week twenty two – one step forward three back

Posted on: August 17, 2011

Week twenty two – moving on

Its very strange being where I find myself now,  I read at the weekend that women who are menopausal find themselves isolated and invisible,  this I can identify with.  To find yourself going through something at least 10 years earlier than your age group means that other than a few friends who are older (sorry!) my ‘peers’ have no idea what I am talking about.  Hot flushes or flashes are funny and something to be passed over.

Refreshingly someone referred to hot flashes last week as painful and I was stunned so much so I stopped her and congratulated her for explaining them in such a way that others could understand what she meant.  The are painful it feels like you want to rip your skin off and be free.  Food (in particular sugar and spices), alcohol,  emotions, sleep, bathing all bring them on,  triggers are becoming more apparent as time goes on.  I can still set my watch to the half six hot flash, I only have to have a sip of my Options hot chocolate and I can feel my cheeks glowing.  When I go to bed its like something triggers in me and they come thick and fast whilst I settle in to fitful sleep.  Don’t get me wrong though – they are better than they were in the early days post op.  I attribute this to the homeopathic supplements I am taking as well as soya milk.  Also the palpitations and anxiety attacks seem to be lessening. Which is great.

As part of my blog cast I want to describe generally what a hot flash is like for me so here goes.

My legs get twitchy and restless, slightly achy, (depending on how tired I am) then what ever the temperature is I get really cold.  Yet my cheeks and nose start colouring up with a little perspiration,  my back, legs, stomach and chest almost burn with a sudden surge of heat which makes me want to step out of my skin.  This can last from seconds to a few minutes.  Once it has passed the cold shivery feeling returns for a few moments.  Often this whole occurrence makes me feel nauseous and dizzy. Carrying a pack of mints and a bottle of water with me at all times is part of my hot flash survival pack.

I do own some beautiful ornate fans from Spain , these are like my best friend! I have one on  me at all times – so much so that a friend who had a hot flash yesterday asked to borrow my fan.  Am starting to think about sourcing some and selling them (mine are in a beautiful leather case so they can be carried everywhere).  Unfortunately using my fan in public does draw attention to the fact that I am hot.  This has caused a problem on one occasion;  a few weeks ago a group of friends went to an Indian restaurant for a meal,  during which (inevitable with spices) I had the mother of all hot flashes, I duly got out my fan and the waiter thought I was hot because the restaurant was hot so I pumped up the air conditioning.  Which meant that every other customer was bloody freezing within seconds. It was a tad embarrassing trying to explain it.  A sense of humour is vital to get you through this stage in your life.

Physically I am getting fed up and annoyed with the pain that is still being experienced as a result of the operation, ironic really when you consider how much pain I was in before.  Have been building exercise up and up but this is giving me difficulties.  On Friday I cycled in to town – granted this was 5 miles,  but cycling has been a regular activity for me over the past 8 weeks and it seemed ‘do able’.  Then Duncan and I went for a walk and the pain was almost indescribable.  Where as before I would ignore and go through the pain,  now it is almost like my body just gives up and I can’t get over the wall.  In the end I had to stop walking.  We met some friends out who insisted I had a taxi towards the end of the night something I really struggle with. Its been 5 1/2 months now and its just ridiculous.  It feels like I am going backwards with pain and stamina at the moment not forwards.  The following day I slept on and off all day.  Completely wiped out from something so simple.  Giving in is not something that I am familiar with – part of me is scared that its never going to get any easier and that maybe this is as good as its gonna get for me.  What a frightening thought and something I hadn’t considered before my surgery.

Driving is also giving me some issues,  particularly low down on my left hand side – where my ovaries were ,  Am sure once I do it more and more it will get easier. If not maybe I need an automatic!

Its great to have come this far,  but in seeking ‘endopendance’ I have lost so much independence.


Endosister Liz



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Roses of Endometriosis

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