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My first full week back to work post hysterectomy

I completed my first full week back but only did 32 hours out of the usual 37.5.  Although I am a secretary and not a manual  or skilled labourer, I was still incredibly tired by the end of each day.  Monday was tiring.  I went home at 4:30pm instead of my usual 5pm.  Tuesday was fantastic.  I felt great.  I was nearly bouncing around.  However, in an effort to pace myself I left the office at  4:30pm.   I was tired on Wednesday but went to a friend’s house for dinner.  Although I got home at 9:30  – which under normal circumstances is certainly early enough for me to feel fine the next day especially as I didn’t have a drop of wine!  I had a little sore throat and I started to wonder if I was picking up Helios’s cold.  I took a night nurse and slept like a log but I was tired again on Thursday.  I left the office before lunchtime and had a nap on the sofa.  I went to bed that night at 7:30.  After sleeping like a log, I managed to stay at my office at 3pm on Friday.  I may have done better had I paced myself last week.  I’ve had another good rest this weekend.  I slept overnight and had a nap on Saturday.  I slept well again last night.

Tomorrow I’m back to work again.  I am still fighting off a cold but am eating well and (clearly) sleeping a lot!  I have a car park space just outside the back door of my building and I’m sure my stamina will return quickly!

In other news, because I had a sub-total hysterectomy I can expect a little bleed every 4 weeks.  Well, I had my first period which consisted of a couple of days of a light  bleed requiring only panty-liners.  I had pain but nothing that a paracetamol couldn’t handle.  It may mean that I will finally feel like a normal woman – and all it took was a hysterectomy!

I spoke with my clinical nurse about my stitches which still haven’t fallen off.  She suggested that I go to my GP if I’m concerned about it and they can take them off but I’m enough of a wimp to leave it for a while longer to hope that they fall off of their own account.  Also, regarding scars, I cannot recommend Bio Oil highly enough.  My scars have shrunk  measurably since I started using it – just add a little dab on the scars twice daily is all it needs!

Foxy

Remotely Human on Boxing Day

Today I found myself standing in the bathroom – my head was resting on the wall, my stomach was pressed against the radiator and I’d already had my mefenamic acid for the morning.  I felt groggy from the pain meds and in agony – not a nice combination!  I grabbed a paracetamol/codeine tablet and staggered back to bed.  Strangely I have very little trouble drifting off in the middle of the day when I’ve had my pain meds!

Now I’m up again.  I’ve had some lunch (leftovers of course) and another mefenamic acid tablet.  I stagger the anti-inflammatories with the painkillers so that as one falls away, the other takes over with pain relief.  I’m tired and may go back to bed again.  It’s hard to know what to do next.  I’m tired – tired of the crazy lengths I go to to manage and avoid pain, tired of the pain, tired of feeling only remotely human, tired of having my head roll around on my neck as if my neck were made of a length of rope, tired of not being able to enjoy anything without organising my body around it, tired of waiting for surgery.

Foxy

Happy Christmas!

This entry will be a bit on the graphic side – for which I apologise in advance.  The first day of my last period was 27th August.  I have managed to keep the menses at bay by taking my birth control religiously.  Well, I say I have kept the menses at bay but I have had a bit of spotting and bleeding for the past couple of weeks – the longer I’ve waited to have my period the more bleeding I’ve had.  Each day I’ve had a bit of bleeding I also had a lot of pain.  Between my bruising and my body trying to have a period, I have struggled with pain!

I finally relented and stopped taking my birth control on 23rd and I am sorry to say that the pain has been unbearable.  I am taking the mefenamic acid and paracetamol for the pain.  I’m taking Tranexamic Acid in order to keep from “flooding” as instructed by my surgeon.  She seemed concerned that I would exhibit that symptom.  I don’t expect she’ll like my bleeding between periods either…  I don’t have a date in the diary for my upcoming surgery just yet but am hoping that it will be sooner rather than later.

