Period. (Or Menstrual Cycle If You Prefer)
Hey folks! This past week was such a long week for me and I’ve been debating sharing this story on the blog due the nature of the content as well as the TMI (too much information) factor, but here goes.
Every woman at some point in her life is faced with the gift and curse of a menstual cycle. It’s a gift of course because it eventually becomes essential in giving birth to children. However it can be a curse (a bit of an exaggeration but bear with me) when it is a hassle each and every single month. Some women, whom I envy, have simple cycles. Some women are only on their cycles a couple of days and others have a tiny to medium flow.
For me specifically, I happen to have a hard time during my cycle each month as I’m sure my mother, husband, friends and co workers can attest to. But before my cycle even begins, I’m plagued with PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) which happens generally the week before my cycle.
Symptoms of PMS include mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability, and depression, but mine are usually the mood swings and irritability- I don’t want to be bothered with crap, mess or foolishness from anyone and it is uncontrollable. It’s like someone turns off my happy switch. I’m more snappy and sarcastic than usual without even trying for almost a solid week, and I most times feel exhausted. By the time this emotional roller coaster week is done and I have cried about something as small as not having any plastic utensils in my desk drawer so I can eat my yogurt— then my cycle actually begins.
Here is where it gets pretty intimate, my online family and maybe a good time to bail out if you’re not here for the over sharing. You have been warned…….. (Pausing to give you time to leave)…. Still here? Ok.
My cycles are like…. World War II in my uterus, the movie Saw, and whatever bloodbath you have witnessed on or off screen. It last a full six to seven days with enough blood to furnish a blood bank. I know that’s not possible, but if it were, I’d be a Saint for my generous contributions monthly. I have wondered on many occasions how I am still alive. I mean if anyone else lost the amount of blood that I do from a random accident they’d be rushed to the hospital!!!!! Immediately!!! You remember when Caine and his cousin Harold were shot at the red light in Menace II Society? Picture it, yet? Yep…..
Seriously. I use super plus tampons from Tampax and Always Infinity heavy flow pads with wings at the same time and I HAVE to change them out every two hours or I’m going to be embarrassed and have to go home to change my clothes. At night, I literally set my alarm for every two hours because again- it won’t be a good look to mess up my clothes or my sheets. For two days out of the week, I do suffer from cramps and back pains- but it’s the least of my worries.
I was taking birth control and it did help the heaviness of my cycle, but it no longer worked with my future plans. The birth control made my blood pressure sky high and with the possibility of having a baby (just conversation so don’t read too much into that) and being a woman of a certain age continuing to alter my body is no longer a good idea. But if it wasn’t for the thought of a possible offspring- I would definitely get a hysterectomy. Take it all away! I sure would, wouldn’t you?
I digress. At the end of the day, well week in my case, no one (except my close friends and family) has any genuine compassion for what I’m going thru which leads me to wonder am I the only women with such a vicious cycle? The level of commitment that I put into booking events, outings and especially vacations around my cycle is insane. I have tried very hard to avoid scheduling a vacation near or during my cycle. Consider this, giving blood can make anyone weak and sometimes lightheaded- so just imagine my energy level after an entire week of a continual horrific crime scene.
I wish that Donald or Hillary (I’m guessing one them will be our next President) would implement a week off each month for women who have this condition- the over zealous uterus. I would gladly work a 10 or 11 hour day the rest of the month so I could be off for my week of “mourning” –or at least have the option to work from home that week. It is really tough on my life and beyond my control. I hate being moody, but it just happens. Often when I’m not my usual happy and bubbly self due to my cycle some people are offended and take it personal. They think that I am acting funny or serving shade when I’m not. And I just keep to myself. I don’t want to keep saying all day or all week, “Look. I’m on my cycle ok? It is so heavy and my ovaries and uterus are fighting a gang war inside of me for the second consecutive day so I happen to be feeling a little moody, weak and not in the mood for tomfoolery, if that’s ok with you, and please don’t hold it against me later.” No one wants to hear that every month. I know some people (bc someone said this to me before) feel like I should be used to it- but I’m not. It is uncomfortable each and every time. When you hit your small toe on the bed post randomly- it hurst each time, right?
I hope this lengthy and informative deeper look into my menstrual cycle will shed a little light for anyone who thinks cycles and PMS are just excuses to be moody or an excuse to avoid various events.
It is a week long reminder that I am a woman and that I am expected to maintain all jobs and duties, attend all business and social events, workout and be happy all while losing blood for seven consecutive days no matter how many cramps I’m experiencing nor how I’m feeling. Take it easy on the women who complain about their cycles and PMS, they probably aren’t looking for sympathy for their discomfort, just making a little understanding