Wednesday, 5 November 2014

What's going on in November?



A few thoughts on November...

I felt it was necessary to give an update for the month of November so that you will understand where I'm at. This is going to be a very difficult month for me, for a number of reasons which all seem to be connected. In just a few weeks I will be undergoing a hysterectomy. If you are not familiar with the term, it means that I'm having my uterus removed. Before you say "aw" and feel sorry for me, I have to let you know this is a good thing. My tubes are already tied because I don't want children so I won't bemoan the loss of my reproductive ability. If anything, I'll be celebrating it! I'm having a hysterectomy so I can have a better life.

My uterus has always been the bane of my existence. Ever since I was a little girl I suffered from extreme abdominal pain and my doctor could never determine the cause. When I began menstruating I struggled with chronic pain and bleeding. There was even a time where I bled heavily for six months straight. As I grew older, the pain worsened. There have been times where I've been so debilitated by menstrual cramps that I've had to take days to recover in bed. My uterus is a cold and evil thing and I can't wait to get it the hell out of my body. Thankfully my new gynecologist offered me a hysterectomy. She said, "why should you suffer with a bad uterus if you don't want children?" Exactly!!

My gyno is leaving my ovaries in tact, so I won't have to go on hormone therapy. I will have to take two weeks off to recover. Apparently the two weeks is only the initial recovery period, it will take a month before I feel better and a whole six months before my body "settles"; I'm assuming that means the organs are shifting into place. That being said, I might not be sewing as much as I wanted to for this month. It also causes problems with my ability to work. I'm currently seeking additional employment because we are very nearly broke. I don't want to tell employers right off the bat that I'm undergoing a surgery that will affect my ability to lift things. Say if I were to be employed tomorrow, I'd hold off on mentioning it, however, if someone were to offer me a job closer to my surgery date, I'd be honest and would say that I couldn't start until two weeks afterward. Either way, it's a difficult situation. If I were to reschedule my surgery it could take months to get in for the operation again, and I've had all that I can take of this chronic pain. I don't want my surgery to harm my chances of getting employed, but if I rescheduled my operation the pain from my menstrual cramps would cause me to take time off of work anyways... I'm between a rock and a hard place.

As you may know, November in Canada is a pretty somber month. Remembrance Day is coming up and as citizens we're to honor the soldiers who have served our country. It's good to remember the sacrifices that people have made for our country, but at the same time it can be very, very depressing day. To contrast that, this is the time of year when we begin to celebrate Christmas. As weird as it may sound, our Christmas parades and festivals start right about now and they continue across the province all month long. I'm not sure why these parades take place in November but I'm guessing it has to do with the weather being better than in December. It's fun to see. I'm a kid at heart so I'm amused by these sorts of things lol. Although I'm not a huge fan of Christmas (I prefer Halloween) I'm happy to see joyful things like these parades because it's been such a hard year for us. Anything positive and happy is helping to lessen my stress. I've already strongly considered bringing out my Christmas decorations early.

Speaking of decorations...because I missed the boat on selling Halloween crafts, I think I'd like to push for making Christmas crafts for my Etsy shop now. I have two vintage coats I plan on selling, but I think I'll try selling them in my city first because it's easier. Hopefully this time I'll be successful at getting something done!! And hopefully I can squeeze in some sewing on the side. I've been meaning to finish a jacket for almost a year now, and I have a winter coat that's been incomplete for almost two years. I think things like dresses and housecoats would be much easier to sew though. I suppose I'll make whatever my schedule allows!

What are your plans for November?

Kind regards,

22 comments:

  1. Hm...it seems I haven't received your updates for a while, but then all your post showed up on my feed today...Weird. Anyway; I'm still going to say, that I'm sorry to hear about your struggles and the surgery, because it sucks anyway...I hope you'll be alright! ^^
    We're going to have a quiet month over here, there is not much to do and nothing to celebrate, but I guess, it's good to have some peace before the Christmas craziness hits us too...:)

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    1. It's good to hear from you! I've been having issues with blogs showing from my Bloglovin feed, it can be really frustrating. And thank you, I hope I'll be okay too. It's not like a usual laparoscopy, which I've had twice before, apparently with this surgery they can damage my intestine or my bladder. There's risks with every surgery, but hearing I might have a hole in my bladder really freaked me out lol.

