Tag Archives: women’s health

Design Flaws

Sometimes I think that women have some serious design flaws.

I mean, really, is it necessary at the end of our useful reproductive life to have to go through the hot flushes, mood swings, weight gain and all the other stuff that comes with menopause? Does childbearing and birthing have to wreak such havoc on a woman’s body? Wouldn’t it be much better just to have it all spring back into shape as if nothing had happened?

It wouldn’t be so bad if the menopause happened over a two week period and that was the end of that. You know, like a mega menstrual cycle to get rid of all the stuff you don’t need any more. But oh no, that’s too simple. Mother nature decided that once we are no longer useful for reproducing things don’t need to be in tip top condition. It can all run to rack and ruin. I suppose the rationale being that once we aren’t useful for breeding then the caveman will move on to a younger, fitter woman and the old birds can just die. Not being able to run so fast and not having a caveman to protect us probably meant we would be eaten by a dinosaur and that would be the end of that. Survival of the fittest and all that. No need to keep things ticketyboo in the old birds.

Does mother nature, and by mother nature I mean that nasty old bitch, nature, not know that times have changed? These days we are more likely to live past the age of forty and our useful life isn’t at an end. Not only that, these days most people don’t end up as dinosaur fodder when they slow down a bit. It would be nice if the decline into old age was a bit gentler and kinder.

What the hell am I talking about? I’ll tell you, dear reader.

I won’t tell you in all the gory details so don’t worry, I’ll keep detail to a minimum.

It’s no secret that I am a woman of *ahem* a certain age. Few several years now I have suffered the indignity of hot flushes, blah, blah, blah, you name it, bring on the menopause symptoms. Note the use of the word ‘years’. Years! For God’s sake!

Anyway, that aside, over the last year or two there have been other things going on in my body. Wrinkles have caused my once fairly pretty face to look stern and old. My once voluptuous breasts now look like boulders in a giant sock. My friend with not quite so extravagant mammaries says hers now look like spaniels ears. My once pert bottom now looks like a saggy, dimply lump of jelly and my stomach, let’s not even talk about that. Everything has headed south. Not only headed south but headed south and taken everything useful or beautiful with it and massively fucked off. If I ever win the lottery I’ll book myself in for plastic surgery and tell the surgeon to pick me up by my hair, give me a good shake, trim off all the excess skin, sew it back up and that should sort it all out.

Changes on the outside are one thing. Changes on the inside are another thing entirely. Gravity, weak muscles and the damage wreaked from giving birth to and nurturing three kids has apparently caused my innards to give up the ghost and collapse into a heap onto my pelvic floor like a pile of dirty washing. Thanks for your brilliant design, mother nature. Bitch.

Eventually realising that things weren’t quite right in the nether regions I went to see my doctor who in turn referred me to a specialist.

Rather too jolly and farmer-ish for my delicate sensibilities he announced in a loud and booming voice to everyone within a three mile radius, “Right, bit of a mess in there. I can’t tell if your uterus needs to come out till I give it a good pull and see what happens. I can’t really do that while you’re awake. So we’ll put you to sleep. It if moves I’ll remove it. I mean, it’s not like you need it any more, is it? Hahahahahah!!!!!”

Not usually sensitive but I found myself upset and wounded by his words, telling myself to get over it. It isn’t as if I need it any more, is it?

So. I was duly put on the waiting list to have my innards tidied up and a possible hysterectomy. That was about nine weeks ago. A few days ago I got a phone call telling me that a place was available. I had my operation this Wednesday.

I’ve never been in hospital other to have my kids. I was terrified.

People moan about the NHS. I can’t fault it. Every single person I came across was friendly, professional and very capable. I felt completely safe in their hands. After chatting with the anaesthetist the next thing I remember is waking up in a ward hours later. It must be odd being an anaesthetist, conversations being cut short all day long. I remember we were talking about her lovely necklace and then…nothing.

So, it turns out that I had not one, not two but three operations Wednesday. Suffice to say I’m a bit sore at the moment. They tidied round, threw out some stuff they didn’t need, did a couple of repair jobs and some embroidery, generally making everything neat and tidy.

Now I sit here thinking about the looooooooong weeks ahead of me where I can’t go out, drive, do housework ( ok, not too upset about that bit) or any kind of exertion for the next 6-8 weeks. After that I have been told I must never lift anything heavy again or I will undo all the work that has been done and end up worse that I was before. That’s going to be difficult for woman who generally behaves like Tigger on speed. Sitting still really isn’t my forte. Maybe I should take up basket weaving?


