I was right: post surgery and assorted ramblings.

Hey everyone, thought I’d check back in and explain a bit more about what happened on Tuesday.

I had been so incredibly upset and nervous before going into the hospital that I had worked myself into an almost panic attack state, and was absolutely shaking by the time I got to see the nurse who would be minding me in the ward. Her name was Sylvia. She was lovely: she understood my fear and my nerves, and actually got me some painkillers (paracetamol) to take the edge off my pain, and found me an anti-anxiety tablet to try and help me feel calmer. That thing worked like a charm! It took a little while to kick in, but it really helped. By the time I had been put into my bed, she had talked to both me and the Dutchman extensively and told us what to expect, and found me a warm blanket to snuggle up in. She draped it round my shoulders like a cloak and I snuggled into the heat. It had clearly come off a heating rack or out of an airing cupboard: it was so warm and so nice that I stopped shaking almost instantly.

Next came the process of checking that I knew what operation I had been scheduled for, asking my name and date of birth, scanning my bracelet to make sure I had taken the medication they’d given me, and then some waiting whilst snuggled up in bed. The Dutchman was right there every step of the way, holding my hand, supporting all of us as we waited for the inevitable. We were already feeling less frightened, thanks to the pill, but it helps when your six foot odd husband is holding your hand, stroking your hair and telling you that everything will be ok.

We had been having awful flashbacks to the first laparoscopy in the UK. The way we all felt: treated like a nuisance, a piece of meat. Forced to walk down the hallway in crippling pain without any help and no chance of a wheelchair, or being pushed in on a bed. The callous way the surgeon talked to us and the way that some of the medical staff seemed to look down on us for just being there. There was nobody to help, nobody with us, and no answer at the end of it all.

The contrast could not have been stronger.

The nurses and medical staff were kind and gentle when the time came to wheel me into the pre-operating room. I had one very nice nurse stroking my hair and helping me feel less scared. They fitted the Dutchman up with a weird boiler suit thingy that made us giggle and refer to Friday the 13th: both of us had to wear weird shower caps to keep our hair out of the operating theatre. The boiler suit was so that he could come with us into the theatre, so we wouldn’t be alone. That was a huge relief: I personally didn’t want to go under anaesthetic without him there.

The Dutchman explained to all the medical staff how frightening this was for me and how I needed to have him there to help translate, and the staff were so kind and understanding. They spoke to me both in English and Dutch, but I was so scared, I couldn’t say much at all. The nice nurse who stroked my hair also fitted me with a heart monitor, made sure I knew what procedure I was in for, and gave me a blood pressure cuff too. She and the Dutchman both wheeled me into theatre.

At this point, I was really frightened, but I needn’t have worried. The anaesthesiologists were all very kind and super lovely, and having my husband there helped so much. Even the guy who put the needle in my arm to begin putting the anaesthesia in was really funny and gentle with me. I also got to ask questions about the coil: I’d been repeatedly asked by my usual doctor to have one in and I’d not really wanted to take the risk, but at this point, I was desperate for some sort of pain relief. He was very kind and explained that in six weeks time, if the coil was not behaving, it could easily be taken out. Usually, however, it helps women with endometriosis to have a much less painful life.

It was at that point, when he said that it will help to suppress my endometriosis, that I started to wonder if I was still right and that they would find something. I fell asleep after telling the Dutchman that I loved him with a spark of hope in my heart.

An hour later, he was there again, holding my hand and asking me to come around. The surgeon and his assistant were coming to tell me my results. I hurt everywhere and began to realise that this time, something was different.

“Well,” said the Dutchman, “I think it’s good news.”

He was right.

My surgeon told me that I had mild endometriosis, which they had burnt off my organs, and they’d fitted the coil. He let me see the photos of the weird black blobs sticking to my insides, and it was genuinely the hugest relief to see them outlined against my pink innards. I asked to hug him at that point, and tearfully explained my two year struggle to get anywhere with this whole situation.

I spent the rest of the time recouperating, with the Dutchman holding my hand and telling me how proud he was of me. Clara popped out at one point to gloat that she knew that we were right all along, the cheeky monkey! It was nice to see her so calm and happy and not frightened of the hospital, the sterile smells, the gown we had to wear… She took it all in her stride. Nineteen came out to gloat too and to apologise for not having hope. The Dutchman wouldn’t let her.

