Author Archives: optimist101

We’re back and have a whole host of tales (and lessons) to share…

After being single for over a year, I feel like it’s now time to get back ‘on the horse’ so to speak… I’ve peered from afar as my friends grab the dating landscape by the horns and put themselves out there on Tinder, Plenty of Fish and Match.com etc (myself included!).

 

Suffice to say that a variety of stories have been the result and I have another chapter in the story that is my life (and that of my anonymous friends)!

 

From low key TV stars that leave their date at a pub quiz on the first date with their mates (after all of 10 minutes) to Spanish lotharios who proclaim their undying love and send song lyrics… yes song lyrics!! “the sun is shining, the weather is sweet yeah!” – bring an all new meaning to talking about the weather… only to then disappear off the face of the earth. To ‘Mr loves himself’ who sent pictures of his face three times a day, each in a different outfit and location… no words! Plus plenty more!

 

So buckle up, take a deep breath and let dip our toes back into the dating landscape and share the tales of the dating disasters, successes and all that’s in between.

 

L x

 

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SOCIAL SPY** Deshabillé & Pink Hope Blogger Lunch

In light of Angelina Jolie’s revelation today, there has never been more prominence to charities like Pink Hope x

Sydney Social 101

Yesterday Sydney Social 101 had the absolute pleasure of attending the Deshabillé Blogger Lunch at The Village, Gold Room in Potts Point.

Sydney Social 101 was in great company with 15 prominent bloggers from in and around Sydney. We were invited to the hot new Sydney bar, The Village in Potts Point to celebrate the collaboration between Deshabillé and Pink Hope.

We were joined by Deshabillé founder Roslyn Gleave and Pink Hope founder, Krystal Barter who talked to us about the collaboration and what we can do to help!

Deshabillé has joined forces with Pink Hope- Australia’s first community that provides accredited information and support for young women and their families who have a high risk of breast and/ or ovarian cancer. www.pinkhope.org.au

Even better, you can shop with a conscience as with Deshabillé’s Pink Hope range, 50% of all proceeds will go to the charity.

Throughout the lovely lunch…

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Recovery: Week One

When I woke up from the anesthetic after my fibroid myectomy, I have to be honest in saying that I was in a lot of pain. I asked for pain killer immediately – and was given them! ha! Initially they decided to give me tramadol as and when I required it!

After being in recovery for half an hour I was wheeled back to the ward. I was back in the ward for only thirty minutes and then my mum and her boyfriend arrived. I was so surprised about how ‘with it’ I felt. Even though I was aware of the scar and had a dull ache, I was happy to sit up chatting to my mum and certainly didn’t feel like I’d just had major surgery!

After my mum left I went straight to sleep, although I wasn’t in massive pain the tramadol wasn’t working as I’d like, after a chat with the nurses it was decided I would be put onto the PCA, which is morphine that is given to the patient via an IV as and when they need it. (It only allows patients to administer a dose every five minutes!) I slept right through.

Day Two

I was woken up quite early for breakfast, 7am! I was woozy from the medication, but otherwise felt ok. It was difficult to sit up, but I managed! I definitely got my appetite back and ate all my breakfast.

After a couple of hours the physio came and advised that I’d have to get myself out of bed and walk around!!! I was not impressed, I was in pain and had trouble sitting, nevermind standing !! I did however surprise myself and ended up sitting in the chair for a good few hours.

It was this night that was probably the worst… The nurse was taking my obs and looked worried as she advised me that my temp had spiked to over 38. This was a sign of infection. The nurses decided to give me antibiotics via my IV immediately, rather than wait for my bloods to come back. I was given more fluids and oxygen to try and stabilise me. Luckily after a rough (hot) night my temperature cane down. Whilst it was still hotter than they’d like, it wasn’t dangerous!

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Day Three

The next day I had the PCA replaced by oral pain killers and had my canular taken out. I was finally able to shower, yippeeeee! I started to resemble myself and started to get up and walk around more! My stomach had already gone down massively and the scar looked so much cleaner and neater than it had done before.

The rest of the week…

Well I can safely say I was v spoiled! I revived three bunches of flowers, soooo many treats and cards from loved ones and friends and family came to visit!!

