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How to give CPR to a baby and toddler

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds have recently highlighted the importance of taking baby and toddler CPR lessons on their respective Instagram accounts by revealing that they had both recently taken a course, and urging fellow parents to get involved.

 

Blake, 29, wrote alongside a picture with showed her with several training dummies: “ALL MAMAS AND DADDIES OUT THERE– I can’t recommend this enough, I took a CPR class with with a focus on babies and toddlers. Google “infant CPR class near me” and you’ll see lots of listings. For those of you who haven’t done it, you will love it. It’s so helpful by giving you knowledge, tools, and some peace of mind.”

The couple, who are parents to two daughters, know the importance of first aid – Ryan, 40, revealed in his post that he had helped save his nephew’s life thanks to a past CPR lesson, but was taking a refresher course focused on infant and toddler CPR, to further enhance his knowledge and skills.

With research showing that 74% of parents say the first aid emergency they fear the most is finding their baby unresponsive, St John Ambulance has issued first aid advice on what to do if a baby or child is unresponsive and not breathing.

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How to do Baby CPR (under the age of one)

If your baby is not responding to you and they are not breathing, follow these steps to perform CPR:

  1. Call 999/112 for emergency help: If you are on your own, give 1 minute of CPR before calling on a speaker phone.
  2. Give 5 initial puffs over the mouth and nose.
  3. Give 30 chest pumps using two fingers at a rate of 100-120 pumps per minute.
  4. Repeat: give 2 puffs followed by 30 pumps. (30:2)

What’s the difference between depression and burnout?

 

 

The difference between depression and burnout is not always easy to see. There are even certain diagnosis tools which do not differentiate between them and therefore not see burnout as a separate disorder. If we were to compare burnout to other mental disorders, it is most similar to depression. Therefore, the difference between depression and burnout is not always evident.

What do the psychiatrists say?

Even though diagnosis tools do not consider burnout to be a separate disease, psychiatrists do state that burnout is a separate disease. Burnout is generally defined as an extreme exhaustion after the body and mind have been exhausted and pushed too far, according to them.

Is it therefore easy to differentiate between depression and burnout? Definitely not. Depression and burnout namely are very similar to each other and are often seen together, too.

Difference between depression and burnout: the symptoms

Depression and burnout are very similar to each other. Here, there are symptoms which match the both of them. The following examples are among them:

  • Concentration issues
  • Memory issues
  • Sleeping issues
  • Exhausted feeling

The symptoms above apply to both depression and burnout. If psychiatrists then want to set a diagnosis, they will often notice that the same tests can be used for both the diagnosis. The results, which are then found in the tests, can thus point at both depression and burnout.

So you see that it is really difficult to define the difference between depression and burnout. In the following paragraph we will give clear differences, so that you get a clearer picture of the symptoms.

The clear difference between depression and burnout

The first difference between depression and burnout is that depression is more general. Depression will namely affect several parts in life and can also develop from different parts in life, such as:

  • Your family
  • Your friends
  • Your hobbies

Burnout is generally work related. Of course the stress which you experience at work can affect your relationship, but in depression this is often more clearly seen. Furthermore, a burnout tends to develop from a work situation, while depression can develop in a more general way. A burnout can eventually also influence other parts of life, like a depression, but this is more likely to occur in a later stage. (Iacovides, Fountoulakis, Kaprinis & Kaprinis, 2003). Depression on the other hand, can have a quick and large influence on several parts of life, while burnout will limit itself to work for a longer period of time.

Difference between depression and burnout: occurring together?

Depression and burnout can also occur together. It is not unlikely that a severe burnout can also cause depression symptoms.

6 Weird Reasons To Wear a Menstrual Cup That Aren’t About Saving The Environment

 

 

 

By Gabrielle Moss

I’m sure that you’ve heard all the virtuous reasons that you should switch from tampons or pads to a menstrual cup — you’ll save money, you’ll help the environment, you’ll get to know your mysterious little lady flower a little better — but you might be surprised to find out there are some other, weirder reasons to make the switch. Because while all those usual reasons are valid, they also make menstrual cups sound like the kale of the period product world — something that’s good for you, but not particularly convenient or fun. This stereotype could not be more wrong, my endometrial lining-shedding friends — menstrual cups are convenient, comfortable, and ideal for the laziest and most absent-minded vagina-havers around. They are truly the ultimate in slacker period products.

