Endometriosis: my personal hell

I’ve been meaning to share my story for a while, but I didn’t have the strength… I was too embarrassed to talk about it, I didn’t want to victimise myself, or simply just not give an extra thought to this dreadful part of my life… And as a result I’ve been finding excuses not to post it. I’ve recently opened up to some of my friends and it’s been such a relief for me personally – mostly because they now understand what I’ve been and am going through.

So I’m sharing it here, hoping to raise a little bit more awareness about the condition that I’m stuck with: Endometriosis.

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What is Endometriosis?

It’s a very painful, sometimes debilitating condition, when tissue similar to that found lining the womb is found elsewhere in the body, usually around ovaries.  When it breaks down and bleeds, as it would in the womb during a period, it causes inflammation and pain.


It is believed that up to 10% of women live with the condition, with some left infertile as a result.

Here are a couple of guides that would explain the condition better than I ever could:

The Guardian – What is endometriosis? A guide

NHS resources

Endometriosis UK – Charity Organisation

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What’s my story?

I wrote about my surgery a couple of years ago, but a lot of things have changed since!

Ok, here we go.

You’ve all heard about period pains. Most girls who aren’t on hormonal birth control feel discomfort during their period and the level of pain can completely vary.

I was on birth control before, but I wasn’t happy with it, so in late 2015 I went completely hormone free. By the end of 2016 I was in great deal of pain – every month – to the point that I would have to call in sick at work. Don’t even get me started on how embarrassing I felt trying to explain this to my male boss, who has never even shown any sympathy. I went through the bureaucracy of NHS, being sent from GP to hospital nurse, back to GP, back to the hospital, until I finally managed to get an appointment with the gynaecologist, five months later; five very painful periods later.

The doctor suspected endometriosis, however they could only confirm the diagnosis via surgery. Which they did. And they cleared it out, put me on strong hormonal treatment to avoid re-growth and off I went to recover from the surgery.

The physical pain stopped completely, but my mental health started to deteriorate. By summer ’18, just over a year after the surgery I started to feel depressed and for the first time in my life I discovered what paranoia was.

Usually, it would be quite difficult to offend me. Usually, I wouldn’t blink an eye if the person I don’t care about said something negative about me. Usually, I would trust my closest friends.  But being pumped with the hormones changed everything. I became a different person: insecure, paranoid and deeply unhappy. I normally would be able to hold myself together in public, but if I had a couple of drinks, all these fears and insecurities that I’ve been guarding would explode over whoever is next to me.

I went to the GP, who advised against stopping the treatment and referred me to therapy, but it didn’t help at all, things were just getting worse. I’ve managed to alienate a lot of people around me and broke off a number of friendships. Christmas 2018 was the most difficult ever, and I didn’t even celebrate by 27th birthday (and I am ALWAYS up for throwing parties). I was miserable and emotional, even watching X factor would immediately put me in tears. Yeah, gross, I know.

So then in March ’19 I’ve decided enough is enough. My mental health is more important than treating endometriosis, and whilst it is likely to have an effect on my fertility, I needed to get back to ‘me’. Become myself again. Have a clear head and finally be in control of my emotions. As the GP would practically refuse to stop my treatment, I went to a sex clinic – and then I was free.

It took a good couple of weeks for the hormones to wear off, but I could already feel the difference. I slept better, as I no longer had nightmares, my communication skills improved and I started to feel truly happy again. And that would have been the perfecte ending to the mental health nightmare of nearly two years… but the physical pain is  back.

So for now, I’ll have to live with the pain of this condition, and keep going for scans, and maybe have more surgeries in the future.

But it’s not the end of the world, and it’s surely not the worst condition to live with, I just wish more people knew about it (and didn’t equal it to a typical period pain), so there would be less stigma and embarrassment to talk about it. Please share this and help to spread awareness!

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How do I handle it?

Ha! If you want an honest answer, you should probably talk to my husband 😛

On a more serious note, here are a couple of things that help me manage the beast:

Telling people what’s up

I can’t stress how important it is to not be alone in this! Most of my friends are now aware, and they are a lot more understanding of the bad week of the month. I’ve also shared this with my colleagues, who are great support on the days I can’t physically make it to work.

Know what’s your relief

There isn’t a cure, and there isn’t a specific medicine for Endometriosis. There are a lot of different treatment plans, so the best thing to figure out what works for your. I’ve got strong painkillers and hot-water bottles, comfy pyjamas and everything I need to improve my comfort on the dark days. When they come, I’m prepared and ready, so it’s easier to bear!

