Once a month, my uterus explodes in a tsunami of blood and agony, leaving me screaming, anaemic, hovering on the edge of codeine addiction and utterly worn out. Oh hai endometriosis! (Note to self, time to run the gamut of harried NHS GPS, condescending gynae consultants and brisk cold-fingered nurses in pursuit of another laparoscopy to burn off the excess again. Unable to face the soul-sapping legions of bureaucracy thus far, I have once again left it far later than I should have but it’s hard to get a grip when it feels like you’re already being gnawed on by Jaws and it’s all just too much like the last straw when you’re racing to catch up with the week of work you were too tired, too fragile or just too fucking miserable to do during the crimson tide.)
I’m usually quite stoic about physical pain – living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, pain is almost a constant companion, whether it’s the stabbing needle of a displaced joint or the dull crushing ache of overcompensating muscles, most of the time I push on through with no more than a few grumpy moments. I could cope if it were just the sharkbiting. I could even cope with the ridiculous amount of flooding (you know that scene in Event Horizon where all the water tanks turn red then they burst and send Joely Richardson headfirst into a wall on a huge wave of blood? Then you have an idea of what sort of mess I’m talking about)
However, menstrual cramps don’t ride in alone; alongside them trots a posse of unwanted companions. Oh hai also to Fatigue, Brain Fog, Depression and Rage. The Four Horsepersons of the Periodpocalypse ride into Rosieville, shoot up the Sense Of Fun Saloon, empty the Hope Bank and skullfuck the Sheriff into a migraine before eating all the horses and pissing on the doorstep of the Good Times General Store.
Fuck those fun-wrecking, work-impairing, self-image-smearing bastards. I’ve tried dousing them with alcohol in the hope that they’ll pass out and feck off, but they’ll only start a bar fight in response and leave me even more trashed. Doping them doesn’t work either; they roll around soiling the mental cotton wool until there’s only grubby slush left. I get tired and defeated long before they do so running/walking/other-exercising them out of town isn’t an option unless I’m willing to open the door to their dreary cousin Exhaustion.
They call it Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder, I call it a massive fucking pain in the twat. Only another five days of this siege to endure and then I can start repairing the mental breakages, mending the professional fences and restocking the emotional cupboards. With any luck, I’ll have a week or so of peace and positivity before those bastards show up again.
Image credit: André Fougeron 1937
Update: I’m adding this post to the new ‘menstruation matters’ meme run by Sub-Bee – check out other posts on the topic of periods by clicking on the badge below