Positive reflections.

With everything that I have felt bad about, or complained about I have two positive things to note.

1. The newest BCP I’m on must’ve worked better than I expected, because in the last 4 days (the first, and usual worst days of my period) I have lost less than 35mL of blood (last period I lost just shy of 140mL of blood in 4 days).  30mL of blood is the average blood loss for menstruation, so while I still have some time to go on my period, it is pretty exciting to be much closer to the average amount!

2. I have some excellent Professors. I love them. Seriously, I couldn’t be more thankful for the current group of faculty in my department than I am now. They are so concerned about my health and well-being, above research and school work (which can be rare in graduate school- my old department was certainly research first!). Two of my Professors today told me to take as much time as I needed to get my coursework for this semester completed; that if I cannot get it completed in the next two weeks of classes, they would give me an Incomplete, and then when I am able to finish it, change the course grade. I honestly cannot express how relieving that is. It has been a constant struggle to complete work this semester, and I am rather behind where I want to be on all my end of the year projects. I’ve been quite worried about being able to finish everything on time. And while I will, of course, do my best to get everything complete on time- but if I cannot- especially with the surgical consultation coming up- it is relieving to know I will not have lost my entire semester. Plus, it is wonderful to know that my Professors genuinely care about me. I am so happy with my decision to switch fields.

I hope you can all find something positive today as well.

Having a Hard Time

I’ve been having a really hard time lately.

I’ve made a lot of progress with my doctors, and as I alluded to my last post- I even have an appointment scheduled for April 30th with Dr. Yalcinkaya, an infertility specialist with an interest in endometriosis, to discuss doing a diagnostic laproscopy. I honestly wasn’t sure we would ever even get to that point. I also have an appointment on the 16th to meet with a gastroenterologist, to see if she can figure out any other cause for all the pain, bowel pressure, diaphragm pressure causing chest tightness, bloating, and constipation.But the pain over the past few months has been ridiculous. And the fatigue; I hate the fatigue.  The two graphs below are screen captures from Catch My Pain. They span from February 1st to April 7th.

PainIntensityAsOfTenThirtyFiveAM FatigueAsOfTenThirtyFiveAMHappinessAsOfTenThirtyFiveAM

The pain alone I can mostly press through, though that probably isn’t the best idea. The fatigue, when high, is crushing and makes functioning incredibly difficult. The depression makes it really hard to get anything I need to get done done- even though I know I have a lot I know I need to do for school, I just can’t bring myself to do it.  On most days my happiness level is “neutral” though my depression still is there, making it hard to get things done. The days when my mood is “unhappy” or “very unhappy” though, I spend a lot of time just trying to pull myself together.

For example, yesterday was a bad depression day. A and I went to Target, since his mom sent me a gift card as part of my birthday present last week. I wanted some loose outfits to wear for when my belly is all bloated, and after that laproscopy. I went in looking for some maxi dresses, but surprisingly Target had very few options- and nothing that I liked, in the regular section. So, we meandered into the maternity section, which had better options. I found two dresses and a top I wanted to try on… Of course its cruel enough that here I am thinking of buying maternity clothes with a ton of reproductive issues, my hormones all crazy and hard-core desiring a baby lately. That alone started to tip the scale towards “unhappy.”

But then, to make things worse, I’m in the dressing room trying on what I picked out (which, neither dress fit right since I’m not actually pregnant) and a baby- young baby- starts crying in one of the changing rooms across from me. I think it was hungry, but the mom didn’t seem to be making an effort to soothe it. The whole time I was trying on clothes it cried. So there I am, trying on maternity clothes and thinking about wanting a baby- but what if I can never have one. I almost broke down sobbing.

I left the dressing room after the parent and baby did, so I never saw the baby- which I guess is a blessing. And I did end up with two shirts that don’t look bad, are long and loose enough to wear with leggings that won’t hurt my abdomen, and are soft and comfortable. But it still took A most of the early afternoon to get me out of immediate sadness. He had to let me buy him a new hoodie and some chocolate. (Because buying things is what I do when I’m feeling unhappy and depressive). And then bought me Sonic for lunch, and made a bunch of cute jokes and kept talking to me at the grocery store and throughout the afternoon, which helped to keep my mind busy. But then randomly in the evening it struck again, and I spent most of the night trying not to cry.

Today was better, happiness wise. I took my dog, Pepper, for a walk with some of his greyhound friends around campus. It was warm and sunny, and I had a good time. But I still can’t bring myself to get the work done that I need to get done. And if I stop and think for a second (even through the brain fog) I start to get sad again. I’m not sure how I’m going to get through the end of the semester given how much work I have left to do, my difficulty in getting it started (let alone done), and how many doctors appointments I am cramming into that time on top of everything.

Which, of course, thinking about how difficult school has gotten for me just makes the depression worse.

Its a vicious cycle that I can’t seem to break… On the bright side, I did pass my Qualifying Exam- which in terms of graduate school is a pretty big exam and means I can continue on with my program; so, even though I feel like my brain is always in a fog, I’m having a hard time thinking (my dyslexia is even getting worse), and I’m having a hard time getting my work done to a quality I’m happy with- I guess my program still thinks I’m doing alright. And I need to hold onto that…

Just a Bit of Whining

I have a lot to update on- including a referral for a diagnostic laproscopy.

But right now I just need to whine.

I feel awful, I’m so fatigued that keeping my head up is a struggle, and I can’t focus one damn bit on all the work I need to get done. I just want to curl into a ball and cry and cry and cry until the world seems better- but I don’t know that it will. And that won’t help me get my work done…

I just need to get all this out there somewhere…