Essure update. AKA “Now I need a hysterectomy to fix this shit!”

I figured it was about time to update the situation with my Essure implants now that they’ve been in for a few months. Nothing has improved and as you can see from the title of this post, I am having a hysterectomy to have the things removed.

Why do I need such a serious surgery to get rid of something so small?

Let me explain…

While a lot of the constant pain immediately following the procedure eventually died away, I noticed a gradual, itchy, throbbing pain starting probably about one or one and a half weeks into my regular cycle.  This pain would increase in intensity until I started spotting a week later. I was (and am) still using the BC pill so you can imagine how frustrating it is.

My period pain itself went from uncomfortable but manageable to horrific “GIVE ME ALL YOUR MERSYNDOL NOW!” levels.  I’ve never experienced anything like it.  I was hoping the first time would be a once off but every period since has been exactly the same. Excruciating.

I knew I needed to get them out. I wasn’t going to be like some women I have since met who have dealt with similar symptoms, and much worse, for years.

This time I’d done my reading before going to see my surgeon again. After much investigating, I realised that I was not a candidate for a salpingectomy (just having tubes removed) as one of my implants is protruding into my uterus by about 7 or 8 coils. This means that if just the tubes were taken out, they would have to leave part of the implant in my body.

Can I get a HELL NO!?

So I decided it was a full hysterectomy for me.

Armed with this information, I went back to my doctor who, predictably, was dubious about my reasons for being there. The expected questions were asked. I am fairly certain she thought I had changed my mind about wanting children.

I know I got a little hysterical during that appointment. I wanted to be believed that everything I was experiencing was directly related to the Essure and I didn’t want to argue with her about getting them out. In the end my doctor agreed to do the surgery for me without much fuss.

So now I’m having a hysterectomy.

I am frustrated and angry that it has come to this. I’m upset that I am literally being forced to decide to have my uterus taken out or just suffer.

I am pissed as hell that women have fewer and fewer rights with regards to bearing children (or the decision not to) and yet we are used a guinea pigs. The fact of the matter remains that Bayer have not had these things properly tested. The risks outweigh ALL of the benefits.

If you, dear reader, are also suffering after having tubal occlusion done with Essure implants (or any coil or mesh implant), please lodge a report with the Theraputic Goods Administraion on their page. The TGA needs to know that this device is causing more harm than good.

Essure Implants – A Testimonial

Warning – This post talks about female reproductive organs and contraception. If you don’t like reading about that stuff, go away.

I’m taking the opportunity to write about my experience with the (somewhat infamous) Essure implants.

If you’ve found your way here after googling Essure either before or after you’ve had the operation, firstly, don’t panic.

DO NOT PANIC. It’s the worst thing you can do. I know there is a crap-tonne of information out there and just about all of it bad, and my own story isn’t that great either.  That being said, I wanted to relate my experience because all I could personally find were horror stories.

Preface

Like many gynecologist’s have done, my doctor suggested tubal occlusion, aka an Essure implant, because it was a quick and simple procedure and something that I could have done while I was getting another medical issue seen to.

On the face of it, Essure implants sounded awesome. No requirement to put me under a general anaesthetic, I didn’t need to go to hospital to get it done as there was no need to open me up surgically, recovery time was two days at most as opposed to a couple of weeks for a tubal ligation. Because I am fat (my doctor had the good grace to call me “cuddly”) she said that it would be the easiest option for us both. I couldn’t disagree – being overweight does come with it’s own complications when it comes to medical procedures. But it all still sounded great.

That was pretty much all that was told to me about the procedure and the implants. I got a brochure detailing how the implants worked and was sent on my merry way.

An Explanation

For those not in the know, a tubal occlusion is where two tiny spring coils are fed into the fallopian tubes. This causes a natural reaction within the body and the irritation from the coils causes scar tissue to form around the coils, thus providing a natural block in the fallopian tubes that stops the egg delivery process from the ovaries. The name of these coils are called Essure and they are made by Bayer.

