Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Monstrual cramps

I've been battling monster menstrual cramps since Sunday night. Cramps that are so bad they make me miss work was the reason I went on the pill in 2008 and I was really hoping those days were over. But I went off the pill in July because I wanted to get rid of symptoms I was having from it and now the pain is back.

I don't know why it took four cycles for the pain to come back as strong as it did on Sunday night, but this time it cut me down. On a scale of one to ten, it went back and forth in the 5 to 10 range. Yes, 10, which means it was the worst pain I'd ever felt. Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin and my hot water bottle did little to help. At times I rocked back and forth, moaning. At times I burst into tears. I left my apartment and walked the neighborhood just to distract myself from the pain and nausea. I tried to stay active, but the pain was never far away. I tapped a LOT. I struggled like this for 48 hours, with only short periods when the pain receded enough for me to get some sleep. This morning I finally woke up without pain and was able to take my time getting up instead of jumping out of bed to try to walk the cramps off. 

Can anyone tell me why menstrual cramps can get so bad in middle age? I'm 48 and didn't have problems with my period until I hit my late 30s. Maybe I needed an Advil or two and that was it. Is this another side effect of the extra hormones we Americans get in our processed meats and dairy products? Is it because my uterus never harbored a fetus? Is it stress related? Does the phase of the moon have anything to do with it? What? What? 

This is day four of my cycle and the dicyclomine my doctor prescribed is just barely holding my monstrual cramps at bay. I have renewed appreciation for birth control pills and want to get back on them. Many people dislike being "hooked on drugs" as they often call it. I don't understand those people. When drugs prevent pain, I don't care much about long-term effects or problems the drugs might cause. If it stops the pain - whether it's physical or related to a mood disorder - give me the drugs. Just give me the drugs. Give me the drugs! [See this post for how I've reduced the cramps. I decided not to go back on the pill.]

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