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My 13 year old is having her period for the second time and has cramps.

 

We finished reading Old Yeller this morning and then watched the DVD. So she was lying with a heating pad on her stomach.

 

Its now noon and she has done no other schoolwork.

 

Do you give your daughters a break and let them have a day off?

 

I am not trying to be insensitive to how she feels as I suffered horribly at her age.

 

On the other hand she is a week behind in history. I gave her an extra week to read a book/write the report and it is still is not done. It is due Friday I told her, cramps or no cramps.

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Have you tried pamprin or midol or anything like that? I don't have teen daughters...but did get terrible cramps as a teen...so bad that I was sent home from school quite often. I can't recommend on whether I would give the day off as I don't have girls...but I know that I still need pamprin or midol!

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I'd give her the day off. In theory, this is why I homeschool-so I can be fluid. Could you imagine how she would feel if she were in PS? Poor kid. It's hard enough for adults to trudge through work on days like those.

 

That said, have you given her any ibuprofen? Is she taking her vitamins? My Dr told me cramps come from clots passing through the cervix. I've found that taking a baby aspirin (I'm and adult, tho) every days helped my cramps immensely-along with Vit D and fish oil.

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My 13 year old is having her period for the second time and has cramps.

 

We finished reading Old Yeller this morning and then watched the DVD. So she was lying with a heating pad on her stomach.

 

Its now noon and she has done no other schoolwork.

 

Do you give your daughters a break and let them have a day off?

 

I am not trying to be insensitive to how she feels as I suffered horribly at her age.

 

On the other hand she is a week behind in history. I gave her an extra week to read a book/write the report and it is still is not done. It is due Friday I told her, cramps or no cramps.

 

 

When I grew up and went to the ps, I had to "go" to school and "do" the work...all the while on my cycle. Why should we expect less. It's once a month so it would benefit her to know that there are still expectations. Perhaps hit those subjects that must be done and/or time consuming...chipping away at it. Take several yet smaller-timed breaks.

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Have you given her Tylenol or Advil or a combination of each like you would do with a child with a fever? There is absolutely no reason for a woman, young or older, to suffer from cramps when an OTC pain reliever will stop the pain.

 

Without the pain she can keep up her regular schedule and lead a normal life.

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I can really sympathize with this. When I was a teenager and in my early 20s, I suffered with excruciating cramps. I would turn deathly pale and I would get sick to my stomach. I also had a backache that prevented me from walking except when absolutely necessary.

 

There was no way I could be at school, so once a month I would miss a half or whole day of school. My mother talked to the school nurse and my dr sent the school a letter to verify I had unusual issues. Sometimes I would get in half a day, but I was usually out all day. It did not, however, affect my grades because I learned to work around it.

 

That being said, I don't think I would be concerned with allowing your dd a day off to let the worst of it pass. At least with homeschooling you have far more flexibility than if she were in "regular school". If she is hurting badly enough, she won't be able to concentrate anyway.

 

I don't know how bad her cramps are, but has she seen a dr? There might be something she can be given to ease the symptoms. It's amazing what they can do now compared to what they had when I was her age all those years ago!

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I always had horrible cramps and would often take 800mg at a time of ibuprofen in high school because they were so bad (I ended up w/ an ulcer - possibly because of that, but that's another story I suppose). Even as an adult, I'd often have very bad cramps that interfered with daily life. Several years ago, I started taking a magnesium supplement, and that has eliminated the cramping for the most part.

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I second the ibuprofen recommendation. It was the ONLY thing that worked for me. Also, some exercise (even tho that's the last thing she wants) can help as well.

 

:iagree:

 

This has been my experience, also.

 

 

When I grew up and went to the ps, I had to "go" to school and "do" the work...all the while on my cycle. Why should we expect less. It's once a month so it would benefit her to know that there are still expectations.

 

:iagree:

 

Out there in the "real world," taking sick days for one's period is not encouraged ... at least back in the days I was working for money, that was the case. Sure, you might not have been as productive on one of those days, but you were expected to work regardless. And if your career is at home ... do the babies and young children give you a day off for those days :lol:

 

... girls need to learn that concept eventually ...

 

Sympathies,

Karen

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When my dd is having a really bad day with cramps, I give her the day off no matter what we are in the middle of. I was like that as a teenager and it was really hard to concentrate while in that much pain.

 

Here are a couple of things that have helped my daughter:

 

PMS- by Hyland's we buy it at our local health food store. This works well for her. It really does help her irritability too!

 

She also takes Blackstrap Molasses to help with her low iron. This also helps with the cramps and duration of her cycle.

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I think it depends on the severity of the cramps.

 

I'm in agony the first 48 hrs of my period. I have always been. Didn't go to school. Didn't work. I usually take medicine that keeps me from crying and that is about it.

