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Musings, Women's Issues

The Missed Period

October 9, 2018

Wouldn’t that be a hilarious title for one of those Biff and Kipper books?

My period was due on the 22nd of September.. I know this because I have a cute little app that keeps track of my cycle with love hearts and a singing bluebird. I was pissed off as I was due to fly to Lisbon that very day with my gals for a two night mini break which we try to do yearly (we’ve done it twice).

I used up some of my precious case weight with pads and tampons and waddled to the airport with a giant in-case-of-a-sudden-haemorrhage maxi pad in my size 16 period knickers. I spent the weekend changing pads, checking pads, checking apps and wondering where the feck it had got to.

Eight days later and I did a test… he had a vasectomy but I googled and seemingly many the baby are born when the tubes reattach or something. ‘I’ll fucking kill him if his tubes regenerated …what an asshole!’ I said aloud to the offending test. The first line appeared to let me know the test was working and my next thought was ‘the bloody legislation hasn’t even gone through!’ 

Two minutes later and no second line.. ‘so what does it all mean?’  I wailed to Ossie later, medicinal wine in hand… ‘I’m fucking menopausal.. that’s it!.. Jesus I’m burning up.. is my face red?? I’m having a hot flush… I’m having some fast track menopause that’ll last a week and then I’ll be done.’  I was also experiencing a gross prickly skin feeling like bad goosebumps… a quick google and I diagnosed myself peri-menopausal. Other side effects are memory loss… I have that….weight gain… yes (nothing to do with the pure carb and wine diet I’ve been on lately.

I mistakenly told many people in work about my late period which by then was 15 days (this may come as a shock… but I have no filter).          I was wearing white pants in a bid to entice the bastard out.

I met Margaret for lunch and she helpfully told me about something she’d just read online about false negatives and that she’d send on the link… there was a hint of glee in her voice. She then proceeded to tell me how when she was pregnant with her daughter that two tests and a drs visit proved negative. If one more person said.. maybe you’ll have your girl I was going to get violent. I bought another pregnancy test and 6 boxes of menopause plus vitamins. The test was negative again but I made a doctors appointment to be sure to be sure.

I went in clutching my wee sample and told my doctor that *gasp* *shock* *horror* I was 17 days late!!!! She laughed at my panic and said that it was very normal and that many the woman had sat in front of her with the same problem. She checked my wee and took a heartbeat too long to tell me it was negative.. ‘you’re sure I’m not going to be one of those girls that goes through a whole pregnancy unaware before giving birth in a toilet while straining for what I thought to be a problematic dump?    No… definitely not pregnant.

‘So…. I’m menopausal’ I sighed resignedly and produced my vitamins from my handbag. ‘Whoa’ she said… ‘you need to be without a period for two years before we’d consider menopause.’ 

‘But I’ve all these vitamins’ I said a little teary… calling on that moment with Julia Roberts in the snooty clothes store in Pretty Woman for emotional inspiration.

The doctor explained that a period is a strange creature that sometimes decides to protect us from it’s carnage. Mine, we decided wanted me to have a carefree time in Lisbon… gallivanting in white trousers on roller skates. It didn’t realise that it’s absence was far more detrimental.

I got home from the doctors…. went to the toilet and there it was! Like the final scene from Are You There God it’s Me Margaret (if I remember it correctly).

I have decided that my period is sentient…. a lying, sadistic man… I have named it Brett.

Ugggh and I still have to return those vitamins and pretend they were for my Mam who has now passed through menopause and wants to switch them for glucosamine or something.

All new vitamin suggestions welcome.