If you’re rolling your eyes and/or doing the “jerk-off” motion while you’re reading this right now, know that I was once like you — I used tampons. I’d struggled with tampons since middle school — they seemed to always leak and irritate the inside of my vagina, no matter what I did — and never quite figured out how to wear pads in public after skinny jeans became a thing. But I thought a menstrual cup had to be a thousand times worse — if I was struggling with a tiny piece of cotton, how could shoving a contraption that looks like half of a turkey baster into my sexy bits be any better? I thought it was just another kooky health trend that my hippie friends were into, like avoiding refined sugar, or chiding me for eating Flamin’ Hot Cheetos before 11 a.m.

But about six years ago, I worked at a store that sold Diva Cups, and saw how utterly devoted every woman who came in to buy one seemed to be. Surely they couldn’t all be deranged, right? I used my employee discount, tried it for my next period, and never looked back.

Here are the six practical reasons you should consider switching over to a menstrual cup — and none of them require you to squat over a hand mirror, I swear.

 
 

YOU DON’T NEED TO REMEMBER TO PACK AN EXTRA

 In my pre-cup life, I was the woman who was constantly wandering the halls of my office like a traveler who had lost her way, accosting any woman who crossed my path to see if she had a spare tampon. Because I was too scatterbrained to remember to pack a tampon half the time, and the office tampon machine was always broken (I have found that pretty much all tampon machines are usually broken), the first day of most of my periods were characterized by a hurried lunch hour trip to CVS, or an improvised pad made out of a quarter pound of layered office toilet paper. Neither option was a great way to start what was already the most annoying week of my month.

But with a menstrual cup, there’s much less to remember. Since you wear a menstrual cup continuously throughout your period, and remove it only to empty and clean it every few hours, there’s no chance of forgetting it when you head out somewhere where it will be hard to acquire or change a tampon (like, say, the beach, or a Van Halen concert). You only need to buy a new one once a year, so there’s no need to run out and pick up a new one at the start of every period; and since you reuse it, there’s no chance of getting your period early and being caught without anything to sop up your crimson tide.

YOU ONLY NEED TO CHANGE IT ONCE EVERY 10 HOURS


I am phenomenally lazy. Like “I am wearing stretch pants right now because I thought buttons were too much to deal with on a Monday” lazy. And cups are perfect for the lazy menstruator — on regular flow days, menstrual cups only need to be changed 2-3 times a day, and can even be left in place for 10 hours without leaking. On heavier flow days, they need to be changed a little more frequently, but they still hold one full ounce (around 28 grams of blood, which is a lot — we usually only produce two ounces of blood during an entire period). Your average tampon holds 6-9 grams of blood, which means a lot more time in the bathroom, trying to pull something bloody out of your vag.
Since I am such an outspoken evangelist for cups, I get a lot of questions about whether they’ll spill if you actually leave one in for ten hours. There are two parts to this answer: 1. you produce way less blood in any given day than you think, so the times that you actually fill your cup to the top are extremely few and far between; and 2. yes, if you get distracted and leave it in for ten hours while you’re on a very heavy flow, the cup will fill up, and you toilet will look like the elevator from The Shining when you empty your cup out. But in six years of cup usage, this misfortune has only befallen me twice, and believe me when I say I am the most distracted person alive, and way worse at paying attention to anything than you are. So while a cup brimming with blood can be a risk, it’s not a huge one.

IT WON’T DRY OUT YOUR VAGINA

 It seems totally counter-intuitive that your vagina could feel dry while liquid is pretty much continuously pouring out of it, but that’s what always happened to me with periods. The hormonal changes that occur during your menstrual cycle — primarily a drop in estrogen levels right when your periods starts — can lead to a dry-feeling vagina. Tampons can irritate a dry vagina, too — I spent many a pre-cup day wincing in my office bathroom, pulling out a tampon that seemed stuck to the walls of my vagina. Since a menstrual cup is made of silicone rather than cotton, it is less likely to feel “stuck” to the walls of your dry vagina— and since you change them less often than a tampon, it also cuts down on the irritation of taking things in and out of a dry vagina, too.

