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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

Categories
Brave Women, Unique Tales

A Tale Of A Young Adult


My story dates back to when I was a little girl. Vibrant, young like most girls about my age.

I was 11 years old then, in my primary 6 when I first saw my period.

Quite young I should say. The naive girl in me was actually happy at the time coz you know

I’d heard nearly everywhere that receiving your period was a sign you would be able to have your own children and I wanted to have my own someday. I still want to.

Unknown to me though were the troubles that came with a period. But at the time I didn’t know much of course so it was like slap in the face when I went to secondary school. I was 13 then in my senior 1 and it hit me hard but it was just getting started. Now that I think of it, there had been signs everywhere that I wasn’t going to have it easy.

I’d been having super irregular periods for the rest of my primary and there’d be really heavy sometimes but never lasted more than a week then. And my older sisters and aunt convinced me my cycle was changing and that was why the period was heavy. I believed them. At least it gave my little self some hope then that I’d have a more manageable flow.

Still stuck to my mind like glue are two incidents that nearly destroyed my childhood. About primary 7 then, the president was visiting my district and my school was one of the schools joining the match. Oh the excitement we had! And being a vibrant child as I mentioned, I took part a decision I regretted by the end of that day. I was in my period and it was stupid heavy. I got permission from a female teacher of mine to leave, she even paid a boda to drop me at school.

My skirt was drenched in blood and by the time I got off the boda his cushion literally had my blood flowing all over it. I was sad to leave his cushion that way so I quickly wiped the blood with what was left dry of my skirt. I wanted to run but I couldn’t coz that would mean practically releasing a tap. So I took tiny steps, holding my legs together so I could leave as little traces of blood as possible. By then I could feel the blood flow down my legs to my socks. It was as though I didn’t have a pad on. Well I didn’t give myself time to think and take in what had just happened. I quickly washed up, changed and returned to the grounds where I’d left my colleagues. They were having lunch then and when my school director saw me, she asked why I’d changed coz I was wearing a different uniform from the others. Of course I couldn’t mention what had happened before everyone so I quietly got food and as I walked away she said out loud that I was disturbed by adolescence. Now when you’re a child, some things are really offensive and demeaning so they are not to be said to children. I remember that became my name for nearly the rest of the term. Wherever I passed, children whispered or so they thought coz I heard them calling me “adolescence.”

Maybe I overreacted but I was actually depressed and could not talk to anyone. I nearly cried my eyes out. I remember hating my director at that time though we were family friends.

Well I took out the little courage that had been locked away somewhere in me and threatened two of the boys in my class who’d been calling me by that label I hated and surprisingly, they were terrified and so the name stilled. I’d got a little bit of my esteem back and I was happy again.

The imbalance stayed away for a while and I didn’t even know it had been the imbalance. So I thought everything would be alright. How could I have been so terrible at guessing? But you know with hormonal imbalance it’s not an easy thing to be sure. So like a wolf that had been studying its prey for a while it attacked again. More fiercely this time like a long lost friend that couldn’t wait to be reunited with me. My senior 1 the year that started to raise questions in my head. I wondered what this really was. If it was a cycle transition, why didn’t everyone else, anyone at least have it. But I had to wait to get my answers.

A period so heavy I’d never seen that much blood, I couldn’t sit for an hour without soiling my dress as though I’d sat in a bucket of water. I was lucky my uniform was maroon so the stain pretty much looked like water before it dried up so I’d just have to hold on till the teacher walked out so I could walk slowly to the washroom. I couldn’t run because I didn’t really have the strength I’d lost a lot of blood. Besides, running terribly increased the flow. Well at first I thought it would stop like everyone else’s. Well it did, after nearly two months. My blood levels had deteriorated, I was abnormally pale, I couldn’t engage in much physical activity, I’d lost a lot of blood but of course I didn’t know that was why. I kept it to myself and the few friends who’d given me packets of sanitary towels as I had long run out of mine and used up the money I had buying the ones I had used up.

