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Brave Women, Unique Tales

BWUT Part 6: Joey’s Special Story

Praise God! My name is Joey (Joey is my actual name) I’m 24 years old and i come from a humble family.

So, my whole menstrual life has been unstable. I started my periods at the age of 13 in my senior one and I don’t remember ever having a normal period. At the beginning I thought it was okay but then after a series of consultations at the hospital, I realized there was a problem.

As others had their period for a maximum of 5 days, I was always flourishing nonstop. I started in October 2009 which makes it 11 years of constant bleeding now (2020) I must admit, it hasn’t been easy. I want to narrate shortly how I got to know about this whole hormonal imbalance and how I deal and have dealt with it.

In 2009, it was life as usual, I talked to my mom about my long periods that had lasted three weeks so they said since I had just started it cannot be stable but when they came again, it was for a whole month. At the time I couldn’t even think it was going to last more than 10 years. I know you are wondering if I ever went to hospital for testing, yes I did!

I went to the hospital, we did all tests possible including a hormonal test, but we still could not determine what was wrong.

 I started sessions of ultra sounds, to keep monitoring if there was any unusual activity, so they said it was an inflammation on the womb but it was just an exaggeration of the scan so that was ruled out.

So we did all checkups that were recommended but we could not find anything so I learnt that I had to live with that. I was put on a dose of microgynon (these are types of contraceptive pills but they are also useful in regulating and stabilizing hormones) which I was to take for six months and it worked as I took it but the moment I stopped it got worse.

One day from the hospital, I was with mom and then we were told to buy some medicine which I was supposed to take for 4 months and each dose was 250k, at that time my parents didn’t have that money for the four months. Because for each week, I was supposed to take twice or thrice, so It was a bit expensive. So we decided we were going to pray our way through this situation and we’ve never looked back!

Huh…So about explaining it to people, I usually lack the right words to use but it’s usually “I’ve been on my period forever”, “I bleed for 365 days every year”, “I have a hormonal problem”, I just have to find ways of explaining it to whoever I’m telling. In most cases I’m not well and when I say I’m not well, people expect something like malaria, infections and the like, but then they ask, what’s the matter, and I’m like I’m on my period and no one gets it because that’s not being sick. The truth of the matter is when i say i’m not well, i’m really not well.

It’s not easy living with a chronic illness, and I describe it as an extreme sport. It needs a lot of patience. Like when I’m alone, that’s the only thing I think about, I get depressed I can’t even explain it to anybody so I just have to find a way of dealing with the emotions. Of course sometimes you have people to talk to and they’ll always listen. Take for instance my parents and siblings. I even want to cry just thinking about how much they have been there for me and unconditionally.

So there is pain, not physical pain per say, but there is emotional pain, I hurt every time I think about how I wear a pad from January to January!! I got lucky not to have cramps, but this is no consolation for having to bleed and wear a pad every single day for more than ten years. (Yes, TEN YEARS) I’ve actually never had cramps, the only pain or discomfort I have is in the lower abdomen. It always feels like something is flowing heavily through my stomach.

There are days when it’s so heavy, like extremely heavy of I have to change a pad after ten minutes or less, so in this situation I can’t move. On some days I just sit on the toilet and just let it flow so I can have relief from pads. Pads are so irritating, so at one point I have to use cotton and gauze (so comfortable) but I have to use it when I’m home just to avoid the public humiliation in case i stain my clothes.

The whole experience is just disturbing, it hurts, because I also want to just have a normal period like any other girl, use those beautiful period tracker apps. I constantly have to explain why I can’t do things, like swimming and other water activities. On the extremely heavy flow days, I just want to be alone but that can also be an issue because people don’t get why i would want to be on my own.

I have explained my condition to a guy before more than one actually. A couple of them were really supportive especially the guys in my fellowship, one who is married, together with the wife took me up in prayer and we constantly prayed together, they really supported me and I’m so grateful. Besides the ones from my fellowship and the males in my family, I haven’t been bold enough to tell more guys. I have to say that some act like they care at the beginning and just keep pulling away as time goes on, but that’s life.

I attribute my survival to God. I’ve seen the hand of God in my life for the last 10 years. He has made me smile, I’m healthy and all thanks to Him. And of course, I had to learn to live with it, I don’t let it get to my head, I talk a lot so it helps me so much, my mind is always occupied especially when I’m around people I always get what to talk about so I don’t have to be idle and allow the sad thoughts get to me. I also listen to lots and lots of music, it’s so therapeutic!

I also make sure I have enough sanitary supplies at all times. My parents would give me a box of pads while at the university. (in high school, I didn’t opt for a whole box because I wasn’t yet mature and so open about my condition, so I didn’t want to carry a box of pads to school) That was to avoid so many questions, school was 4 months so it would be suspicious to have an entire box of pads.

