Those of you who follow me on Instagram or Twitter may know that I’ve been really unwell again – the pain I experienced in April/May time returned. This time, it clearly couldn’t be my appendix (as originally thought) as they had already removed it earlier this year – you can read about this here.
Over summer, I had twinges of the original pain – it was so distinctive – I assumed, and desperately hoped, that it was just scarring from the operation to remove my appendix. In early September, the pain started becoming more frequent, with a couple of twinges happening per day instead of over a couple of weeks – I went back to the doctor and he said to see how I went, book an appointment for three weeks time and review it then. Little did I know, in the space of those three weeks, I’d have had two more appointments with a new consultant AND a surgery.
On the 15th September, my pain became so unbearable that I had to go to A&E, they refused to discharge me given how much morphine I needed so I stayed in for a couple of nights – WHAT A BLOODY TREAT THAT WAS! Whilst there, the consultants told me different things – one said I had polycystic ovaries, the other disagreed, so I had no idea what was going on. I started to feel so hopeless and horrendously exhausted with both the pain and disappointing outcomes – where are my violins..?
Me on the day I first got admitted to hospital (15th Sept) and me on surgery day (30th Sept) as you can see, I’m looking my finest. Ryan, you lucky man.
Luckily, my mum had already booked an appointment with a NEW consultant for a fresh pair of eyes – I put all my trust in him having been messed around so much and I’m so glad that I did. After giving me another ultrasound, must be my fourth this year, just call me The Ultimate Ultrasound Receiver (wow, catchy), he concluded that nothing could be seen on the scan and that they needed to have a proper look inside by doing a laparoscopy (key hole surgery). After waiting in pain every day, surgery day came – I’d literally been counting down the days for its arrival. I was SO nervous that they wouldn’t find anything but also incredibly scared that they’d find something and wouldn’t be able to fix it.
After I woke up, I asked my mum what the outcome was. To my ABSOLUTE RELIEF, I was told that they’d found both of my ovaries were stuck to my pelvis and my bowel had adhered to my abdominal wall – they’d been able to fix both of these problems. Had I not been so out of it, I genuinely would have cried with happiness.
It’s now almost ten days on and recovery is going VERY SLOWLY. Far less progress than I’d have liked has been made and I’m still only able to stand for about 5 minutes without feeling super dizzy and sick with the pain. I’ve felt so rubbish, fed up and exhausted by the pain. I’ve cried a lot and felt so low. It’s really hard not being able to do things you really want to do because of an illness, I’ve experienced this a lot before, but this time I’ve been missing really fab things like my best friend’s 21st. That being said, I do get the new glorious experiences of not being able to comfortably wear anything other than my famous space jimjams and struggling to use stairs – who’s the real winner here?
As truly shitty as things have been, I’ve had the greatest support system around me and I’ve still tried to find little things every day to cheer me up – I’ve watched lots of New Girl, Brooklyn Nine Nine and lots of my boyfriend pratting about to make me laugh. One of the things that helped me to keep going most is get well soon cards and messages. I’m still a child in that I LOVE getting things by mail – I think it’s a lost art! Regardless of how awful I’ve felt, receiving get well soon cards has always managed to make me smile. I think it’s so incredibly kind that people have taken time out of their day to buy a card, write a message and post it in order to wish you well; it really warms my heart. It also shows you that even though you’re going through a rubbish time, meaning you’ve practically dropped off the face of the earth, people are still thinking and caring about you.
The same goes for get well soon messages or messages checking up on you. MAJOR thanks to my Whatsapp Wonders Hugh and Dominic who have messaged me practically every day asking me how I’m feeling. It’s made me smile so much when people have messaged me to ask how I’m doing because sometimes you can feel a bit forgotten about when you’ve been ill for a prolonged period of time. People didn’t even have to say much, some sent me funny gifs or BuzzFeed articles and others just sent a simple ‘heard you haven’t been well, hope you’re doing a bit better!’ – either way, these things really helped to keep me pushing on by sprinkling a bit more joy into each day.
I think the same applies to when someone is mentally unwell or struggling with something in their life. I know when I was unwell for a long time it really helped when people messaged me things like ‘hope you’re doing okay’ or even just telling me something funny that had happened in their day so I felt like I was more in the loop!
If you’re really close to the person, you could even buy them a little treat to cheer them up. Leila sent her dad round with flowers as she wasn’t in the same city of me (what a legend of a best friend), Alice and I bought lipsticks for each other so we could focus on getting better to wear them, Ryan (my lovely boyfriend) has bought me beautiful eyeshadows and an eyeliner to wear, my mum and dad have bought me other goodies to pamper myself and my Nana has showered me in Oreo Dairy Milk and flowers – what a way to a woman’s heart. I am so humbled by their kindness!
I understand that when life is busy, it’s easy to forget to send a card/text to someone who’s having a shitty time – we’ve all been there! However, PLEASE, if you know someone is struggling, send them a card/message with something cheery to make them smile. Sprinkle some joy into their rubbish day. It might really help them to keep going even when they feel like they’re too exhausted to.
Stacks of love,
P.S. Special, special, special thanks to my amazing family and also my gorgeous boyfriend, Ryan, who has practically spent every minute by my side for the past month – getting me anything I need and doing anything he can to make me smile. I love you, P.