Friday, June 22, 2012

H… is for Hysterectomy

We knew it was coming. Yet for some crazy reason I had it in my head that I would be 40 before having to face the decision. Reading back over previous posts, I have alluded to the Big H previously. Based on family history and with my own history it is no big surprise that this major operation WILL be on the cards. It's pretty much a given. Even the specialist agreed with me during one of my appointments for this previous operation.

However to actually have it mentioned to you (not me mentioning it, the Doctor bought it up) and then saying that it would probably be the best option for me. Well it smacked. A great big red welt, stunning my heart into spasms once more.

I'm not averse to the operation itself. I'm averse to having to consider it at my age. 

I am really perturbed that this option is thrown when I'm only 34 (okay well I've turned 35 since writing this post, it's been languishing in the drafts folder for some months) 

This solution has been running around the peripherals of my mind since my last appointment. A range of emotions stifled as I (still, 3 months later) push it to the back of my mind. For me, right now it's the best I can do. I can't face making that decision now nor can I even consider it as an option at this stage of my life. It feels like just yesterday I was desperately wanting to add another baby to our life. It's taken me the better part of 12 months (and a tonne of therapy) to come to grips with that decision and at times I still waver and let my mind wonder 'what if'  

I know in my heart of hearts this was just another option from the Doctor - a GP at best. It will be my only option in the future. But It's not a TODAY option. Heck it probably isn't even a THIS YEAR option. It's just an option. One that was thrown about but mentioned twice, leaving me feeling as though maybe I'm just whinging too much and this is the Doctors way of a quick fix to get me out of their rooms quicker?

My head tells me I'm being stupid. Why would they throw about an option like that?

It's all very confusing as to what they are saying and what they aren't saying.

For now I've decided to manage my pain with the help of my acupuncturist. I am not currently taking any extra hormones (nor am I willing to into the future) I am feeling so good at the moment, it's taken me 6 months to get 5 months of the pill out of my system. Yes the endometriosis is horrid at times, but the alternative wasn't much better for me. At this stage even though my GP suggested it, I won't be returning to the Specialist. My referral is for 12 months (from February) I am almost positive that when I do finally return to the specialist I will be in all sorts of trouble for defying their suggestions, but at the end of the day - this is MY body. MY life. MY decision.        

Thursday, June 14, 2012

That Awkward moment…

When you've written an um… possibly explicit blog post (ok it's not exactly explicit… it does use words that will have google spammers coming far and wide) and you can't remember if you hit save as draft or send to blog. It happened to me last night, heart stopping moment - more for the I haven't edited it yet and there are probably parts to it that I shouldn't share… though they go so well with the written post. Lucky I didn't. Hit send that is.
Phew.
Today however the post sits languishing in my drafts folder. To publish or not to publish?

I had a moment…

Putting this here incase it happens again… and gosh I really hope it doesn't.

I was awoke suddenly yesterday morning with a sharp pain in and around my abdomen. Well actually it wasn't all in my abdomen looking back on it after the fear subsided it was mainly in my chest cavity (under the rib cage) and along my lower gut (above the bikini line) it felt like a cross between a period cramp and trapped gas (similar to that, that you sometimes get post operation) but this pain also had that feeling of needing to pee and holding on for far too long. It woke me with a start and I rushed to the toilet. I sat there cocooned in pain, it was excruciating so I bent forward because for some reason I immediately thought gas + wind = need a great big *ahem* you know what… but nothing happened. All that movement did was make the pain worse, I could feel the beginnings of reflux / heartburn and I stood up as I felt I was about to throw up (and after last weeks date with the toilet bowl, I didn't particularly relish another night spent hurling!) I glanced in the mirror and watched as my face grew whiter and whiter and suddenly I was thinking should I lay on the floor, sit down, throw up or rush back to our bed. I was on the verge of fainting when I made the decision to take the four steps needed to return to bed. I collapsed waking my husband in the process "honey I feel like shit" I may have even thought for a moment I might have been dying (the weird things that go through one's head when you think it's the middle of the night!) of course hubby was immediately attentive asking what had happened. My head was roaring like an ocean pounding it's waves upon me. It was downright scary.

Within minutes of lying in bed, my head calmed, the roaring eased and apart from a few stabbing pains I ended up rolling over and going to sleep. 

