My Mom blamed every single one of her emotional outbursts on PMS and now on menopause. I mean come on, she couldn’t have been PMS-ing ALL the time. I’ve always felt slightly annoyed by people who use alcohol as an excuse for their behavior and similarly felt the same way about women who say “sorry, I’m PMS-ing”.
Wait, don’t get me wrong. Premenstrual syndrome is a really thing and it’s not exactly easy to contend with. It’s much harder on some women than on others, and thankfully I can count myself as belonging to the latter category of women. I barely felt a cramp the first few times I had my period, and for most of my life my symptoms have been limited to heavier and more sensitive breast, impatience and the occasional slight lower back pain. Usually when my breast get sore I know I’ll be bleeding in a few days. Once the bleeding starts most symptoms are alleviated, except for perhaps a slight bloating. All in all everything else is quite good and since I started using the Diva cup, I can barely tell I’m having my period. Oh and now that I think of it, I’ve been known to start crying for no apparent reason while standing alone in my kitchen.
There are over 200 physical, psychological and emotional symptoms associated with premenstrual symptoms. Let’s say that again, PREmenstrual syndrome. Pre as in before. It’s not called PMS once you’re actually bleeding. Sure, it’s kinda of semantic and perhaps petty of me, but it annoys the hell out of me when people use PMS as a blanket word for whatever they are feeling while they are actually bleeding. It’s PRE goddamnit, PRE! Ok, little rant aside, it’s a major crazy thing that women experience every month and like I said it’s a lot harder on some women than others. I’ve known people who have had to take some serious medication to deal with their cramps.
I guess the reason I bring it up now is that this last week I had the worst cramps I’ve ever experienced. It felt like I had done over a thousand lower abdomen sit-ups while simultaneously getting poked in the uterus. At first, I had no idea what the hell was going on. I thought I might have the worst case of constipation ever. Seriously, forcing to go to the bathroom hurt . Just not where you would think it would hurt if you were actually constipated.
My friend Liz recommended some Advil or Mydol, as well as some stuff called Anancin, which apparently is god’s answer to pain relief and contains caffeine as well. Knowing her predilection for anything caffeinated, I understand how she’d like that, but frankly it scares me a little. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll just give it a try if it ever happens to me again. Boy, did I feel like the world gave me a huge slap across the back of the head for every single time I told, with a smile, one of my friend “Oh, that sucks, I never get cramps.” Ha! that sure taught me to be more sympathetic.
How about you guys (err I mean girls), what are your premenstrual symptoms like? How do you deal with them? Have any miracle cures or little self-care rituals you partake in every time your breast start to hurt and you begin to feel a twinge in your lower abdomen?