 

Motherhood, Musings, Women's Issues

hospital bag

May 25, 2015

When people approach me in work with their maternity hospital lists (it’s a large chemist in case that needs explaining), it’s all I can do to keep a straight face…. so much useless shit and euphemisms. Let me walk you through some of the current recommended items for a pregnant lady’s hospital bag and explain the reality.               If you are currently expecting your first child, stop reading immediately, there is nothing to see here, these are not the droids you’re looking for.

sat 10 25 02Loose fitting nightdress or an old long t-shirt; Good advice indeed. Many deluded girls buy beautiful, expensive pyjamas with visions of a 1950s movie where they will be handed a 6 month old child after 2 pushes and smile radiantly at their partner without creasing their silk nighties. I have previously mentioned the story of my Mam destroying her elegant nightdress after a vigorous enema when labouring on me (always thrown in my face in an argument). The reality is that after birth your nightdress is fit for a Damien Hirst exhibition or an incineration. There will be all kinds of body fluids on it… blood, sweat, vernix, vomit and if you’re very unlucky like my Mam, your own shite. I recommend wearing your partner’s favourite t-shirt.

 

Womens-Disposable-Briefs-for-Heavy-Incontinence-G88080FRSPDisposable underwear and maternity pads; again, good advice. I have had many ladies ask for maternity pads and visibly flinch when they see the ginormity of them and proceed to ask where the regular maxi pads are. How can I explain without scaring them that they will bleed like a stuck pig (I’ve never understood this expression and I am definitely not googling it) and it’s not like a regular period bleed, it’s a years worth of periods in a couple of weeks. Good luck switching one pad for the next, a game of roulette in itself. My post-baby bed wear has always consisted of disposable pants made sexier with a naval to base of spine pad and a giant nursing bra stuffed with breast pads. Nothing sexier than a lady who has just given birth, I may pitch a calender idea.

 

ar4950Cotton wool: This causes a lot of concern for new parents. They are being told by every parenting blog and health professional to stock up on cotton wool balls. They’re not entirely sure why but they know that these along with Vaseline are mandatory when having a baby. My seasoned sister told me to get wipes but I was afraid and opted for the cotton wool balls. The nurses have some serious issues with wipes (too 21st century and easy to use) and go Ratched on you if they see you with them. You are “encouraged” to procure cooled, boiled water and cotton wool to clean the baby’s bum. It proved so stressful and time-consuming that on baby 2 and 3 , I’d gotten brave. If they approached with a scornful eye on my wipes, I’d counter quickly with “he’s not my first”. This seemed to sate them and I’d already earned major nursey points by breast-feeding (well done Mum!… gotta love the patronising). You also had to use cotton wool and water for bathing the baby and I was itching to get at them with some Johnsons but waited till home as I didn’t want to push my luck and have social services arrive at the hospital for my flagrant disregard for 1960s midwifery.

 Hair bobbins and brush.. “yes I spent all three of my labours brushing my hair and trying out new hairstyles, I actually learnt how to french plait and fishtail”… said no mother ever!

 

Now to the ridiculous….

 

Massage oil or lotion for if you would like to be massaged during labour.

Young pregnant woman enjoying in spa treatment. perineum_massage_oilI wanted to punch my husband in the face if he accidentally brushed off my leg but to each their own. Speaking of massage, in the weeks before birth it is recommended to massage your perineum which involves knuckles and vaginas and is supposed to help prevent an episiotomy. My enormous girth prevented me from being physically able to do this and it was not something I was willing to ask for outside help on as I already felt like a big, unsexy lump and that would feel like rubbing salt into the would (kinda literally). Also if I’m using the massage card, I ‘d rather my feet or lower back but I did have a serious episiotomy so perhaps I should have given the unpleasantness a try.

 

Snacks and drinks; toast-tea-17767981I cannot believe that any woman could think of food while a watermelon is making it’s torturous way through her body with a spectacular exit strategy. There is nothing on earth like the tea and toast you receive when all is done but during the ordeal I’m too busy vomiting down the front of my sodden nightie, rabid on gas and air and trying to ignore the 6 million tubes I have inserted into every orifice to think about an egg salad sandwich. It was a joy however to watch my husband snack on Mars bars and play angry birds on his phone while giving my leg an occasional sympathetic squeeze.

