Hope is what it represents.

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It’s funny but figuring out what things represent, they say that it is not good to be a materialistic person. I certainly do not consider myself materialistic but I do enjoy having some of those little luxuries in my life and I have always been slightly crazy about cars..

For instance, at the moment I don’t have a regular job. In the past 12 months I have suffered with depression, grief, a lot of anger, upset, discovery about myself and the way that the past has affected me. About 10 months into that year, we decided to get rid of my Porsche. We have owned many cars over the years, a few rather nice ones. That was a lovely 40th Birthday present for me from my partner, he told me that the time was right to have one. Many years ago, when I was 27 he had offered me one, I climbed into the seat to drive it and knew instinctively where all the controls were. I had never even sat in one previously but drove this very powerful car, without fear as though it was perfectly natural. It was a brilliant car without a doubt, but common sense kicked in and I declined due to the costs of running a prestige car back then, having been bitten by the costs in the car that I had and was changing. Years later, he decided I should have one anyway, there being no time like the present and life being too short, living each day etc and I said Yes. However, 18 months on I was sure that if that went wrong it was going to financially cripple me and I had no reserves of money. So I saw sense again and we got rid of it.

During the time that we owned it, my partner has spent the whole time quietly searching for a replacement Cerulean Blue Saab, a diesel convertible, just like the one that I had, just like the one I adored and just like the one that we regretted getting rid of. He knew that I would swap the Porsche for another one of those in a heartbeat. In October, we found one and had to wait a month to go and collect it. It’s a diesel, an automatic and a convertible and is the most beautiful blue in a car that I have seen. I love it!

Currently it’s stored in the garage, there has been a lot of car vandalism around where we are living and when we returned from a holiday we found that the cars outside had been damaged. We couldn’t leave the car outside of the house and risk that, so it has stayed in the garage. It is taxed, insured and has a tank full of diesel but it is actually sitting in the garage, where it has been for 3 months and hasn’t turned a wheel.
Several of my friends and my family included have asked, “Why don’t you get rid of it, you have no money” “You can’t afford your bills easily, it will take the heat off the situation if you didn’t have it.” In the next breath, they are also the first to admit that they don’t see any of the value in having a nice car. So I’m here to tell you what the value of having a nice car actually means to me and tell you my why…

That car, is the one the same colour, type and style that I saw when I pushed my nose up against the glass many years ago and said to my partner, “If we win the lottery, can I have one of those please!” “I would like one of those.” You see, it was another dream car, one for a newer dream. Something else to work towards and hope that I would get. I never thought that it would happen and I have always pictured goals, for me it puts them in reach. I also believe that some dreams should come true.

Sometime about 2 years later I was due to have a Hysterectomy due to an ongoing battle with Endometriosis. At that time I really struggled to drive, pushing down on the clutch to change gear caused constant pain and I knew that I needed to change vehicles at least for a while. This was going to be a rather large operation, which would change my life drastically, understatement of the year! Just before that happened, my partner presented me with this beautiful car, my new dream car and a fantastic vehicle. It was everything I wanted it to be, absolutely touched all the bases and I was so thrilled to have it, it was there for when I could get behind the wheel again, his timing was excellent.

The hysterectomy came and went, recovery took several months before I was able to drive again, but I was able to drive that more comfortably since it had an automatic gearbox. It was big, safe, and beautiful and every time I sat in it, I had an ear to ear grin, it drove whisper quietly and once you hit the open road, with the roof down and the wind in your hair, you hadn’t a care in the world. It was my off-switch, my freedom and it represents so many of the good things that I wanted to happen in my life. Getting into that vehicle and just driving, can change a bad day into a good day at a stroke. It was a wonderful vehicle and the only reason that we changed it was because I wasn’t travelling enough miles and there was a section of the car, which became clogged due to lack of use. At that point I made a promise to myself that I would have a job again, which took me just far enough each day, so that it wouldn’t be detrimental to one of those engines again and he had spent almost two years looking for another one of those cars.

