Light cramps during a period are normal. They may feel uncomfortable, but an over-the-counter pain medication should take care of the problem well enough to enable a woman to go about her day. But killer cramps, the second cardinal symptom of endometriosis, are not the “normal” kind of cramps. These cramps are frequently associated with very heavy and prolonged menstruation, and the blood is usually clotted. Killer cramps are of uterine origin in adolescents, but in later years, because the disease spreads to different areas, they are signs of more advanced endometriosis. The pain from killer cramps is so severe, so intense, that it completely alters a woman’s daily life. She may have to stay home from work, school, or other activities, and for days at a time. She may not be able to play with her kids or drive them to their appointments. She may have to excuse herself in the middle of a social function and find somewhere private to lie down so that she can catch her breath and try to mentally get through the episode. She may not even be able to get out of bed to begin with. Killer cramps kill whatever she is doing or wanting to do at the time. They aren’t just a nuisance that she has to deal with, like normal cramps. They take over her life.