 Things to help you relax or pass the time, such as a CD you have made… No, just no. I am not bringing my baby into the world with knobby, pretentious music. Will you have me suppress my screams like Katie Holmes, have candles lit, whale music playing and a doula? I can’t, I’d be scarlet for myself, I’m too Irish. I like to spend the downtime whinging and my third was born to the sound of farting. It was uncontrollable and shocking but I wasn’t apologising. This explains a lot as Rian does seem soothed by gassy noises.

 

Arnica cream. Although there’s no conclusive evidence that it works, some women report that arnica cream helps to reduce the bruising and helps the healing process. Don’t apply the cream to broken skin. I don’t understand this… where do you suggest I apply it… I’m broken … everywhere.

 

A water spray for your face to cool you down, ha, it’s not my face that needs cooling but I suppose it would prove a hard marketing campaign for cooling your “ring of fire” although I know a catchy jingle.

rs_634x1024-150502102842-634.kate-william.cm.5215A going-home outfit; Kate Middleton has set the bar high for this one. Maybe I’m a freak but I was still fat for months after having a baby so the maternity clothes I arrive in fit me quite snugly on the way out, normally leggings and a long shapeless top… come to think of it, 2 years later I’m still wearing that particular uniform. Unfortunately there wasn’t a hairdresser/ make-up artist/ stylist available in the Rotunda and I certainly wouldn’t have worn a lemon dress for varied reasons (partly because yellow makes me look washy and mostly because it’s not conducive for hiding haemorrhages).

So, when packing for the hospital all you need are a couple of nasty old t-shirts, huge pads (for everywhere), leggings, wipes and a birthing partner to abuse horribly. All the rest are bells and whistles designed to distract you from the messy task in hand. I’m not forgetting the baby bag but that’s full of sensible stuff and doesn’t warrant a slagging. I have concentrated on the negative aspects of birth but anyone who knows me, knows I actually love labour, the last part when you see your little creation for the first time, it’s a feeling like no other and the unfathomable horror that got you to that point blurs and fades.

65984_436518371866_3053918_n 204786_10150149452923138_3984370_o 704423_10151233565723138_605851805_o

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Musings, Women's Issues

Fendi Number Two

April 30, 2015

I promised a follow up to fendi fanny so here it is; warts and all (bad choice of words)…

The vaginal cliffhanger left off when I was two days from hospital release.

Hospitals are obsessed with bowel movements; I first encountered this on baby number 1. The nurses had me tormented asking if my bowels had opened… a phrase I find way too graphic and that’s coming from someone who owns a book called I ♥ poo106100142199

The same happened on day 3 after my pelvic floor and vaginal rejuvenation surgery. I was ensconced in my hospital bed making my way through episode after episode of Orange is the New Black when a nurse asked if I’d gone yet? I answered no and made a sheepish face feeling ashamed that I’d failed a test I didn’t know I had to take. That evening I got given some Senokot.  After dinner, I had some visitors and they had to open a window as the gas I was omitting became toxic. One visitor who will not be named took the opportunity to unload in my private toilet. An alarm must have sounded because a nurse came in all excited, scrunched up her nose and asked if I’d gone. “No“, I said, “it was her”… pointing at the scarlet perpetrator.

Kelkin-landing-Prune-JuiceThe next day the nurses got more persistent and told me I should start to walk..Duphalac made an appearance at this point and prune juice was called for. I walked and walked but nothing. At this point I was getting messages of support, even my friend Orla in Australia wished a torpedo-style poo on me. It worked; a pain free missile. I left the bathroom delighted with myself only to be struck with a shooting pain all down my right side, particularly in my neck. I pushed the buzzer and a nurse called for someone to do an echo. They also took blood… a few times. I was put on oxygen and at that point my friend Aine decided to visit. I laughed at her shocked face, she almost dropped the grapes and all she could say was “babes…? babes?“. I had to explain that it wasn’t the operation but the poo; she’s known me 35 years so that seemed normal enough to her and we got on with organising our elusive night out that’s been in the planning stages for five years as my oxygen machine gurgled in the background.

