Day #44 – Chasing normality
Turns out you don’t “just get back to normal”, but every day contains a bit more of what is “normal”. It’s like walking a tightrope balancing what you have to do with the energy you have available to achieve it and there is a certain amount of stress generated by working out which tasks are essential and which can be left until another day.
So even when a day starts more slowly than you’ve planned get up and focus on ticking the priorities off your list- tomorrows list can be a bit longer – it’s all cumulative.
I’m really good at diarising this motivational stuff – now to follow my own advice – after a coffee
Day #43 – had a cracking morning at my first
Pilates session with Julia Endacott – looking forward to getting back to yoga as well this week – I totally love Wibbs Coulson class on a Tuesday in Martlesham – might not be quite up to that yet but it’s something to aim for – seriously go and give it a go!
I’ve been so sore and stiff since I got home on Thursday and a little bit down in the dumps but a bit of movement has totally lifted my spirits today
Day #42 – Always run from check point to check point – don’t look at the whole distance, break it down into small manageable chunks and enjoy each little bit rather than forcing it and just willing it to be over.
I really enjoyed this bit 💗💕💖
Day #41 – Funny thing I realised yesterday – I’m fearful.
Took ages to work out what was going on but all day I was tearful and pretty over emotional. Hugely relieved to be home but the adjustment is mental.
I spent a whole week sitting in a room looking out of a window, time changed and became governed by ward routines, tea and coffee rounds and food arriving under plastic cloche’s at set times. You wouldn’t think a week was long enough to lose your grip on the real world?
But yesterday I realised I was really nervous about leaving the house, about bumping into people outside my little circle.
I think this stems from how rubbish my first walk was in hospital- on Tuesday I made it about 10 metres down a corridor holding onto a nurse’s arm before nearly passing out – I found it pretty upsetting – this idea that 3 months ago I was capable of running a marathon off the back of a 10 day training plan and this week I couldn’t walk to the end of a hospital corridor. I have a massive issue with asking for help and appearing vulnerable and yet I’ve spent the first months of 2019 with no other choice.
So yes every fibre of my being is saying just to hide behind my front door and not go out but that’s just fear and when you’re fearful you have two choices- give into it and limit your world or face it and do what you really don’t want to but what pushes you forward. Guess I’d better just [wo]man up and face the irrational – there is no progress in your comfort zone (And other running metaphors)
Day #39 – I was aiming to be the poster girl for hysterectomy recovery but that went a bit pearshaped and I’m finally going home after spending a week in this room.
I’m not going over what has happened, I’m not ready to talk about it – those close to me know the gory details but there is basically less than a 1% chance of experiencing the post op complications that unfolded over the last week and it’s only due to the utter brilliance of the medical team around me that I’m recovering and about to go home.
So the things I’ve learnt this week
💗 The doctors & nurses who have looked after me are remarkable people- I get a lump in my throat when I think about the things they have done- from holding my hand when things have been a bit crazy to the amazing skill and intelligence they have demonstrated treating me and ultimately getting to the root of the issues that have made me so ill.
💗That I swear profusely after a general aneasthetic and have verbal diarrhoea
💗That shock affects you in a variety of different ways and it turns out I’m not made of steel – you will feel anger, sadness, loss, fear – it’s all normal
💗That in medicine nothing is certain- things change every day, all the time and it’s not an exact science and if things are not typical in their outcome no one is to blame.
💗That simple things that we do every day and consider a chore are actually a gift and although it’s a clichè I’m not taking anything for granted ever again- life really is too short.
💗That my friends and family are the greatest gifts I have in life and they have pulled me through and I’ll love them even more fiercely and loyally than before.
The other thing that I was reminded of in a post by This Messy Happy this week is that nothing that happens in life is personal and that as always we have a choice as to how we react, we can be negative, neutral or positive and staying calm and positive actually helps your body deal with physical symptoms – I watched this blog at a very low point and it made me buck my ideas up.
Day #33 – and yup I’m back in my hospital gown tanked up on painkillers.
