How much does your husband understand period issues?
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How much does your husband understand period issues?

I'm trying to figure out if my husband was being a jerk on this one, or if I'm expecting too much understanding.

As quickly as possible: I'm anemic. I was getting my period every 3 weeks for the last 2 years, and it's super heavy, so no surprise. Because it's so heavy (I soak through a super tampon and pad every hour or so for about half a day at the heaviest), there are some things I'm not willing to do on that day. One of them is train travel. I have to change my pad/tampon too often, it's no fun for me, and the bathrooms are gross. I have to remind him of this every time, but whatever.

Ok, so obviously I'm not getting over the anemia like this, so in October I started the pill. You're supposed to start this on Day 1 of your period, so I wait for that. While I'm waiting, I'm noticing my breasts are looking bigger, and everything smells and tastes funny. Pregnancy? I was TERRIFIED! Up until this point we were using withdrawl for BC (yes, I know). Well, finally it's the Saturday my period is due. H had wanted to go away this weekend, but I told him no way, my period was due. So Saturday comes, no period, and I finally tell him that I'm so afraid I might be pregnant. He was going to the drugstore while I took the girls to the grocery store, so he said no biggie, he was SO sure I wasn't (?? because withdrawl is so great?) but that he'd pick up a test there.

Well, he forgot the test. Even though I'd just told him a half an hour earlier that I thought I might be pregnant, it obviously wasn't worth remembering.

However, my period started the next night. Ok, so I start taking my pill. Monday is really heavy, as usual, but then Tuesday is even heavier, and so is Wednesday. I won't go into details, but even I was shocked by the blood flow. We're talking scary amounts of blood and clots. I started to worry that I was miscarrying. H got me a test (we live in his home country and I don't speak the language well enough to get a test), but he got a not very sensitive one, and it came out negative. At least I knew that if I had been pregnant, I wasn't any more.

Wednesday night, he books a weekend trip for Saturday. He says, "Well, I figured your period would be over by then, so you wouldn't mind travelling."

I continued to bleed heavily, ended up seeing an OB on Friday to find out what was going on (no sign of a miscarriage, so it could have just been a reaction to starting the pill. No way to tell really), but I'd lost a LOT of blood that week, and I was feeling utterly awful. Plus emotionally spent from all the worry, both about the volume of blood loss and the possibility of miscarriage.

So, I was really mad at H for booking the trip. I was SO tired, I just wanted to lay in bed all weekend. I probably lost a pint of blood, from an already very anemic state. I felt like he just wanted to take his trip, which he'd reluctantly put off because my period was due the weekend before, and didn't consider what I was going through, even though I explained how much blood I was losing and how worried I was.

Is this just par for the course with men and period issues? Or would you expect your husband to be more supportive?

It's been bugging me for a month (probably partly because I still feel like crap. I am taking iron, but it takes a while.)

Thanks for your perspective on this ladies.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How much does your husband understand period issues?

You're period started on Sunday and he booked the trip for the FOLLOWING Saturday. Most women are done within 7 days so I think you're overreacting (just a bit). Unless he's normally an ass he probably truly didn't get how serious this was.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Mine discusses menstrual cups with me. He has no issues buying tampons on my behalf either.

I am truly one of the lucky ones to be honest.

What you describe for periods should be treated more aggressively by a doctor. Could be fibroids, endometriosis. Have you had iron and b12/6 titers checked? Both can cause anemic conditions if too low and heavy menstrual bleeding.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How much does your husband understand period issues?

Yeah, my period was done, so it's not that he booked the trip on day 7. It's that he booked it because he didn't understand what I was going through, even though I explained very clearly what was going on.

Do you think men just sometimes disengage when you say the word "clot" to protect some part of themselves from knowing all this? Maybe I shared too much...
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How much does your husband understand period issues?

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Mine discusses menstrual cups with me. He has no issues buying tampons on my behalf either.

I am truly one of the lucky ones to be honest.

