Monthly Archives: August 2011

Words

Apologies for the long absence; to try and get me back into the swing I thought I’d do a meme. This one seemed appropriate, for I am a man of few words. It was only when I had nearly finished that May pointed out I forgot that had already done it in the comments to her original. Well that was 16 months ago! As it turns out some are different some are the same, who’d have thunk it?

You.
Can.
Only.
Type.
One.
Word.

No.
Explanations.

Not as easy as you might think…

1. Yourself: battle-worn

2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend [wife, actually]: brave

3. Your hair: receding

4. Your mother/stepmother: sensitive

5. Your dog: non-existent

6. Your favorite item: iPad

7. Your dream last night: foggy

8. Your favorite drink: G&T

9. Your dream car: electric

10. The room you are in: living

12. Your fear: loss

13. What you want to be in 10 years: father

14. Who you hung out with last night: May

15. What you’re not: certain

16. Muffin: ginger

17: One of your wish list items: Dexter

18: Time: evening

19. The last thing you did: ate

20. What you are wearing: shirt

21. Your favorite weather: mild

22. Your favorite book: Dilbert

23. The last thing you ate: lemony

24. Your life: transitionary

25. Your mood: tired

26. Your best friend(s): shy

27. What are you thinking about right now? bed

28. Your car: imaginary

29. What are you doing at the moment?: fretting

30. Your summer: tense

31. Your relationship status: stable

32. What is on your TV?: dust

33. What is the weather like?: autumnal

34. When is the last time you laughed?: forgotten


I’m probably missing something really obvious

Item – In my last post, when I said: ‘I notice, stat-wise, that when I post graphically about my periods, a large chunk of my readership, eh, averts its eyes and scuttles demurely away,’ I didn’t mean, dear hearts, that I expected more comments. I know that sometimes you can read a post, and feel all the sympathy and concern in the world, and… just have absolutely nothing to say. I’m like that the whole time. No, what I actually meant, and should’ve made clearer, is that I actually get fewer ‘clicks’ from people coming over from places like Google Reader and other assorted RSS feeds. It seems (note ‘seems’) as if, when people can tell from the title and first few lines they can see in the reader, that this is going to be a gore-soaked lady-bits post, they just don’t come over and read it. Which is fair enough. In fact, more than fair enough. 93% of all blog-anxst could be so neatly avoided if people just didn’t force themselves to read posts they know they’re not going to like/agree with/appreciate.

Item – That said, my tagline is ‘Too much information will certainly be shared’ for a reason. This is an infertility and busted-lady-parts blog. I fully set out to discuss busted-lady-parts from day one. Why subscribe if you don’t want to read about busted-lady-parts? I mean that with all sincere, earnest, wide-eyed curiosity, and hardly any snark at all. What is there to gain from following my vapourings if not a hearty dose of Mother Nature, Red In Tooth And Claw sympathy/empathy/car-crash rubbernecking/solidarity?

Item – I am not sure where I am going with that last item, so I shall unceremoniously abandon it and go off on a tangent.

Item – This is the tangent. I sometimes trawl about the blogosphere looking for other women like myself, or spouses of women like myself, who have something on the endometriosis/adenomyosis/fibroids/uterine fuckery spectrum. For the solidarity, you know, also tips on survival. I am constantly bewildered by the amount of blogs out there that announce, in the tagline, the ‘about’ page, the categories, even the blog name, that the writer thereof has Uterine Fuckery, and yet it is barely mentioned in the posts. Occasionally, the writer might demurely refer to her ‘symptoms’ getting better or worse (no idea what symptoms), or announce that she had a lap and stage whateveritwas endo was found. And… that’s it. Apparently, these ladies are never in pain, never bleed through their clothes, never collapse at work, never miss work, never send their partners out for emergency 24-hour-chemist raids, yada yada yada. I don’t understand it. Are that many women asymptomatic or only mildly inconvenienced, but nevertheless think it’s something to name their blog after? If they are suffering the torments of the damned, why not say so? Why base a whole blog and online identity around the endometriosis diagnosis if you’re never, ever going to mention it at all in anything other than terms that would pass muster in a Victorian drawing-room? I mean, fair enough, obviously, not discussing it if you’re not comfortable doing so, but then I’d expect the blog to be called something else. It’s like calling a blog ‘May’s crazy-wild sex antics!’ and then only very briefly mentioning having ‘relations’ with the husband maybe twice in four years’ blogging. The Gentle (if not Genteel) Reader would have every right to wonder what in living crikey was this, a joke? An exercise in supreme irony? The hell?

Item – Feel free to tell me I’m an idiot, and why, by the way. I need to know. Especially if I really am being an idiot about this.