IT WON’T LEAK IN YOUR SLEEP

If you take the sheets off my mattress, it looks like someone committed a very sloppy and poorly planned murder on it. I’ve had it for about ten years, and in the first few years that I had it, nearly ever part of it got speckled with blood from tampons and pads that leaked while I slept. I’m a tosser and turner when I sleep, which meant that pads usually ended up balled into the back of my underwear, giving me a wedgie and letting blood drip through the front of my panties. And my tampons leaked through nearly every time I slept with them, even when my flow didn’t seem that heavy. It seemed like no matter what I did, I was doomed to live a life of scrubbing blood stains out of my pajama bottoms in my bathroom sink at 7 a.m.

This is where I am most devoted to my cup — it cut sleep leakage out of my life. Since a cup works by creating a seal inside your vagina, in my years of using one, I have been spared the indignity of having to explain weird mattress blood stains to gentleman callers and/or waking up most mornings of my period with bloody underpants. Ugh, I feel gross even typing that.

IT MIGHT MAKE YOU FEEL LESS SELF-CONSCIOUS WHILE HOOKING UP

 

As a tampon user, I was extremely uptight about the idea of fooling around while I had a tampon in — the idea that the guy I was with might accidentally touch my tampon string while probing my lady bits just kinda weirded me out. Someone else touching my tampon string felt too intimate, but not in the good way — it felt more like the kind of intimacy based around bodily grossness that you have with your gynecologist. I would get distracted by the idea of it, and then would begin wondering if my tampon was leaking, and before I knew it, I just wasn’t horny any more. I generally avoided a lot of sexual contact during my period for this reason, among others.

My switch to menstrual cups has totally turned things around for me. Not having to worry about my boyfriend accidentally yanking on my tampon string — or getting his hand covered in tampon leakage — has loosened me up significantly on the “third base while you’re on your period” front. I do still take my menstrual cup out to have actual intercourse — although there is a line of menstrual cups that you can wear while having sex — but just knowing that I can jump into fooling around without having to worry about some weird hand-string contact (or take it out too soon and accidentally bleed into my underpants while we’re making out) has been a relief.

IT DOESN’T GET PUSHED OUT WHEN YOU POOP

Okay, I should specify that this is just based on my own personal experience, not any kind of formal research — I’ve seen a number of women online say just the opposite, that pooping seems to squeeze their cup out of place. So this is just one vagina’s tale. But, personally, using a cup has been a pooping-related game changer.

I used to constantly push my tampons out when I pooped — not all the way out, but into that awkward halfway-out position, where the end of the tampon is irritating your vaginal opening, and the top of the tampon is poking something sensitive, and everything is awful. That would lead to me then pulling out a half-dry tampon — which is also a special kind of ladybit torture — and then inserting a new tampon into my now irritated vag, making the entire situation a triple crown of vaginal unpleasantness. Since using a cup, I’ve had the rare occasion where I didn’t insert it correctly beforehand, and pooping squeezes it into an uncomfortable position — but when it’s inserted properly, I can’t feel it, it doesn’t move, and I can finally focus on the important things while pooping (i.e. reading a three month old issue of Us Weekly).

 

Spring is coming – Build up your abs

Spring is here, or nearly here, however you chose to see things.
Myself I have decided to ditch the winter clothes, and venture out in my white jeans and pretty brightly coloured tops. I must say it is still a tad cold, so I invested in a lilac fur trimmed faux leather biker jacket, keeping warm but still with the element of spring.
Ripped jeans are a big fashion piece for 2017, I myself love them, they go great with flat pumps, or stroppy heels, I can’t get enough
As we can see many celebs are loving them too, teaming them up with thin jumpers, or dressy belly tops.
This brings me to my recent discovery in the gym.
With all these fab high waisted ripped jeans and belly tops, I want to be summer body ready.
Great abs have always been in style, but I find this to be the area I find the easiest to work out.
So I rejoined the gym and enlisted the help of a trainer, for advice mainly (trainers can be very pricey, just try to get the basics and go it alone, or with a friend) he showed me the decline sit ups, where your head is further down the elevated work bench, and you sit up to be upright, with or without a weight plate (the weight plate really boosted my workout)
I have found these to be the most effective of techniques I have ever tried.
Being a mum, many of us share this same problem area, and the singer Kelly Clarkson, I really felt for recently had came under the dreaded Katie Hopkins wrath, for her weight gain after pregnancy.
Hopkins made (fat jibes) at the new mum on Twitter, in very poor taste I think.
When woman attacking one another for responding differently to pregnancy absolutely disgusts me. If Hopkins had of found her weight an issue she would never of poked fun at others, completely showing her lack of intelligence.
I mean come on, it’s like poking fun at a blonde because you’re a brunette! Absolutely pointless and pathetic, just like her.
She pokes fun at “talentless” people trying to gain fame, when she herself gets attention from bullying others! Madness she is even given air time.
Well that will be the only time I will give her any attention.
Any of you embarking on a new fitness plan for this summer, I salute you, and wish you all the luck. And remember, a good clean healthy diet is 80% of the battle.
Kisses Holly

