Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Hidden Horror - Endometriosis Part 2

While I am looking at a hysterectomy, at the moment my condition is managed by a whole host of medications, self help and alternative therapies. I have a 3 monthly injection of Prostap aka leuprorelin. This drug is also used to treat prostate cancer in men. This drug gives me a chemical menopause. Whilst the monthly bleeding has stopped I contend with symptoms like hot flushes, skin thinning and moodswings. One of the major side effects of this medication is bone thinning which can lead to oesteoporosis so I have regular checks. I also take Lyrica aka pregabalin to reduce the affects of overactive nerves causing pain. I take co-codamol 500/30, Tramadol and oral morphine when needed. I practice relaxation techniques. I also use accupunture and massage.

The pain I live with I would not wish on my worst enemy. The only way I can describe it is abdominal toothache. I have a personality transplant when it's bad so my family tell me. I act like a hermit I dont want to go out and all I really wish to do is curl up in a ball on my bed. There have been times when I have just wanted to go to sleep and not wake up. They tend to come when my sleep is being affected by the pain.

I am in two minds over the hysterectomy. In my case due to my age they would either have to leave my ovaries in or give me HRT. The problem is that ovaries and hrt would supply hormones that keep the endometriosis active. In addition to that if my pain is due to scar tissue and adhesions these will not be removed by the surgery so I could under go this highly invasive surgery and still have problems.

It appears that after speaking to a lot of women they are told a hysterectomy will "CURE" their endo. Sadly this is not the case.

There are a lot of theories about what causes endometriosis in women but research into this disease is at infancy stages. They believe that 1 in 10 women have endometriosis but the figure may be even higher as some women are just too embaressed to seek medical advice.

If any of the issues I have spoken about here effect you and you want to chat please feel free to email me. And on that note I am going to finish, but I'lll leave you with this cute teddy pic.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Hidden Horror - Endometriosis

This particular blog post of mine is minimally related to fashion, however my endometriosis can and does affect my clothes choices and this is why I am sharing in this public place. I can live with the embaressment if I help one other woman get diagnosed. March is endometriosis awareness month. This invisable illness inflicts horrendous damage. It is a lead cause of female infertility and has many more crippling effects. Unfortunatly public knowledge of the disease is low. The average time for diagnosis is 7 YEARS! Many women are misdiagnosed and receive the wrong treatments as happened with me. Early diagnosis is terribly important. I'll start with explaining the sciencey bit.

Endometriosis (pronounced end - oh – mee – tree – oh – sis) is the name given to the condition where cells like the ones in the lining of the womb (uterus) are found elsewhere in the body. Every month the body goes through hormonal changes. You naturally release hormones which cause the lining of the womb to increase in preparation for a fertilised egg. If pregnancy does not occur, this lining will break down and bleed. The blood is then released from your body as a period. Endometriosis cells react in the same way – except that they are located outside your womb. During your monthly cycle your hormones stimulate the endometriosis, causing it to grow, then break down and bleed. This internal bleeding, unlike a period, has no way of leaving the body. This leads to inflammation, pain, and the formation of scar tissue (adhesions). Endometrial tissue can also be found in the ovary, where it can form cysts, called ‘chocolate cysts’ because of their appearence

Endometriosis is not an infection!

Endometriosis is not contagious!

Endometriosis is not cancer!

Endometriosis is most commonly found inside the pelvis, around the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, on the outside of the womb or the ligaments (which hold the womb in place),or the area between your rectum and your womb, called the Pouch of Douglas. It is also found on the bowel, the bladder, the intestines, the vagina and the rectum. You can also have endometrial tissue that grows in the muscle layer of the wall of the womb (adenomyosis). It can grow in existing scars from previous operations. In rare cases it has been found in other parts of the body such as the skin, the eyes, the spine, the lungs and the brain. Endometriosis affects approximately 2 million women in the UK. It can be a chronic and debilitating condition. Endometriosis can impact on a woman’s life in a number of ways which include:Chronic pain, Fatigue/lack of energy, depression, isolation, problems with a couples sexlife/relationships, fertility problems. Endometriosis is generally rated on a scale of 1 - 4 with 4 being the most severe.

