I’m So Happy to Be Back!

March 22, 2018

I AM BACK! Oh my goodness! Way too much time has passed since my last post. The last post was in July 2016 and now it’s March 2018!

Where did I go, you ask? Well, my husband and I moved to a new city (Wenatchee, WA) in August 2016. I started my new full-time job as a school-based occupational therapist at the end of that month. Then, in November 2016 I started an online degree program at Grand Canyon University (Phoenix, AZ), to get my Master of Science in Psychology.

The purpose of going back to college after almost 20 years was to gain a better pay column at work. The schools pay based on years of experience (in the schools), and based on degree/college credits. I went to OT school back when you could be an OT with a bachelor’s degree, therefore I started my new job in the bachelor’s degree pay column. This represented a huge pay cut compared to what I was making as a medical-based therapist. However, I love working in the schools!! Therefore, it only made sense to get a master’s degree ASAP. But ugh, the work! I had to put my head down and get ‘er done!

And now, March 22, 2018, I am just 6 short days away from being ALL DONE! The process of getting my degree while also working full-time and raising my son has been e-x-h-a-u-s-t-i-n-g! On top of that, my perimenopausal symptoms during the last year did not help! Yikes!! Having to deal with the relentless graduate workload already made me feel a ‘baseline-irritability-but-could-basically-keep-my-shit-together’ (on a good day), but then the combo of graduate workload + working full-time + typical annoyances of life + annoyances caused by my prolapse issues + wicked hormonal fluctuations (presumably) created what often felt like a Jekyll and Hyde situation. Not pleasant. Good thing my husband is so unbelievably awesome!

I feel so much better now, though. I am done with the work of graduate school, and I have gotten past the emotional turmoil of peri menopause. I seem to be in the menopause phase since I haven’t had a period since January 1st. The hot flashes were rough in February, but now I seem to have a good plan (more on that later). Long story, short, I am feeling pretty damn good right now.

Guys, I have SOOOOOOOOO much I need to catch up with. I have missed this blog. I need this place to come and chat with myself and anyone else who finds me. The last year + has been all about total life imbalance, but now I am blessed with the opportunity to regain the balance again. That makes me so happy.

I plan to do a lot of blogging in the next days, and months. It’s hard for me to keep from typing all night right now! But I shall pace myself. I do need to sleep!

I am healed!

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Sneakers

June 24, 2016

I’m doing a test here by trying to write a quick post from my phone while riding in the car. Maybe if this works I’ll post more often.

Sneakers: that’s what I’m wearing to work now. I used to prefer Dankos. But then I realized that the Dankos don’t give me much shock absorption in the pelvic region.

Dankos are wonderful if you stand in one place without moving much. I love them for my feet.

But now I need sneakers. Tennis shoes. Whatever you call ’em.

I feel so much better with the “give” of a spongy sole. My pelvic region is much more at peace!

I’m working as an OT in school now, so sneakers give me more mobility to keep up with the kiddos. Plus, my own kid!

I am healed.

Random Goings-On At 18 Months PP

February 27, 2016

I’m still here!  Really, I am.  I’ve just been lazy about blogging lately.  Mostly busy doing other things.  So I’m going to make this sort of a random post to catch you up (in no particular order)…

  1. My baby (toddler) turned a year and a half on the 21st of this month, which means that I’m still dealing with prolapse symptoms a year and half later BUT I still feel like I’m getting better.
  2. I feel it in my gut that the next 6 months will show a lot more progress.  I’m psyched about that.
  3. I keep thinking lately how it’s really true that now I’m so often dealing with symptoms that are “just” annoying, instead of one year ago when I did feel like things were falling out (that was truly disturbing and awful).
  4. I keep wondering how much of my droopy and/or bulgy tissues are really prolapse-related vs. related to how my perineal tissues healed up after being a) stretched out by a baby who took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to come out, b) cut by an episiotomy, c) stitched back together (in the stretched out position keep in mind!), and d) slowly shortening and toning up again.
  5. It used to be that I’d start my day feeling the “best” right out of bed in the morning (even if the best wasn’t so great).  Now it seems like right out of bed in the morning isn’t the best time.  I feel better after I’ve been up a while.
  6. I’m getting better at “adjusting” my pelvic organs into a better position.  I have a technique that works for me.
  7. Chest Up is key!  When I stand back up after bending down for something, I do a hard and quick Chest Up! and can feel a difference.
  8. I think I’m getting my symptoms of bulginess primarily from a) my urethra, which I believe is dropped a bit, and b) a section of lumpy tissue from my episiotomy healing posteriorly that is likely being further pressed on by a mild rectocele.
  9. OH– and my menstrual cycles are all out of whack at the moment.  After getting used to a fairly predictable ~25 day cycle for many months (with an increasingly predictable and cyclical prolapse symptom pattern), I’m now still waiting for my period at day 34, while last month I got a period at day 21.
  10. I can only be pregnant if my husband’s vasectomy failed, by the way.  (Please, no!)
  11. With the goofy menstrual cycle this month, I seem to be feeling like I’ve had the “fertile” cervical mucus forever and ever without end.  Is my body doing a big ramp-up in its fertility before the big crash of menopause?  Who knows.
  12. Skiing is still going good!  Telemark skiing is the best.  I skied today and it was awesome!
  13. Today I thought this:  I’M in charge of making my mood be completely *unaffected* by the pesky sensations that continue on a daily basis.  I was skiing along in peace as I thought this.  My mood shall remain positive.
  14. I need to keep working on getting in my raspberry leaf tea and my gotu kola tea daily.  I do think they help.  For some reason, though, it’s a chore for me to fix something so simple.
  15. I need to keep repeating in my head “I am healed” as I fall asleep at night (I’ve gotten out of the habit).  I manifest that.
  16. It occurred to me recently that it’s finally (mercifully) starting to feel like my childbirth trauma is going more and more into the PAST rather than staying fresh and recent in practically the present.  Thank goodness!
  17. The second year of healing is way better than the first, yes indeed!
  18. It’s really hard on me physically when I have to bend down and pick up a toddler who occasionally fights me by turning into a flaccid noodle.  I hate that!
  19. The more I do the Whole Woman Posture, the better I get at fine tuning it.  It’s really something that you have to do for many months (at least for me) in order to get good at it.
  20. I’m still a work in progress.   I tell my toddler to be patient with himself so I must be patient with myself.
  21. I will continue to blog whenever I feel like it.  As much as possible!  Until next time…
  22. Feedback from you, my blog readers…what’s helping to heal you?  How are you doing?  Share with me…

