That time when epilepsy trumped menstruation

The first arrival of Queen Menses brings the celebration of a troublesome experience a woman must withstand for the majority of her life—which kind of makes it one of the strangest celebrations ever. People exult, never minding the reality that every month parts of your organs will painfully be expelled and you will bleed for several days because you have ‘wasted’ an egg. Hey! Thanks for not doing your job of making a baby. It’s natural, but admittedly gross; so don’t worry, there will be no further physiological details. About that.

The first period marks the point when a girl is crowned a young woman and is biologically able to produce life and that’s amazing! Yet, ‘people’ overlook the fact that the babies don’t happen immediately, and the first period is just the assimilation into a club full of cranky, bloated, uncomfortable women. And a woman’s first period is indelible when it’s paired with a startling event.

My first period came when I was in 8th grade. In middle school, periods and boobs and braces were the big trend. Prior to The Event, I pretended I already had my period–because it was a must-have item and I wanted to fit in–and I randomly asked friends for pads, stating that “I didn’t expect Aunt Flo to come” that day. Of course, the day did come, but the actual moment of arrival has been overshadowed in my memories because that day, a girl in my class had a seizure and bled all over the floor. Yes, Queen Menses, your glory was upstaged by epilepsy!

I was in math class–hating life because math was hard–when a girl behind me started shaking uncontrollably. Her eyes rolled into the back of her head, her body slumped out of the chair, and her head hit the floor! Blood came out of her nose and her mouth; and I swear it was coming out of her eyes, too–but maybe not because memories are tricky and everything is extreme at that age. The air in the classroom buzzed from students chattering in awe and the teacher shuffled between desks in a frenzy towards the girl. As she convulsed in the teacher’s arms, droplets of blood slowly pooled onto the floor in a scene that is burned into my memory. After some time the girl came to and was escorted to the nurse’s office, where she remained until stable enough to go home. Unfortunately, but in true fashion of asshole middle-schoolers, when she returned to school the girl immediately became an outcast. Again, periods were cool, neurological disorders were not.

With all the commotion, my uterus must have felt inspired because I suddenly felt pelvic pains. I went into the bathroom, and, she had arrived! As if I hadn’t seen enough blood that day… This time I really wasn’t expecting it, really did need a pad, and proudly felt legitimized. Oh, if only I knew then what I know now. I smiled, folded some tissue, stuffed it in my underwear, and hoped I wouldn’t become the victim of an embarrassing story I’d read in Seventeen magazine. After school, I told my mom about receiving my first monthly bill and she hugged me while squealing and beaming with exciting. “You’re becoming a woman! We should have a party!”

Although I knew the menstrual cycle would be an unwieldy and precarious part of my future, I never anticipated the first arrival to have such a dramatic accompanying event. Nor did I anticipate that this type of odd menses situational pairing wouldn’t be the last.

Hey! Need more blog flavor in your tea, coffee, cocktail, or whatever beverage you’re sipping on? Check the yeah write weekly writing challenge. There’s totally more than stuff about periods on there. Promise.

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13 comments

  1. OMG one of the best first period stories ever! I loved the Seventeen reference but questioning whether or not Queen Menses had seen enough blood from a classmates eyeballs..seriously!!! Great story

  2. Ooh! Seventeen–the gateway magazine to Cosmopolitan! Queen Menses is a clever name–we always just called her Aunt Flo. This was a great story, but not for the girl who had the seizure, I guess. 🙂

  3. Being a person who suffers from Mental disabilities, I did have to say, a period is just a part of a woman’s life, but epilepsy is not humorous. My heart goes out to the young girl. Maybe be more sensitive to those you write about with health disabilities. “Just Sayin”

    1. I also have a health disability and in no way was I attempting to make light of the girls condition. I still remember her face and name. In reality, epilepsy does “trump” menstruation because it’s a very serious and life-altering condition. Whereas, periods are just periods. One of the takeaways from the story was meant to be my realization that, “hey, getting your period is not the biggest thing in the world nor is it the suckiest thing in the world”. Perspectives like that are unfathomable in middle school, hence her being ostracized. I could’ve gone into my reaction about that, but ya know…600-word limit. Instead, I just called middle-schoolers “assholes”.

      1. Yes, I agree…The 600 word limit is pretty tough. I do appreciate you not taking it to heart, I try to always give positive feed back, but also be honest of how a piece of writing effects me. Thanks for understanding. And yes, middle school did Suck for me!….LOL… *Catherine* 🙂 🙂

  4. I loved this story and agree with the others that your first period takes the cake! What a hard day all the way around! And I do t think you were insensitive at all….you even shared how “unfortunately” she became an outcast. Besides, it’s your story to share and others can not be so sensitive. Just sayin 😉

  5. If that were me (and keep in mind, this is coming from a male) I would have assumed that my menstruation had some sort of magical powers and would strike down my classmates when it happened.

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