Thursday, May 10, 2012

Just Relaxing the Pain Away

Hey there!  I have been drowning in work lately and am missing my blog friends.  I very much appreciate some of you giving me blog awards, even though I'm not great at passing them along.  Thank you!!  Bloggers are really some of the nicest people out there.

So, my pain is....getting better!  FINALLY.  There have been huge improvements recently.  The pain doc increased my gabapentin dose and it's really helping.  Also, I went to my first physical therapy appointment last week and it was amazing.  The physical therapist spent a lot of time looking for the cause of my pain, be it a vertebral misalignment, pelvic floor muscle issue, etc.  She didn't quite find it, but gave me stretches and exercises for some problem areas.  I've been doing the PT religiously and it seems to be making a big difference.  Yesss!  I'm figuring out that taking a walk seems to trigger the pain but doing chores doesn't. Grrr. 

To add another doctor's appointment to the mix, since 14 appointments in 2 months may not be enough copays and missed work to satisfy me, I saw a psychologist last week to see if I'd be a good candidate for biofeedback.  The jury's still out on whether I would be or not—the psychologist is going to talk to my regular fertility therapist and come up with a plan.  The biofeedback psychologists were sure they could help me in some ways, though, even if it wasn't through biofeedback. 

And then they pissed me off.  They said my anxiety was contributing to the pain and we needed to get it under control.  I guess that's one of the general ideas behind biofeedback, so I shouldn't have been surprised to hear it.

Yes, I have a history of anxiety.  When I'm not taking SSRIs, I have panic attacks, some obsessive-compulsive tendencies, and a generally anxious mindset 24/7.  But I'm taking an SSRI now and am feeling pretty good emotionally, even with all of this pain crap.  I have moments when I'm depressed or anxious (and that's when I tend to blog, so you guys are seeing a lot of those moments), but am mostly ok.

So I'm confused.  I'm supposed to Just Relax?  Even if I'm already fairly relaxed?  It makes me think of the crazy time when I really thought Just Relaxing would get me pregnant.  I worked to achieve a Buddhist monk-like state of calmness for a long time after my first miscarriage.  For months and months, I did fertility yoga videos several times a week.  I meditated daily, practiced mindfulness all the freakin' time, and avoided potentially stressful situations.  And I didn't get pregnant until I gave up on relaxing and took letrozole.

That awful period of Just Relaxing has so many bad associations for me; I can't bear to do the fertility yoga or fertility meditations anymore.  They bring up way too many memories of crushed hope, failed cycle after failed cycle.  It turns out my body needed so much more to get and stay pregnant.

So I guess I get defensive when someone implies that I need to Just Relax, this time to help the pain.  I don't doubt there's ample clinical evidence of anxiety contributing to how you experience pain.  Totally makes sense.  I just don't think I'm very anxious right now.  So there.  /end rant

So, my next step on the road to a healthy pregnancy is a 3D sonogram, also known as a saline infusion sonogram.  I'm scheduled for one on Monday and am freaking out on many counts.  (Of course, these are healthy, normal freak-outs as opposed to pain-inducing anxiety attacks. :))  1)  What if this triggers another pain flare?  I have a call into my RE to discuss the wisdom of having the procedure this cycle as opposed to waiting one more cycle.  2)  What if there's something wrong?  I am pretty sure I will lose it if we see more scar tissue, septum issues, or polyps.

In addition to the 3D sono stress, I have a big work deadline on Tuesday.  If for some reason I'm in a ton of pain after the procedure, I could have major issues hitting my deadline.  Gonna work my butt off until the 3D sono to try to get ahead.

In infertility sadness-related news, why can't I anticipate which events/places will make my heart feel like it's breaking?  Went to my niece's and nephew's piano recital last weekend while I was PMSing, and seeing all the cute kids and parents made me want to weep.  I desperately want to attend all of my niece's and nephew's recitals or big games, but need to steel myself for them.  I'll be going to two dance recitals in June. 

For a moment at the piano recital, though, I wanted to protect myself from ever having to see that many kids and parents again in one place.  Avoidance can be fun!  I considered skipping my family beach trip this summer to avoid the hordes of children.  Last summer during the trip, I was pregnant.  This summer, in all likelihood, I'll start crying at the kid-filled outlet mall.  Good times.

Alright, back to work I go!


  1. I'm so glad to hear the pain is finally subsiding a bit! I can totally understand not wanting to do those relaxation and yoga videos, what used to work for us, often does not work a second time, or does bring back old memories. I think a psychologist can definitely help with some of the anxiety.

    Good luck on your sonogram! I hope it is painless and you finish all your deadlines.

    We should all never have to hear the term "Just relax" ever again! Arg. :)

  2. Glad to hear that the pain is finally manageable! I'm hoping everything goes okay for you at your 3D ultrasound. Things can only go up from here....right?!?! Praying that's the case!

  3. Happy to hear that the pain is getting to be under better control.

  4. I think self-protection by avoiding kid-filled events/venues etc is very important. And I deliberately take holidays (vacations) when and where there will be no (few) kids around. After all, if I want to enjoy myself, I don't want to have my losses rubbed in, do I?

  5. Yay for feeling better! I'm so SO happy to hear this news.

    I think the big thing is to not focus on relaxing, but instead figure out a way to find balance. If using previous techniques work, go for it. But if they bring anxiety, then talk with your doctors about other methods. "Just relax" has become such a stressful idea, so do what you need to do in order to find balance.

    I'm hoping the SIS goes well and that there is more good news very soon!

  6. I'm so happy to hear you are improving! I want to smack people who tell me to relax. :) Hang in there sweetie!

  7. Hang in there! Glad your feeling a little better and hoping for good news on your SIS!

  8. SO GLAD to hear that there is finally progress on the pain. It just blows my mind that it's gone on this long without anyone being able to help you.

    I practice avoidance big time. But it's hard when an event catches you with your guard down, and unfortunately they seem to be hiding around every corner.

    Know what I say to those who say Just Relax? Just go f** yourself.