It was while we were discussing my changing pains, and how to deal with them, that my pelvis helpfully reminded me why I've started to take an extra daily dose of co-dydramol. Next month marks three years since my hysterectomy and, although it hasn't what might be called by some people a "success", for me it has been worth every slice, stitch, and scar.
- The pains have returned but I don't bleed for Britain now.
- I don't have to raid the local chemist for all the Kotex Night-time mattresses for "normal" days.
- Towels don't have to be laid down on my seats and bed to prevent stains from leakages.
- The floor doesn't suddenly hit me in the face as I collapse.
- I can wear pretty white underwear whenever I want!
March is significant in my life for The Big Op but, also, it's the month of international endometriosis awareness, which I found to be literally painfully ironic, since it was also the month of my first and diagnostic laparoscopy, seven years ago. I had been due to be operated on during the UK's week of awareness but was postponed until the next week. The date on which it was carried out was 15th March. Beware, indeed: only 4 years and 3 days later would most of my bits be gone. It's a shame, I think, that I wasn't given the opportunity to have a celebratory Burning Of The Womb festival over the local park. "Inappropriate", apparently.
As I type this, my heat pad is behind me, soothing my aching back. A hot water bottle is helping in my almost-futile attempt to relax my tense stomach muscles. My favourite, ancient blanket is over my lap. King Arthur is nestled next to me on the blanket. I'm yet to get up to take the last dose of painkillers for today. From where I'm sitting to get to the kitchen, I have to walk only 10 metres, if that; lack of energy right now means I can't face it. Can't face the lower back ache-spasms when I begin to get up, or the pointed pulling inside my pelvis of the endometrial glue, or the wobbliness of my legs because of the fibromyalgia.
Again, I'm not complaining about it all, though I know I could. And this is me saying that, having been out today for the appointment with my GP, then to get the 5 or 6 prescription items and several bits of shopping, I am now shitty-shit-shattered. It's not tiredness. It's not lack of sleep. I mean, it is, but not just a few hours lost. My eyes are puffy and feel heavier by the minute. Not moving my legs, they feel as if they're burning and leaden to the bones. The stiffness crackles and snaps in my lower back, thanks in part to a fractured vertebra.
"You look really well!" is never not welcome to hear, as long as it's about me, obviously. I'm being honest. And modest. When I've been waiting for h-o-u-r-s for pains to ease off enough to walk without nearly falling, when I've woken up enough to counteract the groggy from the meds, when I've accomplished walking up the stairs without having to stop? Hearing that I look "well" is terrific! It's also indicative of my excellent and under-reported acting skillz, yeah? And make-up. (Big nod to Clinique.)
Even I've been impressed by how I'm coping with all this. This. Emotionally, facing the angry truth of being another step nearer to morphine, the past few months have been... tough. That's contributed to my being even more rubbish at communication with friends. Having to have that extra dose of painkillers means that, like the 2-doses-a-day time, the 3-doses-a-day time will also have its limit. when that happens, it'll be stronger painkillers. And then more of those. And then morphine. And, at that point, it's a Maintenance Surgery kind of situation.
So, personally, mentally, emotionally, but not physically, I'm feeling pretty, pretty good, despite the ouchiness of endometriosis and all its bastardy facets. It's just that niggly knowledge bit I keep thinking about. I keep staring. Standing and staring. Thinking about what I'm going to do. Thinking about when it'll change again. I know it doesn't really help me to achieve anything "constructive" but, as I said to my GP, I am a person (allegedly) and I have to go through these thought processes *shudders at phrase* to find better ways to cope with it all. Which I am doing. See my Instagram post here for pictorial displays of therapy.
The acceptance of pain and fatigue and their effects isn't negative or pessimistic; it is wholly opposed to anything like that. I can't prevent the pains, so I have to be re-active, instead of pro-active. When I feel the pains, I take the painkillers, and that allows me to have some control over how it affects me, rather than the ideal, which is to control it. Which I can't do.
And, for every smile you may see on my face, there will be a dozen or so frowns because of the pains within my abdomen.
And, for every bad joke you may hear me make, I will gasp uncontrollably because of the insufferable adhesions.
And, for every pointlessly-loquacious update I post on facebook or twitter, I will be temporarily struck by an inability to speak or move from sudden and dreadful pains.
With me, as happens with invisible illnesses, what you see is what you get, but with multiple added bonuses of a heck of a lot more.
Follow @TheCurlyLucy Subscribe to the RSS feed