The next day was Friday the 13th and instead of being discharged, I was moved from the sanctuary of my lovely private room to a semi one that had 4 elderly ladies sharing with me. They were all hooked up to crazy machines and I was told this was the cardiology ward. My gynae came to visit and asked why I was misbehaving in his twinkly almost sexy way and I cried. A young flirty guy came with a wheelchair and said he was bringing me for tests. I was brought to a room with a scary machine and told they were going to inject me with some blue dye to check my lungs. It was explained that it would feel weird, I’d have a metallic taste in my mouth and I’d feel like I peed my pants… fab. That was done and when they took me out of the machine I asked if my arm should hurt so much? The technicians looked confused and felt it, then explained that the dye had leaked. For fuck sake, I now had one arm that looked like a body builders. Back to my bed and I bonded with the ladies only for a doctor to arrive and tell me he was going to have to take some arterial blood gases… golden_girlsIt was only as he closed the curtain and I saw Blanche glance nervously at Rose that I started to fret. As the needle entered a vein in my wrist I started to sweat… my jaysus the pain.. I soaked my clothes.. with sweat, pelvic floor was behaving. When he left I laughed hysterically until I cried. The reason for the laughter was that as the doctor was about to inject me he said “this will just be a little prick“.. I answered as anyone would “that that was what got me in the mess I was in”. Unbeknownst to me, I said it quite loudly (I have volume control issues) as Sophia and Dorothy were receiving communion. I had a nice night eating digestives and shooting the breeze with those incredibly brave women and when it was my time to go the next day, I cried.. again!

I was told to take an aspirin a day and to attend the hermitage the following week for further tests as my blood was showing something weird for a girl of my age. I spent the next week in my mams being spoilt (for details.. click here)and attended the hospital the following week.

d7014fa9c7d6dea7ac258fdd54ee7948I had a panic attack before I had to go in and threw up… what if something was wrong with me? Who would raise my kids? Would I ever see all of Breaking Bad? Who Killed Lucy? I managed to calm down and was put in a changing/ waiting booth while they prepped another woman for her scan. I could hear the doctor telling her that her veins were like curly wurlys and he apologised about twenty times. A nurse was was asked to mop up all the blood. I could hear bandages being ripped open and quiet weeping. By the time the nurse got to me I was begging for a sedative. She inserted a cannula and promised to ask the doctor but blessed drugs didn’t appear. I got the vibe that she thought I was an hysterical bitch so I waited till she went for a smoke and asked her replacement. I used every trick in the book to bond with her and she filled a hypodermic with something lovely. I was brought to a room with one of those long coffin things and asked to lie down. A weighted thingy was put on my chest and the machine swallowed me. The girl in my earphones asked me to inhale, exhale etc… after 20 mins the machine spat me out and nurse Ratched was back. She had a needle and I asked hopefully if it was my sedative.”No” said she… too late for that now, this is something that will make your heart speed up but don’t panic and zzzipppppp I was back in the depths of the machine.. having a panic attack in a tomb and being told to hold my breath zzzzipppp out again and more blue dye. Eventually the nightmare ended and the cardiologist came over and said “nothing wrong with you… go home”

My prognosis is a poo almost killed me.

