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All posts for the month July, 2012

Superstar

Published July 25, 2012 by crazyinpink

It isn’t often that I get completed obsessed with a particular tv show (unless, of course, it stars Benedict Cumberbatch) but I am ridiculously invested in the current ITV talent show ‘Superstar’.

In my defence, I have been pretty much confined to my bed or sofa for the last week recovering from my op and since it has been on every night, its been something to keep me occupied.  I generally loathe tv talent shows.  I freely give out death stares when people ask if I’m watching whatever Simon Cowell-concocted drivel is on the box.  Even more annoying is people telling me that I should audition for one of these shows after they’ve heard me sing.  I wasn’t always so cynical though.  I loved Popstars back in the day, although I was only 11 or so and Noel who ended up in the winning band Hear’Say (remember them?) was my first ever crush.  I recently got overly excited when I recogised him performing at the Olivier Awards. I also got really into the first Pop Idol, by then my love had grown for the ever-mocked Darius.  He was my fave but my appreciation for his good looks was nothing compared to my best friend’s stalkerish obsession with Gareth Gates.  There were pictures of him in frames everywhere in her house and even a weird collage/shrine in her closet. We were both v upset when Will Young, who neither of us fancied, ended up winning.

Then the X Factor came along and I gave it a chance.  The only good thing about it was the group that came second in the first series – G4.  To this day I still love listening to their 3 albums and wear my tour t-shirt proudly as a nightie. Theirs was the first concert I ever went to.  I’m so hardcore.  (The second was Nickelback…)  After they were robbed of first place (does anyone even know what happened to Steve Brookstein?) I turned my back on the genre.

My love for musical theatre compelled me to take an interest in the BBC shows that then sprung up casting Maria, Nancy, Joseph and Dorothy.  Back in the day, I wanted to be in musical theatre.  I blame this entirely on the fact that in P7 I played the Narrator in Joseph and won an award.  Despite giving in to the more sensible and realistic ambition when I was about fifteen of wanting to be an English teacher, I still harboured a secret love for musicals.  Even after a real charming singing teacher told me, at age thirteen, that my boobs were too big for it and I ‘didn’t have the face for musical theatre’. She left soon after that to take a job on a cruise ship, never to be seen again. *maniacal laugh*  In my first year at uni I joined the music society and quickly got involved in musical theatre, singing my favourite songs and getting to be Eliza Doolittle from My Fair Lady and Ariel from The Little Mermaid. When I got ill in second year, I just about managed a show as Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray and a brief appearance as Elpheba in Wicked before bidding adieu to my musical dreams.

This past week, I have become a little too obsessed with Superstar.  I’m not even a big fan of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar, even though it is an Andrew Lloyd Webber work and there is no one better. My tendency to root for the underdog has meant that my favourite, Tim, was kicked ot early on.  My allegiance then shifted to Niall, who had a great Irish accent and looks exactly like a younger version of my dissertation supervisor.  After he left I supported Jeff from my home town who apparently went to my school and would have been in the choir at the same time yet I hav no memory of him at all.  When Jeff got the boot, I went for David who made it to the semi-finals.  Now, with only a few hours to go until the final, I have run out of people I like.  My mum is a big fan of Roger for reasons I suspect have nothing to do with his singing.  Rory is a great rock singer and has the exact same eyes as Andrew Scott who plays Moriarty in Sherlock (brilliantly too, I might add). The only one I don’t like is Ben, I just don’t get what the big deal is.  But, given my record, that probably means he’ll win the thing.

How I fought the NHS…and won

Published July 23, 2012 by crazyinpink

Last week I had my laparoscopy and guess what? I have endometriosis!  A diagnosis I had five years ago, only to be told a year later that there was no chance it could have returned.

Three and a half years of unbelievable pain, pain that has affected every area of my life and made me a vastly different person from the girl I once was. But before I get too philosophical, let me tell the tale of my surgery.

I arrived at hospital early last Tuesday morning, apprehensive and in a fugue state thanks to the lack of caffeine in my blood stream.  The nurses did all their checks, sent my Mum off and got me changed into a fetching backless hospital gown and dressing gown combo.  Abandoned in a grey corridor, reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, I was eventually visited by a member of the surgical team.  As she went through yet another checklist with me, my consultant appeared.  He is the only endo specialist in my area (possibly country, since we’re so tiny) and highly praised by nearly everyone at support group.  My feelings toward him were decidedly mixed.  He was the first gynae to ever really listen, to acknowledge my pain diaries and tried his best to understand what my life is like.  But he also was adamant that I did not have endo.  The first time I saw him, he said it was bound to be endo.  Then, after receiving all my notes and scans from other hospitals, changed his mind.  He would not have operated if I hadn’t demanded it.  Back in January he left the decision up to me.

