Although every week of grad school is hard, this one proved to be a challenge.
Thank you, Aunt Flo.
I knew my period would happen during a busy week. I knew the worst of cramps would happen on my most important day, Thursday. A.k.a presentation day.
I felt it about to begin on Tuesday night. My dad and I were just having a debate. I argued that women get paid less, he argued that this is because guys do not get “maternity leave” or “monthly things”. I rolled my eyes and told him these are things we as women cannot control! “Yes, you can. You can control pregnancy!” he said. I laughed. We debated for a solid hour, and my dad said, “Look. These are thing I noticed as global head. I hope you, are productive in your workplace regardless of life events, and get the pay you deserve”.
And just then, I felt a cramp. I immediately texted my research partner about looking over our work and making the necessary adjustments in our section so I can submit it (before my period gets me unconscious). He never responds.
Wednesday, I arrive a few minutes late to my morning class because I spend some time making coffee. Having a period and B-12 deficiency is the worst, it’s like close to being dead. Thankfully, the class is really interactive and I stay awake. The whether has gotten really nice and everyone is wearing cute outfits. I look at mine. It is for cold weather, I don’t have any warm weather clothing that is professional. During my commute home, I order some clothes and shoes. I have 2 hours to rest before I have to go to night class. This class dragged on and on. But finally, it ended. When I get home, it’s time to prepare for my presentation and my cramps get really bad. I practice as much as I can and I allow myself to go to sleep at 2.
When I wake up the next morning at 8, I am cramping so bad. I breathe. It is presentation day- 10% of my grade, I can’t miss! I can’t wear the suit I planned to because it pinches everywhere I ache. I wear one of my dresses. Very professional and cute. I look in the mirror and wonder how I will make it through 2 meetings, 1 presentation, and a 3 hour class.
But somehow, I make it to my morning. It is a brief 1 minute, great. I have time to relax before my presentation begins. I tell myself I am crampy, tired, and sick and that it’s okay not to be a perfectionist today, that if I just make it through and do my best- I will be happy with myself.
It’s presentation time and I do pretty good. When I sit down, my two friends compliment me. “Oh, you pronounced a word wrong and I almost died” my friend Jeanette says.
“Oh my god. Uninhabitable?” I asked. I knew. I practiced all night.
She nods. I was so close to passing out I didn’t even notice I slipped up.
“Fuck” I say.
But I keep my promise. I let it go. I can’t be a perfectionist every single day. Especially on a day like this. I am proud I showed up and gave my best work.
The class is interesting. We talk about refugees, my favorite topic. But I have these horrible cramps that come and go. “Are you sure you don’t want to go home?” my other friend Gigi asks. I nod. “I have my planning meeting after class” I say. “Yea but you’re sick…” she says.
I sigh. “I’ll be fine. I don’t have class tomorrow so I’ll pass out when I get home”.
Class finally ends after what seems like an eternity. I meet with my group. One girl is very annoying and out of the loop because she never comes to our meetings, another girl rarely acknowledges me by name. But. It ends in a quick 25 minutes and I am happy about that.
Outside, there are therapy dogs. One looks exactly like my dog and rest his nose on my lap. I could cry. Hormones and dogs my god ❤
I get on the bus to commute home and stop at CVS. I pick up tampons, Almond Joy, and ice cream.
I pass out as soon as I reach home and wake up at 9:00 in the evening. Wow. I really need my B-12 medicine. I send an e-mail to my doctor about the B-12 mess up the company she sent my prescription to caused and how I haven’t had a supply in 3 weeks and feel like I’m going to die.
Right about now I start missing everybody. Especially “K”, “Heart”, and “Prince Player”.
I grab a mini white chocolate Magnum ice cream and call “Mr. Photography dude”.
“Oh hey stranger” he says picking up.
“I’m sorry” I say.
“How have you been?” he asks. “Alright. Not good now though” I say.
“Why?” he asks.
“Cramps” I say.
“Ouch. Which guy are you missing the most right now?” he asks. I laugh hard. He knows me so well.
“All of them” I say. “You don’t need them” he says.
“K used to take me out for steak and cheesecake when I had cramps!” I say.
“Really? We live in the 21st century. You could order those stuff in if you wanted!” he says.
“Yea but. I liked being spoiled” I say.
He laughs. “Of course you do”.
We discuss some updates and he tells me to feel better.
I begin working on my Law paper due on Saturday.
On Friday, my second day of cramps, my research partner has FINALLY decided to respond. He is very apologetic. I look through our document, absolutely nothing has changed. He has made no corrections/additions. I fix all the errors. “Sorry. I didn’t know what you meant” he says in response. I roll my eyes. At least he likes the corrections and I can submit it.
Today I work on my Law paper as it is due. I keep falling asleep due to my obnoxious health issues. I have received a response from my doctor who says she spoke with the company and is having them ship me my medication as soon as possible and how she is also upset the company did not address this issue sooner. I sigh. I am so exhausted.
Finally, I am done with my paper and submit it. Or at least I thought I did. I never got a receipt, and the dropbox closed. Oh no. I email it to my professor, who clearly said she will not be accepting emailed papers.
I close my eyes. I am woman. And this, is not easy.