Blood, night sweats & tears!

The price we pay to be a Mum!

As I sit and write this blog I can feel the hairs on the back of my neck start to prickle, the heat building in my chest & neck which is starting to climb up my face with the feelings of anxiety creeping into the pit of my tummy. Within the next few minutes I will be stripped down to my vest, fanning myself dramatically just to try and bring my body temperature down. This is a regular occurrence and probably will be for the next 10 years. Welcome to the world of the menopause!

I know what you’re thinking “How can she be in the menopause? She looks so young!” Well at the tender age of 41 I had a radical hysterectomy as a result of chronic endometriosis & a very large endometrioma sitting on my left ovary. My womb, ovaries, cervix, fallopian tubes were all removed due to being covered in this sticky disease and in some areas glued to each other. I discussed with my consultant about what could be done and it was decided that the removal of the affected areas was necessary. I wasn’t having anymore children so I reckoned I didn’t need them or the pain this disease caused, plus endometriosis can reoccur so did I want to take that chance?

Prior to my operation I was in extremely good health and at my fittest since pre-childbirth so I was shocked when I was diagnosed, I myself only realised I had it when I was rushed to hospital suffering from crippling pelvic pain one Saturday night in June 2016. After scans, tests and eventually keyhole surgery I was told by my surgeon that I had an extreme case of endometriosis and I’d had the disease for many, many years maybe even over a decade due to the extent of the damage which was excessive. My bowel was attached to the wall of my vagina, my liver & kidneys had spores on them - this little buggar was everywhere and I was non the wiser. I thought the crippling pain of my monthly cycle was the norm and the routine of 4-6 days feeling & looking like death, climbing into bed early in the evening completely exhausted and in severe pain was a reasonable price to pay to be the mother of our amazing little boy but obviously this was the signs of the disease taking hold of my reproduction system.

After the operation as I lay in the hospital bed it dawned on me the significance of the name of the hospital I was in “The Liverpool Women's Hospital” a hospital just for women! Seriously in what lifetime would there ever be a hospital named “The Men’s Hospital?” The answer is never, not in my lifetime or anyone’s lifetime for that matter. This got me thinking.... Why is there a massive price to pay for women and not men to bear a child? Also, why is it that women have to endure this mammoth journey from around the average age of 12 until well into their 40s-50s whereas our men don’t bat an eyelid and reap the benefits of our burden!

After my op I was instantly pain free, except for keyhole cuts, full of energy and felt amazing and I can honestly say that for me the hysterectomy was definitely worth it. My recovery was going from strength to strength and my surgeon was gobsmacked at how fast I was recovering. I put this down to my positive mental attitude and a healthy active lifestyle. Unbeknown to me there was one last slap in the face on its way to me and that was in the form of the Menopause!

The menopause, this is what women go through in later life when the reproduction system is no longer needed and in my opinion can be viewed as a backhanded thank you for being able to bare children. As if it wasn’t enough that we endure around 40 years of heavy, bloody monthly periods which often brought painful cramps, tender boobs, bloody accidents, mood swings, anaemia and bloating! My mum and aunties sailed through the menopause so it wasn’t something that was talked about growing up plus generations of women before didn’t think it was a tasteful topic of conversation! Me on the other hand believes that it should be talked about because it’s natural and something every women will go through eventually and anyway, men go on and on and on and on about man flu and the pain their in so I think us women have earned the right to talk about how we are affected.

The point of this blog is to say we should all look after our bodies and treat them with respect, care and consideration because we want it to carry us well into later life. Only we know our bodies and as complicated as they are compared to our male counterparts, if you ever feel that something isn’t quite right then go and get checked out. I and everyone who knows me thought my body was fit and healthy until I was crippled with agonising pain which lead to my reproduction system being removed.

Luckily for mankind, women we are born with the strength and determination of an ox so no wonder we were chosen to bare children as future generations would cease to continue otherwise.

Much love & listen to your body x

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