"You wouldn't notice this problem if you were running from a tiger"

As February is swiftly making an exit, I have to say I have been rubbish at riding! There was almost a 2 week break for Bodie whilst the snow and ice hung around. I do feel awful about it, like this little meme 'You don't stop riding because you get old. You get old because you stop riding' and although this was made for the human counterparts, I think this is very accurate to those older horses out there that are still in work.

With March comes Endometriosis Awareness month. It's not something I want to constantly bang on about, but it is worthy of a mention. I have been very lucky to have met a pretty awesome specialist and I am going for surgery on 21st May. It is playing on my mind and it has brought up a lot of feelings and emotions that I have suppressed for quite some time and as a result I have been a bit emotional. Poor Mandy at the yard, had the tail end of that just this weekend when I sporadically burst into flames (tears).

I have already said that as a society we don't talk about women's health enough, but it is so common and causes so many issues for individuals, families, employers and our economy. The truth of the matter is, it can destroy lives, causing debilitating pain and stealing the chance of fertility.

As with most events in my life, my exterior is often filled with humour, sarcasm and a frankness which I think a lot of people could do without. I was once sat with my father in a consultation room, paying a private specialist a lot of money waiting for his expert opinion for him to say "you wouldn't notice this problem if you were being chased by a tiger"...no mate, but you probably wouldn't notice the bubonic plague but it doesn't mean it's not an issue. This was something that was said to me nearly 12 years ago, yet it is still a joke that floats around the dining room table!

I have been that girl that has had countless student doctors in the room looking up from the business end with nothing to cover up my modesty wanting the world to swallow me up. I've been through the bowel prep of colonoscopies, I have had someone ram a camera down my throat without following my advice 'you need to really knock me out'. Turns out I have strong reflexes and Gloria Gaynor, the nurse had a swift kick to the face in my rather sedated state as I tried to eject myself off of the hospital bed, they sent the heavies in, I was held down and pumped with more sedative. The endoscopies following this have been much more bearable following a warning in my notes. I have done the walk of shame down the hospital corridor for my laparoscopies with nothing but paper pants and an ill-fitting gown waving goodbye to family. I've been through the hormone therapy and taken the mic out of myself for being on steroids (I was genuinely round, like bowling ball round, I wouldn't have started on me). I have experienced some things that a lot of people don't experience in their lifetime, let alone starting when I was just 15 years old.

I guess the point is this, with every consultation, operation, hormone therapy, sick day, and recovery period I have had to take time off work, my family gets affected looking after me which means they are less efficient in their own job, my own job is impacted, my colleagues have to pick up my work or get cover in, impacting on revenue, impacting on tax and eventually this impacts on governmental support. I realise that I am just one person. But when there are 1.5 million women affected, it soon starts adding up.

It's not just 'women's problems', actually it's everyone's problem.