‘She Shares WHAT?!’

I realise that I share a lot of personal information on this blog, and that it’s quite easy to track me down and find me in ‘real life’ (and not just the social media world). This is perhaps a massive boo-boo on my part. I should, after all, be more savvy about security and so on…but the purpose of this blog was not only to offload some ramblings in my head, but to make people aware of often unspoken medical conditions. It is still classed as a bit of a social taboo to discuss your sex life, issues surrounding your vagina or penis, and your sexual health in general; quite often people keep quiet and suffer for years and years without seeking help or talking to someone about it. I’ve been there, and it took me so long to get help that I’ve genuinely forgotten how many years: 7? 8? I don’t know. I grew up in a house where menstration was never discussed, sex was a no-no, physical affection was null and void, and my parents displayed a ‘holier than thou’ persona (completely hypocritically I should add). It was stifing and crippling, and it left me unable to verbalise my issues for many, many years. I credit my husband with teaching me how to open up. He had the patience and understanding to realise that I wasn’t a cold, stone-hearted cow – quite the opposite…but I was too afraid to show him my emotions/thoughts/feelings, because for years they had been viewed as weaknesses.
Stop crying, you fucking baby.
What the fuck is wrong with you?
Grow up.

When I first started sharing my posts about vaginismus, LS, and VVS, I did so with a medical disclaimer. I didn’t want to offend anyone or have them think I was ‘disgusting’. With hindsight, I don’t know why I did this; there’s nothing ‘disgusting’ with sharing information, procedures, symptoms and ways to get help. I didn’t ask for these conditions,  and so why should I be ashamed? My posts came in fits and starts. 2/3 a month and then nothing for months – I didn’t want to bombard people, or have them think I was playing the victim. I was so paranoid with being viewed as a drama queen that I kept my cancer secret – even from my husband – until I received the news that it was treatable. It was so paradoxical to my nature to be quiet that I was lost. Family and friends mean the world to me. I felt like a liar and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again.

Over the next few months I’ll be sharing a lot more information on these subjects (along with my IVF journey and usual ramblings). I do so because it helps. It helps me, and given the messages and emails I’ve received both publically and privately, I know that it has helped other people get the help and treatment they deserve. I’ve been asked today by someone: ‘but why do you want people to know?’ and that’s a good question. For all the reasons above. Infertility is painful and historically, it’s private and spoken about in hushed tones. There are support networks out there and the internet is a fabulous place for connecting with people who are going through the same trials as you. If I make one friend from these blog posts who feels they can talk to me about their problems – then that’s mission accomplished**.
If the treatment isn’t sucessful, then I’m not going to be blame my talking about it. I’m not superstitious and I’d rather have the support of friends and family if I’m grieving than to do so in private.

Sure I waffle, sure I add in what appears to be inconsequential crap and I make a joke of some of the procedures I’ve had done, who wouldn’t? Humour helps me heal and helps me deflect. I’ve been the butt of jokes, had nicknames and received a Secret Santa gift consisting of a needle and thread and called a ‘fanny repair kit’…and all you can do sometimes is go with the flow, because to sit back and take it all in can be overwhelming, cruel, and deeply upsetting.

I suffer with anxiety, and I even as I write this I’m strangely torn: to write this blog post highlights yet again me and my problems, and I know it would be so much simpler to just stay quiet and wade on with the stiff British upper lip. That isn’t me though. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I love to help and share.

** today I’ve been told in confidence of a friend going through IVF too, I have them in my thoughts and hope it all goes well.

Sharing and talking might not be your ‘cup of tea’, and you may disagree with it, but it works for me.




PCOS, Dianette & A Discussion on Babies ….

