Scars, Anxiety and IVF
This week I would like to introduce some of my new products, the bamboo dining sets! We have had so much amazing feedback about them, and I'm so happy that you all love them as much as we do!
Our dining sets are different types of animals, So your child will enjoy each meal with these cute colourful bamboo kids plates, bowls and cups, best of all its plastic free and eco-friendly.
Based on Natural Bamboo Fibre
Key Product Characteristics:
• Based on Natural Bamboo Fibre
• Non-toxic and safe for babies - FDA approved, BPA-free.
• Phthalates free, lead-free, cadmium-free, mercury-free.
• Does not affect consistency, aroma or food taste.
• Extra thick & durable
The other subject I would like to talk about this week is the major life surgery I had back in January 2016, as it was this week four years ago and I always like to reflect back on this week as to how far I've come. I like to appreciate life and health in particular, because without health, what do you have?
At the time I became ill in November 2015 I was employed as a teacher at Lilylane Primary School in Moston, Manchester. I was employed full-time and had been since September 2015.
I was initially admitted to Blackpool Victoria Hospital on 21st December 2015 and remained an inpatient until 28th December 2015. When I left my home in Manchester to visit my parents, I did not expect to be so unwell and so only brought a limited number of clothes and toiletries with me. When infact I was very unwell, my appendix had ruptured, but the doctors misdiagnosed me, saying it was pelvic inflammatory disease. This mis-diagnosis led to an awful Christmas and New Year spent in hospital and leading to Sepsis, a deadly infection.
My parents visited me every day in hospital, luckily the hospital is close to my parent’s house so only a 1 mile round trip. My husband (boyfriend at the time) travelled from Manchester to visit me every day. He brought with him chocolates and flowers (the good old days).
I had three further hospital admissions from 31st December 2015 until 7th January 2016, 13th January until 20th January and 23rd January to 26th January. I therefore spent a total of 28 days in hospital.
On the 13th January, when they finally realised what it was, they carried out an emergency procedure. A four hour operation.
My mum and dad stayed with my every day. My dad stayed with me until the early hours of the morning before returning at 6am. I was so anxious about being left on my own. My mum and dad had their phones turned up very loud during the night so that I could call them if I needed them. I called them several times during the night whilst I was an inpatient. My anxiety levels were so high. At various times I felt as though I was dying and I needed their reassurance that I was going to be ok.
When I was discharged on 26th January I went to stay with my mum and dad at their house. For the first month I was so ill that my mum had to sleep in bed with me every night. She took care of me 24 hours a day. I was unable to sit up or get out of bed on my own. During the night I could not even turn over without assistance from my mum. I needed her with me in case I needed to use the bathroom. I was terrified of sleeping on my own in case I became ill again. I had been so ill over the previous 2 months that I thought I might get ill again and I would not be able to move or seek help. I had terrible anxiety of being left alone. When I was in hospital, I had nurses who came to see me in the night to check my observations and ensure that I was doing ok. At home I did not have that safety blanket and that made me extremely anxious. Alongside this, I was in significant pain and taking lots of painkillers and antibiotics.
In the morning my mum got out of bed. She helped to get me comfortable in bed and then went downstairs to make me a cup of tea. If I needed to use the bathroom my mum helped me out of bed and took me. I was unable to walk on my own. She then helped me back to bed. I had a television in my bedroom so once I was back in bed, I watched that and drifted in and out of sleep, particularly if I had not had a good sleep.
Whilst I was in hospital, I lost a significant amount of weight and muscle. I had previously been so fit and healthy. I had no energy and carrying out the smallest of tasks used so much of my energy and was exhausting.
During the days my mum helped me out of bed whenever I needed to use the bathroom. She helped me to wash and change and then get back into bed. She cooked all my meals for me and brought me drinks and snacks throughout the day. She assisted me to re-position myself in bed. I required Clexane injections every day and my mum administered these to me.
After 6 weeks I started trying to build my strength up a little more. My dad helped me by walking to the end of the street with me and back to the house again. Just doing this was a real effort and I was exhausted after. I tried to do something small every day. I was able to walk up and down the stairs but doing that once was so tiring that I needed to rest after. I still required assistance from my mum with washing and dressing. My scar was still very sore and was covered. Mum helped me wash so as to avoid getting it wet. She continued to make my meals for me although I was able to get myself a cup of tea or coffee if I wanted one.