Item – Meanwhile, in terms of my own Uterine Fuckery (nickname ‘Cute Ute’ now so laden with irony that it is probably the real reason I’m not anaemic), basically, for the last four days, I have bled lightly, sometimes very lightly, all day, and then, suddenly, each evening, it’s like Old Faithful has gone off. There follows an interval of anywhere between an hour and three hours in which, well, you know that bit in The Shining? And then it all stops again. This is weird, right? It is weird. Yes. I think it is.

Item – This evening, while I was rushing back to the bathroom for the third tampon-change in less than an hour, H’s nose started bleeding as well. What is this, couvade?

Item – Laparoscopy pre-op hospital appointment on Friday – the one where they weigh you, ask about all your illnesses and drugs and relations and everything, and put it all on a form they can then lose at their leisure. Seeing as you’ll talk them through it all again, twice, on the day of the surgery itself.

Item – H was wondering whether to post something here himself this week. Please do feel free to nag him until he does.


Something’s not right

My period is still kicking my goddamn arse from John o’ Groats to Land’s End. Not pain-wise – the regular application of mefenamic acid, then diclofenac and tramadol, then back to mefenamic acid, and now ibuprofen and paracetamol (regime recommended by Kind Lady GP) actually made most days except the first pretty bearable. However, I have been bleeding like a slaughtered ox. It is distressing.

It’s not just that I bleed heavily. I save it up for socially inconvenient moments too. On Saturday, I felt a lot better, and the bleeding was medium-light, and so we went to a party. I spent most of it sitting down drinking tea and necking pain-killers while everyone else got joyously drunk, but I was feeling chipper enough to enjoy it and chat amusingly with the amusing people. And when it came to home-time, I nipped to the loo and changed. Super-plus-extra tampons, because I didn’t quite trust myself. Ha! cried Cute Ute, and within half-an-hour, blood was running down my legs. Of course, I was walking to the station at the time. And we were still over an hour from home. For the sake of fuck. Bacon saved, as it were, insofar as public humiliation goes, by a) wearing a dress and b) loo on train. If there hadn’t been a loo on the train, well, there’d’ve been a scarlet puddle on the train, so there.

And then this evening, Cute Ute pulled the same sodding stunt. Only, I was at home, so there was no social disadvantage to the ensuing mess, and considerably less of it, what with the loo being here rather than a brisk trot down the public street in company away.

And that’s it, isn’t it? Bleeding down your leg in mixed company is just Not Socially The Done Thing. So, on top of the pain, the faintness, the stained clothes, the whole going-home-smelling-like-a-rump-steak enflusterment (I hate other people’s dogs sometimes), there’s the shame. I’m 36. These ‘little accidents’, as my mother used to call them, with seriously metallic irony considering, are part of the hideous embarrassment of being a teenager, learning to anticipate and manage your cycles. These aren’t things that happen to grown women. Until I met the internet, I didn’t know any grown women who suffered awful cramps, or leaked in public, or threw up and passed out. I felt like a freak. Worse than that, I felt ashamed that everyone else seemed to manage their bodies and I still can’t (to go with the whole infertile thing).

I spent my twenties on the pill, and when I was on the pill, I too was one of those proper grown-up ladies. I had cramps, but they were nothing a hot-water-bottle, two ibuprofen and some chocolate couldn’t ease. I bled, and, yes, it was unusual, I suppose, that even on the pill I needed to use The Very Large Tampons, at least at night, but I very rarely found myself, say, throwing up so hard I hurt my ribs because my uterus was trying to compress itself into a black hole, or waddling to a train-station as fast as possible while my thighs slipped and stuck against each other in a manner both horrifying and mortifying.

And then I read a comment piece on period pain, in the Guardian. And the 200+ comments that followed it. Dear God, there are so many of us. So many. And so many of us are being fobbed off or dismissed by medical professionals (ohh, I remember that from my youth. ‘This is all perfectly normal. Lots of girls go through it. You’ll feel much better after you have a baby,’ they said, as my left ovary was millimetre by millimetre torn in half by a cyst that grew to the size of a goddamn grapefruit). So many of us have families and friends who not only don’t get it but are wilfully ignorant and unkind too. (People Are Arseholes, exhibit #372).

I swear, if this happened to men, there’d’ve been a decent set of treatment options available by 1620. They’re prepared to spend bazillions on researching drugs to prevent baldness, after all. Imagine if baldness actually stopped you being able to work, look after your house, wash, eat, walk, talk, for one week out of four? (And I like bald men. Quite a lot of women do. Name me a man who fancies bleeding vomiting weeping women. Or, don’t, as if he does exist I’m sure the perverted bastard should be beaten to a pulp and locked up).

