Saturday, August 31, 2013

Day 3: Post-Op

Mothers of young children are not allowed to be sick or recuperate from "procedures."   This is a fact.

I came home from my "procedure" three days ago.  I didn't realize that my endometrial ablation would include a tube down my throat and gas to put me out.  I thought I would wake up and be ready to go like I did from my colonoscopy which also used propofol.  This time my friend, the uterus, that I boiled, was on fire and let me know.  The ladies who said they stopped for lunch on the way home from this procedure, lied. {grin}

In Post-Op, I had very involved conversations with the nurse and he and I finally came to an understanding.  Communication is so important in all relationships!  I told him I wasn't a good reporter.  He would ask if I needed pain medicine, I would grimace and ask if it would knock me out again.  I don't like to be knocked out and I knew the kids needed to be picked up from carpool.  He and I would discuss the pros and cons of each pain reliever.  He would ask again if I needed pain reliever, I would grimace and then he delivered more medicine through the IV and out I went.  I had one spell of nausea that didn't last long.

On the way home from hospital when all I wanted to do so badly was go to bed, we had to swing by and pick up the children from carpool.  I just laid my head on the console and hoped it went quickly.  We make it home, I hit the bed and begged my husband to get the prescription pain medicine.

My youngest daughter learned that she won a $50 Walmart gift card from our library in a drawing of summer reading program participants.  She and my husband get my narcotics and her gift card.  Well, of course she wants to go to Walmart and pillage everything in the "My Little Pony"section and my husband comes to me during one of my conscious phases and asks if he can take her and leave Riley with me.  I say no.  Mallory holds off for a few minutes and comes in and cries about not being able to go.  My anger rises.  I'm in pain, and in and out of consciousness but I still have to make decisions.  I stay awake for a good period and decide it's better for them to go so that I don't have to take her later.

The next day, my friend drops off delicious Sweet Wishes Cupcakes.  I share them with the girls when they get home from school.  At this point, I am about 60%.  My throat hurts from the intubation tube, my uterus aches and I feel anesthesia fog.  As I work to drag Mallory to soccer practice of which she really, really wanted to play when I signed her up but now she despises and blames me for having to go, she decides to ask me why I ate the chocolate cupcake.

I lose it.  It's not pretty.  The words, "I'm the one who had a tube down my throat", "I'm the one who had my uterus boiled", and "It was MY friend who brought the cupcakes so I get to eat the CHOCOLATE one" come out of my mouth very loudly.

I apologize, we go to soccer practice, I don't really remember driving but I'm sure it was done safely.  The next day I have an aha that is okay for me to be cranky.  It is o-kay to be cranky.  No explanations, no rationale.  It is okay to disappoint others.  I have to take care of myself.  (Extreme self care= let me disappoint you) I don't have to be "on" all the time. And it is good for my children to know that as well.  They don't have to pretend that all is fine, all the time.  Authenticity.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ode to a Uterus!

I had low level anxiety this past weekend and it is ramping up today.  I feel restless for a couple of reasons but one of which is there is an end of sorts coming.  The end is that I'm saying goodbye to the functioning of my uterus. {smile} Due to some excessive bleeding in the last years, I am going to undergo endometrial ablation on Tuesday at noon.  In laymen's terms, my uterus will be boiled and the surface will be scarred and an egg would never be able to implant again.

Now, I turned forty-creaking-five at the beginning of the month and long ago George and I decided we had completed our family and steps were taken on George's part to nip it in the bud.  I don't want to be pregnant and yet ending my fertility on purpose makes me a little sad.  It's a transition.  While meeting with my gynecologist, I got a little verklempt towards the end of the appointment (though in my defense, I had already been misty eyed over the first ever Middle School email from my daughter during same appointment)  I had been under this doctor's care for both of my pregnancies and she had delivered one of them.  And now we are at the other end of my fertility spectrum.