      It's very nice to have a period of calm before the holidays. :) If I get a job in retail I'll be caught in the middle of all that crazy Christmas shopping lol!

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  2. I am sorry to hear about your struggles. Good for you for deciding what is best for your body. Good luck with the surgery and I hope you feel better soon!

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  3. My very best wishes for your surgery! ❤ I hope it will bring an end to the pain you've been suffering and the beginning of a wonderful new chapter in your life.

    Don't let any comments about children bother you. If there is one thing I've learnt, it's that someone, somewhere, will always be ready to judge you for the decisions you make, no matter what they are. I have one child and over the years have heard plenty of disapproval about having an "only child" and being "selfish" for not giving him siblings. Equally, people with lots of children are often the subject of mockery about "breeding". Just do what's right for you. That's all that counts. :)

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    1. Thank you so much! I try not to let people's ideas about motherhood bother me, especially since I've already taken measures against getting pregnant. I've found younger people don't really care, but my hairdresser who is a mother of teenagers called me "weird" for not wanting kids lol. I just think that's silly because women have the right to do whatever they want with their lives and their bodies, it's not up to other people.

      The idea of having an only child as being selfish is so silly. I've heard such comments in the past and it would always make my best friend - an only child - laugh hysterically. She was the nicest, most sincere and unspoiled kid you could ever meet. The idea that she would be over-loved or lonely was a ridiculous one, I mean, she had friends from school, why would she even need siblings? People are strange lol.

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  4. Kudos to you for doing exactly what you want to do with your own body! I have absolutely nothing but praise for you and your strength and power. It's badass to admit you don't want kids especially when people are always attacking young women with questions about when they will be having babies. My mother had a hysterectomy at about 30, and she says it was the best decision she ever made having struggled with that time of the month her entire life. I wish you a safe surgery and a speedy recovery.

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    1. Thank you Jennifer! It's surprising just how many women undergo a hysterectomy. Pretty much every woman in my family has had one. My mother had her hysterectomy at my age, which is funny because she kept telling me how I was too young to have one. I can't wait to see what it's like to not have pain and bleeding any more! I'm super excited. :)

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  5. I wish you all the very best for your surgery, Ms Ladyfair. I'm so glad you have found a new gynaecologist who listens to you, and this awful pain will soon be out of your life forever. Take good care of yourself, and I hope you're feeling a whole lot better really soon! ❤

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    1. Thank you so much! I had to go through five doctors before we made any progress with my treatment. I had a lot of different birth control pills thrown at me. Some doctors implied I was over-dramatizing my pain, which I think is a load of crap. I hope that my situation might help someone else out who's going through the same problem, because women with menorrhagia and endometriosis are often given the cold shoulder when it comes to treatment.

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  6. I am so sorry for all your pain, but I am happy to hear you are finally getting the help you need. Is it Endomitriosis? It seems to be a whole lot more common than previously known (no surprise, no-one really cared before...)

    And I am completely with you on the 'no kids'. I have never wanted any and have thought about getting my tubes tied many times. But I have a very normal and regular cycle, easy to track and such.

    Best of luck and take care!

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    1. Thanks Ms. Misantropia! It could be endomitriosis, it runs in my family. I discussed the possibility of endometriosis with two doctos and I underwent two separate laparoscopies. The first one yielded only a small amount of endometrial tissue and the second laparoscopy found nothing. These results were frustrating because the doctors made it sound like I was over-exaggerating, but endometrial tissue can be found in other places than just the uterus. Either way, the doctors didn't seem to care. The pain has always started in the belly button and ran straight down, I heard there's something like a nerve there, so I wonder if my tilted uterus is just pushing on it funky, but it's like having a charley horse only in the abdomen. D:

      If I had known I was going to have my uterus removed I wouldn't have bothered with my tubes lol, I only had them done a year ago! It's practically the same procedure. It's nice to know there are so many women who don't want children and speak proudly of their decision. We've come so far from the years when all that was expected of women was to procreate. It's really empowering to take back our bodies and make decisions for ourselves! :)

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    2. It makes me firey with fury hearing about doctors that still don't seem to care about "female" pain, and who don't take it seriously! I would like to know what they would say to a man that had their organs grow together! And don't get me started on the "procreating" business...! I will be glad when I'm in the earth and don't have to feel guilty about leaving anybody behind to fend for themselves in this world.