Focus on the positives

It could be worse. It’s manageable. And in my case, I have a clear head, stronger mental health and I’m finally in a happy place.


Lots of love,



What International Women’s Day means to me

Today is International Women’s Day – which falls on 8th of March every year, and I grew up knowing this. In all post-Soviet countries, the tradition stayed the same for years:

This is the day when men show their appreciation for women they love. 

The flower shops would be flooded by men of all ages, and all of them are getting flowers for all of the important women in their lives: mothers, sisters, wives, daughters and friends.  Many boys would be getting flowers for their favourite teachers.

My mum would have an arrangement with a florist, so when the men of our family went to buy flowers, they would all be same height and type.. basically so you don’t get a bunch of mismatched flowers!

Many would gift a single flower – often a rose – but in our household it was always tulips.

As a girl in my teens, I’d be getting flowers from my dad, grandad, two uncles, brother, two cousins, a couple of key family friends, boys from school, from music school, from karate… This was the day when you felt the love of all key men around you. But that was in my home country, in Estonia.

Interestingly enough, not many would say ‘Happy International Women’s Day!’; in Russian culture it’s simply “Happy 8th of March!’ – because everyone knows what that date is.

My first International Women’s Day, when I moved to England, was sad – I was terribly homesick, because nobody celebrated it, and the boys here weren’t brought up to know that flowers are a must on 8th of March. I shared my feelings with Ben, and that one year was the only year I was left without flowers. He’s a good egg ❤

oxford bloggers

But now, 11 years on, a lot more people know about International Women’s Day, and the narrative has changed:

Women’s Equality

I love the campaigns that are run by great organisations that promote equality for women in many different aspect, and I love what local communities are doing. I love the rise of Women supporting Women, of #EachforEqual campaign this year and just how empowering this day has become. Most of all, I love the facts that this is the day to stop and think about most the important and inspirational women in your life – for both women and men.

But still, for me, forever, 8th of March is the day when I’ll get a sweet message from my dad and many other old friends from back home.  The day of tulips, appreciation and love.

I hope that each and one of you, ladies, got to spend the day the way you wanted.

Happy International Women’s Day!


P.S. Spot the Party Po

Lots of Love,



Looking for a new podcast?

I’ve recently got into listening to more and more podcasts – mainly because I spend a fair amount of time driving… So I thought I’d share with you the podcasts I’ve recently enjoyed; all available on BBC Sounds app. Listen up!


The Missing Crypto Queen

‘A story of greed, deceit and herd madness’


Have you heard about BitCoin? Well, Dr Ruja Ignatova – The Missing Crypto Queen – persuaded millions to join her  financial revolution and buy her own crypto currency – OneCoin. But then she disappeared…with all the money!

This is a real life, currently evolving story, and you can read all about it here, but I’d recommend to listen to the podcast- it’s really good – I’m hoping there will be continuation!

Who tells the story? Jamie Barlett, British author and journalist.

Available to listen here



Previously known as Brexitcast and Electioncastp082bfts

If you want to be aware what’s happening in British politics without getting bored or accidentally falling asleep, this is the podcast for you!

You’ll hear intellectual discussions on hot issues, and learn a lot, but that’s not the best part. The gossip from Westminster and Brussels along with the banter will make you LOL (or quietly giggle) at least once in a while.

Who’s chatting? Beloved BBC News correspondents Adam Fleming, Laura Kuenssberg, Katya Adler, Chris Mason and friends

Available to listen here



American politics explained for the Brits


Similar style to Newscast, but this one – you guessed it right (well done) – is about USA politics! With 2020 US presidential election race on its way, listen in for the latest gossip from the campaign trail, and learn more about ever so complicated voting system The United States have.

There is an A-Z on American politics episode, as well as deep dives into key characters, and contestants who might have to go head to head with Donald Trump, such as Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg. All you need to know about American politics in a weekly podcast. Ideal.

Who’s chatting? Familiar faces and voices to all BBC News viewers Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel

Available to listen here



Fake Heiress

Real life Gossip Girl story


If you’ve not heard of Anna Sorokin aka Anna Delvey, the girl who scammed Manhattan’s elite and is now in prison for it, trust meyou want to tune in to this story. After all, both HBO and Netflix are working on big time projects, all about this girl. But before it reaches our screens, listen to the podcast and dig deeper into the New York scandal with a mix of drama and documentary!

Who’s telling the story? Journalist Vicky Baker and playwright Chloe Moss

Available to listen here


I do hope you give them a listen if you haven’t yet, and please do share your suggestions in the comments below – I’m hungry for good quality podcasts!