I was able to eat and keep down an ice lolly for my sore throat, and a couple of turkey sandwiches. The lady who took over from Sylvia was also absolutely lovely, and she took great pains to ensure I understood the instructions left by the aftercare team… And to wish me a speedy recovery!

Other things to note were the fact that when we came round from the anaesthetic, we spoke fluent Dutch (cracking everyone up), managed to be able to walk gently to the bathroom and back, faced up to our fears about the surgeon not finding anything, and, FINALLY, having all the confirmation that we were right about endometriosis from day one. All that way back, two years ago in the gym, gasping in agony upon feeling something pop inside of us.

We are achey and tired, feeling very sleepy now but cheerful for the first time in a long while. A huge, colossal weight has vanished from our shoulders and after two years, we can finally start to rebuild a life that’s been on hold for so long. Hope is both a powerful and a destructive thing, but this time, it’s just empowering. It’s a sad thing to be so happy about, but after two years of people gaslighting us and making us feel like we’re complaining over nothing… There’s a fair amount to celebrate.

Lots of love from the whole system, anda very relieved and grateful 28 xxx

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Married in twelve days.

Yep. September dawns and we look to the future. Every September, we used to head back to school with sadness in our hearts because of how much we hated academic school. Now, things have very much changed. 

We started dating the ex on 20th September. That was a dreaded date for years: now, we have only really thought of it whilst writing this. The 16th September is where it’s at.

The Dutchman has his waistcoat, gold-flecked and gleaming. Little skull cufflinks will adorn his shirt, and a small femur tie pin will glisten on his tie. My secret, secret dress is almost ready, with only one seam left to fix and it will be perfect. My shoes are from 1920, same as my headdress, family heirlooms from an auntie. I have sewed up the runs in the silk bridal stockings I own (given to me by another auntie), and I know what my something blue is (garter and underwear, shh! Nineteen loves it!).

This is a thrifty, tough month though. We are struggling with finances because the wedding is eating up money like a hungry whale: everything goes in and not much seems to be filtered out. The Dutchman is so calm at the moment, although he admitted he’s been struggling the other day. We stood in the shed, I asking tough questions, until he admitted how stressed he’s been. We all let him know that we love him and that he’s precious, and we are so proud of him.

The wedding preparations are why we have all been so quiet. Once the big day is over, Clara, our newest alter, would like to write you a blog so you know what she’s like. We all love her. She age-slides from eight to eleven, but mostly stays at eight. We baby her a lot, to be honest, and she actually loves it. I think she never really got to be a child from being about eight, and grew up too fast. We have all agreed she can be a child now. 

As for the wedding? I couldn’t sleep the other night because I was so excited. The others were just as bad. I will write a proper update once everything is finished, but for now… Just know that I’m happy, so are the rest of my amazing team, and we are going to marry the guy of our dreams soon. Twelve days.

After the hospital today.

Guess who’s pelvic floor muscles are perfect?! (The physio literally said that!)

Guess who doesn’t have pelvic floor issues?

Sadly, guess who’s back on the diagnostic ladder?

Yes, it’s your favourite system. To be fair, the hospital apologised for the fairly long wait (next appointment is the 1st of August) and our physio was lovely. The internal exam we had also didn’t hurt at all! The physio said we should be very proud of such a huge accomplishment. She’s not wrong.

As always, the Dutchman was there to hold our hand and let us know where we were. 2017, safe with him, living in the Netherlands. 27 managed to surface and do the whole exam with the rest of us, which was good as she managed to stay present through the whole thing. We also managed to have a laugh with the physio and stay calm.
Sadly, after all that anxiety, 27 and our body has absolutely crashed. It’s your friendly neighborhood nineteen writing this for you guys to read. Please let me know if you spot 27 acting really depressed or suicidal, she’s been very ill with that recently and I have to make sure it’s not just sixteen who’s alone in protecting her. 

As for me? I hate seeing 27 so fragile. She fights for us all every day and doesn’t really get much in return. Her anxiety is literally through the roof a lot of the time, and I just want to see her safe. It’s funny, usually she does this for us all, but this time round, it’s me, helping her. She deserves the rest.

So, now that long wait. If anyone has tips for easing our pain (besides heat packs as some days we live with one of those attached to us), please drop us a line in the comments.
Love and spoons, nineteen.