... is something I almost did once. Slowly and with no deliberate intent.

Warning: This node may be a bit gross. It includes descriptions of needles and female reproductive system processes.

I was menhorragic for eight months. It's a term for icky female type bleeding with cramps. Being depressed and having experienced it once before, I didn't seek medical attention until other things happened.

The other things that happened (along with the bleeding) were:

All of these things made me think I was having heart problems, so I hied myself off to the clinic. After telling a charge nurse my symptoms, she told me that I couldn't be seen without an appointment, and the next one available was in three weeks. I went home and waited and worried and slept and bled a lot.

When my appointed time to see the doctor rolled around, I told him my symptoms, and he decided to take a little blood to do tests on.

By the time I got home, an hour later, there were five messages on my answering machine telling me to get my butt to the hospital or else. They'd pre-admitted me and everything.

The nurses who settled me into a bed were amazed I could stand, much less walk. They told me I'd become severely anemic due to the bleeding and that my hematocrit was 11. (Normal hematocrits for women are 36.1-44.3 and for men 40.7 to 50.3 percent.) I was going to have to have three units of packed cells pumped into me, and a couple of days in the hospital for observation.

The rest of my stay was uneventful, except for the intravenous needle installation in my arm. That took several tries by three different nurses, who couldn't quite stick it into my veins. They called in an anaesthesiologist (who could get a needle into anybody, they said) who said the scariest thing I've ever heard in my life.

"Oh. No wonder you guys couldn't get the needle in. Her veins have collapsed."

And I thought that only happened to heroin addicts. He stuck the IV into the back of my hand. (Hint: If your veins have collapsed and you need to have an IV, look for a branching vein and stick the needle into the juncture. it's bigger and doesn't close up as much as the regular structures do.) I got the blood transfusions and was fed and stared at and poked and cosseted for the better part of a night and a day.

My doctor came by and gave me a diagnosis: Menhorragea, probably caused by my endocrine system and hormones going into a loop. My uterus decided to constantly build up its lining as it was shedding it, so it was about twice the normal size. He recommended a D&C to fix it, along with hormone regulation via the Pill.

So far, it's worked. I only get protein cravings at appropriate times, now. And I take my pill faithfully. Eight solid months worth of feminine hygiene products were ridiculously expensive.

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