Memoir of a Girl

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
My traumatizing experience.

Submitted: May 22, 2012

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Submitted: May 22, 2012

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Just as I was reaching the age of eleven, in early 2003, I was blessed with woman’s wonderful curse. In other words, I had my first period. It wasn’t too big of a deal. I knew what to expect. I had seen those videos they pull girls out of class to show. I hated it, but I knew it was inevitable.

A few months went by, and things seemed just fine. But then there was the class trip to the Chicago aquarium right before summer. I was filled with excitement for the day and everything to come. I knew it wasn’t my time of the month, so I wasn’t at all worried, and most definitely not prepared.

Half of the day flew by, and it was just after lunch break that I realized something wasn’t right. All of the girls were wrangled into the girl’s restroom, and the same went for the boys. I then noticed a big stain right on the seat of my favorite pants. “Do you have anything?” I quietly asked a few of the chaperones. I figured they would know exactly what I meant. No one had anything, but luckily, I had a sweatshirt to tie around my waist…a white sweatshirt. I was traumatized, and was now counting the hours until it was time to go home. My face was painted a bright shade of red for the rest of the trip.

The time came to finally take the three hour bus ride back home, and time could not have moved any slower. “Do you want to borrow this?” my best friend Chelsea asked, as she held out her favorite tie-dye blanket. I reluctantly took the blanket from her hands knowing my sweatshirt had been soaked through. I wrapped myself with the blanket, hoping it would not be ruined when I was through with it. On top of the already terrible day, my mom arrived an hour late to pick me up. I explained to her why I had the blanket wrapped around me, and I could tell by her face she was mortified for me.

About two weeks went by, and I was asking for feminine products yet again. Every time I asked, I got the same response. “Are you sure you’re not wasting them?” or “Why are you going through so many?” But every time, I assured her, I needed them. Of course, it’s not normal to have your period for over a week long, and I was now coming up on a month. The beginning of my summer was spent curled up in a ball on the living room floor waiting for the nausea and cramps to subside.

Time rolled on, and my overall health was rapidly deteriorating. I constantly felt a knot in my stomach, and it was a rare occurrence that I could keep food down. Worst of all, I still had my period…heavier than ever. It had gone on long enough, and a doctor appointment was finally made. She took some blood, and we were informed that my platelets, or cells that cause blood to clot, were alarmingly low. It was then that she advised us to take a trip to the emergency room.

The hour drive there seemed to take forever as I was holding myself from vomiting the entire way. With the seat leaned all the way back, I continuously asked my mom, “how long?” When we finally arrived, the putrid hospital smell pushed me over the edge. I scrambled to the bathroom, and I can remember the terrible feeling I got from vomiting in a public restroom, much less a hospital’s public restroom.

As soon as the doctor saw me, he administered a few bags of saline solution, because of my unmistakable dehydration. The doctor decided it was time for my first yearly exam, while I am a bloody mess. I was terrified. “Is it going to be a man or woman?” I asked my mom. The exact moment those words came out of my mouth, a man walks in. I could feel my heart sink to the very pit of my chest. Just as soon as he walked in, my mom walked him back out into the hall to request a female doctor.

Next thing I knew, a woman was walking through the door, and the exam was over quickly. A nurse took several vials of blood from my IV. I believe I counted ten. The next doctor to see me explained that if I had lost much more blood, I probably would not have made it. A blood transfusion was needed. All of the sudden I could feel a bag of cold blood being pumped through my veins. I started to feel nourished, but the feeling ultimately made me sick. I was quickly given pain medication and drifted off soon after.

The doctor’s were baffled by the entire thing, and the only conclusion they could come to was a disorder called ITP; where the immune system destroys platelets needed for clotting. The only solution they could think of at the time was to put me on birth control. I started out taking seven pills a day just to stop the bleeding. And I was sent home after almost a week in the hospital.

A few days were spent at home eating only bread and crackers because of my never-ending nausea. On the third day home, a shower was necessary. I remember the weakness in my knees, and feeling like I was going to pass out. As soon as I stepped out of the shower, I took a seat on the cold, wet floor, and fell asleep there for hours, in nothing but a towel. When days kept passing, and no strength was gained, it was decided we would return to the hospital.

Once again, saline solution was administered. But this time, it was freezing cold. I could feel my entire body tensing up, and I started to shiver. “Could this be warmed up?” my mother asked the nurse about the IV fluid pulsing through my veins. “Oh, sure,” the nurse said. When she returned to the room tears were rolling down my pale cheeks. “Here ya go, sweetie,” the nurse said as she wrapped me in a blanket and stuck a grape popsicle between my shaking fingers. I still to this day don’t understand that logic.

Another week was spent in the hospital, and color was at long last appearing in my cheeks. I knew, only because every nurse who saw me mentioned how much better I was looking. I was bleeding less, and smiling more because finally I could eat regular food. I was sent home after being poked and examined a few more times. I had my blood drawn weekly at first, until my platelet count was somewhat normal and the checks were made monthly. To this day, they have no idea what it really is, or what really happened. I still take birth control continuously, and ultimately never have a period. The doctors told me to worry about children when the time comes. So until then, I’m stuck wondering what might happen when I stop taking the pills.

 

 

 


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