What you describe for periods should be treated more aggressively by a doctor. Could be fibroids, endometriosis. Have you had iron and b12/6 titers checked? Both can cause anemic conditions if too low and heavy menstrual bleeding.
I've had a good deal of blood workup done and been checked for fibroids. Not sure about endo, how do they check for that?

I'm giving it until Jan to start feeling better, otherwise I'm going to push for more help. I still feel so, so tired.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How much does your husband understand period issues?

Sorry, but men can't truly understand what it's like, no matter how many times we try to tell them. I'm guessing it's all TMI for them anyway.

I'm not anemic that I know of, but your heavy day 1-2 sound a lot like me. I just gently remind my husband when I can't do certain things...I tell him "I can't really be away from a washroom for more than an hour or so..." and he clues in as to why.

Luckily, I work 5 out of 7 days, so am usually at work for those 1-2 blessed days. And as a matter of fact...Whoops! Gotta run!
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How much does your husband understand period issues?

Awwww, I think you're stressed and tired - all of it from the heavy periods, your anaemia and greatest of all - your worry about it! However, I wouldn't blame your husband for being naive about it. My husband would be equally naive too. He just takes my word for it when I hint/say there are some things we can/can't do - i.e. even if it might be a disappointment for him, he gives consideration to my comfort/health without interrogating me too much about it. Seems like this is how your husband went about it too????

Obviously your husband planned something based on your dates and it didn't exactly work that way due to your cycle. He's not sure where you stand at the moment, but does ask you if you might be able to make the trip (possibly something he's planned for a while and looked forward too!) So, when things din't work that way, he was probably a bit dejected.

I'm trying to turn tables and see how it works... I think I'd be a bit disappointed too if husband had to cancel a trip I'd been careful to plan, because he was uncomfortable and tired (this is how it'll be to them when viewing things from their angle). I would have tried to nudge him and see if we could make it anyway. So, I guess that's what your husband did unless there's a little more to the story! Since, you didn't mention that he was being rude or indifferent about it, I'll just assume he was mildly disappointed - which seems normal to me.
Why don't you both try and make it up after this cycle comes to an end - a short one, but will be worthwhile nevertheless!

It's difficult for them to really understand it, since there's only so much you can empathize with something that you don't endure yourself...

Also, please do follow up on your check ups...my mom had these issues when she had fibroids... I know you've ruled out fibroids, but could be something else...I don't mean to scare you, but your bleeding does not sounds normal...best of luck...
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I've had a good deal of blood workup done and been checked for fibroids. Not sure about endo, how do they check for that?

I'm giving it until Jan to start feeling better, otherwise I'm going to push for more help. I still feel so, so tired.
Endo is checked with ultrasound and medical history taken from the patient. Do get you b 12/6 levels checked because it is not a standard test, thyroid would be another one to check too... both done by blood work but you have to specifically ask for those.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How much does your husband understand period issues?

I can't remember for sure about B6/12, but they've checked thryoid, that was normal too. I was surprised, because I thought that might really be it. I'm having a lot of trouble keeping weight on, but I've been like this my whole life. Plus anxiety has been high for the past few months and I'm one of those people that burns up calories worrying. It runs in the family.

Thanks for all the input, though. I guess I was counting on him having a better understanding of the tiredness especially, but I think it is one of those things that until you've experienced it, it's hard to really get it.

He did ask me if I wanted to do the trip or not before he booked it on Wednesday, and I told him "I don't know, let's talk about it later." I meant I didn't want to talk about it in front of the kids, who were right there, but I guess he took it as an "I don't care."

It's hard, because he's often passive-aggressive, and I couldn't tell if him booking the trip was a way to punish me for expecting my period the week before. But I think it's wrong to assume that because he's SOMETIMES passive-aggressive, that everything he does is passive-aggressive. Sometimes he's just being clueless, which while annoying, isn't really a problem for me.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How much does your husband understand period issues?

Hubby is definitely not sensitive - he's a suck it up and deal with it kinda guy, doesn't this happen every month for 40 years? Since he has an extremely high pain tolerance, he's not so good sometimes with these issues even though he's a retired medic.

