I am literally forcing myself to type this right now because I feel so fucking weird that I know I need to document it while I’m in the moment. Days of feeling like this are awful but you tend to ride them out then forget about them. I haven’t blogged since my egg retrieval because I’ve literally been too tired to type. Here’s what I managed to jot down in my notes on my iphone when I tried really hard to concentrate on what I was feeling:
Sort of feel like there’s two of me – one inside the other but they’re disconnected.
Pins and needs in left hand.
Slight falling sensation or that my inner body is much further away from my outer skin.
Inner eyeballs are further away from my real eyes. Everything feels far away.
I feel weak within in my body and not grounded or connected.
I feel lost and small inside myself, not outside of myself as people say sometimes.
Loud Noises are too loud too much
I feel overwhelmed by looking at my screen filled with emails or anything that requires too much thinking and processing.
My vision starts to blur and warp.
Left hand getting more numb.
Reading that back is very scary and creepy.
I gave that to my mum to read and she googled a bunch of my other symptoms while she lay in bed next to me.
– dizziness / light-headed
Everything that came up related to the search terms she typed in were related to OHSS (Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome), Anxiety or post egg-retrieval symptoms. I don’t have OHSS. I’ve had anxiety before and it didn’t feel like that so I’m not really sure what’s going on. I haven’t been feeling anxious – only frustrated with myself but it was a semi relief to know that some of the things I was feeling such as fatigue and nausea happen to other women after their egg retrievals too.
Today, I feel so strange and sick and angry and upset and frustrated and speedy and exhausted and nauseous and dizzy and stressed all at once it’s making it very hard to write but I’m doing my best to get it out in the hopes that someone else may read this and think ‘I’ve felt all that shit all in one go too!’ and then we can talk about how weird it is. It feels a lot like like that feeling I described in an earlier blog post called ‘Pill Withdrawals’ where you’ve got a fist in your throat and everything’s too hard to concentrate on and you can’t figure out if you should take a bit of food first or reply to an email or lay down or get up or stop or keep going. It’s just really really weird.
I guess this is hormones? Either coming down off them or having them fluctuate. The strange thing is that following my awfully traumatic and painful egg retrieval, I spent a week laying low but then started to feel ok. I managed to get 2 uni assignments done and the weekend after my procedure (8 days later) I was up and about racing round Balmain in 36 degree heat, shopping and prepping food and ordering sushi and making a million phonecalls for our EndoActive cocktail party on November 2nd. I even wrote a speech and was on my feet chatting and drinking and socialising from afternoon till midnight IN STILETTOS! Brand new stilettos I might add! In hindsight I must’ve been running or pure adrenaline because for the past 10 days I’ve slept. And slept. And slept to the point where I can’t wake up. All these symptoms are coming on thick and fast that I didn’t have before. It’s like my body’s catching up with itself but it’s frustrating because I thought I’d made a miraculous week-long recovery and I was back to my old self – I did not expect to go from such high energy to barely being able to get out of bed for the next 2 weeks.
Normally when we have an injury, illness or trauma to the body, once the worst is over we start to improve little by little every day. However, egg retrieval recovery day 18 seems to be going in reverse. I actually felt better 2 weeks ago than I do today – hence the frustration and confusion.
The day after the party I was buggered. Absolutely buggered. But that felt ok and to be expected. However, that feeling has continued and in some ways intensified over the past 10 days. That’s the part I didn’t expect. It’s unfair how much pressure and what high expectations we place on our poor bodies after they’ve been through so much but I know I’m a terrible culprit of this. I get furious with myself and with my body when it doesn’t do the things I want it to do in a set amount of time. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could all take our own advice? We’d be much kinder to ourselves I think. Anyway as the days roll on and I continue to be exhausted I’m getting more and more pissed off because I SHOULD BE GETTING BETTER BY NOW! WHY AREN’T I BETTER? THIS IS RIDICULOUS! Rational Syl knows that of course this is crazy because my body has been through so much! But Rational Syl or Sensible Suze as I like to call her is much quieter than her very loud, obnoxious counterpart, Egomaniac Suze.
