My uterus becomes public property

I went straight back to work on the 3rd of January. A great many colleagues were still on holiday, but damnit the students weren’t. So I have just spent a week being run off my feet. See, my job has two parts to it – the actual, this-is-my-job part, which is very geeky and technical and is, frankly, the part that I enjoy; and the well-everyone-has-to part, which I am only supposed to do for 10 hours a week because I am senior. I did the everyone-has-to part for 20 hours this week, because there was no one else to do it. Was there anyone else to do the this-is-my-job part? Well, no, because it is technical and skilled and takes training. So what do you suppose has happened to my in-tray? Exactly. ARSE.

It’s not just that I keep being made to do more hours at the boring part, that bugs me (I think it falls under ‘and any other duties as instructed by the line-manager’ in my contract, so I can’t make an almighty you’re-screwing-with-my-contract fuss). It’s that certain of the colleagues I end up doing the boring stuff with, are, eh – how to say this diplomatically? – competence-disadvantaged. Also, un-diplomatically, lazy. Sitting on arse watching May redo the task they just said they’d finished (hah!) and talking to said May about, ohhh, how much they love Strictly Come Dancing lazy. So there.

Anyhoodle. Explains blog-and-commenting-and-email silence this week. TOO EFFING TIRED. Thank you.

What was I actually going to talk about?

Oh yes. Well. My uterus has pretty much gone public, these days.

H and I had been sharing bits and pieces of information with various family members in an as-and-when please-stop-asking-me-questions I-am-NOT-going-into-details OK-thank-you-we’re-all-half-dead-with-embarrassment-now sort of a way.

It wasn’t satisfactory.

And, it would get fed back to us garbled. I mean, Lord, I very recently had a friend recommend that I get a stitch put in my cervix next time. Which is a brilliant technique and a fabulous invention for babies that are over 12 weeks gestation and still alive.

And then there was the whole will-be-indisposed-for-Christmas thing.

H, said I, let us give over this on-a-need-to-know-basis strategy. OK, so most people don’t need to know anything, but being people, they gossip and speculate and given that Cute Ute The Despoiler (her new offical title, you know) is making a normal, discreet sort of life-style pretty bloody impossible (hah! You said ‘bloody’! Funny! Hahaha!), it’d be simpler to just say ‘May has endometriosis. It hurts like being actively mauled by a bear. She/we will not be joining you camping/in the sauna/for dinner/ever. Don’t know what we mean? Google it. Hell, google it with the safety search off and look for images. Dare you.’

In short order, this lead to:

  1. H, having been cornered by a particularly nosy aunt of mine who wanted to know how I was, actually telling her. Aunt’s response: ‘Have you joined a prayer-circle?’, which was a tad WTF even for my family, but a vast vast improvement over justrelaxpropyourhipsupafterwardseatpineappleitwasn’tarealbabyanyway, so I’ll take it with thanks.
  2. Me bawling like a very small child with a burst balloon because my mother was nice to me, and then spending two days in bed at her house rather than my house and it was fine. Except for the bit where I was retching so loudly they could hear me downstairs. Umm. Yes. Well.
  3. H’s parents were told that we were not coming down on the 27th for the family lunch thing because I had got my period, and, err, no. Which was also fine (I think I have mentioned before that since we let my FiL know I take tramadol for it, he awards me massive kudos. He took tramadol once, post-surgery, and hallucinated extravagantly. If I need a drug that unpleasant every month, in his eyes I am Rambo).
  4. When we did go down, my MiL and I ended up having a quiet ladies-only chat about the state of the innards and the progress (what progress?) of Project Grandbabies For MiL. And I was very blunt and open about it, for once, rather than dissembling wildly and trying to turn the topic to something less anxsty, like, oh, gardens! Weather! Books! Trees! Soup! So MiL now has a good understanding of the fact that a) H and I have been trying to have a child together since shortly after we got married nearly seven years ago (seven years? Jesus). b) The endo/adeno thing is horrible and might get worse. c) It may well lead to IVF. d) Yes, I am too old and too fat for NHS IVF unless my GP and Miss Consultant between them are feeling very persuasive as technically the money for my one round of NHS IVF was put aside years ago but there’s no guarantee it’s still there as the NHS is cutting services all over Britain. e) We can afford to go private. g) But it’s still jolly expensive (I don’t swear infront of my MiL (hence lack of ‘f’)). h) Losing all those pregnancies made me very sad and cross. My MiL, bless her, responded by saying it was all very unfair and hard on us, and then, double-bless her, started looking up homeopathic remedies to help me. I let her. I have as much faith in homeopathy these days as I do in Jeffrey Archer’s probity, but MiL is a fervent believer and it is pretty important to be able to feel you’re doing something half-way helpful when your family is being repeatedly kicked in the nuts.
  5. Any day now, someone at work with an IQ above room-temperature and the ability to count to 30 without taking their socks off and borrowing a neighbour’s hands, will realise that I go off sick for a couple of days every month. At monthly intervals. See? I mean, my boss knows and her boss knows and her second-in-command knows and the HR liaison knows, but they’re all discreet and well-behaved. I’m just waiting for one of the Gossipy McYourBusiness clan to work it out. And then I shall, well, I shall tell them to google it. Images. With safe-search off. While eating.

