I am pleased to announce a new series on the Stress and Health Online blog featuring readers’ stories of stressful experiences in their lives and how they coped with them. The series is called “STRESS STORIES.”
The inaugural STRESS STORIES post features Shelomita, a fellow blogger who has a Mommagazine called “Cute Coconut.” Shelomita’s story points out how big life changes can sometimes lead to both stress and health problems.
Shelomita describes herself as “a day dreamer” and reports that she has a “bunch of ideas and dreams about them day and night hoping one day all of them can come true.” She states “Cutecoconut is one of my long term dreams and I have eventually taken the first step to start making it come true.” Shelomita describes herself as “a musician by heart.” She loves traveling, discovering new places, and trying new food (a foodventurous), but also says that “coffee is like my morning soul mate.”
Shelomita blogs about her feelings, thoughts, and experiences in motherhood. She hopes her blog will “come in handy for every young mom like me who is a bit lost in the complicated and delicate roles in women’s lives.” By blogging, Shelomita hopes to say to fellow moms: “You are not alone!”
Shelomita’s story is an interesting one. Everything started when she stopped working and moved overseas so that her husband could take a new job. Prior to moving, Shelomita had a lot of help around the house (three helpers!) and worked, so she was not accustomed to the stress of being a stay at home mom. She reports that being a stay at home mom and taking care of the kids herself “was a big deal for me because before that I had never done any house chores, not in my single life and not even after I got married. Before moving I had three helpers in the house who handled the chores and took care of the kids while I was working. So to do everything by myself (including cooking!) was a big struggle for me at the beginning. I was a spoilt brat back then!”
In addition to these changes in her day to day activities, Shelomita found it stressful to be living in a new country. She states “I did not have any friends, and since I did not work anymore I did not have to go outside the house very often. All that triggered stress in me. Although I did not realize that I was stressed, apparently my body had a different idea.”
Following her move to a new country, Shelomita noticed that she was having unusual menstrual bleeding which lasted on and off for three months. Says Shelomita: “I thought it was just an extended period of my menstruation, but after a couple of days clean I started to have it again for a week, and then it stopped for two or three days. Then I had it again for 10 days, and it kept happening like that for three whole months. Later, when I finally saw a gynecologist (twice), my condition was called “Dysfunctional Bleeding.” She even wrote about this experience in her blog: http://cutecoconut.com/2011/07/being-an-expat-stay-at-home-mom/.
Abnormal Vaginal bleeding is bleeding between periods and can be caused by a number things including uterine fibroids or cervical or uterine polyps, changes in hormones, inflammation or infection of the cervix, injury or disease of the vaginal opening, ectopic (tubal) pregnancy and other pregnancy complications, miscarriage, stress, vaginal dryness, stopping and starting birth control pills, IUD use, underactive thyroid, use of blood thinners, cancer or precancerous conditions, and medical procedures.
This experience was very surprising to Shelomita as she reports that she felt some stress, but was not overwhelmed. She stated that she did not “feel I was stressed enough to experience it the second time, the third time, and so on. So when the blood kept coming and became fresher each day, I got a little bit scared. I even once thought that I was going to lose all my blood because of this.”
While Shelomita was going through this ordeal, she tried to research her condition on the internet, and reported that most sources suggested that she might have cervical cancer. Shelomita reports “that was too much for me to handle. I started thinking about the worst things that can happen.” So, Shelomita did the right thing and went to see a health care provider who could diagnose and treat her condition. Says Shelomita: “…when I finally paid a visit to my gynecologist, the result was not clear immediately. She took some samples from my ‘woman’s part,’ and then took a blood test and a urine test. I was scheduled for a pap smear too but she could not do it because I kept bleeding. Waiting for the results of the tests was a scary moment for me. So imagine how relieved I was when the doctor said that everything was fine with me, and my condition in medical world was called ‘Dysfunctional Bleeding’.”
Once Shelomita realized that her abnormal menstrual bleeding was a result of stress, she made some changes to her life. These changes were focused both on the way that she viewed parenting and housekeeping, as well as the way that she viewed herself as a mother. Shelomita reports “I started to change the way I worked around the house. I had been trying so hard to prove that I was a good stay at home mom and that I could do the house chores like anyone does. I had been making myself tired every day trying to finish each and every thing on time. I got very frustrated if I missed one or two things. Or if I could not handle my kids very well. But then I realized, I should start enjoying myself. I did not have to prove anything to anybody. I was the boss of my own house. If I missed one or two things who was going to comment? And if anybody would ever comment, why should I care? So I tried to be more relaxed. It’s okay to let go of one or two things, like doing the laundry whenever I wanted to (it did not have to be every day).”
Shelomita realized that “Life is too short to sweat the little things. So I started to enjoy my time with the kids more. I did not care too much when we ate a snack and the crumbs fell on the floor. I let them play with their toys wherever they wanted to, and allowed them to scatter toys on the floor. I just waited it until evening to tidy the whole thing rather than tidying up every couple hours like I used to do in a bid to keep a tidy house. Now I realize that my messy home is pretty normal for a house with two toddler boys living in it.”
Shelomita reports that she had a great source of support as she went through her stressful situation, her husband. She states her husband “has been the most supportive person to get me through all that. He knew where I came from. He never demanded the house to be tidy all the time. He did not mind if I missed making him breakfast, as he left for work very early. He was and has been always on my back for everything that I want to do. Of course he is still like most husbands in general who do not pick up things and leave everything everywhere, but if I ask him for his help he never hesitates to give me his hand. On his off days he does not mind helping me vacuum the floor or giving the kids a bath.” To cope with stress of being separated from friends and family, Shelomita connected to them through her Blackberry and Facebook. She also reports that she could express her passion for writing through her blog.
Shelomita has a lot of advice for those who may be experiencing the stress of a health issue like Dysfunctional Bleeding: “First of all, never go to the internet to find the ultimate answer. Doing research is fine, but you cannot trust everything on the internet related to any medical situation, otherwise you will get scared unnecessarily. Always go to the right person [a health care provider], and get a second opinion.”
She also has good advice when it comes to coping with stress related to a big change like moving or becoming a stay at home mom after working: “When it comes to stress, do whatever you can to reduce or to get rid of it for good. Find a hobby, do the things you enjoy doing, and just cherish every moment in your life in every possible way. Don’t listen to every negative comment that puts you down. Constructive critics are different than negative comments. You are responsible for your own life and your own happiness.”
As a result of these changes in her life, Shelomita reports “It eventually took me to a different level, to a better and more joyful life.”
To read Shelomita’s blog, go to: http://cutecoconut.com.
You can also like the CuteCoconut Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/CuteCoconut-Mommagazine/246427722057829 or follow Shelomita on twitter: @momkn4lva.
The information contained in this blog post is not meant to provide medical advice or diagnostic information. If you are experiencing dysfunctional bleeding or abnormal vaginal bleeding, go see your health care provider immediately.
If you enjoyed this Stress Story, you may also enjoy another one! Click here to read the other Stress Stories.
About the Author (Author Profile)Kristen is a psychologist who lives in central Florida and enjoys writing about stress and health. When she is not writing, Kristen enjoys spending time with her family and pets, reading, traveling, yoga, and trying to finish her never ending yard renovation.
Sites That Link to this Post
- Saturday Mind: Moving in Life | CuteCoconut | November 5, 2011