Friday, 26 December 2008

The shock of uncharitable thoughts

I have just shocked myself and my poor mum.
Mother visited my brother D and his family today. She had a lovely time but has just rung to let me know that she is home and tired after driving the furthest she has driven for months. While we chatted I asked after my sister in law (S). I knew that S is due to go into hospital and will need time off work in January. But I didn't know why.

Apparently S has been suffering with endometritis which is something I can sympathise with. But my initial reaction was ........ah the poor girl........... but I was not being sympathetic at all. You see S is going to have a scrape and possibily a hysterectomy. Now I can sympathise with S over the pain and discomfort and the inconvenience she has suffered in the recent past. I can sympathise that she might have to undergo surgery and not be able to work for at least six weeks (especially at a time when she can't afford not to work).

But the reason I am feeling uncharitable is that I suffered in the same way for 26 years from the very onset of my menstral cycles when I was 14 (for once I was a late deveolper). My GP told me that I would grow out of it and be having normal periods by the age of 17. Well he could not have been more wrong.

I never knew when my period was going to arrive, my periods where described as 'irregular' I could go anything from 7 days to 7 months between the end of one period and the start of the next. Each one lasted a minimum of 10 days of which 8 were very heavy and very painful. I could wake up in a pool of blood or as often happened it would start during a lesson at school. I would get to the end of a lessson and stand to leave the classroom to discover that my skirt was soaked in blood. This continued right through my adult life. With the exception of the times I was either pregnant or thought I was due to the month after month of no period (the longest time being 10 months). I could have worn towels or tampons every day which would have eliminated the problem of unexpected floods. But I wanted to live without those restrictions.

I did have various tests which concluded that I had a disease of the ovaries which prevented them from working properly. I am very lucky to have my sons because many women who have this problem don't conceive. I can't at this moment think of the name of the disease except that it was poly something of the ovaries. A side effect of this is oesteoporosis, this meant that I was put on the mini pill for 5 years to slow down the problems with my lack of bone density. During the times when I didn't bleed for months on end I would convince myself that I was pregnant, (I spent a fortune on pregnancy tests that were negative). But then out of the blue I would flood.

So whilst I didn't have as many periods as many other women I have no idea how a normal period feels as mine were always without exception long heavy and very painful. The only time my periods were 'regular' was when I was on the pill. But even then although the timing was controlled by the pill they were still very heavy and painful.

So really I guess I am not unsympathetic to what S is going through just pissed off that these days there is an easy fix when I suffered for 26 years with never a mention of anything that could be done to ease my problems.

Further more when I found the link for this post I noticed this ...........................

Patients suffering from chronic endometritis often have an underlying cancer of the cervix or endometrium.

Could this be an indication that as long ago as when I was 14 I was already destined to have cervical cancer even if I was not diagnosed with it until I was 38. Now I am thankful that my cancer treatment has brought about the end of the painful periods which could in themselves have even have been a symptom of that cancer. Before anyone suggests that it was early sexual activity that causes this I did not have my first sexual encounter (with my first love) until I was 17 which is in many circles considered to be fairly late.


Rae!xx said...

I have symapathy for you as I suffered the same for as long two bouts of Endometriosis only stopped by having the Mirena coil fitted.

Ironically this is the first time in about 10 months I have had a period and I am hoping it is the last.

Polycystic ovaries I would think it is by the way....xx

Wild Cat said...

I have to be honest and say that I am glad that S is getting treatment... this is why.

My younger Sister always suffered and was turned away by the GP for years. About 2 years ago the pain became so crippling that she couldn't straighten every time she bled, which was very often.

When they finally got round to giving her an MRI and other scans/tests they found that it had caused her womb had fused with her bowels.

A complicated specialist operation (at a hospital miles from home), (which caused a tube from her kidney to be damaged and a second operation to fit her with a new plastic tube) later, and she is still in a lot of pain - although she is still healing internally almost 3 months on.

This pain and surgeries could have been avioded with treatment years ago if only the GP had listened.

Maybe this operation your Sister-in-Law is having may prevent a similar situation...?


Lady in red said...

Rae I think you are right about it being polycistic ovaries. It meant that my ovaries only worked some of the time and when they did work they made up for the times that they didn't work.

I hope for your sake that his is the last time for you.


Lady in red said...


I am trully sorry to hear that your sister has had such a bad time and in all honesty I am glad for S tht she is being treated as I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

I just had a knee jerk reaction that its so unfair that I went through it for so many years and now it seems it is so easy to deal with.

I think the world of S she is a lovely woman and so good for my brother I can only be pleased for her that something is being done for her.

The reason I wrote this post was because I shocked myself so much with my reaction to the news. It is not like me to have such uncharitable thoughts. Once she has had a rest I shall apologise to my mother too.

cheekydani said...

Gosh Lady you poor thing. Anyone who suffers like that (and I have a good friend who does, she has to plan her life around her period) really deserves a little sympathy - and I'm not surprised you reacted like that when you heard S's news after so many years suffering yourself x

Mel said...

((((((( LiR ))))))))

I have those moments when I get a bit piffy about what I had to endure. They're fleeting....and I do get to the point where I'm grateful for today's solutions being available for people.
I figure it's very 'human' of me--and very 'human' of you.


DJ Kirkby said...

Hi hon
It is called polycystic ovaries. I am glad your cancer scare is over and that you are a survivor! xo

having my cake said...

It's another one of those problems that women endure and which we know that men would have put pretty high on the list of things to sort out if they had to put up with it.

Hope you've had a good Xmas x

Elaine said...

It's only natural to feel a bit peeved when someone is getting immediate treatment for something you suffered for years with. I'm glad it's all over for you now though. x

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