In the meantime Helios and I are spending our usual Christmas together.  We don’t visit his family because his parents now live in a flat and don’t have the room to keep us.  So on top of a 4 hour drive, Helios and I would have to stay in a hotel – an expense that we can hardly justify.  We usually organise to see them in the New Year.  If we’re lucky, we’ll get to see Apollo too!

I am delighted to say we’ve had a quiet and relaxing Christmas.  I have had some extra time in bed due to pain but Helios has been very good about giving me everything I need.  I had plenty of help in the kitchen and he’s made a couple of hot water bottles to help with the pain.  I hope Helios understands that even though I haven’t been wearing my Christmas smile today, I am delighted that he and I are spending this time together.

Wishing you peace and pain-free days,

Foxy

A terrible thing happened on the way home

I had an eventful journey home on 12th December.  I arrived home later than usual – I was completely drenched.  I couldn’t have been more wet had I been swimming fully clothed.  Helios looked at me and said “Oh dear!  If I had known it was raining I would have collected you at the station!”  I couldn’t help it.  I burst into tears.  He held me and tried to get me to make some sense and, slowly, I told him what had happened but first I showed him my fingers moving and assured him that my toes were perfectly fine too.  Can you imagine me moving my fingers and thumbs in front of his face?  I’d been hit by a car on my walk home.

I got off the train as normal.  It normally gets me to my village at18:00 or just after.  I walked to a T junction.  It was dark and raining.  I looked both ways.  The car to my right was stopped and indicating to turn right.  There was nothing coming from my left so I scooted across to ensure that I didn’t hold anyone up.  The next thing I know, I was on the bonnet of the car that has been waiting to turn right.  The car was exactly in the middle of the two lanes of the road.  I must have slid onto the road but don’t remember how.  I remember shouting “Why did you do that??”  I was being picked up by a passer-by who, it turned out, lived on that very corner.  The driver waited for me to move and then started to drive to the side.  I shouted “Don’t you dare drive off!!”  But he wasn’t going away, he was just moving out of the way of the traffic that was already building behind him (little wonder because he was right in the middle of the road)!

The woman beside me was shaking and I thanked her for coming to my rescue.  I checked my digits and found that nothing was broken.  I could move my neck.  I was crying but that really was no surprise.  I appeared to be unhurt – just badly shaken.  The man gave me his name and a contact number.  I made sure to write down the number of his licence plate.  I assured him that I had nothing broken.  Initially I just wanted to go home and nearly took him up on his offer to drive me home but I thought better of it – I didn’t know him after all – and took the woman up on her offer to take me in.  Also, he was starting to annoy me – he said that I’d run into his car and not that his car had run into me.  I reminded him that it was a dark, wet night and it could have happened to anyone.  The thing to remember was that appeared to be unhurt.  He eventually went on his way.  I went inside a sweet kitchen.  She apologised that it needed a floor but it seemed a nice place.  I joked that I didn’t think she was a serial killer and she said something about soft furnishings.  I tried to ring my dear husband but couldn’t get through.  Unbeknownst to me, Helios had left his mobile in his coat on the porch and didn’t hear it.  It was precisely because I couldn’t get through to him that I suddenly began to wonder and fret.  I knew I was ok but wanted to be sure he was too.  I decided to brave the elements and walked home.  I got to the hill when I decided to leave a message on Helios’s mobile.  I knew (as long as he was ok) he’d worry and I still appeared to be without major injury.

Later that night I was sore and bruised.  Helios encouraged me to take a long hot bath but I still needed painkillers to get to sleep.  I dreamt that night of being at war.  Throughout the night I struggled with my bruising on my right-hand side.  Rolling over or moving at all would cause me to wake up again.

I got up at the usual time and went to work in the usual way.  I catch the7:38 amfrom the village to town.  I was so uncomfortable that I asked to go to the doctors.  I got a taxi to my local surgery and saw my GP at9:30the next morning.  I cried when I told her what had happened.  She kindly gave me Naprosyn (one tablet twice daily) and told me that I needed to go home because I was clearly still in shock.  I walked over to the local grocery store and picked up a few bits and then got a taxi home.

Consequently I’ve lost and more recently regained my Christmas feeling.  I still have bruising on my right elbow but I’m feeling much better and am delighted that no more serious damage was done.

