I’m back. No clever titles today

2020 has sucked. Totally sucked. I’ve started and deleted so many posts and haven’t had the strength to continue.

It’s August. It’s Back To School time. And I’m not planning. I’m waiting to see if the school supplied that I pre-ordered (and paid for) to be sent to school will be returned to me or if I have to buy more.

There should have been “then and now” versions of these:

#1 Son should be smashing Third Grade in person in less baggy clothes
I ought to be both celebrating and terrified that this is my last year at home with TT before Kindergarten

Couple this with the article that Facebook news just shared with me (and that I cannot seem to share) that over 74,000 infections have occurred within children across the country (USA) in the last two weeks since certain states continued the stupid plan of reopening everything because it’s all fine?

Literal footage of the American politicians right now

This, this right here, is why I am NOT sending #1 Son back to in person schooling before there is a safe vaccine.

I abhor every policy – both school AND employer – that is forcing both teachers AND parents to do what we KNOW is unsafe and LETHAL in the pursuit of the mighty dollar/pound/rouble.

This virus doesn’t care about the economy.

This virus doesn’t care about the education of our children. This virus just “wants” to survive.

To do this it will continue to spread and kill.

Stop this madness now. Help teachers educate REMOTELY. Allow working parents (especially mothers because I’m sorry but facts is facts – this most often falls to us) to spend enough time away from their “desks” to help their kids learn.

None of us went into Parenthood expecting a global pandemic and we have been LET DOWN.

The government have proved – time and time again – that they don’t care about their people at an individual level. On BOTH sides of the Atlantic. If we had locked down TRULY at the start of this for 2-4 weeks back in MARCH we would have contained this. Look at New Zealand if you don’t believe me.

Therefore, while I have you here. USA friends – VOTE.

Vote like your lives depend on it. Because they DO. If the Orange One gets a second term? America is fucked. No ifs ands or buts.

It’s not even about Republican versus Democrat any more. I’m no more enthused about the choice there than a lot of us (I wanted Warren) BUT I truly believe that Trump will kill us all to stay out of prison. I don’t want to die. I don’t want my husband, kids or friends to die either.

So. Keep your kids out of in person school if you can and VOTE.

If you don’t vote. Trump wins. Every single vote counts.

And UK friends? Keep strong. We will get through this. But REMEMBER. Remember Boris and how he defended Cummings rather than the people. How he stood in an EMPTY school and declared it “safe”.

How the pubs and restaurants are worth protecting but masks in schools is too hot button to make mandatory.

They don’t care about us as people. We are numbers on a page and we are expendable. The great God Economy is worth more than Grandma. We needed leadership in this crisis. We didn’t get it. It’s going to get worse.

Stay safe. Demand change. VOTE.

And remember:

THE PANDEMIC ISN’T OVER JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE OVER IT

WEAR THE DAMN MASKS

Christmas Eve (and Eve-Eve) 2019

Well it’s here again. Five days ahead of TT’s birthday and the tree is up, presents are under it and both children are sleeping.

So we seem have some traditions forming now. The first is that we go for a nice meal on Christmas Eve-Eve (yesterday). One friend informed me I ought to call it Christmas Adam. I’m tempted. But another friend (who is Danish) informed me that in Denmark it is actually known as Little Christmas Eve.

I love both of these ideas. Tune in next Christmas to find out which I go for.

We went to Buffalo Wild Wings last year. This year we went to Bertucci’s – a lovely Italian chain.


Olive Garden is vile – we don’t go there


And I have my own tradition now:

The kids ate well and I’m off the dairy-free bandwagon. My mental health has been in the toilet this whole month and I cracked like an egg.

But I feel so much better mentally, if not physically necessarily.

And so to today.

We went to the Flaming Grill and Buffet in Malden today for lunch. It’s a Japanese-Chinese-American fusion buffet. It was a resounding success.

My plate:

The hus-creature’s:

TT’s:

#1 Son’s:

All completely different. And everyone ate and ate well.

A resounding success. We will go back there again.

Then we spent the rest of the day at home. Yes, the kids got progressively more and more excited, but not wired.

I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.

Here is what we left out for Santa:


The apple is for the reindeer – the hus-creature has researched this and apparently reindeer farmers genuinely give people apples to feed to them as treats.


The kiddos went happily to bed and tomorrow will be awesome. Food is planned. Drink is planned. The hus-creature and I will be a team cooking and hopefully the kiddos will be distracted with new things.

And I think they might just have been on the Nice List:

We can confirm that Santa does indeed appreciate macarons and Japanese whiskey.

Goodnight all. See you on the other side ❤️❤️❤️❤️

On rights

Human rights.

We are all human beings. We all deserve to be considered equal.

In recent years a number of events have occurred that are working towards this as a goal.

