Five years ago today we meet our daughter…

Happy … um … day after your Birthday!

Five Years Ago Today … an Abby’s Road anniversary

 

            October 2, 2009. The baby was born the evening before and we were able to go see her that evening.

            Starting at page 145:

            “A plastic baby bed was wheeled into the room. Abigail was lying on it with her head poking out of a white blanket with sea-green, pink and white stripes. She had a thin spread of hair on the top and sides of her head. She had acne on her cheek.

            To me babies either look like Churchill or Gandhi. Abby was firmly in the Churchill camp. She had full lips – puffy lips – and thick cheeks and jowls. She had a round button nose and long eyelashes. Her ears were flat against her head.  Everything looked proportioned – the ears, eyes (or at least her eyelids), mouth and nose were neither too small nor too large for her head. She looked like a baby doll.

            She was so beautiful.

abbys 1st

            The baby bed had clear plastic walls on each side. A pink slip of paper was taped near the top of one wall. It read “Abigail (Valerie’s last name)”. Valerie agreed to call her Abigail from the start. When Abby starts to rebel as a teen and gives us the “You’re not my real parents! Curry isn’t my real last name” treatment, we can at least say her name was always Abigail.

            Esther snuck a photo from her cell phone. I asked the nurse at the station if we could take pictures. I had brought my camera hoping we could. The nurse said, “We usually don’t allow it, but you can take a few. That will be okay.”

            I was a good boy and only took four pictures. The first photo looked like she had snot all over her top lip, but there was a lot of grime and slime on the glass/mesh walls of the nursery as well as the plastic walls of the baby bed. What looked like copious boogers was just goo on the clear plastic wall – a strange experiment in forced perspective. The entire time she slept on her right side. She didn’t move or cry while we were there.

            Esther leaned in front of the window the entire time. She wore her blue cape and stood as still as stone for twenty minutes watching her daughter. I took advantage of the zoom lens to take photos around her. She smiled the entire time. Esther was as beautiful as her baby. Still is.

mommy

            It was time to go. We smiled at Abigail one last time and went through the vault door, into the elevator and out into the cold dark. We went home and posted our photos on Facebook.  Valerie’s attorney called us – at 5:00 the next evening we could take her home…”

***

cover

“Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and how Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped” leads a couple through their days of infertility treatments and adoption. It is told with gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) humor from the perspective of a nerdy father and his loving and understanding wife.

Join Mike and Esther as they go through IUIs and IFVs, as they search for an adoption agency, are selected by a birth mother, prepare their house, prepare their family, prepare themselves and wait for their daughter to be born a thousand miles from home.


Abby’s Road is available at Amazon here: 
http://www.amazon.com/Abbys-Road-Long-Winding-Adoption/product-reviews/0692221530/ref=cm_cr_pr_top_recent?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending


at Barnes and Noble here: 
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/abbys-road-the-long-and-winding-road-to-adoption-and-how-facebook-aquaman-and-theodore-roosevelt-helped-michael-curry/1119971924?ean=9780692221532


and at Smashwords here:
 https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/457270

 

Copyright 2014 Michael Curry

 

 

 

The Waiting is the Hardest Part … actually giving birth is … but …

The Waiting is the Hardest Part – well, I’m pretty sure actually giving birth is harder than waiting, but …

Five Years Ago Today … an Abby’s Road anniversary

 waiting

            October 1, 2009. The baby is due today. We’ve been told that before …

Starting at page 145:

“… Today Valerie will be induced and the baby born. She was scheduled to go into the hospital at 7:00 am.  Except for drive-through in the nearby McDonalds we spent the day in our motel room.

            She will share a birthday with actors Walter Matthau, James Whitmore, Tom Bosley, George Peppard, Julie Andrews, Richard Harris, Rod Carew and St. Louis Cardinal’s Mark McGwire.  It is also the birthday of Randy Quaid, with whom I share a bond. At the time he made news for also running up a $10,000.00 motel bill.

            “What are you mumbling about?” Esther said.

            “I was just thinking, today is Thursday. How does that go?  Monday’s child is full of grace, Tuesday’s child is in your face, Wednesday’s Child had roast beef, Thursday’s child had none, Destiny’s Child sang ‘Bootilicious’… “

            “Sweetie, I think you need to take a nap…”  And so I did.