 

But I have adenomyosis. It wasn't diagnosed until I was married. I can't imagine how horrible it would have been if my Mom had forced me to suffer through that pain and go to school or work anyway.

 

So be that mom. The one who takes into account your particular child's situation and is willing to be flexible if your daughter really just needs to go to bed. But also the mom who says, "Buck up," if that is needed.

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She was sitting at her desk doubled over so we made an agreement. She can skip school for the rest of the day but no television. She also agreed to do "school" on Sunday.

 

I figured it must be really bad because she said she did not want to go ice skating. She skates 6 days/week and never misses.

 

I finally got her to take some Aspirin.

 

I am a bit skeptical of over the counter remedies. I could take a bottle of over the counter pain relief and still get no relief.

 

If this pattern continues for the next few months I will check in with her doctor.

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I finally got her to take some Aspirin.

 

I am a bit skeptical of over the counter remedies. I could take a bottle of over the counter pain relief and still get no relief.

 

If this pattern continues for the next few months I will check in with her doctor.

 

The poor thing. I have had months that were agony.

 

FYI, Before ibuprofen became available OTC, it was often prescribed for cramps. It has properties that aspirin doesn't. I do get a little woozy on Advil around that time of the month, but it does not affect me like that other times. I am not a big medication person - it takes a lot for me to take meds for pain. However, this is one I will do it for.

 

I hope you find a solution for her.

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I had such terrible cramps that I would often pass out, and I was frequently sent home from high school. Anaprox (a prescription form of naproxen/Aleve), pretty much saved my life ~ or at least my GPA ~ in college!

 

It's a cruel twist of fate that prostaglandins have a dual function: carrying pain signals and causing uterine contractions. NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen inhibit the production of prostaglandins, so they actually reduce the contractions as well as reducing the pain signal transmission.

 

Prostaglandins are hormone–like fatty acids that send pain signals to the brain. The additional prostaglandins cause small contractions of the uterine wall and the gastrointestinal symptoms that accompany dysmenorrhea.

http://www.womentowomen.com/menstruation/dysmenorrhea.aspx

 

Study showing a 3 to 4-fold reduction in prostaglandins in menstruating women taking ibuprofen:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/474640

 

Note that not all Midol formulations contain ibuprofen or naproxen (e.g. Midol Complete is just tylenol, caffeine, and an antihistamine sedative).

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_active_ingredient_in_midol

 

Jackie

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I don't have teenage daughters but I have terrible cramps. There are 1-2 days per month where I can barely function. I take the day off so I will probably give my girls a day off if they have the same problems. OTC remedies, vitamins etc help me some but not completely so rest and the heating pad are all that I can do.

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calcium and magnesium (especially in the week before her period). My mother used to be laid up in bed during her period. I had a lot of pain the first day (but was okay after I took a Tylenol). I was determined that dd would not have to go through that. She had horrible cramps for her first period. After that, I supplemented with calcium/mag chewables. She's been fine since - no pain but it is very heavy. I'm experimenting with vitamin K and lots of salad for that.

 

HTH,

Sandra

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Cramps bite! I found that 800mg of Ibuprofen and a heating pad is the only thing that will touch it on a bad day. I used to get out of public school about one day a month, God bless my mother who understood.

 

I would say you know you dd best and would assign reading or work that can be done while sitting with a heating pad.

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I was a very studious and conscientious young person. I rarely missed school, in fact I had perfect attendance all four years of high school and was given an award at the graduation ceremony for it. But in junior high, when I first started monthly cycles, I had horrible, horrible cramps. They were so bad that I became nauseated and vomited. The pain often radiated to my legs as well. I would become very pale and weak. I remember calling my mom or grandma to come pick me up from school a few different times, with the approval of the school staff because they could see that I was in pain.

 

I think it takes a while for one's body to get adjusted to the new process. By the time I was in high school (and had been menstruating for two years) I no longer had to leave school, even though I continued to have horrible symptoms at that time of the month until after I had kids.

 

I highly recommend giving her ibuprofen. It could have saved me a lot of pain. I was skiddish about taking medication when I was a teenager/college student, so I lived with a lot of pain that was unnecessary.

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Every month when I was in high school, I would call my mom to check me out early from school when my period came. I was so distracted by the discomfort and pain- my lower back always aches when I have cramps. I would go home, take ibuprofen and take a nap. Then when I woke up I felt much better and was able to function. I say try something stronger than just a heating pad, or else give her these few days off. When one is feeling less than functional, they won't be able to give their work their full attention.

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She was sitting at her desk doubled over so we made an agreement. She can skip school for the rest of the day but no television. She also agreed to do "school" on Sunday.

 

I figured it must be really bad because she said she did not want to go ice skating. She skates 6 days/week and never misses.

 

I finally got her to take some Aspirin.