So now, I say goodbye to my fertility.   The thing is as someone who went through infertility, I became very well versed in how the whole process works down (there) to a science.  Some people can just look at each other in the back of a Pontiac and bam, they are with child.  The depth of my fertility knowledge was stunning.  I knew all about follicles, eggs, mucus, FSH, LH, sperm count, estrogen, progesterone, PCOS,  and then came injectables, blood tests, Glucophage, Clomid, Lupron, IUI, IVF, etc. etc.  Even now, I have tiny indentations in my inner elbows from all of the blood draws over the two year period. I can also disrobe in a doctors's office in no time flat after one too many ultrasounds.

A few years ago, I ended up in the ER with pelvic pain and during the vaginal ultrasound working towards a diagnosis, the tech upon seeing my interest in my follicular development thought I wanted to get pregnant. No, I was just taking a trip down memory lane.

And I'm doing that again today.  It's okay for me to have some feelings about saying goodbye to my fertility.  It's part of being a woman, like getting your first period.  It's a part of who I am and was.  I fought really hard to be able to use my uterus!  I was very blessed to be able to be pregnant and give birth to two babies.  This is my acknowledgement.  Thank you uterus!  I'm sorry I have to boil you but I did appreciate you and the job you did.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bit by Bit We Are Growing Up!

This past week, I was sitting in my gynecologist's office while the kids went to aftercare.  While waiting for the doctor to come in, I checked my email.  And to my surprise was my first ever email from Riley using her school email account.

It immediately brought tears to my eyes.

And then the nurse walked in at that moment to take my blood pressure again and it was still slightly high.  Oh well.

The next day I heard a quote from Frederic Buechner along the lines of pay attention to those moments of tears and chills because that is the holy calling.

I just LOVE that!  To think five years ago I was scared of crying or any feelings and now I am able to find pleasure in them as holy moments and feel God's presence through them.  What a freaking turnaround of events!!

Also this past weekend, the whole family drove across the street to school to help my eldest decorate her locker.  Even the dog came with us.  We had to do it over the course of two days to go back and shop for a few more decorations.

I feel a special sort of happy that the whole family came together to get the job done.  I feel very blessed with our family unit.  Even through the quarreling, competition, cat fights and peeing on the carpet, we come together.  And that IS FAMILY.  It is not a perfect picture, it is not always smooth.  We get aggravated with each other, but we truly love each other deep down and keep moving forward...together.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Beach, Body Image, Bathing Suits, Yoga, Mirrors and More

The unhappiest people in this world, are those who care the most about what other people think. ― C Joybell C

Right between the eyes.

I was blessed to go to yoga while we were at the beach.  I make it to a yoga class about once, maybe twice a month.  I hope to go more often when school starts again.  This room that yoga was practiced in had mirrors on the wall.  This is good and not so good.  It helps to look at alignment but then I also catch glimpses of my body that startle me and can send me on a body image nosedive.

I caught a glimpse of my extra fleshiness and it threw me into a tailspin.  I think at first I want to deny these feelings of sadness and intellectualize them out and avoid the pain - also called "mentally meddling" and inhibits the feelings from flowing through.  Perhaps because it was vacation, I kept eating beyond feeling full.  The food called to me and I couldn't stop.  Which had the affect of helping the nosedive to go even further down.

Being at the beach, I was thinking about my body size a little bit more. Strapping on a swim suit doesn't bother me as much as it did in the past but what I do find myself doing is looking at other people and think, "How do they do it?  How do they stay slim?"

And that is not the right question, because....

Looking and thinking about other people's bodies is not going to transform my world experience!

I love that saying.  My true journey in life is to transform my world experience from fear to love.  This is what makes me so excited.  I feel the presence of God when I follow this passion of wholeness.

After I have let the sadness of my imperfect body pass, I am once again able to see that weight does not equal self worth. I can live a full life in an imperfect body.  It may take a day or two but the feelings pass and I can get on with living.

And the above C Joybell C quote came along right after my experience at the beach.

