Labelling My Condition – Endometriosis

A personal statement, in regards to my general health

Labelling My Condition – Endometriosis

Pre operation and post operation.

Shortly afterwards I was placed on a drip.

The start of this week has been the roughest I’ve faced in this recent chapter of my life. Aiming to remove a begin lump in my uterus, in theatre consultants discovered extensive Endometriosis tissue, the removal of which left me in a world of pain, unable to stomach food and doped up on a cocktail of morphine and other drugs. 

I have so much respect for the tremendous staff at BMI Droitwich Hospital for their expertise and care. Those who wiped away my tears, sat with me through the night when I was at my worst and made me laugh when I needed it most. Aside from now walking around like an old woman (blame the stiches) I’m equally lucky to have an incredibly supportive family who’ve been nursing me back to health since my hospital discharge.

A final point for all my women in arms; DON’T suffer in silence, DON’T take no for an answer and DON’T ever ignore your body. Endometriosis is notorious for being side-lined by health professionals; don’t be a muppet like me, too scared to rock the boat.

After years of suffering, I finally have a diagnosis. Here’s to a future where I can label my condition, access support groups and, now, better understand myself.

With love xx

Edit: I’ve been overwhelmed with positive well-wishers and messages. Thank you. I’m heavily contemplating writing a separate blog post on how I got to this point. Not necessarily a mini-saga (“it all started when I was 12 years old…”) but a piece covering the last few months. Despite all the pain, there have been a couple of lighter moments that it would be equally nice to share. Stay tuned. x

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Working From Home, Day 330: The Cat Hates Me

This one goes out to everyone powering through a seemingly unending home working setup, whilst having to share with others who are perhaps less understanding.

Yes, I’m talking about our pets.

It starts innocently enough, like this:

Discovering that the traditional ‘chair hop’ approach wasn’t getting perhaps the desired result, Squeak starts trying on some new moves. Well, I say new moves, it involves her sticking her bum in my face and using my torso as a multi-level way to easily climb down.

Then all hell breaks loose.

This continuously carries on until, weeks and weeks later, I’m tipped over the edge of breaking point.

She’s totally the only reason I’ve started taking to wearing a dressing gown around the house all day. Nope, sure as heck nothing to do with anything else, I’m as sane as a…drain?

(Oh, and before you ask, I have no idea what I say at the end either. Let’s just settle with ‘generic old woman grumblings’.)

So, to ensure any work gets done we’re had to reach an uneasy compromise. It looks something like this.

FYI if anyone is on the receiving end of a questionable email or ‘jdfsklfdivl’ (or similar); the cat made me do it.

That said, I am becoming increasingly aware of how much sensitive information my cat has access to.

She’s also taken to passing judgement it, too.

If looks could provide constructive feedback…

As home working is likely to be a major factor in working life both now and possibly into the longer term, Squeak and I are just going to have to work things out between us. Not that I’m comparing a family pet to that of a human child, but I’ve discovered this tactic of distraction (using a personal laptop) works surprisingly well.

(Just sayin’)

And if all else fails? Well, if you can’t beat them…

…Turn them into free blog/social media content.

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London Recalling: The Throwback-set

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there” – L.P. Hartley

Tower Bridge

A year ago today, I returned from a London city break and published my first post. I’d spent a year living in the UK capital, so for me it marked a refresh of the best bits of city-living, including art galleries, theatre performances and catching up with old friends.

Days after my return I was left encumbered, battling a mystery illness. Those following weeks I pressed on the best I could, putting it down as another one of those viruses which circulate in densely populated environments. A year later I’m no closer knowing what struck me down; we all have our theories.

Back then, my friends and I had whimsically noted the high-adoption of face coverings being worn by the predominantly Asian tourist base. We mused on the foreign illness that was gripping other continents, but to comprehend the possibility that our own country could already be rife with disease was a step too far. We were better than that, we were British. Instead, we continued to pack ourselves into dense sweats to watch live music, feasted in noisy restaurants and embraced fondly.

If only we’d known.

So, with perhaps a naively romanticised view of what were truly the last days of normality (late January 2020), here are all four parts of London Recalling.

London Recalling – the Mini-Series

Part One – Straight Lesbians, Like Us

Part Two – The Creative’s Curse

Part Three – Solo Sell-Outs

Part Four – Wapping Old Stairs

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Cheers To The Happy Couple

For the lockdown marriage of one of my mates (remember Woman on The Verge of a Birthday¬†Breakdown?) the groom’s sister asked everyone to record a video message to send to the happy couple.

“Sure!” I thought, “this’ll be easy. I can be classy and endearing at the same time, that’s totally me!”

