What my periods are like & about my future operation to remove my ovary

Hi loves,

There's something I haven't mentioned about my future operation to remove parts of my reproductive system. (Read this post first). Basically this future operation to remove my ovary comes with a proviso. I have to lose weight first. 

Because the entire medical community has no idea why anaesthesia works (no shit, this is absolutely true) anaesthetising people of size is something doctors really don't like. To be fair to them they haven't said 'You have to lose 5 stones or we won't do the operation'. They haven't given me a figure of weight to lose at all (yet) but I'm keen to make sure this operation goes ahead at all costs. You'll see why when you read what my periods are like.

Now as a reformed dieter (and a fierce critic of diet culture) and someone who's been working on self-esteem issues and self love for the past 5 years, this is going to be difficult for me. Needless to say, let's trigger warning this post for diet talk. Since my 2011 epiphany about all things weight sprang from an ectopic pregnancy, let's also trigger warn this post for child loss (even though it's barely mentioned). Also let me tell you I'm going into gross detail about my monthlies so do avoid if you're squeamish!

Let me say this post is being written in haste so I can get to bed and drape myself in wheat bags and hot water bottles to try to get some sleep. I apologise in advance if this post doesn't make much sense.

I've talked about and alluded to my dieting history in several posts before. The potted history is this: I was put on my first diet before senior school age by my worried mum as she didn't want me to have the shitty life she'd had as a fat person. I'm not sure when exactly this was, but certainly before I was 11 - before puberty. I hold no malice towards her at all - she was a very young single mum doing the best she could. Needless to say being put on a diet at such a tender age had a very negative effect on my mental health, and still continues to do so in some part today. I dieted for over 25 years until 2011, when my second ectopic pregnancy ruptured my fallopian tube and I nearly died of acute blood loss. I had to have my fallopian tube removed to save my life and it's the trauma from that which has caused me to be in this situation now. After surviving I realised I'd spent over two decades at war with myself, and if I learned nothing else it'd be that I embraced myself just as I am. And I've been working on it ever since.

So now I find myself in a position where I NEED surgery to rid myself of the extremely debilitating effects of pelvic pain and all the other shit my hellish lady-organs are putting me through. Lemme tell you about my periods. A week to 10 days before Red Armageddon arrives I start heaving/throwing up when I'm cleaning my teeth because I'm so nauseous. 7 days or so before I have to cut caffeine and booze out or it feels like I'm being kicked in the cunny and the bowel when I go to the toilet. About 7 days before I come on the fatigue starts and I can barely keep my eyes open. I mean, come on, I have ME so I'm always fatigued but this is a whole new level. I can't get through a day without a 2 hour nap. Then of course the fun stuff a lot of us get happens - the swollen boobs, and nipples like nuclear missiles, the crying fits and wanting to throw stuff at the wall, the backache like you've been kicked by a horse.

When Red Armageddon arrives I better have stocked up on max flow night time towels the size of surfboards or shit's going dowwwwwwn. I get through two packs of these damage controllers and still manage to get blood on my sheets, my clothes, the bathroom floor mat and the toilet seat. The toilet seat gets cleaned every time I sit on it on my period. When I get up off the toilet, there's blood all over the seat. Unless I stem the flow with a wad of loo roll, it'll leak in big dollops on the floor mat in the 2 seconds it takes me to pull my knickers up. I wipe my vag and there are clots the size of a finger. I get HUGE abdominal swelling. Massive. And the pain! Burning pain over my ovary, either consistently or going in waves like some sadistic bastard has a flamethrower on me. I get stabbing pains in my vag and arse. There's difficulty walking, even the short distance to the kitchen or bathroom. I have pain on bending over and I sweat and shake from the pain. Nights are spent tossing and turning through the pain (no wonder I need to 'stock up' on sleep before I come on!) and the inability to concentrate (ya think?!) makes every day tasks twice as hard. I've been writing this post for about 4 hours!

As I said in my previous post there's a huge amount of fluid over my left ovary, and in the letter sent to me today by my specialist, they think there's also a sizeable cyst, which they called an adnexal cyst. Adnexal cysts are growths that form on the organs and connective tissues around the uterus. I've had ovarian cysts before, and they went from very large to nonexistent in around 2012 so this growth is new. As I mentioned in my previous post (the one I linked to at the top of this entry) there's a possibility of adhesions from the site of my excised fallopian tube as well. It really does seem like surgery will be the best thing for me.

So now you know what I'm dealing with, here's what I have planned to get me through this process in the best mental health.

Here's what I won't be doing

Turning into a diet bore - I'm not going to diet at all
Eating shitty cardboard diet meals
Associating my worth with decreased body size
Allowing anyone to try to attribute increased worth to my body because of decreased body size
Weighing myself

Here's what I will be doing

Going to bed earlier to avoid my midnight snack attack
Doing more exercise when Fibromyalgia/ME/hypermobility allow for it
Cramming loads of fruit and veg into my diet
Measuring myself with a tape measure once a month

That's it. I hope people know me well enough by now to know I won't turn into a dickhead who thinks they're better than everyone else after losing 2 pounds. (We all know one!) I really need this surgery, and I have to do everything possible to make it go ahead. I'm on my period as we speak, and a hot water bottle, a wheat bag AND max dose Feminax is not enough to ease the pain. Why am I not on stronger pain meds? Doctors are reluctant to dish out hardcore meds to Fibromyalgia patients as we're always in pain and pain meds can be addictive. Over the counter things like Cocodamol make me vomit at some times not others, and surprise vom is the worst kind, amiright? Ibuprofen and Paracetamol are not enough even taken in tandem. Feminax is the best fix that I've tried, but there's nothing that gets rid of all my pelvic pain. I'm ALWAYS in pain on my period. I cannot put up with this shit for much longer.

Know that whatever happens, I still think diet culture is shitty and damaging (especially for young people) and I will be doing everything I can to keep my mental health on an even keel through this process, come what may. Wish me luck.

Leah xoxo

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