Sorry for the radio silence. Although I mentioned in my recent post Explaining my hiatus I've lost my blogging mojo, part of that was because we've had internet problems for over a month and it's been so S L O W that uploading photos was like pulling teeth. It's all fixed now and I have lots to share in the next week or so. This post is a mixed bag - there are a couple of bits of news that although seem miserable on the surface are actually progress, and there's one great bit of news at the end.
Ovary removalOn Monday I went to see a specialist at my local hospital as my periods are so debilitating, not just during the 5 days I'm on, but for half of each month. I have really heavy painful periods, and things like bladder and bowel pain and extreme fatigue (on top of my normal M.E. fatigue) in the 7-10 day build up to it. I max out on painkillers and use a wheat bag and a hot water bottle throughout my period and sometimes I'm still bed bound with pain. I had a scan a few months back and there was a huge amount of fluid in my abdomen and they couldn't say why with any certainty.
To cut a long story short, I need to have my left ovary removed. The fluid may be caused by endometriosis, it may be a burst ovarian cyst, it may be fluid caused by adhesions, and it may be ascites caused by cancer (it's unlikely at this stage, but they've done a blood test to look for cancer markers just in case). Because of my size they prefer to do the operation via open surgery - an incision similar to a caesarean on the pubic line. However, I'm not convinced all of my problems are caused by my ovary alone, so I'll be pressing for a full hysterectomy. I had emergency open surgery in 2011 when my ectopic pregnancy ruptured my fallopian tube so I don't want to have to go through all that pain and a long recovery for a second time to have to do it all again later to remove my womb. It makes sense to me to get rid of everything in one fell swoop. Since the op in 2011 I've had problems with ovarian cysts, some of which were HUGE, and then they shrank. The specialist's fear is that because things are so changeable in that area it *might* be a precursor to something sinister so I want everything gone. I feel like I've been on death row since 2011.
Joint Hypermobility Syndrome diagnosisToday I went to my GP about my long held suspicions that I have a joint hypermobility disorder. It turns out I was right. It has brought my whole life into context. As a child I constantly sprained my wrists and ankles. I just thought I was clumsy or it was the way I was made. I've joked for years about my 'cooked spaghetti joints'. Into adulthood I was injured so often I had every kind of support bandage, and I persevered through all kinds of injuries whilst working hard physical jobs like cleaning aircraft. In 2007 at the onset of Fibromyalgia and M.E. things got a lot worse, and they've continued to progress. Things have got really bad in the last year. My shoulders crunch when I put my bra on in the morning, and sometimes I can't put my bra on myself as it's too painful. My hips clunk like a car door closing when I roll out of bed in the morning. My elbows crack loudly enough to make other people jump. But the funny noises my body makes aren't as bad as the pain. Because my joints have much more range of movement than they should, my knees bend backwards at random, and it hurts like hell. It happened twice within a 10 day period recently, and the muscles up my thigh and down into my shin/calf seized up in response, which made walking really painful for a couple of weeks. My hips partially disclocate, and this can be from as little effort as my first step out of bed in the morning, or after exercise. It feels like someone is ripping my legs out of the hip joints, and I can't really walk - I have to shuffle along as picking my feet up off the floor is agony. It has been a relief to be diagnosed as I was worried I was falling to bits with age! ;) It's important to have a name to call the beast that ails me. There isn't a whole lot they can do - physio, painkillers, and exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding my joints. I'll be updating my progress at a later date.
Thirty Plus AwardsI was nominated for a Thirty Plus Award, and the ceremony is tomorrow night. I'm up for an award in the 'Community Star' category. This is not a plus size awards ceremony. This is entirely on merit for bloggers over the age of 30, so I'm unbelievably thrilled to be nominated. I've bought a gorgeous dress and I'm teaming it with a lovely vintage bag. I'll be sure to get lots of photos taken of me! I was going to have my hair and nails done in London on the day but this month has been incredibly spendy for many reasons and I just can't justify it so au naturel me will have to do! Wish me luck.
I hope everyone is well! I've been shocking at reading blogs for the last month. I don't think I've ever been so busy in my life, so once this whirlwind is over I'll be settling down with a cuppa and diving into my faves. Have a great rest of your week.