Take care and have a happy Christmas!

Foxy

Fatigue

I’d say over the past six or more months I’ve needed extra sleep at the weekends in order to get by.  I go to bed at a reasonable hour on Friday night.  I’m up at the usual time on Saturday morning.  I have an extra hour or so during the day and repeat the process on Sunday.  The fatigue has grown from just needing a nap on one of the weekend days to both weekend days.  Just before I go to bed for my afternoon naps I get the oddest sensation – I’m not exactly tired, it’s more as if I’ve already gone to bed and I’m dreaming.  Someone has switched off my brain and my eyes are showing their “no one’s home” signs.

During the week I’ve coped reasonably well without the extra sleep during the day.  Aside from PMT times, I’ve been alert and sharp.

I was a bit disturbed when my brain switched off last night.  About 8pm I was finishing off a few emails, facebook posts, etc when all my sense was switched off.  Despite being keen to watch the rest of the football game, I was unable to keep my eyes open and I dragged myself to bed at 8:30.

I can’t help but wonder if there was something different about yesterday that made me more tired than usual: I was having some sharp pain in my ovaries during the day.

Or is my body reacting to the exercise I’m getting in going to and from work?  The last time I got this much exercise it was the summer of 2010 and I was going out at 6am for a walk to and from the station and still had plenty of time to get ready and meet my friend to carpool to work.  Of course all that stopped when those horrid miscreants made me think I was going to be murdered and my mangy carcass thrown into a field…  I still occasionally think about that day but I’m not filled with dread anymore.  My home town is stupidly safe.  I rarely have to remind myself of it now.  Also, these days I carry items that would help me defend myself – nothing scary.  Sometimes I just roll up a newspaper – a jab in a delicate place with a rolled up newspaper would easily enable me to slow down an attacker enough to let me get away safely.  Don’t let the Hollywood films fool you – if you’ve managed to stop an attacker – run for your life!  Don’t stop until you get somewhere safe.  Then call the police.

Or am I not feeling myself because I need to have a period? The first day of my most recent one was 27thAugust.  I probably should have given myself one when Helios and I were on holiday in  November but I was so busy that I didn’t want to – and who could blame me really? My periods are bad enough now that I really need three days to get the worst of it out of my system and the next time I have enough time off work is at Christmas.  While I’ve got all the time off between Christmas and New Year, it won’t necessarily be a pleasant holiday.

Hanging on until Christmas may be a challenge because, aside from the curiously-strong fatigue, I am having dull pain most days, sharp pain in my ovaries at times and a slight bleed through on some days.  This after I insisted that I don’t have any blood apart when I’m getting my period…  I doubt it’s a sign of something sinister.  I’m probably still not accustomed enough to having longer and longer cycles.

When I finally get my surgery dates I’ll think about having another period while I’m off with that – with any luck I’ll be on so much medication that any more pain won’t be an issue.  (?)

It’s at times like this that I’m ever so grateful that I’m accustomed to being organised because my brain isn’t working properly. For the past couple of days, particularly in the afternoon, I’m getting that woolly-headed feeling where I’m in a bit of a daze.  I used to feel like this when I had fruit and yoghurt for breakfast and I’d wind up being in a mess for the rest of the afternoon.  However, I know it’s not my diet because I’m having my usual egg/mayonnaise sandwich in the mornings (on low-GI bread) and for lunch for the past couple of weeks it’s been turkey with tomato, green pepper, low-GI Rye crisp breads and humus.   A couple of days ago I tried a wheat pita at lunchtime with my obligatory seeds in and within an hour I looked about six months pregnant.  when I’m most certainly not!  Did I have a reaction to  wheat? Within a few hours all had settled back down again but the incident made me wonder if there is anything else that I ought to be avoiding…  I’ve made an initial appointment with a food tolerance expert to see what else I can be doing.

