…It would be a very mean and ugly person.
As I write this I am only on day 2 of my period….
I am in pain.
Today is a better day in comparison to day 1 (yesterday) but it’s still not great. I mean being bed ridden 2 days a month wasn’t exactly how I planned my life but this has been my reality for the last 15/16 years.
Somehow month-to-month I would always forget how bad the pain was until it struck. This month I didn’t want to forget the pain, hence this blog post.
I was 11 going on 12 when my first period came. I remember the day like it was yesterday. Some of my friends in school had already started theirs and I will be the first to admit that at the time I remember feeling a pang of jealousy because to me it made me feel as if they were more grown up than me. When you’re young that’s always annoying! My mum was so happy when it arrived. I guess I was happy too. Months went by and I was already becoming a pro at hiding my pad up my school jumper sleeve when I had to go to the toilet. My periods were pain free. In fact I didn’t even know periods could be painful until I was 13.
It was the middle of the night and I rushed to the toilet, my stomach was hurting so much, more than it would usually hurt if it was something like food poisoning. It was almost like the pain had engulfed my entire body, I couldn’t stand or sit without it being painful. I could barely see. What’s worse was that I was throwing up on an empty stomach. I swear I was so ill I thought I must have been pregnant. I was a virgin. But I also believed in immaculate conception. Quite stupid of me in hindsight but I couldn’t think of anything else it could be. I hadn’t eaten anything bad. Only to discover I was on my period. MY PERIOD!!
This severity of pain became a regular occurrence month after month. My pain threshold is unbelievably higher than the average, so when I say I was in pain, please believe me. Some months I really wanted to die. No exaggeration. Some months were worse than others. There were some months I had to be carried into the toilet. Taken to the hospital by an ambulance. Sit in A&E for some hours. Be admitted into the hospital. Given morphine. This was a monthly occurrence for years. I would first miss school and then as I grew up it would be uni, then work. It’s not as if I wouldn’t force myself to go in, I did, I hated being sick, and all that would happen was that I would either be sent home or be stuck in the toilet the whole day. So embarrassing. I was embarrassed. No one around me suffered like this. I knew this couldn’t be the norm.
I had tried all painkillers (some without my mum’s knowledge – she hated medicine), non prescribed and prescribed, the pill, everything, nothing changed! It was all useless. All I could do was wait until I passed out from the pain and then sleep it off. Mum continually reassured me that once I gave birth, I wouldn’t have any more period pain. I found myself wishing for a baby simply for the sake of not having period pain. How crazy was that! This wasn’t the solution!
At the age of 24 something just snapped in me. I could no longer take it. I could no longer miss out on living just because of my menstrual cycle. I went for a scan, two scans actually, saw a private gynaecologist and all of them came back with news I didn’t want, ‘I was fine’. But I wasn’t fine. How can they say I was fine, when every month I would have pain crush on my uterus.
I started doing my own research and asking around. At one point I thought I had fibroids, which would have been awful but at least that would have explained the pain. I didn’t. The more I read, the more I came across the term endometriosis. I was sure I had this the way other people had been describing my exact symptoms. I know this wasn’t supposed to me feel good. But it did. I was glad to know I wasn’t ‘fine’, neither was I exaggerating the pain. The sort of person I am however is that I hate confessing sicknesses. Yes I am a Christian, so I believe that the tongue has enormous power! So I am not saying I have this but I am saying this isn’t normal which has allowed me address it properly.
Near the dates of my period there are certain foods I can’t eat) or the pain would be immense); sweets, sugary things and fast food. Things I would need to eat would be more vegetables, raspberries, blueberries and spinach. Raspberry leaf tea also helps me and so does magnesium supplements. Now I am far from having pain free periods but they have certainly improved over the last two years, I can actually leave my bed on day 2. Significant improvement and I am sure the more I pay attention to my body and what it reacts to the quicker I will be ‘fine’.
I never want another woman to go through what I did but I acknowledge that millions do so I hope my story will help.
Would love to hear people’s experiences of their menstrual cycle even if it is pain free. We don’t talk about it as much as we should!
“Gradually my whole concept of time changed until I thought of a month as having twenty-five days of humanness and five others when I might just as well have been an animal in a steel trap.” – Florence King
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