I’m 43 years old.
I’ve had my period since I was, oh, geez—Summer between 6th and 7th grade? Or 7th and 8th? HOW DO I NOT KNOW THIS? I know it was right before going to a pool party at my friend Heidi’s house. And I was terrified of Toxic Shock Syndrome and tampons, so I fretted about wearing a maxi pad under my bathing suit (which I ultimately did.)
I know it wasn’t 6th grade, because I remember being in 6th grade social studies class, I had been carrying around feminine protection in my purse JUST IN CASE like a good girl would…and someone opened my purse and saw the pad and made fun of me for having my period, which I didn’t have. Kids are oddly mean.
Let’s just for the sake of math say I was 13 at the time which means I’ve had my period for 30 years. And during those 30 years I can count on two hands how many times I had “bad” menstrual cramps or other severe physical ailments along with “this time of the month.”
If I have cramps, they are mild. I’ve been regular all my life and even more so—-(this is the part where women reading might hate me) even more so I’ve been on the very light side of regular all my life. 2-3 days at the very most. Hardly anything to write home about. Incredibly. Lucky.
Now PMS on the other hand— I’m an overachiever in this category, my lack of physical pain is more than compensated for in this department. And despite being on a regular cycle for most of my life, I seem to be surprised when I realize two days after being INCREDIBLYWEEPYANDUBEREMOTIONAL that oh yeah, surprise, it’s just my period!
Over the past year I’ve had a few health problems. I’m trying to get things sorted out. During this time I’ve gone without my period for months at a time. First two months…and then almost 5. Early menopause? Perhaps? I don’t know if this is something to watch for or not genetically because my mom had a complete hysterectomy (uterine cancer) when she was—gulp, about the age I am right now.
A few years ago when HWMMS and I were in the exploring actively the baby angle I went for fertility testing….everything “looked normal for my age.” So the idea of early menopause would surprise me, but you never know.
LAST MONTH out of nowhere —SURPRISE! It came back. (I also realize this is after I’ve lost 20 pounds since December which might have something to do with coming back too…) And when I say came back I mean came back like I had all the ones I missed times 10 all at once. My back hurt, I was seriously crampy—had it for days and days and days. And not light either. A whole new world for me. I also noticed, lucky for me—that my cycle somehow came back with the full moon. (Whatever that means, I just know I see myself more emotional and someone pointed out full moon, so now I sort of watch for that.)
Well, the full moon this month happened a few days ago, and right on cue—-PAIN. But this time, it’s HEADACHE. Last night I thought most certainly it was all about my stress level. WHICH I’M CERTAIN IS PART OF IT TOO. Now that my mom is in the rehab facility, my body could let it’s guard down. But the headache didn’t go away. Not overnight either. I woke up this morning one unhappy camper.
And for some reason I used the Google Machine and discovered Menstrual Migraine is a real thing.
My God I’ve been one hell of a lucky woman the last 30 years.
Yep friends, this is 43.
One thing I know. I’m a wimp.
Another thing I know. I’m incredibly lucky to have a flexible, PT working situation. I didn’t go into the office today because currently, just looking out the window at the bright glare sends my head back into a shrill shockwave of unhappiness. But I’m able to work from home later and I can go in tomorrow instead, that is worth more than any hourly wage I could ask for.
I write this (in the dark with a filter on the computer screen because, it’s still…ow….) not just for myself and future reference, but because I wonder if there are other’s out there who have experienced something similar…and because well, why not talk about our periods?
(Something somewhere deep down told me I should write this, so I’m just listening to myself. It could be the migraine talking though…)