You may remember that I’m on a slightly restricted diet anyway due to my insulin resistance.  When I first started getting diagnosed with my many maladies, I was told I had PCOS and insulin resistance.  For the insulin resistance, I was told to limit my carbohydrate intake to 20g per meal per day; I started lose weight and feel like my old self after a month or two.  Of course, I was depressed and my endometriosis diagnosis was in my future.  My entire life needed changing in order to feel happy but the change of diet was a good start.  At that point I didn’t notice any odd bloating, but so many things on my body seem to have given up working since then that I feel a bit of a lemon!

My interest was piqued when one of the gals at work did a food-intolerance test just about three weeks ago and now she’s been following the regime and she’s looking amazing.  I don’t know how much weight she’s lost but because she’s only taking on board exactly what she needs, her body is obviously happier for it.

Foxy

So Tired

I could easily miss a step, fall over like a tree in the forests and be asleep half-way to the floor.  I didn’t sleep well Thursday night.  The past few days I’ve had problems with what Helios calls “defecation frenzy”.  I didn’t miss work but I have had to take more time than usual to attend to calls of nature.  Thursday it was 4 or 5.  Friday it was 8.  This morning so far it’s been two and I’ve decided that I probably need to fast now to get it out of my system.

I dreamt last night I was in the US.  I was in the car with Foxxy (an old friend who, in real life, shares my name but with a slightly different spelling) and her boyfriend.  They were chatting away in the front of the car and, every so often, they would giggle at a shared joke.  I contented myself with looking outside the window.  We drove for some time to another city.  It was a beautiful journey – I couldn’t help but notice how green the grass looked.  The US is so vast!  For some time we didn’t see another car or person – which doesn’t happen in England.  It was pristine and I thought that if all of the US was so beautiful I wouldn’t mind living there.  However, things weren’t as nice when we got to the city: people seemed to be crossing the road any old where and we had to swerve to dodge them.  It reminded me a little of where my sister used to live – with University students flooding the streets to get to their next class on time.

We finally arrived at our destination: we were visiting our friend at the hospital.  I remember him from high school but cannot remember his full name.  He’s called John and he was in our gang.  He was the one that wore the T-shirt “I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.”  He had had a car accident and had a number of broken bones.

We parked well away from the building to avoid paying the parking fees.  I put one sock on but the other fell down a crevasse.  I could have retrieved it but I didn’t.  I just put my shoe on my right foot.

I worried that the smell of the place would make me sick.  When I was in high school I made the mistake of visiting a friend who’d had a car accident and the smell made me sick – I had to run to the toilet!  Very embarrassing!

We weren’t allowed to see John immediately – which was a good thing.  I didn’t notice any overpowering smell – so I was OK there.  I started gearing myself up to see a John that looked a lot worse than he probably was (in order to honestly say how good I thought he looked) and I thought of things to tell him like “You look just like you did in high school – except for the odd broken bone of course!”

We were shown to a seat near a TV where there were some patients and visitors.  The visitors didn’t look worried – they looked dirty – like how I’d expect the residents of Dale Farm to look.  Dale Farm is a Gypsy site in Essex that has recently evicted half its residents because they only had permission for a certain number of mobile homes.  The story made national news and, politically, I found myself siding with the local council.  I just don’t understand the traveller way of life in order to understand their plight or why they choose to live the way they do.

In the dream I didn’t pay them any attention.  I was pacing and worried that I’d lost my right sock because (and we all know how odd dreams are) even though I’ve not seen John for at least 20 years, he’d given me that pair of socks and I didn’t want him to think that I’d lost one.  The next thing I know all the other visitors leave and Kate, my line manager and someone I really respect, smiled at me and said “We have to ask them to move – they’re always wanting to sell us their dead.”

I woke up with the word “Dead” ringing in my ears.

When Helios got up I told him that I thought I ought to fast today to get my bowel back to normal.  Helios suggested that indigestion may have an effect on our dreaming.  Then he said I should take a paracetamol and codeine.  I can’t help but remember what he said about his time in Kenya– he came back with a “shit yourself thin” diet!  Thursday I was uncomfortable but in a good mood all day.  Friday I felt a bit worse and grouchy.  Today I’m hungry and afraid to eat lest I suffer with more bowel trouble…

I’m going to have to go back to bed.

