“There’s an enemy that brings us together and burdens us with a fate from which not even your relationship status (Facebook official or not) could spare you: having your period on Valentine’s Day.”Note: these words came from Sass and Balderdash. Tried to do a link but I think I failed. Read hers first.
Many a Valentine’s Day this has happened to me. It never failed to happen on a holiday or away from home. It was always unexpected and unpredictable. Often times I was not prepared for it to happen when I was younger. As I got older I became more aware of “that time”– however unpredictable it was and I carried with me all of the necessities twenty four hours a day 365 days a year.
My period was so heavy and painful that it was unbearable. I do not know how I survived my teens. It seemed like I was always in a corner of the room rocking myself while holding my abdomen. The pain was so great. I tried Midol and other over the counter medications but nothing seemed to alleviate the pain I was going through. Of course, back then, I was too embarrassed to talk to my mother about it. I did not try tampons till late teens about 16 years of age. I started one time on vacation with my family and the local general store did not have menstrual pads… they only had tampons. My mom tried to put the tampons in me but we ended up giving up so I was stuck bleeding on toilet paper for the rest of the trip. That trip was so embarrassing and I was so glad we were on our way home the next day.
As I got older I tried tampons again which was better than pads and when I was twenty one, I had a boyfriend who recommended I go on the pill to help with the cramps and the vomiting that had crept and gotten worse every year. I went and sure enough at that time and for ten years the pills worked for me. I had more control over the pain and a lot more control over the “time of the month”. I still had a heavy period which lasted for 7 days and less cramping. I finally had a period which happened once a month instead of twice. Sometimes it still hit the holidays but I was always prepared having developed the habit early in life. Or late teens anyway.
Once I hit my adult hood (late twenties to late forties) my period started to worsen slowly despite the birth control pills I was constantly on. While in my early forties I was taken off the pill due to health reasons according to my doctor at the time. so I tried a different method.. . the Mirena IUD which was supposed to stop you from having periods. It didn’t work. From the time I had it put in to two years later I bled every single day of the year. The doctors kept telling me my body would adjust and the bleeding would be less and only once a month if at all. My bleeding got heavier and heavier with clots full of blood. I tried birth control again and the pills had no effect whatsoever. I still bled every single day.
I was finally referred to a gynecologist who did an ultrasound and told me that I had a couple of choices. I could do a process that scraped the uterus to stop it from bleeding as much (I would still have periods and it may/or may not fix the problem) or a hysterectomy which definitely would fix the problem. I went for the latter.
I still feel the hormones raging once a month but I no longer flow which is good considering how much I kept overflowing and how many clots were coming out of me.
Fibroids, which every woman has are supposed to shrink as you get older—they grew as I got older instead. The three of them grew to the size of a baseball which stretched my uterus to the size of a coke can.
I am now only beginning menopause (premenopause if there is such a word) about three years later from the hysterectomy. My ovaries were left in but are starting to die like the doctor said they would as I got older. Although I was hoping I would start this in my sixties and not early fifties. I’ll be fifty in May. I’m starting the night sweats but have not progressed far enough to get wet sheets. Being a person who has always been cold in body temperature I am not now. Feeling a lot of hot nights and thus shedding a lot more clothing. I’m having a lot more highly emotional days than I am used to where I am just a wreck. Although that may be more stress than menopause but perhaps not. It’ll be a different phase of life than I am used to but perhaps I’ll become a more alluring being.