The Smell Of Copper, The Taste Of Pain
Men. Squeamish Women. Family Members. You may wish to skip this post.
Aunt B. has blogged her period. I don't like to talk about my period, so I don't really quite know why I've decided to blog it.
Except I do. Quite simply, my period is the ghost of blood that is destroying my life.
I first menstruated in February, a few days after Valentine's Day and a few weeks before I turned nine years old. The pain started when I was in Jr. High. Most people thought I was faking the pain. And the vomiting. And the headaches that blinded me. The pain never went away. In my late 20s my doctors began prescribing Vicodin for the pain. On January 27, 2005 I had laproscopic surgery. That is the only way to definitively diagnose my disease. I have severe endometriosis.
What is that? Quite simply, the lining of your uterus doesn't stay in your uterus. Instead it grows wherever it chooses inside your body. It can grow on the outside of the uterus, or like me, it can move to your lungs, your kidney, your ureter and your bowel. In my case the adhesions contribute to the frequent formation of kidney stones--another painful ailment.
There is no cure for this disease. You learn to live with it. You learn to devour medical journals for promises of gene therapy. You learn to carefully watch a calendar for planning any activity. You learn to politely avoid meetings that take place on any one of six days each month. If you're lucky you can start a freelance business where you don't have to leave the house on those days. If you're blessed you have a spouse who understands and will go through the Walgreen's drive-thru for your narcotics.
It's not all bad, though. It teaches me patience where I didn't have any. It teaches me understanding for other types of pain. It teaches me appreciation for the people who study these things and try to find cures. It teaches me gratitude for those around me who lift me up in prayer, help me up the stairs to the television, make me laugh.
Why haven't I had a hysterectomy? Well, because I don't believe in drastic measures. Not to mention the fact that endometriosis returns in as many as 40% of women who have had total hysterectomies to combat the disease. Some people have endo like other people have brown eyes. It's just a quirk of your body.
Most women are fully functional during the days of their period. Menstruation isn't automatically a debilitating deformity. I despise it when people think women are automatically limited by their cycle. Most aren't. Those that are usually have a disease--just like some people have diabetes or a club foot.
IF you are a woman reading this, please have a laproscopy as soon as possible if you have more than three of the following symptoms:
--Pain during ovulation, intercourse or menstruation
--Nausea during menstruation
--Migraines prior to menstruation
--Diarrhea during or immediately after your period
--Abdominal bloating prior to or immediately following your period
--Radiant pain to your genitals, buttocks or thighs during your period
--Frequent Bladder Infection
There are several treatment options, both drug-related and surgical that can relieve your symptoms.
I'll be glad to answer any questions you may have.