I made the right decision.  He warned me, sympathetically, that he might not find anything whe he looked inside.  He told me to prepare myself in case there was nothing there.  I must be the only person under his care to go into an operation hoping they find something.  After a frustrated anaesthatist finally found a vein (mine are notoriously difficult to find) we were off.  I woke up in recovery in that wonderful post-anasthetic bliss, barely able to move. I dozed on and off until my doctor arrived to speak to me.  He told me that they found endometriosis on the back wall of my vagina, uterus and all along my pelvic wall. He waited for my reaction.  I asked him to repeat what he had said. He confirmed that he had replaced my Mirena but there was too much endometriosis to remove then and I would have to come back for a bigger operation.  I’m on the ‘urgent’ list as he wants to get rid of it asap.  Before he left, he turned back and squeezed my shoulder, saying ‘You did very well. Well done.’

A nurse came over soon after he left to make sure I was okay and give me some tissues.  I was crying, not because I was upset but with relief.  It was over!  All my fighting was over.  They knew.  They knew that I am ill, that I do have this disease, that I wasn’t making it up, it wasn’t all in my head.  I had finally come to the end of three and a half years of pain limbo.

Of course, it is not great news that I have so much of the disease. The fact that my first lap five years ago removed a small amount on my left ovary yet now my pelvis is riddled with it is not exactly cause for celebration.  I have not given much thought to the implications this will have on my life.  The extensive amount is bad enough but where it is – that’s a whole other matter.  I have so many questions.  Will it hurt when I have sex? Has it affected my other organs? If I ever get pregnant, will I be able to carry a baby in a uterus so scarred?

I’m trying not to focus on these big scary issues.  As they say in How I Met Your Mother, those are things for Future Me to deal with. Right now, I just want to be glad that I finally (FINALLY!!) have a confirmed diagnosis and that they can now do something to help me. I no longer have to fight the system, the doctors, the specialists, the NHS in general.  Now all I have to do is fight this disease.

Twas the night before hospital

Published July 16, 2012 by crazyinpink

The long wait is nearly over.  Tomorrow morning I go into hospital for my laparoscopy.

I’m now quite nervous.  I fought so hard to get to this point.  Even my consultant thinks its a waste of time.  I finally convinced him by pointing out that I have to get my Mirena implant changed before January and because I’m a virgin, they have to knock me out to do it.  So, I said, if you’re already going to have to knock me out for that, why not have a wee look around while you’re in there?  He laughed and said he admired my guts.

I don’t know how to prepare myself.  Everything could change.  My ovary could be really damaged.  There might be endo. There might not be endo.  It could just be scar tissue from when they lasered the endo off four and a half years ago. It could be adhesions. There might not be anything.

And the Mirena.  I know it doesn’t work the same for everyone but for me, its meant four and a half years with no periods.  And when you spent your teenage years dreading that time of the month which in my case lasted 15 days filled with pain and severe bleeding…not having that has been a miracle.  I don’t know how I would cope if this one didn’t work as well and if I start having periods again.

I know I will though.  Whatever tomorrow brings, I’ll handle it.  It might take a while but I’ve dealt with so much up to this point and I really feel like this could provide some answers. Today is just so nerve-wracking.

 

See you on the other side.

A new month, a new me?

Published July 5, 2012 by crazyinpink

July has only just begun and already so many things have happened. I’ll try and create a cohesive list but I only had three hours sleep last night so, to quote one of my favourite tv shows, ‘bear with!’

 

1) I got a date for my operation!

YAY! Not really something most people would be excited about but then again, most people haven’t spent the last three and a half years in total agony fighting within the health system to get someone to listen and investigate the pain.  My consultant has made it clear he thinks it unlikely he will find anything.  He left it up to me and I’d rather know one way or the other.  I’ve pretty much accepted that I’ll have to make sacrifices in life and that I’ll probably always have to live with this condition but it would just be a relief of sorts to have someone confirm what it is causing all this.  The confirmation letter came two days ago, I go in on the 17th.  I’m half-excited, half-terrified but I’ve decided that whatever comes of it, I can rest assured that I did everything within my power to find out what’s wrong with me. (Yes, in my mind I am convinced it is endo but even though I was diagnosed 4 years ago, no one seems to take heed of it)

 

2) I foresaw my possible future in a comedy movie

I went to see the Five Year Engagement yesterday. I knew that my Fairy Godmother had seen it and didn’t like it at all. I quite like Jason Segel and found the idea of it intriguing.  Now, it isn’t laugh-a-minute and I didn’t find it as funny as Knocked Up or I Love You, Man but I did enjoy it.  It got its laughs from awkward situations, something which I easily identify with. I have a tshirt that says ‘Well, this is awkward’ on the front and ‘well, that was awkward’ on the back. I should wear that a lot. 