 

I am a bit skeptical of over the counter remedies. I could take a bottle of over the counter pain relief and still get no relief.

 

If this pattern continues for the next few months I will check in with her doctor.

 

Good for you! I wish my mom had done that. I ended up needing minor surgery but didn't find out until I was getting married. I spent 9yrs w/ white-knuckled, barely-breathing pain that was uneccessary. :glare:

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In my teenage years and early twenties, my symptoms would change every few years. Initially, my cramps were painful, but not to the degree of being unable to function. The weird thing is that wintergreen Tic Tacs helped immensely. I don't know why.

 

Then the symptoms changed and I'd get sick to my stomach. Nothing helped except catching the cramps very early, when they were barely detectable. If I could take some pain medication and go to sleep, I could avoid throwing up. If I couldn't sleep, then there was no avoiding throwing up, no matter how hard I tried. Fortunately, throwing up seemed to release the tension and my cramps would go away almost immediately. That happened for several years. I learned to not fight it and just get it over with. So glad that phase is over with. Now I hardly get any cramps.

 

There are several tips mentioned in this thread that I wish I had known about back then. I'll have to keep them in mind for my dc.

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But in junior high, when I first started monthly cycles, I had horrible, horrible cramps. They were so bad that I became nauseated and vomited. The pain often radiated to my legs as well.

Oh, yes. I always had pain in the tops of my thighs. It was pretty intense. I still get a little bit of pain there when I get cramps, but it's not nearly as bad.

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I am a bit skeptical of over the counter remedies. I could take a bottle of over the counter pain relief and still get no relief.

 

Just fyi, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is not an NSAID, and it works by a very different pathway from NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen. It tends to be less effective for severe pain, and many people (including me) find it has very little effect on them. So if you've found that Tylenol does not work for you, don't let that prevent you from trying ibuprofen ~ it can be very effective even for people who get no relief at all from Tylenol.

 

In fact, Tylenol & NSAIDs are different enough that it's perfectly safe to take both at the same time, because they don't interact or amplify the effects of each other. Several people I know (including DH) have found that taking them together is much more effective than either alone. I had no idea this was safe until both my doctor and our pediatric dentist recommended it. DH, who has severe migraines, said it has changed his life.

 

Jackie

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When cramps cause doubling over and teary eyes from pain, that counts as a sick day to me. Treat the cramps with whatever works, relax, read books or watch dvds for school if not napping and resume school the next day. There is no way if I was in that much pain I would be productive. Dd has had them that bad 2x - even dh felt bad for her (and let's face it - he has NO idea the pain).

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In fact, Tylenol & NSAIDs are different enough that it's perfectly safe to take both at the same time, because they don't interact or amplify the effects of each other. Several people I know (including DH) have found that taking them together is much more effective than either alone.

:iagree: Whenever I need to take pain medication I take 2 Tylenol and 2 ibuprophen. I frequently have toothaches because of dental issues (getting those taken care of, but a few teeth at a time).

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Just fyi, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is not an NSAID, and it works by a very different pathway from NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen. It tends to be less effective for severe pain, and many people (including me) find it has very little effect on them. So if you've found that Tylenol does not work for you, don't let that prevent you from trying ibuprofen ~ it can be very effective even for people who get no relief at all from Tylenol.

 

In fact, Tylenol & NSAIDs are different enough that it's perfectly safe to take both at the same time, because they don't interact or amplify the effects of each other. Several people I know (including DH) have found that taking them together is much more effective than either alone. I had no idea this was safe until both my doctor and our pediatric dentist recommended it. DH, who has severe migraines, said it has changed his life.

 

Jackie

 

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

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I used to get terrible cramps in high school; I would stay home from school, and I had to leave work a few times when my period started and I wasn't expecting it. It was terrible for the first couple of days. My mom sometimes let me stay home but usually made me suffer through it b/c 'it's not that bad, we all have to deal with it'.....I hated her for it. I wanted to die the pain was so bad. I finally learned after a couple of years that advil and a nap really helped. After I had my first child, the cramps went away, so that has been fantastic. When I was in labor with my 2nd, my mom was there and was watching the contractions on the monitor and said 'wow, you're really having some strong contractions and you're not crying or anything' and I said 'yeah, this is what my periods felt like, so I can handle this without screaming' and she said 'oh'....and felt bad that she didn't believe me. So that was a nice little redemption bit there. If my dd's have the same thing, I will gladly give them a day off.

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I had horrible cramps. I would get very pale and dizzy; I would throw up and have the runs. I fainted a few times. It felt like my legs were being pulled off, and my back hurt. I remember lying down and seriously pondering the merits of selling my soul to get rid of the pain.

 

It was absolutely excruciating. Some months it wasn't as bad as others, but it was always bad. When it was not AS bad, I could make it through school, but I often missed. I really hated to miss school, but it's hard to make it when you're puking and fainting, you know?