My Procedure

When I went back almost a year later, my doctor was still happily recommending the implants but she did tell me that there was some sort of action against them in the United States. She then explained that she used to just do an x-ray at the three month mark but since there had been questions about it’s effectiveness, I would need a different procedure that involves being turkey-basted with dye to be sure that the fallopian tubes were blocked.  So I just thought it had something to do with their effectiveness.

Sounds good, right? Here’s where it went pear-shaped for me.

My situation deviated from the norm in this regard as I had to get another small procedure called a LLETZ or large loop excision, which did involve being admitted to hospital as a day patient. My doctor did both procedures during the same admission so I was put under a general anaesthetic rather than just being done in the chair. All went well on the day, and I was out of hospital within five hours – most of which was actually spent waiting for my turn and recovery afterwards.

After going home from the hospital I was a little exhausted and a little bit sore, though I am certain that was from having way too much going on up in my privates for one day, so it wasn’t entirely unexpected.

Two days after the procedure I actually felt worse that I did when I came home from the hospital. Yes, it hurt but it wasn’t so much an “ouch” as it was a constant, intense ache in my lower abdomen. Every now and then there would be a horrible pinching that I could feel somewhere from within and it was extremely disconcerting that I couldn’t reach the area to rub it better. It was the weirdest, most unpleasant sensation I can ever remember experiencing. This feeling increased to a weird pulling-like sensation and that’s when I started to realise I could feel these things inside me. The mental damage that did was almost as horrific as the pain I was in.

My Recovery After Essure

I was told that I would be down for a couple days at most.

Here’s what actually happened.

Day 1 (after procedure): A little spotting, nothing serious. Moderate discomfort but nothing a regular headache tablet couldn’t dampen. Was more tired from my usual crappy reaction to the anaesthetic.

Day 2: More discomfort, pain in my lower back and still experiencing spotty/gritty discharge though this was from the LLETZ loop, not the Essure implants. Looked up “essure” on Google and proceeded to have a meltdown.

Day 3: Increasing discomfort.  Not spotting but lots of watery discharge. Again, this was most likely my reaction to the loop, not the Essure implants. Still very upset by what I found online.

Day 4: Post op pain diminished and back pain gone but I was still feeling uncomfortable and sore. Noticed a weird smell at that point and took myself to the doctors and was prescribed a general antibiotic.

Day 5:  Back at work, however sitting for long periods of time became uncomfortable. The horrible pulling sensation starts. Emotional/mental distress increases a thousand fold as I had read even more what Google had to say about these fucking implants.

Day 6: Mild spotting starts.  Discomfort remains high and steady. Had to go home from work early. AGAIN.

Day 7: It still hurts to sit for long periods of time and the weird pinch/pull sensation increases when I move around too much.

Day 8 to Week 2:  Bleeding increases. Pain still as it was.  Constant, tiring. Starting to become a little despondent and, frankly, frightened as hell at what I had allowed to be done to my body.

Week 3: Bleeding seems to be on the rise.  We’ve gone from spotting to proper bleeds but at the end of the day.  This makes sense, as it could be from increased activity, but it is very concerning as I shouldn’t be bleeding at this point at all. (Still on the active contraceptive pill, too.)

Week 4: Ok, I might have had sex a couple days before I should have (I had to wait for my cervix to heal completely which was horrible, particularly when you quite like your boyfriend) but I was more toey than a Roman sandal and needed physical reassurance that I was still desirable and that my bits still worked. Answer; I am and they do. I was happy. But the day after I still had the bleeds. And the hurting was still very much happening if I walked around for too long… or coughed.  This prompted a call to the gyno for a follow up appointment.

At that appointment I was told that my cervix looked awesome (yay, I suppose) but that it smelled like I had an infection.  I also explained about the bleeding too and was given medication for both.  As I was still in pain, she referred me on to have an x-ray to make that the implants were where they needed to be and also have a blood test to see if anything serious needed addressing.  The results from both of those were clear.

Week 5:  Round one of medication taken and the infection seemed to clear up.  The pain had definitely improved too so I get the impression that it might have had something to do with the Essures at this point.  STILL bleeding heavily though.

Week 6:  Started taking the non-active contraceptive pills and let nature take its course just in case it was my period breaking through as the gyno suggested.  HOLY SHITBALLS, the cramps…  That was new.  I sometimes get horrible cramps but this was something else.