My endometriosis story started when my periods arrived at 14. From the word go they were difficult. I would have chronic constipation along with severe PMT the week before, then when my period started I'd have dreadful diarrhoea. My stomach would balloon out so I had to wear elasticated waist clothing. I still have to do this now but I now know how to disguise it but I didn't at a younger age I also had to keep to school uniform. This was so hard to cope with back then. The actual period symptoms of excruciating cramps that would go up my back and down my legs and bleeding so much I thought I would die turned me into a wreck. My Mum was very supportive and took me up the Dr's where I was fobbed off with an anti inflamatory drug. It thenquickly came to the point where I was missing school as they were so bad, when I could go in on my period I could not do PE. My school started getting difficult. I went back to the Dr's and got referred to my first gynecologist I was just 15. He was old enough to be my Dad and I was in tears squeezing my mums hand as he did an internal examination. He told me that young girls often have painful periods and it would get better when I had kids but he reccomended I went on the combined pill. Well that was the start of over a decade on various combined pills none of them worked for longer than 6 months (I'd always continue to bleed through them) I had two relationships fail because the pain makes me want to be at home, also physical intimacy(sex) HURTS. I had 4 stays in hospital over this decade with accute abdominal pain I got told I had IBS, constipation, PID you name it when they said PID I was so humiliated they were inferring in front of my mum I slept around. I kept myself together by taking obscene amounts of OTC painkillers and sleeping as much as I could I wasn't aware that at the time I was clincally depressed because of the pain. I kept going to and from the dr's and it was when I had a smear that left me in agony for hours she re-referred me to the hospital that was in december 2007. It was then I heard the word endometriosis for the first time. The consultant said they would treat it as suspected endo I got given naproxen and norethisterone but that still wasn't helping. I then had a d+c with a mirena coil. It caused so much pain I had it removed after 12 weeks. Then in August 2008 I collapsed at work with right side abdominal pain. I explained to the paramedics what I was being treated for but I got rushed in regardless. The pain was so excruciating it took the ambulance crew 30 minutes to get me comfortable enough to travel. I got taken to the majors section of a+e and they said they would treat as suspected appendicitus. I went down to theatre. I came to and the surgeon spoke to me and my mum. He told me that I did have endometriosis and it looked like I had a cyst burst which had caused the pain. Then came the joke part my gynecologist would not accept the word of the surgeon who had operated as he was a general surgeon. At that point I found out my hospital does have an endo specialist so I asked to be transferred to his list. I saw him in December 2008 and had my laparoscopy and diathermy on March 2009. I had my diagnosis grade 3 endometriosis with adhesions on my bladder and bowel. I was 30 I waited 16 years for my answers. I went for a follow up appointment and was told that because of the damage the disease has caused the odds of me being able to have children are very very low. That crucified me and even sitting here typing it I have tears streaming down my face. I am now looking at the possibility of a hysterectomy at the age of 33 After my diagnosis I found amazing support at the charity Endometriosis UK They have local area support groups, a freephone helpline and will send information leaflets and a whole host of other helpful stuff. They have saved my sanity. Sharing what I have been through is very emotional. I just really want to get the message about this evil disease out there, it attacks your femininity so if you have any of the symptoms shown below on the picture PLEASE ask your doctor about it.

Ladies lets raise awareness NOW.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Another Voice at Fierce Fat and Fashionable

I am so excited to share with you all some fantastic news. My totally gorgeous, fashionable and fierce friend Anna Martin has agreed to help me with my blog.

Anna is going to be taking lots of photo's for me. We will also be wearing/reviewing/trying on some of the same things. I think this is really really important.

I am a tall 5.9 apple top pear bottom,I also have short legs and a long torso. I can vary in size depending on retailer anywhere between a 26 and a 32. Anna is 5.4 pearshape with an hourglass look who can wear a size 24 top, 30 bottom and a 28 dress, the same as me. I want to show you how the same item can look completely different depending on who is wearing it.

Anna is American, her hubby is English and shes been over this side of the pond for about 7 years. She is a veritable GOLDMINE of information on looking for clothes for specific occasions like fancy dress or ultra big or tall.

