I’ve religiously read all the tales that have been shared so far and I must say I find it quite intriguing that we each have our own stories to tell. We can pick out similarities here and there but over all we each have our own unique tale. I guess maybe that’s why it’s so hard for doctors to actually deal with the likes of us. They try this and that only to raise their hands up and let nature take its course where we are concerned.
When I compare my experience with hormonal imbalance with the rest of the stories I’ve read here, I think of mine as a lighter cross to bear.
I was 11 when I first had my period. I remember being asleep when I was suddenly awoken by a wave of pain in my abdomen. I had no idea what it was, until I felt a sudden urge to go to the toilet. It was a wave of diarrhea or so I thought. My stomach hurt so bad and I made multiple trips to the toilet throughout the night until I saw blood on my toilet paper. I freaked out. It didn’t cross my mind that it was my period. I was 11 after all, I didn’t think my period was due yet.
I therefore arrived at the conclusion that it was dysentery. I awoke my mum with a stream of tears flowing down my face and broke it down to her that I had dysentery. She asked me to explain what else I felt and she eventually informed me that it was menstruation. I cried all the more and asked if it always hurt so much, if I’d always end up with diarrhea and she assured me that it wouldn’t always be the case. She showed me how to wear a pad and told me it wasn’t necessary to take painkillers. I didn’t sleep that night, the pain kept me up…
Fast forward, my period always lasted a normal 3 days, but the pain kept getting worse. I’d feel it up to my back and legs, it wasn’t just the abdomen anymore. Headaches joined shortly after, and my oh my they’re a story of their own. It made it impossible for me to concentrate on anything else, God forbid that my period should land on examination week!! Each time I had my period, I’d make countless trips to the toilet because the diarrhea always came along with it and some months later I made a unilateral decision to take painkillers. I still felt the pain, but it was much more bearable and the diarrhea stopped.
That was the beginning of my journey with painkillers. I’ve had to switch painkillers several times ever since…none of them completely quiets the pain, but it’s better than screaming and rolling on the floor in pain(this is literally what happens when I don’t take any).
In my senior 6, I skipped my period for the first time. My period didn’t come through in January, February, March, April…now I should have celebrated the “freedom” if it wasn’t for the crippling pain that came along with it.
No amount of painkillers helped…I overdosed in vain countless times. I started getting palpitations, probably from the drug overdose. My heartbeat was wild 24/7 as though I was panicked. Everything hurt, but my head, abdomen and back were wedging a war against each other, each trying to prove that it could hurt more than the other. I lost weight tremendously.
Then the paranoia kicked in, I had never had sex then but I thought that I might be pregnant, that maybe I was drugged and forgot. I remember dreading routine pregnancy check up but after going through with it and waiting for the nurse to pronounce me pregnant and she instead said nothing, I was all the more panic stricken. What exactly was going on with my body? I’d wear pads each day because I kept thinking my period was surely coming. When I went back home for my first term holidays. I spotted and that was it. For the rest of the year, I came to terms with living in pain and having no period.
After my senior 6 (last year of high school) exams I opened up to my parents about my scarcity/lack thereof of periods, I thought I might have fibroids or who knows what. My dad took me to hospital, scans and tests were carried out and it was ruled that it was hormonal imbalance.
I was told everything would be fine once I gave birth. I just couldn’t help but think, what about now? Is this pain to continually be a part of me? What if I never gave birth, what would happen then? I eventually got my period some time during my senior 6 vacation, irregular but so much better than none… the pain somewhat subsided, but I was introduced to ovulation pain. I’d never noticed my ovulation until the pains started. I’d crump throughout the ovulation week. The crumps were soon joined by heat flashes that made it impossible for me to sleep at night, nausea, headaches etc.
It soon became my new reality. I tolerated all of that until my breasts started to fill up with water each month. They’d hurt so bad and start to drip onto my bra. Wearing a bra hurt, not wearing one was equally a recipe for disaster. My breasts looked stretched out and shiny in a way that reminded me of breastfeeding mothers. Eventually over time, it ceased to be just water, I started getting milk in my breasts during the ovulation week. I freaked out, I figured I had cancer. I remember my mum asking me whether I was pregnant because my tops kept getting stained (I should have probably worn nursing bras). I finally tearfully opened up to my parents, hospital visits ruled it as hormonal imbalance.
Pre-period crumps, period crumps, post period crumps, ovulation crumps…headaches (migraines), leg cramps, nausea…I have it all. I’ve never known what it’s like to have a painless period. I often have people telling me I shouldn’t take painkillers so much but I just laugh it off because it’s hard to truly explain how crippling the pain is to another person that has merely experienced bearable crumps. I have become reliant on painkillers. I don’t know what new kind of pain hormonal imbalance may unfold to me tomorrow My period on the other hand has relatively been stable this year. I hope it’s the beginning of the end for me (I’ll be 24 years soon). If only the pain would subside too.
Ladies and gentlemen that was a heartfelt story from Miss Green (pseudo name) I know her personally and it breaks my heart to know that she was dealing with this and we had no idea.
I love you Green and thank you so much for sharing your hormonal imbalance experience with us. God Bless You and enable you walk through this life with strength and happiness.
You ever know how STRONG you are until being STRONG is the only choice you have.