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school17777
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Having a rough monthly visitor?

I am already worn out from the holidays, have not had any down time, and bam a rough monthly visitor comes along and I am doing what I need to do, but that’s about it.  Dh doesn’t understand how all other women are able to keep doing what they need to do, which I am, and don’t need to be left alone or just lie around. He’s lucky I don’t have enough energy to punch him! I asked him how he knows if the women he works with don’t take off when they feel crummy.  How would he know?  He just knows, he says.

His sister had to take off a couple days each month and had surgery a couple of years ago to take care of it and she’s younger than I am.  (Mine is not that bad)  According to Dh, we are the only two that he knows of that can’t handle it.  (I don’t even get days off, so I don’t know what he’s talking about.)

Lucky me, he took today off to spend the last day with the kids before they go back to school.  Except he wants to do stuff with me, like go on a hike - um, no, I don’t have any energy and I need to be near the bathroom.  He hasn’t made any plans with the kids.

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12 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

Yeah.  I have no problem with energy, just feeling tethered to the bathroom.  If I’m cramping terribly or having migraines I do need to medicate to function, though, and they can impact my productivity.

 

I admit I can’t think of any friends of mine having to take significant life alterations to function during menstrustion, except maybe a nap and heating pad?  I’ve heard of it, but never seen it.

 

I have more friends than I can count who ended up having an had an ablation because they bled so much they couldn’t leave their house during that time.  Thankfully, that’s not my issue.  This visitor is very crampy and energy depleting.

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There are many women who likely go in late or leave early, spend more time sitting, swap shifts with a coworker, or alter their physical activity level to compensate. I farm and I do what absolutely must Be done but i am far less efficient and can’t work as long or as hard on those rough months. 

How does he know that his co workers don’t collapse into bed at the end of the day and tell their kids to fend for themselves for dinner?

most women I know *do* alter their daily activities at least one day a month to compensate for their bad monthly visitors. If they’re lucky they can take some Advil and just not feel great. But some people do have to take a day off at lease a few days per year. There also may be many who schedule with birth control pills whether the visitor arrives on a weekend. 

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I am 44 and over the last couple years I have wondered how women work and don’t miss time every month. We don’t do co-op anymore but when we did I would be miserable and have to run to the bathroom frequently at a moment’s notice. I made it work though I guess. It was just unpleasant. I am sure I would make it work if I had to. 

But you know what? I don’t have to make it work. I can totally do what needs to be done and take it easy otherwise. I can’t say that I have ever missed something important because of my period but I sure wouldn’t let dh make me feel guilty for not making a full dinner or not going for a hike.

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Several times a year it's too difficult for me to fully function since I was about 14 or so.  But even when I was working it wasn't as if I would announce that problem to anyone I wasn't married to or who wasn't the kind of friend I would ask to borrow a tampon from. This isn't the sort of thing women discuss with men they don't know, and he has ZERO idea if the co-worker who went home sick went home due to that or the stomach flu unless she vomited in front of him. He also has no idea who's on hormones to prevent issues and who had surgeries to stop debilitating issues. Some women have no physical problems but have severe hormonal mood swings.  He really has no idea and frankly I would tell him these are one of the topics he should routinely butt out of.

Was it here that someone posted the thread about the man who was bleeding out of his butt for weeks on end and tried out tampons?

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The last few years I have been having to stay home and sometimes the pain is so bad I can't move.  A few weeks ago I was bleeding so bad I really couldn't go anywhere.  I was going through a cup and a super overnight pad every hour at times.  By my measurement I lost over 28 ounces that month just using the cup to measure, not measuring the pads I soaked.  DH has been very understanding of the bleeding, though the pain not as much.  I think because the blood is measurable, and pain seems to be hard to understand.  But my pain levels are up in the 8+ (on a scale of 1-10) at times even on max doses of OTC pain pills.

So, no, no matter how much I would love to go about my normal routine and get things done, I can't.  I do as much school as I can with the boys.  I have to stay home and cancel things.  Last time I missed an award ceremony I really wanted to go to.  I thought maybe I was being overly cautious at first, but after DH left with the boys I started cramping and bleeding so bad it overflowed my cup and was running down my legs (sorry TMI).  I would have been mortified if that had happened in public.  I am seeing a doctor about it and we are trying treatments, my next step is an IUD which I am really not wanting.

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The vast majority of the time, yes, I'm fine. I often chill and slow down a bit because I usually can, but if I have to do or keep up, it's not a big deal.

Every once in awhile... like, ahem, quite recently... the volume is such that I'm stuck tethered to the bathroom. And then I do typically feel so depleted that it's a stretch to do as much as I usually do.

My bigger issue is that my cycle can be a migraine trigger.

