The tag line for this blog includes “unfiltered .. and emotionally raw”, and that’s what’s about to happen now. *Spoiler Alert* It’s pretty gross and also long. You have been warned.
I’m back in bed now, after a terrible experience this morning at my exercise class. But first a little back story.. Rewind about 5 or so years when my periods finally became regular after literally a lifetime of irregularity. The other shift that happened at that time was that the first couple of days were what ladies generally call “heavy”. So cycle day 1 and 2 were like that and then the rest of the days tapered off from there. Then, over the last couple of years things have progressively gotten worse for that “day 1” and shorter and less for the rest. Now, on a “normal” month, I have 1 day of hell to go through and after that, it’s over. So really, my actual period lasts about 1-1.5 days. Sounds really great, but I’m not exaggerating when I say that 1 day is hell.
I’m talking about what seems like an abnormally large amount of blood and blood clots that range in sizes from a cherry to a plum. In 2013 I had my first really bad experience with this and was, of course, stuck at a hospital with a client with no transportation of my own and meetings all day (because, Murphy’s Law). Thankfully, I was able to handle that one with wads of toilet paper stuffed into my pantyhose and a nice long hot shower once I was back at my hotel.
Last year I had one that was so bad, I had to change my tampon and pad about every 20 minutes for like 6 or 7 hours straight and I was so freaked out I called the answering service for my primary care doc. The doctor on call told me that it was unusual and loss of blood can be an issue and that if I felt light headed I should go into the ER. Now I’m not sure if the feeling I had was lightheadedness, but my mind was convinced that is what it was so I went to the ER. The entire time I was there they made me feel soooo stupid for presenting with “my period” as a problem and dismissed the low iron because i have a history of low iron in my chart. Nothing like crying alone with your legs spread open on an exam table. I was sent home with a recommendation to talk to my OBGYN. Which, of course I did.
She said it’s normal as you get older for things to get heavy. I try to explain the amount of blood it is, but how can you do that without actual measurements to rely on? I still think it seems abnormal but I trust her expertise. She offered, for the umpteenth time, to start me on birth control pills. To this, I say emphatically, “no thanks”. I could do an entire “soap box” blog post about that subject, but not now.
All I can say about this “issue” is that it is something you learn to deal with the best way that you can, because it’s really not something you can control. Over the past few years that is exactly what I have done and am generally always prepared. Prepared and willing to sacrifice about a half a day bound to my house, because being somewhere else gets complicated. This brings me back to today.
I have an 8:30AM low-impact aerobic/strength training class that I do almost every Sunday morning. I knew I was on the verge of day 1 but unsure exactly when it would hit. It hit during the class. 30 minutes in I could feel my workout pants were getting moist and in the next 15 minutes I knew it was bad. I had to leave class and go to the restroom and stayed in there for the remainder of the class. It was like the entire contents of my uterus all came out at once. Luckily, I was wearing slick black pants so no one else would notice. My friend Leah is the instructor of that class and I wanted to hang back after class and talk with her about my interview on Friday but I was about to loose it emotionally as well so I had to make a quick exit. Nothing like sitting on towels driving home so you don’t ruin your car. The entire thing was just unnerving.
I just cried all the way home. The emotions started to swell up, and then could not be contained. All these questions I have about my last relationship that STILL don’t have answers. All the wondering and heartache and anger. Why does my body do this and what did I do to deserve this loneliness. It’s all mixed up together and the lines of where one thing ends and the next begins are blurred by my tears. I want answers but I’m afraid of the answers.
That’s it. I want answers but I am afraid of the answers. I just don’t know what to do about all of that.
For now, I’m just going to be grateful for black workout pants and for the fact that today is Sunday and I can stay at home and in bed for the rest of the day.