I’m cramped by the limiting belief that my bloody cycle owns me.
My bloody cycle is my menstrual cycle in case it bears explaining. It’s just one of the things plaguing me in my journey to old age…
In this, my 42nd year, I have been diagnosed with skin cancer (“just basal cells” – the “good” kind). I started wearing glasses for the first time ever – readers AND distance, both at once, BOGO – lucky me! My annual mammogram revealed a suspicious lump in my right breast that doctors are “keeping an eye on”. And, I started perimenopause, which, by the way, they don’t tell you has ALL of the same symptoms as pregnancy. I had my besties planning a baby shower for my post-vasectomy, miracle baby. Truth: same symptoms! You’re welcome. Forty-two to is apparently the new sixty-two.
That excerpt is from the fragment of a book I dabble with from time to time and may or may not someday finish. Today is January 20, 2020. I’m 43 (and a half) now and I’m only starting to get over the medical woes of my 42nd year.
Getting old is no joke.
At a recent gynecological visit…. oh, I should stop there and mention that this post is rated PG-W (for women only) and might get uncomfortable for the dudes…
So, my doc and I were chatting about my aforementioned perimenopause adventure. He gave me an apologetic smile and confirmed that my symptoms would likely get more sporadic and unpredictable. Furthermore, they would be sprinkled throughout my (bloody) cycle, rather than confined to the days leading up to my monthly visitor. Gee, that’s super news, thanks.
Additionally, he added that it would continue until I’m 51. He said it so matter-of-factly. It was as if the information was already published there in my chart. Perhaps it was the work of a magic 8 ball or he read my cards while I was… otherwise occupied there in his office. I can’t be sure. But, just like that, my destiny manifested and since then, it’s been – say it with me – NO. JOKE.
My physical symptoms are awful.
The cramping in my legs is excruciating and the lower back pain and pelvic cramping are miserable. To make matters worse, my flow is ridiculously heavy. I read once that over the course of an average period, a woman produces three tablespoons of blood. (If only I knew how to insert a GIF of myself laughing hysterically right now — it would be an evil laugh, guaranteed.) There won’t be an official measure, but if mine is not three CUPS I’d be shocked. Sorry, I know it’s gross ladies, but the struggle is real and if we can’t be open about it here, then where?
Speaking of the struggle, the whole reason I’m writing about this is due to the fact that this morning I bled through a super-tampon, a panty-liner, my skivvies, my pants, AND the chair I rode in on all inside of two hours. It’s so gross. AND SO EMBARRASSING!! And, Amanda witnessed the whole bloody scene!
That’s when Amanda, bless her heart, disclosed to me that she was secretly very passionate about this topic and had a secret period remedy for me.
Without hesitation, I Amazoned that thing. It will be here tomorrow and I can’t wait to put it to the test. (Stay tuned for updates.) I refuse to let my bloody cycle OWN me! I’m learning to manage the mood swings and most of the physical discomfort but the river that runs through it… GIRL, I can’t even! So, I’m turning it over to Amanda now because the world needs what she’s about to share…
Amanda: Well, I’m 42 this year, and last year I was also diagnosed with skin cancer (‘oh, but mine is melanoma’… ’the bad kind’). I’ve been wearing glasses for 32 years but also recently started wearing readers or cheaters or whatever you call them this year. I’m hoping that is the extent of it for 42 and there will be no perimenopause for me anytime soon.
I do, however, share the not-so-normal monthly bloody cycle woes with Rachel. I don’t bring up the topic on the regular, but I have this secret that I love to share with women when the subject of periods happens to come up.
For 5 years, I’ve used a menstrual cup instead of tampons or pads. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard about “the cup”, but I highly recommend you do some research and read some reviews on Amazon. They’re hilarious and enlightening. You know you’re in for a good product with reviews titled:
- “ We Have to Tell Everyone!”
- “ I couldn’t tell I was on my period!”
- “Game changer!”
- “Never looking back!”
It’s all true. It changed my life and I’ve never looked back.
It stays in place, you can’t feel it, and you can safely leave it in much longer than a tampon – 12 hours!! It’s only about $25 and is reusable. It saves a lot of money and paper products in the long-run.
There is a learning curve and so if you decide to try the cup. (I really hope you do!). Practice with it and wear backup protection the first few times. If you’re a heavy bleeder, wear backup as you would a tampon, but know that you’ll have to rely on it less.
Now, you may have stopped reading this post to go check out the cup or maybe I’ve freaked you out. I say give it a try. You have nothing to lose & so much to gain. You will leak less, save the environment and forget you’re on your period! It’s well worth it.
Wow, Amanda! It sounds like my bloody cycle won’t stand a chance! And to think I was strongly considering living in the empty bathtub for five days a month so I wouldn’t have to ruin any more pants . . . or furniture. The cup sounds like a much better alternative!
My take away from all of this is to face my limiting belief (that my bloody cycle owns me) and attempt to slay the dreaded period dragon once and for all!
Instead of lamenting it, I’m going to make one of those circle chains out of construction paper and tear-off one link each day until I’m 51. No, I’m kidding. That won’t help. Rather, I’m going to pay close attention and listen to my body. Hold my coffee while I strike my victory pose…
On the days when I feel tired for no reason, I’m going to rest. When I start to get cranky without cause, I’m going to think twice before I do or say something I’ll regret. And, I’m going to ask my husband to be patient with me. Oh, hey, I invited him to join my period app so he’s now on my party line which is helpful. He stopped looking at me like I have three heads and we’re all happier when I don’t play the role of the three-headed menstruating-dragon. And that ladies, is grace in action!
Does your bloody cycle own you?
Am I alone here or does this story hit home with some of you? How do you slay your inner dragon? Share the love mamas. We all need to stop letting our limiting beliefs get the best of us!