Strength grows in the moments when you think you can’t go on but you keep going anyway

Anonymous

And so the year went by, painfully but I didn’t really mention not even to my mother. I hoped things would change. Well they did. They got worse.

The next term, I was in Senior 2 then. I bled like a slaughtered cow. I was only alive because of an unseen power above. This time I decided I’d seek help. So I went to the sick bay, my nurses told me I was stressed coz we were writing our end of term exam. They told me to drink water and exercise as though I had the strength. I was practically being given ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and I didn’t see how it would help my situation. Besides the nurses had told me to rest much, yet I couldn’t even sleep well without literally pouring out blood on my bed. I’d pad 3 sanitary towels at ago instead of the usual 1 so at least I’d need to change after about an hour.

I bled till slightly colored water started flowing instead of the usual red blood. I remember soiling my Sunday white uniform and people thought I’d sat on water. But of course I knew what had happened. My used pads would be full but barely any color to show it was a period. I was extremely weak, my pace had been greatly reduced to tiny slow steps. I had to start my journey early if I was to make it in time for my exam.

 I was living on borrowed time. I could feel it when I woke up that particular morning, everyone was reading for the paper we had at around 9 am but I could barely raise my head. It took me all the strength I had to get up. I needed to bathe to clean up. And as I walked to the bathroom I whispered prayers to God to please not let me fall in the bathroom. He held me because as I scooped water from the bucket and poured it over my head I don’t know if any water actually reached my back. My hands were lifeless and quickly swung back to my sides. Walking out of that bathroom felt like my feet were walking on air and the minute I stepped out of the door, I blacked out. The rest of the day constituted me regaining consciousness and fainting again.

My condition alarmed my school nurses and I was rushed out of school to a referral hospital where I was just given iron medication as we waited for my dad to come pick me up. When he came he pretty much didn’t understand what was wrong with me, we went home. And the next day went to hospital, my hemoglobin Level had dropped from 4 out of the normal which is about 12 to around 3.7. I was transfused immediately but I was put in gyn ward with women who had suffered miscarriages or given birth. I was the center of attention since I was the youngest and most of them were under the impression that I’d aborted. It was a difficult time not having my mother around at first but I pulled through. That’s when I first learned of hormonal imbalance and I was told it was normal for people about my age. The doctors said the imbalance would stop when I made 20 years of age. And so I anxiously awaited my 20th birthday hoped it would be the last year I had a heavy period. I bled heavily again that year and the year after that with each becoming worse.

Iron medication and medicine to stop bleeding became my reality… My nurses required me to show them before I was let into school. I had visited so many gynecologists and some referred me to those I’d already seen. I tried several treatments, some worked for a few days then didn’t work anymore. I took suggestions from people from what had worked for someone they knew and my situation got worse. I had several scans done and they all said my system was fine. It was just the hormonal imbalance. Tried even those contraceptives and I bled like never before. I took herbal concoctions, bitter, fowl smelling, weird colors but nothing changed. I hated my life. Looked at my classmates and asked God why I wasn’t like them. Why it was me who had to go through that. Of course I didn’t understand that we all have our individual battles. I lost count of the times I asked God to let me die. The thought of the pain my mother and sister would suffer kept me going.

The one that actually hit my dad hard was the one in Senior 4 when he picked me from school and I actually seemed stronger than usual except for my extremely sick orange color. I smiled through that ordeal to date. I was fed up of fighting my body and resolved a “whatever will be will be” attitude. We stopped by a Mary Stopes clinic where we did some tests and I sat outside waiting for my results, two doctors came out and kept looking at me. They called me inside and my heart sunk when I saw my dad with his hands on his head, trying to take in the shock. Never seen him as helpless as that day. My blood levels were lower than before and the when the doctors said I may not make it home alive, my heart bled for my mother but I smiled still. I was rushed to the referral hospital there that good doctor, God bless him struggled to secure a unit of blood for me to enable me reach home and get more units. I was transfused cold blood because they said there wasn’t time to warm it. I sat through the experience as the hospital was extremely crowed. My father eventually secured a bed for me. My heart melted when I woke up in the night and found him seated on chair struggling to stay up. My father from that day treated me more gently like an egg or milk that shouldn’t spill.