So back to the purpose of this explanation.
It represents, a time in my life which was very difficult and which I conquered. I had something worth living for, the freedom it gave me and a big fat smile on my face every time I saw it. To walk outside my house on the greyest of days, in the pouring rain, clamber into a warm, safe, comfortable car that I knew would take me to places I had dreamt of. It gave me hope that I could make changes for the better. So you see, when someone suggests that I get rid of it, that I cash it in, car values are not what they used to be, I would not get the return of what was spent on it, but it isn’t about the money.

It has never been about the money…

It is about the whole experience, of a beautiful blue car and I’m going to drive it again, I’m going to enjoy it and it’s going to take me to places. It is going to take me to places that I haven’t yet dreamed of, it’s going to places that I want to see. People that I want to meet. Experiences that I want to experience and all that from a bright blue car. My car has a name, rather than just calling it Blue like the one before it, this one is called Hope. Hope is what it represents for me.

Endometriosis – A few things to know.

As we are still in Endometriosis Awareness Month, I thought I would pass on a little experience regarding how this condition or disease might affect you, If you suspect or have been told that you have Endometriosis, here are some of the warning signs I’ve noticed and been made aware of, I thought I should share them with you in case no-one else has.
Firstly, Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women, so you are never alone.

That if you have very heavy and painful periods with abdominal pain during the rest of the month you may have this condition.

It is not currently a recognised disability.

It is an invisible illness, a lot of the time people will accuse you of faking.

People will not understand, unless they have ever been affected by it either themselves or with a loved one.

It can affect your fertility. But, some are lucky to be able to bear children.

It can be a hereditary condition, but it can also skip generations.

You will often feel as though your medical team are not listening, some are just blissfully unaware.

Your diet will often be affected by this condition try eliminating foods and re-introduction to see what suits you and what does not.

You may develop IBS, this could be down to diet, medications or even just a progression of the disease.

Your weight and/or size may fluctuate. Be prepared to wear larger, more comfortable clothes at times when you need to.

Sometimes you will bloat with wind and it is excruciating. – Peppermint is your friend!
Having a child will not cure it, neither will a full or partial Hysterectomy. There is actually no cure.

You will be prepared to try almost anything to help your symptoms.

Until you are diagnosed, you may at times suspect your sanity.

It can take 7 years to diagnose Endometriosis, but sometimes even longer, it took 15 for me.
You will need people around you to help you, when your illness is bad. Accept their help.

Educate your friends, family and employer to this condition. Although it might affect your life to different degrees if they are aware, then you have a chance that they could be more understanding.

If your GP or Gynaecologist refuses to assist with diagnosis, then get that second, or third opinion. Referral to a specialist for this condition is key. General Gynaecologists often do not know about Endometriosis.

It affects people in different ways, but it is a debilitating condition, so if you have to take to your bed, just do it. Make yourself warm and comfortable.

Your symptoms are aggravated by stress. Try to find a quiet place to be calm and rest. – I know, this is often far easier said than done.

Although it is often related to your menstruation. Adhesions can attach themselves to other organs, this can cause you pain and other health issues.

After a Hysterectomy there may be no sign of the disease and you could be pain free. But your pain may also return and you may suffer previous symptoms again.

Endometriosis can also attach itself to the bladder or bowel.

You will know your body and it’s patterns, If any of your symptoms change or worsen, don’t be afraid to call your Doctor.

Try and raise awareness of this condition, there are many women out there who have no idea that what they are going through, is not a normal sign of growing up and are just trying to cope.

There are many support groups, Join one! They are filled with people just like you who are fighting the same battle as well as their own. You will gain, advice, make friends, gather information about the disease and how to fight it.

My Big Black Dog

My Big Black Dog.

Some Days you’re up and at Night you are down
It’s 3am and you’re awake with a frown.
Did I see that sight, What was that sound?
When a big black dog follows you around.
In waking moments, you think you’ll find,
But a sinking feeling in the back of your mind.

Just as you smile, it seems without a care,
You’ll suddenly find him waiting there.
Lurking, peering from the darkness,
Hoping to steal your chance of happiness.
Sometimes you can keep him at bay,
But he follows you around, every day!
When you are able to shut him out,
Your subconscious begins to scream and shout.
Hope that just once, for you he’d let
That reminder of something, you’ve tried to forget.
The big black dog is on your shoulder,
Like the wolf you feed as you get older.
If you’re stubborn with a will to survive,
Fight the black dog to keep you alive.

