Hi Spookies! I wanted to talk about what it's like to struggle with heavy periods, as it can be completely debilitating and yet it's something society pressures us to not talk about. Going to say now that this post will contain very graphic talk about periods and associated symptoms so if that's not for you, I'd stop reading now.
|really amused myself with the font choice, heheheh.|
My periods have gotten progressively worse since I was around 17. Before then, I really had no problem with them, but by the time I got to university, they became so bad I couldn't leave the flat. Recently, they have become so unbearably painful that I have nearly been hospitalised. The only reason I wasn't is that the pain began to fade after a lengthy call with the amazing NHS 111 service, just as they were about to send an ambulance.
The average period for me is so heavy that I can leak through a night-time sanitary towel within less than an hour, and often contains not just blood, but chunks of tissue. Not blood clots, actual fleshy tissue. Which is nothing short of terrifying when it happens, and makes leaving the house incredibly difficult as there's a very real chance of me leaking blood through to my clothing before even reaching my destination.
Frequently I'm in so much pain I can't actually straighten my body and can't help but cry and shout, and certainly can't think of anything else but the pain. Pain killers, hot water bottles, and heat pads have barely any effect on it, either. The night I was nearly hospitalised, I was in so much pain I couldn't speak (Freddie spoke to NHS 111 for me), and was trapped crying, groaning, and writhing around on the floor.
The other symptoms I experience are severe fatigue, dizziness when stood up, diarrhoea, and being incredibly sweaty and clammy. Even basic daily tasks like getting a shower can be incredibly difficult, and leaving the house is almost entirely impossible. For years now, I've spent a few days of each month lying in bed in pain, being unable to focus on or think of anything else.
Being terrified and beyond anxious in the run up to my period, then put in such distress throughout it every month was getting too much. I want to be able to live my life all month, not just part of it. And I'd become incredibly worried that something was really wrong. After a visit to my doctor, I've not been given any offer of diagnosis or testing, beyond 'it's just bad luck', so I'm still not 100% sure what the cause is or if there even is one, which I'm not thrilled about. My doctor did suggest using progesterone-only contraceptive pills to eventually stop my periods so I don't have to suffer further, which is currently the path I'm on.
Periods can cause severe physical and mental distress, and make daily tasks almost impossible to complete. If you're suffering, you're absolutely not alone and I'd recommend speaking to your doctor. It's not something anyone should ever be made to feel ashamed of, or forced to just suffer through, and certainly not something anyone should be told 'can't be that bad'. It can be, and it is, for too many people who suffer in silence about it. If you want to talk about it, feel free to reach out to me for an understanding ear.