Deforestation, or, Plucking Hell.

Courtesy of the thoughtfully-filled, individualised goody bags at the MAD awards (about which I never got around to telling you: I didn’t win, Shannon didn’t win, we fell in love with Bumbling and held her captive in our bedroom drinking until the wee hours, The Hiccupy End) I am now the proud owner of a Phillips epilator – an item that essentially contravenes the contractual terms of this blog.

It has sat upstairs, unused, since September, given that we’re not too bothered by fur at Hairy Towers, and also not too big on extraneous pain. I have very dark, thick (or, as John once called it, ‘coarse’. He was referring to strand diameter as opposed to texture, and still struggles to comprehend my mortal taking-of-umbrage) hair; plenty of it, too. In all the usual… locations.

It’s generally all Live And Let Live vis-à-vis furry pelts around here, but my pelt is coming under operating-theatre scrutiny tomorrow morning, and I felt it incumbent on me to tidy things up a little.

I managed to muffle my screams, as I am a Big Girl, but I’m a bit… ouchy. I also have a bright red aureole of newly-plucked, angry skin surrounding what, for the purposes of this communication, we will call my undercarriage. It’s my own fault: I put it off all weekend and the slash and burn agriculture effect hasn’t had time to wear off. I have no aloe vera, but there IS snow on the ground outside, so perhaps I should perch my bum on the car bonnet, as it has refused to start this evening – or initially, to even open its doors – due to the cold snap, and we’re due to leave here at 6.50am.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t vaguely troubled, a little concerned, mildly mithered, faintly fretful, ahh, who’m I kidding? I’m shitting bricks. The top five things I would like not to happen are as follows:

1) Have heart attack on table.

2) Be woken up to be told am borked beyond repair, and there will be No More Babies.

3) Be sent home for still being too fat.

4) Post-operative nausea.

5) Shoulder pain.

Number 1 is, I’m reassured, pretty unlikely. I have a healthy heart, albeit a benignly arrhythmic one. My reason for dwelling on it is that I had a couple of unprecedented upsurges of premature beats a couple of days back, which I couldn’t attribute to hormones, although stress and caffeine may have been factors. Suddenly going from 40-odd cardiac misfires a month to 80+ an hour was… unpleasant. Worrying. Terrifying, actually. I found I could face the prospect of my own mortality reasonably calmly when it got right down to it, but the thought of not being there for Harry has become a dark subliminal disquiet, if the fact that I’ve caught myself gazing at him, trying to etch his features a little further into my mind, is any clue. And I am choosing to stop this paragraph here, because that way madness lies.

Number 2. I dunno what the odds are on Number 2. I’m thinking: fair. And I do not want to wake up without choices.

Number 3. Well, I have nothing but shrugged shoulders and a shamed expression for you here. I am a round 14 stone on my bathroom scales, which are 3-4lb kinder than many. I was told to get to at least 13st 12oz. Got there. Lost motivation. Went away again. I can pinpoint the moment when I stopped caring: I was curled up on the bed, drugged to the legal max, and wondering if my uteri were actually imploding, and if so, if going in there myself with a carving knife might help. I became Angry, and I decided that exploratory surgery was no longer a frivolity, an elective survey of reproductive damage and capability that I should be in decent shape for, but something that desperately needed to happen, and soon, and that I shouldn’t have to jump through fucking hoops to have it. I decided that the increasing severity of my pain entitled me to be bloody well fat if I wanted to be. 

I am embarrassed at the fundamental illogicality of this thought process, given that an obese patient is a more at-risk patient – and see 1) above – but there you are. They (‘they’ are two excellent physicians, btw, one of them Exceedingly Senior and a particularly talented minimal-access gynae surgeon) might well decide that my ample fat-padding is not conducive to laparoscopy.

Number 4. I’ve been under general anaesthesia a number of times, but never for as long as I expect to be out cold for tomorrow, and I abhore – really, really hate – feeling sick. The thought of actually vomiting with a (I assume) really rather tender belly is worrisome, and I shall be bleating specifically for anti-nausea drugs if possible.

