Yes I’m going here so either click off or keep reading its up to you; but its one of those things I wish some had told me.
Many years ago I remember my husband and I talking about the moodiness of a girlfriend of ours and how she at the time suggested it was PMS (Premenstrual syndrome). She was older than me by a couple of years and had one child so just with that I should have kept my mouth shut because right there I had no right to enter a conversation about it. I scoffed no such thing I said she is making excuses for bad behaviour. I know so wrong of me but I put my hand up to say as a 23 year old I was a little too ignorant and arrogant for my own good. Life has taught me many a lesson and trust me I am not that same girl now in any way at all.
My own experience with my periods was there was none. They came, they went that was it. I started menstruating when I was 12 and it was something that embarrassed me so even if I did have a problem I would have kept it to myself as it was I didn’t even tell my mother that I had hit puberty. So right now it seems funny I’m talking about it. I knew they could be ‘problematic’ I had seen the pain they sometimes caused in my girlfriend Barbra at school but she had endometriosis so that was different; of course it was. Sometimes it limited my girlfriend’s activity but it was also a great excuse to get out of PE or have the day off work. I was however not one of those girls my period, mensuration or visit from Aunt Flow never caused me any inconvenience or problems ever.
Fast forward three kids and one bout of depression and exhaustion later I dread getting my period. Hate it because that PMS I didn’t believe in. The PMS that I said was one an excuse for bad behaviour that’s now me, call it karma but when I have it I hate myself. Hate it. This PMS crap became most prevalent after B3 and I have to say I don’t get it every month they say PMS is effected by other environmental factors such as social, cultural and psychological factors. Most often I get it when husband is at work and I’m tired because of interrupted sleep which it consequently this swing hence I have had it and I have done my best to deal with it. Medical fields believe its hormonal although there is no evidence of that but the human brain is not an exact science so I most certainly believe that theory. It most certainly affect women who have had children are between the ages of 20-40 years old and those more prone have had a bout of postnatle depression or a history of depression. So not everyone gets it which is why not everyone gets it but take from me it exists and I hate it.
My experience with PMS when I know I’m going to get it is this. I get cramping during ovulation because as I said its not every month as it is I haven’t had PMS for about five months so that in itself infuriates me it lays in waiting. My body can’t even get PMS on track and sometimes it catches me by surprise but most often cramping at ovulation is my warning. It is recognised by medical professionals that PMS will occur in the second 14 days of your cycle consequently this is when most women with depression will commit suicide. For me I get cramps during ovulation and then five days out of getting my period I get cranky for around four days. Symptoms are edginess, depression, moodiness, weight gain, changes in toilet behaviour (yes its true), headaches and tenderness in the breast.
Short tempered doesn’t even describe me. I try and control it I really do but I just flip like a switch. Often I will get a migraine that leaves me incapacitated which with three boys is not ideal because as much as they try they don’t understand. They also don’t understand why I want them to stay quiet because noise and them calling my name irritates the crap out of me for no other reason than that its a noise. I gain weight which is fluid and crave potato chips. Yet the part I hate the most is my ability to deal with the boys because my moods are all over the place. I’m just cranky. Easily set off. I hate myself I feel like I’m failing my body is letting me down. I don’t get depressed I just get cranky and that’s being polite.
Then all of sudden my PMS it will then just disappear and I’m back to myself instantly. So I also understand the disbelief of its existence. Sometimes and I don’t know if anyone will ever understand I can feel the change in myself like yesterday I was at the kitchen sink and in one moment my head was different. I looked up and it was clearer I felt different and perhaps its true this defiante change as some of the other symptoms include confusion, forgetfulness, clumsiness and fatigue.
There is no test for PMS because they don’t actually know what causes it but your doctor should do a full exam including one of your pelvis and all your bits just to rule anything else out. The only reason I went to the doctor was my migraines I recognised that they had to be hormonal. Once there it was like the flood gates opened I told her how I hated myself every other month for four days because I became a monster. My doctor had me record my ‘swings’ and cycles and so I could work out how to manage my symptoms and to confirm the diagnoses. I didn’t really think of Premenstrual Syndrome because I didn’t believe in it but the relief was overwhelming. Its not an excuse because I’m still in control of myself and my actions but also my management of it. Managing your symptoms will vary from person to person symptom to symptom. I am making a big deal of something every woman gets perhaps but my snapping and yelling at the kids I hate it. My mother was the same and I don’t want to be her exception she resorted to alchole and trying to hold it all in.
Given that this doesn’t happen every month lifestyle has a lot to do with it and for me because when husband is at work I only have myself to rely on which is why I try and look after myself which I did not do this month. It was a great month but health wise I got slack and so I’m fairly strict on myself because to be honest I hate being this way. I’m on constant guard of myself taking care of myself but that could also be the hypochondriac in me. I hate the person my children see me as for those four days. Its just four days and often times its less but still I hate myself. I get angry at my body for failing me. Have I said that enough? But its true.
If I could lock myself away until that moment of ‘clarity’ hits me I would. Like Fiona out of Shrek I would hide until the ugliness had passed but I cant. I don’t have that luxury and I’m just very fortunate I have some very understanding boys. So instead I eat well, exercise, recognise the symptoms of my ’syndrome and my migraines and if I’m going to be honest I will take 10 mg of Lovan; when I can see and feel the ugly coming and its not every month. I hate that I need to take a drug and some doctors don’t believe that using it will help because most believe Lovan and alike need it to be taken for consecutive weeks for it to be affective. Personally I take it for just four days of the month if I need too and have only just started to take it because I was angry I need it but I hate being that person also and the boys are more important than my denial and I fear I may be my mother. I believe it works whether its a placebo I don’t know nor do I care because it works for me. My gynaecologist prescribed it to me as she does many others because she like me and many others has a short fuse during PMS. She unlike me also has a husband home 365 days of the year, her mother handy and only the one child to irritate her with the name calling aka mum. She believes 20mg is correct for her I believe 10mg is more than enough for me I know my body as you do too. There are many other things that can be done. Going on the ‘pill’ can help but for me that gives me migraines and I lose my sex drive and gives dark patches on my face and I have enough body issues without that. Having the Mirena will apparently help with ovulation and menstruation pain and I have used this but I have had a tubal ligation so its unnecessary and my pain is whilst uncomfortable is manageable with aspirin.
So each month I wait for the signs. Waiting to feel and then dope down the ugly. Its sucks and again I hate it. I’m slowly but surely see the funny side though; I call them my crazy lady pills and until now have told know one but you.
So if I sound like you. You lucky thing or want to read more about it head here but never fail it can be managed but just wait there is that theory of menopause to look forward too..
Now my friends you know everything about me. Everything. Lucky things.
Let me just say this though its scary stuff being honest. Scary.
So tell me does this sound like you? What do you do to tame the monster? Tell me I’m not alone..