Life Lately: Investigating Health Issues And Finding Rainbows

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Lately, life has been a little bit up and down which is why I haven’t written a blog post for almost two weeks. One reason is because my camera has been away for repair. While my iphone is perfectly adequate for taking a photograph or two for Instagram, it really doesn’t cut the mustard when it comes to photographing outfits for my blog.  The main reason though is that I had a minor op last Friday, (9th February) and it left me feeling (unexpectedly) very tired and really quite weak. More of this in a moment.

Two Minor Health Issues

I mentioned in the post about my year 2017, that I was having a few health issues investigated. I thought there were two, but there are now three. Two are very minor indeed- a skin lesion on my nose and some cysts in my eyelid. Recently, my GP referred me for a small flesh-coloured lesion on my nose to rule out basal cell carcinoma, (BCC), a non-invasive skin cancer. I saw a plastic surgeon a few weeks ago and he is almost certain that it isn’t BCC. However, rather than just take a biopsy, he is going to remove it completely on 9th March. It’ll be done under local anaesthetic and I’ll be left with a few stitches and a black eye! I’ll write an update on this after the op.

The other minor issue, the cysts in my eyelid, are a consequence of an internal hordeolum, (stye), I had last summer. This is an acute infection of the meibomium glands, (the glands which produce the oily component of the tears).  At the time, I had a painful, swollen, upper eyelid which seemed to resolve without treatment. However, the glands must have become blocked because I am left with two meibomium cysts, (or chalazia). These are within the upper eyelid and are palpable and really quite unsightly, although I can conceal them with eyeshadow. The main thing is though, is that they are affecting the vision slightly. I’m have an appointment with an ophthalmologist on Wednesday of this week. I’m hoping he’ll agree to remove them, but it might be classed as a cosmetic procedure, so again, I’ll update when I know more.

And One A Little More Serious

This next health issue is more serious because it has affected my life for quite some time. For years now, I have had heavy, painful menstrual bleeding. This lasts for 10 days out of every 24 and I know that a lot of women will identify with the physical, social and emotional impact this has. To cut a long story short, I have tried all of the usual treatments for heavy bleeding including the progesterone-only pill, the Mirena coil and transexamic acid. All to no avail. The next stage is further investigation, so I went for a hysteroscopy 11 days ago. This is a camera investigation of the uterus, plus biopsies, undertaken without anaesthesia. It was a quick procedure, only about twenty minutes and I was home an hour or so later.

I will get the results at a follow-up appointment in a few weeks time, when the gynaecologist and I will discuss the next steps. I’m not expecting anything sinister because I had an internal ultrasound scan last summer. As well as that, it has been going on for so long that there would have been other manifestations of anything truly serious by now. I am hoping though that the results will indicate an intervention which will solve or at least reduce the severity of this ongoing problem. I will write in greater detail about the bleeding, the hysteroscopy and any subesquent treatment, once I know what’s what. The more women I tell, the more women I hear about that have had similar health issues. It might help to reassure.

A Week Of Post-Op Blues

Although the procedure was quick, it was uncomfortable and I felt quite tearful afterwards. I was light-headed and my blood pressure was very low post-op. My lovely friend Sue took me and brought me home and left me with a much-needed hot water bottle, painkillers and a cup of tea. For the rest of the day, I was weepy and had a lot of lower back pain and stomach cramps as well as heavy bleeding. In short, this lasted for a week; much longer than the day or two I had anticipated.

It was half-term so my parents took Poppy and Harry away for a few days so that I could rest. Ian was here from Tuesday evening because he works remotely for part of the week. It was wonderful because it meant that after work, he cooked and helped with the household chores. Perhaps most importantly, he gave me permission to stop, to rest and to snooze. Those that know me know that resting and switching off don’t come easily to me. As a lone parent who is self-employed, I hardly take any time off and rarely stop and rest. It came as a shock to me to find that my body didn’t recover as quickly as I expected.

The Rainbows

There was so much to enjoy though during the last week or so. No matter how much it rains,  I always look for rainbows and this one in Skipton town centre on Saturday afternoon made a very timely appearance.

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I had a lot of visits (and flowers), from family and friends. That in itself was simply lovely. And before she went away, Poppy gave me some lovely gifts including my favourite chocolate, almonds and a face mask. She also bought some adhesive heat pads for the cramps. I used them on my back and tummy and they worked wonders. I was very very touched by the thought she put in and felt very loved.

