Sunday, 11 October 2009

The "Mones"

With the my GRS just over three weeks away I am having quite a lot of soulful thoughts, like the tiger cub in this picture.

I completely stopped using my hormones patches on 22nd September as per the pre op requirements specific to the Nuffield Hospital Brighton for GRs with Mr Thomas. They advised me hormones should stop six weeks before surgery.

I decided to ease my self off the two prescribed eveorel patches by cutting down to one at 7 weeks before surgery, with my last patch applied on 20th stopping completely on 22nd. This was the first time I had been off hormones since Nov 1996 & I have been quite nervous how I would cope. The answer for me is not too bad. Certainly not as bad as I thought & if any one does not believe me, I will cry & throw a hissy fit, so there!

It has not been as scary as I thought it would be. I experienced a strange taste in my mouth within days. After a few days my skin seemed different & I felt more lethargic but no dramatic mood swings, hot flushes or sickness.

After the first week off hormones my "Happy face" momentarily failed me. I was due at the hospital for a voluntary day & having a nice shower when my mones went haywire. In floods of tears, my body feeling like it was reverting to man mode I felt too ugly to face the world. My skin feels so different. I suddenly felt very different, menopausal for goodness sake, I just knew it was going to happen at some point. I had to phone in to let them know I would be a little late. I was not going to let it beat me. I thought of all my sisters out there. How through it all, with all you have going on, you find the spirit & positive energy to keep going. If you are fortunate enough to have a job to go to a working girl does not have the option of throwing a sicky in the middle of a world wide recession.

I crawled into work only an hour late. Children's op was lovely as always I then went on to a new posting in medical personal. It was manic. The girls were snowed under with stressed out doctors/staff with queries about their pay etc. I was up & down running about like the most junior junior of filling assistants & was not involved in the stressy stuff. I was made to feel very much part of their team & my efforts although menial were valued. I was invited to join them for lunch, share a coffee & asked if I could come back again soon. One day I will but possibly not in that department!

I looked up at one point from my filling & in a rather grubby window there was a reflection of a woman in a very busy office, who had a very busy life, was tired, had been emotional, felt like cak but just kept going, She had a great big smile on her face. No one had a clue what she had been through where she had come from or where she was going, she was just one of the girls. That reflection was mine but once again I thought of all of you making your way in the working world.

As an aside it did strike me afterwards that all the most obvious stress & angst occurred in the medical personal office, with the paperwork not where the work was really critical in the caring departments, which perhaps says a lot about the misplaced priorities we can sometimes have in our working lives.

I had my pre-op bloods, swabs & hopefully last Triptorelin monthly injection on 29th September. Brighton advised me that Triptorelin testosterone blocker must be out of my system for at least a week prior to surgery. The last monthly one is to be five weeks before surgery date.

Due to the increased risk of infection at my voluntary work with the hospital I was advised by Brighton, once swabs for MRSA etc have been completed which should be 3-4 weeks before surgery I must stop working there. I have a second swab test this coming week. The first was clear. I was also advised I should not return to the hospital voluntary work for twelve weeks because of the risk of infection.

It was also recommended that my genital hair removal should ideally be completed 3 weeks prior to my surgery. I have had 13 electrolysis & 3 laser IPL sessions with an excellent hair removal specialist. It is not easy to find a practioner experienced & able to do this type of specialist hair removal. To help with my electrolysis I actually had to dye my hair black the night before so they were easier to locate. I have had to take painkillers & apply lots of prescribed emla cream to ease the discomfort of the final stages as my anxiety has increased. It is just another process to go through & better done beforehand than after when it may not even be possible. A humble recommendation to anyone who is considering hair removal with laser IPL is to consider doing it when you are young & your hair has more natural dark pigment.

My mood swings have become a bit more wobbly this week. Dad has been on his best behaviour bless him as my Mum has warned him I when I feel much more emotional. With my surgery so close now it is causing me to focus on that area of my body I had for so long managed to blank out of my mind. I never experienced “willy hate” just great sadness. Now it feels like those memories, those nerve endings are so raw they are already being cut by the surgeon. I feel these emotions are perfectly understandable & healthy. I would not be human if I went into this kind of surgery with no nerves at all. I have dreamed & planned off the day when that part of my body could be corrected. I may have dreamed it but now the reality of that dream is hitting me full on & conjuring up all kinds of emotions. I am experiencing all kinds of life affirming feelings together with a few demons.

With just over three weeks to go I think the time is right for me to stop all my voluntary work which I have really enjoyed doing. My concentration has become worse & my emotions heightened by the day. Nothing too out of the ordinary considering my date with destiny may be very very close, all being well.This is causing me additional anxiety in my personal friendships & I fear all hope for my most special of friendships may now reached its darkest hour after a glimmer of hope. In spite of the tears, there is so much to experience, so much to do. I have never ever felt more alive than I do now. Life is full of surprises. I must stop moaning about my mones. My judgment is slightly clouded by my lack of hormones but I can clearly see I have so much to be truly grateful for.

May your life be kind to you.
((((((((((Peace & hugs)))))))))

PS Please note any medical information needs to be confirmed by qualified medical personal who are assigned to look after your specific medical needs. We are all different & so are the requirements at different hospitals etc I only offer the information here as my particular experience.


Karen said...

I have no idea what you are going through with the hormones. You have developed a mental toughness that can see you through.
All I can say is stay focused and keep moving forward.
Look after yourself.

chrissie said...

A lovely post, Debbie.... :)
Brought a smile to my face.

Anonymous said...

Good luck Debbie.

Hannah Rose said...

Just looked in quickly - keeping going girl, nearly there.

xxx Hannah xxx

Anji said...

Now I can really say 'I know how it feels'- menopause. Though so far I've been lucky and you'll get a 'menostartagain'.

It's useful to know that people don't always know what's going on inside. I bet you are missing the hospital work and the people there.

Not long to go now!

Anonymous said...

Wow Debbie only three weeks to go! :) you must wake up every morning and pinch yourself knowing your this close at last.

Wishing you a speedy and healthy three week wait and a uneventful surgery and recovery.

You must tell us of your plans post GRS and recovery.

Sending you lot of love and hugs


Calie said...

Such a well written post, Debbie. I loved the paragraph about your reflection in the window.

I so respect what you are going through and envy, so much, the fact that you will be complete soon.

Take care.

Calie xxx

caroline said...

Strange how different surgeons vary the way the same operation is done, many not putting their patients through the hair removal process at all. But you have done it and jumped all their other hurdles too.

May you be rewarded with a happy version of the life you have so longed for.

Good luck.

Caroline xx