to think that I shouldn't tell school about this?

(82 Posts)
Bogeyface Thu 15-Nov-12 22:40:41

DD is 15, in her final year of GCSE's (16 in July) and will be leaving to go to college.

Over the last few months she has had a day or 2 off every few weeks due to "feeling really really sick" and looking like death warmed up. Her sisters are hypoglycemic and her symptoms are similar so I try to perk her up with juice, a decent breakfast etc and doesnt work. She cant eat it and often throws it up.

Then I checked my diary. Without fail, for the last 4 months, it has been on the first full day of her period. I get absolutely awful shits with my periods, and I have read that that is quite common, so I am wondering if this is her version of that? But also, her periods are very very heavy, she often floods and has accidents on her first day, which I am beginning to think may the real reason she doesnt want to go in. I dont blame her, I suffered the most humiliating experience in my life aged 14 at school because my mum didnt want to hear about it sad I consider that to be an acceptable reason to stay at home, especially for a hard working student who never takes a day off other than that.

Anyway.....thats kind of irrelevant. I was talking to my (childless) sister who suffers far worse than DD or I do with periods (and we are pretty bad) and she said that I should tell school so that when she isnt in, they know why and dont think that she or we are trying swing the lead.

If she was 12 then I would agree as she would have another 4 years at school ahead of her, but she has 6 months of school and then a month or so of exams and then she is leaving. So I am thinking, why make an issue out of it?

I always write notes/emails and it has never been questioned before and it is probably very common to have girls off with period related issues in a senior school so they have probably worked it out before I have!

I think that we should just roll with it over the next 6 months, but DSis disagrees, quite vehemently!

AIBU?

Pannacotta Fri 16-Nov-12 08:42:28

I think that Mefenamic acid (Ponstan) is for pain reflief, Tranexamic acid is for reducing the cramping and flow.

But the GP will know the details and which is suitable for your DD.
I found periods difficutl to talk about when I was a teenager, I think its quite normal, but I would really encourage her to get this sorted Bogey.

Good luck with it all.

cory Fri 16-Nov-12 09:00:42

Sorry, but I'm with married on this one: she needs to learn to deal with her medical issues; future employers may well be unforgiving if they are not given a full explanation. If she talks to them otoh they may be able to make special arrangements. Besides it may be possible to treat so she doesn't have to suffer pain and embarrrassment in the future, if she can only bring herself to go to a doctor.

My dd (also in Yr 11) has ongoing mental health issues (anxiety and depression), which is potentially even more embarrassing to talk about, but part of her treatment is to get her to accept that she has to be able to speak about it.

If I need any incentive to force her, I remind myself of the risk that if college/university/future employers don't know, she might get herself into a mess where she can't explain why she is not performing and where suicide starts looking like the only option. She can hate me if she likes, but I have to do what seems best for her future.

I don't judge her for being embarrassed- I just see that it's not safe.

In your case, it might be worth reminding yourself that if your dd is that embarrassed about her body, she could end up ignoring other symptoms from down below, with potentially dangerous results. Many, many people die every year through ignoring symptoms from their genital organs/rear end. The more we can all help each other to be open about our bodies, the safer we will be <trots off to book cervical smear>

My mother was very willing to let me off the hook regarding anything I found embarrassing- she thought she was being sensitive and understanding but it hasn't actually made my adult life any easier; I feel I've had to teach myself skills she could have taught me.

As a university tutor, I would not be able to make any concessions for dropped marks/failure to sit exams if I did not have confirmation from a medical professional, so if her period fell awkwardly she might end up in real trouble.

lookingfoxy Fri 16-Nov-12 09:12:31

I had these problems at her age, it was horrendous.
GP finally put me on the pill after months of trying another tablet to see if that would help (it didn't).
My advice would be to get her straight on the pill, the relief was almost immediate and allowed me to lead a 'normal' life.

Trills Fri 16-Nov-12 09:17:44

Being "so private about these things" that you won't go to the GP when you are clearly ill is a very bad and dangerous habit.

SoupDragon Fri 16-Nov-12 09:23:14

Does she know that you suffered too? Is that maybe a way into the conversation... that you don't want her to have the same degree of suffering that you had and that there are ways to stop it happening.

ImperialStateKnickers Fri 16-Nov-12 09:23:40

Another vote for tranexamic acid. I have regained a week of my life every 27 days!

Shelly32 Fri 16-Nov-12 09:31:35

ChaszBrilliantAttitude Glad you got it sorted! I too have mild endometriosis, and the Dr suggested having a 'cap' inserted that emits the same hormones as the mini pill. I think I'd rather try the mini pill though as the thought of having something fitted in my womb makes me feel a bit squeamish!

DD started her periods in Feb, while still in Yr 7. She's had about 5 periods now, it's not yet monthly. She's having heavy flow and flooded on the way home from school on her second period, getting slightly hysterical about it. Turned out that she hates the loos at school, and doesn't always have time to go between lessons due to time/location, etc.

Mum and I have always had heavy flow too, so I'm not surprised for DD.

I'm glad I saw this thread, I never realised there were treatments for heavy flow, although I did find the pill good for this, and later the Mirena coil stopped periods completely. I'm back on a copper coil now, but that's another story.

So thanks OP for starting this thread. I will keep an eye on DD for a few months and if it all shows no sign of improving, then we can have a chat with our doctor.

Panna
Ponstan does both, pain relief and reduce flow. NSAID like ponstan, naproxen and ibuprofen are treatments in themselves for heavy periods but tranexamic acid is more effective. As its safe to take both together and Ponstan gives pain relief as well I assume people quite often take both.

I know before I went on the mini pill for my endometriosis I was taking large doses of naproxen and my periods were comparatively short and not very heavy (just excruciatingly painful).