I’m almost 12 weeks over the operation now and it has proved to be a complete success. I am Tena free and able to cough and sneeze without crossing my legs. I don’t want to go into detail about the rejuvenation but suffice to say all is as it should be and I have some of my pre-baby body back.Attractive Woman Jumping

 

 

Musings, Women's Issues

Full Stop

April 20, 2015

It was trending on Twitter recently that periods were the last taboo. It shocked me as I work in a pharmacy where the majority of staff are women and we talk openly about ours. It’s a conversation starter.. “Hey, what time is your lunch?” “Twelve, God I feel shite I’m hemorrhaging and I want to kill someone. Do you have any feminex, ibuprofen, crystal meth?”. Any man who works with us learns quickly to put his head in a book at lunchtime and not to make eye contact. There are no taboos in a chemist where the family planning section has grown to include a variety of flavoured condoms and lubes, along with vibrating yokes and just recently an array of serums and cooling gels for your vag. I’m not sure if this was the “family planning” the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council educated us on in school. They came to chat to us when we were in 5th year and our unspoken agenda was to embarrass the shit out of them. It was all the more uncomfortable for me as it was a neighbour of mine. There was a section where everyone wrote down an anonymous question on a piece of paper and put it in a box. A memorable one was “what is a rainbow kiss?”  There was no google back then and I have no idea where the question came from but in googling it now, that’s hardcore.

are-you-there-god-its-me-margaretWhen we were in first year, our class tutor taught us the mechanics of menstruation and showed us how tampons worked. She put one into a glass of water and there were a couple of guys from the boys school watching at the window who got more than they bargained for, probably still scarred for life. I had read “Are you there God it’s me Margaret” tons of times and I was prepared to go shopping for Dr. Whites.62162205_tp (1) That book was written in the 1970s and I thought you had to wear a belt and hook a big hammock of a pad onto it. I also thought that if I exercised my arms chanting “I must, I must, I must increase my bust” that I may stop having the body of a 9 year old boy. Talking about periods was exciting; something the girls whispered about since primary school. One girl told how her sister had to be rushed to hospital once a month for a blood transfusion. There was a scandal in primary when a couple of girls were caught throwing pads around in the toilet if I remember correctly. Some rebellious ones in the class bought some tampons from a machine in the toilets at the concert hall on one of our excruciating trips there. She had them in her pocket and if you asked, she’d give you a glimpse.

My Mam gave me a book called “Have you started yet?” about the facts of life when I was 12 as she didn’t want me to be as clueless and frightened as she had been. Her older sister had tried putting plasters on her vagina thinking she had cut herself.84028

I was terrified that my sister, Fiona who was 2 years younger would start before me. She already had boobs I’d be proud of now.

Diary entry 27-January-1990: Got my period!!!!!! Went to the bathroom to go to the toilet when I saw a stain. Ran down and told my Mam and she told me where to find the STs. No pain-nothing. Only the pad feels like I’m wearing a nappy.”

So 1990 a great year for Irish football and my introduction to the joys of womanhood. I could talk about that Summer for ever.. it’s my Summer of ‘69. I had my first slow dance and kiss. Sleepovers with friends where we’d watch Nightmare on Elm St or something by John Hughes and smoke cigarette butts from the fireplace. The posters of St Jason Donovon were being replaced by Michael Hutchence.. the same was going on in Kylie’s bedroom but replace the word poster with penis.  Double-Decker-Wrapper-Small

Twenty-five years of periods later what have I learnt? It’s taken me this long to document what goes on with my body but that’s helped by having an app on my phone to log symptoms etc. Nine days before they’re due I’m a homicidal psychopath. I go on a complete rampage and it’s only that night when I’m in bed that it dawns on me why. If my husband decides to ask when my period is due mid- rant well may god have mercy on his soul. This phase will give way to emotion. Around this time I will normally ring my Mam crying that I can’t cope and she’ll have to come and take one of the kids for a few hours. She’ll do this and then I’ll cry cos I feel like a bitch and I miss my child so I’ll compensate with a Double Decker binge. Two days before my period I’m euphoric, awww look at my gorgeous babies, let’s read stories and do puzzles; then the backache kicks in and I’ll want to crawl into bed with a hot water bottle and cry, not because I’m sad but I’d enjoy a bit of a wallow into my pillow. Then.. period, just a little warning for the first day and Niagara the second. It’s a game of roulette changing pads on the Niagara day as it can end up like a scene from Carrie. Every month I realise at the last minute I’ve no supplies and will do a trip to the chemist where i’ll buy a mixture of regular, super and night time pads (without wings; only stick to places they shouldn’t)  feminax, Femfresh wipes, wash and spray. Then it’ll taper off and these items will be nowhere to be found for the next months episode.

