I have to say that I’ve never felt better about being psychotic one week a month than I do since I started working on Body of Eve. I have learned in the last couple of months that I was not alone in thinking that I must buy a handgun when I came upon something as small as my husband not putting the new roll of toilet paper on the roller. That week—it apparently became punishable by death.
And, just so you know—it was the only time I’d consider gun ownership. Every other week of the month I’m was 100% opposed to possessing a gun. Which was super lucky for everyone. I do passionately love my husband and would really miss him if I shot him over a toilet paper infraction.
That week (which you have now probably figured out is PMS time) had become so bad that I tried to schedule work travel, so that I could stay in a hotel room by myself. Because I could only stand myself. And, then I’d lie in the hotel bed eating $12 candy bars out of the minibar and worrying about what will happen when the day came when I might not be able to stand myself.
I’m joking around about PMS, but for myself and millions of other women it is not a humorous matter. Less than a year ago, I finally went to the doctor to figure out why I was not only having irrational thoughts—but, why I’d sometimes literally “go down” that week. And, by “go down” I mean I’d have migraines, throw-up, not be able to get out of bed for 2-3 days straight and have periods that would last for days and seemed to gush 24-7. That was in additional to my mood swings. My PMS had become debilitating and it had been for about two years. The worst part was that I was too embarrassed to even go and see a doctor. I was hiding it from everyone. But, after one week where I literally was in bed for five days and was unable to attend one of the most important business meetings of my life—I decided it was time to make a change.
That was also when the realization came to me that I was entering phase one of menopause. My journey to find answers began. In addition to going to the doctor, I spent hours and hours online looking for answers. Sound familiar? I also started talking to close friends about my issues—which, is how this blog got started. I called Heidi and she shared her story with me. And, unlike most everyone else, she encouraged me to look at every option.
My doctor (and, most of my other female friends) had encouraged a full hysterectomy, but for some reason I couldn’t come to a place of peace thinking about losing everything. So, I ended up going to a specialist who helped me get to the healthier state I am in today—and, I still have most of my body parts. He (a man!) encouraged me to take baby steps with number one being birth control pills. Birth control pills? I thought he was crazy, but he explained how birth control pills have evolved over the last several years and are no longer associated with some of the negative side effects they had been in the past. I thought, “What the Hell” and took his prescription. I’m happy to report that almost all of my symptoms have dissipated. Birth control pills contain hormones and they were apparently just what I needed. Plus, the bonus of not having a period at all because you can skip the “blank” week and start over again has been AMAZING.
Now I do need to note that I still have PMS. But, I don’t think about going on a toilet paper inspired killing spree anymore. When I find a roll of TP “unhinged,” the worst punishment I consider is an arm breaking. I sometimes get headaches, but they aren’t full-blown migraines. I have had to stay in bed a couple of times, but not usually more than a few hours. A nap usually gets me over the hump.
I guess the point of me sharing my story is NOT to inspire anyone to go on birth control for PMS or to treat pre-menopause symptoms, but look at all of your options. And, I think the doctor who gave me the good advice to try “baby steps first” was brilliant. Maybe someday it will all have to come out, but for now—I’m holding on to everything I got.
PS – I do need to point out that this is only part of my story. I will share more soon.