Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The (Endo) 10 Commandments!

I just got these in an ERC News email from the Endometriosis Research Center and thought I would pass it along... heaven knows dealing with Endo is stressful enough, but add all the holiday season craziness and some days its just too much!

Number one: (and most important of all) Thou shalt remember that thou art the most important priority!  If you are no good to yourself, you won't be any good to anyone else.

Number two:  Thou shalt make a list - and check it twice.  Planning and organizing is a sure-fire way to avoid adding extra stress to your day - if you need to go shopping for gifts this season, make a list of all those you are buying for, what you plan to get, and what locations you might be able to purchase the items at.  Also - allow yourself plenty of shopping days!  Don’t wait till the last minute.

Number three: Thou shalt remember that thou art not superwoman.  This calls to mind a dear endosister, whom we'll call "J"....J. has a superwoman cape that she wears daily.  As superwoman, she is mom, wife, businesswoman and world problem solver every day.  The holidays make it worse.  Many of us have our very own superwoman cape hanging in our closets...we have to learn that sometimes, it's ok to take them off.  Do what you need to do for yourself and your family; don't take on extra tasks and responsibilities that someone else can - and should - be doing.  For further reference, please see number one.

Number four:  Thou shalt learn how to relax - and make it a priority.  Relaxing offers so many benefits! First, it gives your body an opportunity to heal from the day's events.  Rest makes for a stronger body, and a stronger body makes for a higher resistance to stressors.  Meditation, breathing techniques, aromatherapy, massages, hot baths, imagery and good old-fashioned sleep are just a few ways to relax.  Put it on your schedule if you need to!

Number Five:  Thou shalt not drag thyself to the mall if thou cannot rise up off the couch.  If you are healing from surgery, having an especially hard time with your endometriosis, or are feeling just altogether horrible, remember the true spirit of the  "Giving" does not mean purchasing, wrapping and then giving; it means giving of yourself and your time.  If you are unable to get out and about, invite your loved ones over for some quality time (if you feel up to it!).  If you have children, spend time with them doing one of their favorite (low impact!) projects.  They will appreciate it more than any gift Santa can bring.  If you're feeling well enough, make and wrap up something homemade...cookies or other baked goods, collages or other artwork, a heartfelt homemade card or poem.  And - there is always internet shopping!

Number Six: Thou shalt grieve if thou needs to.  The holidays can be really devastating to someone going through infertility, who has lost a loved one, or who has suffered through any traumatic event.  Remember that it is ok to give yourself time to be sad if you need to be.  Don't be afraid to seek professional assistance to help you cope.

Number Seven: Thou shalt watch thy diet.  We’re not talking about waistlines; we’re talking about the food and drinks so many of us strive year round to avoid because we know our symptoms will be "kicked up a notch," as Emeril says.  During the holidays it seems that everywhere we go, we are handed foods and drinks – literally on a silver platter - and encouraged to eat to excess and drink to elevation.  Ask yourself if the pain you know you will experience as a result of ingesting foods and drinks you don’t normally tolerate well is worth it.

Number Eight: Thou shalt not sweat the small stuff.  And, as a very wise person once said, "it's all small stuff."  So what if you didn't get that angora sweater you promised your sister for a gift?  Give her something else she'd value even more - another gift choice and your subsequent good health for not having worried yourself sick about it!

Number Nine:  Thou shalt call thy healthcare practitioner if thou feels thou needs some extra medical care this time of year.  Don't put off getting or keeping an appointment with your doctor because you think you have to go cut down a Christmas tree by yourself...the tree will still be standing there an hour later, after your appointment.

Number Ten: Thou shalt refer to Number One at all times!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Yup, still here.

Wow, its been ages... again. Not much going on which is why I haven't posted in months. Life is pretty quiet (thankfully) on the Endo front... this Mirena thing is absolutely fabulous. I really can't say enough good things about it. I'm almost 18 months out from my last lap and I'm doing GREAT! I won't lie and say I am 100% pain free, but really I can't complain. Other than some cramping about 2-3 days out of the month and the random twinge here and there (usually on my right side, as always) I'm doing exceptionally well. I am very blessed that I am one of the lucky ones whom the Mirena seems to be working out for.

