Wednesday, January 20, 2010

hope?

So I still haven't created the poster thingy that's supposed to measure my progress with my resolutions. I also haven't checked back with the list to see whether I'm forgetting any. If I am, I would like to continue forgetting briefly until I'm more fully squared away with what I'm working on now.

Poster or no poster, though, I want to say that right now, I have so many reasons to be hopeful (not reflected in an unshakeable good mood or anything annoying and un-IF-like like that, but I recognize that they exist).

I posted a while ago about the lethargy and needing some energy so I could get on my exercise kick. Cathy was kind enough to tell me about some herbal supplements I could take that would help - I bought one (Guarena seed) that's supposed to provide an immediate energy boost (I got the kind with no caffeine - I already know where to get caffeine!) and one (Fo Ti root) that's supposed to heal the systems generally and improve energy levels over the long term. I've taken one of each almost every day. I'm also good at remembering my thyroid meds (now on the erfa for a month or two, can't see any difference from the synthroid, but what do I know?).

I don't remember whether I explained this, but my first day back to work after the new year (before I started on the supplements), I dragged my lethargic carcass down to the gym and set the treadmill for one mile, twelve-minute miles, no incline. I did run the whole mile. But I felt exhausted and in need of a nap the whole time. My legs weren't tired and my lungs weren't tired; I was just tired. And it finally occurred to me with great clarity what was going on that was so odd. I ran half a mile, after which I remember feeling a boost when I was healthy, but nothing. I dragged myself through the whole mile. And I realized how I would describe the experience in layman's terms - no adrenaline rush! Even when I should have had one. So then the supplements. It hasn't been night-and-day enough to be sure it's them, but I do feel a difference - something is helping.

I've been pushing my weights and distances slowly. I figured out (after months) that you're supposed to put your feet way at the end of the treads on the stairmaster, and I finally started getting a decent butt workout! I dropped to 40 flights to have more time for the treadmill, but it's still much more taxing than before. I still can't do ten reps on the lat machine at 60 pounds, but as of today I can do seven reps. Maybe next week I can do ten? And then eventually three sets of ten? And then 70 pounds!

And the best part - the very best part - is the distances. I started at one mile and in the first week moved up to 1.5. The next week I made it to 2.0. Then I missed two days (out of three a week) at the gym! I was sure I was off the wagon for good. But we just had a 3.5 day weekend - and I ran all four days. First 2 miles. Then, the last 3 days, 2.5 miles! Some evil person had the treadmill when I got to the gym yesterday, so I only got a mile in (I did some other machines, though), but today I snagged a treadmill early. I thought I might not be able to do 2.5 miles on the treadmill - my outdoor jogging speed might be even lower than I thought? But I was wrong. I did the 2.5 miles straight without a break (or drop in speed), and didn't feel like I needed one! I haven't done that in YEARS! I will admit I did get mentally weary - running on the treadmill is BORING. I have to work on distracting myself. But I wasn't tired, and I know that tomorrow I can start doing THREE miles! (I have decided my goal is definitely five miles a day by my birthday in February!)

Even more exciting - I looked down somewhere around .7 miles, and I realized I was experiencing - an adrenaline boost! That feeling of, "Let's keep running. I think I could do this forever!" It wasn't as electrifying as with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face when you're in amazing shape and might actually be able to run forever. But it was energy, and it was amazing.

I will note that I haven't, as far as I can tell, lost any net weight yet. This past weekend I went to Target and geared up for my goals - I bought a digital scale, since our analog one is so confusing, and handweights for running. I don't think I'm quite up to running with weights yet, but soon! And then I will have toned arms. I can't wait! However. My dh and I both weighed ourselves when I unboxed the scale. BOTH of us were completely horrified. We're each so horrified with our own weight that neither of us has really registered whether the other has gained significant weight. And we are both determined to whip ourselves into shape. But, although I haven't made any numerical progress on the scale yet, the progress on the fitness goals really has me motivated. It will definitely carry me for a few more weeks at this rate, and then maybe it will start having some effect on my hips!

Oh, yes, finally. Signs of hope: no more tamoxifen. I finished it. I feel mildly less psycho, but it comes and goes. I know the effects will remain for several more weeks. I don't see any particularly good cm; not sure whether to expect it this cycle. Anyway, I will try to catch p+7 and get my blood draw then, and make an appointment with Dr. L/C for after the results come back. At that time, I hope to find out whether the tamoxifen is helping, whether there are now adjusted expectations post-surgery, and what, other than tamoxifen, I can take. I think I should probably be medicated if my cycle won't normalize (and I'm being a good sport this year), but I don't like the tamoxifen and want to try something else.

I might also note that my dh will be gone almost every other (entire) month for the rest of this ttc year. This hasn't resulted in any hysterics on my part yet, but you never know when that's lurking around the corner. I guess if God were going to ordain that everything be aligned perfectly for only one cycle in this period of comparative health and it were a month when my dh is gone, then God is evil and I've chosen the wrong religion. So either way, I shouldn't worry - it will either work if it's supposed to, or I am not theologically equipped to raise a child. One or the other.

Lastly, my dh and I realized that although our recent fights have been pretty outrageous, our general MO is to be a wee bit confrontational. That's funny when we're in a good mood, but if either of us is having a difficult time, it rapidly descends into the brutal. (Verbally, you know. Neither of us is in adequate shape for hand-to-hand combat!) So, at his instance, we are starting a program of being nice to each other. I know, it sounds faintly inane, and a little oversimplified - if that worked, wouldn't we have done it already? Well, as it happens, no. So we're trying it. So far, it seems to be working pretty well.