I’ve spent a couple of hours feeling a bit sorry for myself and being pretty angry I’ve hit some complications a month after sugery but do you know sometimes there is no reason why things happen – it’s not that anything’s gone wrong or any action is to blame- shit just happens and we might never know why or if there even is a why.
I’ve just been given a talking to by my awesome cousin Jennifer Page who reminded me that strongest thing I have is my mind and positivity is the key – it’s served me well so far.
No race EVER goes according to plan, no element of being a parent is EVER like the book says it will be – it’s not the stuff that goes to plan that gives us strength – it’s the curve balls we weren’t expecting that make us.
Day #30 – Oh the joy of being able to walk through the forest early in the morning – yeah I’d rather run but I’ve uped my meditation after getting a bit overwhelmed last week and today was just stunning.
This morning I enjoyed the feeling of the cold air, the fact I can walk 2 miles at a good pace and not feel knackered, the beauty of everything around me and how happy my dogs are to be outside exploring before breakfast.
We spend so much time in life focusing on what we want that we often forget to enjoy what we have – that’s a crunchy mindfulness quote I’ve read somewhere but it did become apparent as a marched through the woods today.
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending” C.S.Lewis – probably slightly wrong but you get the gist
Day #27 – Last night was a bastard – I was totally physically exhausted and had a cracking migraine as a result but 12 hours of sleep made all the difference – note to self – you are not better – listen to your body before it starts shouting at you.
Today the smallest has returned for 48hrs – I’ve always doubted that there is really a genetic link between myself and this child as he loathes exercise and the outdoors in general but today we walked 1.8 miles and he liked it – I conceded to his theatrical side and agreed to pretend we were super heroes, he was Shaddow, I was Hot Girl (obvs – I can fire flames out of my hands and walk on lava – it’s ace) and we spent 40 minutes navigating a new part of the forest.
Quote of the day – Hot Girl: “It’s lucky you found that supersonic cannon Shaddow.”
Shaddow: “That’s not a supersonic cannon, it a teleporter; we travelled to a different continuum, you’ve got a lot to learn Hot Girl!”
Obligatory food porn added to gain self respect
Day #26 – I’ve missed a few days!
March is Endometriosis awareness month – I’m going to make it female reproductive health month and give you some fun facts every day you lucky things!
In other news I had my first physio appointment with Julia Endacott of https://www.facebook.com/ipswichpilates/ was hugely empowering- I have found a kindred spirit to empower me in this phase of my recovery in the same way Suffolk Babies empowers women throughout pregnancy and birth. Julia was incredible and gave me such confidence in my goals being achievable – more to come but for now I’m doing my exercises and listening to my body. I loved the fact she applauded my soft tissue repair as though I had control over it.
I also met my #hystersister Gemma Hardie- we had a 3 hour lunch and got to know each other outside Instagram and WhatsApp- I cannot begin to say how valuable it has been having the friendship of another woman walking the same path at the same time. We agreed we’d lost a uterus but gained a friend.
The final thing that has become apparent as I knew it would is that emotions are still hugely intense- I can move around so much more, I feel pretty good physically but mentally I am way off being “recovered”. Julia made me feel so much better about this- I hadn’t appreciated the affect of the physical trauma of surgery- how even when you’re super positive it messes up your concentration, it makes both the highs and the lows cripplingly intense. With every good bit there is a bad moment – but that’s ok and just part of the process- even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day (never miss a chance to quote Withnail & I)
So today is a day of rest for my body and my mind – and that’s ok and there will be lots more like this so I’d better learn to embrace it.
Day #23 “my mission in life is not to merely survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour & some style (Maya Angelou)
Today it dawned on me that I’ve just been surviving for a long time. Not just since the operation but for months before. I had lost my joy, my excitement for the future, my passion. I just got through each day, week, month – it was a slog. It was the days when I was fighting the hardest that I appeared to be at my weakest. I had glimpses of the person I had been in the past but through a mist.