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I was told by my doctor that the procedure had been completed without complication… Phew! He advised that whilst he normally wouldn’t arrange a follow up after a mysectomy, he would like to see me in three months due to my history!

He also advised that my remaining Fallopian tube was left damaged after all the treatments and that I might struggle to conceive naturally in the future. He said that I should look into freezing more eggs. I have to be honest and say its something ill look into, but with eight eggs already frozen and an eight week recovery ahead of me, it isn’t my number one priority at the moment!

I was discharged from hospital on the Monday following my surgery, so including the day for the transfusion I was in for a total of six days!

Stay tuned for more info on recovery at home and my month recuperation in Spain. I’ll also be providing tips on what to wear to make sure you’re comfortable and looking after your scar… This means no jeans!!! 🙂

Update: Part Three

I landed back in the UK on the evening of the 12th November (seems strange that even though you’re flying for 24 hours, due to the time difference it was like I’d only been in the sky for 12… result!) and it was amazing to be greeted by my mum and brother. I hadn’t seen them for over a year, so it was quite emotional.

As soon as I was back in the UK I booked an appointment with my GP to get a referral to my specialist. As a precautionary measure, they took some bloods from me due to my symptoms. Low and behold the next day I got a call asking me to go back to the doctor… when I went back they advised that I was severely anaemic (I had a blood count of 8.6, a healthy blood count for a women in her 20s in 12 – 14) and they advised that I would need a transfusion, not ideal!! In a way however it made me feel comfortable that the medical professional were actually standing up and paying attention to my illness and how seriously it was affecting my life!

I managed to secure a cancellation appointment with my specialist on 30th November, which was a result! So I spent the next few weeks catching up with my family and friends. I’d missed my mum’s birthdays for the past four years, so I decided to take her to London for the weekend to see The Bodyguard in the theatre – which was AMAZING! It made me realise how much I truly missed being home with my family and the little things that you miss out on living on the other side of the world.

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It didn’t seem like two minutes until the appointment came around – I was actually excited to get some answers and a plan in place!

So imagine my disappointment when I went into the clinic and it wasn’t my specialist that was seeing me, it was one of his team! I’d flown all the way around the world to see a specialist that had operated on me four times, I’d e-mailed him before I left Sydney to tell him I was coming, it was him who told me to get a referral from my GP – so why wasn’t he there?!

His team member seemed v junior and didn’t really understand me or my history. It’s so frustrating when you have to keep telling your story and medical history again and again and again. I actually asked if my specialist was available and explained about the e-mail, he went to go and get him once he realised we’d actually been in touch! He came in and it was great to see him, but he didn’t have the news I was looking for! He told me that my fibroid was very large and that if I were to have surgery to have it removed, it would result in a hysterectomy… I was devastated. He told me that he could give me a drug that would essentially put me into an early menopause to stop my body producing oestrogen in order to try and stop the fibroid growing and hopefully shrink it. As I figured this was my only choice I agreed to have the injection there and then. I was advised that I would have all the symptoms of a women experiencing the menopause…  including: night sweats, hot flushes and even hair loss – GREAT!

I figured it was a small price to pay to get my life back and the last thing I wanted was to have a hysterectomy!

My specialist advised that he would see me on 22nd March to see how the treatment was going. He told me I would be sent through an appointment for a base line scan, which would tell then how big it was at the start of the treatment. Then I would be sent through a second scan appointment to take place just before my appointment on the 22nd March…

My 28th birthday, Xmas and New Year came and went… no appointment for my scan. I phoned up admissions and they advised that the paperwork had never been submitted, fab! So they sorted it whilst I was on the phone and sent through an appointment for the end of Jan – eight weeks after my treatment had started – so much for a baseline scan!

I decided to use the time to my advantage, I went to Spain for two weeks with my parents.

When I got back I had the scan and was advised that the fibroid was 12cm – eeeekkkk

I did hit another bump in the road, whilst in London for some job interviews. I had three interviews in one day and was on the way home I suffered a massive haemorrhage on the tube. When I got back to the hotel the bleeding wouldn’t stop, I ended up phoning NHS Direct and they advised that I take myself to A and E, which I did. They kept me in over night.

