there is purpose in this season

she hates me

A portrait at 34 with a very grumpy cat

Hello.  Hope everyone had a lovely holiday!  I turned 34 the day after Thanksgiving.  To be honest, I’ve never thought much about being 34.  I can barely remember how old I am on a daily basis and 34 is just one of those ages that just doesn’t seem as flashy as 35.  At the end of the day, I still feel like I am 17 years old and have no idea what the hee-haw I am doing :).

It is always nice to spend a few moments to reflect on the past year.  Not to dwell on the “what ifs” and “if onlys”, but to find gratitude in all the year’s blessings.  This year has had an abundance of wonderful things from simple and sweet moments to big, life changing decisions.

Let’s see where this next year takes me.  Perhaps I will find fame and fortune or maybe I’ll just continue trying to live a quiet and meaningful life in the craziness of sweaty, South Florida!

Health Update:

When I started working on my weight loss, I had a goal of losing 30 pounds by my birthday and  I was close- 25 pounds!  And you know what?  I am so happy at my accomplishment I don’t even care that I was 5 pounds away.  I am already planning for my next health goal, but for now am finding some much needed rest in my mind and body as I practice my new habits and decision making.  Time and time again I keep telling myself that this is not a race and to give myself a good solid year to reach my final goals.

My surgery and weight loss made me much more prepared for some fertility assistance.  We started our first round of clomid and will know if it was successful very soon.  In other news, I am absolutely despising my other medication that is giving me a “period”.  Although I only take it for 7 days, the last 3 months I have noticed a drastic shift in my mood for that week.  My anxiety triples and I feel sad and low.   After these next rounds of clomid I will seek another option because no one has time to have their mind messed up with medication.  I am also hopeful that as I continue to reach a healthy weight my hormones will do their thang and begin to regulate things.

Life is good and no matter the outcome of these next cycles and I am falling back to this mantra:

“There is purpose in this season”

Self Portrait 34 bw

Next Steps

Hello there!  I’ve been spending the last week with my nephews and oldest sister who came to visit from Colorado!  We had such a great time and I feel so thankful that I was able to take the whole week off from work and recharge with my family.  And nothing beats the view of those turquoise and blue waters to bring you back to the present moment.

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Last week I had a follow-up with my doctor.  We discussed how my progress was going on my new medication (induces a false period) which has been going just fine (minus the fact that I am still not used to having a period every 28 days!).  As we all know, having a period does not mean ovulation and my doctor does not think that I am ovulating on my own.  She was super glad to know I had been losing weight and reminded me that any weight loss can get those hormones to work better (down 21.5 pounds- yay!).

So what’s the next step?  3 rounds of Clomid.  I’m kind of nervous.  I am doing my very best to feel optimistic and be at peace with the process.  I’ll start the first round in a few weeks and if none of the cycles work, my doctor would recommend that we see a specialist.  Not sure if this will be a route we take, but I am trying not to spend too much energy even thinking about.

I’ve spent years thinking about this point.  I had of course hoped that a sweet baby would come naturally.  I’ve had dear friends go through fertility treatment and assistance and I have witnessed the challenging ups and downs that come with that.  My mom gave me some valuable advice the other day– to make sure that I only start this process when I am sure I have the strength to handle whatever the outcome may be.  I know I can’t be fully prepared for the future, but I am feeling ready for this next step.

Hope everyone is having a relaxing weekend!

15 down

rainbow mat.jpgHello. A health update here: I have officially lost 15 pounds (well 16.5 to be exact)!!  I felt like that was a pretty good milestone to celebrate– Woohoo!  The past 7 1/2 weeks have been a caa-razy rollercoaster of emotions but I am super excited for the progress I have made.  Yaaaay me!  I am halfway to my goal!

Weight loss is a difficult one, and sometimes I think the frustrations over the years have been felt more by those who love me the most.  From an outside perspective you just want to slap the person and say, “HEY! It’s not that hard to eat more vegetables!” But it isn’t that easy.  For me, it is just as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one.  I don’t really know why my brain got funny about food, but I can pinpoint it to when I moved to Florida.   I got caught in a downward cycle of doom and brain blocks and excuses:  I’m tired because I’m overweight.  I’m overweight because I am just too tired.  I hate salad. I’m always going to be overweight because I have PCOS.  I should just love me as I am.  I just don’t think I can do it.

Part of the health program I am on encourages interacting with others within the online community.  It’s especially exciting is to hear what everyone’s NSVs are– Non Scale Victories.  It’s a good exercise to help focus on your mental and physical health and other accomplishments that are not defined by the scale.

