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Lupus and Irregular Periods: Revisited

Posted Apr 09 2012 11:47am
Time sure does fly!

Four years ago, I blogged about Lupus and irregular periods. Click here to read that post (will open in a new window).  Some things have changed since then, so I wanted to blog about it.

As I mentioned in my first post about irregular periods, I discussed how amazing the human body is. It has the ability to stop or halt functions of the body that are not essential when the body goes through some sort of trauma or stress.  This is what happened to me.

I got my period when I was in grade 8, a few months before summer break.  I remember this because I was trying out for the baseball team in middle school around that time.  Luckily, I got it at home and not while on the baseball diamond or anything!

This was around April or May.  I wasn't diagnosed with Lupus until November of that same year.  Up until that time, my period was "normal" for me. It came when it was supposed to come, and I could pretty well calculate when it would come.  I did get cramps, but nothing too major or debilitating.  Basically, nothing that would stop me from doing what I wanted to do. It was heavy and lasted what I felt was a long time (sometimes a full week, sometimes longer). Other than that, it was pretty normal.

When I was diagnosed with Lupus later that year, my period would sometimes skip a month or two, but it would still "show up" eventually. My major problems occurred back when I ended up with a perforated bowel/colon. This was the "major trauma or stress" that my body went through when it decided to stop having periods altogether. (See "Colostomy Surgery-The Beginning" & "Colostomy Surgery-The Middle" . There was no "The End" as I said I'd write "The End" after I had plastic surgery to fix the scar... that never happened ).

I saw my gynecologist (who, by the way, is a wonderful lady) many times.  I was put on medroxy, then I was put on progesterone. Neither seemed to work. I had ultrasounds, including the "regular" ones and a transvaginal one (the latter is as unpleasant as it sounds, by the way). I grew tired of going back to see her in order to try this and try that, so I just left it alone.

I am osteoporotic.  When one does not have their period for a long time, their estrogen levels drops, and this is not a good thing for the bones. This was one of the reasons I kept going back and trying to get my period back...but it did not happen.

Then in 2008,, I switched from conventional dialysis to home hemo. I told me dialysis nurse about my struggles related to my periods (or lack thereof). She was convinced that they would come back after being on home dialysis for a few months. She told me about the testimonials of a few other women who went from in-centre hemodialysis to home hemo, and how things started to normalize for them.  Makes sense.

It never happened for me. I waited and I expected and I waited...but it never happened.  I had convinced myself that I was somehow "broken" down there and I would maybe never have a period again.

Fast forward to last month- my kidney transplant. I had my transplant, and at the end of March, I had my stent removed. I was told to look out for bleeding and stuff in the 48 hours following the removal.  I didn't experience that, so I was home free.

Then..I started spotting a bit. Oh man! Why oh why is this stent removal causing me to bleed NOW?

Then..it went away...*phew*!

Oh wait...no it didn't.

A few days later, I started to bleed a little more.  Could it be..that after receiving the kidney transplant, my body finally feels "normal" and is starting to do "normal" things? The answer to that is "yes". What started off as random spotting turned into a full out mensuration by this past Friday. I knew that my new kidney was working well and I was feeling "normal", but I never imagined that my body would heal and respond like this so quickly.

The bad news is..my usual symptoms from years back haven't missed a beat: cramps, very heavy flow, and just feeling "blah".  The happiness I felt from being happy that things were going back to normal very quickly subsided as I sauntered down to the kitchen to boil water in the kettle to put into a water bottle to put on my aching back and upset/crampy stomach.

That said, I am still happy.  As much as the symptoms that go along with menstruation are...well..let's say "far from fun", let's face it.  I'm a woman, and most women of my age are supposed to go through this.  It's normal...and an indication that my body is happy and functioning well. Over the months I'll have to be diligent about monitoring everything where my "mensies" are concerned to make sure they are coming regularly, how long they last, symptoms, etc.

Nice to see you again, old friend.

..oh wait..no, not really...

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