I had two concerns about attending two months of GEICO Auto Damage Training. First, that my casual clothes wouldn’t be professional enough for dress casual attire (are yoga pants professional if they’re black? no.), and second, that I’d get my period at an inopportune time and have to miss–or completely fuck up–days of training as a result.
Thankfully, neither of those materialized. I’m pregnant! Just kidding. Although, I am sitting in my hotel room eating hummus with a fork so my behavior could indicate otherwise. I eat a stereotypical amount of hummus for a vegan yogi living in California. You could look at my grocery receipts and guess my political orientation. Or what time of the month it is. (I’m also eating chocolate.)
In seventh grade, I took the SATs as part of a program I was involved with. During the last section of the exam, I felt this warmth in my powder blue sweatpants. I also felt a weird pain in my stomach area, like I was sick. Knowing my nerves can sometimes get the best of me, I thought nothing of it until I saw the red stain on my chair. That’s the story of my second period. The first came while babysitting, five months before.
This time it came yesterday, after 44 days. It used to be four times a year and has been gradually increasing to its current 8-9 times per year. The goal is 11 or 12. That’s when I’ll know I’ve “cured” my PCOS and can move the fuck on with my life. But then there are times like in 2008, when it wouldn’t stop for a solid 8 months, yet conveniently took a four-day break while I partied in London, only to pick back up again when I got home. My body has its own rhythm-or lack thereof- that I’m trying to figure out. That’s why I write about this stuff. I’m tuning in. Paying attention.
I first learned about PCOS last year and have since been on a mission to normalize my periods, balance my hormones, and live pain-free. I traded coffee for tea, drastically reduced my alcohol consumption (the last few weekends of training an exception I’ve forgiven myself for), totally cut out all dairy and farmed fish (whereas before I would chalk up the occasional sushi buffet and cold cheese pizza to being a bad vegan, which I still consider myself to be but for other reasons), and most importantly, eliminated all soy products. And the results thus far have been phenomenal. While the time between periods is still greater than 35 days (aka abnormal), the associated pain, PMS, and other symptoms have greatly reduced.
So when it arrived last night, I kind of panicked but also kind of knew I’d be ok. They’ve been getting less painful. Last year I’d be curled on the bathroom floor for at least one full day, unable to keep down any food. I’d be out of commission from anything social or outside my half of the bed for another two or three. The pain would be so bad I’d dry heave, screaming for relief. Today, I pop four ibuprofen every four hours and apply a heating pad. It’s nothing. And it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Our current phase of training is much more relaxed and casual than the previous five weeks. It’s like my body was waiting for a moment when my MBA classes were over (omFg did I tell you I got a B+ and not a C? I’d been reading my grade wrong the entire time! Embarrassing relief.), the hard part of GEICO training had concluded, and I could relax into a little bit of minor physical pain. I’m just really thankful right now. Everything could have been so much worse.
And since we have our GEICO branded polos now, you could say I’m living the dream.