With my gallbladder surgery, I was lucky in that I didn’t have any problems with gas being trapped in my abdomen after the deal. I didn’t have to deal with that crap then, so I didn’t expect to have to deal with it this time. I was wrong. The cramps are painful. But don’t panic. Lying flat and encouraging yourself to ‘expel gasses’ helps.
The first part of that is… odd, but not too bad. Ones or twos hurt for a while no matter what, and that’s not really surprising given the whole ‘abdominal surgery’ thing. The second part was just weird. You really can’t imagine what it’s like to not be able to fart until you can’t. If you have the gas cramps I mentioned in #1, this is particularly frustrating.
Yep. It can also make your period last longer than usual – no matter how regular you are. It can also make your period start up again. And again. And again. And again. My system is pretty screwed from PCOS, but I have been a 5-day-period girl since the first time it happened. I went to day ten this time, with plenty of stops and starts in the process.
What is it with me having surgery while I’m on my period? (Yup, happened with the gallbladder, too.)
I hate taking pills. I really, really do. My philosophy is that the less I take now, the more effective it will be when I have no choice but to take it. So I didn’t stick to any sort of schedule when I came home with my meds, much to my mistake. When you’re recovering from having that many influential, frequently used muscles being messed with pain prevention is the word. Leaving it until you feel the pain will only lead to exhaustion and tears. (And stacks of pain, of course.)
A little thing, but something I didn’t expect. On most people, the appendix is on the right. My incisions? One below my belly button, one above my ladyland, and one on my lower abdomen on the left. Hm. Weird.
I think this is the one that pissed me off the most because I didn’t know! And it completely freaked me out when it started happening! Argh! But yeah, they leak – and they can leak a lot. Apparently the rule is that if it doesn’t leak weird colours (eg. green and jaundice yellow) and it doesn’t smell funky, you are right to go. I totally thought I’d broken something inside me and I was going to eventually leak everything out of my incision. Bleugh. I think it was something like nine days post-surgery that I stopped leaking enough that I actually bothered to put on a sticky bandage.
This one is a given, but it’s still frustrating. You hear so much about how ‘simple’ and ‘routine’ appendectomies are that you build up these recovery expectations. One, it’s a bit harder than that for anyone, and two, of course it’s harder when you’re fat. You have to carry around your gut like it’s a friggin’ pet for a while because it hurts too much to let it hang alone when you’re standing up. Ugh. Talk about motivation to get healthy…
Unfortunately, the next day saw me rush to the emergency ward, get checked in, and get my appendix out in 26 hours.
To say it was unexpected…
I stayed an extra night in hospital because of a few niggling issues with me on top of the Bloke getting ill from all the stress and lack of sleep.
But he is feeling better for a full night of uninterrupted sleep, and I am happy to be resting at home. I didn’t luck out like I did with my gallbladder surgery, so I’m dealing with gas cramps from the surgery, but that’s the worst of it. With a week off from classes, I’ll be right to go in no time.
And I’ll get that Part Two up in a day or two.]]>
The answer is fertility.
The Bloke and I have come to a place where we’re talking about children. Given my PCOS, we know it will very likely not be an easy road. It might not happen at all. But we’re to a place in our lives where we feel as ready as we ever will to take a first step.
The Bloke’s first step? A full physical.
My first step? A healthy eating plan that also addressed PCOS fertility.
At first, I was looking more to boost fertility than anything else. I haven’t ovulated on my own for years, so I figured it would take a while. When I got sick of reading articles about how much women with PCOS need to lose weight (granted, but tell me something I don’t know!), I started looking at videos on YouTube.
That’s when I came across The Low Amylose Plan: Fertility Improving Diet for PCOS’ers
What really caught my attention was Subfertile Frugalista.
After three years of trying various methods of getting pregnant, Subfertile Frugalista started this eating plan and ended up getting pregnant. After three years, a change of diet changed her life.
After that, I watched as many videos and read as many articles as I could about low amylose. Sure enough, PCOS’ers were having success with it, using it to increase fertility and lose weight as a pleasant side effect. Listening to/reading all the personal stories convinced me that I at least had to give it a go.
And let me say, only three weeks in has seen some dramatic – albeit unexpected – results…
(I hate to leave things on a cliffhanger, but it’s too much for one post! More soon!)]]>
After the last ‘diet’ I went on, I decided that I would never diet again. Most of ‘diet’ is ‘die’, and I’d killed myself in a million little ways with all the diets I have tried.
So while I know it’s all semantics in the end, I’m calling this my ‘eating plan’ rather than my diet. Even though it’s a diet. Technically. ‘Eating plan’ tacks on more of the ‘lifestyle change’ mentality and helps push aside all my past diet failures.
Onto the big question:
What could make me go on an eating plan with any sort of restrictions? Especially after all I’ve been through thanks to diets…
I’ve known I had to make a change for a long time now, but moreso lately. I’ve finally reached that point where I’m just tired of it all. I always thought rock bottom would feel more dramatic and miserable, but my rock bottom is softer, more exhausted than utterly depressed.