            Esther posted on Facebook – today was the day. She asked for prayers for an easy and safe delivery. “And fast,” I added, “Don’t forget fast or it will be a three-month delivery! Don’t give God any wiggle room here!”

            “Sweetie, nap.”

            “Yes, my dearest love. Zzzzzz…”

            Esther’s cell phone rang at 11:30. It was Jonathan! Here it is! This is it!

            “There’s been some progress, but the baby hasn’t been born yet.”

            Facebook post at noon: Birthmother still “in labor” – this kid will be born with a driver’s license.

            Facebook post, 1:00 pm: The baby better be born soon: the only thing left to do is a Howard Jones concert this weekend. And I’ll go! GOD HELP ME, I’LL GO!!!

            Facebook post, 2:00 pm: C’mon Abigail, I’m starting to take this personally. I think she’s grabbed hold of an intestine and refuses to come out. {Yank, yank} “No, you can’t make me!!!”

            Esther’s cell phone rang again at 3:00 pm. It was Jonathan! Here it is! This is it!

            Facebook Post, 3:30 pm: Nothing yet! Doctor had a C-section to do (read: tough par three) and will “check in” on birth mother. She’s been given pain meds. Me? None. Esther has been sedated.

            Esther’s Facebook Post, 4:00 pm: At 3:30 the Doctor had not been back in to check – off doing a c-section on another patient. Pains were getting stronger at that time. No word yet. Still waiting…

            And that was the last we heard that day. I got McDonald’s drive-through for dinner and Esther and I waited for news.

            Facebook Post, 10:00 pm: good grief.

            I remembered Mark Twain: “All good things arrive unto them that wait – and don’t die in the meantime.”

            Esther’s Facebook Post, 10:10 pm: No news. Will update when we know more.

            By 10:30 I was ready to go to bed.

            And the evening and the morning were the 13th day…”

***

            (SPOILERS AHEAD)

            I slept through the night; that surprised me. I expected to wake at any noise thinking it was the phone. Esther woke shortly after I did – around eight or so. We were both still lying in bed reading when her cell phone rang at ten.

            It was Jonathan. Here we go again. Valerie was sent home. False alarms, maybe next week.

            Abigail was born on October 1, 2009 at 11:10 pm, seven pounds, fourteen ounces. Twenty and three-fourths inches.

            Our daughter is here!

            My little baby girl is here!

            …

            …

            …

            So now what?

***

The cover of Abby's Road

The cover of Abby’s Road

“Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and how Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped” leads a couple through their days of infertility treatments and adoption. It is told with gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) humor from the perspective of a nerdy father and his loving and understanding wife.

Join Mike and Esther as they go through IUIs and IFVs, as they search for an adoption agency, are selected by a birth mother, prepare their house, prepare their family, prepare themselves and wait for their daughter to be born a thousand miles from home.


Abby’s Road is available at Amazon here: 
http://www.amazon.com/Abbys-Road-Long-Winding-Adoption/product-reviews/0692221530/ref=cm_cr_pr_top_recent?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending


at Barnes and Noble here: 
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/abbys-road-the-long-and-winding-road-to-adoption-and-how-facebook-aquaman-and-theodore-roosevelt-helped-michael-curry/1119971924?ean=9780692221532


and at Smashwords here:
 https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/457270

 backcover

Copyright 2014 Michael Curry

 

 

 

… and how Theodore Roosevelt Helped! A big Abby’s Road anniversary!

gravesite

With all the hubbub of Ken Burns’ Roosevelt documentary on PBS last week this Abby’s Road anniversary is appropriate!

September 23rd is our wedding anniversary. On our honeymoon we stayed at the outskirts of a major eastern US city (Boston) and visited the homeplace and burial site of a major US President (John Adams), the subject of a great book by David McCullough.

Five years ago today, we were awaiting the birth of our soon-to-be adopted daughter, and on our anniverary, we stayed at the outskirts of a major eastern US city (New York) and visited the homeplace and burial site of a major US President (Theodore Roosevelt), the subject of a great book by David McCullough.

