10/6/13

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Yes, it's that time again. Time for me to discuss periods. 

Bye bye male readers! Yes, even my newest one, Howard. The lot of ya, clear outta here for now. I have become obsessed with Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. We'll discuss that later on in the week. Take care.

Okay women. Here's the deal: I know I tend to blather on about my period and my tampons and yes, sometimes my vagina way too much. But that's because I spend so much time with all of them. Seriously. I feel as if I either have my period, just got done having it or am about to get it. 

And lately, it's been a doozy. Take tonight, for instance. 

I bought a computer from a high school friend. She got it in some settlement and had no need for it, and is trying to raise some cash for a trip. We don't have a desktop anymore, and it would be nice to have one in the mancave for the boys to look at boobies online do homework. She gave it to me for a song. Win/win. 

Anyway. So we're standing in the parking lot of this coffee place where we made the exchange, gabbing and catching up, when I felt it. Ladies? You know that feeling? For a second, you think, "Okay. Maybe I'm just peeing a little." And then it becomes blatantly obvious that no, this isn't a little tinkle. This was a hemorrhage. In a parking lot. During a conversation.  I was grateful for the dim lighting so my friend didn't see the color drain from my face as every ounce of blood in my body seeped into the crotch of my yoga pants.

And what do you do in this kind of situation? I haven't seen this chick for 29 years. Do I say, "OMG that's so funny. Listen, I have to cut this short because there is a Red River flowing in my undies. Thanks for the computer! Take care!"? I mean, with my close hens it would be no big thang. They know I am She Who Bleeds Like Pig. We'd probably joke about it, after I got back from staunching the flow with one of my giant wiffle bat-sized tampons.

But this was awkward. We continued to stand there, talking about old classmates and our dogs and t.v. shows (funny how that always comes up with me) as I felt a spreading warmth in my nethers. Had we stood there much longer, I fear there would have been a dripping noise, like a faulty faucet. She would have stopped talking and said, "Weird. Do you hear that??" and I would have been all, "Um..no. I hear nothing" as I slowly walked, backwards, towards my car.

That didn't happen, of course. We wrapped up our chat, and I lugged the computer to my car. I wasn't prepared for the horror that awaited me as I folded myself into the front seat: 

I squelched. 

My soaked pants actually made a squelching sound. I know my bar of disgustingness is set pretty low, but this was bad even for me. I've never made sounds before, for God's sake.

I drove home in a tense hurry, the interior of my small car smelling more like a slaughterhouse with every minute that passed. Once home, I booked into the bathroom as a chorus of inquisitive young voices followed me: "Mom, did you get my text? I want ice cream!" and "Where is the computer?" and "Why didn't you answer my text about the ice cream?". Really, kids? Not a mention of my vampire-like pallor? The fact that I was walking as if I had a bowling ball between my legs? The sharp odor of copper that wafted behind me? Thanks, children. Thanks so much for your concern.

So, my question to you ladies is, have any of you gone through this? This monthly explosion that leaves the bathroom looking like Dexter's kill room? I've had it. I'm done! I mean, what if this had happened while I was working? It's one thing to start gushing in a dark parking lot, quite another thing if I'd been in the middle of a room full of pre-kindergarteners. "Miss Jenny! You got an owie!". I can't just run out of the classroom.."Okay kids, I'll be right back! Don't sit on the couch until Miss Jenny calls the janitor!". A lone little boy would be off in the corner, index finger pointed in front of his face yelling out "REDRUM! REDRUM!" It would be like a bad 80's slasher movie. "The Day the Children Saw Red" or "Teacher's Bloody Pet". This cannot happen, my friends. 

Obviously, I need to discuss this issue with my gyno. I'm woefully overdue for a visit (but yay for finally having decent health insurance!) so that's on my To Do list for tomorrow. I'm kind of looking forward to hearing about how I could probably stand to lose a couplety dozen pounds, plus it's been so long since anyone has asked me to "scoot down just a bit". If I squint, it will be like a date. I will probably even shave my legs. Yes, definitely like a date. I'm almost excited.