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Ian cooked an extra special Valentine’s meal and spoiled me with red roses and chocolates. What more could I ask for?

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By the Friday evening, a week after my op, I was well enough to go out, so we went for dinner at one of our favourite local restaurants. I wore a new dress, so I’ll recreate that outfit once my camera is back. I like this photo but I think I look very tired!

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Over the weekend, Ian and I booked a holiday for the two of us plus the children so we have a week in the sun to look forward to in August. And right now, we are in the process of converting part of my garage into a better office space. I absolutely cannot wait. Once these health issues are resolved, I think we are in for a very happy and exciting year.

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43 Comments

  1. February 19, 2018 / 4:01 pm

    Sorry to hear you’ve been having a tough time Lizzy. I hope it’s all quickly resolved and you’re soon feeling much better. Big hugs xxx

    Emma
    http://www.style-splash.com

    • elizabeth
      Author
      February 19, 2018 / 4:58 pm

      Thank you so much Emma. yes, I’m feeling so much better and I’m really looking forward to the follow-up to see what’s what! lots of love xxxx

  2. Emma Woods
    February 19, 2018 / 4:05 pm

    Hi Liz,
    So sorry to hear of your health concerns! It’s always a worry and I hope anyone else suffering with any similar issues will be encouraged by your words to seek medical help.
    I’m glad you are feeling better now and it’s great to be able to still see the positives in life and your surroundings! Good luck with the follow-ups, I’m sure you won’t need it though.
    Lots of love xxx

    • elizabeth
      Author
      February 19, 2018 / 4:57 pm

      Thank you Emma. Thank you so much. Yes, I hear of similar troubles from so many women and it’s not always easy to talk about. I kept it to myself for quite a while. There are so mnay positives. The last week or so has been hard but my goodness, it makes me realise more than ever how much I take my health for granted and how well I have always kept until recently. And thank you. I’m not expecting any bad news but I am hopeful there will be a solution to the heavy bleeding. lots of love to you and Ian xxxx

  3. February 19, 2018 / 4:09 pm

    So sorry to hear of your recent health issues. It always seems to be the case that one health issue follows another. That’s probably why you are tired and have been feeling a little low. You must take care and rest up lots. You sound like you have lots of lovely helpers. I suffered from similar period issues and had many operations after it was discovered I had endometriosis. I was very lucky as the Mirena coil was fitted and it was amazing as it reduced my symptoms so much. Now I’m in menopause and so everything has completely cleared up as I have no periods now ! What joy ! It’s lovely to be pain free and without the flooding every few weeks. I really hope you start to feel better soon Lizzy. Take care and lots of love xx Susanna xx

    • elizabeth
      Author
      February 19, 2018 / 4:53 pm

      Thankyou Susanna. Yes, I think you’re right- I have felt at a low ebb physically which seems to have made the other little things seem a little worse. But I do have an amazimg family and so many friends. The children hace been wonderful and of course Ian has done everything he can too. I’m very lucky. Oh you poor thing. Endometriosis sounds horrendous. I’m glad the Mirena worked for you. I had constant spotting for two years and finally, I couldn’t bear it any longer so had it removed. And yay for menopause. Yes, I won’t miss the flooding whenever it may end. Thank you so much for commenting and your lovely wishes xxx

  4. Jane
    February 19, 2018 / 4:42 pm

    Get well soon!! Thank you for talking about it -it’s a problem I can relate to! Xx

    • elizabeth
      Author
      February 19, 2018 / 5:00 pm

      Oh Jane, thank you. I’m sorry to hear you can relate though. As I said, I really want to write about it in greater depth after I know what the next steps will be. It’s such a common problem and one that isn’t always easy to talk about. I’m from a medical background and family and my mum is a retired midwife so I’m fortunate to be able to talk quite openly when needed. I hope you are getting treatment or help if necessary. Lots of love xxx

      • Jane
        February 20, 2018 / 7:22 pm

        What a lovely response. Thank you xx

        • elizabeth
          Author
          February 21, 2018 / 10:40 am

          You’re so welcome xxxxx

  5. February 19, 2018 / 5:45 pm

    Oh Lizzy!! I’m so sorry you’ve been having a shitty time. Bless you re the op — I’m sorry you had to go through it but hopefully it will do the trick and you’ll be free of those lengthy periods. I’ve been having tests recently too — for something totally different — I had to have a brain scan a couple of week’s ago. I’m TERRIFIED of MRI scans so it wasn’t the best!! Looking forward to getting the results back and (hopefully) getting a course of action to solve the pulsatile tinnitus I’ve been experiencing.