Then again, this is also me:

Several glasses of prosecco down (you’ve got to get into the party vibes with this sort of thing), I set up my phone and filmed this.

“I mean, it’s something,” I mused whilst watching it back. “Not sure what that something is, but it’s that. Hmm, maybe I’ll do a second take, just in case.”

And then the cat came along…

It was a tough call between the two but ultimately I knew which one I was going to send over.

Yes, I sent the cat video.

(Jess, I hope you and Dave had a lovely wedding day. See you on the other side when we can properly celebrate. x)

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Stranger Things Have Happened

For anyone thinking things only got weird in March 2020, here is a street performer in Exeter I filmed a week prior to the first lockdown in Britain.

Ye-ep.

Still, could be worse…

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Be More Lewis

I found this old video clip on my phone, recorded off an episode of the Channel Four docu-dating show The Undateables.

For those less familiar, the show helps people with disabilities find romance (those who tend to struggle through traditional methods). I hate the title of the show, but like its delivery.

Even though I recorded it back in early March 2020, prior to the C word kicking off, re-watching it cheered me up. So wonderfully British.

I think we all need a bit of a Lewis perspective in our lives.

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Have a Merry (Nicolas Cage and/or Lobster Themed) Christmas!

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to everyone who reads MHAM. regardless of faith, 2020 has been a rough year for absolutely everyone, I wish you all a peaceful time with family and chocolate and Nicolas Cage.

(Things may be terrible, but now they’re terribly wonderful.)

Oh, here’s also a highly relatable photo I took of a shop window from three years back (I’m going to guess it was Ted Baker).

So go on, stuff your face with lobster too. You’re welcome again, have it on me (the enjoyment of the photo that is, I’m not a free-for-all lobster bar or anything).

I’ll be back with new content in the new year. In the meantime, there’s always my Contents of wonderful blog posts with plenty of material dating right back to 2014! (Alright, no need to roll your eyes.)

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2020 Christmas, The Cobbled Together Edit

It’s beginning to look like a Christmas coffee-shop, evvverywhere you go…

Right, so this is a thing I do every Christmas. Granted, I’m usually doing it from the comfort of my own home or a toasty coffee shop someplace, but this year I find myself typing away amidst a heated debate over the economic and infrastructural viability of electric vehicles by 2030. What can I say, my family know to get into the festive spirit (I give it 5 minutes before Mumma B throws in the inevitable “but where will I be able to have a sit down coffee?” into the mix).

In between lockdowns, childhood-living throwbacks (I’m now 28…) and a cat that’s perpetually shoving her bum in my face, I’ve managed to squeeze in a couple of socially distanced trips out and about.

Now, I wasn’t too sure if I’d find the same level of high-quality merchandise as in previous years but oh no, the British high street really has not disappointed! With shops in England not reopening until 2nd December (after a month of enforced closure), I’ve come back into a world where it literally feels like a Christmas bomb has gone off.

I’ve also been busy celebrating my annual fire and cake day.

All things considered, this 2020 Christmas post is gonna make like it’s nature-sake and try and pull together something half-decent in the face of something totally pants.

2020 Christmas, The Cobbled Together Edit

(The cat made me do it.)

First, this inspired piece:

Hmm, getting disturbing flashbacks from my childhood. Can’t begin to think why…

Anyway, with that surreal moment out of the way, the only way is up! Mind, this woman would probably disagree; in her life things in life aren’t going up at all…

…but then she’s trapped in a TV box selling screen sponges. Unsurprising spoilers, I watched her try to sell me one for far too long.

Thing is, often there’s no point in trying to pitch TV channel cr*p to me. Oh no, this lady likes her products to come via the far East. Why? Well for one significantly cheaper and two, I like the way they tell you straight exactly what it is you’re buying.

For the benefit of doubt, it’s an electrical facial cleansing device.

Facial Cleansing Brush Devices Electric Face Cleanser Silicone Waterproof Vibrating  Face Skin Pore Deep Washing Massage Brush|Powered Facial Cleansing Devices|  - AliExpress

Still waiting on getting the same levels of satisfaction as this woman (“I’ll have what she’s having”).

Reindeers seem to be in this season (I know, proper shocker there) and with it there are plenty of very tasteful items one can buy. Take for example this ornament, with bothersome proportions.

I wondered whether it was in part due to its country of manufacture, Mumma B had a slight go at me and I shoved the ornament in her face. Now, it’s debatable whether the strength of my argument won out, or the aggression of me shoving a lump of metal into her personal space, but she caved in and agreed with me.

You can also buy his and hers reindeer decorations, with his a little more battle worn than hers.

