When Periods Make Your Chronic Pain Conditions Worse
Period pain. Anyone with female reproductive organs will tell you that for an average of five days a week it feels as though someone, or something, is attempting to squish their uterus out of their body. Mother Nature is playing a mean joke on them for not getting pregnant. But that joke becomes incredibly cruel when the person experiencing that monthly hell has other pain issues on top. That five to seven days a month becomes the worst kind of chaos imaginable. It’s no picnic, that’s for sure.
My earliest memories of endometriosis pain go right back to the early days of my menstrual cycle. Being taken to the doctor because I kept passing out in school with the pain. I was 16. That’s almost 20 years ago. I’ve been through just about every hormone therapy available for it, but I can’t handle the hormones, my body reacts badly, no matter which hormones are offered, and no matter which dosage. I’ve had a laparoscopy and hysteroscopy. I’ve been through numerous treatments and diets, and none of them worked.
Then comes the fibromyalgia and the hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Now once a month as well as the pain I’ve dealt with since my periods began, more or less, my hormones cause my fibromyalgia to set the nerves in my thighs aflame. They constantly tell my brain that they’re burning, even though they aren’t, something that at other times of the month I’ve gotten under control with my most recent addition to my medication regiment. But the hormones seem to alter that. Not to mention that for some reason my hEDS acts up more at that time of the month. My hips are more likely to go into subluxation, my wrists become weaker and the pain in my joints goes up.
My daily battles with chronic pain and sensory processing disorder (which goes hand in hand with my autism spectrum disorder), are upped during this time of the month. I barely sleep, and when I do, my dreams become nightmares fueled by pain. My C-PTSD flashbacks are stronger at this time of the month as well. It’s often a miracle to me that I get through to the other side of every menstrual cycle. It seems like a cruel twist to someone who doesn’t want to give birth to children of their own.
Getty Image by gpointstudio