I’ve had a shit year but I didn’t realise how shit until the last few days – when you are low, depressed and in chronic pain you build walls, those walls can be hard to climb and not everyone bothers. I’ve felt utterly unsupported by some of the people I felt were the dearest and been stunned by the investment others have made
For a period I lost the passion for my work and I didn’t enjoy the things that used to bring me the most pleasure. I’ve also felt like a terrible mother who has taken her finger off the ball.
Today as I walked through the forest with my dogs I was excited about work in the future, I wanted to spend time with people again- the thought didn’t feel exhausting. I was looking forward to a weekend with my children not stressing about how I was going to get through it. I guess this is what the world of Insta calls “being authentic”, what others terms as “mindfulness” or being “present” and the therapists out there would call acceptance, WHATEVS really- it’s a beautiful sunny day, I can walk 1.5 miles without prescription painkillers, and there is a whole load of stuff I want to do again.
So in response to all those people who told me that I’d underestimated the impact of having a hysterectomy and for all those who are terrified at the prospect of going through the ordeal I’d just like to say – 3 weeks after my operation and I feel like I’ve got my life back – there will be more struggles I’m sure but I can look in a mirror and recognise the reflection once more- not feel like my smile is a mask to hide behind.
Enough philosophy- this week’s box set is Breaking Bad
Day #21 – 3 weeks post hysterectomy today.
Massive step forwards today- Harry & Hoover came home. I’m hugely attached to my dogs – I spend a lot of time with them and they are a massive part of my life. I hated not having them at home and I shed more than a few tears when I collected them today.
They’ve had the best holiday from home with Max who loves them just as much as I do – Max, Jamie and Vivi – thank you is a totally inadequate way to express how grateful I am for the love and support you’ve shown me and H&H – You’re seriously special people xxx
Day #20 – Boom! I can drive!
Totes out living “my best life” doing the Suffolk Tourist thing Snape Maltings and returning to my spiritual home Waitrose & Partners
I was really nervous about driving – I was worried about feeling strong enough to do a journey and whether I’d suddenly feel shattered half way through.
I was worried about being in pain but spent the morning pottering around scenic Suffolk eating cake, enjoying the sunshine and it felt great.
Every day post op DOES get better
Day #19 – so the last two days have been tough to be fair – no one warned me about the sleep deprivation. Apparently this is normal when healing after surgery – it’s not in any of the books.
I’ve had a fair few “bad” moments because I’m soooooo tired – Thursday into Friday was the ultimate low – couldn’t sleep until 1am and woke again at 4am and then at 7am. Suddenly realised why you need to be signed off work it’s just so unpredictable.
This week has been half term week and my teenagers have been at home to keep me company – this one has been my rock. Tilly is the most kind hearted generous soul I have ever met, but with that there is a fierce determination and an unbending inner confidence – she’s the teenager I wanted to be. She has been my side kick for the last week, she helps me do everything from cleaning the house (we have a little routine of an hours tidying in the morning) doing the laundry and relentlessly refills my hot water bottles and makes endless cups of mint tea. She’s pretty amazing if I’m honest and has been the best company and not once complained about it being a boring school holiday. She’s even relinquished her normal position on the sofa for me- her cats have not been quite so forgiving!
Day #18 – “Life is a party and I’m sh*t at dancing so I choose to do things my own way”
Awesome quote from my running buddy Jamie Hall this afternoon and a topic I’ve been thinking about for a while.
One of the things I am most looking forward to is being able to run again. I no longer have to calculate my cycle to make sure I’m not in a luteal phase near a race before I book it. It’s going to be a while before I get to put my trainers on again but when I do I’m going to find my own way, and above anything else I’m going to enjoy doing it rather than looking at a plan and thinking of it as another thing I have to get done.
Running as the sun comes up on my own with my dogs becomes meditative and even if its not the most effective way to train I’m going to keep on doing it that way because it makes me happy. So on a sunny spring day when all my athletic mates have been out enjoying the rays and sending me their videos and posting on Strava I’ve looked at my stash of sunrise pictures and remembered why I love my sport so much. The races are secondary – being able to do it transcends the event.
