Monday, May 27, 2019

Changes

"Strange fascinations fascinate me Ah, changes are takin'The pace I'm goin' through"

David Bowie-Changes

I am feeling a little bit like a caterpillar in her cocoon.
I am not sure what to expect, but things are changing.


My body is changing, I am only having small "oh no" moments when I think I have forgotten to take my pill...they are coming farther and farther apart these days.

I have been doing yoga, taking my vitamins, working and trying to come to terms with my body image. That last part seems to be rearing an ugly predictable head and I am trying to "whack a mole" it away.
Image result for whack a mole gif

Thinking too much about what I look like, what I am eating, looking closely at every hair and line and fold wondering if I can make them go away...or am I really just falling in love with it and fighting that. Like finding something wrong in a potential partner, but only looking for flaws to sabotage the relationship.
I want to be in love with my amazing strong body...

My mindset is shifting too...
We were at farmers market the other day and a toddler was having a fit because a sibling was able to push a  cart or something, and I was able to smile as we walked past it. The Barren watched the little person throw themselves onto the ground and smiled at the determination; and our ability to walk past it.
Normally I would stop and watch it unfold see how the parent dealt with it and take mental notes for myself in a similar situation. 
I don't need to.
I don't nee that knowledge.
I seemed at peace with that, and The Barren seemed calm too.
We are growing, maybe even aging out of the infertility mindset.

We were suppose to host our 15yr old niece this weekend, but she is super behind on her schoolwork and her parents were tired of enforcing her doing her work...but I wasn't and said that she could not come over until she caught up. She has been wishy washy about school work and her mother is as well, while my brother is strict about it for two weeks then folds out of exhaustion from trying to enforce something that my niece could clearly not give two shits about. So I just stepped in and said, she had another week, to catch up.
I felt like, she needs to understand that this is important, it is her first year of high school.

I guess I was being a parent, in an Auntie way.
I am pretty sure things won't change much in the next week...
but I wanted to put my two cents in, I guess.

School was super important to me, and I equated knowledge with freedom. 
I was teased/bullied for being smart in elementary school, so much so, the teachers had a meeting with the class when I wasn't there, which made it worse and so I pulled back and stopped trying. It took years to mentally recoup myself and by the end of high school, I was pushing forward and making great efforts-and college was another hill but I took every class the community college offered and found myself quite smart...
much to the surprise to many around me, who had kept the image of apathetic me in mind.
I love learning and school.
My brother didn't nor did his wife.
so there is that.

The Barren and I have plans for her next weekend, some live local music, bookstores and space to talk or simply draw.
 We look forward to learning more about her, if she allows us.
We are done being a parent and ready to simple be allies or influencers.


Thursday, May 02, 2019

After Party

Niece is healed
I am thankful that she can do things like lay on her stomach and exercise again.
yeah science!

My birthday came and went
birthday outfit

I started the day with yoga...
turns out, the one person I chat with in morning classes is a birthday twin!
Never in my life have I known someone else who shares my birthday!
( I will call it mine even though it is hers too)
CRAZY

I had breakfast chessecake bars with my parents, 
along with an awkward but nice visit.
The Barren sent flowers to me, 
he hasn't done that in years!
and then I was alone...
I wondered what to do.
I bought myself some lunch out
I went to a thrift store
and then came home again still not sure what to do with myself.

I ended the night with some couch time with the cat and then off to bed.
I think I need to plan my birthday activities far better for next year.
I am left with a feeling of disappointment in myself.

The Barren returned and will be leaving again Sunday for another week away....
I am excited about what he will be able to do while away...but I miss him terribly.

I have yet to get my period too...
seems I am already all over the board with my cycles.
I took a pregnancy test yesterday...
just to cross that off my worry list.
Now it is a worry...before it would not have been,
TRANSITIONAL THINKING anyone??
The Barren asked if it felt weird peeing on a stick again...
I said it wasn't too weird except I could hear my heart beating in my ears.


The not bleeding thing is wild, and quite a convenient feature in my day.
I am apocalypse level loaded up on tampons and pads... and if things continue like this, 
I will make them into small grab bags for homeless women I encounter.

I was chatting with a yoga teacher before class the other day and she asked how I was feeling post birthday...she is a true star gazer and always keeps me in the loop about astro changes and how they are linked with mood and life...and I explained aside from the normal existential thoughts around your birthday it feels like something in percolating.

