Red Letter Day

Read in Chinese (Simplified)

20 Jan 2009. This is a day worth celebrating.

It was the 1st day of my period since my recent fast. And it was RED menstruation on the first day.

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I’ve never seen red blood on the first day of my menstruation. Not even once, for the past 20 years since I had my first period. It was always AT LEAST 2 or 3 days of brown discharge before the flow of blood would come. 4 or 5 days was quite common. When I was in my teens, it literally never ended, such that I never knew when my period started nor when it ended. I never knew how to count the number of days of my periods, or when I should consider the 1st day. I never knew what a normal period was, until recently when I learnt that some of the women around me have only 3 days of it (of red blood flow!), it sounds like turning on and off the tap, so easy. For me, the actual blood flow was always flanked by long days of brown discharge, preludes and epilogues. I was so envious of them.

But the first sign of my period this time was red blood, and quite a lot comparatively. By the second day, there was already a steady flow, which is very early for me! Men of course wouldn’t understand this, even women who’ve always had normal menstruation wouldn’t. I was esctatic. So happy and full of gratitude that I cried.

It’s been 20 years, and now it’s like a curse lifted away.

Women go to gynaes when they are pregnant, or when something abnormal happens to them. But I’d been a frequent visitor of many gynaes in my early teens, soon after I started having my periods. Because unlike my sisters, my periods had never been normal. And since then, hormone pills had become a part of my diet. I’d taken years of the pill without knowing that they were contraceptives! People say that irregular periods in young girls tend to normalize as they grow up, I’m not sure what normal is actually, or if mine had ever become normal. Is being controlled by drugs considered normal?

It was always the standard procedures at the gynaes. I never felt any assurance, despite the big bucks I was paying (or rather, my parents were paying), and the amount of time I had to wait (in spite of having booked my appointments of course – they were specialists). There was not the slightest hint of any hope that I would get better, it was like I was destined to take all the pills they threw me. None of them could tell me WHY I had to go through all that, they didn’t even seem interested in the subject. Or perhaps, I wasn’t that interested either. Visiting doctors, taking medicines, it was all part and parcel of life, I probably didn’t give the matter much thought either.

And I can’t forget one Chinese physician whom I turned to after striking off gynaes as my potential saviours. After a few visits and I didn’t improve, he somehow seemed exasperated and embarrassed, and said I should go to a gynae. If they could cure me, I wouldn’t be here today, I thought. Chinese medicine is so much more brilliant than its western counterpart, I had so much faith in it, it was kind of depressing to be rejected like that.

There was one other Chinese physician who did help me get better though. After taking his herbal prescriptions, at least my endless discharge stopped. And my frequent mouth ulcers cleared too. I was supposed to continue with my visits, but I was already on my way to natural healing. After about 2.5 months I decided that no medication was good ultimately. I would do it the natural way, through a healthy diet and fasts. It might take a long time, but I wouldn’t be putting in more toxins into my body. It would be what my body truly desired.

I’m so glad somehow I managed to rid myself of all medications. I’m so grateful that somehow, I have an innate faith in the holistic path. I’m so glad I did badly in the science subjects at school. If I had done well, would I have so much faith in alternative paths?

I feel no period pains anymore, not even the slightest feeling of heaviness that used to accompany my periods.

During the water fast, for many days there was black discharge. It looked just like black ink – one look and anybody would know it was poisonous! We talk of detoxifying, of getting rid of toxins, now I could see real toxin-looking toxins coming out of my own body. It was yucky, of course. But I was excited and glad, this was something I was looking forward to. The first time I did a juice fast, I came out with no more period pains, except the feeling of heaviness on the heaviest day. That was a HUGE leap for me. But my period wasn’t yet ‘normal’, there were still the long periods of brown discharge. I did a few more juice fasts, still there wasn’t any marked improvement.

I can’t describe how glad I am. Looking back, the change has been so enormous. It’s unbelievable.

This is something I’ve been longing for, now it’s here, it’s really here. It’s like a dream come true, and I’m so grateful, to people who’ve shown me the way, to people who’ve shown me support. And to the Buddhas and Bodhdisattvas, who’ve always been guiding me along and giving me strength.

How many women are still taking all the hormone tablets and pills that are prescribed to them, not knowing what harm they are causing themselves? How many are still doing so, despite knowing the harm they are causing themselves? I’m so glad I’ve persevered till this day, how I wish more people would give themselves a chance.

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