Day #17 – yup I’m still going – dull now isn’t it – the truth is recovery is a long term project.
When you’re climbing a mountain is easy to only see the climb ahead and be overwhelmed by it- but don’t forget how far you’ve come (K-Mac says that)
Today could have been a day when I felt things were going backwards – I’ve been tired, I’ve been a bit flat. In fact I’m just tired after doing loads this week and I’ve reduced my painkillers so I’ve needed to rest and I’ve accepted that – Wibbs Coulson and I discussed on Monday how you can use pain killers to mask the fact you just need to slow the f**k down . I’ve done a bit of work, I’ve enjoyed every second of @jonathan_rhys_meyers_ in Vikings, I’ve cooked a fab meal and I’ve had a tiny tiny glass of wine.
A week ago all of those things would have been a total mission. In ultra marathon running they say never look at the whole distance – it’s too big- it’s scary – run from check point to check point- break it down into small manageable pieces- the same is true of recovering from a long term illness and major surgery. The truth is it’s not the mountain we conquer but our own self doubt
Day #16 – I’d kind of decided I was going to do highlights only from week 2 but I’ve wanted to talk about the good day/bad day dilemma for a while.
This is an idea that my recovery partner Gemma Hardie and I talked about somewhere around day 3 – how it is easy to fall into this idea that you’re having a “bad day” so you may as well just go back to bed and hope it passes quickly. Gemma was quick to point out there was no need to tar the entire day as bad – when actually it was really only a bad few hours and that they can pass with rest and the rest of the day can be useful. Pretty insightful hey – and so inline with the mentality of long distance running- we all have bad miles but you can’t let them define a race otherwise you’d never get to a finish line.
So there are no more bad days, just bad moments and slowly some normality and excitement for the future creeps in.
So today’s excitement has been a visit from K-Mac ( Katie Mackenzie). One day I’ll do a post dedicated to her awesomeness but I can’t verbalise that today. We have great plans for Suffolk Babies and the next 5 years and it’s Wednesday which means it’s traybake day which I nailed at lunchtime so I can sleep all afternoon rather than stress in the “bad” moments.
Headspace the meditation app I use to keep me sane talks about how even when there are clouds there is still blue sky above them – it’s a good adage.
#15 – what a cocktail! For months I’ve been taking some pretty heavy painkillers on a regular basis and today I decided to drop some and see what happened.
It had become normal for me to take Neproxen (Ibruprofens aggressive big brother) twice a day, paracetamol throughout as well as Omeprazole to protect my stomach and a plethora of herbal supplements designed to reduce inflammation.
Today I got up and decided not to take the Naproxen and see what happened – and the really exciting news is that it’s all been fine – today is the first day in months and months when I haven’t been looking at a clock wondering when I can take more – first steps to freedom! I’ve taken my evening dose because I want a good night’s sleep and I don’t want a cortisol spike which would set back my healing but today is a massive leap in the right direction and I’m celebrating each win!
Week 2/Day 14 – WHATEVS- I’ve got stuck today in feeling like time is standing still.
I measure so much by what I have achieved in a day – I normally divide a day into portions of time and allocate tasks to every time slot.
I can’t do that any more – the amount of productive time I have is so limited and has to he punctuated by longer periods of rest – which I view as being self indulgent- but it’s currently a necessity or the whole process will take so much longer. I get a feeling of rising panic when I think about all the things I wanted to do with this time but are not yet even a possibility.
I have this friend who bangs on all the time about humans being loss averse, focusing on what we have lost or can’t have rather than what we have to gain. I have another friend in Mandukya yoga who visited me today and made me think about this again.
Wibbs gave me stuff to do today which I can actually do- I’ve lost so much confidence in my body I don’t feel like I know it right now – it feels weak and broken and like it’ll never be able to do so much of what I love again anytime soon – and it’s still too early to work hard on making it strong again but what I can do is learn all the stuff I’m going to need to make it even stronger in the future and to feel in control of my own training.