  • Marriage Rights for same-sex couples
  • Reproductive Rights

Just for the record, in case there was any doubt, I am firmly, pro-choice and pro same-sex marriage. Oh and also pro same-sex couples being able to adopt (and foster, but I think that might be a little easier)

Overall I am significantly privileged in my day to day life. I’m:

  1. Straight
  2. Cis
  3. Female
  4. White

Oh yes, racism rears it’s head because our recent green card experience was SO DIFFERENT to that of a colleague of the hus-creature who just so happened to not be white.

Now I’m never going to say that being a woman is easy, it’s bloody not. I’ve had enough grief and heartache simply having my medical issues taken seriously.

Now just for a second could we imagine that I was not cis?


Cis, for people who may not be aware, is the term used to describe those of us as individuals who identify with our gender assigned to us at birth.


In my case to not be cis would mean that I identified as male in a female body.

I just cannot imagine dealing with endometriosis and also knowing I was in the wrong body.

But people do. There are people who are born assigned male who know they are female, and vice versa.

And for this to be corrected in whatever manner the individual wants (and it doesn’t always mean surgery ok?) they need support. They need to have the right to seek the treatment they need.

Did you know that one of the treatments for endometriosis is the same medication that is often prescribed for transitioning individuals? I didn’t. Until I was prescribed it. Because it shuts down your ovaries. Yes, I was on a puberty blocker. Amongst other things – it also treats both aggressive breast cancer and prostate cancer.

I know? Who knew right? Bloody wonder drug it is. And also costs thousands of dollars per shot out here. But that’s a separate rant for another blog post.

Did that change my sexual orientation? No.

Did that change my gender identity? No.

Oh and yes, I was also prescribed Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) because I still needed the hormones that my body wasn’t making at the time.


And yes, I’m still on them now


Did that change my sexual orientation? No.

Did that change my gender identity? No.

I was still female. Still a woman. And recognised as such. Which put me in an interesting position of privilege.

But why am I musing on this today? Because today, one of my (previously) favourite authors – JK Rowling – has confirmed that she is a TERF.

What is a TERF? That would be a Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist.

She believes that you can only be a woman if you were born biologically one. Likewise you can only be a man if you are born biologically one. Whatever “biologically” actually means. DNA testing has shown that there’s much more complexity to things than simple XY and XX meaning Male and Female respectively.

No. Science has proven this to not be true. And regardless – if it doesn’t affect you why does it matter?

By this I mean – you don’t have to experience something to agree with it.

Likewise just because it would never be a thing you would do, doesn’t mean you have to vilify it.

I am comfortable in my skin, in the gender I was assigned at my birth. I did not choose this. It’s the way I am wired. The way my brain works. I am lucky.

There are individuals for whom that is not the case. And they are human. They deserve rights. They deserve the same rights as everyone else. They deserve to be able to receive the medical care they need (whether self funded or otherwise) to be well. To be safe. In whatever format that takes for them. They deserve not to be persecuted for their existence.

And for those thinking “but what about bathrooms” and similar things can I ask you something? Do you have gendered bathrooms in your house? Do your neighbours? No. Because that’s insane. Transgender individuals are no more likely to assault another person than any other group. Could it happen? Of course, but not simply because they are transgender.

That would be because they are a bad person. Which has nothing to do with gender identity or sexual preference.

I do understand that it’s difficult. That there’s a sensitivity to it but with the bathroom part that’s easy – gender neutral bathrooms with locking cubicles. That way no one sees what’s in your pants. Gyms etc? Gender-neutral lockable cubicles for changing in. That way no one sees what is in your pants. No one has a urinal in their bathroom do they? They aren’t a requirement. I mean, I have no idea if they are more comfortable than peeing standing up, what with not having the prerequisite equipment, but men poop too. And to quote South Park:

You don’t take a dookie in the urinal

My gym has three lockable areas to change. Two of them have a shower. It’s never been an issue – never been too full to not change.

Hell even the building TT’s dance class is held has gender neutral toilets on every floor. And yes, it makes me happy to see it. Because that’s the minimum needed to make so many people feel safe.

So I’ve made a slightly early New Year’s Resolution.

In 2020, I intend to go to Pride. I’m going to go, and I am going to offer “Mom Hugs” to any LGBTQ+ person who needs or wants them.

This world is getting scarier by the day and if I can help in any small way I will. People shouldn’t be living in fear because of who they are.

Because let’s face it, why the hell would anyone choose to live their lives in fear? If being gay was a choice, I don’t believe anyone would choose to put themselves in the harms way that it currently is. And it shouldn’t be.

Love is love. Gay, straight, bi, ace, black, white or other. Life is life.

As ever I’m sure I haven’t expressed myself the way I intended to, but I hope at least I’ve made sense.

