School had begun in August, one month after my twelfth birthday. The nurse's office was a few doors down the hall from math class. As I sat at my desk trying to figure out what a mixed number was, a dull achy pain acutely began in my stomach. First I ignored it, but by lunch time, there was no denying it. I ran to the girl's bathroom, in to a stall and snatched down my jeans and panties. There was blood all over my clothes. Shocked, I dressed and ran to the nurse's office. She gave me some Tylenol and a couple of maxi pads.
"Sweetie, you started your period!" For some reason the room began spinning and before I could stop myself, vomit spilled from my mouth. The cramps worsen over the course of the day. The nurse called my mom, but our phone was off. The next person was Auntie Winne. She was the fifth oldest of the twelve children Grandma Terry had. Mama was the ninth. Winne picked me up in her new Jeep Cherokee. She leased a car every year in order to have the latest vehicle. She was a complete asshole. I hollered and screamed as the nurse and Winnie helped me to the car. Winnie drove me to the hospital, where they gave me a shot of pain medicine in my hip. After a few minutes, the pain eased off.
Winnie came by a week after taking me to the hospital. She had made a doctor's appointment for me. It was my first time going to a gynecologist. When I saw the speculum, I freaked. I hadn't lost my virginity yet, so I knew it was going to hurt. They decided to put me on birth control pills to help with the menstrual pain. After missing most of all of the pills, the gynecologist decided to give me a birth control shot called Depo-Provera. That was more convenient solution. I would only get the shot every three months. To my ultimate relief within a day, my period had stopped. My gynecologist said that I had suffered from a menstrual condition called Primary Dysmenorrhea or painful menstruation. She said that since I was so young, no underlying cause could be found. The Depo-Provera would give me some relief until my body matured, which was six years later.
Winnie insisted that I get off the shot. She said that it may cause problems in the future. Winnie swore out she studied to be a registered nurse, she also swore to have studied criminal justice, child psychology, and even took a course to be a veterinarian. Of course I didn't listen and continued to use the shot for another three years. Suddenly, I experienced sharp cramps in my lower abdomen. I went to see my gynecologist and she performed various exams. She checked me for STD's and even took blood. It had been required for me to discontinue the Depo shot. A year later, I did not have a menstrual cycle. The gynecologist said that it could take up to eighteen months for the shot to completely leave my system. The pain grew worst over the next few months which was also accompanied by nausea, and excessive thirst. I was tested for diabetes, but that test was negative. When I went back to see the gynecologist she had diagnosed me with a condition called Secondary Amenorrhea. She defined it as absent menstrual cycles for women that had menstrual cycles before and then they were no longer present for more than six months. I was going on two years.
First I was given Progesterone, which was a hormone that thinned the lining of the uterus when a woman's egg isn't fertilized. After progesterone was given then suddenly stopped, my menstrual was suppose to start. It didn't. Next the gynecologist wanted to see if my tubes were blocked or to find any abnormalities in my uterus so they sent me for a Hysterosalpingogram (HSG). It was a form of an x-ray, where a speculum was placed in to the vagina, then a catheter was inserted all the way in the cervix. An iodine dye was injected to highlight the uterus and fallopian tubes. It hurt like hell and I did spot afterward, but it didn't last long. After the results showed that everything was normal, the doctor decided to give me estrogen, which is the hormone that gives a woman her curves, breast and allows ovulation for a woman to reproduce. In other words, my levels were normal, but the doctor still could not find a reason why I wouldn't bleed.
Not having a menstrual was a gift from heaven, but the risk of uterine cancer was a possibility of hell. I had to bleed or I could develop cancer and die. I tried the estrogen for a month, followed by progesterone in order to cut the risk of uterine cancer. Too much estrogen could cause the lining of my uterus to become too thick increasing the rick of cancer, so the progesterone would help to avoid the unimaginable. Luckily, the estrogen worked an although I still suffered from Dysmenorrhea again, popping a vicodin every month was a lot better than chemotherapy for preventable cancer.