“Never let go of hope. One day you will see that it all has finally come together. What you have always wished for has finally come to be. You will look back and laugh at what has passed and you will ask yourself... 'How did I get through all of that?"- Author Unknown

Friday, February 13, 2015

This one is for me.

Most of my adult life I have focused on the health of my body not realizing that the health of my mind was deteriorating pretty rapidly.  I used to have a lot of friends, busy every day of the week. My phone was always going off, I was always talking to someone, always making plans.  I handmade pretty much everything, I prepared elaborate meals and baked goodies all the time earning the nickname June Cleaver from my family.  I was creative, happy, and life had this amazing purpose that I couldn't wait to figure out.  I miss being that woman.

Somewhere along the way, something inside me broke.  It broke silently and gradually, and without any knowledge to repair it, life started to unravel.  At first it started with me avoiding friends.  It was impossible for me to wrap my head around getting together socially, I was terrified I wouldn't handle myself well, or I wouldn't have anything GOOD to say.  Calls would go unanswered, visits cancelled, sometimes without even a call or text, and each time I disappointed someone I cared about in even the smallest way, I knew it.  I could see it in their eyes, hear it in their voice, and each occurrence was validation that I'm a failure.  I was unable to keep up with self-care, which is bad because having diabetes makes you very high maintenance to yourself.  I was lucky to have my husband who kept me from feeling too lonely, and a few friends that thankfully forced themselves on me for a while.  Once life got to busy, or it was too hard to continue to try with me, most of that ended, which was and is very understandable, but of course did not help my isolation.  I didn't and still don't really go anywhere without Brannon, he's my security blanket, so his best friends have become my best friends.

Avoidance turned into a very real, deep depression.  My obsessive anxiety cycled through every life problem that presented itself to us, pulling each problem down on to my very soul.  Everything felt like a burden.  It was a burden to shower, to shave, to wake up and feel the purpose of the day.  A burden to have friends that cared and wanted to talk to me.  A burden to have a husband that loves me and needs me.  A burden to even attempt to articulate my feelings.  Burdens I was not strong enough or healthy enough to bear the whole weight of.  It's terrifying to lose control of your thoughts and feelings, yet look "normal" on the outside.  What started as a trickle of negative unhealthy thoughts, turned into a torrential down pour of toxic thinking.  I hid, I avoided, I cried, I'd try, I'd fail, rinse and repeat.  Wanting and needing to be social, but terrified of it is a very hard place to exist.  I had no time for creativity, no hunger for food, no urge to create meals for myself or my husband, about the only thing I was capable of was keeping my living room tidy and making sure I paid the bills.  Work was and still is my only outlet for anything social, and I avoid things there too.

Turning 30 was a huge turning point for me, mostly due to the fact that I had planned on taking my own life.  Once those thoughts enter your head, the mental damage you do to yourself makes suicide feel like MERCY.  My course of action changed with the death of a friend to suicide, and while I have no current plans to end my life and know now if I start seriously considering it to seek help, I will be honest and say that those thoughts never leave you.

At this time I was at the worst of my depression, but all I kept hearing was how great I looked and how thin I was getting.  I had (and still do) a very hard time accepting compliments people gave me, mostly because I wasn't getting thin in a healthy way; I was in the midst of a depression that stole my hunger, and thankfully Brannon was always putting healthy food into my purse, so when I did eat, it was healthy.  It was my persistent depression and lack of care for myself that has finally gotten me to a healthier weight, what a two edged sword.

I posted on here about speaking with a counselor a couple of times before firing her, but what I have kept quiet, not even family knows, is that I started seeing a mental health professional after that, and that has really helped me uncover a lot of the underlying issues that lead me to this place.  I have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and Avoidant Personality Disorder (AVPD) which can be learned about here.  It was so strange to read something that perfectly described me, in words I never could have used myself.  I'm working diligently to create the life I know I deserve to live, no matter how hard it is, or how scared I am of it.  I still have a hard time doing anything creative, meal planning is impossible, and I still have a lot of work to do socially, but I'm trying and each day gets a little more manageable.  

