The ‘H’ Word
I have pretty bad form when it comes to my gynaecological history and to be honest, I’m really not one for sharing my personal stories. You’ll certainly never hear me discussing “my journey.”
Even the thought of that makes a little bit of sick come up. However, that’s all about to change thanks to an ironic twist in my hormone fairy tale, or rather my hormone horror story! But it’s a little known secret but I have an impressive gynaecological CV including…deep breath…
PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), endometriosis, adenomyosis, ovarian cysts, infertility, menorrhagia (heavy bleeding), dysmenorrhea (painful periods), dyspareunia (painful intercourse), pelvic congestion (varicose veins in the pelvic area), friable cervix (prone to inflammation, bleeding and tearing) and dyskaryosis (dodgy cervical cells). Although amazingly I’ve managed to dodge fibroids… every cloud and all that.
I’ve used the proper words here because I think it’s important to understand conditions and symptoms so if you need to converse with your medical team you can adopt the right terminology. Also, it helps when deciphering letters and communications between your consultants and GP. You may be pleased to hear that due to feedback form my clients I’m working on an A-Z of helpful definitions.
I’ve gone through my entire reproductive career jumping through the necessary hoops to stay relatively healthy and in control with help from functional medicine, nutritional therapy and of course the gynae-goddess Miss Sovra Whitcroft. I couldn’t possibly write this blog without mentioning her because she has dragged me out of some very dark holes over the last 12 years.
During a regular follow up with the mighty Whitcroft earlier this year, I was thrown a monumental curve ball in the shape of the H-word.
Yes, a bloody job lot hysterectomy; ovaries, womb, cervix. The whole lot; lock, stock and barrel!
Due to my ongoing issues, especially my cervix and persistent chronic pain, it would appear I’d reached the end of the road and I was been handed my retirement notice, wow!
It was as if I’d been working for the same company for 30 years and although I’ve experienced plenty of ups and downs and tried to resign several times, I’ve essentially stuck with it due to a sense of loyalty, commitment and bloody (pun intended) determination
Like many women I guess I’ve always had a love, hate relationship with my reproductive organs but it was time to hang up my tampons and finally retire.
So how did I feel about this life changing event?
I left the appointment feeling detached yet at the same time quite philosophical. For starters I don’t need my womb anymore, its surplus to requirement and has been my nemesis for three decades. The mere thought of having another baby brings me out in a cold sweat and never having another smear test or period sounds like a fine idea.
And just think about all that cash I’ll save on sanitary gear. Kate Spade here I come… Of course, I’m being flippant but let’s not forgot how a total hysterectomy will also eradicate a number of potentially deadly cancers including endometrial, uterine, ovarian and cervical.
Remaining a stoic and objectively reviewing the science of my predicament I was feeling quite positive. However, in some ways I’ve always been my own case study. I realise this isn’t entirely healthy but storing my symptoms and medical care in a box seems the most effective way of keeping an emotional lid on things, for now anyway.
What happened next?
Well, I was referred to see the ever so charming Mr Andrew Kent who, from what I can see, is the endo-super hero of Surrey and evidently a gynaecological force to be reckoned with. I’m not sure what I expected him to say but he pretty much echoed Miss Whitcroft and agreed my aged, defunct and malfunctioning reproductive organs need to come out.
The first step was a hysteroscopy with Mr Kent so he could take a gander of my insides and make sure there wasn’t anything too grim up there. However, there really wasn’t much to see thanks to the stealth like behaviour of endometriosis.
So that’s my story for now… Come back for the next, post H Word installment soon What have I learned?