Tuesday, 19 January 2016

My body hates me, and why did no one tell me about Norethisterone?

I have done everything I can.  It may be a once in a lifetime opportunity to do Strathpuffer, so I've done my best to get prepared, trained to the best of my ability trying desperately to balance work and not overtraining.  Money has been spent on kit, ice tyres, boots and hotels.  Steve has worked so hard to prepare the van to sleep in.  I even managed to visit the course thanks to Devs and work coming up trumps with a survey in the far North. Everyone has been supportive and I've been really excited about the entire event. 

And the one thing I can't control is my body.  Six months ago my normally pretty regular menstruation was perfectly timed to get it all out of the way, with a few days recovery, before the race. 

You know what?  Of course, everything has gone out of synch.  I was very late last month, and again this month.  Call it 'Sods Law' 'God Hates Me' 'An Extra Challenge' or whatever you wish, it is a nightmare.  I can barely get up out of a chair with cramps when my period hits and it takes a few more days to shake off the tiredness.  If it doesn't arrive today, 6 months of training, all that money spent, all the hard work, all the effort Steve has put in to help out, all of it will have no bearing on my ability to pedal for 24 hours and I will be spending my time in agony, drained, bleeding profusely and dosed up on painkillers. 

I was so angry yesterday (probably not helped by those hormones grr), but I keep telling myself, in the big scheme of things, this is all just nonsense.  There are women in the Third World that have to go through hell every month, at the hands of brutal men and medieval belief systems.  There are young children who are forced into an adult world by the arrival of menstruation, married off and pregnant at 12.  There are people and animals abused every day, starving, dying and hungry, and my biggest worry is whether I can torture myself for 24 hours when I can stop at any time, and have endless supply of cheap pain medication.

Well, you know what.  It'll be challenge, but it is what it is and there is nothing that can be done.

Or is that so?  For years I have thought this was another one of those 'can't control' things.  I have looked before for chemicals to 'induce' a period.  Bring it on, on time.  Nothing.  Well, other than nasty stuff like Penny Royal Tea, of course.  Mind you, I probably would have had a go with that yesterday if I could have got hold of some....

Today though, I randomly decided, in desperation, to do the really obvious thing and speak to a pharmacist.  She tells me that there is, indeed, a magic pill!  One that doesn't induce, but delays your period.  Suddenly, the Western World need to be in control of absolutely everything is fulfilled.  I smile with relief....until I find out it is prescription only.  I phone the surgery.  They refuse to let me see a doctor today "only emergency appointments for real medical emergencies are left", but they can get me in with a practice nurse tomorrow.  5 pm tomorrow.  I am supposed to start taking this Norethisterone stuff three days before my period is due, and it is already 3 days past due right now.  The literature states it doesn't stop bleeding.  I may be too late.  I am back out of control, again.  However, the last glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel is this random forum thread.  Perhaps it may stop the bleeding after all.  I don't want to take the stuff, I don't want the side effects, I don't want to mess around with nature, I don't want to risk a nasty dose of side-effect PMS, an unbearable headache or sickness for the weekend, but neither do I want to be in physical pain and unable to make the most of an event I have been preparing so keenly for.

Why am I posting this?  For information, for others.  There are other options than being at the will of nature, I've just found out too late.