Recovery: 4.5 Months

I feel like I'm coming out of the fog. It's been 2.5 months since I last wrote... a lot has been going on since then!

It’s been two and a half months since my last update. The reason for that is that a lot has been going on and I wanted to be able to get a little bit past it, in order to have some distance from it, so that I could speak about everything with strength versus fear.

This update is going to be a little bit different than the last two. I’ll explain, but first get comfortable. I have a feeling this is going to be a long post!

Heavy Bleeding and Uterine Fibroid Embolization

If you don’t care about this, feel free to skip ahead to the next section. Also, this may be TMI!

At the end of my last update, I mentioned that I learned I had a fibroid in my uterus. That was at the end of April. For most of the month of May, I had heavy bleeding, so much that it was tough to leave the house or sit on my couch without fear of bleeding through. Basically it was two long periods in a row.

A whole other part of this story that I haven’t really shared is that I actually have seen four different OBGYNs throughout this process. I switched because I had a terrible experience with two of them, and the third I just didn’t feel good about his plan of action for the removal of the fibroid. Finally I found an OBGYN that really cares and has taken a great deal of time to answer all of my questions so that we could choose the right plan of action together.

The thing about removing a fibroid via surgery is that you can end up with scarring on the inside of the uterus, especially if they have to cut through the walls of the uterus (through the abdomen) to get to it. This would have been the case for me, and since I want to have children (soon), I really didn’t want to go this route unless it was absolutely necessary.

So, my OBGYN referred me to a radiologist and I was scheduled for an MRI to see if I was a candidate for Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), which is a procedure where they go in through your radial artery (in your wrist) and travel through the vein all the way to the uterus, where they cut off the blood supply to the fibroid. It then dies and “sloughs off” over time as the doctor told me. There are some risks but they are minimal in comparison.

After meeting the radiologist, reviewing the MRI together, and asking her a million questions, I felt like this was the right choice. We set the date for the procedure... but THEN I had a bunch of issues with insurance, which lead to a stressful two weeks because it is a pretty expensive surgery if insurance doesn’t cover it. In the end everything worked out (a day before I was scheduled for the surgery) and I had the procedure.

Besides everything else that I am sharing here, there are two big silver linings I want to mention, that I realized after all of this. 1) It revitalized my belief in miracles because so many things worked out that seemed almost impossible and 2) I’ve gotten a chance to appreciate doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals that really care. I had so many people go out of their way to help me through this process. I am forever grateful.

Anyway, I had the procedure, stayed one night in the hospital (that was ROUGH) and came home to recover. My boyfriend came into town and took care of me, which was really nice. He made me soup, watched movies with me, and helped calm me down when I thought something was really wrong because my arm hurt SO bad after the surgery. (I didn’t realize how bruised the inside of my arm would be!)

2.5 weeks post procedure, things are a lot better. I’m still having some light bleeding on and off, which the doctor said would be expected for the next 2-3 months. It’s not nearly as heavy as before though! I’m pretty tired still, sleeping at least 8 hours a night, sometimes more.

I also had a full hormonal panel done as well, which showed that my progesterone was very low. I think that I also had estrogen dominance, which may have contributed to some of the bloating and giant boobs that I talked about in my last post. I’m taking progesterone for a short time (under the care of my OBGYN) and some other supplements to balance things out, in addition to the iron I was taking and my multi’s.

I haven’t weighed myself, but I have noticed some changes in my body since I started taking these things, like my boobs have gotten smaller, my face isn’t quite as bloated, and I don’t have as much cellulite on the front of my legs. Some of the water weight disappeared almost immediately once I started taking the progesterone. Maybe it's not connected, but it sure seems like it.

Allowing Myself To Be

So… I kind of feel like I’ve been out of commission since the beginning of the year. You don’t realize how much something like heavy bleeding and cramps can affect your life, but it REALLY does! I think back to the end of last year, about how I received the message during my meditation (I realize how woo-woo that sounds) to just stop doing pretty much everything, and now I am beginning to see why.

There have been many times I have asked the question, “why me?” feeling very sorry for myself. Between the heavy bleeding itself, the issues with the doctors and insurance, I had many sad days. There have also been times I wished I could go back and do things differently, or maybe not choose this recovery path right now, because of how much I just didn't feel like myself, or the possibility that the foods I was eating could have been causing the symptoms to get worse.

But those moments are becoming less and less. Because at the same time, there been many times when I have thanked my lucky stars that things weren’t worse. All of this tough stuff that I have been facing this year has helped me to appreciate what I DO have. In fact, one thing I can appreciate is that when things were getting intense with the heavy bleeding, I wasn’t really thinking about recovery at all! The severity of that made my food/body stuff seem irrelevant, like no big deal. Sometimes I even wondered if I need to call it recovery and put a label on it, or if what I am doing is simply living and learning.

The other day a video of me from a couple years ago popped up on Facebook and I had the urge to watch it (something I rarely do). Coincidentally it was about my weight gain. I was talking about how I had gained weight since Brian and I had started dating because I had relaxed and allowed myself more freedom than the structure that I had in the past, i.e. going out more and vacationing more vs eating mostly always at home. And I didn’t care that I had gained some weight. It was worth it to me and I was enjoying my life.

Watching myself talk about this topic two years ago, I could feel that I was in alignment with what I was saying at that time. So what happened? How did I get so exhausted? How did I get so out of alignment? 

I really don’t have the answer yet. I don’t know how or when exactly it happened. I have ideas… but I don’t know for sure. I may never know. Or maybe I will know a year from now, or 6 months. Maybe it doesn't even matter why. It just matters what I do from here. Instead of trying to figure it out, I'm letting go and allowing myself to be where I am right now, without judgement or need to analyze.