Another year went by and each time I suffered from the bleeding I asked my parents not to take me to a gynecologist. First of all most of them started by asking if I had aborted or if I was pregnant. Plus they always said the same thing that it was hormonal imbalance and it would stabilize when I reached 20. Then they’d give me medication that I had already taken and didn’t work. I told my parents it was a waste of money and time but of course they couldn’t just sit there and watch the space. So we visited another gynecologist and got the same response.

Form 5 is the year I like to think of as my free year. I had my normal period about 4 days, regular flow and I believed the imbalance was no more. We had entertained the idea that it could have been an environment issue, so I went to a different school for my A’level (high school) and it seemed we we’re right. Until form 6 (final year of high school in Ug) came, like the imbalance had been reenergized after the break. I suffered a lot of irregular heavy periods through the year but managed to survive it. However as I anxiously waited for my vacation hoping it would be the best I could make of it, my period had other plans for me. Plans that turned into my reality. Plans I didn’t like. It was the first time I had a hormonal imbalance at home. The bleeding was out of this world. I had never wanted to let my mother see me in such a state. It broke my heart to see the pain in her eyes so I asked God for strength. To take care of the people I love and comfort them in case I died. I hadn’t prayed much about my situation in a while. You know I had long given up. Resigned myself to whatever came of it. It was about the time I took the decision to get baptized. The peace I felt that day was something I still can’t explain. Blood kept rushing down my legs like an overflowing tank. Yet as I went down and came out of that water, I had a smile on my lips.

Shortly after that day I almost died in the house. My mother had stepped out of the house for I while and left me wrapped up in my towel ready to take a bath. When she returned I was in the same place struggling to get up. I practically wrestled with my body to move. I managed to reach the wall and use it as my support. My heart was pounding in my eyes. A heart beat so strong, my body shook. My mother, with hands trembling and tears in her eyes held me and bathed me. Like a little girl. I was still bleeding even still. When my dad arrived, I was taken to hospital where my blood level greatly alarmed the doctors. I just smiled. My mom was terrified when we were told my heart almost stopped. I was at the door of heart failure. I prayed I wouldn’t be put in the gyn ward, I didn’t want to see inquisitive, judgmental eyes around me.

With each unit of blood I was given, I bleed out nearly two. I was losing more blood than I was being given and I wondered where the blood came from. Clots so big, that they hurt as they came out, poured out of me. I still can’t explain the pain I felt. Telling this incident feels like relieving the agony. My head hurt and heart ached in inexplicable ways. The doctors kept changing medication to try stop the bleeding. I told my sister and parents not to worry because in heaven I wouldn’t suffer any sickness. I smiled all through that ordeal and I can’t even explain why. The bleeding gradually reduced then stopped. I had another heavy period about a month after. Got anemic again but it was controlled. After that I pretty much had a “next to normal” period for the rest of the year.

The year that followed was something else. As I mentioned, the hormonal imbalance got worse each year instead of tending towards normal as the doctors had told me it would. It was sad that the year I turned 20, the year I’d waited anxiously for, the bleeding worsened. I had serious bleeding that lasted nearly 2 months right before my 20th birthday…………..

That story continues in the second half of my story. Thank you for reading.


Happy Eid al-Aha to all my Muslim sisters and brothers.

On this fifth part of our Brave Women, Unique Tales series we host an amazing lady, Lina. I honestly feel she’s so young and went through quite a lot but her strength and Faith in God did not let her give up. Period shaming, doctors lies and misdiagnosis, painful, heavy and uncomfortable menstrual cycle not forgetting the costs incurred to acquire sanitary towels (when you do the math it’s quite a lot of money) and hospital bills. Everyone in that family went through it with her and i appreciate the effort they put in. Dealing with invisible pain or illnesses is not for the weak.

