All praise to National Mental Health Awareness week!!!!
Did you miss that? It’s a thing in the UK where we are supposed to care more about mental health issues, be extra open to talking about our feelings and suffer constant social media bombs of the shocking statistics of male suicide. Lovely.
I probably wouldn’t have noticed it this year had I not gone to see my GP for a pill review and come out with a Loony Tunes referral. In my last scribbles, I told you about getting a period from hell after three months of zero uterine action on the Progesterone Only Pill. That lasted about two weeks in true period form, then settled down into almost-daily rounds of sludgy spotting. That lasted until last week. You don’t need to the check the post dates, I will confirm for you that yes that is about three months of constant, although light bleeding. ‘Light’ bleeding. Nothing to worry about, it’s only light. Your iron levels stay just high enough to keep you awake and hey, it’s not as bad as a period, right??? No, it is very different to a period. Because although not crippled, I’m still bleeding. I’m still bloated. I’m studded with tiny, painful spots and you could grease an engine with my hair after 6PM. My bloat makes running really uncomfortable and swimming is out of the question so I cant get any exercise endorphin therapy. Every time I take a pee or get changed I get a sticky reminder of the fact that as a human female of reproductive age I am utterly defective. It’s right there in my knickers, and knickers don’t lie, kids! I hit the point where actually, I really would take feeling utterly crap for one week out of four than another six months of this daily bloaty drudge and I asked my GP to change what I am taking. She then asked me what the Gynae consultant had said about my child bearing prospects and then, dear reader, I lost my shit a little bit.
I lost my shit in Mental Health Awareness week, however, and there was no tutting, no awkward tissue passing and no ‘there-there’. I was told that my GP would call the hospital to confirm the whereabouts of my two months late gynae follow up and that she would also have to see me in another ten minute slot to discuss My Mood. Sorry, what?
We will deal with the uterus don’t worry, but what about The Mood?
After I promised to return to discuss my current misery levels she gave me a list of helplines and asked me if I ever considered self harming. I have to admit, this seemed ridiculous at the time and I wondered what she would make of me having a real meltdown, vs the teary swearfest she had witnessed on the subject of the total lack of information I have received about my longterm health options. I’d be in a straightjacket, no doubt. But I’m not going to moan, because three hours later she called me to confirm that I had a follow up appointment, with a consultant rather than another registrar, in less than a week’s time.
I went to that appointment, I was treated like a human being and, lo and fucking behold, I was offered the standard recommended next treatment stage for anyone with suspected endometriosis! Yes, we are also back to suspected endo despite the registrar from last year randomly deciding that he didn’t believe it in. This guy listened to me. He asked questions. He confirmed that I absolutely shouldn’t be bleeding every day when I’m on a POP treatment and he got out the paperwork for a keyhole surgery to get a definitive diagnosis. Literally, got the forms out of a drawer. Sign here, let’s take an MRSA swab too so it doesn’t get held up. While we’re here let’s take a quick endometrium biopsy and check for any big nasties. Because anyone with this condition has done the googling and wondered about various lady cancers. He would have done it there and then, was my cervix not in hiding, so that’s going to happen in a few months with the laparoscopy. We’ll be in touch, good luck.
Bloody hell. Progress. I’m thrilled. And having never had a general anaesthetic before, also a bit terrified. And I went back to see my GP about My Mood wanting only to thank her for pulling the right strings to get this sorted for me. As an aside, had they not seen me last week I would not have been seen until October. But she still wanted to talk mood and it surprised me the more I talked about it the more I realised I have been in a long term low level depression. Yeah I get out of bed and go to work and everything but I don’t look forwards to anything apart from going to bed and seeing my family. Actually, a lot has happened this year along with my broken fanny I’ve had to leave a job I loved due to the boss being a wanker and take on the fact that I’m never going to be a parent. That’s not easy. Especially when I have a shiny new niece and in all the celebration of her gummy cuteness I can feel the weight of the eyes on me and know everyone is just itching to ask: when will you have one????
Turns out she was right and My Mood was in the gutter and one of the most practical boosts for it was to force some progress in my endo diagnosis. Why does it have to come to sitting tearstruck and furious for this to happen though? Why wouldn’t they do this before? I’ll tell you why- Mental Health Awareness week. That little reminder in the world to acknowledge how much being unhappy can impact on your health, especially if your health is a bit ropey to being with. I say again, All Praise Mental Health Awareness Week.