Health Odyssey

leaves

Hello.

Whew.  What a week it has been.  I can’t recall the last time a week has pushed me to my mental limits.  But it is a beautiful Sunday morning and I am thankful for a new week!

Aurelia and I are just basking in the morning light.  The tiniest snoring noises and fluttering purrs are coming from her as she takes her 2nd morning nap.  With fresh brewed coffee in my favorite vintage mug I am working on my grocery list for the week.  PS–Why does it take me an hour to make a grocery list?

This past week I also began a serious change in my diet.  I recently reconnected with a childhood friend who does health coaching on the side.  My twin sister- who hears my daily woes and excuses of my lack of good health- urged me to reach out to her.  After my surgery I knew that I needed to pull up my boot straps and start making some solid, long term decisions that would have a positive impact on my health.  I don’t want to be that person anymore that just complains and does nothing about it—so I’m doing something about it!

I’m really excited.  Like, super duper excited!  I’m on day 5 of a completely new way of eating.  I’m drinking 80 ounces of water compared to my previous 8 ounces I used to consume.  I’m eating 6 times a day and ingesting lots of vegetables and protein.  I’m retraining my brain to understand what my body needs and that food is fuel.  I’m on day 5 of no pasta and I actually don’t feel too sad about it!  My body was in detox mode the first several days and there were moments of wanting to give up, but I just took it one minute at a time.  Friday I came home from work with a splitting headache, achy body, and a mood that compared only to an irritable dragon.  But today I am feeling great!

I was thinking the other day about the word journey.  H E A L T H  J O U R N E Y.  I don’t know why, but suddenly I don’t like using that word to describe what I’m doing.  I think its because it makes it seem too easy, like its going to be this blissful, sun-drenched, paved road ahead–frolicking down a path with a basket full of perfectly ripe peaches and shiny green vegetables and positive encouragement from all of my woodland friends.  But the reality is that this is tough.  I’ve let my PCOS symptoms dictate my life.  I’ve developed 10 years worth of bad habits that are so ingrained in me it makes me worried to think I won’t be able to break them.  I have become so comfortable with my discomfort that the idea of transforming is terrifying.  But I’ve dug up some courage and I’m going to give it my best try.

Day 5 of my health odyssey and I am on my way.

 

 

 

 

 

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!