Lots of love,


I’m twenty eight

I was the luckiest birthday girl this year. Twenty Eight. It seems the closer I get to thirty, the less scary it gets.

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At this age – late twenties (we can still say that we were in our twenties in the ’20s) – we get the best of both: we’re full of energy and still eager to learn, whilst already having quite a lot of professional and life experience under our belts. We already have our stories of accomplishments and successes and a fair share of heartbreak and many tough lessons learnt.

So I was happy to turn 28. Logistically, however, my birth-day turned into birthday-week. See, the big day fell on a Sunday this year around, and it would have made sense to celebrate on Saturday night, so my birthday starts right there at midnight… But it also would end right the next day! And I wasn’t having that, not this year! Plus tier one friend of mine was away with work, so I’ve decided to celebrate the following weekend.

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But as if this was up to me! My lovely Issy and Sarah decided to throw me a surprise the day before my birthday – Ben got me out of the house, and when I got back, the lounge was full of decorations and confetti (which – mind you – 2 weeks later is still all over the house despite hoovering it up every other day!

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As I’m writing this, the balloons are still everywhere… I’m too busy nowadays to take them off (that’s my excuse, ha)

polina.rocks polina jones oxford blogger (3)My 28th birthday was also a special one: it cemented the cupcake face mask tradition.

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The cupcake face mask is from now on inevitable in January and May.

We then popped out for some drinks at Port Mahon and Half Moon where the I played the piano. I’m sure it was a poor attempt, but after all that wine I was on top of the world!

Btw, this is Benji. If you’re not following on instagram yet, you totally should 🙂

@imarealdoggo Benji the doggo


The next day, slightly hangover, I was awoken by my husband to my new presents that I’ve wanted for a very long time! It got a new FitBit – I need to be able to try my fitness better – I can’t thank amazing family enough! The second present from my dear husband was a big surprise – we got amazon dot – I now have Alexa next to my bed! For year Ben refused to get Alexa – because they do listen. But from my perspective, we’re not important or interesting enough to be listened to as individuals! Plus – I have nothings to hide… Anyhow, now I can play Taylor Swift without having to even move a finger. What a lucky girl I am, huh?

For Sunday lunch we went to our wedding venue – The Crazy Bear – with my in-laws. As always, beautifully cooked food, seamless service, and live jazz. In the room where we dined for the first time as a husband and wife.

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And then it was Monday, and the working week started. We checked out The Oxford Factory with my team for my birthday lunch, and it was great – so much so we returned the following week with the wider team. Anyhow, the week was exhausting. Work is very busy nowadays, and for two days I was in Glasgow.

But the celebration day arrived – Saturday week later – and it was absolutely lovely, and for sure very memorable!

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We started at the Cartoon Bar at the Randolph Hotel, followed up by the meal at Acanthus restaurant. We’ve enjoyed our dinner and were about to go, as it started to… rain??? Yes, someone left the bath running in the hotel room above and our table happened to be right underneath the leak!

Imagine that? :O

Acanthus restaurant randolph hotel oxford

The final stop, for the final celebrations, of course, was The Oxford Retreat. I can’t thank the staff, but most importantly my amazing husband and friends for celebrating with me getting older yet again and making it so very special.

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Thank you all.

I’m writing  this, so that I can come back to it at any moment when I feel sad or anxious. I’m just so lucky to be surrounded by all these amazing people.


Lots of love,


The Handle Bar Oxford – Meal for 2 for £21

First time I came across The Handle Bar cafe was when my friend Krista took me there for a brunch. I must admit, until that moment, I wasn’t even aware of its existence, but what a great find it was! I immediately loved the atmosphere, and my brunch was absolutely outstanding. I’ve been there a couple more times, but always for lunch or a cuppa; to be perfectly honest I didn’t even realise that they do dinner service!

Continue reading “The Handle Bar Oxford – Meal for 2 for £21”

How to handle WINTER: 8 tips to stay warm

I grew up in Estonia – the country that, unlike England, has four real seasons.

In summer we get the sun and swim in lakes, in winter we get the snow and go skiing.

Growing up in cold and snowy winters wasn’t so bad, and we always hoped that the temperatures would fall below -24C, because that would mean that we don’t have to go to school!

Most Northern (enough) countries have a saying, which goes something along these lines:

“There is no such thing as bad weather. You’re just not dressed up right.”

Within my childhood, I’ve adopted some habits, which I haven’t seen Brits to be consistently following, and seeing how we’re supposed to have the coldest winter in 30 years, I thought I’d share some tips with you on how to handle the winter without being miserable.

