I got my period twice this month, hence a ‘Blue Moon Menstrual Month’. The last time this happened was in April, 2009.
I wonder how often this happens for me…gonna go back and look at the calendar for a minute…
…According to my calendar, I got my period twice in a month for the following months:
So it looks like my ‘Blue Moon Month’ occurs twice each year (2007 being the odd year because I had been on hormone therapy after pelvic laparoscopic surgery that year).
For the record, it does not coincide with the Blue Moon for the actual Moon. Those instances were July 2004, June 2007 and December 2009 so far; occurrence averages about every 2.7 years.
Now, since I’m looking at planets, this gets me interested in Astrology, so I looked it up – Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are all still out of whack in the sky. That is to say, all four were Retrograde, and two have since stopped going Retrograde (which means they are now considered Direct).
Jupiter went Direct on October 12, and Pluto went Direct on September 11, but Uranus and Neptune are still completely Retrograde.
Jupiter and Pluto are still playing catch-up and won’t be in their place of Return until December 2009.
Neptune won’t be in its place of Return until February, 2010, and Uranus won’t be in its place of Return until March, 2010.
Why the heck would I consider astrology?, you may ask.
Well! This leads to a much larger discussion, but the short of it is that in the 24 years that I have wrestled with endometriosis, I have tried so many things to try and figure out the why and wherefore of this damned pain, and that includes such strange things as astrology and belief in deities.
The longer answer begins with two statements:
- Likely due to my fundamentalist upbringing, I have conditioned my thought process from an early age to leap to punishment to explain why I am in such pain all the time.
- Also likely due to my fundamentalist upbringing, I harbour a lot of guilt over having this illness.
With #1, I have a constant unconscious dialogue that begins with asking myself, “What did I do to deserve this?” I answer my question with, “You must have brought it upon yourself, somehow.” I proceed therefore to lay blame to everything from my recent diet, habits, thoughts, illnesses, exposures to contaminants, vitamin intake or lack thereof… you name it. And that’s just on my end.
I also go the pity-party route and blame the environment I grew up in, the birth control pills my mother was taking just before conceiving me (and which she’d been on for something like 12 years straight), the fact that my mother smoked like a chimney throughout and after her pregnancy with me (and still smokes a lot to this day), and my mother’s genes (her mother and sisters all had/have classic symptoms of endometriosis, as do my female cousins).
With #2, I miss a lot of things in life because of this illness. I’ve missed a lot of work, concerts, birthday parties, being there for friends in the hospital, babysitting gigs, charity events, activist events, doctor appointments and more. This leaves me feeling like I’ve flaked on people and let people down. I feel this way because so many people still do not understand much about what it means to live with endometriosis. The clearest example I can give you just happened yesterday:
I awoke on my first year wedding anniversary YESTERDAY and without warning, gushed forth like the bathtub scene in Stephen King’s “Carrie”.
I had barely any symptoms leading up to this menstrual cycle, which was two days early. I had no spotting, no low back pain for days, no intense fatigue, no feeling of having to repeatedly ‘check my undies’ that I get up to 48 hours prior to menses. I had three days of minor right side ovarian cramping. That’s not unusual – sometimes I get that for a week straight, and not even right before my period. The low back pain came in the wee hours before waking yesterday, and I thought it was the bed I’d slept in (we were out of town).
On my fricking wedding anniversary, I bled like a stuck pig and was not prepared in the least for it. I had no pads, no wheelchair, no security blanky and pillow, no rice heating pads.
My plan was to wake, use the bathroom, then snuggle with the husband. Instead, I woke, used the bathroom, and sat crying with my head in my hands, on my first year wedding anniversary.
I began immediately with the blaming dialogue. My husband tried to talk me down, but I’d catch myself returning to the topic over and over again, muttering aloud that this or that could have brought on the pain and bleeding. Everything from all the chocolate we’ve been eating to the half hour we spent in the jacuzzi the night before.
I spent all day high as a kite on Vicoprofen yesterday. We were in Mendocino, hours away from home, and I had refused to be taken home right away. I took the drugs and we visited as many little shops as we could. We ate brunch. We explored one of the cemeteries. We walked out on the bluffs and stood watching the ocean together. We indulged in a chocolate orgy yesterday – we had cake from Mariposa Bakery that we’d brought with us, and I’d gifted my husband with handmade chocolates from Gaslight Emporium in our own hometown, and we bought even more chocolate from a place called Frankie’s, as well as buying truffles from a street vendor.