VenusRising Sat 17-Nov-12 19:45:53

Hear hear Trills and cory.

Being ill and making excuses not to address ongoing health problems is a very dangerous road to start on.

OP, look, I don't mean to sound harsh-and-judgy pant-ish, but you need to get this sorted for her - no ifs and no buts. It's your job to get her ready for her adult working life.
If she had a broken leg, you'd bring her to the docs to get it treated - this is no different.
Make an appointment for the GP and drag her along if needs be.
She needs your help and experience, not your sympathy and 'poor you' excuses, and hiding the fact from those who can help her (school).

We've all been there, and there is treatment.

best of luck.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Sat 17-Nov-12 21:15:26

I think people need to remember that while here on MN we are lovely and supportive and matter of fact about all matters menstrual, a classroom full of 15 year olds may well be absolutely foul about them. She could well be getting consistent messages from her (male and female) peers that what she is experiencing is dirty, humiliating, and shameful.

Hopefully it's not so bad. But I am in my mid-twenties and that was the attitude in my all-girls school. sad

Absolutely bogey ought to help her overcome that but let's not pretend that bogeyDD's attitude is odd or childish. If we were immersed in her environment and her peers were ours, we might very well feel the same.

(Good lord I am so glad not to be a teenager any more sad)

NamingOfParts Sat 17-Nov-12 21:49:22

I take tranexamic acid (in the flooding 40s). It does help a lot. I buy it on line as my doctor is to all intents and purposes unavailable to people in full time work.

As ever the best place to talk to teenagers is in the car (no eye contact). If you drive can you plan a trip to somewhere and talk about this in a non-confrontational way? Not accusing you of being confrontational but sometimes these sort of things I discuss with DDs in a theoretical sense.

NamingOfParts Sat 17-Nov-12 21:53:32

excellent post HoldMeCloser

I talked about this with DH - I have started flooding again (in my 40s) and it feels like being incontinent. It is embarrassing.

Fairenuff Sun 18-Nov-12 00:10:16

Bogey don't leave it til Christmas holidays. Get an after school appointment for this week.

CharlieCoCo Sun 18-Nov-12 00:49:57

She should sort it out at the doctors now before she works as wont be able to have so much time off work (and shouldnt have to put up with being so ill each month, periods last a long time).

I agree - take her to the docs. I suffered from my very first period aged 11 and thought it was normal to be is so much pain you were sick each month or have a 2 day migraine each period. I only realised it wasn't in my late teens. I found that after my first pregnancy (aged 20) the heavy flow really reduced but the pain is still high even now when I have a mirena I have no bleeding and yet every few weeks without fail I get really sharp cramps and migraine .

I really wish my mum had taken me to the docs as an 11 year old as my attendance at sch

Oops pressed send to early! That was supposed to be my school attendance was shockingly low

Bogeyface Sun 18-Nov-12 01:55:54

Thanks all, and especially Holdme for understanding where dd is coming from.

I have spoken to her and got the usual sighing, eye rolling and "FGS, I'M FIIIIIIINE!!!!!!" but I have insisted and she is sulking, so.....win/win...ish? confused grin

Fairenuff Sun 18-Nov-12 11:14:01

Good, good. Get that appointment booked. It might just be token resistance, she's not exactly refusing. She will thank for you for it one day and love you forever grin

BeatTheClock Sun 18-Nov-12 11:42:46

My dd is 14 and had awful awful heavy and painful periods. I spoke in confidence to her head of yr9 (dd was happy for me to do so) because she was having to have time off and big issues coping with it at school.

I wanted her to feel that there was someone on her side supportive at school when I couldn't be there and that she wasn't alone. I also wanted them to know why she'd been off and that we took her attendance very seriously. I felt being honest with them showed dd that this was how you deal practically with a health problem that affects those with whom you work and that there's nothing to be embarrassed about.

The head of yr 9 is a lovely woman who couldn't have been kinder or more concerned. She was discreet and informed other relevant teachers (ie PE) just so they were aware. She said dd could go to her at any time - even keeping spare clothing in her office if she needed to. I was hugely heartened with the response I received as was dd, who felt a little more empowered.

As it turns out, the doctor prescirbed the pill for dd. I had many reservations about this and even started a thread about it. The replies I received from that were very encouraging though. But I felt it was dd's ultimate choice and she did decide to try it. That was around 3 months ago and the transformation has been wonderful for her. She no longer has such an awful time and feels so much better about life.

Even if dd only had 6 mths left at school I still think I'd do the same again, esp if exams were on the cards.

Dd was happy for me to discuss this with her teacher though. I'd never ignore her feelings if she'd said absolutely not to, but I did try to put a positive spin on doing so. I don't think the school let me down or made her feel awkward at all on this. They were glad we'd said something because they want to make every effort to ensure dd is given enough support not to allow anything to jeopordise her performance at school.

Perhaps make a deal with her?

If you both go to the doctors to get it sorted - then you will not need to inform the school about it.

That way she may feel as though she has some control over the situation and her wishes are being taken into consideration.

Sallyingforth Sun 18-Nov-12 12:00:30

Another vote here for the pill. At school and college it's great to be able to steer periods around exams and trips.

sherzy Sun 18-Nov-12 12:04:16

As a secondary teacher I would never see the pattern in your dds absences and make the link. Too many students pass through my class each week. However I would potentially see the strong link between underperformance and poor attendance in her assessments.

If the school knows the issue they will be very discreet about it, most classroom teachers know very little background just that a toilet pass has been issued for example. However, if she was willing for staff to know about the reasons for absence they could prepare work for her to take home or to be emailed to her so she could keep up.

sherzy Sun 18-Nov-12 12:05:25

discrete

Trills Sun 18-Nov-12 12:08:04

Discreet.

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