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Dysmenorrhea

I was diagnosed with Dysmenorrhea when I was fifteen years old. After missing at least one day of school a month because I was at home throwing up due to the extreme pain of my menstrual cramps, my mother finally cracked and took me in to get checked. I was put on birth control pills shortly after even though I was not sexually active because we were told the hormones in the pills would make my periods easier and boy did they! After three years of knowing I would be down for the count on a monthly basis, I was able to get my life back.

When I had my gallbladder removed a few years later I was checked out for Endometriosis but was told that it was a negative. She said I had beautiful ovaries. That reaffirmed the diagnosis of Dysmenorrhea, but all was good because I was on the pill, and life was golden.

As I got older and developed a nasty smoking habit I was less likely to want to take the pill due to the warning notices, and I eventually stopped taking them.

The cramps and symptoms came back almost immediately, and I was back to square one. This time I was missing work instead of school. Not cool, as I never got paid for going to school, but I did for work.

I quit smoking over a year ago, but now that I’m much higher up there in age the risk of stroke is still there. And to be honest, I had a system down. At the first sign of cramps, I would take a couple Advil, and it would usually snuff them out pretty well, as long as I got them right at the first twinge. I’d have all the other symptoms, but as long as I wasn’t puking from the pain I was able to live my day to day life.

It was on the days when the cramps snuck up on me while I was sleeping that were bad. If I wasn’t able to get the Advil into my system right away then nothing short of vomiting for awhile and then falling asleep would help. And honestly, there were days when the Advil just didn’t work. Thankfully these days were few and far between.

I had another bad day today. I’d been spotting for the last couple of days with some minor cramps. We went to my in-laws for breakfast and had a good time, but the cramps were starting to manifest at the tail end of the visit.

In true Kelly fashion I just hoped it was nothing and tried my best to ignore it, having no Advil on me and not wanting to cause a fuss. I took some when we got home, but it was too late.

Thankfully, I only threw up once and was able to put myself to bed with more Advil and a heating pad for an hour and a half. I only dozed in and out for a little while, but it was enough. I woke feeling a bit queasy still but with no more pain.

I’m not really sure why I’m writing about this right now. This isn’t my main journal where I pour most of my crazies onto the interwebs. I think it started as an excuse to validate why I only got a two mile run in over a three day weekend. I think though, in the end, it’s more of a means to get the word Dysmenorrhea out in the public a little more.

I think a lot of women have it and don’t even realize it is a health condition.

When I was a kid, I had no idea what was wrong with me. I’m certain my teachers and peers all thought I was faking since I hated school anyway. Great excuse…no one can actually PROVE you have cramps right?

When I was finally diagnosed, I had a name, but had no idea what it meant other than I could get birth control pills approved by my mom’s insurance.

As an older adult when it started to effect me again there was this glorious thing called the internet. I was able to type in the word and pull up the exact description of what had plagued me my whole life, print it out and show people.

The thing is; I still felt like no one really believed me. “Yeah Kelly, you get bad cramps, join the club. Isn’t Mother Nature a bitch? Do you actually think it warrants missing work?”

It might just be my own little paranoid mind; most things are. Sometimes I just get very worked up about something, and having to explain myself month after month to people that don’t understand or “get it” starts to piss me off.

This entry has nothing to do with weight loss, but it has everything to do with me freeing myself from the guilt I feel on a somewhat monthly basis when I simply cannot function without a heating pad and a puke bucket.

At any rate, it made me feel a little better to write it.

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