 

Ibuprofen helped, but not really enough. The doctor finally gave me some sort of prescription pain reliever; I don't remember what it was. It may have actually been a narcotic. It helped but did not eliminate the pain or nausea.

 

So honestly, I would gauge my reaction by how she is acting. If she's just milking it, then I would probably make her do at least the essentials. If she's incapacitated, then I treat it like illness.

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I also had to leave school for 1/2 to a full day...and have even had to miss work for it. I had a shaking leg that warned me when everything was starting and then I had 30min to get home before all the other "symptoms" started to appear (cold sweats, diahrea, cramps that made pre-transitional labour seem like a cakewalk). Stupid doctors misdiagnosed me with "severe dysmenorhea" (bad cramps). As a young adult I was diagnosed with endometriosis.

 

So, yes, I give my daughter a break. It's one day. This is not public school. They are adjusting and will eventually learn to deal.

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"Take one to two ibuprofens (such as Advil, Motrin and Nuprin) on the three days before your period." Read this: http://www.intheknowmom.com/cramps.htm

 

I had really bad cramps when I was a teen, and I usually missed a day of school each month as a result. That was before ibuprofen was widely available, and even then, only by prescription. Now, I help EK keep track of her cycle on the calendar, and I remind her to take ibuprofen (she takes 400 mg 2-3 times per day starting about 3 days before she expects to start her period), and the difference has been AMAZING. Before we started this, she had TERRIBLE cramps for the first couple of days of her period -- she would be doubled over in pain and could barely walk.

Edited by ereks mom
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My 13 year old is having her period for the second time and has cramps.

 

We finished reading Old Yeller this morning and then watched the DVD. So she was lying with a heating pad on her stomach.

 

Its now noon and she has done no other schoolwork.

 

Do you give your daughters a break and let them have a day off?

 

I am not trying to be insensitive to how she feels as I suffered horribly at her age.

 

On the other hand she is a week behind in history. I gave her an extra week to read a book/write the report and it is still is not done. It is due Friday I told her, cramps or no cramps.

 

 

Maybe motrin will help???

 

As for letting her have a day off? It depends on how severe the symptoms are and the child.

 

My niece used to have horrible PMS, very irregular schedule. Often she would be in tears and throwing up with her periods. Pain isn't new to her and she would still go run, exercise even in pain. She suffers with mild spina bifida, spondylothesis, and more. Her conditions are mild and she "seems" normal to most. She played sports nearly every season, even when she had to wear a back brace to help correct mild curve in her lower back). But for her, the cramps were horrible. Codeine didn't help. She would beg us to stay in bed. Sometimes she didn't go to school (even though it meant she missed a tournament, game, track meet). So she was put on low dose birth control at 13 (she started her period at age 11) and that was that. She rarely had any PMS problems after going on bc.

 

My Dd isn't able to "take the day off" when she is on her period. But she isn't getting PMS symptoms other than very mild discomfort. So for her, she is able to "ignore" the PMS almost always. Once in awhile she would feel a bit worse and take a motrin. But that is all she needs and it is only a few times a year at most. Now if she had a martial arts tournament or was planning on going to a concert and told me the PMS was so bad that she couldn't go.. then yes I would allow her to take time off from school for a day or two. But I know if she begged off like this that she was in bad pain. She also isn't a stranger to regular pain. She may have very mild rheumatoid athritis as her joints swell at times, although tests were negative. She gets swollen joints every now and then and her joints ache often.

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Another one here who had terrible cramping as a teen and as an adult. I would be sent home from school with dizziness, nausea, very very pale and extreme pain. After a while the doc told me to take 800 mg of ibruprofen/Advil which helped a lot but only if I caught started taking it a hours before the cramps began. As a teen I wasn't very regular so sometimes I missed the beginning.

 

I've missed work a couple of times due to the pain but as I've gotten better with dosing myself with ibruprofen that doesn't happen as much.

 

I did want to share that once I started taking vitamin d3 and a good multi-vitamin my cramps have reduced and my (heavy) flow has reduced a lot. I plan on making sure that my daughters have a good diet/multivitamin so as to reduce the possibility that they have the same problem.

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Ibuprofen, microwaveable rice sock, Aleve (if it's bad enough), warm shower, etc.

 

Hope she feels better. I suffered from 13 to 15 with endometriosis and missed quite a lot of school (had surgery at 15 that greatly helped that!).

 

eta: Tylenol never worked at all for my cramps. Ibuprofen (Advil) did and when it was worse I was on a subscription that is now available OTC - naproxen (Aleve). At one point I was even on Tylenol 3. I would start with ibuporfen and go from there. And rice socks help me more than a heating pad for some reason.

Edited by littleWMN
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