I awoke an hour and half later feeling completely fine. No upset tummy. No gassy wind. No dizzy head. Just completely normal. 

It was WEIRD! And TERRIFYING. 

After chatting to a friend, she wondered if it may have been a panic attack or anxiety attack and though at the time I couldn't pinpoint what would have set me off, she suggested that I may have been dreaming (and not remembered any of it) that set the ball in motion. It could well have been just a case of IBS (even though I don't suffer from it, I do get a lot of residual issues as my endo is located right next to my bowel - thankfully not in it.) 

This conversation got me thinking that everything here has been on a pretty even par lately, so much so that I'm not due another shrink appointment until August. But then I remembered… over the weekend we heard a heap of sirens, which isn't unusual in our neck of the woods considering we live near "retirement island" ;) but then MIL rang and mentioned they could hear a tonne of sirens near them & a helicopter (they live 10mins from us and as they live near the water we initially wondered if there was an incident on the water) anyhow about an hour later we popped over to visit them and soon discovered the cause all the sirens on the way. A car accident in the 90 zone split lanes, we only glimpsed a car in the ditch and a tonne of emergency crews standing about. And a white sheet.

Even though I only glimpsed a small portion of the aftermath of the accident, my body amped up my anxiety and I was feeling physically sick and my hands shook for sometime after. This is my usual reaction to seeing any type of accident - whether it be a small bingle or major incident. Even the sound of brakes squealing can set me off. I am working on these feelings and until then had felt I had been getting better at controlling them.  

An hour later it was confirmed by the media that the accident had been a fatality :(

I can't be sure, but I wonder if subconsciously my mind was filtering this while I slept as I am trying hard not to put too much emphasis on it when I'm awake. It seems to be the only thing that would 'shock' me awake like that. I think also it hit a little too close to home. You know what they say about accidents occurring close to 'home' well my accident was on the highway just out of the town I grew up in. I struggle every time I drive that highway and I have been known to avoid it at all costs. One thing I learnt in my therapy sessions is that the my fears have manifested my accident that happened on a rural road and by by avoiding certain situations it has fed my anxiety / panic attacks. Country roads. 100Klm speed limits. Night driving. Animals. The last two had absolutely no relevance to my accident but my fears have become fears on top of fears. I currently live in a semi rural area, it is a 100klm speed limit from our front door to the city and I can handle that, I've lived here nearly 10 years I am used to this road.

This accident (on the weekend)  happened on a spot of road that I drive past at least twice a day to take the girl to school. Although I am not thinking any different of this road I drive twice a day, I fear that if I let this fear unravel, I will lose this one road that I had previously felt relatively 'safe' upon (and I use that term loosely - my issues stem from roads not being safe at all… but this road I feel marginally safer on - it's my home road) it probably doesn't make sense to the outsider, but for me I am learning to recognise my fears and not let them grow and encroach on me. So for now I am letting it go - I will NOT let another fear evolve so I decided to write it all out. It's here in black and white. I have nothing to fear.

After writing the bulk of this last night, I managed one of those deep sleeps and feel so rested today.     

           

Saturday, June 9, 2012

On writers block

Sitting starting, a white blank screen staring right back at you. Mocking you in it's shocking whiteness. Although it is white, you distinctly see the outline of a tongue emoticon teasing you. Pushing you to write. Yet you sit. Motionless and the words are not forthcoming… but you have this challenge you said you'd meet and meet it you will.

Usually words don't pose a problem for me. I have filled many handwritten journals over the years. Trials and tribulations. Happy moments. And sad. It's all been part of the journey of life and though the past few years I've been really slack. A small box sits high in the cupboard and I still gently pull out each of those hardbound journals handle them with care and stroke them for within they contain every inch of me. My thoughts. My dreams. My life. 

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Written by a young impressionable girl (who had really messy handwriting) and started at a small round cafe style table in Gladstone, feeling ever so grown up (but I really wasn't) thinking the world around me was a glittering gem of opportunities. The heat of the day pulsing in the open doors of that restaurant and I sat there listening to sounds of the workers around me, fondling my new "elephant" journal thinking of all the things I would write. Savouring the empty pages ahead of me, contemplating the pages eventually filled with scribbles and photos. Stickers and the like. It was December 1998 and that young girl of 21 was peering through rose coloured glasses. Happiness abounded and though she still contained some of that childlike immaturity, she was wise beyond her years. She liked the idea of journalling her years ahead, she just didn't realise how much she would need it and how in 15 years time she would sit and still fondly stroke that elephant journal, shudder at the messy almost childish writing and grin at how innocent she once was.

