the crap thing I have to deal in an all male workplace

I miss going to the gym. I haven’t been there in four days and it seems like forever. The thought of sore muscles when I come back makes me cringe but still I know I have to go back. Contrary to some who loathe gyms, I love that place and the time I spend there, especially the sauna afterwards. It is one of the precious me times I rarely, rarely have. Oh and the shower room is bigger than the one in my house.

The reason I’ve been missing out on my gym time is something that happens every month. It hit me so hard this month leaving me crouching in pain, with fever and zero appetite with occassional throwing up session. This IS my personal kryptonite. I have to plan everything around it – my travels, vacation, etc. Ugh. Everyone in my house understands, even Pristine helps me around when I can’t stand up to drink the only thing I can stomach – hot herbal tea.

But for the people outside? It’s nightmare explaining to them. When I filed for my one last sick leave credit:

Boss: So you’ve got so many sick leave credits left?

Me: No, this is the last one for this year*.

* I have six (6!) sick leave credits/year.

Boss: What’s going on with you, why are you always sick?

Me: Er, I’m not really sick, it’s not a disease.

Boss: Then what’s the problem?

Me: It’s just uh, uhm..it happens every month..if you get the picture.

The specific words refused to slip through my mouth. Of course my male boss didn’t really “get the picture”.

Boss: (finally getting it) Oh, so you need 12 sick leaves a year, at least! *sarcastically*

Me: I’m lucky to get some on non-working days so that won’t be necessary.

I could really use a break from all the pain by being pregnant (but that wish is being so elusive, for crying out loud!). When I was, six years ago, I had 21 months of freedom and it saved me a lot of pain killers. ‘Course I had sleepless nights in exchange for that but being pain and mess free was something I really, really appreciated.

If you know anything to relieve cramps and pain on that time of the month, please share. I’m fed up with popping Advil.

19 thoughts on “the crap thing I have to deal in an all male workplace

  1. Have you ever tried Thermacare? (http://www.thermacare.com/) It’s like a heating pad you wear, but it’s hotter than a heating pad (in a good way) and not too bulky. I think they are pretty great. If you don’t have access to them there, I would be happy to pick some up here and mail them to you.

    I also find that the Advil liqui-gels work better than the other varieties – not just faster but better overall.

    Feel better.

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  2. i’ve heard that thermacare is wonderful. i use a hot water bottle sometimes for mine, but obviously you can’t use those at work!

    i don’t remember it it helped cramps, but i used to get acupuncture regularly. prior to that i had what they call “PMDD”–severe severe PMS. i was suicidal one day a month. it was really unnerving. when i started acupuncture, it was suddenly gone. i didn’t notice for a few months, and then …wow.

    other things i’ve heard of as helpful for hormonal probs–giving up eating meat/dairy/white flour/processed foods. i can’t do that, myself. (and some of that might be because american food is SO processed too!)
    .-= JuliaA´s last blog ..inspired by snow =-.

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  3. Hi, Grace! Long time no talk. I had to jump in and comment because I have the same problem every month. The kind of problem that knocks you off your feet and makes you literally writhe in pain, groaning. We don’t have kids, but I always say that if I ever do get pregnant labor will be a breeze compared to what I go through every month.

    I’ve tried it all — I mean it. Everything. Unfortunately, the best thing that works is Advil, and lots of it. I start taking 2 liquid gels (the green ones) right at the very moment I feel myself starting to cramp. And then I take two more every 4-6 hours for the next two days. Heat does help some — I the microwavable bean bag thingy when I’m home, and Thermacare when I’m at work.

    I think women should be given more sick days than men for that very reason — end of story.

    Poor thing — I literally feel your pain!!

    ~Maria
    .-= Maria´s last blog ..Help Me Pick A New Blog! =-.

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  4. Hi, Grace! Long time no talk. I had to jump in and comment because I have the same problem every month. The kind of problem that knocks you off your feet and makes you literally writhe in pain, groaning. We don’t have kids, but I always say that if I ever do get pregnant labor will be a breeze compared to what I go through every month.

