Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Beginning of a New Era?

My period has started getting weird. I remember skipping a month before we got married (not sure which year), but other than that my periods haven't been so weird until this year. My periods range between 31 - 43 days. I remember a few years ago it arrived on CD (calendar day) 45 and at that time I was scared of getting pregnant, so I was relieved when it finally arrived. At the beginning of this year, I had another period on CD 27. It had never happened before. Then this summer I didn't have any period for 65 days. Is it the start of peri-menopause, I wonder? 

In the beginning my period lasted 7 days and there was so much blood and for many years I almost always dirtied my uniform with some blood (ugh!), then for a long time now the length of my periods went down to 5 days and the amount of blood was thankfully getting less and less. The last period before this one only lasted 4 days and on the fifth day, I was squeaky clean. Not a drop of blood. I don't mind getting short and sweet periods, though. :-) If this is really the start of peri-menopause, no wonder I couldn't get pregnant when I started trying at (almost) 30. I thought I still had years of fertility left! After all, my mother had me at 32 and my brother at 34! 

How do I feel about the possibility of peri-menopause? Neutral so far. 


On an altogether different note, I'm almost ready with the preparation for my mom's visit. Can't believe the day is coming soon. Felt like ages ago when we first started talking about it. I remember holding my breath every now and then, hoping that she stayed healthy (and alive!) to make it for her trip and now it's finally right in front of us! :-D

The Japanese learning has been put on hold for a long time. I've been focusing more on healing my bilateral tennis elbow and spending time with relatives this summer. This year has been full of physical healing trials and errors. I've also been forced to learn to set my boundaries and stick to them (even if it means disappointing people). Two people have told me that it took them two years to heal their tennis elbow, so I'm trying to be patient with myself. I hope my bosses and coworkers will also be that patient. So far they've been awesome with me, but nobody knows how long it'll take for me to heal fully. I've learnt a lot of things about stretching, self-massage, and strength training as well as bought and tried different types of exercise/massage tools. My new fave self-massage tool is a spiky ball. I combine using that with my Pain Hook and Gymstick foam roller.

Yesterday I finally sent a story to the Finnish (non-fiction) writing competition. I started writing it months ago and then got stuck. After a long break I continued writing it, but almost gave up as I thought it wasn't satisfactory. However, I decided to push through. A coworker had promised to read it, so I had to keep my promise. I finished the story, sent it to my coworker and she gave me some positive feedback and correction (bless her!). :-) I'm not hoping to win (though it'd be a nice surprise - there are more than one prizes), but I hope that my story is one of those that will be published. However, my deepest wish is to see the faces of the judges as they read my story. That would be the best thing ever! :-D 

Friday, June 17, 2016


Lately I've been reacting to several things in ways that I couldn't do when I was still in the depths of TTC after infertility. Two friends who are at least 40 y.o. have just told me they are pregnant again (one was a surprise pregnancy) and I could congratulate them in a neutral state of mind/heart. Another friend joked on FB, "Go make five (children)!" when I commented how cute someone's baby was. Years ago, I made a similar cute comment on someone's baby photo and the mother said, "Quick, you should go make a baby then!" and it took all that I had not to lash out to her. This time, though, the words didn't affect me in such a way at all. Instead, I instantly joked back and told her, "You go and make 5 children yourself LOL!" (side note: I know the word "make" sounds weird, but it's the direct translation from the Indonesian word).

These three events have made me think of 3D holograms (use your imagination freely as you read the next lines). You see, in the beginning of my infertility journey, whenever I saw someone's bulging belly, I often had a strong reaction to it and many times I almost cried right then and there. It was as though my 3D hologram jumped right in front of myself. The grieving hologram of myself with an empty belly, who was crying out loud right then and there and screaming in agony, "Why not me, too? I've done everything right and prepared myself to be a mother etc. etc." 

And in the past when someone told me she was pregnant (especially if it was an unexpected one), my grieving hologram showed up again and the unexpectedness of it all was like a (serrated) blade that stabbed me. The wound then started bleeding again (or started bleeding more) or the gaping wound became even bigger or deeper. It hurt. It hurt because I knew they didn't mean to hurt me, yet I was in so much pain. It hurt because I wanted to be happy for them, but I couldn't. And it hurt even more because I felt like a horrible person, so I got even more frustrated at myself, but at the same time I felt that I had the right and the need to take care of myself.

You see, my own hologram (that popped up between me and that person) was blocking me from accessing the other person's happiness fully. I mean, how can you disregard that kind of projection when she's standing right in front of you in such a state and in such intensity?

In the beginning of my healing journey, this hologram (the projection of my grief/pain) was so intense, vivid, and relentless (even uncontrollable). Over time and plenty of grief work (with lots of help and support from my tribe), the intensity and the frequency of my grieving hologram has diminished. In fact, as the hologram gets weaker and weaker, at times I can even press "pause" so that I can be fully present in someone else's company and then press "play" when I'm on my own again.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

"Write Me!"

Sometime near the end of last year, I spotted a writing competition on a Finnish magazine. I took a photo of the competition with my mobile and I was so psyched in submitting my entry. The competition ends at the end of summer this year, so I wasn't in a hurry as I had a story in mind already. The competition isn't non-fiction. However, soon after I got really busy at work and then I got tennis elbow. During the time I was on my sick leave, I was in such a dark place that the competition was the last thing I had in mind.

Must admit that on my darker days back then, I felt some shame over my tennis elbow. It was the first time I had invisible health symptoms. I even avoided going to my workplace as much as I could. I was afraid of not only losing my job altogether, but not being able to work well with my arms anymore. Both arms! What kind of job would I be able to do in this small village if that happened? And the thing is, I still enjoy my job, so I'd still love to continue doing it.

Thankfully my long and winding road to recovery finally started in the middle of January and now I've been back to work for a full month already. I still have some tennis elbow symptoms and the degree of the symptoms depends on what I've been doing, but at the very least I can go back to work as long as I don't do too much work. Anyway, I felt like my life was put on hold before I found out my final diagnosis and before I met my two physiotherapists. I tried many things I found online, but since they usually made me feel more pain afterwards, I refrained from doing them. It was difficult to know what to do, what not to do, how much I should do the things I should do, when would be safe to start doing it, etc. Now I've gotten more help and pointers on what to work on, so I've also spent time working out more than before.

Anyway, back to the writing competition. Now that I feel that my new year has finally started, the writing competition popped back into my mind. It's mid March already, so I don't have as much time to write my story. The other day I started thinking about how to start it off and for the first time in a long time, I literally felt joy bursting forth. It was so much fun to think of different ways to start a story! It's as if the words are begging me, "Write me! Write meeee!", so I can only obey them he he he...I feel excited simply by imagining some people (the judges) who are going to read my story. I hope the story will make them smile. :-D

I'll start blog-hopping bit by bit from now on. It's been a long time since I last wrote a blog post here.