ETA: When I was younger, especially college aged, it was debilitating. I was just in screaming pain a lot. Not that doctors ever believed me or gave a hoot.

Edited by Farrar
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I remember in high school getting bad cramps during art class, and being unable to breathe well, and had to put my head on the table. When one of the boys asked what was wrong I said I drank too much coffee on an empty stomach for breakfast. Then for the next couple months they teased me about making sure I ate before coffee (it was my morning class), and I could ocnveniently pass off any issues or needing to go to the bathroom as a coffee issue.

All this to say that most men do not know what an unrelated female is going through at any point and probably don't even realize half of the hints and clues women can't manage to hide. 

edit (sorry I keep hitting submit by accident, idk what's going on): When I was working I may call in maybe for 3 or 4 single days during the year, but always made it about coming down with a sore throat or fever or something. The rest of the time I would suffer through and put on a forced cheer, but wouldn't volunteer for anything.

My issues have gotten worse after this last pregnancy. DH considers me as having a high pain tolerance (he watched those labors and deliveries, lol) and so doesn't question me when the Midol bottle is on the counter. Also, early in marriage he had to help me clean up while I was also suffering from some flu or something, and I think after that he just is grateful it isn't him. 

Edited by Moonhawk
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Your husband is clueless. I don't think I have ever discussed my period at work, not even with another woman. How in the world does he think he knows what a co-workers vagina is doing on any given day? He's making a ludicrous claim. He only knows about your problems and his sister's problems because he knows both of you on a personal level. If anyone at work were to ask about my period I'd tell them to MYOB. We've got your back!

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It's called menorrhagia. For the first 2-3 days I don't want to leave the house. I ended up with iron-deficiency anemia. It's taken about a year to get my iron levels up to the low range. Check your iron because that can make you extra tired and weak. I could do ablation or the pill, but I'm opting for putting up with it. Dh knows I avoid going anywhere or doing anything on those days. I've rescheduled vacations. It sucks. But he also wakes up a couple of times a night when I bolt out of bed to go to the bathroom. 

Eta: I didn’t know the name until I went to the doctor. 

Edited by Plum Crazy
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I don’t think I’ve ever discussed my period with any man other than my husband or Ob/gyn. I sure never mentioned details to male coworkers, probably not any coworkers. 

I definitely have times when I do the bare minimum.  Fortunately it isn’t every month but it’s more often than a couple times per year. 

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I have one to two days a cycle the pain is so bad I can't move. Getting to the bathroom is a struggle. Even after surgeries! I am so glad that I don't have to work on these days. 

I sometimes pass out from the pain. When I was working full time in the US I had to tell my male co-worker everytime in case I passed out. And I very much altered my life when I worked. I sat the whole day, used a heating pad, maxed on my prescriptions. 

Men don't know what the experience is and don't see people up close. My dad always thought I was being over dramatic and still does, even though I have had a dr. say after my first surgery I had the worst endometriosis he ever saw. Some guys just don't get it. And it shows when they have head colds or sore backs!

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This is why even though dh got a vasectomy, I'm keeping my IUD. It makes it so I don't get a period at all. Before, several times a year there were days when I felt totally ill. I still remember once in high school when I was waitressing and it got so bad that I couldn't even get up to walk. I was shaking and went home early. I wasn't sure I was even safe to drive home. Luckily, dh has always been very sympathetic, but yeah, I sing praises to my IUD.

Edited by MeaganS
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Funny how the only two women he knows well enough to even have this information about them, are the ones with debilitating periods. I mean, that is 100%. 100% of the women he is close to have debilitating periods. (Unless there are other sisters who talk about it. Still, I would think this is a pretty high percentage.)

For me, some months are okay, and some are horrible. Usually for me the pain and heavy bleeding don't mix - either it's painful because my body's working to get it out, or it's so heavy my body doesn't need to work, I guess(?). Usually a light month is followed by a heavy month. But those painful months can make me sick to my stomach, and the heavy months can leave me tethered to the bathroom.

Don't even get me started on PMDD, which I used to suffer from. It is real and it is deadly serious.

My DH had a vasectomy and I'm still thinking of getting an IUD just to get this crud under control.

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I can do everything I need to do, but I don’t have a good attitude about it. I often armor myself with extra protective products and pain medication. I’ve definitely been known to cut corners. 

I think most women cope in ways that are invisible to all men except their husbands. Then the husband thinks his wife is the only one having a hard time. 

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2 hours ago, Thatboyofmine said:

No, I never could fully function.  Starting in 7th-8th grade, I missed at least one day a month of school for my period, if the worst days fell on a weekday.  I had my 1st laparoscopy in high school for endo.  I had 4 or so in the next decade.  I had a hysterectomy at 29.   Fully functioning?  Whatever.   Tell him if his pen*s ever starts bleeding, you will expect him to get his as* up and go to work.  (((Hugs))) friend. 

