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1.16.2013

On PMS: Abandon Logic (& a Carb-Free Diet), All Ye Who Enter Here

PMS. Oh, PMS.

I didn't used to really suffer from it when I was younger. I remember my mother telling me that it would get worse as I got older, but I never really believed her. As is Mama Matsuo's way, she was right in the end.

What? I'm Japanese! This is SO not a visual pun or anything...except kind of.

Let me preface this by saying that this little note is about my own, personal experiences. If you relate to me, let's grab coffee. If you don't, you're lucky. If you have it worse than me, let me get you some extra-strength Midol, a super-considerate & complimentary male model, and a tub of banana pudding. If you're a guy, you can shake Husband Charles' hand next time you see him. Possibly give him a trophy or knight him if you have the authority.

So, let's get straight to the point here. Women bleed once a month on average. Take a minute to think about that. You (or your female friend or significant other of the female variety) were designed to do that...isn't that, in and of itself, something to get grumpy about? Oh, wait. You might get a reprieve during that time...to grow another human being inside of your body! (Because that's not uncomfortable in any way.)

It's like if someone said, "so, you're going to get a severe paper cut every month for the majority of your life. It'll heal in a week, give or take. Rest assured, in three week's time, your cut will come back, as irritating as ever."

Now it all makes sense why my mother did a victory lap when she hit menopause.

Some things I've noticed about myself when dealing with PMS:

  • Logic: Completely Gone (Why am I getting angry at my laundry drying rack?!)
  • Patience: Completely Gone (Why didn't you call when you said you would? I WILL CUT YOU!)
  • Healthy Meals: Still there (Supplemented with constant trips to the snack cabinet to scavenge for processed carbs and other temporarily filling foods like an orphan. I do not necessarily crave chocolate, but if someone put some in front of me, I would happily eat it - note to self: invest in a sack of potatoes every month.)
  • Immune System: Goes on holiday (If I'm put within 50 feet of a sick child, I will likely get what they've got - note to self: purchase bubble suit. Avoid air travel.)
  • Water: Hangs out in my body (as if I'd eaten a bucket of salt the day before.)
  • Cramps: Like an ice pick to the uterus some days...and like a boulder in the uterus other days! (All forms of pain focused mainly on the uterus...additional pain may occur in the head in a migrainey way - yes, a made up adjective.)
  • Skin: Organizes another monthly coup against me (breakouts & oil spills ensue.)
  • Self-Esteem: See Skin, Water, Logic above.
I know. I sound like a mobile party! The type of party you enter and never escape...My mobile PMS party is actually Dante's 8th circle. The one he never got around to writing about because he thought it would just be waaaaay too frightening. Also, because it actually happens in real life, while you're living...which makes it a living hell.

Dramatic, yes? If it wasn't, you wouldn't be having fun right now and I wouldn't be able to convince you that there's a light at the end of this tunnel.

If you or someone you know suffers from the same kinds of symptoms, here is a list of things that will help:

The Pill
Long thought to prevent pregnancy, the pill does exactly that (hurray for science), BUT also has the power to shorten & lighten the pestilence...er, your period. If you really hate your period, go get one of those fancy pants pills that makes it so you only get it 4 times a year.

Love
All you need is...ok, it's one of the things you need. This is the archenemy of your lack of logic...when you scream "I hate you, laundry drying rack!" cue your loved one to scream things like, "you look amazing today!" and "gosh, you are so damn smart!" as well as choice phrases such as "your immense talents and creativity leave me breathless and frozen with admiration!" Hugs work too.

Quinoa, etc.
Avoid drowning yourself in a sea of carbs (if you're trying to avoid it - otherwise, jump right in, the water's fine) by eating things that seem breadish (made up word) or ricey (also a made up word - sounds like a racially discriminating word...I wonder if I'm ricey), but are actually made of magic (also known as protein and nutrients.) I like quinoa and beans. Don't eat too many beans. PMS can also cause indigestion and that combined with beans could end badly.

Exercise
If anything, this will trick you into thinking your bloating has subsided and the pain you feel in your glutes & hamstrings after all those squats will mask the uterus pain for a little while. Also, exercise is good for you. This is what I hear.

Lady Drugs
I used to not really take anything when my monthly mobile PMS party came to town, but now, on days when even a "gosh, you are so damn smart!" barely cracks a smile, I take Midol to protect my husband from my nasty habit of becoming a scary harpy troll that breathes fire. Word fire...and sometimes fire made of tears because something silly upset me.

Leggings
I am not ashamed to admit that I love leggings. They're simple and flattering. They fit into boots without spending an unnatural amount of time negotiating how to fold your pant leg to fit into your socks so that your ankles aren't crushed with bunched up cuff fabric (see Logic & Patience in the earlier list - I could theoretically get angry at my pant cuffs.) 

They also have elastic waistbands! 

A pair of great leggings and a large sweater coupled with ballet flats or boots and a pretty neck scarf and messy bun is perfection. No one will suspect you're a fire-breathing harpy troll because your pants won't be digging into your pained uterus...which means that you'll be less likely to fire-breathe. There is a direct correlation between tight waisted pants, uterus pain, and fire-breathing.

Sleep
The great panacea. Use sleep to avoid PMS symptoms. It's amazing what being unconscious can do!

..................................

In the end, I'm no doctor and I'm also not someone who will promise that a red lip and a dash of liquid liner will make you look like a fresh, un-PMSy blossom. All I can say is, as a woman, I deal with it so that, at some point, I can hopefully have children. (Yikes! See this post & this post.) I still think female bodies are a work of genius, though slightly inconvenient for those living in them.

Hope you're monthly party is a little less ragey than mine! Off to get angry at an inanimate object! xo!

4 comments:

  1. Sleep is the one thing that could get me through PMS though. It's much better when I'm unconscious. My brother gets really scared when I'm going through it though.

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    1. Agreed, Lily.

      When all else fails, sleep. Sleep for as long as you can!
      As for your brother, he could learn a thing or two from this post. ;)

      Hope your next bout isn't too bad!

      xo!
      N

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  2. Great piece, Nami! i am glad someone put this into writing. given that i've personally never experienced i have certainly witnessed plenty of pain. i try to be very careful with my words during "that" time of the month.

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    1. Alex!

      Thanks for reading it!
      Hey, someone had to write it all down, right?
      Glad I could be of assistance in helping you understand the pain. ;)

      When the cardinal's in town, just reference this material and you should be good to go! :D

      xo!
      N

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