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How bad was the handwriting!!! 

That journal took me 6 years to fill. It guided me through some hard lessons in life and helped me deal with some pretty heavy stuff. A quick flick through revealed a line written late in 1999 "We are talking seriously about having a baby soon" oh if I knew then what I know now... might have saved myself many years of heartache. Many words filling each page as I grew up, got a dog, changed jobs, bought and sold our first home, got hitched, built a home, moved further north out of the 'burbs. Friendships made and lost. Discovering the real meaning of family and saying final goodbye to the first person close to me to ever to pass away. Finally at the age of 27 I emerged, the world around me had changed; but inside I had grown, evolved, managed and survived most of my 20's within the pages of this first journal.

At the time I filled it with mundane words, description sadly lacking. Journal writing then was just another creative outlet… yet it lacked any real creativity. It wasn't until years later that something clicked and as I sat with my new green I Believe journal I made a conscious decision to write daily from that point on. And write I did. Page after page. Mostly an account of day to day life, but they were important years to record and I wrote fast and furiously my story evolving as more pages were filled and yet another book was inked and completed. 

It's now been 15 years since I embarked on the epic journal writing journey and my regrets are minimal. I regret that there are certain things I still can't be fully open about within my own pages and I regret that at times life got too busy to keep a record. Most of all I regret that recently I lost the momentum to write day in day out. I am trying to find that because I know that no matter how blank the page before me might be, I have enough words to fight through that writers block and write on. As I talk. A lot.

And so it is 15 years later I am currently working my way through my 10th journal… yes 10. I wonder how many more I will fill in my lifetime. I wonder if I will look back in another 15 years and wish I could tell the woman I am today something that I will know then? 

   

Friday, June 8, 2012

Now I dance…

Once upon a time I was carefree and a little rain wouldn't bother me. During torrential downpours I'd run to the car barefoot and giggling because I was drenched and (not so surprisingly) the umbrella was usually in the boot or at home on the garage floor - you know the very best places to store brollies!  

Nowadays I seem to be all about the "get out of the rain, you'll catch a cold" AND "no you cannot walk to swimming when it's raining, you'll get wet" (well duh' of course she's gonna get wet at swimming) I guess 5 years of nursing colds and flus and becoming a mum sort of deleted my 'fun' valve.

When I see a puddle… THIS is what I do… 

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THIS is what I'd much rather be doing…………….! 

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There comes a time in life when we all need to grow up and act our age, but that doesn't mean we should suppress the child within.   

Yesterday I received a package in the mail, I knew it was coming and I had been waiting with anticipation of it's imminent arrival. Much like a kid in a candy store type anticipation. Last year I had the chance to finally meet a few of my beautiful online buddies, one I'd been chatting to for years and it was like we'd known each other forever the amount of chatting we squeezed into one weekend away (well she chatted… I dutifully listened, it's what I do best ;) together the four of us we talked and dreamed, sewed and drank coffee, laughed until the wee hours while some tried to sleep. 

Anyway my point, which I'm sort of missing in my usual long winded way is that I have long admired one particular girl, not in a girly, girly way (though she did perhaps show a little more than was expected on camp ;) but hey what happens AT camp stays AT camp ;) No this admiration for her is more the inspirational variety - I could use many words to describe this girl "Amazing. Exceptional. A legend in her lifetime. My world would be cold and empty without her" but those words {note: total & utter use of plagiarised words from the woman herself} they don't really sum up how inspiring, caring and brilliant she really is. I know for one my life wouldn't be as funny without her in it because she TOTALLY gets all my silly jokes and TOTALLY gets when I want to press "like" on my own status updates over on Facebook. Only a really good friend will understand that level of CRAZY!  