The reason pregnancy wasn’t enjoyable for me was that it was like having a 10 month period. I was unstable emotionally and prone to anger. My back ached, my boobs were a no-go-zone. I ate rings around me and would have been happy to hibernate. On the plus size, the bloating is concealed by the baby bump.

I enjoy the sympathy and probably lay it on a bit thick but apart from all the biological reasons women have periods, I like to use them as a break… from kids, sex and life in general. I want to lie in bed for one day (preferably that 2nd horrible one) and have tea brought to me while I re-read Mallory Towers.

cr1xkvteebuthmjr8zobPeriods have been depicted in a handful of movies.. the most memorable for me is Superbad; that scene where a girl is grinding on Jonah Hill’s leg and “periods on him”  and also Carrie in the shower scene when she gets her period and the other girls throw pads at her and tell her to “plug it up”. I’ve debated the existence of this scene with a few friends because in some showings that scene is cut.. is it more offensive than when she has a bucket of pig’s blood thrown over her? If you would like to catch up on some menstruation movies.. here’s a list     

I hope I’ve done my bit in de-tabooing; feel free to share your stories about transfusions and if the person responsible for Concerthallgate would like to own up and share if they’re still rebelling against society or just have a compulsion to buy stuff from bathroom dispensers, inquiring minds wanna know.

when-im-on-my-period

 

Motherhood, Women's Issues

Fendi Fanny

March 16, 2015

This post comes with a warning! Ladies, be prepared for some major leg-crossing and men please appreciate that you won the genetic lottery.

I am writing this from my lovely private hospital room. It’s a sad state of affairs when a trip to the hospital becomes the only way to get some rest. If I discount the pain, it’s been fabulous. Yesterday, I watched 8 episodes of Orange is the New Black in a row, pausing only to tick what I’d like on the following days’ menu and to check my Facebook. To what do I owe this pleasure? It’s courtesy of my kids and their enormous heads. Room-to-Improve-Dermot-Bannon-3My pelvic floor had become more of a mezzanine and my vagina’s back wall had collapsed. Sounds like a case for Dermot Bannon and the Room to Improve team. My 3 kids birthweight’s were 8lbs 11 oz, 9lb 6oz and 9lb 13oz, I have a small frame, I didn’t do kegels and the first birth included a delightful episiotomy. My first indication that something wasn’t right was a couple of weeks after the first when I got up off my extremely house-proud mother’s couch to notice a dark stain. My mother (slightly hysterical) told me I’d wet myself or more importantly her azure two seater! I couldn’t understand it as I’d felt nothing. It’s surprising how quickly incontinence becomes part of your life and you think nothing of changing pads or pants ten times a day. You avoid exercise and cross your legs if you sneeze/ cough or laugh. If you do mention it to your mother/ granny you’ll be told “the joys of motherhood”. I had my second child three years later and didn’t get much time to recover as he has a heart condition and we spent his first week in Crumlin hospital. When we got settled at home I was having a shower and felt something wasn’t right in my vaginal area. I had a look in a hand mirror when I got out of the shower and discovered a large fleshy bulge between my legs. I almost developed my own heart condition and convinced I was prolapsing or birthing that second lizard baby from V, V-Visitor-Baby-1 I took off to the doctor who referred me straight back to the Rotunda. I was told there that it was a vaginal wall prolapse and physio would help. Panic over, I got on with looking after my boys but the incontinence had worsened. I could empty my bladder and turn on the tap to brush my teeth and a gush would soak me. I never felt clean and definitely not sexy. I certainly wasn’t dancing around the kitchen, waving a wooden spoon like the Always discreet ads and their “sensitive bladder” bullshit. I saw a physio who gave me gadgets to try and exercises but nothing was working and then I found out I was pregnant again! I was linked into the Rotunda’s physio after the last baby and she informed me that the muscles in my vag were bust and physio was a waste of time and I was put on the waiting list for a gynae. I was in no hurry as I knew I’d need an op and my kids were too small to leave so I stocked up on Tenas and carried spare knickers in my bag and avoided trampolines. I learnt the hard way not to wear blue jeans on a night out… stick to black!