September 23rd was the baby’s original due date. “It was meant to be,” we said a lot that summer. So if we were going to be caring for baby we had better see the sites we wanted to see now! The baby wasn’t born that day after all, but we still had a wonderful day together!

From page 120:

sagamore

Sagamore Hill was the home of President Theodore Roosevelt Jr.  He bought the land and built the house in the early 1880s and lived there from 1885 until his death in 1919.

Theodore Roosevelt is that one guy on Mount Rushmore that isn’t on any money.

TR is one of my favorite presidents, if only because his life was so fascinating. If I wrote a novel about a character whose life mirrored Roosevelt’s no one would buy it. He was his own “Mary Sue” character; a pulp character in the vein of Doc Savage. It would not surprise me if someone discovered TR put on a mask and cape at night and fought crime.

He died in his bed in 1919.  Here, at Sagamore Hill.

It’s a beautiful place. The lawn is manicured, sidewalks roll throughout the park; all dominated by the huge blue house. There are also out-buildings, barns, a smokehouse and a small windmill, too; but the house dominates.

We were early and the first tour of the house did not start for 45 more minutes, so we walked the grounds and took pictures.

bricklayers

We sat on a bench and watched the caretakers mow, pick up litter, sticks and leaves; we watched a turkey cautiously walk past. It was a beautiful day – not hot, but warm enough for me to still wear shorts. I savored where I was and Esther and I held hands and basked in each other’s company.

The porch was huge – bigger than most living rooms. TR would use this porch for lectures and speeches. There was plenty of room up here for chairs for other dignitaries. I stood looking beyond to the Long Island Sound; imagining Roosevelt pontificating and banging the podium with his fist.

The words “Qui Plantavit Curabit” were carved and painted in gold over the main entrance. I think it means “bananas are good for you”.

bananas

                The tour began at the side entrance – where they bricklayers were restoring the driveway. We were told not to speak with the bricklayers as they were busy working. We had been talking to them for the past twenty minutes…

… We saw the bedrooms where the children and servants slept. We saw the bed in which TR died. We saw his study; the walls of which were lined with his trophies and memorabilia. Two feet in front of me was a glass case with his Rough Rider uniform. I gazed at it for hours, it seemed.

An elderly gentleman had a hard time climbing the many narrow staircases and asked everyone else to go first. I did not mind and motioned him to go ahead of me – it gave me a chance to look at the many pictures on the wall and the many roped-off rooms while I waited.

Esther was even more enthralled.  She loves old houses and antique furniture. She didn’t want to leave. (She was also the prettiest site I saw that day … or any day!)

prettiest

I’m not that much into old houses and furniture unless there is some historic significance to it.

“Do you want to tour a Queen Anne-style house built in the 1880s?”

“No.”

“Do you want to tour a Queen Anne-style house built in the 1880s that Teddy Roosevelt lived in?”

“Heck, yeah!! Try to keep me away!”

 

***

 

The cover of Abby's Road

The cover of Abby’s Road

“Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and how Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped” leads a couple through their days of infertility treatments and adoption. It is told with gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) humor from the perspective of a nerdy father and his loving and understanding wife.

Join Mike and Esther as they go through IUIs and IFVs, as they search for an adoption agency, are selected by a birth mother, prepare their house, prepare their family, prepare themselves and wait for their daughter to be born a thousand miles from home.


Abby’s Road is available at Amazon here: 
http://www.amazon.com/Abbys-Road-Long-Winding-Adoption/product-reviews/0692221530/ref=cm_cr_pr_top_recent?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending


at Barnes and Noble here: 
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/abbys-road-the-long-and-winding-road-to-adoption-and-how-facebook-aquaman-and-theodore-roosevelt-helped-michael-curry/1119971924?ean=9780692221532


and at Smashwords here:
 https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/457270

Copyright 2014 Michael Curry

 

The cover of Abby's Road

The cover of Abby’s Road

September 21st – another Abby’s Road anniversary!

cover

Five years ago today we thought our baby was being born! From page 116:

“{ring ring}. Esther’s cell phone went off at 3:00 that morning. It could only be one thing.

