Being a Chick.

Since my blog has been very candid, open, and honest, I figure I might as well talk about what it’s like to have chronic illnesses and still have to deal with femaleness. If you’re a guy reading this feel free to either stop now, or weigh in on what it’s like to be a dude with chronic illnesses.

I’m not really the type of woman that gets mood swings. If I get grumpy, it’s because I wake up feeling like I have a machete through the center of my uterus, and a porcupine in my stomach.

If you don’t get what I’m talking about by now, I’m talking about periods. Run screaming if you’d like. I certainly would.

Cramps have always been extremely painful for me. On the first day, I usually spend the day in bed because they are so bad I can’t move (as we speak). Cramps usually trigger a lot of back and hip muscle spasms as well, so basically my lower half is a mess.

Periods make every woman tired and achy, so you can imagine what it does to someone who already spends a lot of the time tired and achy. It magnifies every symptom by 10. About a week before my period I start feeling like shit, and it continues on for about a week after it starts.  So in a month’s time I really only have about 2-2 1/2 weeks where I’m not dealing with symptoms exacerbated by my period. It gets frustrating because I feel like as soon as my body is over the last period and I start feeling “good” again, it’s nearly time for the next one.

During the end of my period are when the crazy headaches start. Headaches are a common period symptom, and can usually be alleviated by over-the-counter shit, but not when you have Chiari Malformation.

The base of my skull starts to throb, and causes muscle spasms down the left side of my neck, shoulder, and upper back. It is impossible to get these spasms to relax and it’s very painful. As the pain continues I get pain in my forehead and my trigeminal nerve (Near your TMJ) which is also very painful.

I have yet to find a medicine that gives me relief from these headaches. I haven’t tried a lot in the way of migraine meds, but since it’s not really a migraine, but a chiari headache, I’m not certain they will help a lot. I don’t want to take any of the stronger painkillers because they have risk of dependency and they make me have fucked up dreams. I was on Norco in the hospital a few years back and I had a dream my cat cloned herself. These painkillers don’t help enough to warrant this kinda thing.

And of course I just have the general achy-ness everywhere. It feels like the flu sometimes.

I haven’t tried stopping my periods with contraceptives. I have casually talked about it with a couple of my doctors but it seems to be put on the back-burner a lot. Having Lupus means I really shouldn’t take anything with Estrogen in it, because there is evidence to support that elevated estrogen actually causes Lupus (more specifically, the immune system response) and I have Adrenal disease and I can’t have any BC that raises blood potassium levels. I guess I haven’t pushed for stopping my periods because I’m not thrilled about the idea of taking another pill, especially one that really alters your hormone levels. I’m afraid rather than feeling better it will make me feel like crap all the time. Everything is so finely balanced and tipping the scale even the tiniest bit can throw everything off and then I’ll have to spend weeks or even months trying to figure out the right balance of meds again.

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