Periods: My Miranda moment

3 June 2015

Dear friend, 

I have a problem. I can't say the word 'period'. Every time it comes up in conversation I become all Miranda. Pursed lips, whispered under my breathe; Periods. I sometimes even take a look around first to make sure there are no men or children around.

The problem is that lately I have had to do a lot of talking about periods. They have been bad, no strike that, actually they have been bloody excruciating! 

I must admit that when I started having difficulties a few months ago. I preferred to tell people that I had stomachs problems. Well it wasn't too far from the truth.

What was I afraid of? 

One phrase...

It's only period pain.

The phrase uttered by the clueless, the lucky people who don't get what you're talking about, who never experience the crippling cramps, gushing blood and piercing pain right up your bum, the indignity of leakage, not being able to cuddle your kids because it hurts, crying when you need to poop, not being able to sleep, feeling sick, diarrhoea.

Why are periods such a taboo subject?

Haven't we moved on from the prudish days of the 50's, when girls were advised not to go far from home during menstruation. The advertising agencies are also beginning to show a change and we have had new campaigns from always (Like a girl.) and Kotex that have looked at what it really means to be a woman and begin to discuss the taboos around menstruation.

We have even had 'the curse' discussed on the news. British tennis player Heather Watson hit the news when she spoke out about how bad periods affect her performance.  Well done Miss Watson as your bravery meant that periods were discussed openly. Isn't it time that women came out of the monthly closet and spoke up about this monster? 

Despite all this pain. Despite it affecting my life in a massive way. I didn't really discuss my problems with friends and I literally had to build myself up to go to the Dr. In fact it was only my lovely hubby threatening to make the appointment for me that made me go. How pathetic is that?

During my first appointment with the Dr I played my problems down. Embarrassed that I was wasting her valuable time on 'periods'. I slunk apologetically out of the surgery with the promise, 'I'll be back!' (said in an Arnie voice) if they got worse. Worse!!! How bad do they have to be for god sake? A couple of months later I was back...

My GP referred me to the hospital.

My husband offered to come to the appointment with me. I think he was frightened that I would cave in again and down play my symptoms or perhaps he was just sick of the moody old cow I have become lately. He is far more adult in these situations than I am. I tend to revert to childhood. Maybe it is nerves, maybe it is the smell of hospitals or the presence of white coats, I am not sure but I tend to lose all sense and become a giggling teenager.

The internal examination itself was not a big deal (after hubby was pointed away from the business end and up to the comforting end of the bed) it went smoothly. The Drs bedside manner was excellent. Even better my problems were certainly not dismissed as 'just period pain'.

In fact he made it clear that women should not be putting up with this amount of pain and discomfort.

Why do so many women suffer in silence?

The next stage for me, is surgery. The Dr said it will lessen or stop my periods entirely. Bliss. No more pain and no more hormonally imbalanced maniac for my family to put up with. Winners all around. I hope!

Read more of my Hysterectomy diary...

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