Jonathan called – he was taking Valerie to the hospital. This was it! Battlestations! Battlestations! We washed and got to the hospital (having already driven the route – you see? smart…) about an hour after the call.

The only part of the hospital open at 4:00 Monday morning was the ER. Esther and I were the only people there. Strike that, we were the only conscious people there. Two men were asleep on the couches. They must have been homeless or visitors or both: they weren’t bleeding and they didn’t seem to be waiting on anyone.

I got impatient and walked to the other rooms. After fifteen minutes a nurse (maybe a nurse, maybe not, but some kind of lady-in-scrubs) finally appeared at the window.  We explained that Valerie checked in some time in the past hour – she was going to have a baby. She made a call and showed us to the elevators. Maternity was on the third floor.

I wonder what ever happened to the two men on the couch.

The waiting area of the maternity ward consisted of a faux-leather loveseat and a large sectional shaped in a right angle. There was a coffee table, lots of out-dated magazines and the omnipresent television on which someone was selling knives.

A few attendants walked through the lobby – we tried to stop as many as we could to let them know we were here for Valerie. They said they would do what they could.

Around 4:30 a man walked into the waiting area. He wore a sweatshirt and sweatpants. He was tall – taller than me and I’m 6’3”.  He was big – well over 300 pounds, maybe 350. He looked like a friend we knew from our old church named John. Thick glasses, salt-and-pepper hair cut short; a beard. A few teeth missing.

It was Jonathan. He asked if we were Esther and Mike and we said yes. He told us Valerie was fine and it was another false contraction. They were getting ready to send her home.

So that meant we should go home too. We thanked Jonathan and took the elevator back to the emergency room and out to our car and to the motel.

We were never supposed to meet the birth parents. I guess we were lucky Valerie wasn’t leaving at that time. “I don’t want to meet the adopting couple; I don’t want to see the baby.” We respected her wishes and wanted to honor them. Valerie must have known we were in the waiting room – some nurse or attendant must have said she had some “friends” out here waiting to hear how she was.

When the doctor or nurse told Valerie it was a false alarm, did she ask an attendant to tell us to go home? Did Jonathan say, “I’ll go tell them. Don’t worry.” Did he describe us to her? Or did she stop him, “I don’t want to know.” That’s silly – we sent her photos so she knew what we looked like. But if you think about it, photos don’t really say much. A thousand words. How can a thousand words really capture someone’s personality?”

***

“Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and how Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped” leads a couple through their days of infertility treatments and adoption. It is told with gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) humor from the perspective of a nerdy father and his loving and understanding wife.

Join Mike and Esther as they go through IUIs and IFVs, as they search for an adoption agency, are selected by a birth mother, prepare their house, prepare their family, prepare themselves and wait for their daughter to be born a thousand miles from home.


Abby’s Road is available at Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Abbys-Road-Long-Winding-Adoption/product-reviews/0692221530/ref=cm_cr_pr_top_recent?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending


at Barnes and Noble here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/abbys-road-the-long-and-winding-road-to-adoption-and-how-facebook-aquaman-and-theodore-roosevelt-helped-michael-curry/1119971924?ean=9780692221532


and at Smashwords here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/457270

Copyright 2014 Michael Curry

September 19th: An Abby’s Road Anniversary!

The cover of Abby's Road

The cover of Abby’s Road

Friday September 19th marks the 5th anniversary of our flying to Long Island New York to await the birth of our daughter. She will likely be born by the time we get settled into our motel room. Where’s that spooky music coming from?
Starting at page 105:
“Airplane travel. All those stand-up comedians are right, you know. How can I add to the litany of complaints made by guys in sport coats in smoky rooms saying, “What’s the deal with flying?”
Get in line to have your luggage irradiated and your anal cavity inspected. Get in line to get your line ticket. Get in line to get in the airplane. Wedge yourself next to a man with pointy elbows and body odor. Drink your shot glass of Coca-cola. Eat the 6 peanuts from the sealed snack bag. Try not to sneeze on the bald head of the guy in front of you whose seat is pushed back to your chest. Wish the guy in back of you who has been talking since he sat down would have a stroke. All while hoping you don’t die ablaze in a corn field.

