The Period began as expected on Sunday morning. By Sunday evening I was throwing up con brio despite the fact I wasn’t in that much pain – I’d taken my painkillers on schedule and before the pain got bad in the first place, like a sensible woman. As H said to me, handing me a glass of water to rinse my mouth with as I staggered forth from the bathroom for the fourth or fifth time, clearly my body knows it’s in a lot of pain even if we’re not letting my brain find out.
I still feel pretty nauseous today. Bah.
It’s not the not-eating I mind. But not being able to drink more than a tiny sip of water at a time, and those sips spaced out by hours, in case I trigger the ‘eject’ button again, that gets unpleasant. My lips are dry, my skin is beginning to itch and flake, I have a headache which persists despite the industrial quantities of diclofenac and tramadol in my system. I am losing a fair amount of fluids anyway, what with Cute Ute Of Doom’s immoderately lavish attitude to menstruation. This sucks.
On the Pollyanna side of the matter, I’ll take being nauseous and vomiting but in mild to moderate pain over being not-nauseous but in severe pain, and I’ll definitely take it over the unutterable hideousness of being in severe pain and puking my guts out, which is the modus operandi of choice if Cute Ute and her infiltrating accomplices aren’t bludgeoned into silence with opiates and NSAIDs.
This week is my birthday week. Normally, H and I book this week off and Go Away, and so we had done, until it occurred to H that given the regularity of my cycles, this was bound to be the week The Period would turn up and ruin everything, so we cancelled and rebooked and are now Going Away next week. We both felt very clever when we realised this cycle was going to follow precedent and our birthday holiday was not going to be spoilt by my innards and their appalling shenanigans.
Therefore, of course, a couple of days ago the In-Laws called us to let us know H’s grandmother (on his mother’s side, not the widow of the recently deceased and much missed Paternal Grandfather) had had a stroke, and wasn’t expected to last the night. This was a bitter-sweet painful relief, in a way, as she has severe dementia, and hasn’t been able to speak, let alone look after herself, for a long time. She doesn’t recognise her own children now. Last time I saw her, well over a year ago, she certainly didn’t recognise me (she’s known me for 20 years), and I’m not sure she recognised her grandsons. Since then, in her bewilderment and growing inability to communicate, the poor lady has been prone to rages, tantrums, wandering about the nursing home screaming in fright at two in the morning, trying to fight off her nurses in terror. It was horrific, and very, very draining and distressing for MIL. So when we heard she was dying, we, well, yes, we were, sort of, sadly, relieved.
However, my Grandmother-in-Law has the heart of an ox, and a particularly young and athletic ox at that. She’s still alive. Unconscious, and barely breathing, and they think the stroke has done a great deal of damage, but she’s alive. MIL and her sisters are spending every day by her bedside, and are slowly going to pieces, and every day she stops breathing, and every day she starts again all by herself (she has a DNR order). It’s so sad.
Of course, if she does die in the next few days, the funeral might well be during our holiday. H is making plans for car hire and such – we are going to holiday in the UK, we usually do – so we should be able to attend. It’s just, and yes, I know I am being colossally head-up-own-bottom by saying this, that I’d've liked a holiday for once where nothing did go wrong, and we weren’t banjaxed by sickness and death and grief and family troubles. Ah, well. C’est la mort.