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cramps....yeah those cramps
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help a dad out here please....

my 13 yo daughter is in her first year of swimming and cant miss any practices without a super valid reason to give her coach. today though she got really bad cramps and sat out the last half of practice and she has practice again this afternoon. does anyone have any advice on how to deal with them through her workouts? i gave her some tylenol and naxopren and she seems to be feeling better for now but if she feels good enough to swim will be another matter.

please help! her mom is out of town and out of cell range all day so its up to me now. help me be the hero here!




who's smarter than you're? i'm!
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Re: cramps....yeah those cramps [veganerd] [ In reply to ]
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Wow, the answer depends on several things...

I was 11 when I was started varsity swimming. I had debilitating cramps for the first day of 10-day long cycles-- included diarrhea and chills so 68 degree water was definitely not my friend. I ended up staying home from school and practice once a month. (This lasted until I got on birth-control to help the problem.)

If your daughter has made it through the day, she will most likely be able to take another dose and continue on with practice.
If she is still in pain and it is debilitating, then she should stay home. I think the first month I told my coach I was sick, but after that my mom told him what was up so he worked around it, no big deal. Mind you, it did not make me popular among the upperclassmen but oh well. We weren't a major team, but we were third in the state.

If your daughter makes it through warm-up she will probably be fine for practice.
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Re: cramps....yeah those cramps [veganerd] [ In reply to ]
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That is a "super valid" reason to miss practice, but one that would be hard/embarassing for a 13 year old to explain to her coach, particularly if he is male. That's where you come in. And while the meds may help her feel better, I think you probably don't want her to get the notion that it is OK to take pain relievers in order to practice.

No coasting in running and no crying in baseball
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Re: cramps....yeah those cramps [veganerd] [ In reply to ]
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I'm sorry but when you get bad menstrual cramps, you just cannot swim. Seriously. Drop the meds and let her skip practice. Talk with the coach offline (i.e.: outside of practice) about it. It must happen more often than you probably know about.

N=1 but I have such bad cramping and bleeding (heavy) there is NO GODDAMN WAY I am getting in a pool for Day 1 and usually Day 2 of my cycle. I'm old enough now that I can barely remember what it was like at 13 but I do recall missing WORK and SCHOOL when I had my periods. Both of which were far more important than any of the many sports I was playing back then.

AP

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"How bad could it be?" - SimpleS
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Re: cramps....yeah those cramps [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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thanks for the answers everyone! her cramps dont sound like they are as bad as others mention. after taking the nsaid she said she felt fine and insisted on biking to practice instead of having me drive her. she did talk to her coaches who are all female luckily and let them know what was going on.

also, i dont want to make it sound like i was only giving her a pain med so she could make it through practice, i would give them to her if she was just sitting on the couch. if she is in pain, ill give her something whether she has a headache or cramps. mostly i wanted to know if there was anything that would make it easier on her. its pretty much impossible to keep that girl out of the pool! telling her she cant swim extra on the weekends is a punishment! haha




who's smarter than you're? i'm!
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Re: cramps....yeah those cramps [veganerd] [ In reply to ]
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Sorry to hear about your daughter's troubles. If this continues each month, you should get her in to see an OB/GYN to discuss going on the pill which can reduce cramps. I wasn't able to take the pill and personally I wouldn't recommend it long term, but young women shouldn't have to suffer terrible cramps if something reasonable can be done about it. Best of luck to you and your daughter. Your a thoughtful dad for asking here.
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Re: cramps....yeah those cramps [veganerd] [ In reply to ]
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for most of my life I thought people who had menstrual cramps and used them as an excuse to get out of things were wimps/made that crap up. Then I had cramps once. ABSOLUTE HELL!

Birth control can sometimes help the cramps. If you want to go down that road with a teenage daughter is up to you. But it does a lot more than just prevent pregnancies.