Slowly, quietly, without sudden notice, I just became… finished with being unhealthy. But I’ve tried losing weight before, been through counselling, tried gyms, so on and so forth. For a while, I felt lost and unsure of what steps I could take to make this time different than the rest…
The first thing I did?
I disregarded almost everything all the ‘authorities’ have told me about my body and my mind.
A doctor once told me that Very Low Calorie Diets would have no effect on fertility. *ditched*
Another doctor equated having Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome with being dependent on drugs for everything fertility and hormone related. *gone*
A counselor told me that I shouldn’t track anything because I was ‘obsessive’. *buh-bye*
After that, I reviewed everything that has worked for me in the past:
*Ditching grains and root veggies
*NOT calorie counting
*Ditching processed sugar
*Weigh in daily
Wow. Just… wow. Accepting what I know works for me and not letting authority figures dictate my life and actions has to be one of the most freeing experiences of my life. It’s amazing, and I honestly didn’t think I’d embrace it so easily.
But I have, and it feels so good.
It’s not perfect and, heck, it might not even be healthy for some people. But it works for me. And it is working in somewhat unexpected ways…
More on exactly what I’m doing in a future post.]]>
I thought about it. I went back and forth. I thought about how much I wanted some chocolate and how it would be so easy to indulge because I was home alone.
Usually at that point, I would have given in. As it turns out, the books I’ve been reading have sunk in.
So, where was I?
I thought about how it would be so easy to indulge because I was home alone-
I already knew I wasn’t actually hungry and wasn’t even craving chocolate. So when the above thought entered my mind, I accepted that I still have a fear of being left alone in the world. I gave up everything I knew when I was barely 20 years old, and I fear my world being uprooted again.
I smiled. I didn’t have chocolate. And I was proud of myself. I was also surprised that it wasn’t the emotionally-draining back and forth I usually have with myself pre-binge.
No binge and a happy me. I think I am moving on to another stage in my life.]]>
And there you have it – The Biggest Loser, the show for everyone who believes being overweight makes a person worthless, and that anyone who refuses to lose weight deserves loneliness, derision and an early death. And that anyone can get into shape, as long as they have a personal trainer working on them full-time and cameras on them 24/7 to prevent them ever straying from their prescribed diet. But I’m sure most people can manage that.
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/but-weight-theres-more-20130322-2gk6e.html#ixzz2OLHXBspW]]>
I thought I’d been doing better this year with putting my health – mental and physical – first instead of last. It’s not something I am used to doing, especially when it involved things like asserting my needs to other people. For instance, I had to let a teacher know that I couldn’t work with a certain woman when we broke into small groups because of an incident that happened last semester. It may not sound like a big thing, but it was huge to me – especially because I was asserting myself to a teacher (aka authority figure). Given things like that, I thought I’d really made progress and that I’d be okay from there on out.
Well, one out of two isn’t bad.
As much as the release of my book as been a time of excitement and anticipation, it’s also been full of stress for various reasons. And what do I do when I get stressed? I stop eating and I stop taking care of myself.
It took me a little over a week to realise that I wasn’t eating like I should be. Money is tight, so Lite N’ Easy hasn’t been an option. I kept up with the breakfast habit, but everything else… faded. It was only when I started really struggling to eat breakfast that I realised I had a problem.
Of course, the body doesn’t wait for the mind to catch up, and complications due to food fluctuations and high stress levels hit like bricks. (Hence, the flax seed tea for gallbladder pains – even phantom ones.) It was when I was sipping tea and hoping that I wouldn’t have to go to the emergency room that I truly saw how much I had been putting my needs aside for the sake of pleasing people.
And myself, mind you. I’m as eager to get the book in my hands as anyone.
I still feel like I have come a long way as a human being and, probably for the first time in my adult life, I feel like an adult. I am making decisions about my food, my health, my body and much more. While I don’t completely disregard The Bloke’s opinions, I have come to see that there is a line where his opinion must end and where my decisions begin.
However, I obviously still have quite a way to go in the realm of self-care. It’s not the worst task in the world by any means, but it will take longer than I thought it would.]]>
Flax Seed Tea Recipe
Boil 1 Tbsp of flax seeds in 2 1/2 cups of water for 5 minutes. Steep 10 minutes. Strain and sip slowly.
For such a simple recipe, it can be better pain relief than the strongest painkillers the doctors may send you home with. Having your gallbladder removed is supposed to be the end to the pain, but a striking number of people still have to deal with sudden, intense pain.
That simple recipe has helped me calm what needs calming in order for me to get to sleep. Sometimes it takes the pain away completely and some times it only eases it. But even when it does the latter, it helps enough for me to be able to sleep instead of being forced to stay awake all night because of the pain.]]>