• Rachel Patterson

It's just your age, live with it - NO I WON'T!


I spent Saturday in hospital having a bit of an operation; a biopsy and hysteroscopy.

Thank you

I haven’t publicised my problems, or really shared them with anyone except my immediate family and close friends. However, after putting on facebook that I had been in hospital I received an overwhelming amount of messages and replies. So many that I was astounded by the thoughtfulness and caring from others. ♥ What I also noticed was that a lot of my fellow ladies were also suffering, sharing with me that they too had experienced issues. So, I thought I might share my journey in the hope that it may help at least one person to know that they aren’t alone.

It all started...

I have been lucky enough to sail through my periods in general with little or no problems at all. Until about eighteen months ago when everything went pear shaped.

I started to get seriously heavy periods that lasted two or three weeks at a time. The kind of period that makes you want to stay indoors and not move for fear of leaking everywhere (apologies for the visualisation). If my periods weren’t seriously heavy they still lasted a couple of weeks at a time and were incredibly painful. I would get one sometimes two weeks if I was lucky free, then the whole cycle would start again.

And the hormones…oh my…the hormones. It has been a Russian roulette waking up to see what kind of human being I am each day. I have not felt like myself for months in fact on most days I feel completely disconnected from everything, a complete empty shell. It has not been pleasant.

And then...

What did I do? I put up with it. Thinking that it was just one of those things that as a woman I had to grin and bear. It is just my age, right? I am in the peri-menopause and that’s that, I just need to put up with it.

Well…as time went on I became more and more exhausted – emotionally, physically and mentally. It was really starting to affect my life. I must note here how patient and understanding my lovely hubby has been throughout it all!

Home options

My first port of call was to try herbal remedies and I did, I tried various combinations, all of which were expensive (around £25 a bottle on average) and they all seemed to have a little bit of effect for a short while, then fizzled out.

I also looked into various eco-friendly options; the menstrual cup was researched but quickly dismissed. I am sure it works for some but the thought of dealing with emptying it several times a day for weeks on end just sounded icky. Washable cloth pads were also looked at, in fact I purchased a couple. What arrived where HUGE pieces of very pretty fabric but basically nappies (diapers). Very cumbersome and again the thought of dealing with them daily for weeks on end was very unappealing. Buckets of them soaking and having to wash them all was not my idea of fun. So, I apologise now to the planet – I used disposable sanitary towels and yes there were lots of them. I do as much as I can for Mother Earth but when you are a working mother, wife, running a house, working three jobs and looking after school age children there is a limit.

Seeking help

Eventually I popped to see my local GP in the hope that they could maybe give me some guidance at least. I wish I had visited sooner.

After a very brief discussion she referred me directly to the hospital to see a consultant. I must admit I was so relieved I cried.

A few weeks later I saw a very pleasant consultant who suggested a hysteroscopy and biopsy to take a look and see what was going on. If they found anything they would schedule a hysterectomy, if not then she suggested fitting me with a Mirena coil. This does several things; provides contraception, controls and often stops periods altogether and generally sorts out the feminine problems that I was suffering with.

Prevention

Again, I feel the need to mention that I have for most of my adult life taken some form of chemical contraception. For the past four years I have had an implant. I have tried the ‘natural’ method, where you work out your monthly cycle using a chart and taking your temperature. I followed this course of action when we were trying to conceive and it worked very well. However, at my age (currently 48) I don’t want any more children (ye gods, no!) so my contraceptive method needs to be as infallible as possible. And I don’t want to be messing about with charts and temperature taking every day, sorry but I need my life to be as efficient and hassle free as possible!

And the op

On Monday last week I had a phone call with a cancellation appointment for Saturday for my op. Eeep!

We arrived at the hospital around 6.30am (for a 7am booking in). We were seen by lots of different nurses, doctors and staff throughout the day. It was a ‘round the globe’ experience with staff from England, Scotland, the Phillipines, India, Columbia and Spain. Each and every one of them were lovely, friendly, reassuring, caring and professional. We did suffer a very long wait (6 hours) between having the pre-op assessment and going to theatre as the operation before mine had complications. Unfortunately, we were left in the waiting room (sitting in my theatre gown wearing surgical socks) with no communication to let us know, which could have been avoided but was only a small problem.

The operation went well, no nasties were found (although I need to wait for the biopsy result for confirmation) and a Mirena coil was fitted.

Since posting on facebook about the Mirena solution I have been inundated with lovely people letting me know that they have ‘had the Mirena for years’ and that it was ‘life changing’. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your messages.

It is your womb, be in control

The reason for this blog is to say to all you women that are suffering, thinking that it is just something you must put up with, that it is just because of your age, that it is periods and we have to live with it – WE DON’T!!

There is help out there, there are options and solutions, don’t think, as I did, that it is just something that happens and there is nothing can be done – seek professional advice and help, don’t suffer in silence!

Although I am still physically tired today, I am feeling so much better in myself. The Mirena hasn’t had chance to kick in yet and it may take a couple of months to do so. But I feel positive and empowered that action has been taken.

Onwards and upwards…


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© 2019 Rachel Patterson