I think exercise makes them less significant, so her doing whatever she can will help, but sometimes they just are that painful.
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Re: cramps....yeah those cramps [veganerd] [ In reply to ]
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I will also put a word in for the pill. I never had bad menstrual cramps, but would get debilitating ovulation pains that made it hard to practice (swimming and softball for me). Went on the pill at age 15. No cramps, lighter periods and never did get pregnant (obvious bonus ;-) )

Jodi
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Re: cramps....yeah those cramps [veganerd] [ In reply to ]
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The ONLY that has ever worked on cramps for me is ibuprophen. I had a prescription for it before it was available OTC.

There is NO WAY that I could swim on the first 2 days of my cycle. Talk to the coach (privately) and get her excused from practice when necessary. I got cramps bad enough that I sometimes missed school because of it. It's no little thing to have bad cramps.
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Re: cramps....yeah those cramps [GhiaGirl] [ In reply to ]
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I don't want to take this post down a path it wasn't intended for, but I had a number of issues with birth control personally, and know a lot of women who did as well. I know other women on here differe with me on that point. So dad, if you're interested in birth control for your daughter, you might want to start a separate post to get pros and cons. I, for one, would not encourage it (particularly for a 13 year old whose cramps are not debilitating).
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Re: cramps....yeah those cramps [veganerd] [ In reply to ]
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Kudos for looking after the kid. Ibuprofen is the best for cramps, because in addition to pain management it actually decreases the bleeding by constricting blood flow. Which is precisely why it should not be used when exercising. It can cause serious kidney damage. Search some of the threads on here. FWIW, my doc said to wait at least 4 hours and preferably 6 after taking Ibuprofen before engaging in exercise.

No coasting in running and no crying in baseball
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Re: cramps....yeah those cramps [veganerd] [ In reply to ]
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thanks again everyone for all the advice! she seems to only have really bad cramps for the first day. the naxopren helped a ton. she rested a lot and is back to practice and actually just sent me an excited text that her coach picked her to swim the seasons first invitational meet tomorrow!

as far as the birth control goes i am definitely not opposed to it but im not sure its necessary yet. we will talk to her dr about it if it seems like she cant function from her cramps. it wouldnt surprise me, her mom was the same way before birth control.




who's smarter than you're? i'm!
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Re: cramps....yeah those cramps [veganerd] [ In reply to ]
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Best advice a gyno ever gave me regarding my cramps - instead of waiting for them to hit and then trying to play catch up to make the pain and other pms symptoms go away was to begin taking the whatever pain reliever you were taking (the drug prescribed at the time was naproxin, 500 mg I believe) at least 2 days before the beginning of my period. I can't remember exactly, but I believe he said that not only was it a pain reliever, but that it would help to keep the body from producing prostaglandins (I think) that cause most of the pms symptoms - cramps, diaherra, bloating, etc. Once you wait for the symptoms to begin, it's too late and the drugs just mask the pain, but won't help everything else. Of course that really only works if you have a regular cycle, but I was amazed at how my period issues decreased by following his advice. I usually took the naproxin for only 3 days. 2 days before and the first day of. maybe the 2nd day if it was particularly rough. Anyways, just wanted to throw that out there. It really helped me be much more functional during my period.

**********************
Harry: "I expected the Rocky Mountains to be a little rockier than this."
Loyd: "I was thinking the same thing. That John Denver's full of shit, man."
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Re: cramps....yeah those cramps [RockyMtnChic] [ In reply to ]
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this also worked for me--but in my case, naproxen worked and not the ibuprofen-so whatever works for her...good luck..also I'd have reservations about the pill...
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Re: cramps....yeah those cramps [veganerd] [ In reply to ]
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I remember those embarrassing days. Had a male coach who would not take cramps as an excuse to miss practice since "his wife gets through life just fine while on cramps." Guess he didn't realize there are different levels of pain involved for different people.


Make sure she starts keeping track on a personal calendar of her cycles because I second that suggestion on pre-medicating to thwart it. Birth control was wonderful in keeping the cramps in check, but it's a personal decision and there can be some side effects.
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