Foxy

Autumn Arrived

The beginning of this past week was unseasonably warm.  I wore a dress to work – no cardigan, jacket or other warm clothing required.  Then it rained overnight on Wednesday and the temperatures have plummeted.  The heating is on in the flat and I’m curled up on the sofa with Helios under a sweatshirt and blankets.

It’s been a busy week!  Monday night Helios and I went to see “The Debt” at the cinema after work.  I enjoyed it.  Without giving anything away, it’s a film about three Nazi-hunters.

On Wednesday, I organised presents and the presentation for my friend’s retirement at work.  On top of this it was “billing week” so I had work coming out of my ears!  My friend would do a bill or two and then answer yet another email from someone sending best wishes.  As she’d been with the company for over 22 years, she had a lot of well-wishers!  I couldn’t tell her off though, at least she was able to help: my receptionist who is as dumb as a box of rocks is unable to do any part of billing.

After work on Wednesday we trooped over to the pub for my friend’s retirement party.  I advised against it, but she bought food for all of us that night.  She’s a painfully generous woman and I’ve appreciated her making me feel welcome at the company.  I’ll miss her.  For the moment, however, I’m living in denial that she’s gone.  She’s going on holiday to Las Vegas in the next week or two so I’ll make sure to get the full story upon her return…

Thursday at work was just as busy as every other day.  After work I saw T & L again.  I meet up with this couple of friends regularly throughout the year but this time was the first since Dad’s death.  When we get together we meet at T’s house and she makes the first two courses.  L and I take it in turns to bring desserts or wine.  This time I brought a dark Belgian chocolate cake and a coffee cake.  I had a lovely evening.  It was the first time I’ve met the girls since Dad’s death and they suggested that we three get together and do something to commemorate Dad’s life – whatever I want to do.  You just can’t beat friends like that, eh?  I’m contemplating their offer…

As you may remember, I have very vivid dreams.  Thursday night I dreamt I was in the house that Dad built for his second wife.  I was standing in the kitchen looking down the hall.  Helios walked from my old bedroom to the bathroom wearing a white and blue striped dressing gown.  Then Dad walked from his bedroom to the kitchen.  He was carrying a baby-sized me.  There was no doubt in my mind that the baby was me.  I was watching him kiss me and coochy-coochy-coo my baby-sized chin.  I felt as if Dad was forgiving me for all those things I feel guilty about – moving to England, not seeing him often, not ringing him often, etc.  I woke up with a smile on my face – something I’ve not done for a while.  It was a cathartic experience but I have cried quite a bit since.

Fridays are always a bit of a relief at the office.  I had quite a lot to do again and so arrived very early. My line manager was on holiday this week so I did over 42 hours this week and am looking forward to relaxing.  Once again I was unable to give my receptionist any work because it would take too much time to explain.  Luck for me, I was given a trainee accountant to help.  It’s good because I got through twice what I could have by myself.  It was bad because 1) it’s painfully obvious that our receptionist’s job will need to change now that my friend has retired and I don’t know if my receptionist will manage; 2) it’s painfully obvious that our trainee didn’t have enough to do this week.  I don’t know if that’s indicative of something a bit more ominous?

I was meant to see the England football game against Montenegro with the neighbours last night but they’ve obviously forgotten – no one was home.  Helios and I listened to it on the radio.  Between you and me, I’m relieved I wasn’t with the neighbours last night.  They have a three year old little girl who is lovely but, as I’m just a hair north of exhaustion, I was glad to be able to relax at home!

My line manager is back at the office next week and I have Monday off as holiday.  I’ll be spending time with a friend I used to work with.  We’re going to London and having some spa treatments near Knightsbridge.  So after some pampering, I’ve suggested we take tea at Fortnum & Mason and do a bit of Christmas shopping.

Then Tuesday morning I have a doctor’s appointment with the specialist that cleaned out my endometriosis in 2008.  I’m really looking forward to it.  I have a list of symptoms to discuss with him.

I do hope the next few weeks will be a bit less frantic!

Foxy