I can’t believe I actually struggled with the title. For 39 years, I’ve had “my period.” I’ve never had a pseudonym for it, yet I realize that many women do because even with the plethora of commercials about “periods,” actually saying the word and referencing your own in writing is still a bit awkward.
So if you are doing any adding, you may wonder if I have a typo above with my number. It is correct. I’ve had my period for 39 years. I started when I was 11, and I’m now 50. My older friends pity me. Many of my younger friends have had hysterectomies or uterine ablation and are grateful they no longer have to deal with their “monthly curse,” “Aunt Dot,” or “cycle.”
I’m actually grateful I still have my period. She has stuck with me longer than any friend or family member. She’s reminded me of the promise of life (though it wasn’t to be for me, the promise always made me smile). She’s relieved me that I wasn’t as careless as I thought last month. And for 39 years, she has let me know that I’m alive as my period is the only thing that ever slowed me down enough to pay attention to me. The cramping, though a pain in the ass, has always put me in tune with my body reminding me that I need to listen to her. I haven’t had measurable bloating in years, I think this is a privilege of the very thin…I’m not one of them. I fought for her when it was discovered I had fibroids and doctors wanted to give me a hysterectomy. I found a little known option called a myomectomy and traveled 2000 miles to have the surgery so I could keep my period. After the surgery, I waited patiently to see if she would come back to me, and she did. And now, she let’s me know each month that we’re holding off hormone replacement and the worries of osteoporosis just a little bit longer.
As usual, my period is inconvenient. I’m moving today (thus why I’ve been scarce with my writing this past week). But with a little preparation, and a little ibuprofen, I will make it through the day. Menopause will have to wait for another day. Period!