One day at a time, I tell myself. Wake up, remember to breathe, try to enjoy the little things, get your work done, kiss your beloved, take care of your body, focus on healing, and again, remember to breathe. That’s where I am today.
I’m trying. That’s all I can do. Some days are stay-the-hell-in-bed, others I can think about tomorrow. We’ve got a lot of financial obligations coming up and it’s put a lot of pressure on me as a business owner to produce. I’d made the mistake of mentioning to our therapist that we’re going to “take the summer off” mentally after all the infertility shit we’ve been through, and she assumed that meant taking it easy. Notsomuch. First of all, my herniated disc, more than 5 months post-injury, is still in pretty bad shape. I can sit for 10 or 15 minutes in a harder chair now, but it’s still an exceptional day if I can walk more than 30 minutes before being so wiped out it feels like I’ve finished a half-marathon.
This week I got my annual breast thermography, which actually has been 2 years delayed because of all that damn DEIVF (high levels of estrogen and progesterone, I learned after one, can give false readings), and while preliminary findings look good, there’s a left spot that needs review. While I was there, my wonderful new thermographer offered to do a quick image of my lower back so we could get a quick look at what things look like from an inflammation perspective. Hyperthermia – spots of pain – are indicated by red and white, so as you can see in the image below, my L5 vertebrae is hot as hell (I know, the white bit looks like my crack but I promise, it’s definitely my aching L5!) and spreads out to the right side. Good to know it’s not all in my head, I suppose, but kind of scary to see how much is still going on after so damn long. My heart has ached with the depression that has accompanied this debilitating back pain, the kind of injury has not allowed me to do so many of the normal things in my life. I haven’t been on a bike since last fall. I haven’t been to a movie since last fall. I haven’t taken a hike since last fall. I haven’t been out to dinner with my husband since last fall. I haven’t touched my toes or lifted anything of any substantial weight or gotten on my hands and knees to dig in the dirt or done a downward facing dog or tied my shoes without incredible effort. It’s a real shit.
Oh and as we approach the pink-ified hell for infertile couples that is Mother’s Day, I had the great fortune of seeing this asshole post about how motherhood makes women better at their jobs, and yeah, went on a bit of a rampage against the elitist complex that is in so many women who have kids and automatically think that they can make blanket statements about the superiority of mothers, essentially shitting all over those of us who can’t (along with those who choose not to) have children. Many of us know what it’s like to be one of the many childless people in the workplace who worked overtime while watching parents come in late, leave early, and get to work from home while employers laughed at our requests for a work/life balance. Yeah, I want more than anything to be a mother, but will having a dependent make me better than other women? Fuck no.
“Too often, women who are child-free by circumstance are left with the sense of not having a proper life. And many women who are childfree by choice find themselves vilified as heartless, selfish types lacking some vital quality that would make them “real” women.” (source)
Needless to say, I’m in the Anger stage of Grief.