Murder..And Post 2

This post contains talk of women’s gynecological problems.

To give an idea of what our ‘minibus taxis’ look like that I’m referring to.

But first… South Africa has a history of violence. I’ve not hidden that fact nor how I hate it. I don’t know if I posted about the dead lady in the taxi when I was around 12 years old (Imagine, this has been ongoing since maybe even before 1992!). She was in a taxi I usually use but because there was fighting going on amongst taxi drivers, my parents reminded me to take the bus home. I think I did write about it…

Quite recently, a letter was circulated in a street WhatsApp group I’m in… It was a letter from organisers of a taxi protest. They said they’d be marching peacefully to Parliament to hand over a memorandum the following day. I immediately scoffed at the ‘peaceful’ part.

The very next morning before 6am, under the same letter posted by a magazine in my home township, a man stated, “But they are already throwing stones at buses. What do they want the passengers to do?”

Ok, firstly. Taxi drivers who drive this sort of taxi are men of Colour. They take passengers from apartheid government -mandated Black and Coloured areas, and take them to their far away jobs and schools and shops. Most taxi violence is by Black taxi owners and drivers. I lost an innocent uncle who owned a taxi to it. (Think I’ve mentioned that too but might have been in an old blog.) Killed because he wouldn’t take sides in a taxi war.)

So, they started stoning buses. I only found out later that amongst those that were set alight with passengers in them, was my cousin.

As he sat in there going to work, they threw a petrol bomb into the bus. It landed in his lap. My aunt came down to see him and the hospital was saying the situation is dire and he’d be transferred to a different hospital really to go and die there. The smoke inhalation was just too severe for them to fight.

And indeed, a few weeks later, my cousin has died. Peaceful? My foot. Murderers! What a horrific way to die!😭I

Onto Post 2

It’s 2:46am. I woke up lying on the infected jaw side and in pain. Worrying. That’s what has led to me posting. I don’t want to be right this time. I don’t. Because being right means at the very least, that I’ve suffered (am suffering) further damage in my skull. If things were already not good, what’s the next stage after ‘not good?’ Even after the six months check up to make sure my bone is healing, the endodontist wanted to keep following up every six months. If now things are worse, then what? I already didn’t know the answer to, “What happens if in six months my bone has NOT healed?”

Being right. I hate it if those who can help me don’t believe me!💔

I was 36 weeks pregnant here. Admitted because we found during my normal ante natal check up that the twins had stopped growing over the past two weeks, my blood pressure had sky rocketed and I was swelling and gaining weight every few hours. I was swollen but no proteins in my urine to indicate full blown pre-eclampsia. Doctor had me checked into hospital immediately and planning to give drugs to strengthen their lungs and we watch and see. The concern was their having stopped growing. Why? (Turned out their placentas had failed and stopped providing them with nutrition.)

As you can see, they certainly weren’t hiding their presence. I’m petite and because I am an exercise freak and health nut, I’ve never been fat as an adult. So after the pregnancy, to have a huge bump still left over was disconcerting.

I won’t lie. The first reason it bothered me was because of a cashier who thought I was pregnant, when she found out I wasn’t, asked me rudely why I had not bound my belly. This was six weeks after the twins were born and after a very rough c-section, that was actually not possible without extreme pain. (I had tried!) I didn’t WANT to look pregnant when I wasn’t! I looked about 6 months pregnant. It was BAD.

But secondly, I had extreme back pain. The worst! I wondered if it was due to the epidural given before my emergency c-section, or what. Until I realised I had diastasis recti. A huge one. My entire hand could fit between the gap in my abdominal muscles! They all say that that causes abdominal bulging and looking pregnant. I had a 3cm gap after my daughter but exercise helped reduce it. I tried exercise again this time, but I knew I was fighting a losing battle with THIS gap. I went from 7-9 on the back pain scale to 9 -12 on a scale of 1-10. Yes, 12. I’d wake up crying from pain when before, I only cried when standing or sitting or kneeling. Was it the epidural? The muscles not playing their lady..?

I’d already had MRIs etc before the twins and the verdict wasn’t sure except that I needed to strengthen my core muscles or that it could be caused by squashed discs. I mention this because I did do all the things physiotherapists told me. But my core would not help my back at all. And a different doctor said my discs we’re not squashed enough to cause THAT level of pain.

Now, besides. dealing with crippling back pain, I realised when exercising, that I was leaking urine if I jumped. Oh my word! Yuck! And leaking urine during the night. And if I coughed. I couldn’t take a walk anymore because I needed the loo too quickly and shopping trips were interrupted by my frequently needing the toilet.

OBVIOUSLY the twins had done something to my bladder too! It was found by a GP that my bladder has prolapsed -has fallen down. It’s stage 2. She told me inserting a pessary might help, that maybe doing kegels might help, (I’ve always BEEN doing those with and after every pregnancy so I doubted it) but that the pessary had negatives and sometimes caused infections. She felt I’d need surgery. Then Covid came along. I’d gone to the GP in February and I tried to be mindful about doing kegels. I got a book specifically aimed at exercises for the bladder. I saw a physiotherapist who did an internal exam and confirmed that I had definitely ensured my pelvic floor was strong so my muscles were doing all they could to hold my bladder up. She could not help me.

So I went to the only url-gynecologist we had. This was now in December. I was wearing scented napkins, hating myself, hating the smell of leaking urine. Feeling extremely not sexual at all. During the exam, she decided to do a full gynecological exam. PAP and ultrasound included.

I would have not gone to her at all had it not been for my bladder. And during the exam, she confirmed that I would need surgery with mesh, and found that I had a (usually benign ) tumour (Dermoid teratoma or dermoid cyst) in my left ovary. She wanted it out immediately. Except, she is not in my network and her cash fees are super expensive as are her anesthetist’s fees.