So I rejoined the gym and enlisted the help of a trainer, for advice mainly
(trainers can be very pricey, just try to get the basics and go it alone,
or with a friend) he showed me the  decline sit ups, where your head is
further down the elevated work bench, and you sit up to be upright, with or
without a weight plate (the weight plate really boosted my workout)
I have found these to be the most effective of techniques I have ever
tried.

Being a mum, many of us share this same problem area, and the singer Kelly
Clarkson, I really felt for recently had came under the dreaded Katie
Hopkins wrath, for her weight gain after pregnancy.

Hopkins made (fat jibes) at the new mum on Twitter, in very poor taste I
think.
When woman attacking one another for responding differently to pregnancy
absolutely disgusts me. If Hopkins had of found her weight an issue she
would never of poked fun at others, completely showing her lack of
intelligence.
I mean come on, it’s like poking fun at a blonde because you’re a brunette!
Absolutely pointless and pathetic, just like  her.
She pokes fun at “talentless” people trying to gain fame, when she herself
gets attention from bullying others! Madness she is even given air time.
Well that will be the only time I will give her any attention.

Any of you embarking on a new fitness plan for this summer, I salute you,
and wish you all the luck. And remember, a good clean healthy diet is 80%
of the battle.

Kisses Holly

Learning how to Bounce! Resiliency : What is it? Why it matters.

 

 

 

Michael H Ballard Canada

Resiliency is starting to gather more attention. Personal resilience helps us stay healthier, do better in school, have happier relationships, experience more joy  and do better in our jobs. Family resilience also offers that and makes for better neighbours and safer communities. Resilience in the workplace helps with staff engagement and retention. The benefits of creating, having and nurturing a personal, family, organizational and community culture of resilience is very valuable.

But, what is it? Resilience is our ability to “bounce back” from adversity. Life’s BIGStuff events that we all have happen to us eventually. Death in the family, loss of a job, divorce, poor performance at work or school, chronic illness, having your house burn down you get the picture.

Resiliency is a set of key factors we can all use to assist us stay safer and move forward and often create more successful outcomes.  There are two major parts to Resiliency. Inner and outer resilience. Inner resilience includes the beliefs you hold to be true,  your problem solving skills, and the goals you’ve set for yourself. Outer resilience includes the values of the community you live in, teams you’ve built around yourself, the education you have, the support you have from family to name just  a few.

So how do we get more? Well to further develop and deepen our inner resiliency a key place to start includes: –  Our self control. Moderation is a very powerful factor in being resilient. Our resistance to temptation, our restraint to over doing things is a great place to start. Key skills to help us manage our inner world include: Diaphragm Breathing and Meditative Walking.  More on this in a future column.

To further develop our outer resiliency developing and deepening trusting relationships with people who treat us with respect, sharing time with others that have high expectations of us and them of us are powerful places to help us deepen and widen our ability to thrive. Setting boundaries and expectations with others politely and clearly make a difference.

Resiliency is a life long process. A key to me is that we have to set boundaries and  expectations of our self and with others.  Being resilient offers up life as a life long adventure.  It helps us stretch into life’s BIGStuff moments and issues keeping us safer and happier and often offering us much better outcomes.

So until next time, Imagine Yourself with more Resiliency for Life.

How do we deepen our Resilience?

