Sick Day = Ugh Day = Necessary

Yeah, I’m sick.  Ugh and boo.

I hate being sick for a few reasons:

1. my brain doesn’t work properly

2. I have awful dreams

3. I don’t feel sexy

4. I miss out on workouts, work and everything I have planned

5. Sometimes I have to go to the doctor

Like today.  Doctors mean weigh in’s and paper gowns and things poking and prodding you.  And not in the kinky way.

However sometimes being sick means this:

1. the body forces you to slow down and get extra rest

2. you are forced to go to the doctor who puts your mind at ease for other, non related medical fears

3. Sometimes your doctor gasps “oh my goodness you’ve lost so much weight. you look so thin!” to which your inner super model wanna be gives out a little yelp of happiness

4. you get to try out new stuff

These four things were also true today.  After calling in sick to work I crawled back to bed and proceeded to fall into a sick coma for 5 1/2 hours.  I never sleep over five hours straight on normal nights when I’m not sick.  And when I woke up I felt pretty groggy and still pretty bad (I think I could have slept another 5 hours actually) so I called to see if my doctor had an available appointment.  He did so I was able to go and get checked out.  And also admit to him my huge infertility fears.  MEN SHUT YOUR EYES AND SKIP THE REST OF THIS POST.  

Source (and really funny post)

I have had maybe 6 periods in the last 5 years.  Before that I had 1 year of regular periods.  Before that I had none.  I was anorexic and underweight a long time ago but I have been of normal (and sometimes above normal) weight for 8 years. It’s not like I hovered on the lower edge of healthy much to chagrin of myself and my skinny jeans.  In fact when I met my current doctor and he found out I had amenorrhea he was surprised, saying (much to my dismay) “wow, but you’re not even close to underweight!” Thanks by the way Doc 😉  His diagnosis at the time was that my body fat percentage was low and that I worked out too much to have a period. But to make sure we scoped the important parts and to the best of his ability found that I am intact, eggs are there (I like to tease that I’m stockpiling them for the future) and uterus is fine (see guys I told you to shut your eyes).

All that said, he had put me on a contraception pill that he thought would bring about a normal cycle and got my hormones tested.  Hormones were okay, if a little low, but nothing to be concerned about.  That was a year ago. However when I came in to see him today he asked if I had a regular cycle now.  I said “No, I haven’t even had one period this whole year. Not even an inkling that anything would start”.  He again said I’m just active and that ballerina’s and marathon runners with no period conceive once they slow down, that all I have to do is stop working out so much when I want to conceive.  I finally told him what I had been thinking since the beginning:

I’m NOT a ballerina or a marathon runner. I am active but not as active as a professional athlete.  I don’t run hundreds of miles a month, I don’t dance 10-18 hours a day. I walk on stilts, I run normal distances at extremely slow, novice speeds, I am, by his own admission, not underweight, I take occasional dance classes. I would say that I’m more active then the average desk worker and I know I eat lower calories then many people but not so low that I’m losing weight. I’m not – even though I really would like to. I don’t have the other two components of the female athlete triad (look up this link if you’re curious).  But I am afraid that he’s seeing me as a professional athlete and that he’s missing a possible real problem.  I am sick today so I’m a bit more emotional and frantic.  AND I even admitted that I’m afraid that if I work out even less then I do now that I will gain weight and be fat AND STILL not able to conceive.

The truth is I have information that the average person doesn’t have BECAUSE I have been anorexic. Because I had symptoms of the female athlete triad when I was young – even though I wasn’t an athlete.  I lost my period.  I lost tons of weight (and hair).  I lost 2/3 of my bone mass before I turned 15.  But when I turned that behavior around I regained weight, I regained all of my lost bone mass (which by the way is amazing and lucky and kudos to my doctor and nutritionist for that), but I never regained a period.  I lost my period after having only one anyway.  And what does that mean?

But today, in my frenzied state, the doctor detailed the plan of action IF I planned to get pregnant.  IF I wanted to conceive I would only run or train 1-2 times a week no more then 5k distances. I wouldn’t do aerial training, I wouldn’t do weights, and I wouldn’t take birth control.  If I didn’t regain a cycle, there is a hormone that they could give me (orally) to help jump start the cycle.  If that didn’t work there is a second one to try. If that didn’t work then and only then could we look into more drastic measures, namely IVF and then adoption, surrogacy… et al. But chances are simply changing my workouts schedule drastically and going off of birth control would work.  I still don’t understand how I can be heavier then the average ballerina and do way less exercise and yet still not get a period.  Models who have like a BMI of 10 get a period and even get pregnant.  There’s no way I am exercising more or have less food energy then those girls.  I really don’t understand and the small part of me that still struggles with disorder feels like I’m not good enough because I’m not clinically underweight and yet still having these problems. But the bigger, smarter part of me feels better at least knowing there is a game plan.  Sigh.

