It is my pleasure to introduce the lovely Helena, (@mummymode on Twitter), who is now working with me on Cherry Sorbet and Dexterous Diva work thanks to the wonders of Twitter! It’s wonderful working with another writer whose life is like mine – 2 children and pain and exhaustion, although I would never wish it on anyone. I am grateful for endo, and to social media for connecting us. Over to my soul sista Helena….thanks darling for sharing your journey. x
I suffer from endometriosis, a condition that has permeated every aspect of my life for over ten years. At its worst I am in severe pain three weeks of every month and require hospitalisation and morphine for some respite. I think it’s important to empower other women and to talk about it but at the same time to not let a serious illness define your personality; the worse I feel the more mascara and nice outfits I wear as that is me, not the hideous pain I am feeling. I call it the art of illusion. The attitude I adopt is one of a ‘if you put a brick wall in front of me I’d still try and walk through it’. Quite clearly the endo is my weakness, but I see it more as a strength – it is the one thing that has made me dig deep enough to pursue my career in writing and my dreams of a gorgeous family, as if this idiotic disease can’t stop me then nothing will.
I was diagnosed at the age of 23, several years after my symptoms began. Laser ablation followed, then the Prostap injection. The false early onset menopause was worse than grim and made me (at 5foot7) drop to 7.5 stone, have hot flushes galore (sticking my head in the freezer was the only thing to ease the ‘tropical moments’) and have to leave my job. Two months later after another attempt to earn myself a not-so-sought-after gynae ward season ticket, I was now at the point that every doctor out there was telling me not to wait for a career, a mortgage, to be ‘sorted’ but that if I were to have children my only time would be now. The beautiful Lyla Rose arrived in June 2009 and gorgeous Theo Lewis followed just this Christmas gone.
In amongst the six operations, accidental perforation of my uterus, premature labour scares and complicated births I have found that to remain positive (and as glamorous as possible- call fashion my body armour) is the key. My illness has led me to the very best parts of my life, for example, I met my husband at the after-party of a Maximo Park gig, a band that brought me power and hope through their lyrics at a really desperate time in my life. My husband then brought me my children, and my children enabled me to finally realise my writing career. I began writing for the online magazine for stylish mums, the fabulously titled StyleNest last September, and have now added contributing and editorial work to this.
The battle goes on, and shall always be there – but, as I have learnt from my experiences so far, as it gets tougher then I bloody well will too.
Read more from Helena over at http://www.stylenest.co.uk/blogs/mummy-mode/