How women felt physically
- Age at interview:
- Age at diagnosis:
- Rob is now a house-husband, and lives with his wife and three daughters. White British.
So tell me what it was like to come home with her still in a lot of pain and baby and…?
So I was given crutches. I was on a zimmer frame to start off with, to keep my balance and… and then I had crutches to go home with. And that was a whole new challenge, because it was, it was relief to be around my children, but being around them and not being Mum, not really being Mum. That was hard, you know. The fact that everyone else was looking after him and that I wasn’t, because for me, it’s important to be Mum, it’s important to be that special person because Mum’s are special. No matter who they are, they’re special. And I wanted to be special. I was special to [son’s name] I wouldn’t, I was like there all the time doing everything for him. I was, you know, I wouldn’t say obsessed but I was really, I loved being a Mum and it was so hard not to be able to do that for [son’s name]. And that sort of made me go up and down quite a lot. I found it sort of hard to bond, not that I hated, I never hated him, not once. People ask me, I had a lot of people saying, “Do you resent the baby?” No never. I’d do it all over again, if it meant I could have him, no questions asked. But it was the hard fact that I, mentally couldn’t do it. And physically couldn’t do it, and I was going through so much other stuff that… my whole body and brain couldn’t make sense of, how was I going to be there for somebody else when my body couldn’t even make sense of it myself. But as I got better, I did, I made, like made much more effort and things like that, because I wanted to be that Mum so bad. And I have. You know, we are there now, you know, and it did take a long time, and it does take time. And in this sort of situation they don’t, it doesn’t just happen, you know, and that’s something I found really hard, because I just wanted it to be done, over and done with now.
Well I mean there are a few consequences, I mean we didn’t know for a long, long, long time as to what… basically she had a lot of kind of stomach discomfort and she was very, very bloated, very, very sore and I think everything is still stuck together in slightly funny ways. So one of the things is she’s bloated or you know, still constipated or whatever, intensely painful for her. And, we had no idea what the causes were and that took months, actually that took a long, long, long time. That was actually this year really that we actually finally got some kind of you know, answers to what that was, so that was like two years afterwards, and we kind of, you go on line and you try and puzzle it out. So we thought it was like a wheat intolerance and so we try and, you know, adjusting diets and trying this and trying that and you know, I mean, sometimes she would be like doubled over with it, and I mean the thing is that you don’t, she was in such intense pain with it that you lose that frame of reference of well is it an emergency now, when because, you know, she’s got her scars and various other things like, when do we actually call an ambulance or take her to hospital if something is painful, it’s not a call for action for it. And, and, just the lack of answers as to what it would be and was this now, how she was forever, and, and, and you know, she was a lot more tired, a lot of the time. She used to be kind of very kind of very busy and a very hectic life and you know, she could do that and she was not tired afterwards. And both things I think, I think the lack of energy, and just the, the sheer, you know, disruption to her life and the lack of answers for it, and the fact that this would now be stretching on forever. I think it kind of made her feel very old, as in like, right, okay, I’m 35, I’m now, not invalided, it is too strong a word, but you know, this is, I’m going to feel like this for more and I kind of went, sent her to the doctors and didn’t get too much answers, and then eventually she went back to her doctor, and they finally said, “Oh yes, that’ll be these adhesions, and you just need a low impact diet.” And this kind of stuff, “And take these pills.” And they gave her some pills and some powder that we take and it’s been brilliant. And it works pretty well. And actually that whole side of things, I think, hospitals really do need to sort out, of just… I mean the lack of joined up… because I mean in the hospital when [Hannah] was there, she got given a sandwich, you know, with a, you know, brown bread sandwich and stuff like that as her food. And why I think generally one of the reasons that she ended up being really, really bloated and having to stay for an extra day.
It was about twelve week later, before I thought yes, I’m OK. I was still getting cramps in my stomach and the scar was still quite open type of thing. But I remember the day after I had the section, about the tea time, it must have been about 18 hours later, I remember them saying, “Right you need to get up now. And go and get in the shower, and you need to take that off.” And I thought, can no one take it off. And she said, “No you need to do it yourself.” And I thought, I was, I just had things with blood then, that was it I couldn’t. I thought what if I open it and it opens it up or something. And I was in the shower for about an hour, and no one came to check on me to see if I was all right. I was absolutely petrified in the shower and thinking. I was trying to talk myself round to doing it, and in the end, I had to phone my partner and I said, “You need to come down now.” I said, “They’re make me take this thing off.” I was in the shower. And he had to come in, and he had to take it off. And I mean that was degrading for me. Because kind of I’d just had a baby, and I was, still if you’ve just had a baby you don’t want a man looking at your belly and all you’re bits, and I was just, I’m not that kind of girl. I’m quite, I like to get myself, I look after myself and I was thinking he’s going to see my jelly belly and it was, I was thinking oh God. And then I’ve got to let him rip that open and see that awful scar, right across me belly. But I thought they’re not going to do it, the nurses, its either him or me and I can’t do it. Because if, I mean I remember looking to the side and saying how bad is it? How bad is it? I was, and he was going, “It’s not too bad.” And I couldn’t look at it. I never looked at it for about two weeks. I couldn’t even look at me stomach. I used to have to like put my arm across me stomach just to pull my knickers on because I did not want to see that on my stomach. It really scared me.
They ended up having to operate again on the 31st not knowing what they’d find. I had a general surgeon and a gynae surgeon in there, because they were worried that it may have got to my other organs. So they… they went in and removed my left ovary and part of my right and basically gave me a bit of a clean in there to make sure there was no infection. No other infection present. And when they finished the operation and stuff, luckily they went in the same scar, you know, thankfully… Because that sounds really daft, but as a young girl, like for me, like I’ve got to live with this for the rest of my life anyway. So to have a scar that goes across my stomach and I can hide is nice for me rather than, you know, that sort of having a scar going up my stomach for me. It may sound shallow but it’s another thing I have to live with. And you know, it’s all hard to accept as it is, rather than having, hating your body.
Last reviewed April 2016.