Today’s topic is about exercising during menstruation, and if the subject icks you out, my apologies, but I’m a woman, I menstruate, and I exercise, so it seems like an appropriate subject for me to write about today. Especially since I spent a good part of last week completely laid out by a visit from Aunt Flo.
I have never had an easy time with my period, even when I was young. It was always painful and messy and it made me miserable for a bout 5 days or so out of every month. I got some relief during college when I started on the pill, but when I went off the pill to get pregnant, the misery came back with a vengeance. And then of course, I spent four years dealing with hormone therapy so I could finally get pregnant, and then did more hormone therapy to have child number two, and then went back for another few rounds of hormone therapy in an attempt to have child number three that did not succeed, so you know my hormones are all screwed up. Add to that the fact that I had a bit of a scare last year when I had a pap smear come back with abnormal results that led me to briefly think I might have cervical cancer. Fortunately, it turned out I didn’t have cancer, but I do have hyperplasia, which means the lining of my uterus is rather a mess and that’s why one week out of every month I feel like my girl parts are doing their damnedest to turn themselves inside out and kill me in the process.
Are you icked out yet, or are you still with me? Good! Let’s continue.
So anyway, one week out of every month is rather unpleasant due to bleeding and intense cramping. But I’ve learned to live with it. Every now and then though, I get a really bad period, and by bad I mean BAAAAAAAAD! It starts a few days before the actual bleeding begins. My knees start to hurt to the point where I have problems getting up and down the stairs. I get a bad case of insomnia. My stress level seems to go through the roof. I get paranoid and can’t seem to pull myself out of a really crappy mood. And then the actual period hits like a sledge hammer. I end up crippled by cramps to the point where I can’t stay on my feet for any length of time. And my energy level just plummets. This is what happened to me last week, and damn was it miserable. To top it off, the kids were home from school on Thursday and Friday and the Hubster and I had a two-hour black belt review on Saturday. I had to drag myself through everything, from getting out of bed to wake up the kids to making meals and getting dressed. I’m still not sure how I made it through the black-belt review. My knees hurt so badly they were affecting my stances and balance.
How is a gal supposed to cope with periods like that? I got through it by spending most of Thursday in bed with a heating pad drapped over my abdomen and a double dose of Alieve in my system. I spent a lot of Friday the same way. I did get up and move around on Saturday, obviously, but I paid for it on Sunday by being completely wiped out. Then I spent most of last night tossing and turning whilst wrestling with insomnia before finally drifting off into some really weird and intense dreams that still have me gasping for breath even now at noon today.
The good news is, I finally seem to be free of the worst of the symptoms. I’ve got some energy back and my knees feel much better. Also, those dreams from the wee hours of dawn this morning have been typed down into the form of a rough outline for a story, so some good did come out of all that tossing and turning last night. The bad news is, this will all probably happen again at some point. Maybe not the next period or the one after that, but it will eventually hit me, and I’m wondering if there’s anything I can do about it.
The last time I discussed this with my doctor, he recommended burning out the lining of my uterus, a suggestion that sent me climbing up the walls of the examing room like a cat on acid visiting the vet. No way was I going to let someone burn out the lining of one my girl parts! But now, after having gone through a couple of really miserable periods this year, I’m starting to wonder if it might not be such a bad idea. I’ll need to ask the doc about the insomnia and knee pain and see what side effects I may be looking at, but if it will somehow help with all of that as well as eliminate the painful cramping, I may tell him to do it right then and there.
We’ll see. The fact is, I’m a busy gal on the go these days, and I have no desire to be slowed down by gawd-awful periods. I certainly don’t want to be laid out flat again like that. I lost three days of work and two days of exercise to my goddam period, and that’s not something that makes me happy. I’m willing to consider my options now and see what I can do to prevent this from happening again.
So, anyone else have any thoughts? Suggestions? Or are you so totally icked out that you’ll never come back to this blog again? No? Good! Come back for next week’s Move It Mama Monday and I promise we’ll discuss something far less gruesome, like the slug I found crawling in my frying pan last night. Or not.