Monday, 30 November 2015

Goodbye Flo you old bitch...

I want to say it was an unseasonably cold May, back in 1987, but in Ireland, summers rarely began, if ever, before June. I stood at the top of the stairs in a flimsy white tennis skirt - barely covering my derriere. My Mum's partner shouted up to me to get tracksuit bottoms on, that it was freezing and there was no way I could go to tennis practice dressed like that. Deciding I couldn't be bothered to argue, I obliged.

Never have I been more grateful - as that day, I got my period, aged 14 and one month, for the first time. For some reason I thought a period was a moment of purge - and that I would only have to wear the brick like sanitary towel for all of a day. Then, yes, only then, did my mother break it to me that it lasted longer. I was devastated. But not as much as I was 3 days later, when I was certain Flo had left the building, only for her to return with a vengeance, just as I played a competitive game of squash in the same flimsy white skirt.

From that day on, I decided on two things: 1. tampons were the only way forward and 2. Flo was my enemy. And she has been ever since. Let me count the ways? The jeans she has ruined on her tidal days; the carefully chosen delicate lace underwear destroyed upon her early arrival; the sheets she has  coloured - on holidays, at friends' houses, on a first 'sleepover' in a new relationship, on camping trips in sleeping bags (my favourite); the nights of passion she has refused to allow; the moments she has shown up - in meetings, on dates, at weddings, in job interviews - completely unexpected. The stress she has caused to find myself out of tampax and the shops all shut; the embarrassment at her over-flow (once on a tube, another time on a bus - and let's all forget the airplane drama). Nothing has ruined my life quite like Flo.

Her best buddy PMT hasn't exactly made life a walk in the park either. The sheer force of my hormones has rendered me suicidal, psychotically angry, desperately needy and wildly violent - all in the space of ten minutes. Husband says he too 'suffers' my PMT. Not a month in my life has ever gone by without breast pain, aching stomach, bloated belly, back pain and cramps. Except when I was pregnant. The only 2 times I have ever been grateful to Flo. Yes, my 2 kids have been worth every second of all that hell. But weighing it up - God is having a freakin' laugh isn't he, if this is what women have to endure just to have children one day?

But come January, me and Flo are divorcing - for good. It has been a bizarre pill to swallow - that my child bearing years are over; that my womanhood will forever be changed - but I am more than ready. Surgery is my only choice - after two operations this year I cannot keep going under only to wake and discover more surgery is needed.... I may have a tampax bonfire to celebrate. My lovely 'luxury items' that I guess at 3.50 per month for towels x 13 times a year (every four weeks people!) equals £45.50 plus tampax at £50.70 a year (lets not include all the prescriptions for transexamic acid and stain removal etc) is £92.20 a year for 28 years - is almost £2,700 I have spent in my lifetime. That is a freakin' holiday there... Anyway, whilst I am not jazzed on the thought of surgery at all - and the recovery - I think I will be a new woman - Flo-less. The PMT will stay - well I have to give my husband something to keep him on his toes, no?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is going to be a bit miserable while it's going on (like pregnancy!) but worth it after (again, like pregnancy!). You have tried and tried to manage these issues for years and years, had your life massively impacted and now that your babies are here and you really do not want any more, well, why not indeed?

I loathe and despise periods, and I talk as one whose cycle is fairly regular, not wildly heavy and with no need for interventions... how you must feel sometimes doesn't bear thinking about, and it's something that most men simply do not grasp, because it's so far outside their world.

Best of luck, I hope it goes really smoothly and that you feel right as rain soon... with NO MORE PERIODS!!