I will end this post by saying, if this is something that you personally disagree with. That’s fine. You do you boo. But do not legislate against other human beings simply because they differ from you. As long as it doesn’t harm anyone, agree to disagree and move on.

And vaccinate your dang kids people. That does cause harm.

Oh and here’s some reading material:

Love Lives Here

Yes, You Are Trans Enough

Oh and while I’m on this train. The Earth isn’t flat.

The aftermath

I’m saddened. Sickened. Heartbroken.

Due to the time zone differences I watched it unfold. I couldn’t even get drunk – my system rejected the buzz, so I stopped.

This morning my social media feed is full of my friends who are feeling the full gamut of emotions:

  • Fear
  • Despair
  • Terror
  • Shame
  • Anger
  • Pain
  • Resignation
  • Confusion

There have even been a few quiet celebrations – and I don’t blame those people.

Where my fury lands is on those who are gloating in the face of pain and fear.

Because for so many of my friends that is what the next 5+ years represents. They are not upper class. They don’t have savings. They’ve had to use services that are being cut. They have mental health needs. They have children with special needs like I do.

I might live across the pond now, but my heart is still with them.

But I say this now. Great Britain is no longer “home”. It is where I was born. Where I was raised. The values I believe in, tolerance, respect, inclusivity, caring for your neighbour? No longer exist for me there.

The USA doesn’t feel like home yet either. So for now I remain rootless. I will continue to build a life for the kiddos and we will probably be fine.

I wish and hope with all my heart that those I love overseas are too.

To Scotland I say:

I’ve changed my mind. Should you manage independence in the face of almost certain opposition from Westminster I stand behind you.

To NI I say:

I’m sorry. I hope and pray that The Good Friday Agreement holds. I stand behind you.

To everyone else reading this I say (quoting from a friend who I’m not sure reads this blog, but if you do I hope you know who you are- you summed it up so much more eloquently than I ever could):

I work with people of all political backgrounds, belief, and upbringing. It IS possible to find common ground and work to represent everybody without compromising your own principles. What you do have to compromise are dogmatic absolutes. You will sit down and work with the MP you’d never vote for- and make positive change. You will advocate for the poorest, most disadvantaged in spaces they are never considered- and make positive change. You can lift up the voices whose principles harmonise with your own. You can create real, lasting, positive change.

It will not happen from behind tribal lines.

Things can change without compromising your core values.

Everyone cares about something.

The last 6 years have been an education for me. Everyone cares about something. Find that, make it your common ground. Forget tribal lines. Think human.

On that note, Christmas is just around the corner. If you can, think of your neighbours. Your town. People struggling. Donate something to a food bank. Give a gift to a child in poverty. Invite someone you know is struggling to Christmas dinner.

Do something kind.

And keep doing it. Especially as the weather bites down.

Because, there but for the grace of The Great Flying Spaghetti Monster, go us all.

I leave you with this year’s Christmas photo of the kiddos. Because right now I need their simple belief in the goodness of the world. You’ll probably see this again, as I’m attempting to catch up on everything that has happened since late August!

I’m not political…

A very long ranty post is incoming. All views are my own. There may be facts obscured by emotions but today I am feeling all the feelings and I need to vent.

Politics.

I didn’t study it, I know very little about it. I can be gullible and credulous and I’m easily led. And I’ve been silent on this blog for way too long again generally.

But today is important.

Today: Thursday December 12th 2019 Britain has a choice to make. Between another five years of Tory rule under the floppy-haired, fridge-hiding* Bojo.


Incidentally does anyone else remember the outcry on GBBO a year or so back when Noel Fielding, a comedian hid in a fridge one episode to try and provide some tension relief? People were outraged at his apparent immaturity.

Now our PRIME MINISTER does it, live on tv, and nothing, nada. Tumbleweeds.


Or literally anyone else.

Now, anyone who knows me well in real life knows how I feel about Magic Grandpa. Oh sorry, I mean Jeremy Corbyn.

I used to truly believe in him. That first election after he took over the Labour Party? He swayed my allegiance from Lib Dem. He did. And I was actually okay with accepting my defection.

I had never planned to leave yellow. I had read a study that said all voters, sometime past the age of 30, decide that since they are no longer students (since apparently only students vote for the Liberal Democrat’s 🙄🙄🙄🙄) they need to decide upon their final party and make the permanent switch to either blue or red.

Putting aside the sheer childishness and naivety of that statement – there are how many other parties these days? It offended me to think that it was expected of me. I may have blindly clung on to yellow more than I should because of it.

Then Magic Grandpa appeared. He seemed strong, he seemed determined. To this political neophyte he seemed to have an impressive background and didn’t just blithely lick the boot** and ask for more..


** I’m looking at YOU right now BBC. Don’t think we don’t see the criminal behaviour of the last few days. Just because nothing will fucking come of it doesn’t mean we don’t see it


So I voted Labour. And watched. And hoped. And became slowly disillusioned.

