For Christ's Sake, Stop the Bleeding!

As you may or may not know, I’ve been trying to change / suppress my menstrual cycle through the use of prolonged exposure to the Pill. Unfortunately, it’s not going as well as I would have hoped.
For those who haven’t been exposed to what “period suppression” entails, it’s basically the choice to use birth control pills for 12 weeks, then you take a week off. There’s a new one coming out called Seasonale, but I don’t know how that differs from just staying on any old pill, and I doubt the additional hype is really necessary, since I suspect they’re just playing on the ignorance of the public… as most marketers like to do. One can simply take their pill of choice uninterrupted for 12 weeks and achieve the same end. (Now, don’t be a moron and do this shit without medical supervision, all right? Get approval from your doctor, talk to them about what to look for, then go bravely forth, young bleeder. Now your shit before you act; don’t listen to me or some other person who has no medical training and knows fuck all about the big picture.)
I’ve been on the pill, now, for 9.5 out of my new “12-week” cycle. I’ve already had a full-blown, long period that began 2 weeks ago and lasted 8 days, and today I’ve gotten it again. In between, I was still spotting. So, maybe I’m the odd the one out. Maybe I’m the freak who can’t adjust to the hormonal change. I don’t know. All I do know is, this really blows.
I did, however, ask the Good Doctor about it and he said it’s just my endometirum rebelling. Yeah, well, I wanna get fucking medieval on its ass and quash its little rebellion.
I mean, if I was in a sexually active relationship, this would be really fucking annoying. Fortunately, it’s just me and Fingie these days, so we have an understanding and things are going smoothly, no feelings are hurt, but still. Biology blows, man. I thought so in high school and I still think so now. This fucking ranks up there with dissecting frogs, for god’s sake.
I wanted to cycle to work today, but now I feel like shit, so yet another day is passing without exercise. In retrospect, 2.5 cups of coffee was a bad plan, since coffee really fucks with cramping, but at least I’m awake.
I took my first anti-depressant pill last night, and that was weird. It’s supposed to double as a sleep-aid, so you take it before bed.I had only a half a pill as you’re supposed to start slow to minimize the onset of side effects. Still, it conked me right out. I vaguely remember getting out of bed to go to the washroom, as I’m one of those people, and I staggered there with my head bent down, and slammed into the door jamb. My first reaction was, “Not another fucking concussion,” (I’ve had three) as I stumbled backwards, my head smarting, leaving me feeling like I’d suffered a cartoon injury, with the pain lines radiating out into the darkness.
Naturally, I woke up this morning in a fog. I really hope this isn’t an indicator of what’s to come, because now that I’m on these pills, I’m supposed to remain on them for the next year. That’s just the rule of thumb. (Where in the hell did the saying “rule of thumb” come from, anyhow? Ever wonder? I mean, having opposable thumbs is one of the highlights of my life, to be sure, but I don’t expect my thumb to be the sovereign entity of my life, so I don’t really see it ruling, but perhaps my ignorance is impeding my ability to comprehend this. Hmm.)

12 thoughts on “For Christ's Sake, Stop the Bleeding!

  1. roscoe

    Happy Anniversary…you do realize your skills at getting this much traffic to your website definatly make you a valuable commodity in the corporate world…

    But yes, there is somethign very exciting abd out being a “lone wolf” isn’t there!

    Too bad about the “7 days of red”…being a guy I can’t imagine what it would be like other than a serious pain in the ass…

    But it is friday and nothing makes one smile like a day at the beach and beers on a patio celebrating a one year old success!

  2. Spicy Little Pi

    Hey Steff, it took about 6 months for my body to get it’s shit straight with skipping periods. now it’s like clockwork, about 60 hours after going off of it, period comes, stays for 5 days, and then poof! gone.

    hang in there, it’s worth it!

  3. Hannah

    Hi Steff, I’ve been reading for a while and meaning to comment. I really enjoy your writing. Your question about the origin of the phrase “rule of thumb” caught my eye. From what I’ve heard it has a really awful origin. The original rule had to do with the size of switch with which a man was allowed by law to beat his wife. Anything larger than his thumb was impermissable. Ugh.


