#ShareYourPain : Dysmenorrhea

"Dys- men-o ... what" ??

This is what I always hear when people try to say Dysmenorrhea which is always followed by "what is that". Hi, I'm Rane and I was 29 years old when I was diagnosed with Dysmenorrhea. Before I get into my story, let me first define what Dysmenorrhea is.

Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for pain with menstruation. There are two types of dysmenorrhea: "primary" and "secondary".
Primary dysmenorrhea is common menstrual cramps that are recurrent (come back) and are not due to other diseases. Pain usually begins 1 or 2 days before, or when menstrual bleeding starts, and is felt in the lower abdomen, back, or thighs. Pain can range from mild to severe, can typically last 12 to 72 hours, and can be accompanied by nausea-and-vomiting, fatigue, and even diarrhea. Common menstrual cramps usually become less painful as a woman ages and may stop entirely if the woman has a baby.
Secondary dysmenorrhea is pain that is caused by a disorder in the woman's reproductive organs, such as endometriosisadenomyosisuterine fibroids, or infection. Pain from secondary dysmenorrhea usually begins earlier in the menstrual cycle and lasts longer than common menstrual cramps. The pain is not typically accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fatigue, or diarrhea.

I've always had extremely painful cramps that came with other symptoms like a backache, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and breast tenderness. Yes, all those plus excruciating cramps for 3 days! When I was in high school whenever my period came I would be out of school for a good 3 days which led me to be friends with the Nurse, Guidance Counselor and a few teachers who understood my condition and was willing to help me to catch up with days missed. This continued throughout University and my work life and I thought it was normal. After all, my mother and sister also had painful cramps and I thought it was hereditary and it was simply my turn to "feel the pain". Friends and Boyfriends understood to an extent but thought I was being overly dramatic and hyping the pain up for more than it really is. Things got so bad that whenever my period came in order to "carry out my day to day"  I had to go into the Dr. or Hospital to get injections (3 whole injections at once) OUCH! that went directly into my bloodstream. This helped to stop the pain for 48 hours but then I would sleep for another 48 hours which meant my life was practically over! Not really but kinda.. here in the world of "Fashion, Lifestyle, Entertainment, and Business" things go by pretty quickly and if you miss an hour you miss a whole lot so imagine missing an entire week. Here at The Haute Lifestyle, I do the bulk of the work which involves A LOT! This, of course, sent my anxiety sky high and I was always on edge about all the things I missed and could not control. Let's talk about expenses for Dysmenorrhea -- On average each month I spend anywhere between $50,000- $60,000 JMD or $550 USD on this condition alone! I have no idea where I get the money from but after going through my receipts for the month it always amazes me. Expenses include Injections, Medications, Birth Control and "Period Groceries".  I have a 150 mg painkiller, 1 pill that costs $495jmd or $5usd. Dysmenorrhea has taken so much of my life and time that I'm currently going through a guinea pig stage where I'm trying various medications, treatments and a few holistic remedies like Dog Blood" ( not actual dog blood, but rather a root based plant that is said to have anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties. I can only describe the taste of dog blood as yucky! It smells and tastes extremely bitter and has an even worst aftertaste. The only thing that has been helping me so far is a special type of birth control, that is again expensive that is used to reduce the pain. I was told by the Gynecologist that this is supposed to over time create new hormones that will combat the "problematic" hormones and make things normal. I still get extremely anxious every month as soon as it touches my period date as I always wonder if I will have a monstrous cycle or a manageable one. I am extremely faithful and hopeful that I will find a solution soon as this pain has taken over my life.

If you have extremely painful periods, please share your story and be sure to use the #shareyourpain (hashtag)

Word of the day

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor  depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is Christ or Lord.
Romans 8:38-39



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