I’m celebrating and suffering from my last period before the old girls (my ovaries) are removed next month. No more of this. After my surgery next month, I won’t have any more of these cycles. No more PMS, no more periods, no more tampons, no more worries I’m bleeding through my clothes, no more of this incredible bloating, no more of this awful pain that’s been getting worse and worse these last few months.
It’s strangely bittersweet. The sweet part is easy to understand and it’s the emotion I’m most cultivating. I look forward to feeling better after my surgery. The bitter part… that’s more difficult for me to understand. Why would I miss this? I think I will miss what it symbolizes – my sense of self as a fertile woman, my feeling of sisterhood with other women through the common experience, my hope that the monthly blood would one day pause as a child is created. As I suffer through this last period, I grieve these feelings and hopes.
I decided that I would celebrate and honor this last cycle. I bought myself a big bouquet of red roses, a couple of candle holders, a bottle of red wine, and a red tin I filled with chocolates. I now think every woman with endometriosis should receive a dozen red roses each month – paid for by insurance and available by prescription. I love this gift to myself.
The last couple of days have been some of the most painful in my endometriosis experience. I have a severe case, but did not have severe pain for most of my life. I felt fortunate. Over the last 6 months or so, maybe a year, my symptoms have gotten worse and worse. My bloating is incredible. It’s really gross. My belly is normally quite soft (I am not a six-pack abs kind of girl – perhaps partly related to a lot of estrogen in my system). Anyway, my belly becomes very swollen. I would almost call it distended. I look quite pregnant, which is extra sad to me. My belly becomes hard.
Then there’s the pain. It feels like hot pokers, no exaggeration. And not poking, stirring. It’s a kind of sharp, burning, bruising, pain. I even ran a fever yesterday. I never had pain with sex, and I’m so thankful for that. I do have pain with my bowels, sometimes a piercing-take-your-breath-away kind of pain, and there’s something going on with my bladder. Maybe that’s just from the swelling. Maybe it’s all stuck together with adhesions. It hurt so much yesterday and this morning. I just laid on the couch with a movie and my coloring book. On a summer Saturday. Tylenol helped some, but when it would wear off… I wish it was easier to describe this pain to other people and for them to understand how cruel this disease can be. I guess it doesn’t matter what other people think, but I would love more support.
Today is a little better and I’m getting towards the end of it. My last period. I have so much grief in my heart. At the same time, I know we’ve made the right decision about my treatment. I’m ready for surgery. I don’t want this pain to go on. I’m ready to feel better. I’m ready to be done with periods. I’ll be glad to be done. I’m still a vital, creative, beautiful, sexy, young (ish) woman. Period.
Text copyright Snowdroplets 2016