(Seated in front of us) …were two men in their twenties roaring drunk and talking as if they were sitting in a bowling alley next to the ball return. They discussed baseball, football, hockey, then back to baseball. They asked the stewardess for drink after drink.
By the end of the two-hour flight they sucked the plane’s stock dry. Imagine if this were a movie – each would be played by an obnoxious Vince Vaughn in a split-screen. That comes close. One guy had a voice very much like Vaughn’s from “Wedding
Crashers”.
They had a three-seat row to themselves – no one sat between them. Good lord, who would want to? Maybe they did that on purpose: act as loud and obnoxious as possible and you get a row to yourself.
After an hour they eventually turned into Charlie Brown adults. “Wah-wah, wah wah-wah-wah.” I leaned my head against the window to watch the world pass underneath hoping to drown them out.
It worked somewhat – the trouble was now I could hear the old man behind me.
The Describer.
For the next hour the gentleman behind me described the landscape to (presumably) his wife sitting next to him. Every few seconds a low raspy voice would sound out…
“There’s a bean field.”
“There’s a baseball field.”
“That house has a swimming pool.”
“There’s the Atlantic Ocean.” Ah, that’s what that big blue wobbly thing going to the horizon was …
We both brought paperback books to read for the trip, and Esther managed to read peacefully. I barely managed two pages.
<read read> “wah-wah-wah, wah-wah”
<read read> “that must be the Potomac”
Hell. Hell, I tell you! I was never more eager to get out of a plane. But de-boarding provided no solace. As with any airline trip, the same yahoos sitting around you in the plane also follow you through the gate and onto the terminals.
After two plus hours of boarding and flying I had to use the bathroom. Esther did too, but she said she would wait. She watched the luggage (all carry-on; we checked nothing) while I went to pee. The restroom – the last bastion for peace and quiet for a man.
Or so was the hope, until the Describer walked up to the urinal next to me.
“Urine is going through the urethra; passing the penile tip. I’m urinating now.”
I finished, washed my hands, left the restroom, told Esther it was her turn, sat by my bags and wept…”

 ***

“Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and how Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped” leads a couple through their days of infertility treatments and adoption. It is told with gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) humor from the perspective of a nerdy father and his loving and understanding wife.

Join Mike and Esther as they go through IUIs and IFVs, as they search for an adoption agency, are selected by a birth mother, prepare their house, prepare their family, prepare themselves and wait for their daughter to be born a thousand miles from home.


Abby’s Road is available at Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Abbys-Road-Long-Winding-Adoption/product-reviews/0692221530/ref=cm_cr_pr_top_recent?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending


at Barnes and Noble here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/abbys-road-the-long-and-winding-road-to-adoption-and-how-facebook-aquaman-and-theodore-roosevelt-helped-michael-curry/1119971924?ean=9780692221532


and at Smashwords here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/457270

Copyright 2014 Michael Curry

 

 

What am I writing? An “Abby’s Road” 5th Anniversary Day!

WHAT AM I WRITING? An “Abby’s Road” Anniversary!

The cover of Abby's Road

The cover of Abby’s Road

September and October are big months for our family. And since this year marks the fifth anniversary of most of the events of “Abby’s Road”, celebrate with us as I post the fifth anniversary of book events as they occur! I hope you enjoy the posts over the next month and enjoy reading (or re-reading) it in the book!


Today is the 5th anniversary of the events starting on page 99 of “Abby’s Road…”. 

              “On Tuesday September 8th we received a call from Cary.  Valerie was having stomach pains.

                Def Con 2! Homeland Security Threat Level Mauve! Red Alert! Red Alert! Ah-oooga! Ah-oooga!

                Stop! It’s only the 8th; the baby isn’t due until the 23rd. What gives?

                It is possible, even likely, that Valerie will have the baby early. Why? A secretary told me her theory: I’ll sound like a complete mysogynist but it was her theory, not mine. Let me put this nicely –this is Valerie’s third baby. The trail has already been blazed, so to speak. Abigail will be boldly going where other babies have gone before. The tubing has been loosened a bit. Get it? Whether that has any medical merit I have no idea and I am sure I will be corrected if wrong.