A few months ago I had to see my doc though about some bladder issues that I've been having. Me thinks interstitial cystitis... my doc seems to agree. I haven't gone to a urologist just yet as the symptoms haven't become bothersome enough to go through all that testing and discomfort. I was given a list of things to avoid (diet and drink-wise) and I have found that as long as I'm good this keeps the discomfort at bay pretty well.  The Flomax didn't do much for me though. Oh well, we'll see how things go.

So... that's it, I guess. Ho hum, life is boring, yes, but for once I'm thankful for that!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Got Spit?

If you do, would you mind sharing it with the good people over at Juneau Biosciences? They are currently researching the genes that play a roll in predisposing women to Endometriosis. I heard about their research and got really excited to do my part, especially since all it takes is a little spit! I've put up a banner/link to their website on my sidebar, but here it is again for easier access if anyone is interested! End To Endo!

Here is the package they sent me with the collection material, and paper work.

Spit, spit, spit! It looks like a whole lot but actually you just fill to the line and the rest is a preservative. Took me about 3-4 spits to hit the line.

All done! No postage required even! :)

Here is a video about this research and your part in it, should you choose to participate.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

1 year post Lap (#2)

Ok, so the year mark for my 2nd Lap isn't until Tuesday, June 1st, but as I'll be working one of my 12 hr shifts @ the hospital, I doubt I'll get on and blog afterward. Plus, the blog was in serious need of updating, so I thought I'd kill 2 birds with one stone tonight.

Here I am, one year out from my last surgery and I have to say, I feel pretty dang good! The verdict on this whole Mirena thing is that while the first few months were a bit onerous, I do not regret it one bit. This lovely contraption has pretty much stopped my periods all together (with the exception of a few days of spotting every once in a blue moon) and I haven't been in any considerable amount of pain in so long that I can hardly remember. Have I been 100% pain free? No, obviously not, BUT have I had to take anything stronger than some Advil every once in a while? NOPE and that's a miracle, considering how I was dependent on Percocet and Zofran to even be able to function this time last year... phew, I'm glad that's in the past.

How long will this blessed break from h*ll last? Who knows, but for now I will certainly take it! I know its just a temporary fix, but for me it has worked a whole lot better than all the gazillion other things/pills I've tried in the past. I'm also aware that it probably doesn't work for everyone, but I'm glad it's done what it's done for me. Hopefully things will continue this way until we are ready for IVF and can get this little sucker yanked!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lets get this party started!

Happy Endometriosis Awareness Month, ladies! I hope this March will bring lots of info to lots of new people!!!

On a personal note, my right side pain has been flaring up lately and has caused me a weekend full of yuckiness, pain, nausea, nausea, and more nausea. Blegh! Today is just one of those days I wish I could just stay curled up in bed with my pups... too bad I have lab/class in an hour :(

Friday, January 22, 2010

It's working!

While I still have zits like a 13 year old, I have to say that as time goes by I am loving my Mirena more and more! AF came this month and lasted 2 days. TWO days! Not only has it been the shortest AF in recorded Alex history, but it was barely heavy enough to warrant much more than liners! Perhaps I will get to the point where I no longer have them at all! I didn't believe this when my doc said it happens frequently but I am starting to hope now!

Pain wise I am doing great! I still get the occasional cramp and/or pain in the right side but nothing a little bit of Tylenol/Motrin can't fix. I am about 7 months out and I have to say I am really happy with our decision to try the Mirena for a while until we can start IVF. I know it doesn't work for everyone, but so far for me it's been SO worth it! (Yes, even the zits!)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Hello again puberty... now go away!

So I feel stupid complaining about this given how much the Mirena's pro's outweigh it's con's (at least for me thusfar) but seriously... it bugs! I have never had the absolute clearest of skin, but I've never had any real acne problems either. Even puberty wasn't extremely terrible... just your average case of the teenage zits for a few years and that was it... until NOW.

I feel like I've fallen down some sick twisted dermatological time warp! It was really bad right after my Lap, but I figured it was my body getting used to another hormonal shift. I thought it would go away after a month or two... or three? But here we are 6 months out and my face looks like a 14 year old's. Argh... Thank goodness for Neutrogena, it's the only thing that seems to be keeping it in check... well, somewhat.

*Sigh* I suppose this is an acceptable price to pay for less pain, annoying as it may be. Maybe another 6 months? :P