I've discussed this gross condition with several captive people friends. Some have gone the ablation route, wherein a molten hot metal rod is inserted alllll the way up into the uterus and the lining is literally burned off. One friend who had this procedure done said her husband was waiting at her bedside when she woke up. She asked him if everything went okay and he said, "I guess so. But I smell burnt chicken. What's up with that?".  Yes, she's still married to him.

The ablation option is intriguing. But the thought of burning any part of my body, especially a part that is so crotchy, well...yikes.

Another friend keeps telling me to get an IUD put in. I've heard horror stories about these though, the most recent was on my friend Kristen's blog. That scares me.

Other people have suggested going on the Pill, but hello, I'm a board-certified hypochondriac. Plus I'm over 40. That's a recipe for disaster. Like I don't have enough to worry about? 

All I know is, I can't continue down this road. As much as I love Kotex, I'm growing weary of spending money on their cottony goodness every month. And obviously, even my beloved Super Pluses aren't cutting it anymore. I'm beginning to look at the pads for my Swiffer Wet Jet with morbid curiosity. This will not end well.

And on that note, I'm off to put a tarp on my bed and call it a night. Sleep well, and I apologize in advance for any Shining-like nightmares.









45 comments:

  1. Hi there, stranger. I would just like to say that I know a woman who got an ablation, and she glows every time someone in the office asks for a tampon (it's a mostly-female office). She loves telling them, "Nope! I don't have any of that stuff! Good luck!" She seriously smiles with glee when she remembers that her uterus no longer tries to bleed her out all the time. So, smug attitude aside, it's been nothing but incredible for her. If the usual outcome is as good as hers, I would recommend it in a heartbeat.

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    1. 'm totally getting one of those. Can't believe I'm actually fantasizing about how nice it will be to have my uterus burned.

      Thanks so much for reading!

      Delete
  2. Ablation is a good option if you are bleeding too heavily, and it's not a big deal, so far as procedures go. But first you need to find out if maybe you just have some fibroids that need to be removed, etc. Get thee to an ob-gyn, my dear! This just gets worse as menopause approaches.

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    1. I'm going this week! Woo hooo! Thanks for reading!

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  3. I have an IUD and it helped for a while with the heavy periods. Now they're back though. And to add to the fun I have a short cycle. Like every 25/26 days. Sometimes I get the visit from Aunt Flo twice in one month. Yay me! Back in school I had many a bleedouts - including one on a light colored chair and some kids pointed at it and said that I sat in something.... yeah, marker, I sat in marker, that's it, I called as I ran to the bathroom.

    I've never heard of ablation before. Go to the gyn and get a tuneup and then decide if it's worth it to check that out. I can sympathize with what you're going through. Good luck!

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    1. Wow...two times a month...you are one lucky lady. I need to re-read this post every few days because after my period is over I'm all like, "Well that wasn't so bad!".

      I'll let you know what I find out! Thanks for reading!

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  4. The ablation was the best thing that ever happened to me-seriously!!!

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    1. I believe you! I haven't heard one bad story about it yet.

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  5. I wrote the longest response and the site chewed it up and gave me an error message.

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    1. I got it, Gail. This comment thing is messed up. Like my uterus.

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  6. I am definitely interested in hearing what your doctor says. I have a reall bad day #2 EVERY.month. It's like a river. But at least it's day 2 so I have day 1 to prepare. But it's ugly scene. When I mentioned it to my OB-Gyn they suggested a hysterectomy. Ummmmm.. not right now, thank you. My OB-Gyn is at a military hospital so I wasn't comfortable that that was their option #1. But I've never heard of ablation as a possibility, so if you have good luck talking to your doctor perhaps I will approach this issue in my own life again. :-) Keep us posted!

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    1. Tiffany..I hear ya on the day 2. That's my awful day as well. I'm finally getting into the gyno next week. I'll report back with my findings.

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  7. The story of my life...and just wait until you have one like that which lasts a grooling 37 days! Get yourself some Iron Pills, Depends and Chocolate...

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    1. 37 days? HOW IS THERE ANY BLOOD LEFT IN YOUR BODY? Seriously..holy crap. I finally broke down and bought some giant maxi pads. I had a close call while I was alone with the kids at my school. Never again.