Here are mine:

  1. I can finally wear both my wedding and engagement rings!
  2. I sleep so much more soundly
  3. I do not have to use a safety pin to help close the gap on my button down shirts so no one gets an accidental peekaboo
  4. My skin is healthier
  5. Headaches and stomaches have significantly decreased
  6. I have not binged eaten in 7 1/2 weeks!
  7. I feel more confident in my clothes
  8. I do not crave sugar
  9. My energy has increased significantly
  10. I actually like zoodles (but do not like cauliflower in any shape or form (sorry hipsters))

There are still days I don’t want to keep going.  It takes a lot of work to change habits and sometimes it becomes overwhelming and you want to give up.  Not every day is going to be filled with perfect decisions but I am learning to arm myself with the right knowledge, confidence, and energy to always persist.  If getting my weight back on track will help my broken hormones then I have to persevere.

Postop

I had my hysteroscopy and D&C this past week.  The surgery went well and I will have my postop appointment with my OBGYN next week to make sure everything is healing properly and get the lab results of my polyps.  We’ve already spoken about some possible medications for me to start taking to help my uterine wall not build up like the Great Wall of China and give me a regular period (!).

I knew this wasn’t heart surgery, but the anticipation build up was giving me restless sleeps.  I was very proud of myself the night before as I worked hard to address my anxiety and stay calm.  I really believe the support and love from my family and friends, plus exercising my mind to be in the present moment, helped tremendously with me staying focused on reality.

I had to be at the hospital at 5:30am and by 5:45 I was assigned to my bed and the sweetest nurse Judy.  Because I was a surgical newbie she was careful to explain everything to me and made me feel calm.  By 7:30 my doctor had arrived in cheerful spirits and I had already met my OR nurses and anesthesiologist.  I kissed Bobby good-bye and all I remember is being wheeled down the hall into the OR.  That’s it.  How crazy!

I woke up with my postop nurse telling me I did great and my calves getting massaged by these cool compression wraps they put on me prior to surgery.  Bobby was summoned from the waiting room, I drank some juice, ate a 1/4 of a graham cracker and by 11am I was being wheeled out to the car.  I am truly grateful for the amazing care the hospital gave me.  My only experience with hospitals thus far was being a candy-striper for several years in high school and watching Grey’s Anatomy–both obviously reliable and up to date sources of information.

postop snuggles

Postop snuggles

My recovery has been just fine.  Some discomfort, light bleeding, cramps and tiredness for several days as the anesthesia has worn off.  Bobby has been wonderful and put up with my demands for ginger ale, back rubs, and a mild case of the grumpies.  Overall, I’m feeling on the mend and am starting to feel eager to focus on my health and healing.  I took the rest of the week off from work to heal, rest, and work through some things in my head.  My path ahead won’t be easy.  Infertility is not even the most difficult obstacle I face.  It is learning to care for my body the way it deserves to be cared for and minimize symptoms that have controlled my life for far too long.

My Uterus is Kind of Broken

*If you’re uncomfortable with knowing about my reproductive health, skip on by 🙂

The first sign that something wasn’t right was just before Christmas.  My always abnormal period (thank you PCOS) was even more abnormal.  My period lasted for over 20 days and with it came some atypical symptoms.  I chalked it up to my Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and thought my body would probably just work it out.

My next period came and went, lasting the typical 15 days (don’t be jealous).

But then it wasn’t normal again.  Another long and very heavy period lasting 37 days.  Can we just chat honestly for a second about what that is like?  Uncomfortable, inconvenient, and frustrating.  I was so angry at my body.  I had to deal with daily headaches, bloating, going through 2 1/2 giant boxes of tampons, and many, many tears for 3 7  d a y s.  I was like a sanitary product hoarder– always keeping them in my pant pockets, desk drawers, purse, and car.  I would even stick them inside my lunch box because I could never be too far away from one.  Let’s just say this is not ideal for an office environment where you sometimes get caught in 3 hour meetings.

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And the tiredness.  Not just a sleepy feeling from a long day at work.  A heavy and almost debilitating tiredness that knocked me on my hiney.  I could start to feel my work suffering and the strain on my relationships.  After much urging from my family, I headed to my OBGYN.  Blood work and two ultrasounds later I was diagnosed with anemia, uterine polyps and a too thick uterine wall–on top of my PCOS.

The treatment, besides some good ol’ fashion iron, is a D&C (dilation and curettage) to remove the polyps and basically clean everything out.

I’m feeling nervous.  I’ve never been in a hospital before as a patient and I don’t like the idea of receiving general anesthesia.  But I’m also feeling optimistic.  Currently I have three strikes against everything working properly.  The ultimate goal here is to have a healthy, functioning body. I know so many have been on their own infertility journeys and the highs and lows are no joke.  Bobby and I would love to have a baby, and after 6 years, we are hopeful this will be a step in the right direction.

Anyone else gone through a D&C for polyp removal?  Any advice for recovery would be most welcome!