I eagerly await this wonderful new event!
I am done with negative shit

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Aligned

It is gonna be quite a week!

Today my niece (15yrs old) is having a 10cm cyst **removed from her left ovary
The same surgery I had
the same ovary
27years earlier
The doctor assured her parents that she would also look for endo

She has no questions, but like many teens is only concerned about needles.
She is set to have the operation about 3 hours from now.
I gave my brother tips that helped me make the experience more comfortable....
most of my suggestions have fallen outside the wall he and my sister in law have constructed.
My father asked me a couple questions through gritted teeth the night he and my mother found out...
He is angry about it.

I think it is safe to say we all are concerned 
I am hopeful that she will be better after the surgery than her current state.
The cyst can be seen bulging from her tummy when she lays down.

I am thankful that they are checking for endo 
and that ideally will find nothing or able to remove what is found.

I am at the studio and home today. 
I was told there was no reason for me to be there today.

(I'll be at the door to the wall, with pear juice, some magazines and GasX in hand tomorrow)
*********************

The Barren is traveling for work this week
He is thousands of miles away.
I didn't get the morning call and TOTALLY had a massive panic attack
He finally called a half hour later, and when I heard his voice I tumbled into a puddle
unable to hide my concern and fears.
He apologized repeatedly 
Why the concern? He had a coworker/friend die on a work trip 
So since then I have been pretty terrified 
He travels again the first week of May
**********************

I am due to get my first real period soon...I think today but who knows?!
It feels like it is readying herself....but I don't really know
so the wait begins
**************************

The Barren's Aunt is donating a kidney today
I found out via social media...
*****************

My birthday is Thursday
I have no plans, no parties, other than take a yoga class in the afternoon
I had a sweet treat time with The Barren this past weekend...
Put on a pretty dress, had a fancy drink and got some much needed time with him 


It is a strangely aligned week.
I am cleaning and dumping old paperwork out of corners of the house to keep myself busy.
The world feels different

**The cyst was 14cm and consisted of three pieces all surrounding her ovary. One included hair, the other two had thick liquid in them. The surgery lasted 2.5hours and in the removal she lost a portion of her left ovary. The doctor assured her parents that the portion that remains has eggs/follicles and her tube is healthy...the doctor was glad she got her in so quickly as this was a ticking bomb.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Mind Games

Related image

So this not bleeding thing is pretty awesome...
I am comfortable, and feeling like me...whatever that means, I am still learning.

I actually laughed out loud when I read this


Last Friday I went to class and as I entered the studio I had the optics appear before a migraine..
I ran out to the car and took my aspirin and then returned to the studio to take class.
normally my optics don't mean anything except slow down...so I did
the optical stuff dissipated (thanks aspirin) and I felt better, I had opened my vessels and I was putting super oxygenated blood into my brain...
well about half way through class the pain started...I slowed down and did as much as I could.
At the end of class I sat for a little bit thinking maybe it was too hot, or my blood pressure needed to regulate. It was pounding as I walked to the car...and I was feeling quite un-okay.
I had to pick up something from the pharmacy and was thankful that they had a drive thru window, as I smelt REALLY strong and could not imagine masking the pain I was experiencing.
I made it home, ate some pre-made soup and fell into bed.
The cat kept me company:

I was down for the rest of the day, moaning and waiting to be able to take a migraine pill
it was areal adulting moment and I figured as the hormones regulate to my own thing...I might be flattened every once in a while.

The next day I sliced my thumb open while framing artwork and I got to the see The Barren almost pass out from seeing the blood flow outta my finger and into the sink and neighboring counters.
Meanwhile I was looking to see how many fingers were indeed involved in the slip.
It was just my thumb, on my dominate hand.
It didn't hurt and I was strangely calm...
it stopped bleeding and I got to reassure The Barren that it was not infected...

I kept telling him that my body heals itself.
It is amazingly reliable that way.
I spent Sunday on the couch, hiding from additional possible things I could hurt myself on.

Other than that...I am trying to stay busy.
Take yoga as often as possible
eat well
take my vitamins
get sleep
and try and find time with my hubby
We seem to be ships passing-
our schedules are not aligning much and he has back to back travel for business coming up starting next week. So the solo thing is something I need to get cozy with.
We tell each other how much we miss each other...but time never seems to synchronize.

So, still waiting for that big sexual peak thing to snap into place, 
while we are both in the room.

