Thursday, 19 June 2014

Day ii65, Giving Blood and Setting Targets

Endo 365

Do not fear this is not going to be some ‘Give-us-all-your-blood-because- we-are-about-to emotionally-manipulate-you’ radio advert (they get me every time).

No no, this is all about small miracles and having incentives (or carrots) to pedal towards.

Not following the link? Understandable, let me explain.

Following my first operation (when I got my diagnosis) I felt a very strong duty to aid the health service in whichever civilian way I could- mainly for all the little dots who were seriously ill around me and practically lived there, on our ward.

The very fact that a child born without arteries leading back to his heart, gets a free and comprehensive health care allowing him to live until his twenties instead of days is just the most incredible thing. This probably won’t come as a surprise to you, but every so often (usually when I am on a long drive) I end up having a real think about the National Health Service as an institution that serves our country, and I cry. We are so so lucky to be born into a country with the facility for free point of care health service. And I know I can be one of the first people to moan about the NHS and its insufficiency’s, but in its essence, it is brilliant: think about how different ‘Breaking Bad’ would be if it were set over here… just sayin’… we are so lucky to live in a society where a constitution exists with the 7th best health care in the world (above many privet health care nations) where we need not worry about being hit with a huge bill on top of the trauma resulting in us going to hospital, is such a privilege.

 I have family in America and it genuinely astounds them that we do not have to pay (I know we do indirectly through taxes) for medical attention. If, like me, you have always lived in England and you have, like me, been socially conditioned into thinking how inefficient the NHS can be, just for a second, take a step back and actually think about what the NHS actually is.

So, at times I get romantic about the NHS as a socialist haven.
I think that it is because of this that I have always felt it imperative to give blood and do whatever small ripple I can, for something at such little cost to our wellbeing can save another person’s life.

That to me is a no brainer.

However, I have never been allowed to give blood (like many people with endo) because in the time I have been old enough to give blood, my health or medication has not allowed for it. And that made me miserable and felt like rubbing more salt in the wound. I have either been too anaemic or fatigued or on too much medication or post opp’s.

So, for me, the simple, normal, every-woman-every-man task of giving blood has been very high on my agenda and conscience for the last three years. It was something to work toward; something of great weight and importance to me. For me, it is on the same agenda as establishing my business or picking the right university or running a half marathon, even though giving blood is considered an everyday thing.

Except because of my story, history, context, it is so much of a greater thing.

So on the Monday before my birthday I gave blood and it was just so perfectly liberating.

And (probablymaybe because of the whoremoans) I cried. It felt like a victory, a real win. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without my operation because I still would be have been on GNrH.

Endometriosis (or anything you have to battle in life) can short-term limit us, and unfortunately even long-term sometimes.  I do not think I would be half as motivated or positive if I didn’t have anything to strive towards or feel proud for having overcome and still achieved.  Having fixed goals pioneers focus, having goals inspires motivation, having goals creates discipline, having goals builds and sustains a strong, healthy mind. It quantifies and measures the everyday things we achieve without even realizing what a big deal it was to get up and go to word when you don’t feel like it. 

As I stated in my previous blog, endo can induce an helpless, endless frustration because it isn’t like breaking your leg. You can’t take it easy for 4 months and then in a years time you forgot that you even did it. I will feel the repercussions from my endometriosis for the rest of my life because it has sensitized my bowels to about 40 different foods. However by setting goals, the endless nature becomes more manageable.

Set some time aside and get an A3 sheet and loads of coloured pens and just get it all down, then order it realistically. It doesn’t matter whether the goal is climbing Mount Everest or something simple but a sign of achievement to you like attending a full week at school or work, explaining to three people in one day about your endometriosis, or just giving blood.

Once you have your short-term goals nailed, think long term. If you have read other blogs you may know I hate wasted time, having a little list of goals ensures if there is an opportunity, I always have something productive to do or work towards. During recovery I even had things as futile as making a scrapbook from traveling on my list. But it gave me focus and structure. So it doesn’t matter what it is really. It is also very empowering, you are saving yourself piece at a time and not surrendering to the pain.

Success is not necessarily doing big things. It can be doing little things in a great way.

Set achievable, yet desirable goals and make yourself proud.

Be smart and be brave,


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