Well, I feel like shite warmed over today. And since it’s less than two weeks until competition, this week is 100% week. What a great combo.
I spent a lot of the weekend with random, mysterious stomach pains, which stopped me falling asleep last night. I lay in bed wondering what was wrong with me – have I suddenly developed a spontaneous gluten allergy?! This is what reading fucking paleo blogs will do to you, folks. No, I haven’t developed digestive issues – turns out I’m having what passes for a period when you had an endometrial ablation 18 months previously. So I’m having the pain and the sicky feeling without any of the, you know, Niagara Falls imitation.
When I think about it, I do think it’s pretty impressive that I lifted for as long as I did (over 3.5 years) when I was essentially drugged up the eyeballs and in massive pain for (at least) 1 week out of every 4. For those not up to speed, I have endometriosis (diagnosed at 14) and used to take 3 x mefenamic acid + 8 x tranexamic acid every day. My periods were so heavy that the gynaecologist who diagnosed me said I was “one of the worst cases he’d ever seen” (which is GREAT to hear when you’re 14, yay!). I had a bunch of laparoscopies before finally having an ablation in November 2012, and I haven’t had a period since. But endometriosis is not (emphatically NOT) just heavy periods and I still have some of the other symptoms – crippling mittelschmerz, sicky feelings, random abdominal pain etc. But not having periods on top of all that is a blessing, as it’s one less thing to worry about.
I used to desperately want to read accounts of sportspeople with endometriosis to know I wasn’t alone, but I never found any. Instead all I found was blogs about women going au naturel, giving up hormones/painkillers and “listening to their bodies”. Lucky ladies. (Not jealous at all, honest!)
Of course, an ablation doesn’t last forever and my periods will come back; in fact I’ve been suspicious that they’re on their way back for a couple of months. But I stopped tracking my cycle a long time ago (I used to take note of my mittelschmerz to have an idea of where I was) so I didn’t realise on before today that my bilious feeling at the weekend was a period. I live in hope that I’ll hit peri-menopause before they have a chance to come back properly!
Anyhow, this has all gone very TMI & overshare-y, but hey, periods are a fact of life and endometriosis is one of those diseases that people don’t talk about enough. Thank god for the NHS; although I’m still slightly peeved that it took me until I was 35 to get an ablation. My quality of life would have been much improved if I’d had it a lot earlier.
In the meantime, I have to feel better STAT because tonight is 100% bench; Thursday is 100% squats and Sunday is 100% deadlifts. Vomit. Next Tuesday (22nd July) I’ll be setting my openers and that’s it until competition day. Thank goodness I’m not making weight this time around – one less thing to worry about.