It’s Claire’s* 40th birthday in 2 weeks. It’s been in the calendar for a few months that she would have a party or a weekend away. We just got the invite today
“You are invited to a weekend of glamping”
This is my biggest nightmare. ‘Glamping’ Or ‘Glamorous camping’ to give it its full title, involves a camping trip in posh tents but it’s still camping. This of course brings with it all the basics of camping: the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements, the (often grimy) campsite toilet and shower facilities, eating dinner while sitting on the rock hard ground. How am I going to get out of it?
To make matters worse, it’s an intimate gathering of only 4 other couples. I guess I should explain that Richard* (my boyfriend) and John* (Claire’s husband) have been friends since they were kids at school. Claire and I see each other socially on a regular basis but we’re not so close that I would ever discuss my issues with fibroids.
I have spent a week trying to convince Richard we shouldn’t go or that he should go alone. He argues that we saved the date ages ago and pulling out now would look bad. I’ve been wondering all week if I’m being unreasonable but then I remember what life is like for me at the moment. I suffer from heavy bleeding, I am tired, and I have pain and that’s not all. Claire’s birthday (of course) will fall on the worst time of the month for me.
I have been with Richard for years and I know I ask him to put up with a lot. I am always tired, we cancel plans at the last minute, and I have sent him out late at night to get me sanitary products or painkillers when I have run out. For the most part he does it willingly but I feel that he’s not going to back down on this weekend away because secretly I think he’s getting a bit fed up with my problem becoming OUR problem.
We’re off ‘glamping’. I didn’t manage to convince Richard to go alone. I sort of see his point (4 couples and Richard) and on the other hand I don’t feel up to it. Looking into my bag, it looks like I am going away for a month. I have it totally stocked with painkillers, tampons, sanitary towels and all the other survival things I need as I struggle with fibroids. In addition, it’s a scorching hot weekend. I don’t feel comfortable in shorts or a swimsuit or feel up to playing softball or volleyball. I am covered up in a baggy shapeless outfit while everyone else looks effortless in their beachwear type clothes. I feel awkward and ill at ease.
Our weekend was ok in the end but just ok. The facilities were really not glamorous by any stretch of the imagination. I think Richard understands that it was all a bit of a struggle for me but feels that I should have made more of an effort. Since we’ve been back, I have been asking myself if one weekend away was worth all the stress leading up to it. I have re-read my diary. What should have been a happy time for us and our friends as they celebrated a landmark birthday just became a source of stress for me (and ultimately Richard). It can’t go on like this, so I have just booked an appointment with my doctor to have a check-up and discuss the options. It’s time to get it sorted and to stop living only half a life.
*All names have been changed