progesterone + perspective

July 7, 2011

stuck / inspired
i have to admit i am STILL feeling stuck lately. one major tenet of this is the frustration i am still having with my own body [more on that later]. but rather often, i’ll see/read/hear something that makes me realize that this way of thinking is only that — a construct created in my own mind, with a set of expectations that are really just made-up ideas about what is ‘supposed’ to be.

yesterday, it was this story in the duke med alumni magazine that caught my eye. to be honest, i often just throw this mag away [it’s hard to be nostalgic for a place where you’re still working!], but remembered that my father-in-law was going to be profiled in it, along with his best friend from medical school [and still today]. it was really fun to see them [and a shout-out to josh + me!] on page 23, but it was what followed that was truly amazing:

from duke med alumni mag, summer 2011 issue
i remembered this energetic pathologist from when he gave us a lecture on lung pathology in medical school. he was upfront with us, telling us his story — diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as a child but somehow managing to make his way through college and residency against physical [and i would think psychological] odds. he continues to practice medicine [teaching + clinical] and has now reached his 60th birthday. his mutation [the classic delta-F-508] is not a mild form of CF, and he currently is one of only 9 patients known to have lived to reach this milestone. he also has a family, a career he [obviously!] loves, and sings his heart out at karaoke multiple times per week.

reading the article, i have no doubt that he is grateful for every day of his life. i also would speculate that he is very conscious about the ways in which he spends his time — always knowing that it was limited [but not by how much!].

but then, it struck me — what’s different for the rest of us?? of course, we all feel that our lives are limitless, but it’s an illusion. mine could end in 60 years, or it could end tomorrow. i am not in any sort of pain or discomfort on a daily basis, and i have everything i truly need [and much more]. is there any reason i shouldn’t feel the same sort of gratitude that dr. roggli does? or approach each day with the mindset that every moment really is a precious + irreplaceable gift?

probably not. so i will try to keep this in mind, today and always.

TTC update
so. if i were to follow that with a ‘woah-is-me’ whine about my ovaries, that would be pretty inappropriate, don’t you think? so instead, i will just lay out the facts and some recent frustrations.

as i wrote about previously, we have been trying [in some way, shape, or form] for a baby for the past 2.5 years. while i first visited the reproductive endocrinologist about 2 years ago, it wasn’t until about a year ago that i finally decided that perhaps activity levels and lower body fat were contributing to my problem in some form of hypothalamic amenorrhea [i love how this particular description mentions “obsessive-compulsive habits”. what, ME!?].

so i took action. i made changes, even though i did not want to and did not like them. i saw an RD. i purposefully got out of running shape and grew out of many of my own clothes [admittedly, this was probably the most annoying part]. i would say at this point that i am more comfortable with my pared-down cardio, and in my own skin.

but even with all of this, my body is still not doing what it is supposed to do. ultrasounds, medications, and blood draws aside, i have a mixture of anger, frustration, and guilt surrounding the whole thing. as in: i must be doing something WRONG. is it the few [slow, short] runs i am still doing!? the wine i still sometimes enjoy? maybe i’m totally wrong about the HA diagnosis and i need to go low-glycemic index or on metformin because this is really just atypical PCOS?

i don’t know, and i guess i should just talk to the reproductive endocrinologist about all this, but it feels good to just write it all out. i also know there are others out there reading with similar issues, so i wanted to give you an update.

and with that, i am off to NOT run, because i’m now too late since i have to get my progesterone drawn [to confirm my non-ovulation biochemically]. then, i will go about my day remembering that even though all of this is going on, i’m still very lucky to be here. as are we all.



workout: 20 minutes elliptical + weights [deadlifts, push-ups, lunges, tricep push-downs, abs]

sorry heidi: your next recipe will have to wait until tonight. i got lazy, and we got pizza.


  • Reply Claire March 10, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    OH, the people you meet at the gym. I met a man at my gym who is the dad of one of the surgery resident. He is in his 60’s and has CF. It just amazed me! He is committed to his treatments, exercies, family, and job. But also makes me thankful that he had a family who was committed to taking care of his when he was little; so many of our little CFers don’t…it’s a hard disease and take a lot of time.

    Hope your progesterone surprises you!

  • Reply Katy Widrick March 10, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    I know it’s totally cheeseball, but part of what keeps me positive is my job — I produce a TV show that’s all about staying active and pursuing passions. It’s hard to go home and whine about the email that didn’t get returned or the annoying comment I got when I’ve just shared the story of a 4-time cancer survivor…

    I’m so sorry you’re going through all your body drama, love. Thoughts are with you.

  • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    thank you, katy! i know EXACTLY what you mean, too.

  • Reply keelan March 10, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    My husband was diagnosed with CF in his 30s after we experienced infertility. He will be 37 soon and he’s in great health ("lucky" as his nurse repeatedly said upon his diagnosis). He has atypical CF – DF508 and another mutation on his 5T allele. We’ve decided not to have kids on our own, for a variety of reasons, but I do have a child from a previous relationship.

    SHU, I really hope that you get pregnant soon. The process of trying to get pregnant and dealing with infertility was really hard for me. But I know that I’ve said this before (along with others): you may be within a normal BMI, but you’re still very thin. You said that you wouldn’t intentionally gain another 10-15 pounds unless you had a guarantee that it would work. You know that there are no guarantees. But frankly, the heartache of 2.5 years of infertility seems to suggest that you may as well try. What do you have to lose at this point?

  • Reply Jen March 10, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    I am so sorry you’re going through this Sarah. I don’t know what to say except that it sucks SO bad and is incredibly NOT fair. I do know though that you’ve done nothing to cause this. It’s so easy to blame ourselves when we can’t quite figure out what’s wrong with our bodies. But it’s really nothing you’ve done!

    That being said, I was about to try the PCOS diet too, just in case it actually worked. Good luck! I am constantly thinking about you and sending positive ovulation thoughts your way!

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