In other news, H’s grandfather has been sent home at last, so clearly he’s feeling better, and is well enough to, we all hope, get some peaceful and pleasant time in with his friends and relations.

And (because it’s all about meeee, or, at least, this blog is), I do have the satisfaction of knowing I haven’t deprived him of great-grand-children. One of H’s cousins has got that covered. I’d’ve preferred it to be us, because we’ve been together since The End of History, we aren’t using contraception deliberately, and we’re a good ten years older than said cousin, but Mother Nature can be such a pill like that.


17 responses to “My uterus becomes public property

  • bionicbrooklynite

    oh! i want to give MIL a very dainty kiss on the cheek. and i won’t talk about my vagina at all, promise.

    i have wondered exactly how dumb your colleagues would have to be not to have done the math by now, but it sounds from your report as if they are more than adequately stupid.

    • May

      I have a strong suspicion that the not-dumb ones are far too well-bred to mention the monthly aspect of my ill health, and the dumb ones are, well. More than adequately stupid. Which is indeed an EXCELLENT phrase, and one I am stealing right now.

  • Quiet Dreams

    It’s obvious you don’t work in the places I have (other than the fact that they are all in a different country) as my colleagues would have been all over that by the 3rd month.

    • May

      Librarians are introverted, luckily. Most of them would rather suspect, shrug, and silently go have another coffee. Most of them.

  • a

    I agree with Quiet Dreams – my coworkers would have been all over it within 3 months. Of course, given the people I work with, they’d probably have announced it the first month anyway. Oversharing seems to be a disease.

    Being open is sort of easier, in the long run. Until someone is not understanding – then it’s a pain!

    • May

      I fully intend to share the pain of the not-understanding as lavishly as possible with teh not-understandee. I am even considering printing out photographs of laparoscopies showing endometriosis, and of hysterectomies where they’ve bisected the uterus to show the swollen, lumpen mess of the adenomyosis, and simply showing them to the offender. Bwahahahahahaha!

      (I think I need a mug of cocoa, possibly with horse tranquilizers in it).

  • MFA Mama

    “More than adequately stupid” is my new favorite phrase!

    I have never been in your exact situation, obviously, but agree that being open is probably easier than not giving people SOME sort of explanation. Particularly as, aside from well-meaning suggestions of the ultimately unhelpful sort, it’ll probably actually DISCOURAGE most from wanting to discuss The Situation (as many are not comfortable discussing That Sort of Thing).

    I hope your work situation becomes less irritating, PRONTO!

    • May

      Indeed. Silence them with Hideously Awkward Awkwardness!