                But we have to be ready in case the baby is born over the weekend. By now we had websites bookmarked and knew exactly what we needed to do. If the baby was born in the next few days we could fly out of St. Louis via Southwest on Saturday the 12th. The cost was fair even at this short notice. We could reserve a car with a baby seat at the airport. We picked an Extended Stay motel in Bethpage – it was nearest the hospital and had a kitchenette and two queen-size beds. For the trip home we could take Amtrak on the weekend of the 20th.  I preferred the New York-Chicago route with a bedroom, but another route – New York-Washington-Chicago was also available. Then the train from Chicago to St. Louis (a five-hour layover).

                We would be home by our wedding anniversary!

                An obstacle appeared that evening when we checked availabilities. I should have realized it would be impossible to make reservations at a motel in New York over a September 11th weekend. Uh-oh.

                Where will we stay until Monday or Tuesday when the weekend is over? In the hospital? Will Valerie and her parents put us up? Doubtful. There’s no point in going until we can secure a place to stay – the baby could be four days to a week old by the time we get there. Will she still be in the hospital? A foster home? Our little girl being held by perfect strangers? Wait, we’re foster parents. Our little girl being held by people like us? I’m going to be sick! Again!

                There were no close friends or relatives anywhere nearby. My Aunt Iris did have some distant cousins in that part of Long Island. If she were still alive our problems would have been solved. “I have a cousin still living there. You’re going to stay with his son’s family in the pool house.”  At the airport we’d have been met by a small shivering man holding a sign saying “Curry”.

                “We thank you for your hospitality,” we would say, “but you don’t have to put us up, we can get a motel room.”

                “No, stay with us. You don’t understand. Do you know what will happen to me, to all of us, if Iris finds out you stayed in a motel? Oy vey iz mir …”


Luckily, we learned it was a false alarm before we could head to the Big Apple. We would not be so lucky in the next few weeks!

***


“Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and how Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped” leads a couple through their days of infertility treatments and adoption. It is told with gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) humor from the perspective of a nerdy father and his loving and understanding wife.

Join Mike and Esther as they go through IUIs and IFVs, as they search for an adoption agency, are selected by a birth mother, prepare their house, prepare their family, prepare themselves and wait for their daughter to be born a thousand miles from home.


Abby’s Road is available at Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Abbys-Road-Long-Winding-Adoption/product-reviews/0692221530/ref=cm_cr_pr_top_recent?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending


at Barnes and Noble here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/abbys-road-the-long-and-winding-road-to-adoption-and-how-facebook-aquaman-and-theodore-roosevelt-helped-michael-curry/1119971924?ean=9780692221532


and at Smashwords here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/457270

Copyright 2014 Michael Curry

 

Abby’s Road paperback is available at Amazon!

Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption; and How Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped is now available in paperback from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Abbys-Road-Long-Winding-Adoption/dp/0692221530/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406426653&sr=1-6&keywords=abby%27s+road

 

frontcover

It’s the story of my wife and my experiences with infertility treatment and the legal and emotional red tape of adoption. SPOILER: it ends happily!

backcover

I hope you enjoy it!

Michael G Curry

Abby’s Road available as a Nook book!

What  way to celebrate my 100th post!!

Good news! My book, “Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption, and How Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped!” is now available for your Nook at Barnes & Noble! Hoo-rah!!

frontcover

 

 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/abbys-road-the-long-and-winding-road-to-adoption-and-how-facebook-aquaman-and-theodore-roosevelt-helped-michael-curry/1119971924?ean=2940045637930

 

Diabolical Diabetes, Part One

Diabolical Diabetes Part One

chocolate

            Let’s talk about my fight with diabetes. Here’s how it came about.

The next few pages are excerpted and edited for content from my upcoming book, Abby’s Road; the Long and Winding Road to Adoption, and How Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped available at i-tunes and next week at Barnes & Noble for your Nook. It will be available for Kindle and as a paperback by August 1st.

***

Both my grandmothers had diabetes and my mother was probably on the cusp of it in the years before she died. So I was a good candidate.

I was diagnosed with diabetes while my wife and I were trying to have a child through infertility treatments.

We were not having much luck with the intrauterine inseminations and the in-vitro fertilizations, so my wife and I both had our tunnels checked, if you know what I mean. She had fibroids, which out-patient surgery resolved.