Week 7:  Period finally finishes but still spotting. ARGH! It stopped towards the end of that week.

Week 8 to present:  NO BLEEDING. NO PAIN!

Yes, it took eight. fucking. weeks to recover from this procedure and I still have to go back sometime soon to get that final examination done.

What I Found On Google About Essure

I won’t repeat what I found but very little of it is good.  The only positive testimonials to be found are on the Essure website itself which, frankly, I find dodgy as fuck.  I discovered that I had been sold on something that is swiftly proving to be dangerous.

What is most frightening was the sheer number of women who have come forward to say that they are or were unwell and in pain and needed full or partial hysterectomies to get rid of both the implants and the pain they caused.

Hell, even Erin Brockovich is in on it – she’s running the class action.

Am I angry at my doctor for not having told me these things?  YES.  Yes, I am.  Very much so.

Am I upset that I didn’t turn to Google first to do my own investigations before getting the procedure done?  Yes, I am. If I had seen this information beforehand, I would have simply opted for tubal ligation and just dealt with the recovery process.  Buyer very much beware.

Would I recommend this to anyone?  No. No, I wouldn’t.  Certainly not based on my experience.  Eight weeks is a lot of time to be in pain and to be bleeding. Now I have the added stress of wondering what is going on inside my body at any given time, if these things are going to move or break, if I am bound for a lifetime of recurring infections, if I will be in pain again if I start a serious regime of exercise, IF I WILL GET PREGNANT – WTF?!

Let me just reiterate that I got these things put in because I didn’t want to get pregnant and wanted a hormone-free method of long-term contraception.

So far, these things have not made my life any easier. I am yet to see if they are going to make it horribly difficult.

 

Changes. Well, more changes.

So, long time no blog.

Things change. How many times have I admitted that to myself this year?

It’s been an up-and-down few months.

I finally walked out of my marriage, a little tenderised but mostly unscathed. I can pretty much thank the Manbeast’s level head for much of it. The house sold for a decent price (the range we were hoping for) and we were able to split with a decent chunk of money each, even after paying back the Maternal Unit the amount she gave us for a deposit.

Sadly our promises of “staying friends” seems to have turned to “staying silent”. We haven’t spoken for a long while. For all of his insistence of joint ownership of the cats and visitation rights and such (this was our personal joke – we have no kids other than the fur babies), nothing has really happened in that respect. He hasn’t called to visit them at all. I get it. I was warned that it was most likely to happen and while it makes me a little bit sadder than usual, I get it. And I’ll take it on the chin. I’m not going to chase him down and insist he be part of my life like he made me promise when we were going through the throws of breaking up.

Things change.

What actually hurts most is the abject silence from a handful of our mutual friends and that of his parents. Where my mum (the Maternal Unit) had offered her ongoing support to the Manbeast, something I have absolutely no issue with, I haven’t had the same from his parents. That’s one stony, icy-cold silence. Guess I was a bitter disappointment there. First take their son away, then refuse to have babies, then break up with him.

The other friends… Well, maybe I wasn’t as close to them as I thought. They certainly haven’t reciprocated the “We are Switzerland!” stance that the Manbeast and I gave them when they were going through their own issues. There’s been no pokes through Facebook or emails or texts. Just silence.

And to be honest, that’s ok too. The Manbeast needs their support without my interference.

Deep breath.

Let it go.

Things change. Though I will admit it’s left me feeling very alone sometimes. I don’t go chasing people anymore for attention, particularly when it’s obvious that I am barely registering as a thought.

Moving back into the Maternal Unit’s house hasn’t been terribly fun. It’s been reassuring to know that I had somewhere to go but I’ve packed up a whole independent life and put as much of it as I could into one room. A very small room. Mum is a clutter-bug and has a LOT of stuff she’s been keeping for those “just in case” moments and, of course, things that are “useful”. Unfortunately it means that there’s not a whole lot of space to put other stuff, even before I moved in; an achievement when you think it’s a three bedroom house that has contained one lady and one or two cats for the better part of 10 years. She’s a neat hoarder, though. Very tidily squirreling things away. No piles of stuff or cluttered hallways but nature clearly hates a vacuum in that house.