      Work is being very irritating indeed. I keep telling myself that at least I HAVE a job, and so on and so forth, and it is very ungracious of me to bitch about it. Yes. It is ungracious. Mustn’t bitch AUUUGH.

  • Anon

    Every time you write about your job, I think back to college and hope I wasn’t a bother to the librarians! I don’t think I was, but learning some of those databases took time.

    And I’m really quite curious about homeopathic remedies for RPL. I mean, it’s sweet that she’s trying to help, but isn’t the whole point of homeopathy just diluting a substance that causes healthy people to have the symptoms you’re trying to treat? If someone told me, “here, take this. It’ll help because it’s known to cause miscarriage!”, I’d bat that herb away with a ten-foot (three-meter :)) pole. And then probably bat the not so helpful person with the same pole.

    • manapan

      Apparently I’m “Anon” now? Meh, whatever.

      • May

        Yeah. WordPress is also being a pill at the moment, esp. about letting people log in when they comment. *Gives WordPress a Look*

    • May

      I actually like helping the students find stuff and work stuff out. That part of my job is very satisfying. I am currently being driven mad by certain colleagues. The students, even the Totally Clueless ones, are just fine, bless them.

      I used to love the idea of homeopathy. Such a glorious mixture of sciency-sounding detailedness and Epic Woo. Being a grown-up with a logical turn of mind is so boring, sometimes. Useful, mind you.

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    I think well-bred is the key phrase here. And having the conversational delicacy to gently allude to a topic, and let the other person either take the proffered opportunity to build on it (‘yes, I know just what you mean. I’ve had…’), or shy away swiftly (‘look at the weather!’). Other approaches are simply Just Not Ok. But given that that’s not how lots of people seem to be constructed, these days, I think blind-siding them with info is The Way. I often imagine I see J wince at my overshares, but I’m buggered if it doesn’t shut the blighters up in future!

    I’ve had the cervical stitch suggestion from one friend’s mother (whom it ‘worked’ for. Difficult to say for sure, although I don’t go down that conversational road with her) after Every. Single. Miscarriage. Drives me bastard-potty, it does, but she means it sweetly, Gawd ‘elp her and me.

    Hurrah for H’s Grandad being at home.

    *said in the tones of Lou-from-Blues-Brothers uttering ‘CHICKENWIRE…?’*
    Prayer Circle…?

    • May


      I don’t know how to explain to people that having a dead embryo sewn into me for keeps is… unappealing. Also, TOTALLY BLOODY POINTLESS, YOU STEAMING CRETIN. Them, not you, being steaming cretins, obviously. *shudder*

      There. We shall go bastard-potty together. And then get drunk.

      *le sigh*

  • g

    Will I be revealing my heathen upbringing if I mention that I have no earthly what a prayer circle is?

    If yes as I rather suspect, nevermind.


    • May

      Ohh, we like heathens round here. H is a total heathen brought up by heathens himself. I wish I had been. The complicated intersection of several different faiths held at several different intensities in my own family is… well, is probably the main reason I am atheist.

      Prayer circle – literally, a dozen or so Christians who meet up to sit in a circle in a church hall or sitting-room, holding hands like they’re about to break out into Old Lang Syne and praying out loud all together for one or other of the members thereof. For a devout Christian, no doubt a great source of support and comfort and solidarity. For an atheist like myself… No. I don’t think it would help. And I still haven’t coaxed my eyebrows out of my hairline for my aunt’s suggesting it in the first place. They all KNOW I don’t go to Church. It’s like suggesting joining the local pub’s brandy-tasting Saturday sessions to a teetotaller.

  • caliope

    I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your writing. So witty and truthful, I feel for you, and I am cheering you on from the sidelines here as you do battle with IF and endo. At the risk of sounding like your MIL, have you ever taken macca? Andean root vegetable that comes in powdered or tablet form… apparently it helps regulate hormones. I have endo too, tho not nearly as bad as yours, and it made a difference for me.

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