yay, the school year is finished and I am trying to pack to head south for 3 weeks. I am so looking forward to this break as I have been struggling emotionally for the last couple of months, I thought I was coping, thought it was all ok but clearly it hasn't been ok at all. I was talking to my Mum on the phone 2 weeks ago and kept bursting into tears, with her help I saw that I wasn't doing very well at all. Because of this I have gone back on citalopram and I am beginning to notice the difference in my mood.

I am not sure what triggered this but am sure my hysterectomy will have had some bearing on it all. I didn't think it would affect me emotionally, I thought it was all fine, I had chosen the surgery I was cool with it all, turns out I was wrong, seeing new babies at first was enough to make me want to run and hide and burst into tears. I had chosen with Ben that our family was finished when we had N three years ago, but the permanent end to my fertility hit me harder than I expected.

Its been over 3 months now and I am slowly coming to terms with it all, my health has certainly improved a lot, I am no longer taking tramadol which is awesome, I aren't in constant pain, my back doesn't hurt, the improvement has been awesome.

So now just to get through Christmas, and go camping at lake Mavora, its a place I consider to be my turangawaewae, its where my family go to get strength again, I haven't been there since I was pregnant with Miss L which is 8 years ago. We as a family need this holiday.

love D

3 weeks post surgery

This post maybe too much information so I warn you now that its not for the squeamish.

I had my hysterectomy and anterior vaginal repair on the 31st of August, pre Op etc went well and I met the surgeon doing it a few days beforehand which was great as it wasn't the specialist that I had been seeing privately. Before the surgery I talked to the anesthetist who gave me a couple of options re pain relief and if I wanted to have a spinal block and be awake, have a general anaesthetic or have both which would mean less morphine and less pain, Ben and I decided on doing both as morphine makes my blood pressure drop too much.

I have never had a spinal before so that was a new experience but the sedative they gave me to relax means I didn't feel it going in and all I can remember is being told to lay down... next thing I remember is waking up in recovery and seeing Ben and being really dopey.

Most of it went well, but it took longer than it should have due to a few wee complications like them nicking my bowel and me bleeding too much and losing a borderline amount of blood. Apparently younger women bleed more during hysterectomies due to more blood vessels etc.

Recovery was pretty good except my bladder decided to not work properly which meant I came home on the Monday with a catheter still in, this was because I couldn't pee enough, I have read that that was a common side effect though. I got it removed the following Monday after spending the morning at the hospital getting pee measured and having a bladder scan to prove everything was working well.

Day 4 or 5 I got a chest infection which meant I felt even more like crap than I had been, thankfully my Mum and Ben looked after me so I didn't end up back in hospital with dehydration, at that stage I was taking 3 antibiotics which were making me vomit and feel really ill.

Its 3 weeks tomorrow and I have driven once very gingerly but wont be in a hurry to try again as reversing the car was pretty difficult. I still have very little energy and find I go to bed early or have a nap most days. The lack of energy has been hard to deal with as I am use to being able to just do stuff. I am not allowed to lift anything heavier than 3kg for another 3 weeks yet and no biking till then either.

So far everything seems to be going fine bar the chest infection and the UTI I currently have, I have to remind myself not to expect too much and that the pain will reduce and to take life easy as it was a pretty big operation. I am not too bothered that I cant have anymore children, the four I have was always going to be enough for me and there was no way I could have carried another child as my hips are still causing problems from having the youngest two.

I am hoping the next few weeks go ok, the remembering not to lift kids/stuff is pretty hard and only being able to walk the trip to school once a day is hard, thankfully Ben has been able to do the morning school/kindy drop off which means I only do one trip. We have had a bit of help from friends too in this department and people from the church where Miss N goes to music dropped off meals and baking which was hugely appreciated. Mum stayed for a week too which was great as it was the week Ben had to go back to work so I wasn't alone in the daytime.

