| Laura's rant...
A LONG AND BLOODY STRUGGLE
When one reader asked about the length of bleeding episodes, alt.support.menopause was flooded with replies
(January 4, 1999)
This is a question for my fellow Bloody Marys: What's the longest period you ever had?
I started bleeding on 11/10/98 and bled until 11/19. Then I started bleeding again a week later (11/26) and bled for 7 days (until 12/2). Then I started bleeding again 19 days later, on 12/21.......and now it's 1/3 and I'm STILL bleeding. We're not talking spotting here, we're talking full tilt boogie. No big clots the past few months, cramps only intermittent and fairly minor, no other physical discomforts....just bleeding and bleeding and bleeding.
Have any of you had a comparable experience?
"Eva D. Struction"
Me. I had three months that were practically nonstop bleeding and spotting. As I recall, I'd have four or five days of heavy bleeding, a days or two of light flow or spotting, another four or five days of the real thing, a few days of light flow, some more heavy bleeding, a few days off...then repeat.
I just went back and checked my bleeding log, which I started November 5, 1996 -- I bled with only two days off until January 14, 1997. Sometimes it was just spotting, but it was always something. I had three weeks of no bleeding, then another two months of nonstop bleeding or spotting. But the bleeds were a little lighter then and more days were just spotting.
I don't know how much that helps you...
You're not alone Eva! This is what they mean when they say peri is characterized by "menstrual irregularity." I called it the "meno" without the the "pause." One bleeding episode went pretty much non stop for about 3 months. That was about 2 years ago. I'm post-meno now (truly the "pause that refreshes1") & feel great now. However, I most certainly remember the aches, crashing fatigue, doubling-over- cramps,inconvenience and embarassment. I vividly recall just lying in bed for entire days with an ice pack on my abdomen crying from the pain. There were days on end when I could not leave the vicinity of a bathroom without a super-duper tampax plus an overnight pad. Sometimes I couldn't get to the bathroom without leaving a trail of blood...and the clots! After a bad bout of clots I sometimes felt so faint and nauseated I could barely work my way back to the bed. My husband actually drove me to the emergency room twice thinking I was bleeding to death.
The first doctor I saw gave me massive doses of provera and wanted me to schedule a hysterectomy right away (in a few weeks since he was so busy..) Thanks to the support of women who populated this newsgroup a couple of years ago (several have left, sadly) I worked up the gumption to seek a second opinion. Unlike VLHB002, the provera was not the answer. Instead it (medroxyprogesterone acetate or "cyrcin," 20mg/day) created worse bleeding and thinned the endometrium too much. In retrospect, I feel that I was getting set up for a life-threatening hemorrhage if the bleeding resumed...or an emergency hysterectomy. Dr. no. 2, a kindly, level-headed reproductive endocrinologist, agreed I didn't need to have organs removed but that the only way out at that stage was to take estrogen for a few weeks. At first I was resistant to taking any at all because of my mother's breast cancer, but at that point I really had little choice. Fortunately, after about a month of estratabs (taking l.25 for 2 weeks and .625 another couple of weeks) the bleeding slowed down and stopped. Then I had to have an ultra-sound to check on things, but everything looked pretty normal after the course of estrogen. And, guess what, just as I'd hoped, I went immediately into full menopause and have not had a period since! At present I am fine, healthy and energetic and haven't even had hot flashes since the summer before last. Because of the cancer risk I have chosen to avoid hormones "phyto" or otherwise and to maintain my health through diet and exercise.
*grin* I once cracked up my doctor when - feet in the stirrups - I complained, "Some women get menopause, I get meno-fast-forward." She laughed so hard she dropped the speculum...
I have been bleeding since 9/23/98 and I am still bleeding. I had my third endometrial biopsy in Oct 98 and a D & C with hyteroscopy in Nov 98. I don't think I will ever stop.
I had to go get my journal to check on this (amazing the things we forget!), but I see that my very first Great Flood, last March, began like a "normal" period on March 12, and continued until April 3, with the heaviest bleeding (the tampon-an-hour plus maxi pads sort, complete with the infamous chicken-liver clots) from March 17 to 20, after which things tapered off for a few days but never really quit ... then it got gross again for three or four days and gradually diminished.
My next period began on March 11, and was relatively normal.
So: 23 days of bleeding, 7 days off, then eight more days of bleeding.
Need I add that my first post to a.s.m. was right around that time?
I've had a couple of other gushers since, but nothing approaching that long. Knock wood.
I didn't start logging it until:
Twice, no, three times. Three, five, ten, twenty days of steady bleeding, wind down to spotting, start over, cramps, clots, spotting, bleed, bleed, bleed, spot, start over. I just hated it.
I'd suggest drinking lots and lots of water and making sure you get potassium (bananas and oranges work pretty well; I never tried supplements). And I took C and A even when they didn't actually seem to slow the bleeding down, because the studies said women who were heavy bleeders had lower blood levels of these vitamins and I figured getting the levels to normal wouldn't hurt.
I never could tell what made it finally stop, either. Well, actually, the episode that sent me to the doctor was stopped by Provera, but the two after that (one of which just finished about a week ago) I really haven't got a clue.
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