Killing 3 months until the next set of tests was no picnic. I needed to slow the tornado of words, questions and thoughts in my brain and occupy it with something else in order to deplete the feelings and control my emotions during this period (which is still not quite over yet).
A friend suggested that I track my cycle via temperature using a thermometer to understand how my body works and incase I need to know more information e.g. when I ovulate, IF I decide to go down the pregnancy route. Although this suggestion did not excite me in the least I decided that every option is worth exploring and went ahead with it. Knowledge is power right? I had nothing to lose.
This turned out to be a bit of a mission.
My first problem was making sure I got the correct kind. Who knew, but apparently there are a variety of thermometers and they are all used for different reasons and some are more accurate than others. Awesome. After figuring out which one I needed (a basal one), by consulting the ever faithful internet and my new trusty fertility forum I was off to find it.
After venturing around Beijing that weekend and visiting 4 different stores which I was reassured would have thermometers, I finally stumbled into a tiny local pharmacy, Google translated my way through a conversation (for some reason ‘thermometer’ is not on my repertoire of Chinese words), and came out with a thermometer that had kindly been dusted off by the lady at the pharmacy.
I went home, lay on my bed and proceeded to try to work out this contraption.
Of course all of the instructions were in Chinese and when I tried to figure it out, by trying it out, not much happened. It only had one button, so seriously how hard could it be to work out? I pushed the button, put it under my tongue and waited, nothing happened. At this point I had worked out from the pictures that it needed to beep at some stage. I put it under my tongue and then pushed the button, still nothing. Again, I used Google and still that particular make’s instructions were only in Chinese. Finally I went down the route of Googling the same make but a slightly different number and it turns out that my particular brand of thermometer, the one that had been collecting dust on a shelf in a tiny pharmacy in Beijing was a top notch ovulation thermometer!! I hadn’t even mentioned ‘ovulation’ to the pharmacist, AS if I knew THAT word in Chinese!
It was great news that I had nailed finding the perfect thermometer however that is where the not so fun part comes in. This now means that every morning the first thing I do when I wake up is to not move and lay in bed, with a thermometer shoved right up, extremely uncomfortably under my tounge for a full 5 minutes, while it takes an incredibly accurate temperature reading of my body. And at this point I say to the woman on ‘FertilityFriends’ that said that she thinks it is super relaxing and drifts back off to sleep until it beeps at her to wake up, “Yeah right! How in gods name is a sharp metal implement poking you inside your mouth, in a sensitive part of your tongue, as soon as you wake up for 5 minutes all the while laying still and holding it in place so it gets that accurate reading relaxing? You are insane lady!” You can see how much I love this whole experience, sarcasm central. I then record the number on my phone and at a later time transfer it to a super geeky excel spreadsheet so I can track my cycle. Super fun.
This is when I knew my life had changed.
At this point I have 2 months of data and I have to admit my friend was right, after I got over the annoying aspect of how my days start everyday (that took about a month), it is interesting to have a small insight to how my body works. Patterns are starting to emerge as my body is weaned off ‘The Pill’ and hopefully this will be an asset later on in whatever process I decide to proceed with.
Now I have never used a hashtag in my life but as I was writing this I felt like I could have written this entire post using them. So, I will finish with this:
After this #biglifechange I counteracted all of this boringness, frustration and #fullonness with a #slightlyinsane handbag, Lululemon and headphone #buyingspree at the market #escapism #lookingfornormal #procrastination #denial.
Stuff dealing with real life when it gets a bit too full on – a shopping spree cures all!