I notice, stat-wise, that when I post graphically about my periods, a large chunk of my readership, eh, averts its eyes and scuttles demurely away. Would that I had that option. Would that all those of us who suffer badly from this ‘natural, healthy’ process had that option.

Would that those who do have the power to help us, doctors, researchers, drug-manufacturers, didn’t have the option to look away. Would that no one ever needed to feel ashamed and freakish right when she most needed help and support. Would that no one ever left a doctor’s office feeling humiliated or hopeless because she was not taken seriously. Would that every single day of work, or house-work, or parenting, lost to dysmenorrhea or menorrhagia or an unholy combination of the two, was tallied in scarlet paint on a sixty-foot billboard in Parliament Square. TMI, indeed. Because, Gentle Readers, by Not Talking About It, we are Not Helping. And the less we talk about it, the less those that can, and should, and ought to be, helping us, even know there’s a problem. And our silence leaves our fellow-sufferers isolated and ashamed. And that can’t possibly be right.


Unfortunate interlude

Could be worse, could be better. On the good side, despite a rather long and painful day yesterday, the anti-emetic drug worked, and I puked not even once (though I did feel rather sick from time to time, and ate the grand total of one bowl of chicken soup). I feel even better today, pain being at the level where I can make my own tea and bitch about it. I even get an occasional hour or so when nothing much hurts at all. I like those. And I ate a bagel this morning. Yay!

On the bad side, I don’t think there’s anything left in my veins but tea and ginger ale after last night. I noticed I was bleeding heavily before I went to bed. It took less than two hours to completely flood the gigantic super-long extra-heavy overnight sanitary towel I was wearing, so I leapt up and changed (dreadful moment on the loo when the blood was running out of me like tap-water and I thought I was going to pass out), and then took an unloved hand-towel back to bed to fold double and put under me. Less than two hours after that, I woke from a doze to realise I was in a puddle, and the towel had soaked through, and there was blood on the sheets after all (luckily not much. Towel very good idea). Went to the bathroom, felt deeply pissed off, changed everything again, rinsed underwear, added tampon-size-of-hamster to security arrangements, went back to bed. Bleeding seems to have slowed right down since, thank fuckity, because it was all going a tad Carrie.

Could three days of low-dose aspirin do that, do you think?

I think I need to go and lie down again. My tea-break’s clearly over.*

*[Man dies and finds himself in Hell. Satan, feeling benevolent, tells him he can chose which pit to be punished in. In the first, which is two-foot-deep in water, people are standing on their heads, perpetually drowning. In the second, again the sinners are forced to stand on their heads in two feet of wee. In the third, however, though it is two-foot-deep in cow-shit, everyone is standing upright and drinking tea. 'I'll choose this one!' says our chap, delighted. However, just as he scrambles in, the devil in charge shouts 'alright, scum, tea-break's over! Back on your heads!'].


A day late and a dollar short

This morning’s Tesco peestick also said no. It continued saying no even when H also glared at it, and then we left it on the window-sill for 20 minutes, and then glared at it again. Nope.

So I went to work. With tampons, sanitary towels, pain-killers etc. all stuffed into my handbag. Which was wise, as I started spotting and feeling crampy by lunch-time.

Full-on bleedathon tomorrow, then.

I do feel I’ve rather let the side down by not being at all pregnant after all, what with the excitement last night. Sorry.

[Pause, while I run outside, shake my fists at the sky, and scream every single swear-word I know in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Yiddish.]

You know, I didn’t actually feel pregnant, as such. Previous times I have been, however briefly, knocked up, I did sort of know I was pregnant. Not in a ‘this symptom, I put my finger on it’ way. More in a ‘mystic interconnectedness with my uterus yada yada’ way. Anyway, whatever it is, I didn’t feel it.

However, I do (did! Still do!) feel very much startled by the fact my period is only just heralding its imminence 14 dpo. This is, ladies and gentlemen (any gentlemen? Yes? Well done you), a normal luteal phase. A healthy one. A good strong ovulation with a probably-not-crapped-up egg.

So, if I can actually ovulate healthily (wheeeeee!) and H and I are having VAST quantities of well-timed sex (and we are) and H’s semen analyses have been normal and good, well, then. I should be able to get pregnant, unless the One-and-Only Fallopian Tube is blocked, or stuck fast and unable to reach my ovary, or Satsuma is laminated with scar tissue, or other endo/fibroidy/adenomysosis-related horrors. Roll on surgery. I have an initial weigh-and-check-list appointment next week, with surgery to follow anything between a month and three months afterwards. And then we wait.

[Paces, fretfully.]

