Monday, 26 November 2012

The Past Three Months

Anyone who knows me could tell you that I'm always the first to catch someones cold, I'm always in line for the next sickness bug, and to be frank, generally quite lame at remaining in full health. My boyfriend Jim has even said that if I was a dog they would have put me down by now! Haha

In August this year, my body decided that my long run of good health was to come to an end (in fact I don't even remember catching a cold this year) and decided to tell me by bleeding when I went for a pee wee herman. Having spoken to NHS Direct, they advised me to go to the out of hours surgery at the hospital in 15 minutes time. After running around the hospital thinking I was going to bump into Bowie in this Labrynth, I finally found the correct department, and was greeted by a male doctor.  I lay on the examination table, whilst he prodded and poked at me, and having tested the urine sample he came to the conclusions it was 'Kidney Stones' in a European accent.

Now this may not mean something to everyone, but I couldn't help but laugh. All I could think of was the relief that it was nothing more sinister, and  Joey in Friends when he had Kidney Stones!

Still, how bad could it be? He gave me some tablets and said to give it a week.

So I gave it a week and no luck, still pink herman, and still in pain. So I visited my own GP for further advice. He took another urine sample and booked me in for an ultrasound scan. I carried on taking the tablets for a further week whilst I waited for the scan. The scan was very straight forward and quick, with the results to be with my GP in another weeks time.

Again I played the waiting game, and went back to my GP. He greeted me with the information that I did not have Kidney Stones, however, he had noticed a growth on my ovary which he wanted to investigate. This did worry me to say the least. I left the office, having given another urine sample, to ensure there was no sign of infection that had been missed on the previous two tests, and another date for another scan.

My urine sample apparently leaked (unlucky the person who had to clean that up) on the way to the hospital to be screened, so I had to do another. This one was lost. So I did another.  By this time I thought they were just taking the piss (budum dum)

I was getting good at the waiting game by then, and went for my internal scan. This time, I was met by a lady and a work experience girl who was going to 'have a go after'. Now I'm not being crass, but I decide who gets to have a go, and I decided she wasn't going to have one. Not because I don't want her to learn the job, but it was a fairly traumatic and long winded process, and to go through it twice in one afternoon was definitely not going to happen.

So the results are in - 4cm Cyst on left ovary. What should I do? Carry on taking the painkillers and sitting with a hot water bottle all day. Joy. I did however get an appointment to see a specialist in December...3 months later.

So the days turned into weeks, and weeks into months. I missed a friends wedding, my European travels, and my friends hen night that I had planned and arranged. I missed work, friends and real life. Whatever this was inside me, was changing my life, and I couldn't deal with it. The agonising pain saw me curl up in a ball on the floor in tears more that once, and made me so down and fed up.

I decided to pay for a private consultation, which sped up the process from a 3 month wait to a 2 day wait. It set me back a pretty penny, but was worth it. After enduring another internal examination and scan, my consultant confirmed that the cyst had gone from my left ovary, but he could now see a couple of small ones on my right ovary. He said that this didn't concern him, however, he thought the diagnosis was Endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a disease whereby the cells from the uterus somehow detach and become attached to other organs within the body. Put simply, they continue the monthly cycle and bleed, however, there is no where for the blood to go, which in turn can cause scar tissue and pressure on organs. It is extremely common, but at the same time, not well known about. There is no known cause, and no cure.

The thing with this illness is that it can only be diagnosed through invasive surgery. So I am now waiting for my op, to determine whether or not I am one of the millons of women who suffer this disease.

I am worried for two reasons -
1- If I have it I will need surgery to have the tissue removed, and it can affect fertility.
2 - If I don't have it, what do I have? Why am I in so much pain? and When will this end?

Through the past 3 months, Jim has been my rock. He has put up with everything I've thrown at him, taking me to numerous hospital appointments, and always being there when I need him. I am so thankful for his kindness, generosity and love.

I returned to work after 3 months signed off, on a part time basis, working 3 hours per day. 863 emails awaited me, along with wonderfully supportive friends whom I had missed.  On the Tuesday night, my body decided to send me another message, by making the room wobble, passing out, and when coming round, feeling as though my limbs were 100lbs each. Again, Jim was there for me, rushing home and missing out on a night up the pub. I'm not only thankful to Jim, but to the lady paramedic who came to the house (I'm not so thankful for the blue flashing lights, I just hope the neighbours didn't see)!

After returning to work for 9 hours, I was signed off again, with my GP saying that my blood pressure was low even for me. So here I am again, hot water bottle in tow.

Now its December this weekend, and I have 9 sleeps to go until the surgery. I am worried, for those two reasons, but am also hopeful that a true diagnosis may be on the cards. 

Thank you for reading my story so far....