Not all is doom and gloom though.

There’s a new bloke on the scene.

He makes me happy.

Ecstatic, actually. He gets it. He gets me. He loves me. He wants to be with me. Not just “in a relationship” but physically be in my presence a lot of the time.

The feeling is entirely mutual.

And I am learning what I was missing out on with the Manbeast. This is not a bad thing – how can you miss what you never experienced? It’s just nice to learn these new facets of a relationship. Having someone reach for your hand and actually hold it, leaning in for a kiss (and to hell with who is watching), reading a paper together over a hot chocolate and coffee, dating. Stuff that never really happened before.

The Manbeast and I were a couple but we did our own thing and worked independently of each other much of the time. Too much of the time.

Now, “Sharpy” (as I will call him for he wields very sharp knives on a regular basis) and I do stuff together for the purpose of doing stuff together; sharing and experiencing things together.

He likes to shop with me.

He watches “Say Yes to the Dress” marathons with me. VOLUNTARILY.

That’s true love right there, folks.

He’s not perfect but I don’t want him to be. His imperfections match mine and we can make each other better.

I have no idea where life is headed next, but I know for sure that I’m going to live it rather than just exist in it. My aunt died at the end of July this year. That will be another blog post for later when I don’t feel the crushing weight of her absence anymore, but her death has taught me not to waste any more time.

There and back again. Marriage to Un-Marriage.

How do you know when a relationship is over?

When you know you can live, quite happily, without the other person as part of your life. It’s a simple answer but the most telling one.

How do you deal with it? That’s the bit I’ve spent the last few years trying to work out.

Even before we got married, I knew things weren’t right. I’d known for a long, long time but I thought it was normal. It was shit that everyone felt one time or another, right? No one is perfect. There is no perfect marriage or partnership. But being terminally optimistic (or fatalistic) about such things, I thought being married would bring us closer together; make us happier.

It didn’t. Nothing changed. If anything, things gradually got worse.

For me, the beginning of the end was a brief conversation about whether I was attractive. I was told I “wasn’t… unattractive”.

I kept waiting for a punchline that never, ever came.

The problem was me, right? Of course, that’s what I thought. Who makes a comment like that? Even if they didn’t “mean” it, there’s still some truth to it. I was hurt beyond speaking – fuck, beyond breathing – as I realised that there was to be no laughing “Just kidding!” to follow.

Clearly the problem was me.

It started a spiral that was both downward and upward for me.

I started to take care of myself better – thinking that the problem was me. I lost 50kg – thinking that the problem was me. I started to dress better – thinking that the problem was me.

It was never him. I wasn’t prepared to shift the blame onto him. It had to be me. I had all this rage because I was the problem and didn’t know how to properly deal with it.

When we had a massive fight, it was me who was sent to counseling – and I went, thinking that the problem was me.

The end goal was to be a better, more lovable/likeable me.

So I changed physically and emotionally. I learned to breathe and let things go. To compromise – always compromise and convince myself that whatever I had to compromise on wasn’t important, totally putting aside the fact that my thoughts and feelings were important and valid too. Did it change anything at home? Nope.

And in the three years (from 2011) all that took, I came to the realisation that IT. WASN’T. ME.

I was reacting to the problem, not creating it.

(I realise belatedly this was the stuff my therapist had alluded to. Funny how hindsight is remarkably clear.)

The confidence that came with losing weight meant that I could walk down the street and look people in the eye and know that I was worth so much more than what I was given credit for. I had a brain. I had skill. Fuck, I was even pretty. I was perfectly fine as a human being.

I suddenly got tired of watching all of our friends working as units; well-oiled marriage machines that managed to keep their shit together and even love each other at the same time, and wondering why I didn’t have that. I watched my employers scream at each other (I work for three husband/wife teams) one second but be cuddling in the next second and actually addressing what was wrong and doing something to fix it but couldn’t even convince my own husband that putting empty toilet rolls in the bin was a Good Idea.

