Periods are a funny thing. When you don’t have one you want one.
When you’re in the throws of the bloody mess you’re cursing eve’s name and wishing she didn’t have to eat that stupid apple!
The one thing most people have in common though when it comes to periods is, we don’t like talking about it.
So let’s talk about it!
My hopes in sharing my story is that it will help someone. Whether it be a young blind person struggling with how to figure out when they’re starting their cycle, or a non disabled educator trying to explain puberty to disabled adolescence.
I remember my very first cycle vividly. It isn’t a pleasant memory to look back on.
I was 11 years old, and it was the first day of summer camp. I got changed into my swimsuit because I had to take a swim test. I was laughing and carrying on with my friends. They all got quiet and started trading secrets. When I asked what they were talking about they brushed me off like it was no big deal.
I got my cane and towel and headed down to the lake with them.
They told me that they wanted to make a quick stop at my mothers cabin first. They didn’t explain why, I just went along with it. The entire walk to the cabin they were giggling and whispering at some point one of them slipped away to get my sister.
My sister ran up to me and exclaimed, “Hey, is it true!”
I looked at her confused and told her I had no idea what she was talking about. Just then my friend piped in and told her that they hadn’t explained to me anything yet. My sister just shrugged and rock the way
I got to my mother’s cabin. We went to the bathroom when she finally explained to me what the heck was going on.
She congratulated me and told me that I had officially become a woman.
SHe was excited, I was mortified. I cried as I recounted the events that led up to that point. She hugged me and assured me that my friends were just jealous. I couldn’t fathom why they would be jealous, I was going to be missing all of the water based activities at a summer camp. I was bleeding and there was nothing I could do about it, what in the world was there to be jealous of? Perhaps she was just saying that to be nice. Turns out she wasn’t though, I learned later on that my older friend indeed was very jealous of the fact that I started my period before her, and she was 13. That was the worst summer camp experience I had.
From that point on I had to learn through trial and error non-visual cues for when I was going to start my cycle.
I learned the different textures between blood and discharge, I learned the smell of the blood, I learned about my body and how it changes right before I was going to start.
I figured out how to put in a tampon without vision. My aunt taught me the day I decided I wanted to go to the waterpark with her.
As I became a teenager I started to bleed more heavily and it made me have vertigo spells and I almost passed out a few times because of it.
On top of that I had awful cramps. I went on birth control pills when I was 18 and it made a lot of my symptoms go away or at the very least get more manageable
Add finally established a routine and I was cool with it. Until I realized one month that I had missed 2 periods in a row.
The rest was history and I can honestly say I haven’t had a period since the end of 2017 thanks to breastfeeding.
I don’t miss my period at all and am not looking forward to it’s return.
Bonus thoughts: click the link below to cringe at one of my very first blog posts, and learn about my thoughts onPeriod sex.