It should have been a fun night out. My husband and I are admittedly not a couple that does date night regularly. The kids are only young for so long, after all. But one day that we always have for date night is my husband’s work party. The close knit group of employees gets together and fun is had.
It started off great. Talking with great people at the beginning of the night, my husband winning us another trip. (Which, will include the kids.) It was full of sweet exchanges. That was until I felt it start to happen. I felt a stabbing pain in my side, that evolved into the feeling as if someone had a fire sword slicing through the lower part of my abdomen and back. This wasn’t the real thing. This was the “minor” pregame of what the next two weeks were going to be like for me. Then, my head started swirling. I couldn’t think or focus. I tried to drink water, hoping it would pass….
…Except the only thing that “passed” was me out on the floor. I barely remember it. I remember leaning onto my husband, warning him of what was about to happen. He could only protect me from seriously hurting myself, only walking away with a banged up elbow, a sore shoulder, and a hit to my dignity. I remember the people huddling over me. I think I heard someone mention calling 911 and the thought of the ambulance bill woke me out of the spell.
Still weak, a few of the women helped me to the bathroom. They helped me splash cold water on my face and wet paper towels. The made sure the bathroom was cleared so my husband could come in and take me back to the table, where they had more water and ginger ale. It was a sweet moment. It was embarrassing. I had to admit that it wasn’t because of the heat or the fact the food was slow to come out. It was because of me. Because I’m defective. Not because I had drank too much, which honestly would have been the better way to go down. Just as embarrassing, but you won’t feel the pain until the next day.
This wasn’t my first major dizzy spell that has led to me passing out. I remember one time where it happened while cooking dinner and I hit my head on the tile floor and the glass measuring cup I was holding smashed against my face. The glass didn’t break, but my face and eye were pretty swollen. It was something I could shrug off as “it happens”. It does. I’m used to it. It still terrifies my husband every time though.
It’s never an easy thing to say “I have a thing where my period basically feels like I have the worst flu of my life for 14 days.” I don’t typically leave the house starting the first day of the placebo pills until after the symptoms completely subside. I have dizzy spells, I spend a lot of time nauseated sometimes to the point of aversion to meats. Just looking at them in a picture is nauseating, let alone the smell. There’s always the fear of leaving blood trails everywhere I go because I seem to bleed out an obscene amount. I’m practically resigned to my bed whenever I can because I’m prone to dizzy spells and I get headaches so severe sitting up isn’t worth it. There’s also the cramps, which are significantly more painful than child birth. It’s like someone has a noose that’s lit on fire wrapped around your lower abdomen and back and your left hanging for 2 weeks as it gets tighter every day.
The problem is sometimes there is no fancy diagnosis. Apparently people need that for validation that you aren’t some wuss with a low pain tolerance. They think you just need to suck it up. There’s not a solution for it; the ones in power seem more concerned with women having babies as God intended and not about the harsh realities some people face. I get to spend time I should be out at a job or being more active curled up in the fetal position wondering why there’s nothing I can do about how I feel. There’s no magic pill that makes it bearable and you need to keep reheating that heating pad to function enough to at least be the adequate parent you are. But you can’t. Because you have a hormonal headache so bad you can’t even open your eyes to look at them.
It’s embarrassing to write about this. But it shouldn’t be. I’m not the only one who has this struggle. Maybe someone else has it too and wants to know that it’s normal. The problem is that it isn’t normal; it’s just common. There should be a solution to make life more livable without hearing “just suck it up”. But, you’re not the only one with this struggle. The picture here is a selfie I took during a bad migraine in my dark room, curled up in agony with my Pixel Night Sight so I didn’t have to hurt myself with the flash. This is the reality some of us deal with.
Side note: I’m am very thankful to those who helped and reached out to my husband to ask how I am doing. It’s very kind. It definitely helps to know that there was no judgement and that people genuinely cared.