I’m bleeding, making me the victor.

Aaaand this morning my period had started.

So. Well. That’s that, then.

Because the combination of mefenamic acid and tramadol seemed to keep the weeping in a pale-grey heap to a minimum last time, I was all set to go to work today anyway. I got dressed in a freshly ironed shirt (ta, H) and everything. But I had clean forgotten (or blanked utterly from my traumatised mind) that on the first day of my period, the prostaglandins gang up on my lower bowel while they’re at it.

So I spent the morning sitting on the loo instead.

And I also managed to ‘forget’ that the tramadol pretty much knocks me unconscious. Afternoon spent alternately whimpering ‘Ow-ow-ow’ and dozing off.

Gentle Readers, at least, those of you who also have adenomyosis/endometriosis/severe dysmenorrhea, how the hell do any of you manage work and family and so on? I am just, repeatedly, floored by it. Kaput. Broken. Ow. Drugs strong enough to even dull the pain also turn me into a zombie. I think I must be the most colossal and spineless wimp. Like the worst kind of whining six-year-old super-special-snowflake princess crossed with an earthworm.

I said to H, this morning, ‘how badly do you want more than one child? Because if I do get to full-term, I am seriously considering an elective caesarian and demanding they do a hysterectomy while they’re at it’. And H looked sad and worried and made me a cup of tea.


18 responses to “I’m bleeding, making me the victor.

  • twangy

    Unfortunately no help to offer on the survival of the periods from hell. I used to get them in my teens, in the lying on the tiles sweating and groaning way you speak of – but the pain lessened over the (vast number of) years since then. (Apparently pain is not a good indicator of severity in endo, so the ChildDr told me.(.?) And in some cases pain receptors get sort of switched off in some way by the body. Sadly not in all cases.)
    ANYWAY, what I wanted to say was: I am really sorry that you must be reminded that you are not pregnant in such a painful and debilitating way. And it’s surely not you – you are NO wimp. Fervent wishes all this will be over with SOON, (for 9 months to start with, say? That’d be so nice.)

  • womb for improvement


    I have no idea how you cope. And I’m with Twangy – hoping to kick the period to the curb for nine months. By which time you’ll have forgotten how bad it was so won’t remember to ask the Doc for the double op.

  • a

    Apparently, very few of my nerve endings route back to my central nervous system. That makes me feel very lucky.

    I’m with everyone else – hope you’re soon on your way to having a good long time without this nonsense…due to a resident (or two!) who gives you all kinds of other trouble (uh, let me be more specific there – kicks and punches, and settling a little head on your bladder so you never venture farther than 20 feet from a toilet…that kind of trouble.)

  • katie

    That would be an “ow but I don’t know what to do about that” from me.

    (and check your FB messages)

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    Oh, fuckity bugger with extra arse. NOT the news that I ordered for you.

    *I* was thinking of quizzing *YOU* how you got on with your prescription drugs! I was planning on headng back to my GP and giving him his codeine back. You are NOT a spineless wimp! You want snowflake? THIS http://twitter.com/Hairyfarmer/status/21346304355 is snowflake!

    I had been getting on reasonably well with ibruprofen, so naturally I discovered at 9pm when all the local shops had shut that I was all out of it, with only codeine and two paracetamol tablets left to see me through. The codeine made me hellish discombob, and didn’t really take the pain down enough to let me sleep. I was too zombie-like to get to the shops the next day, and was too zonked to put an order in for a hubby-shops run before the wheat dried out and turned me into a harvest widow, so it took another day & night of rolling about in pain before I got it together enough to send John for MOAR DRUGS first thing the next day. By which time it was going off anyway.

    I then *just* had to cope with the agonising constipation, followed by an Entire Week of my body’s stock reaction to constipation, which is acute diarrhoea.

    And I moaned and whinged and felt sorry for myself and muttered ominously about my eventual hysterectomy (and the Massive ‘I Won’t Miss You’ party I am going to have the night before I go in for it. You’re both invited, btw.) all the way through. It hurts like a proper, proper fucker, and I don’t have the answer, lovey.

    (I dangle a faint thread of bittersweet. More bitter than sweet, truth be told, but it’s the only vague positive I can think of. Pushing babies out with nothing except gas & air after these sort of cramps is perfectly do-able. I had a trapped nervey-type pain right towards the end (two utes + borked ligaments + full bladder + Harry’s head = Captain Caveman) but after years of regular seriously debilitating pain, the actual cramping and pushing just weren’t the Big Scary everyone was talking about.)

  • Betty M

    No help at all on how to deal other than to say that pronged codeine use gave me constipation more painful than anything I have ever experienced including childbirth and the bloody ruptured appendix. Given that you have been coping with this month after month and retain a sense of humour suggests you are absolutely not a snowflake.

  • Solnushka

    Oh bah! Again. That is carp. Get thee to a swimming pool of coffee this instant. How utterly pants, even if you half expected it.

    I don’t think that any pain which so clearly menifests itself in physical symptoms as yours does can possibly be said to be something which you are a snowflake for reacting to.

    HFF is right though. Labour pains will be as nothing. Which is another plank shoring up the ‘May is stoical beyond belief and not at all vapourish’ thory, but not a terribly cheerful sort of thought. Not much should be worse than labour pains.

  • Korechronicles

    Ticking all three of your boxes there I am at a loss to advise you as to how to cope. The only pluses from the gynaecological torture I endured over 17 years came from the late start to my periods (17yo) and the hysterectomy at age 44. And I put off the hysterectomy for 6 bleeding, pain-filled years because…well, I’m not sure why now but it must have made sense at the time. Although the constant ingestion of pain killers and sundry other pharmaceuticals in an attempt to cope may have had a deleterious effect on my decision making circuits.