And you know, I like to think that I inspire her too. If it wasn't for me her (once neglected) blog would be languishing in the deep dark depths of blogland, covered in dust bunnies! The way I see it, if it wasn't for me, facebooking K at camp who was sitting beside R, to tell her to hurry up and blog something I'd have had nothing to read these past few months (though I do partly blame her for now blogging far too much and having my bloglines spiral out of control with un-read posts… 700+ unread isn't bad right?!?) 

I also like to think, if it wasn't for me - she wouldn't be able to call herself a mighty talented artist / painter today! 

My parcel yesterday (finally I get to the point ;) was an LWD original painting. I may have sort of hassled her about painting me an original oil painting (ok truth be told, I only mentioned it once… or twice) and really between you & me, she needed that jumping point - something to challenge her and let her jump in with both feet because she is so talented, she tries to squash those rumours, but I'm telling you here and now - they are all TRUE. This girl is one talented lady and I have much to learn from her… which could be a bit funny because I sort of maybe broke my craft ban to buy myself some oil paints (ok they were a cheap packet) but still… the big difference being - I CAN'T DRAW!!!

Laughs aside, my new painting is everything about where I am right now - this journey I've been on. It's the culmination of a years worth of therapy and realising once again that I can be what I want to be, perhaps there are things in life that will always remain out of my reach, but I have the opportunity to rise above and to realise some of my lost dreams. I lost myself somewhere along this journey and the last year has been about finding Me, finding my joy and learning to live with the pain. And I can live with it. I have risen above it and I accept now the things that didn't happen for whatever reason. I've been so busy focussing on the damned rainbow that I didn't see that I could embrace that inner child - the one that wants to jump from the slippery slide into great big puddles, that inner child who once danced in the rain. And she WILL dance once more.  

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Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about dancing in the rain 

 

Original Oil Painting "Dance" By Little White Dove. Her words (far better than mine) can be found here

Thursday, June 7, 2012

when it's raining

For many years I have lived by a small quote I found when we were trying to conceive our only daughter. I remember vividly the day I found it and I wrote it with great pride in one of my journals. Though limited in words, it packed a punch in so many other ways. It is one quote that has always resonated with me and one I believe always will.

To see the Rainbow, we must endure the rain…  

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Other people have their faith.

Me… well I have my rainbows.

These days whenever I see a Rainbow I usually have my only daughter by my side to ooh and aah along with me and it never fails to bring a smile to both our faces. I endured the rain not once but twice and I came out the other side, a wee bit muddier for my troubles but still intact! As I left work last year, I turned into one of the little side streets and before me glowed a Rainbow, glorious in it's colours I simply had to take a photo to share with my little girl when I got home. 

Last month marked the 12 month anniversary of my last major operation. It feels weird to count down milestones such as these. It also feels a little surreal because 12 months after my big operation back in 2006 I was 3 months pregnant with a gorgeous little girl who is now 5! My how time flies. I could of course fall to pieces and flail at the world with the "Why Me's" and "it's not fairs" but I find that I've managed to move on from those thought processes. I guess I've come to the harsh realisation that our path in life is different to what I had wanted. I stand here on the other side of that rainbow and I finally see my pot of gold is THIS.

My life. With my princess, my husband, my dog. Each of them make up all the colours of my rainbow and really if I had to admit to myself, I want for nothing more.

We could talk about strength and wisdom, of those I feel I have developed so much more after my trials of the previous years. If only I didn't have to fall so hard to remember that. 

This time last year, I couldn't bare pregnancy announcements on Facebook; I couldn't bare seeing ultrasound pictures or tummy photos. I couldn't see past the whining of mums with multiple kids saying how hard it it. I was living in a pretty enclosed shell, one I didn't like because quite simply it wasn't me. I wanted to be the one to say Congratulations and actually mean it. I wanted to look at ultrasound pics and goo and gah over them. I wanted to rub tummies and tell those mummies that it's all ok to complain at times. I just couldn't do it.

This year… I have befriended my cousins girlfriend (I've never met her in real life) and I am genuine in all my comments on her ultrasound pictures, I love seeing pictures of her tummy, I even did stats on when I think the bub will arrive.

This year… I congratulated new births, I cluck and coo over little babies pictures - especially cute ones wrapped up in crocheted rugs ;) 

This year… I see how hard it is with more than one child and I try to understand and offer support. 

