When I was a girl at boarding school, my peers used to bond by sitting on each-other’s beds and discussing periods (and later boys. And eyeshadow) at great length. I loved these conversations, even though I was the last in my dormitory to get to join in and spent most of them sat outside the magic Grown-Up Girl circle earwigging furiously. It was thanks to these conversations that I knew that periods varied from person to person and month to month, what period pains were and where they were ( I think my mother had given me the impression they were a sort of headache), that the blood could be brown or dark or clotted, light or heavy, and none of this should panic a girl, how to get hold of tampons, how to know if you’d got one in properly (not that I’ve mastered that yet…). And when, at last, my own periods started (at the age of thirteen and a half), I could feel smug and womanly. It was wonderful.
(Of course, my body then decided that it couldn’t be having with all this bonding and normality and went Completely Tonto on me, and I think in my life I have had about six normal periods, alas, but hey, it was good for the few months it lasted).
And now, one of the things I cherish most about the Infertility blogging community is the recreation of that charmed circle, all of us different, all facing the same Big Issue together, sharing, so we can all know we are not alone, and that we are not freaks. That it isn’t the way the cute books and their pink diagrams said it would be. That it is unpredictable. That only those that have Been There really get it. That by Being There we can nevertheless educate those lucky others as well as each other.
Thanks to you lot, I know what to expect at my HSG tomorrow. I am braced for pain, but am optimistic. I have my trusty nurofen on stand-by, and my even trustier husband has taken the afternoon off work in case I need a hand to crush. And then maybe I can get some answers from some doctor or other, who might even take my endless bleeding problem seriously. (I’d also like them to take my unusually low basal body temperature seriously, and check out my thyroid. I know I should be concerned about Endometrial Hyperplasia and anaemia. I know I need to knee the next doctor who tells me all I need to do is lose weight right in the happy sacks. And then ask them how I’m supposed to do all this exercise they keep going on about when I’m on one tampon an hour? And then maybe dance on their fallen torso while shouting ‘See? I’m exercising now, damn it!’)
Ahem. Calming right down and moving along.
Where was I?
Ah yes. The community of menstruators I briefly joined as a teenager, definitely shared Too Much Information. And this was a Good Thing. All the bloggers out there also sometimes share too much information. And this is a Good Thing. So I totally, utterly stand by my last post, gore and all. If I don’t post about the gore, I won’t be telling the not-cute-pink-diagram version. In my own particular case, many people know PCOS means few periods, mustaches, and tubbiness, and that it can be ‘cured’ by not eating biscuits. Some people know it’s not as simple as diet and will-power. Hardly any seem to know about estrogen dominance, dysfunctional bleeding, ovarian pain, and insulin resistance. And so, though I would sooner eat my own body-weight in acrylic than discuss this with most people, including gynaecologists, I bloody well will blog about it.
So bloody there.
In a spirit of sisterhood, of course.