My period has changed since I quit wheat. It’s weird now, yet totally predictable. I get two days of really light spotting, which is my warning. Then the floodgates open and I have about six hours of terrible cramps. The worst is over in about two days. It’s kind of like going down the chute all at once. When I was eating wheat my periods were super light and I would hardly notice them, but the PMS was killer–super sore boobs, sore back, headaches.
I’ve been dreading having my period at work, so naturally in my second month it hit me full force. All weekend I was spotting and wishing it would come on fully, so I could suffer quietly at home with sad yet noble dignity. NOPE. I woke up Monday morning and BOOM, there it was.
So I strapped on my big girl jeans (Goodwill, $5.99) and went to work. I was doing deck work, which means climbing around and over a bunch of rebar, trying to fix or place our conduit. A deck is basically a dark living room full of Lego times 1000, and sharp and rusty to boot. I was bending and squatting, cutting pipe, tying wire, and feeling generally miserable from forcing myself to move and work while my insides were trying to fall out of my body.
Luckily we were all busy so I was left to my own devices, especially since we were getting help from a fifth-year apprentice. My jdub would MUCH rather work with this kid than with me, since the other apprentice knows what to do without directions. I liked the temporary guy. He was about 25, cheerful, gave me a lot of simple stuff to do that my jdub doesn’t trust me with (“Are you BAFFLED?”), as if I’m a drunken toddler.
The heat was off me, so I was quietly gritting my teeth and trying not to even hear what time it was. I was kicking myself for forgetting to take any painkillers before leaving the house. I had also forgotten to pack a fork and so ate my chicken with a spoon for lunch. That’s what kind of Monday it was.
I started feeling better near the end of the day when the throbbing/stabbing ache was subsiding, and I was left with that heavy feeling like my crotch was made of sawdust and had sucked up a lake of something viscous and awful. The young apprentice mentioned it was 2:45, which meant it was 15 minutes to quitting time.
“Oh thank god,” I said, realizing I hadn’t spoken in hours. “I need this day to be over.” I was cutting the flaps off a box that I could fill with couplings to store in our little parts house.
My jdub delights in any misery or annoyance I encounter so naturally he demanded details that he could relish.
“What’s wrong with you today that you want it to be over?” he asked.
“WELL,” I said. “I STARTED MY PERIOD THIS MORNING AND MY SHIT HURTS! I AM HAVING A HARD DAY!”
“I am learning things right now,” the young apprentice said, not making eye contact with me.
“AND MY VAGINA FEELS LIKE IT’S ABOUT TO FALL OUT OF MY BODY!” I threw the empty box I was holding into an empty crate because it felt right.
“Okay, I’m sorry I asked,” my jdub said. And he was, too.
I’m much better today.