I’m allowed to keep trying to get pregnant while I wait for surgery. I’m just utterly banned from trying the month I do have surgery, obviously. So I can vary the fretful pacing with *cough* taking my mind of things *cough*.

Meanwhile, I am a tad ouchy, so I am off to get shit-faced on painkillers and watch the Great British Bake-Off. Thanks for all the support, Gentle Readers. I’m sorry it was all a bit of a non-event.


Your blog-pal went on holiday and all you got was this lousy anxst

I don’t know what to say to you, Gentle Readers, honestly I don’t.

I was going to tell you all about how H and I went to stay in the mountains for the weekend and about cake and dog-borrowing and cathedrals and I was going to tell you about the pregnant landlady of the B&B who restored my faith in pregnant ladies simply because she did not go on and on and on about being pregnant, and actually found herself perfectly capable and willing to discuss pretty much anything else. I was going to mention the buzzards, and how rural one-horse-towns in the middle of nowhere are the new Hoxton (ahh, recession). Oh, and book-shops that sell cake and Annie Lennox making me cry in the car on the way down (sorry about the advert at the beginning).

I was especially going to tell you how I climbed an entire muthafeckin’ mountain, actually, yes I did, weeping with catharsis the whole way up because it’s pretty much my due-date for the December pregnancy that face-planted so brutally swiftly despite all the expensive blood-tests we threw at it. This was all about my crappy fat body that can’t do a thing right. Well, it can do something. It may be fat and slow, but it can climb a mountain. One of the tallest in Britain, it was. Oh, OK, so you don’t need ropes and crampons, just good boots and a slightly bloody-minded attitude, but still. I climbed it. I stood on the very top, among all the smug people in expensive kit talking about which peak they were going to do next, and thought, yes, but I can climb this one. And then I also thought, it’s feckin’ freezing up here, so I scrambled back down.

Anyway, all this gung-ho I Am Woman Hear Me Roar With A Side Of British Whimsey has been prorogated by the fact that my period should’ve started yesterday evening or this morning. And hasn’t. I don’t even have cramps. I usually have cramps for a good 24 to 48 hours before my period starts. Nor have my temperatures dropped (they should have two days ago), though that may be because I have been hauling ass up mountains. And my breasts are not not achey, though any poor gland would feel tender if you crushed it into your ribs every seven minutes, so I am ignoring them for the moment, and I would suggest you do the same.

I peed on a stick this evening, when we’d got back from Outer Britannia. It was a Boots own. It said ‘negative’. I googled the living crap out of it anyway, and found that a) the blue-dye, ‘+/-‘ tests are the least reliable kind, and b) the Boots one allegedly has a sensitivity of 50mIU. Oh, for the sake of fuck. Look, it says on the box you can test up to four days early. For that I expect at least a sensitivity of 25mIU. 50mIU is, like, a day after your period is late, isn’t it? Four days early, indeed. What are they testing for four days early at that sensitivity? Triplets?

So then H and I both lost our everlovin’ minds and H put his trousers back on (no, not that. Just, after driving all day, a chap wants to liberate his waist-area) and went out into the night to find a late-opening Tescos and buy some of their tests, based mostly on the fact that HFF swears by them.

So now we have three tests, the left-over pointless Boots one, and two Tesco ones, awaiting Madame’s morning micturations.

What are the odds I’ll be bleeding by dawn? Quite high, eh?

Madame has a headache.

PS – I have started taking the 150mg of aspirin as recommended by The Professor. JUST IN CASE.

PPS – I have no fingernails left at all. I want a large glass of whiskey.

PPPS – All this limbo and uncertainty can eat my shorts. Again.


Radio silence at critical moments

Item – H and I are now going away for a long weekend. I’ll be back on Monday night. I’ve been looking forward to this. B&B! Someone else cooking me breakfast! Trees! Hills! (Rain! Mud! Ohh, hush).

Item – My period is due on Monday. And this cycle, I have refused to play symptom-watch. You can’t make me. I’m not listening I’m not listening la la la. So Monday, Day of Reckoning, into which I Sail Blind. Excellent. Am taking every drug and sanitary protection product I possess.

Item – The therapist I so plaintively emailed on Monday night has not got back to me. OK, so she may be on holiday herself, but otherwise, by and large, fuck that, and I try the next person on the shortlist. I still want to give therapy a go. I still feel miserable as shit, you see. (Seriously. It’s Thursday. I emailed on MONDAY. She has PARAGRAPHS about swift responses to emails and phonecalls on her website. I snort thereat, I snort with sarcasm).

Item – H is nagging me because I haven’t packed yet. Excuse me. I must just go and bite his head off.


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