This latest transition is very mortal
I am reminded a lot of my impermanence
I am not sure if it is because I am more aware of it now 
or if I had missed the signs all these years...

Continue to be kind to yourself



Wednesday, April 03, 2019

A whole new womb

***below is some babble-and bad punctuation***

I am entering a whole new stage of womanhood 
and closing the door on the reproductive years.
it is so very bittersweet
Even with a decade plus of absolute heartbreak and 
another myriad of years of confusion 
with a sense of being untethered to any one point or direction in my life...
I am here now
Related image

I am not on any birth control and I have finally stopped bleeding!
I am kind of in shock about that still...
After bleeding daily for 6 months it is strange to suddenly not!

I even have a bit of my sex drive returning, which lets face it, is a BIG DEAL!
I was actually kind of mad that I would miss my sexual prime 
under a haze of birth control pills...
Seems I might get some fun outta this yet!

We (The Barren and I ) seem to run in tangents and this whole new road has intersected with a need to "organize" our lives a bit more. Which has manifested in cleaning out old boxes and flushing the dead space. I think with the recent loss of our beloved cat, we needed to shift the energy and this seemed like the closest sitting duck.
It has meant that I have gone through boxes and boxes of memories! 
What we had imagined for myself, what I had passion in and where it landed.
We got rid of kids things, and toys we kept in the house for nieces and nephews,
 all of which are too old for them now.
We kept saying " someone else will be really excited by this" 
as we plopped it into a give away box for the thrift store.

At the end of the day, he felt like he could breathe easier and
 I had nights filled with dreams of lost items and crashes into buildings!
We are being kind about how quickly we make choices, sometimes they will just be repacked and put back into storage, to be opened in the future when things feel less raw. Other times It seems like a brave and heroic feat to let go of the item.

It is a strange time...
I am really feeling like I am floating in a vast unknown land.
I am really in this blind, I do not remember anyone talking or telling me what to expect as you transition into menopause...nothing in sex ed, or doctors or anything!
Well, not until last year when the word was used for the first time in my life in reference to me!
Even after asking what that meant, it was still " it can be anything" was the most precise response, which still seemed lacking at best. 


I am not afraid anymore...I am trying to take each day as it comes.
Some have sorrow wrapped into them, some are manic and I am super energetic and ready to take on the world! As I wait out the readjustment of hormones I will play along as best I can...
be kind to myself, and not give too much away.


Monday, March 25, 2019

Cliff Diver

I just came back from a meeting at the GYN's
Yes a meeting, because I had questions!

I have been feeling quite unconnected from my body...
like I was chasing her across a field and calling for her.
She never turns around or answers...
I want her back.
I have been blue, and bloated and lethargic and skipping yoga to sleep.
I understand that some of it might be residual grief...but it felt different.

I have tried several pills and all paths have lead to constant spotting-light to heavy to bleeding.
I have not stopped taking the pill since thanksgiving (US) and aside from maybe two weeks...
I have been bleeding to some degree.
So I wondered if the pill was working anymore for me.....
and because all the women in my family have all had hysterectomies I had questions
that could not be answered by them.
No one had gone through peri-menopause before or carried several fibroids around.

Long story short....
I am stopping the pill tonight!
I am kind of excited and a little nervous...
but I know now that I have a medical someone on my side who understands that 
uterine ablation and D&C are on the bottom of my list.


Image result for happy uterus gif
I am hoping that my little 12week sized uterus will be happy with this choice
 and relax into retirement on her own.

I have options if the bleeding lasts longer than 10-14 days 
and I have options if there is pelvic pain.

Her theory is that I might not be having regular periods anymore and taking 
BCP is simply adding estrogen and making my uterus act all dramatic.

The Barren thinks this will be really good for me and proudly stated that 
he has no worries about it.
I will take that vote of confidence and hope.

So here I go....
I am about to jump from the cliff into the vast unknown


Thursday, February 28, 2019

Learning Curve

I am gonna be honest, it has been really hard these last two weeks.

Loosing such a massive presence in our home has shifted the vibrations.
I am missing my studio "manager"
in fact it was really hard to simply be in the workroom without him the first week.

We have awoken to sounds in the middle of the night, 
heard purrs, and felt a heavy weight of absence daily.