The lack of leadership over Brexit. The refusal to actually be an Opposition Party. Refusing to admit what he believed about it – well that last one would have been difficult for him given how much he and Labour have been crucified in the media.

I have however made a key mistake over the last 4 years. I believed it was all about Brexit. It’s not.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I hate it. I will stand here until the end of time and shout:

I HATE BREXIT I BELIEVE IT IS BAD AND WRONG AND SHOULD BE STOPPED

Hell, it is why we emigrated!!!!

I still firmly believe that Labour should have been anti Brexit. But that’s not the important thing anymore.

Because while I have been blinded by Brexit, other, equally hideous things have been happening.

Cuts to services, vital services:

  • Schools
  • NHS
  • Local (non Tory) councils.
  • Benefits for our poorest and most vulnerable

Scandals:

  • Windrush
  • Grenfell

Food bank use has skyrocketed. People have died and are dying.

These happened under Tory rule. They’ve happened because of Tory rule. And if they get in for another term? Another full five years? Britain is going to be a mini America.

You don’t want that

I have bloody decent health insurance and we still see bills. Horrific ones. Terrifying ones. We will stay here because it’s proven to be better for the kids, but I’m still praying that America sorts it’s shit out before the kids age out of daddy’s coverage.

There’s so little social care here. It’s awful if you’re not comfy. And that’s the point. The whole point of this rant.

I’m alright Jack

Well bully for you Chad. What about Tracey down the street? You know, the nice woman with two kids and a husband who was made redundant because his job was shifted overseas because of Brexit? And now he can’t find work because he’s “too old”. Who now has to scrimp and save and worries for her house? She can’t afford childcare because it’s more than her house payment. (And that I know for a fact).

Or Jean-Luc who came here to study, made a life for himself, married and had children? Who now fears that they will be ripped away from the only home they’ve ever known? Who can’t “go back to where they came from” because they came from here.

Or Georgina? Child free by choice, single, and scared that changes are coming that will tear her world apart?

Or David? Unable to work because he has cancer but is constantly told he’s “healthy enough to work”? When he’s having chemotherapy that makes him violently ill. When he can’t walk more than 10 paces, but because he can do THAT he’s obviously well enough and should just “stop scrounging?”

Or Deborah – suffering from mental health issues and there’s no support. She can’t get a diagnosis let alone treatment because no one believes her and the services aren’t there.

Or Sam – somewhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum quietly attempting to live their life without offending anyone by daring to exist. Who just wants a “normal life” without hatred and fear.

Or any of the thousands of people who currently can’t get their medication. Or can’t get their kids seen.

Kids like our son who need extra support at school but can’t get it because funding has been slashed?

That’s what this government has done. And that’s why we’ve voted. I still believe deep down in my soul that Corbyn’s stand on Brexit is wrong. But it’s not just about that anymore. It’s about pulling Britain back to being somewhere decent and safe.

Remember 2012? Remember the Olympics? That Opening Ceremony? That was the last time I felt truly proud to be British.

How did we go from 2012 to 2016? From inclusivity and pride to Brexit and thuggery?

Please, today, let’s go back to 2012. Let’s be what we were. Not Colonial India but open arms.

I voted for Magic Grandpa. Despite my personal feelings and apparent political leanings:

I sucked it up and voted Labour. Because I believe that they will help the most people. Brexit or no Brexit, they will do the most good for the most people. People who are not me. People I left behind. People I love.

So today. Vote. And honestly? If you still believe the Conservatives are best for Britain? Vote for them too. If they win, let them win because they got the votes. Don’t let them win because:

My vote doesn’t count

It does. Remember, if you didn’t vote then complaining when things go to shit for you or your loved ones won’t cut any ice.

You’ve got a voice. Use it.

If I can do it from here? You can go to your local polling station.

I will admit that the hus-creature and I paid a ridiculous sum of money to ensure our votes were received in time, but that is because this election is important.

It’s going to make or break us.

Please let it make us.

Last Day of Summer 2019

Tomorrow (well today really) my boy starts Second Grade.

I am nervous.

You see there was a chance that he would have been reassigned his Homeroom teacher from last year. Except we found out on August 15th that he hadn’t.

Not only that, but the friend he had specifically been partnered with last year has been given that teacher again, so they have been split up.

So allow me to summarise. The kid who doesn’t deal well with change (understatement of the freaking millennium there) has had everything that he was used to ripped away from him.

I. Am. Not. Happy.

Not one iota. I actually sent an email to the Principal a few days ago outlining my concerns. I received back a reasonably long reply but it mostly just amounted to a hand flap and an “it’s fine”.

