When I first started writing this blog I decided that I was going to be as open and honest as I could be. I’d been in denial about the long term emotional and physical effects of infertility for long enough. Now I was going to connect with my feelings and tell it “how it is”. I’ve written a few blogs so far which have been fairly hard hitting and raw. I’ve talked about how infertility and endometriosis has ruined our sex life. I’ve shared with you my thoughts about the insensitive comments that people say with regards to infertility. I’ve had my mini-rant about the prevalence of Pronatalism and how that creates a feeling of isolation and exclusion. Actually at about 1700 words, let’s call it what it was: I had a rant!
Now it’s time to be honest about how I’ve been feeling for the last 10 days. Here goes ….. I’ve been feeling c***! The exhaustion I’ve felt since I got back home is like nothing I’ve ever felt in my entire life. It’s been a huge struggle to get out of bed. Except that it hasn’t, it’s been a blessing because my back and hip have been so painful, getting out of bed is a relief. The exhaustion has been so great that my whole body has been tingling, almost quivering, because the muscles can’t cope with what they’ve been asked to do. Yet all I’m asking for is the ability to stand up, walk down stairs to the kitchen, put the kettle on and then sit down. Hardly a marathon. If I stand up for five minutes my back is in bits unless I walk around during those five minutes. If I walk around too much my hip hurts. Facebook kindly reminded me two days ago of a photo I posted 12 short months ago. Bailey and I had set ourselves a walking challenge during May 2015 to walk 100 miles within the month: we actually walked 140miles. May 2016 and I don’t think I’ve managed 10 miles for the whole 31 days: OMG that is SOOOO depressing. Something HAS to change.
Infertility, Endo and June 2016
Actually the changes started about four days again and I’m already seeing some improvements. Firstly, I’m now taking sleeping tablets: only half a tablet each night as I hate the “medication hangover” that they give me. Now I wake up and feel totally exhausted rather that totally AND utterly exhausted. YEAH Improvement! I know that it’s not a long term solution: however, it’s the best that we can do at the moment and it gives my body a bit of respite. Get myself to a stage where the exhaustion isn’t totally consuming and then we can look at some long term solutions. The trouble is that one of my major symptoms of endo has always been exhaustion. Added to that the tablets I’m on for high blood pressure cause tiredness and sleep problems in some people. Symptoms are more prevalent in patients taking NSAIDs which I take for me knee inflammation. Chronic pain, which I am in from the frozen pelvis and damaged hip, also caused fatigue due to the sleep disruption caused by the pain. So not only do I have a double whammy I’ve got a triple one.
So that’s the plan of action for the sleeping problems, what about my back and hip? Well I’m about to start doing some very gentle exercises to strengthen my back muscles again and increase my flexibility. I’m going to take it very easy to begin with to see how they make me feel. I’m also going to fish out my swimming costume and go once a week to the local pool. However, I have to be so careful doing that though because I am a bit of a mermaid. I LOVE being in the water and swimming. Unfortunately, as soon as I cover those first delicious few meters underwater my mind heaves a huge sigh of relief and goes YYYYEEEESSSSSS swimming again. It then thinks I should be able to do the mile or more that I could do when I was at my peak of fitness and swimming three or four times a week. I am going to have to be SOOOOO strict with myself and NO MATTER how GREAT it feels limit myself to just a few lengths: I can always go and relax in the “little” pool where they do the exercise classes.
Infertility, Endo and Eating More Healthily
I have to confess that when things get tough I tend to reach for the comfort food. Now for me that doesn’t always mean chocolate and crisps etc. I also include nursery food in there, so peanut butter on toast, sausage and mash, rice pudding plus curry, risotto and cold meals such as cheese, pate and chorizo. This has certainly happened over the last few months: actually since I got back, again totally exhausted, from Who Do You Think You Are? Live at the beginning of April. The situation’s not been helped by the fact that the weather has been very hit and miss to put it mildly. There have been a few really beautiful days when a lovely light salad and a bowl of natural yoghurt to follow has been all I’ve wanted. However, for a large percentage of the time the weather has been BLEH! For the last five days it hasn’t stopped raining for more than about half an hour and by rain most of the time it’s been coming in sideways from all four sides at once. Cold (ish), wet, grey and miserable: when you’re feeling fragile not the type of weather to inspire a salad no matter what interesting “bits” you put into it! So it’s been back to the comfort food with a vengeance which has piled on the KGs, which isn’t great for the back and hip.
