Swamp monster.

After suffering just over two weeks of intense PMS (and during-MS, and post-MS), I think it’s time for me to say:

Houston, we have a problem.

And that problem is not just that Houston is too far away to be of any use to me. Swindon is a better bet (sorry, obscure Eddie Izzard reference there, please ignore if you don’t know who he is).

Ever since the onset of the monthly hell that is known as the curse for good reason (since I was 12), I have been box-ticking my way through the full range of symptoms and side effects.

Started off with nothing (that was nice); then came pain in various intensities, the feeling that someone was scraping your insides out with a potato peeler, weakness, spaciness, faintness, disorientation, loss of coordination, intense sleepiness, indigestion, bloating to a new clothes size, weight gain, chocolate overdose, avoidance of exercise, confusion, inability to use one’s brain at all in any way, drunken sensation, have I left anything out?

But all these are nothing really. They’re tolerable. Well, after two weeks even these are maybe not so tolerable.

What really is getting to me is the emotional storm. Each month seems to bring a different cocktail but these last two weeks were some new kind of hell. Intense sadness, irritability, anger, depression, a strong desire to be ALONE, that really desperate and uncomfortable sensation of being claustrophobic  in my skin and needing to rip it off, argh, again, have I left anything out?

Two weeks people. I actually got brain ache from an overdose of emotional intensity. It was abominable.

The me that I concieve of is a placid, easy going girl. But I’ve realised that for a few days each month I have not been that girl, not for many years.  I have been that girl less and less and it’s upsetting. I feel like the hormonal me is not the “real” me. But when the hormonal me is around for more than two weeks, then the hormonal me has become the real me. You can’t expect other people to be around and work with Ms Hyde for two weeks at a time, it’s just not feasible. Also I may explode from emotional overdose.

I hate the ugly thoughts I have when I am feeling out of sorts and grouchy at these times. I hate the way I am so disagreeable. I hate the me that I am then. I want to be the other me all the time!

The worst part is that I know this is mostly my fault. I eat terribly. I don’t even pretend to eat healthily at the moment. I’m really not bothered about the quality of what I eat, I’m more concerned with quantity. I almost never cook any more. I can’t be bothered, I’m happy to eat nothing but bread for the rest of my life. Cooking for me is such a heinous waste of time. After commuting for two hours each day, the last thing I want to do is waste my precious downtime on cooking.

For the last few days I have been eating a packet of salt and pepper crackers for dinner. A whole one. This is after a cooked meal at work, so I am getting some nutrients. Now, a whole pack of crackers has more than enough calories to cover what I need, but in terms of nutrients, hmmm, there may be something lacking there.

This has been the theme to my eating habits for most of my life. That and my coffee addiction are almost certainly contributing to my monthly hell. I know I need to make an effort to change this, because I’m tired of being a swamp monster and I know the people around me are tired of my swampiness. I’m going to try vitamin B supplements, and maybe less crackers, and less coffee and just generally be a better nutri-human.

I hope it works. If anyone has any tips on how to slay a swamp monster, please help me. Clearly, salt and pepper crackers are not doing the trick.


13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tiah
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 07:09:48

    Vit B, Prim Rose oil and this one other wierdo SA stuff seem to help me. Also, dark chocolate. Really dark. So much so, that you can’t eat more than a few bites. Milk choc does not have enough of that chemical in it to do much good, and then you eat loads more because your body is trying to get more and… yeah. Get thee to Black & Green!

    And sure, taking care of yourself helps. But I’m afraid even with effort, every year it gets harder. Some days I just tell people, ‘back away – I’ll be better in a few days.’ :-)

    btw – doctor always tries to put me on the pill. I am sure for some women this works. I am not one of them. Very bad.


  2. Paula
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 08:26:09

    When I was on the pill it seemed to help, my *hem-hem* was lighter and I was in a better mood because none of the pain, chocolate wanting, mood-storm came by.

    For me PMS is off-set by a day of crying at nothing. Literally the one time I cried because the “b” on my phone keypad was not working the way I wanted it to. Its hectic and I don’t want it to get worse with age. No! No! No! No! I even know I am unbearable.

    But please let me know if the Vit B and any other potions work? I’m considering going back on the pill… because it really did make a lot of the PMS problems disappear – even the discomfort of the actual event.


  3. Damaria Senne
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 08:27:57

    @Tiah -what’s the other weirdo SA stuff? Want some, because while my symptoms are not as extreme as Po’s, I go through a bad PMS patch too.


  4. Po
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 09:08:23

    Tiah: thanks! I haven’t tried the other stuff yet, but have been on the chocolate for years! It is starting to take its toll though, two weeks of excessive chocolate eataing is not good in other ways…

    Paula: well, if I am anything to go by it just gets worse with age. I have always resisted going on the pill, I think studying Biology was just too much detail and info on what it actually does. Also I have heard that it helps some people and makes it worse for others. I can’t imagine what could be worse than this, other than pregnancy?

    Damaria: haha South Africans always seem to have some weirdo stuff up their sleeves. I want it too!


  5. Kirsty
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 09:12:27

    Lots and lots of rooibos. Actually Guinness helps me too – I think some of my symptoms are slightly anaemic. But I agree with Paula, the most consistently good thing for me and my probs was the pill… but after some time that had its own side effects, and we’re back to square one…


  6. tiah
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 10:53:36

    @ Damaria – Femolene Ultra. You take 1 to 2 tablets a good 10 days before you are due. Once you start, switch back to evening Prim Rose oil.

    Exercise does help. My problem PMS makes me a bit weepy. So I go to karate to feel better, then I hit somebody and want to cry. Maybe I should just go for walks those weeks….


  7. Paula
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 18:17:23

    *PANIC* what does the pill do?


  8. Po
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 19:26:08

    MNo need for panic dear, no need! It does exactly what you think it does, adjust the hormonal cycle. It’s just that we studied that cycle in such minute detail, and the idea of me taking a pill to change that cycle made me feel weird. It’s like if you study birth in too much detail you are likely to be scared off for life. We just got too much information! Please don’t panic or be afraid of the pill.


  9. Po
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 21:33:19

    P.S. Paula, no more blog? Am I using the wrong link? How are you doing, how is studying, how is STUFF?


  10. Tamara
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 15:16:18

    Yes, Paula. Where is your blog?

    Po, I hear you re swamp monster. And I never know when Aunt Flo will arrive, so I’m never sure if I’m just a bitch, or if it actually is PMS.

    Let me know if you find something that works. Maybe if you could hug a dassie (or a hamster) everyday it would help? Otherwise, kicking the crap out of something (not a dassie or a hamster, please)?


  11. Po
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 16:28:13

    Tamara: kicking the crap out of something sounds goood, but what? Not poor disco lumpy… I will need to buy a placebo.


  12. Tamara
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 07:39:58

    Just find an arsonist. You seem to have enough of those hanging around. Otherwise, punch your pillow.


  13. Helen
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 16:33:08

    Ouch I’m so sorry, it sounds awful! There’s a special ‘pink’ nurofen here (it’s actually just double strength nurofen according to my pharmacist) and it works absolute wonders for me. Although I’m never sure about the PMS until I realise that I’ve been cranky at nothing for a few days, have eaten chocolate (which I usually don’t really like) and then I get angry at myself for being a stereotype.

    Exercise does help just be careful to avoid overdoing it, nothing like sore stomach muscles and cramps at the same time…


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