I have to have an operation. I've been told I have endometriosis. Two things I didn't expect to be writing in this blog - two things I debated over writing in such a public place.
After all, when I started writing El corte a la Inglesa I saw it as a place to post funny stories about my life in Madrid. Should I really be sharing the not funny, potentially uncomfortable stuff too?
But after much thought I decided to go ahead - after all this is all part of my life too, and writing about it might help anyone going through something similar to feel a little better.
if you don't like the sound of that, stop reading - I won't be offended. I'm sure there'll be more funny stories to be posted in the near future.
So, I'd never even heard of endometriosis a few months ago. Chances are, you haven't either. It's a condition that affects millions of women that causes cells which usually grow in the uterus to grow in other places in the abdomen.
It's very common - as common as diabetes, but no-one really talks about it, as it's a "women's problem". They don't know what causes it, and there is no cure - though there are certain things you can do to put it in remission. No-one ever died from it, therefore research into it is poor - no motivation for the big pharmaceutical companies.
I've already made big changes in my life to become more healthy living, but there's just no getting away from the fact that I need an operation - something which (in my head at least) happens to other people, not me.
I had two minor surgeries when I was a kid (not counting the three teeth I had out under general anesthetic) and at the time it all seemed like a bit of an adventure. if the adults said it was alright and it needed to be done, then that was that. I even sort of liked being on the ward, with all the nurses, and drawing pictures for all the other kids.
But of course it's different when you're an adult, saddled with all your irrational worries and fears. The most part of me knows it'll all be fine, but there's a tiny voice screaming in my ear, telling me to be afraid.
Luckily the health care in Spain is excellent, and double lucky for me that being in a foreign country, I've got the bloke and his family around me. They have been amazing - coming with me to appointments (hard to concentrate when you're flustered and it's all in your second language) and doing and saying the right things at every moment to make me feel better.
And the reaction from all of my friends has been phenomenal. So many messages of love and support, really getting me through the low moments. What would I do without them? Makes me feel sorry for anyone who has to go through this kind of thing alone.
As one friend told me - everyone has to deal with this sort of thing at some point in their life. So this is my time. I've been lucky with my health for almost 30 years - one minor blip in that time is not too bad really.
In fact, some part of me is glad this has happened as it's put things into perspective. It's made me realise how lucky I am. I knew I had a good man in my life, but it's not till now i've fully realised just how great he is. I know for certain he's in this for the long haul, and I can depend on him whatever life throws. Ditto his family, ditto my friends.
Health is such a gift, and we take it for granted. It's a smack in the face when you're told there's something wrong with you that can't just be fixed with a day in bed or a course of antibiotics. I have no idea what it must be like for people who suddenly have to deal with the fact they have a serious illness.
So, my resolutions - don't sweat the small stuff anymore. Be healthy, but also make sure I live a little. Where possible, take every opportunity that comes my way - because you never know what's round the corner. Be the first to offer support to anyone who needs it. And absolutely without fail, regularly tell my family and friends just how much they mean to me.