It’s that time again…..every month, the pain rolls over me, wave after wave of pain that deadens my mind as well as torturing my body. On Sunday and Monday of this week, the cramps were as bad as I’d ever had them. I was nauseous, I had diarrhea, I was vomiting — despite all the pain meds. Medication doesn’t eradicate these cramps, it just subdues them to a (usually) tolerable level. When I’m in the throes of Killer Menstrual Death Cramps, I can’t focus enough on any task to actually complete it. For three or four days, all I can do is function on a kind of auto-pilot setting, doing what is necessary and resting in the meantime. I hate feeling like I’m being profoundly lazy, and I try to work through the pain as much as I can. After all, there are people in the world who have worse conditions! But days like today, I can’t find the energy or the mental stamina to push through. I want to sleep it all off, and yet I know that if I sleep now, I’ll not be able to sleep at night, triggering another round of energy-sapping insomnia.
It’s a vicious cycle. It’s made worse by the fact that so few people are willing to acknowledge that my pain is really severe pain. My husband understands; my primary care doctor gets it; other than that, though, it seems that no one else is sympathetic. No one seems to believe that menstrual cramps really can be THIS bad. My mother expressed concern that I’m taking pain medication for it; my sister says that it’s probably not as bad a labor and childbirth; my advisor thinks I’m exaggerating for dramatic effect.
So, I’m coming here to my blog to whine about it! The pain is horrible, but I’m thankful that I have pain meds at least. And I keep reminding myself that the pain is both temporary, and not nearly as bad as when I broke my back. Surely I can keep the pain in proper perspective – trust me, broken vertebrae are far, far, far, more painful than even Killer Menstrual Death Cramps!
All the same, this is a miserable form of existence, which is all the more depressing because it is linked to infertility. As if the pain itself weren’t enough, the pain has to serve as a constant reminder of the indignity of barrenness that I have yet to come to terms with. It’s one giant, tangled psychological pit of despair.
It’s a good thing I started this blog, because sentiments such as these would rightly scare off any normal people in normal conversation.
Just a day or two more, and then it will be over….for this month, at leas.t