    Ageing is just NOT pretty is it?! LOL!! CXX

    • elizabeth
      Author
      February 19, 2018 / 7:25 pm

      Caro, ageing sucks!!!!! Thank you and yes, I am certain that it will all get resolved by summer. And you poor thing. I had no idea about your brain scan. You must be incredibly frustrated and worn down by the tinnitus. Good luck with the results and I hope you will be offered a solution xxxxxxx

  6. Kareema
    February 19, 2018 / 6:02 pm

    Hi Lizzy, So sorry to hear about your health issues. Hopefully all will be resolved soon and wishing you a speedy recovery from your recent op. I always admire people who can still remain positive when life throws these curve balls. As you know I have been following your blog for a long time now and you just radiate sunshine. Kareema xx

    • elizabeth
      Author
      February 19, 2018 / 7:22 pm

      That’s such a lovely thing to say Kareema. Yes, it feels like a curved ball for sure but equally I’m incredibky grateful that it isn’t more serious or long-term. I’ll be glad when I have the results and a plan of action but I really am not expecting any bad news. Thank you again and love to your lovely family xxx

  7. Anna
    February 19, 2018 / 6:10 pm

    I hope you feel better soon, it’s a bit of a shock when what you think is only going to be a minor procedure then knocks you for six! Glad to hear you had lots of loving support and were well looked after at home. And such a good plan to book a holiday so that you have something to look forward to amidst all the health investigations etc. Xx

    • elizabeth
      Author
      February 19, 2018 / 7:19 pm

      Thank you Anna. Yes, I have so many friends and a wonderful family who were all brilliant. Ian is wonderful too of course. And yes, we are sure that I will be completely back to normal by the summer abd really can’t wait for some sunshine. It’s so lovely having it to look forward to already xxxx

  8. February 19, 2018 / 6:21 pm

    So sorry to read of your health investigations. I too had heavy bleeding many years ago and finally had a novasure ablation done. It worked and I stopped having periods all together but with hindsight it has meant my menopause journey has been less clear and I’m not sure if it messed up my hormones further. I still may have gone ahead with it but I wish I’d been better informed of the likely problems! I hope everything gets sorted out, including your poorly camera xxx

    • elizabeth
      Author
      February 19, 2018 / 7:17 pm

      Thank you for sharing Michelle. I’m glad the ablation stopped the bleeding but it seems to have caused another set of problems. My goodness, it must have seemed like one thing after another for you. Ablation has been mentioned as a possible remedy but we can’t make any decisions until the biopsy results etc are through. I’ll definutejy make sure I ask about potential side effects. My friend had it done recently and is delighted. She’s younger than me though, about 42) so is unlikely to be menopausal just yet. Thank you again and yes, I’m desperate to get my camera back! xxxx

  9. Marianne
    February 19, 2018 / 6:28 pm

    Hello Lizzy
    Thank you for posting about your hysteroscopy. A relative of mine had one two weeks ago today, along with a few biopsies and was very tearful afterwards which surprised her. I will show her your blog as it seems this may
    be a side effect you shared.

    • elizabeth
      Author
      February 19, 2018 / 7:13 pm

      Oh Marianne, that’s so interesting. Two of my friends have had a hysteroscopy and neither had mentioned feeling tearful. I thought it was just me because I’m very emotional at the best of times! I do hope she’s ok now. Please wish her well. I will definitely write about it in more detail after I know whether or not I need any further intervention. Thank you for commenting xxx

  10. February 19, 2018 / 7:13 pm

    I’m so very pleased to hear that you’re feeling much better darling girl. That office space will be life changing! I’m well jell 😉 xxx

    • elizabeth
      Author
      February 19, 2018 / 7:38 pm

      Hee hee! No need to be jel. I think your life-changing move to the US will trump my little conversion. But you are right. It will change our lives for the better and Ian and I are both looking forward to this project. And thank you- yes, so much better this week (after all the paracetamol and pineapple!!!) xxxx

