Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My Cow-Shaped Friend

There are days when I hate my uterus. Days that it really wants to assert itself. Days it decides it’s time to remind me that it has the higher hand, and has all power over me, and not the other way around. Days like today.

I assume the fainthearted immediately closed the browser when they got to “uterus,” but be forewarned if you tried to soldier on thinking the post wouldn’t be extremely and grossly inappropriate information about my menstruation. You were wrong. There is no silver lining to this cloud, so hit the back button while you still can.

My uterus, from a very young age, felt the need to be large and in charge. It was obviously asleep in my sex ed class in fifth grade, when the teacher informed us our periods would come every 28 days, because after I finally “became a woman,” as they put it, the damn thing didn’t operate for another six months. This pattern continued for a couple of years, until my uterus decided it needed to be a little more involved in my life and moved its trash-dump to occur around every 3 months. It constantly changed its mind about frequency of alerting me that it still functioned, however, and when I was 19, I finally tried to get the upper hand with a little daily pill. The. Pill. It was given the arduous task of regulating my uterus’s comings and goings. I did not envy the task it had at hand.

Well, just because I can now reel it in to tell it when and for how long it can cause disruption in my life, it has decided to remind me who’s boss each month. It tries to kill me from the inside, slowly but surely. To the point that when it began today, all I could think about was if I could give myself a hysterectomy with a pair of office scissors without bleeding to death. This pain isn’t just “cramps.” This is double-me-over, someone-just-stabbed-me-in-the-fallopian tube, oh-my-god-where’s-the-lortab kind of pain.

Though, come to think of it, this isn’t a new thing. The first time I really had my “real” period – a full, seven-day, fun-filled adventure, I remember hitting the decks like someone was shooting through the windows. I thought I had some horrible form of gas that was eating out my insides. I curled on the floor of my bedroom in the fetal position, with my sickly dog at my side, who just licked my hand and stared at me with “I totally understand” puppy-dog eyes. She later died of kidney failure, which – yes – makes me feel like a total jerk for whining about my piddling problems. Still. Being a twelve-year old with an unidentifiable "stomach" problem, home alone on your bedroom floor? Not exactly my idea of un-scary.

Why doesn’t the girl’s sex ed explain this? There should be a long section of the presentation called, “Why you will grow to hate having the female gene.” In this section, they will explain how, through systematic use of unexpected spotting, inexplicable late periods, ineffectiveness of the "ultra-super" tampon for your waterfall of a period, the stabbing pain of cramps, and the general unhappiness associated with menstruation you will come to loathe the cow-head shaped organ in your lower abdomen. If the presentation is really good, it will go on to include wanting to kill people or cry constantly for about a week and how that will invariably lead to everyone asking when you really have a right to cry if you are “PMS-ing or something.”

I remember videos about puberty being much the opposite of this. I recall one video we watched at Girl Scouts. A girl is downtrodden that she’s the last in her grade to get her period. She’s still a “little girl” while everyone else was… well, you know. It then shows her exuberantly bouncing down her hallway the next morning, and excitedly calling a friend on the phone, her new training bra showing visibly under her tank top. The conversation went something like this: “Susie? Guess what?! It happened! Last night! I woke up because the bed felt wet, and then I found I had just gotten my period! Isn’t it wonderful?”

Wet? I remember horrible pain, but I don’t remember wet. I think by the time my parents had gotten home, and my father had sheepishly abandoned the room after I described my problem, my mother immediately took me into the bathroom to give me a maxi-pad. Actually, it was more like a Mack Truck Pad. This thing could have soaked up a hurricane, it was so huge. I felt like I was trying to walk with a rolled-up beach towel between my legs. Thus began the christening of adulthood. And no, I didn’t call my friends to tell them all about it. I remember being pretty bummed, actually. Because it wasn’t at all like the girl in the video. Because real life doesn’t involve 12-year olds being thrilled that they’re going to be bleeding every month for the rest of their lives. Screw womanhood - I would have rather been playing with Barbies.

1 comment:

loritamic said...

Haha, very funny blog. I remember my first time was in 8th grade. I was wearing a new pair of shorts and Aimee Engslinger was sitting behind me in math class and when I got up to get a calculator and sat down she whispered to me "I think you have something on the back of your shorts. You may need to go to the bathroom." I said "haha, April Fool's, right?" (It was April 1). But she just gave me this look. That's when I knew. Luckily I don't think anyone else noticed, but thank goodness for Aimee telling me b/c I had my mom pick me up right away and I didn't wear those shorts again.

Yes, it is nothing like how they show on those videos. I curse those weeks sometimes that I am female, but then I remember that we are the superior beings b/c we can bleed for almost 7 days and yet, not die. What other animal can do that every month??? We're built tough, like the Ford trucks!