  4. Anonymous

    Ahhh tell me about it – I’m starting ortho-tricyclen lo, normal length cycle, and I’ve been breakthrough bleeding foreverr. WTF. That plus the recurrent yeast infections = unwelcome abstinence. GOOD GOD. I wish there was an easier way to achieve sterility… sigh

  5. Anonymous

    I was on Seasonale for four months, and bled for over two of them. On top of that, I have a friend who started bleeding the week after she started taking them, and didn’t stop until she quit taking the pill three months later. Her sister had the same problem.

    When I asked my doctor about it, he said that he had noticed it was about a 50/50 split between people who could take it without a problem, and people who couldn’t. He said it all depended on how your body reacted to it, and that bleeding was very common.

    I don’t know if that helps any, but at least you know you’re not the only one.

    By the way, Happy Anniversary!!

  6. NoWin

    A rough and useful principle or method, based on experience rather than precisely accurate measures. For example, His work with the youth group is largely by rule of thumb. This expression alludes to making rough estimates of measurements by using one’s thumb. [Second half of 1600s]

    Meaning of rule of thumb. sorry you’re feeling so crap – and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

  7. Anonymous

    Contrary to what was already shared, I have heard that the phrase “rule of thumb” is a sewing term having to do with using the width of one’s thumb to measure short lengths of cloth before a set system was in place.

  8. Cheryl

    I have heard, as Hannah has, that the “rule of thumb” derived from the thickness of the branch with which a man was allowed to beat his wife. Thicker than the man’s thumb was not allowed. Anything thumb-width or thinner…beat away. Ewwww!

    As for anti-depressants, the first one my doc wanted to put me on several years ago was Trazadone, to which I had an allergic reaction. Trazadone sounds like the one you describe as it doubles as a sleep aid.

    I am now on Lexapro and have been for about 1 1/2 years. It’s been very helpful. Supposedly, it may make you sleepy, though I haven’t noticed that. I used it very successfully in combination with a low dose of Wellbutrin for about a year. I never have any morning hangover with Lexapro (10 mg.). You might want to talk with your physician about a switch if you don’t note a decrease in these side effects in a few weeks. Anti-depressants aren’t worth it if they screw up your life.

    I’ve also been taking Lunesta almost every night for about 6 months. It’s great! I take only 1-2 mg. per night (recommended dose is 2-3 mg.) No grogginess in the morning. It’s non-narcotic and is the only sleep aid recommended for long-term use, with no potential for physical dependence.

    I like the idea of having my anti-depressant and sleep aid separate. That way I can always take the Lexapro and don’t have to take the Lunesta if I don’t want to.

    Hope things get better for you, in all regards.

  9. scribe called steff

    Hey, Cheryl, thanks for the note, but I’m on Remeron / Mirtazapin — and I’ve been on it before and had no side effects. It’s a much milder anti-depressant, if I’m to understand correctly. Kind of a gentle nudge, if you will.

    And I hate taking pills, so I’d rather keep the quantity of things I need to take to a minimum.

  10. Rally

    Ok, before you just scoff and say, “What the fuck do you know, you are a guy!” and before you tell me I should have read more and I would know the answer, I am just going to put this out there….

    (Dont you love how I cover my ass before saying anything…I wonder why that is, what is the psychology behind that I wonder)

    What about taking “The Shot”? I was with a chick who took it, and she was not only sterile for 1 year, but she was completely period free.

    Dont smack me…please dont smack me.

  11. Colette

    I think the most useful reason to have seasonale packaged the way it is, is because it’s easier to get your insurance to pay for it as a full year’s supply in pre-packaged four packs, rather than a full year’s supply in 14 one-month packs. I could be wrong, but that’s the only reason I can see to really start selling them this way, my roommate just buys extra packs of levlen and skips the placebos. She had spotting for a couple of months, but blamed me for it. uck.

    I’m fairly certain the “rule of thumb” saying doesn’t come from men beating their wives. it’s more likely a tailor’s rule of measurement (twice around the thumb is once around the wrist, etc).

  12. Nikki

    Seasonale worked for me, but it messsed with my head. I’ve since gone the route of the IUD — the one with the hormones, Mirena, and it’s the bee’s fucking knees. I haven’t had any kids, so the insertion wasn’t a picnic, but I’ve had one long, not fun period right after insertion and then only very vague spotting on occasion since. For five years’ worth of pregnancy-free existence, this is working well for me. YMMV and so on, but it’s a good alternative so far as I’m concerned.

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