Moral of the story? Don’t try it on with identical twins, even if you are all glitter and sparkles.

More joy for these two…

At ¬£130 each, I think we best leave them to it. Don’t see either of them heading off anytime soon.

I decided a little while back to turn a blind eye to certain things (around the time I discovered even the social distancing signs couldn’t keep a social distance).

Either way, this guy isn’t taking any chances.

Elastic strap over the eye is a new one but can’t say I blame them. It’s a look.

If you ask me, these puddings on legs should exercise social distancing every year. They may look cute, but with faces like that you just know they’re the type to feature in a Christmas-themed slasher movie.

Whoops! Accidental selfie!

At least I’m sticking to the rules…oh hey! There’s a mystic snail over here! Tell me something insightful mystic snail.

So, unsurprisingly I’d been around the shops for a little while by this point and it was starting to show. Also no closer to discovering that special something for the ones I love (the mystic snail was no help at all).

(“Ma! They’ve got oven gloves!”)

So I decided to stop out for another hot drink. Well, it had been an hour since the last one and this coffee shop was incredibly accommodating of the need to keep people a safe distance apart.

I tell you what, I could get very used to this idea of having a whole coffee shop to myself.

Five trillion hours later, I’d consumed enough caffeine to bust moves like this:

Taking the time out reminded me the true spirit of the festive season. That’s right, religious toast.

I tried explaining the Christmas story to Squeak the cat, but again I think the sentiment was somewhat lost on her.

“What the fudge y’all doing with these fabric samples anyway?”

Still, better reaction than her sulky brother, who seems to think he’s the main present this year.

Back to present shopping, this:

Exactly, couldn’t think of a tag line either.

Also, I’m pretty sure I had a dream featuring this.

Christmas polar bear in a chimney(?), drinking flashing beer and yelling at me “SWITCH ON MY LIGHTS!”? Yep, seems pretty normal to me. About as normal as being confronted with this whilst stood in the till point queue.

Hi there…can I help you with something? (Why isn’t this queue moving quicker already?)

If there’s one thing I’ve come across in recent weeks that perfectly sums up the sentiment around this year, it’s this ornament:

Yep, it has certainly been different to the usual, but it’s time to rocket 2020 up into the clouds and into space. When all is said and done, no one will ever want to remember or revisit this year, let alone hang it on their trees. I mean, what nutter would be seen dead buying up quantities of these?

“Mum! Do you think these are included in the three for two offer?”

Cheeky Bennett Bonus!

Over the course of writing this post, Squeak the cat formed a strong liking of the Bongo Cat YouTube channel. As cute as this sounds, her wanting a front row seat created a number of challenges in terms of the whole getting anything done.

Bongo Cat Beebo (channel creator) or BTS, if you are listening my cat wanted me to say she’s a massive fan.

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A Very 2020 Take on the 1974 UK General Election

While the rest of the country flipped out over Covid for the billionth time that year, my sister and I chose to spend one particular Saturday night watching the high-quality coverage of the 1974 General Election.

No, I’m not joking.

One day we’ll look back on things like this and go, “yes, we really were living life to the best when in our 20s.”

(By the way, we shouted “PHONE!” When the phone was heard ringing in the studio. It’s not quite audible on the playback and I’d hate my reputation to be damaged by this one element.)

Spoilers: Harold Wilson of the Labour Part won a majority of three seats and took over from Ted Heath’s Conservative-led government (I may have Googled that – even I couldn’t face staying up until 12:45am).

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Born on This Day: Lin Biao, Deputy Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party

Happy birthday Lin Biao! Born 5th December 1907

Lin Biao was the Deputy Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party from 1966 until 1971 and was instrumental in laying the foundations for Mao Zedong’s Cult of Personality (fuelled by “The Little Red Book”). This Cult became a dominant feature underpinning the Cultural Revolution of 1966-76.

Ironically, the Cult and Lin’s subsequent rise in power deeply unsettled Chairman Mao, in fact Lin would later face severe criticism from within the ruling Communist Party for being the sole cause behind the reckless cultural destruction inflicted by the youthful Red Army in the 1960s.

By 1971 Lin had fallen from favour, putting him and close supporters at risk. After an alleged assassination attempt on Mao failed, Lin was in the process of fleeing China that same year when his plane crashed just off the Russian border, killing all those on board (including his family). It was reported nationally at the time that this was due to his plane running out of fuel, however due to the nature of Lin’s political decline and the secrecy of the Communist state, the true cause of death is still speculated to this day.

Huh, now we know. So, tune in next year for another edition of “Born on this Day”!

(Oh, and happy birthday to me too.)

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