I’m from a humble family and I was lucky my parents were able (still are) to provide, and I never lacked sanitary supplies and much more at any one point.

Also being around people that love and care about me made me feel like I wasn’t alone. My roommates from A ‘level (High school) to university didn’t segregate me (I may not say the same for O ‘level). I wasn’t segregated but the reception of some people wasn’t really a good one. I think it was because we were still young and none of us knew how to deal with it. Hence i don’t dwell on it so much.

I had an amazing roommate at campus, I’d cry so much but she didn’t give up on me. Also, prayer has been and still is helpful because when I feel down and I have no body to talk to, GOD listens and He always listens to me. (No lie)

Then my mom who has never and never stops asking about my day, how I was, to an extent that I sometimes want to tell her I’m okay just to make her feel better. I don’t remember a day when my parents have not called to check on me and make sure I’m happy and fine.

My eating habits have not been affected, except when I would get a break let’s say after like six months straight. After my episodes of endless bleeding i’d get a break of like one or two days and I would decide to give myself a treat and have the nice things I couldn’t have at the time. Eating that nice food would make me really happy and it still does. Those moments when I would be on breaks were so refreshing, I felt alive and so brand new.

There are very many myths that have been said, like my reproductive health will be affected and I won’t be able to bear children, no man can marry or love me in my condition, for the bleeding to stop I must get pregnant…. etc. It was quite a lot and sometimes i felt stigmatized but I didn’t have to agree to all that, a positive attitude kept me going.

I want to let people out there know that it is okay to be who you are, considering we don’t choose how to be made, but if you ever find yourself with the same condition, you are not alone, find time, share with a loved one. It really helps. You will learn more, even love yourself because it’s not the end. 

Hormonal balance is manageable, and you are also worthy of love and all the good things life has to offer. I can’t say lastly because I will be back to say I’m completely fine, and that I have a family and babies of my own… Name it! 

2020 has been good so far and I think I’m close to getting my healing. I have periods for five days but still on an abnormal cycle, of more than 2 months. I miss two months and then have the next one so it’s not yet fully stable, but it’s better than having a marathon of 9 to 12 months.

I’m eternally grateful to God above all because if it wasn’t for him I would not have made it this far! I also thank my parents and siblings. These people have been my greatest support system and continue to be. I could not ask for a better family and I thank God for them.

Then, my friends, truly priceless. I don’t know how I would have lived life away from my parents, but these people were always there, anytime I’d call, they’d be there for whatever kind of support I required of them. I know we can beat Hormonal imbalance and we are not alone.!!! Thank you Linda for allowing us to share, and to talk to a soul or two out there. This really means a lot.

This situation was so pressing financially, considering we have to buy pads on a daily. I have used all brands of pads in a bid to get relieved from the irritation. On one of the visits to the hospital, I was told to do a Hemoglobin test (HB test) because I was beginning to get anemic. One of my friends actually paid for a blood test(HB) which I had to do, he went with me to the lab and I got tested and my blood levels were okay. 

So I had one last test to do recommended by a relative who is a gynecologist, I have to do a beta pregnancy test to rule out cancer (I’m not pregnant but if it turns out that i am pregnant, chances are there are external beings in the womb which are cancerous) that, I have not found the strength to do! I hope I don’t have to do it. And to my gynecologist Dr. G. B, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! 

Any girl can relate to the discomfort of wearing a pad and the irritation, but I had to wear it on a daily. It was too much. I constantly stained my clothes at school, my bed sheets over the night. This whole situation was so draining and emotionally painful. Save for the embarrassments after staining in public (at school, in saloons as I plaited my hair) as long as something involved having me seated for some time, i’d stain it. I couldn’t travel with people because I was constantly in fear of staining their car seats.

The heavy days were really heavy like I said that blood would flow through my pants down to my feet. It was a very long ten years, I’m now in the 11th year, it was a lot of torture especially school days. After my mathematics paper in O ‘level I had stained my uniform so I had to wait for everybody to leave, and then I used the past paper to cover the behind part of my skirt so I could be able to move up to the dormitory. A’ level was the same story during all my Literature papers. 

People always told me they understand my situation but I don’t think they did because none had ever been through this. I tried all medical recommendations, took tablets and capsules until my body got used to the tablets too. Some doctors even gave me the medication that I had been on before. All the possible medicines were done 😥

Regardless, I’ve always had faith and I was always and I’m always a happy child. It’s a lot, I may not exhaust all the 10 years in just a single story. But I thank God I can smile, and I’ve been able to share this, I am healthy, I am surrounded by people who love me and this has been a very good source of strength.

Thank you everybody who has been a part of my journey. Together we’ll win this!!! Love wins indeed.

