Praise God! My name is Joey (Joey is my actual name) I’m 24 years old and i come from a humble family.
So, my whole menstrual life has been unstable. I started my periods at the age of 13 in my senior one and I don’t remember ever having a normal period. At the beginning I thought it was okay but then after a series of consultations at the hospital, I realized there was a problem.
As others had their period for a maximum of 5 days, I was always flourishing nonstop. I started in October 2009 which makes it 11 years of constant bleeding now (2020) I must admit, it hasn’t been easy. I want to narrate shortly how I got to know about this whole hormonal imbalance and how I deal and have dealt with it.
In 2009, it was life as usual, I talked to my mom about my long periods that had lasted three weeks so they said since I had just started it cannot be stable but when they came again, it was for a whole month. At the time I couldn’t even think it was going to last more than 10 years. I know you are wondering if I ever went to hospital for testing, yes I did!
I went to the hospital, we did all tests possible including a hormonal test, but we still could not determine what was wrong.
I started sessions of ultra sounds, to keep monitoring if there was any unusual activity, so they said it was an inflammation on the womb but it was just an exaggeration of the scan so that was ruled out.
So we did all checkups that were recommended but we could not find anything so I learnt that I had to live with that. I was put on a dose of microgynon (these are types of contraceptive pills but they are also useful in regulating and stabilizing hormones) which I was to take for six months and it worked as I took it but the moment I stopped it got worse.
One day from the hospital, I was with mom and then we were told to buy some medicine which I was supposed to take for 4 months and each dose was 250k, at that time my parents didn’t have that money for the four months. Because for each week, I was supposed to take twice or thrice, so It was a bit expensive. So we decided we were going to pray our way through this situation and we’ve never looked back!
Huh…So about explaining it to people, I usually lack the right words to use but it’s usually “I’ve been on my period forever”, “I bleed for 365 days every year”, “I have a hormonal problem”, I just have to find ways of explaining it to whoever I’m telling. In most cases I’m not well and when I say I’m not well, people expect something like malaria, infections and the like, but then they ask, what’s the matter, and I’m like I’m on my period and no one gets it because that’s not being sick. The truth of the matter is when i say i’m not well, i’m really not well.
It’s not easy living with a chronic illness, and I describe it as an extreme sport. It needs a lot of patience. Like when I’m alone, that’s the only thing I think about, I get depressed I can’t even explain it to anybody so I just have to find a way of dealing with the emotions. Of course sometimes you have people to talk to and they’ll always listen. Take for instance my parents and siblings. I even want to cry just thinking about how much they have been there for me and unconditionally.
So there is pain, not physical pain per say, but there is emotional pain, I hurt every time I think about how I wear a pad from January to January!! I got lucky not to have cramps, but this is no consolation for having to bleed and wear a pad every single day for more than ten years. (Yes, TEN YEARS) I’ve actually never had cramps, the only pain or discomfort I have is in the lower abdomen. It always feels like something is flowing heavily through my stomach.
There are days when it’s so heavy, like extremely heavy of I have to change a pad after ten minutes or less, so in this situation I can’t move. On some days I just sit on the toilet and just let it flow so I can have relief from pads. Pads are so irritating, so at one point I have to use cotton and gauze (so comfortable) but I have to use it when I’m home just to avoid the public humiliation in case i stain my clothes.
The whole experience is just disturbing, it hurts, because I also want to just have a normal period like any other girl, use those beautiful period tracker apps. I constantly have to explain why I can’t do things, like swimming and other water activities. On the extremely heavy flow days, I just want to be alone but that can also be an issue because people don’t get why i would want to be on my own.
I have explained my condition to a guy before more than one actually. A couple of them were really supportive especially the guys in my fellowship, one who is married, together with the wife took me up in prayer and we constantly prayed together, they really supported me and I’m so grateful. Besides the ones from my fellowship and the males in my family, I haven’t been bold enough to tell more guys. I have to say that some act like they care at the beginning and just keep pulling away as time goes on, but that’s life.
I attribute my survival to God. I’ve seen the hand of God in my life for the last 10 years. He has made me smile, I’m healthy and all thanks to Him. And of course, I had to learn to live with it, I don’t let it get to my head, I talk a lot so it helps me so much, my mind is always occupied especially when I’m around people I always get what to talk about so I don’t have to be idle and allow the sad thoughts get to me. I also listen to lots and lots of music, it’s so therapeutic!
I also make sure I have enough sanitary supplies at all times. My parents would give me a box of pads while at the university. (in high school, I didn’t opt for a whole box because I wasn’t yet mature and so open about my condition, so I didn’t want to carry a box of pads to school) That was to avoid so many questions, school was 4 months so it would be suspicious to have an entire box of pads.
I’m from a humble family and I was lucky my parents were able (still are) to provide, and I never lacked sanitary supplies and much more at any one point.
Also being around people that love and care about me made me feel like I wasn’t alone. My roommates from A ‘level (High school) to university didn’t segregate me (I may not say the same for O ‘level). I wasn’t segregated but the reception of some people wasn’t really a good one. I think it was because we were still young and none of us knew how to deal with it. Hence i don’t dwell on it so much.
I had an amazing roommate at campus, I’d cry so much but she didn’t give up on me. Also, prayer has been and still is helpful because when I feel down and I have no body to talk to, GOD listens and He always listens to me. (No lie)
Then my mom who has never and never stops asking about my day, how I was, to an extent that I sometimes want to tell her I’m okay just to make her feel better. I don’t remember a day when my parents have not called to check on me and make sure I’m happy and fine.
