So here’s the skinny of the whole thing…take a sharp knife. Stab it into your lower abdomen once every ten to fifteen minutes for three days straight.
Strap a baby mattress into your panties to collect the three gallons of goop falling out of you. Make sure you’re within running distance of a bathroom at all times for reasons that NOBODY wants to talk about.
Wait for people to make jokes like, “Never trust anything that bleeds for five days straight and doesn’t die.” Bloody Hell!
Huge NSFM warning here, folks…basically if you’re male, just walk away. Walk. Away.
Periods suck for everyone. No joke. I get that. But mine have sucked especially hard since I was fifteen.
It’s like once a month, every single month for 276 straight months, my body has tried to kill me from the inside out. As I’m writing this, I’m going through it all over again.
Pain so strong that if I had a time machine, I’d shiv Eve So Fast the entire human race would be wiped clean. Not. Even. Kidding.
I was first diagnosed with endometriosis when I was 20, and had my first surgery for it when I was 23. The most effective treatment for endometriosis?
Have a baby. One of the most frustrating aspects of endometriosis? It sometimes makes it so you can’t have babies. (insert maniacal laughter here)
But let’s step away from my personal…issues…and think back to when it all began…
That was me. At eleven. Wishing it’d get here already. Boy do I wish I could go back and set that little jerk straight.
No one warned me back then about how awful it can be. Sure, I got the basic talk…the one we all get where we’re squirming, trying to look at anything other than our mother, wishing we could just go outside and play already.
But no one told me how many things can go wrong, or hurt. Or just suck. Women, why don’t we talk about this?
I mean, we say things to each other like, “It’s ‘that time’ for me.” Or, “Aunt Flo is here…” Or, “Dealing with TOM again.”
But it’s like we’re all trying to avoid it the same way we did when we were eleven.
I am writing all of this because I’m fast approaching the big 4-0 (a whole other post, I promise), and I’m already showing signs of perimenopause. Another thing no one talks about. Things are…happening…to my body. Things I didn’t know to expect.
I can’t blame my mom, either. She had endometriosis, too. Only, she had it back in the 80’s when they still thought it was a form of cancer. Because she had a complete hysterectomy she can’t even guide me through this weird-as-(insert expletive here) things that are happening.
Flooding. Any of you know what that is?
So last month I woke up, thinking I was having one of my normally awful periods, and then very quickly realized I was dying. I wasn’t in pain (other than the stabbing, of course), I didn’t feel light headed, nothing like that, but I was hemorrhaging. I’m talking an avalanche of blood.
I didn’t even realize it at first. It sounded like I was still peeing, and when I went to wipe, that’s when I knew I was about to die in my bathroom and I hadn’t even brushed my teeth yet.
What I’m talking about is up to 1/3 cup of blood lost in one giant swoosh and sometimes so much bleeding that it’s very nearly impossible to leave your own home.
Not even exaggerating, up to two cups or more of blood loss during one period. That’s flooding. Apparently a very normal part of perimenopause, and nothing to worry about (though it can be managed). And I had no idea.
Basically, my friends, I’m writing this as a plea to all of you. Let’s start talking. Seriously. About this. About our periods. About the different crap that happens with our bodies.
Bloody Hell! We have daughters who are not prepared for the world they were born into because it’s still such a taboo subject to talk about. C’mon, ladies.
We HAVE to change that. I know, I know, we can all read about anything we’re wondering about online but that can’t be the only answer. We have to start a dialogue. And we have to start it now. Have to.
Because calling 9-1-1 and being rushed to an ER for hemorrhaging only to have a 12-year-old male doctor avoid looking you in the eyes as he tells you, “This is normal,” is NOT how you want to find out about these things.
Trust me. I know.