What A Difference A Change Makes

What a difference a change makes!

Reading that you are justified in thinking “Duh, it’s hardly a change if it doesn’t make a difference.” You’d be right!

What I’m meaning, though, is what a change.

A transformation.

A pretty much 360 degree turnaround.

What I am talking about is a visit to the hospital this morning. You may remember the absolutely awful, and very upsetting appointment with an incredibly insensitive consultant back in January. In brief summary, there was no acknowledgement of Hugo, and I was berated for my weight. My weight was cited as the sole reason for my inability to conceive, and no consideration was given towards my emotional issues. I was denied the fertility drug I took to conceive Hugo on the grounds it ’causes ovarian cancer’ (it may increase the risk, but nothing is without risk of something).

I submitted a formal complaint, and the response added insult to injury with the strong implication the appointment was a disaster because I am a nutcase.

Seriously.

Recovering from that sorry episode took some time.

Moving forward some four months, the difference in my appointment today was incredible. Not wanting any further contact with the original hospital, I’d transferred my care to another provider. It meant starting the process all over again, but it appears to have been worth it.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t the easiest patient this morning. I have post-traumatic stress disorder, meaning being in a clinical environment presents several challenges. Added to that having to repeat my history, including everything that happened with Hugo, I was a stressed-out tightly-coiled spring.

As if that wasn’t enough, after January’s disastrous appointment I was prepared to be on the defensive.

PTSD means the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that deals with your fight/flight emergency response, never turns off. This morning’s stresses ramped up the stress levels to DEFCON 1.

I felt like a particularly pissed off tiger, sitting on its haunches ready to pounce and strike with sharp claws and teeth at the slightest provocation.

Happily, the doctor, (a registrar – trainee consultant) I saw today is a human being – and a caring, empathetic, kind one at that.

We had a conversation about my weight. While I’ve dropped 6kg since the January appointment, it’s still outside the ‘healthy’ range. We discussed that weight can be an issue with conception, but it is not the only one.

Stress is a huge issue that can scupper a woman’s chances of conceiving. To explain a bit more about the amygdala: the fight/flight response is very useful to us when we are in a position of danger. A hormone called cortisol (the stress hormone) floods our body, helping us manage the stress and survive whatever the danger is. The trouble comes when those hormones don’t switch off, and they keep flooding the body.

Cortisol also regulates metabolism, meaning if your cortisol levels are off, your metabolism is too. This not only means your weight is all over the place, potentially impeding conceiving (and therefore making you more stressed, a huge vicious circle), a common result is increased abdominal fat, which you may know is linked to a myriad of health problems of the type that can kill you, like heart attacks.

Cortisol and its compatriot adrenaline are released by the adrenal glands. If our bodies are constantly pumping out cortisol and adrenaline our adrenal glands become fatigued, giving our bodies the message that it’s not a good time to try to conceive. Adrenaline also inhibits our body’s ability to use progesterone, which is vital for fertility.

For many women, even without psychological problems month after month of no little blue line leads to extra stress and possibly emotional eating – and another huge vicious circle.

I wept tears of relief when the doctor said they were perfectly happy to prescribe the fertility drug. Before I get the drug I have to have the regulation investigations to make sure my plumbing is still clear (the drug won’t work if they are not).

As I wrote in Why I Workout, in many ways I am grateful to the insensitive consultant, because that appointment spurred me into action with a huge “f*ck you”. I joined a gym, recruited a personal trainer, and changed my eating habits.

For me the PT has been the biggest contribution to the changes of the past few months: I’ve pushed myself physically, found it to be a huge stress release, and discovered that I actually enjoy working out. As an emotional eater, feeling less stressed is having a positive impact on what I eat, too.

There is still a way to go, physically and psychologically.

But what a huge difference and change to four months ago….not that long, but a lot has happened in between.

The journey is still scary and uncertain, but I am hopeful for more positive times to come.

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16 Comments on What A Difference A Change Makes

  1. Cara
    May 16, 2016 at 4:26 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m sorry you had such a horrible experience the first time, and I hope this time works out as you hope it will. Too often health professionals looking for quick and easy answers can’t see past fat and deal with the person. Love and light to you.
    Cara recently posted…The Love Between: A poetry postMy Profile

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  2. Sara | mumturnedmom
    May 14, 2016 at 8:36 pm (2 years ago)

    This has put such a huge smile on my face, such a positive post. I’m so pleased that your appointment went well and things are now moving in the right direction. Keeping everything crossed for you. Thank you so much for sharing with #ThePrompt x
    Sara | mumturnedmom recently posted…Project 366: Week 19: 129-135My Profile

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    • Leigh
      May 15, 2016 at 8:01 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Sara, me too! xx

      Reply
  3. Sam
    May 13, 2016 at 7:22 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m so pleased to read that you finally got to see someone understanding Leigh. I actually can’t quite believe that there are seemingly so many uncaring, insensitive people working in the health service. Thank goodness that is not the case across the board and well done you for taking the initiative with your exercise – it is one of my biggest challenges right now – finding either the time or the energy! Xx
    Sam recently posted…The Truth about… #74My Profile

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    • Leigh
      May 15, 2016 at 8:02 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Sam, me too. I was very unfortunate with that consultant I think. But yes I’ve taken the initiative with the exercise and so glad I have! Hope you find the time/energy to do something you enjoy too xx

      Reply
  4. Katy ( What Katy Said)
    May 13, 2016 at 6:54 am (2 years ago)

    Oh Leigh I am crying here for you!! Yay!!!!! That January doctor really did do you a favour- you are rocking your new fitness regime, you’ve started up a new business and now you’ve met this wonderful doctor. So that other doc can do one!! Great news they will help you moving forward, now just keep exercising and keep those stress levels low!! Huge hugs lovely xxxx
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    • Leigh
      May 15, 2016 at 8:07 am (2 years ago)

      He can totally do one! In a funny way he really did do me a favour….I wish I didn’t have to go through that, but it’s funny how life can work out isn’t it? Thanks for your kind comment lovely Katy xxx

      Reply
  5. ghostwritermummy
    May 13, 2016 at 4:58 am (2 years ago)

    I have absolutely no doubt that you can do this. You’ve taken on your new fitness challenge with typical gusto and you’ve thrown yourself right into it- wouldn’t expect any less from you! We’ve got your back lovely xxx

    Reply
    • Leigh
      May 15, 2016 at 8:07 am (2 years ago)

      Bless you Susanne thank you so much for your support xxx

      Reply
    • Leigh
      May 15, 2016 at 8:06 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you darling Hannah xxx

      Reply
    • Leigh
      May 15, 2016 at 8:05 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you lovely Lizzie! xxx

      Reply
  6. Ting at My Travel Monkey
    May 12, 2016 at 8:37 pm (2 years ago)

    That’s made me happy to read šŸ™‚ I’m glad today was a positive experience. So so different from the previous. And you’re looking great! That PT must be putting you through your paces missus! xxx

    Reply
    • Leigh
      May 15, 2016 at 8:05 am (2 years ago)

      Haha he certainly is, I’m enjoying it and reaping the benefits too! Thank you so much Ting xxx

      Reply

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