I had some episodes of sleepless nights when I used to have on the heavy days (they were like 10 in a month) and I had to be awake because either I had stained and now I’m even scared to sleep (because I sleep in the worst positions) so there was no way I could not stain the sheets.

So I needed company to keep me awake, my roommate really did the best. And then these heroes called mom and dad would call to jazz, we talk, we pray, catch up on things we had even talked about already, all to make sure I’m not awake alone, this would go on for like hours, until I finally doze off and then they hang up. Only love!!! 

For the young girls, if you notice anything out of the normal about your period, talk to your parents about it. We could prevent it from going out of hand. Periods are not shameful, let’s embrace being girls. It is beautiful ❤

I couldn’t not mention names because to protect the people’s privacy. 

Thank you for reading. I hope to share more even on my progress, and I assure you, I’m beating this!

GOD BLESS YOU !


Well what a story that was!! Joey i’m super duper proud of you, i’ll admit it here that you have pushed me to be more positive about beating this complication. You’re positive attitude is out of this world and i love that you have fully trusted God to take the wheel. I had a conversation with her during my sick days and she mentioned she last took prescribed pills 6 years ago. If you know how helpful these pills are then you understand how shocked i was because once in a while a girl can’t survive without them.

With that being said i hope you have been inspired and also enjoyed Joey’s story. Between the lines she mentioned she’s a happy person and she really is, a whole vibe if i may add. Thank you for sharing this part of you with the world and you’re welcome. I’m doing this to give ladies like us hope and sense of belonging in this cut throat world. Let’s treat each other well and conquer hormonal imbalance, PCOS, endometriosis and all those female reproductive issues together.

WE ARE BOLD, WE ARE BRAVE AND WE’LL BEAT THIS.

Love and Light,

ALS

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Brave Women, Unique Tales

Of Hormonal Imbalances: Part 3 of the BWUT Series.

If we can lean into people’s lived experiences and people’s humanity we’ll realize that the assumptions and judgments we make of people are very uncalled for and unnecessary. This is one of many reasons i decided to create this idea, many a time we judge or make assumptions about people yet we haven’t lived a day in their life. There’s always a lot more than meets the eye.

Beloved readers i welcome you to the third part of our series. I’m so grateful to you all for reading and sharing the stories that have been told so far. I’m happy but the ladies behind the stories are happier mostly for sharing their truth and that warms my heart. So continue to spread the word and let’s normalize these conversations.

Getting right into it, today’s guest made it clear that she has no chronic illness and almost chickened out saying hers is a smaller issue than the ones shared thus far. I assured her that as long as it causes you more than the usual pain, its not normal and allow yourself to open up. I’m proud of you for taking part in this and i pray you get better with time. Love and light to you my dear.

Welcome Desire PK to the Brave Women, Unique Tales series and this is her story……bonne lecture *French to mean enjoy reading*


1. When did you learn that you had hormone imbalance?

I cannot say I have had any hormonal imbalances but I can say I have had a very weird menstrual cycle from age 14 last between 7 to 14 days a month with excruciating cramp pains that take three to four days and a very heavy flow of blood out of my system. When I was younger I was told that this would change to 2 to 3 days, over 10 years later and nothing has changed.

2. How do you normally explain your hormonal imbalance induced chronic illness to people?

I would not call mine a chronic disease per se because well, its just nature. It gets very hard when other women are opening up about their cycles and I mention mine. Often times me sharing is followed with a lot of pity and shock

3. How would you describe your pain and what is it really like living with a chronic illness/hormonal imbalance?

I have very very painful cramps

4. Have you ever explained your pain to a guy? If yes how?

Yes I have, all I do is tell them straight up about it and luckily none has found it weird – surprisingly, they react better than the girls 

5. What was their reaction?

Comfort and need to help in any possible way

6. What coping mechanisms have helped you survive life with hormone imbalance/chronic illness?

 After a few years of having painful cramps, I learned how to deal with it all. I do not take any medications but rather I lay in bed and sulk the pain away. I have to also put on 3 pads at a go (its something I invented) to avoid staining, and then I keep checking in (making visits to the loos every 30 minutes ) to ensure that I am safe. I have had to leave important work tasks due to staining myself at work even though I take all safety precautions. It’s really hard.

7. Has the hormonal imbalance/chronic illness affected your eating habits?

Usually, during that time of the month for me, I tend to prefer eating vegetables and I hate any meaty meals and I prefer lots of comfort food

8. What myths /assumptions have you heard people say about your hormonal imbalance?

That it means am very fertile – LOL

9. What would you want the world to know about living with a chronic illness/hormonal imbalance?

It’s okay. It’s okay to be different really, to exceed the ordinary. Different is good because that way you get to see a whole different perspective of things that you wouldn’t have seen or experienced if it was all ordinary for you and that you are not alone. There is always someone else living with the same condition and they may be worse so be grateful it did not get as far as theirs. You are not alone.