Anyway, yes, the female character (played by Emily Blunt – an odd but strangely believable choice) is an academic. I don’t think I’d be giving away too much of the plot if I said that she gets a post-doc fellowship and they move for her to take it up, thus prolonging the length of their engagement.  As she settles into the academic life, I found myself getting more and more uncomfortable.  Jason Segel as her husband-to-be (adorable as ever) struggles with the strain her intellectual success puts on their relationship.  I’ll be honest, it scared the crap out of me. I’ve been thinking that my health would be the biggest obstacle to a future serious relationship, I never even thought about my probable career choice.  What if I become Violet?  What if I pursue my academic dreams to the detriment of my personal life? I left the cinema with a head full of thoughts and worries over my future.

3) I flirted like nobody’s business

I am a flirt anyway and I’m okay with it.  It’s just part of who I am, I like the chase and the banter.  But this week it went into overdrive.  In work on Monday, I discovered further proof that Jam and I are, in fact, made for each other when he revealed he loved Irn Bru just as much as I do.  This may seem like the stupidest thing in the world to get excited about but considering how much stick I get for being addicted to the orange stuff, it was just too cool to find this out.  He had stopped drinking it because it had too much sugar and was making him hyper and he hadn’t even heard of sugar-free. So, naturally, I brought him a bottle on Tuesday and left it on his desk.  When I saw him an hour or so later he was practically bouncing up and down saying he knew straight away it was from me and that it had totally made his day.  By the end of the day, he was telling me that I had re-ignited his old addiction and that he needed more.  We joked that I was enabling him.  I flirted with him shamelessly, boosting his ego to the point where he said that I quote; “always make him feel awesome”.  I was his very own enabler with both his Irn Bru addiction and making him feel better just by being around.  Naturally, this delighted me. However I also spent most of Tuesday working alongside his housemate Butter (upon whom my friend has a crush) and chatting to him.  Butter and I get along great and we barely shut up all day.  At one point I realised that I was perhaps being too friendly to him but then he threw some things into the conversation which made me wonder.  Talking about the house he shares with Jam and its lack of tidiness, I expressed surprise that Jam would be untidy.  Butter responded, ‘Well, when you see his room, you’ll believe it.’  I stumbled and questioned this, asking why on earth I would be in his room to which he mysteriously replied, ‘But when you come to our house, you’re going to be in his room’ as if it was the most obvious thing on earth.  So, all over again I am left in a wonderment over how Jam feels about me and in a new quandary over whether I should do anything.

4) I discovered that in spite of everything, my life is pretty damn awesome

An old school friend got in touch last week to say she was moving in a stone’s throw from where I lived and would I fancy a catch-up? I popped by yesterday and saw her for the first time in three years.  We chatted and caught up fully.  Every story I told seemed so fantastic to her. Even the medical saga.  She marvelled at how so much has happened to me since we left school while she has done very little.  I suppose, when you look at it objectively, I have achieved quite a lot.  It’s easy to forget and get so bogged down in the here and now but really, I have a lot to be thankful for.

5) Things are FINALLY back to normal with Best Friend (hooray!)

The weirdness that has been lingering over us since early March was finally Expecto Patronumed away today as we had brunch and saw each other for the first time in weeks. It feels so good to have my friend back.  I don’t know what did it, maybe the time apart, but whatever it was, I’m so pleased that phase is over.  He did raise concerns over my male companions, particularly after I told him about the last conversation I had with Lucius. (We had coffee and Lucius told me, while holding my hand, that he was attracted to me but couldn’t act on it because he wanted to keep me as a friend and if he let himself start he would ‘ruin’ me and remove all my innocence.  It was certainly an….interesting conversation.) He did like the sound of Jam though.  Although, truth be told, I am so infatuated with Jam that I was making him sound like a god among mere mortals.  A theoretically attainable object of perfection.  The next best thing to Benedict Cumberbatch. I haven’t had it this bad in a looooooooooong time.  I feel like I’m 14 again.