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  7. Sweet dear, with all my heart, you have my complete and total understanding and support. Amongst the many chronic illnesses I battle, one finds endometriosis, which has caused me horrific problems for many years now and required multiple surgeries. It's almost certain that I will need a hysterectomy and double oophorectomy one day, but I've been buying a bit more time on that front (since June 2013) through the use of a rather heavy (and staggeringly expensive) drug called Lupron Depot, which is not without its many side effects and potential long term problems, but it does offer me a degree of help (I don't believe I would have been in good enough health to have opened my Etsy shop, for example, this year without), so I'll likely stay on for a while longer (it's hard to predict how long though).

    Even before I had endo though (or was diagnosed with it, I suspect I've had it nearly as long as I've been menstruating), that time of the month was a massive nightmare for me stretching back to my first periods at age 11. Much like yourself, debilitating pain, days or more in bed, severe bleeding and complications, and later on as I became chronically ill, flare-ups with many of my other conditions that would result in me being virtually unable to do anything but be in the rest room or on bed rest for anywhere from twelve to eighteen+ days each month. That med, Lupron Depot, puts your body into a chemically induced state that is similar to menopause (complete with nearly all the usual menopause symptoms, though I do take two other meds to help counterbalance them, which they do to a degree) and as a result I don't get a period any more (if/when I go off it, it will return after about a month, I'm told), which has been nothing short of life changing. In fact, that benefit more than the (bit of) pain/symptom relief for my endo that I get has made the side effects and risks of it worth it so far.

    Anyhooo, I don't want to seem like I'm stealing the spotlight here, I just truly wanted to let you know that I understand and support your choice 100%. It's awesome that you have gyno who "gets it" so much and is totally okay with preforming this procedure. Unfortunately a lot will not do so on a young woman these days, no matter the degree of suffering and poor quality of life she's dealing with because of her gynecological issues. With all my heart I wish you a swift, problem free recovery and want you to know that I'm always here if you need someone to talk to about this topic or anything, honey.

    Endless hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* Yes, endo tissue can definitely be found in places outside of the uterus. For me, one of my worst hit areas, which I have to have "cleaned out" (scar and fresh endo tissue surgically removed) periodically is my intestines.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your experience, Jessica! I'm sorry that you've endured so much pain but I'm glad that you found a medication that has helped you, even if it does happen to simulate menopause. I was never offered any drug other than birth control and a handful of pain killers. At one point I was abusing codeine because it never seemed like it was working. It really stressed my family out when they learned I was taking pain killer cocktails. Unfortunately I was also mixing them with alcohol because at the time I was battling depression, so it was just a huge mess. I would have liked to try something like lupron depot but it was never even mentioned. I was, however, offered a psychological evaluation, just in case the pain was all in my head.

      I've had to endure half of my life in debilitating pain and I know that I'm not the only one. I read an article that described a young woman going through the same problems, she struggled for years to find a doctor who would listen and many turned her away before she finally found someone willing to do a hysterectomy. Regardless of our age, if we're suffering and medications aren't cutting it, then we deserve to be given other options. I remember one gyno telling me at 25 that I might want children, even though I protested that I didn't. My defense was that losing my ability to procreate would be well worth the sacrifice. If I had to choose between kids that I don't want or a life without pain, which would make more sense? It still wasn't enough for her. Even though I told her I'm an adult, I'm beyond the age of consent and drinking age, I can buy lottery tickets, I'm already planning my wedding and have nearly finished university; how can anyone question what I want to do with my life and my body? I'm a grown woman! I could maybe understand if I had been 19, but 25?! Doctors are reluctant to go through with such a procedure because they've had women in the past who regret getting it done, but why should I be denied an operation that could truly help me just because some other chick didn't consider the consequences of a hysterectomy? Its ridiculous. It's like a tattoo artist saying, "are you sure you want a skull and rose tattoo, because this other chick got it done and hated it." Like what the hell, we're not all the same person!