Infertility, Endo and Taking Control of the Bits that I can
So time to take control over what I eat rather than letting what I eat control me. I don’t have to cut out all the yummy stuff, because that’s probably too much of a severe change especially when coping with everything else. However, limit the treats so that they are TREATS again not a daily food group and also implement portion control again. Little changes to start with so that we start to hardwire the healthier eating options again rather than big shock to the system only to give up again after a week. Finally keep our fingers, toes, tails, whiskers, noses and paws crossed that summer will arrive SOON, because I really do love salad when the weather’s warmer.
Infertility, Endo and Positivity
The negativity for the majority of this blog may have surprised some of you. I’m generally speaking a very positive person and I’ve always endeavoured to keep the content of this blog very positive. I’m all about moving forward, accepting infertility and redefining dreams to create that purposeful live without children. You can’t do that if you wallow in negativity and self-pity for too long. However, I also believe that it is SO important to acknowledge our negative thoughts and feelings when they do arise. People often jump on you from a great height if you dare to mention something negative. “oh you mustn’t say that: remember the power of positive thinking and the law of attraction!” Yet you’ve got to get the balance right. If you ignore the negative thoughts TOTALLY and FOREVER, you run the risk of supressing emotions etc… that shouldn’t be supressed.
Infertility, Endo and a bit of Business Analysis!
I used to be a Business Analyst Trainer and one of the topics I covered was about getting to the root cause of a problem: if you don’t fully understand the root cause of the problem you aren’t going to implement the correct solution. To explain the concept, I would ask my delegates what advice (aka solution) would they give because I had a terrible headache (aka the problem). The immediate response was normally “Take a painkiller”. I’d then get the delegates to ask me as many questions as possible to find out the root cause of the headaches. After each answer they could change the advice they gave me if they felt this was necessary. Normally these changes usually included “drink more water”, “relax”, “get a new job” until someone suggested “get your eyes tested”. Finally, someone was approaching the root cause of the headache: my job role had recently changed so I was using a computer for longer periods of time and I needed to wear glasses when looking at the computer screen. That original advice (solution) of taking a painkiller was treating the symptoms and not the cause of the symptoms. For me you HAVE to acknowledge and explore the negativity you experience in order to understand it and then find the correct type of positive solution that will actually work.
If you think about it that’s exactly what I’ve done here. I’ve acknowledge that life’s been c*** recently. I’ve analysed what’s been going on to work out why it’s been like that. I then thought of all the possible solutions before exploring their merits. I’ve identified potential trouble spots and made “tweaks” where necessary to ensure that the positive energy I put into making changes over the coming weeks will have the most beneficial effect.
Time to be honest again
When I started writing this blog I really had no idea where it was going. I thought it might have been very short. I thought I might have made my excuses for not writing anything thought provoking and shared one of the new poems I’d written to boost the word count. I thought I was going to, basically duck out of writing anything constructive because I didn’t feel up to it: the spoons are almost gone for the day. What I never expected was that I would end up writing about a business analysis technique and how it’s relevant to accepting infertility. However, as I was writing I thought “do you know what this IS relevant”. We need to understand the bad times because otherwise how can we learn what triggers them? The more knowledge we have about the triggers, and their consequences, the better prepared we are. The better prepared, the better able we are to cope. Understanding the problem properly will help us to find the correct solution and then we can work through the bad times faster and more effectively. Now if I didn’t realise the relevance of business analysis to infertility I bet you didn’t either! Come on now …. be honest!