Girljock Stuff

The Advil Tango
December 30, 2005, 3:01 am
Filed under: sports equipment

Advil is not just a pill to women athletes, it is equipment. Search the bag of any woman athlete and you will find a bottle or a few pills, tucked away for some future moment of dire need. Whether it gets used for cramps or bangs or strains, it is part of the basic women’s sports toolkit. Coaches buy the really big bottles and put them in their ball bags, they bring them to practices along side the water bottles and bandaids. A few months ago the doctors told me I was different than other women I knew. I had become allergic to advil. The little pill was no longer my friend, in fact, it would only hurt me worse and worse, and I was to stop taking it.

My main doctor, who is a good 10 years younger than I am, was not pleased that I am allergic, because that means there are a whole class of drugs (including aleve) that she can’t give me. It was a pity, and she sounded like she hoped it was not really true.

“Advil’s just the best thing for menstrual cramps,” she told me, “I don’t know what I would do without it.”

She’s a card carrying member of the Advil club, as you can see. She loves advil so much, I have decided to give her a new name. A name that celebrates her world view. Ready? She is Doctor “Advil.” For a brief moment I wondered if I was going to either have to change my lifestyle or go crazy in a world without advil.

Thats when I remembered my life before advil had ever come along. There was an entire world without advil. I know it because Advil only came on the market after I was in my twenties. That seems like it was in the dark ages, and I really couldn’t remember the details of how i lived, so I grabbed my old journals from them and searched deep for what I used to do. I came up with some interesting alternatives I’d like to share them with any of you who are younger than I am. If it turns out you are also allergic, you will know what your options are.

1. Tylenol. Doctor “Advil” doesn’t think this drug works well for menstrual cramps. It does! It cuts the pain by at least half, and that is good enough for starters. I have made it through the last two periods only taking 3 small tylenols per day of cramps.

2. Heating pads. Good old fashioned heating pads actually help relax the cramping area.

3. Don’t force yourself to do stuff. If you have cramps and feel nasty, take some time to yourself. Get selfish. Take the afternoon off. Relax.

4. Eat chocolate if you want to. I think this can help with cramps, but I’m not sure why.

5. Swearing. This is a very important alternative. If you are in pain, show it! Cuss a little. Try and be creative and use word combinations you have never used. Take a bit of a your favorite swear word, and mix it into say, your grandfather’s favorite swear word. The challenge will help you to forget why you are cussing in the first place, and if you are really lucky, you will make yourself laugh. Laughter in turn helps the cramps to go away.

I can’t just write about swearing without having to sign off and cuss a little. See you all soon.

22 Comments so far
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Of course, getting off is a great relaxer of all the crampy muscles down there. It’s probably the last thing you want to do when you’re in the midst of first-day hell, but trust me: go grab your trusty vibrator and do the deed. You’ll zap the pleasure center in your brain, release pain-busting endorphins, and relax your pelvic muscles. It works!

Comment by Pie Queen

Another good thing to use is the heat wraps by companies like Thermacare. These work up to 12 hours just like a heating pad, but with no cord. I’ve use them before and they are marvelous!

Comment by Cindylufus

I just discovered (via ER
visit) that I am allergic
to my one and true friend

While I am very happy that
above mentioned alternatives
work for the author, none
proved effective for me. The max dose of Tylenol
leaves me doubled in half
as if I had never taken it.

Comment by anchorite

Some new suggestions from friends:
1. acupuncture
2. taking a mild diuretic right before the period
3. eating more green vegetables
I will try these and keep you all posted.

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Reflexology has an amazingly therapeutic effect on cramps. Try it for yourself – simply dig your thumb into the flesh under and around the malleolus bones(the knobs that stick out to the sides) on both sides of your ankles(on both feet). Work your thumbs into the flesh with short sharp little pushes, always towards the heart. Do this in a semicircle pattern under and to the sides of the bones about 1/4 to 1/2 inch below them – you’ll know you got the right spot when it hurts like the dickens. And it will be uncomfortable – for all of about 1-2 minutes per ankle – but within 15 minutes, all or most of your menstrual pain will be gone. I’ve even had this work on women with severe menstrual pain and/or chronic menstrual problems. I’m sure you can find more info on this at wikipedia. Feel better!

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