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Day 1, Round 2 – Dysmenorrhea & Endometriosis

Already? I think as my period arrives 26 days after the last. I knew it was coming. Something to do with hating everybody and an anger that has raged within and sometimes without for the past week. Then there’s been the twinges in my lower back. The up-side every time my period arrives is the break in pre-menstrual tension and constant craving for sugar. The down-side is the cramps.

By midday I am hiding in the toilet of my office wondering how long I will have to wait for the contractions to subside so I can get in my car and drive the 42 kilometres home before they start again. Last month I got caught in rain and grid lock. For one hour I was trapped in my car bleeding and cramping before I managed to find an exit and make my way to Macadish’s house in Morningside about half way home and sit on his couch until both the pain and the traffic let up.

Boys always get a little wide-eyed when they see the reality of my dysmenorrhea. What am I saying? Most woman do too. Generally my attempts at romantic relationships do not make it past this point. Welcome to Crazy Hormones and Endometriosis.

After years of unhelpful diagnoses such as “You’re unlucky.” and “If you got pregnant it might stop.”, combined with radical lifestyle changes to manage my condition, I had a laparoscopy in June 2012 and just like that – no more pain. I could not believe that I had lived in debilitating agony every 3-6 weeks for TWENTY THREE years when one teeny op scraping out my insides took 95% of the pain away.

But slowly it is getting worse again. Each month hurts more.

I have to stop at Spar to buy tampons because last month I let them run out thinking I wouldn’t be needing them again for a while. I get home and crawl into a ball on my bed so that I can have a short reprieve for an hour before I teach a yoga class.

On of my female colleagues asked me how I would manage as I left the office. I said: years of practice. Because isn’t that the reality? That’s what most women do. Through periods, pregnancy, child birth and child rearing… even when we think we can’t anymore, we manage. And although sometimes I worry terribly about doing this all on my own and what if I can’t cope and what if its too much for me and what if I fail and what if….? I have to believe that I’ll manage this too.

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