    I have a vivid memory of Life Partner driving me to a 24 hour clinic at 4 in the morning to try and get help only to meet with Bitch Medico from Hell By Way of the Sub-Continent who thought I was being overly dramatic. Like you I have copious amounts of Stiff Upper Lip and Not Making a Fuss, just agreeing to see a doctor that morning was a Giant Step Forward – writhing in agony, crying to the point of hysterical hiccuping, clammy, nauseated, unable to walk, chalk white and bleeding like a stuck pig – apparently all put on so I could get one of those blissful injection thingies. So much for the support of the sisterhood.

    And I so hear you with the work and time-off issues. You can’t talk about what the real reasons are for the sake of privacy, good manners and TMI – to say nothing of the fact that all my library colleagues were of the XY persuasion and would have fled at the speed of light had I gone into detail.

    My usual long-winded approach to try and reassure you that you are so NOT a snowflake. This uterine trifecta from Hell brings tears to the eyes of the toughest and strongest of women. Of which you’re one!

    Sending a virtual hot water bottle and the strongest of liquor.

  • wombattwo

    In the good old days, before my uterus was ruined by a silly gynaecologist, and even before I had a mirena coil put in 5 years before that (so in the really old days) due to heavy and painful periods (incidentally worked quite well – not so good on the baby-making front though) I had horrible periods too. I’d quite like them back though, but that’s another story… I used to vomit, faint, spend hours curled up on the bathroom floor etc.
    Now, I do have a suggestion. I know you’ve tried diclofenac, but have you tried PR diclofenac? (As in shove it up your bum twice a day?) It worked for me, and seems to be far, far, far better for period pains than the oral kind, which quite honestly, did bugger all. It works quite quickly and doesn’t make you zonked-out.
    And for my own randomised-controlled trial (well sort of..): hysteroscopy, polyp removal and other stuff with no PR diclofenac – woke up writhing and sweating and swearing in pain. Nurse came and gave me some – sat up and eating and talking coherently in 15 mins. Same procedure with PR diclofenac given whilst under – woke up in no pain whatsoever.
    Worth a go, anyway, if you haven’t tried it already. I even have some I could give you but its in Australia so not sure it’s that helpful.
    (by the way 100mg twice a day).

  • Cheryl

    I used to pray that I would die! Obviously, that didn’t work! Pregnancy and then, menopause were what took away the pain. My mother’s doctor once prescribed muscle relaxants. I took one and went to dinner in my college cafeteria. Thirty minutes later, I was running to my dorm. I made it to the lobby bathroom wondering which end to stick in the loo. Whoever cleaned up after me that evening probably remembers it as the worst night of his/her life.

  • MFA Mama

    Oh, honey. I have to say, reading your posts gives me flashbacks and I always do take a moment afterward to be thankful for my hysterectomy. Because YE GODS, the pain, and oyyyy the blood loss, and oh, I felt like SUCH an arsehole going to the ER the last time I had to. Until they told me I’d bled down to the threshold for transfusion and insisted on giving me a few bags of fluids before they’d let me leave.

    Also, not to burst your bubble, but when I had my third child (four years BEFORE the hysterectomy) I begged my OBGYN to do a section and “just pull him out WITH the uterus, like a pea in a pod, and shuck the fucking thing into the trash,” but she very earnestly explained that they only do that in life-or-death emergencies due to the risk of…wait for it…excessive bleeding.


  • carole

    I’m so sorry. Even a ‘normal’ period feels like nature taking the piss when you are hoping it won’t come at all, but a period the like of which you describe…..:-O

    Do what you have to do and bugger “functioning” for a bit. I personally would be spending all my time in a hot bath. Only make sure H is about to prevent the falling asleep and drowning thing.

  • everydaystrange

    As someone who used to bleed like the proverbial stuck pig and rock back and forth in a steaming hot bathtub begging for the cramps to just f*cking kill me already, I got your back. Unfortunately, very little can be done. I found codeine most unhelpful as it would help the cramps but make me puke like the Exorcist, which didn’t really help the bleeding. Ultimately I found with bleeding that your best friend is going to be the bichon frise of tampons – the Lil-Let’s Super Plus Extra tampon, the queen mother of menstruation products. You will want to double that up with an Always Maxi Night pad, made to soak up but really a giant, unmovable nappy.

    Back rubs help. I found lavender hot pads helped.

    Someday, there can be a Mirena in your future. For now, I give advice on Bichon Frise and much love to you and H. It’s Month One. It’s an early count. We’re all here for you, love.

    • May

      I have been known to try, discreetly, to ask the chemist if they have, you know, anything BIGGER than the Super Plus Extra, which she denied with the horrified haste of someone who sincerely suspects they’ve just been asked for some kind of masturbation aid.

  • nh

    I haven’t unfortunately got an answer for you, I wish I did. Strong pain killers, curling up in bed with a hot water bottle, and sobbing to myself seemed to work for me!

  • manapan

    I’m very sensitive to pain medication. Usually 800 mg of ibuprofen every three to four hours can dull the pain enough for me to get out of bed. When that doesn’t work, I raid my husband’s stash of prescriptions for his carpal tunnel and back injuries. I know–I am either incredibly lucky or just a wimp when it comes to pain. (Given that I walked on a broken ankle for a month until I could afford to have it looked at, I think lucky is more likely. đŸ™‚ )

    I work nights alone, so it doesn’t matter if I spend most of my shift on the floor in a heap as long as the hour’s worth of financial paperwork gets done and breakfast is out on time. I’ve also found that a combination of heat and pressure works well for me. I fill a backpack with books and set it on top my heating pad, which is of course in the usual place.

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