5 Challenges & 5 Small Victories

I didn’t really write yesterday, but I think I can handle today’s blog prompt. It involves numbered lists, after all — and I love numbered lists.

5 Challenges & 5 Small Victories. Make a list of the 5 most difficult parts of your health focus. Make another top 5 list for the little, good things (small victories) that keep you going.

5 Challenges:

  1. Increasing Pain — Not necessarily in intensity but in frequency and duration. Several years ago, I estimated feeling pain for about two weeks out of every month. That gradually increased to two and a half, then three, weeks. Then “most days.” Now I can’t honestly say that I experience days without endo pain. There are low pain days and bad pain days — and in-between pain days — but saying goodbye to the reality of pain-free days has been rough.
  2. Decreasing Mobility & Stability — My hips and back are stiffer more often, for no apparent reason. Not like, I worked them hard the day before or I slept on them funny. And unlike stiffness from those types of causes, I don’t work out of it from everyday movement. It’s also more often that I can feel one of my pelvic or hip nerves cut out from under me for no particular reason. Just working and then — whoops! — not.
  3. Giving Up on Menstrual Suppression — For a long time, one of the goals of my endo management has been to try to suppress my menstrual cycles, which has resulted in multiple methods of fail. I bleed all the time. I bleed all the time with bonus side effects. I bleed more normally, but the thing that regulates my bleeding falls out of me. I bleed sufficiently erratically that I have no idea that what I’m actually experiencing is a chemical pregnancy and miscarriage. (This, by the way, is not recent.) There was always the implicit promise that if I could eliminate the period-like bleeding, then I could also eliminate the pain. Well, I can’t and I can’t. My current best hope, it seems, is to wrangle the bleeding — and therefore the worst pain days — into a generally predictable schedule.
  4. Invisibility — This encompasses two areas that sometimes conflict. One is my frustration that since I usually don’t appear to have any kind of impairment, then people — coworkers, people in the general public, sometimes friends — expect me to perform as if I’m healthy and able-bodied. Or that they expect me to prioritize my energy expenditures according to what makes sense to them (e.g., going out in an evening versus going for a run). The second is my discomfort with admitting — in person, to people outside my intimate circle — that this is not the case, as well as negotiating what that entails in concrete terms.
  5. Trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations and blaming myself when I can’t.

5 Small Victories:

  1. My Primary Health Care Provider — Who is unequivocally on my side. As such, she addresses what concerns she can and tries to refer to specialists when she can’t. (Though admittedly, the specialist referrals have been a bit of a crapshoot.)
  2. Yoga — Sometimes people ask why, if I’m dealing with a chronic pain condition, I gravitate toward such a vigorous practice. The answer is that putting my body into a variety of postures that each demand strength, balance, and control, I am helping my “trunk muscles” (core, hips, thighs) compensate for the decreasing mobility and stability.
  3. Tax Refunds & Flights — Recently, I received my tax refund from the government and used it to purchase a plane ticket to see my mom and sister this summer. Between the quantity of the refund (I know, I know — it means I’ve been letting the government take too much money all year, but whatever), scouring the Internet for the best rates, and admitting to myself that I Need This, I was able to get seats with extra room on four shorter flights (2.5 hours + 2.5 hours each way; as opposed to 0.5 hours + 4.5 hours each way) rather than risk the Dreaded Middle Seat on the standard flights from the major carriers at my local airport.
  4. Carpooling — Even when I end up taking the bus home, somtimes it is the world’s biggest relief to know that I do not have to drive — and therefore potentially risk my own and everyone else’s safety — while in pain. (Or while on narcotic pain relievers, which is legally a bigger conflict.)
  5. I want to say my current hormonal birth control pills — but that remains to be seen. There is a reasonable chance, though, that they will accomplish the predictability task set out for them.

I'm here. I like stuff. Some other stuff, I like less.

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Posted in MenstroMonster
One comment on “5 Challenges & 5 Small Victories
  1. Everyday, we are dealing with both
    good and bad situations. When things
    are getting tough, you have options
    on how to overcome them. It’s good to
    know that yoga is able to convert our
    negative moods associated with other
    factor such as pain caused by diseases
    or stress. The movements in yoga
    exercises produces endorphin, a
    chemical in the brain that has a
    pleasant effect on our brain that also
    produce positive result to our body.


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