At bright times when you see the sun,
A pat on the back for how far you’ve come.
Remind myself of the beauty in me,
Open your eyes, one day you’ll see.
That a big black dog, quite often you’ll find,
Is much more scary in your mind.
There to keep you, the straight and narrow,
Can really be an annoying fellow.
Your deepest, darkest fears come to light,
As over the years, you continue your fight.
Sometimes you feel so terribly sad.
Loved ones and Friends may think you’ve gone mad.
Yesterday you seemed so jolly,
Today you are just melancholy.
In your own space at home you’ll stay,
You’ll go out on another day.
They say water’s not thicker than blood.
Unexpected kindness, your eyes will flood.

Release your emotions and pent up anger,
the experience will make you stronger
Open up and then you’ll know,
If you can ever let it go.
Someone to talk to, to hold your hand
As you try to understand
How he ever managed to get into your life
Causing all the stress and strife.
Wonder if it will ever cease,
If one day you’ll regain peace.
It’s painful looking though an abyss,
Hopeful life will return to bliss.
But over time, more thoughts he’ll steal
As you begin to recover and heal.
One day your brain will clear the fog,
As you wave Goodbye to that Big Black Dog.

March! It’s Endometriosis Awareness Month

DSC_0184It’s March and with thoughts of Spring, we head into Endometriosis Awareness Month. Like many other months of the year, those who are sufferers and their loved ones choose to raise awareness of the things which have affected their lives, in the hope that it will bring answers, help and encouragement to others.  This poem describes my own ongoing fight with this illness and I hope that it explains some of what our #Endosisters and #Endowarriors go through.   If you would like to donate funds into the research of this illness please do so via https://www.endometriosis-uk.org/ and give them the help that they need and if you see someone wearing yellow this month, or even just the adornment of a yellow ribbon then this might just be what they are showing their support of.

Just Living With It….

I lay to rest as my body quakes,

Just how long have I stayed awake?

My limbs are sore and continue to shake

Again the bed I’ll have to remake.

I roll around here and there,

Sleep won’t come and it’s not fair!

Fever and delirium often appear,

Managing to awaken the fear

There’s pain in my stomach, fire in the pit

Tired and aching from all of it.

Sometimes in pain and sometimes I’m numb,

Then to the tablets I’ll succumb.

Gently rolling from side to side,

Waiting for it all to subside.

Exhausted from the tossing and turning,

For a decent night’s sleep I am yearning.

Swelling and Bloating are part of it all,

Feeling so weak, you often fall.

Friends and Doctors think we are mad,

When to bed we return as pain gets so bad.

Surgery on occasion they’ll offer,

In the hope it’ll make you better.

Or hormones and potions by the score

For any reprieve you’ll ask for more.

Sometimes some small amount of relief

Will spur you on “The Cure?” a belief

But they haven’t found one, they’re testing you see,

Medication and therapies on you and on me.

A silent illness it’s often said

So easily discounted as “All in your head”

But it is real, and it is there,

If you’re lucky you’ll have someone who’ll care

You’ll need them with you by your side,

When away from the world you’ll want to hide.

Quite often leaves you childless

Weeping in offices, you are a mess!

As you’re told and trying to understand,

You’d better take someone to hold your hand.

You have your turn of the “monthly curse”

That never ends and you hope for a hearse.

The endless pain to take away,

The emotional torture at the end of the day

Removes the chance of happiness

When those around you couldn’t care less.

Many years later, when you feel insane

They suddenly tell you it has a name.

So what have I got? What is this?

Well, they call it Endometriosis

How did it get here, suddenly arrive?

Will it finish me off or will I survive?

Well, it fuses your organs and causes you pain

And just when you think that you’re through it again

You feel that familiar dragging, pulling around,

Know it’s back, but not where it’ll be found.

Your digestion is poor, your bowels misbehave

A day without this is all that you crave.

On rare days you can feel so well

Invisible illness, Endometriosis Hell!