Resilience, Resiliency, Positive, Positivity, Positive Imperative, Michael Ballard
By virtue of the fact you’re reading this tells me you have resiliency. A key question is how do we deepen, and widen our capacity to thrive?
 imagesFalsehoods and Lies – These can wear us down and hurt us, as like the half truths they are not all accurate.

  • Indicating that we’re what? Very Tall? Short?
  • Never mind the 79 – 197 hours your practiced,

Michael H Ballard is a SME – Subject Matter Expert on Resiliency. He consults and trains with individuals and groups, organizations and communities on how to develop and deepen their resiliency.

 Let’s start at the beginning.

A key component of being resilient is our ability to understand, manage and nurture our self-definition. What is self-definition you ask? Good question. 

Self Definition is a compilation of how we’ve knowingly and unknowingly defined ourselves based on many variables. These include our race, colour, creed, gender, physical traits, IQ, EQ, how we where parented, our health  extended family, neighbourhood, workplace, educational levels attained, the media, community and country to name just a few.
Where  should we start?
Let us start with you considering this concept about Self Definition.
If there was a picture of you in the dictionary; not just any dictionary but one that is confidential and only you can see. Your dictionary only! Now, let us take a trip inside this confidential dictionary to see what you’ll discover and uncover.
First realize that there are three key types of items and memories stored here.
The first are the truths about us. However some of the things we think are the truth in time are not always 100% accurate.
half truth, half lie, truth, positive, positivity, positive imperative, Michael Ballard
Half Truths – Half Falsehoods
~ These are beliefs about us that can confuse and misdirect us as we lack clarity because of them. I.e. You’re just like your (Place name here) and will never do well in math. When in fact perhaps you’re not going to be a Engineer, or a Physicist, yet could do very well as a business professional using business math.
What to do about these three categories?
Well, several years back I mentored a young gentleman who’d lived on the street for ten years. After several deep and meaty conversations he shared the phrase “Fearless moral inventory”. Great phrase. I’d suggest a slightly gentler approach. Consider something along the lines of a “Deep and wide honest inventory of how have I defined myself to date? Then, what should be adjusted? Added? Thrown out?
It is a process so it will not just happen over night. However if we have the courage to understand that we took years to get this way than real change can often happen in hours, days and weeks. If we keep practicing. The road to mastery is one built on excellence not perfection.

Positive, Positive Thinking, Positive Mind, Positive, Positivity, Positive Imperative

No where to be seen between Positive and Negative thoughts, half truths are the neutral way of thinking that is also negative.
So, how do these three key types of files in our private and confidential internal dictionary show up?
Generally people have them there as positive, negative and half-truths.
Words
I.e.
–          Stupid – Oh don’t be so stupid!
–          Amazing – It is amazing how you do that so well.
Phrases
I.e. –          You’re just like your …
Under weight? Over weight? Smart? Stupid?
Incredibly good looking?
–          You’re so lucky
the lessons you took and the mentor you had. You lucky? Not a chance. Luck favours the prepared. You prepared. You gained some mastery!
Pictures I.e. Images burnt into our brain of a very upbeat or very negative time.
Use caution of reviewing our failures and mistakes. Over time we run the risk of programming ourselves for more failures and mistakes.
Positive Imperative Positive thinking negative thinking
Mini movies and sound tracks
I.e. They play over and over and over again if we give them permission. They become burnt into our brain of a very upbeat or very negative time. They can influence our mood, our relationships our happiness and our success.
Replaced the negative ones with new ones. Write a new script! Act it out in the privacy of your bedroom or Living room.
 We need to stay vigilant against a society that works on a negative asset basis. We’re consistently feed messages that if we just “wore the right clothes, drove a certain car, lived in a certain area, attended a certain school, we’d be smarter, more successful and more likeable. All not true of course. Yet the cosmetics, fashion industry and many others do quite well with that pitch. Not that a new piece of clothing is not a good thing. Just not a replacement of the homework we all should be doing.
Well with over 80% of what we think and are told framed in the negative it is no wonder we have “issues” around resiliency. Feeling comfortable in our own skin and managing our Self Definition is a very powerful first step. Foundational work some of us would say.
So nothing like the present to start to walk the talk about resiliency.

