Coughing is the Worst

February 29, 2016

I used to put coughing, sneezing, laughing and blowing my nose all in the same category of things that are NO good for prolapse…but I’ve definitely decided that coughing is the very worst!

When I blow my nose, I can put myself in a position where I feel pretty darn protected.  (I lean my forearms on a counter, stick my butt out/up and keep my belly relaxed.)

Sneezes are pretty sketchy but they’re relatively rare and they’re over fast.  I try to sit down or grab myself if I have time…which helps.

Of course, who doesn’t like to “belly laugh” as much as possible?
{{ Ladies with prolapse symptoms }}

And– my husband knows better than to try to casually tickle me.

BUT

Coughing is brutal!!

I’ve been dealing with a cold that hasn’t been so bad except for the coughing.  Ugh!  It feels like all my dedicated work with keeping my posture (and therefore pelvic organs) “in check” is undone when I’m forced to cough, cough and cough again.

Every time I cough I know that things aren’t right!  It’s weird because I feel so much better in a lot of ways but yet the pressure from coughing is horrible.  I’ll definitely be thankful once the coughing stops!

For now, I’ll remain peaceful knowing that despite the coughing, I’m still doing fine.  Things could be worse!

I am healed.

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Abdominal Symptoms

February 2, 2016

Just a quick post to mention that lately it’s my lower abdominal area that is giving me my most annoying prolapse symptoms.  That’s a switch!  Before, it was (very!) clearly my perineum that was the source of all my discomfort.  The feelings of pressure/irritation/bulginess were always DOWN THERE.

But these days, I’m enjoying spans of time when I do feel significantly more “closed” and “lifted.”  It definitely doesn’t feel like anything is falling out or on the verge of doing so.  That gives me peace, right there!

However– I’m trying to figure out these abdominal symptoms that I’m having.  It seems like they are due to my prolapse issues, but yet they are mysterious…

I am due for my yearly “well check-up” with my doctor.  I think I’ll schedule that visit soon.

This is what I’m feeling:

  • a heightened “awareness” of what’s going on in my lower abdomen
  • sometimes it seems like the area is more bloated than it was before
  • sometimes I wonder if my intestines moved into a different place when I was pregnant…and they didn’t go back to their old location
  • the feeling in my abdomen is hard to describe but feels like a mild buzzing or a subtle internal irritation or possibly the mildest cramp
  • the slight discomfort is accompanied by an internal feeling of “lack of support.”  I notice the lack of support in general, but it’s definitely a lot worse if I attempt to carry any loads in front of me (just one example).
  • my abdominal muscles seem to be more “stretched out” because I no longer suck in my tummy and I don’t do ab work.  I’m not talking about the skin, but the muscles.
  • I feel like it’s my bladder that is the source of these new symptoms

I am still physically healing.  That much is true.  My body is taking its own pace with that.  I’m sitting back (but not literally) and giving my body its own time.  Slow and steady.

I want to have this checked out (only to rule out anything serious) but I do suspect that I’m just getting some extra sensory input from my organs’ gradual shift back to normalcy.  Time will tell!

And so I notice my belly/bladder more than I want to.  I look forward to the day when I don’t notice, notice, notice sensations all the time.  That will be nice when I have that (healthy) lack of feeling.

I am healed.

 

A Better Telemark Skier

January 18, 2016

Like almost all weekends during winter, this weekend we skied both days.  It’s been a great snow year for the Pacific NW, so this year I’ve been skiing on more than just smooth groomed runs.

The last 2 years weren’t the best years for snowfall, but that worked out great for me because 2 years ago I was skiing ever so carefully while pregnant (well into the 2nd trimester) and last year I was skiing ever so carefully during my 4th through 7th months being post-partum.

Last year, my husband and I took turns in the lodge with baby in the car seat carrier.  That meant that I only did about 4-5 runs each day of the weekend.  Last year, I felt grateful for being able to do any amount of skiing and I physically wasn’t up for doing much more.

Now…this year…

I have to admit that I had some downer moments this weekend.  I usually hold my positive attitude and work with that, try to build on that.  But sometimes I just get bummed out.

This weekend I got down because I just want to be able to ski and hike and pole plant and side step and bend down and carry my gear and FUNCTION like I used to.  I’m sick of having to watch every move I make.  I’m sick of having to think about whether what I’m doing is going to make me feel worse. or not.  I’m sick of having to modify what I do.  I’m just F@&#ing tired of it.

I just want to be more of the hard charging athlete/skier that I used to be.  {{Cry, cry, cry}}

Which brings me to the “good news” part of this post.  I’m in the process of becoming a better Telemark skier, thanks to my prolapse symptoms.  Seriously!  And that IS a good thing.  It’s the good thing that I’m holding onto right now.