Our big girls Miss K and Miss L have been really good too at helping me to do things and being patient when I say I need time etc because of pain issues. I have been so impressed at how mature they have been and how helpful too.

love D

date for change

fingers crossed on this but I have been told that my surgery will go ahead on the 31st of August providing the hospital isnt too full with sick people... yay,

Getting this date wasn't easy though, I rung the hospital last week to see where I was on the waiting list and was told that I wasn't, hmmm after the tears had settled I rung the specialist office that I had been seeing privately and they said they would see what they could do... on Thursday I got the call that I had been waiting for offering me surgery on 31st.

I talked to my specialist's receptionist/nurse this morning and she said that my Dr had done a clinical override so that I would be on the list, I was on the care and review list but the hospital doesn't tell the specialists that you are on that so as a patient you just assume that you are on the waiting list.

I am lucky, I have the ability to advocate for myself to get what I need, I do wonder though how many people are feeling let down by the system as they are not aware that they are not on lists. Or how many people feel they are constantly fighting to get the care they need, our health system is not perfect and I am not sure how to change things. The government claims that waiting lists are shorter but is this because people are not even being put on them?

So life will hopefully change for the better soon, I am pretty sure I wont miss having periods and the associated back pain and other issues I currently have, I am scared of this but its for the best.

love D

why so silent

well that was because I spent part of May and June parenting alone while Benjamin travelled to Germany and the USA for conferences and I didn't want to draw attention to the fact that I was home alone with the kids... hmm when I write that it seems rather paranoid or something, anyway it was just easier not to blog about it.

He had an awesome trip, he got to meet his sister for the first time in 25 years and meet cousins too. It was his first trip back to Germany since his family moved here in 1987 so was a hugely emotional time for him.

It was a good experience for me too... 3 1/2 weeks parenting 4 kids with a lot of very welcomed support from my sister (she visited for a week) and some good friends who helped to keep me sane. The hardest bits weren't the everyday routine, it was the evenings, which seemed to stretch for hours when you have no company. And the not having someone to back you up when something wasn't going right. As much as I bitch and moan at times about what Ben doesn't do, when faced with doing it alone its not a choice I would willingly take. I really do take my hat off to parents who are faced with bringing up children on their own.

WE survived though and I think its made the girls and I tighter, we work together better to get things done and did enjoy being together.

one year already

this time last year I was in hospital and they didnt know what was wrong with me, fast forward 12 months and we still arent really sure what is wrong. We have some pretty good ideas but we still are not certain that its all that is wrong.

I am on the waiting list to get a hysterectomy sometime in the next 6 months in the hope that that will solve the problems but.... and thats the biggie, is it really the problem, I have been using an app on my phone to chart my pain levels and unwellness and there is a definite pattern so hopefully we are on the right course to sovling it.

Fingers crossed.


ps Miss K and I have a pact to avoid if all possible the hospital this school holidays

Dear John

while reading facebook tonight I came across this rather well written dear John letter.... It made me grin.

Dear John,

I think it's best to be honest about our feelings, don't you?

I would be lying if I said our relationship started off great, and that it's only starting to deteriorate now. It was never meant to be, let's face it. You basically pushed yourself onto me that night in November 2008, and no matter what I did or said you just kept on hanging around. It was pretty awkward. I tried to ignore it for a while, thinking you would turn out to be fairly harmless, but the situation really is getting worse and worse. It's past the point of awkward, and it's becoming damaging. I tried to break up with you last year, but you just wouldn't stop coming back. You even brought that guy Banks with you - and you always knew how much I didn't trust him! Look John, It's been three and a half years, and I want something more from my life. I think we're better off apart.

I know, I know... You keep telling me that you want to look after me, that you care about me. You want me to have a prosperous, healthy future. But John, actions speak louder than words. If you really loved me, you wouldn't be doing half the things you do. If you want me to be happy, and have a future of golden opportunities, you need to stop trying to sell my stuff, and trying to get me to buy it back from you. You need to stop making it hard for me to live on a decent income. You need to let me be well educated without charging me through the nose, so that I can make informed decisions for myself. You need to allow me to make my own decisions about my own future.