Today’s moral then is to stop binge watching Vikings (even though George Blagden is hot) and do some reading- I’ve got plenty to be getting on with – there is a lot to gain.
Day 13 – nearly 2 weeks.
Time is a funny thing – in a way 2 weeks seems such a long time and in other ways it’s passed so quickly and it’s clear there is a long way to go to get back to normality.
I escaped the house and was driven to lunch at Wagamama – which made me realise I’m a long way off being able to drive and that I don’t even have the core strength to open a restaurant door.
My dogs had a glorious day on the beach with Maxi Clements and Edward stormed a castle with Jasper Dickinson. Two weeks ago I was craving some time to myself because I felt so ill and exhausted and now my target is to be strong enough to get my whole family back together under one roof – the journey may be slower than I want but it’s moving in the right direction- I might even develop some patience in the process (might)
Day 12 – we’re British and we don’t like to talk about our bowels but do you know what the number 1 complication reported after hysterectomy is – bowel pain!
I had considerable adhesions around my bowels due to old scar tissue from my appendectomy so it’s a bit tender right now as all that scar tissue has been removed but from what I’ve been told a hysterectomy really plays havoc with the way you poo.
It changes you’re rhythm, makes you less regular and the fear of constipation is real! You can treat this with medication or you can look to your diet – which is why I’m so focused on having enough energy to look after my (And my kids) basic needs – like what we eat.
I’ve been trying to make sure I drink as much water as possible – 6 pints a day is my target, I find my pain is worst in the morning when everything has got sluggish overnight so I counteract that with a smoothy and my daily walk- movement is also really important for your digestive system. Tonight I’ve made spinach dhal with coconut & coriander yogurt, potato croutons (I normally make the croutons out of courgette but didn’t have any) and served it with gluten free naan – my teenagers are horrified but it was really good and counts as 3 portions of veg and has loads of turmeric in it which is a great anti-inflammatory. I also made kale crisps for a bit if extra fibre.
It’s true this is a righteous food post but it’s the little things that make you feel like you have a bit more control over the bigger picture. I really think you can eat yourself well again.
Day 11 – week 2 has been a mixed bag to be honest. Highs feeling like progress is being made coupled with lows when even I have been on the verge of negative- definitely stroppy.
I’m a creature of habit – I thrive on routine. So this process simply requires a new routine that ensures I don’t run out of spoons.
This spoons thing is an analogy told to me by Julie Barnes – it was made up by a girl who suffered from Lupus – she was in a diner with her friend and explained what it was like living with a chronic illness or in recovery by using 16 spoons. Every activity in your day requires you to use a number of spoons – a shower takes 2 spoons for example, visiting a friend takes 4, going for a walk requires another 3 – when you’re out of spoons the only way to get more is to rest. When you’re healthy you have an unlimited number of spoons- when you’re recovering you have to plan how to use them.
So my project for the next 7 days is to become more effective at spoon management by using a routine. There is stuff I need to do to get better like eat well and be active without doing too much. So today this started with a walk around the park, a few chores, a visit from Laura Gowen and then a huge sleep on the sofa. Which should give me enough spoons to cook a supper I want to eat.
All this has to be put into perspective – I’m still stumbling across articles by women who have spent 6 months recovering from this operation- they bemoan the misery that they endure – but what they seem to forget is that they are getting better – this operation offers a cure for a lot of conditions and respite from others – in a week that’s seen another remarkable woman lose a battle to cancer it would be idiotic not to be grateful for the opportunity to recover – an opportunity so many incredible people don’t have.
So today I enjoyed the fact I could walk nearly a mile on my own in the sun, I didn’t compare it to the miles I want to be running- I appreciated what was actually within my grasp – it’s still a gift.
Day 10 – had a visit from this superstar today – Mel is one of my oldest friends- we were at school together but hardly saw each other until I moved back to Suffolk 12 years ago – Mel then disappeared to Australia for 4.
