How Dysmenorrhea ALMOST Ruined my Life

Disclaimer: The following post might be considered a sensitive subject matter for some people as it has to do with the female reproductive system. If you find such topics unsettling and even "triggering" this might not be best suited for you.

March is dubbed as Endometriosis Month and though this is not the same, I would like to shed some light on Dysmenorrhea.

I've always had extremely painful cramps for as long as I can remember and that has been a long time. I was one of 2 girls in Prep School that started my period at 10/11 and it was an awkward experience. Wearing a pad was one of the most uncomfortable feelings and let's not even talk about a tampon (I tried it once and it was horrible). I remember it came the day after we had "Girls" and "Boys" Day in school where we were split into groups to have the dreaded "Birds and Bees" talk and about all the wonderful changes our body would endure throughout the years as females -- they lied! I suddenly had this excruciating pain that felt like aliens took over my body and they were having a war on the inside while some were trying to get out. I was told it's hereditary as those before me (mother and sister) suffered the same fate. This went all the way up to University where I had to miss days because I was in so much pain and could not walk much less keep anything down. This went on for a few more years and again I was told "It's just hereditary", drink some tea and get some rest.

In 2016 while on a high way in Florida during the first day of my cycle the pain was so intense that I had to be rushed to the emergency room as it felt different this time -- it was worst and this time everything was numb, I literally could not feel my legs. I was observed and described the level of pain I felt and was giving morphine and an injection. That morphine worked wonders and immediately put me to sleep and when I woke up the pain had diminished. The Doctor came in with a diagnosis and said I had Dysmenorrhea -- what is that I asked? Will I die? Her reply "No, it's not life-threatening and depends on the underlying cause you can be treated with medication, relaxation therapy and rest.

Dysmenorrhea, also known as painful periods, or menstrual cramps, is pain during menstruation. Its usual onset occurs around the time that menstruation begins. Symptoms typically last less than three days. The pain is usually in the pelvis or lower abdomen.

From there, things only got worst -- when I got home the pain intensified though I must admit I live in a stressful environment and my body does not respond well to stress so that made it worst. I was at the Doctor or Hospital every month getting injections to soothe the pain, strung up on drips as I could not eat or keep anything down -- this cost money and I was not able to save and the funds soon depleted. I was referred by my Doctor to do a combined ultra-sound to see what the underlying issue was and after paying for that the result came back as "normal" -- I was then sent to do a Pap Smear and the result was again "Normal" ... Blood Test .. "Normal".. what the heck was happening here?

The thing about Dysmenorrhea is that you are constantly in pain -- before, during and after your cycle so I had to pass up several events and opportunities as I could not just "pop a pill and all would be well" .. nope I was in pain similar to contractions. 

Today, things are a little better as I am on medication that has major side-effects BUT! The pain is significantly and I can pop a pain killer (where I can't drive for 4 hours ) and keep things moving! I've also changed my diet significantly where I removed foods that are acidic and cause inflammation, I've limited my sugar intake and is working on my caffeine intake -- I love Coffee but caffeine is one of the things that cause pain so instead of 1 cup per day I have half. 

I am constantly doing research on Dysmenorrhea as it is not something talked about in Jamaica as I feel there is not enough information. If you have extremely painful cramps, please visit your Doctor to get professionally examined. Early detection saves lives.

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