I did say a while ago, after receiving my blog award, that I would tell you seven things you (didn't want to) know about me.
But just before that I'm going to tell you a biggie, that I wasn't really going to broadcast to the nation, but I've noticed others do share this kind of thing about themselves, so deep breath, here goes...
I have endometriosis. I expect most of you will know what that is, and if not, there's an extensive article on Wikipedia. Basically parts of your womb lining float about and attach themselves to other parts of your body, but still act like womb lining, so they inflate and deflate during your cycle, which causes lots of pain. I've just read the article myself, which says that lots of pain doesn't necessarily indicate advanced endometriosis. You can have very little pain and still be an extreme case. I have ALL of the symptoms, which I don't want to go into here, but you can use your common sense as to what I'm actually saying here.
I'd never heard of it until about seven years ago when I finally plucked up the courage to tell my sister (The Oracle). She seemed to know an awful lot about it, and when she mentioned the one symptom I'd deliberately not mentioned, I knew that's what I had.
Of course I went to the doctor's and a chain of events led to me having a laparoscopy (so many spellings to check today!) This should have been a ten minute procedure, but turned into an hour's operation. I can remember coming round and being in absolute agony, and laying on the sofa for two days. Once Son 2 realised I couldn't move, he put a coffee table up against the sofa and laid out the game of Risk. I knew he was cheating, but was in such a fog I couldn't work out how, and couldn't walk away, either...
It was through blogging that I first read that Stage IV endometriosis is the cause of infertility (through a blog where a couple had adopted children). I had no idea, but am extremely relieved that I have Son 2. God has been amazingly good to us, in more ways than I can explain right now.
There is no cure for this illness, even menopause isn't a guarantee that it'll go away. What a life sentence. After the laparoscopy things improved a great deal, but in the last couple of years, I've noticed a return to the old way. Basically, I have five days of pain, then I have a seven day period, then I used to have three days of pain (which so far hasn't come back). Then I'd have about ten days off, then the whole thing starts again.
These days the pain is so bad, which I can cope with, but it makes me so utterly tired. I've wanted to write this blog, but I feel very sleepy and clumsy, and it's awful. I am going to go to the doctor's but as you can imagine, I'm not always well enough to walk all the way there and back, and when I'm well I don't always think about it. The doctor will probably put me on the pill. I can't believe I'm doing that at this stage of my life, especially as Mr O was snipped some years ago (It sounds like I've cut him out of a magazine, doesn't it?) I can see why they want to do it, though, so I may have to go along with it.
So that's it. Having just read the Wikipedia article myself, I could cry. It's such a relief to know I'm not imagining it, but it's a bit of a shock to read, ...' There is no cure for endometriosis...' and that it doesn't necessarily stop at the menopause. So a life sentence, then. Marvellous.
Anyway, that isn't one of the seven things I was going to list about me, so here goes:
1. When I was seven, I got my fingers trapped in a lift door. I put my hand in to try to hit the bar to make the door open (as I'd seen my uncle do) but the door just continued to close on my hand. The fire brigade rescued me. These days I do go in lifts occasionally, but if the door doesn't close when I think it should, I leap straight back out and take the stairs.
2. Ditto heights. Especially in places like Portchester Castle, where the wooden steps are nailed to the wall but have no risers so you can see below you. As a child I used to put people to the inconvenience of having to rescue me as I'd go so far, go rigid with fear and not be able to go up or down. These days I tend not to bother. If I go up the main staircase at Chatsworth House I cling to the wall. Cable cars are right out.
3. I had my first proper riding lesson when I was 19. It was one of those things I knew if I ever got the opportunity to have a go, I'd just be able to do it. I can remember watching The Horse Of The Year Show as a child of five, and rocking in time to the horse's rhythm. When it came to it, I was trotting after the first ten minutes. I've never looked back.
4. Due to an interest in Conservative politics, I have met: Jeffrey Archer, David Mellor, Michael Portillo etc and have sat next to Sebastian Coe. I have also sat directly behind Jeremy Paxman. He had the most immaculately coiffed hair I've ever seen. I had a massive urge to mess it up for him.
5. I lived in South Africa for a while. It was an amazing experience. This was before Nelson Mandela was released. It is the most beautiful place you're ever likely to see, but when you go in the Post Office there is a board on the wall with a land mine and a hand grenade on it, so you'll be able to identify them if you ever come across them. Surreal.
6. My favourite foods are mussels, chocolate and olives, but not all at the same time. Wine makes me drunk, and I've gone off it, but I can drink as much gin as I like and it has no effect on me whatsoever!
7. I home educated my children. My eldest daughter ran home from school in the middle of the day because she'd been bullied so badly. When I took her back the next day, the teacher said, "We don't have a bullying problem here." I said, "What's this, Scotch mist?" She finished the term and never went back. My second son is dyslexic. He came out at the same time, ie they stayed until the summer holidays and that was that. When it came to the Christmas holidays, my second daughter announced, "Well I may as well give up school now, then." Son 2 looked at me. His bottom lip quivered. The adventure was about to begin...
So that's a bit more about me, then. I'm off to take some more painkillers and ring the doctor's. I've booked 'Er Indoors in to have her skin tag removed, and the horses in to have their annual vaccinations, so I suppose it's only fair, isn' it?
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