Number 5, I hope may not happen. I’m not too concerned about actual abdominal pain, per se – I feel I own every available t-shirt and could write the proverbial Belly Pain book if pressed – but I am wary of encountering any new enemies.

So. That’s where I am. Nervous Nelly, with a soupçon of Extra Added Terror. If you have any nice, cardiac-strengthening thoughts going spare tomorrow – and despite the nil-by-mouth 7.30am roll-call 30 miles away, I have no idea what time of actual day they might be useful – do please send them my way.

*Smiles wanly*

I’m always asking you for things.



25 Responses

  1. Done! Don’t forget to ask them for pain meds to go home with, and do take some stool softener after to avoid any…unpleasantness…from said pain meds.

    • Ahh, lovey, the NHS, she does not do pain meds! If you have an actual amputated limb, they might reluctantly slip you a bit of gas&air… the stiff British Upper Lip doesn’t inculcate itself, you know! 🙂

  2. Sending happy cardiac thoughts your way…and hoping there are no problems with any of the other choices either.

    Also, ouch on the deforestation.

  3. I’ve had pain meds on the NHS. Don’t take no for an answer.

    Hang in there. All your potential dramas are possible but unlikely. Will be thinking of you. And not buying that epilator thingy.

  4. During my surgery years in the UK I was always discharged from hospital with pain meds, or at least a prescription to obtain same, when necessary. Insist if you feel you need them!

    For the rest of it – good luck, I hope like hell they find things they can fix and that you get a viable chance at producing a sibling for Harry.

  5. Oh fer crying out loud. No pain meds? Do as the Queen Mum did, then, and slip a pint of gin into your sensible pocketbook (what’s British for pocketbook?) Thinking of you, of course, of course, of course.

  6. You will be well on your way by now so I send snow melting wishes first followed by good operative wishes to follow.

    I have had plenty of post op pain meds on the NHS so shout loudly (or you can have my leftovers). in fact I got too many resulting in dreadful pain inducing side effects which sent me back into hospital which kind of defeated the object.

    Dark hair pale skin apparently good candidate for lasering

  7. Hadn’t actually finished that!

    Personally I say hot wax or sugar myself. but sending heaps of good wishes for successful surgery plus confirmation that these are no issues resulting in No 2.

  8. I am allegedly getting ready for work, so will have to come back later for more hugs and patting and hand-holding – but a) I had a laparoscopy done when I weighed a DAMN sight more than 14 stone, and b) they totally gave me pain medication – diclofenac and co-codamol! Yes! Both! I still have some of the diclofenac. It’s naughty to give someone else your prescription medication, so I SHAN’T put it in the post tomorrow morning if you ask me to, I SHAN’T I SHAN’T, much the same way you DIDN’T ‘lend’ me some heparin.

  9. Bless you
    I am hoping all will be well, and all manner of things will be well and that all the things you are worried about do not happen. I envisage it being a doddle and a breeze and everything coming out the way you want it. I am trying to get hold of the name of that remedy for you as well, for the shoulder pain.

    Also, take heart in that despite your anguish, you made me laugh very much about the epilady thing, and that’s hard to do on a freezing Monday morning.xx

  10. Hoping hard on your behalf that #2 is right off the agenda. As a recurrent vomit machine after anaethesia oumyself I found that refusing the nice relaxy pre-meds (on advice from totally hunky anaethestist that I would have done anything for, well, almost anything that you can do while lying prepped on a hospital trolley) meant I awoke after surgery nausea free. It’s not the anaesthetic apparently.

    Take care dear HFF! My thoughts will be with you and yours until I hear the results. xx

  11. Yes, [nodding, nodding]. The Day Before is never fun, and it is impossible not to fear to enter into the equation. I mean, really. Of course! But after, that is not so bad, I promise. The shoulder thing wasn’t so bad – even I (A wimp. I have a cert to prove it.) didn’t think so, and you are mighty and stoic, let’s not forget. And I felt SO much better after the whole affair that it was worth it, a hundred times over. No more ARGGy feel-like-death pain! It’s GREAT.