Well and all that brings me to trying new stuff. I have been searching for an alternative to nuts and peanut butter for a while. In the US Sunbutter has gotten a lot of hype but here in Singapore I couldn’t find it.  There were these small pots of sunflower seed butter that where really expensive crushed up sunflower seeds and I bought it, ate it, but I longed to find reasonably affordable jars of Sunbutter or the equivalent. Google showed me that Brown Rice Paradise in Tanglin Mall carried Sunbutter even if it is double the price people pay for it in the States.  I’m rarely in that area but since my doctor is right around the corner I popped in and low and behold, my bounty:

Now, these two little beauties cost me 15 bucks but let me tell you I was spending nearly that for a 6oz jar of jenky crushed sunflower seeds.  I’ll let you know how the Sunbutter is, I can’t wait to try it!  I did try a little of the soy nut butter and while there aint’ nothin like the real thing (baby), the consistency is very like peanut butter and it has a satisfyingly similar flavor.  I think. I’ll try again when my nose is fully functioning 🙂

I miss running actually.  I miss the goals I had before and yes the sweaty runners high.  Perhaps that’s why I’m drinking NUUN to restore my sicky electrolytes even though I’m not exerting any energy.  The taste makes me feel like I’ve worked up a good sweat!

I guess since I’ve now spent two days not working out they’re my rest days for the week? However I think I’m actually making this a rest week.  It makes me nervous even to say that but I think my body wants a break.  Fine, take it you needy bitch 🙂 I’ll plan my next experiment in detail and let you all know. It starts next Monday…


About Coco

Dancer, performer, cosmetologist and now first time mum. I spent my life traveling the world as a performer. Now, the next chapter is unfolding...

Posted on August 2, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. livinglearningeating

    I’m not trying to upset you – however, I do think you might still have some issues to work through. You’ve missed only two days of working out (is that missing? don’t fit people normally only work out 3-5 times per week, anyway?) because you were sick and it’s worrying you.

    I didn’t work out for 1/2 a year because my body was recovering from illness and nothing happened to me. Lots of other people who go through surgeries too find themselves in the same boat. Follow your doctor’s advice: try skipping the workouts and limiting your cardio for two or three months and see what happens. Worst case? Nothing happens and you start working out again. Best case? You reestablish a period that will be with you until menopause 😛 It’s great being a girl!

    But seriously, please give it a shot! Everyone’s body is different and, especially after putting your body through a lot, it might not trust you and might need a little more than other bodies might before it will take the risk and prepare for pregnancy. Good luck!

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment! Yeah I think there are still some issues there 😉 But it is worth looking into. Not just for fertility reasons but general health. I do have this huge fear if I only workout 3 times a week that I’m going to gain weight and feel terrible but that, it would seem, is an irrational fear! Thanks again, it’s always so good to hear someone else’s experience. I hadn’t considered what happens when people get sick or injured. I hope your completely healthy now 🙂 I’m excited to read along as your latest adventure begins!!

  2. Hey!
    Okay i gotta say i have the same “girly” issues
    I’m not over weight or under weight but i stopped getting my period entirely after going off birth control a few years ago
    I did some research, talked to my doctor who said i didn’t look like someone with the problem and was finally diagnosed as someone with pcos
    Don’t worry, lots of women have it but to different degrees
    It essentially means there are little cysts on my ovaries where the eggs don’t get released properly so you don’t get a cycle
    I went to a naturopath and they got my parts working again lol but i stopped going and until i want to try for a baby i’m on the pill again and then its back to the acupuncture!
    Hope this info helps a little i remember just how frustrating it was to not get a cycle ever!!!
    Mmmmmm nut butter 🙂

  3. oh my gosh actually that helps A LOT. I have never met anyone who has no period except those who are really sick so I have felt so alone and confused 🙂 I know a little bit about pcos but just knowing it is possible, that someone else doesn’t have a period and is okay helps! Thank you! and yeah, I may have “tried” half the jar of Sunbutter today…score!

  4. Good thing we don’t have any rehearsals scheduled for about two weeks, eh? 😉

    Rest up, and get well soon!

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