Also, my friends and family don't like you - I know that's harsh, but you've been pretty harsh to them actually. It's really embarrassing when we go out and my mates who are struggling to find work at the moment ask me why you're being stink to them. For someone who grew up in a state house, you have very little empathy for others in similar situations. You also have this really weird double persona that makes my friends distrust you - you act like you're everyone's best mate, but then you make out like you know better than everyone else and make really dumb decisions that put everyone at risk. Just because you won on the currency trading markets back in the '80s, doesn't mean you have a great mind for business. And you have got to stop promoting gambling. Some of my friends have gambling problems, and you're only making it worse by increasing pokie machines. I know you're really nice to your own friends, but if you want to be with me then you need to be nice to my friends too.

Oh - and don't think that I don't know where you've been when you come home late from "meetings". Like that time you went to America in 2009 - you acted all innocent, hanging out with David Letterman (I don't think I've ever been so embarrassed by anyone by the way), but I know you were actually there trying it on with those glamourous bankers. Those foreign corporate hussies will flirt with you, but they don't really like you - they just know how to play you while you fall over yourself trying to make yourself attractive to them. I know when I'm being fooled, but you clearly don't.

It's not me, it's you. I've tried reasoning with you, but you just don't listen. I want your bags packed and out of here by the time I get back.

Yours (no longer),

end of fertility

I have been thinking about my gynae appointment next week and how if we book a surgery date I will have an exact end to my fertility, I will know exactly when my last period will be, its a bit strange really. normally the end of fertility is sometime around menopause and no one can pinpoint that exactly unless you are using blood tests to map hormone levels, yet I will know exactly when I wont be able to have children anymore.

In someways its exciting, no need to worry about taking the pill, using condoms etc, but the idea of surgery is scary, and the recovery time is daunting, I have never had non emergency surgery.

so this time next Tuesday I will know what we are doing, will know if the plan is for surgery or not, I am not hugely sad about not having a uterus anymore, I don't see it as a defining factor in my view of my own gender (others may disagree), and I have finished having children, maybe its because so many woman in my family have had this surgery, so it doesn't seem to have much stigma attached to it.


new dress

this is my latest project, its a vogue pattern with the skirt taken in from a normal straight one to a pencil one and with a satin back crepe bodice. I am planning on making it again but will alter the bodice so that its not so low cut and so that there is more depth to cover the bust better, otherwise I love it

making stuff.....

after a long period of barely sewing anything lately the bug has hit again, it started in February with making a couple of skating leotards for my wee girls, I have never sewn them before so it was a bit of a challenge, once I got that sorted I have made a few more for them and one really nice one for miss K to wear when she competes in her first competition this month.

I have also made the costumes for book day, a high waist skirt for me and am currently making a retro inspired dress, its frustrating me though as the bodice is really low and I feel like I will be flashing the world lol.

I have even made a baby sling which was nice too, seems I am not sick of sewing at all, just needed a break for a while.

love D

back in time

I tried to blog about this 2 weeks ago but blogger kept throwing a hissy fit and wouldnt post it properly, so I thought I would just write a new post instead.

2 weeks ago the girls had book character dress up for school mufti day, we spent the Monday afternoon talking and working out who they wanted to be and then I spent the next 3 days buying fabric and sewing two costumes, it was great to sew something for them as my sewing mojo has slowing been returning.
Tehy both choose characters from classic stories....

Ironically the character that Miss K choose was the same one as I was for book day in 1984...

So 28 years apart in playing dress ups as the same character, it shows that classic stories dont loose their appeal.

love D

Rat Attack this Saturday

This weekend the Swamp City Roller Rats are hosting their first major bouts of the year, its going to be awesome and we are hoping for a sell out, so if you are in Palmerston North this weekend this is a must go to event.

to keep my uterus or not....

after a few months of tests and being mucked around by the public gynaecology team we decided in January to go private to see a Gynaecologist and get his opinion on what was causing all my issues.