I don't take it too personally, I just say what I can/will do in the frame that I'm comfortable accommodating for him. The rest is his problem if he chooses to be upset with it.

I'm sorry you're having such severe issues - hope you get some relief soon!
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Ok, I was feeling like this wasn't a big deal, then I put the kids to bed and found myself stewing about it again. I still feel like, here I was, bleeding to death, exhausted, and worrying that I might be miscarrying, and he's still thinking about the weekend? It's not like we never go away for the weekend, we do that all the time... Plus, we're not talking relaxing weekends at a B&B with no kids, which I could understand that he would think might be a nice thing for me. We're talking tons of walking, out in the city all day, utterly exhausting sightseeing (with the kids) weekend away.

:-(

Maybe this is a love languages thing? Where I feel like he shows he cares by acting concerned about whether I live or die, and he shows he cares by thinking about which city he wants to visit? Ok, that was *****y, but better here than saying it to him, right?! God I need a girls' night out!!!!
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: How much does your husband understand period issues?

It might be a case of bad communication skills.

For me, I'd be thrilled that my husband was planning a weekend for the whole family even if I weren't feeling well but for you, that isn't what you need/want.

He really may not 'get' the whole picture and how drained this is making you.
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:59 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: How much does your husband understand period issues?

Yeah, we have kind of a long back story with the whole communication department. That's really our main issue, and we're working on figuring it out. It's a long story, but the crux of it is, I feel like everything falls on deaf ears with him. I guess this is why this incident upsets me as much as it does. Logically, I get that it really could be a "man stops listening when wife talks about the size of the clots she just birthed there in the bathroom," but given how he's never responded to me needing help with the exhaustion, I can't help but tack it on to that bigger issue.

My exhaustion really started last summer. Our younger daughter, then three years old, still had never slept through the night. Since birth. She was waking me up 5 - 10 times per night most nights. It was truly, truly awful. I asked him for help over and over again (very specifically, I asked him to please take the girls out to breakfast so I could sleep in just one morning). He's a freelancer who works from home with a huge amount of control over his schedule. But he never did it. Never! I asked again and again, begged, cried... nothing. I told him I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown... no help. So, now I'm anemic, and I needed him to be there for me, understand that I might just need to spend the weekend in bed, and he didn't. So it kind of re-opened that old wound.

But, I don't want to re-open that wound, especially if this is one case in which 95% of guys would do exactly what he did. I see how that's unfair to both of us.

Gah. I guess I'm lying to myself when I say that I am capable of evaluating this without placing it in the context of our history. I am trying though.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: How much does your husband understand period issues?

It easier said than done - I think most of us tend to include our past when faced with current circumstances.

Are you able to get him to sit down face to face without interruptions and have a conversation about how you feel when he does these things? Not 'you always' or that sort of thing but a productive discussion?
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: How much does your husband understand period issues?

I feel for you.

Sometimes, you just want a hug from your man & him to say "Everything will be okay".. (even if it's not okay... I will want to hear the words).

It does sound like he's been dealing with the flow issues for a while. Before this trip he booked, you did normally only flow heavy that first day or two.... and He had no way to "know", or to plan that this period would be so much different & still be going & clotting on Friday, much less the weekend.

So , I don't think that for this one time you can justify it as him just being a selfish a$$.

I do agree with maybe it being a lanuages of love thing. He thinks booking a family outing is showing his love of wanting to do exciting stuff with you & the kids. You think showing his love would be more of a cuddle, or do this extra chore for me (ie, kids out to breakfast).

About the periods... I know, You didn't really start this for advice on that, but.... while we're here...
Even before waiting for B6/12 test.. I would really suggest to start taking some B6/B12 or super B complex vitamins. The more the better. See if they help after taking them faithfully for a month.

Another question. Are you diabetic &on metformin?? I ask because metformin with long term use is known for B12 deficiency. I guess your gut doesn't absorb B12 anymore or is decreased. So taking B suppliments might not work if you've been on metformin for a long long time. You might need B12 shots.

If so, the B6/12 test would be prudent to ask from the doctor.
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