    I’ve tried it all — I mean it. Everything. Unfortunately, the best thing that works is Advil, and lots of it. I start taking 2 liquid gels (the green ones) right at the very moment I feel myself starting to cramp. And then I take two more every 4-6 hours for the next two days. Heat does help some — I the microwavable bean bag thingy when I’m home, and Thermacare when I’m at work.

    I think women should be given more sick days than men for that very reason — end of story.

    Poor thing — I literally feel your pain!!

    ~Maria
    .-= Maria´s last blog ..Help Me Pick A New Blog! =-.

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  5. Grace, I remembered talking to a neighbor one time who suffered the same thing and she had some kind of surgery. After the surgery she was able to get pregnant too, so I guess that means her ovary was not taken out.

    Maybe you can talk to your gynecologist so he/she can recommend something. I will try to research online. That neighbor moved away though so I cannot talk to her anymore.

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  6. I don’t like recommending taking medications except those prescribed by your doctor. I always say talk to your doctor, but you have probably done that already…
    what usually helps me with any pain is getting busy, drinking lots of water, thinking about ‘a few of my favorite things’ 😉 (ala Sound of Music), and trying hard to psych the pain away…
    .-= Charlotte (Life’s a Charm)´s last blog ..Wonderful Christmas =-.

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  7. Grace – I am so so sorry that you are in so much pain. Been there and done that.
    Like you, I would have horrible cramps, fever, diarrhea, and vomiting.

    First and most importantly – TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR!!!

    Nothing completely eliminated my problems, but taking NSAIDs did help.
    (NSAIDS – ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin) and naproxen (Aleve), are the most effective of non-prescriptions drugs. )
    Most of the combination medications marketed for menstrual cramps, such as Midol, also contain NSAIDs, but I wouldn’t recommend them, because of the additional ingredients that often cause side effects.
    NSIADS also can help the other symptoms – like diarrhea, headaches, etc.
    To be really effective you must begin taking them just as soon as you start your period, or even a day before you expect you period to begin.

    Do you take birth control (pills, patches, ring)? These can be of great help to a lot of women. Sometimes it take up to four months to feel significant relief.

    I wasn’t able to use products like Thermacare due to allergies, but a heating pad became my best friend!

    Chelsea and Kristines suggestions are good ones too.

    I hope that things get better!
    .-= Neas Nuttiness´s last blog ..Merry Christmas =-.

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  8. I cannot offer anything more than these wonderful ladies have already done. I, too, suffered just as you did, but I also hemorrhaged each month. I had to have a hysterectomy at age 36, which I know is NOT something you want or need.
    Prior to that my doctor had put me on a prescription strength NSAID to start taking the day before my cycle began as a preventive, then the 5/6 days of my cycle. I couldn’t take birth control pills, and I know you don’t want to take those either.
    I SO wish I could offer more than my empathy, but I do agree that your first step would be to your doctor and MAKE him/her understand how much pain you truly feel. Some doctors brush it off as simple whining. Wishing you relief soon!! And a pregnancy sooner!! Prayers are with you daily.
    .-= Lorie Shewbridge´s last blog ..Sesame Street – Celebrity Lullaby =-.

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  9. Grace, I am sorry you have to go through that every month. My mom has really bad cycles, and so I know from watching what she goes through how difficult it is. I am fortunate enough that I don’t have really bad ones, so I don’t have any good suggestions. Just a big {{{HUG}}}
    .-= Jacki´s last blog ..It’s a wrap! =-.

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  10. So sorry you have to deal with the junk at work as well as in your body. Sometimes men just don’t get it! And then they whine about splinters and paper cuts… 😉
    Wishing good pregnancy vibes your way! (maybe your hubby working less will help? 🙂

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  11. oh what a jerk, I feel like wacking him. It happens even here. When a
    friend of mine got pregnant her boss said “again?” and it was her first!
    In truth females who are boss are not much better sometimes, I guess it has
    to do with compassion. Wishing you a pain free month and luck… vacations are great for that, clears away all the stress
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Gourmet Weeds-Mallow and Nettle =-.

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