Being a Woman Sucks...Sometimes

I'm not gonna lie - this week is rough. After feeling relatively OK during the early part of the week, I was blindsided yesterday with a migraine and hormones.

Holy hormones, Batman!

Let me back-up. I'm off my birth control because, as I mentioned a while back, we're trying to conceive kid #3. While on birth control, my menstrual cycle was normal, and my dysautonomia symptoms were in check. I knew to take iron pills when Aunt Flo (AF) showed up heavily and I knew to drink a boatload of Gatorade for a week (as opposed to the one or two glasses I need of it, daily).

Birth control also kept my chronic nausea in check because it balanced out my hormones. When I asked my OB/GYN about going off of birth control, she asked "are you sure you want to do this?" I was sure because we want another child.

Sometimes I regret that decision. Right now is one of those times.

On top of the major shifts in hormones, I told you guys about my chronic migraines. Well, with a shift in hormones, those bad boys come back in full force. I found a supplement that contains feverfew and another few that contain magnesium, CoQ10, and lots of B vitamins. I take them religiously and they brought my migraines down from daily to once or twice a week. When we decided to conceive kid #3, I had to go off of my migraine prevention medication, too.

Are we having fun yet? I'd like to get off this ride. Not the baby-making ride but the one that leads my body into a tailspin.

I went to bed last night feeling unbelievably ill and questioning whether I'd be able to eat today. I woke up knowing I had to be in the office today but feeling so run down and very crampy in all parts of my body - especially my intestinal area.

So, after taking a quick poll of some fellow dysautonomia divas, here's what I learned about having dysautonomia when AF pays a visit:

  • We bleed heavily and have to take iron supplements to compensate for the loss of iron
  • It's painful - not just for a day or two before but we can feel it coming on in the worst way 
  • Taking two advil or tylenol won't cut it - some of us are on some heavy duty pain killers for a week
  • The hormone fluctuation makes our already-annoying symptoms much worse
  • You need to up your fluid intake more than you normally do
  • Fatigue that rivals that of your first trimester of being pregnant
  • We just expect our bodies to be non-compliant for about a week or so
These are simple terms - the reality is much worse and why being a woman really sucks sometimes. Last night's bout of intestinal cramping felt like there was a gremlin in my stomach squeezing my intestines really hard. And it felt like any food I ate in the beginning of the day was still sitting in my stomach. For other women, the cramps are so unbearable that it sends their entire body into a tailspin, sometimes leading them to multi-day hospital stays (none of us enjoy going to the hospital).

Needless to say, I'm exhausted, in pain, and my head still hurts. 

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