I’m eager to read part 2 and can’t wait to share it with you. May God continue to work through me to create awareness, start conversations that will reach the gynecologists (we are tired of the half baked stories) and come up with enjoyable lifestyle options for us to live with our conditions. We deserve it!!

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Brave Women, Unique Tales

Brave Women, Unique Tales Part 4: Of Heart Disease and HI

My wonderful readers, how have you been? It’s been a minute since our last Brave Women, Unique Tales episode. I missed writing so much but mostly sharing wonderful stories from wonderful women. No more pity parties though, we are back in high gear and hope you are all ready to kick off right where we left.

Did you know that hormonal imbalance can cause heart defects? When it comes to heart health, hormones play a leading role. The way they’re functioning in the body directly impacts the cardiovascular system, the heart and the blood vessels. What does this mean? When they’re working properly, they can help prevent heart disease; when they’re out of balance, they can cause it. Yes, i’m just as amazed as you are, check out the link tagged on hormones above and get to know more on the relation between the two.

Our guest today shares her truth on living with HI and the impact it has had on her life. I present to you Essy *not actual name* who chose to share a little of her story to the world. As i discussed with her about her condition, i realized for her it’s more about accepting her truth and accepting the life she leads. I’m proud of her *i’m proud of every single one that has shared thus far* and hope you enjoy her story and also do more research on the discovery you’ll find. (Or i’ll do it for you…because i can)

Ladies and gentlemen part 4 of #BWUT:


Growing up I simply knew I was the small kid, among all my peers or friends I was the small one regardless of the stage. Many times, I was double questioned about what class i’m in and for some reason a follow up was made to maybe an adult like my parent if I was really in that class or stage I claimed I was at. Well at the time I didn’t really make sense of it. I was always bagged about eating more or drinking so that I could “grow”. And I actually tried but we always don’t get what we want.


Previously amidst all this welcome back daddy moments my dad realized my heart beat was a little faster than normal but he also thought it’s probably because I was a kid and was playing most of the time. But this kept on for years, it didn’t normalize. Until one day he purposefully holds me and listens to my heart beat and says Deborah are you okay, and me being me I answered with a smile “yes yes I am”, but he complimented saying your heart beat isn’t normal, I didn’t really take it in then.
So high school comes and it’s my first year in boarding school so he decides it’s not wise to let me go without knowing why or how this is happening.


So he plans a meeting with a doctor, and almost like the next day it’s set and we off to see this doctor who refers us to a proper Cardiologist. We make an appointment and meet him the next day.
The Cardiologist said that whatever I had was normal for kids and after it all goes back to normal well I was glad to hear that but he suggested that I go for an echo cardiogram so that we are even more certain that it is okay.
I must say it was a bit scary for me at the time, laying half naked on that hospital bed with all kinds of things connected and those pegs on your fingers and that cold gel didn’t make me feel any better but as the doctor passed the thing *I still don’t know what it’s called* and said it’s all okay I started to believe him, so when all was done I was asked to dress up and we went back to the office.
I was handed a disc with the recording and some other huge X-ray like sheet showing the waves of the heart beat. I can tell you I went home and was showing off to my siblings how I had a disc with my heart beat on it.


Everything felt normal then.

In preparation for a new school term, we were required to go for medical check ups to make sure we reported to school with no illnesses.I remember this particular medical check up schedule. I had no worries, I even made plans with friends…let’s all go Wednesday…. yes we agreed so on that Wednesday we went for checkup and I will save you the details of the lines and waiting to the part where you wait for your name to be called upon and you each enter the doctor’s office, so as were waiting, talking making noise, one friend goes in and then they called my name too. I marched majestically to Room 3 knocked and entered and there was this doctor who asked me the first few basic questions then asked me if I had any problems. I gladly said no and then he took out his stethoscope and started to listen to my heart beat and he looked at me again then did the procedure again looking at his watch.


