Monday, February 11, 2013

A Day in the Life

Watching feminine product commercials really make me jealous. I know probably no one has a "happy period", but there are women who can go to the pool. Or go to lunch with their friends. Or even be semi-productive at their job. It feels like most people don't realize just how bad my periods are. I'm not trying to play in the Pain Olympics or play the "my life sucks more than yours" game, I just want people to understand. If I cancel plans with you, if I call out of work (when I was working), if I don't return your text or cut conversations short, it's not an excuse. I really just can't. So here's a day in the life of someone with Dysmenorrhea and Menorrhagia.

Caution: This is going to get TMI

Cry out/sob in the middle of my sleep, waking up my husband who stumbles in the dark looking for my pain medication. I take 1-2 Tramadol every 6-8 hours, plus 2 extra strength Tylenol every 6 hours. Once the pain goes down enough, I fall back asleep.

Wake up again in flight mode. You know that feeling like something is wrong and you have to flee. I have leaked out of my tampon/pad again. Rush to the bathroom, carefully slip off my underwear, take the pad off, and throw them in the bathtub. I have learned not to wear pants if I can help it. Dispose of tampon, take off the rest of my clothes and jump in the shower. While in the shower hand-wash my panties as best as possible, hoping they don't stain but knowing they will. Scrub off any blood on my body. By now the adrenaline of waking up is starting to calm down and I can feel the cramps again. Put in an ultra tampon, search the bedroom for any drinkable liquid, take another Tramadol and lay down till it kicks in. The bed and pillow will be wet but they were already dirty anyway.

When I'm feeling up to it put on a nightgown or some already ruined pj/yoga pants. Go back to the bathroom and change the tampon again and also put on a pad. Take some Tylenol, cry myself back to sleep. I don't sleep well as I try to stay aware of how it's feeling downstairs so I don't make a mess again.

Get back up. Change tampon/pad. Our plumbing is supposed to be able to handle tampons but I use so many in a day that it clogs it up. I have to alternate flushing and wrapping them up in tissue to throw away. Have to make sure the bathroom door stays closed so the dog doesn't try and find the blood. I check the time to see if I can take anymore Tramadol yet.

Call the nurse to let her know AF has arrived and update her on when I ovulated, wait while she asks Dr. E about this cycle's protocol. Ask for another Tramadol prescription. Find something on Netflix and lay back down because I hurt too much to do anything else. Probably cry some more.

Try to read, but can't concentrate because of the pain and the fuzzy feeling the drugs give me.

Try to play a video game but kill myself when an extra awful cramp catches me off guard.

Wish I was a man.

Wonder if I really want a baby. Maybe getting a hysterectomy isn't such a bad idea,

Restart whatever I was watching on Netflix because I missed most of it.

My little sister asks me to do something with her. Come play Just Dance with me! Let's go to the park! I can barely hobble from the couch to the bathroom. Can we watch a movie? Try to find something I've seen a dozen times so it won't matter if I can't pay attention.

Take more Tramadol/Tylenol as needed. It's always needed. Take as often as time allows.

Change tampon/pad every 3-2 hours. Sometimes less than half an hour. I always know when it's going to get really heavy like that as the cramps get worse. I bring my iPod into the bathroom and just lay on the tile floor in between changes as there's no point in leaving. In the summer I will take another shower and just sit in the bathtub with the water running, but we run out of hot water too fast in the winter.

Husband comes home, thank God! He can get me something to eat. I probably haven't eaten all day, takes too much effort. When the cramps get extra bad he will massage my abdomen in between my belly button and my pubic bone. It seems to help.

Scotty wants to play. He wants to go for a walk and smell all the smells and pee on all the mailboxes. I'm sorry, you can look at me with those big puppy eyes as much as you want, I can't do it. Try not to cry.

Go to bed early. All the medication makes me sleepy and hurting so much is exhausting. I'm probably getting to be anemic as well. Good thing I started taking iron. Make sure to change my tampon/pad and take more Tramadol before getting in bed. Hope I don't have to wake up too many times during the night.

It has taken me all day to write this. I'm not looking for sympathy. Really. But if I tell you I can't do X because AF is in town, believe me. Do not patronize me by saying, "Oh it's just cramps! Take a midol." Otherwise I'll probably bleed all over you.

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