One thing that my friends and family generally laugh at me for, is how old I am, maybe this comes from the “nursing” territory, but generally I feel that I am becoming more and more like my mamma everyday (apart from having vascular dementia, though sometimes baby brain is pretty close). My main old lady traits are: loving tea (especially out of china cups for some reason), whittling about lots of things, even though I know it wont change the outcome of the situation, going to garden centers and tea shops a lot! and I now own a walking stick. The walking stick was a lovely present from my husband Tom, who, despite being told by his aunt how many really nice modern walking sticks are available, chose a fantastic floral motif. I have recently felt more and more old lady like as I’ve been struggling to get around and quite frankly I cant be bothered to do anything, this is not just because of how tired I have been but because I was starting to feel that I couldn’t do anything right (which I think is how my mamma feels sometimes too).
The main reason for this being that I had a uterine artery doppler last Thursday. Now my news in hind sight is not bad, I often try to think of how it goes for some other women who find out far worse things than I did. I had my scan and my little girl was bobbing away on screen then the consultant had a look at the different arteries in my pelvis and to me they looked ok, but I didn’t know what I was looking at. So the issues were that shes smaller than average and my uterine arteries have high resistance and one has notching (which no matter where I look on the internet I cant figure out what that actually means). Naturally I forgot to actually ask the consultant any really important questions (that was what Tom was there for but he also forgot) I asked if something awful is going to happen, to which he replied that awful things happen all the time (I know I could get hit by a car and die at any point). After which he then said that there is a risk of preeclampsia, that was the most likely scenario but still unlikely. Preterm labour which is the second most likely but, also, very unlikely and then the worst of all, placental abruption , which he said was incredibly rare. Hearing those words again were very frightening for me, although he said very rare all I could think about was how I lost Kai because of that same thing. I never wanted to hear those words again. So I asked what I could do to improve things, nothing. Again I can do nothing. I felt shocked, again I had lulled myself into a false sense of security, suddenly I felt very vulnerable again. Therefore the next few days afterwards I was scared to do anything barely slept and generally probably made things much worse for myself. This is what I used to do. So I stopped worrying, just like that.
This has taken a lot of time to learn how to do. I take the mick out of myself a lot for being a whittler but often I let it get too much and it turns in to full blown anxiety attacks. I have coped with anxiety for years, and probably should have done something about it before this year, however when you are hit by a brick wall you have two options keep hitting it and wonder why it wont move or walk around it. I decided to walk around the brick wall I hit this year. I started by sorting my sleeping pattern out and learning how to bring my sleep back to normal if it got out of sync again, because sometimes it does get out of sync and that is ok. I did this by sorting out my “sleep hygiene” This for me consisted of having a bed time for the first time since I was at school and not watching TV, going on the computer and putting my bloody phone away (this was by far the hardest, because I cant go half an hour without checking Facebook, Instagram and generally googling things that pop up in my mind). I was told to do something that relaxed me before going to sleep, so for me that’s have a bath with lavender (another old lady habit of loving lavender) and then listening to relaxation meditation (honestly it works eventually). I am a fidget so meditation is not easy, as my mind drifts off to think about what colour i’m going to paint the little room and many other things. Sleep was one of the biggest changes I made and with that came learning how to switch you brain off and approach each problem at once instead of them all playing out together.
I was also an avid yoga fan, this is much harder now that my hips have gone to pot, but that doesn’t mean I cant use breathing techniques and as someone suggested to me ankle rotations. So as this will also help blood flow I have been spending an hour a day practicing breathing and doing gentle yoga. Because I am not at work at the moment that extra stress is not there which is helping me get back on track and out of the pit, my hips are getting better than they were through physio and I am far less anxious today than I was on Thursday. I have been focusing on going to garden centres, walks with my stick and drinking tea as theses things help me relax.
I guess being more of an old woman actually helps me feel calm.