I was obviously concerned so called my specialist’s secretary to see if I could move the appointment forward, I didn’t hear anything back, I also didn’t get an appointment through for the second scan and was worried that the same would happen that did with the first. This had been happening for over a year and I was really getting towards the end of my tether.

After chasing my specialist for four weeks and getting no response, despite advising that we would pay the private fee if it meant we would get seen sooner, my mother and I decided to explore other options!

I decided that I would be happy to pay for a private second opinion. We spoke to a specialist that came highly recommended. We managed to secure an appointment the following week, result!!

When we went to see the new specialist it was so refreshing, I told him my medical history (again) and he explained to me that he would like to do a scan himself before advising options.

That’s the great thing about private – yes you pay more – but you get everything done there and then!

After the scan we went back into his consulting room and he told me that yes, the fibroid was v large, about 14cm, but it was by no means the largest he’d ever removed. He also reassured me that he was confident that he would be able to remove the fibroid without having to give me a hysterectomy. He has completed the removal of many fibroids throughout his career, but had never had to do a hysterectomy as a result.

S0 for £350 I had the reassurance of a specialist and was advised that I would have a date for my operation that wouldn’t be longer than fourteen weeks away( I could’ve paid £5,000 to have it removed within four weeks, but after my specialist advised that I wouldn’t be at any disadvantage by waiting, I figured I’d waiting long enough anyway – what was another 14 weeks ;))

Imagine my complete surprise when my appointment came through for 17th April, a mere six weeks later! I was ecstatic!

The only problem was that I’d secured my dream job only four weeks prior! They were aware however that I wasn’t well, so I explained that I had to have an operation and they’ve been amazingly supportive! I actually can’t wait to go back once I’m all fixed!

The date for my pre-op came around before I knew it, it was the Friday before (12th). At a pre-op they log your height, weight, blood pressure etc and they also ask you to sign forms about your treatment and talk you through what to expect.

They also take some bloods to make sure you’re not anaemic, amongst other things! Guess what… I got a call on the Monday, my bloods showed a blood count of 7.4 – Not very good, not very good at all!! I was advised that I’d need to go into hospital a day early to have four pints of blood transfused. Again although I was scared, I was glad that the medical profession were actually acknowledging that there was something wrong with me and they were fixing me, yippeeeeeee!!

When you get invited to Manchester for a few pints, this isn't what you have in mind... Ha!

When you get invited to Manchester for a few pints, this isn’t what you have in mind… Ha!

So the usual hospital procedures ensued – Fasting after midnight, cannula was put in, blood pressure was being checked every blummin hour etc etc

I woke up the next morning and was absolutely starving, so I just decided to sleep! They advised me when I woke up that my blood was now 9.6, which still wasn’t great, but it was a lot better than it was! I was paid a visit by the anaesthetist, who talked me through what to expect before my procedure and before they put me to sleep.

I went down to theatre at 3pm on the 17th and was really relaxed, I was actually excited to have the procedure done – I just wanted it out of me and to be on the road to recovery! I was to have another mid-line incision (navel downwards), the specialist advised me that he would get rid of my previous scar tissue, so in effect I was also getting a mini tummy tuck too!

The  anaesthetist’s assistant even commented on how relaxed I was. I really was, as he put the anaesthetic into my cannula I drifted into a peaceful sleep, knowing that when I woke up it would be gone!

Stay tuned for my week 1 recovery diary!

Update: Part Two

So you know about my history and you know about the issues up until July last year…

Suffice to say, the symptoms got worse, it actually got to the point where I would walk out the door for work and have to turn back due to the bleeding being so bad. I was even admitted to A and E at St Vincent’s Hospital on several occasions due to the bleeding being so bad that I would black out. Still my specialist did nothing! I was prescribed Norethiserone, which is basically progesterone, which echos the effects of the mirena, without having a mirena. They also refused to give me a scan when I was in A and E and advised that if I wanted a scan, I’d have to book in with a specialist once I was discharged –  at a cost of $500 I might add!!!!

