The first day I remember that I started to feel really unwell.
But I just ignored it and put it down to a combination of stress and dehydration.
At the time I was living and working in İçmeler, Turkey for a well known tour operator as a hotel rep. I loved the job and living abroad with my housemates, but every day there was a constant stream of complaints, the same complaints that I couldn’t do anything about and the stress was starting to get to me. It was getting towards the end of season and I was homesick. Deep down I knew that my two year relationship was over, but I kept trying to make it work despite being treated like I was nothing. I managed to send him a card and present for both his birthday and our anniversary from Turkey… But just like other special occasions, I got nothing for our two year anniversary not even a card. I don’t know why I expected anything to be honest, it wasn’t the first time it had happened. It was exhausting and disheartening to constantly be told your significant other is “too busy out with the lads” to have a quick 5 minute phone call when you’ve had a bad day. All the meanwhile I was putting on a my make up and a smile every day pretending to be okay, when all I wanted was to go home (back to the UK) and just cry.
With temperatures in their mid 40s still, dropping to 28 at night if we were lucky, I was drinking 3 litres a day to stay as hydrated as possible. Even before going away I’d always have to be careful what Chinese food I ate as some of the greasier dishes (or so I thought) had made me sick. We’d all been out for dinner that evening, to a Chinese, so when I needed to be sick when I got home I wasn’t surprised because it happened fairly often. But it was when my bowels gave way that I was shocked. I was lucky I was in the bathroom anyway and about to go to the loo, but it scared me. I sorted myself out and tried to call my then boyfriend, for him to tell me he was “on a lads night out, don’t talk to me.” Thanks for that…
I went to work the next day and was worried about how my tummy would be, but I was absolutely fine. It was like nothing had happened, until I went to the toilet and there was blood. I’ve been on the progesterone only pill for a few years and spotting can happen so I jut assumed it was that and thought nothing of it. Until there was blood every time I went to the toilet, and then I started to bloat. I’ve never been a fan of fitted clothes as I’ve never been overly happy or confident with my figure so it was easy to hide, but it was painful when I bumped into things or someone bumped into me. I started to keep a food diary because I knew if I went to the doctors when I got back to the UK that would be the first thing they would ask me to do, but it got to the point where everything I ate made my tummy bloat and make me pass blood. Literally everything. An hour and a half or so after every meal I’d have crippling stomach pains and my tummy would bloat out and I’d look pregnant. I tried to eat a bit healther so I stopped eating “rubbish” food and ate salads and all the delicious med veg dishes available, Turkish breakfasts with the cucumbers, tomatoes and walnuts. All “healthy” foods, or so I thought anyway!