Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Love of Coffee

I just put down toddler for a nap.   Yep, at 5:30pm, we have been having issues with sleep but that is all our fault for not having her on a consistent schedule.  Any how that is for another day of blogging. 

So I am sitting here and decided to have a cup of coffee (small cup) even though I know it is going to disturb my sleep. 

Coffee has so much meaning in our culture.  It is a social event and it brings so many memories of home.   Although I love the traditional Ethiopian ceremony I was never a coffee drinker (ceremony picture below).   But this was not by choice, I avoided coffee for the longest time due to heart palpation I had since high school and was told that coffee would aggravate it.  So I become a tea drinker.   I would only drink coffee when I visited family over the weekends but never consumed on a daily bases.  The smell of coffee is addictive enough that at work I was adamant not to give in to all the flavored coffee.  That lasted for years but they I got pregnant with toddler in 2011 and it all changed.   I so craved coffee that even before my lunch I would day dream about the half a cup of coffee I allowed my self during my pregnancy.   Since I couldn't have gluten, coffee was the one thing I could indulge in.    Since then I haven't been able to give it up.   On days I wake up in the middle of the night due to caffeine I vowed to myself that it would be the last time I drank coffee but then morning comes and everything changes.  

It was not too difficult for me to give up gluten but coffee is a different beast.    I also sometimes would feel guilty that my one cup a day might be contributing to my infertility.    But I only drink one cup a day after lunch and on occasion I would drink in the morning if my mom is around.   Coffee has become a symbol for all the glutinous treats I can't have so to heck with fertility, heart palpitation and sleeplessness.  I am just not ready to give up my one cup of coffee.   After all I am from the birth place of coffee :).  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Managing chores with Chronic Pain

The pain, hormonal states & fatigue associated with endometriosis is often unpredictable.  Some days my pain is minimal and the next day I am barely making it through the day.  I left my job two years ago since I needed time off and also wanted to focus on my child and health.  Pregnancy was a blessing, the pain was gone, the hormonal instability were gone and replaced with joy but once I had my baby girl the pain slowly but surly has returned.   It is not as bad as pre-surgery but could get up there easily.   I have finally accepted that this is my reality.  At some point I had such high hopes that surgery was going to take me out of my misery and that the endometriosis will never come back.  When that didn't happen I was hopeful that after pregnancy that it would not return.  Well, that is not my reality either.  I am learning slowly to accept that this is my normal.  Right now I have accepted that in my current state there is no way that I could work and raise a child.  It would just be too much for my fragile health and I would be sacrificing my home life.  Before kids working was manageable, at times barely manageable. At the end of most days I would come from work and crash.  I can't do that with a child. 

I do things to reduce the pain but there is always going to be some sort of pain and hormonal instability.  With the acceptance I have been able to not fight the pain but work with it and try to deal with my day to day activity as best as I can without tasking my body too much.   Here are some ways I get stuff done around the house.

1. Cleaning:  While toddler eats breakfast I usually spend about 45min cleaning my living room and unloading the dishwasher.  I sweep the floor, mop if necessary and straighten up.   No I can not designated hours for a task such as cleaning, or cooking for a party or any thing that involves physical activity.   If I clean for a whole day I need a couple of days to recovery.  Instead, the different cleaning tasks are spread through out the week.  I usually clean the master bedroom bathroom toilet right before I take a shower and also clean the shower while I am in there.  The sinks might get done when I brash my teeth on a different day.  Never both at ones unless I have extra energy at the end of the day.  My husband usually mops the bathroom floors after toddler takes a bath.  The kitchen gets cleaned while I am cooking, that is if I am not in too much pain.  On the days that I don't cook, I would clean the stove, fridge or the other bathrooms.   The house is clean enough but not spotless clean but I am Ok with it.  

2. Cooking: I cook every other day.  Since it would be too physically tasking for me to do too much in a day, I use the days I don't cook for cleaning, laundry or to sit on my sofa and watch TV or read.  Usually, I mop the floors on non-cook days and do laundry, wash my hair or what ever else needs to be done.   Non cooking days are essential, it gives me time to recovery from the previous days of activities. 

3.  Laundry: It is random.  DH takes care of his own.  I do bedding and toddlers and my cloth.  I usually put a load when I take toddler to the basement for play.   It usually sits in the basket for days to be folded. 

4.  Groceries: all groceries are done with my husband.  We usually go on weekends and anything we need during the week my husband would stop by after work.  I really don't have the energy to go grocery shopping with a toddler.  It would just wipe me out for a day.   When my mom was with us I did the grocery shopping. 

5. Toddler's hair: yes it is a chore.  Her hair is very curl and takes a while to detangle.  It would take me about 1.5 hours to detangle and braid her hair.   This gets accomplished on non cook days and usually after breakfast.   DH gives her a bath, that tasks is just too strenuous on my back specially if her hair needs washing.  He has been doing it since she was born.  I give her a bath when necessary during the day but there will not be any hair washing.

6.  I know there are people in worst shape that me.   It is finally sinking in that this is how my life is going to be and I have to adapt and find ways to make it work.   I use to see it as a temporary situation and I am going to get better somehow but that is not the case.   It doesn't mean that I am not looking for ways to improve my health but as we all know there is no cure for endometriosis.   I am very thankful for what I can do in spite of the pain.