George arrived on Monday, September 26th. The pain was minimal and well managed with Ibuprofen, and I was able to work a full day.
However, Day 2 of my cycle had things ramping up considerably. I woke with moderate pain and bleeding, but still went to work because it was “parent observation week”, and my head teacher made it quite clear that she needed me there, and was not pleased that my health chose such an inopportune time to not be cooperative.
These are not her exact words, but damned near close. When I had given her a heads-up about my health the Friday before parent observation week that my next endo flare was due, her exact behaviour and words were to let out a tsk, a fed-up loud sigh, drop her shoulders and give a look of disdain as she exclaimed, “You’ve GOTTA be kidding me.”
She later apologised, but told me she was feeling overwhelmed/anxious at the prospect of anyone else being in the room with her that week, because the children would be more out of sorts with a substitute around, and she did not want the parents observing the children under those circumstances.
I understood where she was coming from, but I did not appreciate the giant guilt trip because of her anxieties. Her guilt trip is what led me to make the choice to be there to support her, thus pushing the limits of what my body could handle during an endometriosis flare.
So on the second day of parent observation week, I managed my pain with 1,600mg of ibuprofen. Here’s me first thing in the morning, popping 800mg of Ibuprofen in an attempt to get the pain under control (it worked):
I stayed for the whole school day, more than fulfilling my obligation to my head teacher, since parent observation hours were over at 11am. However, there were resource classes that I needed to take the children to (library and computer class), so I stayed. Then there was naptime, so I stayed. At the end of the regular school day, before extended care started, I experienced a sudden flare of pain and sympyoms, right after consuming my last dose of meds.
Dammit, I tried to do overlap but the pain snuck in, anyway. My whole body went weak, and I got dizzy. It became hard to walk. I felt like lead for hours. This is ‘normal’ for endometriosis. The lead weight and crushing fatigue sucks. I know part of the fatigue is from all the Advil I was taking, but at least the pain never got above a 6 on the pain scale that day.
I went home and slept for 4 hours.
I then woke in a panic – it was 7:30 and I had not set my alarm! I scrambled out of bed, heart racing, thinking I would be late for work! Then my husband told me it’s PM, not AM.
And I hadn’t even had any Tylenol 3 that day. I was just that screwed up from the pain and fatigue. I was up for a couple of hours and then went back to bed.
I woke in searing pain the following morning, on September 28, just before 5am. I had nausea with the pain. I gingerly got out of bed and took half a Tylenol 3, because I needed to be up for work in the next hour and a half. It took about 35 minutes for the medicine to kick in, with me suffering there in bed the entire time. The Tylenol 3 mostly managed the pain once it did kick in. When my alarm went off, I got up for work and took a shower. I experienced heavy bleeding and moderate pain.
In a daze, I ate breakfast, and went to work. I took a total of 1,400mg of ibuprofen that day, and worked a full day in pain, because of the above-mentioned parent observation week.
Thursday, September 29:
Once again, I was awakened by searing endometriosis pain. This time it was 1am. I popped a Tylenol 3 and 600mg Ibuprofen, and waited for it to kick in. By 2am, I was dissociated enough from the pain to go back to bed. My alarm went of four hours later.
I still required 1,200mg additional ibuprofen to get through the workday. I was very tired and crampy, despite the bleeding tapering off to spotting.
Friday, September 30:
This was a daycare-only workday, as the head teachers were conducting parent conferences all day. This is usually loud and high energy, and wild, as three classrooms’ worth of children are condensed into one large classroom for the day. Despite abundant assistant teachers and teacher-trained assistants in the room, it’s like trying to get monkeys to come down off the chandeliers on a daycare-only day. I had low energy and was spotting, but I managed to get through the work day. I did not take any medication that day, because I was fed up with how much I’d taken all week.
Saturday, October 1:
I was still experiencing low energy post cycle, but I was expected to be at a Child Development refresher class all day. I accomplished this with my inner child kicking and screaming the entire time.
Sunday, October 2:
As happened after my last menstrual cycle, my anxiety was way up after this cycle. It’s not normal, but it’s happened twice in a row, now. Hmmm. I had to do another full day in the Child Development refresher class, and woke up with swollen eyes. As the day progressed, my right eye got worse. By 2:30pm, half of the eye was blood red.
Wonderful. I’d developed pink eye – and likely got it from training center the day before. My pupil in the right eye was bigger than in my left eye by 6pm. I called Kaiser Permanente, who freaked out about the pupil because of my age, and they urged me to go to an urgent care Kaiser center. This, after my whole weekend was shot by being in a training class, and now I have to sit in an ER? I was NOT happy. The result: contagious pink eye. I was given antibiotic drops, which I had to take for 10 miserable days.
Monday, October 3:
I missed work due to the pink eye. Had I not gone to the training class, which was foisted upon me last minute, I would not have gotten pink eye, and I would not have missed work. On top of that, I experienced left side stabby ovarian pain all day, despite the fact that my period had just ended. How’s that for a kick while I’m down?
My immune system hates me. I wish I could fire it. I’d pushed it to its limit by working during an endo flare, and the pink eye was able to sneak in. It’s always something.