We have been friends for nearly 30 years – we may not speak all the time but things always pick up where we’ve left off when we are together. The Wednesday before my operation I called Mel and asked her if she could teach in my place while I was recovering as our cover plans fell apart – she didn’t hesitate for a second and has picked up my classes and made them her own – as I keep saying it’s the incredibly lovely things people do when you’re feeling at your weakest that make all the difference.
Today she reassured me my pelvic floor would be ok! That I had to take things slowly and not expect to feel normal 10 days after a major op and that I wasn’t being lazy when I felt knackered. She also brought me chocolate – best personal trainer EVER!
In other news I’ve started Vikings
Day 9 – a day of conclusions.
Last Clexane injection! Seriously happy about that – every evening at 9.30pm I’ve been having to inject myself to reduce the risk of DVT after surgery – I have so much respect for people who have to do this every day – it stings like mad!
I’ve also smashed up my phone and finished Game of Thrones but that seems a bit trivial in comparison to the Clexane!
Day 8 – hugely excited about leaving the house to get my stitches out.
I said on Sunday how much this whole experience has made me realise how great my friends are – loads of people have done some really special things but Josie has been AMAZING- chauffeuring me today, visiting me and bringing me the best gifts ever in hospital and collecting me and bringing me home – she’s bloody awesome – Josie, just wanted to say an official thank you after getting totes emosh in the car this morning xx
Day 7 – 1 week post-op
Day 7 – one week post op (BOOM) .
Loads of people have messaged and asked how it feels not to have a uterus, do you feel less feminine? Is it heart breaking? Do you regret it? Am I very depressed about it and reminding me it’s OK to mourn. One of the emails that has really affected me told me I had underestimated how much hysterectomy would affect me emotionally- that positivity was a negative thing.
Life is not fair! Things happen that we don’t want to happen – we may not be able to control those things but we have a choice as to how we respond even when these hurdles are massive.
The reality is I have no choice. Positivity is my only option. No one wants to lose their womb. With it went a version of my future which may have never become a reality but was an option, it was a dream I clung onto. Now i have to make different dreams. .
Humans are loss averse – we focus so much on what we are scared of losing rather than what we might be able to gain. .
In this scenario it makes no sense to cling to a fantasy when the facts dictate a different future . .
The way I see it I can choose to be sad for losing a diseased organ which was stopping me being a mother to the children I have, the athlete I aspire to be and the CEO of a company that will change our community OR I can choose to be happy because I’ve been given a chance to get well again and have a new future.
Whatever, you have to make the choice to live your reality not mourn a fantasy.
Day 6 Continued…
As I close the door on an emotional Sunday night – WTF is that about I’ve been super tearful this evening – I just wanted to say thank you to those that have looked after me so well this week.
People I never expected have sent me really lovely messages, people have held my hand at the most pivotal moments and made them all seem ok.
It’s been a tough week but I have some truly fabulous friends and I’m so very grateful for everything you’ve all done- thank you for making things so much better – I won’t forget it x
Runners everywhere see Sunday as the day to do a long run.
Last Sunday I ran 5 miles through the forest and today I walked to the shop. Today felt like a far bigger challenge – I obvs put it on Strava!
Day 6 post op and the pain is pretty much under control – but no one can prepare you for the energy sapping exhaustion as your body utilises everything it has to heal itself.
This recovery lark is a full time job – working out how to strike a balance between not being too sedentary but not over doing it. Making sure you drink enough and eat the right food to not make you feel sick or get constipated. Every time I get too tired I get light headed and tearful which I find really hard as it makes me feel like a bit of a pansy and in the interests of remaining “authentic” I decided to tell you all that rather than being “too positive”
The truth is recovery is a mission, it’s different for everyone and shouldn’t be compared. There are highs and lows and shitty bits and stuff you didn’t expect but there are also really lovely moments when you realise how lucky you are.
I’m celebrating each achievement – I’m just gutted there wasn’t a medal or a technical T-shirt waiting for me at the end of my epic walk today!
