Dec 21, 2008

Menstrual pain

I was snoozing on my return flight, half watching the screen, shifting around in my seat to find a comfortable place when pain that I have difficulty describing struck. I felt that my uterus was seizing. Not even in my adolescence had i felt pain like this - muscles spasaming, stomach churning, flushed and sweating. I had no idea what was going on.

I expected my period in a few days and the pain felt like menstrual pain but magnified to the nth degree. I couldn't do anything but moan and tremble. After what seemed like twenty minutes, I managed to haul myself out of the seat and find an steward. No one had responded to the call button.

Finally I understood what was going on. The steward explained that the air pressure had an effect on premenstrual tension. She told me that it was well known in her profession and that the women scheduled their shifts around their periods. Of course it makes sense...

I consider myself fairly up to date in health and menstrual cycles but I had never heard of this before. It's something I'll consider the next time I fly. Did I miss the class that dealt with pressure? Did I blank out the memory because taking our periods into consideration of travel plans is yet another way to set women apart? To my knowledge, no medical professional, no friend, no website has let me know that air travel can cause extreme pain.

I'll remember that pain and pain accordingly in future.

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