The Barren has broken down at work multiple times
I normally try and hold it together around him, so that he can feel safe to fall apart.
I fall apart in the shower, or on the drive home...
I skipped a lot of classes in the last two weeks and ate and did nothing but chores.
Being in class seemed to trigger waterfalls of thoughts of him, and I fought weeping loud horrible sobs. I also found that a lot of my grief came with guilt. I am not sure why, but at least I identified that and can work on figuring out why that is entwined. 

The in home senior cat is not crying for the other cat as much,  yowling at the front door and the bottom of the door like a " I am here, find me by my voice".
He is working on being in a space, any space he chooses; alone.
He is making strides and I am learning what he needs to feel secure and loved as he grieves.

I have struggled, as I do not have any friends locally.
I am social in class, and when running errands but no one to get a dinner with.
My bestie is hundreds of miles away and I have been texting her a lot.
She is good about that.

The curator sent a card, which was really amazingly sweet.
I tried to have a sit and chat with a couple of artists I know who were passing through town to see a lecture. One of them had just lost her pup 4 months ago and so she spoke of that a lot.
I really just wanted to feel less, and just socialize...but she needed to decompress still.
So I returned home, feeling tired and spent the rest of the day napping with the cat.


Related image

Today I woke up and said, 
lets try this again...
tomorrow will be two weeks and you need to start back on your life hike.
So I went to class and feed myself breakfast and got into the workroom and answered emails and figured out a project that needs to be done this weekend.
I am feeling a little less dark....
the senior cat is even sleeping in the chair in the workroom, 
something he hasn't done in months.
I guess we are both trying to get back into gear.

I dread the call from the vet to pick up the ashes...but I think in a way, it will feel like he is close again...at least his body. 
His spirit is clearly free and visiting us in our dreams and being seen from the corner of our sight.

Mostly I have just given myself space and time and been as kind as I could be with myself...
with cookies and avocado.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Challenge and changes

***warning***
Post about new loss of a companion 



So I finished the 30days of yoga in 31days, I had 35 to do it in.
in the final week, a horrible happened.

Our sweet fat kitty was diagnosed with aggressive large cell lymphoma in his intestines along with a sizable growth that was impeding into this colon.
This came out of no where and to say the least has taken us to the rawest place.
He was diagnosed on Tuesday, the day before his 13th birthday, confirmed cell size on Wednesday and Friday night we had the vet home to home and let him go.
In the two and a half days from diagnosis he had stopped eating and drinking and was no longer sleeping but just gazing. 
The disease moved fast and the vet said that the gazing was it entering the brain.

He was slathered in love, and body rubs and kisses and told over and over how much he was loved.
He was the first cat to have as a companion that spoke to you and moaned and groaned responses.
He loved sleeping and when not sleeping, he liked to nap.
There is a massive hole in us
The Barren declared that he lost his best friend.
I am struck over and over during the day.
The surviving kitty, is 3 years older and today has been calling for him....
It is heart breaking...yesterday he spent a large portion as high up on my chest as he could get
my heart below his flip flopping in my chest.

It is going to be a long road as we all learn to live with this new grief.
I am thankful I had 13years with him
and was able to laugh through tears as memories of his antics flood my mind.
Ideally we were able to free him from his body fast enough to avoid him suffering from an evil fast moving demon....


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Day 16

It is day 16 of the 30 day challenge...
or 19 of yoga in a row.

I am gonna be honest-
I am feeling tired...like deep muscle tired
often as the day goes on, new and funny parts of me start to stiffen.
like right now just typing I feel the base of my deltoid stiffening.

Related image

Each morning I seem to be getting out of bed like this 
and after some water and pacing I am at it for the day.

Remember the tin man before he got oiled...
I am the tin woman.
building stamina and muscle 
and not waiting for anyone to rescue me

I made a promise to myself and this body that I would keep going until I can't
so although I might be slow some days,  I am still at it.
I refuse to rust!


When I am not quietly groaning and shuffling to get back up the stairs...
 you'll find me in the yoga studio.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Laundry

Image result for vintage laundry gif

I did not realize how much laundry a 
diet of sweaty yoga classes every day generated.

I was overwhelmed with pile this last weekend...
and also amazed.

I am currently at day 12 of classes and day 9 of the 30 day challenge

There were two former police officers that were competing against each other
 and set a goal to do all 30 classes in a week!
Yesterday morning, was the final day for them both...
they both finished their 30 classes at noon!
it is strange to me...the whole competition thing, like I've mentioned before....

