Snail Mail and a Serious Laxative

For this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday Linda has asked us to write about the subject of the last piece of mail we received.

Hmmm… well, I suppose I don’t actually get much hard copy mail sent through the post any more, so much comes in electronically these days, either via email or easily accessed through my online digital accounts. Bank statements are easily downloadable as necessary, and faraway friends tend to keep in touch via mobile instant phone messaging or email rather than by snail mail. Birthday cards and Christmas cards still generally come by post, but of course that’s only once a year.

However the other day I actually received a proper paper parcel in the post, sent out from our local hospital including a letter informing me of the date and time of my forthcoming appointment for a colonoscopy and gastroscopy in the next couple of weeks. Also enclosed was a lot of printed information and instructions as to what to eat for the few days leading up to my appointment and what to expect on the day – oh, and a package of very powerful laxative to start taking the night before to clear out my digestive system… oh joy!

I can’t exactly say I’m looking forward to the actual procedure, but I have to admit I’m really looking forward to finding out what’s wrong with my errrant digestive system – it’s so hard not to worry that it might be something serious. I tell myself I’m sure I’ll be fine, it’ll be nothing concerning, and try to talk myself down from all this fretting. But I also know that sometimes people do get sick out of nowhere – I have a family history of bowel cancer, so I’ve seen at first hand how people can seem to be fine one minute, and then sadly they’re not…

Hopefully all will turn out to be well and it’s just my age, or an occupational hazard of menopause, or something equally routine and ordinary that I can fix simply enough by eating differently – well, eating better, to be honest – but I suppose it’s human nature that until we know different, our health worries are inevitably just that – an unavoidable worry… 🙂

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Difficult to Digest

I’ve been having a few consistently niggly issues with my overall digestive system over the last while, nothing drastic but concerning enough to warrant a trip to my GP last week (just incase) to have things checked out. We have a family history of bowel problems, so better safe than sorry.

Anyway, the upshot of that GP visit is that I’ve got to have my bloods taken, wait for an ultrasound appointment, and as a bit of a belt-and-braces approach I’ve also been referred to the Gastroenterology clinic at our local hospital for a potential colonoscopy to investigate further. Hmmm…

I must admit having a camera up my bum has never been high on my bucket list of desired life experiences, but what the hell – a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Of course it might yet not come to pass (no pun intended) depending on what the consultant decides, but I must admit to feeling more than a little consternation at the prospect.

Still, my health is important and needs must, even if this particular problem does feel more than a little bit difficult to digest… But as ever I feel eternally grateful for our wonderful National Health Service, which means I may have the short-term worry of waiting a while for an initial consultation appointment, but not the long-term worry of how to pay for it all.

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Health

Could Do Better…

I was due to attend a regular check-up appointment with my GP yesterday, to discuss the ongoing progress of my current depressive episode, and how I’m finding my medication this time around. Depression has been a recurring issue for me over my lifetime, so I’m used to these uncomfortable appointments and the kinds of difficult converations they require.

I told my GP I was feeling much better than last time we met, and he asked me how much better – if my first visit a couple of months ago had been scored at zero percent, and perfectly well again would be 100%, what percentage did I feel at right now? I thought about it, and answered quite honestly – about 50%. We had a frank chat about this and the upshot is my medication strength has been increased – apparently after this length of time on my current dose I would ideally be sitting at about 80-85%.

So I left with a new prescription and a seeping sinking feeling of failure, as if in spite of my best efforts I had just received a progress report saying ‘Could do better’… I went home and went straight to bed in tears, upset not to be improving more. But my husband hugged me close and reminded me that however disappointed I felt, what matters most is I’m voluntarily getting the help I need to get better again, whatever it takes.

And sure enough after yesterday’s misery the world looks a little brighter today. It may be a bitter pill for me to swallow but I took my required increase in medication without a fuss this morning and am just getting on quietly with getting myself better the best way I can… 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Due

 

An Excess of Candour

I have discovered the hard way that when someone asks you which everyday task you struggle with most when suffering from lower back pain, it seems that wiping your bottom after going for a poo is not considered an appropriate answer, however truthful it may be… sigh! Apparently it is possible to have too much candour – who knew! 🙂

FOWC: Candour

My Oral Cavity and Other Orifices

It feels like I’m subject to a two-pronged attack on my intimate person this week, top and tail – today was the turn of my dentist, and on Thursday I have a gynae appointment, oh joy of joys. I’m really not terribly keen on having professionals poking and prodding around my innermost being, regardless of which orifice is being examined in detail, but at least today’s ‘open wide’ instruction was perhaps slightly easier to bear than Thursdays ‘just relax’ suggestion may prove to be.

I have had an IUD (intra-uterine device, more commonly known as a coil) in place for the last five years, and it is now time to have it taken out. No big deal, I tell myself, but after the difficulties experienced in getting the damned thing in, I’m more than a little apprehensive about the assured ease of its subsequent removal. I have an enlarged ‘bulky’ womb due to several fibroids (benign tumours) growing within the uterine wall, and one in particular sits really close to my cervix, kind of blocking the way a bit.

It took three attempts on three separate occasions to get the coil through my cervix and into my womb – strike one was via my GP in our local practice, strike two was via a consultant Gynaecologist in a specialised outpatient clinic, and finally after a general anaesthetic in our local hospital operating theatre, during which they checked out my entire reproductive system for any other anomalies while they were in there, the coil was exactly where it should be.

One of the best things about that particular day – and it’s an image that has stuck with me ever since – was seeing a colour photograph taken from the inside of my womb. It looked a bit like an oddly-shaped shiny purple turnip with the most wonderful red-pink striations, but was so amazing to see – here was where my three beautiful babies had grown, their first ever home for their nine months each of gestation. Not quite sure what kind of fish-eye lens was used on the hysteroscope, but the resulting image was certainly spectacular.

Anyway, five years on and Thursday is ‘D’ Day – D for Dreading it – and already I feel my insides pulling up in protective preparation. I actually have a reasonably high pain threshold, but still… when a professional tells you in their best reassuring-bedside-manner voice ‘Just relax…’ you KNOW something uncomfortable/ painful/ downright unbearable is immediately about to happen, and somehow you automatically tense up in expectation, anticipating the worst. So oh, how nice it will be to have it all over and done with without any drama… please! 🙂