Right between the eyes.


Scuff Marks and Struggle

While we were at the beach last week, we hit an outlet mall and found new tennis shoes for school for the girls.  The size we bought for Riley was a half size smaller than what I wear. (Oh my!)

As she strode on a path in the shoes towards her father on another bench, I had a vivid ten year old memory pop in my head.  It was her toddling for the first time in her Stride Rite high tops on the driveway of our first house.

It was such a precious memory.  I also remember that the shoes were immediately scuffed up within minutes of wearing them - and that bothered me.  And as I pulled out the pictures, I also see that huge smile on her face.  Therein lies my lesson.

As humans, we are wired to struggle (and scuff our shoes!)  I am in the middle of listening to Mary O'Malley, a fantastic compulsive behavior therapist, and she repeated this notion of struggle (and letting go of control!)   It is also what my therapist has told me many, many times. We are born wired to struggle.  When I first started therapy, I wanted to come to a place of peace, and yet that place does not exist.  It has taken many years to understand that and I will continue to grasp this lesson again.  But today, I get it.

Riley started her middle school career today.   And as I see that excitement when she was a toddler taking her first steps, what brings out her smile the most, is trying new things and stepping out away from her parents.  And she is going to struggle and that is okay. My first instinct is to not have her feel pain and while George and I caught her before she fell at the toddler stage.  I have to learn to let her fall at this ten year (and beyond!) stage.  And pain is a part of life.  And emotional pain won't kill us as I have always thought it would - it can flow through if allowed to.   And we grow from those falls and mistakes. We do not learn anything from the things we do right.

So, the shoes will get scuffed, and she will learn.  My shoes get scuffed on a daily basis, and I learn.  I want her to know that she can handle whatever comes her way even if it is a struggle.  And letting her fall, and move away from us, and gain her independence prepares her for real life much more than stopping the pain.

Friday, August 9, 2013

What To Do About Yoga and My Squishy Parts

I went to yoga this morning.  Fabulous.

Two ideas popped in my head while I was posing.  One was that there are certain poses or moves I have told myself over the years that I can't do.  And today, out of haste, I did one of those moves.  I have always used my knees to lower from plank to the floor.  And today, I powered through lowering my body without using my knees.


And once again, I thought how powerful one's thoughts are.

Several times over the years, I have tried a new move that I thought I couldn't possibly do and I did it for a few seconds or even longer, and was completely shocked over this discovery.

Thoughts are so powerful.  And the stories we tell ourselves over and over, we believe.

And the second idea, revolved around viewing my extra girth in the mirror.  It bothered me so much when I did yoga at the beach last week.   I knew I needed to think differently this time and not focus on the negative.  And then the words of my favorite teacher Carmen sprang to me.   She has suggested so many times as we are pushing ourselves into a stretch,  to send love to that body part that is being stretched.  So when negativity popped in my head, I said let me send love to my squishy parts.  And I did.  And each time I did so, it made my smile.  It was simple but effective.  I felt so much more powerful after the hour that I want to continue this practice of both sending love to my squishy parts and more yoga!

I know this healing journey is going to have to involve loving all of me and especially the squishy parts for me to move forward and feel whole.

Love what is, instead of fearing my lack of perfection.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Thank you George Takai and I've Never Ever Watched Star Trek.

George Takai shared this picture on Facebook today.

Isn't it great!

As I've been on this journey to "transform my experience of the world" - (thank you Oprah), and have slowly and intentionally worked to heal my woundedness, I see how much fear I lived in.  As it has decreased, I have had small ahas, "I use to be scared to do this, not so much anymore"  Hmm, that's change.  Each little small increment, keeps me moving forward...and rising.

There are always more issues to face.  I have volunteered to run a Girl Scout Troop for Riley's age.  I have never decided to be in charge of anything...  but I am stepping out of my comfort zone because I can tell how much she would like to do this and it's a good program.  And it would be facing my fears.
So onward and upward.