Gap of DunloeA couple of years passed and I was called to the hospital to see the public gynae. She told me there was nothing she could do and I’d have to see a urinary-gynae and there was a two year waiting list. I explained to her that I felt like an 80 year old woman and by the time somebody got to fix me I would be 80 and therefore it wouldn’t matter that I smelt of pee and had a vagina like the Gap of Dunloe. I asked who was the best privately and was told Paul Byrne in Beaumont Private. I called his office and met him a couple of days later. He asked some questions, had a glance and gave me all the answers I needed. He said I needed a net sling put in to hold up my pelvic floor and some vaginal rejuvenation to repair the episiotomy damage to the back wall of my vagina. I skipped out of there until I discovered my health insurance wouldn’t cover it. Many tears later, I got a loan of €5000 from the bank and it was all booked for February the 9th, 2 days after my 39th birthday. Much hilarity ensued as the girls in my job made me “vag cakes” on my last day. This consisted of two cream cakes side by side.. a before and after. I got some interesting cards, definitely not Hallmark. I was shocked by how many young girls in work expressed jealousy that I was having a “designer vagina” whereas the older ones complained of urinary issues but were too nervous or embarrassed to have it fixed. The weirdest thing is I wasn’t even slightly nervous and that’s from someone who passes out every time she gives blood (I’m not allowed any more, cranky nurses). The logistics of having my kids looked after was the main issue… it required summit meetings, different coloured pens, calenders, shouting and some crying. I felt like the mother in that awful movie “who will take my children?”. Lots of people stepped up but I beat myself up that this was an elective surgery and maybe it should be put off longer. I rang my Mam bawling so many times. Can I state that I don’t recommend anyone calling my mother in a crisis, ever! She would outcry me and then put the fear of god in me about how painful it would be and did I have enough pads for ALL the blood? So, everything was organised and my husband dropped me to the Bon Secours at 7.30am. We had a few nervous giggles about my enormous downstairs situation and how fab it would be after. He admired my surgical stockings and backless gown, I’m slightly worried about a fetish!

I was wheeled off and gloriously drugged to the eyeballs. I came around in recovery to hear the nurses talking about Belvedere. I was gasping to talk and when I got their attention, asked them if Belvedere had an ASD unit? They had no idea what I was talking about. I got back to the room and remained in a love bubble, showering my husband with weird compliments while he laughed hysterically. I was starving from fasting and the nurses kindly brought me cocktail sticks with cotton wool balls to dip into water and ice and suck on. I imagine this is how Kate Moss lives. The drugs wore off that night and sweet jesus the pain was excruciating. I hate to press a hospital bell due to that crippling disease, Irish politeness, but I pressed and pressed. It felt like that moment before you push a baby, intense pressure mixed with an insane period pain. sheetsThe next day they took out the catheter and the “pack” (felt like they pulled 10 king size sheets out of me) and that brought a lot of relief. I could pee on my own, vast amounts of it, into a measuring jug. There’s a strange satisfaction that comes with peeing half a litre. I got a Difene suppository that I could write sonnets about. So here I am, a repaired fanny and an operational pelvic floor. I’m to be released in two days so time will tell. I’ve to be stationary for 6 weeks so that’ll be a challenge. I will let you all know the results in the vaguest terms possible but fingers (not legs) crossed!

I wrote this 5 weeks ago and have had many gross complications and episodes since… I’ll leave it till my next post… a vaginal cliffhanger.

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