Friday 17 April 2009

The Menses Monopoly (contains talk of PERIODS)

Following my Mirena Removal Ceremony (no party when I got home, though), I'm almost viewing this new found freedom as a new start. I'd made a list, albeit short, in my head of feats that were wholly achievable:-

- I shall drink more water.
- I shall embark on a yoga regime i.e. I'll do more than I do now, which is none. Since Mirena, my limbs seemed to have been replaced with dried out timber.
- I shall try (extremely hard) to get up at a "good" time: by 9:30am - believe me when I say this is a good time.
- I shall aim to prevent the accumulated items of clothing that need ironing at a height of no more than 2 feet.

At least, I thought I'd be doing those things by now, Sunday. But I am not. Though, yesterday I did more than in the last month, collectively. Presently, I feel so depleted of enthusiasm and oomph, even I, with my neurotic adoration of the English language, can not explain how tired I feel.

And of course, periods, will not always allow for the in-my-head list to be carried out. As I type, I'm still bleeding post-Mirena and still have some pains. Dammit Janet. I know some of you will know how it feels when you get that period indicator, that "Oh no... it's nearly here" feeling. But when I feel all right, I shall try to do all I can. Again. Not just to help my Ma but because it's good (dammit) for me to have a vague routine. Agh, do I not like that word: routine. Why did I just type it again if I dislike it so? On the assumption that the new tablets don't work - that's not pessimism but realism: I've been let down too many times after believing the hype of painkillers - I know I'll have, between proper periods, about four or 5 days either side of the mid-miniperiods. Potentially, then, as before, about ten days out of 5 weeks, let's suppose. Well, I'll suppose. I'll type and you can read...

Without medication, hell lasts about 10 days. With, it's 9 days. Whoo hoo. I'm not ungrateful for their help, just... tired. Generally. Often. The first day is light. But very painful and draining and heavy-in-the-everything and so, so horrible. The second proper day is the first heavy day, and the third and fourth days are the most painful, which translates as: I am disabled by horrific pains for at least three days and lovingly cared for by my beautiful Ma. She brings me my tablets (often placing them in my mouth because I can't even do that for myself), orange juice (Hello, I'm Lucy, I'm 27 and I'm the world's most useless tablet taker), hot water bottle, all I need to get by. She places my blanket over me to keep me warm so I can sleep if I need to, which is often at those times. And she stays with me when I feel I just. can't. cope. with it, when the agony is beyond reasonable, when I don't know what to do, when it should be more than a person can manage without passing out.

I usually stay on the sofa. We have a downstairs toilet - badly, cheaply, wonkily decorated in 1970s brown tiles - yes, it is as awful as it sounds. Actually, I don't think, unless you've seen it, that you can imagine how bad the tile work is. It's utterly dreadful. Downstairs is better than upstairs because upstairs is immediately at the top of the stairs and falling down those stairs is not something I wish to do. Ever. Unsteady + top of stairs = stay downstairs on sofa. Easy equation.

On the fourth day I can walk on my own! I know, I know, I shouldn't brag. Still akin to a duck with haemorroids, though, but an improvement all the same. A bird with arse trouble, if you will. Bearing in mind the amount of codeine I have to take in the days before and while I have a period, this is not an entirely untrue analogy.
And on day 6 or 7 of bleeding, I am virtually me again. Which is nice. But the then very mild indeed period pains change to pelvic pain. So then, I step down from taking co-dydramol (10/500mg) to take co-codamol (8/500mg). Day 11 is usually clear, then day 13 or 14 of my pattern (I refrain from using the term "cycle") is when I start bleeding again. Pelvic pain continues for a week or so. Maybe 2 weeks. Here's the fun part: I might then bleed for 3 days, have 2 days off then bleed again for 8 days. Or, after period, 5 clear days, 6 bleeding, 1 off, and back again for 7 days. Take your pick! I should start a lottery or bingo. Ah now. IDEA. No prize, just the knowledge that you know more about my body than I do.

When that mid-bleed finishes, I might be clear for a week or for 3, 12 days or 19. I have no idea. But what I do know is this: before I have finished the mid-bleed, I'm already premenstrual for the next proper period. You may know the symptoms: dizzy (thanks vertigo. Not the film, the condition. The film's brilliant.); headaches; waning appetite; frightening anger, sometimes; insomnia; my poor, tiny bust hurts like I've been kicked with steel toe-capped boots... Men - you lucky bastards. I have to wear a bra in bed. That old M&S one, actually... and like ALL of that is not bad enough - and it is - the proper period pains I get start between 3 days and 2 weeks before the bloody thing even arrives, if you pardon the pun.

And then it all starts - predictably and unpredictably - again. And so it goes on and on and on. If I'm very lucky I might "only" be removed from human living for a couple of days. At the worst, the doctor (not THE Doctor, unfortunately) or ambulance is that close *does thing with fingers to demonstrate closeness of situation arising* to being called to help... me... I wouldn't call, I can barely breathe at those times. As my cousin said the other day, I'm back to square one, which, in blistering honesty, is a fucking terrifying place to be. BUT as loathe as I am to say it, I'd rather be here than back there, at "Mirena says do not pass go". Or "Mirena says don't get up". Or is that Simon says? At least I know what square one is and what it means. I've been here before, I know this game. I think. Now where's that little Scottie dog...

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