If you think menstrual pains are a menace, try missing your period

I woke up to a sharp pain in my abdomen. Not again. Pitch black darkness kissed my eyes as they moved to adjust to the lack of light. Irritating voices, I heard, oblivious to my predicament. So I strained and flicked the lights above the bed on.

My eyes fell on fried yam which had long gone cold. One of my feet clad in flats. Empty water sachet basked in a pool of its own contents, soaking the books on the bedside table. ‘Shit. Shit. Shit’ I rushed to save them from getting drenched further. But the harm had already been done. Pain surged through my limbs from the impromptu leap from the bed. Who did I offend? How did I even get here in the first place? Ugh!!!


******* 10 Hours earlier********

“Hello. Good afternoon” I greeted the nurse with a smile, when all I wanted to do was writhe and succumb to the pain I was experiencing. The hard girl in me could not bear to show the world, everyone has moments of weakness. Because time and again, menstrual pains have been associated with why women cannot be at the helm of affairs. Some say it affects productivity. Others say a woman on her period is a walking time bomb. Touch her and she detonates. For the superstitious, a woman in her period is unclean as long as she has an overflow of blood from her vagina.

Her response drew me out of the cloud of thoughts that had overshadowed me. Lord help me.

Slinging her bag along her shoulder, “Do you need something?”

“Yeah. I was wondering if I could bring you some IVs for some shots.” I told her.

“Are you the patient?”

“Sister, nti ne3 me ka y3 no nyinaa w’ante ong? Look, don’t come and exacerbate my pains wae.” Hey, don’t blame me. I may be in pains, but my ears can sift silly questions from intelligent ones. Am I even making sense? With a tap, she roused me out of my reverie. Then I realized I only entertained the thoughts. “Yes I am. Kindly wait so I bring the drug.”

My bags did not help matters. The one on my right, I bet was heavier than me. For once, I wished I’d listened to the tiny voice that endeared me Do not send a laptop to work.

I managed to waddle back to the head of pharmacy’s office to claim the offer I declined a mere 15 minutes ago. I’d resolved to endure the pain like I had for the past 24 hours amidst frequent visits to the toilet and bouts of nausea.

After 40mg of IV Hyoscine Butylbromide, I was ready to hit the road. I offered my thanks and left the injection room. How I got to the attendance device; How it registered my fingerprint and gave me the go ahead; How I got out of the facility I know not. I remember buying fried yam. I’d only taken soup, more like I fished out the protein.

Speaking of soup, it dawned on me that my lunch bag and its contents may be soiled with the remaining soup when my lunch bag fell due to my clumsiness. Ugh, extra work.

After 5 minutes and a gallop of a tortoise, I’d still not got to my destination. I mean how? On a normal day and minimal traffic, I’d have gotten rid of my bra and other essentials. So I flagged a taxi.

I got to my room, discarded my shoes, so I thought. I took my phone out of my bag to reply my messages. Things were not right because I saw too many characters at a time. Every letter, every sentence looked smudged with too many blinding colours. I restarted the phone; I cleaned my lens; I blinked countless times yet, no change.

It was then I realized, I was losing consciousness. The health worker in me lunged for the fried yam, attacked it ferociously. Delali, you are not losing consciousness on me. I rummaged through the shoe box I kept my cards in, took out my health insurance card and money, ready to go to the hospital. At this point my throat shut down. The yam I was munching on got stuck in my mouth. With no option, I spooned the soggy mass out of my mouth, gulped some water to push down the rest, which worked with painful effort applied. Now I understand why oral route of administration is not advisable for unconscious patients.

What happened next, I know not. What happened for the 10 hours I was out, only God knows. Only I woke up in pitch a black room, experiencing another episode of menstrual cramps.

More than often, I dedicate that time of the month wondering how it would feel to be male. No periodic bleeding. No menstrual cramps. No mood swings. No diarrhea. No premenstrual cramps. I would not have to worry about staining my clothes, no self awareness. Neither will I have any pregnancy scares even when I have got nothing to fear. I wonder if life would be any easier.

Well, I guess I will never find out. Or maybe I will, during my menopausal stage. But that also comes with its accompanying complications.