Well. Ok that’s the way they want it, fine. I hadn’t ever told #1 Son that it was a possibility (I’m not so green as I am cabbage looking) so he’s not disappointed. He also seems to already know his new teacher and seemed pleased to have her, so that’s a relief.

She has brown hair.

She is a girl.

It’s something I guess? 🤣😂

So I’m trepidatious but hopeful. Hopeful that he will prove my fears groundless. But if he doesn’t? If there is backsliding? Oh you best believe that Mama Dinosaur will be coming out all teeth and claws.


Seriously the T-Rex from Jurassic Park: Lost World will have nothing on me


And the reason I’m still up at almost 2am? I was sewing a name label in his denim jacket. Yes, I was.

See I ran out of spoons again today and did another “Stop, Drop and Nap” at about 5pm so I’m wired.

Which segues me in neatly to my one week post-surgery check update

Overall I was doing pretty well but then I accidentally overdid it somehow on Saturday and paid the price on Sunday – and I crashed out completely whilst feeling exhausted and nauseous, much to the chagrin of TT.

#1 Son had a pool party that day too, and I was determined he was going to go goddammit. However I couldn’t take him for many obvious reasons:

  • Not allowed to get incisions submerged.
  • Not allowed to drive (not that I can out here yet)
  • Still fucking exhausted.
  • Would probably drown.

But the hus-creature did not want to leave me on my own with TT. So we arranged for the eldest daughter of the lovely lady who picks #1 Son up from school to come sit with her and me for those couple of hours. TT was in heaven 🤣😂

The boys had fun, though it was an outdoor pool so the water was cold.

There was also a playground where he chilled out when swimming got a bit much:

So that was my weekend.

So I had my one-week follow up today and as the doctor was running over an hour late I spent that time sitting in typical doctor’s office chairs which completely did me in – I’m not supposed to sit completely upright for extended periods of time right now 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️

It did go reasonably well though. I’ve had both sets of stitches removed; we’ve gone through the packet of photos I was given immediately post-surgery.

I found them deeply fascinating surprisingly; and actually understood a fair amount of what I was looking at. It wasn’t just personal viscera.


It did remind me of what happens when you trim the fat off of raw chicken before you cook it though 🤣😂


They also included some incidental shots of my “very healthy” appendix and liver which is always good to know 🤣😂

I have to see him again in two weeks and am to gradually increase everything activity-wise up to approximately 50% of normal in that fortnight. I’m still not allowed to lift heavy things.

So I can go up to school with #1 Son tomorrow so that’s a relief. To him as well as me – though the sweetheart would never have asked me.

So the doctor says it’s okay for you to come mom? That’s good. You have to do what the doctor says you know – the doctor knows best

I don’t mind admitting that my heart swelled and broke simultaneously there. He’s so so special my lad.

I’ve already decided that I will not be going up to knitting tomorrow, as I can’t face walking that far, or sitting in a hard backed chair for two hours; or to have my nails done on Sunday – that’s an even longer walk, plus two trains and I just cannot justify that. I’ll provisionally rebook for the following Sunday – lord knows that my amazing Matthew will understand.

Goodnight dear audience, I ought to try and get some sleep tonight. Of course I know already that going up to school tomorrow is going to wipe me out.

I don’t care. My boy deserves this. I am going.

He asks for so little, I’m bloody doing it. For him.

In recovery from surgery

Yes, again.

Warning.

This post will contain medical details that may not be pleasant reading for the squeamish, and significant swearing. You have all been warned.

When I wrote that last post I was dealing with knowing what was likely to be upcoming – and as ever my ability to be prescient about my own health proved accurate.

I needed more surgery. Which I was not happy about and was having a strong case of “not just a river in Egypt”.

But wait, I hear you cry dear audience. What was left for them to take out or otherwise fiddle with?!?!

Well apparently I had at least one cyst hanging out masquerading as an ovary*

Ghost ovary was a term bandied about pre-surgery which was fun. My surgeon made it sound like Pac Man was hanging about in there but at least it was something they felt would be easily dealt with.

Then came the bit that made me pull this set of faces –> 😖🥺😖🥺😖🥺

When I get in there I’ll have a good rummage about and see what I can find and deal with

Now I am most definitely paraphrasing a bit, as that discussion was over a month ago and I’ve had a general anaesthetic since then – three days later and my brain is still more than a little scrambled. But you know, that’s still not the most reassuring way to put it is it?

Anyway, I went up on Tuesday morning for 07:30 surgery and that bit at least all went pretty much according to plan. I came around to find that it wasn’t even 10am, so less than two hours under the knife which was good.

Oh, and they managed to insert my IV the first time, and in my non-dominant arm at that. But this time removing it was a problem – narrow veins caused an issue, so I’m now sporting another fetching bruise.

I also wasn’t in much pain when I woke up which was great.


