Archive for social anxiety

My Experience Undergoing A Water Ultrasound

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The next step in pursuing artificial insemination on the path to adding to my family was a water ultrasound. For those who don’t know, it involves a speculum, a catheter to place the water, and an ultrasound wand. Good times!

So the speculum is the hardest for me. Even the smallest size is difficult because it forces muscles to move that don’t want to move. The reproductive endocrinologist was kind enough to remove the speculum as soon as she just barely got the catheter in place.

Water is pushed in through the catheter to stretch the uterus open kind of like a blown-up balloon. Thereimage018 is some cramping involved when enough water is pushed in, but it’s supposedly not as bad as cramps caused by the HSG (hysterosalpingogram). I don’t remember cramping with the HSG due to how much medication I had to be on to tolerate it though.

The ultrasound wand was a little difficult, but soon just felt weird most of the time. It was uncomfortable only a couple of times when the viewing angle had to be more extreme.

Good news! No polyps or anything else that might interfere with implantation, plus I had a nice fat follicle developing on the left ovary. It measured 17 mm. I was pretty sure there was one on that side because I had started feeling sore in that area. Apparently, the ovary itself can feel sore when other organs rub against it while it has the growing follicle.

It just felt weird when the ultrasound wand and catheter were removed.

I did not actually have any tears come out of my eyes during the procedure so I think it was a success. I was complaining after the procedure about how much of a wuss I am when the doctor said she thought I did really well, was proud of me, and that she didn’t think I gave myself enough credit. I felt really good hearing someone say they were proud of me. That’s been really rare in my life. Based on her comments (and she should know because she does this stuff all the time), I decided to try to feel proud of myself. Go, me!

My next steps are picking a donor and meeting with the RE or her nurse practitioner to go over the schedule for next cycle. It’s getting real, people!

7 Tips For Facing Your Social Fears

image501Did you know that most people on Earth say that they have social anxieties? It’s right up there with public speaking as one of the biggest fears. Social fears are one of the most common issues that a lot of people face or claim to face. It may be worse for some than for others, but social fear is a pretty universal issue. For most of us it started in our tween or teenage years. We either learned to cope with it, or it manifested into something worse.

There are some ways in which you can learn to face social fears without having to drop out of society. Most of these tips are easy to accomplish. If you have issues that exceed these tips, consider getting some professional help. You may have social anxiety and need stronger help to get yourself on the right path.

1. Start Small – If you are ready to make a huge change in your life and face your social fears, don’t choose to start with speaking in front of 1500 people. Instead, start small with a small group like a “meet-up” group, a reading group, or join a local Toastmasters group. Get a little bit out of your comfort zone, and then build up to more.

2. Plan Ahead – Most people are nervous in social situations but if you plan ahead, you’ll be more relaxed. Practice introducing yourself, and maybe ask a friend or family member to help you practice your handshake too. Bimage589eing more comfortable around people starts one step at a time, and practice will help it feel more familiar. Personally, I have issues in crowds so I may look over a map of the venue for something such as a fair or conference ahead of time so I’m more familiar with the surroundings before I arrive.

3. Love Yourself — This is a problem for a lot of people! Many social fears come from wrong-headed beliefs that something is wrong with you. You don’t think enough of yourself, and you think you’re weird or somehow “wrong.” But, nothing could be further from the truth. Most of us have something different about us; if we were all the same it would be quite boring. Embrace your differences and accept yourself for who you are. Some of the meditations I’m going to post in the upcoming Meditation Challenge will be related to this topic. Sign up for my emails to be notified when we’re about to start!

4. Avoid Judgment – Some measure of social fears come from our own poor judgments of not just ourselves but others. We think that if we are so judgmental then other people are too. So, to avoid that judgment we just avoid the situation entirely. If you learn to stop being so judgmental you’ll be able to be less afraid. I’ve been guilty of this. It’s so easy to turn out attention to seeing what’s wrong in others instead of learning to be at ease with our own shortcomings. Learning to accept other people’s differences and personalities as just being human is part of learning to accept yourself. Being human is perfectly acceptable.

5. Your Fears Aren’t Reality – Just because you’re afraid of something doesn’t mean it’s real. You may have all sorts of ideas in your head about how your voice sounds, how you look, and your perceived awkwardness. (This is so me about my hair after it started thinning after Kaida was born.) But, the truth is, most people are so tied up in their own fears that they don’t even notice that you’re nervous. Fearing something doesn’t mean it will actually happen.

6. Take a Deep Breath – When you feel the anxiety coming on, stop, and take a deep breath. Breathe in slowly through your nose, filling up your lungs completely, and then breathe out slowly through your mouth. One or two slow breaths can help you overcome your initial fears fast. I sometimes get PVCs when I’m anxious or stressed and recently found this great meditation for cardiac arrhythmias on YouTube. I’ll be posting more meditations for anxiety during my upcoming Meditation Challenge. Sign up for my emails to be notified when we’re about to start!

7. Take the Leap Anyway – Most of the time, fear is worse than the actual situation. Even if you’re doing something scary like getting a shot, or an operation, or bungee jumping – the worry leading up to the event is usually much worse than the actuality of what you are doing. If you take the leap and jump in with both feet, you’ll find that your fear level drops substantially.

Most social fear is a normal reaction that people have. You’re not abnormal to have social fears. This is especially true if you’re unwilling to allow your fears to block you from having a happy and productive life.

Let me know in the comments of any other tips you’ve found useful!