After the disastrous Christmas of 2014 when I needed support from the one who was supposed to be closest to me – who had chosen that period of two weeks to give me the cold shoulder because of a fight the week before – I knew I had to face the reality that things weren’t working. More importantly, I had to deal with the infinitely more guilty realisation that I didn’t want them to work anymore.

I wanted out.

(And before anyone rails the benefits of couples counseling and all that stuff at me, I have to tell you now that no counseling in the world will work when both parties aren’t committed to the process. And I was not and am not committed to that process. Deal with it.)

Cue a year of depression and hiding and eating… OMG, the eating.

I rediscovered my love of cake and chocolate and my affair with apathy was back in full swing.

Hello 20kgs. Nice to see you again. At least I’ll be slightly warmer this winter.

But anyway. The year wore on and time and time again I would finally decide that it was time to say something but I would chicken out. I knew I had to say something, and soon. My heart was flying off in a totally different direction at this stage.

Going to another wedding in January this year cemented it for me. It was painful, pretending to be happy while watching two friends who had been tip-toeing around each other for ages finally get married. The absolute adoration…

I was happy for them.

Sad for me. I was tired of being sad. I was tired of all lying and pretending that everything was fine and normal.

And the following week I spoke the words out loud, finally.

“I don’t want to be married anymore.”

And a new adventure begins.

Postscript: I still don’t blame him.

Truer words rarely spoken.
Truer words rarely spoken.

Goodbye 2015

This blog has been relatively quiet over the past twelve months that a “year in review” post seems a little unnecessary, but I’ll do it anyway.

2015 has been an interesting year. It’s been one of those years where it’s been mostly calm and serene on the surface but it’s been a flurry of emotional activity behind the scenes. I’m tired, emotionally drawn but grounded – most of the time.

In some ways I can count myself lucky. For many people around me there’s been horrific illness and tragedy. Some have made it out the other side while a couple have not. Some are still battling away, bless ’em.

This year has seen a few blessings in my life. New friends, new family, new creative obsessions endeavours.

My niece was born and has been bringing us much entertainment for the past ten months.

After a year’s worth of fairly constant misery with my Vectra’s electrics which not even Holden could properly diagnose without having to redo the wiring throughout the entire vehicle, I finally traded the jalopy in for a nifty little Bitsaremissing (aka Mitzubishi) Lancer which zips around the place like a ride-on mower on speed. I will admit that I miss the European luxury and the smooth drive of the Vectra – when it was working – but nothing beats a car that actually keeps running when you slow down to go around a corner…

If you’ve recently bought a Vectra in the past 6 months… I’m sorry.

I discovered colouring books. Yeah, the whole world-wide phenomenon of colouring has bit me hard and I’ve gone unashamedly nuts with it.

(I now own 397 colouring books…)

(Not quite the exaggeration you might think that number is, trust me.)

(I DO own over 400 colouring pencils and markers…)

(Hey, I could be smoking again. I consider this a win. And this is actually cheaper than buying nail polish every week.)

My mother and aunt and I finalised our overseas trip next year. I will be meeting them both in Munich (MUNICH!) in late August and we will be heading south into Austria to travel the countryside and get our tourist on before landing in Vienna to meet family I haven’t seen since I was three years old and I recently realised I really need to learn German. I know “danke” (thank you) and “löffel” (spoon) and a smattering of swear words… that’s it.

So unless I want to be the clueless Austrian version of Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy and communicate a million nuances with just those two words, I need to learn all the Germans.

So yeah, things have been pretty good in that respect. I have stuff to look forward to. I have things to keep me occupied. I have people who love me and whom I love to the moon and back.

And then there’s the stuff that I am looking forward to as much as anyone could look forward to having a root canal done… on their birthday… with no anesthetic… while Justin Bieber croons in the background. I might post about that in a few months time. Maybe. Or not.

Next year will be about change, I can promise that.

And hopefully I’ll write a little more. Because I miss you guys.

In any case, I hope everyone who reads this has a lovely Christmas and New Year, however you choose to celebrate it.

Catch ya on the flip side.

Of Gods and the Godless

The current goings-on in the world are wearying, aren’t they? I always feel an odd sort of exhaustion any time something horrible happens in the name of someone’s omnipotent being called God (or one of His many other names). It’s a weird reaction to have. Most people are terrified or angry. I’m just tired. The tiredness comes from the constant waiting for something else to happen. Expectation of the proverbial muck that is going to hit the rotary blades.