I struggled with the decision to share any of this; it's not just another blog post- it's my every day struggle, the deepest darkest parts of me, out here for everyone to see, open to judgment.  I'd like to think I'm sharing to help others, but really, this one is for me.  Even if no one makes it to the bottom of this post, I overcame a huge fear by posting it and that my friends, is progress.  Yes, this one is for me.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I heart Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is the way to go!  Could NOT have gotten through my appointment without it, I mean they were UP CLOSE & PERSONAL in my mouth for 4.5 LONG HOURS, and let's face it, I have anxiety.

During this appointment I had everything that needed to be done to right side completed, and next week I'll have work done on the entire left side.  Everything went so great, I was only sore until my aleve kicked in and haven't had any troubles since! Next week, I know I will not be so lucky because I'm having a wisdom tooth extracted at the same time as everything else.

I AM SO HAPPY to have almost all of the things checked off my pre-baby check list.
Monday my referral for a new gyn went in, I tried calling and making my appointment but they say they HAVE to have my referral # before doing so (ugh), so I'm calling insurance today to see if the referral was approved, get the referral # and make an appointment.  My goal is to TRY to get in this month so I can have labs drawn/ultrasounds done in time for my A1C recheck on March 2nd, very early in the morning.  Depending on THAT number, I'll either request ANOTHER referral for Reshef and I can hardly wait to show him my new, lower A1C, my increased weight loss, and plop down a (hopefully) GLORIOUS amount of information in front of him to show him how SERIOUS I am about this.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Be Your Own Advocate

 So, I've had a little time to stew over my meeting with our RE, and I'm now in the angry phase.

Why brush me aside when I'm so close?  Why not run labs to see where I am hormonally?  Or ultrasounds to see if there are any cysts that loom to delay treatments?  Why give me the same speech as he did the last time, and only read my file while I'm sitting in front of him?

Because he's an overworked doctor.
He hasn't seen the fight I've fought to get here.

I stupidly expected to be greeted by a man that was interested in my case personally and helping me achieve pregnancy.  What I got when I arrived was a glimpse of a man who has too many patients to even pretend to have a personal interest in my care.  It helped me realize how alone I really am in this process, and how hard I have to advocate for myself.  Still with respect in my heart, I have to say he really is just the tool, and I have to really get educated about my own care.  In the last few days I've learned so much about PCOS that I'm grateful for my newly found anger.

I tried on Friday but ran out of time before my insurance company closed, but I have an open referral to see a gyn.  I called the one I was referred to specifically and they can't get me in until March so I'm on the hunt for a new one that can get me in sooner.  I really want to have labs drawn to see where I am hormonally and to see if I'm deficient in anything that I could start now, months before we start any medicine to induce ovulation.  I'm going through the list this weekend to have it changed Monday and will hopefully get an appointment ASAP!

Brannon and I have come up with a pretty successful system of monitoring if I'm taking all my medicines and we've slowly added more each day!  I'm proud to say that because I have had a terrible time in the past taking medicine's consistently, and in general.  Pills are VERY hard for me to take.  I've just recently added Fish Oil & Vitamin D on top of my prenatal and Metformin!  I'm proud of the steps I'm taking towards my health finally!

I also got surprised yesterday with the arrival of my new glucose meter!  It helped me make really good decisions on eating last night, and this morning I was rewarded with a really good fasting blood sugar!  I definitely enjoy the added feeling of control having my meter back!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Consultation #2

My second consultation with our RE was yesterday.  I had high hopes that I'd leave there with a better plan of how I'm going to get pregnant... That did not happen, and I'm doing my best to keep a not too shitty attitude about it all.

The highlights:

Happy to see my A1C at a better level, however, he doesn't feel comfortable pursuing treatments until my A1C is at a 6.5!  I would have NEVER set an appointment if I thought I would hear news like that again, so the rest of our chat did nothing but upset me.  I felt like he was having the same conversation he had with me the first time.  Like he wasn't talking to a woman who understood the risks very well, like he was talking to a woman who didn't take care of herself, a woman who HADN'T GIVEN UP CHEESE & FORSAKEN GLUTEN, LOL!

