My menstrual cycle came on September 12th. I just sighed, and put in my menstrual cup. No underwear was ruined, even though it started while I was sleeping. Why? When the spotting started, I started wearing pads. I always spot for at least a few days before my period starts. “Now that’s not optimistic” may be what you’re thinking. And, you’re right.
Yes, I’ve heard of “implantation bleeding.” I’ve also read that many of us spot before our periods start, so that the only way to tell the difference is if you end up with no menstrual cycle and a positive pregnancy test after the bleeding. Trust me, I Googled the heck out of it when I first started trying to conceive.
The cycle that started on the 12th of September will be our 17th cycle since we started trying to conceive. Seventeen negatives. Seventeen negatives without any explanations. And I’m starting to go numb to the entire process. I need to.
Here in the northern hemisphere, the weather is cooling off as we move into fall. Well, it’s supposed to be anyway, but Colorado has still been unseasonably hot; I’m optimistic though! Heat and dysautonomia are a rough combination on me, so the slightly cooler weather of early fall allows me to do a lot more! This summer seems to have been hotter than usual for most people, and even my able-bodied friends that are extremely active in summer have been struggling.
In the southern hemisphere, I know it’s starting to get a little warmer as you move into spring. The “transition seasons” have some gorgeous weather for getting outside and being active. Even though they can be a tad unpredictable, the nice days tend to be full of weather that’s neither too hot nor too cold. I always try to take full advantage of these short seasons!
Since we’ve been struggling to get pregnant for over a year now, we had some testing done. I did mention it a little in this post: Being One in Eight is Heartbreaking.
Dan had a semen analysis done, and I had an HSG. A semen analysis is what you would expect, they have you bring in a semen sample, then analyze it. An HSG is an invasive test to check for any blockages in my system. They insert a tube through my cervix, then push a dye through so that it fills my uterus and spills out of my Fallopian tubes into my abdominal cavity. Blockages or an oddly shaped uterus can both be detected using this test.
Quotations are the lyrics for “The Good Parts” by Andy Grammer.
I’m sorry if I seem impatient
I’m not a fan of pleasantries
See, I get bored with the weather and what’s in the news
The topics we all hide beneath
Small talk is not a strong suite of mine. It makes me awkward. I don’t like to talk about the news at all, because I don’t watch it (it’s always so dang negative). The weather is the weather, and boring to talk about – I also love pretty much all weather to some degree, while most people want to complain about it. Continue reading
Everyone is stressed nowadays. In fact, as a society, we’ve started glamorizing stress. Think that’s weird? Well, if someone was telling you that they had to somehow figure out how to run to 5 different stores, get their kids to three different sports (all on different ends of town), go to their own high-intensity spin class, and still work full time – what would you think? Odds are, most people think “Wow, they really have their life together! I am so not measuring up.” But, if you really stop and think about how that must feel, they probably feel like a frayed rope trying to hold up an elephant.
These levels of stress are severely unhealthy, and we’re doing them to ourselves. Society has put such a premium on “busier is better” that we don’t take time to relax or unwind.
High levels of stress have been scientifically proven to shorten our telomeres. Telomeres are essentially caps on the ends of our chromosomes that are responsible for protecting our DNA. While they naturally shrink as we age, long-term stress accelerates this shortening process. When the telomeres are no longer there, our chromosomes begin to get damaged, which causes aging and decreased cellular health. Yikes!
(In summary: Being excessively stressed ages you prematurely and causes cell damage.)
This is hard to write, but it’s something I feel I absolutely must – my soul feels broken and heavy, and my heart has been put through a wood chipper.
As the weather gets warmer here in the northern hemisphere, many of us get a lot more active! An increase in activity necessitates an increase in hydration. When it’s hot outside, even if you’re not active, you need to increase hydration as well. Heat causes you to sweat, and sweat causes you to lose a lot more water than you would if you weren’t sweating. While hydration is important year round, I thought the warmer weather would be a good time to really focus on your hydration levels!
I love science experiments, and have always been fond of Petri dish experiments! There’s something satisfying in getting a definite visual result in the Petri dish.
Dan and I decided to try a Petri dish experiment of our own. The toilets in our house needed cleaning, and we wanted to see if there was a difference between the usual cleaner we’ve been using, Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner, and the On Guard Cleaner Concentrate. I can’t actually use the Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner – it messes with my asthma and gives me migraines. When we clean the toilets with the Lysol, the vent fans have to be on full and we have to open the powder room window. The On Guard Cleaner Concentrate doesn’t mess with my asthma and doesn’t give me migraines, so I was hopeful that it would clean well so that I could actually help with this household chore. Continue reading
Lately, I’ve been feeling less and less like myself. With everything going on in my life, my self-care routines have been abandoned – which has created this empty “not me” shell. I’ve still been helping support Izzy and her family (posts 1 & 2), recovering from my arm surgery (posts 1, 2, & 3), and then the general life busyness intensified.
Self-care is different for everyone. Some people go all out and spend an entire day in a spa or go on a full vacation to relax. Some people don’t like those things (my mom hates being touched by strangers so massages/manicures/pedicures are torture for her), or can’t afford them, which is fine. Other’s with limited funds or resources may do spa days at home (I created some luxurious bath bombs for use at home, and they were quite a bit cheaper than the ones you can buy), or choose to take a staycation. And then there is the amazing #BoringSelfCare movement, which I absolutely love!
Or maybe taking a break in the grass is your idea of self-care!
Physical pain is a part of life – everyone experiences it at some point. For people with chronic health conditions that include pain, physical pain is a “normal” part of our daily lives. Thinking back on my life, there isn’t a single day in my memory where I wasn’t in some form of physical pain. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder (G-HSD: generalized hypermobility spectrum disorder), and have had symptoms of it my entire life. Pain and I are old friends, but that doesn’t mean I won’t do whatever I can (within reason) to shove pain out the door for even a few minutes.