    Obviously it would be indeed be naughty to get Someone Else’s prescription pain meds. So do that, if you need them, (I didn’t and it wasn’t because I was being tough, believe me) and get lots of hot water bottles for the shoulders and lots of help with Harry. For a week at least.

    See you on the flipside! Standing by…
    Good luck! xx

  12. Just don’t try to knit post-operatively and you’ll be fine on no 5. Though I don’t seem to get nausea, but just complete wiped-out-ness, after anaethesia.

  13. I’m sending you good wishes from across the pond for your recovery, and do mightily hope that all 5 of your worst fears proved to be entirely unfounded. You are a wonderful mom to the very talented Harry — that drawing of the train was really something! I hope that the universe finds a way to bring more children fortunate enough to be raised by you. I’m sitting here with the sleeping babaloo on my lap, an accidental but perfect one-year old product of my own womb of doom. I wish you similar circumstances — accidental or otherwise — with ensuing sibling euphoria.

  14. I think I’m a bit late with the pre-operative good wishes, but I really hope that none of the above options 1-5 came true.
    Hope they gave you some decent pain meds, and that you’re feeling OK.
    *sends thought waves for a good outcome*
    *doesn’t offer PR diclofenac (it’s all I seem to have, but is excellent if you’re puking and for cramps) in much the same way as May didn’t offer the oral version*

  15. I’m also late but also hoping all’s gone well, both for your body and your prospects of #2.

    I’m mostly very much on tenterhooks for you so to distract I will talk about hair. I can’t believe you used the epilator on THOSE regions. I had one that I used for a while on my legs, and I even ballsed up (metaphorically speaking) and tried it on my pits, but despite lots of positive self-talk, I could not get myself to go very near the lady regions with the thing.

    Also it gave me lots of ingrown hairs, but I have this very fine hair that will raise a bump if you cock an eyebrow at it funny. Waxing is perhaps that best solution I have found but it’s too expensive and not exactly pain-free when it comes to the aforementioned regions. Since, as my years advance, so does my hair coverage, I am spending more and more time fantasizing about laser treatments, or electrolysis, or what have you. Either that or I am just going to have to get comfortable with getting hairy.

  16. I hope it all went well. And from the sounds of it the deforestation must have been enough to lift any spare pounds off those scales.

    Read this too late for this morning, but thinking very hard of you now.

  17. Fingers crossed it all went well and that the results are not Gloomy.

  18. Thinking of you and hoping for the best all round. Even with the post hair removal recovery *wince* Particularly strongly crossed fingers against 2. Oh, and 1, of course.

    I found that it was a week or so later when the general anaesthetic side effects hit. Mostly just tiredness rather than nausea. Quite disconcerting though. But it depends how long you are under for. I think mys tint was six-eight hours or something, so…

  19. Argh! I’m here too late! I’m hoping it all went well and that you are basking in the glow of many good pain meds on the NHS.

    PS Love my epilator. PCOS gave me facial hair worthy of circus employment. and that sucker just plucks it all out for me, post-shower, at the speed of light. Bliss. No more tweezing.

  20. Thinking of you, pluckèd beauty.

  21. I’ve read this too late for pre-op wishes, so am sending all good wishes for post-op and hoping that none of your fears materialized.

    Also, ouchie. I say we campaign for hairy being the new sexy.

  22. late to the party as usual, so i will instead wish you good recovery. surely if you tell NHS about the Epilator Incident, they’ll HAVE to give you drugs, right?

    sugar had a lap recently, and while early recovery frankly sucked, she is now (a couple weeks later) all mended. i hope you will knit yourself together even more quickly.

  23. They will give you anti-emetics as you come round, which shoud help with any sickess you may experiance and also I found moving helped get the gasses out and therefore ease the shoulder pain. I wish you all the best of luck and will be thinking of you.


  24. I hope this finds recovering from the worst of your surgery and up and around. Brace your tummy with a pillow should you need to cough, much like you did after your section with Harry, especially if they fiddled in there as you will be very sore.
    Thinking of you and best wishes for a quick recovery.

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