I feel much like a hermit crab, emerging from it's shell. While I'm still looking for a new 'home' to belong, I find myself surrounded by people who genuinely care about me and I feel I can finally be myself. I can rant at the injustices of the past, but I can also embrace my future with whatever that may hold. 

I've come so far in one short year.   

So the big question… where to from here?      

Well - I think It's time I learn to dance in the rain…  

Daily Writing Challenge… rediscovering your child's eye

The sound of the TV was blaring some British sitcom theme song and she was so engrossed in the show she does not hear my thundering footsteps up the back steps or the screen door slamming shut. Taking pride of place in the centre of the room sits a coffee table, it's mottled brown-toned tiles a colourful mosaic set atop four sold brown timber legs. A loose tile rattles as she places her tea cup upon it. The table looks as though it's as old as her. There are stories to be told in every inch of this vintage treasure, the scratches down it's legs, the broken pieces of tile glued back together. Years of use and the administrations of five little boys, it is a surviving remnant of the times.     

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You know those days when you write something and you spend more time crossing it out and re-writing it because the words just wouldn't flow? Well that was me on Tuesday. I took my notebook and a writing exercise book along to swimming lessons and I sat and tried to write a short piece on "rediscovering your child's eye" basically we had to describe a friends place that you go to regularly and describe it in detail. Whether it was the place (noisy swim centre) or just not feeling in the right frame of mind - my first attempt is pretty poor.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Daily Writing Challenge #1 Status Anxiety

So, so Bored.

I lie here gazing idly at the vast expanse of gridded white ceiling above me. A crack as long as my arm trails from one edge of the access panel to the next. Dust bunnies alight from the steady stream of sun through the plate glass window, dance in the air above me. I see the beginnings of a patch of mould to the right of me and I remind myself to tell the janitor to bring his trusty bottle of oil of cloves next time he empties my bin.

I lie here day in, day out not able to move and wish the Doctors would decide that today is the day to remove this steel tube that is keeping my airways open. It’s coldness irritates me of a night when the weather shifts and the air around me rapidly cools. Throughout the day I am parched and I am so, so bored. Lying here. Day by day. Month by month. Year by year.

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This weeks' challenge is to write 5 blog entries - after much deliberation, I have decided to start small and will be working my way backward to work on some of the earlier prompts I missed during the WOW exercises last year.

The first prompt I missed was Week 6 "Status Anxiety" basically we had to write a 5 min stream of words based on a recent Facebook (or social media) status update. I didn't time myself for this exercise. The first status update in my Facebook feed today was "So, So Bored" very fitting that it belonged to a distant cousin of mine who was the grand-daughter of one of my Nan's all time favourite cousins!     

I have decided to continue with my story on my late Nan and here I will be sharing small snippets of what I see fit to share at this time. I have also decided to start writing her story seriously again. Today I am aiming for another 1000 words - you know sometime between study, housework, life, errands and a crafty life.   

Saturday, June 2, 2012

In the words of Barney Stinson... Challenge Accepted

I've been lamenting over on Facebook (read: drinking too much and feeling maudlin') that I miss my weekly writing exercises. I feel my little stories could have gone further than mere snippets, but after my failed attempt at NaNoWriMo last November and some significant changes to life this year everything fell to the wayside.

I miss my writing.

The more I miss my writing, the harder it is to dip my toes in to test the waters.

My friend has thrown down a challenge... 5 posts in 7 days on a blog other than my craft one. Finding a blog that is NOT my craft one is EASY; deciding on which one to use? Whole other story!

Yet I find myself gravitating here once more. As for what I will write, I have no idea. Much as I want to continue my story, I'm getting bored with it - really how much more can I write about my dodgy innards without grossing out my two kind readers?

Last year I shared a few small snippets of my {late} Nan's story. I wrote over 11,000 words during NaNoWriMo no where near the 50,000 I had originally aimed for. Then I burnt out. The story remains locked in my head but the key has gone AWOL.  I'm sure I could find it if I trace my steps backward? Surely the remainder of the story is still there waiting to be told, if only I oil the cogs and aim to write a little daily?

Maybe I should go whole hog and aim for 1600 words a day, as I did for NaNoWriMo?

On second thoughts perhaps I should await the decision on which direction lies ahead of me until tomorrow, when my (2 glasses of) vodka addled mind is not jumping ahead with a challenge that is too much for me to complete?