He was brilliant, treated me respectfully (which had been lacking from registrars at the hospital) and he discussed what he thought we should do to see if we could sort out my pain issues. The first step was removing the mirena I had for birth control, second was to trial 3 months of taking the pill. If the pill didn't help to control ovulation and bring some relief then when I next see him its to decide whether to do a hysterectomy or not......

I have done 2 months of the pill taking so far and its not done a lot, its more of a hassle really, so after much discussion with Ben, my Mum and my GP I have decided that I will go ahead and have the surgery. I figured that I am 35 in May, I have 4 children and no desire to have anymore, so its a redundant organ for me. My family has a long herstory of Gynae issues and I know that mine will just get worse.

Because we have the luxury of health insurance I am going to go private to get this done, to go public I would be waiting 12-18 months and I don't want to spend that long with decreased quality of life from the pain and having to take some pretty nasty pain killers. Its impacting on Ben and the kids and its been 9 months already why drag this out even further...

there are still a few what ifs about it all, but no surgery is guaranteed to solve all of the issues so we will just hope that this works.

love D

skating for survival

I spent a lot of time struggling to get skating last year, issues with skates and then my health being dodgy meant I skated a lot less than I wanted too.... So I set myself a goal for now, and that is to get through the 12 weeks of freshmeat without more than 3 sessions off. I had the first one off due to health but have done the last couple, I managed to skate for the whole 2 hours and was really pleased when some of the things I hadn't been able to do have become skills I now can do.

I have struggled to learn to t stop and to cross over, both things I need to be able to do to pass freshmeat. There is a set list of skills that we have to be able to do to be considered safe to be allowed to learn how to play roller derby, I wonder if similar things being in place would cut injuries in other games too, eg you must pass a basic skills course to be allowed to play rugby. The governing body has designed a test of things that are needed to be passed as well as a written test too. Its the first sport I have been involved with that you have to be skills tested to play.

The skates that I so proudly showed off earlier last year turned out to be the wrong skates for me and I sold them. I was having huge amounts of foot pain when wearing them which was from them being too narrow and too long for my foot. I spent a lot of time researching and talking to people and got some Vanilla brass knuckle 2.0 boots with a Suregrip mg Avenger plate custom mounted for me from the awesome G-no Evil at Leadjammer Skates. The set up is proving to be perfect for me, my skating form is improving and I can skate for 2 hours without sore feet.

so my love affair with derby is continuing, our home league has lots of bouts for this year and there is always the chance to go somewhere else to watch games too, the home season in Wellington is great for seeing well played derby.

love D

still living

hello, I haven't felt like blogging over the summer so I haven't. But today I decided to again, I have been thinking about it for a few weeks now but have been side tracked with kids and school etc.

We have had a great summer with a bit of travelling, in December we went to Christchurch so Ben could graduate with his PhD, that was awesome. it was great to complete the circle and to be able to celebrate his success.

We drove to Auckland for Christmas with Ben's sister and family, we had a great time, lots of fun and cool memories.

Our big girls Miss K and Miss L flew from Auckland to Christchurch by themselves. It was a huge adventure for them and was great for us to have a week without 4 kids.

They got to drive home from Oamaru in my parents 1935 Plymouth, so they had an experience that not many kids their age would have. Mum and Dad were heading to Wanganui for the International Vintage car rally. We had a couple of day trips with them, and we all had  a weekend together in New Plymouth too.

Life has settled down a bit now the big girls are back at school and Mr O is at kindy 3 times a week. seems strange to think that this time next year 3/4 of our children will be at school.

My health is still pretty crap but we have had some answers and have a basic plan in place for what happens next, doesn't fix the pain but its good to know more about what is wrong.

I am still loving roller derby and managed to finish my first full training in 6 months this week, I got new skates (again) in November and they have made a huge difference for me, I no longer have extremely sore feet when skating.

so thats a brief over view of life lately...

love D

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