What I couldn’t fathom the whole time was that they were more than happy to treat the symptoms, but not the cause! Bearing in mind this was now August, the specialist advised that I should have a scan in October and that they would make a call then on next steps… October?! That was over  two months away and my symptoms weren’t getting any easier at all, in fact if anything they were getting worse.

You could now clearly see the bump of the fibroid in my stomach. I looked like a pregnant lady, people were actually giving up seats for me on the bus and train – touched yes, mortified, hell yes!!! I was beginning to feel faint all the time, my legs kept ceasing up, even after only walking 50 metres! I was not able to go to the gym as even a yoga class resulted in bleeding through my clothes and having to leave half way through.

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As someone who likes to go to the gym three times a week, it was quite a shock to the system as I couldn’t even do a power walk round Rushcutters and this left me lethargic  sick and in need of a change of clothes again! I felt like every part of who I was, was quickly disappearing before my eyes. I didn’t want my boyfriend (who I was in relatively early days with), colleagues and friends thinking that this was who I was!

I decided that something had to be done, it wasn’t going to be something small either!!

I knew my surgeon very well in the UK, he had been operating on me since I was 18 and was very familiar with my case. I knew that if I went back to the UK and got a second opinion I would feel better! I knew deep down that I needed to fibroid to be removed in order for my life to return to normal 100%, yet didn’t know what that would entail .. Would I lose my uterus? Would my womb be damaged forever, would I have to have a hysterectomy at 27 years old?! All I knew that I was going backwards if anything as things were and I had to do something.

Knowing that I would have to make an appointment with my specialist and that he usually has a minimum of a six week waiting list, I figured that I would need to be back in the UK for at least three months (I also knew there was a strong possibility that it would take a lot longer than three months, I was also toying with the idea of staying a lot longer in my head, I was missing family and friends and was keen to get some experience working in a top UK PR agency to widen my experience  with the right role… who knows how long!!) to factor in diagnosis, advice, treatment (hopefully surgery) and recovery. I was so lucky that I’d secured my PR in Australia as I knew that this was where I wanted to live and work and grow old. I just had to keep telling myself that this was just a bump in the road!

In addition to handing in my notice at work, I also spoke to my partner and made the decision that we should do our own thing whilst I went back to the UK. I didn’t want him to have to wait around for me, I was also so aware of the fact that I hadn’t been the best GF in the past few months as my symptoms got worse and I figured that if we are meant to be we will be. I needed to go home and concentrate on getting myself fixed and perhaps selfishly I didn’t think it was fair to expect him to wait here in Sydney. Just because my life was being put on hold, I didn’t see why his should too! I’m a big believer in what will be will be!

I handed in my four weeks notice to work in September and booked my flights home on November 12th. I decided to go travelling for two weeks before I returned to the UK to at least have something to look forward to – although that wasn’t without its hiccups!!

Whilst in Byron Bay I booked a scuba diving trip, which is a real passion of mine! It was due to depart at 8am the next morning, so I had an early night. Only that was in vein as I was up all night hemorrhaging heavily! It got to the point where I got up for a shower at 7am and collapsed and passed out due to the blood loss. I was rushed into hospital and ended up being kept in over night as my blood count was so low. Not the best hey?!

After returning to Sydney I had a week to say ‘see you later’ to all of my friends and on 12th November I boarded a one-way flight back to Manchester…

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More to come about my treatment in the UK and next steps…

Update: MIA…

So I guess I’ve been MIA for a couple of months in terms of the personal posts I’ve written in the past.

A lot has been going on over the past few months and I wanted to kind of keep a journal on here to not only document what I’ve been going through, but to also support other women who have been/ are going through something similar.

This isn’t about dating, it’s about what some women have to go through in their lives, that I guess, basically can put their lives on hold for a while.

I’m going to start at the beginning of the end of the ‘dating posts’ on here. Since then I’ve fallen in love, secured my residency in Australia, started up another ‘101’ blog: http://www.sydneysocial101.com and really felt like things were finally going my way.

During this time, I did have a few medical issues that I didn’t think too much of.

I have filled you all in previously with regards to my health issues prior to moving to Australia, without repeating myself too much, over the past ten years I have had a number of procedures done to remove dermoid cysts from my ovaries. I had two of these removed via  an incision from the navel downwards (midline) – one when I was 19 and one when I was 21. I then had another removed when I was 24 via key hole surgery.