Shortly after, he asked me these questions “are you afraid, have you been doing any kind of heavy activity before this?” and my response was no to all questions. So he asked if I had a parent or guardian with me. Well I was there with my aunt, he asked me to call her in which I did.
And then when she comes in, he explains and says my heart beat is not normal and I explain that I have been to the cardiologist and all that and he still insists, this isn’t normal “go to a bigger hospital and get another opinion” he said. My aunt very concerned asked the doctor to explain what he meant by that.
The doctor then starts to throw the pain in, “Her heart beats faster than normal much as it’s normal for kids but it should have fazed out by now, it shouldn’t be this fast.
So he looks at me and then back at my aunt and says “she can’t be doing any heavy duty work, she shouldn’t be running or any other activity that will make the heart even pump faster *moment of silence…* it could be dangerous.”

On my end, I was simply seeing a free ticket to not going for that early morning jogging we had every Saturday morning at school. I smiled a little but right after that, he asked me if I have any unusual conditions and my auntie was so quick to jump in and tell him of how I always feel cold. So the doctor explains that due to this condition, I have hormonal imbalances and that’s why I
I feel cold most times; even when everyone else is complaining about the heat. For that I have grown to always have some kind of sweater or warming cloth on me.


I may not necessarily mature into what everyone else my age is, and that is to say I will not even gain as much weight or height literally anything with growth. Honestly that really hit even harder when I left high school and joined university. Most people thought I was joking when I said I was doing Arch (architecture), it felt like I have to explain myself all over again. There was a joke in school that I came with someone to go to Wonder world( An amusement park in Uganda) and got stuck there, well I learnt to laugh along with it with time.

But I must say some days are harder than others, I always wanted to be just like my peers or family but clearly that isn’t for me. It’s hard to fit in and I learnt not to I guess this is how I became an introvert because I didn’t want to try so hard, I would rather be alone than try to compare what I am to others. Being small has taught me a lot about people and myself too and that getting comfortable in your own skin is easy to say but even harder to practice.

And the sexual harassment you actually go through is another story for another day.


What a cliff hanger!! Thank you Essy for sharing your story. I learned a whole new side about hormonal balance through her. This series continues to humble me plus it has taught me to listen better and observe more.

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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.

Categories
Brave Women, Unique Tales

H.I there, I’m Hormonal Imbalance (Teheee see what I did there? Eyyyyy)

Linda here, welcome to our first part of the Brave Women, Unique Tales series. Our first ever guest decided she remain anonymous but we’ll call her Flower. I’m proud of her for sharing her story to the world. The purpose of this series is to create awareness about hormonal imbalance, fertility related conditions and chronic illnesses. Many females and males (this concerns you too men) could be down playing these conditions and the effect they have on our lives. To understand why we are doing this, check here.

Without further ado, Flower is here all weekend, show her some love, ask questions, engage her and most importantly let her story be known so that other women like her and me can get back up from a life we thought was over due to these health conditions.

Flower take it away………


FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER (it’s been a part of me that long), I’ve always had irregular periods. At first I didn’t really care about it, one less thing to worry about womanhood. No cramps, no annoying moist feeling down there and certainly no feeling like the entire Niagara Falls was coming out of you when you burst out laughing.When I brought it up casually at any doctors’ appointments (it wouldn’t really be the sole reason for my visits, but I’d sneak it in because WHY NOT? I’m smart like that) the response would be that I’m young and my body would find its natural rhythm eventually.

I WAS OKAY.

IT DIDN’T REALLY AFFECT ME.

THIS WAS OKAY…I HAD MY WHOLE LIFE TO LIVE AND THIS WOULDN’T BE A BIG PART OF IT….RIGHT?…right?

right? *seeks validation from imaginary audience*

WRONG!