He felt that I would reach the point of treatments by June, but I'm more than welcome to come back as soon as that A1C is achieved and we will start Femara to attempt to induce ovulation.  He said putting treatments off 6 months at my age would not be detrimental, and believes that losing 25-30 more pounds by then is certainly feasible and would be "ideal".

I will not lie, being told to have better control over my blood sugars did not upset in the slightest.  I understand how important it is for my life, and a pregnancy.  The expectation of losing that much more weight and how it would be "ideal" made me feel pretty bad.  Trying not to focus on that so much.

I will have my A1C rechecked March 1 to go from there.  I ordered a new glucose meter which should be here in a few days and plan on testing frequently, make no mistake I'll get to that a1c well before June!  I'll get my dental crap out of the way and then I can say without a doubt that we're ready for treatments.

Monday, January 19, 2015


I didn't always have a problem with weight, but I always felt big.  I didn't really have a weight issue until I moved out of my parent's house & in with my now husband.  I gained weight pretty rapidly, but I know now I was just feeding my PCOS all while my Insulin Resistant body thought it was starving. 

I woke up one morning and realized that if I wanted to be the momma I knew I would be in my heart, I had to fight. 

If I wanted to be proud of my body, and live in it a long time, I had to change. 

Change hurts.   Fighting is hard. 

But not changing would have been worse.  And without change, I would never be afforded the opportunity to fight. 

If there is anything I want more in this world, I couldn't name it.  I am so excited to be in this part of my journey.  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

RE Consultation

Oh my goodness, yesterday was a great day!!  I called my insurance company to check on the status of my referral and I was forced to leave a message with the answering service which bummed me for a minute, but a little while later I got a call from a number I didn't recognize and was surprised to hear that it was my RE clinic!  My PCP was on the ball and forwarded my medical records to their office with a note raving about my success in achieving my health goals and they were calling to schedule my appointment!  At first they were talking dates in the middle of March, but then they realized that while I am already an established patient I needed another consultation to get started, and that is going to be JANUARY 27th!  12 DAYS AWAY!!  I've already been asked about my plans, and really I'm not sure I have any yet.

During our first consultation he gave me a list of medications and procedures to investigate and expressed that he likes an involved patient and that I was ultimately in control of what we do, or do not do.  I also really respect my RE, feel very confident that he knows MUCH more than I do, and I trust that he really does want to get me pregnant just as much as I do.  I'm doing my research and all I can hope for at my consultation is to have a great starting point to see what we need to do next, whether it be a diagnostic procedure or beyond.

I do know that our upcoming appointment has sparked some much needed conversations about the future of our treatments with Brannon, and I'm happy we're both on the same page when it comes to trusting our RE's opinion, though he feels more comfortable with baby steps first.  Hopes are high, and it feels good...  The word of the week has been READY!  After talking about it so much yesterday with him, you could feel the hope set in.  He dug through and found more of his baby pictures, which only made my day dreams of holding a baby Brannon just soar through the roof, and I think it both hit us that it can happen.  Like REALLY happen.  Kind of put me in a (happy) tizzy making lists of all the things I'd like to have fixed in the house!  I have an (adorably) pregnant friend in her 3rd trimester who's nesting and I'll be honest...  It's so exciting It's hard not to want to nest myself!  :)

So, that's that.

12 Days until my RE Consultation.
19 Days until appointment 1 of 2 with the dentist for a deep cleaning & some work on the right side.
26 Days until appointment 2 of 2 for the same and an wisdom tooth extraction on the left side.
I'm no longer scared of going to the dentist, now that I know I'll be sedated :)

Let's go :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Goals

Less than a week until the PCP appointment I've been working all these years for- the one where I get my referral to the RE and we actually do TREATMENTS!  It's been a long time since our last round of clomid, and I'm really looking forward to SOMEONE helping us because try as we might, we have not had any luck on our own, despite all the relaxing.

Yesterday I confronted my fear of the dentist.  I know oral health is important for fertility, plus I had a few dental issues to address that would have SUCKED to have to address at a time when I couldn't be fully sedated.  SO I pulled up the big girl panties and I'm glad I did, it was scary, I panicked, I gagged badly, twice, but I made it through...  I have two more major appointments in February, but once those are complete my mouth will be a happy, well taken care of place, and better yet I'll know I've done everything I can to get ready for baby.

