Sunday, 17 January 2016

(Re)Starting

I've not blogged for a good long while. There's no real excuse. First work got in the way, then life got in the way, and then, to be honest I just forgot...

But some things shouldn't be forgotten. It's only when you look back that you realise how much you could be missing out on by not pausing to reflect, and capture that moment.

This blog was first started back in 2012 when a little pink line on a little white stick told me something about myself that I somehow hadn't registered: just how much I wanted to have a family.  Now, that time, as with a quarter of all pregnancies, it turned out that it wasn't meant to beand since then I've focused on carving out a name for myself in my chosen career whilst simultaneously exploring medical routes for why our quest to start a family might be being hampered.

Generally 2015 was a good one for me. I won a few industry awards professionally, I rejoined Slimming World and lost 3.5 stone, and I finally found a doctor who would listen to me...

Back in May last year I had fairly major surgery for a endometriosis. It's a horrible condition that can really limit the women who have it including menstrual pain so severe you pass out. But it's pretty misunderstood by the medical profession (it took me nearly 10 years of fighting to even get a referral to a gyne), you get told what you're feeling is normal, nothing shows up on MRIs or ultrasounds, so you can be left thinking its all in your head.

Thankfully I found a great surgeon who totally believed me. After a nearly 4 hour operation she confirmed my endometriosis diagnosis, and explained that my uterus, bowel, overies and appendix were all stuck together in a big mass of scar-like tissue.  I have a video of the surgery (not one for dinnertime viewing!) and it looks like a small army of spiders have been crawling around inside, leaving web trails behind them, gluing everything together. It was eye opening stuff. Finally it wasn't just in my head.

The surgeon explained that it was severe endometriosis, and was very extensive. She removed a lot of the 'webs' but broke the news that the damage to my fallopian tubes from being stuck and pulled and stretched was significant. Pregnancy could be an issue.

So I figured that at the start of a new year it was the right time to start refocusing, and looking this year not on career, but on family. Its not an easy road, but realistically I'm sure it never is. Now isn't the perfect time (hubby isn't working) but realistically I'm not sure there ever is. The thing is I'm ready to to take the first steps.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Weightloss - Celebrating the taboo

So I've been losing weight for a few months now, and I'm pleased to say that I've lost nearly 1.5 stone.  Pretty good going.  And I'm pleased.  Pleased.  It's an achievement.  So why is it that there is this awkwardness in celebrating that?

I had a colleague come up to me at the photocopier (yes, really) and look me very seriously in the eye... in order to congratulate me.  His praise was genuinely heartfelt, I was delighted.  I'm immensely grateful for that little metaphorical slap-on-the-back, but it seems that giving the praise didn't make my colleage feel quite so delighted.  He cavetated heavily with a 'Don't take this the wrong way' and a 'I hope you don't mind me mentioning it'... and he waited until we were alone and away from desks in case I was embarassed.

Now, I've always been a big girl, but I'm not keeping my diet a secret - I'm open about it in the office, I make jokes about weigh-day, 'Fat Club', supportive clapping, because, hey, I'm proud.  I've made a decision, I've stuck to it, and I'm riding the entire wave as it goes along.  So why is it, that this celebration needs to stay at the weekly weigh-in?



We get the certificates, the stickers, the support, we have the facebook group, the highly supportive consultant and the new friends we've made - but why is it that out achievements make other people feel uncomfortable?  If I'd stuggled with running, and then decided that I'd take part in a marathon, there would be celebrations and flag-waving along the way.  Hit the wall?  No problem.  Your supporters will be by your side driving you on towards that finish line.  But weight is different, its just too close to the line of being 'rude to mention' and so we end up in a strange dance of 'Oh you're looking well' (which either means you genuinely look well, or in Fat-Girl-Ease that you've put on loads of weight), or 'have you done something to your hair/makeup/clothes' - heaven help anyone to mention the fact that you may have had a few pounds to lose, and my goodness you've taken the bull by the horns and shifted them!

Weight is a taboo.  I've been on the other end of name calling, and it's something that I myself have been very sensitive about in the past, so when someone makes a positive change, it shouldn't be hidden under a bushel.  I'm proud of how far I've got so-far, and look forward to basking in more compliments as I continue to trim.

So to all you dieters out there:  Go you!  Great stuff!  Be proud!

Monday, 9 February 2015

Memories

I can still sometimes feel the grass underneath my feet.

 I can't quite remember if I was wearing my school uniform, or whether it was the weekend, but other little details are etched in my memory as clear as if it was yesterday.  I remember the sky.  It was blue, not the bright blue associated with high-summer, but an off-grey-blue, something that promises a change in the weather, and it was streaked with growing clouds.  

I remember the rust on the swing that hung in my parents back garden, and I remember how the breeze tugged at it that afternoon and made the hinges squeak.

But most of all, I remember the stifling sense of frustration - what I don't remember is why.  In the way of childhood, I'd fled from the house and the responsibilities that had been placed on me (usually to tidy my room or such like), and had fled into the freedom of the garden.  I remember standing there and screaming as the tears flowed down my cheeks that I wanted it all to end, and wishing my hardest that the ground would swallow me up.

I don't remember what happened after.

I hadn't been yelled at or abused in anyway, but I'd felt trapped by life, and I had grasped the chance at freedom with both hands.  I'm pretty sure that I then picked myself up, shook myself off, and trudged back to what ever the perfectly reasonable task I had been asked to complete was.

It does make me wonder though, whether sometimes as adults, we aren't impulsive enough?  Yes, we all have responsibilities, yes, they take up our time and often keep us away from seeing the people we love, but they also give us the contrast to see those times when we're free of those responsibilities.  As a child I bucked against the chains that my parents tied to put on me, and in that moment created a memory so vivid that I can remember it decades on.  Eventually I calmed and accepted the instruction, and have continued to obey as I've got older... but, I have to wonder, as adults would we benefit from a little more 'childish' emotional investment?

Why does growing up have to be about completely conforming?  I'm not suggesting I want anarchy, but the world is such a rich and vibrant place, that sometimes you need to take a step out of the pattern you've created in order to really take-stock of your situation and to see the bigger picture.

As a youngster screaming for the earth to end it all, yes I might have been a bit over dramatic, but I also remembered looking up to the idea of adulthood and the freedom that came with it.  It's only now, as an adult, that I realise that it is that impulsive child who is really free... and that as we grow, we increasingly accept our roles.  

I studied a lot about innocence and experience in A-Level English, but I'm not really thinking about it at that level...  there are just some moments in life that shape you, and that those moments can happen at any time.  You might wish to be more innocent, or experienced depending on your stage of life, but the key thing is to always grasp your life with both hands.