Applause, applause, applause. 😉 

Carolyn, your DH doesn't have a clue. There have been times when the most I could do was drag myself into a hot shower, lie down in a fetal position, and cry. And I've had kidney stones over 25 times so I think I have a fairly high pain tolerance. Thankfully my husband was always sympathetic and brought me saltines because the pain was sometimes so bad it made me vomit.

I like someone's idea of comparing the pain to bad stomach cramps, like the kind you get with food poisoning. Tell him to imagine that, paired with explosive diarrhea that may arrive at any time without warning. Then maybe he'll have some small inkling. 

Edited by MercyA
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4 hours ago, teachermom2834 said:

I am 44 and over the last couple years I have wondered how women work and don’t miss time every month. We don’t do co-op anymore but when we did I would be miserable and have to run to the bathroom frequently at a moment’s notice. I made it work though I guess. It was just unpleasant. I am sure I would make it work if I had to. 

But you know what? I don’t have to make it work. I can totally do what needs to be done and take it easy otherwise. I can’t say that I have ever missed something important because of my period but I sure wouldn’t let dh make me feel guilty for not making a full dinner or not going for a hike.

IUDs. I haven’t had a period in almost 15 years. It’s the best side effect ever.

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All through high school, I'd have a day or two where I really couldn't focus on anything in class, riding the school bus hurt, midol was my savior, but I'd still be totally wiped out by the end of the day. Looking back, I consider that time period a good one in the period department.

Now, I have less frequent periods. Sometimes it goes by fine, no problem, but usually the pain and cramping wear me out - for at least a few days. Even after taking motrin. And sometimes I'm just dealing with SO much blood SO often that THAT wears me out.

Most of the time I can deal with the kids until DH comes home. Sometimes I have to stick them behind a screen while I stick myself behind a screen with a heating pad and a bar of chocolate, and just hope we all survive before DH comes home.

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My DH has gotten a thorough period-education these past 10 or so years. Before we met, he didn't know anything other than the fact that blood comes out and still sometimes surprises me with how little he actually understands about periods.

"But why do your legs hurt? that doesn't make any sense"

"Remember when I was giving birth and my legs were killing me? Same thing"

"But your uterus is up there"

[scowl] "just bring the heating pad and massage me!"

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“My dear. I cannot relate to the pain you would experience if someone took a golf club to your testicles. However, I trust that it would hurt pretty bad. You cannot relate to the pain and Ill effects that I get due to having a uterus. You’re going to have to trust me that it’s no picnic. I’d LOVE to not have to deal with this monthly. I’d LOVE to be able to go do normal stuff right now. So like i trust you with regards to testicular pain, you’re going to have to trust me with uterine pains. Unless you’d like me to provide a similar level of discomfort each month to your reproductive parts as a reminder, you may  want to be careful about how you discuss this topic.”

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I have to stay near a bathroom on day 1 and/or 2. My legs get weak and shaky. I get cramps,  dizzy spells, and headaches. I develop some kind of sensory issue so I use earplugs when I'm dealing with noisy kids. 

The cramps and bleeding have gotten much worse as I've had children, but the other problems have developed in recent years.

I definitely reduce my speed, shorten my chore list, and take a nap if possible. 

So no...You're not the only one who struggles. 

 

 

 

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I got logged out and this is the first that I’ve been able to log back in.  I am sorry that a lot of you deal painful cycles.

I usually don’t need to take any medicine (except for Evening of Primrose during pms), but I took something last night and today at lunchtime. It was generic and I didn’t have the bottle marked - a little blue pill, not Tylenol, maybe Advil.  Several of you mentioned Midol.  Is this better than Tylenol or Advil?

Also, I have not thought about using a hot pad.  This was a rough cycle with pain and cramps, this is not usual for me, I usually am just depleted energy wise and have stomach issues a day or so before.  So, where do you use the hot pad?  On your back or belly? 

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10 hours ago, school17777 said:

This visitor is very crampy and energy depleting.

One, I think  you need to put him in his place RIGHT NOW. No man can say what it's like to be a woman, so that discussion is over and done. If you need some not nice animal names for what he's being, well throw them in because he's being it.

Two, he's actually right that you could be asking whether there's a medical explanation for the extent of your symptoms and whether there's something that could be done about it. I find that caffeine use and low calcium/magnesium levels affect it. If you haven't been eating well over the holidays or you don't take a good calcium/magnesium supplement, might be a good time to solve those things. It's normal I think to have the first day be slower, but it sounds like this is more days. He's not wrong to wonder if there's an explanation or something to do about that. It's worth looking into. I used to have abominable periods and now mine are fine. A lot of it was diet and nutrition levels.