Now that I made it to my first goal weight and have surpassed it, I know I have plenty of room to continue improving.  My new goal weight is now 200, and I have 19# to go until I'm there.  I've done pretty well losing weight by controlling what I eat, but I'm ready to add the gym into my routine.  Now that the holiday has passed, movement is going to get my utmost attention.  I'm planning on an hour of cardio because I know it will be good for my heart, mind, and spirit, but I'm also planning on utilizing weights to start shaping everything up.

It feels good to be getting stuff done, even if the stuff getting done isn't particularly much fun.

Though, in fun news I have rekindled my love for audio books & have just finished the Divergent Series.  I'm taking a brain/emotion break and listening to The Tao of Martha by Jen Lancaster, she never fails to crack me up, then I'm on to... I think... The Hobbit! I subscribe to Kindle Unlimited which offers free voice narration on certain books, I'm fully taking advantage of that!  I also snagged a Kindle HD 6 for a great price and have really enjoyed it in conjunction with said Kindle Unlimited account.  Fun stuff, indeed ;)

From now until my PCP appointment I'm hoping to fill the time in the gym, audio books and binge watching Friends on Netflix!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Goal Weight

 In this post from July 2010, I declare: 

I will never, ever be 125lbs, or even 180lbs.  200lbs looks too light on me- believe me I've been there.  I'd be satisfied at 220, but really when I'm asked what my goal weight is, I tell people "pregnancy". 

I know that I've been aiming for this weight since 2010, so stepping on the scale January 1 after the holidays and everything that goes along with that... I was surprised to see that I had lost 3.2 pounds and now currently weigh 220 pounds.  I, Sara McLaughlin, after 4+ years of trying and not trying, motivation and stagnation, have officially reached a goal I thought was impossible.  It took much longer than I was anticipating, but I'm grateful for the time it has taken because of the lessons I have learned.  Of course I cringe now at that past blog post, thinking I had it all figured out and that 220 was going to be the magical number that everything in life smoothes out for... So far that is entirely not true, haha!  Despite not having it all together like I thought I would, I am happy, it really is a huge accomplishment for me!  

AF showed shortly after my last blog post which was a relief!  Still on track for my appointment Tuesday for my well woman check up, I scheduled a dental appointment for that day as well so I took the day off work to take care of those appointments.  Both of them are pretty scary to me, only because I'm painfully modest  around anyone who isn't my husband (I know, I know, I'll "get over it", well I'm 30 now and it still sucks!) and the dentist, well, I think we all know why people don't like dentists!  Starting the year off right by confronting all the things I've been putting off.  

I feel like I've been saying the same thing in my blogs over and over, but it's just really sinking in that everything I've worked so hard for is not a dream for the future anymore, it's my reality.  If I thought getting to this weight was impossible, and here I am...  Then that means that maybe pregnancy isn't as impossible as it has seemed... And that makes me pretty darn hopeful :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Moving Forward

I cannot express just how happy I am that I've finished the two classes I was taking this semester! Not to be a complete whiner, but it was harder this time around than when I was going full time, or maybe back then I was better about compartmentalizing life and didn't let it get in the way as much?  Either way, this semester was brutal and I thought about quitting right up until the point where I absolutely couldn't!  


I'm grateful I'm taking a break from school because things really are going to start moving in the fertility department and I really want to focus on that above all else.  My most recent A1C is 7.8; since my appointment I have been taking my medicine consistently, and I finally found a true $10/month gym in a well lit area, truly open 24/7 and it's nice and new.  I'm jumping into my new routine tonight after I go up there and get things set up!  Since I've proven to myself that I can lose weight by controlling what I eat, I'm looking forward to seeing how far I can go in the gym.  I was looking through my pictures on my phone the other day and saw a million scale pictures with much heavier numbers than what I currently weigh and really drove home what it means when people say to love yourself at any size.  


