Monday, 10 July 2006

Holiday trauma

As promised, a gory and detailed description of my lovely holiday with J to follow.

You may remember my recent medical history of a tendency to spread my legs in front of NHS staff.

J, looking for somewhere romantic to take me for a meal
I had a biopsy done due to severe pre-cancerous cell changes on my cervix about three weeks ago.

The doctor who did it was very friendly, and we were chatting about my upcoming holiday. She mentioned nothing, I repeat nothing to the effect that I couldn't go swimming to my heart's content.

And, since we had chosen to travel to a tourist trap full of hot weather, lovely beaches and cool ocean, that's just what I did.

As J stayed in the hotel room doing his therapy exercises one evening, I took the opportunity to go swimming on my own.

The water temperature was perfect, probably around 20 degrees; warm enough to allow me to stay in for as long as I wished, cool enough to be refreshing.

I hadn't brought snorkelling equipment, but wore regular swimming goggles which allowed me to become closer friends with the fish who lived near the cliffs and seemed quite happy to swim alongside humans.

J came to pick me up as the sun was setting. We spent the rest of the evening dining at the seaside and watching the World Cup semi-final on a big screen outside our hotel. It was actually quite romantic.

Until I woke in the middle of the night because I felt something trickle between my legs.

Still half asleep, I staggered to the bathroom, thinking it may be my delayed period.

As I sat down, I felt something quite sizeable drop out of me. I looked down and saw the whole toilet bowl covered with blood.

I woke J, who was very worried, and we took a taxi to the hospital which fortunately was only five minutes away.

We first went to the ER. The woman who saw me simply said "there's too much blood. I will call the gynaecology department."

Her colleague walked me there, and by the time we got there, I could feel blood running down the inside of my leg. Fortunately there was no pain, but I was starting to feel a bit dizzy, and my blood pressure was dropping.

A local doctor who spoke very little English asked me sarcastically if I'd had my biopsy done in China (not sure if he was being racist or merely appalled at the NHS's handiwork). He proceeded to stuff 1.5 metres of gauze up me and told me to stay in the hospital until the bleeding stopped.

Fortunately for me (again), the bleeding stopped quite soon after me lying down. I shared a room with amongst others a sizeable woman who managed to snore despite lying on her side with her mouth closed, so didn't get much sleep until 6 am when the nurses woke everyone to take their temperature.

J, the sweetheart, returned as early as he was allowed to with supplies of food and reading materials. I slept almost all day while he sat by my side reading an old copy of the Observer.

The next day I was discharged, still feeling a bit weak but much better. The doctors told me strictly no swimming, and no baths only showers, for at least four weeks.

It also turned out that because the biopsy is considered "a pre-existing condition", I'll have to foot my own hospital bill.

I am seeing my doctor tomorrow, and will in the kindest of ways ask why I wasn't told not to swim, even three weeks after my operation.

And, of course, this means another 3-4 weeks of no sex. Which will bring me up to about 6 weeks in total. It's sheer torture, especially with J being all tanned and lovely.

I know, I know, there's other stuff to do, but really, it's not the same without the icing on the cake. Or in the cake. You get the picture.

I'm not feeling bitter that I had to stay in hospital, and with the exception of that one doctor, everyone was really friendly and helpful.

However, it was just luck that we were staying in a civilised area right by a hospital. We could have been camping on an island, hours away from help. And God knows what could have happened then.

Watch this space for a transcript of "J's girlfriend yells at GP - The Blockbuster".

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  1. Hey girl!

    I hope u feel fetter soon, it all sounds a bit scary am glad your did not panic too much. If there is something I am really glad is that I dont have to deal with the NHS anymore - pardon my french but it really SUCKs


  2. No swimming 3 weeks after treatment? I thought it would have healed by then...?

    DID you get it done in china?

  3. That must have been quite frightening. I'm glad it wasn't anything more serious, and yes - I think you should deck your GP.

  4. "It also turned out that because the biopsy is considered "a pre-existing condition", I'll have to foot my own hospital bill."

    This I would fight, it wasn't a 'pre-existing condition' was a complication.


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