My eating habits have not been affected, except when I would get a break let’s say after like six months straight. After my episodes of endless bleeding i’d get a break of like one or two days and I would decide to give myself a treat and have the nice things I couldn’t have at the time. Eating that nice food would make me really happy and it still does. Those moments when I would be on breaks were so refreshing, I felt alive and so brand new.
There are very many myths that have been said, like my reproductive health will be affected and I won’t be able to bear children, no man can marry or love me in my condition, for the bleeding to stop I must get pregnant…. etc. It was quite a lot and sometimes i felt stigmatized but I didn’t have to agree to all that, a positive attitude kept me going.
I want to let people out there know that it is okay to be who you are, considering we don’t choose how to be made, but if you ever find yourself with the same condition, you are not alone, find time, share with a loved one. It really helps. You will learn more, even love yourself because it’s not the end.
Hormonal balance is manageable, and you are also worthy of love and all the good things life has to offer. I can’t say lastly because I will be back to say I’m completely fine, and that I have a family and babies of my own… Name it!
2020 has been good so far and I think I’m close to getting my healing. I have periods for five days but still on an abnormal cycle, of more than 2 months. I miss two months and then have the next one so it’s not yet fully stable, but it’s better than having a marathon of 9 to 12 months.
I’m eternally grateful to God above all because if it wasn’t for him I would not have made it this far! I also thank my parents and siblings. These people have been my greatest support system and continue to be. I could not ask for a better family and I thank God for them.
Then, my friends, truly priceless. I don’t know how I would have lived life away from my parents, but these people were always there, anytime I’d call, they’d be there for whatever kind of support I required of them. I know we can beat Hormonal imbalance and we are not alone.!!! Thank you Linda for allowing us to share, and to talk to a soul or two out there. This really means a lot.
This situation was so pressing financially, considering we have to buy pads on a daily. I have used all brands of pads in a bid to get relieved from the irritation. On one of the visits to the hospital, I was told to do a Hemoglobin test (HB test) because I was beginning to get anemic. One of my friends actually paid for a blood test(HB) which I had to do, he went with me to the lab and I got tested and my blood levels were okay.
So I had one last test to do recommended by a relative who is a gynecologist, I have to do a beta pregnancy test to rule out cancer (I’m not pregnant but if it turns out that i am pregnant, chances are there are external beings in the womb which are cancerous) that, I have not found the strength to do! I hope I don’t have to do it. And to my gynecologist Dr. G. B, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!
Any girl can relate to the discomfort of wearing a pad and the irritation, but I had to wear it on a daily. It was too much. I constantly stained my clothes at school, my bed sheets over the night. This whole situation was so draining and emotionally painful. Save for the embarrassments after staining in public (at school, in saloons as I plaited my hair) as long as something involved having me seated for some time, i’d stain it. I couldn’t travel with people because I was constantly in fear of staining their car seats.
The heavy days were really heavy like I said that blood would flow through my pants down to my feet. It was a very long ten years, I’m now in the 11th year, it was a lot of torture especially school days. After my mathematics paper in O ‘level I had stained my uniform so I had to wait for everybody to leave, and then I used the past paper to cover the behind part of my skirt so I could be able to move up to the dormitory. A’ level was the same story during all my Literature papers.
People always told me they understand my situation but I don’t think they did because none had ever been through this. I tried all medical recommendations, took tablets and capsules until my body got used to the tablets too. Some doctors even gave me the medication that I had been on before. All the possible medicines were done
Regardless, I’ve always had faith and I was always and I’m always a happy child. It’s a lot, I may not exhaust all the 10 years in just a single story. But I thank God I can smile, and I’ve been able to share this, I am healthy, I am surrounded by people who love me and this has been a very good source of strength.
Thank you everybody who has been a part of my journey. Together we’ll win this!!! Love wins indeed.
I had some episodes of sleepless nights when I used to have on the heavy days (they were like 10 in a month) and I had to be awake because either I had stained and now I’m even scared to sleep (because I sleep in the worst positions) so there was no way I could not stain the sheets.
So I needed company to keep me awake, my roommate really did the best. And then these heroes called mom and dad would call to jazz, we talk, we pray, catch up on things we had even talked about already, all to make sure I’m not awake alone, this would go on for like hours, until I finally doze off and then they hang up. Only love!!!
For the young girls, if you notice anything out of the normal about your period, talk to your parents about it. We could prevent it from going out of hand. Periods are not shameful, let’s embrace being girls. It is beautiful ️
I couldn’t not mention names because to protect the people’s privacy.
Thank you for reading. I hope to share more even on my progress, and I assure you, I’m beating this!
GOD BLESS YOU !
Well what a story that was!! Joey i’m super duper proud of you, i’ll admit it here that you have pushed me to be more positive about beating this complication. You’re positive attitude is out of this world and i love that you have fully trusted God to take the wheel. I had a conversation with her during my sick days and she mentioned she last took prescribed pills 6 years ago. If you know how helpful these pills are then you understand how shocked i was because once in a while a girl can’t survive without them.
With that being said i hope you have been inspired and also enjoyed Joey’s story. Between the lines she mentioned she’s a happy person and she really is, a whole vibe if i may add. Thank you for sharing this part of you with the world and you’re welcome. I’m doing this to give ladies like us hope and sense of belonging in this cut throat world. Let’s treat each other well and conquer hormonal imbalance, PCOS, endometriosis and all those female reproductive issues together.
WE ARE BOLD, WE ARE BRAVE AND WE’LL BEAT THIS.
Love and Light,