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my day in Microserfs quotes
Todd instant-mailed me, Women have *chunky* days? Are guys supposed to know this stuff? I am experiencing fear.

I was trying to think of a guy equivalent of "chunkiness", but I couldn't, and meanwhile, the three of them just kept rocking on, and Todd, Bug and I just buried our heads deeper into our work areas.

Dusty said, "Gawd... I was rilly, rilly freaked out the first time I had chunks. No one ever tells you about that in, like, school or at home or anything. You see those Playtex commercials and they've got that watery blue liquid and that's what you're expecting, and then one day you look at your pad and there are... chunks there. Grotacious."

Karla, ever logical, said, "I knew intellectually it had to be uterine lining, but I envisioned the lining as being thin, wispy... not like chunks of liver."

-- from "Microserfs" by Douglas Coupland

So today has not exactly been a "flooding through a heavy-duty pad in 20 minutes" day, but not too far off. If I was using a 100% biodegradable paper pad, it would only last 20 minutes. As it is, the fabric Lunapads are holding up for an hour or so before the first liner is soaked, and maybe 3 hours by the time it gets through to my knickers... Nice! Latex allergy is a bloody nuisance (pun intentional) on heavy flow days, because a plastic-backed pad might actually last more than 3 hours and prevent knicker-stainage. But I don't have that option. So instead, I have a Gorebucket in the bath, which is washing my 101 pairs of stained knickers in cold water that I change every few hours. Delightful.

Also, just to make things really fun, "Chunk" is definitely a Word Of The Day. So even if The Keeper/Mooncup wasn't made of natural rubber, it would be no use at all. Don't even want to consider tampons, and the size and shape they'd be on exit...

And this, btw, is a "normal" period for a woman in my family. It only becomes "worrying" after a week like this. Eurgh. Today, I really wish The Pill was an option...

Current Mood: nauseated nauseated

9 comments or Leave a comment
geminigirl From: geminigirl Date: 11th February 2005 22:26 (UTC) (Link)
Keeper is Latex. Diva cup and Mooncup are silicone as far as I know. I'd look into one of those...I've been musing on getting one, but while I'm on the pill it just doesn't make sense.
baratron From: baratron Date: 11th February 2005 22:35 (UTC) (Link)
Huh. Yeah, silicone, apparently. I dunno, though... even silicone seems to make me itchy up there. I definitely have issues with some plasticisers, but I don't know what. I really need to get a complete battery of allergy tests done, but a) I doubt I could persuade the NHS it's a life-threatening condition, b) I probably can't afford to have it done privately, c) I'm too embarrassed to ask. The last being the most important of them...
geminigirl From: geminigirl Date: 11th February 2005 22:52 (UTC) (Link)
One or both of them have a year long return policy. It might be worth ordering one, trying it out for a few months and if it's no good, returning it and getting your money back.
barakta From: barakta Date: 12th February 2005 02:54 (UTC) (Link)
I loved that part of microserfs, made my boyfriend at the time go very very green - poor poor soul [/sarcasm]....

I've got a mooncup which is pretty good for those chunky days as it holds a fair amount of blood and all the associated chunks. My main problem with the mooncup is my dexterity, but once it's in it's better than tampons for me... I know of other people with very heavy periods who say they use a mooncup/similar with pads which gives them a bit more protection and fewer stained pants. Also after 3 periods you can send it back and get a full refund.

Are you able to try something like the coil what gives you progesterone in small doses or is that also out for you? I am assuming you have tried/considered all sensible options short of nuking the lot from orbit and had problems with other allergies...

I'm so glad my periods aren't as bad as they used to be as I used to spend 3 days not moving and mefenamic acid did sod all. I then went on the pill for 5 months realised it fucked with my head but made my periods all short and non-painful but had to come off it. That was in 1998, I really ought to find someone who isn't going to piss me off and discuss my options again as periods have been getting gradually worse since then and I'm starting to need serious amounts of painkillers (non-prescription ones currently) to deal with them.

I hate periods... *fneh*

baratron From: baratron Date: 14th February 2005 17:31 (UTC) (Link)
If I understand it correctly, the coil is a) not recommended for people who have heavy periods, b) not recommended for people with metal allergies, c) not usually given to women who haven't already had a baby. So that would be out for me for many reasons :/

Progesterone is my problem with hormonal methods. You can plot my mood cycle against my hormone cycle and see the tally. Basically, my mood cycle is extreme enough that I've been misdiagnosed as bipolar more than once - I get hypomanic when I have high levels of oestrogen, and depressed with suicidal and psychotic tendencies when I have high levels of progesterone. Day 23 (of 28) is the worst - the only times I have ever self-harmed was on a day 23.

My own GP understands this. No other medical professional I've ever spoken to does. There is the fact that many doctors still believe PMS is a myth rather than reality, and that "it's not actually a syndrome in itself, it's merely a worsening of an existing psychiatric condition". Whatever?! The fact is I am not utterly bugfuck the rest of the time! I personally believe I went on The Pill, there'd be about a 50:50 chance that I'd end up in A&E or a psych ward within about a week. Frankly, I quite like having mental health, and I'm afraid to do something that has a good chance of making me seriously ill.
barakta From: barakta Date: 14th February 2005 20:53 (UTC) (Link)
Ah yes, the old "PMS is all bull" theory. I had to see about 4 doctors before they'd even consider taking me seriously, I had a wonderful GP for about a year before she left to have kids. The doctor who eventually gave me the pill did so while making me feel so shitty I haven't been back to a GP/nurse to discuss such things since. I was made to feel like I was bad evil and wrong.

Interesting re the coil. I thought there was a coil which they were agreeing to give women who hadn't given birth, some low dose progesterone thing which was believed to reduce the heaviness of periods... Although in light of what you say about oestrogen and progesterone balance it might also be a BadIdea(tm).

I do understand that anything you could try is as likely to make something MUCH worse as it is to improve anything at all. This is my main reason for ignoring my (minor in comparison) period issues. Also finding someone to take you seriously isn't easy. I take it gynae people aren't likely to be any more helpful/understanding or believe you any more than your GP?

I am always surprised at the number of people who have hormonal problems and how little understanding there is within the medical professions of ways to helping them, or giving them the ability to function. There also seems to be a lack of understanding of how hormones are wildly different for everyone.


sashajwolf From: sashajwolf Date: 13th February 2005 00:40 (UTC) (Link)

This is what passes for "normal" in my family, too, and it was not until I additionally developed pelvic pain in my early thirties that I discovered it was not "normal" for the general population and that I didn't have to put up with it. (Fortunately, hormonal treatments are okay for me.)
jinian From: jinian Date: 13th February 2005 05:46 (UTC) (Link)
Ugh, you poor dear. I don't usually get heavy flows with my incapacitating cramps, thank goodness, but I have a couple of times. It'd be awful all the time.
ailbhe From: ailbhe Date: 13th February 2005 23:48 (UTC) (Link)
I have a size A silicon mooncup which I can't use due to the rectocele, I think. Something hurts, anyway. Damn.

Yeah, my periods used to scare people. But somehow being on the pill for years fixed them *even when I came off it*, until having a baby broke them again. No idea what's going on now.
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