Earlier cycle is also more painful

I’m not handling reality well at the moment. I didn’t even mention the pain flare on facebook until today, because I couldn’t convince myself that this is really happening – I’m ten days early – it’s a full menstrual cycle and I’m in Day 3 of it already.

Shit got real today at work, when I hit a 7 on the pain scale.

This is what the pain was like on the Allie Brosh pain scale:

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My GYN office called me back today; they said it *could* be perimenopause, but to continue watching my cycle for the next 3 months before coming in for a consult. I’m to watch for obvious signs like night sweats and hot flashes on top of very early or very delayed periods.

I have taken a half a Tylenol 3 twice today, and I have ingested 1,200mg of Ibuprofen to try to manage the pain. But here’s the thing…

Ever since being prescribed Neurontin, I have started experimenting with forbidden foods, just to see how far the medical benefit goes. Do I remain pain-free for longer periods of time, despite regular caffeine intake? Do I still get immediate pain flares upon ingesting corn syrup?

I have not gone about this in a purely scientific way, mind you. I have been taking more mental notes than anything, really. But I thought it was time to tell you about it, and to start taking down notes.

Dairy – seems okay, whether during endo flare or not.
Caffeine – ok unless endo flare, then same old death
Chocolate – ok unless endo flare, then same old death
Corn Syrup products, including Pop – ok unless endo flare, then same old death
Alcohol – seems okay, whether during endo flare or not.

Today I had caffeine, chocolate and corn syrup (Sprite pop) while at work. I hit a 7 on the pain scale, when I normally top out at a 6 on the scale since being on Neurontin, so the message seems clear: continue to avoid the usual suspects during an endo flare.

Here’s hoping tomorrow (Day 4) will be mild, and I’ll definitely be eating better.

This is a weird cycle.

Today is Day 2 of the Very Early Cycle. By now I should be experiencing a very heavy flow, but by noon I was already tapering. I’ve been spotting most of the afternoon and evening, though I have been cramping up to a 5 on the scale for much of the day. Still have the low back pain, too. Lots of debris and at times brown blood. I have consumed 1,200mg Ibuprofen today.

I have placed a call to my GYN, and await her response.

In the meantime, I looked up “perimenopause”.

According to Mayo Clinic, “see your doctor if:

* Bleeding occurs between periods
* Periods regularly occur less than 21 days apart”

Well this is the first time it’s happened, so I guess I’m stuck waiting to see if my periods get any more crazy than they have been. Back in 2011, my period started showing up 3 days late from time to time. By August, 2012, I’d moved from a 25 to a 28+ day cycle.
Last month was 29 days. So to go from that to 19 days is a big deal, and makes me believe I’ve hit perimenopause.

Nothin’ I can do but sit back and keep watching it. If 2 more cycles go by like this, I’ll definitely want to get checked out by my GYN to make sure it’s nothing worse than perimenopause or endo behaviour.

I don’t know yet if this is related, but I have major restless leg issues going on tonight. I’ve eaten a banana and I have taken a calcium pill to no benefit as of yet.

Are you kidding me?

I’m only at 19 days since the last onset of my cycle, and I woke up bleeding! WTF! I’m not supposed to be due for up to ten more days!

First my cycle lengthens from 25 days to 29ish days, and now I’m starting it at 19 days?
Is this the start of peri-menopause?

I had prior warning signs for the last few days, but I mistook it for just being too active on the dance floor. I took half a Tylenol 3 pill after going dancing on Friday, because the lower back and left hip were killing me. The low back pain was a sign of george, though.

The pelvic and low back pain, combined with right hip pain and mild nausea from said pains has led me to take another half Tylenol 3 pill today. I’ve also consumed 1,200mg of Ibuprofen today. The pain of everything has had me constant at about a 6.5 on the pain scale today.

Despite the pain, I still went out and got my hair cut, then met up with two friends I haven’t seen in several months, then did a bit of retail therapy before coming home and setting up this year’s AIDS Walk donation page (I organise a team for the walk every year). I have been hobbling quite a bit today – mostly due to the hip pain – but dammit, I still went and lived my life. I will call the doctor tomorrow about the hip, and I will call my surgeon about the early menstruation. Of course, I should probably read up on peri-menopause again, too. I don’t know if it’s too early for me – I’ll be 42 in September. My Ma entered peri-menopause around this age, so it’s not unheard of.

Tomorrow begins a week of tearing down classrooms and setting up for the Summer session. This past Friday, my head teacher and I successfully graduated 17 first- and second-graders. I made it through an entire school year without missing much work from endo, because I’ve been on Gabapentin. I have seen more money in my paycheck as a result, and have earned my worth with the management, who are finally considering me for a head teaching position. So, I’m still in pain, but I’m no longer averaging an 8 on the pain scale. I modulate the amount of Gabapentin I take during my cycle, so I’m getting 300mg a day instead of 200mg. This helps, but the side effect is that I forget everything. So long as I’m not taking 300mg every day anymore, it’s worth the side effect for now.

We’ll see how this week goes for me…
In the meantime, here’s a pic of my new ‘do!

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