things about being married have to be the financial security and the division of labor.  I might never cook again.


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Faith: Am I Ready to Hope Again?

Hope is much like a cat in the Dark--you only know it's there by the reflection of its eyes--which means there is Light nearby.
-- Terri Guillemets--

I'm not a pessimist.  And, despite everything that's happened, I don't think I'm turning into one.  I did think the pessimist spirit was gaining on me for a bit, but it never actually caught up.  

I used to be an optimist.  I hesitate to call myself one now.  The first definition Google provides for that type of person is someone who is "hopeful and confident about the future."  Yeah, that doesn't quite describe me really. 

On average, I have not been very hopeful or confident about my future.  But sometimes, confetti sized images, of a future that could be....not just any future...but one where I get everything I want...float down into my thoughts.

A future where I am healed.  A future where I am a mom.  A future where I'm hopeful and confident about...anything.  

Monday, May 23, 2016

Three Things NOT Related to My Health Status

My next kidney doctor appointment is on June 22.  And, WOW, for once, nothing majorly dramatic is happening in my health life.  

Monday, May 16, 2016

Posts from the Archives

I'm working on new material, so I thought it would be fun/lazy to remind you of some stuff I've written in the past, around this same time in years prior.  

Friday, May 6, 2016

It's Hard Out Here for a Mom

God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers. 
~Jewish Proverb
On Aug. 3, 2015, I woke up, in the hospital. The story of my life.  I'd spent most of the day before that vomiting up everything that I ate. Ben was my witness.  We both figured it was morning sickness, since I was 11 weeks pregnant at the time.  But when the vomiting turned to blood, I ended up going to the nearest Inova ER center.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


I read an excellent blog post about kidney transplants. I think the first paragraph describes how I feel about all of this, now that I’ve completed three years with a transplant and am entering my fourth:

Friday, April 29, 2016

On Faith: Where Did Mine Go?

"Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine.  When Jesus wraps this all up, it's your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of His victory."       
-- 1 Peter 1:7, The Message

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Pros of NOT Being a Mom

Losing a child is devastating. And I don't even know how I got to a point where I'm writing a post on the positives of NOT being a mom. Because I want to be a mom some day. 

don't want people to read the title of this post and think this is a post about the pros of having a miscarriage.  There are no pros to that. There is no silver lining. This is not one of those "everything worked out in the end" posts.  Miscarriages are terrible and traumatic and they do not happen for a reason.  

My first attempt at becoming a mom ended a little over six months ago.  Shortly after it happened, I figured I would just try to get pregnant again. But I was advised to wait about three months. Then I had a rejection episode in January.  I made the decision to go back on birth control so that I could focus on the health of my kidney transplant. 

That decision in January is kind of what has helped me discover some of the things I'm revealing in this post.  The first thing being, I'm actually OK with not being someone's mom. And here's why.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

My Sort-Of Morning Routine

Lone deck chair at sunrise.
I've talked before about how I am NOT a morning person.  In the same way that "morning people" feel the day ahead of them brings new possibilities, I feel that way about night time. I even prefer dinner foods over breakfast foods.  But staying up late every night doesn't really jive with my work life or my personal life.  So slowly, very very slowly, I've gotten into the habit of *gasp* waking up early, and shaking a fist to the sky every time I do it.  

Some people have a morning routine.  Routines are comforting and give you some feeling of control over your day.  I have a couple of routines in my life, but a morning routine isn't one of them.  Sometimes I have events to go to for work that start really early. And sometimes I have doctor's appointments, or I have to get lab work done at the hospital.  As a sick person, you learn that things can go from good to bad to worse in just a few minutes. And all of sudden that routine you had turns into "that set of things I did really well in a timely fashion one morning back in November 2014."   

What I have now is a list of things that I have to do every morning, along with a list of things I want to do some mornings. So these are the things that get me up.  

Friday, April 8, 2016

Baby at 348 Months

I know, I know. My birthday was months ago.  But I've been doing birthday updates every year and I still wanted to do one for this year.

Recently, I became fascinated with those monthly baby updates that people share on social media. And I thought, "Why don't we continue to do that for every age?" So I did one.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Power of Vacation

I ended 2015 with the attitude of, "F&*k it, I do what I want." After a year, of doing things to set myself up for a healthy pregnancy and future child, and then having that not happen, I commissioned 2016 as "Jewel's Year of Fun."  This is exactly what I told my transplant nephrologist when I told him I was taking my second vacation of the 2016 in March.  Yes, my second.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Thoughts on That Time I Was Pregnant

I was pregnant once.  

That’s the thing about miscarriages and women who have them.  Unless you knew me personally, or asked if I was pregnant, or saw me in the final days of my pregnancy, with a belly about the size of a soccer ball, you wouldn’t know that I was in fact a pregnant lady for about four to five months of 2015.