Hello, and welcome to TOTM!
We know it’s boring to start a blog with an introductory post when you could just read our ‘About’ page, but we felt that to launch into descriptions of the large bowel or ovarian cysts might be throwing you in the deep end a bit, so please excuse our repetition .
Firstly, thanks for stopping by – the whole purpose of this blog is to build and sustain a sense of community amongst women with health issues (which, we’ve discovered, is basically all women), and we couldn’t do that without people actually reading it. So thank you!
The idea for this blog came from a Christmas Eve reunion of old school friends in their early twenties, who were sat in the pub and suddenly realised they had spent the last hour discussing their various health issues. Laughing at this, noticing how many women – of all ages – had similar problems and despising those ‘Women’s Health’ mags which basically just bang on about avocados, all combined and blossomed to form TOTM. The idea is for this to be a welcoming and open space for us to discuss our various ailments in a fresh, funny and real way.
We want anyone to feel like they can contribute, regardless of age, background, writing experience or the health issue you want to talk about – just drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know who you are and what you want to write about. We will then let you know when you should have it ready by- all ladies are welcome!
And on that, a note for the boys – you’re welcome too! (My 20 year old brother panicked when he thought he’d liked a girls-only Facebook page, so just to reassure him and others like him…) Whilst obviously this blog is going to be written and run by women, many of the health issues we’ll be talking about will definitely not be specific to women, and we really do want this to be an open, friendly and varied community. We even have dreams of somebody one day setting up a sister (brother?) blog for men’s health issues…but for now we’ll work with what we have!
So with the admin out of the way, we should probably introduce you to our lovely selves…
I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) in my second term of my second year of university. It was also approaching my second decade, turning twenty in the May.
I had two of the main symptoms; weight issues and irregular (sometimes none-existent) periods. Luckily, although I didn’t feel it at the time, a nurse I went to see about my problems suggested I have an ultra-sound scan to see if I had PCOS and it came back that one of my ovaries was affected. Just to put this in a bit of self-context, I talked my way through science GCSE so my biological understanding was poor to say the least; as I jokingly tell people “I didn’t know I had two ovaries until I realised one of them was f***ed.”
I completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism last year, but I currently work as an Admin Assistant at an arts organisation in Rotherham. The role includes completing a myriad of tasks and working with a diverse and eccentric group of people all of whom make my job incredibly enjoyable.
I currently write three other blogs including one for work, however my primary, most long-lasting one is called The Open Face. I also write songs and am I self taught guitar/keyboard player; I dream of being in a rock band and changing the world.
I have Asperger’s with a sideline of God knows what going on in my digestive system (it’s under investigation), knee impingement syndrome and a psychology degree (which also sometimes feels like an ailment).
I was diagnosed Asperger’s (well Autism Spectrum Disorder) just coming up two years ago and am still figuring out what that means in my day to day life. You’ll also be getting to take part in the journey of finding out what is going on with my digestive system; it’s been two years now, will I ever find an answer?
My younger sister was diagnosed last year with ulcerative colitis and hospitalised for 12 days recently, so look out for views from the side of the hospital bed and other such beauties. I have a pretty dark sense of humour and an optimistic cynicism (or at least that’s how I see it).
I create art, which you will see around the blog and can also find on my artists page here. I also work part-time in visitors services at an interactive science centre, I volunteer in a couple of places and do various other things mainly involving how I can justify not leaving the house for a week and binging on TV shows.
I have ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory disease of the large bowel, and a sideline in high blood pressure, wonky ankles (that’s a technical term) and a tendency to seriously overuse commas. The colitis is fairly new to me, having been diagnosed in October 2015, and it’s brought with it a variety of humiliations, stresses and side effects I could have done without. But it’s also forced me to challenge some anxieties, and made me realise what fantastic, caring people I have around me.
I live in Newcastle and work part-time in a theatre, spending my other part-time desperately pursuing writing for a living. I have another blog in which I discuss this, er, ‘gradual’ progression and various other things not related to my bowels: https://noexperienceneededsite.wordpress.com/
So if you’d like to join the team and contribute a post or twelve, give us a shout! We’re friendly and normal (…), honest. And in all seriousness, there are very few things more comforting than reading about your experiences, written by someone else who has been through the same thing. There aren’t many things as isolating to a person as illness and pain, because nobody else can feel what your body’s feeling. But if this blog does nothing but make it clear to you that whatever you’re going through, you’re not on your own, then we’ll consider that a roaring success.
Much love x