When things get tough

It’s been a long time since my last post. That’s partly down to the fact that I’ve been so busy preparing for my investment pitch, but also partly because I haven’t been feeling my best.

Over a year I got struck down one day with the most crippling stomach cramps and some pretty unpleasant symptoms. It lasted for two weeks. Standard tests didn’t show anything and my GP put it down to a virus.

Shortly after I began experiencing regular pelvic pain. I’d had a tentative diagnosis of endometriosis a cuple of years earlier, despite nothing being visible during a laproscopy. “It’s just too small to see” I was told. I was advised to get Depo Provera; a 3 monthly injection which shuts your cycle down. I’d been on that for 18 months already when it was suggested I get a second laproscopy.

I had that surgery in May of this year. Even they were shocked at the extent of damage they found. As well as visible endometriosis lesions, most of my bowel was stuck together and then adhered to the right side of my pelvis. My ureter and bladder also had adhesions which were removed.

For two weeks after the surgery I was great.

Then I had another 2 week spell of that horrific cramping. I’ve had 4 of these flares in one year, with chronic pelvic pain inbetween. The last flare has lasted 6 weeks and I’m still in it. As well as the pain and more unplesant symptoms, I noticed I was getting cold sweats, mouth ulcers, fatigue and just generally feeling really unwell. My doctor got my to do something called a calprotectin test. This is somethingwhich is present when inflammation is present in the bowel. This came back with a positive result.

I saw both a gastroenterologist and my gynaecologist last week. At the minute my symptoms suggest I have both inflammatory bowel disease and further adhesions. I’m now waiting to do that most of plesant of things… the colonoscopy. Afterwards, my gyne would like to do a third laproscopy, followed by putting me on a trial drug for chronic pelvic pain.

All of this comes as my business life is really taking off. I’m through to the final of a business competition hosted by Richard Branson and have a meeting with investors in just over a week. Its been a battle, both physically and mentally, to get myself doing anything work related. I also got a cold this week which has not helped!

So what happens when things get hard like this? Well I just have to keep going. I spent 10 years as a complete recluse and I’ll be damned if I’m going back to that world.

Instead I’ve found myself just having to prioritise workload. I take breaks when I have to. I timetable pretty much everything so that I give myself enough time. I also whinge and vent (sorry parents!) because I also realise its no good bottling things up.

Most of all I’m having to learn to just go with the flow. My big fear was that symptoms would hit at the worst moment. I was having a group business enablement session last week when the cramping hit. I managed to just grit my teeth and shuffle my way through it… and I survived thankfully! I had to cancel a meeting the next day, but that’s just the way it has to be.

I just have to accept those days and move forward to the next.


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