I was 11 1/2 when I got my period. This lovely surprise visitor dropped in when I was getting ready for school one morning in November of 1980. My mom threw a pad on my underwear and sent me on my way, despite my complaining about the sheer bulkiness of the pad and the cramps that made me want to double over and moan.
Every 28 days, since that arrival, the visits have been regular. Minus pregnancy but I made up for it POST pregnancy, Flo made sure of it.
With my cycle came some reliefs and some disappointments that I wasn’t.
There was also some excitement when it didn’t show up. 3 times, precisely.
I always had cramps. Achey boobs. Exhaustion. Various strange ailments that would disappear when it appeared.
I hated getting it.
Despised, to be exact.
I would talk about how I couldn’t wait until I no longer had to worry about this womanly inconvenience.
Because, let’s face it, once you’re done having kids, there is no need for this mess anymore.
But, I would think, as long as I have it, I’m still in my childbearing years. And so, on that alone, it means I still have some youth left.
Despite that, I still kind of wished the darn thing away. It’s a pain in the ass to get your period.
Then, this past January, things started to change.
Mother Nature apparently started taking my wishes more seriously, even though I wasn’t sure I was completely serious.
It was the first month, EVER, that irregularity was a word pertaining to MY cycle.
I ran my butt to the doctor, convinced that I had something terribly wrong with me. After all, for the past 31 years, I’ve been more regular than a clock. I mean, so regular that I would even know what time of day to expect my little visitor.
Tests were done.
A REALLY uncomfortable one. But, my doctor wanted to make sure that there was nothing lurking in my endometrial tissues.
I just was lucky enough to get my period 3 times in January. Which means, I have no clue which one to count 28 days from to be prepared for February.
I’m a walking PMS mess, 24/7.
My boobs don’t know whether to hurt or not. So, they choose to hurt. All the time.
My uterus doesn’t know if it should be crampy or not. So it chooses crampy. You know, just because it feels that’s the best route to go.
My moods, well hell, I think I’ve become bi-polar.
And then tonight, when I was watching the Super Bowl at my sisters house, I experienced my very first hot flash ever.
Only, I didn’t realize that was what it was until I started asking my sister to turn down the heat because her place was like a sauna.
I mean, I was sweating.
She told me that it wasn’t her house, it was me.
Why yes. Yes it was.
I was having a freaking hot flash.
Which means, this period thing? It seems as though most of my eggs have left the basket.
Things I have to look forward to, instead of a regular period:
-Hot flashes. Like tonight. Only, more often. I need to lose weight so I can wear tank tops at all times.
-Sleep problems. Please, don’t take my sleep away from me. PLEASE!!
-Fricking mood changes mother fucker. I’m going to be one giant emotional roller coaster. Lovely. I already drive myself crazy when I’m PMS’ing. This is going to be fun. Wheeeee.
-Vaginal and bladder problems. Which can account for the sneezing/peeing problem I’ve noticed I’ve just started having. Actually, exertion/peeing is more correct.
-Decreasing fertility. That’s probably the only NON noticeable side effect of this process.
-Changes in sexual function. Terrific. Fantastic. And I don’t mean that in a terrific, fantastic sort of way.
-Loss of bone. Which sort of worries me because don’t we need our bones? And which bone am I going to lose first? I think I need to be prepared. Perhaps I should have a wheelchair or crutches nearby.
-Changing cholesterol levels. Whatev. I have high cholesterol to begin with.
-Weight loss or gain. I’m rooting for the loss. My luck, I’ll gain.
-Hair loss. I’m scared.
OMG. I’m getting old.
I’m out of my child bearing years. If I miss a period, I have no need for running to the store to buy a pregnancy test.
It’s time to start getting used to the fact that my girl parts have gone past mature women parts and are now headed into the granny bit arena.
Me and my constantly achy boobs and crampy uterus are going to have to get used to this new stage of the game.
I read the rules. I guess I know what to expect when I’m expecting.
It just kind of sucks.
Not sucks in a I’m sad I’m not going to get my period sort of way because, well, I don’t really need it anymore.
I just kind of wish Mother Nature skipped me for a little bit longer and left with with my false sense of youthfulness.
The worst part of realizing that I’m starting to go through peri-menopause is, I also have to start realizing that my youth has left the building.
And that…is what REALLY sucks.