Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Musings on Womanhood

Warning. This may be in the TMI category. Then again, we're veterans here and we've shared some graphic details. Men, close your eyes, think of hockey and step away from the blog.

I am really sick of bleeding. After my uterine artery embolization in January, I had a discharge for about 8 days or so, but then it stopped. Whoopee. I thought the 3 months warning wouldn't apply to me. Hahahaha. Then about 2 weeks later, I got my "period". Then that stopped after 6 days. Okay, great. Then 3 days after that, you guessed it and it's now been 9 days. The aftercare instructions say to contact the radiologist if you start passing tissue, which occurred big time on Friday but has since slowed down. I didn't have any pain or fever or anything. I called the department today and I was told he would call me back some time today. So I guess, I'll sit right here and wait til he calls. NOT! I'm sure it's not really an urgent matter, I think it's just part of the process.

Do you remember when you first got your period? I was 11 yrs old. My mother called it "seeing your health". I tried to keep it a secret, but she figured it out. I was so embarrassed. I had heard of "period" talk, but I thought it was that. A period. As in the dot that comes after a sentence. As in a red dot in your panties. So much for clarity in health class. I had a lot of pain which a hot water bottle wasn't going to take away. I confided in my gym teacher that I had really bad cramps and she told me that I was exaggerating and that it must be because I was denying my womanhood. Mmmm. Thanks for the words of wisdom.

Mum told me I couldn't take a bath for a week (just bird baths) and bought me these horrible plastic panties that you attached Moddess pads into. I'm surprised a seclusion hut wasn't built for me, I felt like such a pariah. Changing for gym class during that time became an exercise in humiliation. All the cool girls used tampons. Whooo. My mother thought tampons were only for "those type" of girls. Read non-virgins. She refused to buy them for me. No "welcome to womanhood" celebrations for me. Just a vague warning about not going into dark corners with boys. Oh, yeah, and a lesson on making a sanitary pad out of moss and waxed paper if you have to. I suppose that came out of her West Indian roots. We didn't really talk too much about it. There was just this box of huge diaper like things that my younger sister would bug me about. Until she got her period at 9 years old and she wasn't laughing any more. I really did sorry for her. That shouldn't happen to a 9 yr. old. It's just not right.

So it wasn't until adulthood when I could finally get a hold of the Pill, tampons and some decent drugs (Midol never worked for me). And then I could taste sweet freedom. I could go swimming (okay, I can't really swim) and ride horses! I was happy to get my period. For years, it was like whew, I'm not pregnant! And then course, it came to mean, oh, crap, I'm not pregnant. Failure. Dread. A monthly reminder of what I didn't have. Cycle after cycle of sadness and money down the drain. You know the song.

I know this is just a process of the embolization and all that. I just really hate bleeding.


Anonymous said...

My mom wasn't much better. She said that I would lose my virginity if I used a tampon. I tried them anyway with a friend of mine yelling through the door. It was very painful, because I was pushing straight up, rather than back at an angle. I think I lost my virginity then and there.

Fortunately, I didn't have the plastic pants. Just an elastic thing that the pad hooked onto. So awful.

I guess my mother had it worse than I did. Her mother didn't tell her anything. And she always referred to it as being "sick." That used to crack me up.

Hope the bleeding stops soon.

Shinejil said...

Thanks, Deathstar, for sharing your story. I began menstruating after the merciful advent of pads that stuck to your underwear. You and Midlife Mommy have just made me appreciate that fact. So for me, instead of a source of shame, it felt more like an irritation that I had to endure for this whole womanhood thing. Though my mom was not exactly open about all the ups and downs, she didn't put a lot of cultural baggage on my cycles.

I know how disturbing and annoying it is to bleed and bleed. I hope it stops soon and all is well.

One View said...

I was 14 when I got my period (I was very late bloomer). I was the last to get it amongst my friends and I remembering freaking out the first time I saw blood.

I had a post about something simliar once. From the very start of young adulthood, we all get our periods for the soul purpose to one day reproduce. And well I have never been able to that and just wonder what the point of my AF is now. It makes me mad every time I get it. Whats the point that I ovulate and shed my lining and have to go through cramps and bleed for days every month when it doesn't do me any good.

Sorry for all the bleeding and hope it stops soon!

Lori Lavender Luz said...

"For years, it was like whew, I'm not pregnant! And then course, it came to mean, oh, crap, I'm not pregnant."

Infertility. If it weren't so devastating, it would be quite funny.

loribeth said...

Aunt Flo's first visit was when I was 11. I don't remember plastic pants, but I do remember the elastic thingies that Midlife Mom mentioned, ugh. I hope the bleeding stops & you're feeling better soon. I thought this surgery was supposed to help you??!

Wordgirl said...

OH you took me back to that time -- I was in the eighth grade -- late by my friend's standards...and yeah, I remember the intro to the tampon -- yeooowch.

My mother was all very sweet -- flowers and a card.

"giiirlll...you'lll be a wooooman sooon"


But I was always so irregular it was kind of like a mystery...it's coming...when? And then the pill reduced it to a minor occurence like clockwork...oh but then the depression...

I hope you feel better soon...

And I find the tip for moss and wax paper very helpful seeing as how G and I threaten to move up to the wilds of Northern Mn...you never know!