Periods. Menstruation. Chums. Monthly cycle. There are just so many names. A phenomenon which is as natural to girls as breathing; though not as easy. Lots have been said and much more shushed as taboo about this “girl’s problem”. The anxiety before you get your first blood, the shy half whispered talks with your girlfriends, nervously waiting for the chemist counter to empty so as to buy your sanitary napkins, the initial few years had a mysterious appeal to it. Now it’s mostly reduced to pain and wishing it would be a tad bit less tiring.
I went through the same stages of menstruation. The first year, it was irregular (as it is, in most of the cases). The next year too my periods jumped months. I was very nonchalant but it deeply worried my grandmother and mother. And hence started the long and embarrassing visits to our family doctor, gynaecologist, radiologist etc.
It turned out I had Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome (PCOS). But it was not something to worry about. After many reassurances from our doctor, my mother’s worries were finally put to rest. I was thirteen years old and didn’t understand any of it. But what I missed out on were the conversations my friends shared, their excitement when their menstrual periods synched, and other small things like worrying about periods clashing with my water park trips or treks.
There was nothing I could pre-plan as my periods were never regular. Even a decade and a half later, I still struggle with these things. People often joke about how I never have to worry about periods while planning picnics and stuff. I mostly play along but what they don’t understand is the uncertainty of literally everything; plus the emotional, physical and mental pain I suffer.
If you google PCOS or PCOD you will find a host of problems linked to it. Like for example weight gain or loss, facial hair growth, acne, migraine, extensive mood swings, etc. It’s definitely not easy to fight with these complimentary diseases that come free with irregular menses or the hormonal irregularities. It doesn’t get any better with people giving advice on how to lose weight or treat acne. If I could I would!! (Plus I’m not even that overweight to start with- It’s just 4 kgs extra! Which is fine I guess…)
In this span of almost 15 years since I got my periods, I have tried every possible medicine and strategy to set things right. From meditation and yoga to the gym, from ayurvedic medicines to homoeopathy and allopathy treatments, from acupressure to home remedies and dieting. Literally everything. Though effective for a time being, all these things fall short of rectifying PCOS permanently and after a while, even I lose interest and faith in them.
In spite of coming from a culture which widely believes such topics to be a taboo and doesn’t allow menstruating women into temples, I have prayed to gods for my periods. I have enviously listened to my friends complain about period pain and wish they never got it and listened to them calling me lucky. I have silently suffered and laughed it off. I have learnt to let it go. The physical and emotional pain is something that I can endure or sleep off, but the total absence of periods along with a host of other problems…I don’t have much patience and absolutely don’t know what to do anymore.
As days go by, frustration, depression and dejection mounts and finds an easy escape in tears or yellings. But that hardly helps and I fall back on praying (that’s the only thing I pray for it seems).
Yet again I find myself counting days; hoping and praying that I’ll get my periods soon enough…
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