“My license plate says PMS. Nobody cuts me off.” – Wendy Liebman
This wouldn’t be a blog about real women without at least one post about PMS.
Besides, I’m the one currently in control of the keyboard, so come on along with me for a hormone hayride.
When I was a young woman, I was lucky enough to not be too adversely affected by pms. Sure, there were cramps, headaches, and overwhelming desires for chocolate in large quantities, but I did not suffer from debilitating issues like migrains and body aches like some of my friends.
However, now that I’m heading down the road towards that big intersection with Menopausal Alley, things are getting a bit…. weird. Now, for those of you who are younger and are still a ways back on this road, you can use this as helpful information as to what is ahead. And for those of you who have already turned the corner at that intersection, you can sit back with that knowing smirk and say “ah, yes, I remember when.” And have no fear, I am quite sure there will be future blogs devoted to the joys of “The Change.”
The first challenge of course is that I am never quite sure when “Aunt Flo” will show up on my doorstep. Gone are the days when I could expect her at exactly 10am on a Tuesday morning. And I know for several of you, she has started to show up unexpectedly more than once a month. That is completely unfair. It is bad enough we have two ugly weeks each month (one for pms, the other for Flo’s visit), but to spread it out even more than that is just plain cruel. I do believe we mid-life women keep the pantiliner companies in business. (Don’t even get me started with that lovely new thing that happens everytime I sneeze.)
The other phenomenon is that each month seems to have its own special handicap, or as my BFF and I call it, the month’s “theme.” Of course, every cycle can include some or all of these issues…but it just seems that one is stronger than the rest. One theme is just complete and utter exhaustion – more so than the usual, where just getting through a normal day seems to take super-woman strength after which I am completely spent. Next is one of my favorites, issues with memory loss. This is the pms theme where I become incapable of completing a sentence, or effectively using any big girl words.
Then there is the Clutz Mode…. I drop things regularly, bump into furniture that hasn’t moved in 20 years, and generally wonder if I’m even safe to be around. Of course, there is the Cry-at-Anything theme. Generally an issue for me every month, but sometimes it is so bad I can’t get through a newscast, tv commercial or song without needing tissues.
And I will lump the physical themes all together here… there’s the Bloat Like a Whale week, the I Must be Going Through Puberty Again days when craters erupt (usually someplace like on the nose or cheek right before an important presentation), the Desperate Need for a Massage bad back days, the Please Don’t Touch Me Everything Hurts moments and let’s not forget the Ewww, My Skin is Grey days.
The truly cruel twist of irony is that for some reason my husband chooses pms week to be the most amourous. Really with this? When I feel like an achey, emotional beached whale is when my desire is at its lowest. Must be that he mistakenly reads my swollen boobs as “Go For It”.
The one thing we can take comfort in is that we are not alone in any of this weirdness. There is a certain pleasure in comparing notes on the Theme of the Month with BFF’s. After all, misery loves company.