Thanks so much to all of you for continuing to follow my solo female travel blog. As many of you know, 2017 was an extremely tough year. Last February I got diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis. To kick off 2018, I’ve finally admitted defeat and have to have a blogging and travel hiatus!
My Diagnosis of Stage 4 Endometriosis
In April of 2017, I found out that I needed a 12 hour surgery for stage 4 endometriosis on 5 organs which includes a full bowel resection. I was raised as a priority case in July, and was still waiting for this operation well into December.
My symptoms have included chronic pain, bowel obstructions, sickness and fatigue. My private specialist told me that one of my endometriotic tumours reached 10cm in diameter, and I’m experiencing symptoms similar to a late stage cancer patient. Thankfully, it’s not cancerous and it is operable, although the condition itself will sadly be life-long.
Italy is not good for Travellers with Endometriosis
This year, I tried hard to continue to travel and not let this disease run my passion for seeing the world. I went to Pisa, Italy in February, which was pretty much a write-off! Due to the heavy pizza and pasta based diet, I was extremely ill in Italy, and though that I was going to end up hospitalised, as it got to the stage where I couldn’t even eat or go to the toilet. I managed one day walking slowly around Pisa, but wasn’t able to climb the leaning tower or go inside the Cathedral.
In April, I went to Israel, but my dream destination was also overshadowed by a great deal of chronic pain and throwing up. I couldn’t walk very far ands had to stick to mini-bus tours where possible, rather than walking tours.
And then came Paris, the ultimate horrendous trip. It started out with an awful journey with Eurostar, who did not look after me, even though I declared my condition online and at the gate. Then there was the challenge of Paris itself – it is such a spread out city, but I tried to walk around as much as I could.
My gorgeous fiancé was completely exhausted from all the hospital trips and house renovations, as was I. This was the point when I realised my long awaited marriage to the love of my life would be postponed indefinitely. My illness, combined with the anxiety of an indefinite future and our house in York left empty, meant that it was time to completely put everything on hold other than my health. I’d hit rock bottom.
We resurrected our passions, both for travel and each other, with a trip to Edinburgh in October. This was made more manageable as we travelled in the car. We had such an amazing time at the Day of the Dead festival, Edinburgh’s Old Town and Edinburgh Zoo.
It couldn’t last long enough. On my return from this trip, I suffered a severe bout of post travel depression, which was really not wanting to (or not being healthy enough to) return to a full time job.
It seems that being stuck in one place with only 4 weeks holiday doesn’t really suit my physical or mental health, and I can see this coming to an end soon. Still, I’ve managed a full year in a full time job and learnt a great deal – works for me. Perhaps the new year will see a few changes ahead, as I look after my health and go full whack on my travel blogging.
For now, my focus is on getting better, hence my blogging destinations will be York UK and Liverpool UK for the next month or two. I’m not completely taking a break from my blog, but please bear with me as posts are less frequent and closer to home.
Over new year, I found out that I am going into hospital on 1st February for a bowel resection and full excision of stage 4 endometriosis. Watch this space…
If you are based in UK and effected by endometriosis, please visit the Endometriosis UK website here.