Yes, I did take the offered Percocet, and am still taking the pain pills as needed – I’m not being a hero this time…


However, upon discharge the hus-creature got given some information that I wasn’t aware of.

I mean, the surgeon did come and see me post-op, and talked at me, but I was spacey as fuck and still on the oxygen, so there’s no way I took any of it in….

Instead of just the one expected incision through the good old navel (yet again) I am also sporting yet another incision along my bikini line.

Because, as I predicted, my insides were still fucked all to hell.

My intestines were so stuck together with adhesions (from endometriosis) that they resembled a severely kinked up garden hose. That’s a direct quote from the surgeon.

I was also severely backed up. Which is amazing to me, as this new diet had been working *wonders* on my digestive system or so I thought.

But see, this still wasn’t a surprise to me. As it explained so much of my issues both past and present when I flare up.

I’ve had these particular issues since at least age 18. I can clearly remember having to miss university classes because I couldn’t move from the bathroom. So yeah, almost 20 years.

You see, when endometrial scars and adhesions activate, inflame, whatever we want to call it they do all sorts of fun and happy shit. This includes constricting and contracting. It’s like being in labour. All. The. Time.

Now imagine that happening in your bowels. Sound fun? Nope it kinda wasn’t and isn’t.

But apparently my surgeon may have been able to deal with a lot of it. I don’t know exactly how much yet – I should get the scope of it next week at my post operative checkup.

I should also get the histology on the cyst – but honestly I firmly believe the cyst is incidental. That the real cause of my recent bouts of pain was the bowel issues.

So that’s been dealt with. At least for now. And clearly the dairy free, fun free diet has been helping.

In one little bit of amusement, the nurse wanted me to eat a little before she gave me any strong pain killers (which is fair enough) and they gave me some honey Graham’s. Which are lovely.

But they are made with enriched grains and all the bad sugars and contain dairy. And when I read the label one of the first things I said was:

Uh oh, don’t tell Doctor Witkowski

And she replied that yes she often had to sneak these to his patients and felt bad about it but that there wasn’t much they could do. I just grinned, promised not to tell him and asked for some more 🤣😂

So here I am at home recovering. The hus-creature took the rest of the week off to look after the kids for me. Even now three days later I’m still suffering from “Stop, Drop and Nap” Syndrome so he’s had to take full responsibility for them – and he’s doing an amazing job both with them and looking after me.

TT did baking with Daddy this morning.

Daddy and #1 Son are spring cleaning in his room and doing a major tidy and sort out of toys, books and similar. We had done the annual clothes purge last week in advance of the return to school (and Second Grade 🥺) next week.

So I’m currently surplus to requirements which is fantastic as it means I can focus on trying to reboot again.

I don’t know what happens next, but hopefully Tuesday next week will tell me more.


*Allow me to clarify. I had the joy of a pelvic ultrasound whilst mid flare up and the scanner detected an ovary. Which is impossible and so therefore was presumed to be a cyst.

The realities of chronic illness

I have endometriosis. It is a chronic, mostly invisible, illness.

This is permanent. There is no cure. There’s nothing I can do to be “better”. It’s never going to go away.

And it’s exhausting. It’s debilitating. And it’s fucking frustrating.

We were going to go to the beach today. Except that I woke up in flare up hell so we’ve had to cancel/postpone.


The worst part of this is that I knew it was coming yesterday but I pretended it wasn’t because I believed that I could control my body through sheer force of will. Guess what? I can’t.


Fortunately we hadn’t told the kids the plan, so they AREN’T disappointed but I am. I’m just devastated.

This is actually the very first time I’ve had to cancel big plans for the kids due to pain (which is pretty bloody good I guess) and it’s had me in floods of tears today.

I’m so so SICK of being sick.

I’ve done everything I could, I’ve opted for surgery that was no goddamn cake walk, and one that has left me unable to have more children of my own should I want them.


Don’t mistake me, I’m grateful to have my babies, but the choice was denied to me. And even now, when I am at peace with the decision, sometimes that pisses me off.


And what is left to me? Nothing.  There’s nothing that anyone can feasibly offer me, because I’ve done the two things that non specialist medicals claim should cure it:

1. Have a baby

Welp, let’s unpack and examine that one further shall we? My condition was only discovered after #1 Son was born.  So, guess what?

HAVING A BABY DOES NOT CURE ENDOMETRIOSIS

I’m going to say that one more time for the people at the back there in the ‘Medical Community’

HAVING A BABY DOES NOT CURE ENDOMETRIOSIS

Or, if it somehow improved it in any noticeable way, I bloody dread to think how utterly, utterly screwed up my insides were before I conceived him.

But then along came TT, and my surgeon here who performed my hysterectomy? Isn’t even remotely surprised that I’m in flare-up 5 (well it was 4 when I saw him last month). Because, and I quote,

I saw your insides. They are a complete mess.

