Tuesday, March 25, 2008

me: 0 aunt flo: 2.5

**the following post might fall under the category of TMI (too much information) for some of my readers. it will discuss the pitfalls of having a uterus/vagina. thus - proceed at your own risk**

this is going to sound un-feminist in the extreme and probably sets the cause of feminism back about 50 years, but i think all women should have 2 days off every month from work, school, motherhood, from plain old life - no questions asked.

ever since i was lucky enough to start my period, it's been a nightmare. you'd think after 14 years of this monthly(ish) torture, i'd be adjusted to it and stop bitching. but such is not the case. i've missed 2.5 days this clinical year for being practically leveled by the cramps, backache, headache, and general hormonal fog that envelopes me the first 2 days of my period.

i've run the gamut as far as BC goes - the patch, the shot, the ring...all coming with more side effects (weight gain, depressive mood swings, WEIGHT GAIN) than they were ultimately worth. plus poor reactions to birth control run in my family. also - i don't like the idea (old-fashioned as this sounds) of manipulating my body's natural(ish) cycles with hormones. it seems unhealthy.

because i can't be anyone else besides myself, i don't know how bad other women have it. i do know that i'm somewhat wimpy. but i also know that my cycles have been prone to lasting 2 weeks uninterrupted, that on the first day, i regularly blow through a super tampon in under 15 minutes repeatedly, and that my waxing/waning migraines are directly related to my periods. fibroid uterine tumors also run in the females of my family - making periods particularly difficult and heavy. mine have never been regulated. recently, they've been somewhat reliable -showing up every 35-40 days. in undergrad and through the first 2 years of vet school, i'd skip a month or 2 quite regularly, guaranteeing that when my period did come round again, it was brutal. if i didn't want kids, i'd have it all ripped out.

in case you missed the implications, i stayed home from school today. i feel terrible about it, because i left my rotation mate alone on oncology - a super-busy service. plus, tonight is our night to work emergency. it's not just the period though, i'm also sick with the head crud. last night was a misery. i woke at 1:30am (after going to bed around 11pm) with stunning cramps that no amount of midol and tylenol could subdue. i crawled to the couch with my heating pad and lay there trying not to cry. i finally fell asleep around 3am. when my alarm sounded at 6:45, i tried to get up. i really did. i dragged myself to the bathroom to shower, but then i realized that no amount of convincing myself i felt better was actually going to make me feel better (or more rested). so i called said rotation-mate, who is very empathetic - and here i am - at home. i actually showered and dressed and headed to school for emergency duty at 4:00pm, but halfway there, i was notified that someone was working emergency for me. so i'm back...sitting on the couch...feeling like a slacker and a whiny female. after all, don't we all have to deal with it?

the one thing that makes me feel doubly bad about all this bitching is the fact that i found a cure for my female problems, and i'm not using it. the summer before last, when i ran the 5k, i found that regular exercise made my cycles regular, less painful, and shorter. it's the only thing that has ever worked for me. i have no idea why and ever since i've stopped exercising, they've been bad again. this is my resolution (once this nightmare week is over) to start exercising again - regularly - if for no other reason than to beat my period back into submission.

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