What area of your Self Definition will you work on today? The time is now to take this on and start to build and rid of what blocks you as you house clean.

 

Resiliant Michael

How to get your mojo back – Get rid of your stress

Stress is a funny emotion; it stops us from thinking of new ideas or solutions and causes us to feel rather ordinary. Stress and worry blocks happiness, creativity and living life to the max.
I remember there was a time in my life for a period of about 2 years in which I lost my routine and passion for my life. I stopped exercising, I stacked on 10kg, was struggling with some emotional issues and it was the unhappiest time of my life to date. I was tense and stressing about everything. This was a first for me, for I am a very positive person and have been a keen exerciser my whole life. During this time however, exercise seemed like a chore, I was so exhausted all the time and I worried that I would feel more tired if I exercised. I also thought “what’s the point?” Apart from work I had no routine and nothing inspired me.
Then my therapist/energy healer, suggested I take up Salsa dancing to boost my “feminine energy” and believed it would be of benefit to me. She recommended a dance school, I contacted them and started Zouk classes- a Brazilian style of dance. At first I was quite stiff and worried about the steps a lot, my shoulders were tight and I was looking down trying to do perfect steps. However, the teacher, Alex, did me a big favour and reminded me loosen up, to let go of trying to get it perfect and instead give in to the dance and to dance with my heart and soul. I realised in class, that the way I was dancing Zouk was the way I was dancing in my life – stiff and trying to control everything, which is an impossible feat. Sometimes, we all need reminding, and Zouk was that for me, to let go, smile and embrace life again!
As I started to give in to the dance, I was connecting with me again, I found myself smiling with my heart and soul, trusting in me and it felt so good. I started going with the flow more in my own life, and trusting in the process without getting attached to a particular outcome.  As a result, it sparked my passion for running and gym (I even joined a gym on an 18 month contract – commitment?!), I’m feeling more creative with my work and positive about my future.
Inspiration and new ideas only come when the mind is clear and relaxed. The stress I was feeling previously blocked out all the good that I’m experiencing now.
I also learnt when you trust, let go and embrace life, something ignites inside of you that money can’t buy; others will want a piece and ask you how to get it and you simply say, “I let go of trying to control everything, I chose happiness.” Because when you do, more good things will come, like a beautiful ripple effect.
I recommend any style of dance for both men and women, it’s a way to connect with who you are and iron out the stiffness and stress that you may be holding onto. Is it time to let go?
Stay happy and healthy,
Eleni

Surgical Menopause – getting into your Menopause too early

 

Four months ago I had my ovaries removed. It was a shock. One minute I was fine, the next I was doubled up in pain, certain that my appendix was rupturing. A quick trip to hospital and an ultrasound showed a large tumour on my ovary. I asked if it was cancerous. The Emergency Department Consultant could not tell me. The only specialist who was not on holiday could not see me for 10 days. Why do all specialists go on holiday at the same time? It was the same when my sons needed grommets. They were all away. Shouldn’t doctors have to stagger their holidays like any other professional?

My initial meeting with the specialist was not positive and I thought about seeing someone else, but I was not keen on a 3 month wait. I was frightened that I had cancer, so I went with the first person available.

The appointment started badly when she asked why I was there. I told her that I have a tumour on my ovary and was promptly told that “we don’t call it a “tumour”, it is a “mass””. I knew at that point that it was going to be a rough road. Every other doctor from the ED Consultant through to my GP called it a tumour. There was even an arrow pointing to it on the ultrasound scan which is marked “tumour”. However, I was told firmly that I was not to call it that. I don’t know if this was supposed to make me feel better, or happier or reassured. Either way it achieved nothing and I spent the following week looking up ovarian cancer websites and trying to prepare myself for the worst. The specialist said she could operate a week later so I filled in all the admission paperwork and then hit the chocolate. It did nothing for my waistline but it made me feel brighter. Where there is chocolate there is hope.

I arrived at hospital the following week, petrified and with a bag full of chocolate to get me through the recovery in hospital. Green and Blacks I love you. I will buy shares. It was only your milk chocolate that got me through the following weeks. If you noticed a profits spike in April and May, that was down to me.

After waiting in reception for 2 hours I was taken to a ward full of people waiting to have gynaecological surgery. I was apparently third on the list. Why I had to be there at 6.30am when they did not intend to operate before 11am, beats me.