The moment it hit me like Simon Cowell hitting the huge red button that is followed by a large red “X” to symbolize rejection on the show “X Factor” was when I joined campus. I started to notice I wasn’t really “normal”. Remember those doctors that promised my period would normalize? Yeah they were wrong.

It got worse and my esteem got lower because I bottled it all up. My period got scarce, I’d get it about twice a year. My flow also got super heavy…pads couldn’t contain it, I’d stain my sheets even when I slept like a log (no seriously, I once googled “how to sleep like a log” and tried to stay in said position all night). It was frustrating to say the least- still is. The salt to my wound was that I had lots of friends but only one out of them shared my condition.

It wasn’t something we really talked about, it wasn’t something people sat around fires and told stories about during camping. It turned into something shameful for me. I would be perceived as less of a woman if anybody knew this side of me ..so I got an empty CocaCola bottle and did what I do best… bottled up all my feelings. (Won first prize in the annual Bootling Up Feelings Olympics that year).

Wow, Anonymous person writing about her story, that must have been tough to live with, the dear reader wonders. Yes, yes it was. It affected my esteem greatly…I had horrible resultant acne that was like a stubborn stain. No matter how hard I tried (and still do) it couldn’t allow my face to breathe. I hated myself. Fell into depression.Hated taking pictures with a flash on, I stopped looking into the mirror. There were nights (and some days…and some afternoons) where I’d cry my eyes out in frustration. It was unbearable.

What made all this worse was that I became my acne. All the good things about me were overshadowed by the acne because it affected me so much. People would say stuff like “oh she looks nice but would look better if it wasn’t for the acne”. I’d be in a good mood,walking with a happy skip in town and get stopped by random people giving me unsolicited advice on skin and telling me to try out “new” things…things that I had already probably tried before as a result of watching thousands of “Get clear skin instantly DIY” youtube videos.

“HaVe yOu TrIed GLyCerine”? *eyeroll* “Drink more water” *as if I don’t already swallow the whole river Nile* “Sister kozesa kano, kajja kuyamba” *eyeroll*. “Have you tried this (extremely bitter) herbal concotion?” All this irritated me and my “leopard print skin” even more. (Oh, btw, H.I also brings gifts with her, mood swings is one of them)

Last year my visits to the doctors became more intentional and specific to my hormonal condition. It clearly wasn’t a casual consultation anymore. The doctor mentioned that I’d have difficulty in conceiving at a later time in life and that crushed me escpecially because I have beautiful nieces that I LOVE TO BITS and I would absolutely love to have kids of my own someday. They just became a reminder of what I could possibly never have in my life. A “kokonyo” of sorts. I got so angry at myself, at my body for being so damn incompetent and at God in general to whom I had prayed severally to heal me. *Cue “GOD WHY ME” and listening to sad depressing music all day phase*

I started to distance myself even further from any men/ attention I was getting from them (not that I had a variety to choose from to begin with), I decided if I stayed alone (with 80 cats) I wouldn’t have to share this tough experience with anyone and they would probably leave me if they found out. I would be a lone ranger! ….aaaaaaaand then I watched “Pretty Woman” for the 100th time in my depression and decided I wanted to be loved and I wanted to be wanted. I wanted to know what that felt like rather than olympic run from my problems like I usually do (Usain Bolt ain’t got nuthin’ on me). I figured the right person (who hasn’t had the pleasure of meeting my awesome ass yet) would love me, flaws and all.

This year I decided to live courageously, to dare to love myself inspite of my flaws because for anyone to love me and vice versa, I’d have to be able to acknowledge my own badassery. I’m a smart, beautiful, stylish, accomplished,witty, beautiful woman with a great taste in music and movies and H.I can no longer hold me captive.

It’s not easy, but I’m taking one day at a time, praying about it, seeking practical solutions because I have heard of people that have been able to beat this.

*IN GOD WE TRUST. WATCH OUT FOR PART 2* *CAST*