Get your big girl knickers on

You know that golden hour ? The one hour of the day when all the chores are done and you can lounge around watching telly in your jammies safe in the knowledge that visitors won’t be turning up at that time. That one hour to do whatever you like without that little voice whispering in your ear, “shouldn’t you be…….”

I was spending that hour watching Russell Howard last night. On TV I hasten to add, not in a stalky or creepy ‘get into my car and I’ll give you something you didn’t expect ‘ kind of way.

Naturally, about three nanoseconds after the programme started there was an ad break.

What caught my attention was the image of a youngish woman pulling on what looked like a pair of potty training pants. Eh?

The next thing I see is a roomful of women in tight jeans dancing around, presumably all wearing incontinence knickers and happily pissing themselves while they danced.

WHAT? !?!?!

Let me tell you something, girls. As much as the marketing people might like you to think its normal to pee your pants at the drop of a hat ( or a knicker ) it’s not. See your doctor !

As for that ‘oops moment’ ad when the woman gets her dress caught in a lift door and flashes her incontinence knickers to a chap as she gives him a saucy wink, presumably while she pisses herself, don’t even get me started. Oops moment? I’d be effing mortified! Again: SEE YOUR DOCTOR!

I think it’s disgraceful that the media is allowed to mislead women into thinking that loss of bladder control is normal. Honestly, what companies will do to earn money never ceases to amaze me.

Rant over.

I survived….

the tit squashing process!

It was with trembling legs that I walked up the steps of the mobile breast screening unit. Having had a mammogram before I knew what was coming and I wasn’t looking forward to it.  A stern faced woman sat in a tiny booth greeted me with, “Have you got your form? Sit down there”

I took a seat next to woman who looked even more white faced and scared than me. . She was obviously younger than me so I’m guessing hers wasn’t just  routine. No wonder she looked scared. Her husband had been turned away at the door so her moral support was wandering round the car park looking as forlorn as his wife.

After two or three minutes I was called through and directed to what was basically a small cupboard and told to strip to the waist. “Keep your top round your shoulders.” It wasn’t my shoulders that were feeling vunerable at that point so instead I clutched it to my nervous chest as I walked through for my xray.

The dreaded machine was waiting for me. I stepped up to it and the nurse positioned Righty on a cold metal plate. I looked at the top plate, the flattener, with trepidation.  I sincerely hoped that the top plate came down to meet the bottom plate and not the other way round or I could very well end up dangling off the floor, hanging by my boob! I was already stood to my full height. Mind you, If it had lifted me off the floor it might have stopped my knees from knocking.

The plate came down on poor Righty and I watched in horrified fascination as she quickly changed shape and morphed into a pancake. “My, that smarts a bit.” I said.  At least this nurse was sympathetic, having had the same treatment herself about half an hour previously. ” I know exactly what you’re going through, I’ll be as quick as I can.”   After a minute, righty was released and it was Lefty’s turn.

Lefty, having seen what had just happened,  wasn’t as brave as Righty and shrank back from the metal plate, hugging my chest and pleading with me not to make her do it. “Don’t be so soft” I told her, “at least Righty warmed it up  for you.”

After a minute it was over, or so I thought. “Ok, let’s do the first one again.”

“What?” Oh no!  I’d forgotten about the sideways squish. The one that involves contortions. “Stand here, put your arm up here, hold this handle, lean backwards, lean in, keep your other breast out the way.” Oh dear God!

Once it was all over I dressed and walked back to my car on wobbly legs, fighting back the tears. I felt  bit shell shocked, Im not very good at pain.

I texted Boofuls to tell him I was out and feeling a bit sore. He went straight into his Benny Hill ‘knickers, knackers knockers’ routine and offered to rub them better for me. Not totally sure how altruistic his motives were. I could practically see him leering through the words on the screen, I was completely unimpressed at his thoughtlessness and lack of sympathy. ‘You try and get anywhere near these. Pal and you’re a dead man,’ I  thought in my misery.  He still didn’t  pick up on my tone in my next text and  came back with  yet another smutty joke. Has the man no survival instinct at all?

Lashes was much better as a source of sympathy, she took me for a coffee in town and calmed me down nicely. Thanks, Lashes.

So that was that. Now I can forget about it for another few years  and by that time they may have found a less brutal way of doing it. Fingers crossed – or even boobs crossed now that they’ve been rolled out long enough to tie into a bow!