      Thanks so much for reading, and sharing your (scary and sad) experience!

      Delete
  8. Honey, you are living my old life! This is fixable! I used to run thru a super plus tampon AND a giant pad every 45 min. Ugh!!! Had fibroids removed and a Mirena IUD installed. It took about 4 months for everything to settle down...now I spot for about 2 hours every 3 months or so! Its amazingplus no midlife oops babies!!! Go see your doc!!!

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    1. Okay now..have you really had no issues with the Mirena? I've been doing lots of research on them and have come across so many women who've had problems! Acne, weight gain, depression, hair loss... I wonder why this happens? And why it doesn't happen to everyone who uses it??

      I dream of never having my period.

      Thanks so much for chiming in :)

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  9. I've never heard of ablation either. I'm going to have to google that shizz.

    I'm on the Mirena IUD and I love it. I can't take the birth control pill because it messes with my mental health. And the Mirena has the added value of making my period almost obsolete. Once every few months or so, I might spot a little, but that's it. Mostly it's nonexistent.

    I'm going to go read the IUD horror story too. Because when I had mine put it in, it was no big deal. Didn't feel any different than the usual Ob Gyn exam.

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    1. So you haven't had any side effects from the Mirena? I've read so many complaints about it. I'll talk to my lady doctor and see what she says.

      Thanks for sharing, Mandy!

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  10. This did happen to me... right in the middle of an orchestra concert. Almost bled out all over the beige fabric-covered chair I was sitting on, surrounded by men and in front of an audience of roughly 300. While I was cleaning up in the bathroom back stage, I heard people complaining about someone "taking so long" in the bathroom. I'm sure they thought I had diarrhea. Pffft. If they ONLY KNEW.

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    1. OMG. Ick and I'm sorry! That must have been awful. I love taking care of the massacre when there are people milling about outside the bathroom.

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  11. You seriously need to ask about a Mirena Coil, I had the same bleeding issues, as well as clots. The medical term is 'flooding'!!! The Mirena coil can be used for up to 5 years and I am about to have my third inserted. All periods stop after a few months and it is bliss. Pure Bliss

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    1. Flooding! You learn something new every day. Is the coil the same as the IUD? No side effects? This makes three endorsements for Mirena. Hmmm.

      Thanks so much for sharing!

      Delete
  12. Started happening to me and finally got the period to end all periods that WOULD NOT STOP. Giant tampons, double giant pads, 2 pairs of underwear and shorts to sleep in and the bed still looked like a crime scene in the morning. By the time I went to the obgyn I was totally anemic! No lie, they said I was about a minute away from having to get a blood transfusion. Make sure you are not iron deficient from this! No wonder I was light headed, dizzy and wandering around in a fog like Henry Fonda in On Golden Pond. They gave me progesterone pills to stop the bleeing right away. Those were awesome, stopped the bleeding for a few months actually. Now need to decide on ablation but am almost 49 so they are telling me menopause is just around the corner (oh joy) and maybe my periods will stop on their own. If you take the iron pills, take fiber, do not mess around, unless you never want to poop again. Good Luck and thank you! I found you by searching "what to do when your husband leaves you" and you have helped save me over the last year. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE YOU my Libra sister!

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    1. ooooh progesterone pills..did they give you any weird side effects? So we are almost the same age...I'm surprised they'd tell you that menopause is just around the corner...what if the corner is 55? Does that mean we have to deal with this crap for 6-8 more years?

      This comment made me cringe, then laugh, and then get all weepy. So glad you found me :) Love you right back, sister.

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    2. No side effects from the progesterone pills. Actually had to do them a couple times because it happened more than once (1st time when I was about 46). They said most women stop having periods by 50 so it is ablation or menopause for me. So glad I found you too! Your writing makes me laugh, breaks my heart, keeps me strong and reminds me I am not alone. You have a beautiful gift and I am so glad you share it with all of us.

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    3. Again with the weeps! Thank you, so much. I'm very lucky to "know" amazing women like you. None of us are alone!

      Delete
  13. I'm in the throws of an IUD trial!

