As I said before, I got my period this weekend, and have had some pretty crazy cramps. Thankfully, since I've been on my birth control pills, my periods have gotten much milder. It got me thinking about some of the awful periods I've had since I was just a young 12 year old. I'll spare you the bloody details (pun very much intended).
5. Schlitterbahn with the Riemers: In my life, I've only been to Schlitterbahn once, a fact that boggles Jacob's mind. He would probably go everyday in the summer if he could. The only time I've ever been was during my first summer dating Jacob. We'd been dating about six months so I'd spent time with his family, but not so much that I could be like "Oh, hey, I just got my period this morning, so be a friend and let me know if my tampon string is showing." Although, to be clear, I wouldn't say that now, because I'm pretty sure it would freak all of them out. Rightfully so. Anyway, I was a little anxious about going because like most females with terrible body images, I hate the idea of spending a day in public in my bathing suit. Just thinking about it now, I can feel myself retaining water. It was pretty fun day, despite being bloated and crabby. Unfortunately for the Riemer family, it would not be the worst period they experienced with me....
4. First Cramps I can't remember when exactly this was, 7th or 8th grade year. I just remember I had already had my period for a year, and this was my first experience with cramps. Before the cramps set in, life with my period was basically a Judy Blume novel; it was all about self-discovery and surviving awkward adolescence to become a beautiful young lady. Not really. Nothing happened except I learned I never wanted to wear pads again while playing basketball. It's KIND of a dead giveaway you're on your period when you go running down the court and it sounds like you're wearing windpants and you can't stop picking your wedgie.
But back to bad period #4. Sunday School had just ended, and my mom was working in the church nursery, where normally I would join her to work during the last church service. I had a horrible combination of cramps and a back ache, so I went to the nursery, fighting back tears, and my mom told me I could go lay down in her car for the next hour and a half. I still remember being curled up in a ball, convinced I was dying. How had I gotten by so easy for that first year? Finally, the last church service ended and my mom found me in the car, sobbing. If Judy Blume books got the literary respect they deserve, that would be a scene where people would be like "oh, the foreshadowing!" because that was just the first of many horrible periods to come.
3. Economics Class: My Senior year of high school, at this point I'm a pro at terrible periods. Sometimes I got lucky and got them at night or over the weekend, so the first few hours were not at school, stuck in a horribly uncomfortable desk. Anyway, I remember one day, during Economics with Mr. Johnson, being struck with pain and just thinking, this.is.not.good. It was at the beginning of the block period, so the class was going to be long, like 1 1/2 hours? I don't remember. Anyways, I waited as long as I could, until finally deciding I needed to go to the nurse. Through tears, which FREAKED OUT poor Mr. Johnson, I said that I really needed to go to the nurse. He very quickly dismissed me, and I went straight to the nurse, who said I could call my mom (this was basically a monthly occurrence). Here's the thing with my mom-she does NOT believe in missing school. You could have typhoid, diphtheria, dysentery, cholera, whatever, you're going to school. Thankfully, my mom was really understanding about how terrible my cramps got. She never really doubted me; if I called home to say I got my period and felt like crap, she'd just talk to the administrator and excuse me from the rest of the day. So after I got the okay from my mom and I knew I'd be going home, I walked back to class with a puffy face from crying, and continued to make Mr. Johnson uncomfortable as I gave him the paper, excusing me from class. Thankfully he was too weirded out to take a good look at me, because I'm pretty sure I already had my jeans unbuttoned at that point. I remember driving home, crying of course, and seeing that my sister, Ashley was at my house, but being hurting too much to be excited to see her and her son. I barely made it into the house when I collapsed on the tile floor, jeans now fully unzipped, bloated gut hanging out. Ashley was like "uhhhh is this normal?!" I told her yes, and my mom went back to their conversation, unfazed. She'd been dealing with this for 5 years now. She was pretty much unaffected by my drama.
2. Chicago Death Hike: Oy. The infamous death hike. I was on vacation with Jacob's family in Chicago during the summer of...2006? It was a record hot day, like 100 degrees, and the plan was to take a walk through downtown Chicago. We started at the Lincoln Park Zoo around noon. At about 3:00, I knew I was in trouble and needed to find a bathroom. Unfortunately the walk through downtown was not so much a leisurely stroll to a couple of places, as it was a six-hour walk from park to park. We went inside three times that I remember. Once, to visit their uncle at his building, which I'm sure was a pleasant surprise to him and his co-workers. I'm sure they loved the eleven of us coming into their office, stinking like little kids after recess from our 3-4 hours of walking, and raiding their snack room of bottled water. The next stop came about because I had been complaining to Jacob for probably 45 minutes, asking when we would stop and where we were even going. He was unsure, but he knew I was cramping, and he saw that my hands looked like surgical gloves that had been inflated.
1. The first day of Ag-Eco: Most of my memories of this class are pretty good. Dana was in the class with me, so even though it was super boring, I had her to write notes with. Also, my friend Jordann from high school was in the class, but I think she skipped like 70% of the time. Additionally, our grad assistant Kara, gave Dana and I (and Mark Gleason) endless entertainment. She was a shy, nervous gal, who, according to our graduate student friend, Chris E, knew how to party. From there, Dana and I decided her nervousness was actually a drunken stupor. We would come up with detailed stories about her at bars, and draw pictures of her passed out in a wheelbarrow, covered with a blanket sewn out of cornhusks (it was an Agriculture class, it fit). Because of Drunk Kara, Dana and I have such amazing memories as "taco divided by a a taco", which I still don't understand. I think she was teaching us fractions...related to agriculture? Also, on a test day, Kara was passing out the exams while wearing an oversized t-shirt that simply said "BTL" with no explanation. Dana leaned over to me and said "Big Talkin Ladies" which sent me deep into a fit of the church giggles. The class was also a fun guessing game because our professor came to class everyday in a mock neck turtleneck, and we liked to guess which color he'd show up in. All those great memories from a class that started out AWFUL. It was the second day of the semester, first day of Tuesday classes and Dana and I were sitting together as the prof started going through the syllabus. I'm super lame and I never skipped classes in college. Except for my 8 am PE lectures freshman year. I'll figure out diabetes on my own, thank you, so if you don't mind, I'll sleep in and eat my sugary cereal and syrupy pancakes. Anyway, I always went to class, and the first day was important to me, because you can tell how uptight a professor's going to be, and how important it is to buy the book and all that stuff. We were only about ten minutes in to the class when I started feeling terrible. I was hot and sweaty and the class was super packed, and I was positive that I might barf on the cowboy sitting next to me, so I told Dana I would be right back and to let me know if I missed anything. I ran to the bathroom, where I remained for the next three hours. Without giving you any gross details, I will say it was absolutely the worst period I've ever had. At one point, I think I feel asleep with my head on my knees, my butt completely numb. What's really pathetic is that I was done with classes for the day, and if I could just leave the bathroom, my bus was right outside the building. But I literally could not even stand up long enough to get to the door. After three hours, I was able to leave and take the bus home. Once I was home, I changed into my fat pants, stuffed a pillow in my waistband and made Tom come over once I felt a little better so we could go to HEB together. A girl with her period has got to eat!
After reading all that, it should make sense that I was diagnosed as having PMDD, although I still don't really get what that means. I guess just extreme periods? The only thing I really understood from that gynecologist visit was that the nurse was willing to give me a prescription for xanex. I refused it, though, because when I asked her when I should take it, she was like "oh, girl, it's just to help you take the edge off. You could even take one on days when you aren't on your period, but you're stressed. And on bad days, you could take two, so you make sure you really feel good." Hmmmmmm something about that seems unethical.....