Once I was in a gown and tucked up in bed, the nurse looking after us all decided we all needed to have an enema. I think she was bored. I was expecting a tube up my bottom so was quite relieved when it just turned out to be a tablet. A modern enema involves a tablet being stuck up your bottom and being told to hold it as long as you can before you race to the toilet. There were 8 of us waiting for surgery. The nurse gave us all an enema within minutes of each other. There was one toilet on the ward. The outcome was predictable to everyone except the nurse administering the tablet. I learned a lot of new yoga positions as I was standing in queue outside the one toilet, trying desperately to hold on. There was no commode available. As I was wheeled off for surgery, I hoped the nurse with the smart idea was the one to have to clean up.

I woke up in my own room after the surgery. I was hungry but the nurse told me that I had to be on clear fluids until my bowel had moved. That proved to be a long time. Why did they give me an enema in the first place? Chicken consommé does not help you have a movement. If it goes in liquid, it comes out liquid. I decided that they were just malicious. Three days of chicken consommé and lime jelly later, I was ready to strangle someone, so I lied. I told the doctor I had been to the toilet. The food ban was lifted. I ate chocolate. It was good, really good. In fact it tasted like manna from heaven. My 6 year old saw it on offer at the local supermarket. My husband and son emptied the shelves. My cupboard overflowed…There is no painkiller as effective as a large bar of Green and Blacks Organic Milk Chocolate. Just liquefy it and hook me up to a drip!

I knew that having my ovaries removed would send me into surgical menopause. What I did not know was how quickly it would happen. The various websites were quite vague about it. I knew that I would need to go on to HRT until the age that I would naturally go into the menopause (generally assumed to be around the age of 51) to replace the oestrogen that was no longer being provided.

I thought that I would be given HRT immediately. Apparently not. The specialist decided it would be good for me to experience what menopause was like before allowing me to have the oestrogen patches. The hot flushes kicked in 2 days post-surgery. I endured 5 days of hot flushes and night sweats before discharging myself against doctor’s orders. Only then did she agree to give me the patches. She told me that women should be able to deal with menopause when it happens, whether or not that is down to surgery. I beg to differ.

I did wonder why I, as her patient, had to suffer because of her beliefs about HRT. It made me wonder how much else of her advice was her opinion, versus official recommendations. I went to see my GP five days later and she was brilliant. When I told her I was still suffering hot flushes and night sweats, she upped my dosage of HRT, saying that nobody needed to suffer unnecessarily. The hot flushes and night sweats stopped within 24 hours. My doctor is the best!

It was a long five weeks until I found out I did not have Ovarian Cancer. The specialist forgot to email my GP with the results, so she found out from me that I was in the clear.

The HRT patches work well. I have had to put an alarm in my phone to remind me to change them twice a week, but apart from that it is all fine. My tummy is squidgier than it was and it was a few weeks before my sons were able to bounce on my lap again. However, I have recovered well and am now back to exercising and back on motherly duties again. All credit to my in-laws who moved in and looked after the children for me while I recovered. All credit to my eldest son who reminded my husband to keep resupplying the chocolate.

While this has been a long story I think the main points I wanted to make are that if you are told that there is something wrong that may be very serious, read around. Don’t just read around the subject, read online reviews of the hospital and the specialist you are seeing. I wish that I had, as the same comments I have made above, had previously been made by others having similar surgery at the same hospital, with the same consultant.

Be willing to look further afield for a consultant and a hospital to have the surgery done at, if this is an option where you live. I looked within a 10 mile radius of my home, at 3 possible hospitals and I based my choice purely on opening hours, not on online reviews. If I had gone as far as 30 miles, I may have had a different experience. Finally, read up on the after effects of the surgery, any follow up medication you may need and the pros and cons of it. Use reputable websites, such as those of national or international charities specialising in your condition. Go into your doctor armed to the teeth with information, don’t just take the specialist’s word for it. Knowledge is power and power is confidence. If you are confident of your information when you face your specialist, you may have a lot better experience than if you accept without question, the information that specialist gives you. Finally, take to the hospital whatever it is that will make you feel good afterwards, as a quick boost every now and again, can only be a good thing for your recovery.