Since giving up caffeine and the pain subsiding, I have been woken up with my internal alarm clock before 6:30am for the past 6 days. No amount of trying to count sheep, deep breathing, or peaceful thinking allows me to go back to sleep. My body has had over 8 hours of rest and is ready for the day. Except it isn’t ready for the day and I am not sure who gave it such fake news. I am still bone weary tired throughout the day, but feel my strength slowly gaining.
One of the most interesting attributes of Endometriosis is Endobelly, and wow I have been experiencing Endobelly consistently since surgery. First, my belly was very swollen for many days. Now, I wake up to a flatter stomach but by midday, my belly has flared out like I am five months pregnant or had a bunch of beer (I wish I was day drinking!). I am not a small person, but Endobelly on the smallest of women is a very pronounced bloating in their stomachs. It is uncomfortable and brings that pressure feeling which is a challenge to shake off. And no amount of sucking in your stomach can tame the bloating.
With all the courage inside of me, I am including a photograph of my stomach Day 6 post-op in all of its surgery swollen glory. I am not the most body confident person, my weight has really swung like a pendulum these past few years between my previous job where I traveled every week, to the Lupron, to the fertility treatment, to the emotional eating of not being able to conceive, to the emotional eating of dealing with a Chronic disease, to quarantine. But listen to all of those excuses I just gave you! True, the hormone therapies cause uncontrollable weight gain, and I have gone from birth control to birth control this past year to find one that sticks and doesn’t make me depressed. But the emotional eating? That is on me! I had been getting a better handle on before this surgery, losing 7 pounds in two months. Now, I am down 4 more from my surgery date and am ready for my new lifestyle change and healthier thoughts on food. Extra weight on your body means extra estrogen, and in return means more Endo and more pain.
Food is comfort to me and to many people in the world. But not in comfort the way people might think. All I ever want to be is a normal person and eat normal food, like other people do. I had a misdiagnosed appendicitis in 2011 (which will be another blog post for another day), and I had an extreme amount of challenges with food since I lost 20% of my colon. I had the most restrictive diets to try to bring my colon back to normal. So yes, having one more glass of wine, or getting frozen yogurt with the kids, or having a big, greasy homemade cheeseburger is a comfort to me because it is what normal people do. I have this negative view of my body as not normal, which I need to turn into “my normal” with my Endo. My body is beautiful, strong, and does what I need it to do every day. In return, I need to be positive, loving, and putting the right fuel into my body to support it. I am telling this to myself nightly, trying to appreciate the body I have since it is the only one I will get. And has it been through the ringer!
As I am typing, the nagging feeling of cramps is starting. My fitbit app so kindly reminded me yesterday that my period would be starting in two days, which usually means full cramp mode the next day. The first period after surgery can be the worst, but I am staying positive and thankful the cramps did not start earlier. Typically, my fitbit is not the one telling me my period is coming, the pain in my low back and cramps scream at me a few days before. So for me to not have those symptoms early are a good sign, right?
It is bewildering how this blog writing is going. You have one main idea, start writing, and it totally morphs into something else. It is just me me talking to you, sharing my thoughts as they come into my mind, touching topics I am too scared to share with most people. Thank you for reading, thank you for listening.