    I've had this same issue for almost 3 years. I bled through at work a few times where it didn't even matter b/c it was at a middle school and there is blood somewhere in the building every day. I bled through at the gym and Laura W. (up to you if you want to print her name) was bold enough to look at my posterior and tell me "she could see it". I've soaked through and ruined a mattress. I've slept on scratchy towels which balled up under me while I tried to rest. All this for months on end. My period lasted 9-12 days but it's the first 1-2 days that are incapacitating.
    Bleeding that often has been like living with a continuous period, 24/7. This all means I've been eating a lot more red meat even though I don't care for it.

    I have various massive fibroids clinging to the walls of my uterus. I've always had them and had a myomectomy to remove them in my late 20s to keep my uterus viable for babies-just in case. So I'm not a candidate for ablation. My uterus is currently the size of a four month preggo lady. It weigh 1482 grams (a normal one weighs 100 g) so I wear stretchy pants that give at the waist and never jeans. I have many jeans in various sizes just in case this ever goes away or I lose weight.

    My gyn said I needed to make some decisions b/c I could go to age 51 or 52 before I am in menopause. My main options were the Mirena or a hysterectomy. I really didn't want a hysterectomy because then the oils which keeps my face youthful with the occasional whitehead will dry up, hair thinning will speed up and I could get bald patches. Even worse, I'll gain more weight to add to my suffering frame and joints. I already went the acupuncture/herbs route and no one who has any kind of commitment in life or less than an extra $100K to throw around could
    afford to keep up that kind of routine.

    I got the IUD and she said it would take 3 months (3 cycles) to see if it's working. So far so good as I just finished up cycle 2; No cramps, no bloating, very little bleeding which has been similar to the amount I used to experience at age 13 or 14 for 2-3 days. No more middleschmertz but some downsides; more acne and more 'everyday' clear discharge of unknown origin.

    I know the IUD isn't a good solution for everyone. As with most medical options one size does not fit all. But if you go for it and it doesn't work, you can jump on the Mirena lawsuit bandwagon and make some money off your suffering. I saw the commercials on tv but I can't remember the firm's name which is handling the class action.

    I'm so glad you wrote about this topic Jenny!

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    1. Gail, I will be super interested to hear how it's going for you. I've read a lot about acne, weight gain and hair loss with the IUD.

      That is crazy about your uterus. CRAZY. Are you in pain??

      Thanks so much for sharing your story and experiences. I'm going to be waiting to hear about the next few months with the IUD.

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    2. I had a hysterectomy at 30 and kept my ovaries (your doctor won't give you this option?) and everything works just the same, hormone-wise, as it has since puberty. I just don't have a uterus that bleeds all over the place anymore. But I had already had all the kids I wanted and my husband had had a vasectomy.

      Delete
  14. My periods aren't anywhere near that horrible, just a bit heavier over the past 10 years, since the boy was born. I discussed it with my doc at my last visit and she mentioned ablation. Like I said, my periods really aren't that bad so the $1100 I was going to have to come out of pocket wasn't worth it for me. I do have a few small fibroids though but they don't really cause me any trouble. My sis had to have a hysterectomy in 2009 because she had so many fibroids her uterus was full and she bled like you mentioned every month for several years but let it go for years.

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    1. Wow...$1100!?!?! That's insane. I think mine would end up costing about $100 with my insurance. I'm starting to get freaked out about fibroids. Did you have any symptoms??

      Thanks for sharing your story, and as always, for reading!

      Delete
  15. Usually I don't have a problem, but I remember one time in sixth grade... *shudders*. I had an overnight pad on, but I could tell by first period (haha) I was already through it. Everything was just damp. And I didn't have anything else with me, I was too embaressed to ask a teacher, and it was before anyone I knew had started. By second period I had bled through my jeans. I, luckily, had a jacket and wrapped that around my waist, but I think I may have stained a few of the wood chairs a little... oops.

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    1. Ahhh..the butt cape comes in so handy.

      I had an experience like that in junior high. Ended up running across the street to my friend's house during lunch and flushed my damn underwear down the toilet. Seriously. I was horrified.

      Thanks so much for chiming in.

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  16. Dexter's kill room . . . that's possibly the perfect analogy. ;)

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    1. Isn't it?? HA! All I need now is to line the bathroom with plastic once a month.