I had some blockage in my passageways, too. Not enough to be dangerous, but enough to affect the amount and quality of sperm getting through. Clearing this up would help my sperm count and their motility. The more unweary the soldiers, the better chance the fertilized eggs would develop and grow. Then the IVF would “take”. I didn’t like the idea of surgery, but if Esther could do it, I could too.

Some weeks later I went to a St. Louis hospital for my pre-operation work. I sat in a small room where I was poked and prodded by an otherwise friendly nurse. In the course of the 12-point inspection she said, “Your blood sugar is very high.”

“Oh,” I said.

“We can’t do the operation while your blood sugar is this high.”

“No?” I said. She couldn’t explain to my satisfaction why not (of course to be fair, I was not in a very understanding mood) – an operation is an operation. If I had appendicitis or were in a car crash and needed surgery I doubt the doctor would shout out, “Hold on! This guy’s blood sugar is too high, nothing we can do! Call the widow – er – the wife!”

But Nurse Ratchet was unmovable. So, I have to lower my blood sugar to have the operation to clear out the tunnels to allow more active sperm to end up in the cup to be washed and inseminated into my wife so that we may have a litter of kids. OK, fine. I’ll do it.

Esther’s blood doctor is near Carbondale, a university town in southern Illinois. We made an appointment with him and I was again poked, pricked and prodded.

I had diabetes. All those years of savoring M&Ms had come home to roost.

I don’t do shots; I cannot do shots. I couldn’t give Esther her shots and I certainly wasn’t going to give myself shots.

Fortunately, my new doctor said, my diabetes could be controlled with pills.

Pills? Pills I can do. As long as there are no shots involved, I could take enough pills to choke Elvis.

And I was given enough pills to do just that. Metformin and Glipizide for the blood sugar, but those would raise my cholesterol; so another prescription to lower my cholesterol. Plus an aspirin regimen to thin the blood – blood clots may become an issue. Plus, I still took the vitamins and supplements from the beginning of this quest.

Then came the diet. My beloved M&Ms were out. So were raisins. We cut back on anything with enriched flour (white bread). This I didn’t mind. I like my bread dark. Really dark. So dark it absorbs the light from the refrigerator (and I always keep bread in the refrigerator…). But even then very little bread. I can still eat my fish and chicken slathered in hot sauce – just not as a sandwich. I can accept that.

Most pasta was out – spaghetti, ziti, lo mein, SpaghettiOs.

No. Absolutely not. I may go blind, I may lose all feeling in my feet, the hair may drop off my legs, but I will not abandon that neat round spaghetti you can eat with a spoon. I will not let go of my childhood friend. I ate a can a day as a youngster; well, it seemed like it.

We compromised and allowed SpaghettiOs in moderation – and I would eat the kind with meatballs or franks for the protein. As I understand it, the protein counters the starch. Hey, I may be wrong, I’m a lawyer not a doctor, and my world had turned upside down; cut me some slack…

So O’s once every few weeks as a snack. Weeks later I realized I had not eaten any at all. If they had not mentioned pasta, I probably would not have noticed I hardly ate O’s anymore. I guess it was the principle – wanting to have some kind of control or to be able to rebel at some part of this process.

Peanut butter was okay (in moderation) and nuts were fine, too.

I went to a free dietary class for diabetics at the hospital. Unfortunately I was the only one there. Ick, I was hoping to be a face in the crowd; now I am in for a one-on-one conversation. The fellow who taught the class was very nice and had plenty of visual aids – lots of plastic food. We discussed what was good to eat – “vegetables are free,’ he said.

“Tell that to the security guard at the grocery store,” said I.

“No, that means you can eat as many vegetables as you want…” said he.

“Ah!” said I. “That’s great!  I could eat potatoes and corn all day!”

“…except potatoes and corn,” said he.

He meant green vegetables – broccoli, Brussels sprouts, celery. Well, all right – I can eat those, too. That’s why God made Velveeta, butter and peanut butter respectively…

I was missing the point of all this.

He brought out a brown rectangular piece of plastic and put it on the table in front of me. “This is one serving of meat. It’s about the size of a deck of cards.”