I remember looking at the scale and imagining the weight I am now, thinking once I made it to my goal weight I’d magically be able to love myself.  What has really helped me make progress was realizing that every time I attempted to lose weight under the assumption that I’d be happier at a smaller weight, I’d inevitably make myself unhappy (negative self talk, quitting junk cold turkey, miserably strenuous exercise) and inevitably I’d “fail” aka give up.  In September I started looking at my journey differently when I realized that I was numbing the pain of our infertility by seeking comfort in food and that with my condition this was a very dangerous behavior.  I read something somewhere that said you have to be uncomfortable in order to change, but most people subconsciously/consciously avoid change by seeking out comfort to numb and pacify their fears.  Always one for self-improvement I have since really analyzed my failure to launch on fertility treatments and I think a big thing that stops me is that I have been scared shitless to fail.  Fear has not only paralyzed me from progress, but it kept me on a path of self destruction, seeking comfort in the very thing that is sure to seal my fate as childless mother.  Diabetes has been a huge roadblock on our path to parenthood, but I, without truly meaning to, made it be bigger than it should be and I can say now with 100 percent certainty that I’m not ever going to let that happen again.  I have made losing weight a side effect of loving myself with the right foods, finding fun ways to work in exercise, and working on positive thinking.  Stumble as I may I’m on fire now, and finally have REAL hope that it could happen for us.  I’m satisfied that I confronted this fear of mine, and have been taking steps to move forward.


This is the plan for now:  I have a women well check up on 1/6 and a follow up PCP appointment on 1/13 to have my A1c rechecked because I know it will be amazing and our RE will want the most current results, as well as a referral to get things started with our RE, Dr. Reshef.  As of right now I haven’t had a period since 10/5, but recently started having some AF type symptoms.  I’ve been trying not to get too ahead of myself, dreaming about what our next step will be because I don’t want to stir up too much anxiety over it.  For now I’m focusing on Christmas and directly upon arrival home from our Christmas travels I’m going to begin an exciting journey of completely organizing every room of my house while redecorating (freely or cheaply) as well!  Just a little something to keep me busy while we wait!    


I’m so excited!!  Thanks for reading!!




Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Happenings

Well, where do I start?

Rest in Peace, Denise

A few days after my 30th birthday, I found out that my friend Denise had taken her own life.  It was such a shock because this woman was vibrant, hilarious, motivating, and no one knew how badly she was hurting.  What shocked me the most, was knowing that we had been suffering at the same time, with the same thoughts, but she chose to end her life.  Her death was a HUGE wake-up call for me to start seriously fighting my depression.  I'm happy to say I found help I have needed and I'm on the road to recovery!  Depression is no joke, and it breaks my heart that Denise is gone because of hers, her friendship meant a lot to me and it's because of her that the fight in me has been renewed.

Each day gets a little bit better, each visit with friends gets a little bit easier, I have started feeling creative again, planning for the future, redecorating our house, I made a doctors appointment and was able to make it there without having to cancel (either from coworkers being absent or from anxiety).

So here is when the blog starts picking up!  My doctors appoinment went really well!! Officially marked it down in my medical records that I have reduced my weight by 20# since my last visit bringing my total weight loss from my heaviest to 67#.  He ran my A1C & other labs and I'm happy to report improvement in my A1C from a 9.8 to a 7.8.  I was most nervous about this number because I have had such a hard time taking my metformin, but now that I'm etching myself out of my depression and learning a lot about the true meaning of self care I'm happily taking his recommended dose of 1000mg of Metformin and one glyburide a day.  That's it!  At my worst I was prescribed 2 different types of insulin & 2500 the absolute max of metformin you can take a day!

If I recall correctly, Dr. Reshef's requirements to pursue treatment was for me to have an a1c as close to 7 as possible.  Since we are right in the thick of things between Thanksgiving & Christmas I'm not entertaining the idea of any sort of appointment or treatment by him for the remainder of this year, but I have an email in to my doctor about my referral to see Reshef.  I can, at the very least get that ball rolling, secure my referral, and plan my appointment for January if not secure my appointment right now.  I'll continue my way of eating, continue taking my metformin as directed, and my a1c should be even more improved by the time we get in to see Dr. Reshef.



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