      Thanks for reading, Nina.

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  17. I bleed like that and want an ablation for Christmas this year.

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    1. All I want for Christmas Is My Womb Burned Out....how does that sound? I think we have a holiday hit on our hands.

      I thought about your blood post when I was driving home. No lie.

      Thanks for reading, Tracy :)

      Delete
  18. Have you tried a Diva Cup? It's an alternative to pads/tampons and one of those things you'd like every woman to know about because it's a serious game-changer, but it's so rare to have the subject come up naturally. You can insert it a day before when you think your period might be starting and just leave it in. No risk of TSS. No more tampons, no more odor, no more leaks, no more ruined underwear. I find on my heaviest day I have to empty it 3-4 times, but on other days I just put it in in the morning and forget about it. Empty it before I go to bed, reinsert, and I'm completely leak-free all night. Some women have reported that it decreases a terribly heavy flow and I'm positive it's lessened the intensity of my cramps. You can read all of the amazing endorsements of it in the reviews on Amazon.

    Oh… and my IUD was a nightmare: horrible periods, out-of-control flow, worse cramping of my life, PMS x10. My tubes are tied now, thankfully.

    But yeah, the Diva Cup. It may not be for everyone, but I love, love, love it. I'm so thankful for this marvelous invention and resentful that it was invented sooner and regret I didn't buy one when I first heard of it.

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    1. I was going to suggest the Diva Cup also. Love it- I bleed less than I ever have, and I've stained my share of school chairs and bed sheets!

      Delete
  19. I had always had crazy-heavy periods and then I wound up with a condition called adenomyosis (kind of like the junior version of endometriosis) and they got even worse. Like, hemoglobin of 8 instead of 12-15, can't be in the car for more than 30 minutes without a bathroom even if I am doubled up on max-level protection, two-week periods every three weeks kind of worse. I was SO GLAD to have a doctor who was all, oh, hey, this is a medical condition and I can give you a hysterectomy or this new-fangled ablation thing if you want, and I went for the hysterectomy (at 30) and it was, aside from having had my kids young, the best decision I ever made about my body.

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  20. YES, I had that problem for 4 - 5 years in my late 30s, early 40s. I had an ablation which helped a little for a few months, but then the bleeding came back as heavy as ever. I finally had a hysterectomy at age 43. I still have my ovaries, so I'm not in menopause yet (at age 46). The hysterectomy was the Best. Thing. Ever. Recovery was super easy. If you have insurance, I highly recommend it.

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  21. I never had a period. I had monthly EXCLAMATION POINTS!! I went for a full on removal of the uterus...kept the ovaries. I never looked back, and it has been almost 3 years.

    I thought about ablation for about 3 seconds...then I realized that it would STILL leave me with at least some semblance of a period..NOPE, I was DONE with those!! My factory is not making babies anymore, so it didn't need to be there anymore!!

    My doctor removed it, and I was playing basketball 5 days later. She commented about how well I reacted. I told her she had obviously never experienced the feeling that you thought your uterus had fallen out and dragged half your other organs with it! It not being there was relief.

    And now at the beginning of each month, when my exclamation point would have been beginning, I do a happy dance and thank God I don't have to see pools of blood in my underwear or watch the shower water run red!!

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  22. Vitamin A.

    Real vitamin A. The retinol stuff.

    At least 8000 IU a day. Though you could get up to 90,000 IU a day and not hurt yourself. I've taken 20,000 IU in a day and completely shrugged it off.

    They use vitamin A to treat heavy, painful periods in developing countries, and they have a very high success rate. It's a cheap therapy. No surgery. No drugs to make you crazy. And if this is what's wrong with you, then you are having other health problems from low A as well.

    Trust. Try it for a month. If it doesn't work you can always go the surgical route or whatever. You've waited this long already.

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  23. Oh goodness, I laughed so hard at this!
    I had very heavy periods as a teenager. One day I had to walk down the bus aisle on a full bus with a bleed out. Mortifying!
    Because of breastfeeding I haven't had a period for about 3 years! I might breastfeeding my youngest until she's at high school!

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