I feel good
I haven't needed any painkillers yet...
but I must say my stomach muscles were quite angry this last weekend 
and today my legs are a little jelly like.

I know that mom's wash huge loads of clothes all the time.
Or it appears that way, for it is a number one complaint of my SIL
and I guess I am glad I don't have more than two peoples clothes to wash and dry
you can't forget wet clothes in the dryer....sigh

It is a strange adult task 

nothing mind blowing in this post...
just observing weird normal things


Friday, January 18, 2019

Overcoming self imposed fears-part one


I do not like public talking, especially when I am the central focus.
or when ALL eyes are on me.
I have taken public speaking classes to conquer this discomfort...
but after many years 
and the comforts of making myself more of a hermit....
public talks are foreign once again.

So when a local college professor called asking if I would speak to his folio class
I said sure.
No big deal...it was weeks away

I approached this in a SUPER casual way and I think it helped keep my nerves at bay.
I didn't overthink anything.

Today was the day.
The Barren helped put my work into a PowerPoint and showed me how to use it.
and I walked into a college class and spoke for 40 MINUTES 
in front of a room full of photography students
about my work and process and history.
Aside from those moments when you hear your own voice and go 
"where am I and what am I doing?!" 
I think it went as best as it could for being all over the place.

When the professor asked about artists, he always mentioned men.
When he referenced contemporary artists working in a particular style he mentioned men.
He referenced curators and jurors as masculine.
When I responded to his references my answers to him were always female.
The curator is this show is a women, that juror is a woman...
the owner of that gallery is a woman, the person making that style of art lives nearby and is a woman.

I was surprised by his lack of knowledge/reference of female artists and curators.
My corrections came natural to me, and ideally were picked up by the artists in class.
When I got home I told the Barren and he said:

"I am proud of you...you just did something that is not in your nature, 
and it is so important to have women representing in classes, 
for exactly the reason you saw"

Gosh he is a wordsmith to my heart....

Fearful moment #1:
public speaking-no big deal


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Competition with myself



I have signed up for this challenge.
I am sorry if my next few posts have a heavy yoga theme, 
it is pretty much the only real socializing I get...cuz I am a dork like that.

I don't normally do this sort of thing because I have discovered that I find competition quite repulsive. It does not motivate me, it makes me retreat.
I don't even like when people shout words of encouragement to push you through....
like when running for the finish line, or to keep up with the pace of others.

I had signed up for this kind of thing at the last yoga studio I use to go to, 
but it was a punch card and it turned out to be way competitive! 
So I did two or three classes got my little card punched and then found reasons to not finish them 
and self sabotaged the efforts of the punch card.
There were people who went to classes three or four times a day so I felt Why?!

This one felt different, one...no one is forcing it down my throat or talking it up like you all get cars if you finish. This one is hey, we've been open a year and we made this chart with sharpies and have stickers that you can put in a box next to your name after each class you take...and you have 35 days to do 30 days of yoga because, you know life and shit happens sometimes.

Also you can only get one sticker per day, so if you come once that is the same as coming three times a day...for those crazy overachievers....and for those that have day jobs and relationships.
Quite frankly, I was highly excited about my first sticker, it was a gold unicorn!
I am still 7 years old and get excited about stickers and unicorns

this is my 6th day in a row but only the 3rd in the challenge...
so now I have one unicorn and two stars.
I am also playing hooky from work this week as we are getting some rain and evacuation orders have been issued and revoked due to threats of debris from last years fires.
I have spent my time in yoga, practicing mudras , eating, watching crappy tv and reading.
I have also done some catch up on art things and planning for the coming year.
I am trying to be happier and less fearful.
that is what I am working on the most this year...
less fear
so I am taking yoga every day
and even when the next cycle comes along I will be there...
reminding myself that I am powerful and have overcome all threats to my reproductive system.

There is a woman that practices next to me often in class and she is a psychotherapist who specializes in helping people free the BODY from trauma. She says we trap trauma in our bodies and our bodies replay that over and over again even when we are currently safe and there is no threat. 
Like soldiers that have survived bombs and people who have lived through shootings or car crashes.

This resonated with me and my white coat and I started meditating on my uterus being safe from trauma, and trying to calm her down from her past experiences.
I am taking time every day to practice this meditation....it seems to feel natural and soothing me.

I am not sure how many days I will end up practicing for this challenge but I am willing to try and that is HUGE...and if they keep providing gold unicorn stickers there is no telling how long this could go on!