All of these surgeries have left me with 1/2 ovary remaining. As a direct result of that I’ve had IVF treatment to have my eggs frozen on the NHS in the UK, the treatment was a success and I have eight eggs frozen.

Fast forward four years and the symptoms that I was having during 2011/12 resulted in me going to see a specialist to make sure everything was ok. After an ultrasound scan my gynaecologist found that I had a 6cm fibroid in my uterus and decided to refer me to another specialist to keep an eye on it.

Since January 2012 the symptoms got progressively worse and other scans throughout the year showed that the fibroid was growing. This not only resulted in a lot of pain but extremely heavy periods and painful cramps.

My new specialist advised that I should have a Mirena coil (IUD) fitted to help reduce the bleeding during my periods. A mirena coil is an hormonal IUD, which is a small ‘T’-shaped piece of plastic, which contains  levonorgestrel a type of progestogen, which I was advised would reduce the amount of oestrogen in my body, thus shrinking the fibroid and reducing the amount of bleeding as a result.

This mirena was fitted whilst I was under aesthetic in day surgery, during which I also has a polyp removed from my uterus. I was signed off work for a week to recover from the procedure and the aesthetic.

I have to say that this wasn’t the right procedure for me, rather than reduce the amount of bleeding during my period. It actually made me bleed heavily all the time – as in all day every day! Less than ideal! After six weeks I had to have it removed as I couldn’t cope with having to take a change of clothes to work in case it got too bad!

Only… after the removal of the mirena, the bleeding didn’t stop, it continued, and actually got worse! This was in July 2012 and has NEVER stopped since!

Despite several appointments/ e-mails, phones calls etc to my specialist, he was reluctant to remove the fibroid, as he said it wasn’t big enough. I was at the absolute end of my tether. My relationship was suffering as a direct result of everything that was going on, in addition to my work life suffering too.

Stay tuned to find out the drastic steps that I had to take to sort this out myself and the diary of my recovery following the removal of a 15cm (yes 15cm!) Fibroid last week (17th April).

 

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Book review** How to Win Your Man & Keep Him

THE secrets of how to have a healthy relationship that lasts are revealed
in a new book by Brisbane author Geri Hemer.

“It’s easy to get a man but very hard to keep him,” Mrs Hemer said.

In her newly released book, *How to Win Your Man & Keep Him*, she provides
grounded advice to help women identify and maintain bliss in a lasting
relationship. The book contains essential tips on how to find and conquer
true love.

“A book like this has never been written,” Mrs Hemer said.

“It’s based on personal experience that works, not on theory.”

And she should know what works as she has had a loving relationship with
her husband Scott for about 20 years.

She also knows what doesn’t work after marrying her previous husband, with
whom she had children to, twice.

Some common mistakes women make in love is not looking after themselves,
going to bed in rollers, talking about their ex boyfriends, sitting on the
toilet with the door open, speaking with food in her mouths and shaving
their legs in front of their partners.

“There should be mystery in every woman,” Mrs Hemer said.

Some simple things a woman can do to please her man is smile and greet him
warmly when she sees him, text him at work and tell him what sexy things
she will do with him when he returns home and surprise him consistently by
dressing up or role playing.

*How to Win Your Man & Keep Him* caters to women of all ages, backgrounds
and marital statuses. Topics covered include priming for the first
encounter, the first and succeeding dates, winning his friends, getting
along with his mother, an invaluable checklist for the wedding day, spicing
up your sex life, infidelity and growing old gracefully.

“A perfect relationship is not a given. Anything vital in life requires a
certain amount of effort,” she said.
Mrs Hemer has lived and worked all over the world, starting in Montserrat,
a British Island in the Caribbean, and ending up
in Australia via Switzerland. She has mixed with the A-list of the music
world, foreign dignitaries and captains of industry.*
How to Win Your Man & Keep Him *is an essential guide book for all women.
At131 pages, it sells online for $19.99 soft cover and $29.99 for the
hardcover and is available on *amazon.com* *, **
barnesandnoble.com* * *and* **www.Xlibris.com.au
* *.*

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