Food and Body Image

Things are quite different for me right now than they were when I last wrote, two and a half months ago.

The excessive hair loss is gone (it’s funny, I can see little short hairs growing in), some of the bloating is gone, I don’t have any heart palpitations. My digestion has improved quite a bit too. I’m still tired and I’m trying to give myself as much rest as possible, but I believe much of that is from the recovery from surgery and heavy bleeding.

I’ve started exercising again in ways that feel good. Mostly doing 30 minute circuits at home plus walking or biking when I feel like it. I took about a week and a half off of any sort of exercise after the surgery, but otherwise have been moving my body in some way that feels good 3-5 days a week.

I’m eating foods that sound good, but I really don’t have the cravings that I had previously. I still don’t have a desire to have a salad as my main course, however I am eating more vegetables. I’m not thinking about it much at all really. I am just eating what feels/sounds good and then moving on with my day.

I experimented with many of the foods I had developed a “no, I can’t have that” reaction about like Dairy Queen, for example (for those of you in the Midwest). Surprisingly… it wasn’t that good! I had it 3-4 times and didn’t enjoy it much any of those times. Isn’t that funny? I set up expectations, thinking I was missing out and then when I had it, I was disappointed. Lol. If I had only known...

Two things I am still really enjoying that I previously didn’t have very often are cookies and dark chocolate. Not that I never let myself have them, I just didn’t have them very often and now they are still a part of my daily desires.

For the most part, I think I am accepting where I am. I still have the sad feelings sometimes when I see a picture of myself from last year or the year before and I think, wow I looked good.

Or a friend will post a picture of herself in a bikini or one of my friends from pole dancing will post a video of an amazing routine she just did and I start to go down the path of, “I’m not good enough”, beating myself up because I am not where I think I should be.

But I know better than that. And I remind myself of what I know. I know it will pass with time, I just want to be honest with you so that you know I have these thoughts sometimes too. I’ve actually stopped paying attention to most recovery blogs and videos, besides Kayla from “Damn the Diets” because I really resonate with her videos.

Side note, would you be excited for me to do an interview with her? I’ve been thinking about it. If I have enough people email me to say they’d enjoy that, I’ll reach out to her. Let me know if you think that would be fun and let me know any specific questions you have for her!

Anyway, instead of watching/reading these types of things, I have gone back to my roots! I have been listening to a lot of Abe (Abraham Hicks) and also returning to a lot of what I teach in Immersion and Feel Amazing.

I am reminding myself the things that I know are MY truths about self-love, nourishment, and intentional manifestation. So much of what I have taught was inspired from Abraham Hicks.

Listening to an Abe audio is what soothes me the most when I start to feel anxious, as if my identity is tied to my body. The truth is, I don’t feel super comfortable when I look at myself in pictures right now. But the strange thing is that I DO feel comfortable in my skin. We went to Vegas for my boyfriend’s birthday and I spent several days in a bikini and I felt okay about it. I feel okay when I am working out, knowing that I am not as strong or fit as I once was, but also knowing that I am working to increase my strength and endurance once again… and that in the mean time, it’s okay to love myself.

Identity, it’s such an interesting thing. We become attached to all of these labels we use to ground ourselves in who we think we are and what we look like is often one of them. Especially for those of us who have made a name for ourselves by ‘inspiring’ others through posting images of ourselves on social media.

Can I be a bit blunt?

I am so over it!

I haven’t posted on social media in a while because I feel like I am healing a scab that I’ve been picking at (ew) unconsciously for the past few years. I wanted to help women and I did what other successful people told me I should do in order to also be successful. I shared from the heart, but I also opened myself up and made myself vulnerable in a way I didn’t realize.

I used my body to prove a point. The truth is, before/after photos, or pictures of a ‘beautiful’ face get lots of likes (attention). When your business is your body (or at least attached to it in some way) that can really take a toll.

The question I have for myself is this:

If I attach my value to my body having to look a certain way or my (subjective) beautiful face, then who am I without those things?

Even if my intentions are to help women, for me personally, I don’t want to be a part of all the subliminal messaging that we receive from the carefully calculated photos and captions that we see across the web.

There are a lot of women who I think are doing a great job raising awareness about this (like Katie H. Willcox (on insta) and her company, Healthy is the New Skinny) but I just don’t know if I have it in me to be a part of that movement/conversation publicly right now (besides here on the blog).

I’m too tired and perhaps jaded because, while I think entrepreneurship is great, I also think that a high percentage of the “success” you see across the web is a facade used to manipulate people into wanting what someone else has so that they will spend money with that person. I know I have some forgiveness work to do around this (obvi, right?) for others and even myself. For now, I think it’s best for me to just give myself some space and time to let go and not be so angry about it.

I share this because many of you have been asking what I am doing and am going to do if I am not coaching, and the answer is I don’t know. I have really been enjoying working with a couple companies on branding behind the scenes. I feel creative when I work on projects like that and it feels easy and natural for me. That was what I loved most about my previous company (that I owned before I started coaching).

So that’s the scoop. It’s been a LOT to handle, and on top of all of this, my boyfriend has been going through some extremely stressful things too, so we’ve been doing the best that we can to support each other in the midst of our own stuff.

The silver lining in that is that if we can get through all this together, everything else should be a piece of cake, right? ;-) Jk, what I mean is that I feel blessed to have a man by my side, who loves me and supports me even during the tough times.

I feel like the two of us are phoenixes rising from the ashes after all that we’ve gone through this year together! And together we’re learning how to allow MORE, control LESS, trust, and focus on what it is that we DO want.

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