Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Two decades ago today...

And things in my blog world take a turn towards the realm of 'to much information'.... enjoy!

I got my first period! It was a wintery day, a Friday. I had spent my afternoon after school sledding down the neighbours huge hill. For some reason, I wasn't wearing underwear, but I did have on my favourite pair of jeans. When I went to the bathroom I thought I'd hurt myself, but quickly realized what it was. My mom had told me all about periods when I was 8, since on my dad's side of the family, many of the girls got theirs around 9 years old. She had also told me she hoped I was at least 12 when it happened for me. As it turned out, I was 1 month shy of 12. I got changed and told my mom, expecting it to be like an after-school special with giggling and celebration. I was a woman!

I remember being in the kitchen that night after supper and felt a bit crampy. It felt better when I placed my hand on my low belly and rubbed a bit. Mom saw and said I shouldn't do that around people, because others would know what it meant and that my period was a private thing.

A girl from my (grade 6) class called me that night, she wanted to ask about homework or something. I was so excited that I told her. Afterwards, I felt incredibly stupid - she wasn't even one of my friends, I didn't really like her, either. On Monday, I told her I was mistaken and she said "Well, I guess that means it will happen soon!" She was jealous, all the same, as she hadn't started hers yet.

I didn't get another period for a couple of months, but when the next one came, it hit with a vengeance. They got steadily worse. My first day of grade 7, I leaked through my clothes and had to wait in the nurses office for mom to bring me more clothes. This was a regular occurrence for me all through junior high. I would get cramping so badly that I would throw up. Mom always told me to stop being so dramatic.  I remember once wiping away a clot so thick and long and ropey - like the thick green slime that forms on stagnant ponds -  that I started to whimper, sure I could feel it pulling out of me, sure I was going to go into shock, sure I was about to die.

Things finally settled down when I went on the pill in high school. I think I was in grade 11? (Went on it because of my horrendous periods, not for birth control!) I came off them after a few months, hoping that things would be better. But no, my first period hit HARD and I was on an overnight field trip to the city (where I now live, but 3 hours from my home then) with my drama class. I sent my friend's mom, who was a chaperon, out to fill a new prescription for a special painkiller while I whimpered in a bed in the dorm room where our group was staying. The prescription came with the warning that if I started vomiting anything that looked like coffee grounds, to get myself to the ER asap. Lovely. I was 17. I went back on the pill soon afterwards. Only coming off after getting married in 2005 at the ripe old age of 26.

...Oh 'aunt flo', what a long and tumultuous relationship we have.Every month, I swear you're not going to make an appearance, and every month you pop out and wallop me. Fun times!

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