I will let everyone know when I become a cheerful, upbeat, childlike, unerring optimist. Until then, progress.

14 comments:

  1. Wow! Your exercise regimen is inspiring! I am interested in those herbs (is that what they are) and will have to look for them soon. Thanks for sharing and thanks to Cathy for recommending them to you. On another note, thank you so much for your comment on my recent post asking about balance. I was blown away by everyone's concern and advice! You guys are awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! Sounds like I need to get myself some Guarena seed and Fo Ti root! Impressive workouts.

    Christina

    ReplyDelete
  3. My giggly bits are very envious of your exercise accomplishments. Great job.

    I laughed at the scale story. We bought a new digital one a few years ago and we weighed 5 lbs less on it. The old one obviously had stayed around longer than it should have. DH said, “we just lost 5 lbs. and all we had to do was buy a new scale!” Sadly, this trick only worked the one time.

    Maybe working on being nice will lead to better communication. We are like that, too. We pick at each other which is good and fun during the up times, but can rub the wrong way under stress.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yah, that's some pretty serious time in the gym! Excellent!

    Love,
    Your most dedicated cheerful, upbeat, childlike, unerring optimist ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Okay, I'm impressed with your workouts. I need to set a time to go to the gym and then just GO. My dr. told me yesterday that I need to strengthen my upper body, so I need to get serious about this. I love that you're getting some energy back in your workouts! I remember when I used to work out consistently getting more and more energy as time went on. It was only the first two or three weeks that was a struggle.
    I used to be sarcastic, snarky, even just plain rude to my husband, but this last year have been working on being nicer. And it has really made us closer and in return he seems to treat me much gentler - even started doing things like opening doors and helping me with my coat, pulling out my chair, etc. I never asked him too either - I think it just fostered a new kind of closeness b/w us and he unconsciously is drawn more toward the husband protector role, which has been wonderful.
    If you haven't read it - the Surrendered Wife is an excellent book. I think Sew recommended it to me originally? And if you're not familiar with it - it's not a "women should be seen but not heard" and "the husband is always right" kind of book, so don't worry about that. It's just about creating closeness b/w a man and woman.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Those workouts are seriously impressive. I am always in awe of people who can run like that. I did Couch to 5K recently and it about killed me. :)
    I get so hot on the treadmill (the gym is really warm. I know, right?!) and my face flushes and more than once I've had someone ask if I need medical attention. Outside is great but in Chicago, there's like 3 weeks where the weather is suitable for that. I've been climbing the stairs of the parking garage at work (it's nice and cool in there this time of year) but it's embarrassing to be huffing up there and get passed by some old man carrying three suitcases. (I work at O'Hare.)
    Glad you got the adrenaline rush! I hope they're healing nicely.
    Just FYI, I got that info from a book I use for reference almost every day called "Herbal Defense" by Robyn Landis. It's a very thorough but pleasant read with complete chapters on women's health, fertility, men's health, energy shortage, colds and flu, etc.
    I first read it cover to cover, but now just pull it out when I need it. Today, I'm wiping out a sore throat/sniffles that I woke up with by using a tea (or broth) I made from astralagus root, "fast dissolving" zinc tabs which are anything but, and a tincture with echinacea, lichen, elderberry, ginger, and some other herbs. I bought it from nativeremedies.com.
    I have a few herbal books but honestly, Herbal Defense is the only one I ever use.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sounds like good progress is being made all the way around. Glad you are feeling better. I had to laugh how you wrote "Dr. L/C" - I still don't know what to call her! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I agree with JBTC: Your exercise regiman is inspiring. I got really tired after my walking workout yesterday...I just had to finish up my usual evening routine stuff and off to bed I went. I'll have to check out those herbal supplements too. Hmmm....when my dh and I decide to get back to TTC'ing again (maybe)..maybe I can talk him into some supplements. Glad to hear you and your dh found a way to help with communication. So important!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow, you've made some great progress in the gym and I'm glad the supplements seem to be helping you to have a some adrenaline.

    I'm glad that you and your DH have a plan for being nicer to each other. That's great that he suggested it. We don't want any more posts you have to delete :).

    I hope you can find a different medication than Tamoxifen that helps your hormone and doesn't make you want to hurt people. I'm looking forward to hearing about your plan.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great job on getting back on the treadmill!!! Does you gym have TV's or at least CD players? I always found that watching mindless TV helped when I was still a runner.

    I always find that I'm very edgy when I'm not exercising regularly. It's all about endorphins for me! Hopefully your new regimen will mean better things for you and your hubs!

    p.s. Yay for no more Tamoxifen!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sounds like you are kicking butt at the gym! If you keep it up and the being nice to hubby doesnt work, perhaps you will be skilled for hand-to-hand combat! Good luck with becoming an optomist, I hear it's great. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi there! Thanks so much for posting on my blog. I really appreciate it when people comment about their own struggles as I know how much other people's own words have helped me in my own journey. I hope that whatever journey your life takes you, that you follow your heart. Looking forward to reading more of your posts!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh that's great! I'm all for the herbals!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Good job with the progress and sticking to your new year goals.

    ReplyDelete