I usually set a theme before I start reading your submissions, but this month it was the other way around as I stumbled across a few similar posts that gave me a jolt, in a good way. Blogging is a wonderful vehicle for getting all sorts of emotions out there – good, bad, ugly. Anything goes. It’s also a brilliant way of sharing experiences and encouraging others to take action. So, this month’s theme focuses on embarrassing bodies, and I hope the posts featured help to dispel some myths and cast any shame or fear straight to the kerb. At the end of the day, we’re all human, aren’t we?
First up is Emma from Island Living 365. Emma writes the most gorgeous blog about her life on Jersey, and a regular blogging subject for her at the moment is the Moonwalk. For those who don’t know, it’s a marathon-distance walking event in London, held every April. Emma is doing it this year and her training is going well, but she was recently thwarted by a growth on her foot – affectionately named Gary. Gary turned out to be a cutaneous horn and Emma admits that she ignored him for far too long, out of fear and embarrassment. Her post is hilarious, but cutaneous horns can be malignant so getting it diagnosed and removed was an important step. She’s now back to full training mojo, but her post is engaging and informative and please – do get any strange growths checked out.
My second post is from Jenny, who blogs at Accidental Hipster Mum. Now, how many of us women have suffered from bladder weakness or urine infections, either during or after pregnancy? And how many of us are reluctant to talk about it? Thank goodness Jenny isn’t – and she’s shared her experience of pregnancy related urinary retention with her readers. Rather than a leaky bladder, rogue drops of wee escaping when she sneezed etc, Jenny could not go. Literally could not make her bladder play ball. I’m more of the “cross your legs when you cough” kind of post-partum gal but the thought of not being able to wee, even if desperate, makes me feel a bit panicky. Please do have a read of her post and again, if you have any bladder issues that are bothering you, do make an appointment with your GP.
Next up is Kelly, who writes at Bringing Up Georgia. I’ve known Kelly for a while, and we were all pretty worried about her last year when a seemingly standard virus turned into something debilitating and lengthy. I’ll let you read her story for yourself, but as part of her diagnosis she had to undergo a colonoscopy. Not known for being the most comfortable or modesty-preserving procedure, Kelly has written a no-holds-barred post to help others understand what to expect, how to prepare, and how to deal with the discomfort, as well as the after effects. It’s reading posts like this that make me so grateful for the access to medicine that we have, and also for people who are willing to share their experiences to help others.
My next post is from Joy at Pink Oddy. It’s a short post, but a definite thinker – she questions why we’re receptive to the idea that boobs come in all shapes and sizes, but we get embarrassed about our tummies. She wrote it in response to the “drop the boobs” newspaper campaign and actually, she’s right – it’s accepted that breasts vary greatly in size and appearance and that’s completely fine…and yet we still feel shame over our stomachs. Despite everything they’ve been through, especially if they’ve grown a human!
Faith from Raising Moonbows is up next. Her post made me cry, even though it has a happy ending and is incredibly uplifting. Faith was born in the 1970’s with a condition called Gastroschisis, which is where the abdominal wall doesn’t form properly and the bowel remains outside of the body. These days, conditions such as this are checked for routinely as part of the twenty week anomaly scan. The survival rate is now over 90%, but when Faith was born the expectation for recovery was much lower. Faith has gone on to have her own babies which I just think is amazing, given everything her own body has endured. It’s a wonderful post so please do give it a read.
Hannah, who blogs at Hannah Spannah, often makes light-hearted reference to the fact that she ‘collects’ chronic illnesses. Her whole blog is so interesting – but this post about mammograms caught my eye. It instantly took me back to six weeks after I’d had my first daughter, and I found a lump in my left breast. I had various tests and scans and my god it was scary. Mammograms aren’t BAD as such – yes, the idea of what they might find is very scary, but the actual process is just a bit brutal and clinical. Hannah’s account of the procedure gave me shivers, but also made me compelled to share it as I’m sure it’ll help others.
Lastly are two posts that made me shout “Yes” at my screen (er, not in a When Harry Met Sally way) all the way through. If a friend tells me they’ve had their appointment letter through for a smear test but they’re not sure if they can make it or they don’t think they want to go, I pretty much strong arm them there. Emma-Louise is with me, and her post over at Even Angels Fall sums up exactly why it’s important not to skip that appointment, even though it’s not the most fun way to spend ten minutes. Then, Claire from Dear, Mummy Bear writes a detailed account of what to expect from the procedure – and guess what, I promise it’s not that bad.
I’ll be back in April with my next round-up. If you’d like yours to be considered, you can email me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me a link via @mousemoo_metoo.