Monday, September 17, 2012

Pain scales: what it's like to have endometriosis

So I've got a whole bunch of outfits that I've taken photos of but the uploader thing is being funny so none of that right now unfortunately! (It will let me copy stuff that is uploaded on the internet though, which means that you get this delightful comic that made me laugh.)

Haven't had the best day ever, had a very frustrating time trying to change my car registration and license over to the ACT (there is a reason I have put it off for a year and nine months!) and I think because of that stress and fatigue I've ended up with the worst pain I've had in awhile. It's definitely still nowhere near as bad as it used to be before my operation, but it's a different kind of pain. A kind of pressing, slightly tugging, constant pain, that I've had to learn to deal with over the last six months because it's a different kind of pain from what I'm used to.

I used to have about 2.5 weeks in a month where I would be mostly fine (0-1 pain scale), and about 1 week where I was in quite a lot of pain but could function (with a lot of effort, drugs and heat packs, 6 -8 pain scale) and about half a week when the pain was excruciating, I could hardly move and I'd get contraction-like pain (this is when I would have time off work, 9-10 pain scale). Now it's more like 4 weeks with constant everyday pain ranging from 2-5, along with frequently having to visit the loo since my bladder hurts when it's even slightly full. Tonight's a 5. I think that in the long run having everyday low-level pain (although hopefully that might resolve itself too) is something that is more conducive to me living a normal life than the crazy labour-type pains I was getting every month that I had no control over. (It helps that I'm pretty much not getting my period anymore because of the Mirena).

I've also pretty much stopped taking all painkillers at the moment - partly so I don't push myself too hard and overdo it (since pain is there for a reason, right?), but also because I don't like the way I feel on them, even if they take away the pain (which they don't always) and I'd rather not have to rely on them and instead be able to cope with my pain using my brain.

Above: a couple of pain scales that I think help to convey what different levels of pain are like.

PS You might see that this blog is changing a bit. I still want to do my outfit posts since that is what makes me happy but after going to an endometriosis research group on Friday and hearing and remembering yet again about how there is still so much shame surrounding this disease, I've decided to start writing more regularly about what it's like to have endometriosis. I also think that sometimes I tend to downplay my pain a bit because I don't want to make a fuss. As a woman, I have been told my whole life that period pain is 'normal' and it's something you just have to deal with, so it's a bit of a reminder to myself as well to take myself seriously. I think it might help my friends and family to understand more what it's like as well.

Here's a link that I think describes the pain well. I read it and found myself nodding in agreement with every sentence. "You can't be ill. You look fine."

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Conference chic

photos from my trip to Brisbane for work: T to B - one blouse, three ways (can you tell I love yellow? - blouse and all skirts shown are vintage - cardigans are dangerfield and urban outfitters respectively); gorgeous bow ties/hair clips at the southbank markets; sand sculpture at the conference that was destroyed and rebuilt in another design daily; view from my hotel room balcony

I loved the trip, the conference was so much fun and I learnt a lot. I can't wait to go back to Brisbane - I'd love to live there!

Old Timey Music Revue

So I've been a bit slack with staying true to my favourite vintage style for the past few weeks, but I've been much better this week (partly because I've had time!). Even though I didn't get to record most of my outfits from this week, I can tell you that I made a lot more effort and it showed - I was more confident and happy in myself.*

Friday night was an "Old Timey Music Revue" held at the Polish Club in Turner. My housemate and I got dressed to the nines in vintage gear in order to score discount entry to the event. (On a side note, I love having a housemate that loves getting dressed up in vintage just as much as I do). What followed once we got there was some great country, blues and jazz music and lots of fun swing dancing. I'm thinking I'm going to have to start taking classes! It was so good to have a night out with good music (but not so loud that you can't chat), good company, good dancing and a not-too-late bedtime. Am I sounding old yet? Looks like I'll have to pay another visit to the Polish Club in the near future for some pierogi!

Dress: Vintage (Cue), some vintage store in Adelaide... probably Red Ruby Vintage
Belt: Vintage, Mint Vintage (pretty sure it doesn't exist anymore)
Cardigan: Vintage, Fash & Treasure
Coat: Vintage, Fash & Treasure
Purse: Vintage, some op shop
(Apart from the cardigan and coat I've had most of that outfit for years, so I'm pretty sketchy on the details of where I bought pieces)
PS How gorgeous is my housemate's dress?

*Note: I know that different things give confidence and happiness to different people - for you it might be being able to sew a gorgeous quilt or refurbish some furniture into a lovely new piece. For me, nothing brightens my day more than dressing up in a pretty frock, being creative with my clothes and adding some colour to our sometimes drab world. This blog is all about trying to make every day better by doing things that I know make me a more positive, happy person.
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