I am used to modifying things in my life due to my body. I've been doing it since I was 19 due to my stupid spine. (insert GIANT eyeroll with attitude) ;) Seriously, if they invented a bionic spine, I would sign up TODAY. As long as they promised I wouldn't die and stuff. But, because of this, I have had to learn (begrudgingly most of the time) to ask for help doing and lifting things, moving things, to explain to trainers and coaches why I will not be doing certain things in class or the gym, or to my doctor why I like to have muscle relaxers on hand just in case I need them. To my credit- One bottle of muscle relaxers will last me a year, not a month. I want those babies to WORK.
"What is wrong with her back", you are thinking to yourself? I have degenerative disc disease that is genetic (thanks fam! haha!) and had my first herniated disc at 19. They thought for sure I would probably have surgery by the time I was 30, and I tried very hard NOT to have surgery at all. I succeeded, but have paid some serious prices over the years in back pain, added herniations, and ruptures. Everyday hurts- lets say on a scale of 1-10, it is always no less than a 3. I am keenly aware of it. It hurts more when the weather is about change and rain. Some days it hurts more just because. Those days are really special. I have tried all of the things too. I have a tens unit which is actually quite great, foam rollers to help with the extra stress on the muscles, massages, special shoes, and orthotic inserts for my shoes. Sexy huh? ;)
Why am I sharing this? Well, because of my back, I have to modify, lets say 80% of my life- it's the little things that get ya, right? One of the disciplines that has really helped me over the years has been hot yoga. Not necessarily Bikram, although I do enjoy it, it is VERY repetitious which this point, but oy! There is a place here in Vegas that has all kinds of classes but in heated rooms. My back LOVES this. I can do gentle stretching classes, barre, pilates, gentle yoga (the flow classes kill me- too much on the old spine), and many others in between. Even in these classes, I have to modify certain poses because they just hurt and I have to go home with me, so no.
So I was curious- when I start the stimulating hormones again, can I continue to take the hot classes? Can I continue yoga while on them? Will I even want to? The short answer seems to be yes and no. No, I cannot continue with the hot classes because it is more helpful to the process to keep your body at a neutral temperature. (However, I am dying already in the surface of the sun temps here in Vegas, so maybe I should never go outside? I'm ok with this for the interim!)
Also, the inversion and torsion of the abdomen is to be avoided. Apparently it is best to do light walking, the elliptical (on stroll mode I imagine), and light yoga (Yin) or prenatal yoga. After reading several blogs on this topic, the main consensus was that you feel so bloated and exhausted, you want to do NONE of these things, and so that probably is what will happen. I have to admit, I wanted to do none of them on my last 18 day cycle. But the kicker was this- my back was so ache-y and tender and I couldn't take any ibuprofen to help with the inflammation. I was trying to do some stretches, but I wasn't doing my yoga and this round I think it may help.
What are the new modifications to the existing modifications in my life? Haha....well.....I found these helpful via The Yin Ova Center's blog:
Here are five rules to follow when practicing yoga during your IVF cycle.
1. Listen to your body. If anything doesn’t feel right, stop.
2. No twists.
3. No full inversions.
4. Don’t work your abdominal muscles
5. Stick with a restorative practice that keeps your body temperature neutral: don’t sweat!
And make sure to talk to the instructor at the beginning of class so he or she knows what is going on. I am taking my first class (a Yin one) at a new place tomorrow. It is unheated, and I cannot wait. My back is being a &*$% this week. I hope it helps!
I will tell you this: Over the years, I have become better at asking for help. I have cried before doing so because of pride in the past, but it is just not worth the pain. And people are really nice. I definitely had to ask for help on this IVF adventure and sometimes I am so overwhelmed by the kindness and love from the people in my life. Thank you.
Here's some other things I love that help me with my back if you're interested:
DoTerra Deep Blue creme or oil
Thermalon Heating Pad (THIS THING IS A SAVIOR!!!) Order it here .
I have one at work and at home. Tip: Add velcro to the straps so they lay flat when secured around your waist. :)
(I've attached info from one website- you may want to shop around, of course.)
I will put these in the resources section as well.
NOTE*** During the first round of stims, I only used the heating pad- no Deep Blue or Tens Unit.
Have a great day out there!!
UPDATE: The Yin Yoga class was awesome!!! I will definitely be going back. It is nuts how different my right side is compared to my left when doing stretches. Night and Day. I feel a lot better and am looking forward to continuing. I went to TruFusion.