Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Stress Reduction?!?!

If one more doctor tells me I need to reduce my stress....!!!!! What in the world I am supposed to do? I already take the best care of myself I can. I make time for prayer. I go to spiritual direction, therapy, take care of my physical health, I avoid over-committing myself, I have a job that I love that is rewarding and gives me a reason to look forward to tomorrow, I spend time with friends, do things I enjoy, etc, etc, etc.

My life is pretty un-stressful in the grand scheme of things- except of course the issue of infertility which I have little control over. I do everything in my power to handle it the best I can- reaching out to you-this amazing blogging community, prayer, talking to friends, therapy.

I am all for self-improvement, for responding the best you can to the cards you've been dealt. I honestly have no idea what I'm supposed to do to de-stress anymore. 

Does anyone else feel perpetually annoyed by this suggestion???? Am I crazy???

And just FYI so this post doesn't seem totally pointless and annoying- the doc did shed some light on my high Reverse T3. She said R T3 is like the breaks on a car. It's telling my body to stop doing things that aren't essential for survival because I'm in chronic stress overload or fight-or-flight. She said that's why I'm responding with such extreme anxiety to the T3 supplement, because my body's trying to tell me to focus on something else. But what? 

16 comments:

  1. I think I'd be tempted to tell the doctor I could relax if people would quit telling me to relax!

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  2. Yup I have grown to almost loathe that suggestion. To be constructive I would ask "so what do you suggest I do to de-stress?" Then I would probably roll my eyes or give a snarky comment because hello dr. infertility is stressful all by itself!

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    1. haha yes a good eye roll was definitely in order. I did ask what they suggest and she just said "a spiritual practice. Thanks, doc. Got that covered.

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  3. I hear you on this. There are a lot of things that stress me out and most I have very little control over (IF, working full-time, my MIL's precarious financial situation, etc.) I do worry about how stress is affecting my health because I have very physical reactions to being stressed - shortness of breath, tightness in my stomach, etc., and I wouldn't be surprised if that affects my fertility. I'm like you - I'm really trying to be calm and relaxed, but there's only so much you can do! Sorry I don't have any answers, just commiseration.

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    1. Thanks for the commiseration! It does help a lot to know I'm not alone. I do think I react really physically too because it's actually quite rare that I consciously feel stress- of course lately that's been different... I think being stressed is just my normal so it doesn't even register as a concern in my mind most of the time.

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  4. I do not understand why people don't realize that just saying "decrease your stress" is unhelpful and stressful!

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    1. haha yes! so ridiculous as a PT you must deal with this a lot!

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  5. Don't hate me - but I'm kind of two minds about the whole thing. On one hand, I whole-heartedly agree that people, including doctors, telling you to relax is not helpful and incredibly frustrating and annoying. It would be a lot more helpful if they gave practical suggestions as to how to make that happen! Is there any way you could detail for your doctor what you already do and have her suggest changes you should make?

    Here's the other side: our one semi-success came just a few short months after I dramatically lowered my stress levels. My situation was very different, since I hated my job and was stressed out beyond belief all the time. Though there's no way to know for certain, we do think my leaving my job made a difference. Clearly it wasn't the only thing, as we haven't had success since then, though. On a practical level, you recently mentioned a couple of things with your husband's family that caused stress and hurt for you. If there are people that do cause you stress, are there ways of limiting your interactions with them? Or changing your expectations of them? (Though that can be harder, it may be what you have more control over.) I know there is some recent research that has suggested that spending time in nature can lower stress levels. It's probably still a bit unpleasant to do much outside, but is there a botanic garden you could go to (or join, so you could visit regularly)?

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    1. Thanks, Stephanie! I think you make some good points. Right now I'm just trying to limit my time with people I don't feel supported by. I could definitely make an effort to spend some time in nature. It's been a long rough winter for everyone so there hasn't been a lot of nature time! We have an awesome greenhouse thing not too far away maybe I'll make an effort to go there!

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  6. Stress is something I never gave much thought to until my infertility. The more we did to do things right the more stress I had. The biggest stresses for me were the ultrasounds. There were very few times that I was able to keep from crying before, during or after... Ultrasounds always gave me bad news and heartache. Deciding to stop TTC this last fall helped with that stress.... Now were are just working on our heartache.

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    1. Thanks, AM. I can see why US would be so difficult and yet I cannot imagine giving any of this up without it ending in a baby! Was your decision based mostly in moving out of the country? Is the heartache getting any less intense?

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  7. No answers for you, just empathy. The "just don't stress" suggestion is always the worst. I was in my pre-op holding room before my laparoscopic surgery and the nurse taking my vitals told me once I relaxed I'd get pregnant. REALLY?! Before I'm about to have surgery for my infertility, THAT is the most appropriate advice you can think to give?!? Sigh.

    Perhaps nightly back massages from the DH are in order? Maybe some new calming scents from Bath & Body Works? A cruise around the Caribbean that lasts 'til your pregnant?

    Sorry. I really wish it were that easy.

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    1. ahhhhhh! I cannot believe the nurse said that!!!! How awful! I would have complained to the hospital! How utterly foolish. I love the idea of a cruise until we're pregnant. I think that may be the only solution;-)

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    2. I just have to say that the suggestion to cruise around the Caribbean until you're pregnant is quite possibly the best IF advice I've ever heard. ;) If it weren't for this new buckets-o-fun chikungunya virus, I'd be all over making that my 1st therapeutic priority!

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