  11. Sue
    February 19, 2018 / 9:13 pm

    Lizzy, hope you get results soon and have a plan of action. I had heavy periods thanks to fibroids, for about 10 years, and getting worse and iron levels through the floor. I didnt want to have surgery so carried on. About 2 years after I started taking it a GP questioned how I was taking the transexamic acid and when it should be taken – I had been doing it wrong all that time. Sadly it didn’t make a huge difference. However using a Moon Cup was a revelation and made life far more bearable and controllable. It also enabled me to understand part of my problem was due to clots. I saw 3 GPs who had never come across them…. I wish I had used one years earlier as it is also environmentally far more friendly and cost effective. Anyway, something innocuous let to me seeing a Gynaecologist who did an ultrasound there and then and said I had a prolapse and that the fibroids needed dealing with. A hysterectomy was recommended. 4 years on I wished I had done it sooner. Recovery was so much quicker than I ever expected. A week of feeling tired, a week of taking it easy and then all was good although I took it easy for 6 weeks in terms of lifting and didn’t play tennis for 10, but that was due to some extra work with the prolapse. If you need to go down that route don’t fear it, done vaginally it is much easier to recover from. No periods afterwards make it all worth while. Will keep fingers crossed that everything comes back ok, and that you are feeling on top form again soon.

    • elizabeth
      Author
      February 20, 2018 / 8:32 am

      Hi Sue. Thank you so much for commenting and for sharing. My goodness, you’ve been through it. I’m so glad you’re through it now and that you are so happy with the outcome of the hysterectomy. It’s sunny, a year ago, if anyone had mentioned hysterectomy, I would have been very against the idea. Now though, I really think I would welcome it with open arms. I have the same problem with clots too and I think the tranexamic acid made them worse. It reduced the bleeding for a few days, but as soon as I stopped the four day course, the pain and flow became almost unbearable and passing the clots was horrendous. I think the clots were those caused by the tranexamic acid to reduce the bleeding in the first place. These were worse than when I didn’t take it. It seemed like a vicious cycle of events!
      I am really hoping that the gynaecologist (who is absolutely wonderful), will give me a few options, but if hysterectomy is indicated, then I will be very happy to go ahead. Thank you again Sue xxxxx

      • Sue
        February 20, 2018 / 9:13 pm

        Hi Lizzy. 4 years on it is now dim and distant, so there is hope, although think perimenopause is in the offing. I still have my ovaries. Hadn’t thought about the tranexamic acid causing/exacerbating the clots but guess it might. The Mooncup certainly a) made dealing with them better/easier, and b) enabled me to see/understand the problem, although that probably sounds absolutely gross! Good luck whatever treatment is needed.

        • elizabeth
          Author
          February 21, 2018 / 10:39 am

          I can see exactly why the Mooncup will have helped, but I have to admit, I don’t like the thought of it. Hee hee!! It’s not gross but I do know what you mean!!Thank you so much for your good wishes xxxxx

  12. sequinist
    February 19, 2018 / 9:21 pm

    Oh Liz, you poor lamb. They say these things always come in threes, so at least you have your three issues all ticked off the list! I’m glad you are feeling better, and I’m so sorry that this has knocked you so much. Keep taking time to rest, and know that in the fullness of time, you’ll have plenty more rainbows ahead of you… starting with a shiny new home office! Love and hugs and rest to you, lovely lady xx

    • elizabeth
      Author
      February 20, 2018 / 8:26 am

      Thank you Lisa. Absolutely! So many rainbows and sunny days ahead. And thank goodness I know (or at least I’m pretty sure), that there is nothing serious wrong and that something will be done to remedy it. Thank you darling friend xxx

  13. February 19, 2018 / 10:22 pm

    I’ve just read the blog and I hope you are feeling better! Love and hugs from me. Xxx

    • elizabeth
      Author
      February 20, 2018 / 8:25 am

      Thank you so much Reshma. I’m feeling so much better this week and am really looking forward to getting the results of the hysteroscopy and finding out what the next steps will be. Lots of love xxxx

  14. notdressedaslamb
    February 20, 2018 / 10:48 am

    Liz it’s been awful to hear of your health issues – but I am SO glad that you’re finally getting them looked into. We’ve all been through the wringer a bit already this year, haven’t we…? It’s lovely to hear that you’ve booked a holiday with Ian and the kids and are converting your garage, as we’re moving this year (hopefully!) I can’t wait to do the same with a spare room for some proper office space.

