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Friday 28 November 2014


I'm not talking about my state of mind, but the fabulous anthology containing the winning entries of the Hysteria Writing Competition.

And guess what? I won first prize with my poem!

A few months ago, I certainly wasn't thinking of winning a poetry competition, having just experienced some major surgery [you can read about this on the rest of my blog]. My life was put on hold. On reflection I was really poorly, although I make light of it in this blog. Pain is wearing, fatigue eats away at you. However, our bodies have a remarkable ability to heal and rebalance if we let them. Take time. Be patient as a patient.

I had been accepted on the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University in March and my goal was to be well enough to enjoy it. I had no idea that in July & most of August I would be convalescing from abdominal hysterectomy. And up until September I still wasn't sure I'd be well enough. 

But I was. Somehow.

So, if you are entering that phase where you feel really poorly, slow and helpless, and can't even concentrate. Then, know it will pass. I did a little more every day, resting and having some gentle complementary treatments to aid the process.

Writing was also a great healer and this blog was a result of that period in my life. I'm really busy at the moment reading and writing on my course plus working part-time and I'm so thankful for all the help I received during my 'down time'.

I found the Hysterectomy Association forum a useful place to connect and talk with women of my age who were also encountering difficulties with their health.

If you want to read my poem then go to The Blog of Linda Parkinson-Hardman where you can download Hysteria Anthology 3.

Thursday 2 October 2014

Filling the womb space...

but you are not defined by a part of your body...

I read about this recently when looking at the forums for women who have had a hysterectomy and feel a sense of loss after surgery. I really understand this complexity, don't get me wrong, but women are more than just a uterus, we are living, breathing organic beautiful beings capable of being much more than the sum of our parts. Even women with healthy functioning wombs are often unable to conceive or have children so living without a womb needn't prevent you living a full life.

I suppose the closest I have come to the grieving process (and hormones play a large part in this) was after the final meeting with my lovely gynaecologist, who I still have a major crush on (for the record, he is strictly professional). I'm notoriously bad at letting go so any perceived ending or closure is very difficult for me. However, from the recognition that I was going through a process I could deal with it and look at it in a more positive role. 

Positive thoughts include:

  • I am getting fitter every day
  • My hot flushes have ceased completely
  • I'm driving long distances again
  • I can work 
  • I'm following my dream of becoming a full-time writer by doing an MA in Creative Writing.
  • I don't have debilitating, exhausting periods anymore! Hooray!
So, wherever you are in your story, believe me, it does get better. I am now 3 months post-op having had a TAH with a cut ureter so extra surgery was needed, catheter and stent during the 6 weeks following surgery - pain, discomfort, limited mobility, fatigue etc etc. 

Today I had a CT scan of my pelvis which is  a painless procedure and I have a follow up appointment in December with the urology consultant. The strangest thing today was being asked when my last period was (they need to check before a CT scan in case of pregnancy) and I cheerfully stated that I'd had a hysterectomy on the 4th July. It made me realise I'm not ruled by the cyclical symptoms that harangued me for most of my life and I'm focusing on filling my womb space with creativity and joy.