Frankie Says …

I saw a heartbeat today on an ultrasound today.

Naw … not that kind of heartbeat. You know, the one that pregnant women all over the world are excited to hear every time they go in for a prenatal visit? The same one that I wish I could hear as well inside of my belly if I could only manage to actually get knocked up?

No, the heartbeat I was actually looking at was my own. I went to our local hospital clinic today to get an echocardiogram done. And may I add that I was quite surprised that it appeared to be functioning okay. And it wasn’t blackened or hardened either. And … Whew! I was happy to see that even after all the years of IF heartache, I wasn’t all “Tin Man” inside! I’m not sure what the final results are just yet, but should find out in the next week or so.

My new primary doctor ordered for this test to rule out any heart abnormalities as a reason for my high blood pressure. Personally, I think it’s an interconnecting web of issues from having PCOS which makes me insulin-resistant. Numerous medical studies have shown that those with insulin-resistance eventually develop atherosclerosis (or narrowing of the arteries) due to the excess build-up of insulin in the blood stream. And when you have narrowing of the arteries, you eventually develop higher blood pressure readings. But that’s just in my humble opinion.

Add to that the whole stress thingy. Yes, I do know I was whining about how stressed I was in my last post. (I’ll chalk it up to being pooped from traveling the whole day before and to being overly emotional on my birthday.) And no, I didn’t mean to say that I have it all so horribly bad. I was merely pointing out that I’ve been trying to deal with a lot of stuff over the past 7 months. And according to this Life Stressor Calculator, I apparently have a “medium susceptibility to stress-related illness”. So yeah, I need to find a way to relax.

Speaking of relaxing … I was reading Kate‘s most recent post (and the subsequent posts she linked to) about the whole “Frankie.Goes.To.Hollywood” relax bit. And how none of us should discount relaxing as a technique (much like acupuncture) to prepare a woman’s body, mind and soul into the next phase of her life. In this case pregnancy. And I agree with her, whole-heartedly.

But let me emphasize one thing here. I. Still. Hate. Being. Told. To. “Just Relax.” And if any one person gives me that sorry piece of a$$vice again … I can’t promise that I won’t get physically violent. Just a warning … 😛

The sad thing (and trust me, I know this is sad. Really pathetic, actually), is that I simply do not know how to relax.

Yes. Sad. Pathetic. And stupid, too. And probably the reason I can’t promise to remain calm when someone tells me to relax. No matter what I do (deep breathing, meditating, exercising), I can’t seem to calm down. My G*d, even while on vacation, I still couldn’t 100% relax.

It’s like my mind constantly runs at 150 mph; always thinking, always problem-solving, always trying find a way to make things work. Like now. I’m actually running through my head exactly HOW I can get myself to just kick it back and chill.

I’ve tried to take up different hobbies like knitting … which I honestly like to do … but then I find myself getting stressed over screwing up the pattern or something to that effect. I’ve tried to just sit in a quiet room and do absolutely nothing … and then I start freaking out about all the other things I should be doing (like cleaning the house, or laundry, or yardwork). The same thing goes for anything else I might like to do … like reading a book, or catching up on blogs, or even writing. I just simply find myself stressing out about everything.

So … for my health and my sanity’s sake … does anyone … anyone have any ideas or suggestions on how I can “just relax”?

Ack, so I just read the last few paragraphs that I’ve written. And once again, I feel like I’m painting a sad, pitiful and whiny portrait of myself. Maybe one day (you know … the day I figure out exactly just how to relax), I’ll find a way to paint a different … sunnier or brighter … portrait.

Until then … I give any of my readers full permission to simply just skip the pathetic parts.

15 Replies to “Frankie Says …”

  1. Possibly, at some point in my life, I will figure out how to forgive the nurse who told me to relax, I was hurting my baby. Possibly.

    I”ve learned to take care of myself, watch the salt, the fat, the coffee, take yoga, and to not dwell on problems.

    Frankly, the Atacand helped more than anything.

  2. From one Type A-/I can do it all/Wannabe super woman/chasing parenthood person to another – I cannot speak highly enough of yoga and meditation. After practicing for a few years now ( off and on) I have some really good ways to handle stress overall.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have my moments (um, being on an airplane and taking meds to help me calm the eff down)

    I don’t know how to relax, I’ll be the first to admit it. I do know that sometimes I just need to be mellow and chill so that I can get back in the race and go a million miles an hour.

    Check out the yoga.

  3. I hope you find your way. It can be difficult. I can tell you what I do, but I do not know what will work for you. It took me years to figure out how to chill out and not be a bundle of tension. My hubby notices a difference in me when I do not take my meds, so I take them every day. I am on Glucophage and Actos because of my PCOS. I also found taking a half hour several times a week to work out really helps me de-stress. Exercise works for me like nothing else does. It can take the edge off of a really crappy day, and improve a really crappy mood. (And it lowers my BP.) Hubby also encourages my exercise because it makes me look and feel good. It also took me a long time to not feel guilty about spending time and money on my self. Spending an afternoon getting a massage and/or pedicure can do wonders.
    The last thing I do is try to go to church. Touching base with a higher power seems to make my weeks go smoother. I think I am slightly more relaxed because of it.