10. Lastly, two people, you would like to thank for supporting you when times with the illness get tough

  • God
  • My family, friends and all the guys I have told and have not made it seem like I have a problem

Hope you enjoyed today’s story. More stories are on the way and i can’t wait to share them with you.

Love and Light to you all.

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Brave Women, Unique Tales

The H.I Chronicles.

Welcome back to the Brave Women Unique Tales blog series. Last weekend I hosted Flower and I’m very grateful for all your responses and reactions. Flower herself was amazed by them, she appreciates and is glad she took part in this. Her story encouraged a couple of other women to open up about how they are dealing with H.I and some chronic illnesses. Thank you for trusting me with your stories and i’ll do them justice by sharing and letting the world know.

On this new episode of #BWUT we have Leila. I like how raw and honest she was while telling her story. I could feel the weight come off as she kept opening up. I’m very proud of you Leila and i hope we can continue this journey of healing and acceptance together. Ladies with similar conditions, my prayer is that you know you are not alone.

Ladies and gentlemen i present to you Leila another brave woman sharing her unique story. Enjoy!!!…


I’m 28 years old and I struggle with hormonal imbalance.  My particular case manifests through irregular periods. When I say irregular I don’t just mean I miss a few periods here and there. I mean a totally unpredictable cycle. I can’t use those cute period tracker apps nor calendars that the average woman uses because what I have isn’t a cycle… it’s more like a roller coaster.

Anyway, since my very first period, I would go months without a period and when it did come, it would either be prolonged or quite heavy.  In S.5 I had a three week long period, went to the doctor, there was nothing wrong with me so I was given supplements and sent on my way. In S.6 vacation, I had a period so heavy, I had to change pads hourly or less. WHY MOTHER NATURE WHYY??  That time I was given an injection to stop the bleeding.

First year is when I realized something was terribly off. I was on my period on and off for 9 months. Yes, 9 months.  Let me put that in perspective…in the time that a woman conceives, carries a baby to term and  gives birth to her bouncing little one, I was on my period. During that period,  I would bleed for a month, then have a week off, three weeks, a few days off, 6 weeks, 5 days off, 8 weeks, week off and so on and so forth. My mum had to buy me a carton (who knew they even existed?) of pads.  Anyway, I visited numerous doctors, got scans and ultra sounds…but nothing was wrong with my uterus. I was then ordered to take tests to determine the state of my hormones and that’s when I found out I had hormonal imbalance. To date, I struggle, and as I write this, the red witch has been here for 21 days despite being on the contraceptive pill (which is supposed to help with menstrual regulation). I still deal with periods so heavy I resort to using pampers.  Yes, you read that right.  It’s embarrassing, and really frustrating. I hate being on my period.  The moment I find out I am, I get sad because I don’t know how long it will last, or how heavy it will be. Will it be so heavy I can’t freely leave home? Will it last longer than a month? Sometimes I’m lucky and it’s relatively light and short.  Other times, it comes at me with a vengeance.

Not many people know that I deal with hormonal imbalance, only my family, friends I’ve roomed with and two others who have the same problem.  I have only ever told one guy about my struggles. He’s a really good friend and when I told him…he didn’t react like a typical guy. He listened and empathized because his sister suffers with the same issues.  Would I tell another guy? I’m not sure I want to go through the trouble of explaining to a clueless man what I go through. Maybe if I decide to settle down, then I’d consider it.

The one positive I find in my condition is that I can go months without a period. “How is that a positive?” I hear you ask. Well, dear one, during those blood free months I relish the freedom of being dry…of being able to move around freely without constantly checking to make sure I haven’t stained myself (I once stained the light green seats of a restaurant. I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me), I relish the freedom of sleeping naked, of feeling free. I dance for joy because I know that when the period does come, I’ll most likely miss those dry days. When the period comes and it’s an uncomfortable one, I try to remain positive, stay hydrated, shower as often as I need to and when it comes to an end…I rejoice! (I may or may not twerk happily) .

I wish women would talk to each other more often and openly about periods. We could be each other’s support systems, share our journeys and know that we don’t suffer alone. I once had an impromptu period discussion with friends. We found that most of us did not have “normal periods” and it felt good to talk to people who get it. We all left feeling lighter.  I’ve also had really great support from my mother who worries about me more than I worry about myself. She’s always looking for solutions for me…she never ceases to take an interest in my health especially regarding my period and I love her for that. My friends and siblings have always been understanding  and supportive, which makes everything easier to deal with. Also , music. Ladies , never underestimate the power of music to make you feel better.

If you struggle with hormonal imbalance, I hope reading this let’s you know you’re not alone.

Sending love and hugs your way, Leila.