    You know we’re always here for you anytime you need anything, even if it’s just to vent!! Love you loads lovely girl,

    Catherine x

    • elizabeth
      Author
      February 20, 2018 / 11:14 am

      Oh thank you Catherine. Yes, we really have been through the wringer haven’t we? It feels like one thing after anothr for us as a group of friends. But yes, we’ve booked a holiday and have the garage conversion to look forwards to. all wonderfully happy forward-moving things. And talking of moving…you and keith have so much to look forward to with your potential move. Lots of love and thank you for always being there xxxxxx

  15. Suzy Turner
    February 20, 2018 / 10:53 am

    Ouch Lizzy! That all sounds so horrible – but hopefully it will all get sorted out soon and you’ll be back to your usual self again in no time. I really do feel for you having to deal with such horrendous periods though, especially when they come so often. My periods have been up and down one over the years, some very excruciating (and heavy) months and others where I have little pain. They seem to be a bit better lately though so fingers crossed it will stay this way.
    Sending big hugs,
    Suzy xx
    http://www.suzyturner.com

    • elizabeth
      Author
      February 20, 2018 / 11:10 am

      Thank you Suzy. It’s no fun is it at times? But I’m so very grateful that the hysteroscopy was a means to an end and that I will have some answers and hopefully some solutions within the next few weeks. The eyelid and nose are so minor and are things that I think will be a case of going, getting them done and getting home! I hope you continue to have fewer painful periods Suzy too xxx

  16. February 20, 2018 / 1:57 pm

    Oh poor Lizzy, what a nightmare! But at least those two things, in their different degrees of seriousness, are being sorted out. Period pain is crap!

    I had an operation two weeks ago as you know from my IG page and I was surprised how it knocked me out for the week – anaesthetic is a very strong drug! But aren’t we both lucky that the men in our lives took such good care of us? And nice news about the holiday. 😊

    I have a post of my own to publish about thus topic, though am on the mend. Meanwhile hope you’re fighting fit very soon. Xx

    • elizabeth
      Author
      February 20, 2018 / 3:25 pm

      Thank you Emerald and yes, everything will be sorted in a very short time. You’re so right about having lovely men too. I think that over and over and still can’t quite belive it at times. And yes, we’re already counting down until August. I really hope you’ve fully recovered. I’ll keep an eye out for your post. Lots of love xxxxxx

  17. Rachel
    February 23, 2018 / 6:56 pm

    Hi Lizzy, I wanted to thank you for your honest description of the hysteroscopy. I have this coming up in a month and a friend, told me about your blog.
    Another friend warned me that three days recovery time might be unrealistic and now I’ve read your entry, I’m going to be more prepared.

    • Rachel
      February 23, 2018 / 6:57 pm

      I forgot to say – good luck with the results of the test, too x

      • elizabeth
        Author
        February 23, 2018 / 8:57 pm

        Thank you Rachel. Amd please feel free to email as I said, if you’d like to. I’ll give an update once I e had the results and follow up xxxxx

    • elizabeth
      Author
      February 23, 2018 / 8:56 pm

      Hi Rachel, oh you’re very welcome. It’s funny, I was absolutely certain I’d be back to normal within 48 hours. I class myself as being “a tough old bird” with a high pain threshold. Just to put this into context, I delivered both of my children with just gas and air, no other pain relief, so this did surprise me. I was very emotional and felt light-headed for five days afterwards. I had the usual stomach cramps and backache. I mentioned in the post that my lovely 16 year-old daughter bought some adhesive heat pads for me. They were brilliant and worked wonders. I’m now two weeks post procedure and still bleeding but that is typical for me and the whole reason I had the hysteroscopy in the first place. The procedure is uncomfortable, more so than a smear test, but it is quick- twenty minutes or so. I’d suggest taking some pain relief before you go. My mum (a retired midwife), advised me to do so but I forgot. I think it would have helped. But, it will all be worth it because I’m sure there will be a solution, whether it is an ablation or a hysterectomy. And I feel very lucky that there is nothing sinister (I hope!) and that we have a wonderful NHS. Good luck and do keep in touch. I’m always here on email too. Lots of love xxxxx

  18. Gail
    March 9, 2018 / 1:47 pm

    Speedy recovery – great, honest article. X

    • elizabeth
      Author
      March 9, 2018 / 2:55 pm

      Thank you so much Gail xxxx

  19. April 8, 2018 / 5:53 am

    Oh no you’ve been through it lately Lizzy! I’m so happy to hear you are on the mend. I’ve always suffered with terribly painful and heavy periods but I have found the Mirena coil has helped (eventually). I also have eye health problems with ‘vanheric angles 1 to 2 bilaterally’. It looks like I might be in for an op too and I’m pretty nervous! It’s reassuring to hear about your experience and that you are now looking beyond to holidays and conversions. Thank you for writing this article Lizzy, it’s nice to feel less alone xxxx

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