And that was the most recent examination of them – nobody else had actually seen them post-TT arrival.

So before I go into the prescribed treatment options, let us discuss the other ‘cure’ that the so-called medical community loves to throw out there.

2. A Hysterectomy

Please excuse me while I die of hysterical laughter.

Because, you see, considering that a very considerable sub-sect of the medical profession considers this procedure to be the Holy Grail for us Endo Warriors, they make it practically impossible for us to achieve it.

First, there’s the age-old

What if you want more children

Well now Doctor Smart Ass, if you have looked at my goddamn charts you will have seen that the two I do have are literal unexplained medical miracles.

I have replaced myself and my husband, so I’ve fulfilled any kind of biological imperative that there is in the assumed social contract.

Three, if I ever seriously do take that particular blow to the head, then hell there is always adoption.

Four, yes you know what, when I was younger I did want three children. I’m one of three. To me that was the “correct” number. But that was before. Before I learned how bloody difficult parenting truly is, and before I learned that my chances of having one child, let alone three were slim-to-none.

So I’ve heard various iterations of that particular stream of bullshit but that’s not the worst of it. Not by a long chalk. The worst one? The one that has had me incandescent with rage? The one that has had me questioning what century I’m living in?

But what if your husband wants more children?

Or:

What if your husband leaves you?

Followed by

Then what if you meet a new man and he wants children of his own?

Firstly what the fuck? What Handmaid’s Tale level of sexist, misogynistic bullshit is this?

Am I really, truly only worth the potential contents of my uterus? In 2018 (when I had the surgery)?

Secondly? If the hus-creature did leave me right now? Today? I would have much bigger problems than the potential for no children with any hypothetical new partner.

I would be being deported. So yeah, that was so far beyond my scope of worry it’s bloody laughable.

Also, my husband? Not a huge kid person. He married me knowing _I_ wanted kids, and so agreed to have two but he would have been perfectly happy being SINK/DINK so three? Nah. That wouldn’t have been on the table. Which is fine. Men get choices here too.

So I went ahead with the surgery.

Now let’s discuss that particular set of thorny problems.

I wanted a complete hysterectomy. Everything. Out.

My attitude:

Now, it took over a year of begging and pleading to be put on the blasted waiting list when we were in the U.K. having been informed it was six months for the surgery I wanted, they kept me hanging for almost an additional year, and my operation came through for a month after we emigrated.

Now I will never, ever, criticise the NHS. It’s an amazing system, the U.K. is lucky to have it but in some ways it very much lets people down.

Those of us with chronic conditions? Both physical and mental? Yeah we slip through the cracks.

I do comfort myself with the thought that me cancelling that surgery must have allowed some other equally desperate woman to have hers sooner than she had hoped.

So I came out here, met my awesome surgeon who pretty much agreed (after reading my stack of medical records) that I needed the surgery.

But even then I had to plead for the total. He wanted to leave my cervix in at least.

I did not wish to remain a high-risk candidate for cervical cancer. However once I pointed that out he agreed.


However every single time I go to see him he does ask if we left it in there – this does not fill me with confidence


So I did it. I documented it. I had 11 months of freedom.

Now it’s back. And getting worse. And I’m not sure what is left for me to do. He has some ideas, there’s some treatments upcoming – but I’ve got no spare organs left.

There’s nothing else he can cut out. I’m not ready for a colostomy bag – and anyway he’s an OBGYN not a Gastro Doctor so if there’s more in my guts it’s going to need more referrals and arguments with insurance companies


We just got the bill for my “sick visit” last month – insurance companies don’t pay for those here. They did negotiate a lower rate but it’s still $160+


And did I mention I’m tired?

Tired of being the ill one. Tired of being the strong one. Tired of having to lean on my (amazing) husband time and again. When does he get to be the tired one? Tired of scaring/upsetting/worrying my children. Tired of hearing poor TT saying

Mommy is poorly again

Tired of missing out with #1 Son because it costs too many spoons to sit in the fucking backyard let alone take him to the goddamn playground.

I’m sick of this being my life. I want it to be hyperbole. Not reality.

And I’m scared. Scared for my daughter. Scared for any potential granddaughters.

I’m not taken seriously, the cycle is going to continue. I just pray it skips my girl.

And so the end of Summer Camp

And, as we were leaving? This quote from #1 Son:

It’s going to be a whole year before I come back

Honestly? You could have knocked me down with a feather.

He’s grown so much. His progress report has him so much improved from Week 1 to Week 6 that I could just burst with pride.

His teacher was full of praise for him

#1 Son is a child with a lot of love to give

She also noted that Math is his strongest subject, but that he needs to continue with daily reading aloud practice to maintain fluency.

You can imagine his joy with that 🤣😂

I also got to go in to get him an hour early on Thursday to see what he had been doing, and to watch the children put on two plays.

