Feminism Fridays, anyone?
I’m still dithering about picking a theme for Friday posts, I’m thinking about having two and alternating… but until I actually commit to something I’m just going to post what I feel like.
Menstruation. It’s something that happens to women of a certain age. There are lots of factors that can affect it, and it varies a hell of a lot from person to person. What I want to talk about here is period pain.
This is something that has appeared in the news recently- more specifically, in the world of tennis.
Period pain is something that almost all women experience. It varies a lot from woman to woman, some experience very little and others are almost completely incapacitated by it.
Sadly, I’m one of the latter.
When I first started menstruating I was thirteen and my periods were few and far between- they were also relatively painless. As I got older this started to change, gradually they became more and more painful. The most drastic change came at about 3.00 am on New Years Day 2011.
I woke up suddenly in the early hours, because it was NYD I’d only just gone to sleep and so was a little disoriented. I remember being hit suddenly with the worst pain that I’d ever felt.
It felt as thought someone had taken a red-hot iron band and wrapped it around my womb. Pain usually comes in waves… this didn’t. It was one constant, burning, squeezing pain. I got out of bed and crawled across the landing to the bathroom. I remember feeling very panicked and scared.
I called out for my Mum who came and basically did nothing (tbf, there wasn’t anything she could have done…) the pain started to get worse- I should also point out that for all this time it hadn’t faded, not even for a second- I ended up being violently sick and passing out a couple of times. This went on for around two or three hours before it finally started to fade.
That was the first time that I had an ‘episode’ as I later nick-named them. I was fifteen and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve them. I think the worst year for them was 2013, but I don’t want to tempt fate by thinking that I’ve seen the back of them.
I’ve had them in the middle of town, in the shower, even in the middle of a dress fitting. They come on suddenly and there’s nothing I can do to stop them or make them any better. I’m usually sick and pass out. They last around an hour. I even needed an ambulance once.
Of course I’ve been to the Doctor about them, they gave me the strongest medication they had- which works great… for my ‘normal’ period pain. It has zero effect on my episodes. Both my Mother and Auntie went through exactly the same thing as me, they grew out of it as they got older- something that (touch wood) seems to be happening to me too.
Having these things has made me really understand the devastating impact of period pain, it’s something that I can’t talk about. I’m a very chilled and open woman, I talk very bluntly about most things… but I can’t talk about my period pain. I’m sure my friends and colleagues must think I have some terrible disease because of my vague descriptions about ‘passing out’ and ‘collapsing’ and ‘being in pain’ when I have to call in sick/cancel plans.
To the rest of the world the pain that I suffer through doesn’t exist, I’m not supposed to talk about it or even mention it… it’s such a stupid thing. We live in the 21st Century, yet we’re still too fragile to hear about ladies menstruating?
To all the women out there who suffer when ‘that time of the month’ rolls around; you’re not alone!
’til next time,