The bombings in Beirut, Nigeria and Paris in recent weeks have been fucking overwhelming for me and I will freely admit that a little of the terror creeps in at the sides of that tiredness. In that small admission, I guess the bad guys are winning. But that’s not really what I wanted to talk about.

A few months ago, I had a conversation with my nephew about God. I can’t even remember why. He ended up telling me about this weird class that his friends were taking.

For whatever her reasons, my sister had the Peanut baptised but is putting him through the public school system where religious education is not part of the regular curriculum. It’s a special class my sister can give permission for him to take.

As a result, the Peanut doesn’t know God. He doesn’t understand anything about the Creator. More over, he doesn’t understand the concept of a higher power at all. God, Allah, Buddha, the Flying Spaghetti Monster… it’s all alien to him. He doesn’t get it and kids like him have no idea why the world is looking down the barrel of what I think will be WWIII – The Religious War.

Back story…

Both my sister and myself were put through the Catholic school system from Prep to (in my case) year 12. From the age of 5-ish, we were taught Faith. We learned about God, Jesus, Mary. We know all the major stories from the Bible. We went through the major ceremonies to cement our membership and ensure our spot on the right side of the Pearly Gates. (So long as we behave ourselves – there’s always that caveat.)

So now… the God question.

To me, God just… is. That’s what Faith is. Inexplicable and fucking insane belief in something that has never been proven and of which there is very little evidence apart from a book of stories written by several different people and translated umptymillion times for the past 2000 years.

PLEASE don’t mistake me for being a Bible-thumping churchie – clearly I am not. Nor are the rest of my family – my parents put us through the Catholic system because they thought the education system was better in such schools. (Pro tip: It’s not.) And my schools were progressive in that while they taught the Word, they also taught stuff like science. Real science. (Like, no, humankind as we are today did NOT walk hand-in-claw with the dinosaurs and that the world was most likely created via the Big Bang and did not actually materialise magically within the universe over a period of seven days.)

But faith. It’s there. I can’t help it. I have it, as disillusioned with it as I may be.

But “it just IS” is not an adequate explanation for those who haven’t been indoctrinated from an early age (or birth) and have absolutely zero experience.

Of course this brings me right back to my initial comment. How do you go about explaining to a kid who has no concept of Life After Death (though he seems to know what ghosts are – probably due to the copious amounts of horror films he’s watched from behind a couch when he should have been in bed) that those nasty people over there in that other country are murdering people in the name of their Invisible Friend because their Invisible Friend is better than our Invisible Friend?

Yeah, it sounds as stupid as it actually is.

I really don’t blame him for the look he gave me.

Yep. This look.
Yep. This look.

20 Things about Ren

1. In 2009 I had my gall bladder taken out. Because I was so fat at the time, the surgeon didn’t take much care with how he sewed up the holes he made and as a result, my belly button is inaccessible.

2. I used to self-harm as a youngster. I have scars.

3. My favourite gemstone is Labradorite.

4. I cannot stand watching a television series the old way anymore. I need to binge-watch from the first episode to the last. Unfortunately this often leads to me wanting to kill people who will not shut up about what’s happening in a show as it’s being aired week by week.

5. I have a Reverse Bucket List – it contains the stuff that I have done as opposed to the stuff I want to do, because why pine about stuff you’ll never really get to do in life?

6. I hate exercise.

7. I have embraced “The Selfie” and take many of them for myself and others. They help remind me that I am not an ugly person. Sticks and stones break bones, but words scar for life. I lived for way too long thinking I was ugly because that’s what people told me.

Renlish.com - Selfies

8. I can’t eat bread anymore without feeling sick – but I’m not gluten intolerant.

9. I think the kerfuffle over raw eggs is fucking ridiculous. I eat raw cookie dough that has egg in it and have done so since forever. My mother used to give me raw eggs at my request – and yes, I would eat them. I clearly haven’t died from it.

