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Celia Capace - From Menstruation to Menopause

It all started with puberty.  Puberty hit far too early when I first menstruated at the age of 11.  This clueless tomboy was ill prepared for becoming a ‘woman’. All I knew about menstruation was from elementary school biology, as there was no internet for me to seek information at the time, where I learned that humans and other animals can go through a form of menstruation.  I thought you bled once, and once only, to indicate the body was now fertile. I had no idea you were ‘blessed’ again, and again, and again, and again, and again….

My mother called me in from playing outside enquiring about her discovery of my new predicament whilst doing the laundry.  Smartass and delusional know-it-all me responded that I knew it meant I could now have children. So what?

“Ok, but I need to show you for next time”, my mother responded.

“There's a next time?”

“Cara mia, you have forty years of this”.

The horror! I am a crying mess by this time and tell her I don't want it.  It was apt that I was so upset as I was to learn it was called ‘the curse’ for a reason.  My mother came from a generation when ‘rags’ was a slang term used for when a woman was menstruating.  The term was accurate as pieces of cloth were folded to fit into plastic underwear with clips to hold the cloth in place.  This experience was like wearing a nappy. As soon as times changed in regard to sanitary items I happily followed. Cloths were soon replaced by pads and in time by tampons, all positive steps forward but unfortunately nothing helped with the Crohn’s flare ups that came with my cycle every 3 weeks.  

God sure punished women for taking a bite out of that damned apple by gifting pain in childbirth and constant reminders of that pain once a month.  My menstrual cycle was every 23 days. The first day was severe menstrual cramps combined with a Crohn's flare up. This torture was every menstrual cycle.  

My GP had sincere compassion for my dilemma.  My body would not absorb ‘the pill’ so that was not an option and attempts to regulate my period by use of an implant, Implanon, were also unsuccessful as it exasperated my dilemma by causing constant menstruation flow.  An alternative option was a Merina but, as this was usually only prescribed to women who had previously given birth, my doctor had to fight for five years before it was available to me. I was 47 by this time. The Merina changed my life for the better though my menopause decided to crash that party.  I'm now 55 and my menopause is in its 2nd year and counting. Even though I’m no longer menstruating due to the Merina and no longer suffering Crohn’s flare-ups associated with my menstruation cycle I am now experiencing constant reminders of the death of my menstrual cycle. It’s like there is an alien inside of me expelling horrible symptoms of its last throes of death.

Menopause made me fat.  This is not uncommon for middle age can include middle spread in both sexes.  Menopause took my eyebrows but gave me a beard as compensation. I also suffer calcium problems which affect my hair, teeth and bones, hot flashes which would rival hot lava erupting within my body, severe brain fog and ever changing emotions that have me turn from a functioning human to a dribbling mess with serial killer tendencies.

All I can say is I can’t have many eggs left.  I don’t want many left!