When I was little I would frequently return home from visiting my father with raging ear infections.
I was a water baby, practically living in his pool on school holidays which served the dual purpose of a) giving me the infections in the first place and b) distracting me sufficiently from the pain that my head was about falling off by the time I raised enough of an issue to make it to the doctor.
My mother learned early that when I offhandedly mentioned something hurt, only to be distracted by a game of tag five minutes later, that that didn’t mean the pain wasn’t serious. I just had a knack for ignoring my body’s klaxons, right up until either the distractions ran out, or an emergency room visit was in order.
It’s something I never grew out of. Which is probably for the best because two decades later I was diagnosed with endometriosis.
After three years on the max recommended dosage of Effexor (otherwise known as venlafaxine and/or “that fucker”), I’m now day four into withdrawals and am here to tell you that the nightmare is real: coming off Effexor is a full price Contiki tour through Satan’s bumhole.
But hey, at least I have some gnarly sightseeing recommendations:
Periods are the worst. It’s a pretty universal constant among people with uteruses. Three to seven days out of the month, our insides decide to spring clean with the voracity of a nuclear detonation and the aesthetic of a serial killer. You plug what you can and you clean what you miss, all the while keeping the whole thing to yourself because Jerry in accounting will probably make a sexist joke and Carly will judge you because we don’t talk about such things, Sharon.
Well fuck that. Not only has our collective silence led to half the population not understanding a fucking thing about the biology of the other half (something that goes from hilarious to horrifying when you realise these are overwhelmingly the dudes in positions of power btw) but it’s contributing to a culture that sees people with all the symptoms of serious medical conditions shrugging them off because “lol periods amirite??”.
I should know. I was one of them.