I'm Sorry I Don't Have The Flu, But My Menstrual Cramps Are Just As Legit, I Promise

I'm Sorry I Don't Have The Flu, But My Menstrual Cramps Are Just As Legit, I Promise

When can we start taking periods seriously?
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Earlier this year, I had gotten my period in the middle of the night– which meant that I was up all night experiencing heat flashes, nausea, and cramping.

Personally, my periods are always hell. The pain is something I thought was "normal" and was just the consequences of having a menstrual cycle. Feeling light headed, nausea, cramping that would stop me in my tracks, being over-emotional, and having migraines was what I believed just came with being a female.

Anyways, I had to work later in the morning, and ultimately knew I wouldn’t be able to sit through my shift knowing I was going to be experiencing those symptoms. My first concern was calling into work sick. My job HATES when we call in sick, but I knew this was the one time I could not tough it out. They obviously can’t say, “No, you have to come in anyways,” so they said “Fine, but you need a medical excuse.” This part was most stressful and irritating.

Why must we, as females, have to validate the severity of our period pain with a medical excuse?

So, like the good employee I am, I went into QuickCare not knowing what to expect. I don’t like going to the doctor’s, and it is not something I do often. Honestly, I did not really know how to be like, “Yeah, I just need a written excuse for my period, thanks!”

I got called back, did the normal routine, and eventually met with the doctor. My doctor was male, and if I am being honest, that made me eerie because they don’t feel the pain of periods.

I explained what I was experiencing and how I needed an excuse for work. Because I was experiencing nausea and cramping, the doctor proceeded by diagnosing me with what he believed was a Gastrointestinal Infection– aka the stomach flu.

I assured him that the symptoms I was experiencing was normal with my period, not a viral or bacterial infection, that could be cured with medicine. He went on with “educating” me with the differences between period and flu symptoms. I didn’t feel like putting up a fight, so I let him win, and proceeded with obtaining my medical excuse. You apparently can’t put “period pain” on a medical excuse, so I got an excuse that stated my diagnosis as "Gastrointestinal Infection.” I gave it to my boss next time I worked, no questions were asked.

I got my medical excuse and was not penalized for missing work, which I am grateful for; however, the situation made me reflect on how I have had to handle talking about my period and dealing with it.

Why is it that expressing period pain is so disregarded or discouraged?

Why can’t period pain be validated at a medical center– or maybe it can, just not at mine?

Why are many women left feeling ashamed of the monthly occurrence that makes us women and is the reason we can bring life into the world?

Why are some people so ignorant to the realities of menstruation and its consequences?

Why in schools, can we go to the nurse for any obscene issue and go home, but for a period the best we get is, "You can take ibuprofen and lay down for no more than twenty minutes"? Even though, you may not be able to sit up without feeling like your about to throw up or pass out from the pain?

Why do women have to think, "Am I just being a baby for complaining about my period pain?"

Maybe it's just me, but I believe period pain should be taken just as seriously as other medical conditions. Periods are not something women ask for– they are something we are forced to deal with. That means we are forced to deal with how minor or how severe the symptoms can be. Yes, there is medicine that can weaken the intensity of the symptoms, but medicine can't cure all of the discomfort that comes with it. It's also irritating to me that when we speak up about what we are going through, we are immediately hushed and told that it is an inappropriate subject to speak about.

I understand that not all work and medical establishments handle situations involving periods the way my experience did. What I spoke about what was simply my experience. Hopefully, my experience is uncommon and doesn’t happen everywhere. However, I find myself thinking about all of the other girls and women who do have to deal with professionals who treat periods and menstrual cycles in such an inhumane way. Hopefully, this will change.

***If you experience severe menstrual symptoms, make sure to see a gynecologist, a Planned Parenthood, or a professional specializing in menstrual health! Severe period symptoms are not normal and should be addressed to make sure there is not a more serious condition or issue!

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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An Open Letter To Democrats From A Millennial Republican

Why being a Republican doesn't mean I'm inhuman.
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Dear Democrats,

I have a few things to say to you — all of you.

You probably don't know me. But you think you do. Because I am a Republican.

Gasp. Shock. Horror. The usual. I know it all. I hear it every time I come out of the conservative closet here at my liberal arts university.

SEE ALSO: What I Mean When I Say I'm A Young Republican

“You're a Republican?" people ask, saying the word in the same tone that Draco Malfoy says “Mudblood."

I know that not all Democrats feel about Republicans this way. Honestly, I can't even say for certain that most of them do. But in my experience, saying you're a Republican on a liberal college campus has the same effect as telling someone you're a child molester.

You see, in this day and age, with leaders of the Republican Party standing up and spouting unfortunately ridiculous phrases like “build a wall," and standing next to Kim Davis in Kentucky after her release, we Republicans are given an extreme stereotype. If you're a Republican, you're a bigot. You don't believe in marriage equality. You don't believe in racial equality. You don't believe in a woman's right to choose. You're extremely religious and want to impose it on everyone else.

Unfortunately, stereotypes are rooted in truth. There are some people out there who really do think these things and feel this way. And it makes me mad. The far right is so far right that they make the rest of us look bad. They make sure we aren't heard. Plenty of us are fed up with their theatrics and extremism.

For those of us brave enough to wear the title “Republican" in this day and age, as millennials, it's different. Many of us don't agree with these brash ideas. I'd even go as far as to say that most of us don't feel this way.

For me personally, being a Republican doesn't even mean that I automatically vote red.

When people ask me to describe my political views, I usually put it pretty simply. “Conservative, but with liberal social views."

“Oh," they say, “so you're a libertarian."

“Sure," I say. But that's the thing. I'm not really a libertarian.

Here's what I believe:

I believe in marriage equality. I believe in feminism. I believe in racial equality. I don't want to defund Planned Parenthood. I believe in birth control. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I believe in welfare. I believe more funds should be allocated to the public school system.

Then what's the problem? Obviously, I'm a Democrat then, right?

Wrong. Because I have other beliefs too.

Yes, I believe in the right to choose — but I'd always hope that unless a pregnancy would result in the bodily harm of the woman, that she would choose life. I believe in welfare, but I also believe that our current system is broken — there are people who don't need it receiving it, and others who need it that cannot access it.

I believe in capitalism. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, because I believe we have a people crisis on our hands, not a gun crisis. Contrary to popular opinion, I do believe in science. I don't believe in charter schools. I believe in privatizing as many things as possible. I don't believe in Obamacare.

Obviously, there are other topics on the table. But, generally speaking, these are the types of things we millennial Republicans get flack for. And while it is OK to disagree on political beliefs, and even healthy, it is NOT OK to make snap judgments about me as a person. Identifying as a Republican does not mean I am the same as Donald Trump.

Just because I am a Republican, does not mean you know everything about me. That does not give you the right to make assumptions about who I am as a person. It is not OK for you to group me with my stereotype or condemn me for what I feel and believe. And for a party that prides itself on being so open-minded, it shocks me that many of you would be so judgmental.

So I ask you to please, please, please reexamine how you view Republicans. Chances are, you're missing some extremely important details. If you only hang out with people who belong to your own party, chances are you're missing out on great people. Because, despite what everyone believes, we are not our stereotype.

Sincerely,

A millennial Republican

Cover Image Credit: NEWSWORK.ORG

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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