      I know that there could be side effects from this procedure. I struggle with a handful of problems with my immune system, so it'll probably take twice as long for me to recover, but it is so worth it!

      Thank you for your support and sharing your story with me! It's wonderful to know that I'm not alone. :)

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  8. I'm so sorry you've had to endure pain like that. I have normal menstrual pain and the warrior is always telling me to stay home when it happens. I can't even imagine what it's done to you. So, congratulations on the surgery. It's nice for you to have found someone who gives their younger patients agency. You're a full grown adult and should be treated as such, consequences and all. I mean if you had tumor in your breast, would the doctors just leave it because "someday" you might need to nurse a child? No. It threatens your health. I thought doctors took an oath that said "First, do no harm." If you're continually in pain, it harms you. If to take away the pain would require a hysterectomy and you wanted it but were denied it, it harms you - your ability to work, your ability to interact with others, your ability to enjoy life right now. Those doctors are living in a what-if world, imposing their values on you, and I'm sorry. I'm happy for the forthcoming relief from your pain, though. Cheers!

    Also, I love the Christmas season. I really like the lights and decor and all. In Southern California (though I now live in Northern CA), we have trolleys that take us around town to look at all the lights. It's my favorite activity - I think because it feels like everyone is jolly. So, I hope you enjoy this year immensely: being cozy with loved ones, the twinkling lights in the midst of dark days, the smell of snow and pine, goodwill to all.

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    1. Thank you! :) I like how you call him the warrior lol. And you're exactly right, these doctors are imposing their values on me (and other women in my situation). I had a male doctor and he didn't really care either way because he just wanted to treat my symptoms, but the female doctors would often tell me that "I'll regret not having kids." It's irritating to hear that because you can't speak for someone else and how they'll feel when you're not that person.

      My uncle lives in northern California! He loves it there! Although I've never been I'd like to visit CA someday. That trolley ride sounds wonderful! I bet it's gorgeous. I envy your winters, I hear they're pretty mild. They say winter this year will be awful in Southern Ontario, but the bad weather usually comes in January and February for us. Regardless, I'm still excited for the holidays. I'm already working on a bunch of Christmas crafts and listening to funky 40's and 50's Christmas songs!

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  9. I agree with Ms. Misantropia about doctors frequently being complete assholes when it comes to female issues.
    I mean, if you do suffer all through the month with chronical pain, why should you keep carrying? It is completely insane!
    Very happy to hear you finally found a solution for your problem. I am sure your surgery will be ok, and wish you the best of the convalescences!

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    1. Thank you Violette! I'm very happy to be having this surgery. It would be nice to see a change in the way doctors handle female issues, I'm not entirely sure why they're so flippant about it, but I believe it may have something to do with the way doctors are taught nowadays. I remember my professor told me about his friend, a medical student, who was told that we aren't "patients" but "customers". That's exactly what's going on in our dentists' and doctors' offices. There's no longer much of an emphasis on creating a good patient/doctor relationship, they just try to treat your symptoms and get you out the door. Many doctors appear to be reluctant to refer patients to a specialist any more, which I'm sure has some sort of reason, but I'd love to know why that is and who gets a say in it. My mom thinks it my be related to the government in some way, cracking down on people misusing referrals. Either way, it really makes things difficult for people seeking help, whether it's related to the uterus or not!

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  10. I am very sorry to hear that, but I am glad to see you know what is best for your body and your gyno knew exactly what you wanted lol. Take good care and I hope you're feeling better :)

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    1. Thank you Katarina!! I'm hoping for a speedy recovery. :)

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