By 8 weeks following my discharge from hospital I was able to do a little more independently. I was able to dress myself a bit but bending down was still painful. I needed help to put on my underwear, my socks and shoes. I felt awful at this time. Progress was very slow and I had gone from being a strong independent woman to needing assisting with the most basic of tasks. I felt so down and demoralised.
By 12 weeks post discharge I was able to get myself dressed and washed. I was very keen to be as independent as I could be. I knew that after the Easter holidays I would have to return to work so I was trying to build myself up to that and ensure that I was in a position to be able to manage this.
After living with my parents for so long, when I returned to Manchester I did not feel confident enough to live independently again. I still felt anxious and did not feel back to full health. I therefore moved into a flat in Manchester city centre with my sister, Danielle. When I moved, I was unable to do any heavy lifting given that I was still recovering. My (now) husband and my mum did a lot of the lifting and I hired 2 men with a van to help me move. By living with my sister, I felt like I would have support which I really feel I needed at that time.
Prior to returning to work I attended to see my GP who did a ‘back to work’ assessment. My GP recommended that I undergo counselling sessions as I was still feeling very anxious. I attended 6 or 8 counselling sessions, CBT.
I returned to work after the Easter break in 2016. I had a phased return to work. I felt as though when I was off school I was letting my employer and the children down. I have rarely taken time off work in the past. A supply teacher was employed in my absence. When I returned to work I shadowed her until the May half term. I did not have the energy to work a full day and I therefore worked some mornings and sometimes just the afternoon to try to build my energy levels back up. After the half term break I took over the planning of some lessons and did some teaching. Again, I was not able to work full-time as I did not feel up to doing so. When I finished work, I used to go home and sleep as I was so exhausted. My boyfriend also often bought food for me to eat and came to the flat to cook it for me. He never did that prior to my illness.
During the summer holidays I went on holiday abroad. Because of my scar and because I had been so skinny, I felt so awful wearing a bikini. I therefore bought several designer swimming costumes, I felt that buying these was the only way I had of looking nice and being confident. By the end of the school summer holidays I felt like I had a bit more energy and I returned to work full-time.
The negligence has affected me psychologically. I now have significant anxiety if I feel unwell. Whilst I was in hospital the only way of distinguishing whether I was well or not was by the clinicians performing a blood test if I was feeling unwell. Ever since, if I feel unwell I do not believe that there is nothing wrong with me unless I have a blood test to confirm that is the case. I always ask my GP for a blood test if I am feeling unwell. There was so many incorrect decisions whilst I was in hospital that now I do not believe what clinicians tell me.
Whilst I was in hospital I felt so low. Some days friends and family came to visit me and I could not even bring myself to converse with them. Sometimes I told them to go away. I just wanted to be alone other than my mum and dad. I am normally a very sociable person so this was very unlike me. I wanted to avoid talking about what had happened and why. I wanted to avoid thinking about my situation and what was happening.
The fact that I was admitted and discharged several times prior to being advised that I needed to undergo an operation added to my anxiety and my distrust of medical professionals. I knew something was seriously wrong with me. I kept telling the medical professionals but nobody was listening to me. At one point I even told my mum that I felt like I was going to die that day; I felt so unwell.
During the three months I lived with my mum and dad I lost a lot of my confidence. I was not socialising with my friends as I had no energy to do so. Even when I moved back to Manchester, all of my energy went on working and I rarely socialised. My body was the not the same as it had been. I had always worked out at the gym and had a good body. I lost too much weight and muscle that I was skinny and did not feel comfortable at all.
I have been left with a large midline scar which is very obvious. I also have two smaller scars where the drains were placed in my side. I find it very difficult to think or talk about what happened. For the first 18 months -2 years I broke down every time I thought about it.
I had a cyst in my ovaries secondary to appendicitis. I had to have this drained which left scar tissue. The clinicians managed to save my ovary although I had to go through a process of IVF which was awful. It is so unnatural and nothing like you expect your experience to be when having a baby. I felt so much pressure to become pregnant as I was told that I may be unable to have children. I was so scared that my husband and I may not be able to have children that I really wanted to start trying for a baby as soon as possible. The IVF failed and I was devastated. It was inconceivable that I would not be able to have children due to the errors made. We did manage to conceive our son Henry naturally thankfully and my pregnancy was Consultant led as a result of the scar tissue on my ovary.
Remember don't ever give up. My babies are my inspiration for making my brand, Babybamba, my little miracles!