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I think the only explanation for how  tiring this cycle is for me is that I haven’t had any downtime in probably a month or so getting ready for Christmas, getting kids home from college, hosting several Christmas parties at the house, hosting 7 guests for over a week when we were only expecting one, etc.   Taking care of sick family members on and off in December. Cleaning up after hosting company and cleaning up Christmas. I am plain tired to begin with and then this visitor comes and there’s no time for rest.  I think the doctor would just say that I need some sleep!

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3 hours ago, school17777 said:

I think the only explanation for how  tiring this cycle is for me is that I haven’t had any downtime in probably a month or so getting ready for Christmas, getting kids home from college, hosting several Christmas parties at the house, hosting 7 guests for over a week when we were only expecting one, etc.   Taking care of sick family members on and off in December. Cleaning up after hosting company and cleaning up Christmas. I am plain tired to begin with and then this visitor comes and there’s no time for rest.  I think the doctor would just say that I need some sleep!

You had SIX unexpected guests for a WEEK?!?!? That’s messed up!

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1 hour ago, KungFuPanda said:

You had SIX unexpected guests for a WEEK?!?!? That’s messed up!

 

All seven people (six unexpected and one we knew about) weren’t all there at the same time, it was spread out over a week. 

Yes, our Christmas Day has some drama which resulted in a family staying for a couple of days.  Another guest was one of my long time friends that I was visiting with a couple of days before Christmas who is going through a difficult divorce and wasn’t going to see her child on Christmas, so I invited her and she literally decided at the spur of the moment to take me up on my last minute offer and spent several nights with us.  My sister spent the beginning and end of our Christmas vacation with us.

eta:  Technically, we had 10 guests, if you count dc’s friends who slept over during that time.

Edited by school17777
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I'm going to sound like one of those idiotic tv commercials for a moment.  My apologies.

For those of you with heavy bleeding, you might want to try Lysteda.  (it's a prescription; I told you this was going to sound like a commercial.)

I have had very heavy cycles since the beginning, but I didn't know they were heavy until last year.  I ended up getting a blood transfusion because I was severely anemic.

Like many of you who have posted, I had to adjust my calendar and stay close to a bathroom.  Lysteda keeps the bleeding to a minimum and now my worst days are better than my light days used to be.  It really is life-changing!

 

And for the OP, you might want to try boosting your iron.  And I've used hot pads for cramps and they are really helpful as well.  I'm sorry that your husband is so clueless about this. 

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I would definitely look into ablation...

Meanwhile, it's amazing that your dh is so in tune to the situation.  Please remember this fondly, 15 years from now, when he gets up 3-5 times a night to use the bathroom. Then you can say, "I don't recall any of my friends dhs having this issue..."

Hang in there...we support you!

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I’ve had to call in sick because I had such a bad headache that I couldn’t see well enough to drive-or do anything safely, and the headaches were definitely hormonally linked. 

 

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I have menorrhagia and have  amnemia. it takes me a whole month to get my iron levels up a tiny bit then they plummet again. In the last 6 months I have had 2 extremely embarrassing events in public. it is awful. I live in fear that I will have to go to work on one of the worst days ( relief teacher). last winter I did and I wore a long heavy overcoat the whole day- just in case.

I have found drinking copious amounts of water and  eating large quantities of very dark chocolate right after a heavy bleed helps with the light headedness.

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For me, I am always tired at least one day at the beginning of my cycle, and there is a 50 percent chance that on my tired day I will feel completely exhausted and like I could sleep for a literal 24 hours. Those days I don’t ask much of myself and yes, if I had to work I would stay home.

Im not sure what causes the exhaustion but boy is it intense!

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I always struggle, particularly because of anemia and how much it completely steals my energy and ability to think (amongst more serious symptoms from time to time). I think the reality is that women are really good at covering up period related stuff and just getting on with life until they get to the point that it's too much to cope with and even then people only share it with their immediate family/friends if they have to. So your husband is clueless about what most women he interacts with experience every month and how much they are putting up with quietly. It's kind of weird that he thinks he would know or be able to tell what someone is going through. 

Edited by lailasmum
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I've been pretty lucky.  I have a friend though that bled so heavily she could not leave the house.  She would double pad and still could overflow into her clothes within an hour.  She eventually ended up having to have a hysterectomy, but prior to that was house-bound for 2-3 days out of the period.

DD had such bad cramps she would get pale and sweaty and have to stay in bed.  She eventually got on BC to regulate.  Otherwise, she would easily miss a day or two from each period.

So definitely not unusual.

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