Thursday, February 23, 2012

Running and Hypothalamic Amenorrhea - Admitting Defeat

Editor's Note: For all those reading this now as of 2016 - I want to tell you there is a lot of hope and true opportunity for recovery.  I tell you this from a place of  having had two beautiful babies, periods, and marathons!  Please check out to see the book my colleagues and I wrote about the topic and how to to recover. We are here for you. You can do this!!

Honestly, I was not going to post to you all today.  In my fits of sadness, anger, and disappointed I had pretty much resolved to take a 3 year old mentality to this whole situation and put on a very extravagant pity party which included not contacting anyone until someone, anyone actually knocked on my door and asked me if I was okay. Yes, I pretty much waited for a phone call or text message or email last night because I expected people to magically know I was suffering and to come to my aid.  Real big Steph, I know.  Honestly, it is probably better that no one came knocking because I was not too much fun to be around.  Poor Aaron he is getting the brunt of my "pleasant" behavior.

I would like to tell you that this morning I have a renewed sense of hope and determination, but that is not entirely true.  I do feel better than yesterday and almost ready to face the world again.  However my outlook is still pretty poor and I feel very sad, angry, frustrated, and stubborn all at the same time.  Beautiful right?  And while I could pretend otherwise, I have decided to be as "real" and true to myself on this blog as possible so unfortunately, you are all getting the good, the bad, and the ugly, and today it is ugly.

Can you guess what brought all these wonderful feelings and such a "happy" Stephanie out to play?  It is not so hard to figure out that yesterday's doctor's visit was not as successful as I had hoped it to be.  Going in, we were hoping that my follicles had gotten to a point where they would be ready to ovulate.  We had shot in hand ready for the battle.  No go.  No shot to stimulate ovulation for me, not even close.  My largest follicle was 13, we need it to be at least 20 and my uterine lining was 3, you need a minimum of 6 or 7 to hold a baby.

My doctor asked me about my changes in food and exercise and was none to please to hear that I ran 13 miles this weekend.  She explained to me that I really need to run no more than 10 miles in a week 5 miles at a time, not get too hot (how you not get hot by running is beyond me), and have to keep getting the cholesterol needed for hormones to build up.  Fun?  How do you get healthy - gain weight, eat more, exercise less.  Joy.  The more and more I read these scholarly articles and websites, they explain that hypothalamic amenorrhea occurs due to a combination of stress, weight loss, and/or exercise that ultimately blocks gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) important for that whole ovulation thing.  Women are told to eat more, exercise less, and may or may not need to go with some rounds of hormones like Clomid.

So where does this all leave me?  My doctor explained that there is a chance that my follicles will still grow.  They have the ability to grow 2 mm per day so we are going back on Monday to see if by some amazing chance they did.  I am not hopeful.  She said they could also shrink, stay stagnant, or grow a little but not enough.  My guess is they will shrink, we will try Clomid for another month or so with no success and then move on.  I told you I was not in the most happy of moods.  I am probably losing followers by the dozen but at least blogging is still therapeutic, right?

Until then, my doctor wants to make sure I am cutting down on the exercise and continuing to eat lots of fats and proteins.  I emailed her this morning but honestly right now I am almost resolved to do no exercise until my appointment and see if that helps.  It is only a five day experiment of sorts so I am kind of like why not.  Today I feel so defeated and worn down that I am not even in the mood.  Since I officially cannot workout to the point of getting "hot" and I cannot run more than 5 miles, I have absolutely zero training aspirations so what is the point or harm in taking the days minus my sanity.  I used to run to stay in shape but clearly it is looking more and more like I need to pack on the pounds so that is out the window.  And while yes I run for fun, much of this fun is through training, goals, and chatting with friends and I am not seeing much joy in 3 miles alone on the treadmill right now at all.   In all, like I said, I feel alone and without purpose.

I know I can turn this whole post into positives.  I can say that my follicles were only 8 last time and now they are 13.  That I have a major purpose and goal in not exercising or exercising less.  That this is not forever and just for right now.    I get it, I can say all of those things and eventually I will.  I know.  But right now, I am sad and I am angry and I am defeated and sometimes I kind of just need to ride those waves of emotion for a little while longer until I come out on the other end.

I hope I have not lost too many of you in my "woe is me" post.  Not so fun, I know.  Hopefully, tomorrow will be a brighter day.

Note if you have come here for the first time please continue to keep reading or check out some more info on my new blog  as always feel free to email me I am here to help.

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