  1. Surround yourself with layers

cold parks and recreation GIF

I’m not discovering America here – we all know that layers are super-important when it gets cold, but I’m suggesting to take an extra step, and strategically place your layers exactly where you might need them. Keep a layer – a blanket, a hoodie, a scarf – whatever your style is – around all places where you can normally get cold. Your office, your car, extra blankets on your sofa and bed, multiple dressing gowns in the bathroom… Plan ahead, and you’ll always be warm!

  1. Gloves are your best friends

Image result for the glove will help gif"

I can’t stress this enough – get yourselves some gloves – you won’t regret it! Whether it’s £1 pair from Primark, or a good pair that adds to your personal look, gloves are SO useful.

Imagine – it snowed! And let’s be honest, the first snow has this special magic – it turns everyone into kids… And BOOM, you have a pair of gloves, meaning that you can actually build this bloody snowman without losing the feelings of your palms, or even better, are able to throw snowballs for longer.

Or when you have to scrape the ice from your car’s windscreen, and it’s windy and cold – gloves are suddenly truly your best friends – unless you relish the feeling of almost losing your fingers?

Seriously, get yourself at least a pair. And a second one, to keep in your car.

  1. Get yourself some gadgets

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If your bedroom is cold, get an electric blanket; hot water bottles are great for cuddles on the sofa, and everyone should have a couple of hand warmers – the ones that heat up with one click. If you already have what you need, get them out, be prepared for the cold weather – relish it in, don’t complain about it.

  1. Own a pair of waterproof shoes

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It can be a cheap pair wellies, or a good pair of Timberlands – doesn’t matter – make sure you have a waterproof pair. If it snows (and it will), it’s likely that the snow won’t stay there for long enough. On one sunny day, the gorgeous white streets will turn into slush… and there is nothing worse than to continue your day with wet feet.

…which brings me to my next item:

  1. Stock up on socks

socks GIF

If you’re not too sure about your boots, put some spare socks in your bag! I’d recommend using a reseal-able bag (I use Ikea) – that way the socks in the bag stay clean, and if you need to swap them, you can seal your dirty wet socks. Having extra can really win points and make you some new friends – simple Primani pair, can literally save someone’s life!

  1. Set timer on your heating

time clock GIF by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

The temperatures usually hit the low just before dawn, so set the temperatures for early morning, 4am until 7 or 8am – you’ll wake up in warm house, which will make it more bearable to get dressed in layers and head out. Time it a couple of hours before you wake up, and turn it off an hour before you usually leave the house. Unless you have a cat. Then keep the heating on.

  1. Eat well & stay healthy

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Hearty home meals are great for such weather. I love all sorts of stews and soups, as they are comforting, but also have valuable nutrition (read – vegetables!). Stay active, especially if you’re outside, and try not to be by yourself outside if you’ve had some alcohol. Look after your drunk friends with extra care when it’s cold. And as much fun as snow angels can be, unless you’re wearing skiing gear, warm yourself up after, even if you don’t feel cold at all (alcohol blanket is a real thing)

  1. Know the weather

storm GIF

Stay informed! Anticipating the weather helps you to plan in advance – what you’re going to wear, the means of travel. Make sure to download a weather app and follow your local council on social (I follow Oxford Council on Twitter – they are great with key updates – especially when it snows). I’ve learnt to zone in, if I see the weather on TV [Sky News is on the screens in our office kitchen, and I can stumble upon it up to 15 times throughout the day #quickmath].


Stay warm, and stay safe!

Polina Rocks Westgate oxford blogger

Photos by Tempting Matter

Lots of Love,




Scotland, you’ve won my heart!

I’m a frequent visitor to Scotland, however most of the times it’s for business rather than leisure. In fact, most of the times it’s a round trip in one day – and all I see is the road from Glasgow airport to the office.

But I knew that there is so much more to Scotland than Glasgow (everyone should know this, ha), and I saw the most beautiful shots whilst watching Outlander – TV series set in Scottish Highlands. So we had to go – and we did, on our 11 year anniversary.

Outlander Scotland Tour filming location Highlands

Within 4 days, we saw 7 castles, followed the path of Claire and Jamie in the key filming locations, and overall,  travelled almost 500 miles. The trip took my breath away, so I’m sharing it with you, hoping to inspire you to add Scotland to your bucket list.

Scotland Outlander road trip map

I fully recommend to put Outlander playlist on (Spotify) whilst scrolling through our journey. ❤ Continue reading “Scotland, you’ve won my heart!”

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