I am healed.

Throwing Out My Pessary

January 5, 2015

Seven months ago…that was the last time I wore my pessary.  It’s definitely time to throw the darn thing away!

It was January last year that I decided to pursue getting one in the first place.  Back then I hadn’t yet found the Whole Woman website.  Back then I was feeling a whole lot worse than I do now.  Back then I was about 4.5 months post-partum.  Now I’m 16.5 months post-partum.

It wasn’t until mid-February last year when I actually got the pessary.  February 20th to be exact.

I tried wearing the ring pessary on and off for about 4 months.  Yes, there were times when it did cut down the severity of my prolapse symptoms…a little bit.  Yet, most of the time the improvement didn’t last very long at all.  Specifically, within hours it would shift and create its own discomfort.

Eventually it was obvious that the pessary was no real help to me.  Eventually I found the Whole Woman website and I learned why pessaries are not the “answer” to the problem of pelvic organ prolapse.

HOWEVER–

I will say that my pessary did give me one good thing:

It gave me HOPE.  It gave me something to try.  It gave me a small feeling of being in control.  It gave me an option.  It gave me something to actively do in regards to my healing.

Having hope is very important for healing!  The worst thing is feeling like you’ve exhausted all of your options to heal, right?  It’s scary to think that you’re at the end of the line, with NO where else to go.

It took me ~4 months to realize that my pessary wasn’t going to be the solution to my problem.  Yet I had hope for at least some of that time.

Then, when I started following the Whole Woman approach (at >11 months post-partum), I gained a whole new batch of hope.

Now…to the present time.  Do I still have hope?  Do I still have things to try?  Do I feel in control?  Do I have more options?  Am I actively doing something to facilitate my healing?

Sure.

I am trying my hardest to live and function in the optimal posture.  I suppose that’s “all I can do,” but I am also still hopeful that TIME itself will continue to heal.  And I’m not afraid to admit that I do believe in the possibility of big progress without an obvious cause = a miracle.

I don’t plan to lose hope.  Hope keeps me positive.  Hope gives me peace.  Hope is what I’m holding onto.

Pessary, you didn’t help me much, but you did give me hope for a few months.  Thanks for that!  Now off you go to the trash!

I am healed.

Tightening Skin

November 3, 2015

So here’s something:

I’ve noticed that the skin on my belly has definitely tightened up in the last month or so.  I think it was a couple weeks ago that it occurred to me that maybe that was the case.  Now I’m sure of it.

Back in June, when I was 10 months post-partum, I actually sent a private message on Facebook to a friend who had a baby 2.5 months before I did.  She’s in phenomenal physical shape (she’s a personal trainer, for one).  I asked her if she also noticed an increase in belly skin looseness.  At the time, she was just over 1 year post-partum.

My friend said, “Yup”!

I wonder if she also noticed a change for the better in the last several months, too.  I should ask her again.

At any rate, I think this means something.  It means that it does take a long time for the tissues to “shrink” back up.  And– what’s happening on the surface of my body must also be happening on the inside!

No doubt that the reason that I’m continuing to feel improvement in my prolapse symptoms at nearly 14.5 months post-partum is that it takes TIME for recovery.  Lots of time.

Although I no longer care about having a “ripped” belly completely devoid of any fat, I am pleased that my belly skin has tightened up and continues to tighten up.  And remember, folks– I’m 44 years old!

I get a peaceful feeling when I see the very concrete, visual evidence of my skin’s remarkable ability to reverse its laxity.  But– way more importantly– I visualize that ALL the pelvic organs that were affected by my difficult childbirth are also undergoing this same awesome process.

I am healed.