I feel quite excellent in the tele turn, as I’ve mentioned recently.  I do want to LIVE in the tele turn at all times when I’m on skis.  However– in order to do that, I need to improve my skiing.  I.e. I need to get back to my pre-pregnancy skiing skill level.  I need to stop being lazy when my legs get a little tired (which means I revert back to the alpine turn).  I need to get over feeling timid and I need to stop skiing overly cautious.  It makes things worse, not better!

So this weekend, I worked on doing as many tele turns as possible.  When my legs got to burning on a run, I didn’t switch to alpine turns and keep going.  I stopped and rested and then continued on in the tele.

When I encountered bumpier, deeper terrain, I started adopting my old “Spank it or be spanked” attitude (which is a line from a classic instructional ski video that we have, “Beyond The Groomed”).  Getting my weight slightly forward helped noticeably.

The more I Telemark ski the more at peace I feel on skis.  Thank goodness for that.  I’d hate to feel worse doing tele turns rather than better!  I shall focus on the positive.

I am healed.

Skiing Down, Hiking Up

January 10, 2015

It was another ski weekend for us.

Once again, I definitely noticed that Telemark turns are the best kind of ski turns for my prolapse symptoms.  Beyond that, it feels “the best” for me physically to ski on either smooth, groomed runs or in light, untracked powder.  (That’s the best skiing in general!)

When I do standard old downhill ski turns, I feel fine, but in certain places and situations I can definitely feel somewhat of a pull, a sensation, a “whatever it is I’m feeling” in my lower abdomen region.  (More on that in a separate post.)

At this point, I’m trying not to get myself into too much snow that’s on the heavier side…or wind-affected…or bumped up with moguls…etc.  Basically, I feel best when my body isn’t having to “react” to sudden forces all the time.

And…

As for hiking with my skis, I’m doing that way differently that I used to.

At Mission Ridge (Wenatchee, WA), where we usually ski, we have to hike up Windy Ridge for ~20 minutes to get to the top of the Microwave Tower (starting at the top of the Liberator quad chair).

I used to always carry my skis in front of me, holding them horizontally using the strength in my biceps and upper back.

Now– the reality in my world is that carrying just about ANYTHING in front of me (that has any weight to it at all…think baby, laundry basket, boxes, etc) provokes increased prolapse symptoms and reminds me of what NOT to do.

Therefore, I tend to carry heavier items toward my sides/over one hip whenever possible.  To carry my skis, I’m now training my shoulder muscles.  I’m now carrying my skis over one shoulder, like everyone else does.

My perineum is much more at peace when I shoulder my skis.  I’m not going to carry them in front of me again!

This is just one example of how I’ve learned (and I’m continuing to learn) to modify my daily activities to manage my prolapse symptoms appropriately.  I can still ski, and I can still hike with my skis, but I have to discover what works best for me and what’s best to avoid.

Skiing is a sport and a recreational activity and a hobby that I’m glad I can keep doing AND enjoying.  Our 16.5 month old boy got on his skis in the snow for the first time this weekend!  I’m looking forward to many, many family ski adventures in the near (and far) future.

I am healed.

Holding My Head Up High

January 2, 2016

I’m going to be honest.  I haven’t felt my absolute best in the prolapse-symptom “department” over the past couple weeks.  It’s been okay, just not great.  Why?

Is it because of increased stress due to:  working more days this month…AND going over the mountains on weekends for skiing…AND staying up way too late at nights getting ready for Christmas…AND traveling one state away for Christmas…AND eating a bit more sugar than I’m used to (and drinking more alcohol)…AND slacking off on drinking my daily gotu kola tea…AND/or…???

One thing I’m always responsible for is taking care of my posture.  Lately I’ve noticed that I can definitely do better with one component of the Whole Woman posture.

I’m really good at maintaining my lumbar curve.  I’m really good at relaxing my belly.  I’m pretty good at lifting up my chest, but…

I often find myself with head down, chin untucked.

When I DO take care to lift my head when I’m lifting my chest (and also tuck my chin), then I do feel a subtle yet noticeable difference in how “lifted” my perineum feels at the same time.

The problem is that so many daily activities require us to look down.  It’s a challenge to find ways around this, but I’m up for the challenge because I do know why it’s so important to maintain every component of the posture as often as humanly possible.

When I walked down the sidewalk today (we took our boy out for a stroller ride today), it did feel kind of weird to hold my head “so” high.  For one, It was cold out and I really wanted to hunch over to prevent any extra cold air from getting in around my neck.  But I resisted the urge.  Instead, I looked skyward at the crisp blue air and frosty trees.

At home, I tried to stay mindful of my head position whenever possible.  Mindfulness is everything.  Stay in the present.  Keep the posture.  Keep the peace.

I have to keep going back to the posture 1000 times a day.  I stray, then I go back.  Like I said, I do some components very naturally and other things I have to work at.

Healing is process.  I imagine that every time I strike the optimal posture I’m telling my pelvic organs to mold themselves and I’m telling my body to heal itself THERE….in the position of optimal wellness.

Some people want to lose weight this January.  I just want to hold my head up high!

I am healed.