He was in The Three Little Pigs and he played The Big Bad Wolf. And he did so, so well. He only got a little overexcited at the third “act” and did his bit over the narrator. But the other little pigs just rolled with it- so it was only the narrator herself I ended up feeling sorry for.

Then we were shown examples of their “Persuasive Writing”

And my son?

Where the other children had written statements and arguments about why they should be allowed a puppy? (Or at the very least a bunny?)

My little socialist is trying to persuade his teachers that they need a recess.

He was also the only kid in his class to receive a certificate for 100% attendance. Which I struggle to understand, but a. It’s a free programme and b. The sheer cost of summer vacations of any sort more than triples in August.

But it’s a programme run for kids with IEPs, so in my opinion it’s beneficial for them to attend the full 5 weeks (and change)

However I can see why it might not happen, and I’m pleased his perseverance was acknowledged.

And I very much hope all the teachers who have given up so much of their summer now have a very well-deserved break!!!!!

Taming the beast

And by this I mean purely TT’s hair 🤣😂

The hus-creature and I disagree on her hair muchly.

This is his belief:

Whereas I see it more like this:

The truth? Is probably somewhere in the middle.

Anyway, a bone of contention is “Baby’s First Haircut”.

Now please let it be known that I am actually not totally averse to her having a trim. I just don’t want her hair as short as her brother’s!

I mean, since she’s never had it cut, it’s all over the place length-wise and it’s fine to the point of unmanageably flyaway – but it’s so pretty.

But as a result, it’s bloody hard to keep neat. Loose is…. not possible. Not when she persists in still getting food everywhere at every meal 🙄 She also hates having tangles brushed out, so no, we don’t wear it loose unless (and until) the band(s) fall out.


And did I mention the flyaway? This happens often 🙄🥺


A ponytail seems easier, and it’s certainly the easiest style for me to achieve. But it doesn’t stay. The standard baby hair bobbles don’t stretch far enough, the interim ones don’t grip, and the smaller adult style? Like the ones I use? Her hair is too fine to use them singly.

So, I learned to braid.

This seems like a simple skill no? Especially as I can crochet (Also knit but crochet seems the most directly comparable skill). But I had never, ever, mastered it.

I’m also dyspraxic, as well as suspected ADHD; and so these aren’t conducive to learning this type of thing. But here is my current skill level:

On the left was a few days ago (we’ve since lost that pink band 🙄) and on the right is today’s.

I’ve since added a new product into our hair care routine.

Hair Shots By Amy

I discovered them while we were away at Great Wolf Lodge (having a Mommy and Me Pedicure 🥰) and we picked up the Cupcake one as that was:

my favourite

According to madam

Thing is? To me and her dad it smells vile 🤣😂 totally fake and cloyingly sweet. But it does make her hair smell nice to her. She adores using “my smelling”. It also dries and fades out to something more tolerable to my nose at least.

It also seems to act as a slight detangler and, I discovered today, controls her hair enough from ponytail to braid, to allow me to braid almost to the bottom of her hair.

Technically, you’re only supposed to use it on the scalp – the instructions are:

Lift hair and spray directly onto your head, 3-6 times depending on hair thickness.

But that’s tricky, so I spray on her parting, especially as that changes through brushing, and lift a few segments. Now also along her ponytail pre-braiding.

And, I wanted to try it myself. Yes yes I know, but it’s marketed to “all ages and all hair types” and I’m suffering in this heat wave.

I’m also an addict of all things Cotton Candy scented. No, really, you ought to have seen the amount of Snow Fairy crap I purchased from Lush over the winter.


Yes, I agree that Lush has turned devil incarnate on the marketing campaigns, and the prices are ludicrous, but apparently bubble bath is not a thing out here, so I occasionally indulge myself. Also the USA products are manufactured in Canada not the Poole factory so I can pretend it’s not so evil.


So I decided to try this one

I love it.

I’ve had numerous compliments on my hair when out and about since I started using it. It’s particularly good as I don’t like over-washing my hair given I basically fry it to oblivion once every four months in order to go full unicorn 🤣😂

There’s also anecdotal evidence that it helps prevent head lice – something to do with “disguising the smell of the hair” (for which I read: disguising the smell of blood under the skin on the scalp).

That’s clearly not been proven in any kind of standardised FDA approved testing, but paediatricians out here are already starting to spout it so why not.


I’m not certain which scents are unisex though, so for now #1 Son is safe 🤣😂


But hey, so far we’ve only had one bout of those nasty crawling buggers in total so anything that is chemical-free and might help keep that so? Gets a huge thumbs up in my book.

I will say though, that these aren’t cheap. Just under $15 a bottle, but it seems to last a while. Going to try the strawberry next on her when I need to replace my own bottle – I use more than she does 🤣😂