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Body By Follistim, Part 2 - Elizabeth Unexplained
Lots of data but no answers
Body By Follistim, Part 2
After I posted Body By Follistim part 1 I realized why I was so bothered by the way IVF interferes with my exercise routine and why I spend so much time complaining about it. I think that part deserved its own entry, though it wasn't what I had originally intended to write about next.

You see, I've been aware for a couple of years that I really need to exercise. Not in the get-off-your-fat-backside-now sense. Sure, exercise is good for my body. I know that. Everyone knows that if they've been paying any attention. For me, though, its more than the size of my waist that is at issue. I've noticed that there is a correlation between the amount of exercise I get and my mood. The times in my life when I've felt relatively down have all been times when I was not getting good regular exercise. Its not that I love going to the gym so much. I mean, if there were no health and wellness consequences to the decision I'd probably choose to play Warcraft instead of going to the gym. I just don't like feeling down and gloomy, so I go to the gym. I'm sure I could get the same effect from some sort of SSRI, but I really prefer paying the gym membership to popping pills.

Imagine if you will the joy of going through a fussy medical process, including giving yourself shots twice a day within a set time window, plus the huge uncertainty of whether or not it will work. Add to that the general frustration of having been thwarted in achieving you major life goal for the past three years. Oh don't forget the biological clock, ticking away like the bomb in some stupid action thriller. Then add to the mix some major complications with using one of your major coping tools, the thing that you need to do to not feel blue under normal circumstances. This is a sure recipe for much whining.

Next cycle I should probably make a better effort to go to the gym after work on those days where I have early morning doctors appointments, much as I hate exercising after work and dealing with the Porter Square parking lot at that hour. That still leaves me perplexed as to what to do about the lupron headache that makes me puke, and there is nothing to be done about the post-transfer exercise prohibition. I'm not sure how much better I can do on the exercise front next cycle. I'm worried that the answer may be 'not much'.
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arcanology From: arcanology Date: April 9th, 2007 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
With your Somerville permit you could always park nearby and walk to Porter.

I never go into that parking lot any more either, it's just madness.
twe From: twe Date: April 10th, 2007 02:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, that's what I do too.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: April 9th, 2007 06:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm. Do you think you could get any of the feeling-better effects from something like arm curls? I'm trying to imagine an exercise that doesn't affect your torso or stomach, plus might not even get your heart going much faster to exacerbate the headache. On the other hand, that might mean it doesn't have enough of an effect to give you the mood boost.
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: April 9th, 2007 07:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, that's pretty much the problem. I love strength training too, but for the mood boost part I *need* to get an elevated heart rate... which of course makes the headache terrible. I've certainly tried lifting weights with a headache, but either I lift heavy enough stuff that it elevates my heart rate, or its not 'exercise' as my body understands it. Not to mention that "heavy lifting" is forbidden in the post-transfer stage, so no strength training then either.

I suppose I could try something like gentle yoga, but the last time I tried that I ended up annoyed. I just could not take it seriously as physical exercise. I guess I inherited my sense of what constitutes exercise from my ancestors, who were partial to dancing that involved lots of jumping up and down (extra points for jumping higher!) or flinging large heavy objects around.
enugent From: enugent Date: April 9th, 2007 07:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Whoops, looks like I crossed with you in my last comment.

Can you try to think of the yoga as an alternative potential mood-booster, instead of as exercise?
psychohist From: psychohist Date: April 9th, 2007 10:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know if it's exactly this way for Elizabeth, but in my experience, the thing that makes me relatively immune to bad moods is keeping my aerobic limit high, which implies aerobic exercise. Other things can put me in a good mood temporarily, but they don't have the same immunizing effect.
enugent From: enugent Date: April 9th, 2007 07:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know you're not supposed to do anything strenuous post transfer, but can you go for a walk? Even if you go slow and don't break a sweat, it might help with the mood-altering effects. Plus you could do it with your husband, and have it not break into the personal time too badly.
twe From: twe Date: April 9th, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I was going to suggest walks too.
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: April 9th, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I suppose I wasn't thinking of walks as non-strenuous, though I suppose they can be. Remember, my sister can 'walk' a mile is less than six minutes. Also, my daily exercise is walking on a treadmill... 30 minutes at 4.5 miles per hour on a hill program. I suppose I could try slowing it down to 4.0 and not using an incline. I'm not sure if it would be enough to help. I do walk places post-transfer. I also go to dance lessons, so its not like I'm just sitting around.
enugent From: enugent Date: April 9th, 2007 09:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe you and Warren could walk to Teele Square for dinner or something - just getting out of the house is a mood-lifter, too, when you can't do "real" exercise for one reason or another.
psychohist From: psychohist Date: April 9th, 2007 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
just getting out of the house is a mood-lifter

Er ... you've been back on the west coast for a while, haven't you?
enugent From: enugent Date: April 9th, 2007 11:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, yes, but going for nonstrenuous walks worked pretty well for me when I was recovering from my C-section in Boston (during March, so about the same season).
psychohist From: psychohist Date: April 10th, 2007 11:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Was that before or after winter started running January-April here?
enugent From: enugent Date: April 11th, 2007 12:03 am (UTC) (Link)
:) I was there for the big April Fools' Day storm, but this was in 2004, which had a relatively mild April, I think. (It was snowing when Dorothy was born in March, though.)
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: April 10th, 2007 01:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, but Warren has it right. I need real exercise to get the effect I'm after. I've got all the temporary mood lifting I could possibly want, its just temporary.
merastra From: merastra Date: April 12th, 2007 07:12 am (UTC) (Link)

Late reply

I used to feel very "up" and have a general happiness that seemed to last a couple days from doing a practice where I'd do a lot of stationary posture holding until my muscles shook. I'm guessing this wouldn't pass the "no heavy lifting" filter, but it's a data point in favor of getting the happy-rays from something other than aerobic exercise.

I suppose I should write more about it in my own journal. :-)
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