Facebook memories are funny things, I was reminded by mine this morning that 8 years ago today I was on the train down to Harrow, where I was going to have my fistula finally fixed by Professor Robin Phillips at St Marks Hospital. This was almost exactly one year after the birth, the year I usually just refer to as That Year, an unremittingly hellish year of emergency operations, sepsis, antibiotics, tears, fears, hospital/medico-legal/police appointments, drama, house moves, money worries, cat disappearances, and general upheaval. I had been told on numerous occasions that my fistula had disappeared, only to find on admittance for yet another emergency operation, that it was very much still in existence, and that sepsis was once again trying to stealthily permeate my entire blood system. It was an emotional roller coaster to say the least.
It was also the year in which I learnt that the temporary colostomy was in fact going to be permanent, another rollercoaster of false promises and doom laden projections of future incontinence. By the time it came to this operation in Harrow I had been wrung almost completely dry of all emotion, and I was simply relieved the end was in sight.
The operation was a success, but I was left with an enormous gaping wound (about the size of the palm of my hand, in my nether regions folks), and due to usual childcare issues as my husband was off shore, I had to travel straight back up on the train the day after the operation. How I managed I will never know. I was unable to sit down and ended up paying for a first class train ticket from London to Alnmouth (north of Newcastle) just so I had more room. I look back and it is definitely one of those WTAF moments. I can’t remember travelling to Kings Cross, or the 3 hour train journey home. The next day I was back in sole charge of my 1 year old, feeling far too guilty to ask for more help with childcare, but struggling to cope with managing him while dealing with my wounds. We mothers do this to ourselves time and again, so desperate to cope on our own we drive ourselves into complete bloody despair. I tell you what mind - we women are fucking LEGENDS. So many of us struggle on during those baby years, I’m definitely not alone and this is not my way of saying - look at me, aren’t I amazing! To any woman who managed to get through those early years, despite injuries, mental health issues and god knows what else, lack of sleep due to teething babas, I say WE ROCK! And that is SO MANY OF US.
Which is why I firmly believe we can do ANYTHING after dealing with that shit. Anything. That operation was the turning point for me. I started to gradually get back my life, although I had a number of years of mental health problems, legal and career issues, to battle through, I had that massive part over.
So let’s celebrate how awesome we ladies are. All of us! And to our families who support us, THANK YOU.
Takeaway curry and a manhoosive hot chocolate to celebrate.
Here’s a picture of Frank just to finish off the day with some fluffy splendour too 🥰 his anxious face was due to seeing my husband dragging an alien spaceship (aka wheely bin) past the window 😂