If you have a particular fashion dilemma you want help with please drop us an email to and we will do whatever we can to help.

xxxx Victoria H

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How can size 2 hips be too fat?????

Yep two blog pieces in one day but when this flashed up I felt really strongly this was something I needed to comment on.

Holland’s Next Top Model deemed too fat wins suit against Elite agency

Please read full article HERE

A million articles have been written about unrealistic images used in fashion. The tragic cases of Isabelle Caro, Ana Carolina Reston and Luisel Ramos show that the fashion industry needs to really take a long hard look at itself and needs to accept responsibilty for the damage they cause.

This woman is tall slim and stunning - how can anyone in their right minds call her fat?

With 25% of British women now classed as obese we need to start tactically shopping avoiding designers with waif like models we have to hit them where it hurts and thats in their turnover.

The Burger Queen Contest and interview with Amy Lamé

Today I the absolute thrill and pleasure of interviewing the fierce and fabulous Amy Lamé and found out all about the ground breaking, naughty but nice Burger Queen competition
Copyright 2012 Sami Knight
she is the head judge and plus princess in residence for. I am a long long time admirer of Amy. She is a true plus icon and fativist with a fantastic sense of humour. In speaking with her warmth and genuine empathy with us other chubbies shines through.

Now in its second year this totally unique beauty pagent is challenging weight biased stereotypes with a healthy humour dose and shows that we plus size people are creative, intelligent, articulate and can laugh at how society treats us. In speaking with Amy this show and her other work with is her fativism. Challenging peoples misconceptions in a fun way and not throwing numbers and statistics. The aim is to fill the capital with a mega load of chubby love.
This brainchild of the amazing performance artiste, director and genius who has been tipped by i-D magazine as one of five things to see in 2012. Scottee is something you must not miss. Each of the full figured, gorgeous and smart contestants will participate in 3 thrilling rounds of challenges. These are Trend (flaunting your fat fashion), Taste (your signature dish served to our judges) and Talent (light entertainment for heavyweights). Guest judges include the gorgeous Alison Hammond, Immodesty Blaize, and many others. The competition has 4 fiercely contested heats, then the grand final all taking place at The Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Amy said that the Taste round more often than not is the decider. These evening events are not just about the competition. Scottee over the course of the competition will be delving into the world of fad diets, celebrity endorsed fitness dvd's and other dark and nefarious things and will be sharing his wit and wisdom and also poking fun at fat stereotypes
The evenings also include guest performances from chubby chasers Myra Dubois, Timberlina, and Russella & Tenor Ladies. Djing is the wonderful Sami Knight playing big (gastric) band tunes, the laugh inducing 'What's Jude eating this week?' is back, the weekly Pie Chart Rundown and of course the show's not over till the divine Miss Annabel Sings. This event is not to be missed so go buy your advance tickets here and have a utterly flabulous Thursday night out for £7 or £11.99 and include a burger meal.

Pictures 2 and 3 copyright Holly Revell

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

David Vs Goliath - chain store rip off's

I have a very guilty pleasure and that is the gorgeous quirky jewellery made by those wonderful peeps at Tatty Devine

These are beautiful pieces which are 99% hand made here in the UK. I came across their blog recently and was most grumped that it appears a well known high street retailer whom I refuse to grant publicity on this blog had the audacity to blatently copy some of their designs.

As I understand from their website matters are currently with solicitors and the questionable items have been withdrawn from sale.

This kind of behaviour drives me BANANAS !!! Tatty Devine are a small niche retailer who whilst being popular probably have better things to spend money on than solicitors fees unlike a big chain. We need to support people like Rosie and Harriet because they support British jobs. They are also supporting International Womens Day with a talk at the British Library.

Tatty pieces are INVESTMENTS you get a quality that the chainstore will not match and your item will hold it's value unlike a cheaper copy.

I really hope this is resolved to TD's satisfaction soon. Don't let the big guys bully you !!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Day One of the blog a day challenge

Hello all

Well it's been ages and I must apologise. It's been a rather rubbish start to 2012 for me. but I'll explain all over the next month. I have decided to challenge myself to blog daily - yes thats right every day. I have some fantastic articles, news and competitions coming up for you so stay tuned it's going to be interesting....

Love Tori xxx