Glug, glug, glug and glug … I forced 2 pints of orange squash down my throat at 2pm today, this is more than I normally drink in a whole day and I felt sick.
My lack of drinking revolves around the fact I have the smallest bladder known in the entire existence!
My friends will back me up when I tell you that I cannot even finish a cup of tea, I only ever drink half a cup and that’s usually because my bladder starts wailing at me.
After the first pint I really thought I would throw up all over the place, I started to swallow the second by sucking it through my teeth and breathing deeply, but I managed and felt incredibly pleased with myself.
This euphoria was short lived, as soon as  I left the house and got into the car the little tingling of lady bits alerted me to the fact I needed a wee.
I quietly reassured my bladder that it would be emptied in a little over twenty minutes, not to worry lil guy. Everything will be fine.
90 minutes later ….
The abuse from my bladder continued, it ranted and raved and decided to change the little tingling to a sharp stabbing and squeezing.
In typical NHS fashion – they were running late and I sat there in pain, cursing the NHS and wishing I could afford private medical care.
I couldn’t take it any longer and waddled into the toilet, as I sat down and closed my eyes in relief, the inevitable happened …
“Miss Davies, Miss Samantha Davies?” (NHS still have my maiden name)
I grimaced and shut my bladder off – it responded sullenly with a sharp twang.
“YES” I call from the toilet – que the tittering and laughing of those waiting, but there was no way I was giving up my spot and having the sonographer thinking I wasn’t there!
Hurridly I pulled my jeans up, washed my hands and emerged – flying low and zipping myself up in front of about twenty people. I am a classy lady.
The scan itself was pretty boring, jelly on stomach and the machine rolling around my stomach and top of groin fat. My bladder continued to abuse me, “MOTHER FUCKING BITCH, FUCKING LET ME GOOOOOOO” it wasn’t happy at the earlier teasing in the loo.
I asked the sonographer if my ovaries were normal and she cryptically replied with “I’ve got good clear pictures” – diplomatic, but I knew then that they weren’t.
Finally I could do to the toilet, it was truly a heavenly moment. I heard the sweet rapturous tunes of the angels as I let go and as I finished my bladder made peace “YOU KNOW WE’RE FRIENDS RIGHT? I DIDN’T MEAN THOSE THINGS, I LOVE YOU.”
“I love you too my hamster sized organ” I replied gently.
After a further twenty minutes the sonographer came out with a brown taped up envelope “your report. you’ve got an appointment at outpatients, make your way over now.”
I was sorely tempted to open it and read on the way over but I decided against it. I only had to wait a short while and I’d know what it said. I think subconsciously I didn’t want to read the results as I knew they wouldn’t be good. I don’t have much luck in the lady health department.
So I arrived in outpatients and luckily didn’t have to wait too long, I spoke to Mr Akrong who opened the report and confirmed I have PCOS. It was nice that he reassured me and said that 22% of the female population in the UK have this condition.
He then lost his brownie points by adding “but your’s is very bad, your right ovary is double the size it should be. You have a severe amount of follicles.”
He asked if I planned to have a baby, and I answered honestly – Yes, my husband and I want to have children in about 3 years.
He looks up and says “No, at 28, happily married and with PCOS like this, you will not be waiting 3 years.”
Thank you Mr Akrong, thank you for deciding on when my husband and I will change our lives forever by adding a baby into our family, I couldn’t have made that decision without your input. I didn’t realise that as a gynecologist you also had an insight into the personal and financial situation of all your patients.
I know this sounds a little churlish and ungrateful, but John and I have chosen 3 years for a reason, we both have financial responsibilities we would like to discharge. I would like to start and complete my OU course, along with my writing and to be honest, we are both too selfish to be parents right about now. I enjoy my lay ins, I enjoy my lazy days and days watching bad tv with the cats and dogs for company …
Eventually we came to compromise, I will see Mr Akrong in 12 months time to discuss trying for a baby and fertility issues, the PCOS paired with the endometriosis means that he doesn’t think I will conceive naturally and will need help in one way or another. I know it may take longer than 2 years, but it really isn’t something I’m ready to budge on just yet – If it is meant to be, it will happen. Karma and all that …
I’ve been prescribed Dianette (contraceptive pill) – this will hopefully help with the acne and excess body hair (I look like the bearded lady sometimes – The Wolfman has nothing on me!) It will also hopefully give me some bleeds. I’ve heard both good and bad things about this drug but we shall see.
He wants me to try it for 3 months and go from there, we discussed the other issues I have (see older posts) and he thinks that the Dianette should clear those problems up … Obviously I won’t be growing my labia minora any time soon, but the other problems should be addressed – yay for more drugs!
It seems weird that this contraceptive pill might clear up the problems I’ve been suffering with for years, such a small thing can make the biggest difference … I shall report back and let you all know how it goes!
Perhaps taking this every day will help me remember my other meds???