While I've been busy obsessing over my diagnoses, past, present, and putative (perhaps a new slogan: infelix hodie, heri, et semper), other interesting things have been happening in my house. My husband has been smoking around a pack a day on average since he was fifteen. That will very soon be twenty years. I've already told him I've picked out my second husband, but even before the lung cancer gets him (sorry to be blase, but these are his decisions, not mine, and heaven knows I nag enough), of course this has potential implications for infertility.
The SA is on Monday, and I've been largely overlooking the fact that in the last week or two he has been gearing up the smoking reduction that he started, in a smaller way, during Lent. In the past week, he's cut down to 1-3 cigarettes a day. I am always cautiously (if at all) supportive of such plans, because I know if you're merely cutting down, one bad day means five, and then ten, and then twenty again, and weeks of hard work (to say nothing of months of dragging his feet before he tries it) can be squandered in an hour. Also, it's another weekend, and he has never, ever gotten together with his guy friends and not chain-smoked for at least four hours. Never ever. He had actually quit for about four days last year (the only time since I've known him that he has ACTUALLY quit) and came down to DC (while we were living in MI) to interview and I asked him whether he was going to tell everyone he had quit when he saw them. He said no. I got angry right then, because the next steps were then written in stone: he got down here, he went out with his buddies, he mentioned he didn't have any cigarettes, one of them bought him a pack, and he finished it that same night.
Anyway, right now, he's on a general health kick - when he wakes up in the morning, if he wants a cigarette, he goes running instead. (Actually, he goes running several times a day, albeit not very far. I am a slug by comparison.) Part of his motivation has been to lose his tummy. One of his guy friends - who quit smoking several years ago, is about the DH's age (middle thirties), and is in fantastic shape (works out, did a triathalon) - has undertaken a campaign of benevolent harassment, all on his own. He waits until I or other guy friends are there as an audience, and then tells my husband that he's out of shape, eats terribly, and he's afraid for his health. And that he looks awful. Apparently, this has had an enormously salutary effect - I guess men and women react to things very differently. (Who knew?)
So my DH has been running several times a day, smoking far fewer cigarettes, reading The Easy Way to Quit Smoking (I am very optimistic that this will actually help - I know others who have had good results), using a punching bag he got as to work out with, and insisting I buy vegetable juice for him to drink. (I won't touch that garbage, but he has really been drinking it.) He also noted, however, that an unconscious part of his motivation might be that he wants to be favorably evaluated on Sperm Day.
I have thought about how this will work. I assume, without having any results yet, that the results will be sub-standard but not incurable - because I think he's probably basically healthy but that years and years of smoking must have taken a toll. So, I figure that a "you can improve this, but you'll need to" diagnosis will indicate that his efforts to date have had an effect (no despondency), but can't be allowed to lapse. See how I convince myself that it will all work out. Because I really, really want him to quit smoking. And getting in shape generally would be a great perk (bonus if I get in shape too. We could be a hot infertile couple. Why not?).
Here's the amusing side effect (oh, plus TMI): as we learned last year when he briefly quit (and cut back on another occasion), both lots of exercise and cutting back on cigarettes enormously increase his sex drive. This is particularly interesting because that means adjusting things from him propositioning me once a week (and more often, me propositioning him) to daily or every other day. It's not like he's calling me at lunch or something. So, what I mean is, I think this level of interest is actually probably healthy - it's the level when he is smoking that's unhealthy, though that's what we're used to. All this is good, because, as I've explained to him, once I get on medication, we're going to have to start the Sexual Marathon every month. I don't want to go in for my evaluation after a few months of tamoxifen and ask for a new treatment and have my RE look at my charts and say, "Were you even trying?" 'Cause that would just be embarassing.
Oh, one other amusing TMI-related note: I almost didn't schedule the SA for Monday, because my RE says to abstain for four days beforehand, and of course that's the whole weekend. Oh, including my fertile phase (well, you know what I mean). So this happily married, never-contracepting infertile couple will be spending the weekend sexually frustrated.
Hope y'all are having a good one...I think maybe I'll go shopping. (I bought the panties yesterday.)