Sunday, 29 March 2015

A Colder Winter than Planned

The weather here has turned much warmer and we are finally getting sunny days. Temperatures are still hovering around freezing but the snow is melting. The birds are coming back; lots of cardinals and blue-jays, especially. My old friends the crows made their appearance earlier this winter.

I've not been in the mood to blog of late for a very good reason. Okay, so sometimes in the past, I've mentioned health issues but I've never been specific until now. What I've been dealing with is In Vitro Fertilisation and the difficult effects which all that entails. When my man was younger, he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. He had the trifecta of chemo, radiation and then surgery. He survived with a only a few side effects and must see an oncologist every year for the rest of his life. Before he began treatments, he made arrangements with the fertility clinic in the likely case that his fertility never came back. When we first discussed starting a family, this meant IVF as our only option.

It's been hard: Numerous appointments, blood tests, injections, medications, soaring and dropping hormones plus emotions, stress, pain, fatigue. Along the way, my man and I try and find the funny side, the lighter side of our experience but it's no picnic.  And now, this time, the failure has hit me especially hard. Once again we were so very hopeful, then excited, and then we had to face massive disappointment. My body will take about another two months to recover to the point where we can try again. As for my current state of mind, I am battered but still hopeful.

We are seeing a counsellor who specialises in helping couples who are struggling with IVF and related issues, which has really helped. This situation can really make or break a couple. We've seen it first-hand in the waiting room once or twice when couples are suffering from IVF burnout.

Taking things day by day, expressing feelings in constructive not destructive ways is how we're coping. I no longer have any shame about letting my emotions flow out, it's mostly tears now, but can sometimes there is anger and regret. The worst thing to do is shove those emotions far down into your soul. It's like poison really.  The emotions build and build and then get spewed out in huge and usually negative ways. Letting my man take care of me and doing all the household chores and cooking has been a little weird (and sometimes funny) but he says at least now he feels like he's contributing something other than just holding my hand. We're holding on to one another to get through this.

Am I turning to food for comfort? No, that'd be the worst thing to do. On the menu, oatmeal with chia seeds and berries for breakfast or an omelette; then for lunch or dinner, fish, chicken or eggs paired with lots of nutrient dense veggies like dark leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, sweet potatoes. My man and I have been going out more for meals since neither of us feel much like cooking but we're making wise choices. No fast food. To help balance my electrolytes after my ordeal, the doctor suggested drinking sports drinks. No way I was drinking that sugar-laden stuff. My trusted pharmacist suggested electrolyte tablets instead. Overall, I felt better for it.

Exercise: Gentle walking only. My body needs to heal. As I feel better and energy levels and hormones regulate and get back to normal, I'll add more. It's surprising how quickly a body loses muscle tone but I'll rebuild back what was lost.

My next steps are to take it easy, be kind to myself and to my man, not to isolate myself too much from friends and to keep busy more often than not. Our time here on this earth is so short so I'm focusing on the positive and on things I can change.  This will help me not to dwell in the past or slide into the darkness, but to keep looking forward to the future.

I'll leave with a song that my man played and sang to me (not in Spanish however).