I’m having cramps, again. Like, really bad cramps. The kind of cramps that a few years ago pushed me into sacrificing my sex drive and dealing with patches of dry, itchy skin in order to use hormonal birth control patches (I can’t swallow pills). The hormonal birth control for about a year and that regulated (and shortened, and lightened) my period and completely freed me of my cramps, for which I was eternally grateful.
But, after a year of no sex drive and dry, itchy skin where the patches were applied, I decided to skip a month to see if I still needed the hormones, or if I could manage without. I was able to manage without; I did occasionally have some cramping, but nothing bad.
Nothing like the soul-crushing death knells that nearly sent me to the ER on multiple occasions, or made me risk drowning every month because the only way I could get even slight relief was in a 110*F bathtub where the combination of intense heat and pain made me pass out.
Not that shit I dealt with yesterday.
I’ve been hormone-free for about three years, now. Maybe four. I’ve lost count, it’s been so long since I used hormonal birth control. While I loved not having period pains, I didn’t like being on HBC. As I mentioned, they teamed up with my depression to destroy my sex drive (it still hasn’t fully recovered), the patches dried out my skin, I broke out (nothing bad, but more than I was used to–I’ve always had pretty clear skin, even when I was a teenager). Also, I just don’t like putting additional hormones in my body. I’m generally of the camp that my body doesn’t have them for a reason (probably so I can still enjoy sex), so I shouldn’t be fucking around with things.
But, the pain. I get this cramp/fatigue combo that just kills me. My entire body hurts, save usually for my head and chest. I can barely lift my arms and am prone to muscle spams that once got so bad I accidentally punched myself in the face trying to nap. Everything from my stomach down becomes useless. I usually have to crawl.
So, I couldn’t do jack yesterday, once they kicked in around 4:00pm. All I could do was lie in the bathtub. I thought I was okay after the first bath+refill, but I was only out for about fifteen minutes before I thought I was going to die again. To make matters worse, Pup had come over to watch Game of Thrones, so he was just sitting there like, “Fuck, what do I do?” I don’t think he’d ever seen me in so much pain, before.
So, I took another bath+refill. I fell asleep in that one and that got things in there to calm down. I know that if I can just sleep I’ll wake up and be mostly okay. The pain wasn’t gone and movement was still a pipe-dream, but I didn’t feel like I was going to die, so I called it a win.
I felt bad, though, because my mom made dinner–stuffed bell peppers. I like stuffed bell peppers. But, I have a really good sense of smell and I guess it got better (or worse, depending on how you want to look at it) while my uterus was playing volleyball with my hormones, because I could smell them all the way in the bathroom with the door shut and it just nauseated me. Like, she made this nice, healthy dinner that I actually like and the thought of eating it made me want to vomit.
I’m feeling better now, but I’m thinking it might be time to go back on the patch, which sucks. But, I can’t have another period like this. I just can’t. I’d rather actually die.