    Good luck, and try to be patient, even if you cannot relax. It sounds like you are trying different things, and I think that counts for a lot.

  4. I agree with the above. Yoga is great (must drag out those videotapes until class begins again in the fall…!). Any kind of exercise is great, I think. Now that the weather is nicer, dh & I are walking regularly again, & I can feel the difference (mentally, if not around the waist & on the bp cuff yet). It’s hard to keep your mind from racing a mile a minute, but I think if you give it some time, you’ll notice a difference. Glad you had a good checkup!

  5. It’s tough, and I also find it hard to relax too…I surprised myself b/c I was so sure that being on vacation would make me completely relaxed…I was close, and a few days into it, I was relaxed, but it took me a little while to get into it. I guess I would say whatever helps you “get away” mentally – whatever you can do that allows you to escape – in general, that would likely be the same activities you enjoyed before all this IF stress – for me it’s things like reading, sewing, walking by the lake at the park…it’s just harder to find time to do it now, but I know that when I’m getting too stressed, I will need to do it for myself. For me, I also know that I get over-stressed when things seem out of my control – IF is largely out of our control, but I like to keep whatever I can under control – being organized, keeping things tidy, etc.

    Hope that helps! : )

  6. Sweetie I would never skip any parts, and there were no pathetic ones in there! I’m glad your echo went okay – and can I say that if you were a tin man (woman?) that you would rock that tin woman outfit! You had me cracking up at your comment to my whining about my tech stuff being down. Power of the greyskulls…I think it worked because after your post my TV and phone had no more problems! And the ultrasound machine worked too, so thank you. You have power beyond your knowledge, LOL!

    It’s hard to relax- and yes I hate that comment too. I just got done reading Eat Pray Love and when the author writes about Italy, she says “Americans don’t know how to relax.” I was like..yeah how true. My mother in law (who’s nice -but doesn’t get stuff) told me to “just relax” and enjoy being on bedrest for the next five months. Yeah, I wanted to scream when I heard that. I know your situation involves different things, but I’m sorry you have to hear that too. Hugs to ya!

  7. Thanks for your comments on my blog! I’ve missed you. 🙂

    Is there ANYTHING that makes you more relaxed? If so, I suggest doing more of THAT. For me, exercise goes a long way…and my recent hobby, crocheting. I put on the radio, plop myself into a recliner in a cool room with my favorite drink, and crochet away.

    Maybe it’s video games or slasher films, but whatever it is, I hope you find it…

  8. Oh my, Emily. I can offer no advice. I cannot relax either. I always say, ‘ I don’t come in that flavor.’ when people tell me to relax. The best I can do is to get distracted or sleep. Those are the only two ways I can relax.

  9. Good lord. For a moment, I was totally and utterly confused. Damn. I wish I was.

    I am prime example for not relaxing. Hence my fondess of smoking weed in college. Nothing like forcing my body to just take it a little easy.

    I wish I could help. I really wish I could.

  10. aside from deep breathing and occasional yoga, I compartmentalize. I make lists of things I need to deal with, I like checking things off, but then I give myself permission to relax and not do anything. for ex., sat. I might go do errands, but then on sun. morning I allow myself some hang time and just chill and read. or lay in the hammock after dinner. the list will always be there, but I’m not as productive or effective without that down time.

  11. Like I told you before, ROCK BAND has been know to have medicinal qualities. I recomend on dose of drums followed by 2 doses of guitars. If symptons persist, follow up with a dose of mic-work.

    Oh… and next week they’re releasing TRACK PACK Vol.1… more songs!!!!

  12. I hate hate hate H.A.T.E it when people tell me to relax! I feel like telling them, SHALL I INJECT YOU EVERYDAY? so you’ll know what RELAXING does to you???!!!!

  13. You know, you sound like you really should just relax.

    Okay. Don’t kill me. I’m totally kidding.

    I found it effective to FORCE myself to just sit with my eyes closed for a couple of minutes. If any thoughts crept in, I would force myself to refocus on blackness, on nothing. It’s incredibly hard, and the first few times it can be so frustrating that it makes you feel like it’s not worth it. It can be so frustrating that it adds more stress than it takes away. But, after a few times, your brain starts to get the hang of it, and having a couple of minutes of brain-down-time can reset my whole day. It’s really weird.

    I think I’m a lot like you, too, in that my mind runs a million miles a minute. I actually hate slowing down, but once I do, I always appreciate it, even if I’m not successful in getting through 2 minutes without other thoughts creeping in. And when I am successful, I find that when the thoughts come flooding back in, they are in a neat, orderly line and I can sort through them much more effectively. It really is like the running thing. I don’t want to do it, but after a few minutes on the treadmill, I’m glowing again. Weird.

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