Blood is one of those things that one just can’t explain. Well, I suppose I could explain it since most people have enough experience with it to grasp the concepts at hand, but it is utterly socially unacceptable.
Michelle was so concise: “menorrhagia is one” meaning one good reason to take the artificial hormones which are frequently used for contraception.
That says a lot to me, but nothing to most people. They cannot understand that the day before I read Michelle’s comment, there was absolutely no way that I could go to mass. I could have moved through the pain and taken advantage of the elevators and slowly walked up the ramp, but there was no way to get past the blood. There is nothing sold that can handle the amount of blood that I would lose in the half-hour it would take for mass.
How do I explain what it is like to stand weakly in the bathroom, thankful for the certainty that my body must stop within a few hours. After all, if the bleeding continued at this rate for more than a few hours at a time I would have to go to the hospital, and I have never been hospitalized.
The product that I have found handles the most blood is a menstrual cup, either the disposable softcups or the reusable–and more awkward for me–DivaCup (I’ve never used the Keeper) plus, of course, a pad since there are always those times that the cup may fill up before you’re able to get to the restroom. I have nothing against tampons (though I do believe that they increase the cramping sometimes) but on days with heavy clotting, the clots simply cling to the outside of the tampon. It absorbs little, and so the gushing returns within minutes, and it is impossible to deal with without bloody hands.
It is not just that significant blood loss is annoying or scary (and it is often scary, even though I’ve been through it many times) or that keeping iron levels up is an extra task. It is significant. It requires significant adaptation. And sometimes that adaptation comes at a very high price.