A serving of meat? That’s a serving of meat? That’s a forkful of meat. I find bigger pieces of meat when I floss.

I also got back on the treadmill. I had been using it off and on for years but I was determined to exhaust and sweat down my blood sugar. I hated it. I much prefer a brisk walk outside, but I would only have a short amount of time to walk in the evenings when I get home before bed. Plus I am not an outdoor guy. There is about a two-week window in the spring and fall when the weather is neither too hot nor too cold to run outside. And it would be embarrassing and humiliating, let’s be honest. I’m not exactly the athletic type. Neighbors would see me out there and laugh. I should know – I laugh at them. Old men would pass me, so would children on tricycles. No, best to keep my dignity by staying inside.

I got up a half-hour earlier in the morning to go to the basement and … um … treaded.

It did the trick – running in place while munching rabbit food, nibbling on the one serving of meat dangling off my fork and taking so many pills Judy Garland would be jealous – and my blood sugar was down from the six hundreds to double digits.

 

But all things must pass… The Carbondale doctor stopped taking my insurance and I found another in Mount Vernon, where I live, who was a bit … um … lax. He would renew my medication but otherwise wouldn’t care too much. He has that reputation.

Fine by me.

Slowly sweets would creep back into my diet. I was eating a cookie or two just before bed.

After a few years that doctor stopped taking my insurance, too. I had switched jobs and had different insurance – both sucked. Insurance coverage, not the job.

I found yet another new doctor. She is very nice and I enjoy visiting: the place is clean, not crowded and I can get in quickly. But she put the fear of blood sugar back into me. I am turning 50 this year and, she said, if I don’t get my diabetes under control the next ten years will see my kidneys and other organs start to break down. I already admit to having not much feeling in my feet and have lost a lot of hair down there – a result of constricting blood vessels.

More importantly, I now have a daughter I would like to see graduate high school. So I agreed.

The new doctor renewed my medication – gave me instructions on when specifically to take them (my Metformin before I eat, not at bedtime, for example) and recommended I read a book.

A book? Me read a book? Mwah-hah-hah! That’s one of my favorite activities. I can read a book with my eyes closed!

The results were stunning…

 

To Be Continued

         Copyright 2014 Michael Curry

 

Abby’s Road available as an ebook!

Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption is now available as an ebook at the Smashwords store! Unfortunately, it will be 24 hours or so until it is available on Barnes & Noble and Apple books. Kindle and paperback through Amazon will still be a few weeks – although Smashwords DOES have a Kindle button … hmmm … In the meantime, download a sample and enjoy it while you wait for your preferred format! Thanks everyone for their encouragement and support. I hope you enjoy it!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/457270

frontcover

Abby’s Road leads a couple through their days of infertility treatments and adoption. It is told with gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) humor from the perspective of a nerdy father and his loving and understanding wife.  Join Mike and Esther as they go through IUIs and IFVs, as they search for an adoption agency, are selected by a birth mother, prepare their house, prepare their family, prepare themselves and then wait for their daughter to be born a thousand miles from home.

backcover

“Once upon a time, there was a mommy and a daddy who loved each other very much. And they wanted to have a baby of their very own, but they couldn’t even though they tried and they tried.

“So they decided to adopt a baby. They talked to some very nice people who help mommies and daddies like them.

“And they met a very nice man and woman named Valerie and David who were having a baby but couldn’t be the baby’s mommy and daddy. So they picked Mommy and Daddy to be their baby’s mommy and daddy.

“So when it came time for the baby to be born, the mommy and daddy took a long plane ride to Long Island, New York where they waited and waited, and they waited and waited, and they waited and waited until finally the baby was born.

“The next day they went to the hospital to see the baby, but they couldn’t hold her. They could only look at her through the nursery window lying in her teeny tiny little baby bed. But the day after that they got to go back.

“They got to hold the baby. They got to dress the baby. They got to name the baby Abigail, put her in a car seat, put her in the car and take her back to the hotel where they were staying.

“And after a few more days they took a long train ride home where they lived happily ever after.  The End.”

Thanks everyone for their encouragement and support. I hope you enjoy it!

Copyright 2014 Michael Curry