Saturday, September 24, 2016

Forty-five Minutes of Hell

This post is not about writing. Warning number one.

This is a TMI post.

After scaring my husband and daughter to death this morning, I feel compelled to tell my story because I know other women are suffering in silence too. This is about my PERIOD, so, men, feel free to stop reading now. You have been warned.

A little background. Over the past five years (I am 36), my menstrual cycles have become longer, heavier, and more painful. An average five day period has spread to seven days, five of which I am confined to the house. According to my GYN, periods are considered heavy if there is enough blood to soak a pad or tampon every hour for several consecutive hours. Well, how about every two hours for two days? I was asked by the lady who did my abdominal ultrasound if I was also anemic. I’m not. So here I am feeling like an idiot as I tell my GYN about my symptoms and how miserable I am because I don’t meet the worst criteria. I just have somewhat heavy periods.

But it is HELL.

First off, I have a hormonal imbalance. I know I have way too much estrogen floating around in my system. It makes me retain fluid—at any given time. I can hold on to extra fluid for weeks. It doesn’t matter when my cycle falls. Then all of the sudden, I will pee about fifty times a day when my body decides it is ready to get rid of the fluid. Talk about annoying.

And then, for two weeks out of the month my breasts are huge and swollen and achingly sore. Big boobs are not fun. I don’t like walking around with giant throbbing melons. I would never wish for larger ones. No. Just no. Every time my boobs finally deflate, I am thrilled to death.

Now I come to the mood changes. Irritable, anxious, the itch to kill. Seriously. I could cut someone.

And that is all before I have my monthly blood bath.

I thought I could cope. I thought by using tampons and having liners as backups I could function. No. It doesn’t work like that.

A period is messy. A period is painful. My period is destroying me. And no, I’m not being overly dramatic. I have to adjust my life to live around my cycle. Thankfully I am a stay-at-home mom/writer. I don’t know how working women do it. I really don’t. (Isn’t there a country out there who gives monthly menstrual leave? Brilliant idea there.)

So my incident. When I am on my period, I try to take ibuprofen around the clock. I have been monitoring my cycle for the past 18 months with a lovely chart, so I know the days that are bad, the days that are heavy, and how long I have to confine myself to my house. I even mark the days on my calendar three months in advance, so I know not to schedule anything during those weeks.

Well, day five of my cycle. I was excited to have a splendid night sleep, which is rare on my period when I have to wake up to change everything every two hours. But this was night four, so I was feeling optimistic. My flow was slowing, so I thought day five was going to be great. I could get some work done and get back to paying attention to my children. I felt so good this morning I didn’t take any ibuprofen. I didn’t take it last night either. Big mistake. The hugest.

About 9:30 a.m. mild cramping begins. I growl and go into the kitchen to down 2 pills. I knew I needed to stay on top of the mildest cramps because they could escalade. Ten minutes later I am rocking in pain as the cramps have now surged pain down my legs and into my groin. Everything from the waist down hurts. I add 2 Tylenol and put a heat pack on my stomach. The heat pack barely touches the pain, which feels like knives twisting in my stomach. The pain doesn’t relent. It’s not like labor contractions, which stop after a few minutes. This pain is constant.

I don’t know how much time has passed. Seconds probably, but I am sure the clock has stopped. I HURT! No relief has come.

I want to cut the damn organ out. I picture my stupid uterus contracting in my abdomen, thinking it’s doing such a great thing by expelling the rest of my uterine lining.

I loathe it. I wish they had taken my uterus out instead of clipping my Fallopian tubes.

Sobbing, I round into a ball on my kitchen floor. My daughter comes into the kitchen, says she is sorry I am hurting. She doesn’t know what to do. I try to move around, sit up, pace, curl again. Nothing helps. My breathing becomes shallow. I am in so much pain, I feel like I am going to hurl. My daughter gets me a puke bucket.

I move to the dining room table and rock in the chair. My whole body is in agony. My face is dripping in snot. My throat is constricting while trying not to puke. But my uterus—it won’t stop sending pulsating torture throughout my body. I really start freaking out. I stand to go to the bathroom and realize my legs are shaking. They actually feel like they are made from jelly. I don’t know how I get to the bathroom. I rip out my menstrual cup, in case I am getting toxic shock. My whole body is trembling. I don’t know what is going on. I’m scared. I yell for my daughter to wake my husband.

By the time he gets up, I am lying on the floor in the living room, with just a panty liner in my underwear, hyperventilating, whimpering that I am scared. I don’t know what is going on. At the same time telling my husband to check my temperature and reheat the heat packs. My pain is so extreme I don’t even know what to do. I tell my husband this. I keep mumbling I’m scared and I don’t know what to do, over and over. I instruct him to find a paper bag when I realize my lips are tingling (a sign of hyperventilating).