I found a gynae in our network. And then Covid got in the way. No elective surgeries. I had to wait. I waited December till March. And the thing grew. By the time I had surgery to remove it, it had stuck to my intestine, my ovary and my Fallopian tube. He separated it from my intestine but had to remove both my ovary and the tube too.

And that’s where my gynecological problems began. I rushed myself to the emergency unit one morning a few weeks after the surgery. I’d had light bleeding which was normal. But suddenly, I was gushing blood. I had a tampon and a pad and as soon as I got to hospital had to rush to the toilet to change both. It was scary! The female doctor asked me to remove the tampon and I immediately gushed onto the table. I felt so embarrassed. So mortified. Worse yet, there was another tampon inside! I had been flowing so badly I obviously had thought I had nothing to stem the flow. Plus I was confused because I’d been dead asleep and then the next thing I knew, I was waking up to a fountain of blood flowing out me. Maybe I had thought I’d not had anything inside.

Long story short, they feared I’d need surgery but my doctor decided to insert a MIRENA to prevent the need for a hysterectomy. He said the bleeding would greatly reduce and maybe even stop fully-no more bleeding at all- within 3-6 months. I was put on medication to stop the bleeding.

Except, the Mirena did not stop it. Not at all. So, he put me on a very expensive birth control pill to use while the Mirena took effect. Just until the Mirena took over.

It didn’t! And even with the pill, if I went onto the placebo pills, bleeding that should last 4-7 days lasted three weeks till I took medication to stop the bleeding. And it’s not like the medication works immediately . It was a stupid cycle. Take placebo. Bleed till I took tablets three times a day. So I stopped taking a break between the pills. So here I am-hormones in the Mirena, hormones in the pill. No hormones in me because that ovary was the one that was trying to work. (When trying to conceive, we’d found my ovaries had decided to go on strike way too early. At age 37 I had the hormones of a 43 year old and by age 39, the specialist told me it was unethical to continue trying… There was basically no way I’d be able to fall pregnant. My womb had given up already. I was basically not doing anything with my right ovary, and VERY little with the left. The left that we removed with the tumour!)

I still bleed. I want the Mirena out. But guess what. I didn’t have surgery for my bladder. Mesh in my bladder was scary. But the leaking stopped immediately after the surgery to remove the tumour/cyst. (It had hair, teeth and fat! Disgusting! At least it was indeed benign when sent for testing. I asked for photos. Shouldn’t have!) Had the cyst somehow impacted my bladder? Or had God used my bladder to alert us to the danger I was in from the dermoid teratoma? Those things can twist the ovary and burst, band lead to death..and they can become cancerous the longer they stay inside you. And obviously, keep growing. They are dangerous to health and life! Finding it was a blessing.

Back to my back and my big belly. I had surgery to close up the gap between my muscles. The surgeon promised that my back pain would be gone! It would be sorted when he’d sew my muscles together so that they support my spine and hold it up like for normal people, instead of my spine only relying on my back muscles. It was the largest gap the surgeon had ever seen. Also removed extra skin that had stretched and never gone back to normal. But after a few weeks, I looked pregnant again! And my back pain was back.

This is where this post comes in TODAY, why I was moved to post it. I was right. He was wrong. I told him I believed my muscles had stretched from the pregnancy. He told me I was wrong, that it was caused by my IBS (irritable bowel syndrome.) Ummm, IBS does not make me bloat. I’ve had it for decades. And it certainly doesn’t even make those who bloat look permanently pregnant even when they have not eaten foods that trigger it. The practice for this type of surgery is that the surgeon is meant to go in and repair the problem, but he refused to believe there was a problem.

Going to leave out a lot now. I saw one doctor who said it was fat. I knew it wasn’t because I was not over weight and I was at pre-pregnancy weight! Why would I suddenly have fat only in my abdomen and have it make me look pregnant!??

Had another surgery by a different doctor. I TOLD his admin my thoughts and sent the article about stretched muscles to her. But she obviously never gave it to the doctor. Because I woke up to be told, “I thought your muscles had split again but they hadn’t. You have no muscle. No muscle at all! I don’t know if it’s genetic and you were born that way then the twins made it clear, or if the twins stretched your muscles. They are weak! Extremely lax! You need mesh to hold them firm.”

Except, he had not put the mesh in because I had not signed consent because he had not thought that could be the problem. Hence my knowing his admin lady had not shown him my research and journal article.

He disappeared. Left the country without telling me. He was meant to have done the surgery in November last year. I found a different doctor who agreed with his findings and we planned for mesh.

Except I woke up, he had not done it! He sewed my muscles to make them shorter (from being stretched longer than the norm) but ignored the lax part. I knew what the solution was. I was right. This was my third surgery fixing the same thing. And because he changed his mind, he confirmed -through the surgery failing- that I need a fourth.😡😡😡I’m still in pain and recovering! What a waste of time and money! And not carrying my children and not exercising. And pain!!

This is why I say that I hope I’m wrong this time. That there isn’t any extra damage going on. I’ve been right about other failed treatments. But no doctor has taken me seriously and I’m the one who has lost out badly. I’m the one whose life keeps being endangered. Surgery is no joke. I’m still swollen and the surgery was in February!

This time, I hope I’m wrong. Otherwise, my life is not only going to be about keeping an eye on the damaged bone, but on somehow fixing it. Or needing surgery. Or needing hospitalization to treat the ongoing infection.

No! God forbid! Here’s hoping I return and tell you, “All is well! No further damage was caused!”

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