The majority of the last 10 days has just been intense, intense, extreme fatigue. I was sleeping all day then awake all night which was cruel to say the least. The mind wanders to strange places while the rest of the house is asleep at 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 am. I attempted to go back to the gym (feels like my 5 weeks of hard training are just slipping away by the minute which is also beyond frustrating) which was a disaster. I lasted 15 minutes of a tough but not overly-tough workout before I nearly threw up on my yoga mat. I actually fell over trying to hobble to my car afterwards and ached for the next 4 days. Since then, I haven’t driven because my vision has had this weird lag and I’ve felt very blurry, dizzy and light-headed on top of being so tired I’m afraid I’ll fall asleep at the wheel or make a dangerous mistake. Similar to how I was feeling towards the end of all the injections. The last 4 days have seen the onslaught of emotions and these other symptoms I’ve described, which have taken me by complete surprise because logically you’d think you feel the worse right after the procedure and then gradually improve – not the other way around.
The one amazing thing through all of this is that my Endo has not been giving me any pain – yes I was in agony following the retrieval but none of the usual pain I was getting before I went off the pill and none of the classic endo/pelvic pain. This has been the case for roughly 2 months now, since I came OFF the pill. Also a strange and curious thing seeing as I was warned that this would likely make my endo much worse… still trying to wrap my head around this and obviously re-thinking my attitude toward the pill as a treatment for endo, which apparently it’s not in my case.
Yesterday I received a phone call from lovely Scarlet at Genea as well as my wonderful fertility doctor – Dr. A. They both asked me how I was feeling and I laid it on them. I cried. They were so understanding and concerned although not surprised by my symptoms. Nevertheless, Genea advised me to go and see my GP about the fatigue and just make certain that nothing more sinister was going on. I made the appointment then had a huge cry on my mum’s shoulder while we cuddled for a long time. Big heavy sobs. It did make me feel a little lighter in the head.
My GP assured me that nothing was ‘wrong’ as such but really made me realise how judgmental I am being of my body and how much pressure I’m putting on myself to have bounced back already. I felt pretty mean that I was applying that sort of pressure and pretty foolish of how unfair that is on my body but I’ve been this way for a long time and old habits are hard to break. Logically, it’s insane to think you’ll be back to normal so quickly after a traumatic surgery and after two weeks of pumping your body full of hormones at such high doses that your body thinks your pregnant and is incubating not one, but more than fifty follicles.
It really is cruel to get pissed off with your body for not behaving the way you want it to in such a relatively small time frame after it’s gone through such an ordeal. If it were my daughter or my girlfriend or my mum or a perfect stranger or one of the girls on my facebook group, I’d be telling her to rest for as long as she needs and to take extremely good care of herself – to be kind to herself, that there is no hurry to heal and this is something not to be rushed – that our bodies are precious and we must be patient and considerate of them.
Yet somehow our enormous egos overshadow our self-nurturing and drown out her soothing voice. As we’ve all heard before, we are our harshest critics and can be our own worst enemy. Upon reflection I can see that the stress and pressure I’m feeling to look and feel fitter, better, stronger, healthier, to write more, to finish my last uni assignment, to get back to the gym, to blog more, to have more energy – those are all pressures I have created entirely on my own and I’m the one suffering their burden and buckling under their weight. In reality, no one is telling me to hurry up and get better or leaning on me to meet a deadline – these constraints are coming from nobody but myself. And for what? By creating all this pressure I’m simply making my recovery more difficult for myself.
I’m really starting to see Egomaniac Suze for the deranged psycho bitch that she is and am going to do my best to get her sassy pants off and tell her to pipe down. Sensible Suze must make a cool comeback in order for this recovery to become easier – I owe it to my body after giving her such a hard time, poor girl.