I may have fallen a little behind with the awareness photo challenges – sorry! It’s been so busy and I’ve been in a lot of pain that it hasn’t been something I’ve kept up with.
I’ve loved seeing the posts others have shared on Instagram, so here are my answers to the days 11, 12, 13 and 14!
THE CHRONIC PAIN AWARENESS CHALLENGE
Day 11 – Share some of the best experiences you’ve had with drs/professionals in the medical world.
The best experience I ever had was after my last surgery (a laparoscopy to remove my Endometriosis). I had a long operation and ran into some complications, and I was recovering in the recovery unit for hours and hours. Two of the problems were urine retention and severe pain, and whilst the anaesthetist clearly didn’t give a damn or believe me, I had a wonderful nurse looking after me. She reassured me, wiped my tears when I got upset and did everything in her power to relieve my pain and make me as comfortable as possible. She was absolutely brilliant – she phoned my husband to explain why I was so long in recovery and she made sure the ward had a bed and would take my pain levels seriously when I arrived. I even wrote to the hospital when I left because I was so impressed.
Day 12 – Post a quote that inspires you!
It’s not really a quote, but the one thing that someone has said to me that sticks with me through everything is the phrase “be brave”. Why? Well when I was a physiotherapy student, one of the qualified physiotherapists I worked with told me just that – “be brave” and it worked like a charm. It is something I strive to be in every possible situation.
Day 13 – What activities/triggers make your pain worse of better?
My triggers that make my pain worse are;
- strenuous physical activity (e.g. heavy manual work, lots of lifting, repetitive activity)
- lots of walking
- eating certain foods (for me it’s dairy, lots of sugar, meat other than chicken and lots of bread)
- my period
My triggers for easing my pain are;
- using my TENS machine
- pain relief (the ones that work!)
- having a bath
Day 14 – How do you practice self-care on your worst days?
On a particularly bad day, I have become better and making sure I come home from work if needed. I ensure I take all my pain relief (I’ll often record what dosages I am allowed and when, and record what I’ve taken when), use my heat pad regularly and stick on my TENS machine. I’ll also wrap up in comfy clothes and rest as much as possible. Other ways I practice self-care are making sure I have time for a hot bath, relaxing (using a face mask, having a massage etc) and spending time with my husband.
THE INTERSTITIAL CYSTITIS AWARENESS CHALLENGE
Day 11 – Reflection
I’ve interpreted this one as an actual reflection, like thinking back over something that you’ve done or something that happened. Reflecting on my first week in my new job, I am proud of myself for being brave and just getting stuck in and not being afraid to ask questions, as well as getting everything nice and tidy so I can be efficient. I’m also feel I’ve done well to integrate with my new team without forgetting about my old one.
Day 12 – Lunch
On this day, my lunch was a nice mug of spicy tomatoe and lentil soup, followed by some Monster Munch – my favourite!
Day 13 – IC Sister
Unfortunately I cannot nominate any one fellow IC sister, as they are so amazing and brave!
Day 14 – ENDO/PCOS/FIBRO
I was diagnosed with Endometriosis in 2016 after suffering with symptoms since I first started my period. My symptoms were so bad I often had to go home in the middle of a school day to change my clothes because the bleeding was ridiculously heavy. The pain was getting so bad it would make me struggle not to pass out, and in the months leading up to my diagnosis I was in pain all the time. My Endometriosis has been found in a variety of places, including my bowel and bladder. During my first surgery I had adhesions everywhere that were attaching my pelvic organs to other structures. Since then I have had 2 more surgeries to remove more Endometriosis. I have gone through just about every hormonal option available and went through the medical menopause for 9 months. I’ve since suffered with massive cysts and Endometriomas.
With regards PCOS (which stands for Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome), I am being investigated for this as I have had quite a few of the symptoms. Unfortunately, my consultant believes that because I have been on hormonal contraception for years and years, it has hidden the symptoms.
These are my answers and I look forward to seeing yours!