And It's Getting Better All The Time

1:18 PM

I've certainly hit a high point in my post-diagnosis life with endometriosis. Truthfully, this is probably the strongest and most healthy I've felt in years. That, plus the beautiful change in seasons, has made me feel terribly optimistic about my condition and life in general. A few things led to this point.





Me, looking stick-like a week after the ER visit
For starters, I gained weight. A lot of women find this terrifying, and to be honest, it's been a little hard to get used to. But I have been underweight my entire life.

Around the time of my ER visit two years ago, I weighed about 120 lbs. and then plummeted to 110 lbs. after I cut almost everything out of my diet and slowly reintroduced foods. My primary care doctor regularly gave me concerned looks and asked if I was doing this on purpose, which I wasn't. My weight slowly came back up to around my usual 130 lbs. up until my surgery.

After being diagnosed, teaching myself to eat healthily and having the energy to regularly work out, my weight is now cruising at about 140 lbs., which includes *gasp* muscle! I have never, ever been in the "healthy weight range" for my age and height, and now, I finally know how it feels to be somewhat healthy. I have more energy and just generally feel better, and I've actually found an interest in eating and cooking. I still get nervous watching the scale tip over 130 lbs., but I know that I look better and feel better.

I credit part of this to Dr. Lisa putting me on Elavil, an anti-depressant that has done a great job of controlling the regular pain around my left ovary. Without a hazy cloud of pain constantly hanging over me, I've been able to find the energy to do more things and enjoy them. I used to be completely wiped out after work and have no desire to cook or clean. (Once again, thank God I had Andrew to help me.) Now, things are much easier than they ever have been.

Also, my yoga instructor, Pierre came back from his trip to India with a vengeance. While he was gone, I attended some of the less rigorous classes at my yoga studio and practiced with a mat at home. I thought I was doing pretty well! I was out-performing a lot of the students in my class! I was absolutely killing those warrior twos!  ...and then Pierre came back and kicked my ego down a few notches.

I remember trying to do a hip rotating pose that we do just about every day in yoga. A bemused Pierre came over to me and said, "You know your hips are supposed to move from here, right?" Ummm nope! My ever-astute yoga instructor also pointed out my curved spine was causing me to push my body to the right during certain poses, like extended cat-cow. He spent some time helping me retrain my back and hips to move in a straight line, which is going to be an ongoing struggle for me.

But all this picking on Tracy paid off when I returned to my physical therapist the next week. I hadn't seen her in two weeks due to some unforeseen circumstances (TL;DR I totaled my car yaaay), so I was feeling a little pessimistic about my appointment. I'd been keeping up with my homework exercises up until my car accident, after which I just kind of felt crabby and didn't want to be productive. So I dragged myself to her office and expected it to be the same as every other visit.

This post deserves sunflowers.
My first task was to stretch myself as tall as I could go and touch my toes. As I may have mentioned, touching my toes wasn't even feasible for me until I started doing yoga. After going for a few months, I was finally able to do it, but it mostly involved straining my hips rather than using my back. Lo and behold, last Friday, my back actually moved. I was shocked. My physical therapist was elated. It's all about the little things in physical therapy.

In addition to that, my overall posture was improving. My hips were starting to move to where they were supposed to be, rather than tilting forward at all times. I had really been focusing on tilting them back, and it was paying off. It was also helping with a lot of the pain I had around my left ovary and internally. My muscles were growing stronger, and with that, the nerves that were told to fire at all times were starting to quiet down.

My physical therapist kept asking if I had been doing anything different in yoga. It was clear that I was making quick progress, beyond what I even expected. Really, I didn't think I was doing anything too different. I'd been focusing on using my abs and glutes to support my body, rather than forcing my thighs and knees to carry all my weight in yoga. But I guess those little things were adding up because my reported pain level went down from a 7 at my previous session to a 4 at most during that session.

So much to my surprise, I'm improving in every way I can with my condition. My spring/summer project is to focus on bettering myself all-around, and my endometriosis will be a big focus of that. Now that the weather is slowly warming up, my optimism is improving with it.

That's not to say I don't have bad days. In fact, just yesterday, I was laid up on the couch for a few hours with a really angry stomach. The pain in my left ovary came back, too, but it dissipated after a little bit. So yes, pain is still not my friend, but it's no longer a constant presence, which has allowed me to focus on taking care of myself, one day at a time.

I know that as my condition progresses and my symptoms change, I will have to fight new battles and try different treatments. But I'm not worried about that right now. Today is a good day.

Want to get automatic updates when I say more words? Sign up via email.

You Might Also Like

1 comments

  1. I know you had a hard time in accepting the results of that painful accident. However, I'm glad that you a positive mind and a great source of strength in the form of your family and friends. It's also good that you diverted yourself from teh situation and focused on other things, which made it easier for you to accept the reality. I'm so proud of you for being able to overcome and continually overcoming what happened. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post, Tracy! Keep up the positivity!

    Sabrina Craig @ Medical Attorney

    ReplyDelete

Popular Posts