Like many, I have fears in life. Fear of wolf spiders, fear of suspension bridges, fear of dying. But those fears are few and far between. I can have the trusty husband take care of the spiders (god help me if there’s one in the shower with me) or I can elect not to walk across a suspension bridge or I know I won’t die for quite some time (I hope). However, I have a few that haunts me every month. A fear that makes my heart race and that keeps me up at night. It’s pain.
This is where my 3 male readers can stop. This doesn’t pertain to you and by the end you’ll just wish you could erase the next few seconds from you memory.
So pain ladies. Some of you may know this pain. Some of you have no clue. We are talking cramps. Mine aren’t any ordinary cramps. It starts as a low dull ache. Just enough to make me think that nothing is going to happen this month. Then somewhere around 3 a.m. it strikes with a vengeance. A pain that is searing from my front to my back. All the way to my toes. My legs hurt so bad I can’t walk. A pain so bad it finds me curled up on the couch in the fetal position.
Over the years I have developed quite a pain tolerance because of this. I took a hockey puck off the foot (broke a toe) and kept playing. Two days after major surgery I took myself off any narcotic pain killers because they were making me so sick. I stuck to the lighter stuff. But this pain is something else. More than the bridges, more than the spiders, more than dying it is my worst fear. It paralyzes me.? About a week before my period starts I begin wondering… when is it going to start.? 3 days in advance this time or will it tease me like last month and wait until day 1.? I keep piles of pills on my night stand just in case I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t walk to the kitchen.? I start to panic when there is only 1/2 a bottle of ibuprofen in the cupboard.? I worry when the last of the “heavy drugs” are gone.? Where am I going to get more?? Because while my OB/Gyn believes there is pain, he’s a guy and doesn’t understand completely.? And asking him for a script for such drugs would get me an eye roll and a “take tylenol and IB alternating.”? (ok, he’s not that uncaring)
This pain is something my acupuncturist and I have been working on since June.? It was one of my major complaints from the get go.? For some reason she hasn’t been able to get the formula right to stop the pain.
until now.? I am day 2 into this month’s cycle and other than a very brief episode (cured by 2 tylenol and a glass of wine) I’ve been pain free.? That could all change later this afternoon or tonight, but for the moment I’ll take it.? I’m still scared. I don’t know what it is like to have a period without the pain.? She assures me that the pain is not normal and I shouldn’t be feeling that way.? I want to believe her.? I really do.? And this month I’m starting to think it is possible.? But for now… I’ll live with the fear in the back of my mind.
And for you guys that made it through all of that… I”ll buy you a beer.