COVID-19 Journal: Day 256

 So, it's fine. I'm not fat. But, I do have a problem. I, like about 1 in 3 women have fibroids. I first noticed mine when I woke up in a tent last year in Kent needing to do a wee. I felt my belly and a big lump. My first thought was cancer, so I went to the doctor. The GP I saw cast a wide net of testing, so I was sent to get various scans etc, including a surprisingly undignified-but-the-staff-made-it-less-so vaginal ultrasound.

It's exactly what you might imagine, except with more lube than I've ever seen. But, that was the test that found them. Two of them. One is very large. One is not so large. They are both what's called intra-mural, which means inside the uterine wall, which means they're not easy to operate on. They're getting invasive now. Imagine something the size of a grapefruit in your viscera. Plus a small lemon. The surprising and unwelcome part about fibroids is that they make your periods way more intense. Not only are they more painful, but the fibroids increase the surface area of your uterus, so, there's a lot more blood. As I type, I'm working my way through Game of Thrones (which is my new job) and upon occasion there has been even more blood than at the Red Wedding, if you know what I mean. It was startling. More than even before. 

The diagnosis was back in April last year. Now it's 18 months on and, I'm going to check in again soon to see how big the grapefruit is now. I have been prescribed painkillers and a coagulant to help with the insane bleeding, and while that seems to work, it's disruptive in other ways. Painful, yes, and also I feel full a lot of the time, and wee more. It's also just quite weird to wake up with a noticeable big lump in your belly. I think this is likely my bladder, but the fibroid makes it stick out like Alien escaping John Hurt on Nostromo. Some friends I know have named theirs, but I refuse.

Having written this, I realise it's quite personal, but, as with quite a lot of women's health, it's not especially talked about, and it's one of those things that if men had them it would have been fixed ages ago.  If you're reading this and you have them too, I hope yours aren't as big as mine, and that you can treat them without having to get a hysterectomy. That may be my only option. I mean, I think my motherhood ship has sailed, and I am pretty sure I am at peace with that, but still. It's major surgery. And we're in a pandemic still, so not a great time to get an operation?

Perhaps Dolly Parton can fund fibroid research too, while she's on a roll.

Anyway, it's been some days since I last wrote. I'm still in anti-gravity work-wise a bit, but, am doing a bunch of making museums in boxes this month, before Christmas. We got a giant order - 20 boxes! - from the Royal Mint Museum in Llantrisant, Wales. They have a big birthday coming up: the 50th birthday of decimal currency!

I think we're out of lockdown again now. Lots of rumours swirling about my main network of friends about what's going to happen now, and after Christmas, once everyone has distanced a bit less to be with family for a religious holiday and food.

I'm sad to see that one of my lovely cats is clearly arthritic now. The ginger one. He has trouble jumping now, I saw this week, so I've made an appointment for the vet, and am investing in things that might make him more comfortable. I am well up for becoming the sort of person that has cool furniture around the place that makes it easier for him to get around. The operative word there is cool, because there's a lot of shit out there made for The Crazy Cat Lady. 

Here are some photos of my life over the last while:

Wintry Thames Wander + Gluhwein!

My gobsmackingly wondrous neighbours made me a Thanksgiving plate

I've been doing Ploughman's Lunch research

My ginger handsome old boy (my black and white one is helping me type this)