I want a menstrual cramp
Main Entry: em·pa·thy
Etymology: Greek empatheia, literally, passion, from empathēs emotional, from em- + pathos feelings, emotion
the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this
I’ve always guided my actions with my children by putting myself in their place. There are no naked bathtub pictures because I don’t want any of me. I never tested the tub water with a thermometer, if it was a temperature that I would sit in, it would work. Sweater? When the lady on the street (as last evening, actually) would butt-in and tell me to put a sweater on her, I would respond (as I did yesterday) “I’m not needing one and she is smiling, should I comment on your dress?”
I wish I had more to go on, to know what she feels, how she sees things. I cannot ask if she is cold. I do not know if she sees me clearly or just a fuzzy view (if she’s lucky …). When she winces in pain, I have my “special for non-communicative person to figure out where the heck the pain is” checklist. If wiggling her ears makes her wince more, I found it. If a fetal position seems to help, another clue. Etc …
But I want to know more. If it is an earache, I know the pain since I have such issues. If she has an obvious cold or the flu, I know how to handle it, I’ve been there.
Today, I really want a menstrual cramp.
But just one, thanks.
Being only one woman, I can only speak for myself, and I believe from conversations with other women that each of us experience cramps and other menstrual pains in a different way.
That said, my cramps feel like my ovaries are bruised apricots, as if a not-nice person is trying to squeeze the juice from those apricots, and the pain seems to be where, if you were to put the flat of your hand on your gut, just below your rib cage and above your hip bones, and go into your abdomen about 4 or 5 inches from your fingertips, THAT is where the pain is.
Heat helps me. The option to rest and close my eyes and have it quiet and warm and dark helps.
The best to you, darling dad of a darling girl.
Ask a manly friend to punch you in the gut. That should do it. Good post. I have wanted to spend 5 minutes (and not one second more) in my daughter’s place to understand what it’s like. Looks like crap from the outside…but she does smile!
Wow, the sacrifice I am willing to make for my daughter! Heating pads scare me, I would need to keep my hand there the whole time. Hot water bottles are small and I assume would need to be in the exact place.
Just like I have tasted every medicine and food I have ever given her, I would want to know what this is like. At least what it is like for her. Because I am lucky enough to have many female friends, and there are many women who adore my daughter, I have heard many descriptions … but they are all different, as Mary mentions.
And Claire, yes they do smile. Are they stronger than we are?
Pain is subjective, but self-perception has been shown to be reliable for treatment response. I’ve been thinking about a post on self-perception and this post gives me more incentive. For your daughter, you already know that you are the only person to accurately interpret her. If you think it would help to have the same cramps as she, perhaps it would. At this point, however, I would opine that you do good enough without that exact experience.
Heat for pain works in a couple ways – bringing more blood flow to the area which is good for accelerating healing from a wound. In terms of the abdomen, the other mechanism is more likely – where the warmth sensation distracts the brain from the pain sensation. For all other pain – other than abdominal, I prefer ice or very cool compresses. That is not a common preference.
Depends on how you define strength.
You are a good dad, if a little hard on buttinskie-ladies.
Gee, I always wanted a wet dream 😉 Trade?
When I was your daughter’s age, I and my friends called our pain during our periods “the rumbles.” It would rumble in, vaguely and uncomfortably and then rumble back out. For what it’s worth.
I can give you mine if you’d like… though they arent really that bad. im lucky i guess. its just so sweet of you to want to try one on just to know your daughter’s pain. youre one in a million as a dad.. ya know that???
If hot water bottles scare you, would you be willing to try an electric blanket/ heating pad? I know some people are freaked out by them, but you avoid the possibility of spilling hot water. Anyway, just a thought.
Thanks everyone for your comments. Alicia: I can’t say how generous you are to offer one of your cramps for my research. Thank you 😉 I appreciate the good words, a lot.
Judging from this morning, I have another 28 days to figure this one out …
Although I don’t really know your situation, but I have had many many bad and even worse menstral cramps and I might be able to give you a few advice on this topic. We bought a small electric heating pad that is big enough to cover my back or my stomack, but just so you know, usually both hurts like crazy. And that magical thing works really well. You should really give it a try. laying down helps too and taking some strong pain medication seems to help too. drinking lots of water before the “storm ” comes should help too. But there is not much besides this that could really help. If I do find it, you will be the first person I will let know about it 🙂
Huh. I have endometriosis (better since surgery), so I’m told I have pretty exceptional cramps. They respond totally to Aleve – but particularly if I catch it just as they’re coming on (faintly tight and sore) and before they’re really painful. I think it would be almost impossible to discern the early signs in another person.
The nice thing about newer heating pads is that they have multiple settings. Even a low setting will help relax her muscles and ease pain, but it won’t burn her. I had one that would automatically turn off after a while, so it was safe for me to use as I went to sleep.
Great alternative to hot water bottles and heating pads – Take a cloth bag, fill it half full of uncooked rice (and lavendar/rosemary if you daughter likes nice smells), sew it shut, and stick it in the microwave for a little while and put it over her stomach. If you or a freind are crafty, you can add ties to hold it in place. Works a treat.
I have heard that a diaper works great for a heating pad-just turn on the hot water and fill it and it holds the heat better than a towel or anything. I haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds like diapers are something you have around the house….so it’s worth a shot? I realize this is late, but others’ still commenting so figured it can’t hurt.
btw, I don’t really have cramps…?
I rarely have any cramps, but even with the small once I have heat works. My best friend has rather painful cramps and heat works. A sack with uncooked rice should work a charm, the gentle pressure combined with the warmth is just the right treatment.
Most types of generic pain meds help as well.
And you can rest assured, if you where a mother you still wouldn’t be able to empathize better. As mentioned, it’s different for every woman.
And don’t forget: any abdominal pain can extend into backpain.
A menstrual cramp kinda feels like the way your stomach feels all of a sudden if you hold you number 2 back for too long. Gross, I know.