Friday, 6 November 2015

MY FEAR

Whenever asked the questions, "what are you afraid of?" and "what scares you?", with a very matter of fact tone, I would always answer with, "nothing"... {I was once super scared of spiders but, I can deal with those monsters now, lol...} However, recently I did experience fear.

In 2012 I was diagnosed with fibroids after experiencing symptoms as of 2007. It would be 8 years before I'd have some sort of breakthrough with treatment, or a surgical option to remove the largest and most troublesome.

On Sunday 25th October 2015, having done what I felt was the necessary prep, I travelled to Benenden hospital in Kent. I was to have yet another blood test that same afternoon and then further prepare myself for the hysterectomy operation. I felt confident, ready; fearless and there was no going back. In a matter of hours, on Monday 26th October 2015, I would be fibroid free. Having my mother with me for support, alongside my brother, was comforting although at that point I didn't realise just how much I would need them both.

On Sunday afternoon I was given a blood test and told the results would not be with me until the following morning. I was frustrated by this as I had originally been informed that I'd have the results that same evening to confirm whether or not my haemoglobin levels would allow for the op to go ahead. Albeit slightly annoyed at having to wait, I still felt okay about everything. Suffice to say, I never saw all that was to follow panning out the way that it did...

After the blood test, once at the hospital lodge, as we were checking into our rooms I suddenly felt my chest tighten, my temperature began to rise, hands shaking, head throbbing and a real struggle to breathe... DAMMIT! My anxiety has gone into overdrive and I am now having a panic attack!! Of all the horrid things anyone can feel, the grip of a panic attack is by far {my} worst! Tears streaming down my face, angry with myself; fuming at not being able to control what was happening in that very moment, I cried telling my brother, Ashley, "I want to go home". Fear had crept in from nowhere! Could I actually go through with the surgery?

The panic attack was awful, they always are. I started to experience anxiety and the attacks during my teens but, up to this day, I've no idea why... That said, they are less frequent nowadays.

After helping to calm me down, while we were all inside my room at the hospital lodge, my mother decided that we should get some air and my brother suggested we get something to eat. In that moment I realised I hadn't eaten since Friday lunch time, good grief!! Despite this, I didn't feel hungry but, I did have some food.

Later, being back at the hospital lodge {where I had the panic attack} felt a bit odd because, I was now quite comfortable and relaxed being there. "I'm okay", I thought. Once again I was ready for the operation in the morning. I said "goodbye" to my brother and after a catch up on Made in Chelsea, Empire {Series 2} and a comforting chat with a friend, I showered then went to bed. It would be 3 hours and 45 minutes until I woke up to do my exercises, shower again, get dressed and head to the hospital for surgery.

At 6:20am on the Monday my mother and I made our way to the hospital. We were the first {of the other patients and their relatives, or friends} to arrive. 7am, with the waiting area now full, we were all asked to make our way to another waiting area on the Garland Ward. Within less than 5 minutes I was called and shown to my hospital room. The staff were all so friendly and the hospital was exceptionally pristine all of which, ironically, made me feel uncomfortable.


Once inside the room, although spacious enough and ventilated, I felt the familiar pangs of anxiety begin to consume my entire body again and by the time the anesthetist and her team arrived I couldn't even speak so, my mother spoke for me... "She's never had this type of surgery before, she's never even given birth and so, the idea of having to undergo such a major operation is overwhelming for her".... With that, the anesthetist offered to have the surgeon {my consultant} speak with me about the long term implications of not going ahead with the surgery if that is what I was to decide. At this point I haven't yet been informed of my blood results so, I've no idea if my haemoglobin levels are where they need to be in order for the op to go ahead but, that doesn't even matter because, I am so past the point of freaking out that I think I might vomit all over everyone and the entire room! I feel as though the walls are closing in; the hospital room is now too busy for me {with 5 people in it} and I WANT TO GET OUT OF HERE, FAST!!!

There's about 3 minutes between the anesthetist and her team leaving and the arrival of my surgeon. Despite me having calmed down a little, immediately he is able to sense how anxious I am and states with reassurance that, regardless of the decision I make, I shouldn't consider anything as being final. Although my haemoglobin levels were confirmed as being low, owing to me being anaemic, the fact is, thanks to a massive lifestyle change {to which I have been fully committed as of January 2015}, the troublesome fibroid has shrunk a little and with that my symptoms have improved big time! My quality of life is nowhere near as dire as it had been some years before and so, for now, I can avoid the surgical procedure which would see my stomach be cut open and the benign fibroid removed during a 3+ hour operation after which recovery can take up to 8 weeks, or longer, leaving me several side effects that I was not wanting to risk!!

I don't think I have ever let out such a mahoosive "sigh" of relief... It felt as though I had been holding my breath for about 2 weeks!!!! That said, for me, the ordeal wasn't over until my mother and I were on the train heading back home, real talk! Before my brother had left on Sunday night he told me not to worry about anything and to simply be certain of what it is I want to do. My mother reinforced this during our train journey back to London by saying, "at the end of the day, Charley, you're the only one who knows exactly what the fibroids feel like, how they affect you and of any changes to your health. Nobody can tell you what to do. It's up to you. No matter what, we will support you". She's right. My body, my health, my feelings, my life, my choice.

There were some people I had informed of the surgery; I had to make certain individuals aware of my 'new' situation. With my circumstances having now changed I initially felt bad for those who had expressed concern and worry for me. However, the words of support and encouragement from my mother, as mentioned above, was all it took for me to shake any ill feeling and to focus on the positives - for the first time in my 35 years {despite the fibroids} doctors have said I am healthy and fit owing to the changes I have made in my life! I am indeed feeling the best I have ever felt; I am without the more severe symptoms caused by fibroids {I've seen a gradual improvement since July 2015}and, right now, I do not need to undergo any operation. Fab times!!! It feels like Christmas has come early for me even though I don't celebrate it.

There's a chance I may need to have an op sometime in the future but, until then, it's all about maintaining my new lifestyle and with that I'll be able to live with the fibroids until a natural change in my hormones {once I reach a certain age, according to research}causes them to shrink completely. To say "I am blessed" doesn't come anywhere near close!! Thank you, Jah. I am so, so grateful for {my quality of} life.

I made small yet significant lifestyle changes that have seen the largest of my fibroids shrink and relieve near enough all of the horrid symptoms - less to NO JUNK food / drinks {and no dairy} plus daily exercise {1 hour each morning}. That's it! Literally!! It really is about the little things...


Mahoosive thanks to all of my loving and supportive family and friends. Each of you is massively appreciated. Albeit fearful of ever needing to have an operation, I'm so glad I have now learned to ask for and accept help when needed.

** HELP RAISE AWARENESS OF FIBROIDS BY SHARING THIS POST **


Fibroid related images taken from Google


**** GET YOURSELF ON RADIO ****

SUBMIT YOUR MUSIC TO: The Real Talk Radio Show UK!

***Clean tracks only - no expletives, or use of the 'N' word. Play is subject to terms and conditions at the discretion of the station manager.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post! x
Watch, comment and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

If you LIKE THIS POST, please share it via social media