We left Mendocino when we said we would, and got in some of the last sunset pictures we could on the way out of town. We had decided at the outset of the trip to take Highway 1 home, to enjoy the scenery and the ocean view.
However, my pain ramped up considerably on the way home, and I took a whole Vicoprofen pill in the span of one hour to combat the pain. This was my first time taking that much Vicoprofen at once, cuz I’ve been consuming only half a pill at a time.
What resulted from being on a whole pill of Vicoprofen (7.5mg Vicodin and 200mg Ibuprofen) was very similar to the experience I had when I had taken a whole pill of oxycodone; “I thought I was drowning/suffocating to death. I literally didn’t think I’d make it through the night. That was 5mg though.”
In addition to that, we were on some very twisty/turny ocean-side roads. I had the spins real bad from the medication.
Ibuprofen is a bit of a diuretic, so I continually had to have my husband pull over so I could pee or so I could stand in one place and get some fresh air so as not to vomit. I kept a paper bag in the front seat with me just in case I had to throw up.
The drive, which is supposed to take about 3 hours, took TWICE that because of all the stops I needed, because of how slow I needed us to drive because of the dizziness and nausea, and because of road work (in some areas, there had been mudslides and the road was down to one lane!). What a harrowing experience it was to get home last night.
I cried, I moaned, I begged for my death, I hallucinated.
It didn’t help that due to the season being Autumn, there was a lot of wildlife on or near the roads after dark. I’ve never seen so many deer in my life. There were possums, raccoons, hares, and, I shit you not, there was also a large brown cow sitting on the cliffside next to the road at one point. Just sitting there calmly, chewing as we drove past. I flipped my shit and my husband had to reassure me it was not another hallucination.
I was convinced a deer would land through our windshield before the night was over.
I think the worst trip I ever had prior to this is probably the first time I ever ate a pot brownie. Back then I felt like I was continually going backwards on The Gemini roller coaster. What a horrible night that was.
So last night, on the full pill of Vicoprofen, I felt like I was on a continuous roller coaster from hell – picture a giant wooden roller coaster like The Gemini with steep hills that won’t let you off for six solid hours. That’s what it felt like. Every muscle in my body was tensed to the max, which made the pain worse. I tried and tried to relax. I tried to start with just my eyebrows and I could not do it. That’s when the crying started, really.
We got home around 1:30am, according to my husband. I washed my face, put on my pajamas, and put a few things away that we’d brought in from the car, and prepared for bed. Despite all that I’d gone through, I was lucid enough at that point to be sensitive to my husband’s needs. He was all jacked up from the stress of the ride, too. He was the one having to steer us through all those roads and having to endure my crying and whining (to the point where he just blasted the radio for a long time to drown me out, but I didn’t care that he did that cuz seriously, I was a mess and it was making him a mess).
I warmed up all available heating pads in the house, gave my husband a massage as he sat in front of me on the bed, and then ordered him to take half a Vicoprofen and lay face down on the bed.
Then I put the heating pads all over his back and just let him lay there while I settled into bed.
My husband said that when he woke this morning, he had no trace of back pain, thanks to the care I’d given him. :)
As for me, you know I stayed home from work today. I’ll be staying home from work tomorrow, too. I’ve already called in sick. There’s no way I’m playing the “wait and see” route this time. I need the extra day and I have no false hopes that I “might” not bleed as heavily or be in as much pain tomorrow as I was in today and yesterday.
After 24 years, I’m tired of this constant every month battle of wits, this false notion of “thinking positively and the pain MIGHT go away” bullshit.
The reality of the situation is that I have an incurable illness which is an immune deficiency, which means it ravishes my entire body, and I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THIS ILLNESS BUT TO LET IT RUN ITS COURSE when the pain flares.
I want to get this through my head as well as through everyone else’s heads – go look at my list again of what I’ve tried over the years.
Eventually we will all have to come to a place of acceptance – that there is no overcoming or beating this illness – only living with it…if we are up for the job.
Some days I wonder how much longer I’ll be up for the job.