10. I don’t understand how people like the taste of fizzy drinks.

11. My favourite sort of wine is late harvest white. It’s sweet and flavourful rather than tasting like…. well… fermented grapes.

12. I am a major procrastinator. I am writing this list instead of doing stuff like feeding my cats and doing my laundry…

13. I haven’t ironed anything in YEARS and totally judge people who iron stuff like sheets and underwear.

14. I am addicted to popping candy.

15. I am VERY addicted to The Sims 4. (And I promise Sims Saturday will return.)

16. I am not very good at keeping up with my friends but my friends know who they are and that I would be there with a shovel if any of them needed help in hiding a body.

17. I want children but I am pathologically afraid of and disgusted by pregnancy.

18. I will be a Crazy Cat Lady in my twilight years.

19. I believe that the human race is not inherently monogamous and we are all capable of having many great loves – and not necessarily one at a time.

20. I am addicted to French Bulldog accounts on Instagram. They are the cutest dogs ever.

No I won’t “suck it up”.

You see me whine on Facebook about being sore and tired. You sit there and smile knowingly or roll your eyes because you’re a gym-goer too. Or a runner. Or a crossfitter. Or an otherwise Tough Mudderfucker, but you’re not me. You know all about muscle soreness and recovery and optimal heart rates and that fabled exercise high.

You think you can say certain things to me that I will react positively to – because we’re friends.

Backstory.

I’ve just started back at the gym and back into regular exercise after watching my weight change eight kilograms in the wrong direction. For someone who was already around 102kg and has fought tooth and nail to get down from 152kg, that’s a scary number to see again. So I’m back at the gym. I’d love to go back to my personal trainer but even at $20 for a session (and I feel I need at least three sessions a week to be worth anything to me health-wise), I can’t afford it. So I do it on my own and try to do a good, honest job of pushing myself.

But you know what? This shit’s hard.

So, yeah, I complain.

Occasionally, like today, I write a mildly amusing-to-me comment on Facebook expressing my current hatred of whoever invented gyms and that I was sore and that I was going to make myself sorer by subjecting my body to yet another session of physical torture known as working out.

What I got in response, among other things, was being told to “harden up, princess” and “suck it up, cupcake”.

Ha ha, right? Really funny. Ren’s just whinging again. Let’s poke fun at her. She won’t mind.

She does mind.

OH BOY, she does.

Yes, she is whinging again but she just needs a little support. Sometimes she needs to be coddled because, heaven forbid, she’s feeling more than a little fucking delicate at that moment. She might actually need for someone to remind her why she am doing this when she hurts from repeated sessions of “sucking it up” and to keep going when tears of actual physical pain are mixing with sweat.

I do “suck it up”.

I am “hard”.

And you will hear/see/read me complain because that’s what I do when I’m feeling bad. Because, fuck you, I want someone to tell me that this IS WORTH IT.

What you don’t see or hear about is the way my hip joints grind so painfully the day after a particularly hard session of squats and treadmill work that I can feel the sensation of it in my back teeth. What you don’t see or hear about is the way my lower back throbs for days because I was stupid and just so happy to be moving that I forgot the “Ren can’t run or jump” rule but did burpees, star jumps and jogged in place on solid concrete for ten minutes.

So DON’T tell me to harden up. I do this shit in SPITE of how much I suffer for it in the days following.

I have to balance what I do in order to be able to walk the next day (if not the next hour) because I’ve got other shit I need to “suck it up” for and get done.

I love my friends but sometimes I really want to smack them up the back of the head.

With a shovel.

Renlish.com
Words to live by.

Pictures of You

Hey you.

I remember you. You may not remember me much, but you are never too far away from my thoughts. A day rarely goes by when I haven’t thought about you a couple times at least. Is that obsessive? Maybe.

It’s not the weird “bunny boiler” kind of obsessive.

I just miss you. It’s been so many years.

So much has changed.

I miss you. I miss you an awful lot.

I’m still here.

Still listening to you. For you.

I owe you a hug. I owe you lots of things.

You left an indelible mark on me – as indelible as the tattoo you had done of the pendant that I gave you. I found that picture last night. It made me smile.

Never fade
Never die
You give me flowers of love

–The Cure, “Bloodflowers”