I don’t know how much time has past. But I get him to call my GYN. I don’t really know what she could tell me, because in my head, I know this is all just cramps. Nothing will help me but time. But I want this to go away so badly. My daughter has brought me a pillow, and later my husband covers me with a blanket while I continue to breathe into the paper bag and writhe in pain. My body is seriously contorting, and I am worried about scarring my daughter for life.

Finally I leave a message, and the GYN calls me back. She tells me to take 2 more ibuprofen. I weep into the phone. I know she can’t do anything else. I’m not dying. It’s just cramps, and I know it.

 This is just too cruel. Day five of my period. Medium flow. I should be almost done. Why?

I crawl to the kitchen and swallow two more pills. I go back to quivering on the floor. My husband and daughter are sitting by me, not knowing what else to do.

All of a sudden I begin to feel relief. The stabbing in my uterus subsides. Then my legs stop aching. But the whole event, only about forty-five minutes to an hour, has taken a toll, and I can’t believe, as abruptly as this started, it ended. I ask for a ginger ale to recover my stomach. This surprisingly makes me feel a lot better.

I am able to sit up. I blubber to my husband about my week and how hard it has been and how I really tried to be a good mom while still being in agony and inconvenienced. But I feel washed out. My body is an empty lump, but at least I am not on the brink of death anymore.

My poor family. I wobble to the bathroom to clean up. Never again will I skimp on my pain pills until the whole week is over.

I don’t know if this adequately describes it. Even as I type this, it is as if the whole episode never happened. But it was excruciating. I was out of my mind. It was the worst pain in my life so far. And I still remember the super contraction I had with my second daughter. It topped out at 11 on a 1-to-10 pain scale, but even that only lasted 90 seconds. Try to picture that going on for an hour. Your worst contraction for an hour. Try to think of that.

Why is my body doing this? As I type this, I am still waiting for results from my abdominal ultrasound. Maybe it will tell me something.

But, ladies, don’t suffer in silence. Feel free to share your story with me. Share this blog post. Tell me how your period is screwing with your life. It is all total bollocks. I couldn’t even go to the fair with my family this week. I missed an amazing essential oil event and can’t go to a dinner tonight with a bunch of girlfriends. I told everyone it’s because I am sick. Yeah. Every month.

At least I only have two more days of it.

***Note*** Day seven. I spent the later half of the day after the incident feeling numb. As the day rolled into the next, I woke feeling angry as the incident played through my mind. I now feel violated. Attacked by my own body, my own uterus. I'm going to have to work through some post traumatic stress. I am angry about what happened to me, and I don't know who to be angry at. Maybe myself for not taking enough pain meds. But I hurt in ways other than physical, and I guess only a victim could understand. Even typing this, it sounds shallow. I know others have been through a lot worse.

Friday, September 16, 2016

LAUNCH DAY!!! On the Corner of Heartache & Love is here!

by Lisa Swinton
What's it about? 

Maren's stuck at the intersection of heartache and love, but happily ever after might be just around the corner.

After three years, Maren Summers is elated to finally have her dream wedding to her dream man, Kevin Bryant. In her sights is the promotion to Weddings she’s worked so hard for at the newspaper. Happily ever after is within her grasp… 

Until Kevin jilts her at the altar, elopes with another woman, and becomes her boss. Devastated by the twisted turn of events Maren moves in with her best friend and notices the not-so-homeless guy on the corner, Zane Whitfield. As his heart-wrenching tale unfolds—his vow to wait a year on the corner for his lost love—Maren sees his compassionate human-interest story as her ticket away from Kevin, weddings, and her heartache. But as the New Year approaches, is Maren headed for heartache again if Zane's lost love returns or has time changed more than one heart? 

Where can you get it?  


All of Lisa Swinton’s previous books are on sale for $0.99! Such a deal! Amazon 

About the Author:

Lisa Swinton caught the romance bug early by way of fairy tales and hasn’t been able to cure it since. Instead, she feeds her addiction with romance novels and films. In between being a doctor’s wife and mother of two, she occasionally puts her B.A. in Musical Theater to good use via community theater and church choir. In her elusive spare time, she enjoys researching her family tree and baking (especially with chocolate). She loves traveling, Jane Austen, and all things Italian. In her next life, she plans to be a professional organizer.
You can visit her at:

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Epic Sale for an Epic Fantasy

Need a new Labor Day weekend read?
I have you covered!

Epic Fantasy! Three books for one low price! 99¢ September 1-8  Choose the light or choose the darkness, but you can’t have both.

Buy me here in USA
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