Day 5 in the Big Brother House (totes feels like that – I’m used to working a stupid number of hours and running around after 3 kids – it feels like my world has just stopped)
Any way day 5 post op – visit from my youngest Edward who is staying with Daddy until I can look after him again and a major excursion to have a coffee outside the house!
It was great but now I’m exhausted and sore. A timely reminder not to run before you can walk and never compare your recovery to others.
Back home to series 5 of Game of Thrones- I’m totally smashing life goals today!
Day 4 post-op
Day 4 – I got a letter from my consultant today confirming I had an adenomyotic uterus and a marked amount of omental adhesions – but no Endometriosis 🤩 – the relief that at last I have an official diagnosis in writing is huge
The thing about Adenomyosis is that it cannot be diagnosed without surgery – it’s speculation until that point and it’s not well known and the symptoms are generalised so it’s hard for a non specialist to diagnose – a GP has to rule out a million different things first.
Diagnosis of this condition takes years – in that time health slowly declines- I went from running 80 miles a week to barely being able to stand up in 2 and a half years – throughout January I often couldn’t teach a physical class.
In that time you have to deal with the scepticism- all the people who think you should man up, work a bit harder, stop wallowing, just learn to manage it and you don’t look ill.
On top of that today it’s the official certificate that I will never experience another flare up – I will never have another period that lasts 3 weeks, during which time I would be in agony from pelvic pain, bowel pain have all the symptoms of a UTI, I also got pain under my diaphragm and shortness of breath, cramps so bad I’d be sick, sudden haemorrhages and in all that time you have to cope with the people who think you are making it up – I saw a meme the other day which said “you spend 75% of your time trying to convince the world you’re fine and 25% of the time trying to convince the people who really matter that you are not – that was certainly my experience
So today I felt huge relief that it’s all over, huge relief that I’ve got my life back, huge sadness that this disease affects so many people whos voices are unheard but delight that taking action has given me a future without pain. I’m lucky I had Adenomyosis- now it can never come back- I don’t have any adhesions caused by Endometriosis- those women live on borrowed time- each surgery reducing the symptoms until the adhesions grow back like the weeds grow back in your garden when you fail to pull out every tiny root
We owe it to one in every ten women to talk about these conditions
Day 3 post-op
Anxiety and fear are often the reason behind pain. I had a really shitty and very painful first night post op. The thing with laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy is that they inflate your abdomen with gas to get a clear view of the pelvic organs – that gas has to come out post op plus you have the internal bruising, and the wounds from any adhesions and the removal of your uterus to deal with. It hurts and I had LOADS of morphine but in the end peppermint tea and movement were the things that made me more comfortable.
Today is day 3 – it’s really early days but I got myself in a stew about not having enough pain relief at home – I’m scared of being in intense pain again – I’ve got Neproxen & Paracetamol but I woke up in pain mid dose and freaked out because everything hurt. My immediate plan was to call the hospital and get something stronger- my consultant didn’t want this as it can lead to constipation and increase the pain rather than relieve it.
So – I’ve given myself a little telling off and remembered my own advice to the thousands of women who’ve prepared to labour with me – I’ve taken a deep breath, moved around to reduce my adrenaline and boost my oxygen and shift the gas bloating my abdomen – I’m going to drink a shit load of water and eat my apricots.
The truth is my body has been through some trauma and the cocktail of drugs I have is enough – the discomfort I’m feeling is a reminder the rest is in my hands- I need to create the conditions to heal well and pain relief is only a small part of that. My recovery is my responsibility – the pills are tools- not the be all and end all
Trust the process, listen to your body, don’t forget the basics, move, hydrate, nutrition and rest my body is a miracle – it’ll do the rest if I let it
Day 2 post-op
They are letting me out because I’ve been good and passed lots of urine and had a poo- nurses have an obsession with wee and your bowels I’ve decided
Off home to sleep, drink peppermint tea and watch all 7 series of Game of Thrones
Really couldn’t have received any more support- what an incredible team of people – it’s at the times when you feel your worst than human kindness makes all the difference